Spell advise: crossing stone walls

Muto terram guidelines are as follows for changing earth:

Level 1: Change one property of earth.
Level 2: Change earth to another type of natural earth (sand, mud, loam...) .
Level 3: Change earth so that is slightly unnatural. Requisites may be required.
Change earth into a liquid or gas. Requisites may be required.
Change earth to stone, or vice versa.
Level 4: Change earth so that is highly unnatural. Requisites are often required.
Change earth into a mixture of liquid, solid and gases. Require the appropriate requisites.
Change earth into a plant. Require Herbam requisite.
Make something grow to eight time its previous volume.
Level 5: Change earth into slightly unnatural liquid or gas. Require the appropriate requisite.
Change earth into an animal. Require Animal requisite.
Level 10: Change earth into highly unnatural liquid or gas. Require appropriate requisite.

As I see it base 4 might be enough: transform earth so that it allows you to pass trough it (highly unnatural) and keep structural integrity. No need to change it into a gas or liquid.... You will be dirty when you emerge on the other side, but that is a small price to pay :slight_smile:

B4, +1 touch +1 diameter +1 stone = level 15
Transforms 1 cubic pace of stone to an earthy-ish form that allows you to pass through it. That is enough to open a (narrow)doorway in a 1-pace thick stone wall.

More along the lines about what he wants :slight_smile:


I think that Xavi is right.
The two methods: ReTe 3 level based spell (Maybe with some duration like diameter or Concentration) and the same for MuTe(Aq) Level 4 Based. The good point that is only need make the move across the wall.
Caul Thiever's door
MuTe(Aq) Level 15
Base 4,+1 to affect rock, Range: Touch, Target: Part, Duration: Momentary.
For Example.
Trojan Door.
ReTe Level 15.
base 3, +1 for Rock, Range: Touch, Target: Part, Duration: Concentration.
(Or Maybe... "Open you Sesamo?)
The two are very similar, effectively and first because there can be magis with problems with the combinatios of some Arts or simmilar problems.
Concentration Duration with Terram permits the passage for a group, or to close suddenly the way. With Finness rolls you can change the dimmensio of the way or his possition. Could be possioble make a "Craft" Magic really difficult for make the passage possible more times and permanent.


Well, by that reasoning, why not just go for the level 1 guideline, to change one property of earth? Leave everything the same, except change the property of "can't walk through it?"



Ovarwa, don't be pedantic :stuck_out_tongue:

In general (and as usual) the answer of the board has been "no, you can't do that". This is the usual answer to ANY spell query posted in this board. And the answer is hardly ever useful per se. I have been given and given myself that answer in the past for other spells, bith mine and by other posters.

However, it is really useful to post the query regardless, since there are always cool ideas ans snipets that you can take from the discussion. And I am extremely grateful for that :slight_smile:

In this case, the spell is hardly worthy of an archmagus' gauntlet (level 30 range) as is being suggested. It is a spell to cross a stone wall, not something to teleport you to the other side of mythic europe, conjure a residence or slay a giant in one fell swoop. It belongs to a way lower spell magnitude by our reading of what it allows you to do, and the difficulty of casting it. Not easy either (level 20 is not that easy to cast) but not in the line of BOAF, mystic tower or seven league stride. We are talking about a spell that allows a magus and a pair of grogs to cross a wall, not a ME-shattering spell.

As usual, with ArM there are several ways to skin a cat. even limiting ourselves to terram. You can turn the wall to air or water, destroy it, or make its solidity questionable. In this case the change is not as extreme as making it water or air: it is making it loose sand. That is a less extreme change, since it implies a single element. It is still highly unnatural since it keeps structural integrity and allows you to cross it. IMS the lower magnitude is justified here. YMMV and obviously does. No biggie really :slight_smile: Diverse sagas, diverse solutions.

Thanks everybody for helping!


I lean more toward the level 10 base effect. Otherwise I think what you're really doing is destroying the solidity of the stone and trying to get around the lvl 40 Perdo requirement (see PeCo guidelines).

Either way, you should probably add +1 part, for when it's a part of a wall and not a door and +1 for up to sizex10, unless you want to crawl under a 1 pace (3 ft) height. Also, if you don't do the increase size, it will have to +1 part for all but really small doors.

So as I see it, B10(requisite) +1 touch, +1 diameter (or concentration), +1 part, +1 size, +1 stone, for a total level of 35. If he were willing to have the wall marked by the passage, it could be less, but it is that feature which brings it up so high. I think pointing out the level is akin to Archmagus is a bit misleading to. Additional parameters make smaller spells higher level. Also consider that there seems to be

If you still stick with B4, with the addition of part and size, it becomes lvl 25.

Given that with Muto you can change a rock into a rock statue by temporarily changing the shape, it'd be perfectly legitimate to use the level 1 guideline and the target Part to simply shape a shortlived hole. Making rock maleable enough to reshape by hand or walk through would be level 3 - changing rock to slightly unnatural clay. Destroying the solidity is without doubt Perdo, and more difficult, but then a Perdo specialist wouldn't think so.

