Ritual Creo Imaginem & Glamour

Our Glamour Merinita is giving headaches again. A while ago we considered some Glamour spells (posted here) and among them there were two Glamour versions of Conjuring the Mystic Tower, one with D:Fire and other with D:Until. Giving the base 10 of making Glamour and these duration modifiers of +3 and +4 the Glamour tower was quite expensive, but then our Merinita thought that there wasn't any need of duration as long as the Creo spell was ritual, as it actually happens with the terram Mystic Tower. After all the rulebook says on page 112 that...

So it's clear that the Mystic Tower, after conjured, is just like a mundane tower. ┬┐But what happens when one uses ritual creo spells with not-so-straight forms as, in our case, Imaginem? Let's say a magus cast a ritual imaginem spell that creates an illusory bridge, how long does it last? What's the "any other thing of that type" with illusions? Should it last as long as a regular bridge would, just because the looks of a mundane bridge lasts as long as does the bridge?

It gets somewhat clear and scarier when Glamour enters the game. HoH:MC says that...

...so it would seem that a ritual creo glamour spell would just create whatever it creates and last as long as the thing resembled would last, wouldn't it? So our Mystic Tower's glamour version would be like...

Shadow Tower
CrIm 40, R:Touch, D:Mom, T:Ind, ritual.
Creates a tower 80 feet high and 30 feet wide made of Glamour. (Base 10, +1 Touch, +4 Size, +1 Intricacy)

Just 5 levels over the CrTe version, and, considering that and the Vulnerability Flaw issues, maybe with some other boons like no need to stand on solid ground (our Merinita's dream is to move the covenant over some clouds), though that would conflict with the inhertitance of all the properties of the actual thing of that type...

Our Merinita is now talking about creating a ritual spell to conjure his talisman for enchantment... so if he creates a sword, would you give him the Shape & Material modifiers of any regular sword, or something else based in that it's actually not steel or whatever mundane metal, but Glamour?

It all feels a bit odd to me, but after all it's Merinita stuff and some oddness is to be expected... anyway I'd love to hear your thoughts about this (or any other will idea you can get about Glamour).

I think using ritual Creo to make a permanent illusion seems OK. Now with Glamour magic you then think "but they're creating everything really easily!" - but you have to take a vulnerability flaw when taking the Glamour magic virtue, so all their spells are vulnerable to something. A cheap Conjuring the Mystic Tower seems amazing - until someone touches it with cold iron, tries to bring a holy relic in, says "Rumpelstiltskin", or whatever your vulnerability happens to be, at which point the inhabitants find themselves and any non-illusory possessions falling to the ground. A glamoured talisman sounds really cool - but if anyone figures out your vulnerability, they can destroy your most precious item at the same time that they're screwing you over in other ways.

If their vulnerability seems unlikely to be triggered and this won't be an issue...then the SG has been too generous by allowing the Glamour Magic virtue without a strong enough vulnerability to balance it.

What is your Glamour Merinita's vulnerability anyway?

Touching iron. He have Strong Faerie Blood, so it seemed fitting.

The Vulnerability Flaw is that he cannot touch iron, not his enchantments. We talked about making it about iron touching his glamours but it seemed quite hard (let's say you are dinning at the tower and your spoon slips between your fingers, touches the ground and POP). He was so terrified of being wounded and having a chirurgeon coming to him with his many iron tools that we asked him to take Fear to iron as a flaw (and also had some other iron-is-bad flaw from start, Deletereous Circumstances, Restriction or one of these, before being initiated into Glamour).

By my reading of "Vulnerable Magic" (HoH:MC p87-88), I think that the tower would indeed disappear if touched with iron. "This condition immediately ends the duration of a spell when it is applied to the target, or all of your active spells when applied to you."

That seems entirely in-keeping with Faerie, though. I think there is a certain amount of fun to be had by obsessively ensuring that nobody enters the tower with iron cutlery. "Your spoon, sir! That had better be made of brass ...."

so one iron sling bullet, or a nail left carelessly on the ground, and all of his spells come crashing down.
And you would want to live in a tower with that limitation?

I'm not sure what answer you're expecting to that question. Would I live in such a tower? Nope. Would a Merinita magus who is likely more faerie than human? Perhaps. It would be an act of supreme folly for a character with such a flaw to build such a thing but it does make for a good story.

I'm not even sure this would work.

Can one create ritual mom duration illusions? I'd say yes, but the image fades in a second or two. My reasoning is thus. Imaginem creates (in this case) species, these are then perceived by an observer. When the spell stops creating species, i.e. the duration runs out, the species stop being produced and the image disappears. No spell to create more species, no image. So a momentary illusion creates momentary species but after that moment, there is nothing left to create species. The image disappears.

This is similar to creating a fire with momentary duration creo rituals. With creo ignem a fire burns as long as the duration. But if the duration is momentary then the fire must continue naturally, if there is no fuel or air, then it goes out. Species are not self reproducing, they are created by "Things", in the absence of things, the species cease to be, like someone leaving a room.

Now, I'm not sure how this works with glamour as I've not got my books to hand, but IIRC glamour works like normal imaginem (i.e. creates species) but these species can actually mimic properties of the object they are portraying for as long as the spell lasts. A glamoured wall is solid, a glamoured knife can cut, etc, etc. But once the duration ends, the species cease to be and the glamour cannot continue (the species can't mimic properties of a thing if they no longer exist).

Having a duration of fire on the other hand, even though its much harder, is really cool. I love the idea of a brazier that as long as it continues to burn, supports the very existence of the tower.

Well, the same text you quote gives two choices, flaw applies to targets (and thus the tower dissapears when touched by iron), or flaw applies to the caster (and every glamour spell casted by the mage dissapear when he is touched by iron). We just went for the second choice.

Somehow it's to lessen the risk of glamour spells banishing by putting all eggs in the same basket.

The Merinita have a couple plans to reduce that risk, which are a version of Shriek of the Impending Shafts for iron and, what else, a MuIm(Te) glamour spell to turn all incoming iron to music and light. For now he just wraps himself in layers and layers of clothes and bandages to prevent accidentally touching iron. Except for the smell, people are going to assume that he's a lepper.

You absolutely convinced me. The ritual creo fire example is quite clear.

The D:Fire is quite cool indeed. So we'll move back to the D:Fire scenario.

Hmm... Where is D: Fire? I had a thought. What if you CrIg at D: Fire? Could that make an eternal flame as long as not dispelled. Could you then use this flame for other D: Fire effects?

Also, we are talking Faerie Magic here, so D: Aura might be useful for a tower that will remain in an aura.

Duration Fire is on page 92 of the ArM5 rulebook. The target has to be a fire itself - this isn't explicit but I think it has to be a pre-existing fire. You can target a candle flame with a spell to make it burn with colossal heat that will last as long as there is fuel - but this will probably melt the candle and so end the spell soon. You can do all sorts of effects and keep feeding the fire fuel, but the problem with trying to do effects for intense heat is that you risk burning the fuel up far too quickly and thereby ending any D:Fire spells.

I think this is a similar situation to Duration: Storm in RoP: M p43 which has safeguards in the "possible abuses of storms" box to stop you going "I create a storm with duration storm and via circular logic keep going forever"

Wouldn't a Creo Ignem spell be able to keep a flame going without fuel? A few years back I had conceived of a small metal or obsidian box with crystal/glass "windows" as a magic item that would keep a small flame going inside as a Conc, environmental trigger (to avoid D:Storm-type shenanigans :smiley: ). No fuel. One would then use this eternal flame to cast other D:Fire spells. An all-eggs-one-basket deal, seemed very appropriate for a Merinita.

Anyway, I don't rightly understand the Fire guidelines, as it says the Form of the spell has to be Ignem or Imaginem (perfect for Glamour), but in Through the Aegis in the Didyma chapter there's an expired Ward of Corpus using D: Fire (to keep out a Bloodline).

How big does a fire need to be anyway to become a Fire for Duration purposes?

It wouldn't be "real" fire though, barring Rune Magic or something of that sort. I'm not sure whether that matters for a Faerie effect or not.

A Creo Ignem keeps the fire burning for the duration of the spell. After that, it's only a matter of how much fuel it haves (or can be feeded) and then the fire goes off.

Our Merinita's trick for stable fires is a circle of fire spell, CrIg 15, R:Touch, D:Ring, R:Circle, which creates a fire of the size of a bonfire inside a circle and keeps it burning until the circle is broken (base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Ring). Then he only needs to worry about keeping the circle unbroken (which is easier than to have a couple grogs constantly chopping wood and feeding the fire).

The rules says so indeed, and they also specify that the fire must be the target of the spell (and that's why the form have to be either Ignem, if you use the fire's flames, so to speak, or Imaginem, I guess that using its light). I don't have that book and don't know what that spell is supossed to do but I guess it only can have the fire keeping a bloodline away from it. And let me say that I find the D:Fire quite oversized as it is at the level of Moon: usually fires don't last that long after all, and given the target limitations and so I guess it could have been the same level of Sun. These 3 magintudes it adds, combined with the base 10 for Glamour, is somehow crippling the things our Merinita is able to do with fires...

It isn't stated anywhere that I'm aware of, but we rule that the D:Fire spell effect size is proportional to the size of the fire you use. So the base target is a bonfire, which would be size +0. Using a candle to support our Glamour's D:Fire "Mystic Tower" would require more size magintudes, if only because you need to power up the flame to support the effect.

There is no such thing as "real" fire, it's mundane fire. The fire created with ignem is magical fire, and having something magical used to make some more magic sounds quite reasonable to me.

...it does not sound very faerie to... a fire kept burning as a tradition, the fire must not go out... magic cannot fuel magic is quite common. Also see the 'Storm' 'I create magical fire thus fire keeps going foreeevaaa!!!' is... flawed. But if you like that intepreation go for it; circle durations and me go a wee bit back in having become a 'cheap' (in all its multitudes of meaning but mainly the '...realy? thats a lowshot..' one when it comes to making 'permanent' soloutions :stuck_out_tongue: )

Fire created by Hermetic Magic is unreal in the same sense that food created by Hermetic Magic is unreal unless created with vis or with something more exotic.

In this case, the assumption was fire created and maintained by an ongoing CrIg spell. Mundane fuel ignited by CrIg certainly burns as a "real" fire.

The implications aren't always clear, especially with Faerie thrown into the mix. The analogy to the Storm duration is compelling though.

Yet that food can feed anyone eating it if it's duration is long enough to be digested, and wood created by magic can fuel a fire as long as it doesn't banish before being burnt.

The comparison with D:Storm isn't a very strong argument against sustaining a D:Fire spell with a CrIg spell, I think: at the end of the "possible abuses of storms" box in RoP:M that darkwing referred some post above it is said that there isn't anything wrong in creating a D:Sun storm, implying that using that storm to sustain another D:Storm spell is fine. Which means that regular duration parameters are Ok, and D:Ring is just one of them (though it would be probably harder to make a D:Ring T:Circle storm if only because you are going to need the Unnatural magnitude modifier), so I don't see why can't you have a D:Fire spell based on a CrIg spell with regular parameters.

After all, what you get it isn't a neverending spell: it is sustained to the problems of any other Ring spell (the circle may be broken easily), plus the D:Fire spell have its own issues, like unlike D:Storms spells, the target must be the fire itself (so you can't fuel it longer by CrIg, you would just increase the intensity of the fire as long as it lasts on its own), and top of that we are talking about a Merinita magi with an Iron Magical Vulnerability... and besides that there are other ways to build virtually permanent spells, like D:Until or D:Aura or an item's constant effect.