obscured boundary?

I am trying to design an NPC Covenant but I am wondering if the following feature would work.

Covenant mostly underneath a mound/hillock in a forest. Surrounding the hillock is a stone path set flush with the ground, marking the Boundary of the hillock. In a groove in the path is filled with lead that was melted to be a single unbroken ring about the hillock.

At the beginning, the path (and lead ring) was clear and easy to see. So various spells cast on it - some with Target Boundary, and some with Duration Ring.

But as time goes on, leaf litter falls, moss grows, snow falls, trees collapse, etc obscuring the path and ring.
Assuming tree roots don't break the path/ring, at what point does this setup fail to maintain Target Boundary rituals, or Duration Ring spells?

The lead ring hasn't been physically broken, right? Then the Ring spells carry on just fine indefinitely (in practical terms, like you said, tree roots probably warp it out of circularity, but disregarding that).

The Boundary breaks a lot sooner- if the boundary is defined by the stone path surrounding the hillock, you need to be able to walk the stone path all the way around the hillock. Cracks and moss between the stones don't break it, and neither does the first treefall, but by the time the leaf litter drifted up against the fallen tree composts enough for things to sprout and grow in it, you probably don't have a boundary any more.

Note that the boundary is also really simple to restore- it doesn't have to be a stone path, just some sort of physically defined area, so you could just raise cairns or standing stones around the perimeter, each within sight of the next, to mark out and define the boundary, and those would last far longer, easily millennia.

Edit: Also, if the entire covenant is inside and under the effect of multiple continuous Ring spells it's gonna be absolutely warped to hell and back. I realize object warping is not particularly well described by the rules, but it's definitely something you should think about in terms of describing the structure to your players.

A Boundary defines a spell's Target, not its Duration. Once the T: Boundary spell is cast, its effect lasts for its Duration, even if the Boundary is removed or no longer clearly defined.

See for this LoH p.123 box A Note on Boundary Effects:

Boundary effects are not, by their nature, mobile. This means that, for example, if the castle had a Boundary ward against magical creatures, it would leave the effect behind as it flew. Similarly, an Aegis of the Hearth ritual cast around the edge of the castle would also be left behind as the castle moved.


I agree with what what has been said about boundary. It does not need a drawing, only a definition, and there is nothing to say that the spell is broken or changed if the boundary changes. It is, of course, an interesting question what happens if you cast a spell on a manor (with umpteen size magnitudes), and before the duration expires, the lord gives up a border village to the neighbouring lord. Would the effect then cease in that village?

Ring/circle is very different in that the effect is broken when the circle is broken, even in the case of circle target and non-ring duration. The ring is drawn, and to me, covering that drawing means that it is physically broken. The drawing is no longer there. Sure, this may be a creative interpretation of RAW, but if we do not accept that the ring is always fragile, even if it is a copper ring inset in your stone floor, there are other strange consequences.

Circle/ring allow for theoretically eternal effects, which seems overpowered unless there is a constant risk of accidentally breaking the ring. Particularly, I find ring/circle lab enchantments to be problematic. If there is no risk of breaking the ring, the spell is as reliable as an enchanted item, and then the canon rule that spells cause warping and enchantments do not is inconsistent. The warping makes sense when the spell has to be recast at regular intervals. If accidentally spilling wax or other substances on the ring would break the spell, that is bound to happen every once in a while, and then it all makes sense.

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Wouldn't the ring spell be considered a continuous effect, thereby causing Warping every year (plus every season if it was a powerful effect)?

It would cause warping to a person targetted by the spell, but since nobody is likely to stay inside the circle for the whole season, this is probably not the target we are talking about.

I was talking about lab warping, not warping of a character.

One example, which came up in our saga, is magical lighting, in the form of small metal rings sustaining an eternal flame inside, with no fuel consumption.

So was I.

I take the pertinent section in Covenants to include all non-Ritual spells, including those that use D: Ring. So, your magical lighting example would involve either Warping or a loss of Safety, and would not contribute to lab totals. I take it that your Saga varies?

No, that was exactly my point, that we did not want to vary.

