Pure Technique Spells or: Spells with all Forms as Requisite

So, there is a small thing I have wondered about as one of my players has had the idea of pursuing it: That player suggested that since it was possible to cast a spell with all forms as requisites, that with a breakthrough, he'd be able to cast a spell with only the technique alone. I have for now let him decide to work on it on the mere fact that even if it was impossible, the magus wouldn't wholly know that unless he worked on it in the first place.

Now, that brought up the question of what casting a spell with all forms as requisites even does, and how Pure Technique Spells may improve that. I assume out the trickiest case to understand is Creo, since Rego, Perdo and Intellego are easy to stretch over and since Muto will cause unnatural things disregarding of it's true nature anyways. There are likely two cases to be checked here, I guess: A Creo spell with all Forms as requisites may be used to repair, or to create, certainly using Vis during it.

If I see it correctly, RAW would interpret these two cases when using a spell with all forms as requisites(As in, it uses all requisites at all time, not just changed requisites when casting individually):
The Repair spell could repair anything at the target, with the base size of about a human, with the ability to repair more and more difficult things at the target with higher levels. Most spells would have a high base since to repair most things you need a high base level. Also, a Boundary Spell with all Form Requisites may attempt to fix everything in the designated area of fitting size, strengthening fires, filling seas, healing plants, animals, bodies and minds, while illusions are restored and objects are repaired to their original design. Again, such a spell would be very, very hard to learn anyways since a high base would be necessary.
The Create spell would fail. The magus would try to create something most akin described to the essence of creation (probably enraging God in the process), but since the magus has likely never seen the essence of creation, or sensed it in any ways, he won't be able to create a thing he doesn't know exists for certain. Alternatively, he could simply create a wild, unstable mess of all forms, contained in a single area, though that creation would probably look purely demonic, what with the fire turning water into steam, the air raging around inside it, the emotional feeling exuded from the object and the strange, uncontrolled sounds or looks of the sphere, which is massive and likely very noticable by magic. The only use of creating such a spell would likely be to demonstrate something as a magus, or to completely baffle mages using the Sight of the active Magics by overloading their senses, although a Vim spell alone may be better for that.

Now, what could make the turning of spells into Pure Technique Spells better, as you'd lose your lowest Form Score in exchange for that? I'd assume that scrapping all the requisites would lower the level a bit, as there would be no more requisites which would influence the level. Then, it might not fit nicely into hermetic theory enough to be as detectable as other spells. I can't think of any other useful cases for it right now.

What else is to be noted? For now, it seems harmless enough to not break the game too harshly, and I don't wholly know what the limits of it would be (and what that might cause). Am I overlooking something that may make it more powerful or even strong enough to prohibit it entirely?

I would see it as trying to create/control/etc. everything (all Forms) v. trying to create/control/etc. nothing (no Forms). In the absence of things like quantum mechanics, I don't see how creating/controlling/etc. nothing via magic is so wonderful. For a modern Rego craft magic equivalent, I would imagine great Rego as a fully-loaded shop with tools for all sorts of purposes while the Forms would be the material. While you could make something using lots of different materials, what could you make using no materials at all?

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I can better envision trying to fold the Forms into the Techniques so that Rego would control any form without having to have a Form score (or fold the Techniques into the Form so, for example, Animal will encompass knowing, creating, controlling, etc). It's not that there is no Form but that the Technique (or Form if you go that way) includes the Form within the Technique score. Whether this is too unHermetic or whatever to mean that the base level of spells needs to increase (to account for all the requisites) or if changing from Art xp to Ability xp would be enough to compensate I'm not sure.

I think you need to differentiate Technique + all forms as requisite vs Technique alone.
Technique + all forms as requisites will have a +9 magnitudes modifiers due to all requisits - strictly speaking, regardless of the effect you are aiming at.
Technique alone... that's a different concept. It is more akin to looking at the creation at the dawn of time, when nothing existed and something was created by Divine will (for Creo). Or a form of primordial goo that everything sprouted from. Depending on the cosmology you are looking at, it could be primordial Chaos, or the Eternal Night. My guess is that in the context of Ars and Mythic Europe, it is Divine will.

