Aye, I believe the Magus touching it and going in the full circle is a hard requirement. That said, you might consider, for example, a staff talisman (or any talisman, really, but staff is simplest) that is MuTe'd into being excessively long (and light). Given that your Talisman counts as being you whenever you're touching it, you should be able to trace with it. Unless, of course, you'd (for example) hit a tree or three while trying to spin around.
How many 'paces' of ring you can trace does seem a pretty hard limit, but nothing says you have to move your feet for it. I can already see this lazy-magus designing a MuVi arcane connection spell to trace circle/rings by 'touching' it with magic.
I think it's worth noting the Columbae from HoH:S, have a minor Virtue Ring/Circle Magic that among other things, allows them to move at twice their speed to trace circles. So most ways of speeding tracing such circles should tend to be slower than that, unless the caster has a similar virtue.
Core says for Duration Ring: A ring must actually be drawn while the spell is being cast. The magus may use magic to do so, but that magic must not have a range greater than Touch, and the magus must physically trace out the ring.The magus may not move more quickly than ten paces per round (five feet per second) while doing this.
Target Ring refers back to Duration Ring for restrictions on drawing rings.
Elongating one's arms or a Talisman that changes shape and elongates and physically traces the circle (or produces a magical effect that does so at Range : touch) seems like an excellent, if cheesy workaround. Such effects should have extra magnitudes if they are significantly faster than moving, I should think, for balance. Still, if it is trivial for the magus to immediately and automatically create fairly large circles using this method, the troupe might wish to put in some limits. YSMV
I'm unsure. This goes back into something that I do not know the answer to: are rings mobile? That is, if they are traced in a portable surface, are they mobile?
It seems you should be able to, but then:
Can you shrink a large stone slab or wooden platform that's been scribed with dozens of fairly large Ring duration hard etched Circle protections and carry it around, just enlarge it when finding trouble and enjoy your mini fort? Would that break the magic, if the circles simply expand or shrink, but do not break? Can you expand a tiny super/resilient stone/diamond/steel slab inscribed with dozens of hard-etched tiny circles and have the circles expand so that you and your companions can pop inside by some method (likely ReCo), and have essentially a permanent magic item with layered protections cast by the best, brightest, highest penetration money can buy?
Basically, the way I envision it, is that yodefining the area to be affected, not the border.
If you keep your finger in the same location, while some "ring" turn, you're still only outlining the area actually covered by your finger.
I have considered enchanting your Talisman (with a R: Self) Rego effect, to have it more around to define the area, rather than the magus. But even that seems a bit sketchy.
But let's keep playing: I take a metal circlet (for wearing on your head like a crown), trace my finger along it's periferi, to cast a spell with D: Ring, T: Circle.
I then use MuTe to enlarge the circlet ridiculously, such that it now fits around my castle. Does that work?
(In my own above 'Area vs periferi' understanding, the answer is 'no', btw).
Well, it says that and gives an exception to the ring actually needing to be drawn:
It's the tracing that is key, as Ignes Festivus highlighted in bold. But the creation of the ring can be something drawn at the time, something made by magic at the time, or something that already exists.
How about in a flying castle? How about in a flying mountain/floating island? What if an earthquake moves the surface it is scribed on, without otherwise breaking/deforming the ring? That about the Tremere ghost mirrors and Merinita Anima portraits? At some point you will have to say yes, they can be moved! 8)
The magus must physically trace a circle. It is not sufficient for a circle to happen. The magus must actually physically trace a circle.
The circle must be traced as part of casting the spell. A prepared circle might be useful as a guide or template, but it does not qualify for the actual spell. Casting two spells over the exact same region requires two distinct circle tracings. Multi-casts require multiple circles too.
Magic can be used to trace the circle, but this does not replace any other requirement. Using ReMe Touch to get someone else to trace the circle does not work. CrIm of a circle also fails. A familiar cannot draw the circle for its magus, but a magus can physically draw the circle using a familiar as a stylus. As a boundary case, a magus who uses an ox (familiar or not) and plow to draw the circle can reasonably be said to be physically drawing the circle, but a magus who rides his horse in a circle cannot.
The circle traced is the circle for the spell. Using some means that causes the drawing of one circle to create another does not let that second circle qualify. Enlarging a circle during casting does not work, because the resulting circle is not what the magus physically traced.
I do not notice any real restrictions about whether the circle must be visible, or what kind of surface the circle must be on. No books handy though.
Flying Castle? Nope, not when it's moving
Floating island? Nope, not when it's moving
Earthquake? Is the ground moved enough that the circle is broken? Then the spell is broken too. How far is that? A bit, it depends on the size of the circle, perhaps 3 inches to a foot or two (10-70 cm).
On a related note, what do people think of the following spell?
The goal is to create a ring of stone that can be used with either a Hermetic Circle/Ring spell or the Warding ability. I think this is legit - you mark out a circle in earth, which is then turned into stone. That stone circle then serves to anchor it's own Mu(Re)Te spell, and as a basis for other Ring/Circle spells (probably with a PeTe spell to engrave the symbols Warding needs).
Any glaring issues I've missed here, or does someone know of another non-Ritual way to create a long lasting circle? This is obviously vulnerable to the circle being broken, but the only reason I want it is to anchor other Circle/Ring spells which share the same vulnerability.
Transmutation of Earth into Stone
Mu(Re)Te 15, Touch, Ring, Circle
This spell turns the dirt in a ring shape into stone (the rego requisite ensures that only the periphery of the circle is turned into stone). The dirt will remain transmuted until the circle is broken.
Base 3 (turn dirt into stone), +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle, +1 mag for Rego requisite