Fast Cast defence

Ok so another query about 'how you do it'. No preferences here, just sounding out some opinions an viewing other peoples saga.

So thre are several options here, the absolute worst one being the RAW default spontaneous one (more on this later).

Fast cast some kind of dispel magic formulaic spell you have mastered and roll dice to beat level etc.

Fast cast formulaic spell that creates a big sturdy wall/ring of fire/circle of mundane dommbringing or whatever else that prevents a mudane attack.

Now, then, the one listed in Core which does not require mastery is give yourself a -10 and 'create an effect' that would ward off the attack. This presumably incorporates meeting fire with water for magic, creating a illusory image of yourself to prevent intellego spells por watever.
These are not the problems - spells we can compare levels. It is mundane stuff that causes the problem There must be hundreds of legitimate ways to prevent a sword form hitting you including but not limited to turning the sword into an icecream, wrapping it in magical vines, making the wielders head catch fire, creating a small widden shield for momentary duration... the list goes on.

The problem is there is entirly nothing FAST about this process at the tabletop. Much discussion and head scratching. Yeha I can be mean as SG and whistle a countdown tune but it is a bit wierd to do it this way. Not to mention slow.

Is there anything in a supplement or house rule where the magus simply needs to defeat the attack total or something - something SIMPLE and quick. After all - next round the multicast ball of abyssal flame is gonna remove that particular aspect of the combat in all likelyhood.. or whatever. I was thinking somehting like - score of 10 required as long as TeFo could produce a relevant effect. So no InAq defence against an Axe... SG can still describe the effect just not spend ages pouring over tables that neither I, nor the players have 'mythic' comprehension scores in. Was there something like this in older editions?

We use the rules listed in the RAW.

I think that you are right, that this can sometimes lead to long handling times for the player. The only way that I can see (which we use) to get around this is for the player of the magus to have a list of per-calculated spontaneous spells that he can use as fast cast defenses. So it is just a matter of selecting a spell from the list, and making the appropriate rolls. Because, while you are right that there may be hundreds of ways to avoid being hit by a sword, an individual magus is likely to favor only one or two. Of course, the player can't have a spell for every possible occasion on his list, but having a number of common situations shouldn't be too tricky.

I find that fast casting against mundane things doesn't actually come up that often.

Unfortunately, for some troupes it doesn't come up because it's such a pain.

Veteran players sometimes have the mechanics crib-noted for their favorite fast-cast spont effects, so that it's a little less painful.

This hasn't really come up much, hence not a big problem.

All the same, I have a condensed list of all lelvel guidelines cloe by when I play, so as to quickly flip through the relevant or most likely TeFO combos, and come up with a number.

But if I played a magus, or in a saga, where this came up often - I'd make my own pre-fab list of choices to save time. Or simply invent a formulaic spell or two for this purpose, and master them. But that's long term plans for the magus serious about it.

I agree it rarely comes up, although in my tabletop experience it has more been becuase after early experiences of this everyone just learned a formulaic omni-defence spell and mastered it to fast cast.

I felt it robbed the story of a lot of colour. The real tragedy was this was not a reaction for 'power play' - it was not because a fast cast defense mastered is BETTER, which it clearly is way better, it was because the old grey cells sufferedtoo much without it and play speed was hugely slowed because of it.

May I suggest, a collection of fast-cast defense spells would make for an interesting reference article for Sub Rosa. They could be arranged according to the type of "attack" they're designed to fend off, and increase in level within that category.

Or if not Sub Rosa, then just do it for yourself. I agree that while the magic system is hugely flexible, it can sometimes take its time to do what the magi should do in seconds. If you can have some kind of reference work already there, that's got to help.

Dont restrict the "think up the effect and level" to just the player in question.
If the SG or another player has a good suggestion the player can use it.
This tends to cut the time it takes at least in half or more.

Anyone willing to post their more common 'fast cast' repsonses to things like being attacked in melee, being shot with an arrow, or having a boulder dropped on ones head? I wouldn't mind creating a starter list for players to look at and build on - attached to their character sheets. It might provide an incentive to consider these things outside of the actual combat instead of during.

If you fast cast - defence do you forfeit your next action - Ithink that is how it is written but seems harsh
If you have a higher initiative can you hold off in waiting to counterspell and remove the penalty or half it (house rule I know but seems reasonable).

