Clouds Magical Focus

There are few Auram magical foci examples in the books. Weather is a major one, while wind, rain and lightning are minor ones. Which would clouds be? One could target a cloud to make it rain, snow, or to drop hail or a lightning bolt.

While we're talking about clouds and lightning, an effect similar to incantation of lightning could be invented at a lower level if the lightning bolt came from a cloud. What if the target was modified to Group? Could an individual be targeted 10 times? Would the damage be ten times +30 or a single roll of +40 (30 + 2 magnitudes)? What if the Size was increased further, resulting in 100 lightning bolts?

Finally, would a samoyed dog be part of the magical focus? This is impawtant.

Minor. I'm a bit leery of including things like creating rain or lightning there, but might allow it.

Regarding the multiple-lightning thing - that's a problem shared by other spells, too. I generally look ascane at such players, and suggest that if they want to do more damage, they should just invent a spell that does more damage. If this fails, consider this - a Group is a +2 magnitude increase; so allow an increase to damage if all/most hit the same target, but only +5 extra damage instead of +10. In this way it is more worthwhile damage-wise to invent a spell with +!0 levels for +10 damage, but the Group spell does give you more versatility. Alternatively, just rule that the damage just doesn't increase per target, you just get to possibly have more targets, and dismiss their pleas for 'realism' with vigorous hand-waving and saying "it's maaaagiiiiicccc".

This seems almost like a weather magical focus under a new name. But I think you're saying that you intend to actually target the clouds, rather than simply use that focus to replicate weather magic that would potentially be broader than the example rain and lightning focus. Tentative minor focus, with the caveat that I wouldn't allow rain and lightning spells with a creo technique, but might allow a muto effect on a cloud to generate them. If this is an excuse to create rain and create lightning by targeting a cloud with a creo spell, just call your focus weather magic and make it major, since in this case the clouds are mere props and you intend to do something else while benefiting from your focus. Maybe what you actually have is the Special Circumstances virtue (Clouds).

This may be harder than you imagine, as you might need to muto a cloud to become a storm, and then Creo (rego) the lightning onto someone with finesse, both spells being cast at sight range, or rely on something like an arcane connection to a storm that somehow doesn't dissipate with a rego effect. Another method would be when you're flying in a raging storm up from the ground, then yes, your creo spell might be a straight Base 5 + range effect. Incidentally, this means your spell is already relying on a flying spell, protection from lightning somehow, and an ongoing storm which might be a third spell... If you think it's easier, I'd like to spell tentative spells with explanations of how you think they work :slight_smile:

Group targets a group of individual, not an individual multiple times. There is spell mastery - multiple casting for affecting a target multiple times in a round. As far as scaling the damage of the lightning, I'm not sure. For most elemental spells, you can scale up the damage due to volume. But I'm not certain you can scale up lightning by size, because while there is a difference in size of lightning, voltage and amperage and so on scientifically, I'm not sure the paradigm in mythic europe would perceive a difference between a small lightning strike and a large lightning strike, and I'm inclined to think a larger phenomenon (one that isn't wholly divorced from its context anyway) is probably just additional lightnings being created rather than a huge bolt. If a size increase is possible, there might actually be a downside to that: That size increase might be required to get a lightning from a cloud onto the ground versus the one generated from your hand - because the bolt is way longer. So it might be counter-productive to your idea of exploring whether you can shave off magnitudes from a spell by throwing a lightning from a cloud rather than from your hand onto a third target.

That's quite an elegant solution. Choosing between versatility and raw damage output is a great way to reward the player for the effect without unbalancing it when compared to other TeFo.

Not quite. Clouds aren't related to winds or tornadoes. They also wouldn't apply to lightning that does not come from a cloud (such as incantation of lightning, or a MuCo(Au) to turn into lightning). Also, rain can be created without an existing cloud, which would not benefit from this focus. That said, I do believe it is broader than the given examples of minor foci, as you said, hence why I asked for further opinions. Thank you for yours. The Special Circumstances seems like it is a nice fit.

It may be easier than you think!

First off, I do not believe a finesse roll would be required with the Rego requisite in place. It already needs to penetrate, so there's no reason not to control the lightning until the target is hit.

I do not believe Muto would be the most fitting technique, as a storm cloud is a natural phenomenon. It could either be created by CrAu (baseline 3 for creating a severe weather phenomenon), or an existing cloud could be turned into a storm cloud with Rego (there's no guideline for this).

