Edit: Hmm. This is not quite doing what I want, and contains vestiges of a previous version. Needs rework.
It's been a while since I've posted alternate rules, which might be why this edition is more extensive than my usual. They are meant to be taken together, due to how they interact.
Subtraction and especially division should be avoided.
Forms should be considered just as valuable as Techniques, even though there are more of them.
I don't like the hard rule of "If it's level 50, it must be a ritual." Isn't the "Oh, no, this spell seems just too epic" rule enough?
I'm missing changes to quite a few virtues/flaws that rely on the current fatigue mechanics. But I think I hit the most important ones.
Simplification is good.
On to the rules:
Spellcasting: If a spell’s level is less than or equal to your Form, it can be cast without rolling a die and without spending Fatigue. Otherwise, a stress die must be rolled and one Fatigue must be spent. If a Casting Total is insufficient, the spell fails. Yes, spellcasting never involves a simple die. Yes, low level spells can be cast safely in a cathedral, though are more likely to fail (without incident.)
Casting Score vs Casting Total: These are now identical (unless I really missed something.) Any virtue or flaw that adds to or subtracts from a spellcasting roll, score or total now affects the Casting Total. Or Score, if you prefer.
Spontaneous Magic: The only difference between a Formulaic and Spontaneous spell is that the level of a spontaneous spell is doubled after it is calculated. This adjusted spell level is considered the spell’s level for all purposes. Yes, it is possible to cast a spontaneous ritual, though this costs twice as much vis due to the doubled spell level. Yes, it is possible to use ceremonial magic with any Formulaic spell, no Mastery required.
Ritual Magic: Spells of level 50 or higher do not need to be rituals. And yes, if your Form is sufficiently high, it now possible to cast a ritual without rolling a die or risking a botch, just like any other spell.
Spending Vis: Spending vis no longer increases Casting Totals. Instead, the bonuses gained add directly to the Art, after all other considerations. Other uses of spending vis are not changed. Yes, it is now possible to spend Form vis to make magic safer!
Potent Magic: The bonus is always +6, which adds directly to the Art when relevant, similar to Puissant Art, except after requisites have been accounted for. Bonuses for casting items add to the Casting Total.
Major/Minor Magic Focus: Note that these add an Art twice rather than doubling it.
Diedne Magic: When casting Spontaneous magic, double your Form. This is done before considering Magic Focus, Cthonic Magic or spending Form vis. You have Loose Magic and Poor Formulaic Magic but these do not count toward your Flaws and cannot be "bought back." As an exception to the rules that normally limit you to a single Major Hermetic Virtue during character creation, you can take LLSM at the usual cost. Yes, you can take Unstructured Caster as a Major Flaw. Depending on your saga, you might be required to take one or more Flaws (Dark Secret, Hedge Wizard, Pagan, Judged (Un)fairly, Enemies, etc.) which do count toward your Flaws, as usual.
Mythic Blood: You have -3 to aging rolls, and start aging at 50. You are not restricted in how you spend xp on Abilities during character creation. No, you cannot spend xp on a Supernatural Ability you do not have. You get a Minor Hermetic or Supernatural Virtue of your choice associated with your lineage, subject to SG approval. You get a power using the canonical rules for Mythic Blood. If you want Personality or Story Flaws associated with your lineage, take these using the usual rules.
No more division!
No more simple dice for spellcasting. A real time saver. No more stressing about whether the roll is simple or stress. Another time saver.
Casting mechanics are more unified.
Doubling the level of spontaneous spells while using the same diceless/stress rules depending on Form vs Spell Level, provides a similar level of power for spontaneous magic while providing Formulaic Magic with greater safety for easy spells at the cost of more risk for high level spells, which I find a positive change.
Allowing spontaneous rituals does not break anything, especially since the vis cost is doubled.
Allowing formulaic ceremonial magic also breaks nothing. No need for distinct rules.
Spamming easy spells costs nothing; spamming difficult spells is dangerous and tiring. (There’s now a good reason few magi casually teleport across Mythic Europe using ReCo!)
My favorite exploits for spontaneous magic no longer work as well: Faerie Charms and Rusticani Magic Foci still add to Casting Total, but that no longer makes spontaneous casting safer.
Form vis is a lot more valuable now, since it can make magic safer, even for large effects.
Forms are generally more valuable than before, though Techniques do have greater coverage.
Potent Magic is better than it used to be. Magic Focus is still usually better. The former is better for casting magic safely, the latter better for generating the biggest Casting and Lab Totals. Choices, choices.
Diedne Magic is now worth it for an expert in spontaneous magic. Its cost imposes some real hardship, since real power is still all about Mastery, Penetration and big Formulaic spells, but the hardship is consistent across sagas rather than ranging from inconsequential (Diedne are the real heroes) to instantly lethal (Every Diedne starts with DIE.) Note that it is easy for a Diedne to determine what spells he can try to cast without dice: Level = Form (before doubling level). BTW, this is also usually true for magi casting Formulaic spells.
Mythic Blood is changed, loosely based on Strong Faerie Blood, because one of its canonical primary benefits no longer has meaning with these rules. It’s a very good virtue now, even in sagas that enforce starting with no more than one Major Hermetic Virtue.