Shape shifting clothing

Yeah, I understand.

Still, this game is complex enough that sometimes it's hard to tell when you're just making a logical assumption based on the examples, or when you're jumping into "real" house rules. Often, a spell does something not entirely covered in the guidelines, and if I don't see much info about that, I tend to understand that it's something trivial. The problem comes when different authors reach different ideas concerning stuff like this and contradict each other, like in the constant effect concept.

For example, I see no reason to consider that you need any sort of breakthrough to use wards that do other things than keeping things away from the target. That's easily covered by requisites rules. And then, you can just make use of those rules to create a device that contains a "ward" which turns whoever touches the target into a bear, or invisible.

ArM5 p.114 Magical Wards only allows such handling of targets for "the thing protected" by a ward, just like ArM5 p.113f Magical Senses immediately before only provides special targets for magical senses. The reason, why wards work this way, is given in HoH:S p.112ff: they are themselves already a late integration of Columbae practice to Hermetic magic theory. That is, they themselves were a Breakthrough in the sense of HoH:TL p.26ff and AM p.7ff.

Why? If you wish to use requisites to transform Guidelines IYC, you best hash that out with your troupe in time, after reading with them ArM5 p.114f Requisites.


Why not? A ward is a spell that "protects" the target from the given form. I agree with the idea that turning enemies into bears hardly fits into the definition of "protection", but I don't think that giving additional effects to wards through requisites is something so out of the ordinary. A ward against metal weapons that also rusts them into dust (with Perdo requisite) seems to me a very proper example of the idea.

I don't think I'm transforming the guidelines in this example. Requisites are used to include additional effects to a spell, either based on proper guidelines (like all Muto guidelines, which often specify requisites) or on extra functionality given to them (there's no guideline that says that a Rego requisite prevents you from freezing yourself when using Perdo Ignem spells, yet there's a spell that allows that... because that's one of the uses for requisites, unless I'm very mistaken).

The bit about warding by turning "enemies" into bears or doing something to them that doesn't fit a proper description of "protection" is indeed a wider conceptual gap... But to me it seems like a very easy jump. It's creative use of the guidelines that doesn't technically break or modify them. I've seen greater rule-gymnastics in the books before, honestly. You could even consider that one a proper ward still, if you decided that turning your enemies into beasts could be considered a "punishment".

If you're telling me that magic is something aware and affected by the final "concept" of a spell and the real intentions behind its creation, and that my example isn't a ward because in the end it's not "protecting", then you're portraying magic as something much more capricious as I understood it from the Realm books, honestly.


ArM5 authors have created new spell guidelines all the time, and if you look around, there are also complete lists of those ArM5 spell guidelines available. Some canon spells do not fully conform with guidelines, and best are considered as their own ones.
Also many sagas have their own added or modified spell guidelines.

But if a player tries to sell his troupe on "creative use of the guidelines that doesn't technically break or modify them", and specifically on a spell concept, which allows to turn all people coming close to his maga into mice or all metal coming close to her to rust, he better be prepared for a resounding "No". You don't play Nomic ( ) with your troupe.

ArM5 has no rules allowing such concepts, and doesn't need context sensitive Hermetic magic for this.
The argument "but ... the rules don't forbid it either" is well known and gives away its user to his troupe.


I'm not sure if I follow you. Maybe I've misunderstood the rules all this time, specially those about requisites.

There's a guideline to Creo Aquam, base 10, create a geyser. (ArM5 p121) There's another guideline to Rego Aquam, base 10, move water in a very violent way (p124). Unless my English is worse than I give myself credit for, I understand that, according to the rules for requisites, I can make use of both guidelines to create a Cr(Re)Aq spell that produces a geiser that I can control in a very violent way, for example. I'm not adding or modifying any spell guideline there.

Similarly, if I invent a ward against fire using Rego Ignem guidelines (p143) with base 4 (control a fire in a slightly unnatural way), I'd assume that I could also make it extinguish the affected fires, with Perdo requisite (using Perdo Ignem guidelines, base 4 to extinguish a fire, p142). And while that wouldn't make much sense, I'd consider that if I wanted the spell to turn the affected fires into blooming roses that grow from where the fires stood, I could do that as well. Because there are also guidelines for turning fire into other substances with Muto Ignem, with the proper requisite (Herbam in this case). Or my beloved ward against people that turns them into bears. Of course, many of those additional effects would increase the spells' levels, but that's not my point.

