[Hermetic Joust] The Metal Repelling Lance

So, our little knight-styled magus has decided to enter the Hermetic Joust for the sake of promoting Severin of Tytalus as a potential Primus of House Tytalus.

To this end, he's inventing spells.

One he's trying to work out:

A spell cast upon the a lance that will repel all metal away from the lance's point in one direction. His goal: unseat an oppponent by casting this on his lance and then aiming it at their shield.

I'm seeing this as warding the lance tip. Base 15, touch, diameter duration. Target individual.

This gives me a level 25 ReTe spell. The target in the case of this ward is the oaken lance, which seems to fit the Herbam measure of individual.

Now, running this at a target, I'm wondering if he needs another magnitude to get this lance to not deviate from going forward - no swerving, no being kicked back under his arm in the face of an opponent's shield. Is this unwarrantedly picky?



I guess part of my mental leap I'm trying to make here is "What happens to a warded object?" What does warding mean?

I got around this mentally with a similar ward against metal by making the spell's effect be "it makes it impossible for metal to pierce your skin".

Is warding a force field? Is warding a force pushing something away? And what happens when the immovable warded object meets the moving warded object?

I'm missing something here : a lance already has a built-in metal-repelling spell. It's called solidity, I believe. How would a metal-repelling spell add anything to that ?

Now, if it actually works beyond the lance's point, it would allow the caster's lance to hit before his opponent's, I can see the value of that. Or of strengthening the lance so that it does not break (actually, ward against metal might do that if it only hits metal).

Oh, and just food for thought : are you sure your opponent is not carrying a wooden shield ?

Wow, this is a really good question I hadn't thought about it before. To describe a different thought experiment which poses the same issue:

Suppose I have two croquet balls. One is made of metal, and I set it on the nice smooth ground. The other one is made of wood; I cast a metal-warding spell on it, then I roll it towards the metal one. What happens when the wooden ball arrives? Does it stop dead in its tracks? Does it make the metal one start moving, like normal croquet balls would? (make the metal one a nice light aluminum, if you're worried about relative mass)

Npoble's parma because I am off for work in a minute:

I think both would be stopped regardless of which one was rolling first. The magic prevents them from touching at all. Since there is nothing pushing the ball forward anymore (you already threw it), its impetus stops.

In the case of the lance, it is slyghtly different since you keep applying force to it. IMO it would prevent itself from hitting the metal: a few inches would remain between the lance and the metal (BTW, shields tended to be wooden, but hey). I would say it kosher fdor it to push the guy off the saddle without actually touching him if you performed that trick. The only difference over a normal lance hit would be that you would not penetrate the armour ever, since the lance would prevent itself from actually touching the metal. YMMV :slight_smile: This never has come up in those terms IMS, but I think we would do it like this.


How about a triggered PeHe to shatter the lance?

If it is non-lethal combat they would not have metal heads on the lances. That is for killing someone. They would have "cups" on the end or put a pad on the tip.

If you want to unhorse the opponent, a ReAn to send the horse 10 paces away is funnier, and probably easier :stuck_out_tongue: PeAn also works well to destroy all the leather straps on the magus in case he as sticked himself to the saddle instead of the horse.

Or you can go with a pure mundane attack coupled with a level 5 Perdo Vim spell to un-stick the dude from the horse.


By my reading, you can cast spells on your armor, arms, mount, and person, but you can't cast magic at your opponent without cheating - directly or, methinks, indirectly through an item though this can get a bit shaky and weird in determining what is a spell that is cast on your weapon and what is a spell on your weapon that effects something else. Thus an enchanted lance that casts a spell at your opponent or their panoply, from my understanding, seems to be right out.

Now, the warded lance seems to sidestep this issue more of less.

Here's a question. A portcullis is half open. Enough for a horse to pass underneath, but not the rider. The rider is warded against metal, and his horse is charging towards the gateway and the half-open portcullis. What happens when they meet?

What happens if the rider is rooted to his saddle with ReCo or ReTe (rooting his armor) spells?

The portcullis is magical so it must penetrate his parma. If it fails then it moves out of his way.

The portcullis is not noted as magical.
I'm wondering how it gets out of his way.
What if it was an iron bar mortared into place halfway up the gateway?

in that case the Iron Portcullis gets out of the way.

