Range and Target Size

In another thread a poster suggested that a fireball the size of France could be enchanted into a talisman. Transforming Mythic Europe has the Wedding Ring of Gaea - which basically lets you create a North American sized land mass in the Atlantic. This reminds me of a hermetic astrology effect in The Mysteries that can catalog all the vis sources on a mountain, but requires that you can see the mountain. Might I suggest that size cannot be used as a means of increasing range. To an extent Touch range can break this rule. If you are touching ground, you can conjure a mystical tower with a basement and whatnot. You, however, cannot create an effect larger than either voice or sight range. Sure, you can create 30 miles worth of New Atlantis out in the ocean. The spell will need to have a range to sight. You can't summon something the size of a continent out of the sea. This is because you cannot use an increase in target size to extend an effect into the next range category. This nerf means that to cast a spell on a large section of land you are going to want target boundary and an arcane connection to the land (arcane connections to very large things being something that SG can control). It also cuts out things like magical terraforming and nuclear devices. At best you can burn down a city at a go, but then again a couple well placed BoAF would probably do the some to most cities in the middle ages.

Actually, two rules might help
You cannot use size to increase a spells target past the size of the next target level.
You cannot use size to cause a spell to extend past its given range, with the caveat being that touch range creates something that you could reasonably touch.

Overall - I don't think it should be a matter of "no", but rather one should increase the difficulty.

If you have a problem with creating very big effects, increase the cost of increasing size. Note that an Individual fire is, perhaps, 1 cubic pace wide. To cover all of France you would need 674,843,000,000 square paces. With the current RAW, as each extra magnitude adds x10 to the area you will need something like +12 magnitudes, which will bring your BoAF to level 95 (which is doable). If you change the rules to make each extra magnitude increase the Size of the target, as per the creature rules, so that +3 magnitudes will increase area/volume by x10, then to cover France you will need +36 magnitudes, making your BoAF level 215, which should be out of reach of any magus, archmage or not.

I don't really understand what this means. An Herbam Individual is one pace in every direction. The next target level is Part; surely you don't mean I can't affect a small-sized individual piece of wood with a T:Individual spell, so let's ignore that target. The next target is Group/Room, which is 10 individual-sizes. Are you saying I can't affect a piece of wood 10 paces in every direction with a T:Individual spell? That I need to use a T:Group spell instead? Why would that improve the game in any way?

So I can create a piece of wood, with a CrHe R:Voice T:Individual spell, as long as I'm creating it near me. But when I attempt to create it at the edge of the R:Voice spell, suddenly I cannot create it? And how could I reasonably touch the basement of the tower I've just conjured?

That is actual a very good idea.

No, I mean you should not be able to affect 100 pieces of wood by increasing the volume of individual to encompass the entire pile. To use your herbam example the problem is with multiple increases in size: +1 size is 10 page, +2 size is 100 paces. By increasing magnitude to the same as a group/room spell the spell has gain an effect 100 paces in diameter, the same as boundary. Further, there is no need to find on create a boundary. This shreds the game balance imposed by target levels. Instead we're back to 4th edition where a magus can trivially wipe out an army by upsizing spells. There is RAW somewhere, I think it might even be in Transforming Mythic Europe, that states that the target levels act as a check on what a magus can do on the battlefield. Can't pick out a single group of 10 men, no group target spells for you. I'm not against some upsizing of CrIg so that you can get a fireball, I just don't think you should be able to take at a country with one.

Yes, that is exactly what I mean. You cannot create something with an end extending outside of the spells range. You can create a piece of wood within voice range. You cannot create a kilometer long piece of wood within voice in order to extend your spell past voice range (you could, however, create an arrow within voice range that would travel on its own momentum outside of voice range). Nor can you create a

I think it might be best to reference range touch to the target. A touch spell can extend outside of voice or sight range but cannot extend past the next largest (in size) target level. A touch range target structure spell can create a structure, it cannot create something of boundary size. If you want to create a castle you either need to create the keep and walls separately or mark a clear boundary and then use a boundary spell. This means that you cannot have a touch range target individual spell that has had its size boosted to create a wall 1000km in diameter (too large). Nor can you have a voice range spell that then shoots off a straight line of flame for 1km (even if the volume remains that of a large fire, it goes outside of range).

What I want to avoid is ever again seeing spell description that read like this:

Large scale terraforming should be out of the reach of hermetic magic.

I have yet to devour TME. What's the purpose of creating that ring? I mean you can't cast a ring/circle spell with it, it's too large to trace. Or is it just listing the possibility of making such a circle? I would think it would honk off a lot of other magi, and at get a magus marched for casting it. It's bound to interfere with mundanes and thereby bring ruin upon his sodales...

It's for the island of wizards, if I remember right. Basically, you create a stone outer wall to fill with dirt to make your island. Yes, 2259 miles in diameter is a bit excessive for an island (a continent, MAYBE), but it's doable with hermetic magic, if stupidly over the top.

To then use other spells to fill it in, in order to create an "island" (or small continent) in the Atlantic so that you can create your own country without interfering with mundanes. The spell creates a wall 4000 paces deep and, I think 2 paces thick. You then back fill it, use magic the terraform the surface, and attempt to forget about the fate of Atlantis. I'm, almost, OK with allowing magi to pull that trick for maybe an island 30 miles in diameter. Once you start talking about things the size of continents. . .

So, it's a matter of scale. I'm not sure it's a problem. I mean, if they create a continent, they have to populate it, or it runs wild, or something. Also, this place is probably too new to have any vis sources...

But, remember The Central Rule on page 111 of the main text.

TME does agrees with you on that score. It points out that just filling the biggest ring mentioned is a herculean task. They don't do the math straight out but it's not hard. So yes a Mag 55 spell can create a 2259 mile diameter ring in the Atlantic Ocean. But thanks to the square cube law you'd need a spell or spells capable of producing almost 50 Quadrillion cubic paces of soil to fill it. (V≈4.97×10^16) I think that's right around a CrTe 70 to do it in one shot. Then you can do the math on all the spells it takes to populate it.

A radical nerfing of size increases is to not make it exponential. Exponential gets ridiculously high surprisingly quickly. If instead we adopt a linear scale of each +1 adding x10 the base amount, say, creating continents or dousing kingdoms in flame doesn't even begin to make sense.

I note that minds have no size. Yet animals do. So you have the weird result that you can communicate with plants, talk to animals, commune with rocks, and so on only with great difficulty as their size increases; but you can communicate with giants and impossibly-huge angels with ease. Which is annoying and weird. (Not entirely related, but it's bothering me, and it's kinda related...)


To be fair, the spell in question was never intended to make a continent, it's just notable it can at lesser depths of ocean. It's primarily designed for use in places like the mid-atlantic, where the ocean is so deep that the amount of material still only results in a relatively small island.

We've chatted before about the principal of paying for the increase in size as well as the cost to affect the base target and generally speaking I think that applies and holds as a good way to do things.

Does the virtue Flexible Formulaic Magic niggle these rules too? I think the virtue won't affect the guideline as it is a modifier to the effect at cast time, not at design time. And it is saved a little but not applying to rituals.

But I have to question why I couldn't design an effect with a very large size, which is then boosted with FFM. I'll try to think of a breaking effect. Perhaps altering Seal the Earth (CrTe15) p152, to be T:Structure rather than Group?

I like this idea Yair, it breaks some of the effects I've written up in the past but I've never tried to build a continent.

For those who have not read the book, the premise here is slightly wrong: the Wedding Ring of Gaea creates an enormous wall, but it does not backfill the wall. You need to use other spells to fill in the space behind the wall if you want to make something the size of North America, and that's way harder than making the wall itself. Also, the Ring isn't tall enough to show over the top of the waves in the Atlantic, because it's quite deep really, so unless you maske it out of pumice it sinks like a rock wall is meant to sink. The ring is there basically to show how far you could possibly push Hermetic magic in optimal circumstances, and you could basically make a temporary road that circled the Earth. Also, expensive. Also, causes story problems. It -is- possible, but not practicable.

The big question really is how magical magic is. The objection to making things so big you can't see them seems basically an aesthetic one, and so, sure...if you don't like it, don't do it. I did however want to chip in and say "No one is going to be pulling a continent out of the ocean anytime soon." because the Atlantic is just too deep for it to work.