Persistence of Containers

OK, here's a draft for a clarification on the persistence of containers. Comments?

If the container ceases to exist as a container before the spell duration ends, the effect depends on the type of spell. If it is of the second type, the spell ends when the container ceases to exist. If it is of the first type, the spell is unaffected, unless the Target is Circle, in which case it ends when the circle is broken. A container can change to some extent without being destroyed. Opening a door to a room does not mean that the Room has been destroyed, while removing one of the walls completely normally would, as would adding a new wall to split the room into two rooms. On the other hand, a Structure would not cease to exist just because an interior room was split in two. Removing one wall of a room to make a larger room would normally destroy the Room, but adding a room to the top of a tower probably does not destroy the Structure. If a tent forms a room, then striking the tent and packing it away destroys the Room, but the walls can flex in the wind without the Room ceasing to exist. If the spell is initially cast with the tent partially folded, and then it is stretched out, the Room would normally get larger. The absolute limit to the growth of a container target is the size modifier of the spell. (Circles, again, are a special case, as they are defined by the circle traced at the time of casting, and cannot grow or shrink. Any attempt to do so would normally break the circle and end the spell.)

Most containers do not normally move, but they can. A Structure, for example, can be a ship. This is irrelevant to spells of the first type, which affect anything within the container at the time of casting, no matter what happens after that. Spells of the second type move with the container. Note that if a tower is magically ripped from the side of a keep and flown through the air, the rooms within the tower move with the tower, and spells of the second type move with it, but the Structure has been destroyed, so any Structure Target spells of the second type end. Circles can move, but only if carried by the surface on which they are drawn. Boundaries are, by their nature, immobile. Any attempt to move a Boundary destroys it for magical purposes. (Note that, in Mythic Europe, the earth neither spins nor moves through space: things that do not move relative to the earth do not move at all.)


Looks pretty good overall.
I am not all that happy about boundaries being an exception to other types of containers by being immobile, but that is easy enough to house-rule away, so no big deal.


To extrapolate- for example a room where the door is taken off its hinges remains a room. A room where a window is added remains a room. Where a window is converted to a door remains a room. Now if you add bay windows I would argue it depends on the size of the bay windows and the size of the wall they are added to, and this is where changes of shape can begin to take place to rigid structures. Similarly a tent where a pole is moved outwards a couple of feet and a panel is added to cover what was a door sized opening can be enlarged without breaking the structure of the room.

"If the container ceases to exist as a container before the spell duration ends, the effect depends on the type of spell." seems impenatrable.


I think that the text is somewhat less clear and concise than the high standards you have spoiled us with; the design however is much cleaner and more elegant than anything so far, with only two issues I dislike.

The first is type I Circle spells that end when the Circle is broken. I understand that the goal is to avoid having Circles as cheap cousins of Groups. But it is conducive to a lot of ugly "I pick up my circle and store it somewhere safe" and clever exploitation of that spooky action at a distance. I think one should either be more generous and just allow Circles to operate as other containers, or be harsher and make any Circle effect unable to affect targets outside the Circle. I probably like the second better, though either would be fine. [EDITED FOR CLARITY].

The second is ... well, no surprise there, immobile boundaries :slight_smile: I have already argued at length about why disallowing mobile boundaries creates an inconsistency with other containers and removes story possibilities without really providing anything in return. I have the impression that making boundaries "move-them-and-break-them" makes some stuff excessively fragile, but it's nothing I can quite put my finger on; they are certainly more elegant then the ones "smudging space-time".
Finally, let me ask: would you consider Semita Errabunda mobile? If not, let me point out that its distance from e.g. Rome is constantly changing, just as that of an hypothetical covenant build at the centre of Delos. Would you consider the latter mobile?

To me it seems fairly clear...

I'm all in favour of leave-it-or-loose-it circles. Pick it up to store it, breaks it. This shouldn't surprise anyone.

Just to be perfectly clear, with "leave-it-and-lose-it" I meant "Should a target leave the circle, the spell effect ceases". This need not be because the spell is necessarily broken; it may just cease to operate on the target, as in a type 2 spell, and restart as soon as the target re-enters the circle.

What I think it should be avoided in any case is that if you have a Circle spell affecting some targets for D:Moon, those targets can march off for a week affected by the magic, until someone erases the Circle and has the magic go poof 200 miles away. To avoid this "spooky action at a distance", and the ugly behaviours it engenders, I would either rule Circles operate as other containers (type I spells are unaffected by what happens to the Circle after casting) OR (better, in my view) rule "Circle spells never work on targets outside the Circle" -- that's what I mean with leave-it-and-lose-it.

By ArM5 p.112 Target Circle

The spells ends <...> if the circle is broken, even if that is before the duration of the spell expires.

So that shouldn't change now for a T: Circle type 1 spell.

Can that be used for some devious remote dispelling? Yes!
But a maga with HoH:TL p.105 Harnessed Magic (Minor, Hermetic) can remote dispel any of her spells already.

I think it should :slight_smile:

Sure, but it's a Minor Virtue (with effectively a Flaw attached), not specific to Circles, and it requires the caster to do the "dispelling" :slight_smile: So there are a number of differences that make any argument "it's already this way" not really applicable.

What about then using T: Group spells instead?

Which would make that Virtue even more insidious - but I haven't yet heard any cries of horror. (Also, Harnessed Magic does neither require Mutantum Magic nor descent from the Mutantum lineage.)

I just don't see your reasons to request such a sweeping change "in any case".

What about them?
I mean, I think there's a problem with T:Circle in that it elicits "ugly" behaviours - basically characters who act logically within the framework of the rules do not act as you would expect them to do in folklore. So I think T:Circle should be adjusted to address that issue. I proposed two possible solutions given that we are in the middle of a sweeping reorganization of containers: one makes casters slightly weaker, and the other slightly stronger, than they currently are.
I am not sure why you are bringing up T:Group.

I might have been too brief.

So longer: If a magus wishes to avoid, that a D: Moon spell on a group of targets expires prematurely if a circle is broken or erased, he should use a T: Group spell or type 1 T: Room spell instead of the type 1 T: Circle spell.

If you just wish to prohibit type 1 T: Circle spells completely, that looks like something easily achieved in any saga: a verrry easy house rule.
Your wording interfers with the typical T: Circle D: Mom rituals for healing, Attribute increase or such, though. You might not have meant it - but it irritated me at first.

I may have not been clear. My objection, in the case of Circles, is not one of capability but one of aesthetics. I.e. it's not about allowing magi to do more, or less; it's about avoiding "ugly" behaviours. Including but not limited to, casting at T:Circle and then neatly "storing safely away" the Circle.

It does not, as far as I can see.
If an effect has D:Mom, it is over in an instant. What happens to the Circle after that instant has no impact. Those are exactly the cases when, I believe, the issue I was bringing up does not apply. The problem lies with long-duration Circle effects, where the target can move far away from the Circle while the effect persists. The fact that the magic can be cancelled at a distance by anyone interfering with the Circle engenders all sorts of undesirable behaviours from my point of view.

Sure, a SG can tell players "don't do that, even if the rules encourage it", but I think that rules that encourage the type of behaviours you want to see, even in (especially in!) "greedy" players are the ideal rules.

And to me, but it has to be clear to everyone, so I will be revising.

We are not supposed to be. We are supposed to be clarifying in a way that, if at all possible, leaves all existing published spells legal. This is why we need the two types of spell, because we have published examples of both. Then it would help to have a bit more clarity on some other points.

Reoganization through clarification! :slight_smile:

That is already a (necessary) part of Circle/Ring. And it must be.

No, it's part of D:Ring, but not of T:Circle.
For example, see Retreat of Flying Vermin, MoH p.13. It changes any person within the Circle at the time of casting into bats for D:Sun. It's strongly implied by the description (as a tool allowing a magus and his grogs to escape superior foes) that the targets can leave the Circle and remain as bats.

I have apparently been misreading Circle for years. Very well.

My opinion on Circle now contains this, which I submit for errata:
Should the target leave the Circle, the Circle is broken.

  • This obviously does not affect Momentary spells.

I do not accept examples from MoH as relevant, given how problematic that book was.
However, you are correct from the description of T: Circle.