Well mostly because we are not using it to make any hard lined attacks, it's more of a diversion.
Hard packed sand is pretty tough stuff. A good example is get an old sock, fill it with sand, then duct tape it as tight as you can and see how hard it is, now rego magic is takeing the place of the sock and duct tape. You havent realy changed what the sand is, I've just contained it very tightly.
Now I don't expect it to be able to take many blunt force blows, piercing weapons would be pretty useless though.
Why not +2 for control....
We aren't really looking to control the target in any way, just mimic the actions of the caster. It will not be directly under the control of the caster, also hence no conc.
Slumbering corps moves a corps under your control without this as well as strings of the unwilling marionette. This is an example of direct control without the magnitude bump.
So I think a meer bump in complexity still more than takes care of it.
I however agree with an amount of this, if the replica was going to repair itself it would need an extra magnitude to pull sand back into it's form to reform lost limbs ext. I don't think it would be muto though, you still are just moving sand. If you wanted to make the sand unusually tough then muto would apply.
What we are really trying to do is make a distraction. Imagine if you will a magus turning the area around you into loose sand, then sinking into it. Suddenly a he pops up right next to you. You attack and the "magus" splatters away into dust causing confusion and poor visibility. Repeating this can be demoralizing and confusing. It may also make the opponent think you are made of sand. Then you could make a replica and pop up right next to it a few moments later and you have the person guessing.
This is just one situation. But there are so many more applications for this spell, making it's non durability an advantage.
If it's mimic-ing the caster it either needs to be concentration or have an intelligo requisite, if your giving it commands to perform it needs the +2. Slumbering corps works because the object has/had a mind so can perform task, the pile of sand doesn't have a mind so you need to give it more attention...hence more magnitudes in the spell.
Ok, those two descriptions contradict one another...
A) Hard packed sand, held together as tight as you can manage, that is "pretty tough,"
B) loose sand that will "splatter" away when struck forcibly?
These are two different situations, and really different effects. When you take the sand and shape it into a form with rego, you don't alter it. Loosely packed sand will hold its form but still be loosely packed sand. The same for tightly packed sand. If you want it to be tightly packed or loosely packed regardless of the original state of the sand, you'll need to add a magnitude -- as long as that density is something that will add to the effectiveness of the spell. If you don't want it to matter, then it should maintain the density of the original material. Freshly turned earth will be soft. Wet beach sand at the tideline will solid and resilient. Dune sand might be hard and compressed or powdery and light. Mud will be viscous (and could require an aquam requisite).
You're certainly controlling the target; sand doesn't do any of this on its own. I'm looking at the little zen sandbox on my desk right now...none of it is moving without my direct action.
In this case, the sand is certainly under the direct control of the magus-- and not just in one way, but two!
Firstly, you gather the sand and make a simulacrum of the caster.
Secondly, the caster continues to exert a second control over the statue, such that if the magus moves his arm, the sand moves. He lifts his foot, the sand statue lifts its foot. You're also trying to shift this second control aspect from being a concentrated control to an automagical sort of control. That's complexity in its simplicity. Welcome to Magnitude-Bump-town, population: you.
But you're ignoring the fact that the base effect for Awaken the Slumbering Corpse is two magnitudes of control greater than Baseline 4 effect of controlling large scale movements. The fine level of control in AtSC is built into the spell. Strings of the Unwilling Marionette is the same situation...notice, too, that both of these spells require concentration.
Given these examples, I think you just reinforce my observations. The spell ought to be:
ReTe Base 3 + 1 touch + 1 Diameter + 1 Part + 1 complexity (continue to move sand beyond initial shaping.) +1 complexity (motion is reflective of the caster and needs no concentration.)
If you wanted the sand to be tightly packed regardless of the density of the source material I'd say add another magnitude but for an additional rego effect, not muto.
Spells that are unattended-- have no concentration component-- all seem to do a single thing, create a single effect unless we add magnitudes for those additional effects. Spells that rely on the magus' continued focus through concentration all seem to allow an effect that can be controlled, altered, directed for as long as the magus can maintain that concentration.
A casual perusal of the spells doesn't show me any that allow the magus to cast the spell with an extended duration and then continue to modify the target without concentrating-- with the possible exception of some of the imaginem spells, but those explicitly include magnitude bumps for a continually changing image.
