R/D/T questions

Hi all,
This came up during a conversation with one of the other groups I play in, and I couldn't see anything in the rulebook that clarified it...

Is the Range in a spell the range to the initial or final target?
ie Wielding The Invisible Sling fires a rock at a target, the spell is Voice range, so presumable you can move a rock anywhere in voice range to a target in voice range.
If I make a Touch version, but add a magnitude for range, I have the same effective spell, but control of the rock in my hand ends at Voice range. (Only useful for targeted spells, I admit, but there you go.)

An ongoing duration would mean that WTIS would affect the target for eg Diameter. Does that mean that the rock stays stuck to the target for Diameter, or that for Diameter rocks attack the target once a combat round, or that the same rock attacks the target repeatedly for Diameter. Possibly even if the rock is the target of the spell, it allows you to fire the same rock repeatedly at multiple targets for diameter. Any ideas?

If the target individual is smaller than the spells affected area, you can gain a bonus to hit. If the spells affected area is smaller than the target individual, you cannot affect the target. correct?

This actually comes because of a magic item design, I'll post that seperately for moderation when that group has finished picking holes in it.


Depending on what you're trying to do, both.

The magic must last for both the Duration and the Range of the effect on the Target. So, Rego'ing a rock within Voice Range cannot then move that rock beyond Voice Range. This is covered on page 111, both the second sentence under "Range, Duration, Targets" (bottom of col ii) and the second paragraph, second sentence under "Ranges" (col ii mid). That latter reads:

"A spell that allows a caster to control the effect only permits that control as long as the caster is within range."
As you point out, some effects allow "throwing" an object (as opposed to automagically guiding it home with Rego), to yield a final magic-less attack that both requires an aiming roll and then does not interact with Parma - this would not fall under the above, as the mage relinquishes "control" after the first short effect. But if the Rego affects the Target throughout, then the Range must cover that entire journey.

With T:Individual and Duration > Momentary, you have a rock that the mage can keep controlling (so long as they remain within Range, as above), attacking with that same one rock again and again, the same or different targets, and/or zipping it around as they please.

To Target different rocks requires T:Group, and then (typically) those rocks must all be Targeted/selected when the spell is first cast. Spells do not, typically, allow an ongoing, variable Target situation, where one thing is affected one turn and then an entirely separate (if similar) thing is affect the next.

(I, personally, doubt that one rock would automatically attack the same target again and again, not without additional complexity. I would think that the default would be to attack the same place repeatedly, as if on "autopilot", following the same initial pattern. Without some intelligence of its own (or added levels "for complexity"), I don't see how the spell would be able to follow the target.)

Time out - Target/target confusion.

Spells don't have "affected areas" as part of their definition - that's only a final result. Spells affect Individual amounts of, for instance, dirt or stone, which then can cover an area. But the victim has nothing to do with what amount of Form is Targeted by the Technique.

If the intended victim is smaller than the Target area, yes, a bonus to hit. If the spell's Target is smaller than the Target that the spell is cast upon, then the effect fails*. But you can ReTe a tiny rock at a giant - that's not a problem.

(* For instance, Dangling Puppet cast upon a size +2 ogre, etc. This is a common problem with Animal spells that hope to affect the body of horses. Note that animal minds, as human-ish minds, have no "size" in this sense.)

[size=85](Edit - format only)[/size]

That makes a lot of sense, thanks CH.
In regard to the aimed/not aimed part, a spell designed to fling an object, but relinquish control at voice range would therefore go...
ReTe(casting requisites) Touch, Mom, Ind, +0 aimed.
base x, +1 Touch, +1 range(voice equivalent)
at up to voice range, this would be MR resisted, after that it would be aimed.
this would allow you to fire arrows in a ballistic arc/clout shoot, rather than flat firing if you choose.

As the initial target of the spell is the arrow, it can be touch range, but the extra mag for range allows flat fire control/impetus, and an aimed attack should the target be greater than voice range.

Does that make sense by the RAW?
sorry for any spelling mistakes, I'm doing this on my phone.

Note that (at least in my interpretation of medieval physics) there is no inertia. A projectile pushed by magic will revert to its natural "fall straight down" movement when the magic ends. Vilano's works because you are Regoing the invisible sling, not the stone.

Note also that aimed or not, spells of the same magnitude should do similar damage. If Vilano was much better than Apromor, every Flambeau would be of that school.

I don't think this fits the canon interpretation as presented in HoH:S.


It does.

IIRC what you are doing is imbuing the stone with impetus, that carries it forward as it pushes the air in front of it, and the air rushes to fill the vacuum that the stone leaves behind it, so keeping the impetus of forward movement. or something like that. The magic ends when you "release" the stone.


erm, as far as I was concerned, the spell I wrote was a version of WtIS, but with a touch range, requiring you to have the projectile in hand.
with the spell as written, you drop some utility (having to hold the projectile rather than just point and wave at a rock way over there) in order to gain an additional potential range increment using ballistic/aimed attacks. The overall spell level is unchanged, due to the addition of the +1 mag range addition.
at no point did the spell increase the damage. If you use the Rego is one mag worse than CrIg method, then by adding 1 mag, you can add +5 damage.


I hate doing this on a phone, real pain to edit things.

an example including spell description and full math.

