More circle magic

Okay, the campaign we are playing has a RAW only rule. 0 house rules.

What a circle spell can or can't do. Please correct where needed.

Circle is a target : The spell affects everything within a ring drawn by the magus at the time of casting.

I read that as whatever you intend to effect needs to be in the circle at the time of casting.
So healing spells and other spells that normally have a ind target can be rewritten to effect larger groups in exchange for the longer and obvious casting.

Ring is a duration : The spell lasts until the target of the spell moves outside a ring drawn at the time of casting, or until the ring is physically broken.

Now for the multitude of questions.

Does the circle/ring effect a dome or a pillar? If I make a 1 pace circle and use a CrTe to make a pillar of dirt would it make a pillar as high as 10 cubic paces dirt? if I do the same thing with CrAq does it use a ponds worth of water to make the pillar (base is higher to make a pillar of water that would remain a pillar, I assume) This is all based on the base size in core.

Can a circle be mobile? : can I use it on a hoop and make it float (with another spell) and use it as a mobile ward?
Can you effect the object the is hosting the circle?
Can I engrave it on or around the head of a hammer and use : TALONS OF THE WINDS
To make a sudo enchanted hammer that only activates when it is swung i.e when wind passes over the circle?

Transforms a wind into an abrasive medium that tears and claws at everything in its path. Soft materials like leaves and cloth are shredded, and people take +5 damage from innumerable bloody cuts and abrasions. This spell will deal damage a breeze of some sort blowing over the circle (by swinging the hammer)
(Base 4, 0 Circle, +2 Ring)

I shall add spells for comment and for learning.


Base 2 R: Touch +1 D: Ring +2 T: Circle +0 Effect +1

Cast on a circle scribed into the bottom on a lamp it changes water within into very fine lamp oil.

Useful on ships where there is plenty of water available and should the lamp fall over and the liquid

leave the circle it reverts back to it's previous state.


Base 1 R: Touch +1 D: Ring +2 T: Circle +0 Size +2 or Group +2

A circle to inscribed on the rim of a flower pot to ensure a large plant or a group of 10 grows healthily.


Base 2 R: Touch +1 D: Ring +2 T: Part +2

Heats the surface within the circle of the object that is inscribed so that it is warm to the touch. (Heated floor tiles)


Base 2 R: Touch +1 D: Ring +2 T: ind +0 Req An +1

Conjures a illusory song bird within the ring engraved in the bottom of a birdcage, it sounds and acts like and actual bird.

No upkeep required

I anyone has non warding circle spells that I can examine to better understand these parameters I would be grateful.

Tricky. RAW is ambiguous, so how do you do with zero house rules? Call them house interpretations instead? :stuck_out_tongue:

Correct, but remember that the circle target is special in that the effect ends if the circle is broken, as if the duration was ring, even if the duration is, say, Sun. I.e. a Circle target never has longer duration than ring.

This was discussed, I think, earlier this year, without conclusion. Maybe the main discussion was on boundary/Aegis, but similar arguments apply in both cases. I can think of at least four views,

  1. Dome. No, I do not think that if you draw a two-foot circle around yourself, that your head is outside.
  2. Cylindre extending to the lunar sphere. No, I do not think you can use a touch range circle spell to affect an eagle above your head, that is barely within sight range.
  3. Magic is erratic, and the precise shape varies with no apparent reason.
  4. The world is narrated in 2D, and the circle spell affects only subjects located in the same plane. Usually common use of language will make it clear what is inside and outside the circle. Geometry does not factor into it.

I do not see why not. An example which came up in our saga was enchanted lamps, with CrIg circle/ring spell sustaining a virtually eternal fuelless flame. That was accepted by the troupe in principle, but it was rejected for its intended purpose. We ruled that the circle is fragile, and easily broken by accident (like spilling something to cover it). Thus it is not permament enough, and (by canon) using it as a lab item causes warping or safety issues.

I don't think so, since that object would then not be inside the circle.

Certainly not, since the target crossing the circle breaks the spell.

Variants of all the CrMe/Co spells Gift of Reason, Strength of the Heroes with circle target is a popular proposal. I find it abusive, but I have not seen any argument to fault it under RAW. The point is that you can boost the characteristics of all your friends with a single die roll and with one serving of vis.

Circle of Undisturbed Rest [MoH:30]

Due to ambiguities in the rule set, there will be group discussions on how to handle certain things. Even if your group is a "No House Rules, everything RAW!" set of fanatics, you will have to make decisions on these. I would strongly recommend codifying them in a document so that you are consistent during play. How fragile a ring/circle for example is something which will vary by group, directly related to your post.

As for the original subject, I am partial to a Ring/Circle version of Maintain the Demanding Spell.

