Ranulf from MoH now 150 years post apprentice!!!!

Having thought about it some more I considered how it would play out at the table. I can't see myself telling a player that they can't split between MuIg(Au) and MuAu(Ig). It not only feels like denying the players for no good reason, but it also prevents something like spending a single season to both learn how to turn puppies into shrubbery and shrubbery into puppies which seems like the very thing that the multiple laboratory activities rules should be able to accommodate. I'm making a character to use an NPC not a PC but I'm still good with this.

Revised spell

on a terram requisite for Resilient Smoke

Not to be too pessimistic but I don't see that the spells in the core book are better.

Heat is a characteristic that's much more firmly ignem that solidity is terram. You can't do any creo herbam, animal, or corpus without creating a solid (well blood I suppose but let's not get pedantic about stuff I personally don't wish to get pedantic about :wink: )

That's an unfair characterization. Also, minor magical focus has been errata'd there are no longer any issues with requisites.

Finally I did discover an example of an effect that grants solidity having a terram requisite. It's on page 115 of Magi of Hermes

In a character's talisman.... ahem... specifically Ranulf's :blush:

From what I recall of authorial intent, the effect Flames of Stone, conceptually, didn't so much alter the flames as made them something entirely different a thought which may or may not apply to this spell.


I think they are quite a bit better, but I agree they are not what they should be.

lol Silly me for hoping I could avoid a conversation about non-elemental Forms that deal with physical objects!

From the perspective of the four elements, solidity is the defining characteristic of Earth. It's what gives it, um, a firm characteristic!

I can imagine that some magi might consider Bonisagus' theory fundamentally flawed, because Herbam, Corpus and Animal are unnecessary Forms, since the four elements encompasses them all, at least in their physical aspects. Some others might consider them short cuts.

But by your logic, heat is also not a firm characteristic of Ignem, since I can use CrAn to create warm-blooded critters, no Ignem required! I can even use PeCo to give someone a fever!

Why is it unfair? If I can use MuIg and PeIg to add and subtract properties from a fire until it is indistinguishable from Terram, except for what spells affect it, why can I not do the same for Animal?


But from a scholastic perspective, arguing from authority works just fine! :slight_smile:

Which is fine, but I think that if that "utter difference" is Terram, it requires a Terram requisite, just as if that "utter difference" is that it's effectively a tiger, it needs Animal.



Mmmm, getting invested in internet arguments is way more fun than it should be.

In my opinion (which we've previously pretended is humble), if you CrTe to create a tiger made of stone, with no requisites, then you've created a tiger made of stone. It has the properties of stone, and therefore doesn't breathe, doesn't need to eat... also doesn't move, doesn't think and has no instincts. if you make a 'living stone tiger' I could accept CrAn(Te) and maybe CrTe(An). There are, however, very few to no examples of Creo spells being used to make things like Stone Tigers, Firebreathing Chickens, or Liquid Ruby. (Yes, I know capitals are improper here, but I mentally am turning those into proper nouns for some reason). All those effects that I've seen are Mu(Fo) rather than being created from whole cloth.

I've always leaned towards the interpretation that solidity is encompassed by Terram, and heat by Ignem, et cetera. You've found some good examples otherwise, and my (brief) search found Talons of the Wind in the main book as granting abrasive quality to wind. But I do feel something a bit wrong by turning a cloud into 'effectively stone' being just easier (requisite wise) than turning it into 'actually stone'. Still, it does pretty explicitly state (core book, p79) that the elemental forms are interlinked, and require requisites to make warm ice, for example.

A related point; there are definite examples of spells in existence that do not perfectly line up with hermetic magical guidelines. (I've been told a lot are there because of previous editions.) A lot of these spells are even LESS effective than the hermetic guidelines would allow. We regularly use these spells as example to support our own spell design; This in turn creates more edge cases, which allow more creative spell design. My favorite strange example is Teeth of the Earth mother, which if read in a certain fashion, is a +25 damage MuTe spell with a base level of 3! We have here with Ranulf's Resilient Smoke a situation where the guidelines of spell design say one thing, and example spells say another. How are we to interpret this?
My home group has chosen to interpret (and possibly houserule) that we should lean towards following the guidelines of spell design, rather than using examples of existing spells as a policy. Spells in the core book are spells that have been in the order for a long time, and may have had their original policy changed by the evolution of hermetic magic over the years, or could be spells that were created with experimentation and therefore don't follow the guidelines explicitly. I'm curious as to Eric and Ken's thoughts on this; and it seems quite appropriate to this current conversation.


I think that's an excellent approach.

I would also recommend evaluating non-core guidelines the same way.

(One of the things I have noticed during the evolution of AM5, is that guidelines seem to have started off closer to examples but have become absolute requirements. Without a specific guideline, a spell is not possible. So in RoP:M, for example, in the section on vestiges/boundaries/etc, we get a conversation about Hermetic Magic being perfectly able to use the guidelines, but no one bothered so a minor breakthrough is needed. Getting new guidelines opens up possibilities (OOC perspective) rather than illustrate what was already there but perhaps not obvious.)



We differ on this.

I'm not sure any of this is relevant. We're talking about Hermetic forms in designing a spell. I can create a solid tree without a terram requisite. Show me that the philosophical take on the elements should be used to decide the question of requisite.

It is unfair because I am not creating a cloud that is indistinguishable from rock, I am creating a cloud that has one characteristic of rock. You are using exaggeration to miss-characterize the spell. An equivalently unfair argument for the position you're advocating would be that a spell that freezes a tiger in place must have a terram requisite because motionlessness is a characteristic of stones.

My spell actually describes the cloud as wood-like should it not have an Herbam requisite instead? If I want to give a cloud the strength of, specifically, ivory do I need a Terram requisite or an Animal requisite?

I'm inclined to want the Terram requisite, because the MuAq guidelines on p123 of the core book have "Change a liquid into an unrelated solid or gas (with requisites; Terram for solids and Auram for gases" and "Change a liquid into a mixture of any liquid, solid (with Terram requisite), or gas (with Auram requisite)." The MuTe guidelines have "Change dirt into a liquid or gas (with requisites)" and "change dirt into a mixture or liquids, solids, and gases (with requisites)"

So if you were trying to make water into a frothy, gas-filled iceberg you'd need Au and Te requisites, and if you were turning rock into something gas-filled you'd use Te with an Au requisite. Turning a cloud into something with a solid edge would probably use Au with a Te requisite, but the base level would be lower than the 10 you are using, probably the level 5 guideline. This would be my preferred spell.

However, you're using this with the higher base guiedline. The base 10 MuAu from p127 is "transform an amount of air into something wholly unnatural" so you're turning a cloud into something weird and magical, so you could turn a cloud into fluffy marshmallow or treacle if you wanted. Compared to some of the things you can do with MuAq to create unnatural things (a shocking pink liquid that causes bizarre hallucinations), your cloud which becomes resilient and hard to dig through isn't out there. As it is, your spell looks fine at MuAu level 35 (base 10, +2 voice, +3 moon, size is base for Au - one phenomenon up to 100 paces across)

That's pretty convincing.

I should have had a second look at the guidelines earlier. Thanks for that.

So base 5 with Ranulf's sturdy cloud being a mixture of the other elements rather than just a cloud?

Or base 10 with the cloud being wholey unnatural, and with base 10 should he still have a terram requisite?

Also I've started another thread reguarding the use of guidelines here https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/the-use-of-spell-guidelines/12048/1

I think, looking at a variety of these examples, I would support a base 5 with a Terram requisite, or a base 10 without (because a liquid that you can't push your fingers through definitely counts as unnatural, and the fact you can get the same effect a magnitude lower with the requisite seems to match my expectations).

Does this then work for everyone as a base 5 mixture of elements or does that description strike you as wholly unnatural and thus requiring base 10, level 35, and therefore double overtime for Ranulf and Artisano.

While I'm still considering the Terram requisite I'll move on.

One season learning Perdo Vim spells from lab notes. Ranulf's lab total is 76.
Unraveling the Fabric of Auram at level 36
Revoke the Protection of Magic at level 40

Revoke the Protection of [Realm] is a spell from The Contested Isle p.62 it drops the magic resistance of a creature for duration diameter. It functions on creatures with a might equal or less than spell level +5 + a stress die. Ranulf doesn't know the might of his target so he's going with a pretty big spell, yet not so big that it can't fit through his arcane tunnel spell. He has almost no hope of casting it with enough penetration to work on a powerful creature (his casting total is 52 + stress die with bonuses for method caster and his talisman, so, subtracting the spell level and adding his penetration score, his penetration would be 20 +stress die and possible confidence) so getting an arcane connection is critical for him.

One season for these two spells, allowing a few extra days off for Ranulf and Artisano

I think that these might be failures in my hopes to provoke discussion. Still, the guideline for both is "control a minor weather phenomenon" perhaps there is something in that. I added an extra magnitude to Nebular Cogs and Palaces because "control" and "instantly reshape in any manner you wish" aren't really the same thing. Should I have instead added 2 magnitudes? none?

Are clouds withering in heat a commonly-accepted thing from Mythic Europe? (Not sure myself.)
I would argue with Nebular Cogs and Palaces, the clouds can only actually 'move' at the speed of a cloud through the air, so if you want them to transform you would want to add magnitudes for that as well. (Again, opinions on this?)
Also, has Ranulf considered HOW he plans to get arcane connections to the invisible creature he's hunting?

The spell doesn't move the cloud at all!! It just reshapes it.

Is that more clear?

Yes, he has. But I, apparently, am unable to even describe reshaping clouds nor heavy smoke without inadvertently giving the reader the miss-impression that I'm talking about magically moving stuff. So I deduce it will take quite a few drafts before his plan is even slightly comprehensible. Please bear with me. (He's going to lure it in with an illusionary dragon, notice that the clouds in the area are being disturbed then catch it in a cloud made solid.)

On that subject, Ranulf will spend a season learning True Sight of Air from lab notes. This runs afoul of his intellego deficiency but it is only level 15 so he can both learn it while giving Artisano a season off and cast it without fatiguing himself.

Proivding Artisano another season to his own devices, Ranulf develops this spell

On the subject of Resilient Smoke, I've decided that a cloud that's completely solid but still has negligible mass is wholly unnatural, not just a mixture of elements. So I'm using the level 10 guideline for the spell. The description of the Art of Terram from page 79 reads "This Form concerns solids, especially earth and stone" That's not the same as "solidity is governed by Terrram" but it's not contrary to the idea either. It's certainly a gray area and there have been published spells that grant solidity without it. I'm going to include the requisite. While I'm not convinced that it's the better choice for the game, I suspect it will raise fewer eyebrows.

Five seasons done.


I'm thinking that this should be MuAu, changing a property of the cloud so that it does not evaporate. "Control" in this widest sense would let me use ReCo to control a person so that he doesn't die of a disease (should be Cr), or ReHe on wood so that it does not burn to ash (Mu), etc.



You're right. I'll have Ranulf skip it and give Artisano another season off. I'd only included it because lab total would otherwise go to waste.

My thought is that Resilient Smoke already accomplishes the goal of Undesicating Cloud. Do you think I should change the description to make this more clear?


Ooh. Now that raises an interesting consideration: Maybe Resilient Smoke doesn't accomplish this goal. After all, evaporation is a property of all sorts of things, even though (in English) we call it "sublimation" when it's a solid.



Side comment:

Sublimation is specifically when a solid moves to a gaseous state without stopping at the liquid intermediary state, correct? It brings up a fun Mythic Europe question if that sort of thing works in Mythic physics. (Best example, iirc, is dry ice.)

And one for Erik Tyrrell, regarding a question from a young Flamebeaux: Is a shadow cast by a subject usable as an arcane connection to that thing?

Thinking of how fast snow sublimates in my experience, that amount of loss from a cloud won't be crippling (except from a style perspective)

The way I see it, Hermetic magic treats shadows as an area where there is less light, an effect caused by an arrangement of other things. Not a thing in and of itself. An arcane connection is:

If a shadow is, as I see it, fundamentally similar to the warmth in a chair caused by a target's rump sitting upon it (both being transient changes in something else caused by the passing of a person, both associated with ignem), then I don't see it as a possible arcane connection.

I can imagine that a different tradition might be able to somehow use them.

One season, without Artisano assuming that the level stays the same, for this:

I used the guideline "Control a very severe weather phenominon" do you think that the extra magnitude for excessive speed was warranted or redundant?

Six seasons done

Because a duration Moon version of Commanding the Harnessed Beast would take Ranulf two seasons to create he'll spend one season each on the following two spells; because he's much better at vim than animal, and because that's just who he is.

He learns this at level 40.

Eight seasons done, assuming he spends two seasons reworking his longevity ritual this leaves 14 seasons unaccounted for.

Is the following correct? Here's the scenario: Adelbert casts Opening the Intangible Tunnel (which he learned instead of Minute of Reckoning because he must have been drunk) then he casts Command of the Lion through it. Casting a spell while maintaining Opening the Intangible Tunnel is an ease factor 12 concentration roll because the continuing situation is maintaining the Intangible tunnel, not casting another spell. (Or is it ease factor 15?) He then, while maintaining concentration on both Opening the Intangible Tunnel and Command of the Lion, casts Spell Tethered to the Face of Diana. This is an ease factor 9 test of concentration because I'd grab the +3 modifier from the table on page 82 and add it to the ease factor of 6 from Spell Tethered to the Face of Diana.