Earth/Stone magic

Gideon's picture

I am new to Harn, and I am working on understanding Pvaric convocations, to include in our game.

I got excited by the system and have ideas.

I noted that not all elements are given as example spells (Earth and stone in this topic). It feels like these types of effects would fall into Fyvria, but all of the provided spells feel like they are only affecting the living world of plants and animals, and the earth effects are about the soil's fertility (really cool), not stone.

Am I missing an understanding of the convocations? Is something like an earthen wall or shattering a stone not done? (I know it's our game and we can do whatever we want, but before forging my own flavor, I want to understand the core concept and power levels)

I looked at Jmorvi, but its metallic focus seems to preclude stone.

So, if I want to enrich the setting with some additional elemental effects, is it unbalancing (out of theme?) to have stone walls, mini-earthquakes, mud field spells?

Also, mechanically, Ethereal Earth I imagine would function similar to ethereal fire in damage if someone "walked" through it, but what would that feel/look like?

Thank you for your time and consideration. :)

Alex Greene's picture

Pvarism does have a missing elemental focus, in that neither Fyvria nor Jmorvi want to take responsibility for earth and stone.
There are a few canon spells to conjure iron and stone to hurl like weapons, but nothing on working stone in the same way as Jmorvi spells can work metal.
Also missing: ceramics, glass blowing, lapidary. Stone cutting, quarrying, stone shaping.
HMK really does need to address these missing elements in the next core rulebook.

Balesir's picture

As with so much, I think it depends... It's true that Fývria is linked with the element "earth" and Jmôrvi with "metal", but there can be a sense in which these "elements" don't represent physical substances but rather principles, or 'spheres of concern'. Thus, I can think of Fývria as concerning literal earth and stone, or I can think of the principle of "earth" as being growth and its mirror, decay (which is, in a sense, just another type of growth...). Similarly, Jmôrvi can relate to metal and ores, or I can consider it more associated with crafting and artifice. This second way is how I personally tend to think of magic in Kèthîra.

So, looking at your spell suggestions, how do they fit? Take for instance a spell to do something with stone. Do you want to shape or mould the stone? Jmôrvi. Do you want to make stone grow? Fývria. Conjure ethereal stone or earth? Well, I don't think elemental stone really fits; ethereal 'earth' would be the principle of Fývria writ in space, making whatever went through it grow, or rot, or wither, or decay - not a literal clod of earth in the ethereal realm. Like 'ethereal fire', it is not really related directly to the physical substance that we call 'earth' but to the principle of the Pvâric element. A spell to create a 'wall of earth' could either make earth literally grow in a specific way (high complexity Fývria), craft a wall from surrounding materials (fairly simple Jmôrvi, but cast on non-convocational materials, most likely, and so a bit harder) or literally create physical earth in the shape of a wall (Grey magic, and of quite serious complexity). Similarly, shattering stone could be done by a range of techniques: heating it and then fast cooling (a blend of Pèleáhn and Odívshè - ouch!), by a stroke of craft (quite complex Jmôrvi) or by intense vibration (highly complex Lyáhvi), perhaps?

Usually there are several ways that a "spell" might be effected. Part of the learning involved in becoming (or playing!) a Shèk-Pvâr is discovering how to "think elementally" - how to use the principle of your element to achieve the tasks that you want to achieve.

Edit to add: Hi, Gideon, and welcome to Hârn!

Gideon's picture

Thank you both for your responses. I see I was being too literal.

Since the creating of stone is atypical, shaping stone is a fine alternative (to me).

Fyvria VII, Touch of Ptaris - turns organic material to stone (or wood/earth ELM67). So transmutation of Earth to Stone or vice versa is most likely same starting level (VII).

Fyvria II, Heartbeat of the world, creates a Stumble area effect, originally I was thinking that cracking a stone pillar would be a higher version of this effect. But based upon the conceptual guidance, it would be a better fit as a Jmorvi VI spell, Estai's Curse variation to "charge" a stone beam with a shattering effect when next struck?

And finally a new thought, if I wanted to create a spell effect to help clear a field of stones. I see two mechanisms; transmute the stones in the ground to earth, or magically move them out of the soil (lifting or pushing them down). Is one more thematic than another? I think the transmutation of unseen (or mostly hidden) stones is in theme of Fyvria magic, and the moving the stones Jmorvi stoneworking and Mining concepts ...but my understanding is still immature.

