Major Shield

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Major Shield
Ritual information
Deities Pishe Gufnork Gapp Sandelfon Fish Hat Sek
GP cost 120
Components holy symbol, shield
Required powers Speech
Learned At 79 levels faith.rituals.defensive (Pishe, Hat, Fish) or (Gapp, Sandelfon, Gufnork, Sek)
Skills faith.rituals.defensive.self or
Resisted By n
Angers? n
Type Defensive
Steps 2
Targets others, self
Description Provides a powerful defensive shield
Priestwiki Discworld ritual help

Major Shield is a priest ritual that protects you from damage somewhat.


This ritual costs 120 GP, and is performed on yourself or someone else.

It requires the power of speech.


This ritual uses or faith.rituals.defensive.self, depending on whether you perform it on yourself or someone else.


If the shield is a "real" shield--i.e. one that can be used to block--then there is no penalty. However, if it's a mounted pewter shield (which is furniture) there is a large penalty to the ritual.

Performing messages


You speak a short prayer.
You call upon <deity> to protect yourself.


You are protected by the power of <deity>.


You sense that Pishe's attention is elsewhere.

What the target sees

Priest recites a prayer.
Priest calls upon <deity> for protection.

What others see

Priest recites a prayer.
Priest calls upon <deity> for protection.


A Major Shield will absorb some or all of the damage of attacks. It counts as "outer" armor, meaning that it protects your clothes somewhat.[1] If performed while you're under the effects of Minor Shield, your shield will "rise".


The base duration--in other words, the duration when the ritual is not affected by any ritual modifiers--seems to be:

2 * ROUND((400 * (ln(bonus + 75)) - 2082.5) / 2) seconds. It seems that it may actually be measured in heartbeats of two seconds each instead of in seconds directly[2], meaning that--barring lag--durations (in seconds) are even numbers. This function, while it may differ from the actual code, fits existing data extremely well.[3]

Here's a graph of (actual) base durations over a range of bonuses. (Note that both axes start at 200 rather than 0.) Major shield base duration.png

With ritual modifiers

The various ritual modifiers can affect the strength and duration greatly. However, instead of lengthening or shortening the duration by an exact number of seconds, the extent of the bonus or penalty seems to diminish as bonus increases. It seems likely that what the bonus (or penalty) actually does is to increase or decrease your effective bonus. E.g. performing the ritual at your high altar with no other modifiers gives you the same duration you'd get from performing the ritual with no modifiers, but a bonus 12 points higher.

Here is a tentative chart of some modifiers and how they seem to affect this hypothetical "effective bonus"[4]:

Modifier Increase or decrease to effective bonus
At own high altar +12
actively worshipping +7
rain/snow/sleet (Pishe) +7
carrying fluff (Gufnork) +7
fluffy surroundings (Gufnork) +3
wearing stylish clothes (Gapp) +4
stylish surroundings (Gapp) +3
indoors (Sandelfon) +7
underwater (Fish) +14
floating in the water (Fish) +7
in company of other priests (Hat) +16
trespassing on other deity's high altar (Hat) +9
in combat (Sek) +5
ritual assistance set to 1% ("the hand of <deity> guides you")[5] +3
near high altar +3 to +9
far from high altar -2 to -8
1 priest minion -4
2 priest minions -8
3 priest minions -13
4 priest minions -17
out of alignment -5
performing from faith rod varies, but high penalty
drunk -33
poisoned -33
at wrong high altar -45
in witch/wizard-owned area -45

Where a range is given, there isn't enough data to get an exact number. For the "near/far from a high altar" modifiers, it's also the case that the modifiers vary depending on the exact distance from an altar.

The type of minion seems to have no effect: a totem and a dust devil seems to cause the same penalty as two dust devils.

"Stylish clothes" and "stylish surroundings" appear to be mutually exclusive, as you don't get the "stylish surroundings" message if you get the "stylish clothes" one.


Major Shield stacks with regards to duration. Performing the ritual twice in a row will result in a shield that lasts twice as long, performing it five times will result in a shield that lasts five times as long, and so on.

Its strength can also be changed by subsequent performances: if a stronger shield is stacked onto it, it will be strengthened, and if a weaker shield is stacked onto it, it will be weakened.

It can also be stacked with Minor Shield, although this results in a weaker shield than you would get from Major Shield alone.

Wearing off

About twenty seconds before your shield expires, you will see this message:

Your divine protection is weakening.

When it expires, you will see this message:

Your divine protection expires.


The shield has a varying appearance, depending its strength and the deity of the person who created it.

  • Pishe: surrounded by a layer of translucent fog
  • Gufnork: covered in a thick layer of fluff
  • Gapp: wearing a translucent <stylish colour> <stylish fabric> robe.
  • Sandelfon: covered in a layer of translucent stone
  • Fish: covered in green kelp
  • Hat: covered in glossy black feathers, covered in translucent grey feathers
  • Sek: surrounded by bright crimson flames


A Major Shield ward, when triggered, will shield the victim.


You can "meditate to remove divine protection" at a high altar. If you are successful, this will remove your shield.

See also


There are three achievements in the Priests category related to this ritual:

External links


  1. See Developer blogs: Major/minor Shield Tweaks.
  2. Thus the division and then multiplication by two. Since the division by two is inside the round function, they do not necessarily cancel out.
  3. For all the base durations shown in the graph of bonus vs. base duration, the values predicted by the formula do not vary at all from the actual values.
  4. These numbers were figured from 1)actual durations with each bonus or penalty, isolated, compared to 2)actual and/or predicted (when actual was unavailable) bonuses/bonus ranges that would give that as a base duration.
  5. Only checked for the lowest setting, 1%. The setting is used extremely rarely because of the dp it drains, and so if used at all is likely to be at the lowest setting.