Discussions concerning Fast Casting

I do not understand the argument in that link. For Mastered rituals, I believe Mastery reduces botch dice, not eliminates them (unless you have a high mastery score). Rituals take 15 minutes per magnitude of ceremonial effort. I cannot concieve of this as a relaxed situation.
What did you guys decide here?

The compromise I speak of, which you alluded to and Q specifically stated, is being able to use a Fast Cast as an Interruption if my Fast Cast speed roll is high enough. Say I equal or barely beat the opponent's IN, then MAD. If I can far exceed it, say by double or adding some number to it, then a FC counts as an Interrupt action.
You had suggested ease factors for stopping a crossbow or intercepting a catapult boulder. That is along the lines of my thinking. Q spoke of a similar idea. I would be very happy with those ideas.

Other things that make me cranky; I am sitting in a house with no electricity or heat, I am supposed to move but a loan fell through and so this guy with the apartment is cancelling the deal and keeping my money. My ex is playing games and I ain's seen my son since June. And I am still irritated by the changes in the history of House Flambeau (and frustrated in my attempts to officially reverse it, though I managed some small success (which you will eventually see :wink: )

You could have added more pages to that debate :slight_smile: Basically, if you are going to get experience for an action/period it is a stress die. Otherwise it can be a simple die ( if you have mastery). Casting a mastered AoH is handwaved. Casting it during the course of an adventure, stress die.

Marko, you and I have the same view on ritual spells, but there are several contradictory statements in the RAW. One can even read into the RAW that so long as the person is relaxed the person cast a ritual spell with a simple die. I even conceded that it was written in such a way that conclusion could be drawn, but I don't believe that was ever the intention.

In any event, most of the players here found differently...and so I went along with it.

That's a rather liberal ruling. How did you talk him into that?

As for myself, I honestly believe in my heart that my basic view on Fast Casting is a very close interpretation of the rules' both in wording and in spirit. I am perplexed why everyone doesn't see what I see. As for Fast Cast as a defense, that is only one very small portion of the rules, in reference to spont defenses. Why do the rules allow for Fast Casting as a mastery option without mentioning the only-fo-defense clause? I believe the intent in ArM5 is to be able to FC offense spells. In was in ArM4 and earlier editions that fast casting was for sponting defense only.

Back to the idea at hand. Jebric, would you agree to allow a FC spell to interupt an action if the speed roll far exceeded the opposing Initiative?

Basically the process playing out here. There was a concurrence among the players that my interpretation was too strict, or they didn't care one way or another (ties like that go to the players).

I see nothing in the rules which leads me to believe that a fast cast action can come before the action that it is reacting to. If you can point me to wording that suggests that I would consider it.

Read through the ten pages before telling me it is liberal. Most of the argument was not that a ritual could be cast with a simple die. It was how do I tell if it is a non-stressful situation.

I ain't gonna rehash your old debate here. it falls into the "I don't care" category.

My strongest single example of explicit wording comes from Lord of Men, p. 119. There it speaks of optional rulles for Interrupting actions. Fast Cast Interrupts are discussed on p. 120.
However, the quote I am about to cite does not pertain to these rules at all. Rather, I am quoting a passage that refers to RAW Fast Casting as an illustrative example of how an optional combat rule is employed.

Now it does mention Defense, I'll give you that. But saying a Fast Cast can only be used for Defense seems illogical for the following reasons...

  • In the Fast Cast rules, only the last third of that section mentions Fast Cast Defense. If it was the only exclusive use, it would have been stated in the first sentence.
  • That first sentence does indicate a fast cast is a reaction. But "reaction" is not the same as "defense". I can choose to act offensively, or react by trying to magically change the color of my robe before you zap me.
  • Fast Cast is offered as an option for Mastery with no mention of Defense being the only option. In fact, few Formulaic spells are of any use in a Fast Cast Defense situation. These defense rules are designed for Spontaneous spells. Formulaic spells must obviously have some other usefulness for Fast Casting other than sponting a defense.

And the paragraph immediately following speaks to when someone can respond to an event and have the action resolve before his opponents action takes effect.

So, to delay action, you must have won initiative.

Then later on the same page it it discusses that interrupting is not fast casting, and that fast casting does not require delaying the action.
Synthesizing that with the optional rule for fast casting as an interrupting action says to use the normal fast casting procedure but to use the action priority total as the ease factor for determining whether an event can be responded to. All this does is try and make the rules more consistent, whether the event can be responded to with an appropriate spell then gets resolved based on the action priority total.

What was quotes is much like the delayed action in the old Champions rpg. In that rule, you did have to have a faster speed/higher dex to delay action until X happened ( which had to be declared). It makes more sense in this case as well. Fast cast to go before someone who won the initiative does not make sense. You get into fast cast duels which would have to end in favor of the person who won the initiative in the first place.

