Triggers for watching ward?

So, my maga is about to embark upon a journey to a demon-infested forest to fulfill her destiny and free her long lost sister, who is of dubious realm alligment herself. Chances are she won't survive, so she's decided to leave certain assets to her godson, a foundling boy who resides at our covenant. We're talking a number of infernal devices, and some information I promised the quaesitores I'd never share. And my memoires of course.
The boy is too young to get the inheritance straight away, and my sodales will most likely attempt to interfere when they find out what I'm doing. They mean well, but alas, they are also misguided, and unlikely to understand the importance of sharing such things with a toddler.
So I decide to hide the goodies, and use a creo mentem effect with a watching ward to tell him where they are when the time is right. Which is where the 'simple condition' comes in. Is that something like jumping up and down three times, or could I use something like a planetar constellation as the trigger? He mustn't get this stuff before he's an adult, so I need something that will trigger in 15-20 years. If absolutely necessary, I can rely on one of the magi in the covenant to trigger the ward without asking too many questions, but he's a sweet, innocent lad and I'd rather not involve him in anything infernal. Any ideas?

The watching ward will be level 30 or 35, the CrMe effect will be level 10 at most, so I'll have some room for a minor intellego effect. My intellego isn't great, so I can't spont much more than 10, unless it's InVi or InMe.

Perhaps the first time he engages in sex or something simliar.

The way I read Watching Wards is that the trigger effect can be anything you want. Anything at all. A particular action, a date, an event or circumstance, whatever. Not sure how others may feel, but in my view, the Ritual Nature of the spell supports the elaborate triggering method. That and the indefinite duration is what makes the spell a ritual. A non-ritual version could hold the spell for a Moon or less, and I would also rule that the trigger has to be more direct and specific.

What if he decides to be chaste and join a monestary?

If does go chaste and to monestary, would you want him getting his hands on those artifacts? It is good test to show he is likely to use them well.

What? You don't trust a man of God to do the right thing? :laughing:

Not if I am a wizard preserving magical items for my child, nope. Better the order than church for those items.

I find your lack of faith disturbing...
rasping ventelator breathing sound


(...We interrupt this schtick to return to your regularly scheduled topic...)

I'm not sure the rules support that. Not "anything at all".

In the description, an entire passage is included that describes how an Intellego spell can be added to be used as a trigger for the main spell of the WW. If you could just state that the trigger is "When someone lies", then why would this be necessary?

However, unfortunately, that does nothing to illustrate what is allowed, nor why this would be necessary - it merely appears that it is necessary, without further explanation or comment.

The hardline would be to take a cue from enchanting items, and require it to be an "environmental trigger" (p 99) - but the obvious counter-argument would be that there is nothing to support that ruling in the spell description (but could easily have been, had that been the intention), and, more importantly, a WW seems something that should be more loosely defined.

(That last is where a Troupe decision is key, agreeing on the "feel" of the spell, and making a decision that is good for the game and the players.)

So, we are left with "a simple condition", but (apparently) something that would not require an Intellego spell to detect (unless that spell were included.)

So, using that logic (ick, ptooey)... I've always gone with "a physical trigger", basically something that any normal person could ~somehow~ detect or confirm, without the use of magic, or anything that is environmental (as per the Enchanting rule).* Thus it could be based on any of the 5 senses, and/or anything astrological - or a "simple" combination of those. Allowing "anything" that one can imagine seems to ignore any reasoning to include Intellego spells - if it's that subtle, it requires a magical trigger.

So, for this instance, perhaps when a certain astrological condition is met (an astral configuration in 10 years or so) plus the simple presence of the child in a certain location (specific or general - "not within 100 paces of anyone else" could work) - and the spell triggers.

(* If "a pearl within 10 paces" is the trigger, and a person has one in their pocket, or has swallowed one, that ~could~ be detected by a mundane person as a fact - with a search/autopsy, and so is perfectly valid. "A lie", or "thoughts againstl the king", or "someone over the age of 30" would be nearly impossible to detect as a fact. This requires some small judgment and interpretation, but it's fairly clearcut in most cases where the player is not trying to push the limits of the ruling.)

You should ensure that at the moment the spell is triggered your target is not subject to any magic resistance. Just imagine, your nicely timed spell goes off but your target is protected! You might use CrIm. This way he can hear it even if under parma magica, but so can everybody else...

Hm.. I'd say the spell needs to penetrate when the WW is cast, not when it's activated. Otherwise, it could be a problem, yes. I'll check with the troupe to make sure.

Yikes! God forbids he's actually going to use them.

Please don't kill me but...

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you are my only hope.


Salvete Sodales!

For this trick you should also make sure that you put enough penetration into the watching ward itself, at least if you suspect the child to grow up among your sodales (i.e. in the covenant), unless you want the effect to be broken the first time they cast their aegis ritual after your final demise. Perhaps a more mundane solution to the problem is more likely to succeed: Take a young, innocent Redcap and pay him to deliver something to the youngster at a specific date (e.g. his sixteenth birthday). This could either be a letter which tells him where you have hidden the stuff - or a one-charge item putting the CrMe-effect on him. The later solution has the advantage that as you can add an additional security messure by restricting the use to him. Unless the Merceres have a really good reason to suspect you of great hermetic crimes they are pretty unlikely to open your correspondence.

Alexios ex Miscellanea

Aegis, like parma, doesn't dispell magic, although it might block any CrMe spell held in the ward.
Thus, your redcap solution is nonetheless a good one.

Salvete Sodales!

The Fixer wrote:

As counterargument I will cite the RAW (Core rules, p.161, 1st column):
"The Aegis is also able to block foreign Intellego spells, even if they cannot normally be blocked by a Parma Magica, and spells that were cast before they entered the Aegis, such as an invisibilty spell cast on a magus outside the Aegis."

Alexios ex Miscellanea

In Co Base for 4 "find specific information about a body" this will find out when the target is physically an adult, +1 range touch. The watching ward spell descriptive text specifically mentions the use of frosty breath of the spoken lie, from this I take that duration concentration would be sufficient for your task.

Affirmation of Maturity
InCo 10
R touch D con. T ind.
The caster determines whether or not the target body is the body of an adult (and will know if this changes at any time during the spell's duration).
(base 4 +1 range touch, +1 duration concentration)

Arguably you don't need level 4 to get such simple information.

Also it is arguable that duration concentration is needed.

I think that base level 4 should be adequate to determine exact age so you need not design the spell to only trigger when the child becomes an adult. (In fact, isn't there a spell of this sort in City and guild or someplace for getting a target's birthday and thereby being able to craft a horoscope).

Block doesn't mean dispell :wink:

In the aegis, you could be unable to cast your invisibility spell - It is blocked. If you go outside, cast it, and try to enter, it is blocked, not dispelled, just as a magical creature is blocked out: you can't enter.

(There are several different popular interpretations of the term "block", as used in the Aegis description, and no canon definition.)

Salvete Sodales!

I don't think that I can add anything to Cuchulainshound's comment on the interpretability of the Aegis rules. If I got it right there is a discussion about this on the forum right now, but for the problem of the maga discussed in this thread this doesn't make much of a difference. The maga's sodales might become suspicious if the child after leaving the covenant is incapable of re-entry. In their position I would certainly try to examine the effect, and oops - the secret is out.

Alexios ex Miscellanea