Preparing for Wizards War?

Note that Faeries can canonically use a person's speech as an AC, iirc...

I take the opposing view. Any hostile action you take against your enemy while the Wizard War is ongoing is lawful (as long as it does not violate some other aspect of the Code such as dealing with demons, of course). If it has consequences after the War is over, it's not your business.

So casting a D:Year scrying ritual during the war would be ok, but if it e.g. created a scrying vessel, any active step you took to use that vessel (even just concentrating on it) would break the Code after the end of the War. If you crippled your enemy during the War (but failed to kill him), and that made it impossible for him to do labwork the following season, he should not be able to claim "deprivation of magical power".

MoH suggests the Pneum Flask, which captures not the words (I agree species aren't ACs) but the air your target exhales.
IIRC HP has a similar effect.

Yeah... pretty sure that would get you marched.
You may do anything during your month of War.
Once that month is over, I'd be at that tribunal, argueing that your D: Year scrying was scrying now and that this put you in violation of the Code.
Luckily, we don't have to agree and indeed it may not be desirable that w agree, because a tribunal story can be written about it if we don't, wereas if we do, because it's obvious, there's likely no story in it.

I seem to recall it went the other way: as long as you speak to a fairy, you have an Arcane connection tothefairy.
In any case, these are rules that are strongly specific to faeries.

I really spent very little time reading MoH, but there it is, indeed. But it does not exactly allow you to capture the air your target exhales; it instead allows you to "steal the breath" of your target. It may seem a subtle difference, but I'd argue that the effect as written has to penetrate your target's Magic Resistance.

To be completely honest, it seems to me yet another of the effects in MoH that are ... let's say skirting the boundaries of the rules :smiley: since it's using the "Control a minor weather phenomenon" guideline to move a person's breath (a person's breath as a minor weather phenomenon? hmmm) into a bottle (does "controlling a weather phenomenon" include trapping it into a bottle? At the very least I'd require a few magnitudes for a really unnatural effect) momentarily, and then goes on to claim that if the trapper is fast enough (a few heartbeats?) the stolen breath (which, remember, is not air, it's a little breeze that briefly was made to flow into the bottle and arguably stopped as soon as the bottle was corked) can be fixed as an Arcane connection.

It's houseruling, but anyone in our troupe who suggested something like this would be laughed at and beaten with a munchkin stick. Incidentally, the level calculation is also wrong, but evidently nobody even bothered to read the wretched thing. MoH had really really poor quality control.

Oddly enough, not the first time this has been discussed...


That was just a search for "+wizard +war" in the subject line - more creative use of the Search function may provide more threads.

o (not directly OT, but relevant info for your consideration)

Faeries (and Daemons and the Divine, and even Magical creatures) break the rules of Hermetic Magic regularly.

Remember - our magi often operate under different Rules than many other magics do - quite literally.

The moral and legal responsibility of mines. hmmm...

Practically speaking, I can see it going either way, depending on the mood of the Tribunal (and even more than most other cases). I would ~hope~ that the Tribunal would rule that the casting mage is responsible for an "attack" that occurred after the WW was past - hence illegal - but I wouldn't bet my life on it.

The casting is not illegal - only the later use of it would be.

If a mage casts a Scrying spell with Duration:Concentration where magi are known to walk - well, if it's gone by the time they get there, certainly no problem there.

If they cast a Scrying spell with Duration: Sun, and only use it for a moment, and then ignore it - they are not Scrying on anyone after that who walks thru that area. The fact that they could is not addressed in The Code.

Looks to me you're actually agreeing with each other, just using terms differently.

If a spell continues after the WW ends, that's irrelevant so long as the existence/effect of that spell does not break The Code.

I do not think it is too fine a distinction to point out that The Code says that a mage will not "use" magic to scry, not that they will not "have" magic that could scry. Having a crystal ball and using that crystal ball illegally are two entirely different things.

The Code is not so sophisticated as to take "intent" or "potential" into account (as written, altho' some Tribunals do in practice). The Code is broken by proven actions, not potentials or theoreticals, no matter how reasonable or historical they may be.

The spell should be removed - there is no (continued) justification for its existence - and the mage who had cast it has no justification to NOT remove it - but until told to do so, could claim it is not being used, hence no breach of the Code. (Quaesitores may feel justified in demanding verification of that claim - InMe?)

