Wizard's Communion and Penetration

C - Really? That's what you get that from my stoneskin analogy? That an effect that goes around hurting a lot of magi in your saga?

If you really don't see a diff between your example and mine, I'm hesitant to try to explain it, but I'll give it one shot.

I don't see why you selected a direct-damage spell with duration as your (absolutely spurious) counter-example - that's no different than any other fire-based attack spell. A direct-damage spell with a duration needs to penetrate once it comes in contact with something with MR, same as any direct damage spell. Pilum of Fire doesn't have a Target of "that guy with 500 MR" - it has a Target of "Individual Amount of +15 damage Fire". Doesn't matter if the effect is carried to the MR, or the MR walks into the duration effect - the magic needs to penetrate the MR to damage the hopefully-soon-to-be burn victim.

A ward is different because it's not trying to penetrate anything - it doesn't need to affect the MR nor the thing with MR. No effect is trying to be placed through that MR, no damage is trying to get through - the effect is already where it wants to be, guarding the original Target. The Ward stops (or tries to stop) the thing MR'd, or (in the case of Aegis) reduces any effect from that creature.

There is no rationale as to why it needs to penetrate except that "other spells need to penetrate" - but these don't work like "other spells", not even a little bit. So much so, in fact, that they have their own little subsection of the rules to make that clear. And there is nothing - nothing in that section about "penetration".

"Rego spells can create wards which protect the target from things of the appropriate Form... the target is the thing protected, rather than the things warded against... Warded things cannot act across the circle..."

There is no "unless they penetrate", nothing of any sort. Not sure how much clearer that needs to be. Blindly applying outside rules like a blanket, even otherwise "universal" rules that directly contradict the above statements seems completely out of place to me.

That's going to far. Let me quote the ReCo guidelines on page 134 of the rulebook:

Level 15 Ward a target against other human beings. Note that to ward off a Hermetic magus, the ward must penetrate his Magic Resistance

I don't have much problem with this guideline. I don't think most players would. The issue is with the wards against magical creatures, with the requirement that the base spell have level equal to the creature's Might. Applying penetration rules to these feels like double counting. The double counting isn't done with any other spells, making it indeed often easier to kill a magical creature or use ReMe to take control of it.


Repeatedly casting a level 5 DEO will kill a MM20 creature.
Repeatedly casting a level 5 ward will have no impact on a MM20 creature.
Nor would a level 20 ward with 5 penetration.

At the very least, a level 5 ward should freeze the last 5 Might points, limiting how much power can be used. OTOH, some people went the other way and made DEO 5 useless against MM20.

Please, don't use arguments like this. You're saying wards don't need to penetrate because they're not trying to penetrate. That's entirely circular reasoning. You're assuming you're correct to show you must be correct. Of course, we know this is necessarily incorrect anyway since Wards do need to penetrate by RAW.

You're right about the example: it was a bad one. But the statement is still quite valid. I'll give a better example: Aura of Inconsequence. Let's see how it compares...

Really, it doesn't stop the being from doing something? I believe wards stop a being from moving or acting across them. Aura of Inconsequence stops them from noticing something.

Aura of Inconsequence is on the original target, guarding the original target. Aura of Inconsequence only affects something else if it gets too close to the target, just like a ward.

Aura of Inconsequence tries to stop the thing from noticing the target.

Hmmm... Seems to me it does resemble some other spells at least a little bit.

Right. All spells that affect other things magically must penetrate that thing. "And there is nothing - nothing in that section about 'penetration.'" Thus the rule should be that wards must penetrate. And, lo and behold, that is the rule and we know it.

Aura of Inconsequence is a Rego spell and the target is the thing protected, rather than the thing deterred. Those things (intelligent things) cannot notice the target. Eerily similar. Yet in this case the spell must penetrate, so why not for wards.


Yes, that is the crux of the matter. However, there is a great way to fix things: realize it's not broken. If you want to be good at warding, stop making these wards. Make better ones. A ward against humans stops humans, even if they're magical, as long as it penetrates. Why couldn't you could come up with similar ones for other things. Yes, you'll have to make a few more wards if you're doing them as formulaic spells, but you don't need to double-count. Double-counting only happens when you want the super-broad categories. I view it more like the comparison between Wind of Mundane Silence and Unraveling the Fabric of [Form], where the former in gaining breadth must effectively double-count the level of the effect from the perspective of the latter.


Ok, let's assume another thing.

  • I have a grog with a soak of +0
  • I cast "iron skin" (MuCo(Te)) spell on my grog. Now he has a soak of (say) +20. penetration 0
  • You cast a POF at him with a penetration of 1.
  • Does your POF ignore his Iron skin spell for the full +15 damage?

Now same grog, but with a ward against heat and flames cast on him. Penetration 0 as well.

  • Is the ward against heat and flames ignored?*

Yup, and since this requires preparation, it is a good things: Even with penetration required, with WC, a covenant can manage much more impressive results than any single magus Demon-Ripping spell.