My argument isn't just that rules don't forbid that, in fact, it is that there are, as I understand, rules that specifically allow that.

I would note that "wards" are a specific kind of magic, a subset of Rego magic. The way they work is well-defined (ArM5 p.114). The first sentence of that definition is quite clear: "Rego spells can create wards which protect the target from things of the appropriate Form."

What you are trying to do isn't a ward. The current knowledge of Hermetic Magic as described in RAW doesn't allow you to do what you describe (i.e. a Muto effect that functions like a ward). So it might require original research to implement (as per HoH:S p.26) or a House Rule, as a saga-specific decision.

Don't see this as a rule-problem. It is more a question of the state of knowledge of magic in the setting. Hermetic magi have integrated (Rego) wards as an integration of the magic used by another tradition of magicians (the Welsh swynwyr or "Columbae" described in HoH:S p.110). That tradition was only able to perform such magic for Rego-like effects. Further advancement might allow the same mecanism to be used for other kinds of effects (Muto or Perdo, for example) but that is currently not the case. Hence the need for additional research in the field.

I'm not concerned right now with adapting the concept to the whole constant effect mechanics, at least in my previous post what I wanted to clarify is if I'm mistaken with how requisites work and how they apply to wards.

A Muto effect that uses Rego requisite to apply ward-like targeting to a spell is one thing. I still don't see where is it specified that wards can't have requisites to expand their effects. A spell that kills any beast that tries to cross my circle, or that burns any wood that tries to strike me, seems to me a damn fine example of a ward. And no need to go into requisites. A spell that teleports any incoming arrow 15 paces from me (which is also Rego) fits the description as well, at least to me.

I'm not saying that elephants should be allowed to fly naturally with their ears when holding a feather because it's not specifically forbidden, or something just as random. Assuming that wards can be invented with requisites because no rule forbids it, when basically everything else can do the same, it's a logical assumption, even if they're hedge magic legacy. Columbae couldn't use wards with as much flexibility in ranges, targets and durations either, yet I don't believe a Merinita needs a breakthrough (unless I'm mistaken again, of course) to create a ward with T: Bloodline, or something like that, which comes from a whole different tradition.

Otherwise, it would make more sense to list them in a similar manner as the Aegis of the Earth, with a fixed guideline, specifying that in their case "target" means who's protected, and that they can't be altered beyond strength and parameters.

You continue to harp about ArM5 p.114f Requisites. These are not your free ticket to graft everything on top of everything else. They are just a way to allow guidelines to be a little more flexible.
If there isn't already a single encompassing guideline for the resulting effect, you need to ask your troupe both, whether the spell is possible at all, and, which level it will have. Requisites itself doesn't tell you, that you can mix and match beyond a single guideline or existing spell.

Take a look at the definition of wards in ArM5 p.114 Magical Wards. You will see, that spell guidelines for wards are indeed specific for wards.

Putting it all together: wards can't be altered by just taking any other guideline and grafting its effect onto the spell via requisites, unless you already have the resulting guideline or spell description in the rules, or your troupe provides one.


There is precedent in MoH p141 "the well trodden path", for spells which are centred on an Individual but affect the form specific substance they encounter. That spell uses ReTe to alter the ground as the caster moves.
That said its a very YSMV thing.

But... It does. That's precisely what you can infer from a truckload of examples shown in pretty much every single book that contains Hermetic spells, especially those dealing about scenarios, including the ones in the actual text about requisites. I'm sorry, but "a little more flexible" isn't very specific. Lots of spells show that you can indeed combine guidelines to a certain extent, and I don't see what's wrong with it, in fact, I'd even argue that combining guidelines is their actual purpose, since anything else would be inventing your own guidelines (which I agree with you in that it would be something beyond the rules, pertaining particular troupes, or requiring to be dealt with using original research rules).

I'm starting to feel like you reduce my argument to the absurd to argue against it. Of course requisites aren't a free ticket to graft everything on top of everything else. But it's not like I'm trying to create a single spell that shoots fireballs, heals wounds and teleports the caster to a magically created stone tower with dancing women and a fountain of wine inside, or some random mashup of guidelines. I'm talking about expanding the effect of a spell in a way that makes sense, at least from my point of view. If you can add a Rego Ignem effect to a Perdo Ignem spell so that you freeze an area without affecting yourself (wait, isn't that actually a ward-like effect?), I don't see why can't you make a protective Rego Terram ward spell even more protective yet, by removing the threat altogether once it's repelled with a Perdo Terram effect. And even then I believe I'm still being very conservative.