Otoh, it would be incredibly difficult to prove/disprove recent use, or to monitor such, and such a precedent might not sit well with the voters. however, I'm not sure what part of The Code they'd point to.

Parallel example - during a Wizard's War, a mage casts "Intangible Tunnel" (duration: Year) and sends a huge spell into the lab. The war ends, but the Tunnel remains. Is that an attack? Nope. Is that illegal? Not technically... but...

So I'll emphasize what I said earlier - it could go either way, largely depending on the mood of the Tribunal.

I may have not been clear, or KevinSchultz may have not been clear, or both, but I think we really disagreed there.

To go for a concrete example: magus A lays a killing trap for magus B while they are Warring. The War ends, and a month later the trap kills (without any intervention of magus A) magus B.
According to KevinSchultz this breaks the Oath, because the grisly outcome takes place outside of the War's timeframe.
According to me this does not break the Oath, because the action of laying the trap took place during the War.

In my mind, if magus A calls, during the War's month, a curse upon magus B that will affect him decades later, magus A can't be faulted when that happens (because he acted during the War), nor can he be called after the War is over to mitigate the results of those actions he took during the War (e.g. healing the wounds he inflicted upon magus B, returning to B whatever he's raided from his lab, erasing from his own memory whatever information he gained about B while scrying etc.).

Tempus regit actum, as the Romans would say.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure we're disagreeing. :slight_smile:

Wizard's War doesn't allow you to cast spells on another magi - from what I recall, you can cast spells on someone at any time you want (pursuant to Tribunal rulings), so long as you don't violate OTHER parts of the code - robbing someone of magical power, scrying on them, etc.

What Wizard's War says is that, for the duration of a moon's cycle, both of you have forfit immunity to the code, relative to each other. Because both have forfeit legal protection during that month, both can steal from, injure, or kill the other. Once the month passes, both of you are back under its protection. As such, casting a delayed (say) Pillum of Flame on someone during Wizard's War is just like casting it on them when you aren't in Wizard's War: it's pursuant to Tribunal law, and as such falls under the same rules. (Which, I would imagine, are "when does it go off?")

Alternately, you' d have to argue that targeting someone (temporally) outside of a Wizard's War is a valid use of Wizard's War.

Although this does bring up an interesting case, in which someone, before a Wizard's War starts, casts a bunch of delayed pillums on someone, and hides them with a "Cover the Odor of Magic" effect. Then, when the Moon duration of the spell hits (coinciding with the start of Wizard's War), all the pillums go off at once, incinerating the magus.

Is this a valid tactic? Can Vim mages go around, casting Watching Wards on everyone, whenever they want to?, I'd say that targeting someone temporally is a tricky business: even in Wizard's War, you don't actually know if the war will start until it actually does. (A Jerbiton could mediate it at the last minutes, someone could die of a heart attack, etc.) AS such, putting a bunch of delay-cast pillums on someone is probably considered an assault of some sort.

EDIT - I'd say the core of my argument is "temporal targeting" - using delayed or duration effects that take a spell beyond the boundaries of the Wizard's War means that you are knowingly targeting someone who is not involved in the current war - which is against the Code.

I misunderstood - your example of crippling a mage during the war and then they claiming "loss of MP" after the war - that was what confused me.

I'm surprised no one has found a citation that addresses this issue more directly. It certainly has wiggle room on both sides of the coin. :confused:

So I guess this would just be controversial at a Tribunal. Fine with me :slight_smile:

The essence of my disagreement is that when you do "temporal targeting" you act now against your adversary. Obviously, most actions you take during the War will have aftereffects that will outlast the War (in fact, ideally you kill him during the War, and he stays dead after the War is over). But those aftereffects are not your business; his future self is not protected by the Code from the aftereffects of the actions you take now.

If you cripple him during the War, can he ask you to heal him after the War is over, so that he can get back to his labwork without wasting any time? If he flees to some inaccessible regio during the month of the War, and you destroy the book he planned to study upon his return, can he ask you for compensation because he is suffering from it after the War is over? Can he ask you to rebuild the lab you've razed, or to remove the multitude of nasty critters you've summoned and bound there for all eternity?