Perdo alone, well could it be the equivalent of the Apocalypse or the Flood ? Is it complete cleansing or utter destruction ? Again depending on your take of the world cosmology, it can be Ragnarok, it can be the Hungry Chaos (like the one in Moorcock's eternal champion's cycles).

All this rambling to say that, IMO, there is a difference between a form of magic that is all-purpose (= all requisits), versus the concept of an Act, which is the Act itself regardless of the target.

...demon's might would be restored... and so if your magus want to make such a spell and talks about it aloud he'll probably get a visit from the nearest Quaesitor.

I think it's just illogical. My inner Tytalus would jump just a second after you allowed this claiming that if spells without Forms are allowed then spells without Techniques would need to be allowed as well, and thus spells without Technique and Form.

So in the end you would have to face one of two scenarios: either allowing spells without Technique and Form to do anything, which would be pretty weird, or accept that spells without Technique and Form would do nothing because that's exactly what they would be: nothing.

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This is actually quite insightful. I can very well see a Major Breakthrough (or Twilight experience!) yielding:

Formless Magic (Minor Hermetic Virtue, or Major Hermetic Flaw)

Your revolutionary, elegant branch of Magic Theory simply does away with Forms - useless clutter from the old days of the Founders. Because of your clarity of insight, each of your Techniques is treated as Puissant and you are treated as having the Inventive Genius Virtue; also, your magic does not incur magnitude modifiers for Form requisites, and you treat every pawn of Form vis as a pawn of an appropriate Technique vis (a faerie mushroom worth 2 pawns of Imaginem vis might be worth 2 pawns of Intellego vis to you). Unfortunately, your departure from the tried-and-tested way of performing Hermetic magic means that, at least until you refine your theories further, each of your Forms is treated as 0 for all purposes - including Certamen, your Magical Focus, vis use, and Resistance.

If you know "classic" Hermetic magic, too, you can opt to use it for any task (losing the benefits of Formless magic for that task); in this case Formless magic is a Minor Hermetic Virtue to you. If you do not know "classic" Hermetic magic (maybe you forswore it as part of some Initiation, or your master trained you exclusively in Formless magic) then Formless magic is a Major Hermetic Flaw to you. In either case, Formless Magic is incompatible with any Deficient Form; an apprentice who learns Formless magic does not gain any Deficient Form, even if his master's Form scores are treated as 0.


I know it's an old topic, but I just couldn't help myself. Sadly, I'm not an owner of an Ars Magica book collection, also, so I'm not too sure if my idea is sufficiently consistent with the lore. But I'll try my best.
@callen had an insightful idea, and I think it's expansion is warranted: without a proper compliment to a technique physical matter shouldn't be affected. However, I'd say that "turning on all of the instruments" shouldn't have no effect too. It should be the loudest, most unbearable of all silences, even more jarring than the blatant gift to mortals.

What if there is no compliment in any form? (no pun intended, but alas)
Well, there is a lot of strong magic going on, some warping might happen, it could disturb some supernatural forces or linger, slowly siphoning essence from the world around. It's kind of similar to what happens around raw vis and how it acts, just without any energy behind it.

What if there is a compliment?

  • Raw form vis, targeted by such magics, could explode in spontaneous production of the form it's related to: the situation when the trapped energy meets a path out
  • I suspect, that when a magus disappears into the Final Twighlight, they turn into a magical embodiment of their main art (considering that twilight points magi in a narrow direction and a generalist style provokes more Twilight episodes). What if this sort of spell would attract such elementals or somehow affect them? It doesn't belong to Vim too, since these things aren't present in the reality
  • What if this spell lingers, until another magus (unknowingly) completes it? It's a thin line between this and Muto Vim, though. I'd assume in this case, it's a separate effect that leeches score from a spell cast inside of the target and resolves immediately

I'd say that it definitely shouldn't be an »Ooops! All berries« type of thing and that thinking of this as a half of a spell or as an empty container could produce richer and weirder experiences.
Thank you!