I'm developing some background material for some Hedgefolk NPCs in my Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay campaign. I'm not unfamiliar with the system (being a huge contributor here on RPGSE), but this spell has me stumped:

Wyrd Ward

You chant this spell, wrapping your target in an indistinct curtain of magic. One Witch you specify at the point of casting (and you must have touched the Witch's flesh) must pass a Very Difficult (-30%) Willpower Test to cast a spell upon the target. If failed the Witch wastes his action this round.

I think the use of "target" here is ambiguous, making the reading odd. Does the Wyrd Word protect the target of the spell from third-party spells, i.e., I cast the spell on you (or myself) to protect you (or myself) from the magic of another witch?

And does it only protect you from Witches, i.e., Arcane and Divine casters can still target—hey, the word again—your subject of the Wyrd Ward? It seems to imply it only wards against Hedge magic when specifying "One Witch you specify…"


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    \$\begingroup\$ Just a comment since I'm wholly unfamiliar with the system, but a strict parsing of the wording would put the "target" as a distinct entity from "One Witch". To illustrate, let me replace "target" with "Fred". 'You chant this spell, wrapping [Fred] in an ...' '...must pass a Very Difficult (-30%) Willpower Test to cast a spell upon [Fred]." \$\endgroup\$ – Cthos Dec 23 '13 at 21:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Indeed. This parsing trick provides some clarity. \$\endgroup\$ – javafueled Dec 23 '13 at 21:27

A strict grammatical/legal reading indicates that you're almost, but not entirely, right. It doesn't protect your target (Fred, to adopt Cthos's useful suggestion) from Witches; it protects him from a specific Witch (call her Lilith). Fred can still be targeted by all other Witches, as well as all other tyoes of spellcaster.

As to whether 'Fred' can be yourself, an animal companion or indeed a small tree; is target defined anywhere? If not, you're not restricted (except by ethical concerns as to what the tree would prefer).

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    \$\begingroup\$ LN translation for the +1 \$\endgroup\$ – CatLord Dec 24 '13 at 5:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ The target is defined as Touch (You) \$\endgroup\$ – javafueled Dec 24 '13 at 21:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @javafueled: that is 'the target', which can be whatever your character wants, so long as he is touching it when he casts the spell. The definition of 'a target', also known as 'what counts as a valid target for this spell; this tree I'm touching, the mountain I'm standing on, the entire world under my feet?' is probably not answered in the rulebook. Fortunately it is unlikely to arise until Warhammer is played for money, in which case the lawyers will move in. \$\endgroup\$ – Tim Lymington Dec 25 '13 at 16:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Range is "Touch (You)" (not target, my mistake) per the spell description. The rules for Touch Spells reads: Some spells require you to touch the subject. In non-combat situations, adjudicating this is easy enough. In the chaos of melee, however, touching your opponent is more difficult. Whenever you want to cast a spell requiring touch, you must make a successful Weapon Skill Test. I'm inclined to accept your answer, but giving the question some time to settle into the repository. \$\endgroup\$ – javafueled Dec 25 '13 at 18:08

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