IMHO, You could use fast cast to cast an offensive spell at an opponent but that would be the MAD and their spell would effect you first.

Fast cast defense has it's own section because it has special rules for figuring out what is being cast and being able to counter it with a defense. y

You misunderstand me. I am not refering to those rules or options. Only the part of the quote in bold, which points to (the author's interpretation of) RAW Fast Casting as an illustrative example. The whole Action Priority optional bit simply reinforces my argument. But those are options. I speak of basic RAW Fast Casting.
But as far as those options go, I cannot see anything that contradicts my argument, just stuff that reinforces it. So Jonathan's quote seems non-sequiter in my understanding. The part about spells says...

In my mind, "stop" means you just cancel that attack, not match it in time for simualtaneous results.

Let me put forth an extreme example. Wizardly combatants meet and roll IN. Magus A scores a total of 5 and casts PoF. Magus B totals 7, before A, but wants to try and Interrupt his spell with a Fast Cast. He rolls a 1 followed by a 1 followed by a 6. With Quik of +1. His total is five times the opponent's Initiative. With a reaction gap that wide, I would think that Magus B should be allowed to fry his opponent with an IoL before the word "Creo" fully escapes his opponent's lips. If it kills him, no PoF is ever cast. If he survives, and he makes a concentration roll, then he finishes the PoF after all.
How does this seem unreasonable or not in the spirit of the RAW?

You want to add more into the combat system then is there. Again I go to another Game system. In Boothill the initiative system was like this. You would divide the quickness/skill by 10 to get the number of actions. It was possible to have 2 or even 3 actions before some people acted.

I will have to wait until I get home to look at Lords of Men.

So if you have a delayed action, you can get your own spell in first. Not a defense. Then you can fast-cast a spont defense if the opponent gets their spell off.

Magus B can delay his action until Magus A acts. He can now blast Magus A because he still goes before him. But Magus B had a targeted spell and he missed!!! Now Magus A does a CrIg. Magus B is allowed to spont fast cast a defense against this spell. He could spont fast cast an attack vs Magus A but it would not stop the CrIg from happening. Thus Mutual Assured Destruction.

Not trying to add anything with this debate. I would like to use the combat rules from LoM, but for now, I am only refering to an illustrative example that compares the rule to RAW Fast casting (resolved before the event being reacted too).
But in those rules, a delayed action for normal spell casting counts as an Interrupt, as well as a Fast Cast spell. These are two chances to stop an attack.
The LoM combat rules are all about sequence, priority, and actions that alter the sequence.

As for your counter to my example, IoL is an auto hit, not aimed. And seriously, beating the opponents IN by 20 points doesn't allow an Interrupt? What if I rolled three consecutive "1's"? Six, or ten? A Fast Cast total of 6145 versus IN 5.

I am not familiar with Boot Hill or Champions. I ran original D&D, AD&D, 2nd ed AD&D, old Top Secret, old World of Darkness stuff, and Cyberpunk. I played some other stuff with less familiarity with the rules: Shadowrun, DC Heros, Palladium, and stuff I can't remember off hand at the moment.
I do not want to drag any of that stuff into here though. But I will mention that it was hard to get AD&D players (used to ultiple attacks per round) to buy into Ars Magica combat (I started with ArM4, with a combat system that was much more abstract).
In ArM4, I did make the mistake of presuming Fast Casting was an option for Mastered spells (the rules are on the same page). When I realized my error, I just rolled with it anyway. ArM5 made it kosher.

For the record, I prefer Dimicatio to be ritualized so that it's "one spell - one counterspell".

Sure, combat is different, but dimicatio is there to allow magi to display their strength in the arts.
Why would high-level spells like BoaF be favored when it's so much easier/efficient to multicast a Pilum (and IMO, most flambeau are able to multicast PoF)?
So yes, you may win at the dimicatio and lose in real battle. A win at the dimicatio indicates higher arts/mastered counterspells, that's all.

For the record: It also probably shouldn't work.
Contrary to "Unraveling the Fabric of (Form)" spells, Wind of Mundane silence (of which your spell is just a variant) specifically "does not affect spells of Momentary duration". I ran into this a while ago. This means that even a PeVi mage must either discern, or guess the form used by his opponent.

If you want to ask JL to rule that it does, though, I'll support you. I don't think it is game breaking.

:frowning: :frowning: :frowning:
That's quite bad, especially with winter being on us :frowning:
I'm sorry for your son. I have a friend in a similar situation, and it's... aaargh! People shouldn't do this.

Very well worded.

As I see it, a fast cast spell can at most occur at the same time as the initiative it is reacting to.
In fact, the whole FC roll is to determine this: Either you act just in time, or you're too late.

