Target as its own arcane connection?

Hi, some questions have come up in this weekend's gaming session.
They wanted to Intellego a magical oak. They pick up an acorn: bingo, arcane connection. Then they argue: let's break off a branch, it'll provide a bigger penetration bonus. Then someone wonders: what if you don't break it off, just hold on to it while casting? Does touching the tree's trunk itself provide a large penetration multiplier, as the "whole" is certainly bigger than any limb....

p. 84 of ArM5 is not clear on what you must do with an AC to use it, how you must manipulate it, and whether it needs to be separate from the target itself.

Basically this boils down to: by touching the target, do you get a penetration multiplier?

Agreed, that makes sense.

Nope, sorry players.
It would be a +1 bonus on penetration to affect the tree, and either the acorn of the branch are the same. I'd have them act as a +1 Pen bonus to affect the tree.

There is no inherent bonus to Pen if you are just touching the target. To get a bonus you must have an AC in your possession. Otherwise R: Touch would have already have mentioned it.

Then you don't have an arcane connection to target, as you are touching the target. Again its R: Touch vs R: Voice, or whatever. So in the circumstance where you have an AC to the target and are also touching the target that would apply a +1 Pen.

eg. If I have a severed finger from a Magus in my hand, and I also am casting a Range: Touch spell then the pen bonus would apply.

My 2c is: The caster or the spell effect must be affecting (as in the Ring and Circle effects), or actually holding the arcane connection. It must be separate from the thing you are targeting, and must be totally within your control.

(Edited as I misunderstood the question being asked, and botched the explanation)

Considering that in the example she goes looking for trouble, she certainly won't cast Range:Arcane spells. Moreover, nothing in the Penetration text impose the use of Range:Arcane.

No, IMO, because what you touch is behind the MR of the creature.

We had a discussion long ago about cancelling MR for non-Target:Personal spells cast on self, using the Penetration multiplier for being your own arcane connection. :laughing:

Don't know what they want to do with the intellego spell, but in any case I am sure the magical oak will be MUCH more collaborative if they take the acorn than if they pull a LIMB out of it. :stuck_out_tongue:


The basic question is: Why do you have to rip off sth to make it an arcane connection.

ic answer: It's magic! Magic works strangely sometimes.
ooc answer: because it would screw the game if it was done differently.

Yup. Touch range spells would have massive penetration multipliers if AC was achieved by just touching the target.



The whole is not a separated part. 8)

So you can only get the Penetration bonuses with Range:Arc spells?

I'm asking because in a recent session, one of the magi was shot with an arrow and knocked him out. Our Corpus specialist managed to Bind Wounds him (the target only had had Parma 1), but we were wondering afterwards if you could use the wounded magi's blood as an Arcane Connection to help boost Penetration. I don't remember seeing anything in the Penetration rules about the bonuses only working with R:Arc spells, but it hadn't occured to me that it might be a problem and so it could have been missed.

I believe the logic goes like this: The target has Magic Resistance, and so to affect it with magic you need to penetrate that. Thus you would need to penetrate the magic resistance with your spell before you could use the magical properties to improve your penetration, making it a little pointless. The acorn, however, is still mystically connected but it outside the magic resistance. You can thus always affect it with your spell, and exploit its mystical link to make your spell have greater penetration against the target. This works regardless of Target, as you may hold the acorn in one hand whilst touching with the other, or whilst yelling loudly, or what have you. The thing itself cannot be used as an Arcane Connection, however, because of the necessity for penetration first.

It's a little bit of a justification, but it does more or less hang together.

I said that should to work i think, i mean, it's the way that you can beat your own MR with the Touch spells... but it is cleared that you need beat it with Concentration... i am not sure after all.

Penetration multipliers works for all spells. Arcane Connection range makes it mandatory for you to have an AC (and incidentally means that AC range spells have a handy AC to use for penetration purposes as well). Other range spells can use an AC to boost penetration as well.


Salvete, Sodales!

Just to add my two mythic pennies:

It comes down to a discrepancy between a game balancing argument ("Allowing this would negate most MR at touch range.") and a rather logical thought ("In order to use an arcane connection I usually need to hold it. Stuff connected to the target in a more intimate way wields better arcane connections. Nothing is better connected to a target than the target itself.")

