New Player - Super confused

Casting spells:

  1. 1 formulaic spell per round as basic/routine correct?

  2. Fast Casting - What in the world?! basic Fast casting is cast in response to something... right?
    a) Example A - magus 1 is casting. Magus 2 tries to fast cast and succeeds. Magus 1 wants to react to that fast cast and fast cast as well! aaaaaaaaaaah! How does this work?

  3. What if I just want to fast cast? So what I'm saying is I want to fast cast but not in response to anything.. I just want to utter off 4 spells, even though I have the highest initiative? I mean.. what is the my Ease/difficulty rating? It's obviously not the next lowest guy's initiative.
    a) Magus 1 wants to cast like 4 spells in a round just because he's awesome like that. How?

  4. Do I make concentration rolls PER fast cast? So lets say I've taken damage this round already, but now I'm about to try to fast cast like 3 spells! So.. concentration roll per spell?

  5. Counterspelling - how where what?! Under Fast cast, there is a very poorly described "defence" mechanism where it states as long as your fast cast total is >= half of the spell level, you successfully deflect the spell. Why is this not expanded? Does it matter what form/technique I'm fast casting? As in.. I'm going to stop a CrIg "Ball of yodeadsonneh!" with some MuAn totally unrelated "these rats are now hairless!" spontaneous fast cast?

  6. Counterspelling part 2 - Under Perdo Vis - can someone explain this a bit better to me.
    a) So you can have a specific Form dispel as follows: If your casting total + 10 + stress die is equal to or greater than half the targetted spell, you successfully dispel it. Range: Voice.
    b) I can have a GENERAL (works vs all Forms) dispel as follows: If your casting total + stress die is equal to or greater than half the targetted spell, you successfully dispel it. Range: Voice.
    c) Neither of the above spells can actually be done as an on-the-fly-counterspell/defence unless you Fast Cast it as a spontaneous affect OR you've mastered it with the fast cast specialization, correct?

Help. Please.

Hi! Welcome to the game. My rules-fu is a bit rusty, but hopefully I won't throw you off.


I don't think I'd allow that. I'd just say you are not fast enough to react to the reaction, dude. If the player insists, I'd allow a very high EF initiative roll, perhaps adding another -6 to the roll (or +6 to the EF). But in principle, you can allow it, no problem. Why not?

Why not? You want to discharge the spell before he goes in the combat, so his EF is your init.

The fast-cast mastery option, p. 87, or the multiple-casting one.

If you choose the fast-cast option, note that once you fail the init roll, you can't cast any further spells that round - not just fast-cast spells, any spells. Or, you may interpret that to be a mistake and forbid only further fast-cast spells.

I think it's generally better to take the multiple-casting option, as it's more reliable and it isn't likely you could fast-cast many copies.

Yes. Although casting a spell need not require a concentration roll, depending on circumstances. I'd also add the extra botch dice from fast-casting to the concentration roll, and have the player's magic go wild on a botch rather than have him fail to cast the spell.

I'd allow any Form/Technique as long as the player can present a nice effect to do this. If he can't describe such an effect, I won't allow it.

I think so.

I would not normally allow magus 1 to react to Magus 2's reaction, as the whole point of the fast cast check is to determine if Magus 2 gets his spell off before Magus 1's takes effect. The only way Magus 1 could react to the reaction is if he dropped the spell he was casting and tried to fast cast a reaction, which I would rule requires the -12 for being the second fast cast. Essentially not going to happen...

Spells only take a couple seconds to cast (unless they are ceremonial or ritual), so there is little point in worrying about spells per round unless there is someone else taking action that's relevant to the caster's actions. If you want to get a series of spells off before someone acts, you are free to do so as long as your Fast Casting Speed total exceeds his initiative with the cumulative penalties. The spells must be either spontaneous or a mastered formulaic (with either fast cast or multi cast as the options). That and the ever increasing difficulty of the speed check are sufficient check on the power of this option. For a fast cast spell that isn't specifically a reaction, its up to the Storyguide to determine what the target difficulty is.

