Can you take TWO Deft Forms?

I always assumed you could, but just noticed that while most Virtues state you can take them twice for different Forms, Deft Form does not. Is this intentional? I think an Errata may be called for here

cj x

I suppose there isn't a problem if you really want to take it twice. But I would wonder why. Consider that for 3 Minor Virtues you get the equivalent of 10 Deft Forms. Deft Form is really sub-par when evaluated generally. This inferiority becomes a non-issue for a magus who is extremely focused in one Form, perhaps even to the point of making Deft Form worth about two of the others. For example, I have a character with Deft Vim and probably more than 3/4 of the spells he casts (spontaneous and formulaic) are Vim spells, so it applies often for him. If a magus is already split between 2 Forms, then I wonder how focused the magus is. How often will the other 8 Forms come into play? I would at least suggest the Quiet Magic / Subtle Magic route to the player.

Based on this, I would suggest against errata. A storyteller could always permit it being taken twice. But not stating it explicitly will probably help those who might be tricked otherwise by the math. For a more extreme example, what if it explicitly could be taken three or more times. Might someone then be tempted to take it three or more times? Perhaps, but it would be a mistake since the Quiet Magic / Subtle Magic route would necessarily be better.


Thanks Chris,

absolutely, I'd overlooked that. I'm checking characters, and yes that would be a more efficient use of Virtues, but it works fine for this one. :slight_smile:

cj x

I'd allow it as well.
Your math is also quite correct: At one specialty, it's worth it, two it's a trade-off, and if three Forms, Deft Form is strictly inferior to Quiet x2 + Subtle Magic.

Query: Perhaps a house rule that broadens the situations in which Deft Form is useful? For example, it could help out if the Magus is casting a spell after having been wounded, in the middle of a fight, on a moving ship, etc?

Technically, you can't take Deft Form more than once:

Though allowing a character to take it twice would certainly not be game breaking...

Hi ezzelino, yep, hence my surprise it was not included in the allowed list. I have no problem with players doing it, but yep, odd ommission.

It had never occurred to me it might defeat wound penalties (though I think possibly a good implementation) but I'd certainly allow all the others. In fact i think I'd allow you to shout Creo Ignem and use those gestures and cast a Perdo Imaginem, as long as you had Deft Art: Imaginem. I'll go read the description again!

cj x

I kind of like that...but it raises a problem. If Deft Form were altered to ignore wound penalties, what about fatigue penalties? Is there a threshold where these penalties kick in?
If Deft Form were to be augmented, I'd rather go along the lines of allowing the casting to be easier in difficult situations other than being wounded/fatigue. Such as reducing concentration ease factors, or in the middle of a fight, or even having it include a reduction in botch dice.

I would, however, not allow a change in gestures or words such as you recommend, as that is clearly within the realm of Obfuscation Mastery. Or at least it offers no net benefit to someone who does that (and therefore is moot), as the Ease Factor for determining the form of the effect is 15-Effect magnitude. I certainly wouldn't add anything else to the roll, which Obfuscation does (adds the mastery score). It takes a lot of mental gymnastics to do one thing while showing everyone watching that you're doing something else, which I think is appropriately reflected in the Obfuscation mastery ability.

I honestly like it fine the way it's written.
It doesn't need any extras - but it is clearly more useful for certain specialties than for others.

I have a charcter who uses it with Mentem, which is hugely flexible.
Most of the time no-one knows he's casting anything!
Indeed I believe most of his covenant mates considers him a bit of a wastrel fob.

As for taking it twice - I don't see a problem, it becomes less valuable each time you take it though.

Taking it thirice is just silly, but everyone seems to realise this.
Do it only for character building purposes.