Teleport 10 paces away is the usual fast cast defence. No need for penetration or anything fancy like that. After that, and from a safe distance you can start to mess around. Invisibility, levitate, killer spells or crippling ones (like levitating the enemy half a pace up and put him upside down)...

If you can't do that (only a level 20, so you should), you can create a group of logs (or a single log if you want a lower level spell, base 1, +1 touch, +1 diam, +2 group) at touch range for diameter duration. Generally enough to stop an attack (hitting a log is quite bad for a sword) like a sort of improvised shield.

Perdo herbam or perdo terram also works quite well. Just destroy the handle and suddenly the bow or axe is rotten or the sword has a slippery grip (destroyed wood around pommel) that cannot put much force into the blow.

teleporting around is still the first solution in case that your grogs cannot stop the attack. We have even seen group versions of it that teleport the grogs as well, but no one has those IMS yet.


Here's a few to help get started. They really need to be low level. So for most magi magnitude one (or maybe two if it is your area of specialization). Emergency teleportation is certainly an option, but it is much too high level for most magi to cast as a fast cast.

Remember that you are trying to cast these spontaneously, with a casting penalty, and you're probably standing in a less than ideal aura...and unless you are really lucky the chances are that if you have a focus it won't apply.

An Inconvenient Undressing
PeAn 4
R: V, D:M, T:I
Causes straps (made of leather) on a suit of armour or saddle to fail. Useful in combat.
(Base 2, +2 Voice)

Wizard's stampede
ReAn 4
R: V, D:M, T:I
Startles an animal causing it to do whatever is natural for it in this circumstance (bolt, hide, etc). Sometimes useful when attacked by animals, or when attacked by mounted opponents.
(Base 2, +2 Voice)

Create Weak Acid
CrAq 5
R:V, D:M, T:I
Creates a small volume of acid that does +3 Damage. Useful for distracting people who are concentrating on spells.
(Base 3, +2 Voice)

Wizard's Luck
ReCo 4
R:V, D:M, T:I
Cause the target to momentarily spasm and miss whatever they were aiming a missile weapon at. Can also be used against opponents carrying melee weapons. For use when incoming attack is spotted at the last moment.
(Base 2 + 2 Voice)

Ward against Blow-back
ReIg 5
R:P, D:D, T:I
Wards caster against fires that damage less than or equal to +5 (and gets a +5 soak against bigger fires). (+5 is a standard wood fire). Useful when something blows up in your face.
(Base 4, +1 Diameter)

CrTe 5
R:T, D:D, T:I
Blocks a doorway or passage with a cubic pace of stone. For when being pursed down a corridor. (Can also be used to sink a small boat).
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter)

Thanks for those, I hope you dont mind if I shaelessly ninja these...

This spell should have a Target of Part. You are only affecting a portion of the whole item, the leather straps.


A Troupe specific decision, I think. I would argue that you are affecting an individual strap, not a part of a suit of armour.

In which case you would need multiple castings to undo sufficient straps, I think. So... you either need Part, Group, or some extra time to cast multiple copies. In any case, it's not going to work well without some kind of modification, which will push its level too high.

Disrupting the opponent's armor in some way isn't a bad idea, though. Just need to find a better way to do it.

Increase it by one magnitude to make it Part then, if you think it needs it.

That makes the spell level 5. No big deal.

Perhaps. But your description of the spell defeats your own argument.

The plural “straps” indicates multiple, not individual, thus would require T: Group (+2M). Using T: Part (+1M) would affect a portion of the suit of armour (all of the leather bits).

Ah, I see you already replied while I was waiting for my computer to unfreeze :smiley:

Note that if you want to affect a leather strap as an individual, you must be able to sense the strap itself; as a part of the armor, seeing the armor is enough. Since this is all spontaneous fast-casting anyway, it will depend on circumstances.

Great spells richard. :slight_smile: I would also advocate for the T: part to affect all the straps. But if that works for your troupe that is perfectly kosher to me :slight_smile:


Fair enough.

This is exactly why it is a good idea to for the players to pre-prepare (and the troupe to agree on) some fast cast spells for their characters --- sorting out this sort of detail is time consuming and tedious to deal with during, say, the middle of a combat.