Flambeau Tournament, Dimicatio, & Fast-Cast defense

Ok, about Flambeau Tournament, Dimicatio, & Fast-Cast defense:

To win DImicatio you need to be the first to hit with a forcelessly cast spell. The refs use InVi to determine, so the spell need not be visible in any way?

To avoid getting hit by the enemy you need a fast-cast spell for defense, of apporpriate TeFo combo of at least half level of offensive spell. Does this require any specific parameters? D:Mom should be enough, but what Range? And T:Ind should be enough, but what if the attacking spell is T:Group? Or is it for simplicity just dependent on the totel level? After all if the attacking spell is T:Group it is already +2 mags, so the defense needs +1 mag compared to Individual.
Or you could use more general Vim spells, but need to match the level of the attacking spell.

What constitutes suitable TeFo combo?
For missile type spells this is easily seen, as Rego or Perdo for the relevant Form will work. Muto even. Or Creo combined with some Form sturdy enough to withstand the attack.
Also momentary invisibility or short teleport will remove a viable target for the attacker, right?

Less obvious are the indirect but physical spells. According to HoH:Soc Trap of the Entwining Vines, Weavers Trap of Webs and the like aren't resisted, since they don't immobilize caster merely prevent him from moving away. Although this does not sound like that in the spell descriptions!
But are these ones able to win Dimicatio?
And what will be suitable defenses against these again Pe, Re or even Mu Form? Can they be blocked by Creo Form?

What about other spells that alter the environment? A Pit of the Gaping Earth, that isn' cast at the magus so can this win Dimicatio? Seal the Earth, if the pile of dirt is targeted on the opponent?

How about Sling of Vilano, I et that spell won't work in Dimicatio? Since the concept is to not hurt the enemy. Same goes for other indirect, unresisted spells.

The less visible spells - both direct damage with PeCo but also Mentem, Imaginem and Vim effects seem less logical to determone how to defend against.
Is there any way for this except the harder Vim spells?

As for determining TeFo of attacker's spell, is this in any way dependent on Voice and Gestures used? Or is it simply a matter of recognizing the magicla energies forming? Otherwise people with Quiet-, Subtle Magic, or Deft Form or relevant Masteries will have a huge upper hand. And since Penetration does not matter in Dimicatio magi could even cast subtle and silent if they can only just pull the spell off.

Oh, and another question:

If only the level of the attack spell matters, no fancy Mastery effects play any part whatsoever. A Multicast BoAF is still only a lvl 35 spell to defend against.
But what about a Fast Cast attack spell? Can you do that in Dimicatio? Just to make it harder to defend against. And how will this work, what number do you have to beat with your Finesse+Quik roll? Penetration never matters, so who cares if you cast at -10.


Never used the rules, so not really. We use a much more simple approach to this, that works better in our opinion.

We decided that the tournament is like a "magical paintball":

  • No unresisted spells can be used
  • All spells that are not personal or touch range and directed at your allies must be casted with forceless casting.
  • Spells that require aiming are considered more classy and so count as 3 hits for each hit scored.
  • No teleport longer than 50 paces.
  • Mundane weapons must be dulled with spells to prevent real damage to magicians (read: pink dots). Same goes for Familiar natural weapons and other critters used. It is advised that your grogs are covered by Parma to prevent collateral damage.
  • No 100% invisibility.
  • 10 are out after 10 hits.
  • usual rules for a mundane tournament.
  • the organization will pay for collateral damage to the medium. It is advised not to play the game in built up areas.

Shot away!

Yeah, it does not answer your question, but just to show a simpler system that does not require extra calculations


Er... unless I'm much mstaken, you'd have to defend agans them seperately.

Also, I suspect you're taking the 'fast-cast defence' rules more literaly than was intended.
They look like they're intended to provoke creativity, more than anything else

How so?
I really want this to work. I just have trouble seeing how to defend against some of the less tangible effects.

Also, in normal, full contact situations when battling real enemies, you have an incentive to use low level spells, for the sake of Penetration.
In Dimicatio there seesm to be no reason not to use the highest spell. If the enemy has not invented an suitable defense spell and mastered it for fast-casting, only really nasty specialists are able to spontaneously cast that suitable level 18 spell to defend against BoAF. Sure, a serious Ignem magus with a relevant Focus can.

I'd rather see a version of Dimicatio where the Penetration of the attacking spell is the target to match or beat with the defense. And to solve the potential problems with spells being able to affect, damage or even kill contestants, I'd devise a 'Dimicatio Mastery'. Serious duellists will master one or more of their spells in this way, to cast as 'shadow versions' in the tournament. In the same way they might master some defensive spells for Dimication as well as Fast-Cast to use for full effect, rather than need to spont them?

Could this be an idea? Could it even work?
If nothiong else it may further the desire to Master spells - a thing I very much like.

How serious in time and xp do you intend to make this sort of tournament?

If you make an extra mastery, you have to decide how many/what percentage of participants have it. If this is a high number, then you are saying to players 'put xp in this, it's important' or you are saying 'you haven't a chance of winning/doing well, so don't bother entering'. If only a few participants have this mastery, then you leave the choice up to the players about whether they want to win or just enjoy taking part.

