New Spell: ReTe40 - Floating Earth ?


at the current stage of our PBEM-game (The Tempest if anybody knows the old 3rd edition supplement) our covenants aura just got raised form 4 to 8. And while the rules for Auras of 6+ aren't as clear as in the 5th edition we would still like to try to avoid warping.

Due to this we are looking for a way to move the covenant outside the high aura.

Instead of building a new covenant as mages we should be able to magically move the covenant.

Due to the way the spell might function - moving the upper layer of the ground (including the buildings) the mage is touching inside a certain range - this should be ReTe 40.

Base 3 - move dirt in a very unusual fashion
+1 - stone
+1 - touch
+1 - concentration
+1 - part
+1 - fancy effect
+4 - size for 100x100x1 paces

Is stone even needed for normal ground with some stoney patches (about 10%) or would affecting dirt (ReTe35) be enough ?

BTW, do you think this spell would even work as I want it to work ?


Last week I was emailing a player about a spell for his character where he had gotten a fantasticallly great amount of power for a very low level. He said "I only followed the rules" I replied "those are guidelines not rules"

Your spell follows from the guidleines. But really they're only guidelines I think a spell like this may benefit from an examination of what level is best for the story rather than what level is correct from the guidelines (and I really don't know your game's story so I can't help here).

I think that range touch is definately appropriate.

I see a possible problem in that as I se it you're expecting the 1 pace of unconsolodated dirt to hold up your covenant while hanging unsuported in mid air. That's arguable.

Target part gets a bit weird sometimes when you add size modifiers I think that htis is one of those times (is it really boundary or structure?) but I don't have a better option (I thik Part is better than boundary, structure or special) a bit weird is entirely manageble.

However I think that if your game has the resources in it this should e a ritual spell. Ritual spells are necessary if

  1. the spell uses a ritual parameter such as year duration of boundary target
  2. The spell is over level 50 or
  3. The troupe decides that it needs to be a ritual

You're moving your whole life here. It should be a ritual by criteria number 3

Maybe you could try teleporting the buildings to another location. Also rego terram, but you might need to use the guidelines for rego corpus. Say, Base 20 to teleport a target 500 paces away, +1 touch, +3 structure. But even with more requirements that's over level 50. I can see you are trying to avoid a ritual.

I'm intruigued. Would you be willing to tell us what the spell was?

I disagree there. It's a spell to move buildings and large pieces of land and that's definitely within the purview of a powerful (or even moderately powerful) Terram magus. Would you levy the Vis cost if the target were someone else's house? I think the spell is mostly fine, as is, and the Part target is I think necessary since only a section, albeit a very large one, of the ground is lifted.

What I would point out, however, is that buildings aren't designed to be lifted, and doing so is likely to damage walls at the least, and even with a phenomenal finesse roll is still going to knock things off shelves and generally make a mess. As such, unless you also have massive Creo spells preventing stuctural damage (possibly merely a Creo requisite if your SG is being kind) (or a covenant designed for flight) and box everything up first, you may be better off building a new covenant and making use of the old one as labs for special research projects. Might I suggest the old classic, "What happens if we feed our Shield Grogs food laced with 5 pawns of Ignem Vis and then leave them to guard a covenant in a level 8 Aura for a year"?

Hello Erik,

actually I don't expect the spell to cause the piece of ground to fly but rather "glide" across the not affected (below 1m) layer of earth, due to this I would think that 1m might be enough.

But with the help of my familiar and our Bonisagus lab-rat 1-2 additional magnitudes will be possible (especially since the lab is inside the level 8 aura) to invent in one season.

Since I don't know if any other SGs are still playing/plan to play The Tempest I will no go into details about the story here, but lets say that the level 8 aura is a kind of accident which would have had no heavy drawbacks under the 3rd edition rules (which the supplement was written for) - it is considered a great reward actually.

But using vis for a ritual is not really a problem since our covenant has acquired fairly large stores of vis over time.

I am still divided about the spell being a ritual or not, but will ask the troupe what they think about it. You already mentioned the main point for considering it a ritual - we are essentially moving our whole life, so a ritual would fit the roleplaying "mood" of this.

