Creating Houses

I was playing with inventing a new spell that creates a stone house, or smaller version of the Mystic Tower. This is what I came up with:

Incantation of the Sturdy House
CrTe 20
R: Touch; D: Mom; T: Ind; Ritual
A stone house, 30 feet in diameter, with a five foot deep foundation, stone floor, 15-foot walls, and a thatched roof springs from the ground. Windows and doors can be added at casting time.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +3 Size, +1 elaborate design)

Then, I thought that such a large dwelling might be too conspicuous in some situations, and worked up a spell to create a wattle and daub hut. I figured this did not need to be a ritual, and that a month duration might be appropriate. The duration: sun version would be level 25.

The Immediate House

CrHe(Te) 30
R: Touch, D: Month, T: Structure
At the conclusion of the spell, a wattle and daub hut with a thatched roof, dirt floor, and a chimney hole appears. The house has one room and stands eight feet tall and 15 feet wide.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +3 Month, +3 Structure, +1 Req)

Two questions:

  1. Have I represented these spells correctly?
  2. If the spells are correct, why is creating a hut a higher magnitude than creating a stone house?

Thanks for the feedback.

I think it is curious you think a stone building might be too conspicuous in some circumstances... A house that appears spontaneously is about as conspicuous as it gets no matter what it is made of!!!

Finesse roll probably should be added to the description i imagine to determine the quality of the building.

You are gonna need a herbam req. for a thatched roof, but you might want it to be tiled and you dont need the herbam.

Numbers look fine to me.

I had wondered about dropping the range to personal and have the building appear around the caster leaving him sitting in the armchair but thats not quite how the rules work sadly ;(

There are otehr examples of this kind of spell on this forum somewhere, though lord knows where - I cant remember.

A problem there. You use only Terram, so no thatched roof : that would require a Herbam requisite. Furthermore, your Target is Individual, so you are only creating one big block of (elaborately carved) rock. So no adding windows and doors or for that matter a normal roof, even if you asked for slate, which is Terram. Your windows are just holes in the wall, same for doors, the roof is part of the stone, and so on. You can have stone benches and tables (more like altars really), but they are an integral part of the house.

No problem that I can see. Base 2 seems appropriate for a wattle and daub hut (although if you wanted to build something of finished planks of wood, it would be Base 3). You just might get away with only a Room target rather than a Structure (there is only one room after all), but that's debatable and up to the SG. And seing as you use Structure and have all the requirements, you could ask for some (very basic) furniture : shutters for the windows, chairs and tables made of tied branches, and so on... within the limits of what can be created with a Base 2.

As to why creating the hut is so much more difficult, that's because you're creating a complex structure (hence the additional Terram requirement and the Structure target) rather than one big block of stone. And, of course, your first spell is a ritual and requires vis, your second isn't.

they look OK to me

Because you're giving it a duration greater than momentary. This however is also why it does not cost vis...

Oh. Note that you shouldn't be using any Target other than Individual or Group for Creo spells to create substantial things.
So your create a house thingy shouldn't have Target: Structure, it should have one of those two targets plus sufficient Size magnitudes to account for the building.


No thatched roof. Add a +1 for flexibility to be able to play with the design, size and appearance of the house.

Note that the poorly conceived (IMNSHO) canonical rules for Craft Magic force Finesse rolls for these spells, and should also force a Finesse roll for Conjuring the Mystic Tower.

My advice is not to use the Magical Crafting rules.

You cannot use Structure when creating something, RAW. You must use an appropriately sized Ind or Group or Part.

Also, a sturdy wood house with a thatched roof would allow you to get rid of the Requisite. IIRC, you do not need to add a magnitude for the requisite, because it is not an extra but intrinsic to the spell.




Although it is possible to cast a Group spell that is Personal, if the magus is always part of the Group!



When things are contradictory between the basic rules and the example spells, I tend to assume (for my sagas; this is non-canonical) that this is a result of experimentation or insight. Conjuring the Mystic Tower is a widespread and common spell because someone rolled a 'side benefit' or 'increased potency' result on their experimentation roll back when they created it, and therefore it has the unusual property of not requiring a finesse roll.
(An exception is weirdly limited spells, like the useless target: Part on Disguise of the New Visage or the 'only targets doors' effect of Pass the Unyielding Portal. I assume in those cases they were invented in those ways because of a magical focus or potent magic on the part of the designer. A character with a focus on 'doors' would, for example, be more likely to invent 'pass the unyielding portal' than the equivalent 'pass the unyielding base individual of wood')

Anyone else tried looking at how big you can make a "conjuring the mystic tower" created tower?

Especially if you start by removing the "elaborate design" and just make it a totally simple design...
IIRC a terram specialist once built himself his "personal little lair" by casting an enlarged version and getting a tower with a base 200m squared, 2100m high and 400m deep into the ground...
"my humble little country house"...

I think that used size +8, or thereabouts.

One of the reasons for adding "permanent" as a duration...

Permanent duration: well there is a different cost - Vis... It seems people tend to be quite generous with the allocation of vis in many sagas here. I see it as a limited resource, not a thing handed out like pocket money. A covenant might be quite rich in a particular form, but to get that changed into that which is useful for particular spells through house Mercere is bloomin expensive. You need effectively alab total of 31 to extract 4 pawns of Vim, which house mercere will exchange for a single pawn of VT... That method would take YEARS to create a ritual of such levels...

Of course, if you hand out 5 pawns of vis to every player each year and bolster cov reserses from harvested sources then it is not a problem for you. I don't do that.

On conjouring the mystic tower -
I agree basically that you are creating something very specific and highly formulaic. One can presume the inventor knew what he was doing and his knowledge is part of the ritual. Its not quite RAW but I think it fits.

Vis levels, like gas mileage may vary :smiley:

Same here, from the thread where people posted what their average tended to be, we have been quite low with Vis allowances, however, while we still used the original rules, anyone wanting to use some vis for a ritual, the needed Vis could always be made available, ie. even with a general scarcity of Vis, it was never a problem.

The change made was that rituals still use Vis as normal, but permanent creation uses triple that amount of Vis, combined with a small raise in the total amount of Vis available. (but also removed the max level for nonritual spells and improved the casting bonuses for rituals)


We tend to have aorund 3 pawns per magus/year. That is 12-15 pawns per year in most sagas we play. We have also noticed that the official supplements places those numbers to those of thew "poor country cousin" of you average mage.


I guess it depends how 'fast' you play your saga. If you have lots of adventure and limited downtime, or worse still, your downtime comes in big chunks between story arks... you probably need more Vis. Planning becomes harder for players and you dont get much time in truth between encounters/adventures. If you play slower then you get the time you need to save rather than spend. Moreover your downtime is not focussed on impending challenges.

I used to play weelky and go for a year or so between stories. Sounded fine, but in effect you played 6-10 sessions before you got 'refuelled'. With real life interruptions on a once per week story that would be 2-3 months between. I came to realise the magi were never going to spend downtime on a few pieces of vim vis, or inventing a new spell, when they could be making progress from books in their arts on a scale immesurably higher than from adventure. Their downtime became too precious and in the long term they all took so much of their development form their library = many characters with very similar abilities and spells.

I have tried shifting to a more 'arthurian' style - episodic encnouters with occasional longer arcs. I feel these days that playing ArM without loads downtime is like buying a motorbike at 50 and leaving it in the garage.

No, it's not - not with Creo that "creates" stuff, and that's what we're talking about, neh?

(With Creo = healing, yes.)

Yeah, not so much, as you've figured out by now. But the mistakes you made are both common and understandable, so no shame there.

As per the sidebar at the top of page 113 (topbar?), a Creo spell can only have Targets of Individual or Group. "Part", I think, is not included because of the Guidelines and nature of Forms - it still works out to be an "individual" part (but common sense should dictate). This is important to remember, and is one of the more overlooked aspects of magic. (Note that "circle" is not included in this list, but that's a different discussion.)

So, with a basic effect you are either creating one solid "thing", or a Group of similar "things". With extra magnitudes, you can increase the overall size (and/or number if "Group"). With more extra magnitudes, you can vary that "thing" within the Form - for instance, wattle (which is "sticks"), and thatch, a grass/straw product, both related under Herbem.

Unfortunately, to get "wattle and daub" (daub is "mud"), or stone and thatch, you need a Form Requisite - another magnitude added.*

(* To determine which is a base Form and which the Requisite Art, decide which base effect is higher magnitude - creating stones, or creating plant products - and buld up from that starting point.)

Details must be individually considered:
o windows: what is in them - anything? Oiled parchment would be Animal, another Req! If "glass", then that's another Base effect to consider...
o doors: what's the hinge made of?! Leather? More mag's. Metal? Another mag, and probably another on top of that for that level of complexity.
o Moveable furniture? Urgh... definitely Group, and a finished Herbem product, another high base effect to consider...

Creating some of these as separate spells may be easier in the long run - one Terram for the building, another flexible Herbem for the furniture, doors and shutters... the roof maybe slate (expensive looking!) with the original Terram spell.

Note also that the design is not variable without an additional magnitude or more - row houses, every one the same, unless your Troupe believes a Finesse roll can significantly change the essential design.

