Fast Casting spells in Beast Form

Hi all,

Me and my friends just started a Saga of Ars Magica. We are pretty experienced gamers, but that the first time we are playing Ars Magica.
I am not the Story Guide, but I have a lot of free time on my hands so I became pretty much responsible to understanding the "fine print" of the system.

The Maga I play is a Bjornaer with an Eagle heartbeast, and she prefer to fight in her beast form.
Now here is my question - As a bird she has a huge potential for Fast Casting - that is a big bonus to Quickness.

The thing is that Fast Casting is described to require the mandatory use of Bold Gestures (And firm voice - but that's not an issue with Voice of the Bjornaer Magus spell)

Obviously - in beast form she can't use any gestures - bold or otherwise.
She has the Subtle Casting virtue to negate the penalty for regular spell casting - the question if the Virtue help her here as well?

So what do you think?

  1. You can't fast cast spells in beast form under any conditions
  2. You can't normally fast cast spell in beast form but the subtle casting virtue negate it (thou you still dont get the +1 bonus)
  3. If you are incapable of motions this restriction does not apply to you, the idea is to use the boldest gestures you CAN, and in your case its none.

I would go for this. The same thing would apply to a magus with no hands.

You take the penalty for not using gestures (moderated by Virtues like Subtle Casting) in addition to the penalty for Fast Casting.

I'd go with ths one - and have furthermore always found it curious that magi with subtle magic (by RAW) need to do gestures when fast casting, even when it is the established habit of the character never to use gestures.

I think the idea behind forcing the use bold gestures and firm voice is to avoid the bonuses +1 for Loud Voice and +1 for Exaggerated gestures, reducing the Fast-casting penalty from 10 to 8. If a magus has a virtue & flaw (don't forget deft form!) combo or spell mastery combo (fast, +quiet x2 and still casting), I'd be inclined to allow it, too.
For everyone else without mastery of virtue combos, they get firm voice and bold gestures

Thanks for the reply everyone, It is really helpful!