So, when fast casting in reaction to a cast BoaF with a PoF, it can not occur before it. Not unless you knew the guy was gonna cast a BoaF before he did it.
So, on this, I'm with JL.
But I'm with Marko elsewhere, in that I'd allow you to "double" your standard action with a fast-cast spell, based on your own init, so as to begin combat with a fast cast.
For exemple, roberto can enter play by rolling init, doing whatever he wants (even nothing!), and fast-casting a pilum based on his own init. Someone wanting to react to that pilum would need to beat Roberto FC roll.

Holy Sh*t. And to think I had mostly skipped LoM... I shouldn't have :laughing:

I'm not sure I like it, but I think you're right. Based on LoM, fast cast can act as an interrupt.
The example later even gives an example of an interrupt for a non-offensive action (sure, this is not a FC, but this is a delayed action, which is previously compared to a fast-cast spell).

And in my example Magus B had two chances to STOP Magus A. He had a delayed action that went before and he could fast-cast a defense. There is still nothing that says the fast-cast spont goes before the action it is reacting to.

Is there anything in the rules which says that beating an opponent initiative by 1 vs 6140 is any different?

Not that worried about the counter spell. it is not WoMS or Unravel Fabric of (Form). It is an entirely different spell based upon regular PeVi guidelines. And the only use I ever got out of it was versus a 15th level Sun Duration Mentem spell. I had to Fast Cast it, spend Confidence on two different rolls, and blow two or three fatigue levels. It threw Andrew in a tizzy because he simply did not expect that!
So it has limited utility, just not worth persuing.
Jebric - IMO, there is no difference in beating the IN by 1 or by 6k, because I honestly think that either should result in Interrupting the caster and potentially disrupting the spell. I am merely putting forth an extreme example to cause people to consider that they may be being overly strict far beyond the RAW.

Just no, because you're beating an initiative point. Fast cast responses are always against an ease factor of the initiative point. You can't out fast cast your own initiative point. If you could, you could also fast cast a spell in response to something that hasn't yet happened, which is what is being suggested by Marko. He wants to cast a spell before his opponent casts a spell, even if he didn't win imitative, if his fast casting total is high enough.

You need to read that section a bit more carefully then. It's pretty clear in that section that one can only interrupt an action if they have delayed an action first. And I'm ok with that. If you, as a magus, have initiative and are trying to figure out what your opponent is going to do and then want to do something to stop him once you know what it is, I can live with that. You've won initiative, and are deciding to react. I don't see how it applies to the Dimicatio, though. The idea is to get your spell off first and hope your opponent can't defend. Or defend and respond and hope your opponent can't defend against the spell thrown at you.

Again. Delayed action. Meaning the player has won initiative and is waiting to decide what to do, and IMO, is less applicable to the Dimicatio than to combat. In the Dimicatio, if you're reacting to figure out what your opponent is doing, and then casting an offensive spell in response, well, umm, you won initiative, there's no reason to delay in the Dimicatio.
Marko is reading these rules without the guiding principle of Interrupting action. That they are delayed.

Indeed the variant of Fast Casting as Interruption says use the normal fast casting procedure (i.e. it's a response to an action). And then it goes into the idea of replacing the target ease factor with the Action Priority Total (which changes dynamically) rather than the static initiative point. You're responding to the action.

And I will say it again, clearly. You think you want this. You don't. Because if you make this change to mechanics as I understand it, then the bad guys can do this to you. And Valerian will beat his own initiative all the live long day. Just sayin'.

Certainly winning the initial Initiative roll 2048 to -3 doesn't help any more than 6 to 5.

The wording where an interrupting magus (moo) has "two chances to stop the attack" doesn't automatically mean, in my opinion, that any choices he makes will end up stopping the attack. It means that there exist choices he could make that would stop the attack; maybe a Pof isn't one of them.

That being said, if we want to implement a system where a Fast Cast roll that wins by enough does better than one that barely wins, I'm cool with that. I'm also cool with honest to goodness Interrupting Actions a la LoM: hold my fire until I see what they're trying to do, then foil them.

(Really I've never been super happy with Ars Magica's initiative system. To me, initiative is just a play mechanism for setting up the order of actions, not some measure of how quick I am that hour. If I luck out and win the initial initiative roll with a 2048, then yeah I should go first - but I don't see any reason why it should be impossible to Fast-Cast against me for the entire battle.)

More than likely that's going to happen to a player than an NPC/monster. So I have no issue with letting it stand. It just means that he's opaque to the enemy, people can't really figure out what he's doing until it's too late. And I'm cool with that. It's unlikely to happen the other way though. I'll stop rolling after the second one and just assign a high number based on what everyone else is. I'll worry about the 2048 initiative point when, and only when it happens.

