Tuesday, October 31, 2017

House Rules - Magical Wards

Magical Wards (from Spells & Spellcraft)

A magical ward is a location-based enchantment that, when used in conjunction with a hand-held ward token, may be used to cast pre-determined spells much like a staff. An active ward might repel evil creatures or it might allows a token bearer to shrug off the effects of a fireball. While many common wards have been streamlined into everyday spells such as arcane lock and glyph of warding, others require extensive preparation and expensive components.

Wards are activated and controlled via ward tokens, small magical devices that are crafted at the time of a ward's creation. By holding a token forth, its bearer may discharge the ward's spells. Ward spells may be used by more than one person at a time, so long as each is holding a token.

There are two types of ward tokens. Keystones channel low-level spells (up to 2nd level). They may be used by anyone bearing the token, but the bearer must spend at least one hour within the ward to attune himself to a particular keystone. After attuning himself he may leave the ward without having to reattune when he reenters the ward. The bearer may choose up to three spells that he will be able to activate when he first attunes himself to a particular ward. He may reattune himself to a ward at any time, allowing him to change his available spells.

Master keystones, the second type of ward token, are more potent and allow their bearers to fully access all of a ward's powers. Only arcane spellcasters may use a master keystone.

Physical Description
Wards may be visible or invisible at the weaver's pleasure. Visible wards appear as complex and colorful runes and icons painted on a wall, floor, or other feature of the target location. Ward tokens may be fashioned from stone, wood, metal, or whatever other material appeals to the caster. Sword pommels are popular choices for guards protecting a warded gate. Tokens are covered in runes, but they do not reveal a particular ward's capabilities.

Identifying Wards
Any spellcaster with the Weave Ward feat may readily discern the function of any ward he can see. He must make a Spellcraft check to do so, and for each point by which he exceeds 20 on the check, he can identify one stored spell, starting with the least powerful and moving up. Wards may also be studied by means of the detect ward spell. Other means must be used to determine the function of invisible wards. Rendering them visible by spells such as reveal ward, dispel magic, or true seeing is the most straightforward method. An identify spell allows the caster to determine one spell per caster level. A detect magic spell indicates the presence of an invisible ward, but reveals neither its form nor its function. Ward tokens may likewise be identified and linked to specific wards.

Wards use the command word activation method, so activating a ward's spell is usually a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If the spell being cast has a casting time longer than 1 standard action, it takes that long to cast the spell from a ward. To activate a ward, the individual must be holding the appropriate ward token and within the ward's radius, usually 30 feet from the anchor stone. Spells are cast at the level of the original weaver of the ward.

Weaving Wards
To weave a magical ward, the caster needs to have the Weave Ward feat plus a supply of special arcane inks and dyes, brushes, and scribing tools, as well as relevant spell components. The cost for such materials is subsumed into the cost of creating the ward. Weaving a ward costs 100 shillings per level of the highest-level spell in the ward times the level of the caster, plus 75% of the cost of he value of the next most costly ability, plus 50% of the value of any other abilities. Zero-level spells count as ½ level spells when figuring costs based on spell level. Wards have 50 charges when created.

The spellcaster can reduce the cost of creating a ward by having powers drain two charges whenever they are used. For each power that uses two charges instead of one, reduce that power's cost by 50%. A single function can cost no more than two charges. The caster level of all spells in a ward must be the same.

The ward weaver must prepare the spells to be stored in the ward each day, or must know the spell in the case of a spontaneous spellcaster. He must also provide 50 of each component necessary for each spell. If casting the spell would reduce the caster's experience point total, he pays the cost (multiplied by 50) upon beginning the ritual in addition to the experience point cost for weaving the ward. Material components thus used are consumed when he begins weaving the ward. The act of weaving the ward triggers the prepared spells just as if they had been cast, making them unavailable for that day.

Weaving a ward requires one day for each 1,000 shilling value of the completed ward. It takes a minimum of one day to weave a ward.

The ward must be inscribed on an arcane anchor point, an immovable object or feature of a structure or the landscape such as walls, pillars, flagstones, and cave entrances. Living objects such as trees may not serve as an anchor point nor may a surface or object already bearing some enchantment. If an anchor point is moved, its ward fails immediately; bearers of its ward tokens are immediately aware of a ward's destruction.