So, how to slove this without running roughshot over one of these two valid points?

In most cases where it is relevant I'd go with the "doesn't work" group and accept the in game argumentation that anything that has a MR is not in your hold mythtically speaking even if you touch it physically. So if somebody was sitting on Stellatus back and trying to PeVi him with touch spells he wouldn't get a penetration bonus from touching the whole dragon. If on the other hand he managed to rip off a scale or penetrated that thick scaly hide with his dagger he would remove that scale or the boiling blood from the creature's MR and could use them as arcane connections in order to boost his Penetration.

Unfortunately, this argumentation leads to two exceptions and one problem. The former two I am willing to accept, the later one still leaves me wondering:

First the exceptions:
a) A magus casting spells with a range bigger than 'Self' would get the bonus to penetrate his own MR because he is on the 'casting side' of the MR. This might come handy for junior magi in a dangerous situation where they don't want to lower their Parma, but it doesn't break the game, especially as this becomes a mote point some years later when they own talismans anyway.
b) If the target the magus touches doesn't have MR there is no barrier. This doesn't matter for penetration (as this isn't needed here anyway), but perhaps the caster wants to use a spell he has only learned at range: arcane or something like that. Well, let him.

Now the problem:
I can't use anything that has a MR of it's own as arcane connection to something it is part of (let's say a Diedne Quaesitor to his house for the Curse of Thoth). Here I am not really satisfied with the outcome of this thought.

ANd now to something slightly off topic, the validity of acorns and branches as arcane connections of different quality to the magical tree.

I am pretty sure both can work as arcane connetions, but I'd go with giving them different values, because essentially acorns are ment to be shed, and in my opinion would only qualify for weeks or months afterward. Most certainly the connection will be severed the very moment a new tree starts to spread from the acorn or when it is inside a boar's diggestive system.
A branch on the other hand is a much more integral part of the tree. Sure, it can com off, but so can a human's arm, but in both cases it's a severe wound. So a branch of sufficient size is rather comparable to a limb.

That's it from my side.

Alexios ex Miscellanea

No. I wrote a wrong example.

No, but if you can touch your target you can usually easily enough get as AC for a Pen bonus.

Hmmm. I'd not thought of that. On t'other hand, that doesn't suffer from the recursive penetration problem, because you only need to penetrate the MR of the AC to gain the bonus against the target - the you can only get the bonus if you don't need it issue disappears. Since there are ways to lower magic resistance (just don't let the Quaesitor raise his parma) and boost penetration, I don't think this is too great an issue, and indeed one which could be interesting to play through.

Yes. Rip out a hair (or pick one off the collar of his cloak), wipe some blood from his wound, steal his favourite dagger! I'd rule the thing would have to be separated from the target, and be in control by the caster wanting to use it.

Touching the oak? No!
Breaking off a branch or picking up an acorn? Yes. Well, unless said acorn was old and has run it's duration of being an AC.

No, the answer is that if it´s still part of the original item/creature, then it can´t be an AC because it´s already part of it, to be an AC it has to be a separate item.
(i know it´s too close to circular argument as explanations go, but hopefully the point gets through anyway)

Thanks for the thoughtful answers, I can now clarify the rule for my players.

Since the question was asked, I might as well follow up: What did they need to Intellego the oak for?
They wanted to find some hidden cache inside/under/near the oak without resorting to bulldozers. So what Intellego Herbam level guideline (and/or requisite) do you think it would take to detect that the oak's roots are touching/wrapping/merely in close proximity to a buried item of herbam/animal/terram material, and locating the precise position of this treasure chest?

IIRC there is a guideline to talk with plants. There might even be a spell, directly. Intellego Herbam for sure. Remember that a tree you just assaulted tearing out a branch from him might not bee too willing, and might send you on a wild errant or towards the place were Treebeard lives with a message for him that read something like "thiose guys are jerks, smash them before they burn the forest" :wink:


InTe20 The Miner's Keen Eye is a good start, or make earth transparent with some MuTe like A Window of Singular Direction (HoH:TL).