Wards Clarification and House Rules

Definitions

  • Wards – Effects that protect an objective
  • Bans – A type of Major Ward that block an objectives or prevent two objectives from touching one another.
  • Objectives – The beings, places and things being warded/banned (and the Spheres that cover them).

General

  • Wards, bans, and similar Effects do not require Prime or Quintessence. These rely on manipulations of existing phenomena rather than the creation of new phenomena.
  • In most cases, Wards are fixed on a static place (e.g. a passage way, portal, room, or Sanctum), but can be made to travel with advanced magicks (see below).  
  • Wards cast on Sanctums are always coincidental, but cast on other targets may be coincidental or Vulgar depending on the nature of the Effect.
  • Once cast, a Ward does not trigger additional Paradox regardless of how Vulgar it is. Particularly Vulgar Effects may erode due to unbelief as decided by the Storyteller.

General No-Nos

  • Wards are for mages only. Wards cannot be cast for or on other splats unless they have been approved by the Mage Director, the Director of the Sphere in question, and Sundance.
  • No Bunkering – Wards are powerful Effects that can have a negative impact on game play. Other games have operated on a “bunker” mentality wherein mages hid behind a plethora of impenetrable shields of magick. Overuse or abuse of Wards is prohibited. 
    • Permanent Wards should be reserved mainly for strongholds such as chantries, Nodes, and Sanctums.
    • Temporary Wards may be erected with a Duration of a scene at most. Anything longer than that requires approval from the Mage Director, and an in-character reason demonstrating the need for a longer duration. 
    • Mages are allowed reasonable protections for their Sphere. As a rule of thumb, a mage can maintain a number of Minor Wards equal to their Arete and/or Major Wards equal to half their Arete (round down). These do not stack.    

Successes, Effect & Duration

  • Temporary Wards simply require the Arete roll. Additional Successes required by an Objective are not counted towards Effect, Duration or Area.
  • Objectives are always scored independent of the Effect.
  • A permanent Ward requires Ritual casting and 10 Successes, plus one Success for each Objective included. Permanent Wards are assumed to have a base strength of 10 Successes.

Area Wards

  • Wards may be cast on place such as a Sanctum, but this assumes that the place is of a reasonable size, such as an average bedroom or living room. To target place rather than a thing or individual simply add an additional Success to the total.  
  • More than one “room” may incorporated into the Effect with an additional Success required for each additional room. The “rooms” must all be part of a  whole such as an apartment or house. 
  • People and things within the space are covered by the Ward for the Duration of the Effect so long as they remain within that space.
  • Area Wards cannot travel.
  • Larger spaces such as ballrooms, basketball courts, stadiums, or forests or Realms may be protected, but the number of Successes required is significantly higher. These will be handled on a case-by-case basis. 

What Can I Do With What?

  • Correspondence 
    • 2 – Minor Ward
    • 2 – Bans spatial manipulations of the space via Correspondence 2
    • 3 – Bans teleportation via Correspondence 3
    • 4 – Bans portals via Correspondence 4
    • 4 – Binds non-spiritual beings or objects in place or prevents them from entering or leaving an area
    • 4 Major Wards
  • Entropy
    • 2+ – Places, beings, ideas and things can be Warded to create fortune or misfortune
  • Forces 3
    • 2+ targets classes “elemental” forces or energies
    • 2+ – Enables a Ward/Ban to be “locked” into an energetic Pattern
  • Life
    • 2+ – targets classes of living beings. To block an individual a body sample must be employed.
  • Matter
    • 2+ – targets classes of non-living things (bullets, wooden stakes, deli meats)
  • Mind
    •  2+ – targets specific types of identities (e.g. Blacksuits, drag queens, Scientologists), thoughts or mental states (e.g. murderous, vengeful, lusty), or other psychic phenomena (auras, astral projection)
    • 2+ – adds various forms of psychic attacks to a Ward
  • Prime
    • 1 – targets certain kinds of Resonance
  • Spirit
    • 2+ – targets ephemeral beings or things
    • 4 – Enables a Ward/Ban to be “locked” into an ephemeral pattern
  • Time
    • 4 creates a Ward/Ban that is triggered by a circumstance
      • Note: These Effects work only once, but last  until the circumstance is met.
    • 5 can redirect the flow of time on one side of the Ward
  • Note: You need the Sphere level high enough to “touch” or manipulate the Pattern you are looking to lock the Ward into. For example, locking a Minor Ward into a tree would require Correspondence 2/Life 2, but locking the same Ward into a human being would require Correspondence 2/Life 4.

Traveling Wards

  • Temporary traveling Wards do not require Prime to be cast.
  • Temporary traveling Wards are considered an Objective, and requires an additional Success to cast on top of whatever other objectives are in place. Basically, its the same as any other Ward, but it travels with the target.
  • Permanent traveling Wards must be created as Talismans/Devices.

Types of Wards

Minor Ward

  • What is it?
    • Minor Wards simply inhibit activity against a person or thing, or within a place. They do not ban or block anything form happening. They simply make it harder for these things to happen. For more sophisticated functionality use a Major Ward of the right type.
    • Minor Wards are coincidental in most cases.
  • What is required to cast it?
    • Correspondence 2
    • Plus any objective Spheres
  • How does it work?
    •  
    • First, a target is selected to be Warded against. For the duration of the Effect, each Success subtracts one from anything that target does to affect the Warded person, place, or thing. That includes anything from spying on them using Correspondence to trying to pull them into a van to dumping water on their head.
    • Minor Wards with no Objectives only impact uses of Correspondence 2, and affect everyone equally. Wards with Objectives include protection against spying plus the additional bonuses.