To take (again) our phoenix exemple: Magi 5 years out of gauntlet, not specially geared towards either WC nor aegis (save our mercurian, who took Aegis 30). In about 3 seasons, we should be able to cast it with enough penetration to affect might 30 beasties. In the meantime, I don't think any of us could beat a MR 30 even on his most simple spells.

Warding IS easier... With Wizard's Communion. Which usually requires some preparation, which, in turns, lends itself well to warding. The only problem is that warding is harder for a single magus.

IMO, this explanation is partially wrong, and you're twisting things to suit your taste.
A spell to stop a given creature from moving towards you would have to penetrate, right? Well, the aegis stops a creature from moving towards it... Why wouldn't it have to penetrate?
Hum... Would you argue that "The Shrouded Glen" doesn't need to penetrate? After all, it targets a given boundary, and thereafter "works against all newcomers". By your idea, an apprentice using a casting tablet would have that work against archangel michael, despite his negative penetration...

Here's how I see it:
There are 2 components to the Aegis:

  • The Ward-like effect, which stops a creature from entering a given place. This is a direct effect, and thus is resisted, just like any other direct effect. Like wards were explicitely said to be in 2 different books (HoH: S and LoH), since people insisted they didn't obey the general rule.
  • The Parma-like effect, which grants MR to everything inside against outside spells. This works just like any MR. The penalty to casting is a subset of this (And yes, IMO, a lesser MR would have been better).

The casting penalty isn't as solid as the rest, but can be argued. It's main advantage is to make mastering Aegis for resistance inutile.

Probably because there's no way to state again and again and again the general rules that are supposed to apply to every spell, only stating in what the specific rules differ from the norm?

Excellent idea, especially for a bonisagus.

Note that, in this exemple, if your grog had MR, you'd need to bypass it

Similarly, if going by this interpretation, any aegis over lvl 30 would probably give a warping point to anything inside the boundary, as you have the Aegis work not like a circular ward, but like a regular spell. The magi could avoid the warping... if they resisted the spell, in which case, they wouldn't be protected by the Aegis...

This'd also imply that the aegis targets anything inside it for a year, even when outside it, so magi outside the aegis would still be protected by it (Just like, if you cast "Iron Skin" with a boundary target and year duration, people stay protected for a year even when outside the boundary)

Not for me it isn't. Whether Aegis of the Hearth is a Hermetic breakthrough, or not, is of only the most minor importance.

Aegis of the Hearth loses the majority of it's protective qualities if it has to Penetrate. Regrettably, the rules still say it has to Penetrate. The rules care not that Penetration renders Aegis of the Hearth largely useless. That would be the source of any house rule ignoring Penetration for Aegis of the Hearth that I chose to use in any upcoming saga. I haven't really made up my mind yet, though. The issues are complex.

Just as the RAW says Aegis of the Hearth and Wards must Penetrate, the RAW also shows that Wizard's Communion has no effect whatsoever on Penetration. If someone has some additional reference beyond the Penetration rules or the spell or the Muto Vim guidelines that provides additional meaning, or something in those that I missed, I would be happy to read about it.

Even should we discuss a house rule that Wizard's Communion does effect Penetration, it also has a duration of momentary and as the RAW also shows, it would apply its change for a few seconds and then the change would cease. You would need a modified Wizards Communion with ritual duration to affect a target spell for a year, and that would triple the total vis cost involved; unless you wanted to establish a second house rule removing the duration requirement for Muto Vim spells.

RainOfSteel, do not bring Muto Vim topic here (even if it was the starting point, it's no more the topic ^^; maybe the thread should be split), because I don't want to discuss it here where it doesn't belong.

Seeing MutoVim like do the errata means contradicting oneself. Let's not discuss it here, but rather on the appropriate topic, where, curiously, all my arguments have already been brought, especially about the Wizard's communion.

It is ignored if the heat and flames are magical and Penetrate (if they aren't magical, I can't see how they would Penetrate).

Regrettably, requiring wards to Penetrate renders most of them useless.

:unamused: You are saying that a spell has to penetrate another spell's magic resistance, but spell have no magic resistance, thus they have not need for penetration...

A spell needs to penetrate its target magic resistance. That's a general rule. And for me, Aegis is not different in that, except that it is a breakthrough and, as such, may be said or not, to follow general rules. Those who think that it has to penetrate will say it does, other will say it doesn't. Since Breakthrough are all about unravelling rules, there is no final answer to that but arguments of the "must penetrate" side render it more interesting to play I think.

Now that we remembered that good principle rule:

  • A ward target is the thing protected. here, the fire. The fire has no magic resistance, be it magical or mundane.

  • A vim ward target is the might being. The might of that magical (or divine or other realm as chosen when the ward is either cast or invented (if spontaneous or formulaic, respectively)) being is its magical resistance.
    (=> If you go to the "aegis must penetrate" side of the Force, you just apply it to creature outside, and inside (creature being, for inside part, also magi and supernatural abilities user). The other effects affect not people, but spells or magical items.)

But to affect someone (the thing/person) protected with the ward, you will need to penetrate it also.

