Jail made of Leather - a spell to adjudicate

Here is a spell my mage would like to invent. He has a minor magical focus with leather and hides.
This spell should stop any leather-made equipment (armor, belt, gloves, boots, etc.) from moving, thus stopping most people from moving.

Base 3 - I went with this base for "Move quickly... etc" with the assumption that as much strenght to move an item quickly is required to stop it from moving (instead of base 1: manipulate items made of animal products)
R: Voice (+2)
D: Dia (+1) - in combat situation, I found Diameter is more reasonable than concentration, especially if I want to keep casting turn after turn.
T: this is where it starts to get wonking, following the Personal Range discussion. Magic is affecting leather (=items carried by people). Should I choose Group for a group of people (up to ten) affecting their clothes, or Group, for a Group of items and in this case I better increase Range by +1 or +2 if I want to affect many people (=many, many more leather items) ?
For now it is level 10, without the Range magnitude (+2 to +4) depending on the read of Personal...

Based on existing spells, I could go for option 1: targeting people's item of a group of up to 10 people (final level 20).

But I can also accept option 2, which has the advantage to allow the spell to affect also leather items not held by anybody, which I don't think version 1 would do. Assuming a person (mostly a fighter) carries anything between 3 to 10 leather items (between boots, belt, gloves, armor or under armor, sword scarab, various straps), I should bump at least by one magnitude to be able to affect about 10 people, bringing the final level to 25.

In both case Parma will protect items carried by a mage.

And in both case, the "level feels right for the effect" - although it is a weak criteria to judge a spell design :slight_smile: .

I don't think the R:Personal discussion comes into play here. That's a whole different issue.

The form is Animal. Your target is the items, not the people wearing them. At T:Individual that would be a single object made of leather, up to size +1. At T:Group, this is a group of up to 10 base Individuals, possibly split over several items.

I think you meant additional magnitudes for size? To increase the size of the group? I don't think that would be necessary. 10 base Individuals of Animal amounts to a lot of leather. It seems reasonable to affect the leather on up to 10 individuals (maybe even a bit more), as long as you can effectively classify "the clothes of all of those people" as a single group.

Personally I think base 5 would be better. That's the base for paralizing an animal (and also to stop the motion of something made of animal products, I assume). At base 3 I'd only inconvenience the movements of the wearer, not completely stop them.

So, spell level 20 for base 3, 30 for base 5, both at R:Voice, D:Diam, T:Group.

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While I mostly agree with Rafael, I feel using T: Group would allow you to affect a lot more than "a bit more" than 10 people. The people are the 'target', while the actual Target is the leather.

Thanks to the handy chart on HoH:MC, p.39 we know what the mid point weight is for every even Size is and have some handy multiples to quickly work it out for the odds are. Size 0 is a mid point of ~150 lbs, increasing to Size +1 doubles that to ~300 lbs (a Base Individual of Animal), and the +1 Size from Group brings that to ~3,000 lbs (or 1.5 tons). That is not exact as their example weights do not exactly follow their suggested math and working from the other direction gives a midpoint weight of ~350 lbs for Size +1.

[Side Note: # Size and Size # are two different things. Each # Size is equal to about three Size #. That equates Size +1 with +1 Size as equal to Size +4, which is listed as 3,000 lbs (1.5 tons).
The 'Weights and Measures' section in C&G, p.140 list an AM ton at 2,420 lbs. That is most likely an error since later it says a tun (of ale/wine) defines the weight of a ton and the weight of a tun (of ale/wine) is 2,240 lbs, which is also the non-US weight of a ton.]

Ten Base Individuals of leather is a whole lot of leather. If each person was carrying 100 lbs of leather, you could affect a group of 30 such. More than likely each individual will be carrying a lower amount than that and so your could affect more. Thus the limitation will often be what you can classify as a single Group.

This is only a personal comment, but I am not happy with groups of groups. I could be happy with the group "all leather worn by one person", or "all leather chest peices worn by this group", but metaphysically I am having trouble with both at the same time.

Am I missing something?


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I can understand. I believe it is in the hand of the ST to decide what criteria are specific enough to describe a group.
For example "All clothing items made of leather in this group" is at the same time more accurate that "all leather worn by this group" (which is a group of group), and less than "all leather chest pieces worn by this group" (clearly a single group).
Considering the lengthy discussion on-going regarding Personal/Room definition and limits, I am happy to let my ST tell me what is considered an acceptable group definition and I will adapt my casting.

That in most cases it is actually not nearly as effective as a total immobilizer. Against a group wearing ahistorical leather armor it would work well, but most people of the time tend to have much less leather on them. Belts and footwear would be the most common, though depending on the local those could easily be made of a different material. Thus there are times where it would have no effect or only cause a short distraction for a couple of rounds.

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My primary complaint for Groups of Groups is the fact that targeting all the leather articles on one person is as easy as all the leather on ten people. I feel like there should be a difference, but... no.

Yep. Agree to that. My comment had the disclaimer:

but this is actually a decision under the SG's purview.

I'd also make a distinction between groups of groups and groups within a group. Put enough distance between two warriors and you have two groups of leather vests. Put them closer and you might have a single group, composed of two distinguishable subgroups (the vests of each). Actually, depending on the specifics, you might subdivide the larger group in many different ways. Ultimately, the SG is the final arbiter.

I'd also note that the spell should have a specific design. It can target "all leather chestpieces and nothing else" or "all pieces of leather of all the people" or "all the pieces of leather of a single person". It can't, generally, be flexible enough to arbitrarily cover all these possibilities. The spell effect must be locked at the design, and the effectiveness of the spell will depend on the circunstances surrounding the definition of the group, and if needed will be adjudicated by the SG at the moment of casting.

I tend to agree with this interpretation, and most people I've seen do as well. As always, YSMV, check your storyguide. I don't allow CrCo Circle Buff spells, for example.

Do remember that with groups you don't get to pick and choose the group. "Everyone in that crowd" is fine, "The huddle on the left" is fine, "The females in that circle of mixed genders" is not.

Yes, my mage might consider re-inventing it with +1 flexibility if the need arise. But for now, any leather items worn by the group is good enough. He just has to make sure to cast it before his grogs enter the melee :slight_smile:

I also believe, it should contains "a Strength test is required, with an EF from 6 (a few straps, a bracer) to 15 (body fully cover in leather armor or mantle) depending on the leather worn by the target and how easily he can get rid of or break free of the held items."
I am using Hand of the Grasping Earth as reference for the Strength check.

I agree, but since my mage is leaving in the very North part of Novgorod tribunal (in fact, he might not even be within the limit of the Tribunal most of the time), people spent at least 8 months a year in nice, warm, reindeer cloths, thus the design of this spell. :smiley: as it can also act as life saver when somebody is falling.

You should also check out the Shackles of Ice spell in HOH:S. No books on me at the moment, so I may be wrong on it's name or source.