Looking at the example creatures in the rulebook we have creatures of might 10, might 20 and might 50 for every realm. Using these as benchmarks, I ask myself,â€What should a magus be able to ward against?â€
If penetration is required, then it takes a casting total of 20 to ward against the ghostly warder, the faerie butler, and Michael the minor demon of wrath. A casting total of 40 to ward against the faerie wolves and a casting total of 100 to ward against the Seiferiel the angel of the order, Bartholomew the demon, Lord Marsyne the Faeire, and Stallatus the Dragon.
If penetration is not required casting totals of 0, 10, and 40 are needed to cast a ring/circle ward of the appropriate level (missing the level of the spell by 10 and taking a fatigue 0.
For my thinking, I will assume that a magus will have a stamina + penetration + talisman attunement + applicable virtue + etcetera bonus of 4 for a young magus and 7 for a middle aged or older magus.
Thinking exclusively about ring/circle wards, and using a die roll of 5 an example character would need to have technique + form scores of 11, 28, and 88 to ward against the creatures if the magus needs to have penetration for his ward and 0, 1, and 28 if the magus doesnâ€™t need penetration.
I think that not requiring wards to penetrate provides effects that more closely resemble what I want to see in a game. You might be tempted to say that the wards for the weaker two sets of creatures are too easy in this case. I would counter that to learn a formulaic spell requires a season and any magus who spends a season studying faerie wards should be able to ward against a might 10 creature and a might 20 creature will take more arts to learn than cast. Even a +4 int, Magic theory 6 bonisagus will need to have a copy of the spell and 3 or 4 ranks in both technique and form (depending upon aura) and a beginning magus with +2 int, +3 aura and Magic theory 5 needs five in both technique and form to learn the spell from lab notes far more if they wish to invent it.
If you require wards to penetrate magic theory it will take many years for any magus to ward against the rulebook wolves and warding against the core book big hitters is almost impossible. I do not like this option nearly as much.
However, I donâ€™t just need to worry about ring/circle wards I need to worry about range personal wards.
Also, I need to develop an in-game justification for wards to work without penetrating.
Iâ€™ve got some ideas on both points that I intend on hashing out with a pencil and notebook with some example characters, but Iâ€™d like to hear other thoughts on how to make this work or why I will do more harm than good by making this switch.