Major Wards

  • What is it?
    • These are more sophisticated and  powerful Effects not covered by Minor Wards.
  • What is required to cast it and How does it work?
    • Each is different see below

Bans

  • What is it?
    • This simply blocks a being or thing from touching another being or thing, or touching or entering a place.
  • What is required to cast it?
    • Correspondence 3+
      • Correspondence 3 blocks the use of teleportation against a thing or place.
      • Correspondence 4 blocks the use of Correspondence 4 Portals against a thing or place.
      • Correspondence 4
    • Any Objective Spheres
    • Bans are always Vulgar
  • What does it do?
    • Blocking a being or thing from touching or using any powers directly against a target (in-direct attacks are fair game, however) requires:
      • Correspondence 4
      • Plus any Objective Spheres
      •  5 Successes plus Objectives
    • Bans are usually binary, but Bans can be “keyed” to allow exceptions. Such “keys” require an additional Success per target.

Co-Occupational Wards

  • What is it?
    • A powerful Ward that makes the targets occupy two different levels of the same space.
  • What is required to cast it?
    • Correspondence 5
    • Objective Spheres
    • 5 Successes
  • What does it do?
    • Causes two targets to occupy different levels of space rendering them unable to touch one another.

Non-Spatial Wards

Spirit Binding
  • What is it?
    •  Effect binds a Spirit to a given location within a Gauntlet prison.
  • What is required to cast it?
    • Spirit 4
    • True Names
    • Larger cages will require additional Successes.
  • What does it do?
    • Raises the Gauntlet to 10 within the cage
    • Each Success subtracts 1 from the victim’s attempts to break free of the prison
    • Fetish creation
    • Banish a spirit from the area
    • Exorcise or bind a spirit from a body, thing, or place
  •  
Luck Wards
  • What is it?
    • A ward that encourages or discourages fortune or misfortune in a being, place, or thing.
  • What is required to cast it?
    • Entropy 2+
    • `Objectives
      • None. These wards affect fortune only. What Patterns can be targeted determined by the level of Entropy used not the Patterns themselves.
      • Luck Wards may be Vulgar or Coincidental.
      • Luck Wards must be prepared ahead of time.
  • What does it do?
    • Allows the warding mage to roll their Arete (Difficulty 7) when a given non-combat event could result in good or bad luck within the protected area.
    • Works at the Storyteller discretion
    • Only works at the level the Ward is cast, so Entropy 2 doesn’t affect Life Patterns.
    • Only alters an outcome of fortune once. Additional uses may be “purchased” for  3 Successes each. The number of additional uses is capped at the Mage’s Arete.
Psychic Wards
  • What are they?
    • Effects woven into Minor or Major Wards that allow the wards affect the psyches of other beings.
  • What is required to cast them?
    • Mind 2+
    • Duration is the same as the Ward’s
    • Successes for Psychic Wards are scored independently of the Ward itself
    • Vulgarity varies
  • What do they do?
      • See page 102 of the How Do You Do That? which details the different kinds of Psychic Wards and what they do.
Paradigm Wards
  • What are theses?
    • Wards that hinder or block those who follow certain beliefs
  • What is required to cast these?
    • Correspondence 4+
    • Entropy 5
    • Mind 3
    • 3 Successes for each Tradition, Convention or Craft who’s paradigm is Warded against or;
    • 3 Successes for each Paradigm or Practice Warded against
    • Vulgar
  • What do they do?
    • Effects banned that are cast within or upon the Ward are considered Vulgar With Witnesses

Time Wards

  • What are theses?
    • Wards that block the flow of time
  • What is required to cast these?
    • Time 5
    • Correspondence 4
    • Vulgar
  • What do they do?
    • These Effects are tricky and will be handled on a case-by-case basis

Penetrating Wards

¨Unweaving

  • Wards are dense, complex magick. A mage countering a ward must have at least one dot in all the Spheres used to create the Ward. Unweaving a Ward requires the number of Successes equal to the Ward plus 1, and is cast at Difficulty 7.
  • Wards on Sanctums are re-enforced by the beliefs of the individuals who dwell there. Unweaving the Wards of a stronghold requires double the Successes plus 1 to Unweave.

Other Powers

Storytellers may offer other Night-Folk the ability to counter wards on a case-by-case basis. Extraordinary circumstances may apply. When splats cross, we will not hesitate to apply situationally mitigate any rules we think are grossly unfair in a splat v splat interaction. A good rule of thumb is as follows:

  1. The Night-Folk in question must be able to understand what a Ward is (an Occult score), otherwise, they cannot Unweave the Ward.
  2. They roll Wits + Occult vs 7 as their Unweaving dice pool.
  3. They must score a number of Successes equal to the Ward’s Effect +1
  4. Dice pools are capped by Rage/Gnosis (whichever is higher) for Shifters, Glamour for Changelings, and Willpower for everyone else.