Lava stuff

In relation to the Mighty spirits thread i started [url]] (which you should go to and post even more interesting and well reasoned ideas), i have a volcano spirit teaching mystery virtues. One of the virtues i want to have for it is a magical focus in Lava.

So i have a few lava questions.

From reading the focus stuff, a focus in Lava would be a major focus since it covers multiple forms and techniques. Do others agree with this?

Next, shoudl lava use the same base guidelines as stone, or should it maybe gain a magnitude or two for being a bit more racy?

Next, to create proper, buring hot, lava requires only CrTe (see page 79 main book). If i want to cool the lava in an interesting shape, am i right in thinking ths would require rego for the shape and ignem to change its temperature.

Am i right in thinking that magically created lava cools naturally or would it stay at the creation temperature until the duration ends and then disappear?

Lava seems like it should be horribly deadly. Flinging lava is essentially flinging a dirty great rock at someone + incredible heat. Would using ignem base damage be appropriate? If yes, doesn't this give terram mages an easy way to do as much damage as ignem specialists?

No, it can spawn multiple Te/Fo as long as it is less than a single TeFo combination. Compare to self-transformation Minor Focus.

No, it is stone. You may define a minimum temperature/damage to lava which implies some extra magnitudes. I forgot what others said in the ice & steam thread last week, you might be interested.

You could Rego and wait, remove the liquid property with Muto, or flash-freeze with PeIg. If you are trying to Craft something functional, you would need Finesse.

If your Mythic Europe believes lava generates its own heat, then it stays. YSMV.

To be fair, lava should not do more damage than Ignem. Also look at Deprivation as a way to handle side effects.

I agree with the conclusion, not the reason: a focus in Lava is a major focus because the best way to look at it is 'smaller than a single Art' (Lava is part of Terram). If you look at the samples major magical foci, it compares with stone, which is a major magical focus, or with flames, also a major magical focus (see the sample Flambeau in AM5)

This is the delicate part. If you are using lava to cause heat damage, you should borrow from the Ignem guidelines (well, unless there is a natural supply of lava you are flinging about rather than creating it with magic). That's an important game balance issue: all forms to basically the same damage when used directly. If you are just creating lava and the heat is not an issue, I would say the same guideline as stone.

I would say magically created lava cools naturally unless you use some form of Ignem to control its temperature. Which means if you want it to cool in an interesting shape, you can just use Rego to give it that shape and wait, at least if you have a long enough duration: I don't think lava cools very quickly naturally. Or you can speed up the process with Ignem.

I would say use Ignem base damage. And no, it is not wrong for other Forms to do as much damage as Ignem (Auram already does with lightning). The only caveat is that to create lava with Creo, a magus should be familiar with it, so a trip to an active volcano at some point in his career would be appropriate to get it right.

An additional concern: lava is very hot. Very, very hot. If you look at the CrIg guidelines, the level 10 'heat an object enough to melt lead' is not enough, you would be looking at at least a base 20, maybe 25. Why does it matter ? Because I think you should forget about creating a spell causing a little damage with lava: it is not a precision tool, so it should have only high level, high damage spells.

Stone is a subcategory of Terram. Lava is a subcategory of stone, lava being very hot, molten stone. It seems somewhat steep to me to have Lava be a Major Focus.

I think CrTe could create hot lava with no need for Ig req. Just like CrAq can create ice. And it should cool i mch the same way as the ice melts.

Using the CrIg guidelines for damage seems feasible, but IMHO lava needs to start at a fairly high level, way about 'hot enough to melt lead'. Just as there aren't any small lightnings, the only one possible os the one doing +35 dam, there is not 'only somewhat hot lava' only 'super hot lava'. This no CrTe lava spells doing +5 damage...unless you'd want to create just a drop of lava rather than the standard base individual amount...

A little piece of lava remain super hot and abe to melt your body.

Agreed, in particular because in most sagas there will be very little lava around - restricting the magus to that which he creates himself, and strongly limiting the use of Intellego, Perdo and Rego.

Lava as a major convince me; not as a minor.

And, lava a subcategory of stone?

Ice was determined to be a MAJOR focus in another thread. I would rate lava pretty much equal. IMS it would require ignem, though, since lava might be an existing feature, but being molten is not a natural state of stone. Only the fires of hell heat it so much that it melts. probably dogma does not support this, but this is how we would play it :slight_smile: If hot stone is determined to be natural, ignem would be quite unnecessary, since you could determine that burning is a natural state of superheated wood as well. :slight_smile:


(since I'm basically an advocate of ice major... that makes sense :smiley:)

As I see it, Lava is always Terram requisite Ignem or Ignem requisite Terram, which make it a perfect field for an elementalist.

Sure, not all Stone is Lava, but all Lava is some form of Stone. So Lava is a subcategory of Stone.

However if Ice is Major then so is Lava. It also seems that Minor Foci often are defined as not just a 'thing' (like lava) but also with an 'activity' (like creating, warding against, changing...and so on.

So it is probably Major.

I think any medieval natural philosopher is going to look at lava, see the orange glow, feel the heat and say it may be mostly earth but it has lots of fire mixed in. As such it may be manipulated with pure Te but creating it requires an igmem requsite. I am less sure about melting rock with a ReTe state change - I am leaning towards say it should be possible without an ignem requisite but the base level should be far higher than ReAq state change perhaps the same level as melting the rock with CrIg. Freezing lava with ReTe should be easier - base 4. All Aq state changes are the same low base because it is the nature of water to change state readily but it is the nature of rock to be solid.