Alex Greene's picture

The focus on metals kind of obfuscates the real focus of Jmorvi, and that is that Jmorvi is the Convocation of artifice, more than merely the Convocation of metals.

Its diametric Convocation, Savorya, is the Convocation of thought, of the senses, of meaning ... of information and knowledge. Jmorvi, on the other hand, is not about the abstract, but the concrete - about things not felt, or thought, but held in the hand.

So there is absolutely a whole branch of Jmorvi which is about shaping and crafting, and it isn't restricted to working metals. If there's any chance of looking closely at the Jmorvi Convocation's grimoire of spells to include spells to shape and sculpt stone, ceramic, and glass, as well as metal - this would be a good time to bring these spells into the Jmorvi grimoire.

Even if they're simple, generic multilevel Jmorvi spells with titles such as Sculpt, Cut, and so on.

Alex Greene's picture

One really good reason to look at this gap in the Jmorvi repertoire is the Chantry at SIlgora.

The recent Falania Gazetteer has featured Silgora as a place to visit. It's been put on the map. This is its first reference outside of the list of chantries in the Shek-Pvar supplement. Like Arlanto and Xerium, Silgora is not some name any more, but a place.

And I'm betting that Silgora has one thing in abundance. Sand.

I couldn't imagine the place existing for a thousand years without learning how to do things with sand, such as turn it into glass. Silgoran cut glass crystal could be this amazing, desirable substance found in the homes of the wealthy up and down Lythia, rivalled only by Khuzai and Sindarin glassware.

Balesir's picture

And finally a new thought, if I wanted to create a spell effect to help clear a field of stones. I see two mechanisms; transmute the stones in the ground to earth, or magically move them out of the soil (lifting or pushing them down). Is one more thematic than another? I think the transmutation of unseen (or mostly hidden) stones is in theme of Fyvria magic, and the moving the stones Jmorvi stoneworking and Mining concepts ...but my understanding is still immature.

Yep, I think you are starting to think "Pvârically" :-)

On shattering pillars, can I also suggest turning some part of the pillar into a growing seed (Fývria) that will gradually cause the stone to crumble and collapse, as roots are wont to do? Higher skill/success/complexity would speed the growth to make this quicker.

Also - props to Alex's last two posts - I agree with both.

DarthLappen's picture

It's true that the artifical aspect of the Jmôrvi could be used to create "crafted" artifacts of almost any element, but all pvaric principiples do have a certain element which is a substancial part pf their philosophy. Ususally this raw element can be created, influenced and modified by the magic. As a result to this principle every convocation has certain "materials". This is why the spell Infuse exist, and the object enhancement optional rule.
To be precise on the topic
- Stone (as well as gems) do contain small quantities of metal that is the reason why they come in different colours. To enchant or influence I personally see treat stones as partly metallic.
- Glass (if coloured) i would also treat as partly metallic, but additionally I apply the Lyahvi object modifier.
- Earth is a fully Fyvria Element. And Stone isn't. I know "Touch of Ptâris" turns a living object into stone. But the effect is technically similar like the Balm of Chesme (or even a Destroy spell). It's simply adding the opposite of a life cycle to the object. And a dead stone seems to be the perfect element to express this, because a stone is of neither convocation (I personally treat stones as neutral in my p-world)

Typical Stone Enchantments can be done in any convocation:
- L: make the stone transparent or reflective
- P: melt the stone to become Lava.
- J: extrude the metal from the stone (or ore)
- F: Turn stone to Earth or move stones within earth.
- O: Grow stones like stalactites and stalacmites. Or shape them roundish like stones on a beach.
- S: Put inscriptions on it.
True Neutral: Create a stone out of nothing.

Ethereal Earth is required to grow ethereal plants - to hinder movement or damage - thorny creepers sounds good. But without soil you need something for grow the plant. On the other hand a corporeal plant could be noutrished with ethereal earth to transform magical energy into a plant consumable. Ethereal Earth can be summoned into the real plane for various purposes. Remember Ethereal things shocks real living things(i.e. animals) if it gets into contact with. Ethereal Earth affects ethereal creatures like normal earth affects normal beings.

I may add in my specific p-world I decided that plastic is of Jmôrvi Convocation despite the fact that it is not metallic but fully artificial ;)

best regards

Alex Greene's picture

I think the Jmorvi might know of such spells and processes, but their focus is on making something useful for people to use. They could teach the less useful shaping spells to their Mavari until they can grasp the, er, Principle, but after they've been able to shape a few rocks, they'd be put straight to work making or fixing things.