Casting through a talisman weapon

Hello all

I have a question about Talisman weapons.

You can cast spells through a talisman as if they were you, thereby extending your range. i.e. touch range now extends out to the end of your talisman staff.

But how would you handle actually striking someone with your talisman as the delivery mechanism for your spell.

For instance, imagine Bob the Flambeau has a talisman mace. He wants to cast a spell on his enemy, Jeff the Tytalus and also to really mess him up. He smashs his mace into Jeffs face, shattering bone and at the same time releases a spell through his mace, setting Jeff on fire.

Is this even possible? Or does someone with a talisman weapon face a choice, cast a spell and touch the enemy with your talisman or smack them enemy with your weapon and don't cast a spell?

This becomes particularly strange to consider if your talisman is sharp. Touching someone with a sword and stabbing them with the same sword shouldn't be that much harder. If you are already touching them, simply push a little harder.

On the other hand, allowing an attack and a spell effectively grants the magus two actions a turn.

Has anyone else handled this in game and if so how?

Failing that, any suggestions as to how it might be handled?

A concentration check of Very Hard to pull off attacking/defending and casting a spell simultaneously?
Perhaps Fast casting, which I like less than the option above.
If the magus isn't attacking or trying to do damage with the talisman, and just touch the talisman to his opponent, I'm on the fence as to whether that's harder or easier (given that it's harder to fight non-lethally with weapons).

It's an interesting question! :smiley:

At a minimum, casting a spell while engaging in melee combat will require a Concentraiton roll against an easy factor of at least 12 (dodging) -- I would probably go with an ease factor of 15 because he's not only dodging, he's also attempting to attack.

Also, if he is holding his weapon he cannot make gestures with both hands, so that's -2 for subtle gestures. If he's also holding something in his other hand (like a shield), then that's -5 for no gesture.

He may also have to Fast Cast in order to coordinate his physical attack with the release of the spell. That would mean -10 to Casting Score and +2 botch dice.

Furthermore, casting while in melee and attacking qualifies him, in my opinion, for some additional botch dice. At least 2, possibly more.

But yes, I'd allow him to attempt it.

Performance Magic and Martial Abilities:

Not that I reread it, but I have vague memories of reaching this conclusion: attacking is an action, casting is an action, you cannot do 2 actions in the same round. You could somehow use the sword to touch the target, but there are no expectations of strength behind that stab.

I wouldn't go that far. Holding your talisman is supposed to make casting easier, not harder. Applying a -2 for holding it will counteract a huge portion of the bonuses that could be gained via attunements. I would say any hand holding a talisman is essentially a free hand, manipulating the talisman in place of manipulating the hand.


In our saga, the issue has come up, and this is what we ruled. There are two cases.

a) Using the talisman as a weapon would not have required a die roll. For example, using a sacrificial knife to stab a victim tied on the altar to the Old Gods. In this case, you cast the spell as if it were your only action, though you may need a Concentration roll depending on the circumstances.

b) Using the talisman as a weapon would have required a die roll, as is the case in most combat. In this case, your spell must be fast cast as a reaction to the event of your talisman hitting the target, with all the appropriate requirements and penalties.

A useful effect to instill in a weapon talisman is a RegoVim spell that holds a spell until your talisman touches the target. Then you can cast the spell (or spells!) beforehand, or even fast-cast them but without the timing requirements, and they go off once you hit your target with a normal combat roll. Of course, in the case of an opponent protected by magic resistance this raises the issue of penetration...

I would agree if the talisman is being used only for spell casting during the round -- you are using it to perform magical gestures.

But if you are attacking with it, then it cannot be used to make those gestures -- it is feinting, parrying and generally threatening the opponent.

I would agree if you're trying to make a real attack, fighting with it as a weapon. But if you are just using it to touch an opponent instead of trying to touch the opponent with your hand, this is just a substitute.


Semems like we agree, then:

  • Just trying to achieve touch with the talisma = no penalty, but no weapon damage
  • Trying to cast a spell while doing a real attack with the talisman = multiple penalties, possibility of weapon damage (need to actually succeed the attack roll) in addition to the spell (if concentration and casting rolls succeed)

Some great stuff here.

I'm going with Ezzelino's House Rules, in particular, rule B

Which I think is perfect.

I really like the ReVi idea too, that hadn't occured to me.

On the hands thing, I've always ruled that you only need a single hand free for spellcasting, mainly because I like the idea of wizards with staves, swords, wands and other things in their other hands. Its moot in this case though since the character who is going to be smacking things with her talisman has subtle magic.

Things get more practical if you have the still casting (or subtle magic virtue), fast casting and stalwart casting masteries for the spell.

I always assumed you had to make 3 rolls,
1 to cast
1 to maintain concentration
1 to hit the target and release the spell.

I did wonder about adding magnitudes for no voice/gestures ala "kiss of death" (iirc), but that makes any combat spell essentially useless against anything but mundane beings due to reduced penetration.

In the end i went with enchanted effects with penetration included.

As an aside, i also figured that if you are simply trying to touch an individual, and that a grazing touch is sufficient, then its a lot easier than trying to penetrate armour with a sword etc. After all, if i am casting perdo corpus spells on a human, i don't need to do more than perceive the human. Thus i can eg tap his sword with mine and dump the spell into him through that, or slap the armour with the blade... either would work for me.
My justification for the parry working is quite simply that it is a part of the (lower case i) individual, the same as clothing.

Apologies for spelling etc, im typing this in the cafe at o my word its early.