Thx for the input.

Considering the spell is supposed to let the earth float on the unaffected earth, do you still think I should add +1 size to it ?

BTW, is a "stone" spell even supposed to affect earth/dirt under normal conditions ? I think fancy effect catches this as well, but would be interested in general opinions about this.


This is a splendid idea. I would design the spell to just lift the buildings rather than the ground.

A couple of things to consider:

Is the Covenant one hunk of stone; like the tower created by Conjuring the Mystic Tower?

If, yes, then the appropriate target (I think) is Individual with a +4 Modification for Size (or bigger if the tower is bigger than the Mystic Tower).

If, on the other hand, the Covenant is a conventionally constructed building (or group of buildings) then the target should be Structure, again with an appropriate Size modifier --- the base Size for Structure is about 10 rooms so it probably needs a +1 or +2 Size mod. Cast the spell multiple times if the covenant is a group of buildings, or make it Boundary target instead.

So I would design the spell as:

ReTe 35
(Base 3, +1 Stone, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, +4 Size, +1 Special Effect)


ReTe 35
(Base 3, +1 Stone, +1 Touch, +3 Structure, +1 Conc, +1 Size, +1 Special Effect)

With the (+1 Special Effect) being required to make sure that the building doesn't fall to bits during transport, and that the foundations fit into the new location etc. Maybe that needs to be +2 instead --- something for your troupe to decide?

Whether it needs to be a ritual or not is up to your troupe. Personally, I don't think that it has to be. Also, remember to make sure that the caster makes Concentration rolls during the shift and a Finesse roll to determine the amount of disruption to the labs etc in the building, and whether the building ends up facing the right direction, and not on someone's foot.

Perhaps if the Finesse roll fails to exceed some Ease Factor then lab projects for the season are disrupted, and if some (lower) Ease Factor is also failed then everyone also needs to spend a season putting their labs back together (i.e. they are degraded to an incomplete -3 lab by the shift).

For my two cents, I don't think it needs to be a ritual. Ir may need to be a higher magnitude to preserve the integrity of the buildings as they are lifted, but no need for it to be a ritual off hand.

@Fhtagn: I think I will be no happy camper if I have to set up a new +2 lab, IIRC our Bonisagus and Veriditus have +2 labs, too, maybe even +3 :wink:

@Chameleon: Lets say the base for teleportation is 20, +3 for structure, +1 for touch and add +1 for fancy effect again (moving everything inside) - this would give a level of ReTe 45. If instead of fancy effect +herbam and +animal have to be used for furniture/books etc. we will in ritual level which due to the number of buildings (at least 5 labs) to be moved would be starting to get expensive (about 20% of the vis of the covenant).

Thx, again


Regardless of how much vis you have, I'd suggest that 20% is not too high a price for its continued "warp free" existence. (And if that's a lot of vis, you need to have less, imo!)

But think of the business opportunities! I'm sure you're not the only ones with a building or three to move - advertising the fact that you have this spell and willing to use it "for a reasonable fee" would attract more than one paying customer, one would think! 8)

I'll add a simple "Me too!" to all those voices in favour of this. A classic.

Mmm, respectfully, no - the question should seriously be considered by that troupe, based on that criteria. But I think there are others that are being overlooked.

The first salient point by the rules is that altho' we can rationalize this into being "Target: Part" (makes sense), the final effect is closer to the equivalent of Boundary, which would require a Ritual. This is a powerful effect - that's what a Ritual is all about.

But for my money, as a SG, the crux lies elsewhere - the existence of this spell as a formulaic spell after the covenant is moved. As a combat spell, it's hugely powerful! Problems with a baron? Move his tower over his moat, and ask to re-open negotiations. Problems getting a group in to a walled town? Move a huge section of it into a nearby field, walk in, then move it back.

Rumours and accusations by Quasitors, but little or no tangible harm done. Or massive harm, if the PC's are willing to go there. ("Splash", remarked the seaside village that no one can now find the least trace of.)

