Flexible Formulaic Magic

Alternative answer: Sure you can. But the spell might be useless without FFM.
Reason: See the discussion above.


That is one magnitude, but not one step in the target category, that is still two.

Also taking that one step specification very narrowly, group to room is a zero step modification and therefore not allowable by FFM as written.

Similarly, increasing size by one is a zero step increase, which does not meet the requirements for FFM.

If errata were issued here, I'd argue that FFM allows modifying one of r/d/t for up to one magnitude change in casting Level, inclusive of size.

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Errata has been issued on Targets and Sizes, but the language is unfortunately not quite as clear as it could be
I think the current wording allows you to adjust size modifications with FFM.


Now I read the Errata and the Flex.Fom.Magic again and I agree with @ErikT that the wording of the Virtue lets you to use this nice trick of Ind + 1 Size to Group.

Good catch @callen !

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That's like saying Part to Group is two if you want to hit a bunch of individuals: Part -> Individual -> many individuals (Group). If you're going to require going through the Base Individual in this way, let's be consistent.

What??? Read the erratum I quoted above, in the post you're referencing.

Sorry, but that is one hell of a straw man.

What is? You're saying single x10 mass of Base Individual going to multiple x10 mass of Base Individual is some big leap. But you don't have a problem with going from a Part of a person to whole bodies of multiple people and consider it less of shift? That's not much of a straw man argument. I'm just pointing out that you're taking advantage of how the rules have said to build spells to claim there is a much bigger shift going on than there really is.

Think of it another way: the rules have said one +1 size is built into Group. How much is really changing?

Who cares about how many masses of strawmen or whatever are involved? Mostly irrelevant.
What matters is indeed how the rules say spells are built. And the rules say going from T:Ind to T:Part is one step up in complexity, as is going from T:Part to T:Group.

Going from T:Ind +1 to T:Part is really two steps - one step up from T:Ind to T:Part and one step down from +1 Size to +0 Size. Same magnitude in the end, but two steps worth of change - which is one step more than you can do with FFM.
Saying it is zero steps of change, since it is the same magnitude, would still not allow that to work with FFM since, as written, it does not allow that.

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This was the last time the specific subject was discussed in regards to FFM, and from this discussion the current errata was issued (I'm bringing us directly to the final consensus, but I reccomend that those interested read the whole thing. Several people involved in the current discussion were also vocal in the previous one).

FFM being able to change size is, for any purposes, the intention. And this is supported by the current errata, already quoted by Callen, which I repeat below:

Targets and Sizes (p. 113): Add the following paragraphs at the end of the insert:

"Each Target level includes all of the possible sizes of that target, even though the spell level changes. The size of the target can be manipulated in the same way as the Target parameter, whether through Virtues,(...)

While I don't think anyone is really arguing about that at this point, I just wanted to clarify if this is where we are all standing. Let's try to move forward from here.

The above said, Individual is Individual, and Individual and Group are two steps apart. Individual +1 Size and Group are 1 magnitude apart, but it's not clear that they are 1 step apart. Personally I am on the field of 2 steps apart, regardless of size modifiers. My reading is that this is also consoant with the errata, when it states

Each Target level includes all of the possible sizes of that target, even though the spell level changes.

and later

but these are all changes within the same type of Target.

To me this is clear indication that Individual and Individual +1 are both Individual, regardless of the size difference. This seems to be also David's intent, judging by his initial proposal of errata (which I copy below), but I have been wrong before about interpreting other people's intentions, so take it with a grain of salt:

Magnitudes for greater size are a part of the Target parameter, and can be manipulated in the same way as the Target parameter, whether through Virtues, MuVi, or other techniques. However, changing the size does not change the Target parameter.

Anything different from that requires a clarification to the peripheral code a clarification regarding rules intent, possibly resulting in a change to the Errata. An addition regarding the particularities of FFM could also very well be necessary.


Is it OK to do Room +2 to Structure +2? Sounds like you're all saying that is 3 steps: Room +2 to Room to Structure to Structure +2. But it's also only a single thing.

Also, is there a reason FFM should be inconsistent with MuVi on looking at the steps as magnitudes? We know MuVi can do it with the middle guideline since it looks at magnitudes of difference. My understanding is that David was trying to make this more consistent since it came as a direct result of inconsistencies I'd pointed out.

