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Old 10-11-2022, 05:00 PM   #1
Shostak
 
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Default Talent/Spell of the Week: Ward

This IQ 10 Special spell allows a wizard to have a sorcerous early warning system, since any entity which passes through a warded area triggers the spell to alert the wizard that the area has been breached and whether or not the intruder has ill intent. Ward is perfect for wizards who hate taking watch, since it will wake them from sleep. Costing only 2 ST, Ward offers protection for a full day, but its effectiveness is diminished by the fact that the caster must stay within 15 hexes (a mere 60 feet) of the enchanted area at all times. How large an area Ward affects is undefined, but the wording of the spell suggests that it is probably a single hex[EDIT: Nope! 3 hexes]. This small area makes it less ideal for use out in the wilderness where a camp perimeter must be under surveillance--even at 2 ST per hex, it would be impractical to Ward even a megahex's perimeter.

Many NPCs in my games over the years have learned Ward, and they've put it to good use to add wrinkles to adventures. But, if memory serves, only a single PC in games I've GMed has taken it, and only a few of the wizards I've ever played bothered to learn this spell.

Conversation Starters
  • How often do you see players taking Ward in your games as compared to NPCs?
  • If Ward is a rarity among PCs in your game, why do you think players pass it over?
  • Do you have any memorable instances of Ward being utilized?
  • What are some unorthodox ways Ward might be exploited?
  • Are there any other spells which combine especially well with Ward?
  • How might you tweak Ward to make it fit your games better?
  • What might a higher IQ, more powerful version of Ward look like?
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Last edited by Shostak; 10-11-2022 at 08:12 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 10-11-2022, 06:03 PM   #2
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Ward

I thought that Ward pretty clearly works on up to three hexes (contiguous, I assume).

I haven't seen a PC with Ward in my short time playing TFT, but I too use it a lot for NPCs. That said, only once has Ward been triggered in a consequential way in my game so far. But the other wards (typically cast daily on specific vulnerable areas) are still waiting...

I think players pass over Ward because PCs are active forces usually, and it's the NPCs who sit and wait for something to happen.
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Old 10-11-2022, 06:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Ward

Example of Ward in action:

https://www.hcobb.com/tft/wizards_dran.html#Station
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Old 10-11-2022, 08:09 PM   #4
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Ward

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I thought that Ward pretty clearly works on up to three hexes (contiguous, I assume).
d'oh! Still a very small area if you have a perimeter to secure.
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Old 10-11-2022, 08:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Ward

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
d'oh! Still a very small area if you have a perimeter to secure.
Yes, that part of your comment is still true. Ward is best for enclosed spaces with few entrances.

One issue with Ward is how high up the protective spell works. Suppose I cast it outside and a gargoyle flies overhead. Do I notice him?

I assume the Ward extends about 10' high. You can't jump over it to avoid alerting the caster, but given enough vertical space, you could fly over it. And anyway, 10' seems to be a universal constant for lots of things in TFT.

Last edited by phiwum; 10-11-2022 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 10-11-2022, 09:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Ward

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
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  • What are some unorthodox ways Ward might be exploited?
Don't learn the spell. Obtain a Grimoire that has the WARD Spell in it. Take the five minutes to cast the spell.


----------------------

With the duration of 1 day, this might be a spell that you want to "will away" after you get up in the morning, or you will constantly be getting those "spam mails".
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Old 10-12-2022, 12:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Ward

Note how my examples combine Ward and Gate. If the target has a Spell Shield then neither spell will work.
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Old 10-12-2022, 09:10 AM   #8
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Ward

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Yes, that part of your comment is still true. Ward is best for enclosed spaces with few entrances.
This is clearly what Ward is intended for.

Quote:
One issue with Ward is how high up the protective spell works. Suppose I cast it outside and a gargoyle flies overhead. Do I notice him?

I assume the Ward extends about 10' high. You can't jump over it to avoid alerting the caster, but given enough vertical space, you could fly over it. And anyway, 10' seems to be a universal constant for lots of things in TFT.
Ten feet seems like a reasonable assumption.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
  • What might a higher IQ, more powerful version of Ward look like?
A more powerful version of Ward with a higher prerequisite IQ could make the detection zone the surface of a hemisphere (or full sphere?), the size of which is determined by the amount of ST put into the spell (similar to Darkness).
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Old 10-12-2022, 10:44 AM   #9
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Ward

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnPaulB View Post
Don't learn the spell. Obtain a Grimoire that has the WARD Spell in it. Take the five minutes to cast the spell.


----------------------

With the duration of 1 day, this might be a spell that you want to "will away" after you get up in the morning, or you will constantly be getting those "spam mails".
Note that it requires a laboratory or a wizard's chest to cast a spell from a book.
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Old 10-12-2022, 10:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Ward

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post

A more powerful version of Ward with a higher prerequisite IQ could make the detection zone the surface of a hemisphere (or full sphere?), the size of which is determined by the amount of ST put into the spell (similar to Darkness).
Exactly what I was thinking when I read your question.
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