Character Creation for Plot_Device (OOC)

To discuss the creation of all of Plot_Device's characters (magus, companion, grogs, familiar, apprentices). This includes the concept, drafts, background, advancement, lab work, etc.

Final versions of the characters will have their own topic.

Might be weird to lead off with a question about magic, but I want to make sure I understand a couple of wrinkles about Elementalism before I build a character around it.

So suppose I wanted to invent a spell to summon a magical fog (CrAu), that a) was very dark and blocked all light within it (PeIg) b) did toxic damage (CrAu), c) did frost damage (PeIg) and d) turned non-plant life to stone (MuCo(An,Te))

(I know that's a bit over the top but it's helpful for the example)

I would end up using the lowest of Pe/Cr/Mu; and the lowest of Au/An/Co, is that right? Rather than using the highest elemental form that could apply (which is how pre-errata elementalism worked), it would be the base elemental form of the spell.

Also, is a spell like that impermissibly having multiple effects combined to one spell? Or does it work if the spell is a gas (or it could be a storm) that has multiple effects like that?

In principle, yes.

No. And hell no. :wink:

IMO a spell should have a single primary effect, with maybe a minor secondary effect.

I think I remember seeing a guideline in the core rulebook about this. I think they took the highest level and then added additional magnitudes on for each extra effect, but that's just off the top of my head.

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And you quickly reach a point where the spell needs to be a ritual.

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That's why I said it was "in my opinion" and "should". It is a matter of preference and percieved elegance.

A clunky spell with multiple unrelated effect is downright ugly. Must be my Jerbiton sensibilities! :wink:

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lf l would have to judge spell like that, l would, for my sanity's sake rule that such spell have to be divided into multiple spells.
However, l would say that spell that summons (Creo) and allows control over (Rego) storm (Aurum) that rains down liquid (Aquam) fiery (Ignem) metal (Terram) droplets is possible. So, l'm not against spells with as many forms as you could shove into it, in principle, but l would say that such spells would be of high level and get additional scrutiny for being, in fact, one effect and not a bunch of different ones.

Well I did make the example extra outlandish as a case study; but a fog or a storm with extra effects of other elements seems ok to me thematically, and more importantly something that an Elementalist would come up with. (Other examples that are closer to what I might actually try to create would be fire tornadoes, or the above fog but without the Terram effect (so it was just cold and dark))

Just wanted to explore these questions as they influence my choices.

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Just keep in mind that the basic TeFo of such a spell will be determined by the primary effect. So if you create a fog (CrAu) that transforms humans into pigs (MuCo), who burst into flames as soon as they leave the fog (CrIg), the primary effect would be MuCo, and the benefits of Elemental Magic regarding requisites only apply when the Form of the primary effect is one of the elements. So this Mu(Cr)Co(Au,Ig) spell would use the lowest of Mu/Cr and the lowest of Co/Au/Ig.

How is primary effect determined? For above I would think the primary effect was still the fog.

That's precisely why l would say that spells with multiple disconnected effects should be divided.

The highest Base effect, I would say, since that represent the base power of each effect:

  • Creating a fog is Base 2.
  • Turning a human into an animal is Base 10.
  • The base for creating a fire depends on the intensity, so it could be a higher base. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

So a case could be made that the primary effect in this case is the CrIg. But let's say it is only a fire doing +5 damage, like Coat of Flame.

Note that each significant effect added to a spell, as per ArM5 p.114 (under Requisites), adds at least a magnitude to the level of the spell.

In my example, it looks like the fog is almost just a way to allows the spell to delimitate a Group. So I would almost discard it, but it allows additional targets who enter the fog to be affected and allows the effect to be moved using ReAu.

So I would end up using the MuCo base 10, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter (at least), +2 Group, +2 for the added CrIg effect causing +5 damage per round, +1 for the fog.

You'd still end up with a level 50 spell, just missing the treshhold for requiring a Ritual. It would also only affect the first 10 individuals who entered the fog, because that's the maximum number of individuals for a Group.

Just my own analysis. Each individual spells with this kind of complexity would need to be analyzed and approved by the troupe. :flushed:

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I respectfully disagree with all of that. Creation of a magical fog being the base effect by design, I don't think the secondary effects of the fog would displace that, nor would T: group be relevant at all.

I'll see what others say.

But as the primary character I am considering is a Flambeau from the School of Sebastien, specializing in magical fogs, this discussion is relevant, not just me trolling. If the idea won't work, that's ok, I can do something else, but wanted to get this sorted early on for this exact reason.

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l think, mindset of "create X that could affect all target with an array of effect" is kinda wrong balance-wise. Especially as this X could replace really big Targets on it's own and cover a Boundary without ritual, for example. It's just broken this way.

Not to mention that creating a low-level medium to carry other effects that have nothing to do with that medium, while saying the medium is still the primary effect, would allow a Minor Magical Focus to apply to a whole range of effects that would normally be outside its scope (or even a Major Magical Focus). This is also a balance issue.

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Well, ok. not the best news but I'm glad I asked early on. I could argue about canon examples, but I won't, I'll let it go.

Back to the drawing board.

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Yes, I've seen people try to do similar things to that every single thing imaginable falls under what seems like a Minor Magical Focus.

As for Arthur's statement about the primary effect, he is strongly supported by the core book. First, the book explicitly says the higher base determines the primary Arts. Second, we have a canonical example of a spell that makes a mist that turns people into animals, and it's a MuCo spell on p.132. Group is normally limited to 20 people, though, unless they're all particularly large.

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That wasn't my goal, my goal was to make cool deadly fogs. If they're OP, then fine, I won't do it. But I wasn't trying to break the game.

I think I'm missing something on this issue. As I understand it, the only point of disagreement is on which combination of arts would be "primary"...but I can't see how it matters mechanically.

Either way, the lowest arts involved are the ones being rolled...if it were a debate between two elemental arts I could see the he gets to ignore the lower if it isn't primary.

I do see the point about Focii...but did he even mention that as a possibility? If so I missed it and yea...that might be broken.

Sorry...I do see a second bone of a fog delivery system appropriate? This appears to be a stylistic choice more than anything...if the spell effect should target group at say, voice it that way and just wave the special effect wand over it to make it conform to the stylistic leaning of the player? Especially if his sigil were centered around fog. If anything this would be a self nerf.

Or create a minor virtue with a new duration of "fog". Seems very approriate for an Elementalist lineage. This lets it hang around "naturally"...sometimes an advantage over say diameter...othertimes a disadvantage depending on the weather.

I'm all for finding a way to make a cool character calling card work...and I do think this one is doable with the right tweaking.

I think it (or something similar) can be done without being overpowered. We just need to determine how, and to what extent.

As mprogue mentioned, if fog is part of his wizard's sigil, it is a cool thing. If you take a Minor Magical focus with "creating fog/smoke/vapors" (exact wording to be worked on), for example, I think it would be perfectly to have it apply to spells like (mumble mumble) of Sulfurous Smoke (from ArM5, I'm typing from my tablet without my books close) or spells that create other vaporous phenomena with natural properties, or even slightly unnatural ones so long as they are related to Auram. Scalding hot steam that causes burns? Works for me (with an Ignem requisite). Acidic smoke that chokes and causes wounds from inhalation (maybe an Aquam requisite, maybe not)? All good, focus applies.

I would draw the line at giving very unnatural properties to fog. These would no longer have Auram as the primary Form, and any magical focus would no longer apply. A fog that turn people to stone? Sure, it has some interesting perks and weaknesses due to the delivery system, but the primary Arts are MuCo, with Te, Cr and Au requisites. Fits in your sigil and magus' theme, but not the focus anymore.