While I would never use them within the lab to provide light and heating (there are some nasty side effects), they are very useful for the rest of your sanctum and the covenant. Using one to just create fire, heat or light is far easier than trying to use one to change water to lamp oil. To be as close to RAW as possible, you would use D: Ring and T: Individual (Creo creation spells must be Individual or Group). I would recommend using a mix of the three, since fire can be dangerous. Depending on power level you might be able to create them with a Spont. Ring/Individual would add 2 to the Mag of the spell, meaning if you can Spont a 10 CrIg (using fatigue) then you could create any of these effects at Base 4 or lower using Spont.

For any spell that normally effects a single target and does not have to be cast quickly (so non-combat), designing a version with the Target: Circle is the most efficient way to allow it to affect large targets and groups.

I do not think I have ever played any RPG by strict RAW. As the old adage goes, the only wrong way to play is by the rules as written.

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I think I'd go with "Magic is shaped by the intent of the caster, and the precise shape varies in accordance with what is needed to achieve what the caster wants to achieve--limited, of course, by common sense and the general consensus of the troupe."

Would that imply that the caster could sometimes decide on a cylinder, thus affecting the people on the floor above, and sometimes decide on a dome which does not?

To me, that would give the caster more flexibility than what formulaic magic is supposed to have, but it does not contradict canon in any way that I can see.

Thanks for all the input, I have more to add.
Can you use a circle/ring on the equator of a sphere to affect the object AND keep the spell active for the duration?
Also, does the circle need to be visible ie if a flagstone is inscribed with a circle and you flip it over after you place a ward on it, would the effect still work, assuming that you intend for it to be flipped after the casting.
Can you take a straight sword with round/oval hand guard and use it as the base for a circle to keep the blade sharp or on fire or both or would the be a part target?

Also I agree with Troy on the Maintain the Demanding Spell addition. You could turn a bonfire into a crystal and keep it in a container with that circle and give it to grogs for actual fire support. :smiley:

In our saga, no. The caster couldn't decide on shapes that penetrate to floors above and below the ring.

We're not as worried about paradigm purity as some folks and we have the luxury of deciding things only for ourselves. So, we don't have hard and fast rules about what can and can't be done with ring spells. Rather, we go with what seems right for the spell at hand, and we keep in mind that ring is the equivalent of diameter, which generally keeps the cheesy rules lawyering to a minimum. If a ring is supposed to trap a person inside the ring, then that's what it does. If a ring placed inside a hidden space inside a city's wall is supposed to act as a cylindrical barrier that bars passage to humans and spans indefinitely across the countryside in either direction, we say no with no more justification than, "That's ridiculous and we don't want it in our game."

As far as a rule set goes, Marko's point that no RPG has ever been played entirely as RAW is absolutely correct. I'd add RAI to that as well. Reading any game's rules is always an act of interpretation, and I think it's entirely reasonable for a rule set to say, "Here are the things to think about on this one and here are our suggestions; solve it however works best with your group." Caster intent moderated with some guidelines seems a reasonable rule for ring, considering how complicated trying to really nail all of the possibilities down gets.

Edit to add: For "caster intent", I should probably have said "spell inventor's intent".

The critical phrase in the rules is that the spell affects what is inside the circle. I would never say that the blade is inside a circle inscribed on the hand guard, and barring the devil's personal advocate, I don't think anybody else would either, so if we can trust the language, the answer is no.

In my opinion, this questions can only originate from a group trying to apply the rules of formal, logical language on a text which was written in fluent, natural language. If we can think of game rules as something other than mathematical rules, the problem disappears. But for some of us, that is unreasonably hard. It has taken me decades.

This is not as clear cut as the one above IMHO. I cannot argue strongly against it, but my gut aches when I allow it. You can just as well toss a coin to decide, and move on.

It sounds as if your interpretation is going to be equivalent to my option 4 (2D narrative) for all practical purposes. But of course we would not know for sure without actually playing together for some time ...

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One quick thought, you couldn't use a circle to conjure an amount of dirt or water anyway, since creo spells that create stuff have to have individual or group targets.

We've used circle extensively for healing spells to affect more than one person, stat improvement spells including on one notable occassion (in a non mythic europe game) using a ring version of the stamina increasing spell to permanently raise the stamina of every member of a town to +5 over the course of a week long festival. Required a lot of organisation but the townsfolk were delighted about their sudden incredible health.

We also use ind/circles to create permanent lights carved into covenant ceilings by our local mason.

We've used teleportation circles to move around large numbers of people.

I've had a covenant who used glass spheres with a ring carved around the circumferance as the circle for two spells to both levitate and light the sphere, providing mobile hovering lamps.

We also used a lot of circle/rings for summoning and containing ghosts and spirits, but that falls under the warding rules.