Automatic counterspelling talisman

It could be in response to a Hermetic caster who's using the No Words and No Gestures options, outlined in the table immediately above the rules on fast casting. Or it could just be dark and noisy.

I see it as the target magus feeling magical forces gathering around him, with just enough time available to cast a counterspell. That feels like what wizards of fiction do and I've always felt Ars Magica was designed to allow us all to play those characters.

I think it makes for a more interesting game if magi can duel with spells and counterspells, particularly since Parma Magica seems underpowered in the current environment, which is so rich in virtues to boost casting totals and penetration.

If you wish to nitpick, you need to do it correctly and especially distinguish between mentioning, acknowledging and covering (that is treating or expounding) a topic.


This means, that in your sagas every magus automatically has a very powerful version of the ArM5 p.45 Minor Supernatural Virtue Magic Sensitivity.

You know that argument to be extremely weak: "wizards of fiction" are a vastly diverse lot. In every fantasy cycle your "wizards of fiction" have different limitations, because without such limitations there is no story and no novel: this holds expecially for the basic functioning of magic and the detection and manipulation of the magic of others.

For every RPG you must come up with a single set of such limitiations to just keep game and world together. Ars Magica does that admirably, and makes its detailed magic rules a main driver of its sagas. That said, you can write all the rules for your own game.


You mean like
9 : to have sufficient scope to include or take into account an examination covering a full year's work
10 : to deal with : treat
from exactly what you linked? You'll notice "treat" is similar. You'll also notice expound, which is about being thorough, is not stated anywhere on that page. Yes, ArM5 includes/takes into account/deals with dispelling non-Hermetic magic. And I did say "not... substantial detail" and "some dispelling." If you wish to nitpick, you need to do it correctly.

The point is that someone reading the book might well see that there is some discussion of dispelling non-Hermetic magic. After all, there is. That someone should not make conclusions that dispelling non-Hermetic magic was not considered by the authors since it clearly was considered. That doesn't tell us anything in particular about the particular difficulty level being discussed, though; it just says less than you claimed. As I said, the logic doesn't follow; but that doesn't mean the conclusion is incorrect.

Regarding fast casting, would you allow a player who fails to identify the incoming magic (whether because it's non hermetic, or they fail the identification roll) to declare that they're going to fast cast a specific form and technique anyway, on the off chance it's a valid defense?

For example, Agnes ex Bjornaer is facing off against Robert of Flambeau in a wizard's war. Robert casts a spell using subtle words and gestures against Agnes, and Agnes decides to fast cast against it. She succeeds at the speed roll, but fails to identify his spell. Knowing the Robert is a master of Creo Ignem, Agnes decides to fast cast a Rego Ignem defense, and creates a level 20 effect. The GM knows that Robert was casting Pilum of Fire, and so Agnes's defense should work against it.

Would you allow Agnes's fast cast to work, or must she succeed at the identification roll? To be clear, if Robert had cast a Perdo Ignem effect, her defense would definitely do nothing, as it's not a valid counter to Wizard's Icy Grip.

So what's your interpretation of:

It's clearly not referring to recognizing words and gestures, since that's covered by the paragraph immediately preceding it. It seems to me that you're just ignoring this rule.

Yes. I'd also allow them to fast cast an effect based on the general PeVi guideline used for Wind of Mundane Silence, with the effectiveness of a Form-related effect half its level.

You are running an unpleasant carousel here. I answered your question already in my earlier post:


That depends on SG style and other SG decisions wrt fast cast defenses.

Provided that a SG has decided against allowing PeVi fast cast defense against every spell no matter what, it makes sense that she is more lenient about guessing player characters: after all, not being able to try something at all just because a preliminary roll failed is not fun.
But if a SG allows blanket PeVi fast cast defense, there is anyway no identification of incoming magic needed to determine the type of defense to cast. Hence also no guesswork, if the roll for identification of incoming magic failed. In that case I would advise to at least require successful identification of a spell, before allowing a fast cast defense against it - unless you wish to always have some magi blindly fast cast PeVi defenses if an opponent might be casting spells.


With regard to this: "In other circumstances, the maga must work the Form out. A Perception + Awareness roll .... etc."

If the "other circumstances" means "where the maga cannot hear and see words and gestures from a Hermetic opponent", what is it that the maga is perceiving that enables her to recognise the Form of the spell being cast?

