Destroying A Spell's Physical Markers

Does destroying a spell's defined physical markers end the spell?

If you break a circle marking a spell, classically a ward, the spell is ended. Does destroying a wall end a Target:Room spell? Does the collapse of a castle's tower breach a Structure spell?

I'm interested in the abstract principal, but I have a specific case in mind: An earthquake collapses the wall used to define an Aegis of the Hearth. Does the Aegis fail?

You find the canonical answer for this with the discussion of Thomae's Flying Castle:

We also discussed this recently here. In general and unless stated otherwise with the rules, as is the case for T: Circle, a spell's Target parameter does not interfer with that spell's Duration parameter.


IIRC duration ring is also linked to a circle even if without target circle, as proved by the fact that some spells have ring duration but individual target (or group).

In my reading (and my feeling of the game), if the target changes, the spell doesn't stop.

Hell, if the range change, the spell doesn't end.

Only... logically, duration may affect the ending of a spell:

  • either it is passed (and spell expired)
  • or the condition for it to remain (durations ring for most magi, but a lot of Merinita durations too) is no more available => spell end.

I hope it ends.

It can lead to some interesting effect by the way:
The mage is in a location without clear marker, he cast a simple CrHe or CrTe with duration of Diam to create a room, then cast the main spell with Room target, with a much longer duration. 2 minutes later the room disappears, but the main spell remains in effect.

It is clearly spelled out "A spell with target Room is useless if there is no Room containing the targets; it cannot affect a "roughly room-sized volume" in open space." (p113, core rule)... so doing that way allows magi to have lasting effect despite the apparent lack of room equivalent.
And for those lacking skills or having defficiency, I am sure that a Verditus can craft within a season a minor magical item with the appropriate effect.

I'm going to have to try that.

If your Target no longer exists, then the spell ends.

The Target can be damaged and altered, and the spell will continue, provided it is still a valid Target. So if you change a plant into an animal and then cast an Animal spell on it, the Animal spell will end when the animal reverts back to a plant. In the same way, if a spell affects a person's arms and they are destroyed, the spell ends.

At least that's my reasoning. YMMV.

It is hard to determine, just when "a Target no longer exists". And the proviso of "valid Target" is even more tricky.

It can be logically impossible for a spell effect to still ever affect the destroyed or altered Target.
Doublet of Impenetrable Silk is by all means ended, if the cloth vest it once affected was burned to ashes and scattered.
You do not even need to consider any more, just when that effect ended: it is purely academic.

Or it can be logically possible, but the spell, if cast on the altered Target, would not have affected it.
By ArM5 p.92, a Bjornaer in human form affected by ReCo Curse of the Unruly Tongue cannot just change into Heartbeast form to lose that effect, though in that form the ReCo spell would not have affected her.
In such cases effects run for their duration.


Bjornaer are a special case, with a dual essential nature (human and animal). Their current state may make the spell inactive, but they are still a valid target.

But I use the two statement above as a guiding principle rather than as hard rules. It's too easy to fall into logical traps and rule-lawyering otherwise.

As I wrote, YMMV. :smiley:

Actually, the current shape of a Bjornaer does not render the spell effect inactive, even if the spell could not have been cast on the Bjornaer in its current shape. See:

So, ArM5 here goes to some length to clarify, that changes of the spell's Target do not prematurely end or suspend the spell's effects.