It's the direct and indirect penetration.

  • Direct penetration: you cast your spell on place/person X. For your spell to bring into existence, penetration is required (You want that grog to fly; you want that sword to burn; you have to penetrate person X's MR to turn him into a giant).
  • Indirect penetration: your effect has to penetrate MR of whatever comes into contact (the flying grog need to penetrate an aegis to enter inside without falling; your burning effect has to penetrate the dragon MR to hit him; the gigantic grog has to beat your parma to hit you...)

Exar, sometimes, :open_mouth:

What would the ward have to penetrate in this case? A POF doesn't have magic resistance, it's just a bolt of fire. It's established that Magi can't give magic resistance to people or objects except by extending their Parmas, which clearly isn't the case here.

You seem to be reversing the "do wards have to penetrate" argument into "do attacks have to penetrate wards". The answer to that is also no, because these wards aren't a form of magic resistance, they resist physical effects. It would be like saying a piece of rock created by magic can never be lifted by another spell.

That's maybe an even worse example, because Aura of Inconcequence breaks the rules on targeting, uses a made up "special" target level, and in general seems to have been written by someone who didn't understand the core principle that you must sense someone to target them.

That said, wards kind of work that way too, which probably explains why we're all so confused about aspects of them.

There are no target sensing issues here, the Target is the person carrying the effect. You don't need to sense the content of a Room for Target:Room spells.

Aura of Inconsequence is just a Vision/Spectacle Sensory Magic spell, the kind that original research might yield. Don't belittle those who worked on HoH:TL, they could not refer to HoH:MC.

Aura of Inconsequence is an example of what I call Radiating Mind Control. It's not allowed by core rules and if it is allowed it creates all sorts of problems, like the "Ignore the Negative Effects of My Gift" spells we discussed a couple months back on here. There's no suggestion in HoH:TL that it's the result of mastering an inner mystery of an entirely different House after spending years and years on a difficult initiation path. It's just presented as something Quaesitors do.

In any event, my real point was that you shouldn't use a spell which clearly breaks the rules as the example for how the rules work.

I can confirm that since Wizard's Communion is a Muto Vim spell, and this is a topic about Wizard's Communion, a Muto Vim spell, then a discussion of Muto Vim RAW is on topic.

Claiming Aegis of the Hearth must Penetrate utterly contradicts the spell's mechanical description regarding beings with Might. The RAW as presented in the books confirms the contradiction.

I already read that topic. I did mention I had done research about this in my first post. People can house rule in whatever they want or argue with the game creators to change the rules, but until such a change is issued, the RAW are what they are.

You stated:

Where did you get that idea? It isn't found in the Muto Vim guidelines that I read. In fact, it makes it clear that Muto Vim spells are cast at the same time as the spell they are targeting, and even even gives the Concentration roll required to accomplish that if you are casting both spells, and the procedures for casting onto a spell being cast by some one else.

You also stated:

That is not what the RAW states.

The RAW states:

It is quite possible to cast a Muto Vim spell on another spell while it being cast. Procedures for doing exactly this are given.

Rain, if you do not understand that something which is not brought to existence ("cast" for spell) doesn't exist until that moment, then I just can't discuss with you.

Right (to the last part), so it's an even better example than I thought. Look at wards. They use Target: Circle, right? Read Target: Circle, and you'll see that they don't really use it. But instead of writing "special," someone wrote "Circle" and explained how in the case of wards it isn't really "Circle," but rather a special version of it.

If you still don't like this example, how about The Shrouded Glen?

The Shrouded Glen stops them from noticing something, while a ward stops them from moving/acting across something.

The Shrouded Glen is on the original target, guarding the original target. The Shrouded Glen only affects something else if it gets too close to the target, just like a ward.

The Shrouded Glen tries to stop the thing from noticing the target.

The Shrouded Glen is a Rego spell and the target is the thing protected, rather than the thing deterred. Those things (intelligent things) cannot notice the target. Eerily similar. Yet in this case the spell must penetrate, so why not for wards.

Notice all I did was replace "Aura of Inconsequence" with "Shrouded Glen." I may be able to find more examples, too. But I think at this point we have two spells straight out of the books that are very similar to wards, which shows wards are really not dissimilar from all other spells. They may be different from the majority of other spells, but the majority of spells are dissimilar from a majority of spells, so that's nothing special.


But, remember these two points:

  1. I wasn't using it as an example of the way the rules work. Rather, there was a statement that wards "don't work like 'other spells,' not even a little bit." Yet I have found multiple other spells that wards do work like, not even just a little bit like. Thus the argument that they are so different from all other spells implies they need not penetrate is shown to be false by a single example of a spell wards are similar to that must penetrate. You see, I wasn't using it as an example, but as a counter-example. This difference is incredibly important.

  2. It explicitly breaks the rules in the same way that wards explicitly break the rules. If you don't believe wards could have been written at T: Special, carefully read T: Circle and you'll see they don't fit its description. The writer of Aura of Inconsequence could have written "T: Structure" and made notes about it instead, which is the way the wards do it.