Ok, first, a disclaimer: I absolutely hate infinite wards/damage.
The idea that a magus could cast a simple ReTe lvl 05 spell (base 2, +1 stone, +2 sun) upon himself and be utterly impervious to a theoretical +1000 Cr(Re)Te "Drop Mountain" ritual cast with a shitload of vis for +700 penetration does not sit well upon me.
Likewise with the idea of "autowin" spells, which is why I liked resistance rolls to mentem control and all.
IMO, it also diminishes the importance of Shield Grogs, in that, if a magus is sure to be impervious to damage, the importance of a bodyguard who'll lay down his life for him diminishes.
Thus, just like offensive spells do damage, I've always favored personnal wards to soak damage, just like "Ward against Heat and Flames".
Now, nothing is perfect, and some people will sure disagree with any or all of this, or just don’t like it (if, for exemple, they like absolute wards). Guidelines and spells are mostly consistent, but not always, there are also holes, and my own human failings.
No problem, this is just for those who feel the same way about wards, and may stumble upon the same issues, hoping this may help and/or inspire them.
It’s simply a tentative to coordinate and clarify things.
It is also a summary, so please, be gentle.
Discussing Wards with Marko, I noticed several things:
- There are “parry” spells, that target an attack to deflect it, like “The Wizard’s Parry” and “Deflect the Wooden Shafts”.
- Ward against Heat and Flames uses the “control fire in a slightly unnatural fashion”.
- ReTe has 2 set of ward guidelines. One, base 02, which requires you to be conscious of the attack. One, base 05, which works against all attacks.
- ReTe base 2 is also “control dirt in a slightly unnatural fashion”. It is used in the Wizard’s Parry, with +2 metal.
- ReHe base 4 allows to deflect a wooden attack and is used in “Deflect the Wooden Shafts”. ReHe base 15 is the Ward guideline.
- ReAq 1, +1, allows you to gently control water in a slightly unnatural way. ReAq 5 wards against mundane water.
- “Ward against the curious scullion” once (wrongly, says the errata) used ReCo base 3 instead of ReCo base 15.
- ReIg base 4 gives +05 soak, CrIg base 05 does +10 damage.
- ReTe base 04 gives +05 damage from stone (Wielding the invisible sling), or base 05 for the harder vilano. Using the same scale as ReIg, the base 05 “ward against stone” should thus give +10 soak against stone.
So, roughly, the questions were:
- How do you ward yourself against an attack? Is “control xxx in a slightly unnatural fashion” enough? ReIg says yes, ReTe also, if you’re conscious of the attack.
- If the guideline to deflect an attack is the same as the one to ward yourself (which Wizard’s Parry says), then ReHe 04 is good for it too, instead of ReHe 15. So what?
- Why can’t you use ReCo 3 (say 04 for slightly unnatural) to ward yourself against fists, like Ward of the Curious Scullion?
- If that lower guideline is enough, what good are the higher ward guidelines, which are about 3 freaking magnitudes higher? Especially if you disallow “absolute wards”? Especially if you can’t pick up the material? I mean, if you can use ReTe base 4 to ward yourself against swords, why the hell would you worry with ReTe base 15???
- How do you combine that with “parry” spells, which seem to use the “control xxx in a slightly unnatural fashion?
As a tentative to have something mostly clear and consistent, here are my reflections:
“Control xxx in a slightly unnatural fashion” can provide a personal ward against a material (ReIg and ReTe says this), and give a base +05 soak (ReIg).
That guideline can also be used to target a single attack and deflect it on a case by case basis (ReTe, ReHe) with a momentary, individual spell. This needs to be Voice range for ranged attacks
If absent or else, that guideline is 3 magnitudes lower than the “Ward yourself against xxx” (ReTe, ReHe, ReAq say this, and let’s be slightly harsher with ReCo)
That guideline requires you to be conscious of the attack (ReTe, and is consistent with Delect the Wooden Shafts vs Wizard’s Parry).
This changes nothing to existing spells, save to Ward against Heat and Flames, which needs either to require consciousness, or be considered the result of experimentation (meaning self-made fire wards will have the limitation)
The “Ward yourself against xxx” should give +10 soak, but that’s too harsh, given the 3 magnitudes of differences. It thus gives +15, and works against any and all attacks. For another magnitude, it doesn’t affect Personnal items, and allows you to concentrate to relax it in order to pick up something
What does it give, then, if trying to do similar spells across all forms?
Ward against Heat and Flames ReIg 25
Base 4, +1 touch, +2 sun, + 2 extra soak.
Gives +15 soak against fire, needs you to be aware of the fire source (change from the book)
Ward against Swords ReTe 25
Base 2, +2 metal, +1 touch, +2 sun, + 2 extra soak.
Gives +15 soak against metal, needs you to be aware of the source
Ward against Water ReAq 15
Base 2, +1 touch, +2 sun, +2 extra soak
Gives +15 soak against water, needs you to be aware of the source
Perfect Ward against Water ReAq 20
Base 5, +1 touch, +2 sun
Gives +15 soak against water
Perfect Ward against the Backstabbing Blow ReTe 30
Base 05, +2 metal, +1 touch, +2 sun
Gives + 15 soak against metal, even if unaware of the attack, but you can’t pick up metal items
Ward against Scuffles ReCo 25
Base 04 (3 lower than base 15), +1 touch, +2 sun, + 2 extra soak
Gives +15 soak against human fists and feet, needs you to be aware of source
Ward against Traitors ReCo 30
Base 15, +1 touch, +2 sun
Gives +15 soak against all human attacks, whether you’re conscious of them or not, but you can’t really touch someone.
Wizard’s Parry ReTe 05
Base 2, +2 metal, +1 touch
Deflect the Wooden Shafts ReHe 10
Base 4, +2 voice
Deflect the bludgeon ReHe 05
Base 04, +1 touch
As Wizard’s Parry, with wooden weapons. This won’t work against arrows
Shield from the Flambeau’s Fury ReIg 15
Base 04, +2 voice, +0 mom, +0 ind
Deflects a single fire-based attack, like a PoF.
The Best there is at Parrying Blows ReCo 05
Base 4 (3 lower than base 05, akin to base 3 + 1 slighlty unnatural), +1 touch
Allows you to parry a fist of feet with your hand.