The counterspell must provide an actual defense against the other spell. So if its a pilum of fire coming in, I could see Perdo Ignem to destroy it or Rego Ignem to deflect it. Perhaps Creo Terram or Herbam to create an obstruction. Or Rego Herbam to yank a tree limb into the path. Or Vim effects, naturally. Whatever the magus wishes to try, he can try. Its up to you as the SG to determine if it is a suitable defense. Erring on the side of generousity is usually good. Because fast casting defenses spontaneously is likely to get you unconscious from fatigue quickly, it is usually a good idea to learn a decent general purpose defense and master it. At least if you are going to be in combat regularly.

There was quite a debate several months ago on counterspells so I think I can help a bit.

The normal fast cast defense would have you make a perception roll to determine the form. [size=150]IF[/size] you determine the form you can counter with a spont spell and only need 1/2 to deflect it. If you did not make the roll you can still defend but you will need to do it with PrVi. The fast cast defense with a spontaneous spell deflects the spell from you. If it is a spell that effects an area your companions are on their own. PrVi negates the spell.

Yes. PrVi is harder to do because you need to equal the casting score. A paranoid or pragmatic mage might get Unraveling the fabric of (form) for all the forms at 10-15 and have them as fast cast masteries. Because of how Parma works and penetration it is better be able to counter low level spells.

If you look at Unraveling the fabric of (form) and Winds of Mundane Silence ( both PrVi) you can see the difference. UtF is a counter spell. MoMS is not but both do about the same thing.

When you say "if you determine the FORM you can counter with a spont spell" - what is that spont spell?

So lets say I determine the incoming spell is Clenching Heart Stop thingy... what do I counter with? am I fast casting any spont Corpus spell to counter?

So basically:

Lets say I've mastered PerVi 25 and I have Fast-Casting as a mastery.

I'm about to be hit by some spell so I make my fast casting initiative roll ... and I succeed. Now I'm about to try to cast this spell - since it is a fast cast, which of the following is correct?

( ( (Per + Vi + Stamina + Aura) / 2 ) - 10) + stress die) = If my total is 25+ then I succeed in casting the spell AND I would dispel any spell of up to level 50?


Is PerVi not set at a level and I just compare whatever total I get vs the incoming spell? Basically, you don't need to know it at a specific level?


Sam W.

I think it varies depending on the form and your imagination. So with the PrCo Clenching Grasp spell perhaps you could cast a lvl 20 CrCo. Casting roll over 20 and it is deflected. You could use a spont PrVi counter but not a general, formulaic PrVi because the formulaic spell would not be set to the form. If you had Unraveling the Fabric of Corpus you would need to get 40 from your spell level + 10 + stress die ( no botch). So on average, a lvl 25 UtFoCorpus would counter the lvl 40 Clenching Grasp.

For the PrVi spell. After you successfully cast it then you roll a stress die ( no botch chance) + the level of your spell to try and get EQUAL to or better than the lvl of the spell you are countering. With the above PrCo spell you would need a 40+ to negate the spell. That is a fast case defense.

So with a PrVi30 spell you can negate a lvl 15 spell like Trap of the Entwining Vines(CrHe15).

This is wrong. A PeVi spell can negate almost anything at half (so PeVi 30 spont of wind of mundane silence) if you don't know the form. If you do know the form, you can spont a form specific version (such as Unraveling form of XXXXX) and your level 30 spell would counter level 40+ stress die (level of spell 30 + 10 + stress die)

This is why any mage with a Stamina + pe + vi (+/- aura) > 5 can counter any spell level 11 or lower whose form they recognized (spont total 5 / 5 means level 1 spell no fatigue, level 1 spell counters level 11+stress die).

Mastery and fast casting is part of what makes Hermetic magic theory so powerful. (the fast cast defense is another.)

I'm just talking fast cast counter spells.

WoMS does not work with effects of momentary duration. It can not be used to counter a spell.

That is why you spont the Unravaling the form to do it. And for that you need to know the form.

A general PrVi would follow the rules and require to match the level even if it is a fast cast mastered spell. That is why it is easier if you know the form ( only needing 1/2 the level to deflect) vs just a general PrVi which must negate, not deflect, so it must equal or exceed the spell level.

so I was looking over the rulebook again...

"Dispel effects of a specific type with a level less than the level + 4 magnitudes of the Vim spell + stress die (no botch)"
"Dispel any magical effect with a casting total less than half the level + 4 magnitudes of the Vim spell + stress die (no botch)"

So, lets edit the spells above and remove to magnitudes because we want it to have voice range (not just personal) - so this becomes:

"Dispel effects of a specific type with a level less than the level + 2 magnitudes of the Vim spell + stress die (no botch)" - This can effect any spell within Voice Range.
"Dispel any magical effect with a casting total less than half the level + 2 magnitudes of the Vim spell + stress die (no botch)" - this can affect any spell within Voice Range.

Now lets create two versions of this spell. A specific Counter and a General Counter.

a) Specific Corpus Counterspell - lets call it "Leave my body alone!". PeVi 20 - This spell will cancel the affects of any one Corpus Form Spell whose level is less than or equal to: 20 (spell level) + 10 (2 magnitudes) + stress die (no botch).
Conclusion: This will dispel any corpus spell of level equal to or less than 30+stress die

b) General Counterspell - "No!" - PeVi 20 - this spell will attempt to cancel the affects of any one spell whose level is less than or equal to: 1/2 of ( 20 (spell level) + 10 (2 magnitudes) + stress die (no botch) ).
Conclusion: This will dispel any spell of level equal to or less than 1/2 (30 + stress die). Yes that's right, HALF of the (30 +stress die). 15 + half a stress die works too I guess :slight_smile:

Now to use any of the above spells as an instant counterspell you actually have to fast cast them first - so that is either spontaneous cast or mastered fast-cast. From my understanding spontaneous fast cast would be increasingly difficult: ( Casting Score - 10 + stress die ) / 2 = should be a total of 20 or more for a PeVi 20.

A Mastered PeVi 20 however would require: Casting score - 10 + die roll to cast. So this would be significantly easier. correct?

Your other option is:

c) Fast Cast generic defence. Come up with some creative, semi-logical idea by which a combination of your available forms/techniques can help avoid the incoming spell.
This could be significantly easier as you'd only need to create a Technique/Form combo that is 1/2 of the offending spell.

SO, to RECAP! :slight_smile:

a) Option A - specific form counterspell: The counterspell level is guaranteed to neutralise a hostile spell equal to it's level + 10. Also, it can be a mastered formulaic spell for ease of casting in a stressful-fast-cast situation.

b) Option B - general counterspell. this counterspell is guranteed to neutralise a hostile spell equal to 1/2 it's level + 5. It is dynamic in that it can counter any incoming form but as the level increases, the level of the counterspell needs to increase in a more dramatic fashion. (example, to counter a level 50 spell, your counterspell will need to be.. Level 90! which means.. it'd be a ritual, so you couldn't really general counter it..)

c) Option C - fast cast defence. The downside to this option is that it is NEVER a mastered formulaic spell - it is always a spontaneous fast cast so it is always difficult to cast. The upside is that it is usually much easier to defend yourself with is - as you'd only need a Technique/Form 25 spell to counter the toughest non-ritual spell. The problem comes from the difficult in casting it...

So I leave you with my final question. Can you fast-cast a PeVi as a defence? Technically.. wouldn't that work as a fast cast defence against any spell.. since.. well.. it is PeVi?



