Spell Questions

So just some thoughts.

Do spells have some wiggle room in what they can do.

Example, I have a spell that can create a bonfire. Can the same spell also create such things between say tiny flame and huge bonfire or am I stuck on bonfire.

If I have Aegis at 20 and then I grow in power and now could make a 30 Aegies do I basically have two different Aegis Hearth spells on my character sheet, or can my 30 one also create effects less than the standard.

Also if I have Aegis at 20 at Mastery 2 and I create an Aegis 30 spell does my Mastery 2 suddenly loose all potency or since the spells are basically the same I could bring in the Mastery from one to the other.

If I have a spell that conjures 10 sanctums can I cast it but only make 4 sanctums. Also can I have the sanctums be say purple in one casting and green in another, or is it what it is no matter what.

I should note I am a believer in flexible magic and so I know how I would run things but I was curious on both what others thought and how it might actually be.

Many spells are designed with some wiggle room, but it should always be defined in the spell description what the wiggle room is.

The fire spell you suggest, could be designed in any number of ways, with or without wiggle room. Conc duration magical fire can often be varied at will for the duration. Sun duration spells cannot, although there might me some wiggle room at casting.

For your mastery, I think the rules are inconsistent. I have always read core to say that Aegis 20 and Aegis 30 are different spells and hence have different mastery abilities, but I have heard people claim that there are canon counter-examples, which I never bothered to look up, where the same mastery ability applies to the entire class of a general spell.'

No, you cannot cast a lower-level ritual to save vis and increase penetration; level 30 is not level 20.

For your sanctum conjuration, you can design a spell to conjures 10 sanctums or one to conjure up to 10 sanctums. Your choice. The level would be the same though, so you do not save vis by reducing the output.

Conjuring the Mystic Tower is a good example. Explicitly, the caster has complete freedom when it comes to internal geometry, but the external geometry is fixed. The spell could have been designed otherwise, but that's the canon spell.

Ars Magica tries to have both flexible (spontaneous) and inflexible (formulaic) magic.

Look at HoH:TL p.99 Adaptive Casting.

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I generally limit the flexibility of formulaic spells, but there are some things you get to decide on casting. A good example of a spell that allows flexibility is Pretarnatural Growth or Shrinking (+1 magnitude for choice of big or small) though this also seems to limit the size change (+1 bigger or -2 smaller instead of just +3 bigger). An example of a different kind of flexibility is Conjuring the Mystic Tower: You get to decide the shape of the rooms and designs on it. However, you don't get to, for example, have it turn instead into a manor house villa. A bit of an exception, I often times let people change the size of groups they are conjuring, from 6 to 10 for example, instead of always forcing it at maximum numbers.
The biggest thing, however, is "does this feel like a different spell?" CrIg Bonfire and CrIg Torch and CrIg House On Fire all feel like different spells. CrIg 6' Bonfire and CrIg 5' Bonfire feel like the same spell.

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Others have already said lots of smart things about most of the questions you raise. I would like to weigh in on the bonfire question.

Generally I agree with @raccoonmask in that "how the spell(s) feels" is a good guideline for when to consider two things to be different spells. @Heru_Kane you specifically raise the question on whether a spell that conjures a bonfire can be used to conjure just a tiny flame and there I would say no. Sure you can vary the size of the bonfire a bit but even just making an ordinary fire instead, for me is moving into territory where you would need either Flexible formulaic magic or a MuVi effect that alters the outcome of your spell, essentially an opposite version of Wizard's boost in this case.

Hey all thanks. I appreciate the ideas and suggestions and comments. Honestly, though I have been a fan of Ars Magica for well over a decade now, and own and have read all the books, as nobody I know would ever want to play it I have not really focused on the fine print of the rules. hehe

But yeah, reading this thraed I can totally see how torch and bonfire are different (thus different spells) but that maybe lighter bonfire and stronger bonfire might be the same spell if its a small change.

I can also see the advantage of Adaptive Casting and also maybe Flexible Magic, though since my magus character has Flawless Magic its not really something he can easily get.

Which, actually, has me think of the question of there being Order Initiations for such abilities. The thing is I am annoyed that I can't use Order of Hermes as the 'Cult Lore' for such things and thus might have to make an actual mystery cult that the covenant he was at might have formed to better teach certain traits.

Also, as an aside, the whole ritual spells that raise Characteristics seem to me as something that a master might find it useful to use on their apprentices. Which is why, as a note, I established it that the covenant itself pays to have all apprentices and member magi under go the rituals to bring all negative Characteristics to at least 0, at covenant cost. Any wish to raise it above that, to the max of five, requires the apprentice/magus pay the vis cost themselves.

Right, anyway, not to derail the threat, but thanks for the comment. Very interesting stuff to hear.

I do think, by the way, that a ritual that conjures 10 structures could have the number of structures conjured vary from 1 to 10. My thought is though taht this wouldn't reduce the level or vis cost or anything. Sooo for a magus who was using it to conjure a number that would be best organized as a new spell might as well make a new spell. But yeah if they wanted to only conjure 8 sanctums they could with but the same spell. Additionally, I have no issue with saying 'you can change some flavor stuff, so last casting the building roofs were blue but this time its green'.

The big result is that there is no way my magus isn't taking the Adaptive Casting Mastery Ability for Aegis. that way whether its the aegis 10 or 30 or when he is an elder magus 120 it basically is one slot on his character sheet and one set of mastery abilities.

All that said, thanks for the comment, I appreciate it. I have been a bit distracted trying to figure out an adventure story for the Levant while also putting in time for my magus to train his apprentice (thankfully teaching can be done out of the lab so he can teach while on adventure) so I got distracted from responding here. :slight_smile:

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Note that Adaptive Casting isn't in general circulation - it's a Cult of Mercury special (plus possibly a few other linked cults, but in any case he can't do it by default).

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While you are totally not wrong he has two good things going for him - one, he has great connections with House Mercere and two, his main base of operations is in an old Temple of Mercury site which includes some Cult of Mercury people and so he totally was taught how to do it and stuff. hehe

Basically, I love when background stuff allows for the implementation of something that could be restricted by game setting. :slight_smile:

Posted in the wrong thread. Sorry bout that. I moved the contents of the post to the correct thread.

Learn the Adaptative(?) mastery on your AotH 30 and you can use you AotH 20 masteries.

Yep, totally will do. I think a lot, if not all, of his general spells will have that mastery ability. Though I do wish it was allowed for non general spells that seem related. (I mean if a magus has four sets of spells that do the same thing minus say damage results of each i think the mastery should kick in.)

I will note that upon thinking about it nothing says that Heru, who has flawless sorcerer and so masters every spell he learns, couldn't learn a bunch of low to middle spells using the teaching method. It could come in handy so he doesn't have to resort to spontaneous magic (his spontaneous spells are always fatiguing, due to the flaw I gave him)

I was thinking about this and I am pretty sure that spells whose only difference is say a Size component (so one version conjures one building another version conjures ten buildings and a third version conjures 100 buildings) or the Complexity component (huge fan of that component) then I would allow the Adaptive Casting mastery ability to be used even though its not technically the same spell.

Certainly think that's an intelligent and reasonable way to play it in your own game. I would, however, not want to assume (or even argue for it) in a general game, because it takes out a lot of the benefits of being in a Mystery Cult, which create stories, cost seasons of exploration, effort of socialization, and the fun of having secrets that other's don't. Plus, it's a nice bonus for Mercurian virtue.

I think that could be a fun thought experiment to use an OoH cult for initiations, but I can tell you my initial reaction to what would happen: The ability to freely hand out Puissant Magic Theory, Affinity with Art, Affinity with (Finesse/MT/PM)... It takes a Pre + Cult Lore + script of 18 to give a free minor virtue with no flaw, and it's pretty reasonable to get a +8 from script. This means it's only a Pre + Lore of 10 to give a minor virtue. Without the secrecy of the mystery cult, as soon as someone says 'Serve me for 2 seasons of work, go home with Puissant Magic Theory', then magi all over have that virtue.
If you're looking for a story-friendly reason as to why... I've always liked the concept that the initiations only specifically work because of the secrecy.