Size Adjustment in Parameters

Continuing the discussion from Call for ArM5 Errata:

This is potentially far-reaching, and not at all straightforward, so it gets its own thread. What do people think?

1 Like

I think the size feature should be alterable with FFM, MuVi, etc. I think it should be possible to invent an Aegis of the Hearth with extra size magnitudes without needing to do a major breakthrough. How this gets worded I have no idea as AotH thing is kind of a carve out from the previous thing about FFM and all that.

1 Like

I've always assumed Size is a part of the Target parameter - otherwise it wouldn't be range/duration/target, it would be range/duration/target/size as the parameters, and the heading of the box that makes up most of p113 "Targets and sizes" always suggested to me the two are inextricably linked.

Also, if size isn't something easily alterable, it makes Perdo Corpus and Perdo Animal rubbish when you come up against a target larger than expected - I've always allowed those with Flexible Formulaic Magic or with a relevant MuVi spell to increase the size.

Flexible Formulaic Magic becomes much less useful if it's "You can increase any parameter by one step - oh no wait, not size".

The effect on the Aegis - as some covenants will have auras much larger than one boundary, it makes sense to allow extra magnitudes for Size. I'm sure Notatus of Bonisagus would have made sure his greatest achievement could cover Durenmar.

1 Like

As the rules are written, I do not consider Size as part of the R/D/T parameters but as its own thing.
It should be straightforward to invent a version of Aegis of the Hearth with extra magnitudes for size to cover large covenants.
FFM as written can't adjust the Size, but it appears to be a very common houserule that FFM should be able to adjust size in the same way as it can adjust R/D/T - and I would approve of this becoming an official rule.
Regarding similar spells, if Size is not part of Target, then according to the definition of similar spells adjusting the Size for one spell will not change which spells that spell is similar to (since Size is not mentioned in that definition) - and this is how I think it should work.

1 Like

My personal preference matches what a few have said:

  1. Size is part of Target.
  2. AotH includes a note that size can be changed.

The first handles FFM, MuVi, and similar spells smoothly, while the second handles the one problematic part for AotH internally. Does this mean tons of spells need errata to change their Targets such as "Group" to "Group x10"? I would say that being part of Group would mean it doesn't need to be changed there, so long as it shows up in the calculation, as has been done consistently. And then no errata are needed for all those instances.

I think you missed the point on this one. If you have one spell and another, and they only differ by size, then they must be similar because either they're related effects with the same R/D/T or they're the same effect with different R/D/T. The problem comes in only if you change both size and at least one of R/D/T. In the case of changing size and at least one of R/D/T, if size is not part of Target, then the spells are no longer similar. For example, you have a spell at Individual. You want to hit a big group, so you make a version that works at Group +1 size. Those are only similar spells if size is part of Target.

No, I do not think I missed the point, but we may read the rules differently.
Two spells are similar if either of the following is true:

  • Closely related effect, but same R/D/T.
  • Same effect, but with one or more of R/D/T being different.

Take one spell, change Target from Individual to Group, and increase Size to +1.
Same effect, different Target, so similar spell. Increase in size does not change the effect, so it will not affect if the spells are similar or not, if it is not part of the R/D/T parameters..

Other example: Take two spells with closely related effects, but with the same R/D/T. Increase size of one of them to +1. If Size is part of Target then the spells will no longer be similar, but if Size is not part of Target then they will still have the same R/D/T and thus still be similar.

1 Like

No, you're off here:

Two spells have the same effect if the rules description of the spell is the same, apart from the Range, Duration, or Target.

In other words, if you change anything other than R/D/T, it's not the same effect. So if size is not part of Target, then changing size gives you "closely related effect."

Yup, firmly putting size inside Target would definitely prevent this. Of course, even without size being included in Target this similarity might be prevented: you're taking two things closely related and making them less closely related, so they're closely related to closely related to each other. So firmly putting size inside Target might not change anything here.

Here I may have misread the rules. I always considered the "rules description of the spell" to just be the actual description of the effect, not including things like spell name, level, R/D/T parameters. But perhaps all of those (except the name which is quite arbitrary) are supposed to be included in the "rules description".

I'll give you that it's confusing that they say the whole thing "describe[s]" the spell and within that description there is a "description." I'll call that second part the "paragraph description" for clarity. We can note a few things:

  1. R/D/T are very rarely placed in the paragraph description, but they were noted to be excepted. That could just be for safety.
  2. Most importantly, size is almost always written into the paragraph description, so whether you consider the calculation to be part of the "description" or only the paragraph description to be the "description," changing size nearly always changes both.

It can go either way. I tend to think of Size as an "internal" parameter, in the way that the kind of metal manipulated or amount of damage done with an Ignem spell. Now that I read what I wrote, considering Size as an adjustable parameter opens a whole can of worms. Can FFM adjust the damage done? The type of stone you can affect? If so, then ignore me :slight_smile:

I consider Size to be something related to but different then the other parameters and can be changed without changing the nature of the spell in question.

Basically, increasing the size of an Aegis doesn't require any breakthroughs, its the same spell.

1 Like

Only if you include the parenthetical level calculation in the paragraph description. I don't. I consider the level calculation to just be design notes and not part of the spell description proper.
Outside of the level calculation, any adjustments for size are only rarely mentioned.

Rather, the other way around. If you include level calculation, then it works as you say. If you do not, then it does not work as you say. Go choose any spell with + magnitudes for size. Here, let's grab this one:

R: Voice, D: Conc, T: Part
Causes water to churn wildly, overturning small water craft and forcing Swim rolls at –6, in a circular area 20 paces across.

(Base 5, +2 Voice, +1 Conc, +1 Part, +1 size)

So are you saying that "20 paces across" would remain the same if you redesign it with +2 size or no extra size? This does go into the messiness I pointed out before about being clever and using formulas all over the place rather than fixed numbers, of course.

Gah! You have a point there.
Conclusion: We need a better definition of "same effect" or a different definition of similar spells that does not rely on "same effect".

Yes, that is something a couple of us specifically requested in an earlier thread about general and similar spells.

OK, so this is drifting into the "Similar Spells" problem, but there does seem to be consensus that FFM should be able to change size, and it should be possible to change the size of Aegis.

How about something along the lines of:

Magnitudes for greater size are a part of the Target parameter, and can be manipulated in the same way as the Target parameter, whether through Virtues, MuVi, or other techniques. However, changing the size does not change the Target parameter.

And added to AoH: Magi may invent versions of this spell with different size modifiers, to cover larger covenants.

Does that look likely to work? (Ignoring the "similar spells" problem, at least for now.)


I like it.

Looks fine to me.

I believe that is the way a lot of groups already play it. Looks good to me.