This is the spell you want :smiley: (quickly ducking behind my shield)

PeViG Thwarting the Thaumaturgical Threat:
R: Voice, D: Mom, T: Ind
Similar to Winds of Mundane Silence, but scaled down to affect a single spell (even if it is of momentary durtion). This will counter or cancel a spell if your roll of a SD + (Level + 10) equals or exceeds twice the level of the opposing spell. Countering another spell as it is being cast requires a successful Fast Cast roll, and thus requires Mastery of the spell and choosing the Fast Cast ability. Canceling an existing spell uses normal Initiative, and no Mastery is required.
(Base 5, +2 Voice)

Things are hidden all over the place . Now that I'm home and can get to my books. Going to HoH:S pg 21 They have a very good description of how the counter spells would work. Bottom line is if you know the form you only need 1/2 the level to deflect it. If you do not know the form you must negate it with PrVi which is harder.

Also Ars Magic Errata

Note also that counter-spells may not, in general, protect you from indirect effects of spells. For this your protection is as per against a mundane attack. So you could not use your PeVi to defend against a rock being thrown at you or whatever.

Well, you could fast cast a defense against the rock, but you couldn't do anything about the spell to hurl the rock.

I don't understand why not?

If you counter the spell: it never hits the target whether target is you, a rock to toss at you. or the dirt beneath your feet.

I think it does not matter for an instantaneous spell that throws a rock or creates a rock. Even if it creates a rock over your head your "defense" could be a fast cast ReTe and move it somewhere else or a PrTe that turns it to gravel or a MuTe that turns it to dust.

Well, you can probably prevent the other magus from casting the spell at all. But if you are trying to defend against a spell's effect, then its generally too late to use PeVi. What is being said is that if a magus uses a spell to cause a landslide, you can use ReTe to defend against it but once the landslide is in effect its too late to PeVi it. Its really just distinguishing between fast cast defenses in general and counterspelling.

If you are talking just PrVi then your only option is to negate the spell. Deflecting the spell is described more on the lines of countering the spells effects.

You can use Vim in other ways, such a Muto to invert the effects of the spell. Mirror of Opposition (Form).

Which is what I thought the guy was saying in the first place. You can't use Vim counterspells on the effects of the spell, just on the spell itself...

Isn't it about more than just "knowing" the form of the spell, to be countered? The counter spell needs to be made for that particular form, right? Mostly just an issue for Formulaic Spells, whether or not you know the right one for the offending spell. Since Spontaneous spells can just cast the relevant one on the fly.
I mean the roll to deduce this isn't very difficult. And It might be abusive if a single Pe (or Re or even Mu) Vi spell, mastered for Fast Casting, can be used universally for fast.cast defence. So I'm thinking you'd need (up to) 10 versions of the PeVi (or Re) spell for defence, one for each Form. If you wanted a magus specialized in counter spells. Normally you could make do with just a few choice forms.
The guidelines as I see them, need ½ level of offending spell, if your counter spell is tailor made (and you know the Form). Or full level, if it's more general. I mean a big enough ReVi spell should actively deflect most other magic, right?

Say you wanted a magus with the concept of a Flambeau very good at Dimicatio. So to avoid the opponent's magic, you could be good at Pe/Re Vi, choose some Forms to be the most likely used, invent/learn and master them for Fast Casting, and go have fun! Using Rego Vim spells lile "Deflect the Offening [Form] Spell, or Perdo Vim spells lile "Destroy the offending [form] Spell". Start out with the usual suspects, like Ignem, Auram (for Incantation of Lightning), Aquam, Terram, Herbam - because as soon as the rivals learn your strategy, they'll start using Corpus and Mentem. Imaginem is rarely resisted, so that might be passed over, since I don't see how it would work in Dimicatio.

Since Dimicatio is about using Forceless Casting, the point is to use as large spells as possible, since these are harder to deflect or counter by the opponent, a magus of this concept would do quite well outside duelling circles as well. If fighting for real, the enemy would try and use samller spells, for better penetration, meaning the counter spells would be less hard to pull off, and the big spells might not Penetrate. Such a magus could be a good Hoplite, perhaps coincidentally something very popular in Flambeau circles...