A Solution to Wards?

I see three problems with wards against beings as they are written. One is that it is generally harder to ward against a being than it is to defeat that being, which makes wards against beings less useful. While wards can be fairly general, so can attack spells. This is why many choose to not require wards to penetrate.

The second problem is that complete control over a being can have a lower base than a ward against that being. For example, complete control of a magical animal is a base of 15 and then penetration is necessary, even if the animal's Might is 40. Meanwhile warding against that same animal requires a spell of level 40, meaning the base is 25 as compared to the complete control's 15. This seems like a consistency issue. Dropping penetration for wards can somewhat solve the issue, but there are still some odd inconsistencies.

The third problem is that it can be easier to ward against something with magic resistance than against something without magic resistance, and dropping penetration only exacerbates this. For example, warding against a Magic Might 1 insect ought to be harder than warding against a non-magical insect. But in the former case a circle would be 5 levels lower than in the later case. Why would inherent resistance to magic make something more susceptible to magic?

Then there is the issue that a lot of people like the penetration part because it encourages finding Arcane Connections and Sympathetic Connections. Dropping penetration for wards leaves only level-dependence on whether or not a ward will work. Plus there is the consistency issue with other spells.

In another thread I proposed a different approach to dealing with the penetration of wards. That was to get rid of all the ReXx General ward guidelines. Instead use ReXx fixed guidelines like Circle of Beast Warding uses. Perhaps magnitudes could be added if needed to make wards more or less broad, which could explain why warding against humans is at base 15 compared to the ReAn base of 2. Then to stop a being with Might the ward would need to be against the appropriate thing (like wolves or animals for a magical wolf) and would need to penetrate. This deals with all the problems without creating the new issue. If we make sure ward bases are low enough compared to significant attack spells and total control, we avoid both the first two problems. The third problem is solved automatically. And the issue of Arcane Connections and Sympathetic Connections losing their value while wards work differently from other spells never comes up because penetration is still used.

Does anyone see a problem with this or something it does not solve? Certainly it would require writing a number of ReXx bases, but other than that?


I see no problem at all with wards being treated like other spells and needing to penetrate. Similarly, I see no problem with the spell level scaling with the target Might level.

If anything, people are looking in the wrong place. I think it's the PeVi guidelines that might need looking at.

Looks valid to me.

When executing on it and writing the rules updates / errata, make sure to update the existing efforts for clarifying the issue (like Societates p. 113 insert 'Wards and Penetration') as well.


Aside from this one, where either I'm stupid or there's a "not" missing somewhere

Apart from that, I agree.
Wards have the form (not Form) they currently do, due to legacy issues - "that's how they've always been".
However because penetration has changed, the effective rules for wards have changed.
This could make wards work again.

Aegis of the Hearth would still be an anomaly (because it has multiple effects and has become a traditional Vis drain for covenants), but it is anomaleous already, so marking it as explicitly not needing to penetrate would then about do it.

Tellus, as was suggested in the other thread, I really like this idea. It unifies warding rules between mundane and magical (faerie, infernal, divine) creatures, and allows a Ward Vs Magical Wolves to automatically protect against mundane wolves, too, which is nice.

My suggestion might be to require magnitudes to be added depending on how broad the category of things warded against is. The medieval paradigm might support this nicely, with it's somewhat pre-Darwinian attitude of assuming that all animals form societies stratified like human ones. For example:
+0 magnitudes: Protect against a single instance of the warded things (Corpus ward vs Timothy Ferguson, but not against David Chart; Animal ward vs Laertes's cat Taz but not against anyone else's cat.)
+1 magnitudes: Protect against a single "guild" of the warded things (Corpus ward protects vs Australian writers, but not against American writers or Australian fishermen; Animal ward vs wolves from a given pack in the mountains, but not against wolves from other packs who happened to wander into the area.)
+2 magnitudes: Protect against a single profession of the warded things (Corpus ward vs writers but not against carpenters; Animal ward vs wolves, but not against bears.)
+3 magnitudes: Protect against a single class of the warded things (Corpus ward vs craftsmen, but not against serfs; Animal ward vs predatory animals, but not against large herbivores.)
+4 magnitudes: Protect against a single stratum of the warded things (Corpus ward vs commoners, but not against kings; Animal ward vs wild animals, but not against domesticated ones or vermin.)
+5 magnitudes: Protect against all instances of the warded things (Corpus ward vs all humans; Animal ward vs all animals)

If we take a starting magnitude of 2 (as per ReAn), then the +5 magnitudes will give a maximum of 15 (as per ReCo), harmonising the two guidelines and producing a RAW "Ward vs Humans". Unfortunately, this results in losing the ReAn effect, but let's be honest, it was too low anyway.

As an aside, I would like to add that I find the notion of wards against specific people to be hilarious, in a darkly slapstick sort of way. If your husband doesn't do the dishes, for example, he discovers that he's unable to cross the threshold of the covenant tavern...

I actually like wards the way they are, though it sometimes seems i'm the only one.
Wards should be less effective at stopping something than simply killing it. Most times killing something means being there to kill it. Wards work all the time, whether you're there, asleep, or cast it 10 years earlier. They're intended for a passive defence against an enemy that may not exist, that may come at any time, in any numbers.
I'd leave them as they are.

Watching Ward.
Charged Items.

Plenty of ways to turn attack spells into pseudo-wards.

To my mind, the problem isn't even truely attack spells as such - in RL it is often easier to kill than to restrain - but the overwhelming advantage of might strippers compared to wards.

I'd say half of these are not possibly without some requisite or other.
But also: if we're going to use this, let's turn that table on it's head!
Warding against Animals? Easy!
Warding against Wolfs? Still no problem.
Warding against a grey wolf with a black line along the spine and a scar over the left eye? ...more tricky.

Yes, you're right. "Not to be easier." I fixed it above, though I used "harder."

That's an even better idea, especially because it generates stories. For example, your lab (situated away from the covenant so as to give you your Idyllic Surroundings) keeps on being raided by a hydra. Exasperated, you decide to ward against this nuisance. As a hydra has a substantial magic might, you opt to cast a low-level spell to gain as much penetration as possible, warding your lab against all animals, which unfortunately includes your familiar and those rabbits you were using as a Study Bonus. You've now gained the security you've wanted, but at the cost of functionality.

IMHO, players coping with the consequences of their decisions is a far more interesting setup to a game than them merely trying to solve problems, and this setup seems to lead to it.