Combat and Casting without gestures.

Hi all!

How do you handle casting without gestures in combat?

I was thinking that it should at least partially reduce combat casting penalties due to encumbrance, since you do not need to move anything but your mouth. Also, reduce concentration penalties for casting while running/falling/being dragged by a river/etc.

Also, should the source of the lack of gestures matter? As in, should a character having a def art or other virtue that lets them cast without gestures be treated differently than a character simply not using gestures and incurring the casting penalty?

  1. Either you choose the minor Hermtic virtue Subtle Magic or Deft Art.
    If you do not have either of these virtues you ca still cast without gestures but take a -5 penalty to your casting total as per page 83.

  2. The Load matters because if you wear heavy armor, ecumbrant weapons and lots of stuff in your backpack, you are not as spry as if you only have a tunic and a cloak.

  3. Try to use spells with another duration than concentration. Diameter is a good suggestions as most duels are over after 2 minutes and then they can be recast. Either than that, having the general virtues i]Puissant Concentration[/i] or i]Affinity Concentration[/i] can help.
    You can also master formulaic spells and put the i]impertuable[/i] (spelling?) ability that gives +1 to Concetration per Mastery

  4. Of course they should be treated differently. A person with any of those virtues have learned since their first time to forgo to need for gestures or maybe their personal gift is just so much more attuned to casting spells than the average joe magi. The average joe magus needs the gestures as it is part of the hermetic gift and they are only making it harder for themselves.

Dunia hit the big three. Some troupes allow Performance Magic for combat, I'm not a fan of that, but I think it is even mentioned in a book somewhere. Note, that even if you are encumbered, you still need to make the gestures to work the spell, if you remove encumbrance penalties, you'are actually providing a bonus to characters who are armored over those who aren't, with respect to spell casting.

I'm not sure what you mean about the source of lack of gestures matter. The RAW does treat these differently, if your troupe doesn't, then you're nerfed a couple of very powerful virtues.

Not sure that Concentration would be a "relevant roll" for Encumbrance, and thus penalties wouldn't apply.

Most physical combat magi are typically covered by buffs, which are cast prior to combat, and as Dunia says, Diameter duration is superior to Concentration, and will last over the vast majority of most combat scenarios...

Deft Form still requires "non-standard voicings/gestures" when in human form.

Other than that, Quiet/Subtle Magic are nothing but a circumstantial +5 bonus.

Standard voice and gestures are a Firm Voice and Bold Gestures, non-standard voice and gestures are anything else that would cause a penalty, and technically, Loud Voice and Exaggerated gestures. I think it's fair to believe that one can still get the bonuses, if they use the Loud voice and Exaggerated gestures if they possess Deft Form or Quiet/Subtle Magic.

The clause for including is meant to ensure that this works when you are not a human, not that it doesn't work when you ARE in human form.

Quiet/Subtle Magic each provide a +5 circumstantial bonus, to use your phrasing. Quiet may be taken multiple times and with Subtle to provide an effective +15 bonus to surreptitiously cast magic. Deft Magic does the same thing for one Form only. It's awesome with Mentem and Eye range spells.

The rules for Voice range requires that you make some sound, so you can't cast those spells silently, but have to utter something that allows your voice to carry to the spell's recipient. However it can be any sounds, even conversation, although to maintain a conversation and cast a spell you'd need a concentration roll based on the table on page 82.

Hmm... I guess no one really understood what I was asking. Sorry if I can't express myself better, English is not my first language.

Magus A has Subtle Magic and an encumbrance penalty of -3 due to heavy load.

Magus B has just an encumbrance penalty of -3 due to heavy load.

The way I see it, the casting penalty for encumbrance/carrying stuff makes sense for magus B, since he has to use gestures in combat, and if you are carrying stuff or otherwise encumbered it is physically harder to complete spell casting gestures.

Magus A, on the other hand, does not have to use gestures for any spellcasting, so it would make sense that the weight he is carrying does not hinder his spell casting at all.

I am asking if the following scenario makes sense:

Magus A casts a spell with no encumbrance and no gestures: total penalty = 0
Magus A casts a spell with a heavy load and no gestures: total penalty = 0 (since his casting entails no movement at all other than his mouth, which is not bearing any weight)

Magus B casts a spell with no encumbrance and no gestures: total penalty = -5 (since he does not have Subtle Magic).
Magus B casts a spell with a heavy load (-3 to casting) and no gestures: total penalty = -5 (since he can also benefit from ignoring casting penalties from encumbrance if he does not use gestures, but still receives the penalty from not having Subtle Magic)

It just seems logical that if you are carrying a lot of stuff, not using gestures should make up for part (or all in case of Subtle Magic) the penalties for casting due to encumbrance. This makes subtle magic a bit better for magi that intend to wear armor or that need to carry a lot of weight for some reason.

Am I crazy?

A magus in combat not needing to use gestures already gets a substantial benefit, in that he doesn't have to give up his weapon to perform the necessary Hermetic gestures or take an additional -5 penalty above and beyond his encumbrance penalty.

I think this comes down to what an Encumbrance penalty actually is.

If one decides that Load is inherently distracting, then yes it should.

Imagine, if you will, picking up a heavy weight and then try to do differential calculus in your head. It's doable, but you're going to be thinking about the weight, too.

You are saying "no voice or gestures" is a form of "non-standard voicings/gestures".

I don't think it can mean what you think it means, but it doesn't matter.

What's standard? Firm voice and Bold gestures. Anything else is non-standard. Loud and Exaggerated provide a bonus, anything else gives a penalty, and they are all non-standard.

Oh, that makes sense. For some reason I always believed it had to do with determining the Form for fast-cast defense. :confused:
My mistake.