New Duration: Journey

Further to a discussion in a related thread:

Journey (Duration): The spell continues for as long as the character journeys directly from a specified departure point to a specific mundane destination. The destination must be chosen by the caster at the time of casting the spell, but he does not have to have necessarily visited the place before. The travel must be by natural means available to the caster - usually by foot, horseback or in a drawn wagon. A Bjornaer with a Heartbeast capable of flight can travel in their animal form without cancelling the spell, as can characters shapeshifted into similar forms. Any use of magical transportation such as magical flight granted by Wings of the Soaring Wind or the use of such spells as Seven League Stride or Leap of Homecoming cancels the spell.

The duration can last no longer than a year, and although short side trips lasting less than a day and rests at night are allowed, the spell ends if the caster abandons the journey in pursuit of another goal or decides to change the ultimate destination. The spell also ends if the caster becomes lost, dies or otherwise leaves the physical world through Twilight or entering a regio. The caster can also end the effect at will. It is eqivalent in level to Moon.

This Duration is a little known Minor Breakthrough developed by the Milvinus magus Cartophilius of House Mercere, which allows Mutantes and other magi to cast protective spells on Redcaps in order to ensure their arrival at a set destination. Many spells which use this destination are Harnessed and Tethered to allow the recipient full control of the spell. The most common use of this unique duration is in the use of a variant to the normal Moon duration of the Milvini spell [i]Shape of the Ancient Kite /i cast on Recaps and other companions. Although potentially usable by the wider Order, copies of non-Mutantum magic spells utilising this duration are relatively unknown and guarded by the few Mercere magi of the society for their personal use. See HoH:TL, pages 96-98 & 101-102 for details on the Milvi Antiquiti and Mutantum Magic of House Mercere.

Design Note: This new parameter is based on the Illusion Mystery: Spell Timing parameter While (Condition) (Duration) (see HoH:MC, pages 100-101) and the Holy Magic parameter Fast (Duration) (see RoP:tD, page 68 ), being a duration that requires a specific uncommon condition to be continually met. It is not as powerful as the Faerie Magic parameter Until (Condition) (Duration) (ArM5, page 92), but notably does not require a ritual to cast.



This is an excellent idea, but it seems almost TOO good. If I am to walk from Germany to the Holy Land, something that takes a bit of time to put it lightly, would it not be more fitting with a ritual?

Also, On said journey from Germany to the Holy Land, I'm caught in a blizzard while crossing the Alps late in the year, and thus have to retreat and take shelter further down the mountainside. There I have to wait till spring. An entire season in other words, would that break the spell? Even though I plan on continuing once the passes clear?

After arriving in the Holy Land, I'm told of an ancient hermit living "somewhere in the mountains that-a-ways", will the spell be applicable in such an event?

Other'n that, I rather like this idea...

There already are a few spells that last until the caster stops travelling, like Wind At The Back. Others, like The Tireless Flight (HoH:TL) would certainly benefit from such a duration.

Incidentally, remember that the main advantage of having a new duration is that it can be used with spontaneous spells: Formulaic spells can already be created with non-standard ranges if the spell's creator so desires.

I think it's great! One thing: if you did this with D: While, I imagine the spell would only last as long as you were walking, riding, or flying; if you stopped to rest, it would end. This D: Journey is clearly better, but I'm a little unsure about the "side trips" clause. I think you could get away with this duration lasting as long as it takes you to get to your destination as long as you are not traveling away from it, and in that case it would be okay to stop and rest without cancelling the spell as long as you don't retrace your steps. If you head off in a different direction, though, perhaps the spell should end. Interestingly, this could also cause the traveler problems with twisty roads; if there is not a generally direct route to his destination, the spell probably wouldn't work very well.

You could derive your duration from the Road range and have the spell last so long as you are travelling non-stop and stay on the same road.

Thanks for all the comments and in reply to various ideas:

I think the existing Faerie Magic Duration Until (Condition), which requires a ritual, is permissive enough for a "grand tour" - I wanted to create a Duration that specifically wasn't a ritual, suitable to travel by Redcaps or companions for more than a month but less than a year and therefore was more restricted by conditions than the open ended Until (Condition) duration. I also wanted to create something for Merceres, specifically Milvini and/or Mutantes, that wasn't a Faerie Magic duration. Most of the applications of this duration would be best realised if also designed using Harnessing, Tethering and Boosting options.

Yes, it's better than the standard Moon duration, but unlike the canonical longer durations equivalent to Year that need a ritual such as Until (Condition), Grace (RoP:tD, p68), Season (HoH:MC p100), and the Perpeturity durations (HoH:MC p102) it requires more stringent restrictions to balance this. It also ends if the caster leaves the physical realm (ie enters a regio), not just if he dies or passes into Twilight like the Year equivalent parameters.

This would definitely break the spell - by retreating and waiting, the destination is abandoned IMO.

I've been considering allowing up to 10 days (in total) "distraction time" from the journey, similar to that allowed for Lab activities, but posted the original description late at night. I think this would be a reasonable caveat, but it makes the description of the paramtere longer. With this proviso, the spell is also broken in the example given above.