That does raise a good point - can you use PeVi to fast-cast against any hermetic magic? I can't see anything in the rules which prohibits this, though the rules are very vague about how appropriate a spont fast cast vs. a spell needs to be in general.

Let's leave non-Hermetic effects out of the picture and look at the two paragraphs on AM5 pg. 83.


This part is clear. It's easy to determine Form when one can clearly hear and see Hermetic words and gestures, just as you say.


But an Awareness roll is required if it's hard to see or hear them. Specifically, the Subtle Gestures casting condition is referenced. Clearly the author is taking into account the material in the Words & Gestures table table printed immediately about the paragraphs we're discussing.


This must refer to circumstances other than those covered by the above two items. I suggest that this must include the circumstance of a Hermetic spell cast using the None modifiers from that table directly above that's already being considered by the author. There are no words or gestures to recognize, yet the target maga still has a chance via Awareness roll to make out the Form.

Under this reading of the rules, there must be a mechanism that magi are using other than seeing and hearing gestures and words.

The general magic of the Forms, which have all been opened for every Hermetic. Magi are in tune with magic.

It's similar to everyone getting Form Resistance of 0 even if the particular Art was never studied, or being able attempt extremely low level spontaneous magic using unstudied forms. In fact, maybe this can be thought of as slightly akin to a spontaneous InVi.

You still insist to read the text from ArM5 p.83 as an itemized list. But you give no reason why it should be one.

And now you draw a conclusion from your assumption of an itemized list, which leads to a direct contradiction with

Exotic Casting reads

as referring to working out the Form of the spell being cast from words and gestures of the caster. So your assumption of an itemized list in the text is falsified.

Nothing new here: this was already explained less tediously and more concisely here and here. Can we now stop this boring carousel?


Regarding fast casting,

-Assuming you've got a sentient creature bound in your talisman (a ghost for example)

Say you use this :

The patient spell
ReVi 30
This effect is automatically triggered when the wielder says the word "ante imperium" (controlled impatience) before casting a spell with a maximum level of 20. The spells held this way may be released to interrupt an action in the same manner as a fast cast spell, requiring the same "fast casting" roll of quickness + Finesse.
Pyrrhus uses this effect mostly to hold a copy of a version of unraveling the fabric of (form).
(10 +1 touch +1 concentration + 5 device maintains concentration +5 frequency)

And you give control of this effect to the ghost by using this effect before :

Passing the rein of Vim
MuVi 40
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind
This effect is automatically triggered when the wielder says the word "vi gratiam"(receive the gift of force) before triggering another enchantment in the talisman that has an unmodified level of less than 21 .This spell lets the caster pass control of the other enchantment to another person. This effect only works on enchantment with Duration longer than Momentary. The Enchantment does not change the target of the affected spell.
(16, +1 Touch +1 part +1 frequency +3 linked trigger +10 penetration)

Would the ghost be able to release the Unraveling spell :
-At the speed described in the patient spell (equivalent to the speed of fast casting) or
-Does it take as long as an activation to stop the concentration on the effect ?

Indeed, I do assume that a rule stating this/that/other is written such that the "other circumstances" really does refer to the other circumstances actually referenced at the same point in the same rulebook.

It would be a very poorly written game otherwise.

I recall some wise words from upthread:

We can agree on one thing. This is very tedious.

You are putting MoH p.113 The Patient Spell as an effect into an enchanted item, and have that item maintain concentration to hold a spell cast after the command word. The Patient Spell is not MuVi, so there is no explicit provision that it can only affect other effects from the same item. This is pretty clever and might need some discussion with your troupe, who might not like clever MoH spells bringing their own guidelines - but it should otherwise work.

MoH p.113 The Patient Spell holds a fully cast spell in suspension, with all its parameters already decided. Such a spell is typically useless for fast cast defenses, whose targets are appearing while the defenses are cast. This certainly also holds for the various ArM5 p.161 Unraveling the Fabric of (Form) spells.


EDIT: You can ask your troupe to allow an ArM5 p.135 Leap of Homecoming spell on Pyrrhus and his Talisman suspended by a more powerful Patient Spell effect in his Talisman. While he casts Leap of Homecoming, Pyrrhus doesn't need to know the danger he might wish to escape from by having his Talisman's concentration drop. I might accept that, and even allow to have the taliman drop its concentration (ArM5 p. 99 Effect Modifications Concentration last phrase) as a fast-casting action by Pyrrhus, with no interfering ghost required.

