Question related to ring duration

I find the ring duration quite difficult to understand in terms of the area and how circular it all has to be.

My idea was that when making a ring duration, the effect is only active within the ring, or the effect is that certain things cannot cross the rings border.
A ring-duration light for example would only illuminate the area within the ring, or does it also shine outwards (like a flash light)?
A ring-duration warmth, to heat your lab: does the ring have to be all the way around your lab, or can you just place a few circular stones around the room, that will give off enough heat?
When using a pipe with a water evaporating ring in the middle: does salt water put in on the one side come out as dry salt on the other side?

Just a few examples to get my understanding of the ring duration more clear. It would seem that a ring duration can make a lot of 'free' magic items and therefore be a bit overpowered...

We have always played that the effects spread, so if you have a fire in a ring, it will heat stuff outside the ruing like a regular fire would. Same with the light you mention.

If you had a spell that only created warmth, it would only marm things INSIDE the ring, though.

So, if you have a fire with ring duration, the magical fire will not spread outside the ring, but the heat and light ("collateral effects" of having a raging fire) will spread naturally.

Clear as mud?


Sorta similar to the way species work really.. si ub xavi's example, if you make a fire, it gives off natural heat species which the spell doesn't control, whereas if you're actually creating the heat directly, it stays in the area.. seems fair to me.

Unsure about the light one personally though.. as.. by that definition, the light is actually more on the line of a species, and so would remain inside the circle. buuut.. you also could in theory create a light source (without any need for flame or heat or such), that would in turn give off light species that escape the ring.. .. you could probably get away with either, as long as you state which particular way you're using it in the spell. That's what I'd go with anyway

For the stones thing, you'd either just get some stones that are hot (which is a potential burn source, so I'd just go with a ring of warmth round whole lab)
Nice idea with the pipe though.. yes, I'd say that would actually work fine, as long as the spell itself is designed to just suck out the water and leave the salt.

We have in our saga developed a ring/circle spell to generate light throughout our covenant and these little rings are carved into walls and ceilings throughtout the covenant buildings.

One of our magi has "shadow and darkness" as his sigil and so all of his "light circles" cast particularly long and spooky shadows.

Rings are... problematic. Here are my current musings...

Very circular. Not a random shape, a circle is needed.

Well, I basically agree, but perhaps am even stricter. The spell can only affect a target that is within the ring, and was there from the time of casting (otherwise, the duration couldn't be broken by the target of the spell moving outside the ring). Warding is really warding the ground which is there - it's a little vague, what's really "inside" the ring, but it seems the standard warding circle creates a dome rather than warding the earth at zero distance, and I can live with that. :slight_smile:

Technically, as soon as the created light - the target of the spell - moves outside the drawn ring, the duration is over. This obviously won't do. Instead the light I presume to be natural by the time it reaches the ring's borders; the magically-created light remains at the center, bound by the ring. The same would apply to warmth and so on.

Magically created light/heat does shed naturally created light/heat much like a magically created/altered image apparently sheds natural species.

The latter could work, again assuming heat to be shed naturally from the magical heat.

Tricky, but I'd argue no. The target of the spell is set at casting to be within the ring, namely it is the water within the ring at the time of casting. The duration Ring is broken when this target moves outside the ring, ending the spell. The Circle target doesn't change that, it just allows one to affect a single layer of water rather than some other Target such as all the water in a container (Room) within the ring, or whatever. The spell will turn a thin layer of water into salt (spheres apparently not forming like in the warding above...).

Yes. Strict application of the rule saying the ring duration is over if the target of the spell moves outside the ring drawn at the time of casting, however, can alleviate that.

Not a perfect circle, though. You can trace it by hand, and as long as it looks like a circle, it's good. You only need a perfect circle (requiring misurations, instruments, or spells to trace) if you are goign to cast Ring/Circle spells at a distance by means of the Hermetic Geometry Mystery Virtue. Hermetic mages don't need man-sized compasses to cast wards of protection :wink:

With some important exceptions, such as summoning rings. The spell can also be broken by some outside agent breaking the tracing of the ring.

Otherwise it would be useless in most cases. Raging flames, arrows, and many kinds of supernatural creatures, aren't earthbound.

Thanks for all the input.

Since ring durations are very limited they cannot replace most usefull magic items. They can however add nice touches to the game.

We have sort of distilled from the rules that when you use continuous spells (like those ring spells) in your lab, it collects warping points. When placing a few minor magic items, you do not get warping. (since items don't get warped all the time) This gives the choice between spending time and Vis for supernatural lab virtues and cost saving or accepting a warping score over time. I don't know if it is entirely RAW, but it does add some nice balance.

There is still a thought on my mind though: on this forum I see a lot of discussion about magic items and how great they are. In my troupe we hardly use them, since they cost far too much time (Vis is available, since we're no artificers yet). And when you get them done, the penetration is usually less then when casting it yourself on the spot.
What is that very big advantage of magic items, the reason that no covenant can do without a couple dozens of them?

Easy maintenance. The mage is freed of the chore of recasting them every Sun, Moon, or Year (that is, barring the ownership of the special Durations that some Mysteries and Virtues may grant, which make the sleep of YR7 so uneasy :stuck_out_tongue: ).


Well, the penetration can be immense, and this is one reason to craft magic items - to fashion generic high-penetration weapons, such as a wand of pilum of fire, shackles that prevent spellcasting, or so on. More generally, however, magic items are used as cost-saving devices and for lab-improvement under the Covenants rules, and as items to give Companions to make them more interesting and fun, and a few are made to solve specific problems.

The advantages of magic items are that they can produce permanent effects, can have very high penetration, can be used by mundanes/companions or another magus, can be used without effort or rolls, allow for complicated combined effects through linked triggers and other effect modifiers, and allow for improvement of the lab without warping (as you said above). I don't think any of this constitutes a single big advantage, but this is an impressive set of small advantages that means that most covenants will have a fair number of magic items around.

Quite important, as this means you won't botch using a magic item like you could casting a spell

wrong thread.

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