As far as interrupting actions and LoM, to be honest, if you win initiative and say I want to wait to see what my opponent might be doing, I'll let you roll an awareness roll and then adjudicate those results telling you what's reasonable, and then let you act. I don't need Interrupting Actions to do that, IMO. :smiley: In a PbP, interrupting actions are more trouble than they are worth, IMO.

I am gonna chill on this for now. Honestly, no one is making sense to me. Instead of trying to figure out how to make sense of it to me, try to understand why it makes no sense.
But I need to chill, because I just deleated and censored by last two attempts at a response. I don't wanna say things to irritate anybody.
Except this one thing...
It seems that everytime someone starts to agree with me, they get a smack down and told they are wrong. Instead of saying "No, look at X", where X is the same argument over again. Perhaps instead say "Does that fit with (wording X). Less autoritarian, more facilitating of discussion.
Two more things...
Not worried about Valarian. What you are saying he can do, I already think is reasonable and realistic. He is designed as an NPC that cannot be beat to begin with. Not without thought and effort. And correct thought & effort will beat him no matter having this power or not. Maybe it ups the challenge, or maybe the weakness I intend to exploit has nothing to do with this and Fast Casting will be irrelevant.
Second, you keep speaking of beating your initiative. That is not what this is about. The IN is static throughout the encounter, an abstraction to lay out a basic sequence of resolution. You are not trying to beat your speed. You are trying to alter the sequence. Maybe in the 7th round. You are not acting before an event. You are interrupting it as it happens, hopefully nullifying it so it needs not be resolved.
The rest, I will leave for later. Just to reiterate, objections are making no sense to me. And instead of trying to make it make sense, I ask that you try to understand why it makes no sense.

This isn't about Dimicatio anymore. This is about playing a combat magus, and a player who enjoys action sequences.

Tell me how you can respond to something that has not happened, yet? Either in game or in real life? That is the heart of the argument. That's a hurdle I don't think you can cross.
I'm not smacking down people siding with you. I'm clearly and concisely laying out how I think they might be incorrect in the assumptions they are reaching, specifically on the pieces of the rules that you quoted.

I am thinking about combat. Believe me.
So, your opponent, in combat, wins initative, and you want to PoF him before he can act against you. What's his first act? It's to swing his sword at you. Without your intervetion the act is successful., his AA is greater than your defense, so it's going to leave a mark. Under my guiding principles, there are two reasonable options. Respond with something that mitigates the attack, or respond in such a way as to make it easier for your sodales to help you out. Oh, and by the way, you also get to attack at your own initiative point with whatever normal action you had planned, regardless of the outcome here.
First option, mitigate the result. The result is you're hit. Your choices are a spell that makes the sword swing away, or leap somewhere out of range. Both options cause the sword to miss, and then you continue with your already stated action, if it's still possible, or pick a new different option, if you've moved out of range. It still happens.
Second option, mutually assured desruction. You're going to get hit, and it's bad, but you can hit him worse. You can fast cast 2 PoFs at him at the point he hits you, and you can also manage to get off 2 more at your normal intiative point (penalties would apply to casting, though, unless the attack on you was a killing blow, then I'd handwave that it's a last stand of a hero, and no penalties apply). You cannot kill him before he hits you, because your first PoFs go off at the point where the sword hits you (his actiion is coincidental to your response). Your PoFs may kill him, or injure him so badly, but you don't know that.

So, you've thrown out some scenarios that you're looking for someone coughing, or presenting some other attack oriented posture and acting at that point. The trouble with that, quite frankly, is that Ars is just not detailed enough to do what you describe, and this is IMO. And even if we adopt the Interrupting Action model, I still stand by my statement: fast casting is a response to an action, and the action is the final result, not the beginning. Paul Atriedes and Gurney Halleck fought each other with shields, and both had killing blows prepared. Could they have chosen to fight differently, drag it out so that only one of them had the killing blow? It's a matter of tactics, that you as a player get to choose. Press on despite the result, or mitigate the result and try and play your advantage for later. Go for the kill, you're taking on the risk that what he does to you won't be as bad as what you do to him. You can't win every battle.

So, if we adopt your model. My NPC swings his sword, at the beginning of the swing, you cast PoF, but his swing lands at his initiative point, but your PoF gets to him before he's finished his swing, and therefore the swing never connects. You want that? Ok...Then my guys can do the same thing. I really don't think you want it. I have other NPC enemies. I've always taken the view that the most dangerous enemies in RPGs are characters most like the PCs. I tend not to use them a lot, but I do have enemies like that, and not just Valerian. I'm vehemently against this for your good, I'm on your side despite you thinking otherwise. I really don't think anyone will like the results of this change, but like I said, if enough people want it, I'm not going to get in the way of it. I'll just use it as you would use it.