Ok, my last thread was very informative (for me at least) about certain "edge" cases and uncertainties I had about the Ars Magica rules and setting. As promised, I did miss a few questions, as well as encounter a few new ones in the interim. So with the hopes of lightning striking the same spot with unnatural frequency, I thought I would solicit some more information for the forum community 8).
For the most part, I feel like I understand spell design. I have, however, run into one set of spells that seem to confuse me--General Spells. Now, I understand the basics. You learn a general spell at a given level, and then it behaves as a spell of that level which determines its effects. So a ReAq 20 ward against aerial fae would ward against Fae with a might score of up to 20 (inclusive). What confuses me, is the way effect level seems to be inconsistantly intermingled with other magnitude modifiers. Wards are special handled, I understand, but take for instance the following two spells:
Sight of the True Form (page 130), ReCo General
Allows you to see the true original form of anyone you look at, defeating disguises if level of the spell is 10+, and any spell effects if they are < level then the spell.
Infernal Smoke of Death (page 127), MuAu 40
Which does +25 damage in a horrible smoke cloud...
Now the reason these two confuse me is as follows... Infernal Smoke of Death (ISoD) is level 40 because it's base is a general effect at +25 damage (base 25), with a range of Voice (+2) and a Duration of Concentration (+1). Perfectly straight forward.
But if I learn Sight of the True Form (SotTF) at level 40, it will have a base effect of.. well.. 40... and yet it is Target Vision (+4), which would seem to imply to me that its effect aught to be 20. So defeating spells of level 20 or less.
Ok, that was actually quite long, so maybe I'll just go with this one question for this post 8). Thanks again for your help, everyone!