Creative Uses of the "Binding" and "Call of Iron" Spells.

Our group has come up with some creative usages of both of these spells. But are they legal, BWG-wise?

BINDING SPELL (page 207)
(1) Used to bind several rocks together to create a makeshift bridge over a stream using river rocks.
(2) Used in combat to bind the dwarven mail clad arms and legs of an attacking dwarf (leggings to leggings, sleeves to chest piece)
(3) Used to bind all of the arrows in an archers quiver together.

CALL OF IRON (page 208)
(1) Grab the cell-door keys off of their hook.
(2) Used to trip a guard by grabbing his iron boot and pulling it (counted it as a “Push” action).
(3) Attempted to use it to pull (break) open a reinforced door (Ob5 door versus a B6 Will). Close, but not close enough (only rolled 4 successes)

They seemed o.k. at the time (except Binding #1) but we were new to BWG for some of them and in hind sight I’m not so sure.

Let me know what you think.

1.1. Sure, if there are some big rocks to glue together. Only problem: the spell will make a glued-together mass of rocks, not a bridge. You will have to position the rocks yourself, before or after binding.

1.2. I’m dubious. The italic description makes it sound like it can be used in battle to mess with enemies’ stuff, but I’d cry foul on gluing parts of an object together. And gluing hauberk to chausses? That’s just a magical belt.

1.3 Hilarious and possible, but how much Will do you have and how many arrows does he have? You might get a moment of surprise from him as he realizes a few of his arrows are an unusable block, but he’ll probably get another arrow out anyway

2.1 Right and proper!

2.2. My main objection is that boots aren’t iron. Steel toes at the most, and those not until the 20th century. Sabatons would be metal, but sabatons were a rider’s armor. Metal is too heavy for walking around and feet aren’t a good target if you aren’t lifted off the ground. By, say, a horse. I also worry that this is beyond the intended scope of the spell

2.3. I think this would give you some really high Obs. You’re not using leverage. You’re not using your mass. You’d be trying to rip the door from its hinges. Good luck.

1.1 : Yeah, I think that one was a bad call.

1.2: Biggest problem I have with it is the defender gets to declare where he gets hit in a Fight! and this is an AoE (half presence) spell, meaning that everyone it affects has to be engaged with the caster and relatively close together.

 I could see it as a versus test to take an armored opponent by surprise (capture without bloodshed) but, even then, the spell suggests multiple items being interlocked together (of course, armor is made up of several items)

1.3 Your right, that particular mage should only have been able to bind up about 1/4 of his opponents arrows (B5 Will; 20 arrows to a quiver)
It would’ve made more sense to just bind the arrow to the bow when it while it was being nocked, but I believe this was done to keep the archer from being able to fire at the party as they ran past his post (cast spell, break cover and run!) The hesitation from failed steel test (directly affected by magic) did the rest. (And it was funny!)

2.1 That’s what we thought (classIc escape plot)

2.2 Iron Shod Boots (fantasy armor). Beyond the scope of the spell is something I am unsure of.
On one hand you are pulling something metal to you, on the other hand that something is strapped onto the foot of a full size human (weight issues).

But if you could make the grab in person with a B6
Power (or with a well placed whip, lasso/lariat), then you should be able to do so with this spell.

2.3 The presumption was that the magic creates its own leverage (it would have to in order to pull a sword out of somebody’s hand) and we took the door obstacle from reinforced interior door in breaking things (page 542).

2.2. I object to the idea of pulling on something that is not exclusively, or nearly exclusively, metal. Because it’s magic, and it works by the logic of magic, and this spell pulls on metal stuff, not leather with some metal in it or under it! It’s my own idiom of magic, of course; you’re free to disagree. Still, it seems like it’s violating the spirit of the spell. Could you pull someone over by calling cufflinks or brass buttons on a uniform? I’d say all of these are violations of the idea of the spell.

And I’m still dubious about iron-shod boots, too. I’d require some Boots-Wise to make those up!