I think the answer is no in all cases. You can't set stuff in motion after the War is over, but whatever stuff you threw at him during the War can certainly keep him hurting for a very, very long time.

Hound: there could very well be a case regarding this - I'm at work though, so I personally can't look it up.

Ezzilino - if I hired an assassin to attack my opponent during wizard's war, but he didn't actually attack until two years later, am I liable? I would argue yes. The same argument holds: the magi is acting "NOW" against the opponent, but the effect isn't felt until years later. The spell seems to be in a similar category of activities. To me at least, this seems intuitively obvious that you shouldn't be able to get away with this, as it violates the spirit of a Wizard's War.

(EDIT: or hire kidnappers to grab his apprentices in six years, or thieves to grab his summa an enchanted devices in a decade. The more I think of examples, the more it becomes increasingly absurd to allow, IMO.)

The purpose of Wizard's War is to have a limited, controlled battle between two magi who are having an honest disagreement, and who can't settle it otherwise. It lasts for a month, after which it's supposed to be over. Allowing delayed effects to go over violates the whole idea of "and then it's over".

EDIT II - otherwise, a magi would have to live in constant wariness that an unknown trigger or delayed effect is laying around, waiting for him to step on it (physically, socially, or whatever): a delayed assassin lurking in the closet, or a delayed thief waiting to grab his familiar, etc.

I agree it's exactly the same issue. And in my opinion you would not be liable. You set the assassin in motion during the War. After the War is over, you may not hire more assassins, or in any way help or encourage the assassin you set in motion during the War. But you are not bound to recall him even if you could.

But we can't prevent the results of the actions taken during the War from spilling over.
Otherwise, we'd have to rule that each party has to repair all damage he caused during the War.
In fact, the "ideal" result of the War has a very enduring effect: the death of one of the parties involved.

I worry that you are looking at (what you read as) the letter of the law, and not the spirit of the law. That is, the law was written to achieve something - if it's not written correctly, either it's being misread or it would have been re-written long ago.

I don't follow that leap in logic at all - why?

Think about the purpose of WW, and why. What you're suggesting seems (to me and KS, at least) to directly undermine that purpose.

They are not responsible for "actions they take" during a war. Casting a spell before a war, or a spell activating after one is over, can both be seen as "actions" not during the war. Loss of MP is not.

Yes, that's Wizard war for you! It does not come with a guarantee that "when it's over, everything will be as before". It cannot, among other things because Hermetic magic can't raise people from the dead.

It does come with a guarantee that when it's over, your adversary will not be able to set more stuff in motion against you.
But any arrows that he set in flight during the War may still strike you; any poison he slipped into your cup may still choke you; any nasty stuff he did which you have not yet discovered may still give you a nasty surprise.

There's a reason why magi like Certamen.

Ah. But what's the "spirit" of the law? Where is it written?
The reason why Wizard's War exists is to allow a magus who wants to violate the "rights" of another magus to do so without violating the Code. That's all we know. Nowhere is it stated that it must be an "honest" way of resolving differences. Nowhere is it stated that it can have no enduring effects - quite the opposite, since death is a pretty enduring effect.

Then let me phrase it this way. It seems obvious to me that the actions you take during the war may deprive your opponent of magical power even after the war is over. Say, if you destroy a book he planned to study the following season; or if you wound him badly enough that he has to spend the following season in bed doing nothing but recovering. Do you agree so far?

If you do, there are three possibilities in regard to these aftereffects.

  1. Your are liable for none.
  2. You are liable for some, but not for all.
  3. You are liable for all.
    Which position do you hold?

I go for 1. You are liable for none of the aftereffects of your actions. If you disagree, you may either go for 2, or for 3.

I think 3 is untenable, because the ultimate aftereffect of a Wizard War is that either you are dead or your opponent is, and it seems the survivor should not be liable since it's what Wizard War was designed for. Similarly, there seem to be precedents that do not hold you accountable if you raze your opponent's sanctum during the War, even though that may magically cripple him for years to come.

So it seems to me you are going for 2. But then you have to tell us which aftereffects you are liable for, and which aftereffects you are not liable for - and explain the reason behind the difference: why are you liable for some but not the others?