These spells would all have different ramifications - the and third leave the wall unchanged. The middle one would result in the hole remaining. The first, for the duration, leaves a window in the wall, whilst the third does not. As for concerns of structural stability, those aren't an issue - Muto cannot weaken things, just set them up for easier destruction by mundane means. Muto can turn a man into a man with molten lead for blood, but this doesn't hurt him - it makes him into, for a short time, a person for whom leaden blood is normal. Modern forces, intertia and the like don't apply. A wall which now has an hole is a wall with an hole in it.

All of which is a very long winded way of saying that I agree with Xavi, but think he's being overly cautious with spell levels. Crossing a wall is trivial for a magus.

Not true i would say. Otherwise you´re saying that you could remove any amount of stone (done by Mutoing it to be soft and just pushing it away), but everything and anything resting on the removed stone would still stay where it is.

Also, its the stone you Muto that changes and for the duration has another "normal" state, not the stone resting on it, unless of course you spell the mountain as far upwards as it reaches, which is unrealistic (and not much fun).

For example, try doing a blood transfusion from the guy with molten lead blood, you wont get a happy result!
Because it was the person Mutoed that was affected, not the surrounding.

Well, technically by your description, i can then make a hovering mountain. Just use Muto to get rid of all stone at one level and everything above will still stay suspended in the air... Or at least suspended on a needle of rock in the middle.
Weight still applies no matter what. And exactly what IS "modern forces" can be argued as well.


I don't think I said no; I really meant that you could just as well go the whole way down to the level 1 guideline, and why not?




Thought experiment: I Muto the capstone of an arch into a litter of cute and rambunctious kittens. Do you think the arch doesn't weaken? I then, being the kind of guy I am, smack one of the kittens with my club. Do you think the kitten resists with the Soak of the capstone, or the Soak of the kitten?



The way I see it, you can make base four apply, but to change 'the ability to walk through it' your basically changing it's 'solidity'. I would therefore add that this will necessarily create a potential structural issue since the 'solidity' of the stone is what gives it structural strength and makes it desirable as a building material. So while I think I'd allow base 4, I still think there is a sticky wicket to get around.

Firstly, for the duration of the spell the arch does not weaken, because it is now an arch whose integral components are kittens. When the spell ends, if one of the kittens is destroyed then the arch reforms with a missing component. Secondly, for the duration of the spell, the kitten behaves as a kitten, just as a human under a MuCo(An) spell is affected by Animal spells. As such, it soaks as a kitten. Were this not the case, Muto spells would only ever be illusions and the whole technique would be worthless to the Order as an whole.

Modern physics and magic which explicitly works in a universe where aritotelean physics holds true - it just doesn't work.

So you hold that anything muto'd becomes immutable for the duration of the spell? The normal laws of Mythic Europe apply except where magic alters them according to the normal laws of magic. You can use Muto the shrink the mountain, and to hollow it, and to turn it into ash and gargoyles. For the duration of the spell, it behaves as if these things are valid. A hollow mountain does not collapse. A paper castle still stands, but can be blown away or set on fire. A man turned into a fish can swim and breathe water, but suffocates on dry land. The new form my be unsuited to its environment but is never hostile to itself.

True. That's because blood transfusions do not work in Mythic Europe. Wrong medical paradigm. Mind you, you'd have the same problem if you turned the man into a rock or a roc and noone would try a transfusion there either.

Hermetic magic and the natural philosophy of Mythic Europe have very counter-intuitive results if you try to reconcile them with the modern world. It cannot be done. And, for me at least, the fact that spontaneous generation of vermin works is a wonderfully immersive thing, and what differentiates Ars Magica from most other RPGs which have never paused to consider what the universe actually is.
No, because you've changed it.

Your "firstly" and "secondly" contradicts each other.

So, what if those kittens run elsewhere as kittens are prone to do? Do they keep supporting the arch above them despite not being there?

I dont agree with you regardless of what physics system is used in this case.

You´re missing or avoiding the point. Your earlier statement gave the logic that a mountain will still remain where it is, even if by using Muto you remove its base. So, please DO explain how Aristotelean physics allows for flying mountains will you?

Copout excuse of completely zero relevance as the exact example wasnt the point beyond showing that it doesnt work. Point being that your argument ignores the effects a Muto spell may have INDIRECTLY on its surroundings.

How? In what way?

When the spell is active, yes, because when the spell is active, there location isn't necessarily important though you could make a spell where it is if you so wished, I suppose. When the spell ends, the arch collapses and the missing kitten returns to stone elsewhere.

Which is fair enough. Could you explain why not?

