Carrying capacity for roleplaying characters is either something that a table cares about, or ignores. In Ars Magica carrying capacity also affects spells which teleport and transform, and for characters who are melee combat based – every point of encumbrance counts. An object can be shrunk down to a tiny fraction of its size with magic (see this related post), but what about making something two dimensional, or perhaps even a smaller image of itself on a page?
I was not sure if the concept was allowed as the RAW is absent anything specific, and it is certainly not disallowed, but lets see what the related effects might be, and what the ramifications would be. In the Hermetic magic we already have highly unnatural effects like:
- A spell in cannon to turn flames into stones.
- A spell in cannon which transforms gold into iconic species, so it is then moved by light (Scattering Like Light, MuTe/Im 30, HoH:S p63).
- Muto and Perdo can remove the weight from an object with high degrees of effectiveness.
Once again the fine folks in on the official forums gave me advice on the effect, and assisted to simplify the approach. My initial suss was to make the effect Muto Terram, with Imagonem, because I was thinking about the effect as an image, but as pointed out – the Imagonem is just a peripheral aspect. It is not needed.
So a basic effect to change an object to be like a picture on a page…hmm. The quality of the image does not actually matter, as long as the intent of the spell is not to alter the object when the effect expires. Better that the spell effect is maintained by a magical device with constant effect, rather than a typical spell duration; although Circles are effective if they remain unbroken. You don’t want a greatsword to change back to normal size when it is folder in your pocket.
Here is what I am intending the basic use to be a an example:
A wizard wishes to transport an ornamental dagger across a long distance as a gift for another. The wizard draws a magic circle onto a page, then casts the transformation effect, and the dagger is altered to be an image of itself on the page, contained within the magic circle. The magic circle sustains the effect, and when the letter arrives at the other end, the receiver just breaks the circle and the object returns to normal. The illustration need not even be of the dagger, just be within a circle. It will make the object very susceptible to damage, depending on the medium where the circle is held.
As an effect it is clearly unnatural, but I think plausible.
Flatten Miscellanea to Art
Muto Terram 20, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind
The object touched is converted into a small two dimensional image of itself for the duration of the spell. Casting requisites are required for the object when cast, and the effect can only affect non-living objects of standard size.
(Base 4 to change dirt so that it’s highly unnatural as “two dimensional”, Touch +1, Sun +2, secondary sub-effect to shrink +1)
Spell is designed in a similar manner to many Terram effects for non-living things, to provide a general guideline for all affected materials when cast. There could be many variations of this, for Rings, for Chests, or the contents of Rooms, or even to affect larger than standard size things; and so on.
Lastly an image leads to an elegant solution – each circle is a ring holding an item, shrunk down with a spell working using the Duration: Ring guideline.