questions about temporary rooms

Thinking about ways to circumvent the "ritual only" nature of boundary spells in certain circumstances has led me to think about temporary rooms; which is not something that's directly addressed by the rules, at least as far as I can tell.

Noting that unlike a circle, room spells don't break if the room does, I have a couple of questions for consideration:

  1. Can you use a tent as the target for a room spell?
  2. If so, does it matter if that tent has a roof?
  3. If a roof isn't required, does a space delimitated by a series of temporary walls count as a room?


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No. See ArM5 p.113 Room

A courtyard would often count, a valley would not.

That depends: a courtyard, not a valley.

This is verrry tricky. See here.

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Is the difference due to size or artificial versus natural?

Since I would consider a cavern to be a room, and would not consider that to be controversial, it has to be the size, but then, why isn't boundary just handled as room with an incredible number of size magnitudes?

I'd assumed that courtyards have more clearly defined edges than the typical valley.


My feeling is that a roofless tent lacks a certain solidity I'd expect from a room, but that's not an explicit requirement from the definition and so perhaps misleading.

In practice, I would expect a room to require a little more effort to set up than a circle, but a roofless room set up for privacy, like a changing room, is a room for every intent and purpose, neither the material (canvas or stone) nor the roof is relevant for the concept of a room.

Maybe you have a point in that the valley is less closed; it tends to be open in the ends. A room should have a clear closure. The courtyard may require an uninterrupted wall, so that just being enclosed by a ring of cottages does not suffice. I have, however, previously argued that a street is a courtyard is a room. Anyway, I suppose any opening in the enclosure makes it borderline at best.


An alternate argument against valleys is that they don't have especially vertical "walls" - if you can walk over the walls they probably don't count?

Well, I would not use the verticality of the walls as a criterion when I decide whether or not a cavern qualifies as a room.

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the walls of a cavern effectively impede movement, though, where the walls of a valley might not?

That depends very much on the particular valley. Are you saying that some valleys are rooms?

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I was always under the impression that a room was a defined construction designed to surround a certain space. at least IMS.

A cave could be considered a room so long as you smoothed the walls to make it more "habitable", or at least more defined as a room. Hmm,.. I see my definition is somewhat recursive.

EDIT A Boundary delimits a place, a Room encapsulates a place. Hence a room needs to impede entry/exit from its encapsulated place, but may have a defined entry/egress (doors/windows)


I would be open to that: consider a ravine, which is basically a cavern without a roof.

That said, these rooms are increasingly blurring into boundaries. Rooms should register as enclosed and sheltered spaces, rather than just delimitated ones.

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Has a magi experimented? Have they put up a small tent; a pavilion; gone in to a small cave; a narrow but long cavern tunnel, a ravine; a huge underground area such as in LotR; a palanquin.

We can go further. Does a corridor work, it's not a room? How well known are the "edge cases" amongst the order.

For the SG, "Does it feel like a room effect spell should work in the space?" is the right question. If so, yes, if no, no. I'd think most people would suggest a long narrow tunnel, room wont work, small cavern yes, mines of Moria scale, no, palanquin, tent, yes.

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My rule of thumb for this is as follows:
This is the art of magic, not science. Results do not need to be 100% consistent. If the mage (player) honestly believes it is a room then it is a room. If they are trying to game the rules and get away with something, it is not.


Yeah, but what seems like a fair room to a player might seem like a stretch to a story guide, and vice-versa. For example, all of the examples proposed by Lee in his last post register as room in my list, and were I his player he might think, reasonably, that I’m trying to abuse definitions.

And surely, results don’t need to be consistent… between my game and yours. But I do expect consistency within the scope of a saga. We can’t have R/D/T guidelines working differently because now the beta storyguide is in charge.


That may be true, so I suppose, in reality, they work differently because Mars happened to be in the magus' birth sign or a great beast stirring caused a strange fluctuation in the fluid vis. Whatever it was, it just happened to coincide with a change of SG, and it is far to complex for the magi to figure out.

Sorry, I am with @silveroak on this one. There isn't a problem, although I would tend to call more on troupe approval than he suggests.

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No need to be sorry, you are entitled to your opinion.

Troupe approval should indeed be required. But I tend to err on the side of general consistency. It's not fair to a player if a spell his magus spent 3 seasons inventing based on a certain assumption doesn't work when I'm the SG "because Mars is in the wrong part of the sky". The troupe agreeing on a standard and everybody commiting to it is always preferable, IMO.

Both as players and GM's, our choices are based on assumptions. When the assumptions can't be trusted, the choices start to lose meaning.


Critical assumptions should always be raised, debated, and settled before dedicating three seasons to it. I thought we were talking about the fringe cases, that is the situations that nobody anticipated and hence made no assumptions about. Prior agreed interpretations should be canon to the troupe, unless erratic interpretation was part of the agreement.

This is less of a problem in a narrative game than it might be in a tactical one. When a player makes well-told advance based on plausible assumptions, it is the SG's responsibility to make it interesting and move the story forward. Flatly rejecting the assumptions tends to kill the story. There may be caveats, but they should help to make the story interesting. That's why one has to err on the liberal side. When a player OTOH keep appealing to the dice on increasingly flimsy assumptions, it is better to err on the conservative side, because when that happens one has already started to tell a story in which one does not believe. Even if an indistinguishable assumption might have been accepted in another context.

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I have been wondering about this too. If a tent works (which I think it does), could it be a magically created tent? What about four castings of Wall of Thorns (or other wall spell of your choice), arranged in a square? That seems like a courtyard to me, and given the courtyard doesn't need to be completely enclosed, you could leave a gap in the corner. (I'm thinking that on a field of battle, you could put your enemies in an articial room, and then target them all with an offensive spell.)

If that works, could a room created by an Imaginem spell work? (My guess is not: a room that you can walk out through the walls of doesn't count.) What about a magical room that's then been made invisible? (I would think so?)

Part of the reason is that we want to be able to spy on someone or something using an Arcane Connection. If we can create a room around them, we can use a Room target scrying spell to see more of their environment.

Personally, if I wanted to spy on someone, I would try not to create a room arround them at Arcane connection and risk bumping into their magic resistance or just them seeing the room. Although I suppose a Creo(Perdo)Terram(Imaginem) spell might be fun to invent, I think even there, the cumbersomeness of potentially causing damage in the environment by spawning a room where you don't see what you're targeting would discourage me from designing such a spell. Room creation at sight range makes kind of more sense to me for spells where Group isn't convenient. That being said, you can use Group target and size modifiers with InIm spells for area effect sight, if you want.

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