this is from another thread, but the spell it mentions suggests that one can effectively destroy something with Muto. I had been under the impression that when changing something with Muto to a form that was not able to maintain its shape, the item would reform, more or less unharmed at the end of the duration.
Ex#1 I change an infernalist's body into visual species (MuCo[Im]). He flies off and is absorbed by various surfaces. The spell ends. Before I read Societates, I would have thought he "reformed" into a live human body in a random location nearby, but now it seems he is dead.
Ex#2 I change an infernalist into water. The water flows down several different water pipes and fills several different cisterns. When the spell ends, the infernalist is a) dismembered or b) in one of the cisterns, fully formed and unharmed, but which one?
Did something change, or has this always been the way Muto worked when changing something or someone into a liquid or gas that gets dispersed?
Also, after the spell ends, isn't everyone in line-of-sight coated in a thin layer of Corpus-goo? Yucko!
[edit to clarify examples]
The species example is a bit arcane for my early morning brain so i'll address the water one.
If you use MuCo(Aq) to change someone into water and then they splish everywhere, when they reform, they reform in their new shape. This seems confirmed by Rock of Viscid Clay, which is designed to allow you to change something into a more malleable form, change its shape then and have that shape remain the same when the spell ends.
I'd certainly allow this as a SG, Since the base to change a human into something like air or water is the same base difficulty as killing someone dead, but involves more arts, it doesn't seem over powered.
It does make muto masters quite nasty in a way that i hadn't thought of, i particularly like the idea of turning people into smoke or ash for diameter duration (long enough for them to sporead naturally). And yeah, ichk on the change back.
Killing people like this would run contrary to the limit of essential nature, I think. "The basic shape of the human body is also part of the essential nature, although bits can be cut off." "When power is no longer supplied the thing returns to its natural state"
The "bits can be cut off" bit might give you a loophole to dismember someone with, though.
I debated it with my IRL sodales last night and decided that the intent of the casting magus was important.
if the spell was meant as a form of locomotion, like changing oneself to water to flow down a drain and then reform at the bottom happy and healthy, then you are ok, but if the spell was meant to throw your substance about willy-nilly, you are hurting.
Basically if bits get cut off, you are hurt.
I suppose it is up to the intent of the spell whether you survive or not.
But then they are another living being, that can die due to something while under the spell's effect. That's a qualitative difference from "The magic stops working, so I change back from a scattered non-living form and die in a multitude of bleeding pieces".
Yeah, I am starting to think the scattering light spell shouldn't work. I think the disintegrated object should re-form after the spell ends unless someone willfully breaks it apart. I do not think Muto should be able to directly destroy something. After the spell ends, the thing should re-assert its essential nature.
In one situation, you're changing one object into another object, which probably results in the object changing back at the end fairly normally.
In the other, you're changing the substance of an object into another substance. This is what you use for the spells to turn rock into clay to make it easier to dig and shape, for example, and also what you use to turn a person's body to species so that they scatter apart, because nothing naturally holds species together.
I will have to find the reference, but the arguement given to me was that when you use Muto to change something to a substance that normally cannot hold itself together, it DOES hold itself together by some supernatural means.
I am going to have to actually read the RAW I suppose.
OK, I looked at the RAW as promised, and, while I left the books at home, this is what is says.
Muto cannot kill something directly, but it can change someone into a fish on dry land and let them die.also...
There are two spells in MuCo that change a target into either water or mist. Both of these spells are meant as beneficial spells for the most part. Neither spell has a rego requisite, both allow you to hold yourself together as long as no one makes an effort to break you up.
To me, this means...
You can change someone or something into some other substance in a way that they will die or be destroyed simply by being there.
Changing into something else and being scattered is bad for you.
Turning someone or something into species does not kill or destroy them directly. BEING species will destroy a thing, however, so the spell in the Societates book is OK.
BTW, a simple ReIm spell would hold the target together long enough to survive.
So I say the MuTe(Im) spell is OK by me. My SG disagrees. Besides it is a really high level effect.
I think the "muto cannot do damage directly" rule is simply there to let you know that you have to be creative in your murder spree.
If your magus needs to cast this in a populated (i.e. Dominion) area then one way to avoid a lot of "burn the witch" outcries from any unwitting witnesses to such Muto assassinations would be to give the whole event a divine aspect to it.
For example, (taking a page out of the Old Testament) just have your magus act all pious as if he is praying when casting his spell and change the target into a pillar of salt. Then just throw water on the target and watch them dissolve for their "sins against God" lol.
Or if you have a particularly wicked mind, have your magus subsequently tell the locals that they may help themselves to the bounty of salt that God hath provided through the destruction of the wicked target. Salt in the 1200's was fairly costly so I'm sure you should have a fair number of peasants eager to grace their tables with it! lol.
Just don't stick around long enough to see their reaction when the spell ends (hopefully not during an evening meal) muahahaha.
Recently discussed this with my SG and we came to the conclusion that changing something into visual species won't destroy them, but the light in the room will scatter teh species. So if you changed something into visual species in a completely dark room, it would not disintegrate.
This might vary from saga to saga, but it seems to me that pretending that your magical acts are divine in nature is apt to cause divine displeasure. If I can cast this high level MuCo spell though the aura, why do I need to worry about the mundanes? Dealing with the divine agents that discipline you for claiming your human acts are holy, that might be tougher.