Does this need a breakthrough?

Hi guys,
I have been looking at the S&M bonus' and some of them gave me some ideas for new targets, I'm not sure what could be classed as a non-standard target and what would need a breakthrough.

T:Doorway This will affect any person or object passing through the doorway until the spell duration ends. (e.g. cast once with D:sun and anyone who passes through the door would be affected by the spell - or effect will trigger once when someone passes through the doorway.
T:Doorway This will count the doorway as a type of circle and enable a ward to be cast on it preventing things travelling through the doorway.

T:Fire This will affect anything burning or touched by the flames.

Personally, I'd say not. Standard Hermetic magic already has 'trigger' mechanism to release a spell when something happens. Rego Vim effects, and invested items both demonstrate this aspect.

The latter one might be more iffy. As a SG, I might let it go if you added a magnitude or two for 'extra effect', or had some sort of Virtue that might explain a use of fire in this way.

I suppose I can see it as a Range, but it's probably Sight Equivalent. What exactly are you trying to do to things that touch fires?

House Merinita already has access to Target: Fire. You may find that useful.

No, they have duration: fire

Do any worshippers of Ahura Mazda have access to target Fire? (Haven't read cradle and the cresent)


I wanted:

An effect that will trigger on people as they enter or leave a room (like thoughts within babble)

An effect that would bar a door to only allow certain people through, or no-one at all.

A fire that casts a spell effect on those things it starts to consume, maybe make them invisible or teleport them away.

Both of these are significant effects in-and-off themselves.
See the Watching Ward (ArM5, p. 162) to see just how difficult it is.
Or design it as a device - it ia a valid triggering condition.

Yeah.. I'd suggest designing a device again.

Basically: doing conditional magic with spells is very hard, doing it with devices is easy.

IMHO special Targets do not generally need a Breakthrough. I think you might be running into one of the unwritten limitations I see in Hermetic magic. You seem to be able to do one of two things with "Normal" magic.

So I would generally limit a special T:Doorway to one of two uses.
(1)Only Affect things within the doorway at the moment the spell is cast for the duration of the spell.
(2)Affect anything that passes through the doorway for the spell's duration but only while those things are in the doorway.

For a T:Doorway this is a type 1 effect. So it would be great for an enchanted device that detects when something passes through a door and then casts the spell. Or if you only want to affect things entering a room you could make it a type(2) T:Room effect. So for the duration of the effect everyone in the room would be under Thoughts Within Babble but only as long as they remained within the room.

Sounds like your Targeting the door itself. I would call this either a T:Part or T:Individual effect or a type 2 T:Door effect depending on the specifics of how the way is being barred. Making the effect selective is another thing entirely. Easy way linked effect for an enchanted device. But maybe an Intellego Req and modifier would work in a single effect. (But that's probably running into Rule One for me)

Note: I have allowed standard T:Ind wards to be cast on door's thus preventing say a demon from using the portal whether it's opened or closed. Of course that would stop NOT the creature from just going through the wall.

Note that Watching Wards are only difficult if you set them up to last indefinitely (at which point they need to be rituals); the general guideline has no such requirement. Thus, it's perfectly reasonable to create (as the original poster implied) a Sun-duration Watching ward that activates whenever someone walks in a room, or a Circle/Ring based one that lasts until the circle is broken.

Non-standard Range/Duration/Targets generally require some kind of minor breakthrough; they extend Hermetic Theory but generally don't violate any of the limits. However, some of the parameters you list are violating Hermetic limits, generally the one that requires you to sense a target before you can affect it. In this way it's similar to the Defixiones magic from Ancient Magic (Event Duration), as it basically goes off when something passes through a doorway (an event). Note Event Duration requires an Intellego requisite because it has to detect things and it's not part of regular Hermetic Theory.

Clever magi can get away with these sorts of tricks with careful applications of known ReVi magics. Watching Ward, for example, holds a spell until a pre-defined target and circumstance happens. So you could put a Watching Ward on a door to go off if someone opens the door, or passes through a doorway, or even more complex things if you include Intellego magics. But that by itself is a Ritual and has a non-standard duration; some spells sort of get a free pass due to being pre-Hermetic and can't be broadly adapted to other uses.

As others have mentioned, this can be more easily done with enchanted devices. An enchanted doorframe can be made to detect intruders and trigger other, more punitive magics as required.

As for Target: Fire, if fire is the target, the spell effects the fire, it wouldn't effect the people it burns. Muto Ignem magics can change what a fire does, with requisites. So if you want a fire that turns people into cows instead of burning them, use MuIg with Corpus and Animal requisites. That's standard (if sub-optimal) Hermetic magic.

Formulaic spells can be freely designed with Non-Standard Ranges/Durations/Targets without any breakthrough's as per the rule on ArM5 pg 114 as long as they don't violate any limits.

