The Forgiving Earth vs The Motivated Plow

I'm comparing the enchanted item The Motivating Plow (Covenants p.52) to the spell it is based on, The Forgiving Earth (ArM5 p.156), as I'd like to invent a variation of that enchantment with slightly different parameters.

The Forgiving Earth has D:Sun. I assume that means that, when the duration ends, the ground becomes packed again? Why is that? Since the spell just loosened the earth, why wouldn't it becoming packed again be a natural process instead?

The Motivated Plow uses D:Conc and has the item maintain concentration. Does that make the effect essentially permanent? Would the effect end if the item is destroyed?

If my magus was to invent a similar effect using Rego Craft magic, so that the effect is permanent using Mom duration, that would be a Trivial Ease Factor, right? So the effect would be level 3 (Base 2, +1 Touch) and require a Finesse roll of 3. The enchanted item could be level 13 (GL 2, +1 Touch, +10 levels for Unlimited uses).

Would adding a magnitude to the base effect help get rid of the Finesse roll altogether? Not necessarily as a rule, but in this specific instance?

It might seem strange to try and reinvent the same effect from a different guideline, but I am uncomfortable with how D:Conc and "item maintains concentration" have been used in this case, particularly in a book that introduced Rego Craft guidelines.


I agree, it's Rego Magic, the magical "plowed" earth should stay plowed until compacted by an external process.
The Sun duration simply prevents this compaction from taking place for a few hours... it does not seem very useful.

An alternative interpretation is this. Remember that if you dig a hole in the ground through Perdo, you can't fill it until the end of the Duration. So you could argue that the Forgiving Earth loosens any hard clod thrown into the hole for the duration. Stretched? To the limit. I think that the most likely interpretation is that it's a so-so conversion of a legacy spell, ideally to be included in the errata.

Remember that the user has to briefly concentrate at sunrise and sunset to keep up a Conc effect maintained by an item. We've often debated in our saga if such an item can maintain concentration on multiple effects, and if so how the sunrise/sunset deal works.

Hmm, probably. For an entire field, I may say Simple, rather than Trivial. Plowing "right" is somewhat harder than it looks (oops, you forgot that patch over there behind the big rock). But a 15 pace area? Probably Trivial.

Mmm. Not sure I'd allow it. However, note that in relaxed situations the roll is simple, and if failed you can always do it again. It's not such a big effort! Plus, I'd definitely allow mundane users to substitute an appropriate mundane skill (Profession:Farmer?) for Finesse.

Also, I'm not sure if I'd allow the Target to be Individual ... Part seems more reasonable if you are affecting a portion of the ground. That would mean an extra magnitude.

I agree, it's probably not the cleanest example. I guess the original problem was with The Forgiving Earth in the corebook, and the author of the Motivated Plow just followed suit.

You may also want to consider this. According to Lords of men, the land that supports a manor might be 600 acres, or about 300.000 square yards. Ploughing at the depth of 2 feet, that's 20.000 Base individuals of Earth.

A magus with a casting total of 25 can cast spontaneously, without fatigue, a RegoTerram level 5 spell with Base 2, +1 Part,+1Touch,+1Size that affects 10 Base Individuals. Doing it 2000 times may be a bit boring, but takes about half a day, including the time needed to walk. Is it worth spending time and vis to create a magical item? Maybe, but maybe not.

Forgiving Earth probably requires errata. D:Mom would seem fine. Further, I don't think this requires a finesse roll, unless you're really concerned about keeping the furrow straight. :smiley:

I've long thought the Motivating Plow needs a PeTe component to destory stone (or pats of stones), however, otherwise the true labor of plowing is still there: picking rocks. Has anyone had the pleasure of picking rocks before a field is plowed? Imagine a device that could do that for you... For those that haven't had the pleasure, the idea is that large rocks eventually make their way to the surface, and can do serious damage to plow blades. In medieval times, this wasn't a concern because the speeds were low, but it was still a hassle, as the rocks were still in the way. It required labor to stop and dig them up and then relocate them.