[New spell] Mystical Alignment

This is a spell that was recently developed by my troupe. It seems fine to me, but I was wondering about your opinion!

Mystical Alignment, MuVi General
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind
This spell aligns to a specific subject the energies of another of the caster's spells, which can be of a level up to twice that of the Mystical Alignment. As a consequence, the resulting spell operates as if it were specifically designed for that subject. This can reduce Warping inflicted to the subject by powerful spells. Note that a different version of Mystical Alignment must be invented for each subject (but see Tailoring the Mystical Aligment, below), and the caster must be able to study the subject when inventing the spell.
Base: Superficially change another spell, without altering its primary effect or power, +1Touch

The design choice of requiring a different version for each subject was made for two reasons:
a) game balance
b) consistency with RAW: if spontaneous spells do not count as "designed for the target", nor do spells cast with the Virtue "Flexible Formulaic Magic", it stands to reason that this tailoring cannot be performed on the fly.
The troupe then came up with a new spell:

Tailoring the Mystical Alignment, MuVi General
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind
This spell adjusts a caster's Mystical Alignment spell of up to twice the level of the Tailoring to a different subject. A different version of the Tailoring spell must be invented for each subject, and the caster must be able to study the subject when inventing the spell.
Base: Superficially change another spell, without altering its primary effect or power, +1Touch

[EDIT: Halancar, below, argues that this is a Significant, rather than Superficial, change -- since it modifies the primary effect of the Mystical Alignment. I think I agree. This would make Tailoring a virtually useless spell, since inventing a Tailoring for a specific subject would then require as much effort as inventing a new Mystical Alignment]

On the whole, I like the concept, but I'm not sure I like the idea of casting a metamagic spell on a metamagic spell which is cast on a spell. That seems a little too much to me.

Fun!

Yes, meta-meta-magic is what left me a bit perplexed as well. But I can't see why it should not be possible, nor can I see obvious game balance problems.

I made something similar, but we acorded up to the same level of the spell, i think.

Its a nice idea, but i completely disagree that this falls under "Superficially change another spell".

And the meta on meta, that looks VERY fishy even if it´s not outrageous.

I am OK with the first, even if it should be base "massively change a spell" or whatever is the base. A spell designed for a specific target can ONLY be used for that target, so it is a substantial change to be able to align spells on demand. Designing a spell that resonates so strongly with someone that it can affect another spell by the law of sympathy is OK, though.

The meta on meta is a "no" IMS. And your magus gets into twilight for suggesting it. A spell to align something is not about changing your hair color to redhead. An aligned spell is something that resonates with your spirit, with your inner being, with your essential nature. Even with your soul if that was possible with hermetic magic. Having a "switch alignment with random people ON" button for a spell is a no no.

It breaks my suspension of disbelief big time and sound of pure powergaming with no spirit. If this was so easy, the spells above 6th magnitude would simply not warp since the rule would be hand-waved. My troupe is used to massive bursts of powermagics (we used mount Snowdon as a missile weapon, for example) using optimized lab totals, but this ios not optimizing a lab total, is about breaking a hermetic limit without having earned the right to do it.

But well, your saga, your rules. You certainly do not get my approval for such spell combos.

Xavi

Hmm, well, the guidelines are:
Superficially change a spell: can change neither the Level, nor the primary effect of the spell.
Significantly change a spell: cannot change Form or Technique, can add or remove one magnitude.
Totally change a spell: can change Form, Technique, and level up to two magnitudes.

To me Mystical Alignment seems a perfect match for the Superficial guideline: it leaves the primary effect completely unchanged, and just modifies a secondary aspect. It's very much like changing the caster's sigil.

It changes the Target of the spell.

Not according to the RAW. In the Corebook, p.168, we read: "Designing an effect for a particular target requires, in Hermetic terms, that a special version of a Formulaic spell be invented. The spell has its effect on anyone, but only the designated target, and the caster, do not suffer Warping ..."

I'm not sure what you mean with "on demand" -- note that Mystical Alignment only works for a specific subject chosen when the Alignment is invented. I agree that changing the target of a spell is a Significant change (the guidelines specifically say so), but this is not the case.

As I said, it kind of smelled fishy to me too. But I really can't see why not. The RAW imposes all sorts of limitations on meta-magic; being unable to affect meta-magic itself is not one of them. And I really do not see it as game breaking either -- but I'd be more than happy to change my position on this in the face of any concrete evidence.

You could make exactly the same argument about the caster's sigil -- the resonance between the spell and caster's Gift.

Once again, note that you cannot align your spells to a "random" person. You can only align them to a specific person for which you have specifically spent a season in the Lab inventing an Alignment spell.

I would point out that spells of 6th magnitude and above already don't warp the caster. So if you are a Hermetic magus, just cast it on yourself -- if you do not know it, you can use a tablet or a Wizard's Communion with another magus who knows it. They also do not warp one target the spell was designed for; this is often a favourite companion or shield grog in my saga.

With the Mystical Alignment, the rule on Warping would not be hand-waived; since you can only use it for a specific target chosen when the spell is invented. No magus in our covenant would spend the effort to invent a different Alignment for every single grog in the turb, for example.

Interesting... which limit are you referring to?

No, it does not.

I'm more or less okay with the first spell, but not the second, since the intent is to change the aligned target of the basic spell, which you end up doing with a spell a quarter of the level. What's next, a third spell to change the aligned target of the second, this time at one eighth the level ?

Look at it this way: the second metamagic spell changes the first in a way that actually does change the primary effect of the spell, since it is now align to Y instead of align to X, and align to X was the primary effect of the first metamagic spell; that's the same change that would stand between a spell to create a horse and a spell to create a pig. So it really is a significant change, not a superficial change.

It changes the specific target of the spell.

Well, no.

By RAW spells of magnitude 6+ are 'Powerful mystical effects' (p. 168), meaning that if I cast Enslave the Mortal Mind on the grog Septimus, he will take warping.

Ofourse if I invent the spell with Septimus in mind, I can design it such that he will not take warping - but this does not prevent me from casting the spell on someone else.

It is indeed a most interesting effect.

This is a very good point.

The base one seems OK to me. It's a good idea. I agree that you need a different version for each "subject". I would word it slightly differently though. Perhaps:

I wouldn't allow the meta-meta-one.

I think changing the specific target of the spell would be OK as a "superficial" change. I think that you are right that it is a similar kind of change to Shroud Magic, which suppresses a sigil.

I could also see the spell used aggressively. For example, if a spell specifically designed to affect Sir Roger the Knight was cast on him, then Mystical Alignment could be used to change that spell so that it behaved as if it was specifically designed to affect Simon the Peasant. Which could result in Sir Roger being hit with an unexpected Warping Point.

As it can be used aggressively, I think you need to think about whether it needs to Penetrate the Magic Resistance of the target of the original spell. I think I would say, yes it has to.

doh

And for that spell, Septimus is the SPECIFIC target for the spell, which is what this metaspell alters. While a spell without a specific target gets one. You replace tailoring a spell for a specific target with this metaspell, i can´t consider that a "superficial" effect. If there was a guideline in the middle between that and "Significant" i would probably consider it well enough...