View Full Version : Mage Armor vs Shield Spell Design Question

2018-11-13, 10:10 AM
Hello All,
I am creating a home brew system where Iím trying to create a plausible magic system, not magic as a science, but not seemingly random and undesigned either

With that premise, Iíd like to discuss your thoughts of different spells and what the nature of a spell should be.

I thank you in advance for your help in advance.

First Up
Mage Armor vs Shield

I envision Mage Armor as visible armor that somehow embodies the essence used to create it, air, earth, wind, fire, frost etc.

I envision Shield to be a stretched spherical barrier (similar to Vanilla WoW priest shield) that totally encases the caster, yet it isnít always on, but is an on demand kind of thing.

So Armor is visible all the time, Shield as needed.

What are your thoughts on these two spells? What neat ideas am I missing?

PS Iím only giving a snippet of my game world as attempting to explain everything as a premise keeps preventing me from posting at all, so if you want more details, Iím happy to provide them, but my real goal here is what do you think of when you hear these spell names? Thank you.


2018-11-13, 01:17 PM
It depends on what you're trying to do. I always view the Shield spell, for example, as some sort of actual shield, just made of power rather than physical substance.

For example, this image from the Dresden Files Comic:

It acts as a "shield" (the piece of armor) but without all of the physicality.

That being said, I also envision my characters using the mechanical definition of the shield spell in different ways. It could range from a Matrix-Style dodge on a speedster or Domino-esque lucky character, to Magneto-esque bullet stoppage, to physical shields being manifest from wood, ice, stone, or whatever (in one case, sand!).

Same would go for Mage Armor. On a most basic level, it looks like ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin
Or something more subtle, like this:

But still, a speedster or airbender would have it manifest as a unnaturally fast reflexes or maybe a sort of Instant Armor, such as from Iron Man/Black Panther, the Armor Ares creates for himself at the end of the Wonder Woman movie, or Toph's Rock Suit from Avatar TLA


2018-11-13, 01:25 PM
I generally picture Mage Armor as either some sort of astral armor overlapping the character (looking like normal armor) or a slight penumbra of energy surrounding the person. And maybe it's visible or maybe not when not being struck.

For Shield, I generally picture shield of force that floats around the user, trying to interpose itself between attacks and its caster. So more like a literal shield (the equipment) than a shield in the sense of a force field or bubble.

I think Mage Armor as looking like armor (with places to stab through) and Shield as a floating incomplete barrier makes sense. They are not "block all damage" but rather, like armor, something to help deflect or mitigate blows. So it should make sense that something could bypass them. Alternatively, you could have them be complete barriers but say some attacks just broke through or hit a weak point, akin to how stabbing a dude in full plate can still do normal damage.

2018-11-13, 01:35 PM
Wow your feedback is AWESOME thank you.