Incantation of Lighting and warping

I am having a discussion with someone abouut warping and 5th edition , it is is beleif that being hit by an incantation of lightning spell would trigger a warping point as per "brief effect High power" . What would other people do?
and what if the attack spell was a PeCo bling spell of 6th magnitude

If I understand correctly, the target if the Incantation is Auram, thus, it's the lightning that "should" suffer warping. So, the opponent takes none.
On the other hand, a PeCo spell's target is the opponent's body. Thus, warping.

I think I would create a house rule:

To cause warping, an effect must be greater than momentary. This way the magic flashing through the body that fast is not going to warp you.

I would do as follows :

  • if the effect requires penetration to affect you, then you get a warping point as soon the spell penetrates and if its level is 30 or more.
  • if the effect does not need to penetrate to affect you, then you are safe from warping.


No no no,

The Target of IoL is the Lightning bolt itself. You just inflicted +30 damage to the subject, no need to add insult to injiry by adding warping.

And I suggest increasing the warping threshold to 7th magnitude or higher.

This is wrong (although, of course, you can play however you like in your saga).

The target is the person getting hit by the Lightning. The spell description even says so (see ArM5, page 126).

The person hit by an Incantation of Lightning indeed does take a Warping Point for being subject to a Powerful Mystical Effect. He doesn't take the Warping Point if the spell fails to Penetrate his Magic Resistance, the spell was specifically designed to affect him, or he cast the spell himself.

Same thing applies for high magnitude PeCo effects.

Count me in the "Gains WP" crowd. You should get warping whenever you under the influence of a powerful spell effect, regardless if you're the direct target.

That said, it's perfectly viable to house-rule this so as not to add insult to injury. I liked the "Momentary" rule, above, although I think I would have gone with "No double effect - either warping, or some other detrimental effect; warping is automatic for beneficial spells". Actually, I prefer going with no house rule on this at all, but hey.

No, it's not "wrong", it's unclear. Anyone who has read the rules knows that the word "target" is used two entirely different ways:

  1. regarding the Form of the spell (this CrAu spell has a Target: Individual - which has nothing to do with that bandit over there...),
  2. regarding the intended victim, where the spell is being aimed, be that victim the aforementioned bandit, a door that needs to be broken, or a spot on the ground near a herd of horses that need scaring.

So, while the target of any spell might be a PC, and NPC, or an object, the Target of a spell is always based on the Form Guidelines definition of "Individual" (and I wish the rules made the same clear distinction, but they don't.)

It's not a "houserule" - the RAW state, quite clearly, with regard to Warping and Powerful Mystical Effects, that:"Powerful effect" is subjective, ... (AM p 168) - that can refer to the magnitude, but also the effect itself.

This is clearly one of those instances where the rules are wide open to the interpretation of the Troupe - there are arguments for, and arguments against, but there is no "right" or "wrong" except for each group of players to decide for themselves.

Well, in fact, a spell has 2 targets:

  • The thing affected by the technique (in this case, auram)
  • The thing affected by the spell.

These are usually, but not always, the same.

A good exemple is Pilum of Flame, which is, to its base level, Create a Fire at Voice range. The fact that you create this fire at a person's location so that it burns him is just a "side effect".
Same for a Rego Ignem destined to pull flames out of a fire to burn you: The spell Moves Fire (spell target) to your location. The fire is moved by magic, so has to penetrate, but still, it is, magically speaking, the spell's target, not you.

The Target seems that it would have to be the person you're throwing it at, otherwise you'd have to make a finesse roll to hit him.

If the Target is a person, it can potentially resist it and you don't have to make a Finesse roll to try and hit them. IoL does this. There's no roll to hit and Parma or other MR would potentially resist it. That means the target is who you are throwing it at, not the atmospheric discharge itself, and thus a Warping point.

If the target wasn't allowed to use Magic Resistance, then you do have to use Finesse to hit it, but the target would gain no Warping point. This effect is the simple boulder hovered over the target's head and dropped.

The only way (I see) that Warping wouldn't apply was if the rules were changed.

I think that oversimplifying the rules to do away with Targeting and Aiming is an unfortunate flaw of fifth edition.

The Target of the spell is clearly the effect, as that's what the "Target" of R/D/T applies to. Where you create the effect is incidental. The fact that you've created an auram effect where it affects something doesn't mean the /magic/ is affecting that person. The auram effect is. The victim's magic resistance may stop you from creating the effect where they are, but that's also incidental.

Besides, where does it stop? If I burn a stone castle to ash, does everyone who feels the heat or sees the light get warping?

The rules can clearly be interpreted either way.... it explicitly says that 'strong effect' is a storyguide/troupe call. But I think that generally one wants to err on the side of caution in giving out warping points for stuff like this.

