I'm currious as to what people here think about what happens when a Muto effect ends. Does the material allways return to the form it was in before the effect started, or can it be affected by what happens to it while in another form...
20 small stones turned into water which flows out on the ground. When the spell ends, do you have a layer of rock on the ground, or 20 seperate stones?
A single rock turned to mud. Will the stone retain its shape once the spell ends?
This is a question that to my knowlege isn't rigorously answered in the book.
I like being able to change big rocks into water and pour them like cement, or changing a broken sword into clay, doing a quck and dirty fix then letting the spell drop.
But on the other hand I prefer that a bucket of sand changed into wine changes back into sand at the end of a spell rather than a solid chunk of quartz.
Here are some off the cuff guidelines that I hope might spur a useful conversation.
If the shape of a target is changed by the spell than that target automatically recovers it's shape at the end of a spell, (If I turn a tree into a whip and then coil the whip I don't end up with a coiled tree).
An exception to the above would be if a living creature were changed into a different living creature Such as a magus into an elephant, then alterations (such as wounds ) would carry over. But I might not take beyond corpus/animal I'm not sure that changing a knight into a flower and then picking it would kill said knight.
A group target such as a pile of rocks cannot be united by changing them into a liquid.
A single target changed into a group of targets, such as an angry knight who attacks a tribunal meeting who is changed into a pile of nametags for use at the event might reform from the largest collection of items existing at the end of the spell or might be torn to bits by the end of the spell (I'm inclined to go with the former)
I created a spell like this for a somewhat nasty Merinita I was working up. It turns a glass full of pebbles or small stones into wine, which turns back to stones at dusk/dawn. It was the sort of thing one would offer to a guest that was unwelcome, as the stones would reform in their gullet. In this particular case, the object definitely takes its original form again.
Yet in Rock of Viscid Clay it implies that the rock remains in whatever shape you put it, as the structural properties of the rock would allow it to bear its own weight. Water, coversely, while shapeable, would lose its shape as water cannot naturally hold a shape of its own.
Likewise, a group of stones becomes a group again when the spell wears off.
Part of the trouble for me here is that it treads upon the fine line between Muto and Rego in some cases. Turning dirt into clay is Muto, but would allow an object to be reshaped before turning back into stone at the end of the spell.
Now run with my brain a bit father. Reinvent Rock of Viscid Clay to work with metal. You can now forge ornaments, weapons, or armor with your bare hands and/or some simple tools, provided you have the ore to work from in the first place. Of course, you might want to refine the ore a bit, but that's metallurgy rather than gaming.
I would be inclined to think that if you turn a large stone (one) into a liquid and pour it into a mold, it will turn into stone in the shape of the mold when the spell is released. On the other hand, if you use several small stones to do the same thing, you would have them fill the mold but still be saparate as they would revert back into several stones, albeit of a different shape.
Ergo, in the case of turning sand into a liquid it would revert back into sand and not quartz, because that would change it from a group into an individual (think for example in game terms, target) and that can't be done with muto, at least not permanently.
Alternatively , the large stone attempts to revert to its normal shape and either fractures in the mold ,
or breaks the mold if the material of the mold is not strong enough to contain it.
I assume an instant change back to the original state & shape.
What if you muto rock to water , then evaporate the water.
At the end of the muto spell do you end up with finely powdered rock?
I may have found an answer in the spell "Doublet of Impenetrable Silk".
This spell alters the way the clothing acts. In the same way a spell could alter the way stone acts - making it work like, say a fluid. Since the spell in it self was not responsible for changing the shape, it does not change the shape as the spell ends either.
On the other hand, a spell that does change the shape of an object - say a spell that turns a ruby into a miniature dragon, will also change it back once the spell is over. If the dragon was decapidated, there will now be a chunck seperated from the ruby.
In conjunction with my train of thought before, the evaporated stone-turned-to-water would turn back into one stone, although a very airy and pourous one. I may have to modify my theory.
In this case a large stone turned into clay could be sculpted into a statue and when it reverts to stone it would retain its shape. In case of mutoing the stone directly into a statue it would revert to its original state. I like this theory.
Thinking about the above example, the evaporated stone would, when reveting to stone, become fine stone powder. This is because the spell did not turn the stone into mist but rather to water that was evaporated by mundane means.
This brings up the problem of what happens if one first mutoes the stone into water and then mutoes it into mist. Actually it doesn't. And neither does using Ignem to evaporate. Hmm. I can't find problems with this theory. Good work.
That was the basis of my thoughts back in post two but it isn't particularily complete yet.
When should wounds suffered by a transformed person carry back to their natural shape? when they're a dog? When they're a pile of eggs?
In the example of changing a rock into a large cloud that is later dispersed or changing a knight into a pile of nametags that go home to different people's garbage cans afte the convention is over the original shape is changed yet it isn't clear where the original shape is returned to.
I would have to say that the original shape returns to the largest concentration of said parts or the center of all the parts. For example if a man is turned to four stones and each is carried an exacty as far in a completely different direction (east, west, south and north), the man returns exactly where he was turned into said stones. on the other hand if two of the stones were taken one way and the other two different from every other stone then the man would materialize at the two stones or at least more towards the two stones than in the prewious case. Ugh. Difficult.
From all I've read I tend to agree with the effect is reversible if it was done by magic, and any mundane changes are permanent (shaping clay, evaporation, ect...). In the above example, 1 person into 4 parts and take 4 places, that the movement is done by mundane means. This means that at the spells end each of the 4 riders would be carrying a quarter of the person (a tidy variation of being drawn and quartered) If the pile of 4 rocks was untouched no ill effects would occur. If they were only slightly disturbed/rearranged the person would suffer a wound upon reforming (and possibly be deformed)
Ulf, I would tend to think that would depend upon how the quartering is done. If by magic, then sure that would work. But what if I turned someone to stone, creating a lovely statue, then took a hammer to the statue. That would be straight-up Muto.
I think the easiest way to get at this tricky problem would be to specify the effect in the spell's description. Of course, it still gets complixated if bits are moved... Hmmm... Interesting mental exercise, though.