FX vs Subtleness

What is your preferred way of portraying the magic in-game? A flashy show of light and sounds, Hollywood's style? Subtle and mysterious? Something in between?

Oh. I almost forgot. Why?

Generally speaking, I tend to leave magic subtle and invisible unless the effects themselves as showy (Ball of Abyssal Flame is not subtle). I do occasionally indugle in bright flashes of light and loud bangs, generally when dealing with something dramatic like banishing an evil spirit.

Why? I like the idea of magic as subtle and mysterious. It fits with my image of Mythic Europe, where the magic is real world folklore made real.

Similar. With the exception of the few overtly magical effects (PoF, Lift the Dangling Puppet, etc), there is no "hollywood glitter" involved, no sparklies or little bells ringing, nothing to suggest that magic is being used.

Why? Because that's how the rules read, that's the canon AM world. A mundane has no reason to suspect that a spell is being cast unless they see the mage cast it, or it hits them and fails, or they otherwise observe something physically supernatural (inc. via their own supernatural abilities).

And the Sigil? Sometimes a Sigil can produce the FX thing and others not, but it "taints" the magic with individual taste or something.

Yes sometimes the sigil should be the FX element. It depends on the sigil

I also tend to subtleness. But don't forgett the gestures and words you need to cast. Especially if you use endorse them to get some bonus. In Mystic Europe this is some kind of funky effect for superstisious people.


I find it tends to depend on the combo of Player/Character. I play two magus. One is all about the subtle and unfortunate (An Apromar Flambeau) and the other is a rather excitable Muto metamagician specialist with a love of fire. One sigil is the smell of rotting flesh, the other is silver Hieroglyphics (Sp?). The ability to make a small forces arms and armour simply rust away to nothing is not too subtle, nor is a gout of flame. However countless wounds opening up on a target or animal teeth or hides rotting is. Whilst Metamagic is very subtle, but a Wizards Reach (Ignem) which causes the fire to take the form of a horus falcon is not.

I think the Magus' individual style determines a lot.