I don't see why not, but the hermit is not a destination - the caster would need a clear description of the hermit's location in order to be effective.

This was one of the initial spells that helped inspired this duration, although
the spell parameters and level say Concentration duration, while the design note says Moon (errata?). I think Shape of the Ancient Kite, which definitely has a Moon duration would be the most logical application of this duration.

This is true, although I've always found this ambiguous in the text and in practice. If you could point me to a few examples, it would probably help!

Nevertheless, I'd prefer to have the parameter properly described.

Yes, this is how I interpreted your While duration. This proposed Duration essentially allows you to rest etc, provided you fulfill a specific condition - that of travelling towards a specific destination. In this way it is similar to the Holy Duration Fast (also equiv Moon), but not as powerful as the Holy Duration Grace (equiv Year) which as noted doesn't end if the caster leaves the physical world, only if the caster dies of enters Twilight.

Yes, this is what I tried to imply in the parameter description.

This would obviate its use in mountainous terrain, which I don't like although I see your point - I think as long as the target stays on a particular route or road to the destination this should not be a problem. In which case the description Route (not Road) may be a better name I suppose, as commented by Fruny:

Except I don't think non-stop is practical or necessary as a restriction - Erik's Spell Timing duration While (equiv Concentration) covers non-stop travel, something that requires a spell like The Tireless Flight to be effective for more than a few days. You could create a version of that spell with the While duration BTW.

In fact perhaps Route is a better name for the Moon equivalent duration, built with the caveats and restrictions noted, whereas you could have a more permissive duration Journey which is essentially an equivalent to the Until (Condition) duration, requiring a ritual and being able to last for over a year/indefinitely.

Incidentally. I'd consider there should be a Mercere (?Milvini) Mystery of "Travel Magic" that teaches this Duration as well as the equivalent to the Faerie Magic Range: Road and possibly a modified Group target that caters to a company of merhcants/travellers or a caravan.

Who know, I might even be tempted to write this up for a Hermes Portal piece etc. about "Milvini Mysteries"...

I'll rethink/rewrite the parameter description and repost it if for comment again if people are interested.


There is another problem: how can the spell "know" what and where the destination is without an arcane connection?

The Inerrant Guiding Light
CrIg 10
Base 2 (candlelight), +1 Touch, +3 Journey

Causes the target to glow until you stray from your journey.

Sure, you're travelling by trial and error, but it's low-level enough to recast when you're unsure of which way to go.

Unless your destination is Rome, of course, since all roads lead to Rome. :wink:

I would prefer relaxing the second paragprah. I see no need to limit the duration in time, or to allow for side-treks or whatever. The SG should decide when the journey is abandoned - even a long rest may suffice, or a single deviation from the journey in some other pursuit. This feels more Mythic, and less mechanical, to me.

Fruny is correct in that the spell knows where the destination is without an Arcane Connection, which is a problem.

Perhaps something like...

The spell still needs to know where the target thinks he is heading, but I think that's fine. I'm still not sure if that's better than the spell knowing the destination but requiring an arcane connection...


That was my original feeling as well, but I thought it might be open to abuse/misinterpretationand wondered if a more "mechanical" guideline would be useful. Personally, I'd play it loose and allow short side trips to rescue runaway animals, pursue fleeing brigands to rescue an important traveller or piece of cargo or to just "go check out that odd ruin for a day trip" - otherwise the spell parameter railroads the Troupe unnecessarily.

It all depends on your definition of "abandons journey" - YMMV.

Hmmm, good point. Interestingly, if you used Until (Condition) (ritual, equivalent to Year) and specified the condition as "Arrive at Paris/Coeris/Samarkand or whatever", would you still need an Arc Con?

It's simple to require an Arcane Connection if the caster hasn't visited the location of the destination before I'd consider - I should have specified this in the parameter

Note that it shouldn't be able to be cancelled at will - this would need to be designed as a Harnessed spell (which given the parameter is probably known mainly to Merceres and Mutantes, is not a big problem).

So perhaps something like...



I like that. It ties in nicely with the various virtues that enable you to craft an arcane connection through a symbolic representation.

I was wndering how specific the target destination has to be... Naming a city as destination seems reasonable as this is well-defined, however the holy lands seems a bit too vague in my opinion. It is afterall a rather large area.
And what if the place has been renamed and you use the old name instead of the destinations current name? Does this affect the spell?
Just wondering.

Hail Eris!

I think the durantion should used in a "Mythic" way. It should be a journey of tales, an odyssey, a quest or something like this. Not a clearly defined parameter, something the SG defines in a way which is good for the story and the feeling of a mythic world.

is ambigous, I like the idea but I would suggest

"but neither he nor the target need to have necessarily visited the place before, although the caster must have either visited it or have an Arcane Connection to it."

Right. And had Odysseus succumed to Calipso's temptations and chose to live with her, the Journey spell would have been broken. :slight_smile: