Shadows can be very dangerous...


I present here three effects to be instilled in an obsidian orb (do you know the orb of immanent darkness from MoH?), these effects manipulate shadows and raise some questions about their management in game in my group.

The effects are:

PeIg 30
R: Voice, D: Conc, T: Part
Pen 0, 24 uses per day

This effect create a shadow (up to 10 times the size of a standard Ignem individual fire).

(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Conc, +1 Part, +1 Size; +5 item maintains concentration, +5 24 uses per day)

ReIg 45
R: Voice, D: Conc, T: Group
Pen 0, 24 uses per day

This effect re-shape up to ten shadows (each up to 10 times the size of a standard Ignem individual fire) into shapes desired by the wielder. The shadows can “rise” from the surface, taking three-dimensional shapes, and getting around according to the will of the wielder.

(Base 10, +2 Voice, +1 Conc, +1 Group, +1 Size; +5 item maintains concentration, +5 24 uses per day)

MuIg(Te) 61
R: Voice, D: Conc, T: Group
Pen +32, 24 uses per day

This effect changes the target shadows (up to ten) to be hard as stone.

(Base 10, +2 Voice, +1 Conc, +1 Group, +1 Size; +5 item maintains concentration, +5 24 uses per day, +16 penetration bonus)

Well, If the orb is used for offensive porpouses the wielder can create a shadow with the 1° effect (for example the shadow of a giant), animate it with the 2° effect (a giant made of darkness reach the enemy and raise from the ground) and finally attack the target with the 3° effect.

The questions:

  1. Is correct to assume that only the last effect needs to penetrate the MR of the target?

  2. How should I handle the battle between the giant and the target? I mean, the giant hits the target automatically (as a pilum of fire) or requires the finesse of the wielder? Maybe the giant has a brawl score equal to the finesse of the wielder?

  3. What is the damage inflicted?

I hope in your help.

Oh, I missed the Terram requisite, the correct version:

MuIg(Te) 66
R: Voice, D: Conc, T: Group
Pen +32, 24 uses per day

This effect changes the target shadows (up to ten) to be hard as stone.

(Base 10, +2 Voice, +1 Conc, +1 Group, +1 Size, +1 Requisite; +5 item maintains concentration, +5 24 uses per day, +16 penetration bonus)

Of course I appreciate any comment or correction of the effects presented.

The target, in your spell no 3 is the shadow not the person you want them to hit. Using the method you have described I am not sure how you could incorporate penetration. In effect it is useless against anyone with MR.

Then again, I might be misunderstanding you completely.

An ugly little series of spells there - nice!

(And thanks for using standard spell notation - yay!) :laughing:

Btr, yes. The target is pure magic, so a spell on that needs to penetrate MR.

The latter - the "Target" of the Rego effect is the shadow, not the opponent, so Finesse is used.

Yep, sure, absolutely, I completely agree.

Couple/few ways to approach this, and they should all be considered and balanced against each other...

  1. The "shadow" is big, and it's stone. It'll hit like a ton-o-bricks, literally (actually, probably closer to 100 tons, as stone is 3 T/ cubic meter, iirc.) Maybe one "fist" is only 10 tons. And the Rego effect is described as "dancing", so it's moving fast enough - could be ugly. At that size, should be ugly.

b) By the Level of the Effects (not the item, but the effect that item geneates), you've got an initial Level 20 effect, then modified by a level 35 effect, and then augmented again by a level 40.PeIg 20 (Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Conc, +1 Part, +1 Size)
ReIg 35 (Base 10, +2 Voice, +1 Conc, +1 Group, +1 Size)
MuIg 40 (Base 10, +2 Voice, +1 Conc, +1 Group, +1 Size, +1 Requisite) There are no guidelines for adjudicating such, but that's going to be some kinda powerful. Compare to the largest core book effects, and it should easily outclass them by several "magnitudes" of unpleasantness.

iii) Game balance. Sounds like whoever created this is something of a stud, so they're already operating in the upper atmosphere. But don't be a slave to the rules and find you've just written the demise of your saga. (Alternately, letting a lesser mage find this thing won't guarantee they can figure out how it works, and the creator may find it's so powerful that the Order comes and speaks to him about how he's been using it...)

All that said, I think anything it hits is beyond "soak", unless it's equally magical.

The dragon in the core book (p 194) has is size +8 and only +20 damage, but it has +22 attack, and that latter can add directly to damage. This "stone shadow" won't have a big attack, but when it hits it should hit like the aforementioned 10 tons of bricks. +30? +40? More?

Would the shadows still be as malleable (and thus affected by the ReIg manipulation effect) after becoming as hard as stone?

Salvete, Sodales!

Why should it be. If I enchant a sword to be razor-sharp (to use a classical example) the spell I put on it has hopefully some penetration left, and this is the amount I have to consider if I want to find out, whether I can cut a nasty magical critter with the blade or whether his Magic Might deflects the blade. At least that is how I understand to working of penetration in contexts like this, and I was under the impression that this is the general reading.

On the other hand in my story the lowest penetration of the 3 effects would count.

Alexios ex Miscellanea

Sure - don't confuse "hard as stone" with "rigid as stone".

The other properties of an object stay the same - this is not a "petrification" effect (unless defined as such).

Well I am happy to believe I am out on a limb here.

I do regard the two things as a little different. The in the edge of the razor example that particular spell is genuinely trying to affect the person it is stabbing with that specific function. Although I see a connection here with regards to the shadows I don't feel it is quite the same. I do recognise this is more of a gut feeling than a coherent argument but it feels wrong.


Note that this spell 'creates' a shadow in the same way that casting a CrIg or PeCo can create a corpse. A shadow is always of something, so I'd want to see a better description of this effect to understand what it does. If it is destroying Ignem in a shape, to create a shadow, I'd want at least one magnitude for a fancy effect. If the spell can create different shapes, I'd want a magnitude for flexibility. I'd also note that this shadow cannot move.

I would not allow this. A shadow is not Ignem, so cannot be affected by Ignem. An Imaginem spell, on the other hand, could create and manipulate things that look like shadows. Complexity? Flexibility?

And again no to this. The shadow is not Ignem. This looks to me like a Cr(Re)Te(Im) effect, which would go nicely with a focus in shadows.

It should be noted that while a shadow is created due to blocked light (Ignem), the shadow that I see is either Imaginem or nothing at all.

Effects that are similar to the ones you propose can be created, but since I have problems with the effects as written, I'd have to answer as follows:

  1. Not relevant.

  2. The spell does not go off.

I should also note that I have a prejudice against Muto spells that effectively create something out of nothing, making Creo redundant.



Wait - why? I mean, normally a shadow is "created" by a natural thing, but this isn't "natural" any more than a CrIg bonfire (which is "created by wood", but is hardly Herbem). And PeCo doesn't "create" a corpse - it just kills someone, and the body is left.

I'm not seeing your rationale here.

Darkness is not ignem?! (or the lack of it)?

An Imaginem spell doesn't create "light", so why would it create "darkness"? An imaginem spell can create the illusion of a lantern, but that lantern should not actually "shed light" - altho' that can be part of the illusion. (Before anyone goes off on a tangent, note, however, it is an illusion, defined as the Caster desires - if the caster doesn't know what a page on a book says, or what's in a room, they can't cast an illusion of a lantern lighting up those objects accurately.)

(In fact, isn't there a specific line about "invisibility" that states that PeIm can't erase a shadow?!)

CrIg is light. PeIg is darkness. Shadows are darkness. Shadows (real shadows) are covered by PeIg. Illusions of shadows are covered by Imagonem (just as would illusions of fire and light, which is not the same as the "real" thing.)

Once you have the shadows, you can do odd things to them - just as you can do odd things to a CrIg bonfire or a CrCo body. At a level 35 and 40 effect, the after-the-fact Muto and Rego effects (which are creating nothing, merely changing/controlling what already exists, as per the definition) should be fairly impressive.

If you want to toss out a few extra magnitudes for "complexity", that's all in the "ysmv" category.

I thought a shadow would be Imaginem, being only the byproduct of light.

hmmmm - I don't think so. But it's not like there's any canon definition.

CrIm could certainly conjure what looks exactly like a shadow - but that wouldn't be a "real" shadow, only the appearance of one.

PeIg can reduce light, which, to me, fits the exact definition of a "real" shadow.

But I'll readily admit that producing a 2-dimensional light effect and then changing that into a 3-dimensional combat juggernaut won't be right for every saga.

A host of figures made out of darkness rising from the ground all around the characters yells EPIC EXTRACOOL BATTLE to me, though, so I would use it in the hands of a NPC easily.


I think that a shadow can be either of PeIg and CrIm, the former reducing light to create it, the latter creating what looks like a shadow, fake but since its a matter of light/vision(ie manipulating what a shadow is "made from" anyway) id say its still "real".

And when you turn off the light, whats left is shadow... I think you´re forgetting how magic can directly interfere with light. Still, even in reality your claim is incorrect. Creating shadows that are NOT "of" something is a trick used by stage magicians, theaters and camouflage for at least hundreds but more likely thousands of years. Tricks with shadows is sometimes tricks with light.

A shadow is Ignem "removed".

Making it hard as stone doesnt equate creating stone.

I think Ovarwa is saying (and if that's the case, I agree with him) that shadows do not exist except as an absence of light (i.e. of ignem). That's why PeIg, rather than CrIg, "creates" them. You cannot thereafter apply ReIg or MuIg magics directly to them, because they are the very negation of the form you are trying to apply. It's like using PeTe to "create" a hole into a stone wall, and then use MuTe(An) to change the hole into roastbeef.

I agree.

Good analogy.

Not forgetting the finesse roll for nicely roasted beef.

mmm roast beef dinner.

I agree with Richard and ezzelino. It seems that once the shadow is created, changing and controlling it become part of Imaginem. According to RAW, pg 143, shadow is a perception and "can be manipulated by the Art of Imaginem."

Mmph. On the other hand, pg 139. specifies "Light and heat" and goes on to say that heat includes relative absence of heat. And pg 143. says Rego Ignem spells can control heat or light as well as fire.

And a shadow is not necessarily absence of light, but a lowered level of light. (Gloom of Evening, pg 142) There is something there to be targeted.

So it's stretching definitions, but I'd allow the principle, using Target: Part. I probably wouldn't let it be quite as damaging as a straightforward BoAF approach, though.

Bonus points for style. :slight_smile:

I don't think a shadow falls under the Ignem form; for those who do, I think the fallacy is confusing "light" with "stuff that light allows me to see".

Suppose we have a lamp on a round table in an otherwise empty room. We informally say that we see "light all over the floor except for a round shadow". But what's really happening is this: light from the lamp hits most of the floor, making it emit lots of iconic species (which we see); but the round part of floor not hit by the light barely emits any iconic species, so we just see blackness in that direction. Light is what causes part of the floor to look like a shadow, but the shadow itself is not light - it can be affected by light, which isn't the same thing.

To make an awful analogy (not nearly as good as the roast beef one), you can cast a CrAu spell to create a rain shower that makes flowers grow, but you can't then control those flowers with a ReAu spell: even though they were brought into being with an Auram spell, they're still Herbam themselves.