weird magic ponderings

If you MuIg(Te) to turn daylight into sand, how long does the darkness (and presumably illumination when it reverses) last?
If you Mute(Ig) to convert stone to heat then where will the stone reform when the spell ends?
If you MuIg(He) to trun a bonfire into bread, and someone eats it, does it have a Co requisit to affect them? How much damage does a bonfire do if taken internally?


I'm struggling with what guidelines to use for your first two ideas.

Muto ignem guidelines don't seem to affect light itself, only a fire (of which light, irrc, is a property). The only thing I can see is affecting the property of the fire that is generating the light, but if we're going for that approach, doesn't that fail because you'd be targeting the sun? Do we have any spell targeting light rather than a fire with muto ignem? If not, might you consider using Imaginem as your starting point?

Muto terram guidelines allows to change stone into liquid, solid or gas. I'm not sure heat is a gas - it is energy. Unless they conceived of heat as gas in antiquity? My starting point would probably be to turn stone into hot air, not heat...

If you believe it's possible to proceed with the two muto effects as described, which guidelines do you believe apply and why?

The general guidelines for Ignem clearly states that it includes heat and light, so the the TeFo combinations seem to be correct assuming Hermetic magic is at all capable of doing those things.

Yes, no doubt that is the correct art, the question for me is whether the art can do that in Muto. Creo Ignem and Perdo Ignem have guidelines affecting light, they are separate from those affecting fires. Muto Ignem doesn't have a guideline affecting light, and it can't be easily inferred, unless there's an explanation somewhere of how to do that that I'm unaware of. I could see it done, if the target was a bonfire though, as affecting the light-producing characteristic of that fire... or a torch throwing sand in the face of its wielder instead of emitting light. But affecting daylight - or even ambiant light, I don't know how to do it, if it can be done at all.

Or Maybe PeIg (Mu)(Te) which would add one or two complexity levels to the basic effect of a perdo ignem effect, in which case the question is easily answered by the duration of the spell.

There is no other form where a target is valid for one technique but not another.

I have noticed that in general many things that have potentially bizarre or overpowered consequences are left out of the guidelines and listed spells, and I'm never sure whether that's intended to say "you can't do that with this tech-form combo" or "work it out yourself based on the other guidelines."

My intuitions regarding your questions:

This is the toughest - and I think I'd sidestep this by simply not allowing magic to turn daylight into anything, except other kinds of light/dark, as it's a bit too abstract and weird.

I would imagine the stone reforming in the air where the heat dissipated as very tiny pieces of gravel. Not an ideal solution, though, I feel.

I'd say it turns into fire inside them, and probably does damage as if they were inside the bonfire, plus some extra for it originating inside them, even doubled. I think they'd be killed for sure if they were an ordinary human.

I'm certain if we looked hard enough we could find a hundred different explanations as to what light is according to medieval philosophers. Art and Acadame make little mention, beyond the fact that gold is considered to be the natural manifestation of light. I do know that principles of optics were known, so it would not have been envisioned as a gas per say, and Hero indicated that rays of might could become trapped in the porosities of unpolished surfaces. I expect that similar to earth you would need a target:part to affect daylight.

Yes, I think that's plausibly why it's not part of the guidelines. Using MuIg on ambient light rather than on a fire as a light source would have one of two effects:

  • Impact all light coming into an area of effect, to the point where the incoming light is not there but something else is. This probably should just be a perdo ignem effect removing the light, a creo ignem effect to strenghten it or an imaginem effect...
  • Not impact incoming light and just light currently there - in which case, what you're actually doing is creating something out of thin air with a temporary duration. Just use Creo form rather than use Muto with two forms.
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I'm going to attempt another approach. MuTe (Ig) doesn't change stone into heat - it changes stone into flame. To change the stone into heat, a perdo requisite (with a complexity level) is added to delete a property of the fire and thereby keep just the heat radiance without the burning flame. As such, the heat is a byproduct of the fire that has been partially suppressed which is where the stone would have been. When the MuTe(Ig)(Pe) spell expires, the stone is where it was before the spell was cast.


I would say it would likely have a corpus requisite. And I would be inclined to multiply the base damage depending on how long it's been in the victim's body along the lines of how damage is multipled by body coverage on page 161. Effect expires while the bread is being eaten - base damage. The bread was fully consumed a few minutes ago - I'd assume it's in the stomach, double damage. The bread was eaten a few hours ago, I'd assume its been travelling through the digestive track - triple damage. Quadruple damage would be very hard to achieve with this type of effect, even though for cosmetics, I might call it something like spontaneous combustion. This is just an idea, of course, and I would go through the spell design step by step with a player before validating the final damage and getting the write-up. I would assume this effect to be optimal with sun duration, since a moon duration spell would probably get digested and evacuated by the body before returning into a fire. Obviously, I would expect a complicated effect like this to be more dangerous than a typical Creo Ignem spell.

