Target Group and touch range


I have another doubt. If I cast a spell with touch range and target group, do I have to be simultaneously touching all targets? With my hands?

Can I create 10 objects if they are large or clunky enough that I would not be able to touch all 10 at the same time?

Can I create say, 10 wolves at once?

Can someone help me with picturing exactly how touch and group interact? I know this sounds wierd, but some situations, like trying to touch 10 people at the same time, can be silly in some instances.

Thanks in advance.

Look at the very beginning of the section "Ranges" on p.111: distance to a target is distance to the nearest part of the target. So to affect a Group at Touch range it's sufficient only touch one member (of course, members should be relatively close together to qualify as a Group). And, in principle, a nose, toe or any other body part is sufficient to achieve Touch range.

If you are casting a R:Touch spell, you only need to touch one part of the group. But it still need to constitue a group, as per ArM5 p.113: "The components of the group must be close together in space, and the group itself must be separated from any other things of the same type." So if the individuals are too scattered, they might not all qualify as part of the group.

Yes, you can create a group without touching all of them. But they would still be "grouped" together when they appear. So your 10 wolves would be close together, and at least one of them would be within touch range.

Thank you all for your replies!

Beware though that it can sometimes lead to questionable situations depending on how it´s interpreted.

Like having a Sight ranged spell affect 10 people, 9 of which are behind a corner, with only the last person actually visible. Meaning that a Sight based spell affects 90% invisible targets.

Well, if the magus cannot easily identify them as a group (close together in space, separated from any other things of the same type), it's not a Group.

For example, you cannot affect 10 individual with T:Group in a mass of hundreds of people (e.g. an army). They aren't separate from other things of the same type.

You also need to be able to percive the Target. In this case, this is the Group. So you're only able to perceive 5 people (by seeing them), the group you would affect with your spell would only be those 5 people. It doesn't matter what the range of your spell is. This is the same with the original poster's Touch-ranged Group spell. If you are in complete darkness and you touch someone, you can affect that individual with your T:Group spell. But if you cannot perceive his friends (which would otherwise qualify as part of a Group), then they won't be affected by your spell -- because Hermetic magic cannot target what you cannot perceive and all you can percieve at the moment of casting your spell is the 1-individual Group that you are touching.

Further note that perceiving is not the same as seeing. A vague noise would not (IMHO) allow you to "separate" the group from others of the same type, but touching three or four of them at the same type would do.

And let's add to that that T:Group, in the case of Pilas of Lightning, Balls of Abysmal Flame and Lightning Bolts is the item created and not the individuals on the receiving end of those things. I had some trouble coming to this understanding myself. Ben McFarland and I had ample discussion about this.

T:Group versions of the aforementioned spells need to be designed with parameters that clearly lay out how the individuals )of the Form) are created (10 in a straight line, in a circle, 2x5 formation, etc) and any variation from that parameter involves a finesse spell, so you can actually pick out separate things of the same type, because the type of the underlying Form is the thing created, not the type or relationship of the recipient of the spell.

Of course, YSMV. But in a scenario where a magus who can cast T:Group Pila of Fire and can only see one person, well that one person gets 10 Pila of Fire, depending upon the success of the finesse roll to vary it from the original design parameters.

Re. Arthur's point about an army:

Yes, you cannot go "Those 10 guys in the army of 100 people over there."

But you can go "Those 10 guys wearing the full chain and thus clearly the nobles, in that army of armoured guys who are otherwise in leather armour." since they can be clearly delineated from the remaining 90.

Or the ten guys charging against you.

Only if they are close together and separated from the normal soldiers, IMHO.

Note that it is not simply a matter of the caster being able to easily them. Those normal soldiers wearing leather armor are still "things of the same type" (Corpus individuals) as the nobles, from the perspective of the definition of a Group. So if those nobles are amongst normal soldiers, then they are not forming a distinct Group.

Oh they have to be within an acceptable proximity, yes. But if they are, even if they have other guys in leather between them, they can be delineated because they are clearly different.

Technically, RAW, you can mark each of your grogs and they are then delineated for target group during combat, even when in actual melee quarters.

If he knows they are there, but can only see(or perceive) 1, then it´s a valid target.

According to repeated posts in discussions here, that would be incorrect. Personally i agree with you, but apparently it is not how RAW works.

Are you certain of that? That would make it weird if you´re trying to hit some people within a larger group, as you would then have to use Target Part, against multiple targets. Which BTW would make it a magnitude lower in level, which just ends up seriously weird.

Otherwise you are effectively stating that it is impossible to affect 10 people within a larger group, instead ending up as an arbitrary and utterly illogical limitation.

And just how does he know they are there (or still there) if he cannot perceive them? The exact level of "knowing" required for them to be a Group is something that would need to be defined on a saga-by-saga basis. IMHO, you cannot know that they are there if you cannot perceive them. You may think or believe that they are there, but to me that isn't sufficient for your magic to target those you cannot perceive as members of the Group.

Repeated discussions here does not make that interpretation RAW, unless those posts come from the line editor. :smiley:

IMHO, this simply comes down to the basic rule that Hermetic magic cannot target something the caster cannot perceive. To be part of a Group, each individual must be perceived by the caster. Again, IMHO. RAW does not contradict this. Some (or even many) poster on these boards may disagree with my interpretation, but that doesn't make their opinion RAW.

You can still affect those people with as T:Ind. But that would take one spell per individual. You can affect the whole army with a T:Group with magnitudes added for Size. But no, I would not allow them to be affected by a T:Group nor a T:Part. To me, an army is not a discrete thing, so by definition its members cannot be T:Part.

This indeed means that you can affect them by multiple castings of a T:Ind spell (or even a T:Group spell, since these can affect individuals) by way of separate castings or multi-casting. You might even be able to affect them all at the same time with a T:Group spell, but to be able to do that, those 10 individuals need to be close together and separated from the others in the army.

To quote again the definition of T:Grom, from ArM5 p.113 (bold emphasis mine): "The spell can affect a group of people or things. The components of the group must be close together in space, and the group itself must be separated from any other things of the same type. Three grogs huddled together or a ring of standing stones are a group: six people out of a crowd are usually not."

That last "usually not" means that those three grogs might still be considered a group if, for example, they are back to back and surrounded by the crowd but keeping them away with their swords. But not if they are simply standing there with people bumping into them as they move around.

All of this is of course my own intepretation, which I think is firmly supported by the text in the rulebook. I don't object to people believing otherwise, but I think that their interpretation can result in even weirder results. YMMV.

This is why, for battlefield conditions, T: Individual combined with high levels of mastery and multi-casting is often superior to T: Group. You don't have to worry about who is or is not a group.