Firstly, I find nothing in RAW to say that spells do not contribute to lab totals. Quite the contrary, as it says that they (can) help lab work in the same way as enchantments. But that aside, the point was the warping (or alternatively unsafety).

I was exactly addressing the warping of the spell, which is canon. This makes complete sense when the spell has to be recast at regular intervals, which entails a risk, takes a little bit of time, etc. If you can cast a spell with permanent effect, that risk and disturbance disappears, and the warping makes no sense narratively. Therefore, I conclude that the ring of ring/circle spells are so fragile that the effects cannot be considered permanent.

Of course, you could say that rules are rules, and this rule is there for game balance, and we should not confuse the rules with logic. However, I strive for narrative plausibility, and then this matters. Maybe on this point our saga varies!?

After re-reading the pertinent section in Covenants, I see that I was wrong about non-Ritual spells and Lab Totals by RAW. They're highly limited and discouraged, but possible. So, a collection of D: Ring spells could add a fair number of bonuses to Lab Totals in the seasons following their being cast. I doubt that was what was intended, but it's definitely viable with RAW.

That aside, I agree with you when it comes to Safety loss from a spell you only have to cast once, but not on Warping. A continuous effect does cause Warping, so it makes sense to me that a D:Ring illumination spell would warp the lab it was in. Note that Gleam of the Freshly-Polished Glass explicitly increases a lab's Warping score "for as long as it is active".

When discussing rules with people outside of my troupe, I go with rules as written as best as I know and remember them unless we're discussing house rules. Inside our troupe, we have a number of house rules, and we tend to go for narrative plausibility and what seems fun at the time. So, I doubt our Sagas vary all that much. :slight_smile:

Where does it say so? It is very strange that this is not mentioned for enchanted lab items, either in the general rules nor in the examples. Nothing is more continuous than their effects.

You are right though, that there is a case of warping in many more cases, which have been left to troupe discretion. I tend to be a bit conservative with penalties which are not explicitly given.

How could it? Once the spell is cast, its effect is no longer affected by the actual state of boundary definition - juridical, economical, boundary stones or whatever.

[quote="loke, post:10, topic:169819, full:true"]
Where does it say so? It is very strange that this is not mentioned for enchanted lab items, either in the general rules nor in the examples. Nothing is more continuous than their effects.[/quote]

I get it from the fact that the only example laboratory spell that causes a continuous effect contains a note states, "There is just one small drawback to this spell--the lab's Warping score increases by one point ... due to the unnatural nature of this cleaning, for as long as it is active," along with the statement about non-Ritual spells either adding to Warping or subtracting from Safety. Though it's true that the section's talks entirely about casting spells repeatedly, a D:Ring spell is explicitly non-Ritual. It seems clear to me that rule-as-intended is that there is a down-side for magical lab improvements that don't cost vis.

As for enchanted lab items, at least as far as I can tell, they never cause Warping for the lab. (Their effects can Warp the user, but that's a different matter.) I agree that this doesn't make a lot of sense beyond a desire for game balance on the part of the author.

I tend to be a bit conservative with penalties which are not explicitly given.

Were I running a Saga, I wouldn't penalize someone for relatively minor things like a couple of D:Ring spell giving their lab Superior Lighting. +1 Im isn't that big a deal. Were they to start stacking up lots of bonuses that way, we (the troupe, that is) would have a discussion about the spirit of the rules.

Based on how it is worded I believe Gleam of Freshly Polished Glass enchanted into a device would also cause warping.

It would be just as unnatural if you enchanted it into a broom (or whatever).

It would warp the glassware, yes. It would not increase your laboratory's Warping characteristic.

That makes sense. Of course, is a room remaining clean any more unnatural than a room being lit without flame? Or, for that matter, a pot that makes a plant grow impossibly quickly?

The spell explicitly says that its cleaning adds one to a laboratory's Warping score. Nothing says that this changes when the spell is cast by an enchanted object. I expect that it's supposed to change, and that the guideline of "if it costs vis, it doesn't warp your lab" is intended to hold sway. It's just not stated that way.

That's how I interpreted it helpless shrug throw it in the errata thread as needing clarification?