2.3. I imagine the spell as a force or impulse in classical physics terms. It’s some amount of force applied over the entirety of an object for some (short) length of time. Cast spell, object experiences X Newtons in the direction of the caster. For breaking a door, though, you don’t want to pull evenly. Usually what you want is torque to use the door itself as a lever to break the hinges or pressure to destroy the structure. Pressure is force per unit area; you want a lot of force applied in a small area, like striking the door with a pick. The spell does the opposite and applies force evenly. Pressure is in force/area, so you’re getting relatively little pressure over any particular part of the door. That is not an optimal way to break it!

…Which is all an overblown physical justification for why I think Call of Iron is not at all appropriate for this task. The short version is that it’s for grabbing movable objects, and attached doors don’t really meet that definition. In fact, physics be damned; I’d be unlikely to let you open an unlocked and unlatched iron door with the spell. You can’t focus it on just one side of the door; the whole door’s moving towards you or it’s not moving at all. (Yes, this violates the physical description above. Magic isn’t physics and defining spells narrowly is important for keeping wizards honest.

For things that are attached rather than intrical to the items construction the spell would most likely pull the item (cufflink/button) off the material it was sewn to. Iron shod boots would be similar to shin guards laced on to the boot as added protection (a thin metal piece formed to fit over the top of the foot and the front of the shin attached to a stirrup like tang that goes in front of the boot heal and held in place with leather strapping.
As far as the door is concerned, you wouldn’t be exerting force on the whole door, only the metal parts of it. And just as the spell can be used to pull the sword from an armored hand without pulling the gauntlet that holds it, it could pull the iron door ring, lock, or even hinges if you like.
I wouldn’t give any advantage for it (like I would for using a pick or prybar for added leverage), nor would I assign a disadvange (as I would for poor hand holds or a slippery floor) as the magic of the spell doesn’t work by such laws of physics. I would increase difficulty for superior craftsmanship, extra locks, ect. as these increase the strength of the door itself rather than the conditions to open it by normal means.

I wouldn’t penalize a mage for getting creative with his spell craft nor do I believe duch creativity should become a cake-walk either.
Using Call of Iron to attempt to pull someones helmet off before you head shot them with your staff sounds like a plan, but the helmet gets to resist as it would to protect against any attack (I would use helm armor dice Vs. Power) and even if it works, your follow up staff attack still could be far away from the now unprotected head (I offer my leg, now you need two successes to move to my head)

It was pointed out to me that defending characters only get to decide what area they are offering to be hit in Fight! when they are taking damage, not when they are being affected by none damaging spells (basically when their armor can act as a barrier between them and any damaging force) as a mage can be engaged with an armored opponent and said armor is made up of several items of similar material construction (chainmail for example) Binding ones opponents armor should be an allowable combat usage of the Binding spell.

Is there a BWG, RAW reason that this spell usage should be disallowed?

Not RAW, but intent. I don’t think that is what the spell is supposed to do. You are violating the spirit of it by turning it into a Lock.

From an older thread on this topic:

(from Revised era, but answer remains the same)

So the Items must be similar and thus made of similar materials and form/functon (two or more spears are fine, where as a spear, a halbred, and a pitch-fork are not? (All have a wooden shaft, but each has their own specific head piece on top of their shaft). A Halbred and a Naginita are basically the same weapon (small sword like blade on top of a long staff/pole), a sword and a mace are not similar and can not be bound. Metal Boots can be bound together, Metal Gloves can be bound together, Metal Greaves (leg armor strapped to each leg independently) can be bound together.
You can not bind an opponents gauntlets to his breastplate or his greaves even though they are all made of the same material as they are different types of items. In regards to catching the target at the right moment to bind their boots/greaves/weapons together, I believe that would be handled by the positioning test.

I believe that the spell specifically is a lock, as it “allows the wizard to sorcerously bond two or more similar items together, so that they lock together like pieces of a puzzle.” It applys the wizards will exponent as the power behind the lock.