How? Magic:-) The metal can not touch the magi. it moves.

Nor the magi can touch the metal. Neither moves. It is the other way around :wink:

That means that the mage is unhorsed, even if he does not touch the portcuillis.

If he is "attached" to the horse, he stops abruptly while the horse keeps moving forward. The result is a messy accident, with the horse moving like a skateboard (upwards) as the magus moves to fall on his back. KAKRUNCH!!!

Ain't it funny to look up fairly weird things in the system?

Suddenly pink-dotting your door becomes a fair defense vs magical intruders since they cannot touch the door....


I disagree. The ward would be to move metal in an unnatural way. The metal moves away from the magi. it matters not if it is a coin or a 10 ton block of iron.

So if a maga has a Terram ward cast upon her, and she walks towards the side of a stone castle with no intention of stopping, then the wall in front of her crumbles? A hole opens up for her? The entire castle gets pushed along in front of her?

gerg - thankfully, no. In fact, hell no.

And for exactly that reason.

Which is exactly why "wards" don't work that way. Not in canon anyway..

You're confusing the normal possible Rego effects with a Rego Ward, which is a specific, special effect, with slightly separate (and very specific) rules.

The latter is exactly how wards work by the RAW. A ward is not (as described in canon) an offensive effect - it is purely a barrier, a wall, or (yes) a forcefield - a ward against something - not an attack or counter-attack against it.

Wards, as outlined on page 114, "...use normal targets, but the target is the thing protected, rather than the thing (Form) warded against..."

The important distinction to ask is "What is the Target of the Effect that is cast?"

The Target of this ward is the tip of the lance. It's never the shield or the suit of armour - that path lies madness. (Madness I say!) :laughing:

For one, the target of the spell effect must be perceived when the spell is cast - What shield? What armour? Which is why the target of a ward is the thing to be protected against a Form. And if affecting that shield/armour with Rego to move it about, then that shield/Armour is the target, since that's what's being affected.

Worse, if the opposite ruling is made, that a Rego effect can be cast on a thing and then that thing in turn affect other things with a Rego affect... madness. See this thread for a mild example of brokeness: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/spell-for-consideration/3521/1

A force field is close enough - but a passive one, not a Star-Trek-quality "repulsor field" that bounces the object back. It just stops.

And it cannot be used to "push" the Form it wards against - combined with a bit of imagination and that too would open some huuuuge cans of worms, on several levels, both Hermetic and game-mechanic-wise.

Imagine - you "ward" a rat, to repel stone or wood for Moon duration - and then turn it loose in a castle. Fun, fun, fun. But you can't, because the rat is the target of the ward, not the stone or the wood. The casting mage can't "Rego = push" the stone/wood, as he can't perceive it - and the rat can't cast the spell that would. The rat can only be "Rego = ward = protected" from stone/wood, as per the rules for Warding on page 114.

Far, far worse, if you, as SG, were to establish the precedent that a mage can cast a spell on an object that then casts an effect on another object at a later time (as a lance tip upon a shield or armour), there is no limit (literally, if you think about it) to the complications created.

There was a thread on this that discusses this all in significantly more in depth, on "pseudo-wards", here:

Now, all that said, we start with the conclusion that a Ward 1) cannot move something, 2) cannot Rego-affect something else, and 3) only protects the target.


Cast your Terram Ward on a spear tip - at the end of a very long spear. Add another, very simple Rego effect that will levitate and hold that spear tip in place in space wherever the caster concentrates - this is perfect "guidance" against anything but a larger Rego effect.

It also means that when the spear tip meets metal, it cannot push that metal, but nor will it be pushed. The metal stops at that point.

Now, while it won't "penetrate" the armour or shield, it will stop it, but not the human behind it. So the human crashes into the stopped metal at full speed. And the horse under them continues to ride forward, not being rego'd or stopped in any way but the pull of the rider behind/above it.

(And injury and possibly death follows, which gets me back to my previous incomprehension at this "past time".) :unamused:

You are right. I was mixing up the target of the spell.

Welcome back Hound.


It's common to do - I totally bought into it the very first time I saw something similar a long time ago (a proposed ReCo ward that automatically threw attackers across a room), and then I started thinking about what else could be done... and started to sweat... :open_mouth: