Spell Design Help

Based off this thread, I'm looking to duplicate the effects of Conjuring the Mystic Tower, but with wood, which is the more prevalent type of fortification in the Novgorod Tribunal (well, east of Poland, anyway). Here are my initial thoughts on such a spell; I'd appreciate feedback.

Conjuring the Mystic Tower (Cr[Mu]He[Te] 45)
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind, Ritual
Requisites: Muto, Terram
A wooden tower rises out of the ground, appearing to be constructed from interlocking wood logs. The tower stands 80 feet high and is 30 feet wide, with a foundation set 20 feet into the ground. You determine the design of the chambers within; decorative woodwork can also appear as desired on the outside. The wood of the tower will not burn and is as hard as iron.
When Arinada of Jerbiton first came to Kiev, she understood that any stone tower would draw unwanted attention amongst the wooden palisades prevalent there, and designed this spell as a less conspicuous alternative to Conjuring the Mystic Tower.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +4 size, +2 Requisites, +3 elaborate design)

I'm a little iffy about the Requisites...Otherwise I assume the design is the same - the base Target for stone is the same as that for Herbam (1 pace = Individual).

You only add a magnitude for requisites once, even if all 15 Arts are a requisite. So it would be a level 40 spell.

Hmm, perhaps this should be errata, but I can find a counterexample: Nordic Triumph, from The Lion and the Lily, which has two requisites and has a corresponding +2 in its design. Moreover, the passage at the bottom of p. 114 (ArM5) seems to indicate otherwise: "...each requisite adds at least one magnitude to the level of the spell." Whether folks think these two requisites "do not significantly increase the power of the spell" might change things a bit, though.

(edit - crosspost; what MI said)

I'm not sure where you're getting this, but that's the exact opposite of what the rules say -

"As a general rule of thumb, if the spell would still do something without the requisite but it would do significantly less, then each requisite adds at least one magnitude to the level of the spell..." (AM p 114, last Par)

(I've never seen (and can't imagine) an example where a requisite would add more than one mag', but possibly.)

To "not burn" and be "as hard as iron*" would certainly require a requisite - that is not "wood", and the spell does much more than an equivalent pure Herbem effect. And don't forget - the foundation is an important part of this spell to keep it realistic. Even a wood tower has a foundation, and foundations are rarely made from wood. So the addition of a Te requisite seems appropriate for that reason as well, to create an actual stone foundation (and cellar?). Any tower that is dropped onto the ground like a child's toy at the beach is not structurally stable, unless it is placed on level bedrock.

(* Imo it should only be as hard as stone, not metal - otherwise, by the CrTe guidelines, it would be a higher level for the Base effect - and a CrTe(He) spell. Otherwise the base effect increases to the larger of the two, and the Individual amount would decrease to the lesser, and you'd have metal that looks like wood, not wood that acts like metal.)

But I'm not sure you need the Muto - you are not creating the wood and then changing it, but creating one aspect of Terram incorporated in the Herbem that is being created. Magic can do that.

Alternately, you can take a cue from one of several other Forms, and add one magnitude for a "slightly unnatural substance" - some woods are very hard, and very resistant to burning - this is just moreso. "Almost as hard as stone..."

Lastly, you can take a cue from the MuHe guidelines - one magnitude increase to move from natural to unnatural.

So long as it approximates stone, the Base is the same, and the size for Individual is about the same, and the end effect is the same, so I think that a Level 40 (and a name different from the original) would cover it.

Conjuring the Adamant Herbam Tower
CrHe[Te] 40
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind, Ritual
Requisites: Terram
A wooden tower rises... hard as stone...
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +4 size, +1 Requisite, +3 elaborate design)

By golly, you guys are right! Don't know what I was thinking.

Still, CC's version takes it down to 40, which is what I was trying to do in the first place.

(Don't worry about it, we've all been there. A thousand and one rules and exceptions - who can keep them all straight?) :wink:

This is all good stuff. These are the kinds of back-and-forth I expected with spell design...

Terram also makes sense because many of these wooden towers of Rus were wooden walls with earth in between. I'll buy that Muto isn't necessary, but according to the MuHe guidelines, aren't stone and iron equally difficult to convert Herbam to?

And I had forgotten to rename the spell! Originally I was going to type "Conjuring the Ironwood Tower" but that was just a crutch...

Cheers, all,

Sure, but those guidelines are merely parallel - something to help judge and reinforce our assumptions.

For a CrHe(Te) spell effect (with a requisite that is not "free"), we must look at both the CrHe and CrTe guidelines, and use whichever is the higher of the two. (I can cite this rule if you need it.)

If the CrTe effect is higher than the CrHe, then we use CrTe base guidelines. And while CrTe for stone is approximately the same as CrHe is for wood, CrTe for metal is significantly higher than for stone - two magnitudes for substance, plus (effectively) another for quantity created.

So, we can use Base 3, which is either Create Wood or Create Stone... or Base 5, which creates metal, and then add enough magnitudes to bump the quantity created up to fit (and the CrHe is no problem, but still a requisite.*

Stone it is! :laughing:

(* Edit - iirc, "cosmetic" effects are free - so if your Troupe agrees, you could start with the CrTe 5, and define it as cosmetically looking like wood, so you could ignore the Herbem requisite... tho' I wouldn't buy it, not a "realistic" wood, anyway. Imo, it would look like wrought iron simulating wood, very pretty, and very obviously metallic in nature.)

(Edited to correct magnitude of CrTe metal, base 5, not base 4.)

Yeah, sorry, I was stuck on my earlier Muto kick there. But I think you mean Base 5 for metal, right? At least the CrTe guidelines for metal are 2 magnitudes higher than for stone. Anyway, I'd favor a tower equal to stone anyway, iron is overkill. :slight_smile:


Isn't crehe very cheap, as in three sizes cheap?

I think you can use the hardest wood you know to build that tower but you cannot create an unnatural thing permanently.

However you may create a standard stone tower just make an imaginem magic item to conceal it.

A 80 feet high wood tower looks strange, too.

Agreed, although this would be one of these case where the Herbam requisite is free.