Question: General Vim spells

I would like to ask you guys about something that got me confused.

So, there are general Vim spells like Maintaining the Demanding Spell, which can affect other spells. The level of the spell they can affect depends on the level of the "metamagic" spell. By the letter of the rules, this should mean that, say, a level 25 Maintaining the Demanding Spell would support a level 25 spell, but it's weird because some of the levels go into Duration, Range and Target, not into the base effect, which would be the spell support thing. If we take that into account, a level 25 Maintaining the Demanding Spell would only support a spell up to level 15. So... which is it?

Thanks!

Range duration and target all help determine the level of the final spell. A range touch spell and a range sight spell might be identical except in that, but one is 10 levels (2 magnitudes) above the other one. So yeah, it can support a spell whose base level + range + duration + target are of equal level to that of the MDS.

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This just made life so much better :smiley:

By contrast, increasing the level of the Demanding Spell with higher range or duration would not raise the level of effect it can target, though. Here's your appropriate spell guideline:

Sustain or suppress a spell you have cast whose level is less than or equal to the level + 2 magnitudes of the Vim spell

Does it though? I would read it as the "Basic effect" component has to equal the spell's level and everything on top makes it harder for the magus.

Otherwise, why not make it always Moon duration? One could start as low as base 1 +1 touch +3 Moon and this would still add up to level 5.

All example spells have levels and corresponding 'efficiency' calculated from the Base Guidelines plus additions for increases in R/D/T from the minimums.
Design notes for Maintain the Demanding Spell says: Base effect, +1 Touch +1 Diam
Base Guideline used is "Sustain or suppress a spell you have cast whose level is less than (or equal to errata tells us IIRC) the level +2 magnitudes of the Vim spell"

This is math not magic.
I often use a D:Sun variant of Maintaining the Demanding Spell I call 'Day of the Demanding Spell". It is 5 levels "less efficient" than the original example, because the increase from Diameter to Sun is 1 magnitude or 5 levels, so it only affects spells up to [lvl-5].
You subtract the magnitudes you add above Per/Mom/Ind to the modifier in the guideline. So in my case the design is: "Affect spells up to level of Vim spell +2 magnitudes -3 (1 forTouch, 2 for Sun)". This equals "level -1 magnitude"

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When a base says "level" for itself, it's the level of the base, not the level of the actual spell. So let's take a look at your spell:

Base 1 +1 Touch +3 Moon = level 5, yes.
It works on Base 1 +2 = level 3 spells.

Meanwhile, the traditional Maintaining the Demanding Spell would be:
Base 3 +1 Touch +1 Diameter = level 5, the same.
It works on Base 3 +2 = level 5 spells.

I just saw @Christian_Andersen's worked example. I find it a coherent explanation.

Thanks, I looked at the whole thing again, and your explanation makes a lot of sense. Treating all modifiers of the spell level as part of the effective level was weird but I couldn't put my finger on it.

It may be interesting to know that Maintaining the Demanding Spell has been there since 3ed at least, when the guidelines did not exist, with only the slight change from R: n/a and D: 1min. It was always so that the metaspell level had to match the underlying spell level.

The base guideline has been reverse engineered to fit the actual spell design. R: per and D: mom obviously make no sense, so the guideline has to allow +2 free magnitudes on the underlying spell, so that the metaspell can spend one on range and one on duration. If you want to extend R/D further, then the metaspell must exceed the underlying one.

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Yes, that is exactly what happened. (And Christian and Callen's examples are correct as far as I can see.)