At least pick Room+2 to Boundary+2, which is the same 2 base steps as Individual to Room.

To go further, it would make to sense to call "no step" going from Room+1 to Structure+0.

That is not what I am saying. Room +2 -> Structure +2 is just one step. You are only changing Room to Structure, the Size modifier unchanged.
Ind +1 -> Group is different. You change both the base Target level from Ind to Group which is two steps, and you change the Size modifier from +1 to +0.

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I think the ultimate difference here is that I consider size part of Target and you consider it its own thing that doesn't change the Target. If it's part of Target, only one thing is being changed. If it's separate, they are two different things. I can see both readings of the errata being valid; it's not clear enough there.

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From my point of view it does not much matter for this point if Size is part of Target or not.
It is still multiple steps going from Ind +1 to Group. Not one step. That the magnitude only increases by one does not mean you only have to take one step to get there - obviously I do not equate "step" with "changes in magnitude".

Size being part of Target does mean that FFM can adjust Size, since that will then be included in being able to change Target.

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That's not necessary due to the wording of the errata.


As I mentioned above, it still bothers me to think that the intent was for there to be inconsistency with steps or changes in FFM v. MuVi. I would think the intent would be consistency, especially since the entire reason this came about was to create consistency between spells, guidelines, and changing spell parameters. Why, when the goal was consistency, would we have aimed for inconsistency when it was unnecessary?

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It sounds like the key defining question here is one of definitions (Similar to the difference between Target and target). If we're talking about FFM being able to change one magnitude of difference, then (Ind +1) and (Group +0) is a single magnitude of difference. If we're talking about FFM being able to change one discrete stage of a spell, then a Size of Target and a type of Target are two different changes (like how width and length are two defined parts of a square), and FFM can only change one or the other.
The current wording makes it unclear if the Virtue offers a change of one magnitude of the Target, or a change of one stage in the definition of the Target. I lean towards the latter, because I do not think that adding size to the original formula of spell should allow free range of changing targets. If you allow one magnitude of change, then a spell with T: Group can hit almost anything that isn't a ritual- Individual +1 size, Part +0 size, Group, Group +1 size, Structure.

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I agree with what seems to be the majority. FFM is supposed to let you change one thing by one step, not as many things as you like as long as the final result is within one magnitude of the starting point.

MuVi spells are a red herring, because you need a different spell for every change. There could be a MuVi spell that takes a spell from Ind + 1 to Group, but it would not be the same spell as the spell that increased size by +1, or that increased Target category by one level. (And there would be ten of each spell, one per Form.) FFM lets you make eight of these changes to any spell of any level. (R,D,T,Size±1) This is already very different, and so I don't see any problem with the flexibility being slightly different.

Would adding "Size" to the list of things that you can change one (only) of in the FFM description fix this lack of clarity?


I don't think it could hurt to add "Size" to the list of things you can change with FFM, and it should make things slightly clearer.

While on the subject of FFM, can it be adjusted to also allow "side-ways" changes, like from R:Touch to R:Eye or from T:Group to T:Room? As written this is not really allowed since it is not a step up or down, but a change on the same level.
It does seem to be a fairly common house-rule, and I can't think of a good reason not to allow it.


Maybe I should have said Boosted Magic instead, as MuVi isn't the only one. Boosted Magic is not limited to one spell, but it looks at the magnitude of the change, and it also allows you to change the same things as FFM in variable ways rather than one thing in a specific way.

Not only that. You also cannot flex something like a level-4 Touch spell up to a level-5 Voice spell because the level has not changed by 5, even though it's a one-step change. FFM seems like it was intended to be ≤5 levels, not =5 levels.

Not to level 5 no. But you can boost a level 4 R:Touch spell to R:Voice with FFM. As written the level will then increase by 5, so it will become level 9.
Downgrading a level 4 R:Touch spell to R:Per is trickier though, as that would reduce the level by 5 to -1....

It would probably be better to have FFM adjust the spell level by one magnitude instead of by 5 levels. Then it would work fine for spells up to level 5 too, and for spells level 10+ it would work just the same as now.