muto idea - flatten an object to 2d

I've an idea for making things easier to carry, to flatten them to a 2d image of themselves, shrink them, and then carry them like pages in a photo album.

Given we have that MuTe/Im spell in HoH:S to turn gold to species, it seems not a disimmilar stretch to make an object two dimensions for a while, so they are portable and bearable. Perhaps even carrying grogs this way.

Based of Scattering like light, drafted this:

  • Broken, or already done i a book I can't recall?
  • Is the +1 mag for secondary sub-effect needed?
  • Is using the same effect with D: Ring just as plausible?

I love the idea, but I am afraid that your spell won't work by RAW, because of this little sentence (p63, first column, after the explanation on the three targets):
"Hermetic magi have not yet found a way to make solid objects from species using Muto magic".

An argument in favor of your spell is that it is not turning species into solid objet, it is only turning temporarly objects into species, hence at the end of the spell's duration, they should resume their shape.

So the real question is more, is it possible to invent Scattering Like Light with a duration longer than Momentary ?
I believe, it would need at least a Breakthrough (Minor or Major depending on your view).
I will tentatively give an explanation: once a solid objet is converted into iconic species, it looses some of its "identity", making the change irreversible. Is it the breath of life which is missing or the soul ? is the iconic species capturing only the envelop (external appearance) and not the content ? Or, you can scan the cover of a book, but you won't have much of its content.

A bit like if one try to dehydrate a human being then try to return it back to himself by wetting it: it does not work. I am not verse in Plato theory and all the underlying knowledge behind that so I would not try to find a philosophical explanation fitting the Mythic Europe paradigm.

The Breakthrough could be that you could invent spell with longer duration (hence reversible) if you have an Arcane connection to the target prior to its transformation. The magus will have to sprinkle the arcane connection on the Image to allow its return to 3d. The purpose of the Arcane connection is to be the link to the "missing" parts not kept by iconic species to become whole again.

I think it would make the spell more balanced that way. It would be risky to transport troups or whole covenant that way because of all the Arcane connections needed, but in case of desperate measure, or for non-living items, it could be a great boon. Redcaps might build a statue in your honor :smiley:

I wasn't meaning muto to species especially, rather converting it into an image. I though an image and the species were separate things in the system?
Species is the thing given off from an image, which normally happens to be wrapped around an object.

I took the guideline from the species spell because it's the closest thing I could find.

There was a spell similar in that old 3e grimoire which made a human 2d, so they slip between cracks.

And I understand the guideline to stop species becoming solid, that's kind of the - don't allow something out if nothing position. Makes sense. I'm saying that a fire can be rock, but can a rock be only an image?

Perhaps instead just convert the thing to a very small amount if ink or some such, so not technically 2d but almost.

My 2 cents.

First, from an "aesthetic" point of view, turning stuff into pictures in a book has the "right feel". I like it. I'd definitely allow it, even if I had to give some stretched interpretations of the rules (I'm not sure any such stretching is necessary though).

Second, while changing stuff into species is perfectly ok, the problem is that visual species are supremely ... volatile. A tiny flicker from a candle and bam! they are carried away by the resulting light and scattered around. I'd say you need some secondary effect to "contain" them; I guess a Rego requisite would be enough.

Third, I don't think you need a secondary effect to shrink/grow the image. If you turn a person into a mouse, well, the mouse is much smaller than the person, but you do not need a secondary effect. The same applies when turning a sword into species - which do not need to be species of a sword, though it's thematically appropriate to have them be species of the page-size drawing of a sword.

Fourth, you do not need to add a magnitude for the Imaginem requisite. If a requisite is necessary for a spell to achieve its main effect, like the Animal requisite to turn a man into a wolf, it adds no magnitudes (Arm5, p.114). Yes, I do know that Scattering like Light adds a magnitude for the Imaginem requisite, but I do believe it's an error.

Fifth, keep in mind that without adding magnitudes, the only Terram objects you'll affect are clods of dirt, chunks of clay and such. Stone, +1 magnitude. Metal, +2 magnitudes. Other inanimate objects, casting Requisites.

Sixth, D:Sun is +2, not +1. But D:Ring is also very cool! Although may troupes houserule against "mobile rings", mobile (and slightly flexible) rings on book pages are canonical (see Covenants). As you cast the spell, you draw a magic circle on the page. The object becomes a picture within the circle, and stays there until you smudge or otherwise "break" the circle. With Sun, it stays there until dawn or dusk, no matter what you want!

Summarizing, I'd make the effect:
MuTe(Im) level 35 - with casting requisites appropriate to the Form of the Target.
Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +2 any material including metal, +1 Rego (to keep the image in place).
Keep in mind that this affects only a single item up to a base Individual in size (e.g. 1/10th of a cubic foot of precious metals), so if you want to shrink stuff like a small boat or a pile of coins you'll need extra magnitudes and/or T:Group.

Why even use Imaginem - the fact that those Terram-related objects look like images is purely cosmetic.

Good point. The baseline should be Base 4: Change dirt so that it's highly unnatural ("2D"). Though in this case I'd add +1 magnitudes to also make it small enough to fit on the page of a book.

Excellent. Effect becomes:

I can see a number of variations in this effect for all sorts of uses, especially if created with a D: Ring and T: Room variant, for using on large chests of goods and all it's contents.
Thank you folks!

PeCo 40 - Destroy one property of a person such as his weight or solidity. Not far from destroying 3d...


In a person I can see it being fundamentally harder than inanimate objects. Good point, and I think that aligns with the baseline being suggested. There is the factor that Perdo is far better at some things and far worse at others. I'd say that Muto is a preferred Art for unnaturally modifying an object; so the level of the guideline a true match.

The MuTe Base 4 to "change dirt so that it's highly unnatural" is very different from the PeCo Base 40 to "Destroy one property of person (its weight or solidity)". It appears that Corpus transformation effects are harder to perform than Terram base effects, probably due to the consideration to living creatures vs non-living objects, the measures to retain sentience, and retain capacity of movement. This also seen in the Muto Corpus guideline level 30 for making a person insubstantial, compared against the Muto Terram guideline at level 3 for changing earth to a gas.

With this in mind the effect needs a stipulation that it only affects non-living matter with requisites, and cannot affect living targets. It would need a special version for Corpus given that guideline. Not sure who is going to willingly to travel as a picture. Great way to take a hostage though.


So an effect like Wield the Invisible Sling:

  1. Can throw dirt, but if metal is moved with the spell then the spell level changes from ReTe 10 to ReTe 20 when it is cast because of the +2 mags needed?
  2. Or WtIS cannot throw anything except dirt, as it has not paid for stone or metal. And another version is needed to throw metals as +2 mag.
  3. Or can throw anything of standard size, with a +0 mag requisite when cast? Meaning also that this spell should be able to as well.
    If not, what is the difference I'm missing?
  4. Or any terram based things are ok, but a wooden spoon is +2 mags because it is a finished wooden product?

I've always assumed that #3 was right.

So for an effect like WtIS 3 is the right interpretation. But what effects qualify as like that spell? The ReTe telekinesis effects come to mind fist. work. But their are also a couple of muto effects that seem to work along those lines. Supple Iron Rigid Rope and Object of Increased Size. I'd follow those models for this effect i.e. works on any form with reqs. and might not effect noble earth like gems and gold.