If you use Muto to shrink the base of the mountain vertically, the mountain sinks. You cannot move things with Muto, though you can give them a form that normal laws cause to move. You cannot directly get rid of the base with Muto; that requires Perdo. You can turn it into something which can then be easily removed - changing stone to clay to easily reshape it, for instance. My statement was based on a misunderstanding of your argument, for which I apologise. Your argument is flawed, I think, because whilst Muto could change shape of the mountain, it does not do anything else. An unsupported rock falls. Muto cannot make an unsupported rock, however. It cannot break things. It could make a mountain standing upon a thin sliver of rock, or shrink the bottom few feet to a thin layer, or just rescale the whole thing, but it cannot remove the rock. If you change the bottom of the mountain into water, the water will flow away and the top layer of rock, unsupported will fall, if the magus so wishes. When the spell ends, there'll be a lot of rock where the water was and a shorter mountain left behind. The normal laws of physics for water apply. If the magus wishes to make the mountain remain a mountain shape made out of water, he needs to use the guideline for unnatural water. If he wants to sever the mountain from the earth, he needs (depending on the mountain) Rego or Perdo or both.

Nope, that's exactly the point I'm trying to make.

The Muto changes the nature - you make a man temporarily have the nature of a man with leaden blood. It makes him a man who is healthy with blood of lead. The fact that his blood would be useless to another person means nothing to him and vice versa. He is still completely healthy because he is as his nature expects. The standard example of turning a man into a fish so he drowns on dry land would apply.

Because there is no system of physics that allows supporting matter to be elsewhere and still remain a supporting matter?

You cant have both. Your Firstly essentially makes it an illusion, Secondly says thats exactly what it isnt.
Otherwise, if you make the earth under an enemy into mud, nothing happens because "now the integral component of the ground is mud"... Clear enough?

In your example, you get the result of crushed kittens most likely. Because the arch falls down once its support is removed, which is very likely to happen since kittens dont tend to stay still.

Oh i most certainly can. Turn it into water and you get a big splash when the rest of the mountain falls down. "Were this not the case, Muto spells would only ever be illusions and the whole technique would be worthless to the Order as an whole."

Ah so now Muto can only change the shape of things? Eh, not really no.

But it doesnt MAKE an unsupported rock. :unamused:
Now you´re inventing conditions that must be fulfilled for Muto to work at all.
And making Muto completely worthless in the process.

Dont need to. If i Muto a bird into a glass cup while its 50m above a stone pavement, my spell didnt break it, but the end result most certainly will be a very broken bird.
Or does the glass cup keep flying around so that it doesnt fall down and break, which according to your reasoning, it must do. And it also adds intelligence to the glass cup, because if it were to fall on something soft, it could survive the fall. Does it then fall?

It will fall unless some sort of new support is provided to replace that which was lost.
And now AGAIN you contradict yourself! You said the kittens could run away and still support the arch, so WHY cant the water go away and still support the mountain then?
If the kittens can, the water will as well, which once more gives the result of a flying mountain.
A mountain that lost its weight because you removed its support... :unamused:

I think a Mu(Re)Te(Aq) spell would be better.

Except according to you it doesnt... Except when you want it to.

And his blood would kill the other person instantly because he is NOT part of the original spell and therefore having such blood is not the other persons nature.

Lets repeat the essential part:
Otherwise, if you make the earth under an enemy into mud, nothing happens because "now the integral component of the ground is mud"... Clear enough?
"Were this not the case, Muto spells would only ever be illusions and the whole technique would be worthless to the Order as an whole."

Wasn't there a "I wish there was a door here - oh look, there is" spell posted a year or two ago? I remember thinking it stylish.

(edit) Previous discussion, 2007: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/walking-through-walls/1491/1

Found it. :slight_smile:

That wouldn't fly as I read the rules. Perdo is instant and permanent. Making the duration longer than momentary would effectively cause the destroying effect to repeat itself.
Otherwise it would be easiest of all to destroy something permanently, and progressively harder to destroy it for longer periods of time.

But this effect could be made as a Rego effect (possibly with a Muto req), to create an opening by folding back the wall. The Muto should be included, because a solid stone wall can't be moldes by normal means. Rego can create 'natural' effects, and it is quite natural to chip a hole with a hammer and chisel, leaving the rubblr on the floor. But that hole remains there. Muto allows you to close the hole and reshape the wall.

Thanks WolfOfCampscapel. That is what I was aiming at :slight_smile:


Well, perhaps a bit late, but if we look at a similar spell (see Rock of Visicd Clay):

Rock of Viscid Clay
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Part
Softens rock enough that it may be dug out, molded, and otherwise manipulated in the same way that hard river clay can be. The rock is slightly sticky. The spell affects rock in a roughly spherical shape with a three-foot diameter.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 Part)

We see that it makes the same effect (well, i understand that if it cab be dug out, you can traverse it like, swimming, or something like that) and it´s even Base 3. Of course, perhaps you should add +1 for Part (if the wall isn´t differentiated from the rest of the room, for example) and / or +1 Size (if not, you would have to crawl through it).

Hope it helps!


Not the same effect at all! Softening rock to clay keeps things very much within Terram (clay is Terram) and the properties are wholly natural. And if part of something turning to hard clay has bad side effects, well, so be it. The proposed spell effectively turns part of a wall into air or water, without adversely affecting the structure at all.

YMMV, of course.