That would not be out of keeping with the genre, even if pretty clearly outside the direct intent of the RAW. (Witnesses of a massive magical effect being "warped" slightly by that experience, even if the spell didn't effect them directly.)

Each of us can see it one way or the other, but there's ample evidence for both. The only "wrong" interpretation is the one that says that one or the other interpretation "is wrong" - RAW, it's either specifically open to troupe interpretation, or at best ambiguous.

I side heavily on the "Auram is the Target; the burnt crispy remains are of the target" side of the fence. That said, I agree that massive magical effects causing warping is entirely appropriate - I don't think that such things are likely to arise out of standard Hermetic effects, however - certainly not from anything below 10 or more magnitudes and using a hell of a lot of vis. It seems unreasonable to me for a one-off effect to be more effective at warping than a year in a strong aura unless there's something very special going on.

I've always taken the vague nature of the high level effect condition for warping to reflect the fact that level combines both power and difficulty in casting a spell. Turning someone into a wolf (Shape of the Woodland Prowler) until the sun sets is clearly a greater effect than making someone larger until the next new moon (Preternatural Growth and Shrinking, boosted to Voice and Moon) despite both being the same magnitude.

Finally, however, I'd say that this is exactly the sort of thing where there should be a ruling in the RAW, even if one with wiggle room for, for example, creating persistent lighting within someone to slowly cook them. Where warping gets inflicted, whilst clearly always going to have some fiddly questions in the corners, is pretty integral to the function of Hermetic magic and so does need to be well defined.

Possibly. But I think for this discussion the RAW basically settles it. The spell is of high enough power and not designed for the specific person it's cast on, so should cause a Warping point (which is pretty minor all told), and because the Target can resist the effect with Parma or Magic Resistance, that means the Target is the person struck.

Now then, I can certainly see how there some potential inconsistencies with this or other disagreements. But if someone wants to just know if the RAW supports Warping for the IoL I'd say definitely yes.

You know what? I'm going to take some of this back.

The MR argument still applies, but the Warping might not. Per the sidebar on 113. Creo Targets are always the thing created. So while the magically created lightning doesn't need to be aimed, it is still resisted, but the magic does not directly affect the person hit. The magic conjured the lightning.

Wtth that interpretation, the only Creo spell that should cause Warping should be ones that deliberately do so (The Gift of the Enigma).

But then, what about Spell/Rituals that are designed to permanently make someone stronger? Creo Corpus Rituals. Ideally they will be designed for the individual, but these are usually of very high power. Who is the Target then?

That is about Creo spells that create something. This just tells us that if a Creo Auram spell only created lightning, then the Target would be the lightning. So, yes in some sense the lightning is a Target of this spell, too.

But if all this spell did was create lightning, then it would be Touch Range (as the lightning origninates from the caster's hand) and the spell would not need to Penetrate the crispy bandit's Magic Resistance it would need to be Aimed with Finesse instead. And the bandit could be within 100 paces instead of Voice Range, as 100 paces is size of the base Auram Individual.

However, in this case, this spell Incantation of Lightning is not designed like that. This spell does not just create some lightning, it targets an Individual thing, the bandit, with a bolt of lightning. The Range of the spell (Voice) is the allowable distance from the Caster to the Target (the soon-to-be-crispy-bandit). As the bandit is the Target he gets to resist with Magic Resistance. And, finally as he is the subject of a Powerful Mystical Effect he takes a Warping Point.

And the spell description even refers to the thing you are shooting the lightning bolt at as "the target".

This discussion of warping bothers me a little. Considering the effects of warping (flaws especially). If you get some level 30 spells cast on you for any reason, you could end up warped with more flaws. I don't think such should be such an easy thing.

Your mage casts image of the wizard torn 5 times during the year (ReIm 30) and suddenly they are more likely to go into twilight, they are have warping points. Cast a level 30 healing spell on someone and they get a warping point (even if it is ritual, momentary).

Cast peering into the mortal mind to read the information from your scouts and your scouts are warped. I would say that brief high level effects should be defined by 1) what is high level, 2) what is brief.

As I said, my personal view is that momentary should be too brief. The magic affects and is gone so fast that there is no warping. You get charred from IoL or some CrIg spell but you aren't warped by it.

As I understand it, that's the whole point and intent of the warping rules, and why they apply to non-mages, unlike the old Twilight mechanisms. And one good reason why Criamon's contribution was so significant: Twilight is better.

No. They are the one casting the spell -- they don't get warping from it from it being high-level.

That's the price to pay for magic healing.

You probably designed the spell with one specific scout in mind, who will not get warped.