What is a target exactly?

This thread is an attempt to disentangle one interesting subject from another in this thread on wards. I felt that the discussion I'm now trying to move here were being drowned in the other discussion - as well as distracting from it. The question is - what substitutes for a target? The question quite simply is whether the target of such spells as Pillum of Fire is the fire created or the person hit?

I'll try to find all the relevant posts and points and reproduce them here. I've cut all the double representation of mutual quoting and I've let most of the Christmas Carol background slide - I now hope that the syntax is functional and that I havent lost to much in the condensation.

Did I miss anything - posts or important passages? Otherwise the floor is now open for more deliberations on this subject! :wink:

I haven't been following the wards discussion so forgive me if I tread again over some subjects that may have already been covered.

I think that the statement "Technically, the target of both of these spells is the Individual who will be damaged by the fire." is false. But we're really talking about nomenclature here rather than a fundamental difference of opinion. Look at the "targets and creo" text box on the top of page 113. It's pretty clear that the fire is the "target" of the spell. I like to refrain from using the same word to refer to multiple concepts. Furion's suggestions of target of intent and indirect target of intent seem to me to be functional for this purpose (but perhaps a label that does not include the word "target" would be even clearer. Spell recipient? Affected entity?).

It lacks grace, but it seems to me that spells will need to have different penetrations for different targets of intent whenever an arcane connection is involved with boosting a penetration total.

I DID! More than once... Slams head into desk (after carefully removing the keyboard in advance) :blush:

Anything else missing?

Hi Erik, welcome aboard - good to have more people joining in!

I honestly didn't think this would snowball and the post was written in haste without taking much time to reflect on the implications of my attempt at cathegorizing 'targets'. I totally agree that using other words would be very fruitfull to the discussion. I think that affected my be an usable term.

Somehow -in retrospect- I might have sticked to the term targets to show how we often use the same term 'target' in very different contexts having different connotations - and that this practice has lead to a lot of the confusions. I might even boldly state that the use of the word target in many of the spell descriptions has added to the mingling of concepts. I really like the fluff of the spell descriptions, but if the T:Target of a Ball of Abysmal Flame is the fire and not the person, then the spells descriptions use of the term target (what we might now call affected etc) is somewhat misguiding. I actually just noticed that the description of the Pillum is much clearer stating that the fire does 'damage to the individual it hits'.
Now this argument of course rests interely on the assumption being tested here, namely whether the target is the fire or the individual it hits. I personally think that the T:Target can only be the material of the Form and not the individual or affected. At the same time that I think this is an interesting debate, I dont think influences the game-play much nor that ignorance of the debate creates any challenges, and if the assumption is right that the T:Target is the Form and not the affected, then it's no wonder if it hasn't been encountered during the play-testing, that a 'double-use' of the word target can misguide.

I'm little bit confused here; the starting point of the discussion, in the other thread, was the nation that you cannot use AC/penetration unless the 'affected' of the spell is also the T:Target of the spell. I also believe, Erik correct me if I'm wrong, that this was one of the reason for Erik Dahl to argue that the T:Target of a Pilum of Flame must be the person affected and not the fire, so that the magus was allowed to use boosted penetration.

It came as a surprise to me that AC/penetration can only be used in direct magic, but if it is the intentions of the RAW, then what you are suggestion, as I read it, isn't possible anyhow, but... I would be very interested in discussing how to handled penetration boosted spells that affect more than one person/being with MR as I'm planning to HR to allow AC-boosted penetration in all spells.

The arcane connections for penetration rules do talk about target. I believe that this was done in error (the original author did not fully consider all of the differences between of targets of spells as opposed to things that spells are targeted at).

I think that if you use a target room rego mentem spell to affect a room and everything within it, you could still use an AC to boost the penetration against a particular target and your spell would use two separate penetration numbers, one for the person whom is connected to the AC and one for all of the other minds inside of the room. The thought of enchanting your wolfhound with extra large fangs specifically tunned to tear through your foes defenses is far too cool to abandon for some sort of simplicity of theory (especially considering what a pain in the ass it would be to explain it to new players).

Without reading all the above (apologies, no time, apologies!) I'll say this- Erik D is correct.

There are two entirely different (and often nearly indistinguishable!) uses of the term "target" in the rules.

The first use that is encountered is one of the three standard variables of a spell, Range, Duration and Target. In that context, the target is the Form that you are going to magically manipulate - whether you Creo a fire around a person or Rego some fire at that person, that "Form" (here, the fire) is the target of the casting, not the person. If you wanted to cast a huge fire spell, the target could be increased for an increase in spell magnitude and the resulting effect would be 10x or 100x bigger, and so on - regardless of its final destination.

The second use is found under the Aiming rules and in some few spells, and is used the way most Players would use it - what you want to hurt/affect with your spell. In at least one instance (but not consistently! :stuck_out_tongue: ) this is called the "Direct Target" (capitalization mine). If you are aiming a spell at a dragon, then the dragon is the Direct Target of that spell, regardless of what Form the spell makes use of for its specific effect.

So, if a maga casts a PoF at a brigand, first she casts a spell that has a Target of "a spear of fire" (the Form of the spell), and then she aims that spell at the (direct) target of the brigand.

If casting a Perdo Herbem to destroy the wooden bridge under the brigand's feet, the wood is the Target in both cases, even tho' the brigand is the intended victim.

These ~can~ often be the same, such as when using a Rego Corpus to lift the brigand, or a Perdo Terram to rust his sword. But don't have to be, by any means.

Clear as mud? :wink: