Invested Items and Circle Target

Greetings fellow Magi.

I have a question for you about items and the circle target. Ordinarily a circle must be traced yes? Does this mean that the item itself must either
A) Be circular
B) Trace the circle physically, or
C) Simply have a circle upon which to cast?

I am thinking of investing an item that has a circle target with another ability:
CrIm: Project the Hermetic shadow
Base 1 (Create an image that affects a single sense)
R, Touch +1, Target Ind, Maintains concentration +5

If this item uses the above spell to create a ritual circle, could size modifiers be used to increase the size of said circle?

Would you be able to create such a circle instantly or would you have to walk in a circle holding the say... staff like a paintbrush?

If you can't make it instantly like that, for use, could you instantly make the image, but then walk around it or would you need to do that using the staff once more?

How viable/interesting is this?

There's an example item in, I believe, GotF that uses an enchanted length of chain to define a circular ward against faeries.

I'd probably require that the circle be traced as part of the item's activation, but would allow that to be included in the process of shaping it into a ring....

Personally I would allow either- an object with a breakable ring that you have to trace to activate, or something like a piece of chalk that you would have to draw a circle with.

Since you always have to trace the ring i say either A or B. Either the item is circular and you trace it to activate the effect or you trace a circle with the item.

A ring lasts until it's physically broken which implies that the ring have physical as well which wouldn't make a CrIm effect viable. I'm not sure this is actually said anywhere though so that's up to your troupe. If you do allow it there is nothing stopping the ring for being any size with the proper modifiers.

I see a problem with the concentration duration though. An effect like that would create a circle around the tip of the staff for example. If you move the tip the circle would move with it so you'd never be able to trace the circle with the item. You could rule that it doesn't matter if the caster or the item trace the circle of course but that would mean a relatively small circle, no bigger than you can reach while holding the staff. Letting go of an item to trace a circle while activating an effect seems highly suspicious to me at least. Sun duration creates similar concerns if you planned the CrIm effect to be continuous. E.g. cast spell, move staff, come dusk the CrIm circle pops up somewhere else.

A muto effect to make the staff into a circle would alleviate all these problems and is only base 3 so still pretty easy to pull off. With a base of 5 i'd say you could increase the size of your staff by up to 8 times and form it into a circle. Keeping the same girth a 2m staff could turn into a circle with up to 5m in diameter.

How about an effect that creates the ring, then the activation for the items other effect is to trace the edge of the circle with the end of the staff before placing the staff inside the circle. I see no reason that wouldn't work.

Then when the ring effect ends, unless it is a rego effect (or perdo, I suppose you could engrave a ring) the other spells would end....

I like the idea of tapping the staff on the ground and it uses rego/perdo to create a circle with the staff at the center.

You could even have a Rego effect in the staff so it would trace a circle while casting the spell.
I don't like the idea of the circle being illusionary, but i can see how some people would accept it (it is very easily broken).

The idea of the staff turning into a ring is fantastic and very thematic - I can see a number of magi doing that as an effect. Only problem is that it would mean letting go of your talisman....

Someone should invest in making a Hermetic breakthrough that allows a magus to create a bond to their Talisman wherein it is always considered touching them no matter if there is a physical connection or not.

I should actually go reread Mysteries to see if the Talisman section has anything.

Because that would be a awesome bit of magic as well as sorta staying in the theme of wizards casting their staffs or such into the air and the stick casting magic and hitting folks.

Perhaps a constant Vim Tunnel spell? So that you are always considered touching your talisman? Hmmm.... warping. Getting around the warping?

Sorry if this subject is already done with. And apologies in advance if my logic is flawed, I think I'm running a slight fever, but!

I'm not comfortable with a circle which is purely an illusion. To me, the tracing of the circle is the important part, not the appearance of the circle.
I would happily let you make a circle by dragging your foot (or talisman-staff) through the dirt. Just as I would happily allow you to draw a circle and then conceal it with eg PeIm.
I'd even be happy to let you make an image of a circle and give you a bonus on you concentration roll should it be necessary (big circle), but I want you to actually trace that circle, touching every part of it.

Does that make sense to anyone but me?

I completely agree that the circle must be traced as the spell is cast. I am fine with that circle being roughly drawn or made. I wouldn't even mind too much if it were approaching oblong, but it should be physically traced by the caster.

Now this "tracing", as far as I am concerned can be just walking the circle or intimately running your hand over the circle or a thin piling of salt or some fluid or solids that can maintain a unbroken circle. As long as a action is involved I am satiated.

The typcal staff or sword casting the effect while you trace the circle are good to me too.

This has got me thinking. Lets take a major item in the form of a hand ring. The ring has two major effects.

1- A muto effect to make it much bigger so that it can be used as a circle
2- A rego effect that is a circle/ring effect

Does the user have to re-trace the circle or should we consider that the item, as part of its design, traced it and the effect can function with say a link trigger or environmental trigger.

I personally prefer the later as it also allows things like devils traps with watching wards and such but what does cannon say?


That's one of the boons of a Watching Ward over an Item, IMO: With an item, you need to draw the circle.

With a WW, you draw the circle as you cast the spell, and then put it onto the ward. The circle has been drawn, just an arbitrary long time before the trap is sprung.

You must be a lotto winner to think that your circle would remain intact for that long... Personally, I find WW almost useless for PC's if used as per canon as you need to know in advance, make the ritual for a one time use. Really troublesome for something so specific and costly. Perfect for NPC's ...


Or plan around.

For exemple, in Supernatural, they sometimes draw circles on the ceiling, to trap demons under. Or hide them under a carpet. I just love these scenes.
This would allow even a painted circle to stay intact for quite some time.

Of course, as always, this depends on your saga rules. Some people may rule that anything coming across the circle "breaks" it, so in this case, yes, of course :wink:

I brought that same example to my troupe. Our previous Story guide was kinda against Ring/circle effects, making them break very easily as cannon suggests. I personally do prefer the Supernatural show kind of Ring/Circle as it is more climatic. Still using a WW with vis on a maybe the circle will be intact when needed is something that few will trial I would think unless the circle is an enchantment by itself and geared to keep itself intact...


Personally I like the idea that a circle can be anything from fragile to reinforced- if you draw a circle with your finger or by walking it, crossing it breaks it. Use chalk and you have to scuff the line. Hire masons to lay out the circle before you trace it and it will take some real work to bring that circle down...