I have a question about the base level of "Ward a target against other human beings" (p 134). How come it is 15 and not, say, level 5? It seems to me that the effects of base 5 is the equivalent of a ward: "Hold a target's body motionless." = stop. "Move a target slowly in any direction you please, even if the target is unsupported." = the body has to move around the sphere.
Also. For me a "Ward Against the Curious Scullion" of level 20 (Base 5 + Touch + Circle) is more reasonable than a level 30 ward. A level 30 ward in the entrance of a magus means a warping point every time a grog tries to enter. That is a too powerful (secondary) effect in my opinion.
I do not think the argument that "It should be harder to stop a human, because Saga/Power levels/A Magus must be able to enter everything" holds up either. Because a CrIg effect of 30 is most likely to blow any human and Magus into fiery smithereens. Heck. Even a CrIg lvl 20 (and therefore better penetration) will make most people think twice before proceeding.
But it is a false comparison, since you're using something that doesn't exist (anymore).
I think the level of warding humans is fine. If your only issue is warping, then house rule that wards of this nature do not warp the people trying to cross the ward.
But it would be much more easy to lower the Base level to 5 than make an ad hoc rule for warping.
My issues are:
– A ward against animals is base level 5. Why would warding against human bodies be much more different (or difficult) when few other effects in the human – animal conversion spectrum are? (example: Transport target x paces)
The in game (or Saga) consequences of the spell is not in par with other effects of level 30. I can imagine that warding your sanctum door against mundane intrusion is something a fairly "spring"-ish caracter can do. More spring-ish than being totally invisible (lvl 20), turning someone into a pig (25) or throwing a fire pilum with damage 25+ (lvl 30) in someones head.
Keep in mind, you don't tend to need to Penetrate against most humans, so "spring" characters can still do it.
I think the bigger reason is entirely meta. If that spell were lower level, young magi would be pretty much unable to go to War and would be subject to much bullying thereof because anybody with decent ReCo out of gauntlet could be entirely immune to all their activities across the Ward. Including, say, spellcasting. And wards can be used at Personal Range. Plus I think the developers wanted young magi to at least pretend to be threatened by mundanes until they get older.
But wouldn't those effects be aquam based effects?
I think this area is ambiguous at best. On one hand I can see trapping a magus within a circle, who then destroys his trapper with an offensive spell only to be trapped in the circle until someone can come along and free him. On the other, stopping all magic makes sense. Were I to allow spells to be cast out of the ward I wouldn't allow magic that disrupted the circle (even indirectly), but other spells like the offensive ones mentioned above are fair game. Tough one.
Wards block against all actions taken by one who is Warded against, assuming they Penetrate. An Faerie of Aquam cannot act against or through a Ward Against the Faeries of the Water even if it uses a Mentem effect. A Gifted Norse giant can't use Rune Magic through or against the Ward keeping it captive. A human trapped in a circle that wards against humans can't even throw a knife out of the warded area due to the medieval understanding of physics which says that an item is motion is still having force exerted on it by the thing that caused it to move (inertia was not understood). Bows are weird, but I'd personally rule the same way about an arrow.
So yeah. The whole point of Wards is to stop all action across them. And Hermetics are the second best at Wards in all of Mythic Europe, so their Wards were made well enough to do just that. Not just Form-appropriate actions.
I'm of two minds on the issue, as I've said. I can see both sides.
This then makes a corpus magus, indeed a corpus specialist, someone who can rather easily shutdown another magus's magic. Keep in mind such a mindset allows a corpus specialist to create a ring around himself keeping out all people, and by extension their magic. I think we can agree that if we want magic to be stopped by a ward that we would generally prefer it to be a Vim spell of some sort and not a Corpus one.
So, if a magus is within a ward, I submit his magic can act through the ward, but it cannot affect the ward itself, even indirectly. This gives wards something of a free Intellego effect and/or PeVi effect to prevent the magic from affecting the circle. It's a bit messy. I don't care for it, but I care for the alternative of ReCo wards shutting down all magic even less.
I have less of an issue with Erik's mention of wards against faeries aligned with a particular Form. I'm comfortable saying that a Faerie's alignment with a Form leaves all of their powers vulnerable to being warded against by wards that target said Form.
I do tend to think that a Corpus magus could shut down a weaker magus's magic quite easily. Of course, I do interpret some of the rules differently than most at my table, such as (for example) the user of a spell not being considered the Target when surrounding themselves with a Warding circle. So a character who used a Personal-range spell or hit themselves with a Touch-range spell to Ward against other people would still be able to act across their own Ward, but if you tried to surround yourself in a Circle-range Ring-duration ward against humans, you'd be unable to get yourself OUT of the situation without the help of a non-human or a human who the ward doesn't Penetrate. Or Harnessed Magic, I guess, since that wouldn't destroy the Ward as much as immediately end its duration.
If you really want a magus not to be able to completely shut down other magic-users without a fight, a pretty common houserule people use for Wards in general is that if another spell has higher Penetration than the Ward does, it can get through the Ward. So a warding specialist would indeed create Wards that can only be bypassed by other specialists or significantly more experienced wizards. I don't use this myself, though.
Of course, it should be remembered that if the Corpus specialist has really great penetration with that ReCo ward, he/she may also not be able to act across it. Spell Mastery to get Resistance can be very helpful but will still tend to lose out the Re+Co+Fo+Pen if the magus doesn't keep Parma Magica going.
Circle wards that prevent action in or out typically ward vs x might to prevent the use of their powers. I would tend to rule that the base 15 of ReCo wards vs mundane actions but to ward against supernatural, you need to have a base that is higher than the form being used.
So Ignus the Flambeau has a MR of 30 vs Corpus & a score of 30 in Ignem form and below 15 in the rest.
Columbus of Ex has a Ward T/R/C B:15 with a penetration of 45
Ignus cannot cross the ward, cannot affect Columbus using any form effect other than those that are Ig based. Ignus pillums Columbus, roasts him while breaking the Ward at the same time.