[i](I'm putting this here in the hope that it can be referred to regularly, instead of repeating it every time someone gets confused by the term "Target" - which seems to happen weekly.
If someone disagrees, well, speak up, I have no monopoly on truth. And certainly if you spot a flaw or skip in my discussion, please!)[/i]
[color=darkblue](Edit - Note - in the next post (see same, below), the esteemed Mr. Shirley points out that in The Rules, when referring to the spell parameter, the word "Target" was intended to be capitalized, and when referring only to the desired location of the spell being cast, the word "target" was intended to be left lower case.
I am editing to stay consistent with those intentions.)
In several places, the Rules refer to "the target" of a spell. Generally speaking, there are two* entirely different possible meanings of the term "target". Both apply to spells and their use, but each has a very different meaning. And these two meanings are not always clearly distinct in the rules, but need to be in everyone's mind.
Because it's up to you to determine how to read those rules - "you" the Troupe, or "you" the StoryGuide, as best fits your Saga.(Note - The fact that the word "individual" can also be used with either use of the term "target" does not help any. A person is an individual, and can be a target of a spell, but Target:Individual refers to a specific, discrete amount of the Form being affected by the spell. The amount of a Form that is an normally sized "Individual" is defined in each of the basic Form Guidelines. Keep those two different meanings straight in your mind too.) One sense of the word "target" is the intended location of the effect, where the caster wants the effect to operate. Call that the victim, the beneficiary, or "ground zero" - it's where the spell will happen, and is limited by Range. This is the casual, everyday use of the word - "I target the bandit with my Ball of Abysmal Flame", or "We want the target of the effect to be in the middle of the group". This is the desired location of the effect, and might be a being or just a place.
This meaning is (almost?) always lower case within the rules, "target". (See MS's comments, immediately below)(The "Range" might give you more options as to what your target can be in this sense, but changing Range in the spell parameters (Range/Target/Duration) has no relationship to "Target", as in the next meaning...)
The other sense of the word "Target" is purely rules oriented, and is what is meant by "Range/Duration/Target". That is, the Target is what amount of the chosen Form is affected by the Technique. It is the Object of the Technique, the thing that is Creo'd/Intellego'd/Muto'd/Perdo'd/Rego'd. It is always the Form, and either an Individual amount, a Part, a Group, or some other valid Target amount of the Technique of that Form, as defined by the appropriate Form Guidelines. If the spell is an Ignem spell, then the Target (in this sense) is always Ignem, and so on for all 10 Forms.
This meaning is (almost?) always capitalized within the rules, "Target". (See MS's comments, immediately below) (When you select Target: Individual, Part, Group/Room, Structure or Boundary, this is the meaning of that term. This always refers to the chosen Form of the spell effect, an amount as defined by the Guidelines for that Form. Changing the Range never affects this, but might determine if it's valid - for instance, Range:Personal and Target:Group won't usually work, unless the caster is somehow, personally, more than one Individual.)
With the Forms of Corpus and Mentem, often these two "targets" are the same - you cast a spell at person X, and person X becomes both the location (target: "him") and the Corpus or Mentem amount (Target:Individual, or etc.) that is being affected. But with every other Form, the two have no connection, except that both senses of the word can be applied to describe different aspects of the same spell, the location and the thing affected.
The rules use this one term, "target", to mean both or either - it's often not perfectly clear (edit: though if one trusts that the capitalization is correct, it should be). But the two meanings are clearly different. The fact that an Individual amount of a Form (Target:Individual) is being cast at an individual person ("That individual over there!") is mere coincidence - the two "individuals", the two targets, the amount of the Form and the person with the bullseye on them, are not connected (except with Corpus and Mentem, usually), and should never be confused.(* To make it more fun, there are actually more uses, but not in every spell. There are Target Numbers, that you want to roll to achieve success. And Arcane Connections have both a Connection and a Target, the original thing that it is a connection to.)
(any/all Requisites are ignored for purpose of this discussion)
PeIg (Range:Voice, Duration:Momentary, Target: Individual)
A person is on fire. Perdo Ignem destroys one amount of fire (about equal to a bonfire). The "target location" may be the person, but the Target is an Individual amount of Fire, not the individual person. If, somehow, there were even more fire than one "Individual amount" (about the size of a bonfire), the spell would not be sufficient to deal with it, and that person, that individual, is still in trouble.
CrAn (Range:Voice, Dur:Sun, Target:Individual)
A mage wants to create a horse for a companion to ride upon, conjuring it beneath the person. The "target location" is that just beneath that person, but the Target is Animal, the horse, which is being Creo'd.
MuHe (Range:Voice, Duration:Sun, Target: Group)
A maga wants to warp the wooden weapons or parts of their weapons of a small group of bandits that surround her - their quarterstaffs, bows and axe handles, MuHe. Just because the effect is centered on the maga does not mean that she is the "Target" of the Muto effect! Nor are the bandits! The Target of the Muto effect is Herbam (the wooden weapons), a Group sized Target for this spell effect. It is only a coincidence that the MuHe Target is Group and that fact that a "group" of bandits suffer. If one man was carrying all the weapons, or if they were scattered abandoned on the ground, the Target would be the same, the Group of individual amounts of Herbam.
MuCo (Range:Touch, Duration:Sun, Target: Individual)
The mage wants to cast Eye of the Cat on a grog, MuCo. The Target of the spell is the Grog, what is being Muto'd, Target:Individual. (The base affect changes a person's senses, so the Target is not "Part", the eyes.)
InVi (Range:Personal, Duration:Diam, Target:Vision)
A mage wants to see magic using InVi. Because this is an Intellego effect that changes a sense, the Target is one of his Senses (see p 113-114). The sense is the Target of the InVi, the mage is just the location of the spell and that sense, his vision.
CrTe (Range:Voice, Dur:Diam, Target: Individual)
The mage wants to conjure a boulder to drop on someone or something, CrTe. The Target of the Creo is Terram, the boulder, an Individual amount of Terram. Who or what it then lands on is merely unlucky to be in the area beneath it, even if that was who or what the mage wanted it to land on.
CrAu (Range:Voice, Dur:Mom, Target: Individual)
A Lightning Bolt flies out. The Target of the Creo effect was Aurum, one individual weather effect, a bolt of lightning, one "individual amount" as defined in the Aurum Guidelines. Some individual person or thing downrange gets hit by that lightning - the fact that spell is probably not being cast to hit more Aurum does not change the Target in that sense.
- The target = location, recipient, victim.
- The Target = a spell parameter, an amount of the Form being manipulated by the Technique.
Both are true, and both are clearly different. It's just not always 100% clear which one the rules mean, even with the capitalization different.