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Explain the difference between Ruling spells and Perfecting spells to me.

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  • Explain the difference between Ruling spells and Perfecting spells to me.

    I'm having a hard time differencing when a spell is of ruling type and when it's of perfecting type.

    As these are described in page (123, of MtA corebook), but my interpretation/summary of them are:
    -- Ruling spells grant fuller control over phenomena. Water can be made to flow uphill, time can be slowed down or accelerated, but a ruling spell can't fundamentally alert it's targets abilities. Water can be made to push something, but can't be made solid. Fire can burn faster, but can't burn hotter. A person can heal faster, but not be healed instantly.

    -- Perfecting/Frying spells can change a composition of the target. A small fire can be made into a forest burning fire. A steal rod can be made into titanium rod or into dust. Bones can be broken and fixed back together in an instant.


    So if my understanding is false, correct me on this.

    The spells below are giving me a hard time to understand the difference between these types of spells, and I would like your input on it.
    -- Control Fire (Forces **, page 142). Allows you to increase or decrease the heat of the fire by one level, this seems to me as a perfecting spell as you are fundamentally changing the fire, not the speed it burns.
    -- Find the Balance (Matter **. page 155). The spell modifies the tool to be a better tool. It seems like a perfecting spell. Or does it count as a ruling, because you're not changing the item. If you use it on a bike, it will be a really good bike. The spell would be perfecting if you would use it on a bike to make it into a gun, for example ?
    -- Scrying (Space **, page 174). This is a ruling spell, but to me it seems like an Unveiling spell.
    -- Decay (Death**, page 129) If I understood this spell correctly, I increase the ageing of the item into an incredible speed making it decay in seconds. If this is true, would this same spell work on living beings ?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Stralos View Post
    A steal rod can be made into titanium rod or into dust.
    The first would actually be a pattering spell as you'd transmute the elements involved (steel = mostly iron to titanium). However a perfecting spell can make a rod harder than any known alloy. The latter would be a fraying spell used to decompose a material.

    -- Control Fire (Forces **, page 142). Allows you to increase or decrease the heat of the fire by one level, this seems to me as a perfecting spell as you are fundamentally changing the fire, not the speed it burns.
    The spell basically rules the fire to consume the available fuel faster than normally possible, which causes increased heat. The difference to a perfecting spell in this case is rather subtle (a ruling spell often can accomplish what a perfecting spell would in the end). For one the fire will consume fuel alot faster when you increase its heat, leading to it dieing quickly, likely suffocating itself. A perfectign spell can cause an increase in heat without increasing the fuel consumption. It can likely even make fire more or less fuel independent, burning stone and other normally inflamable materials with perfected supernal heat.

    -- Find the Balance (Matter **. page 155). The spell modifies the tool to be a better tool. It seems like a perfecting spell. Or does it count as a ruling, because you're not changing the item. If you use it on a bike, it will be a really good bike. The spell would be perfecting if you would use it on a bike to make it into a gun, for example ?
    Turning a bike into a gun would be a pattering spell (combining a bike and a gun would be weaving). The spell is ruling because it merely shifts mass within the object around a little to improve its balance. It doesn't improve the intrinsic properties of the materials or perfects its symbolic use as a tool.

    -- Scrying (Space **, page 174). This is a ruling spell, but to me it seems like an Unveiling spell.
    That argument probably could be made, yeah. Or at least for a "know space" spell that you then just cast symathetically, could see that being legit (of course you still need space 2 then for sympathetic casting but thems the breaks). Scrying as a spell actually moves two spaces closer to each other and lets them touch upon another, creating a window you can literally see through. It's more a budget version of Co-Location than an unveiling spell.

    -- Decay (Death**, page 129) If I understood this spell correctly, I increase the ageing of the item into an incredible speed making it decay in seconds. If this is true, would this same spell work on living beings ?
    Yeah I'd have made Decay a perfecting spell personally. And no you probably can't use it on people as it specifically calls out objects and you have straight up damaging spells later in the tree. The spell basically works off of telling the object to decay (ruling) which is what it's base effect does.... but the reach effect just straight up goes into perfecting territory, making the decay happen now, increasing (perfecting) it to unnatural degree.


    My Mage 2e Homebrew

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