Quiet Magic and Range: Voice

I suppose for a spell with Range: Voice to have an effect a Magus has to speak.

On the other hand having the Virtue: Quiet Magic there is no need to speak any incantation.

If I now speak any word or sentence (not an incantation) do I need to test for concentration? I imagine conversation while casting requires actually a lot of concentration.


Yes. In the concentration box is the ease factor.

Actually, no. It suffices to make some sort of vocal sound, grunting, screeching, growling, or whatever. This is clear from the description of the Mute flaw in the core book. It was up on discussion in this forum about two months ago.

By RAW it is impossible to speak while casting (ArM5p82). Quiet magic or not, casting without incantation is possible, even if at a penalty, so if it is impossible without a virtue, there is no reason to say that it is possible with it.

If you decide to bend the rule, the concentration ease factor for conversation while maintaining a spell is 15, so it should be 18 while casting.

According to the description of R: Voice on page 112 of the core book,

Sure. But if you growl, you neither speak nor keep silent. Hence, if you growl you take the full penalty of not speaking (possibly offset by Quiet Magic or similar), but may affect anybody within hearing with a range voice spell.

There are two very important cases were this applies,

  1. The mute flaw, which explicitly disambiguates in the description.
  2. Bjornaer heartbeast, which would otherwise be grossly and unfavourably unbalanced by the change from ArM4 to ArM5 replacing near range by voice range in so many spells. To keep the houses balanced in ArM5, you have to extend the disambiguation of the mute flaw to shapechanged characters.

With familiars being so much more helpful in the lab in fifth edition versus previous editions, Bjornaer magi don't need any more issues

That's probably right. Having never played Bjornaer magi in 5th ed (or even at all) I have no personal experiences with the limitations of an animal form. But I assume this applies to all sources of shapechange. If I had played a Bjornar magus I would likely have had Unbound Tongue.

It seems fair to allow similar sounds as for a Mute to carry a R:Voice spell for the growls/grunts/chirps/etc for an animal. Although I'd likely differentiate between the effective range of loud and quiet animals, and not let them all growl a spell all the way to 50 paces.

Ouh. Dangerous. Consider the wolf's howl which carries miles away ...

Sounds reasonable though. Reasonable and unbalanced.

Well, to affect a target, besides having it inside the range of the spell, you still have to be able to perceive it, and targets miles away can be quite hard to perceive.

Taking that into consideration and the fact that that wolf magus would be probably giving his location when howling, I find it still slightly less powerful than the only one magnitude higher R: Sight spell equivalent, so I don't see it really unbalanced.

Bjornaer magi can initiate Sensory Magic for that sort of stuff anyway. T:Sound has an "area of affect" based on standard Voice ranges. Additional magnitudes should increase that in the standard fashion, no?

Bjornaer can learn sensory magic, yes, but that's very different from voice and sight range. Sound and sight targets hit everybody who can hear/see the caster, and deaf/blind creatures are not affected. Voice and sight range means that the caster selects a target within that range, and whether the target can actually hear/see is irrelevant.

Sensory magic is very powerful when put to the right abuse, but it does not replace voice/sight range in any way whatsoever.

Voice range has the range that the Voice, or substituted Voice (example: performance magic music), would travel. Even Perdo Imaginem, which destroys sound, will not affect voice range unless they affect the caster of the spell. So if the Caster is affected by a PeIm spell that silences him, his Voice range is Self. If instead the Target of the Voice range spell is in a sound proof area created by PeIm spell, the Caster's Voice range is unaffected.

Also, remember that spells with range greater than personal still need to overcome the magic resistance of the target, even if that target is the caster. A caster can allow the spell through Parma, however the inherent resistance by form still needs overcome (usually not an issue). I mention it because Silent casting without the virtue can sometimes lead to a low enough casting roll that form bonuses resist.