Confused About Spells in Gold

Some of the spells in the Gold Edition do not match up to their descriptions. Do we follow the, description or its facets?
For example; “Rainstorm” ( pg 218 ) The description would indicate an incredibly massive storm, yet the duration facet indicates that it only last a second (Instantaneous), while the spell takes 256 actions to cast (a few minutes). If you take the various descriptions of the obstacles into consideration, it seems unlikely that they would happen after only a seconds worth of downpour. (Unless it was a Natural Effect spell)
Mend, Minor Maker, and Magic Whistle, (on page 216) have their own issues which I have already discussed in another thread.
As I understand burning wheel spells, the description is the spell writers “intent”, while the facet combination is his “task” (how the spell works in game terms) when the two seem to be in conflict with each other which do we follow, description or facets?

Note: That should read “Rainstorm” ( page 218 )

In regards to that specific spell, I am pretty certain that instantaneous refers to the fact that once the spell is cast, it is cast. There is no going back, dismissing the spell, or interrupting to stop the spell’s effects. Once the fireball leaves your hand, it will land where its aimed. Once rainstorm is cast, it will begin to rain. How long is up to you or the GM (which is likely dependent upon your intent with the spell). It is not affected by spell duration. You just summoned rain clouds, which you coaxed into raining. Now it’s up to nature to resolve how long.

Now note that I don’t have my books in front of me to be totally certain. I may need to be corrected by a more learned person…

I think they’re all Natural Effect spells. The magic itself is instant once cast, but the effect lingers until the fiction demands it doesn’t.

Frex, with Rainstorm, the magic may call the storm into existence, but after the magic part’s done, the storm is just a storm. Perhaps a crazy violent one, but a storm nonetheless. Barring some awesome catastrophic spell failure that makes it permanent or something.

Same with Minor Maker and Mend - the magic is instantaneous, the effect is permanent, but ultimately mundane.

Magic Whistle is literally a joke. That didn’t stop a player in my current game from taking it and actually using it to good effect, but tilts not even a recreation of an old D&D spell - it’s just Magic Missile turned into a Piccolo Pete.

Edit: Ninja’d by One That Was

I do remember an old AD&D spell that was similar to it, possibly even the same name, (we used it like a signal flare once), of course that was over thirty years ago. As far as them being treated according to the description rather than the facets when they differ, am I to assume the descriptions win out?

The point is that the facets and descriptions do not in fact contradict, the facet is the duration over which the magic is active, the description describes the effect that the magic has. So the magic that summons the rains storm really is instantaneous - it’s not inconsistent or a mistake - it’s just that once the rainstorm is summoned it goes on for a while, without magic doing any of the work. Neither the facets or the description ‘win out’ - the facet describes how long the magic acts and the description describes how long the after-magic effect acts. It’s like when you use magic to cause a wound - the wound doesn’t disappear once the spell is over, and although the wound isn’t instantaneous, the spell is.

Instantaneous spells can have lasting effects, as others have said. See page 507.

Note that as written Rainstorm is not a Natural Effect spell. (Sight origin, 100’s of paces area of effect, Water/Air element, Control impetus, Instantaneous duration.) The spell description gives a wide range of successes that play out like a Natural Effect would. If it had some kind of timed duration the storm could then diminish with time. As it is written, it seems to suggest that all of the rain storm damage happens instantaneously and the effects are visible afterwards (cow floating down stream).
It would be great if we knew what the official take on this was.

Sure, once they’ve done their damage the physical effects of that damage or in this case storm remain. Buy there isn’t anything in the spell description that indicates how long the natural effect of the storm should last. I get what you’re saying, that the magic is the catalyst that starts the storm and from there on out the storms intensity plays itself out. It just seems that it should have the Natural Effect added to it, or baring that, an elapsed time.

The way “Weatherworker” ( page 222 ) is written makes perfectly good sense with its facets. Change the Impetus from Influence to Control and that would be how I would think Rainstorm should be written to match its description.