Magical Boat - warding the passengers

(This may be a bit of a mental exercise, just thinking out loud. But I'm not perfectly happy with the answer I have so far...)

So... you have yourself a magical boat. Greater Device, lots of room to invest effects.

And (being a refined sort) you want to make the boat "comfortable" - storms, wind, water - how unpleasant. So you want to add an effect to the boat that will shield the passengers on deck against the elements - say, to start, against strong wind*. And it would be nice to be able to ward both the passengers and the boat, and items lying about on deck - we don't want stuff blowing away.

(Or water hitting the deck, or lightning striking it - several diff parallel effects could be desirable here.)

ReAu Base 5* - Ward someone against a type of severe weather*. Good against "gale force winds" - that's ample.

(* I'll choose "5" to make math easier for everyone to follow - the exact effect is less important than the format.)

Q1 - How does one go about "warding" the passengers and anything/everything on deck against such?
Q2 - Second question - how does one do that for magi, with Parma up?

Because it's a boat, "rings/circles" are really not going to work. Either a ring is going to leave out the front/back of the boat, or it would have to be much, much wider than the boat itself - both unsatisfactory, from what I can see.

The Ward rules (p 114) state "the Target is the thing protected...", and the Range is the range to the Target, to the thing protected from that Form.

So, the enchanted item (the ship) must cast a "Touch" range ward, and maintain it...

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Group, +1(?) Size, +2 Sun, +3 Lvls Env Trigger, +1 Lvl x2/day)
ReAu 34 [i](& maybe more with more size

(* Again, not at issue here. And if you want to include a level of Complexity to include "the boat, the passengers, and loose items" in "Group", whatever works for your Saga/SG/Troupe.)

But that only "triggers" every sunrise and sunset, and then only against targets that it was touching at those moments - if a passenger boards mid-day, or if they are carrying some luggage that gets unpacked later, or somehow are not touching the actual "boat" (as defined by the enchanted object) at that precise time, then they are not protected.


(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Group, +1(?) Size, +1 Conc, +5 Lvls (item maintains conc), +3 Lvls Env Trigger, +5 Lvls x50/day)
ReAu 38 (maybe more with more size)

And that is better, as it casts the spell anew every half hour, according to the passage of astrological time.

But that's still not perfect. We want a safe environment, a "bubble" against wind, so anything and everything on deck is simply "safe", so the wind just doesn't affect anyone/anything who comes up on deck. And so the wind is stopped long before it reaches a mage with their Parma up. Shouldn't be that hard...

And yet...

What is wanted, is a "bubble" like the Rego wards against Fae of a certain Element. But Ring Wards won't work.

Simply bumping it up to Voice won't work - "the Target is the thing protected...", and the Range is the range to the Target, to the thing protected from that Form.

Hermetic breakthrough the only way? :confused:

(Short of a breakthrough, "penetration" is the obvious solution to Parma - but the effect as listed isn't completely satisfactory, so...)

Next question - an effect to keep folk from falling overboard! A ReCo(?) effect to act as magical lifelines, so that even if someone was thrown overboard, they would simply "bounce back", or something equally effective.

Some of the same problems as above - I think anyone with MR is just SOL on this one. (This is not like keeping water away from the deck!)

Base 5 is "Hold a target motionless" and "Move the target slowly in any direction you please" - back into the boat, thanks! This sounds good.

(Base 5, +2 Voice (to catch those falling from the rigging, etc), +10 infinite/day)
= ReCo 25

Would that do it? Define the trigger and target area as anyone outside the boundaries of the deck? You'd have to bump it to "Group" if you were worried about more than one at a time.

(Hmmm - maybe hard to leave the boat... have to define a way to turn the item on/off. Details like that can be important to remember, esp for a mage who has a Parma running while working on the effect in the lab. Really annoying if it's not realized until after launch!) :smiling_imp:

(edit - math correction)

I don't have time to thoroughly consider everything you're bringing up here, but my first thought is to just allow a ward to create a bubble for those inside and have it not interact with parma anyway. I'm thinking of the exemptions for 'clothing' that many spells get when targeting individuals. For me, the contents of the ship are like the clothing on a person. That's my first gut instinct anyway.

You could try a Structure Target:

Whether this includes whatever is on the deck is a judgment call, but anything below deck is covered.

If the ship is small, a Room Target might work, although you would need separate spells for the interior (the passengers) and the ship itself.


Im tempted to agree with Thumper though and basically fluff it somehow. Not sure how at the moment though.

Hrmmm - yeah, I understand - it's not clearcut at all.

But the "passengers:ship as clothing:individual" is a good analogy. (Expect to see it on the next SAT test!). Have to cogitate on this some more. 8)

I agree with Halancar that a Target of Structure would be appropriate. Then your first Duration design (constant effect: Sun, plus environmental trigger, plus 2x per day) would be just fine.

Yes, a ship is a structure. So long as you, your SG and troupe all agree that the structure is defined as from the top of the mast to the keel of the ship, everything on the ship is protected, including the ship. At which point, you include effects that protect your ship. Of course, the fun one is a ward against water, at which point you have a magic hovercraft :stuck_out_tongue:

I'm going to put in a different suggestion, use good craftsmanship to seal the area below decks, perhaps put in a rego ward versus sea water entering through the hull (target group for the boards of the hull).

Then you ward the deck with target room effects and save yourself a magnitude. From p. 113 "it must be enclosed and have definite boundaries. a courtyard would often count..." Now you have higher walls on a courtyard than on your ship and they might not qualify as definite boundaries in so far as determining how high the protection extends. I think however if you extended ropes from the top of the mast to the gunwales (perhaps 8 or 10 of them) you'd have a volume defined. Your ship would look a bit tepee like, but you'd enchant things with less vis and effort.

I agree with the Structure suggestions above, and the clothing-as-analogy works well - things attached to the surface of the ship should generally be affected as it is.

I've found that a lot of spells that players come up with require targets that don't quite fit into the standard parameters - affecting the air around someone, for instance, such that it moves with them, could be argued to be a individual backed up with a Rego requisite, but such hanging effects or affecting a volume rather than a specific thing (wards being the classic case for this) aren't really well covered. I tend to eyeball the magnitude based on size modifiers on the area/volume affected and then just require that experimentation be used to invent the spell as normal.

True research would give you a target which anyone can use and which can be done reproducably, whilst this adds enough of an air of danger and side effects that it gives people toys, causes weird and wonderful things and, I strongly suspect in time, will encourage Original Research into an "Aura" target or some such. This, however, means that my Magi can reasonably come up with things like Tread the Ashen Path.

(Ironically, the only spell successfully researched this way was never cast as the magus' player then moved country, but there you go.)

Affecting a volume: Target part + size modifiers can often do this. in fact, some RAW spells use that for this exact purpose.

True, and they're all fudges. A rough circle around a walking magus, for instance, may contain between zero and n foxes, and you're probably not going to target them by part. The same goes for trees.