I must be missing something because I don't understand the reference to a Corpus requisite - we're talking about bread turning into a huge natural fire while inside someone. Why does natural fire need Corpus magic to burn someone? And even if it was magical fire, why does it need it, because there are no Corpus requisites for Ignem spells that target people with fire?

because generally spells which target people on the inside do- for example using Aq to manipulate blood. This example is rather unusual in that the natural source was originally outside the person and consumed, which is why, to my mind it is a question. The fire could easily simply die from lack of air or something without the Co req, maybe producing a short lived fever. Or maybe it is as you say, where it wasn't originally part of the body so no prereq is needed. Of course the other thing that occurs to me is that if you cast this spell on a whole set of bonfire with moon duration and feed the person one bonfire a day for 30-45 days then when they all revert back will be a rather spectacular effect.


slow grin

If I MuMe(He,An,Te) my grief over a bad breakup into a scrumptious yet zero-calorie chocolate cake, and share it with my friends, who feels sad when the spell ends?

If I Re(Mu)Im(An) the greenness of a green dragon into a bird that flies off, what happens to the green when the spell ends?

If I PeTe away a single property of a golden ingot, its preciousness, so that it is exactly the same as it was except for not being precious at all, how do people discern its difference?

If I Muto a sharp retort into a knife, and then do the same to a gentle whisper, is the first knife sharper? What happens if someone breaks the knife in two and keeps the parts distant one from the other when the spell ends?

If I use a CrMe ritual to permanently create an idea, what happens to it? What happens if I turn London into the idea that all men are created equal? If the spell ends?

Fun times.




For the first case, I would turn to medieval/Aristotelian physics, which sees light as a property of objects rather than as an object in of itself. Turning light into sand is hence depriving the object (sky nearby?) of this property, so that I'd probably add a Pe requisite. That will produce darkness in the covered region while the spell lasts. When the spell ends, the sun will once-again be able to illuminate the air thus making "light" throughout it, which will in turn illuminate the things in the air again.

For the second case, note that heat is again a property of things and indeed represents a portion of the element of fire in them. "Heat", as such, does not exist, it's an abstract concept, a property. So I do not think you can turn something into heat. Just like you can't turn the stone into "kindness".

For the third case, I would say the bonfire briefly extends over the whole person, giving him burns equal to bonfire damage times the modifier for total immersion for a single round. Which will probably kill him.

Ah ok I see. I would say not though, because the spell is targeting the fire and turning it into bread, which, by its very nature, is for consumption. What if you turn a huge boulder into bread and the person eats it? With no corpus requisite does it turn back into a massive boulder inside them but somehow not harm them in anyway? That seems impossible.

If the fire/boulder to bread required Corpus, the only option seems to be that without the Corpus the fire/boulder cannot transform back while inside the person, requiring a general law that no Muto spell ends if it is in situation where that would cause destruction of something, unless the Muto spell had the form of the thing-to-be-destroyed as a requisite. This would mean you could make indefinite duration Muto spells by, for example, turning a horse into a mouse then putting it into a small cage.

The daylight to sand one is really stumping me, I'm going to have to come back to that one... But as for the other two I think there are definitely some internally consistent answers you can come to:

For this one @YR7 has raised the point of heat not necessarily being a thing in itself but simply an abstract property. I think that's certainly true in most versions of classical physics that use elements as a fundamental substance. But the physics of Mythic Europe isn't 100% like any one classical perception and we have to extrapolate based on what we know is possible (because magic can do it) to extend those theories. Two things from the Ignem guidelines are really important here imo:

  • We know magic can make things hot, though this isn't the same as making heat divorced from a medium (from the CrIg guidelines)
  • We know magic can interact with the hot property of fire, and destroy it, leaving a fire that has no heat (PeIg guidelines)

So it seems to me that if we follow the logic of the PeIg guideline we can subtract every quality except heat until we have heat itself. Arguably this is still simply a very very unnatural fire with only one property - but is there a meaningful distinction between a substance which has only a single property and the property itself? If we then use CrIg to make the same highly unnatural fire we have created pure heat, at least from the perspective of an observer.

@temprobe raises a good point that the MuTe guidelines are restricted to liquids, solids, and gases. That doesn't line up very well with the elements but it seems odd that Ignem specifically would be excluded - I think it's reasonable to take gas as covering the element of fire as well and chalk it up to a quirk of the core guidelines being written with a modern audience in mind rather than a fundamental limitation of MuTe.

Transforming stone into fire (which is hot, but isn't just heat) or into hot air has roughly the same end result. Even my "pure heat" example above (which probably requires a Perdo requisite and extra spell levels) would still act like fire so it's all the same.

So I think the fire/hot air/pure heat substance would naturally rise as those elements do and eventually reach the sphere of air or fire (depending on if they are fire or just hot air) if the spell lasts long enough. Either way when the spell ends the stone will pop back into existence somewhere up in the air and fall back to earth. Not very intuitive from a modern perspective but I think it makes sense. There are some fun possibilities with spells like that maybe.

If you MuIg(He) to trun a bonfire into bread, and someone eats it, does it have a Co requisit to affect them? How much damage does a bonfire do if taken internally?

This one I think is a lot more tame. I don't think you need a requisite here and when the spell ends it will turn back into a bonfire and dramatically kill the target. Ouch.

Think of a similar example - taking a poison and transforming it into harmless wine with MuAq. No requisite is needed because the effects of the wine are a normal part of the substance interacting with the body. But when the spell wears off so does the inebriation (just like how magic food provides no sustenance after the spell ends). The poison then takes effect as a natural substance.

I'm not sure how to model the damage mechanically but a +10 damage on the outside of the body will definitely do a lot more on the inside - at the very least it should ignore soak but that hardly seems enough to represent your innards being roasted.

@Ovarwa your follow up questions make me think of riddles Criamon might ask one another - very enigmatic. But I think most of them have simple answers (I know some were jokes, but some of them raise interesting questions):

If I MuMe(He,An,Te) my grief over a bad breakup into a scrumptious yet zero-calorie chocolate cake, and share it with my friends, who feels sad when the spell ends?

I don't think you can do that. The MuMe guidelines let you turn a mind as a whole into a physical thing, not an emotion. Now you could argue that an emotion is a part of a mind (so part target would do) but emotions are states of mind that change and come and go so it seems weird to think of them as an intrinsic part of the mind itself. Either way though eating (i.e. damaging) a part of your mind made physical would be very bad. It might kill you, or permanently damage your estimative faculty, or all sorts of other weirdness.

If I Re(Mu)Im(An) the greenness of a green dragon into a bird that flies off, what happens to the green when the spell ends?

Re and Mu Im don't allow for transforming a sensory property into a physical thing. All you've really done here is take the image of the dragon and make it appear somewhere else, and then turned that image into the illusion of a bird. The "greenness" never actually leaves the dragon.

This also covers the "turn a retort into a knife" one - you can't turn sound into physical substance in the first place.

If I PeTe away a single property of a golden ingot, its preciousness, so that it is exactly the same as it was except for not being precious at all, how do people discern its difference?

I don't think you can take "property" to mean abstract things based on people's perception of a substance. I think it's meant in reference to intrinsic properties. Gold is intrinsically heavy. It has a certain density. It has lustre and a certain colour. It has specific alchemical properties. All of those are part of the nature of gold - but "preciousness" isn't. That's just how people value gold. The "preciousness" doesn't exist as an intrinsic property of the gold itself, it exists in the minds of people perceiving the gold. For this you need a Mentem effect, not Terram.

If I use a CrMe ritual to permanently create an idea, what happens to it?

Making an idea in someone's mind alters their faculty of cognition. If you make a spell to create an idea for the duration it's forcibly held in their cognition and they can't get rid of it. When the spell wears off it vanishes but the impact it had on the other faculties (including memory) remains, so the target might now naturally have the idea in their mind (but without being compelled to hold it there might reject it or ignore it). Or maybe not - if you planted an idea in the mind of an unconscious person and removed it before they woke up and acted on it then it would truly have vanished and they would have no way to know.

If you use a ritual to create an idea it does just that - makes an idea appear in the cognitive faculty of the target. Even though the idea is "permanent" there's no compulsion for the target to accept it as a good one. And you can't implant such a compulsion without ongoing magic because the ability to reason stems from the soul - which magic can't do anything to!

This made me think of the medieval concept of sin eating, where food placed over a dead body was deemed to absorb the sins of the body so that those sins could be taken on by the person who ate the food. Some people were paid to do this. Not sure how that relates to the whole idea of changing grief into bread, but it seems there is a sort of precedent in medieval thought for this kind of transference of latent/inner properties via food.

Perhaps it suggests you could take someone's grief and put it in food, and it then gets distributed out among those who eat it.

according to medieval economic theory gold did in fact have an intrinsic value, plus other properties which could be different based n origin (for example an investment from infernal gold cannot produce profit), so intrinsic properties gets a bit fuzzy when you head down the medieval perspective path.

I'm not re-hashing it, but a while ago we had a post I really enjoyed where I discussed with the forums a spell to turn your hatred into a weapon. MuMe(Te) target part.

Depends on interpretations, of course. I would think that the darkness lasts but an instant, leaving you with a pile of sand that was once daylight, but then more daylight will stream in to fill the gaps. When the spell ends, you can have a burst of daylight where the sand ended up.

I tend to agree with an earlier statement: heat is a property of an object (governed by Ignem), rather than a separate entity to be targeted and transformed. if you DO rule for your saga that you can transform something into heat, you also would require Auram as a requisite to transform it to something insubstantial.

No moreso than MuHe(Te) turning a stick into a sword requires a Corpus requisite to stab a person in the heart and leave a lasting impression - unless you're asking if it requires a corpus requisite to provide nourishment. In that case, I would say it doesn't need the requisite, but the when the spell wears off they lose any sustenance they've gained from eating the false food, and will likely take a damage.

I really like this. It almost feels like there's a whole Mysteries concept in this "turn emotions into physical things" idea.