Need help with MuAuTe spell

So my player wants to make a MuAuTe spell to turn the Air around a person into stone, metal, and diamonds as three separate spells to kill a person/thing by suffocation. Fine.

However, I'm trying to actually determine just what the level of the base effect should be.

On pg 127 the base effect at level 4 says "earth/fire/water" and level 5 is a mixture of elements or something slightly unnatural, level 10 is something wholly unnatural.

My thought is to use the base level 4 effect - which in the spell below turns a rain into stones.

However, I need to take into account the Terram requisite more carefully:

So we have:
Level 4 stone
Level 5 Metal
Level 10 Diamond

Then the next problem is how to adjucate the base "size" of the spell for each effect. The base size of Auram is a weather phenomenon in a 100 pace boundary. My player wants to just affect enough air around a person to kill them. This could be a 10x10x10 cube, or it could be a 3x3x3 cube.

For terram however, the base amount of stone is a 1x1x1 cubic pace, the metal is a cubic foot, and the diamond is a cubic inch. I'm not sure how the size interactions should work with this spell. Thoughts?

As you say, the matter's not quite clear. Theoretically, you could probably fully encase someone with a base Individual, but I personally would probably include a Size modifier anyway if only because the added Size can potentially affect larger targets and it might prove beneficial for other, non-combat, applications of the effect.

Also, for the base parameter, I'd suggest appropriating the Muto/Terram guideline to turn dirt into liquid of gas and add the standard +1 to affect stone.

I think you're on the right track. some quick thoughts,

  • Like Gremlin I think the closest spell guideline to use is the MuTe to change earth to air. Base 3, with Au requisite. You don't need Base 4 as you are not going for a combination of stone, water, air - Base 3 is enough.
  • Ind for surrounding a person is slightly larger than the person themselves, especially if you want it to be sturdy.
  • Looking at the base target/area of effect for Au, I think it is plenty large enough, and you don't get any additional mags back by it being smaller.
  • Looking at the base for Te, for stone it is 1 cubic pace , which might be enough depending on the spell description. If you're creating a box it probably is, if it is a solid piece of stone it isn't big enough for a standard Ind. You call on if the effect is enough though, its a close thing.
  • for metals, you need a +1 mag at least. Or a +2 mag, if the stone above was deemed to also need a +1.
  • for gem, +2 (plus mods as before)
    I think there has also already been a discussion about suffocation too, and there was a post like this in the ArsMagica tag on RPG Stack exchange too.

My thoughts on this...

First, Auram affects weather phenomena, which are treated as individuals. For example, a cloud, a breeze, the rain from one cloud, etc. By trying to encase a person in stone by trasnforming the air around the target, the magus is trying to affect only a part of a weather phenomena (the air closely around someone), so I would suggest T:Part.

Second, the size of the resulting form has an effect of the magnitude needed. Thus, the size of the resulting stone wrapping may increase the magnitude of the spell. One cubic pace of stone is plentiful. Even one cobic foot of metal is fine, as it would be spread in a thin layer. One cubic inch of gemstone is certainly not enough. On the other hand, the 3 layers might only be considered cosmetic, without an effect on the level of the spell.

Third, the MuTe guidelines indicate that it is +1 magnitude to change something to or from stone and glass, or +2 magnitudes for metal and gemstone.

So you would have Base 4 (turn air into earth), +1 for stone, +2 Voice, +2 Sun (as Diam duration might not be enough to suffocate the target), +1 Part. If you don't consider the metal and gemstone layers simply cosmetic, then you would probably need to add 3 magnitudes (one for the MuTe to metal and gemstone, 1 for the size of the gemstone, 1 for complexity).

Thus, a level 30 (if you consider the metal and gemstone layers just cosmetic) or up to level 45 (if you don't consider it cosmetic). Death is not instantaneous (which is why you need D:Sun), so the target's allies might be able to break up the shell around him before he suffocates, if they act quickly.

The level seems fine to me, either way. There are plenty of effects to kiil people uin that range. This is just a fanciful one to do so.