Unless what you're telling me is that the only guideline combination allowed is whatever is shown in the books, which makes even less sense because there's no method nor justification to them, beyond the fact that they suit the particular spells involved.

Or not. Honestly, I don't see why is this such an issue. I never even considered that this would become such a complex matter, since there are many spells that show a certain degree of plasticity when considering what their targets, durations or ranges mean, and it's even specified that you can further modify them into "special" parameters (without going overboard) in formulaic and ritual spells.

If you claim that you can demonstrate it, using ArM5 p.114f Requisites, just do it.

And to make it a little easier, only demonstrate this claim of yours:

But be complete, precise, stringent and literal: no 'inferences' and 'analogies' only you can see, just the ArM5 spell guidelines and ArM5 p.114f Requisites.

Maybe you overlooked, that new spells and guidelines in the ArM5 books, also those using requisites, passed internal review and were vetted by the editor? Your troupe will do this with your ideas as well, if you ask them for "a spell that kills any beast that tries to cross my circle, or that burns any wood that tries to strike me".


This is a telling argument. Have a look at who really is the you in your statement.

It is based on

So indeed your storyguide can allow you to use different ranges, durations or targets for your formulaic spells.

Players, troupes and ArM5 authors did write many such spells. But a spell in this way accepted by the storyguide of one saga might as well be refused by the troupe of another. And before they are published, spells get reviewed.


Well, if you want to go that way, then of course the argument is definitely settled and you're absolutely right.

It doesn't feel like a useful answer, though, because you can apply that to every single rule in the game. After all, the storyguide and/or the troupe can decide to alter, ignore or include anything that may fit the saga.

So, while I agree with you with that particular matter, I feel like it's not a satisfactory answer. You could answer that to anything brought into these forums.

About proving my claims, I'll get to it as soon as I'm near my books. I honestly want to check if I'm mistaken, because as you said, it's a big series.


like it or not, "ask your troupe" is the general answer you get for non-trivial spell proposals. It's built into ArM5 spell design. And it is part of the reason, why Ars Magica magic is far more flexible than that of other RPGs, without Mythic Europe becoming arbitrary. I gave it to you already here: .

If you wish to go even a bit beyond that general answer, please remember , and be complete, precise, stringent and literal: no 'inferences' and 'analogies' only you can see, just the ArM5 spell guidelines and ArM5 p.114f Requisites. And before arguing, please spell out completely what your argument shall show.


It has nothing to do with liking it or not. It's just that you're supposed to do that with everything, including trivial spell proposals that clearly follow the guidelines to the letter, or even spells already included in the book. Whatever you do in the game, you're supposed to "ask your troupe" anyways. You're stating the obvious here, or at least, what seems obvious to me. So I don't understand why the emphasis in this particular subject.

So, as you wish.

In ArM5, p.114, Requisites section, third paragraph, it states that "The second adds an effect to a spell. In this case, the base Arts and level for the spell are those for the highest-level effect it has. For example, a magic item that changes a picture to show what is happening at a distant location is an Intellego Imaginem spell with a Muto requisite, not a Muto Imaginem spell with an Intellego requisite, as the Intellego effect is of much higher level".

The first sentence states that the second type of requisite adds an effect to a spell. I'd stop here since I believe this answers the matter already, but to make things clear, the rule is further illustrated by an In(Mu)Im spell that uses two distinct guidelines: Intellego Imaginem, p.145, "Level 1: Use one sense at a distance" and Muto Imaginem, p.145, "Level 1: Change one sensation of an object".

There's no guideline nor proper spell in the Intellego Imaginem section which uses said effect. I'd consider safe to assume that the example it's supposed to illustrate how to add effects to a spell, as it says right there. It even goes on providing rules to determine which one is the main effect, by comparing their levels individually. In fact, this also implies that additional effects need not to use the same parameters, since the InIm effect targets "a distant location" while the MuIm effect targets "a picture" that has to be close enough to the caster for the spell to be of any use.