Let me put it this way: I think just making the statue out of sand is a spell. Making that statue move is an aspect of the spell that increases its effectiveness. Making it move without having to directly concentrate on controlling that movement definitely increases its effectiveness and is acceptable only because you're just having it parrot your actions. Changing the density of the target sand by packing it tightly regardless of its original state increases the effectiveness. Allowing it to resume the statue shape after being deformed by a violent strike increases the effectiveness (but I'm not sure if you want this or just want it to burst into a cloud of sand and collapse when struck-- something that I don't think would improve the effectiveness). Every time you increase the effectiveness you add a magnitude bump. That's just the way it goes.
Don't get me wrong. I love terram magic. I love the concept you've got here, I think it can certainly work! However, I don't think you're considering the magnitudes appropriately. Perhaps my concept of rego and your concept of rego differ significantly, but I feel pretty confident I'm considering rego appropriately. If you can show me spells that better demonstrate your point of view, please show me. I could certainly be missing a precedent somewhere.
Awaken the Slumbering Corpse says nothing about the target having any form of inteligence or a mind of it's own. The Walking Corps wich has a mentum req. says it gives the target limited inteligence. So I don't think brains account for it. But you might want to ask your local zombie what he thinks about brains .
From what I've seen of concentration it only is used when a. Directly influencing the actions of a spell, such as "go over there, now go over there", or B. spells that need to be terminated when the caster wants them to stop. And even these seem to be mutable, such as Phantom of the human form, which follows metal commands without inteligo or conc. Though it does have a mag. bump for following your mental commands yes. My spell however doesn't follow mental commands, it merely mirrors your actions. Something static. Which if you really wanted to get complicated about it would require mentum req to send your sub concious impulses to it as well. Once again not inteligo, because InTe is learning something about earth, not about you. In the same light Phantasm of the Human Form should have mentum, but doesn't. So what does that say about spells reacting to the casters will? Unseen Porter also follows the mental commands of the caster without req. But as above, directly controlled and directed. Phantasm of the Talking head says what the caster wants it to for the duration of the spell but is dia, and has no inteligo either.
Intricacy seems to be a primarily species related thing that only applys to imaginem. When you make an ornate sword with magic or try to make a specific form out of anything else it almost always calls for a finesse roll.
Ben, I appologize that my writeing didn't come out as clearly as I would have liked. By tough I mean that, could it lift and object, sure, could it reatain a shape, yes, but it's health levels would be something akin to Broken Covenent's zombies only more around (1-15)ok/(15+)splatered or something to this effect, maybe even past 10 is splatered. The magic will only hold it in its "container", I use that word loosley, but if you were to hit it with enough force it would break apart into dust.
I can see your point on the "continue to move sand beyond initial shaping" being another bump in magnitude to increase it's usfulness. Your argument is very strong and I find only a few places where this is not the case. Though I still like my opinion beter untill I can find an example that would dictate otherwise I will have to agree with you. I however would only think tightly or hard packed sand bumps would apply if you didn't have a sufficant amount of sand to work with. Muto req to make it an unaturaly tough shell maybe.
Creates a replica of the maga out of a pile of sand. This requires a fineness roll for fine details. The replica mimics all actions the caster makes, example, caster waves his right hand replica does the same.
(Control dirt in a very unnatural way 3, + 1 touch, + 1 Diameter, + 1 Part, + 1 complexity (continue to move sand beyond initial shaping), +1 complexity (motion is reflective of the caster and needs no concentration)
I think with the same degree of complexity ( same level of spell ) you could have your sandman moving completely independently of the Magus, and still without concentration. I may be disagreed with however...
As you know the authors use this complexity stuff when they feel a spell would have lower level than they wish. This spell imitates the effect of the Illusion of the Shifted Image which would be level 5 (!) with these parameters. So level 15 seems OK because of the moving image but 20 is needless. I don't see any special trick in the spell just some flavor.
I would say you could allow the sandman to do things without concentration, but for that to work, the actions of the sandman would be difined either when making the spell or during the casting of the spell. The sandman will then just repeat that simple command until the spells duration expires. (kinda like mickey mouse's brooms in fantasia) Concentration would allow the caster to direct the sandman to different tasks throughout the duration of the spell. Adding a level for complexity would bump it up enough, in my opinion, to get over this delema
I also agree with adding an arcane connection from the magus into the sandman if you want the sandman to mimic everything the magus does. How else is the magic going to know what the caster is doing? Illusion of the Shifted Image is different because it is just moving the visual species of an image to a different spot. It's kinda like moving a bit of water or rock, it's fairly easy.
I'm ok with the ReTe 20 spell as written. Though I personally would use a range greater than touch. The construct would never be more than touch distance from the caster. You are betting on the chance that no opponents would have a spell/weapon that would affect the magus directily underneath/behind/on top of the sandman.