Ring duration

One of my players wants to keep a magical light going in a lantern using a ring duration Creo Ignem, tracing a small circle inside the bottom of the lantern. Does this mobile circle seem like a reasonable use of Ring, or should ring be required to be drawn on the ground?

Second, what constitutes "breaking the ring"? Rubbing out chalk or filling up an engraving seems obvious, but what about just covering up part of the ring by laying a solid object across it? Is the hidden part of the ring still complete, or is the appearance of the circle of paramount importance, and thus broken by being crossed?

IMS the portable ring would be fine, but it must be affixed to the object to which is it affecting. Your lamp example is a good one.

I would rule that the ring is broken when it is harmed or altered, but not covered or filled up. The idea that a magic circle (Ring) is broken when something is placed across it seems poor to me, but I know that some folklore uses that theme. I'd say rather that the object can be affected by both sides of the ring, or could be picked up.

i.e. a fay is held within a ward and cannot pass or move beyond the ward. If a weapon is placed across the ward then the fay could easily pick up the weapon, but it would not disturb the ward in any way.
i.e. Another example of wards not being broken is feeding doves to an enthralled demon to bribe it for information. Throwing the doves in does not break the circle (I think I saw that in a Hellblazer comic). Neither would a bit of blood spatter, unless the circle itself was reasonably removed or marred by the blood on the circle (a chalk circle might be affected, but a carved stone circle would not); then the demon would be unbound.

These questions have been discussed at length in the past. The consensus seems to be that it's not clear, and that each troupe should really decide depending on the needs of its saga.

In terms of mobile rings, there seem to be three lines of thought:

  1. Any ring, even if mobile, works.
  2. Only static rings work.
  3. Only rings that are static compared to some relatively large set of surroundings work (e.g. a ring drawn on a ship's deck or in a room in a flying castle.

In terms of duration, most -- but by no means all -- people seem to assume that you have to physically break the ring, rather than, say, cover it.

I'd also point out a third "open issue" on rings: how far they extend vertically. I've seen three options so far:
1.Up to the sky (and down to the centre of the Earth)
2.A sphere with the circle itself as the equator.
3.As far up (and down) as possible before something "cover" the ring. So, a Ring in a room would extend its effects vertically up to the ceiling, but not below the floor.
This of course assumes rings must be horizontal. Some people allow "vertical" rings, in which case option 2 really seems the only viable one.

The "as far as the sky" idea only works if all your circles are in the ground. If you put them in a cliff or other vertical surface you can get... interesting consequences. A ward in a wall could act as a magical form of artillery to destroy a castle 5 miles away, for example. Or you can put a ward vs humans on a wall that effectively divides Europe in half (now THAT would be something funny!) :mrgreen: We tend to use semicircular above the circle, with some flexibility to cover tall structures. "soap bubble" effect :slight_smile:


This is my favorite, though I'd (probably) also accept "elongated sphere", meaning that it's been stretched to be a bit taller than the radius on the ground.
In this case I'd insist that the top was no higher than the caster could reach - the spell still needs some sort of "indication" how high it is to be.

In my experience, players get imaginative with rings mostly because they want to make near-permanent effects without having to pay for them. If I said, for example, that I wanted to create a band of silver and CrTe the intervening area to also contain silver at Du:Ring, I think many folks would recognize this as the attempted workaround it is.

As a result, I tend to nix attempts at mobile rings in my saga, and suggest a non-ring-based alternative to the player that will accomplish the same goal (though pretty much always at a higher magnitude).


(and only because "+1" is all I can reasonable add!)

Most everything that can be said has been posted above, or in one of these:

o Here's a recent thread on the same topic - https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/on-wards/6254/3
o Here's one on "Are wards mobile", but the many of the points raised are directly relevant to your question - https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/circular-wards-mobile/5162/4
o Yet another: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/the-break-room/102/1
o Here's an old one w/ some other Q's tossed in - https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/rings-and-circles/1075/8

But 3 important points -

A (Hermetic) mage cannot (with rare exceptions) use Creo to create things with any Target other than Individual or Group - don't let your Players confuse Duration:Ring and Target:Circle on this point. (I want to say that there is a canon example (somewhere) that goes directly contrary to the above - forget where. Ignore it at your discretion, but with many blessings.)

Also, "Wards" may use Circle/Ring, but that doesn't mean they have to work the same as any "normal" spell w/ Ring Duration - that's up to you/the Troupe. Wards have their own little subsection of the rules (p 114), and so a different call can be made on those without worrying too much about it. (Some of the threads I linked above talk about Wards specifically, but the questions/considerations are parallel.)

Lastly, whatever you decide, take it to a logical extreme before finalizing it. Consider "permanent" rings (magically inlaid metal, massive stone constructions, etc etc), rings inscribed on wagons or sailing ships, on tattoos, on cloaks, on rings, on walls, ceilings, carpets, sails - huge, tiny, mobile, flexible, on skin, on a Familiar's hide - the works - because once you rule on it, the Players will start thinking about how to use it. Make sure you, as SG, will be both comfortable and consistent in whatever may come down the pipe later from your ruling. :wink:

Well, that's a lesson.
Sorry I should have done my research before creating yet another thread!


Meh, it's a common topic/question - not like you're alone! Also, if you notice, additional considerations often show up with a few months of percolation - each variation builds on the last.)

(Besides, faster for someone who's been there to remember the key words to Search with.)

If you do have any further questions that spin off what's here/there, no worries, we'll be here! :wink:

Just noticed the Ward Against Faeries of the [Elements] spells answer this question. In each case, the ring can be seen as an appropriately colored dome at night. Are there contradictory descriptions elsewhere?

Nafaik, but nor are anything but "Ward vs. Faeries of the ____" described as specifically - not even other Wards. Most just have the Duration:Ring and/or Target:Circle, and seem to expect it's all perfectly clear from there. :confused:

I think it might be useful to sticky some sort of post with links to common discussions. Better still would be some sort of semi-canonical "here's the stuff that comes up frequently that the RAW doesn't quite cover", with what the RAW does say built into it.

There are two practical problems to that -

1st is that the discussion changes over time, as new material comes out and new thought is added on top of older assumptions. So no one thread is going to embody "the Word", even a non-canonical one.

2nd is that, even sticking strictly to the RAW, the text can sometimes be interpreted differently. Especially when comparing treatment via supplements vs. the core rules. The Rules are sometimes (intentionally?) written vaguely, and sometimes the wording is just not clear (Target/target, for example, etc.)

But that doesn't mean that there is not "something" that could be done, and an FAQ on Circles, Wards, Penetration, the Pink Dot, etc. might not be a waste of time.