Wards extend 30 feet in all directions from the anchor point and pass through all nonmagically shielded materials and barriers without impediment. Activating a ward from an upper or lower floor is therefore possible. This range may be extended in increments of 10 feet, but every extension adds 20% to the cost of the ward, calculated separately.

A caster may create a number of keystones equal to his spellcaster level, one of which may be a master keystone for every three levels of spellcasting ability. At least one master keystone must be created. Each token of either type costs 15 experience points and 50 shillings in materials to create. These costs in money and experience are in addition to the costs incurred during the ward's creation. It adds one day to the ward's creation time for every four ward tokens created.

Like most charged magic items, wards fade away into nothingness when their charges are expended. Intelligent wards are the only exception. However, as long as a ward retains at least one charge, it may be renewed by a spellcaster of equal or greater power than the one who created it. The weaver must possess a master keystone for the ward in order to undertake this task.

Recharging a ward requires the spellcaster to go through the entire creation process again, except this time the process costs only a fraction of the original ward's cost. This cost is equal to the percentage of charges that are being restored. Both the shilling and experience point cost must be paid again. The caster must restore the ward fully each time, no matter how many charges remain. Material components are required for every charge to be restored. New ward tokens may not be created in the renewing process; if the caster desires more tokens, his only option is fully discharging the existing ward and weaving a new one with the desired number of tokens in its place, at full cost.

Intelligent Wards
Unlike most magic items imbued with charges, wards may be enchanted as intelligence magic items just like swords and rings, using the rules found in the Dungeon Master's Guide on pages 268-271. An intelligent ward can communicate telepathically with someone holding one of its tokens, and the communications options presented on page 269 of the Dungeon Master's Guide apply to the ward's ability to speak to passers by.

Intelligent wards may activate their own spells at will, but require spellcasters to restore charges. A sentient ward with spent charges cannot use its spells or allow token bearers to do so, but it does remain active and able to communicate (a speaking ward might shout warnings, even if deprived of magical abilities). It can also use any additional magical capabilities invested in it during the process of imbuing it with intelligence.

Ward Spell List
Most abjuration and divination spells are eligible for incorporation into wards. An incomplete listing of these spells including those drawn from third party materials is provided below. Spells are marked with a notation indicating the sourcebook they were drawn from. For guidance as to what sourcebooks these notated abbreviations reference, see my key to Sourcebook Abbreviations:

Detect Magic (PHB)
Detect Poison (PHB)
Read Magic (PHB)
Resistance (PHB)

1th Level
Alarm (PHB)
Comprehend Languages (PHB)
Detect Undead (PHB)
Endure Elements (PHB)
Hold Portal (PHB)
Identify (PHB)
Protection from Chaos (PHB)
Protection from Evil (PHB)
Protection from Good (PHB)
Protection from Law (PHB)
Shield (PHB)
True Strike (PHB)

2th Level
Arcane Lock (PHB)
Detect Thoughts (PHB)
Protection from Arrows (PHB)
Resist Elements (PHB)
See Invisibility (PHB)

3th Level
Dispel Magic (PHB)
Magic Circle against Chaos (PHB)
Magic Circle against Evil (PHB)
Magic Circle against Good (PHB)
Magic Circle against Law (PHB)
Protection from Elements (PHB)
Shadow Sight (S&S)
Tongues (PHB)
Zone of Visibility (S&S)

4th Level
Break Enchantment (PHB)
Detect Scrying (PHB)
Flickering Fate (BoRL)
Minor Globe of Invulnerability (PHB)
Privacy (S&S)
Repel Undead (S&S)
Stoneskin (PHB)

5th Level
Dismissal (PHB)
Eiur's Telepathic Bond (PHB)

6th Level
Analyze Dweomer (PHB)
Antimagic Field (PHB)
Globe of Invulnerability (PHB)
Greater Dispelling (PHB)
Heim's Spell Inhibitor (RR)
Repulsion (PHB)
True Seeing (PHB)

7th Level
Banishment (PHB)
Spell Turning (PHB)

8th Level
Prismatic Wall (PHB)
Protection from Spells (PHB)

9th Level
Prismatic Sphere (PHB)

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