The Sight range limitation can be bypassed by creating a (storm) cloud on the ground, which would add a magnitude or two for unnatural fashion (total 3-5+), but I would argue they would not be added to the other spells, since they're coming from the cloud, which is how they naturally manifest. Alternatively, one could use ReVi 5 to open an intangible tunnel with duration Diam and range Sight to a cloud or the open sky, which would allow for level 10 spells to be cast. Another level 5 ReVi tunnel could be cast at range Touch, which would allow level 20 spells to be cast through it.

Putting it together: 2 ReVi 5 effects allow casting up to level 20 spells at Sight range using Touch range. Creating a storm cloud at Touch range for Moon duration is CrAu 20 (baseline 3, +1 Touch, +3 Moon). Creating a lightning bolt from that cloud is Cr(Re)Au 15 (baseline 5, +1 Touch, +1 Rego requisite). Creating a group of lightning bolts is level 25, which would require a level 10 ReVi tunnel.

The target of a Creo spell that actually creates something is the thing created. A group of 10 lightning bolts are created in this case. I have not seen an example of this use in other spells, so I believe it isn't RAI. One might hope, though :wink:

In order to streamline it with other TeFo, it could be +5 Damage per magnitude.

Indeed, that's something I had not previously thought about.

First, I would call Clouds a minor focus.
To answer the second half, turning weather into weather would probably be base 3 (turn air into another form of air). That could turn a benevolent cloud into a raincloud of equivalent size. As for hail or snow, only if the ambient temperature is cold enough, otherwise you'd need additional magnitudes and ignem requisites for the chill. As far as turning it into a lightning bolt.. or a thunderstorm dropping lightning, that spell would confer no ability to have the lightning go where you want it to. Your Focus in clouds applies to this, just like a Focus in dogs helps you turn a dog into a lightning bolt, or vice versa.

I've allowed my saga's weather-mage to have a +2 unnatural instead of a +4 unnatural to pull lightning bolts out of a heavily cloudy sky, and +1 to pull a lightning bolt out of a thunderstorm. (Obviously mmf: Clouds doesn't apply here.)

The most common answer I've seen used is group attack spells can target groups. They also make it harder to dodge, if you have dodgeable attacks, but most storyguides I've seen rule that it doesn't increase the damage. If you DO want 100 lightning bolts to hit someone, I'd suggest either raising the damage by magnitudes (+5 per mag) or using your judgement with the full/half/partial immersion rules for fire and corrosion. My table kind of has no reason for any damage above +30.

For most samoyed's no, but I guarantee you a Samoyed of Virtue is.


Consider that a storm-cloud is arguably bigger than a regular-cloud. A standard Individual cloud is, arguably, the size a Boundary. Actual storm clouds are huge things, that are very far away. I'd consider adding a +1 magnitude to create/affect one, maybe even more.

The CrAu guidelines stipulate that weather phenomena not created at Sight range should have an "unnatural" modifier that compensates for the range, so creating a storm cloud at Touch range would have +2 magnitudes for "very unnatural".

So I would argue to create a storm-cloud at ground-level you need CrAu 30 (base 3, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +2 very unnatural, +1 size) at least. And you wouldn't be able to create it in confined spaces at all - there is just not enough space.

Drawing a lightning bolt from a storm-cloud is ReAu base 5 IMO. I'm not sure if targeting is needed or not; I can see "not", but requiring aiming feels better at capturing the chaotic nature of the storm/lightning and also incentivizes against using this tactic, which is a good idea IMO to keep vanilla mages from using it. In either case MR applies, since the storm and lightning are magically-created and sustained.

So, it seems to me you would need only a ReAu 15 (base 5, +1 Touch, +1 size) to draw lightning from that cloud. You need to touch the cloud, and can control it only within it (if aiming is used, then perhaps outside it too).

Note however that as you're standing there, the cloud constantly throws lightning around randomly. Including at you and your allies. And the whole scene is engulfed and fought within a lightning storm. Which is a cool visual, and you may a have suite of spells to go along with that, but it would probably be a hard on your sodales and minions.

I actually prefer the method of creating the storm-cloud in the sky, with a same-level CrAu spell, and using the standard ReAu idea (i.e. at Sight range) to draw lightning from it. Or the whole ReVi shtick (you're gonna excel at Rego anyway, to penetrate through MR with your call-lightning spell), which would be very useful indoors.