Smith Wesson's Sling
ReTe 50
base 4, +1 touch, +1 range(voice), +8 damage.
fires a small rock from your hand to the target, at up to voice range, or as an aimed ballistic attack at up to sight range. the rock does +45 damage, and is +0 aimed @ sight range.

Hows that?

IIRC, what you're describing is the Aristotelian description (according to canon, according to the supplements) of how any thrown/launched object is propelled through the air, not just how magic propels objects.

Yep, that is. But Sling of vilano does just that. OTOH Wielding the Invisible Sling moves magically the stone until it touches the target. So no impetus for Invisible sling, while it is Impetus in Vilano. So vilano is aimed and invisibole sling needs to penetrate :slight_smile:

The problem with the smith-wesson spell is that damage is based on Mass in ME. So a small stone cannot do that much damage because according to aristotle it is impossible to push it that hard. This fails abysmally in front of normal arrow/crossbow bolt ballistics, but it is how it is written :slight_smile: the debate existed at the time IIRC my A&A, but hey. Quite a clear area of hermetic investigation and breakthrough that could ALSO revolutionize MUNDANE intellectual circles.


This is why I said it doesn't instead of it does. His interpretation was that it would just fall straight down when the magic ends, while the canon interpretation has it keep moving. Your interpretation works fine in canon.


First: HoH:S page please.

Second: this interpretation opens a can of worm. When do you release your stone? As soon as it's thrown? 1 pace from the target? 1 inch from the target? How could you miss when you are this close?

I'd rather have an interpretation that's not open to abuse.

As long as your troupe is fine with it, that's all that matters. I would agree that halving the firing rate is worth a magnitude too.

I wasn't home. I am now. There's a huge box on page 35. It's pretty explicit that Xavi's interpretation (or at least very nearly that - I might have missed some subtlety) is canon for Ars Magica. As for when you release it, you "release control of it immediately after launching it."


Ok, thank you. The range increment makes a second penalty for R:Touch, too.

With a Range Increment of 20 paces, I think a mage would be better off using R:Voice for most purposes, altho' close-combat/personal defense would be one obvious and significant exception.

(Sigh - so many spells, so few seasons...) :wink:

That's the sort of supplement change that is perfectly clear, and changes/expands the (then) core rules without need for interpretation of an apparent contradiction.

For those who care (and don't know), the story behind this is that when 5th came out, the Aiming rules changed radically from 4th (which required every(?) physical spell to be Aimed), and the majority of physical attack spells (most thing involving Rego at least) suddenly did not need aiming, making that magic much scarier and far more reliable in combat. Even low-Perception magi could hit something on a moonlit night in a chaotic combat if they could see their intended target at all. There were many early discussions on these boards about how (the default use of) Rego magic did not impart momentum, so a rock could be moved at lightning speed, but the moment the spell effect ended (from Duration or Range) it would simply stop and fall in place. The rules in HoH:S (for the school of Vilano (p29) et al, bypassing MR) allow for old-fashioned aimed attacks if one wants them, but at a cost of returning to the painful Aiming penalties.

Having played a lot of 4th ed. I remember the oddity that Boaf and IoL both were 7th magnitude but IoL had a damage 50% higher than Boaf due to an abysmal Aiming modifier compared to the other. So - do you want to hit or to kill?

OK, just to verify,
you can't add impetus to a rego effect to allow a spell that moves an object a range increment beyond that which the spell has as a range.
you can't add damage by adding magnitudes for extra force.
you can add a bonus to hit, but only by firing large quantities of affected type at the victim.

does that pretty much cover it?

No, not really.

  1. Yes, you can move things beyond the spell's Range. Two examples: First, you can use a R: Touch spell to teleport an object elsewhere. Second, you can use a R: Touch spell to touch a projectile and send it flying many paces.
  2. Yes, you can add damage by adding magnitudes. However, a significant increase will need a larger projectile.
  3. Usually a very large object can also provide a Finesse bonus according to ArM5. Also, I'm not sure there is any rule saying you couldn't add complexity to a spell to add a bonus to Finesse. Certainly there are other spells, such as Conjuring the Mystic Tower, that seem to behave this way at least somewhat.


[quote="Janus"] OK, just to verify, you can't add impetus to a rego effect to allow a spell that moves an object a range increment beyond that which the spell has as a range. [/quote] ...[u]and[/u] still keep control of it, to have a spell without an "aiming" roll. [quote] you can't add damage by adding magnitudes for extra force. [/quote] Not and apply the formula F = mv^2. A rule of +1 magnitude for +5 damage seems commonly accepted. And at some point (for many Sagas), there is practical limit to merely making the spell "larger magnitude" without explaining how one is achieving the desired effect (and some Sagas have speed limits on Rego, or whatever.) [quote] you can add a bonus to hit, but only by firing large quantities of affected type at the victim. [/quote] As above, there has to be "common sense" applied to how one is achieving the end affect. So, whether using a "shotgun" approach, or creating a wider area of affect, or whatever, I would think that it has to be explained. (Note also that at some point, "aiming" is automatic - if a mage can create an affect of 100 paces in diameter, it's going to be hard for the SG to explain how any victim dove out of harm's way. :wink: )