Spell for Moderation - Kiss of the Sun

Kiss of the Sun
CrIg 20
R: Sight, D: Mom, T: Group
Desert can be deadly to the un-prepared, the wounded, the uncareful and even the most veteran. This spell reminds to the later, of the dangers of the desert burning their skins as if they had been overexposed to the sun. A with any sunburn, one feels discomfort when undergoing an exerting action which will suffer a penalty to their die. Exposure to the sun or heat in general is especially painful.

This spell is quite useful to discreetly ensure that the group that follows you into the desert stops.
//(Base 3,+3 Sight, +0 Momentary, +2 Group)//

Creo spells create things. A group target means it is creating multiple things - what you probably want is an individual target and some size modifiers.

Still, the spell reads more like you're directly targeting the group - and as such to me it feels like it should be PeCo rather than CrIg - since you're essentially inflicting a very minor (superficial) wound.

If you do stick with the CrIg approach, I'd rule that proper precautions against the sun (protective clothing, etc) would also protect against this spell - thus making it only useful against unprepared travellers.

yeah ... I wasn't very specific on the CrIg effects. What the spell basically does is superficially burn the targets which mimics a sunburn. I wanted to keep away from the standard damage / soak of CrIg guidelines.


I would think creating just enough heat to cause very mild burns would be fine for CrIg. As localized heating as opposed to flames and specifically too little for a Light Wound, I wouldn't say Soak should be an issue.


For a targeted 'heat you up' effect:

Rather than soak, I'd go with a resistance roll.

Stamina + stress vs. 12+ to resist/ignore the effect. Clothing could provide a bonus (or penalty!) depending on what it is - appropriate desert-wear might give a +3 bonus, full heavy armor might give a -3 penalty!

Perfectly true.

And I still get a PeCo-"feeling" from the spell description.

CrIg creates the heat that blisters the skin. One can protect against that, somewhat.

PeCo directly blisters the skin. One can't protect against that.

I don't think the spell should work the way it's written. Sure, CrIg can burn targets instantly by just creating heat but that isn't really what I call a sunburn. People don't instantly get sunburns no mater how bright the sun is. Sunburns are caused by long term exposure to the sun. So I would say then that momentary CrIg can't cause sunburns. A longer duration spell that constantly blasts the "target" with intense "sunlight" would work IMO.

If you just wanted to cause the sunburn without heat then I'd call it PeCo. Interestingly enough I would say that tanning would be possible with a ReCo.

If you want to base yourself on semantics only, yes.
Sunburn is a burn, you can get the same sort of injuries from momentary exposure to fire or heat as you can from longer exposure to the sun OR long exposure to less heat or fire. Even if it´s uncommon, you can even get completely identical damage from burn and sunburn. Which of course is why it´s not so good running to solariums or be uncovered too much in the most intense sunlight.

You do realize sunburns are not caused by heat? They are caused by UV radiation. Exposure to heat by it's self will not cause the same sort of damage as a sunburn. Yes in 1220 AD no one knew what the frell UV radiation was. Even so in Medieval times many people where probably aware you can get sunburned on a freezing cold day. So on some level they knew it was the light causing the damage not the heat.

Just because a lot of different types of injuries are called burns it doesn't make them all the same. Acids burns but the damage from an acid is not completely identical to a heat based burn. For that matter I would not say the damage caused by two different types of heat are completely identical. I think most laymen can see the difference between a scalding victim and someone burned in a fire. In game terms in might not matter, both might be heavy wounds.

I'd say that is true, so the spell should create light, nor heat or flame. Use the CrIg Baseguideline 5 to +5 of damage on unnatural way.

Not that this would be understood in 1220, but yes, sun burns are caused by heat. UV radiation is a type of heat. So yes, exposure to heat can cause exactly this type of damage, as it actually does. As you said, not all burns by heat are the same, and here is yet another example. CrIg can create both light and flame, so it's just a descriptive difference as far as the spell mechanics are concerned.


I don't think UV is generally considered to be heat. Are you possibly confusing it for IR light which is on the other side of the spectrum. IR is often refereed to as radiant heat. IR can burn but it does so by creating heat when it hits cooking the skin cells. UV does it's damage by breaking down dna and other organelles in the cell which causes the damaged cells to self destruct.