In the next paragraph another example is used, a Creo Ignem spell with Rego requisite, which I believe could correspond to the Coat of Flames from p.140. Again, it features two effects, Creo Ignem and Rego Ignem. Yet again, no proper guideline is provided for such combination. And finally, near the end of that section (p.115), it is stated that spells can have both Technique and Form requisites, and multiple of each, on top of that. No restriction is given, other than rules to increase the spell's magnitude based on requisites. So yes, you can do whacky random stuff as long as you're willing to pay the price in magnitudes.

The book is littered with examples. And while of course those examples have been reviewed before their inclusion into the book, I see no reason to consider them special cases, having rules that tell you how it's done. Of course, using those rules would require agreement with your troupe... like everything else you do in the game.

So what am I missing? :confused:

You 'miss' deliberately, that the troupe, when deciding to "do whacky random stuff", modifies, redefines or leaves behind the game world of ArM5, Mythic Europe.

I had asked you in to "spell out completely what your argument shall show", which you didn't.
Your post consists in a series of quotes from rules, how to compute the level of spells with requisites, and how to cast such spells. But it does not result in an argument, which spells are possible for Hermetic magi in 1220, or even, which spells should be possible IYC. Yes, we may 'infer', that the examples given in ArM5 p.114 Requisites should be safe, but that's all.
ArM5 to a degree needs to separate the game world - Mythic Europe - from the hard and fast game rules. ArM5 p.114 Requisites is the latter, and very carefully avoids statements about which guidelines a campaign should combine in a single spell or effect. I reckon that you have seen that by now.


A question: What's the duration of these effects?

For RAW Wards, the spell's Duration describes how long the ward lasts. But the ward's effect on the target is quite limited in duration, only affecting it when and while it comes into contact with the ward. For example, a deflected arrow is only thrown back when reaching the ward, it doesn't come into the control of the Warded target afterwards. Likewise, a fire is only pushed back while into contact with the ward.

So I can see how, with your reasoning, a Re(Pe)He ward that stops and destroys arrows could work, since the perdo effect only needs to be momentary to affect the thing protected against, but this would be quite a problem for a Re(Mu)Co(An) ward that changes those striking you into mice.

And you keep missing my point. Again, I'm not trying to design a Creo Ignem spell to power a six-cylinder turbo engine vehicle with six gears (even though it'd be certainly possible, since what such a motor does is just to use explosions to spin a gear, and explosions and gears aren't something entirely new). A ward that applies additional effects to whatever it wards off, such as one that burns deflected weapons, doesn't seem really exceptional when you compare it to spells that turn people into half-sharks with gills. Even if wards are hedge magic "recently" integrated, there's nothing that defines which rules can and which can't be applied to recent integrations.

My 'argument' shows that the game rules do in fact offer a valid method to combine guidelines and to balance the resulting spells. You keep arguing things that, at least to my eyes, are obviously implicit. Of course anything has to be put to debate with the troupe. Of course I should keep in consideration the game's paradigm. I do. Everything you do in the game has to follow those two considerations. I don't understand why you keep bringing up issues that we are in agreement with.

Honestly, I think you're using increasingly subjective arguments against me. You're making assumptions and inferences as vague and random as you accuse me of doing (and, I'm sorry, but I believe that justifying my ideas using examples from the book that includes them to illustrate the rules provided, isn't wrong, while you keep basing yours in your particular view of how Mythic Europe should be) as well as assuming that I'm somehow going to put my ideas in a saga without sharing them with my troupe first. I could rant on any original content that you decide to share in these forums using the same arguments as you do. What's the point? I am going to ask my troupe before adding anything new, obviously.

I've seen examples of spells with effects that use different parameters. In the one that I quoted previously, from the rules for requisites, each effect uses its own range. In that section they don't go too much into detail, they say that if the additional effects do something relevant, they add a magnitude, and depending on how powerful it is, you might consider adding more. The example I quoted before, as I pointed out, could be said to be using two ranges too.

So for a "mouse-ward" spell, I guess that turning enemies into mice is a powerful effect already, that would require extra magnitudes. If you want to extend the transformation for significant time, that would require even more. But personally I would allow it to keep them turned for a diameter without extra magnitudes. Just enough for them to panic and run away.

the "bear belt" I discussed earlier wouldn't need more than momentary duration, since it should take effect only while worn, and it should apply only to the single person wearing it, so this one shouldn't be as powerful as an actual ward.

So there we agree now.