As a player, I wouldn't want to put any xp into it, because real combat would be a better use for my xp. It would be up to you as a SG to make it worth my while to bother.

Compare this to a real-world martial artist. If he goes to exhibitions and competitions he is focusinf somewhat on doing things 'the right way' showing off one might say, and fight by being burdened by rules and pulling punches. If this guy gets jumped on the street he may suddenly wish he had maximized his killing power instead.
I think this is a typical way to think for a roleplayer. Efficiency.
In other words the question is: "Why spent any exp in any way but the most efficient way?"

Many magi from the Order wish to become masters of their art, showcase their magic and so on. They may not want to go out and kill monsters and enemies of the order, since that could spell their doom one day. They may be in it for the sport. Or for the prizes.
Competing in a huge tournament means many people see your victories. Going out to kill an enemy may not have the same amount of witnesses. Even if he brings home trophies and the bad guy is not heard from again, who is to say he isn't just telling tall tales?

The method I describes is actually the way I wish Certamen worked. This way it would be more usable IMHO. And magi with expert skills in specific spells can use them for both sport and combat. The hard-boiled and feared Hoplite is not takejn on easily since you know he can use his killing skills to assert dominance as well.
Sure, if you hadn't 'wasted' one level of Mastery on Dimicatio you could have taken Penetration or Multicasting. But it is a way of being able to use your combat tool for sports as well.

Write it up all wordy-like, preferbly with a few detailed examples.
I think I know where I can find a few people to playtest it. :slight_smile:

Oh you do, do you now? :wink:

I'm still working on how to rule "which effect will be a suitable defense to which type of attack" as per my many questions in the original posting.
I'm edging towards not taking it too literally that ½ level of attackign spell is needed for defense, only as a guideline.

Against a BoAF for instance a 'light' version of Wall of Protecting Stone R:Touch, D:Mom and only with +1 mag for size (10 cubic paces)may be more than enough, that's level 10 only. A 1 pace thick wall 3 paces by 3 in face area should work just fine.

Edit: But I need to figure out how the less visible and tangible effects will work. Like direct damage/effect Corpus and most Imaginem, Mentem and Vim. To avoid discrimination these should be perfectly viable as well.

And I need to decide how (and if) it works as a defense to wink invisibly for an instant, teleport 5 paces to the side etc. confounds the (automatic) targeting of spells. Will they fizzle/miss is the intende dtarget in some way manages to move or be imperceptible for just rhe right second? And is it possible to have an InIm spell running to counteract such invisibility defenses.
I tend to think such minor things will not fool a spell, they hit if there is a viable target at the time the attacker starts to cast. That'll be the end of such things. But it also means some Forms are less viable as defense, it this kind of duel is done by way of regular spells.

This is exactly what I meant by 'making it worth my while'. If my character gained prestige, etc, then it can be worth it. If it's just an entertainment during a meeting that lasts a couple of game sessions and the rest of the time the game revolves around killing monsters, then it isn't worth while.

As an aside, my characters do often spend xp on 'flavour activities' to flesh them out, not just on 'efficient roleplaying' - but that's my choice. If you played 4th edition or older, how much xp did you spend on certamen ability? A score of 1 was common, but how many PCs became experts? The answer to that depended on the saga style - did certamen come up often enough to make it worth while?
A comparison with real life isn't particularly appropriate since it is much easier to aquire basic skills nowadays than in Ars. Anyway, I've made my point.

In my Bibracte saga here on the Atlas Forum, we ran a Dimicatio.

I had someone BSG, and then designed a character to play, hes essentially designed for the Dimicatio, and other things. He's the kind of Tyatlus that wants to outdo some of the best from every House. He was geared to outdo the Flambeau at their own event. Multicasting is just that, multicasting, multiple spells, and as far as I'm concerned actually vioaltes the rules of the Dimicatio, which governs one spell only. Furthermore, mastery abilities such as obfuscated casting, fast casting and quick casting are all very important, in addition to virtues such as quick casting and a high Quickness characteristic. See Marcus' character sheet. I asked Peregrine_Bjornaer to run the event and basically come up with competitors. I don't think he pulled any punches, but I'll leave it to him to comment about that. I didn't expect him to win, but I did expect him to go pretty deep into the competition.

If he competes next tournament, he has some different ideas.

As to the Flambeau tourney, one of the things I found interesting is that the Dimicatio, IIRC, is supposed to be open to those who did well in the Certamen tourney, which in my opinion has completely different play. Characters who are designed to do well at Certamen may not do well at Dimicatio at all, and vice versa.

I picture it (probably at least in part wrongly) as the kind of auto-targeting of some manga energy blasts. That is, it mostly follows your sight (or, more rarely, your earing). You detect your target "there!", and there it goes.

Most damage spells, otoh, are of the type "create x at y place". So if your target evades by a fast-cast teleport, IMO, he's no longer there, DBZ-style, atlghough the spell still goes of in a impressive, yet futile, display of magic. Invisibility as a fast-cast defense, OTOH, wouldn't work, for the same reason: The spell is already cast and aimed "there".