Research for a new spell duration

If this was allowed, I would say that it would generate warping points.
Though I would never allow it myself.

This strikes me as having all the advantages of a Watching Ward without needing the Ritual.

The equivalent would be a spell of Duration:Sun that does the same thing - triggers upon X condition (even if that "condition" is not open to definition) - and that doesn't sound kosher, or at least not to me.

If a mage has a spell that is Sun duration, they cast it after the Sun comes up (or sets) - and the equiv of that would be "after the battle begins". Anything more is Monty Haul time for breakthroughs.

Yes, it sounds perfectly viable, but as mentioned it's important to tightly define what is "battle" - specifically when it starts and ends, and what interrupts one and turns it into 2 separate battles. (Or trust your SG to spitball it - that can work too, depending on your SG.)

If it's measured as a clash of individuals, it would be closer to the equivalent of +1 Diameter, since usually after ~2 minutes someone has lost or run away - not always, but ballpark. Otoh, if it's "group" related, and/or more broadly defined than a struggle between 2 individuals, that can be MUCH longer, and should be +2 Sun - and, again, most will be shorter, but some rare longer, and that balances.

OK ... someone's parma here, but this reminds me of the one of the merinita mystery durations - held or something like that?

Better, isn't it? No requirement that the target be present for the entire casting of the ritual, which Watching Ward has as I recall (again, away from my books here, could someone check for me please?)

You could use the Faerie Magic Duration Bargain (ArM5, page 92) to generate a delayed effect like this. Make the Bargain words to the effect of "I will pay you a coin if do not draw your sword for a year". Then all the effects will activate when the character does in fact draw his sword (i.e. enters battle).

That could work. Or how about If (Condition) (Duration)? Both If and Held are in HoH: MC, p. 100

That seems like "gaming the system" a little bit, no? Bargain is supposed to help UPHOLD the bargain, so I have the feeling that the effects that activate if the bargain is broken should be negative on the target (a punishment), not positive like combat buffs... Dunno, it feels wrong to me...

Why? Nothing in the RAW appears to dictate what sorts of effect should apply if the bargain is broken.

The main reason for casting a Bargain spell is not to uphold the bargain, but because you want to the effect to happen when the bargain is broken. If you don't anticipate that the bargain will be broken, then there is no point in casting the spell. If you want a spell to uphold a bargain, then you use some sort of Rego Mentem effect instead.

This is why I said that. That is not how I read the faerie bargains to work out there. It feels weird to me that you get rewarded by breaking a bargain instead of being penalized for it. YMMV and all that.

I have to agree with Xavi about the fact that, although never stated, the Bargain duration seems meant for spells of retribution against the breaker of a bargain - this is after all the typical effect you see in faerie stories.

That said, it could well be that Faerie magic has managed somehow distill the "breaking-bargain trigger" of this classic faerie power, so that Hermetic mages can use it in ways that are unrelated to retribution against an oath-breaker. This can lead to interesting applications, and a lot of rule arguments :slight_smile:

Note that if this is the case, Bargain (which in general does not require a Ritual, even though at +3 magnitudes it's not exactly "cheap") can be used in a number of cases as an effective substitute of Watching Ward. Some of the least devious examples include "I promise not allow a blade's edge to touch my skin" linked to a teleport-to-safety effect and
"I promise to never allow myself to fall more than two paces without casting fall-breaking magic" linked to fall-breaking magic.

Traditionally a bargain has to be between 2 people in which each gains. Your examples don't fit.

They can be easily adjusted to fit. Just make the "I won't get into " promise to your shield grog, who in exchange promises "If that's the case, I'll stop pestering you about the need to avoid !". You gain peace from the grog's pestering, and the grog gains peace of mind.

Most faerie stories with bargain breakers tend to be more interesting than the oath-breaker simply dropping dead (or similar) when he breaks the oath. The trouble tends to be due to something nominally good either spiralling out of control or having an unforeseen drawback.

You can easily construe faerie stories where nominally good effects turn out for the worse. For example, "I will pay you a coin if you do not draw your sword for a year". Later the oath-breaker draws their sword, whereupon, as the bargain is broken an effect causes the oath-breaker to fly into a berserk rage. This would have been "good" if it actually happened on the battlefield, but it's "bad" when it happens as the character surrenders his sword in order to enter the king's personal chambers.

Ultimately, whether a bargain-breaking consequence effect is "good" or "bad" depends on the circumstances in which it happens, and even whom it happens to. It does not seem wise to start disallowing effects that could be "good", as once you start doing that, you suddenly limit Bargain to pretty much only Perdo Corpus/Mentem effects; which is boring. Bargain (and all the exotic Faerie spell parameters) effects are, in my experience, already much too rarely used, you don't need additional barriers.

Once a character is under such a Bargain effect, it's an opportunity for the storyguide to ensure that (sometimes not always) the bargain runs awry.

Bargain effects have to be cast on somebody who has made a bargain with the caster, and effect him not the caster.

Otherwise, there are heaps of ways for such bargains to go awry. For example, "I brush myself with my knife blade while eating at the king's banquet, and suddenly end up back in my laboratory", or "my apprentice stabs me in my laboratory, and I instantly teleport to the "safety" of my laboratory, whereupon she stabs me again."