At some point, the SG or Troupe could invoke the mercy rule (aka "Central Rule", page 111) and let you have something for free, if they're not worried about setting a precedent.

Here's the level I get for your effects as described:

(Not sure why any 2 story house needs a 5' deep foundation, nor why 15' walls are adequate for two(?) stories, so I'm tweaking those a bit... mercy rule included in first one)

Incantation of the Sturdy House
CrTe(He) 40
R: Touch; D: Mom; T: Ind; Ritual
A stone house springs from the ground, 30 feet in diameter, with a 1 pace-deep stone foundation and floor, wooden beam and plank upper floor, 18-foot walls, and a thatched roof. Glass windows and wooden doors with bronze hinges can be added at casting time.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Group, +2 Size*, +1 glass included, +1 He Req, +1 elaborate design, +1 bronze hinges on doors (free complexity there))

* Group" is already +1 size. But unless it's going to look like one continuous piece of molded concrete and the wood all blend into each other, it has to be Group.

The Immediate Hut
CrHe 35
R: Touch, D: Month, T: Group
A tightly formed wooden hut with sturdy walls, a thatched roof, dirt floor, and a chimney hole in the roof appears. Removable shutters can be placed in small window openings. The house has one room and stands eight feet tall and 15 feet wide.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +2 Group, +1 size, +2 complexity)

Might be able to convince the Troupe that if it's very flimsy, you could get away with only +1 size - or perhaps that it's not all that complex after all - not my call. A fire can be built in the middle of the hut and smoke escapes out the top (but I'd suggest not including that feature - rather have it 100% weatherproof, and if the inhabitants want a fire they can tear a hole in the roof themselves).

Here's the solution I came up with to the same problem...

CrTe 30
Creates what looks like a massive boulder, about 7 paces on a side, slick and slightly wider on top than at the base, so climbing is very difficult. This is in fact a hollow shelter, divided into two low stories. There is a large irregular crack low on one side, wide enough for a horse, turning to a high-silled doorway (no doors included). Irregular "windows" and skylights, made of thick glass/rock crystal, allow light. All around the edge are 8 sleeping/sitting shelves, plus a fireplace, per floor. Handholds in the wall allow one to climb to the upper level or the top. The upper level has a block table and slab benches in the center, and there is an overhang over the upper exit. Crude niches and shelves line the walls, and a central support pillar adds additional strength. The walls and 3 floors are about 1/4 pace thick.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Size, +1 shape, +1 "glass")

This too is approx the same every time it's cast. This effect is only "Sun" duration, but the mage who has it has Flexible Formulaic Magic, so Moon is a natural option. A simple CrTe (spont?) effect or other creative solution is used to block the doorway at night. :bulb:

I think it should be Base 3, +1 Complexity (which doesn't make any difference to the final level).

Isn't Group, + 2 size, equal to 1000 cubic paces of wood. That seems to be much more than is needed for a hut of the dimensions that you give.

My memory might be failing me, but I thought that somewhere in the rules there was a CrHe 15-20 spell that created a hut for Sun duration (rough wake up if you are not awake by sunrise!). Only wood used in the construction. I am missremembering some spell by a non canon magus?


You're absolutely right on the size - I boned that one. :blush: (will edit)

As for Base, I think of a "hut" as fairly rough, as in timber, not finished furniture-quality. The high complexity is for all the different parts and interlocking pieces, shutters, doors, etc etc. But again, that's only important to be consistent within a Troupe.


Only because the "creating stuff" aspect of Creo doesn't create the caster, so he is not legitimately part of the Group. If he were, however, say, for a Group healing spell that always includes him, Personal is fine.

(With Creo = healing, yes.)

Exactly. This isn't because Personal and Creo don't go together, but that if I'm creating, say, zombies, I don't get to include myself, even if I'm already a zombie, because I'm not part of the Group.



Thanks for the input. I read the sidebar on Creo targets, but it apparently didn't stick.

So, since I need a little more practice, I created two different versions of another spell to create a tent. (I am not sure which kind of material is typical for creating tents in ME; hence the two different forms.) The level on the herbam version feels better for this kind of thing. Again, comments are appreciated.

Travelers’ Shelter
CrAn(He) 35
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Group
A fully assembled wool tent appears, supported by stout wooden poles. The tent is four paces in diameter and three paces tall at its peak.
(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Group, +1 Req)

Travelers’ Shelter (v2)
CrHe 15
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Group
A fully assembled tent, made of woven plant fibers appears, supported by stout wooden poles. The tent is four paces in diameter and three paces tall at its peak.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Group)