In considering the question of Ritual or no, I'd compare this to other "combat" spells of the same level, take into consideration the the personality and track-record of the players, and ponder the impact it will have on the future of the saga.

The "+1 Fancy Effect" covers that nicely - a world of sins. Add one more level if you really want to overkill.

100%, yes!

Actually, the foundations of towers and such are usually dug deep into the ground and consist of massive amounts of stone below ground level, so 1 pace is hardly adequate to include those in the move (but your mage might not know that!!!) :stuck_out_tongue:

(Oh, an evil GM would have a field day with that little hiccup as your first effort casually tears the buildings from their very foundations. There's a strong mental image...)

(And, actually, there are several engineering considerations that are being completely ignored re foundations for stone buildings - things that can lead to the something akin to the Leaning Tower of Piza. Determining appropriate ground for building is one of the important parts of siting large structures. Meh.)

But if any building has a cellar, the mage would probably(?) notice, and add a magnitude (or two?) for a fuller depth of supporting material. But then where to land that thickness? You'd also have to consider the lay of the land so that it settles down evenly, as any new roll would certainly break the back of any newly arrived structures. Hardly an obstacle, but definitely another consideration.

! - ok, I'm duly impressed. Tho' 2 seasons would not seem overly oppressive, considering the alternatives.

With few (if any?) exceptions, a higher level of effect encompasses lesser effects as well. So, a spell that affects glass also affects dirt and sand, etc. etc., tho' diff SG's may have diff interpretations. A spell would not necessarily affect an equal substance. Make a decision with your troupe, then be consistent.

@Cuchulainshound: Very good point about foundations - I completely forgot about them - heck, the mages were mainly out getting the lay of the land during the 2 seasons it took to set up the main buildings of the covenant :wink: No cellars btw.

With adding +1 (depth of 10m) to size the risk of getting the "insert covenant building of choice here" of Pisa should be fairly small I think (at least for our covenant since we dont have huge walls/towers).

While we mostly arent prone to indulge in wanton destruction :wink:, I agree about the "combat" potential of a spell like this. Since we are already at lvl45 now and adding a Creo requisite (no damage done while being moved) to up it to 50 might resolve the ritual problem (or are only spells ABOVE 50 rituals? - have to take a look at this later).

Concerning researching 9th/10th maginitude spells in 1 seaon: Playing under 3rd edition rules certainly helps with the XP/arts, a +2 lab and a level 8 aura yield 2 magnitudes just by themself with the Bonisagus and familiar being worth another 6 magnitudes (maybe a bit more due to Inventive Genius) with my char providing 12 magnitudes :wink: The lab total should be about 105 I think.

BTW, I have thought about if shrinking the labs might work, too. Will have to take a look later today what kind of spell/level might due this - hmm, a Pocket Lab, I actually like this one :wink:


For the reference of those reading along, since I have it at hand...

The Central Rule:The Storyguide or Troupe may always intervene and declare that a certain combination of range, druation, target and effect warrants a higher or lower level than that described by the guidelines and the system below... (p 111)
Ritual Spells:...Formulaic and Spontaneous spells may not have a level greater than 50... (p 114)

Which reminds me... what are your (collective) rules of thumb regarding whether to require

  • Casting requisites, rather than spell requisites.
  • "Natural resistance" rolls

Think that might be worth creating a thread to discuss each topic?


About moving a lab by shrinking it:

I saw that MuTe Base 4 is able to grow something to 8 times its previous volume - I assume that base 4 can be used for the same amount of shrinking.

Spell: The Pocket Lab - MuTe(Re, An, He, Aq)50
Base 4 - 1/8 of the volume
+3 size - additional factor of 1000 => 1/8000 volume
+2 metal
+1 touch
+3 structure
+4 requisites (An, He, Aq, Re - for keeping the contents in place)
+1 concentration

This spell reduces the volume/weight of a building by a factor of 8000. The requisites will shrink the contents of with building along with the walls (depending on the actual contents not all requisites might be really needed) while the caster concentrates. When the concentration ends the building and its contents will revert back to their normal size/volume - make sure that you put the building down on a suitable surface. For safety during moving the lab casting Maintaining the Demanding Spell is advisable. Additional safety advice: Stay back out of range of the expanding building ! :wink:

Lets assume a fairly large lab is 10x10x4 paces = 400 cubic-paces, this spell would shrink it to 0,05 cubic-paces, roughly 50.000 cubic-centimeters (45x45x25cm).

