How many botch dice for spells?


  1. How many botch dice is it for botching when casting spells?
  2. Is this covered somewhere in the 5th edition rulebook?


1 or more dice depending on how stressful the situation is (botch dice table)
+/- dice depending on Virtues (Weird Magic, Cautious Sorcerer, etc -- Virtues/Flaws section)

  • dice equal to familiar's Gold cord score (Familiar section)
  • aura dice according to which Realm the spell is being cast in (Realm interaction table). Most magi have no additional botch dice for casting in a Magic aura.

Oh, that easy? I thought it was more complex. Thanks!

That is an excellent summation. Well done!

I would add that;

*formulaic spells cast in non stressful situations do necessarily have any botch dice, (I've no books here for me to look for the relevant passage),

  • each level of spell mastery removes a botch die,

*spells cast with vis, such as rituals and vis boosted spells add a botch die per pawn of vis used (perhaps more depending on the type of vis), and

*non-fatiguing spontaneous magic doesn't involve a die roll at all so naturally can't be botched.

For the base number of dice, we have always used "1 botch dice per 10 levels or fraction". So casting big stuff is more dangerous than casting small spells, specially in foreign auras.

To be clear to the original poster this is a house rule.

Quick survey: do people generally add botch dice for using Loud Voice and/or Exaggerated Gestures? Or for that matter, no Voice and no Gestures (assume no relevant Virtues)?

I've never been in the habit to, myself. Although enforcing the drawbacks to loud voices and extravagant hand-waving isn't a bad idea in itself, mind.

Never done that myself. There are enough drawbacks to no Voice/Gestures that extra botch dice just seem unnecessary -- and Loud voice/Exaggerated Gestures have drawbacks all of their own.

Not as such.

But we do add botch die for "high stress" situations. And in my experience, in play, it turns out that quite often the circumstances in which a magus has choosen to use Loud Voice/Exaggerated Gestures/no Voice/no Gestures are stressful circumstances. So, quite often there will be extra botch die anyway, because it is a "high stress" moment.

Yes, I do. :smiley:


Never done that, but I would actually REDUCE botch dice for exaggerated gestures and voice, since I see them as you getting MORE control over your magic using them, not less control. it is like magic likes a good show, hence the bonuses to your casting total when using exaggerated voice and gestures.


Xavi Said

This exactly. I always see apprentices being taught magic like this and as they become smoother and more proficient they learn to trim down their casting style. But big gestures and loud bellowing is is the easier, safer way to do things.

Formulaeic spells in non-stressful situations don't involve a stress die, AFAIK.

We don't do that.
But we always start the tally at 3 Botch dice, and then we start adding. Of course Gold Cord and Mastery reduces this