Then let's get back to these:

D:Ring T:Circle Wards killing, destroying or transforming beings or objects crossing their circles would be most useful as traps. They would make the ArM5 p.162 Watching Ward rituals obsolete, reduce the price - no more vis needed - and vastly increase the use of such traps. Hundreds of such traps can be had for a day's work of a magus, and they last until their circles are destroyed.
From a vis and action economy viewpoint, using lots of such traps as sanctum defenses, and then using variants of ArM5 p.162 Suppressing the Wizard's Handiwork to pass them, would be that advantageous, that almost every sanctum would be defended by scores of them in any time of perceived crisis.
Such traps would turn every battleground prepared by a magus with a day on his hand into a mine field, and the approach to every potentially unfriendly covenant into a mine-sweeping exercise.

D:Sun T:Individual wards killing, destroying or transforming beings or objects touching the warded person would become both a choice defense and attack of every magus and many a grog preparing for a dangerous day. Note that touching goes both ways: so Midas the magus can touch opponents in battle to turn them to gold as easily, as those trying to touch him will be turned into statues. And the latter usually does not prevent Midas from casting another spell in the same round.

Nothing of this is the case in Mythic Europe. And thinking troupes will reject such a proposal. So you won't push it, or will you?


I don't agree with that assessment, so yes, I will push it.

The Watching Ward is a far more versatile ritual than a regular ward, but let's not forget that despite its name, it's not a ward but a trap. They don't serve the same purposes. Wards are general defenses that keep things protected from the corresponding Form, while a Watching Ward is intended to go kablooey on the first threat that meets the triggering conditions. Even without discussing wards with additional effects, I'd believe that magi in Mythic Europe don't favor wards over the Watching Ward nor vice versa simply because they serve different purposes, not because their comparative usefulness. But let's also cover the specifics.

First of all, the Watching Ward only needs to be as powerful as the combined level of the spells it contains. Adding effects to a regular ward requires to increase the spell's level depending on how many and how powerful they are, because it's a single spell. This affects Penetration, and can lead to spells powerful enough to cause warping and even to reach Ritual requirement.

Second, while you can specify very particular conditions to trigger a Watching Ward, regular wards only act on contact, don't discriminate targets and can only affect the corresponding Form. To overcome some of these differences you'd require more effects, such as an Intellego requisite to identify particular foes, plus any additional Form that you wish to affect. Each of these requisites increases the spell's level as well, and it'd still be limited to affect things by contact, which I'm not sure how could be expanded (Although there's that spell you mentioned many posts earlier which triggers by looking at the target, so it could be conceived). If allowed, doing so would further increase the spell's level anyways (in that example, it corresponded to extending the target to T: Room, but the target still was an individual, so I'd consider that you would add the cost for both targets/ranges).

Third, dismantling the Watching Ward, even if easily detected, is inherently risky, whereas nullifying a ward isn't by default, and it's even easier if it's a circular ward. It'd be also easier to locate such wards due to their level, and this would also increase the difficulty when trying to shroud them.

So, to emulate a Watching Ward as a permanent trap, you'd effectively need to design at least three effects into a single spell, which according to the rules for Requisites would add two magnitudes to the base effect. Depending on how powerful the additional effects are, they might cost extra magnitudes. Including other Form requisites so you can affect them would also cost extra. Triggering the ward by other means than by touch would cost extra if allowed. And since it's a ward, that's just what you need to affect things with zero magic defenses, so feel free to add as many levels as you intend to penetrate. I didn't do the math on any specific example, but I doubt you can design such a ward to be useful without either reaching Ritual level, nor making it too weak or stupidly specific to be a threat to any decent magus, and even then, it can be safely removed when found.

For T: Individual wards, you're correct in that they can work both ways, allowing them to be used offensively. But you deliberately forgot that unless designed with a prohibitive number of requisites, they wouldn't tell friend from foe. An army warded with individual anti-personal spells would result in catastrophic consequences, and any ward against any kind of weapon would affect their own as well. Overcoming those inconveniences would raise the spells' powers above warping level, surely, if not Ritual as well.

So, nope, I don't think that magi in Mythic Europe would stop using Watching Ward spells to favor modified wards, any more than they would do with regular wards, anyways. Modified wards would be extremely useful for very specific purposes, but also extremely costly, hazardous and vulnerable for reliable permanent defenses. One thing is to ward your camp with a circle that kills predators, and a whole different thing is to fortify your sanctum.

[Edit]: to summarize.