Creating Animal Teeth


A player wants to create a spell that creates animal teeth. I am not sure why.

He is arguing that a single spell should let the magus create teeth from any animal. I am arguing that the spell can only create teeth from a specific animal and if he wants to create teeth from any animal he needs to add a level of magnitude or two account for that flexibility.

I realize this is a "decide amongst yourselves" kind of question, but I was wondering how other groups handle it?


A magnitude for complexity seems fair to me. It's not just cosmetic, but it's also not complicated enough for multiple magnitudes of complexity.


+1 again, although I'd like to note that the rules are way too vague on this. A spell that creates a tree, for example: it seems to create whatever tree you want, whereas I personally would like it only to create one tree related to your sigil, unless it had a complexity mod, because with different trees you get different products (saffron, rosewater, aconite, pitch and so on.)

Well, for the tree-creating spell, I wouldn't restrict it as much by sigil as I would by spell; if you really just need to avoid that complexity magnitude like the plague for some reason, I'd allow inventing a different spell for a different kind of tree, much the way I'd adjudicate the teeth here, without making the sigil be a commanding factor; I mean, the whole shtick with the wizard's sigil is that it makes noticeable but ultimately useless and non-hindering changes to a spell. So if a different kind of tree did indeed provide different benefits, that would seem to me to be outside the scope of a sigil. YSMV.

I would be fine with a spell of a given magnitude giving always the same type of tree or tooth, and one magnitude higher to be able to select the type of tree/tooth. I will probably also require a finess roll or a skill roll to get the exact variety.

Finally, if the teeth (or tree) have special properties, I would require a specific spells with appropriate requisit(s): fangs able to inject poison, tree with medicinal properties and so on.

I actually would probably allow the "create any teeth" spell (with no extra magnitude), since it's such a minor effect. Just like I would allow "create any clothes" spell, rather than a "create a dress" spell. Yet I would require a separate spell to create a wolf or a pig. Don't ask me what's the difference; "teeth" just seems generic and simple enough for me, whereas a kind of animal is a more major difference.

The rules on this are rather vague, i.e. non-existent. :frowning:


+1 from me also. To create any kind of teeth would also allow you to create Ivory for example.

In the interest of causing discord among the collection of "yes just add a magnitude for complexity people", what if the spell created a land animal? Would you be cool with a single spell that could produce dairy cows, horses, bears, oxen, or crocodiles at the whim of the caster? If not, how would you draw a distinction that allowed one effect but not the other?

"It's just a game lets maximize fun, multiple spells for multiple teeth is anal retentive so we avoid it. A single spell for any critter one desires is munchkin, so we likewise rule against that. Have a sense of what's going on at the table for jebus' sake!" is of course one rationale, but I find it not particularly satisfying or elegant.

I had similar thoughts around the muto corpus animal effects like Cloak of Black Feathers; as why do I need a separate effect for each animal? How would it work?

Firstly a single MuVi effect could be written to alter the spell to vary the creature type. It does not remove the consideration of additional mags for complexity, but does move that complexity into an effect specifically designed for the need instead of trying to make one spell overly general.

Then consider limits like you've implied with Land Animal and add a further level of complexity adjustment for domestic vs wild.

That results in: any animal of same lifestyle and environ is +1 mag (so bear or wolf teeth are ok but not a dog or cat, and other non land animals are out). Any animal regardless of domestication but still a land animal as +2. Then any animal as +3.

I guess the suitability will be based upon why the player wants this. It's a niche spell, so we get stuck between the guidelines and what is perhaps a far more simple Need for which an additional 15 levels is overkill.

On second thought +2 mags seems plenty to allow any animal. So +1 for the land animal grouping, and +2 for any.

I don't think that is munchkin at all; we're still talking about conjuring teeth.

Not to argue against my own side here, but the point is reasonable that Hermetic magic doesn't really care what's considered over- or under-powered in its functioning. It just sort of exists and happens to be either far too convenient or awfully inconvenient depending on the situation.

I would still argue that the magnitude for complexity is good enough, because it seems like (based on the CrAn guidelines) animal products aren't restricted by the type of animal they come from as long as they're the same product. Spider silk isn't separated by spider, leather isn't separated by whether it comes from a cow or not... As such, I'd think that teeth, being produced in much the same way an animal produces their hide (which can then be treated and turned to leather) wouldn't require a different spell for each animal's different kind of teeth.

And from a meta perspective, a teeth-creating spell is a little too high level to be learning multiple per season, so I do stand by the justification that Erik finds not satisfying or elegant to a degree; if a player wants an effect like creating animal teeth, I don't want them to have to spend a dozen seasons in order to be versatile with their teeth-summoning. Unless they, like, have a Minor Focus in teeth and are focused on CrAn, but then they could probably spontaneously create whatever teeth they need without having to make formulaic spells for them and the point is mostly moot until they find a Faerie whose greatest weakness is the teeth of bears.

Agree LuckMage. It might take 2 mags to get to "any animal" in some sagas and 3 in others. Outside of those bounds is getting odd. For teeth 2 feels right, for a spell to conjure animals the 3 mags feels right.

Thanks for all the feedback on the question. It is definitely a "saga specific" answer.

I was leaning towards +2 for any teeth but now I think a +1 pretty much covers it. Like other people have said, "it is just teeth".

As to why the magus desires this spell I do not know. It is a mystery that I am not a part of yet.

He is also looking at a similar spell to create any animal hide.

I am not sure if I should be creeped out at his fascination with animal parts or happy that he want to construct the parts from nothing as opposed to destruct an animal for the parts. So far he has not mentioned any "Render the animal parts" spell. :slight_smile:

Note that this might be something where the /5 non-fatiguing spont rules, combined with Ceremonial Casting, may be useful.

It's, what, a lvl 5 spell to create a bucket of specific animal teeth that will last for Concentration? (Create animal parts lvl 3(?), +1 Touch, +1 Conc). That's low-level enough that it would probably be easier just to get your CrAn total up to 25, and then spont-cast it whenever you need some teeth of a particular type.

If this really is just a background spell that the magi won't be casting in combat, you can use Ceremonial casting to add up to +20 to the roll, if your AL and Philo skills are high enough. This does assume the magi has access to a Ceremonial Casting room with appropriate props, of course.

Artes Liberales(ceremonial magic) +5
Philosophae(ceremonial magic) +5
Big Form Prop +5
Big Technique Prop +5
Total bonus: +20

To make them last longer, learn a low-level "Maintain the Demanding Spell" (Rego Vim) effect to keep the teeth around for up to a month. That would end up being a lvl 10 or 15 ReVi effect, I think. I forget the exact magnitude.

The end result is that you still need to learn a lvl 15 spell, but it's a generally useful ReVi spell, which can be used with a number of low-level Conc-based spont effect, rather than a very specific CrAn one.

Of course, if you need them to be permanent, then yeah - you'll need a lvl 20 ritual effect, and spend 4 pawns of vis on it. That's going to be a lot of teeth, honestly.

Sadly, the effect is actually a bit much for spont/5. Because this game is crazy, and creating animal parts is base level 5, not 3. Level 15 is a bit more difficult to hit that way.

Ah. Yeah, in that case, it's probably better just to learn the spell normally, then.

Wow. This seems like one of the few situations where Rotes (TMRE, page 92) would actually be a helpful thing to be able to make use of.

Well, based on the precedent set by spells designed to create whole animals, I'd say you probably need individual spells.

That said, do you have any idea what the spell's end purpose is?

None. I am eagerly waiting the reveal.