"Before you head out to try some of your new offensive spells, it might pay to at least quickly discuss the defensive spells so you remain alive while you do."

"Leaving aside those who cannot cast them yet, almost all wizards have between two and four defensive spells active at all times in a layered approach that is designed to let them take almost no damage until they are broken. This is generally needed to prevent our spells being interrupted in combat, and because wizards often lack the hit points and armour that helps to allow others to survive combat."

"The first of these represents the innermost layer and accordingly the last to be hit. This is the spell Chrenedict's Calcareous Covering, which hardens the skin of the target. This is a last ditch magical defence to protect the user against sharp and pierce damage until the spell is worn away by the hits. It is not intended to be used as a primary defence, as the number of hits it can absorb is low and it does not protect at all against blunt or unarmed damage. However, since it lasts until worn away, almost all wizards and some non-wizards will have this defensive spell active for when it is needed."

"The next layer out is the spell Transcendent Pneumatic Alleviator, or for those that cannot cast it yet, the weaker shield Sorklin's Field of Protection. These spells are impact shields, and protect the target against all damage until it is broken, either through sufficient blows, or the passing of time. Again, this type of shield, while powerful and vital, is too weak to stand up for continued hits for very long and is not a primary layer of defence. It is usually used to enable the wizard to survive anything that does get through the outer layer."

"More or less every wizard will be using those two spells as the base of their protection. Where things start to differ however is in the outer layer of protection."

"For that outer layer, which is the primary defence, those wizards on the more traditional magic path use the spell Endorphin's Floating Friend. This spell uses the defensive skill of the caster to intercept most of the hits aimed at the wizard. The spell lasts until it is knocked down, and often the main use of the layers underneath is to simply allow a wizard to remain alive while either recasting this spell or leaving the room to do so. Refer to the spell notes for more information on how the spell works."

"The outer layer for those on the path of the warrior wizard is to use a fighting defence, namely dodge, parry or block instead of the floating shield. This does have the advantage that it can obviously not be broken as a spell can, and these fighting defences interact better with other fighting actions. However, their ability to dodge blows will be impaired when casting spells, and they will be unable to block or parry at all while doing the same."

"Either way, most wizards therefore have at least three layers of defence in place at all times. Some wizards however, add a fourth. That is, they summon a skeleton warrior to protect them using the spell Grisald's Reanimated Guardian. The warrior will both intercept blows meant for the caster, and take a portion of the attention of any opponents, which can reduce the amount of wear and tear on a floating shield, or the number of hits that need to be dodged, parried or blocked."

"This may all sound like a lot of preparation and levels of protection, but you will quickly find that is easily maintainable, and even more necessary. Even with the different types of shields and layers, they can all be broken in fairly quick order by a capable opponent. Their primary use is to allow a wizard enough time to either blast them with offensive spells, or to kill them using more mundane means."

"Some other offensive spells can also be thought of as almost defensive in nature. For instance, using the spell Wonker's Wicked Wobble, a wizard can convert an opponent's weapon to rubber, and reduce the damage they can deal."

"That just about covers the topic of defensive magic. Here, let me give you an impact shield before you head out." Sekiri pauses in thought, silently sings a stream of syllables, and then scatters ash around you. There is a noise that sounds like "Plink!" and everything flashes red for a moment.

You head out into the wide world as a new graduate of the Unseen University.


URL: http://gunde.de/discworld/sekiri/defensive.html