So one important difference between heat burns radiation burns is that the pain and damage actually becomes evident well after exposure. After a day outside in the sun your skin might feel a little tight and tingly but the next day you could end up with an extremely painful peeling sunburn. Greater exposure will result in more damage but the full effects should never be felt imediently.

That's why I say a spell that instantly creates a sunburn is beyond the scope of a mom CrIg. Sunburns aren't instant any way you cut them

No, I'm not confusing them. I'm trying to clear up your confusion without spending a lot of time discussing thermal physics. Yes, IR may well be referred to as radiant heat, but heat radiation comes through a much broader spectrum. Try reading about black-body radiation; it looks like wikipedia has a pretty good description before getting much more mathematical.

The IR radiation is heat, or more specifically a mechanism of heating; it doesn't create heat. Rather, the photons deposit their energy. IR does not penetrate to a significant depth, and the energy per photon is relatively low, so IR does its damage by raising the temperature in a more classical manner. Microwaves (as used in ovens) cause dielectric heating with water molecules (and fat, etc.), thus raising the temperature too; but they penetrate more deeply than IR. Like IR, visible light doesn't penetrate very much; it can also raise temperature. When we get to higher energies per photon (or proton, electron, alpha particle, positron, etc. if we want to look at other things) we start seeing enough to do things like damage DNA. Some of these penetrate more deeply (x-ray, gamma, etc.) and some not as deeply (UV, proton, etc.).

Speaking from personal experience with second-degree sun burn on my nose, this is over-generalized to the point of being nearly incorrect. Yes, it takes longer to feel it because of how we experience pain, so

is a much better statement. But you can experience pain from sunburns in far less time than your previous comment implies.

Uh, no... just no. You might decide to add magnitudes for the intensity of the light, and you might have the effects get worse over time. But yes, such nearly instantaneous electromagnetic radiation burns have unfortunately and terribly been shown to occur.


No I dont, because it is.

And what is UV radiation then do you think? Energy perhaps? You spoke of IR, well UV is on the other side of the visible spectra, as you even mention yourself, the HIGHER energy side... IR has a low energy count per photon, UV has a high energy count per photon. And what does energy "unleashed" do? Oh my, it causes heat! What a surprise.

The BIG difference is that UV is so energyhigh that it can also cause direct damage to the skin beyond sunburn.

Try arguing that with a doctor specialised in burns or skin treatment. Prepare to get laughed at.

Nope, but that´s irrelevant in this case because it´s the same kind of injury.

In general no it´s not, but that´s not because it isnt the same kind of damage caused, but in how it was caused.
You can cause damage identical to sunburn by applying heat or fire, it´s just not easy.

Only in regards to human senses. You dont feel UV like heat, but you do feel the heat it causes on you.
DId you know that there´s been attempts to build "deathrays" using UV? Sometimes called heat rays...


Yes, because if you have something hot, it will radiate heat in the form of IR. Once again, because the most common way to radiate heat is by IR, that does not mean UV doesn´t cause heat.

Try being outside, unprotected, completely without having been out in the sun anything seriously for the last few years, between 10 and 14 somewhere near the equator. You will likely have painful sunburns before even half an hour has passed. Unless you started out with dark skin, but even then, the absence of sunlight for a few years will degrade the inherent protection in the skin enough that you will probably still get burned, though it might take twice as long or something.

Burns are, and sunburns are just slow and lowenergy burns. Perfectly viable.

I'm going to leave my knowledge of Newtonian and Einsteinian physics to one side, and try to view things in an Aristotelean manner. Black body radiation doesn't exist in Mythic Europe, after all.

Sunburn and sunstroke can be deadly, and people of the time certainly understood that. On the other hand, they would probably have been viewed as environmental factors. There are places where it happens; there are places where it doesn't happen, and it's far more common in summer than it is in winter. It's part of the climate, really. Like most climate effects, you can protect yourself with the right clothing, and by knowledge of the local environment and the best way to operate within it.

While being a climate effect might make it Auram, I probably wouldn't go that far. I would rule that it could be done with Ignem, but not with a duration of Momentary. Sunstroke and sunburn all build up over the course of hours, and so a Sun duration might be more reasonable. (That said, sunstroke is surprisingly deadly; you might want to have it deal ongoing damage throughout the period until the person collapses, and then kill them.)

I would have additional magnitudes (for unnaturalness) be able to be added to make it mitigate precautionary measures. If you protect your skin, drink enough, and lay up over the heat of the day, it's highly unlikely that you'll come down with sunstroke. Experienced desert dwellers, as well as peasants around the Mediterranean rim, would understand this. Making the spell able to take them down despite these precautions, would be (in my humble opinion) a valid and very nasty use of magnitudes-for-unnatural-effect.

I didn't think that my thematic name of the spell would stirr so much physics :slight_smile:

Lets call it Kiss of the hot but not boiling water for a moment.

The spell simply burns the individual leaving his skin superficially burned. As we all know, burns exposed to the sun suffer more than unburned skin.

I do like the sun duration but for another spell that would cause heat exhaution... I'll see if I can post that one tonight.


Well I too was trying to avoid a lengthy discourse on thermal physics myself. Yes I concede that from a standpoint of energy transfer UV radiation is capable of heating an object and therefore can be defined as heat. Just like IR, Visible Light, Radar, Microwaves, any other em radiation, particle radiation and sound waves for that matter can be defined as heat.

Yeah I know all this it was kinda my point. The mechanism by which UV radiation causes a sunburn is not it's ability to raise temperature in general it's UV's effect on the DNA in the cell that causes the damage. Yes I suppose this could be considered a form of heating. But it is still not similar to the damage cause by raising the temperature of the whole cell or more importantly the skin tissue in general with more traditional burns caused by what a laymen would consider "heat".

Eh well I guess it might have been better to say "the full damage only becomes evident well after exposure". And it's not so much just how we experience pain that draws out the process. It can actually take quite awhile for cells damaged by radiation to die. So no matter how much damage from radiation you experience initially it's going to get worse.

Uh, yes... just yes. Aside from what I've said before I've got to go with the all sunburns are radiation burns but not all radiation burns are sunburns. And sunburns are the only sort of radiation burn your going to see in my version of Mythic Europe. Could Creo magic up the intensity of natural sunlight so it actually burns you like a fire would, sure. Sunlights hot it melted Icarus's wings when he got to close, that's still not an instant sunburn in my book. That's just a fancy way of doing CrIg damage.

I suppose that you could say that medieval philosophers understood that there was something in sunlight that is poisonous. And you could make sunlight more poisonous with magic just like you could make an adder more poisonous. But even if that where true that sounds like Muto magic to me.

Sorry about the physics. :frowning:
I realize it doesn't always add to the discussion of the game.
In pure game terms there still might be a slight problem. If this is a spell that causes damage with CrIg I think the target should still get a soak roll. Directly causing a specific type of wound without a soak still seems to be PeCo to me. Same difference with a spell that causes heat exhaustion it works great if what you do is require a check for deprivation or something similar.

You have a very limited understanding of the mechanics of sunburns. Even if I agree that the damage caused by UV radiation is fundamentally heat it still causes damage in a different way then raising the temperature of skin tissue as a whole. Like say exposer to a flame or hot water would do.

Well funny story as it happens I was at a cookout today with a dermatologist. I asked her about sunburns and it seems my understanding of them and how they differ from other burns was pretty dead on. Although I think she would have been to polite to laugh even if I was wrong, after all she didn't laugh when I told her your ideas.

I don't think you can but I'm prepared to listen to your explanation of how.
How can exposure to flame or the application of heat damege the DNA of living skin cells so they enter apoptosis and slowly die out over time?

So 200 joules delivered via a basball bat will do the same damage in the same way as 200 joules delivered via the tip of a stiletto.
Which is a pretty good analogy to say IR and UV light when I think about it. Hey does that mean you could give someone a sunburn by whacking them with a baseball bat. Oh I guess energy isn't all the same.

Yes but lets not be disingenuous. The amount of Energy in sunlight represented by UV radiation is a very small percentage. Most all of the heat we feel from sunlight is IR radiation. We it comes right down to it Sunburns are not caused by our skin getting any warmer. On a cold day in the mountains you could get both sunburn and frostbite. If you wan't to say the excitation of DNA molecules by UV light is "heat" fine. But don't try to pretend that's doing the same thing as "burning" our skin but what a laymen would consider heat.

Really . You realize that you just perfectly supported my position. After a worst case scenario your still not talking instantaneous. Unless by "before even a half an hour" you meant one combat round.