Ward Thoughts (Not going there, I promise)

Ceremonial casting is also vanilla hermetic magic - every hermetic magus knows how to perform it. If he can use a talisman to boost a spell which was invented when the talisman was not bound then the formula is not complete. Likewise, if the magus can cast a spell whilst screaming, waving his arms, bound and gagged or naked and upside down, the formlaic spell is not a rigidly defined set of parameters which must be fulfilled.

Returning to our cartoonist, now that he can draw Garfield, he can do so on paper, parchment, canvas and so on and take advantage of each medium to show off the image to its best, choosing transparent inks for the window, for instance.

Do you disallow Ritual spells by any chance - after all, they require this nonHermetic flim-flammery to function? Inventing a formulaic spell is discovering a reliable way to cast the spell with certain parameters fixed (you can turn a man into a goat but not a fox, for instance). Were it the best and only way for an hermetic magus to do it, Mastery would be irrelevent. Spontaneous magic is cast within Hermetic Theory, and ceremonial casting inarguably makes it easier to perform more powerful spells. Ritual magic requires this additional ceremonial element. Saying that its nonHermetic seems unsupported by the evidence.

As I figure this, the formulatic spells can usually not be cast cermoniously simply because they were not invented that way. Trying to add a cermonial component would give you a penalty at least equal to any bonus you'd be getting. This is way some master the spell to figure out how to add this component.
On the same thought one might say that it is posible to invent formulatic spells that includes a cermonial component, but most magi would consider it a step back (this would be more like the spellcasting of the cult of mercury).

OH, Fiddle. I've been doing this wrong.

You know that entire Spontaneous Magic section seems like a landmine. It has caused a lot of misunderstanding over the years.... at least on my end, and apparently for others as well.

I liked the idea that if you took more time you'd be able to enhance your formulaic spells due to being able to leverage more of your academic prowess to call upon the stars, etc. etc.

Name Magic? (From The Mysteries)? :wink:

Hi all,

I thought I'd revisit this topic. I'm now starting to lean a bit more towards the 'circle wards don't have to penetrate' camp. I know it's an issue of hot contention despite RAW being clear. My reasons include that I think it's more Mythically appropriate for warding to be more powerful than destroying something. "OK, everyone stay inside the circle. Stepping outside will cost you your life. I have just enough strength to protect us, but we absolutely can't fight this thing."

What does it mean to 'break' a ward? It seems that there are three main schools of thought:

  1. Phsyical breaking. A ward traced in chalk dust on the ground breaks easily when the dust is scattered. However, a ward chiseled into the earth and engraved with rubies is probably going to last quite a while. Thus, people stepping over it, stepping on it, spilling pickle juice on it, dropping a feather across it, etc, don't "break" the ward. You'd have to permanently scratch it or dig up the floor to 'break' it.

  2. Disturbance breaking. A ward of any type or construction is broken when disturbed in any way. An engraved ward is nonetheless broken quite easily: Spilling a few drops of water on it, placing a feather across it, entering or exiting the ward once it's been cast, a worm crawling across it, etc. The good news, of course, is that the beings warded against can't physically or magically break the ward: They can't sneeze on it, throw branches at it, etc.

I always thought it was option 2, but that's because I grew up playing TOG (That Other Game).

What do you most commonly use for AM?

This reminds me that there are three kinds of people: those who can count, and those who can't.

D'oh. I meant to include option 3 as a mixture of the two but decided not to. I forgot to return to '2 main schools of thought.'

Option 3 is a bit complex, it involves some idea of "temporarily deactivating" a ward. Basically, assume a ward has been permanently engraved on the ground. Spilling a pouch of toothpicks on it (disturbing it) temporarily deactivates the ward. Removing the marbles from the circle brings it back up to full force until it's broken (breaking it). I dumped it as I didn't think it was mythically appropriate.

By the way, have you noticed that "pseudo-wards" are now RAW?

See "Defence of the Roaring Furnace" p115 of MoH: It features a CrIg spell, linked to an InHe spell, that reduces to ashes all wooden weapons that come at great speed near the magus.

Isn't there a new Mastery skill, Cerimonial Casting, in True Lineages that allows you to cast your formulaic spell with the bonus from the flim-flamming Cerimonial Casting?

Yes, but, of course, this increases your casting time :wink:

Actually, we started using the Ceremonial Casting spell mastery option from one of the books. Worked a treat!


What are people's views on what constitudes 'breaking' a ward? I'm still quite curious. I'm not sure which interpretation to use or which one is most appropriate.