Thanks again for the time you all take to discuss this matter.

So that could potentially work but only if I guess exactly which spell my opponent is going to use at the time that I "store" the Unravelling the fabric of (form) spell in the item ?
I'm not sure I understand, is that a timing issue or a lack of precision for the targeting ?

Would that be clever enough to let "the patient spell"'s effect in the item hold a MuVi spell like "Wizard's reach" targeted for a specific spell ?
Would that then allow its release at the appropriate timing, to alter the casting by the magus of another specific spell, as long as wizard's reach is targeted to the specific spell at the time of casting ?

That would basically circumvent the MuVi from Item limitation. That's not what I intended to do but that would be a huge deal. It seems too powerful for me to be right.

[Edit : Didn't see the edit before that more or less answers my first question]

You suspend a completely cast spell with Patient Spell. So you must settle at the very least, just what it affects and how. This isn't hard-coded, but decided while casting.

We need to separate spell here into spell formula (what you learn, what guidelines are about, the pattern of the spontaneous spell you whip up) and spell instance (the spell while being cast, and once cast). The Wizard's Reach suspended by The Patient Spell is a spell instance, and targets another spell instance, which you cannot determine after the Wizard's Reach was cast.


This thread wheeled forward at a pace :smiley:

Sorry One Shot for my quick and dirty reply, I could've phrashed it better, you do have a great depth of knowledge to where to go poking for rules/writings on most anything published in your mind; however the intepretation of it is as always up to the troupe involved, saying somethings impossible because vague rule with different intepretations makes it so under your idea for how ars should play makes for only circular arguments, A says no, B says yes, A says no because Z1, B says Z1 rather be read as Z2 and so on.
'magical senses' and 'hearing' in items you take the stance raw contradicts the supplements, referencing granting magical senses(which is a section so poorly written noone, not even our local one shot, ever bothered about it to my knowledge, it feels like with you a touch version of 'shriek of impending shafts' for grogs would be a magical sense granted and in need of atleast three other arts to make work with alot of debate?) wheras I take the stance 'supplements expand upon possibilities and I cannot see anything realy wrong since pushing against a surface, can we truly say the surface wont feel you pushing down into it? What determines the ability to 'feel', a rock you squeeze in your hand might not be able to say 'Ouch' but who can say it does not feel your touch?' It is /magic/ thus it works, the spell imbues the item with the ability to 'feel' a touch for its triggering, or the vibrations of sound as 'hearing'; equal and opposite counterreaction and all that' #magicismagic

Also you take the viewpoint 'a spell does not exist till its fully formed and then it has its effect' where we tend to see it as... lets say easy example... ball of abysmal, mage does some words and gesture, a fireball forms in his hand and its slung at you; hands of grasping earth, the earth starts to swell and flow into the mold of said hands. Hitting that 'forming spell' with a counterspell, be our guest, or hitting that ball of abysmal cosmetic effect with a jet of water you mastered? Fine, the spell is not in effect till the cosmetic effect hits you. Sorta. It feels more magely and wizardly and in truth more Gamey, more Fun :wink: Cosmetic effects might do away with some grayzones as to 'why does ball of abysmal need to be finesse thrown if I could just set the target on fire without throwing a fireball? why is it easier?' but it removes some of the charm; come on I want to roll for my fireballs to hit again :stuck_out_tongue:

So if there are no magical energies forming and sweeping closer, "slowly" taking form, but rather instantly coming into effect once a sequence of "magical words and gestures" are completed; then sure, then you cannot counter anything with a PeVi counterspell, its already in effect, you'll get burned before you cancel the momentary flame. If one does see it as magic "slowly"( a round isnt slow but w/e) forming, being able to put up a quick brick wall to ward of an incoming spell before it reaches you splashing across its surface; Rather than just 'ehm, I correctly identify the spell as a CrIg I choose ReAu as my defense, I roll to fast cast defense, I endup after subtracting ten and dividing by two with a total of 18, this is enough to defend against a lvl36 spell; Good job, you defended well. next round please, choose your actions, as little description and creativity as possible, remember we go about this as calculators following the strict procedurals'.
Basicly you give me the feel of the later, much like our local one shot can be :slight_smile: Terribly sorry if I'am reading you wrong. If its truly impossible to do something then one can mention it, but if not and its cool and enables someone to go in a direction they want then thats fun, that story weighs heavier than a reading of the rules that makes it impossible on some technical little detail. =)