Lot's of targets do stretch that rule. You only have to perceive the big "T" Target. So with Targets that include the contents like Room, Structure, Boundary and Circle all let affect that which is within. If you can see the T:Room then you don't have to see any of the stuff inside.

And HoH: True Lineages suggests that new Ranges and Durations are good candidates for Minor Breakthroughs.

I guess it depends if you allow Room/Structure spells to generally affect things that enter the target after casting of the spell. Poisoning the Will, for example, affects visitors to the area, but the effect ends if you leave the Boundary. By that yardstick, anyone entering the T: Doorway would be hit by the spell while in the doorway, but the spell would end once they passed the door. This would matter little for Creo Ignem spells (burnt is burnt), but a great deal for Muto Corpus spells (at least the ones that don't paralyze you in the doorway by turning you to stone). I'm not 100% certain all such spells work that way (leave the area, effect ends). A lot of magi would only want the spell to take effect on things in the Target at the time of casting, and not effect new visitors - for example, turning everyone in a castle to frogs, then letting yourself in to loot the place in peace. Frogs will stay frogs for the duration of the spell whether they leave or not, but new entries won't turn into frogs.

Another factor is the design intent of the spell. For example, if a CrIg T: Door spell doesn't fill the doorway with flames at all times, but instead only activates when someone crosses a threshold, that's a lot more powerful and intelligent. It's doing things that otherwise require several spells or enchantments working in conjunction.

The more complicated and conditional the intent of the Range/Duration/Target, the more likely it's Breakthrough material. If you just want to target someone currently in a doorway (on a Threshold, which would be great Faerie magic), that's probably equivalent to Part (you could have more than one target there, but it's definitely less than Room) and fairly easy non-standard Hermetic magic.

Yes, it's true that you only need to perceive the T:Room or T:Structure for spells that affect rooms or structures. But, ordinarily you need to perceive the recipient of the spell, otherwise you could throw a Pilum of Fire at an invisible magus that you cannot see, nor do you see his shadow, but think is in the area for other reasons. The big T: Target, especially when it's Creo spells is the thing created.

HoH:TL suggest making new Ranges and Durations standard to hermetic magic. Which is different from the rule about Non-Standard parameters on pg 114.

Yes as I said earlier I think this is an either/or situation chosen when the spell is designed.

While this is technically true, what does it mean making a Range "standard" to hermetic magic if a hermetic magus can use it anyway without any need of a breakthrough? Similarly, what is the value of any Virtue that gives you access to new Targets, Durations or Ranges if any magus already has access to them?

My take:

As has been stated, it's reasonable that T:Room will begin affecting anyone as soon as he enters an enclosed space (including e.g. a courtyard) and stop as soon as he leaves. There are examples of this in the corebook, even though from a certain point on the line editor seems to have started making sure that all published effects with T: Group, Circle, Room, Structure and Boundary affect anyone who's in at the casting, but not anyone who gets in later.

However, if you want a spell such as Pilum of fire to "fire" on anyone who passes through, you'd probably need the door to be a magic item, or bind to the door some spirit that would do so. The only instance of "repeated fire" spells I seem to recall is from Astrology Mysteries - spells that "fire" again every year on a certain sign.

Can't you just create a Circle at the bottom of the doorway? It's a very common way to ward doors in our sagas. Or, if your door has a little "step" to it, you can draw a Circle around the door. Again, that's a pretty common thing in our sagas.

Ah, this one is tricky but doable under existing guidelines (but needs to be heavily regulated). This is a Muto Ignem spell (probably with requisites) that gives the fire an unnatural property. How many extra magnitudes the spell will require is entirely dependent on the type of effect and the judgement call of your troupe. For example, it's quite reasonable to have a unnatural fire that "burns" the visual species of anything placed into it, making it invisible (obviously, since species are continuosly emitted, as soon as the stuff leaves the fire it gets visible again); I would not make this cost anything more than Perdo and Imaginem Requisites, and the +2 magnitudes that come with them.

A T: doorway is better than T:Room in quite a few cases. its uses are not the same. You might want to be inside the room doing stuff, while having anyone crossing the door receive an acid shower, for example. Or the door acting as a ward. IMS we toyed around with T: Threshold. it is the same as T:Doorway, but it is applicable to less door-y stuff as well and for us it sounds more mystical :slight_smile: It had some limited uses (specially in wards) IMS, buit I am sure that you could exploit it and find more use for it than we did if you put your mind to the task.


My understanding on this is "make it more efficient". A non-standard Target/Duration/Range will typically add magnitudes equal to the closest equivalent + 1; integrating it will make it simply the closest equivalent.

Also "standard" means spontable. According to pg 114 you can only use non-standard when inventing "spells" in the laboratory not when casting spontaneous out in the field. Does that mean you can use non-standard guidelines when enchanting? I think there are RAW examples by I allow it either way.