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Old 10-11-2018, 02:30 PM   #1
frogswallow
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Denver CO area
Default Does the shield spell require a shield?

Hello all.

I'm looking for a ruling on the Shield spell, since my GM and I have interpreted this differently. I was on here once about it, but I can't find the thread. At the time he agreed with the evidence I had gathered to support my interpretation. Now he has changed his mind, leaving me rather exasperated.

His interpretation is that the Shield spell requires an actual shield to be cast. I maintain that you can cast it and get the defensive bonus from the spell, you just can't take the Block defense.

A direct answer would be appreciated so we can put this to bed.

M167
Shield
Regular
Conjures an invisible shield of magical force that moves to protect the subject from frontal attacks. The Defense Bonus granted by this spell is cumulative with that from an actual shield, but this spell does not allow a subject without a shield to block. Defense Bonus granted by Shield is not cumulative with any granted by Block (p. 166).
Duration: 1 minute.
Cost: Twice the Defense Bonus given
to the subject, to a maximum DB of 4
(cost 8). Half that to maintain.
Prerequisite: Magery 2.

Thank you kindly.
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:41 PM   #2
Nemoricus
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: Does the shield spell require a shield?

“Cumulative with the bonus from an actual shield” and “does not allow a subject without a shield to block” are the key phrases that lead me to agree that you do not need a shield to cast the spell.

Also, “conjures an invisible shield” is the first phrase in the description. If it required an actual shield, it would instead say something along the lines of improving the bonus of an existing shield.
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:17 PM   #3
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Does the shield spell require a shield?

If the spell required you to have a shield it would specify that in the requirements. The only thing in the description that specifies lack of a shield being a problem is the clause "does not allow a subject without a shield to block". Block is a specific term of art in GURPS, and just means you cannot use the block active defense.
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:53 PM   #4
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Does the shield spell require a shield?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frogswallow View Post
Defense Bonus granted by Shield is not cumulative with any granted by Block (p. 166)
Just in case, the word "Block" here means the spell named Block on M166, not the Block Active Defense (B375).

I agree that this spell gives you DB, but does not allow you to use the Block Active Defense. It's also not a Blocking spell.

Shield doesn't need a shield to be cast. It's not, for example, the Regular spell version of the Dancing Shield enchantment. In general, a "material component", to quote That Other Game, is rarely required simply to cast a spell in GURPS Magic. The spell text would mention one if it's required. The "Item" section of the Regular spells is only there in case you want to use one as a permanent enchantment -- and you'll notice that's not even possible with Shield.

(In fact, I'm having a hard time thinking of examples of a non-subject material component -- Soul Jar needs some "jar" object which isn't the "subject"; Iron Arm needs the caster to have an arm, but even there it is the subject or part of the subject of the spell. Lots of spells affect objects as their subject, but Shield clearly "conjures an invisible shield of magical force" without transforming a physical one or needing one to copy.)
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:14 PM   #5
frogswallow
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Denver CO area
Default Re: Does the shield spell require a shield?

Thank you kindly. I too had noticed a shield was not listed in the spell requirements, but wanted to let you guys provide opinions without me biasing them. I appreciate the mention of the Block spell, which might just be where the confusion is coming from.
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