Into the Lab: Dissecting T:Group & Individual

I would think designing a T: Group Pilum of Fire that launches 10 bolts of fire at an individual would be fine. As for efficacy, is 10x(+X damage) better than +x+10 damage (same magnitude) or Nx(+X damage) via spell mastery at a lower magnitude? If penetration is the issue or if +X damage is overkill, the spell mastery method, though more expensive, is better. If +X damage isn't enough to do much, lots won't matter and you're better off with +X+10. If +X does noticeable damage and isn't overkill, 10x(+X damage) is probably the best.

Yes, it is. It's essentially the same definition I described in my previous post, just stated a bit more precisely.

You will note that it says absolutely nothing about relationships within the domain being preserved in the range. Choose the right mapping function, and any set of inputs can be mapped to any set of outputs.

Again, page 113 defines big-T Target: big-G Group. The grogs don't have to be a Group because they are not the Target.

If the Target and target are (or at least may be) distinct and governed by separate considerations, then you cannot simply assume that something which applies to one must also apply to the other.

And my assertion here is that, because they are not the Target, the 6 targets don't need to qualify as a Group. (Or at least that the rules don't require them to. The SG or troupe may choose to impose such a requirement - indeed, as an SG, I would require it and I expect that most troupes do - but the actual written rules do not require it, which is where this whole thing got started: Perhaps the rules should be amended to clearly address these matters.)

Yep, it is. No dispute there. But, part of the design or not, it has no bearing on what the rules say because troupe adjudication goes beyond the rules. If you choose to exercise the Central Rule, you are overriding some portion of the rules with respect to your troupe, but the underlying rules, the ones in the text of the ArM5 books which any of us might purchase, remain unaffected by your troupe's adjudication.

And those underlying rules are what I'm talking about here. Your troupe might adjudicate that a group of targets must meet the same criteria as a Group of Targets. My troupe might also adjudicate that a group of targets must meet the same criteria as a Group of Targets. But this does not change the fact that the printed rules do not actually say that a group of targets must meet the same criteria as a Group of Targets.

I find it amusing that you make this statement when you're arguing for a limitation on group targeting which I say does not exist in the rules.

Yes, agreed. I'll have to meditate upon that and potentially revise my handling of T:Group accordingly.

I'm trying to come up with a mechanic that can handle a situation where someone casts a T:Group variant of a spell like Pilum of Fire and uses finesse to hit his desired recipients. This is more of a talking aloud exercise than a bulletproof mechanic. Let's rip it apart.

Recipients should still nominally be close together, but need not be related as a group. Let's say that the difficulty of the finesse roll is average (EF 9), let's also say it's an Int based finesse roll, not perception, because it's about shaping the magic in your head to what you see, not really how well you can see the recipients of the spell. Let's also say that the difference in the finesse total and the EF is a modifier for a subsequent simple roll to determine the number of targets hit. A lot of magi have Int +3, some magi who have these spells may not have pursued a lot of finesse (their magic typically doesn't require it) and so let's give them a Finesse and specialty total of 3. An average die roll is 6, for a final total of say 12. The difference of 12-9 would be used on a subsequent die roll, again an average roll, let's call it 6 again for a total of 9 out of 10 desired targets hit. A Finesse failure would simply cause the number of targets to be determined randomly, and it would be capped to the finesse score (include Puissant, if applicable) and any precision mastery ranks, if taken.

There are a lot of moving pieces, perhaps someone sees a better way of doing this. The original design of the spell is important, too. If it's designed to hit 10 "things" in a row, then it should do that unless it is varied. Varying the spell with finesse is about getting it to move outside of that original design. I also don't want failure of finesse to represent hitting combatants on the magus's side. I'd rather that be handled by a botch mechanic. I can imagine a magus losing control and not getting enough "English" on a spell to turn it away from a friendly, sacrificing some other targets to get the job done. Interestingly, such a scenario might allow a +2 enemy combatants hit for every friendly also hit, but that is also a bit unwieldy...