Suppressing the Wizard's Handiwork clarifications - vague description with bizarre possibilities

The spell description says, "Cancels one spell you have cast, but only as long as you concentrate." I've got two questions about it and I'd welcome your input:

  1. The range of the spell is "Touch". But what must you touch? After some thought, I'm inclined towards it being the target of the target spell, but it's not made clear. Confusion arises because:
  • We know from the guidelines for Muto Vim that "you cannot touch [a] spell itself", and that therefore voice range is required to affect other magi's spells. Touch is required for Muto Vim on your own spells, which makes sense because Muto Vim affects spells as they are cast, so you are "touching" your own spell as you cast it. But Suppressing the Wizard's Handiwork is cast on a spell that has already been cast. So, based on the fact that "you cannot touch a spell itself", what does Touch range mean?

  • One interpretation is that you can cast it on any ongoing spell you have cast (the description is vague enough to make this a possibility), but that would mean I could cast it on a spell with ongoing effects hundreds of miles away. I could make a magical bridge on the other side of the world disappear then reappear. [EDIT: This would fit with the idea that a magus is always considered to be touching his own spell (similar to a magus and familiar) but I'm not sure if that is actually stated as being the case anywhere in RAW]

  • If the range does mean you have to touch the target of the target spell, that means I can use range Touch on another magus' spell, making it the same difficulty or easier to suppress another magus' spell of level 15 and below than it is to suppress my own. (This is because the guidelines to suppress my own say I can affect spells of a level less than level+2 mag of the vim spell, so with Touch and Concentration mean I can affect spells of a level less than the level of my Vim spell. But I can affect another magus' spell of a level less than half (level+5 mag) of my Vim spell, which with Touch and Concentration, means less than half (level+3 mag). So to suppress level 5 I need Level 4 (easier than my own), for Level 10 I need level 10 (easier than my own); for Level 15 I need level 20 (same).)

  1. Can it affect ritual spells? As written, it seems it can, as long as they have an ongoing effect and are not momentary (no suppressing that magically created horse).

ArM5, especially the core rules, does not distinguish between a spell and its effect cleanly. In general, what is left of a spell after it was cast is its effect.
So spells like Maintaining the Demanding Spell and Suppressing the Wizard's Handiwork lemporarily suppress or extend a spell effect. So they also target that spell effect.
Both spells in ArM5 are restricted to target only - effects of - spells that "you have cast", as does the (ArM5 p.161 box) guideline they are based on. But there is another, more demanding guideline on p.161 box for sustaining or suppressing - effects of - spells cast by others.

The source of the targeted spell effect - spontaneous magic, standard formulaic magic or ritual formulaic magic - is not specified for ReVi magic. So - differing from MuVi magic - its target is not limited by this. But D: Mom Creo rituals (ArM5 p.112), including healing rituals, leave no trace of magic to be suppressed.

Thanks for the info, but I'm finding it hard to understand how your statements relate to my questions - if I'm reading it right, it seems perhaps you've re-stated my first question rather than answered it? [EDIT: as something like "what is the range to the effect of a spell, and does it differ for your own spells and those cast by others?"]

The second it seems you're in agreement with me that the spell can indeed target rituals (but not Momentary/permanent ones).

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The essential piece of information I wished to convey in the first paragraph is, that targeting a spell after it was cast means targeting its effect. Do I need to explain, why this answers your question 1?

Yes! How does one touch an effect? Is it the same as touching the target of the effect? Does this make the range to an effect the same regardless of who cast it, meaning that by the guidelines it is easier to suppress another magus' spell of level 15 and below than it is to suppress my own?

This will depend. But if you cast "summon the mystic tower" touching the tower would do the trick. For auram, if you could touch a wind you summoned, for an ongoing corpus spell you'd touch the target and so on.

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This is tricky and depends on the spell effect affected. Most of the time yes. If the effect proper cannot be touched (e. g. if it affects a mind), often enough it has a place in space which can.
But in weird cases the SG needs to decide. E. g. for (ArM5 p.113f) Magical Senses the target is abstract and cannot be touched, while the recipient can. Touching the effect of a Wizard's Communion in one saga can mean touching a magus working the ritual, while in another it can mean touching the magic of that ritual.