Or if one has an Ig requisite lava counts as rock in the guidelines, without the requisite it counts as gem+ and molten steel counts as gem+. Lead and gold can be melted without glowing so they don't need the ignem requisite.

I agree with all the posters who say you can't do small burning damage with lava and I think lava magic is specialised enough to be a minor focus

That's what I wondered, but ArM5 p79 disagrees : read The Elemental Forms.

Since stone is a major focus, lava effectively cant be also, as the focus "stone" includes lava but isnt restricted to it.
And ice being a major never was a great idea either, yes its too broad for minor, but its also too narrow for major and compares poorly with some other majors. And extremely poorly if compared to Healing which is a minor despite covering Creo combined with 4 Forms.

Mmm, well yes there is? Yes if you create lava then the basic stuff should be "the real deal", ie hot enough to be fully molten and yeah, it needs to be high level, just as shifting stone to lava needs to be high level...

With a Rego requisite or +1 magnitude, i would say you can have the lava at just about any temperature you want that still leaves the lava fluid, more or less at least.

Just as with ice or steam, that depends on the surroundings, why should stone be treated differently from water?
Ice, steam and lava all exists naturally...

You still have to apply the change from stone to lava. Just as you have to apply an Ignem spell to change heat somewhere else. If you change stone to lava, the heat IS a natural part of it, just as cold is when you change water to ice.
Yes i know it breaks down quite a lot, but...

I don't like the argument that lava is a minor magical focus because lava is smaller than stone and stone is a major magical focus, it's just too easy to abuse that argument and end up with a minor magical focus that is almost as broad as a major one. To me a 'proper' minor magical focus should go back to the basic definition: something that is smaller than a TeFo combination. Even when it is spread across several forms, it should be about TeFo combinations, which means processes : aging, creating metals, healing...

When a minor magical focus is instead about a very restricted field of a single Form (which I don't like, but if someone wants a magical focus in hedgehog, maybe a minor focus will do), it needs to be just that: very restricted, both in terms of the Form and in terms of game balance. Lava is one of three physical states of stone, which covers a fairly wide portion of Terram: to me that is just not restrictive enough for a minor focus. And, ultimately, while lava might be rare enough naturally in Mythic Europe, it can do a lot of what fire can do: it is hot enough to set other things in fire, it burns, it can even create a little light.Just for that, in my opinion, it needs to be a major magical focus.

Personally, I think magical focus are already the most powerful virtues around, so no need to be generous about them.

I agree with Halancar on everything he says.

As i said, Healing covers FOUR Forms... And it´s still minor.

Anyway, why would anyone ever take Major Focus Lava when they can simply take Major Focus Stone and still affect lava just as well because it is still stone...

Anyway, you cant base yourself on wether the focus is "potentially powerful", you simply have to base it on how limited it is. And frankly, while lava has decent enough of potential uses, its extremely limited most of the time. Unless you live in or next to a volcano, you must always create it before you can do anything else with it.

Oh i know! But if nerfing because of this creates problems, then nerfing is even worse than being generous.

For example, i dont consider Ice to be a major, instead i´ve used Ice&Cold as a Major Focus. That makes it both more thematic and makes it worth a Major, basically covering anything Aq when Ice is involved and PeIg(and ReIg to some degree), broad but not too much.

My personal rule on this is that a minor can be up to at most one TeFo, or a combination of more than one that each clearly covers less, as otherwise i would really had to have moved Healing to be a Major. I let a Major cover up to at most one Form and yes i know this is beyond RAW, but it makes ruling on focii ever so much easier to set the limit like that instead of RAW´s odd mix of more than a Form sometimes and less than half a Form sometimes; and as a finisher, i let a Greater Focus(twice the cost of a Major) cover up to a Technique.
As always, any Focus is at the approval of GM(or the resident rulesbunny).

Note, my point about focus above is based on problems i have with the RAW, not on my houserule version.

Healing cover only Creo and 3 forms (animal herbam and corpus), and only 3x7 guidelines which is not too much.

On the contrary, lava covers any technique with terram, even doing what Ignem may do without any ignem requisite..

And a focus in stone doesn't cover lava IMO. Way too broad (it's fire + stone lol).

Dont forget Mentem.

Rego and Muto, requires you to make lava first or add a +1 magnitude for a Cr requisite. And nope, you cant create it by just turning stone into lava because then your target is stone first and the focus doesnt apply.
Intellego, how often do you find lava THAT interesting? And unless you live in a volcano, you again need to create it first.
Perdo, mmm what exactly are you going to do with Perdo against lava?
So, Creo is useful for highlevel attack spells, Re and Mu can be reasonably useful as long as you can get any lava to play around with first...

As i said, "Lava" is a VERY restrictive focus, clearly in line with a minor. Would you really rank "Lava" as triple as good as "Wind" which is a RAW example of a Minor Focus? A wind mage tends to be super useful and its still just a minor. And the subject is fairly comparable. Just as one example.

Stone is stone, molten or not. Lava isnt fire, that´s a sideeffect of being molten.

much as it may pain me, I have to agree with Direwolf here.

There are one view to make it, using the guidelines of CrIg to hot something to the grade to molt tock, and after of that use ReTe to attack with that, probably is the issue of the group/storyteller decide whre could be a spell without the CrIg requisite... but again, since the Lava has more moist and hot particles that the rock itself, the Requisites grant more possible the process and the particles...