You could certainly argue in-character something like "I cast this Watching Ward during the Wizard War --- it's not my fault that it was not triggered until after the War". However, assuming your victim or his allies survived, they would have a good case against you in Tribunal. How the case progresses in Tribunal would obviously depend on your saga. In my opinion, depending on who you attacked, you might get away with it once or twice; you might be able to claim it was an "accident". But make a habit of it, and you'll get Marched for making a nuisance of yourself.

The point of the Wizard War convention is to make magi feel relatively safe, with regard to other magi, outside of a properly declared, etc, Wizard War. If you start undermining that other magi will feel threatened and March you.

Again, I fail to see why. Suppose I aged my opponent to near death with a Perdo Corpus spell during the War. He survives, but dies the following year of old age. Why should I be liable? If I set up a trap, or hired an assassin, or brought some other doom upon him during the War that only managed to strike a year later, how would that be different?
After the War, I've taken no action against the Code.

On that I agree. But that's no different than getting Marched because you declare too many Wizard Wars. Your sodales will charge you not for slaying other magi etc. but for the generic charge of "endangering the Order" (basically, making a nasty nuisance of yourself). Do it once or twice, however, and I think nobody will bat an eyelash.

??? - that's the definition of "Spirit of the law" - hence the distinction. Not sure what your point is here.

"The Spirit of the Law" must be obtained by inferring why the law was written - what it was intended to achieve, regardless of the ultimate wording (or lack of wording). This can be subjective, but need to be entirely so.

Agreed. That is the "spirit o the law" - or one we can agree on, at least that much.

And if he invokes a WW, there is a specific period where they can act outside the Code - during the War itself - and before and after that, he can't. If they act outside that time period, WW does not cover those actions. Do we agree on that? The "spirit" of the law is that every mage enjoys the protection of The Code outside of WW - that WW is the tightly defined exception to The Code?

Here is where you jump the tracks imo.

You keep stating that death is proof of enduing effect - but so what? "Enduring effect" is not mentioned in The Code, hence not part of the letter nor spirit.

"I will not slay nor attempt to slay any member of the Order except in a ...(legal)... Wizard's War." It seems that if you cast a spell before, or that spell takes effect after, that is not "in" the WW, but before or after it.

"Actions" is another important word. A mage "will not endanger the Order thru (his) actions..."

My belief is that if spells were allowed to be cast before WW, or take effect after, that the whole premise of WW would be undermined. Same with the mundane actions that have been listed - poison or assassins. Hiring an assassin during a WW, and who then attacks after it's over? That's pretty clearly an action that is outside of the WW, even if it's not the mage's hand that directly makes the action.

And that action, IF SUPPORTED, would threaten the surety promised by The Code, and so (potentially) threaten the safety and peace of The Order.

100% - that is often the goal, if not worse. (but don't let me interrupt you, please, do go on...) :wink:

Since (we assume) the Actions happened during a WW, then #1, they are not liable, as The Code was not in force.

Um... I clearly said #1... :laughing:

(Seriously, not sure how you get #2, but that's possibly irrelevant)

If the action occurred during a WW, none.

But "the action" includes both the casting and the effect of spells, just as the hiring and assault of an assassin, and/or the placement and final effect of a poison.

The damage done during the War is clearly covered by The Code - the fact that the damage lasts after the WW is irrelevant if the actions are past. You would have to demonstrate a reason that The Code, in letter or spirit, would condone inarguably violent actions before and after a WW.

A WW has a limited period to allow a "cooling off" - a specific "cease fire" date. Altho' it's a more modern analogy, a modern nation cannot offer a cease-fire, set a date, and also set a bomb to go off after the date - and expect anyone to believe they have honoured that cease-fire, in letter or spirit.

But the "attempt to slay" occurs outside the war.

"An action" is continuous - it's not only the cause but also the effect, all one action. It's like firing a gun and claiming that "you" didn't kill anyone, "the bullet" did. Or if you hire someone to hire someone else to kill them - "the action" is still yours, regardless of who takes the life or the time it takes. The inevitability of the action continues and is all a single act, regardless of the intervening time, distance or intermediaries.

I think an attempt to slay after the end of the agreed period of the war was a tribunal example ruling in the old Grimoire. Given how pedantic and forthright Magi are in the setting's material it makes sense.