Personal Range

The question of the legitimate Targets for a Personal range spell has come up in another thread. The current description is not as clear as it could be, so I am looking at errata.

The intent of the Range is that it can only affect the caster. The caster might be an item, but even then it would still be an Individual. Room and Structure are containers, and even an enchanted Room is not the things it contains. (Such things also do not count as gear on the room, although torches mounted on the walls might. This is vague in the same way as the distinction between a maga's clothes and the things that she is carrying.)

I am inclined to allow Part Target, and Sense Targets are clearly necessary, but otherwise I think it will always be Individual. If the caster were a Group, that might be different, but Hermetic magic cannot enchant disjointed things. The rules for multiple materials say that they must be fixed together, and that the item loses its magic if the enchanted bits are removed.

So, my first pass proposal is:

Personal: The spell only affects the caster. When cast by a magus, this means the magus, and items worn or carried that would be covered by an Individual Target based on the magus. If the effect is in an enchanted item, it affects the item, and things attached to it that would be covered by an Individual Target based on the item. In standard Hermetic magic, a Personal range effect cannot have a Target of Circle, Group, Room, Structure, or Boundary.


Yes, allowing Part and Sense Targets is important and sensible.

This hasn't really been true, though. First, while it isn't enchanting in the laboratory, we have things like Inmost Companion (p.149-150) which makes the caster a Group; so it is worth taking into account that a Hermetic magus may actually be a Group. Second, we have seen enchanted sets in canon that we have referred to to show ArM5 permits enchanting reasonable sets, which becomes somewhat necessary if you want something like a single enchanted suit of armor if you actually want to get into it normally. Look at Reunion of Lovers (MoH p.24), for example.

There are definitely more than the two effects Troy and I described in the other thread and Reunion of Lovers that will need errata. Here are five more (and I haven't checked most the books):

The Laundress' Clothesline (App p.47)
Laboratory of Ranulf (MoH p.114) - all three effects
Bag Without Bottom (MoH p.126)

So, a personal effect in a Talisman would not only effect the mage, but also his other clothing? So, having a piece of armor as a talisman could change his clothing into armor, through a Muto Animal or Muto Terrum spell? At personal range?

This requires the caster to be included on the effect, and disallows effects to target things the caster wears or carries w/o affecting him (which has been argued as possible with the current reading of R:Personal). I fully agree with this chage, and as I understand it is the intention behind R:Personal, but I wanted to make sure the implications of this are fully captured and considered by all.

A personal effect can already affect a magus' clothes (for example, a PeIm effect makes not only the magus, but also his belongings invisible).

Currently, yes. But not with the new proposal.

Will this make it canon that a charged item that is in a form that can be ingested can be of personal range?

We often house ruled to allow this and make it so that personal range magic bypasses Parma

Allows for healing, poisons, interesting stories


I don't like this phrase very much, because it doesn't cover non-standard Hermetic magic (such as Bloodline, for example, or any other Target a magi can get access through an hermetic virtue).

Would it work if changing it to something to the effect of "Thus a Personal spell must target an Individual (the caster), Part of the caster, or one of it's senses." ? Would this increase clarity? Would it leave something outside, or cover something that it shouldn't?

On another thought, do we lose something by just removing this phrase entirely? The previous part seems to clarify what is and what isn't a valid target for a R:Personal effect well enough.

If Wizard's Communion is used, is the caster a group who could be affected with Personal range?

Huh? MuVi uses at least Touch for your own spells and at least Voice for someone else’s according to the MuVi guidelines.


So with the change, enchantments to things like a ship which only affects the ship could not use Personal since a ship requires Structure?

I was talking about the spell cast under the communion.

I think I double-counted Bag Without Bottom above. So that's 6 effects so far. And Troy just reminded me of an important book to check:

Shape of the Coastal Buss (HP p.68)
Magical Ballast (HP p.68-69)
The Ship's Hearth (HP p.71)
Poseidon's Chariot (HP p.72)
The Mermaid's Kiss (HP p.72)
Catching the Tidal Winds (HP p.72)
The Sky Is My Ocean (HP p.73)

So that's 13 effects so far that would need to change, and I've only just started checking books. This feels like it's getting rather extreme for something that doesn't really need to be changed at all. As I'd said in the other thread, with the interpretation that has been used repeatedly across the books, there is nothing wrong with these spells. There were three that received errata earlier: Last Flight of the Phoenix created a fire much bigger than the person, and two effects used Bloodline which is also more than the person; but those were already changed and so are no longer issues.

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Oh, I missed some things.

Helios' Companionship (MoH p.78)
Facade of the Pentecost (MoH p.114)

Illusions created within the space of an item would also be disallowed, as would other Creo effects that make something or similar.

Sight of Wounded Prey (MoH p.76)
Self Immolation (MoH p.111)
Laboratory that Has Learned from Experience (MoH p.114)

I'm not sure about:

Eyes of the Acolyte (MoH p.114)

So that's 18 or 19 effects so far.

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While philosophically interesting, I think this doesn't qualify as an effect where the caster is a group. Instead, each member of the group is doing it's own thing.

I'd look instead to a swarm (such as the Swarm of Infernal Rats presented in GotF) for a more suitable corner case... and even then, if we assume a swarm is an Individual for casting purposes (as in, is a single entity capable of casting), it may also be treated as an Individual for purposes of casting R:Personal effects.

Why? The proposed writting does allow an enchanted ship to be targeted at R:Personal, T:Individual, as long as the effect affects only the ship. The ship is, after all, also an individual (albeit one requiring additional mags for size). It will only require Structure when you also want to target the things inside the ship.

It's the same as the T:Room discussion that prompted this thread. You want a MuIm to change the color of a box? R:Personal, T:Individual can do it. You want to change the color of the box and everything inside it? R:Touch, T:Room.

I can agree with this.

On one hand, I question if a few of the effects you listed even need to be T:Structure... they could be Individuals with added mags for size, so I'd say for some an errata is adequate anyway if it could lead to a lower level (but unnecessary, since there are many ways to skin a cat).
On the other hand, however, R:Personal is at first a range, and defines the range to the target of the effect. As long as the effect targets the caster, R:Personal seems adequate, regardless if the Target is Individual, Room or anything else.

I'd still consider it a good opportunity, however, to clarify that it's not possible for R:Personal to target things a magus is carrying, but not himself. The changes this clarification would bring are minimal.


That would still require errata for roughly half of the effects I've noted, as many of them affect things that are held/worn by an object/person.

Not really. A few use R:Personal, T:Structure to affect things inside the structure or to ward the structure itself. Others are activated by someone holding or touching the item, but the caster is the item itself, and the effect is cast upon the item itself, so there is no problem with R:Personal

I'm talking about R:Personal, T:Individual things to affect only things carried. Of these, the only change would be to the descriptive text of The Laundress' Clothesline, on Apprentices, as far as I can tell.

But if you can’t affect something inside your hand and not yourself with Personal, why could a room/structure affect something inside itself but not itself? Also, there are more Individuals among those I listed than just that one.

There don’t seem to be any problems as-is. There would need to be something like 20+ errata issued to make this one unneeded change. And some troupes could do minimal house ruling to adjust if they want. I just can’t see the justification in such a late, unneeded change to the core rules and so many other spots.

The way I read it, is that with both the current and the new ruling, this would actually be possible.
Apparently callen and Rafael Bessoni disagree, which suggests the new ruling is not clear as it could be.

Since I am at it, I would add that in any case it's unclear to me if a R:Per effect targeting a magus who's wearing only a woolen tunic could change that tunic into a suit of metal armor with a T:Ind MuAn effect, or it would need T:Part. In other words, if you have a multi-Form target, and you want to affect only the portion falling under a single Form, whether you can blanket the target with a T:Ind spell covering that Form, or you need to specifically restrict the effect to T:Part.

Actually the disagreement is on another point. As I said earlier, by the way R:Personal is currently written, you can use R:Personal to target the magus clothes (it does require a small mental exercise IMO). That this is clearly not the intention behind R:Personal is demonstrated, I believe.

The new writting proposed by David changes things so that this would not be possible.

It couldn't because what allows the current writting of R:Personal to affect the clothes is not that they are Part of the magus, but that they are something "carried or worn".

Personal: The spell only affects the casting magus or things that he is wearing or carrying.

As such, you can target them with R:Personal (a reading with which I disagree, to me it's clear that R:Personal is supposed to actually affect the caster, but can extend to objects carried or worn if relevant/required) by one reading of the current rules. Or you can target them with R:Touch, T:individual (or T:Group to target several clothes at the same time). But there is no way to affect them with T:Part.

The disagreement between me and callen is to how much spell revision changing the current wording to support this intent (R:Personal requiring caster to actually be affected) would actually require, and to what degree it's an endeavor actually worth pursuing by itself if the other modifications suggested by David are not made.

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Your disagreement with callen is indeed on another point.

But you and callen disagree with me as well - that's what I was saying. I read both the current ruling, and the new one proposed by David Chart, to affect (only) the clothes of a magus with a R:Per effect targeting the magus.

Just to be perfectly clear: I disagree with both statements I bolded above.
Which suggests more clarity is needed.