Casting Spells Look

What i mean from the title is, how does one look when casts a spell, does he says the spell's name or the classification or does he visualize ? Is there a description in the books of what one does when casting a spell ? I tried to search multiple times but i didn't find anything

ArMa 5 Core Rules
R: Arc D: Mom, T: Ind
Gives you a hazy mental image of an animal you have an Arcane Connection to.
Wounds caused by an animal are an Arcane Connection to that animal with a lifetime of a few hours. This spell can thus be used to find out what was responsible for an attack.All spells cast by Chavin of Tytalus can be recognized because they promote or advocate war or violence. In his version of this spell, the claws and teeth of the beast appear more dangerous.
(Base 1, +4 Arcane Connection)
Does he says anything or does he concentrate when casting the spell '

Normally one speaks words (in Latin) and makes gestures when casting a spell. Exactly what words and what gestures is not defined.

It is possible to avoid using words and/or gestures when casting spells, but then you get a penalty to your casting score unless you have the right virtues and/or spellmastery options.

It is also possible in some cases to use some language other than Latin, with the most common other language used for spellcasting being Classic Greek.

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The books say standard gestures and a firm voice and leave it open to the players and story guide.

You could choose it to be a string of words in Latin. It could literally be the spell name. If fast cast using spell mastery, the spell could be one keyword. As Erik mentioned, it doesn't have to be Latin. I would say it must be the language used by the caster to do magic, which is nearly always Latin for the PCs in the setting.

With gestures, it could be say a foot stomp; if one has a talisman such as a staff or a wand, the old classic of swirling the wand or staff around and pointing; You could go with the sort movements done in Avatar the last air bender, while bending. Kata kind of movements. Whatever works for you.

Also remember, if one wants to take the requisite penalties, there can be no gestures or subtle gestures, and silence or a whisper. If one wants a small bonus one can do exaggerated gestures and/or use a loud voice.

Lastly, same with the look of spells. I consider there's a bit of latitude. Some will say if the spell is learned from a book, it must be exactly the same. Considering the casting sigil can change the cosmetics, I think cosmetic differences are fine. Pilum of fire, while the book says it's a spear shaped jet of fire, there's nothing stopping you having it be a short rain of fire manifesting above the target's head.


There was specific hand gestures for each art in 3rd edition. As far as I know there is nothing similar in the current 5th edition, but if you want to use it, here they are :

For words, I imagine the caster using the art names while casting.

These are great, but as for verbal components, art names feel too... constant. I'd imagine either the name of the spell in Latin, or something like commanding the spirit to appear before you when casting whispers through the black gate.

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Did you ever see a player using them at the table?

I imagine each spell has its own formula of words, and then you have to add the necessary words to identify the targets and any details open for customisation. I would not expect the authors to provide me with the full incantation in Latin though. Happy to leave it to players to improvise.

Indeed, in fact I did once or twice. Some of my friends started with 3rd edition, I myself find it a nice touch but it really can't be used when playing through discord.


A few times, yes.

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It's all about inflections and rythm. :wink:

"Perrrrdo Aquammmm!"
"Perdooo AAAAquam!"
"Per-do --- Aq!-quam."


I imagine that whilst you do include the names of the arts, you probably say a bit more than that. Maybe the name of the spell or an associated astrological or mythical correspondence. Like this for pilum of fire.

"By my will I create this lance of fire!"
"Per voluntatem meam creabo hanc lanceam ignis!"

"Real" Hermetic magic relies on theurgy -- invoking angels to perform wonders for you. In Ars Magica that's Holy Magic or a Divine method of some kind, but probably when Hermetic magi are casting spells they're calling upon Magic Realm beings. (maybe not as explicitly as Hermetic theurges do.)

So, casting spells probably is a bit Dr. Strange-ish. In Latin (or Greek, if you're Theban).

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It can't be too complicated, because the gestures and wording included in a Formulaic Spell can normally be cast within 1 action, say ~6 seconds if I recall correctly.

No, they don't call upon any beings. Bonisagus was careful to remove such elements and secularising the magic when he created his Hermetic Magic Theory.


When I did spontaneous magic to aid in my recovery, I'd always do the following: gestures, words (like Rego Corpus), base guideline, range, duration, target, description of the final effect

And the phrases and gestures have to be standard enough that another mage can have a chance to work out how to counter it.

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It's also worth considering that whilst most Magi do indeed use words and gestures, the ability to cast (at a penalty) without these (and the virtues that remove/reduce these penalties). Means that magic is at its core just an act of will and imagination, with words and gestures acting as tools to help focus the will.

A more consistent thing is the unique sigil each magi produces when casting. (e.g. The scent of books, bursts of purple light or the sound of bells.)