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ReVi X Suppressing the Wizard's Handiwork R: Touch D: Conc on an own spell effect affects spells up to and including level X.
ReVi X Suppressing the Wizard's Handiwork R: Touch D: Conc on another's spell effect
affects spells up to and including level (X + 3 magnitudes) /2.
This evens out for X = 15, and for X<15 you have found an error.

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Indeed. It seems the guideline should be half (X+3 mag) for another magus' spell rather than half (X+5).

Related question: If the magus casting Suppressing the Wizard's Handiwork can touch the target of the spell in order to affect the spell, what happens when that target has multiple spells active on it at the same time and not easily distinguishable? How does he determine which spell is to be suppressed?

This came up in my saga and I ruled that the magus needed some sort of magical sense (in the probable form of an InVi spell). Otherwise, either the last one cast (if you the spells as being layered on top of the target), or an effect determined randomly.

Wuth Suppressing the Wizard's Handiwork the caster affects only spells cast by himself: as long as he is not subject to fits of amnesia, I would not request spells or rolls for identification of the target. If the magus observed the spell being cast by another and wishes to suppress it with a spell based on the other ArM5 p.161 box guideline, ArM5 p.83 Determining Form of Magical Effect should give enough information.
These are all situations, where the target spell is "easily distinguishable".

Just casting a spell to "suppress a spell cast by another" onto an item or place - e. g. trying to suppress suspected traps on the door of a sodalis' sanctum - should require detailed information (like "I suppress the ReVi effect on the door knob"), an AC to the effect or a means to "sense" it (ArM5 p. 80 The Limit of Arcane Connections).

This was a case where the player was having his maga casting multiple spells on the same target, as well as MuVi on those spells. It went something like this:

  • Mastering the Unruly Beast (ReAn 25) to control a dog
  • A variant of Maintaining the Demanding Spell with D:Moon on Mastering the Unruly Beast
  • 5 different spontaneous spells to give the dog magical senses, each one sustained to D:Moon by the Maintaining the Demanding Spell variant
  • Opening the Intangible Tunnel (InVi 25) on the dog, again sustained to D:Moon
  • A spell to perceive through the dog's sense at a distance, again sustained to D:Moon

(And the list is incomplete...)

Except for the sustaining spells, which was a formulaic, all of these were spontaneous spells cast in a high aura (Durenmar) using Life-Linked Spontaneous Magic. The plan was to renew all of the sustaining spells every month.

And that was just one such long-term sustained magic the player was planning for.

I don't think you need amnesia to loose track of all those. Even with notes on each target, there comes a time when so many effects are stacked that you need a way to identify each one if you want to target a specific one, IMHO.

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:laughing: :ok_hand: What about a serious Int+Concentration roll to keep track of that slew of spontaneous spells?

But admit, that you omitted the salient part of your question. :nerd_face:


quick query - would Suppressing the Wizards Handiwork alter the penetration of an item ?
Say a magically sharpened sword with 0 Penetration suddenly requires against a creature with Supernatural Might?

I don't believe I omitted it. Perhaps you simply missed it... Let me add emphasis for you. :wink:

Wrong spell, as this one only works on spells the magus himself has cast...

But in principle, IMHO, supressing an effect that would otherwise trigger magic resistance means there is nothing to be resisted. Ergo the sword would be treated as a mundane sword (provided it doesn't have any other active effect on it).

You generally do Suppressing the Wizard's Handiwork on an own spell when you know that specific effect you wish to suppress. After all, you can only suppress so many spells at the same time by concentrating on the suppression of each.
Hence, your scenario - slew of own spells to ReVi - gets eccentric with Suppressing the Wizard's Handiwork instead of a variant of Maintaining the Demanding Spell, and I did neither spot nor treat it.

EDIT: Too many CNN fanfares calling me from the Atlas Forum lately.

Of course, there's a decent chance it has a "Suppressing the Wizard's Handiwork" active on it...

There's a strong argument that Suppressing the Wizard's handiwork is targetting the spell, not the sword.

I'd agree that Suppressing the Wizard's Handiwork would be targetting the spell (I think an Individual Vim spell can target either any spell on an Individual Object / Person or a single specific spell, but let's assume it's the spell), but because the spell is present on the sword, the StWH would also be "on" the sword, which I'd expect to mean penetration became an issue.