For moving the lab over longer distances/a longer time I would add +3 for duration year and +1 for fancy effect would be used to end the spell at will - for a hefty level of 70!

Well, not exactly pocket size, but small enough to move it around - there would be even room to add another size, but shrinking it to about 21x21x11cm is not that much better.

I would still prefer Floating Earth for shorter distances, but like the potential of this one for longer distances.

The main question is: Is a factor of 10 for each additional size appropriate for use in shrinking ?

And can fancy effect be used to prematurely end a ritual spell ?

Anything else I have overlooked ?


Edit: as sggested I changed +1 stone to +2 metal, changed +1 fancy effect to prevent items from moving to a Rego requisite

Keeping the contents in place would require a Rego requisite along with the extra magnitude you already added.

Alternatively, you might consider turning your lab into a solid pebble.

Also, I'm not sure that "+1 stone" is sufficient given the wide variety of lab contents: are you 100% sure there are no metals (precious or base) whatsoever in your lab? Not even a brazier?

It was "Room of Stale Air" altered to use the Auram targets that are meant for clouds and the like (using target part with a size modifier).

Good point about the metal, I think I just forgot about it since I saw Te already up there :wink:

Changed +1 fancy effect to an additional +1 requisite for the Rego, this would make turning the spell into a longer duration ritual less obstrusive as well. Or do you think that fancy effect is still needed ?

When using extensive requisities I tend to not add an additional +1 for fancy effect since basically using those requisites actually are the fancy effect.

Another good point about the pebble, but somehow turning a large building into a small pebble would feel wrong to me unless the spell was actually some magnitudes higher than the one I have proposed. It should be harder to completely change an object than to "just" shrink it, even more so if the completely changed object is actually smaller than the shrunken result.



I'm not overly fond of systematic "+1 fancy effect" or "+1 complex effect" adjustments. While I do recognize they have their place, I think they are a bit overused. That kind of thing is part of what prompted my threads on "natural resistance" and "casting requisites", which are other ways of modulating spell effects instead of sweeping everything under the rug with an extra magnitude. Finesse rolls do have their place, damnit!

But, yeah, here the +1 for the requisite does cover the "hold things in place effect". Actually, you should try and figure out the actual level of that effect - if it is 6th magnitude or higher, you need to add two magnitudes instead of one (see pages 114-115).

It is a different spell - I honestly haven't thought about how much harder it would be. Just make sure you actually turn your lab into one pebble, rather than your lab and everything in it into pebbles (though it would make for a nice botch). :smiling_imp:

Anyway, you can always turn a giant into a small rat, so why not a building into a pebble?

The base for "holding/moving" any of the 4 forms would be between Base 1-5, so ReFo should be below 6th magnitude.

A giant is essentially 1 natural form, so turning it into another single natural form should not be that hard.

If we consider something as complex as a building as 1 natural form (IMO due to increasing the magnitude of the spell for affecting a structure the complexity of the structure itself is taken into consideration already), then changing an empty building should not be made much harder as well.

But this spell tries to change a lot of natural shapes/forms at once (and I would consider each item inside the building as a single separate form), due to this I think that affecting such a large number of different forms should be much harder than affecting a single natural form (taken into account by adding magnitudes for requistes).

But I am not sure if you can even change the lab and its contents into 1 single pebble with a lower magnitude spell - or any spell at all coming to think about it.

I think Muto is only able to change one thing into one other thing, but not one thing into a pebble (lab) and at the same time other things inside the lab into essentially nothing (or the same pebble). I think turning all those things into one pebble would violate the limit of Essential Nature - whatever the Essential Nature of a large number of individual items really is, I am fairly sure that one essential part is being individuals - and thus can not be transformed from lots of items into one item.

CharonJr ... IDURVNWS09