Spontaneous Fast-Cast Defense Form?

WARNING! Noob alert!

I was under the impression until now that in order to deflect a spell with Spontaneous Fast-Casting, you needed to match the Technique and Form in question. However, re-reading the section on that capability, it looks like you just need to be able to identify the Form, not that you have to use the same TeFo combination. Doesn't that mean you can use something other than the TeFo combination in question to cancel out an opposing mage's spell? This makes sense if you use, say, Rego or Perdo Ignem to repel a Creo Ignem effect or something, but I feel like there should be text limiting you to that Form at the very least. Based on the text, it looks like you could theoretically use Intellego Terram to defend against The Incantation of Lightning. That... Doesn't really make any sense. And I can't even find Errata rectifying the issue. What's the official stance on this? Did I misread the rules as I went over them the last few times?

You can use any combination of form and technique that makes sense in a given situation.

Someone magically attacking with fire?

  • ReIg to make him miss.
  • PeIg to destroy the fire.
  • CrAq to extinguish the fire.
  • CrTe to pull up a pile of dirt to be hit in your stead.
  • ReCo to make the impossible dodge.
  • Or maybe some insanely difficult to pull off PeVi to dispell his spell. In don't see how to do it with InTe, but maybe someone else does...

Someone attacking with lightning? Same but different:

  • ReAu to make him miss
  • PeAu to make the attack less powerful
  • CrTe to create a fence of copper-rods between you...
  • MuVi to let the spell have the opposite effect, whatever that may be...

There is an incredible amount of things to do as a fast-cast defense. Some are easier to pull off than others. With a little inspiration you can find a way to use your specialty somehow most of the time.

tl;dr: you dont need to match form and/or technique, you just need to come up with a suitable effect. If you try to counter lightning by using CrAq to create a mighty torrent of saltwater, you will very likely fail. If you MuAu it into fog, thats another matter.

[strike]Noble's parma[/strike], but anything fastcast at half the magnitude is enough to stop a spell. You could fast-grow a bush to stop a PoF or use any other TeFo to create an effect that could interfere.

I guess you are already reading ArM5 p83, but you are wondering how to interpret it.

Oh. Hm, that's actually pretty interesting. And yeah, I was just having trouble interpreting what I read. Okay. Thanks, everyone!

The rules certainly aren't exhaustive. But let's put the question to you. How do you think an Intellego Terram spell can defend against a lightning strike? Some TeFo combinations will be less effective at defending than others. I wouldn't allow an Intellego Terram spell to negate The Incantation of Lightning in my sagas, you'd have to use something that created a shield of sorts against the lightning, like Wall of Living wood, or a spell which conjured a piece of stone/metal to ground the lightning, so to speak. Think thematic, diametrically opposed forces and the like. And answer the question as to whether Wizard's Leap is a reasonable defense against magic, since spells traveling to targets are largely described as cosmetic effects...

Pilum of Fire and Ball of Abysmal Flame can be countered with Mighty Torrent of Water, and vice versa. Of course, you now have a huge billowing cloud of steam, possibly scalding steam. Rego Ignem spells might deflect it the PoF or BoAF, but you might have some unintended consequences related to deflecting the spell.

Contrary to what fury said, you cannot use MuVi on the spell easily. Either the spell is considered fully cast (and can't be affected by MuVi spells), or you have to penetrate the casting total of the other spell in order to change it, see the Muto Vim insert for more details.

So how would you use Intellego for this? I guess it'd be used against, like, CrIm or something, where halfway success is you seeing through the effect and full success is you giving everyone in the vicinity the ability to differentiate the image from reality? That's a bit weird too though... But oh well. Thanks for clearing this up, everyone.

Hm. Originally I thought it was an effect vs. effect thing - but In reading through those rules, it TECHNICALLY looks like it's simply a power/skill issue: as long as you have a TeFo of at least half the spell, you can counter it...regardless of what that TeFo is.

So it doesn't actually seem to be about the way the TeFo comes together to make an effect - rather, it's about the power of the effect itself. The fact that Intelligo Aquam magic doesn't have anything to do with (say) Creo Mentem doesn't seem to matter. It's about power vs. power. The resolution of that is ultimately just special effects.

The only thing I see as countering that is the phrase "Generally," - right at the top of the paragraph. "Generally" implies that there might be exceptions. And the implied exceptions may be "if the TeFo can't produce an effect that could counter the target spell, in accordance with the restrictions of the TeFo."

However...the point of the countermagic rules seems to be that it gets away from specific effects. if a specific effect was mandatory, ("The spell level must include an effect that could physically counter the target spell") then it would say so. But it doesn't say that. Instead, it's simply states "half power".

For example, a level 3 PeTe effect (Weaken Dirt, +1 Touch) can't do anything against a lvl 5 "create boulder" effect (base 3, +2 Voice)...and yet according to the countermagic rules, it should be able to counter it. Now, a lvl 5 (Base Effect 4, +1 Touch) could partially counter a lvl 10 "Create large boulder" (base effect 3, +2 group, +2 voice) effect, by hollowing out a small cave inside the larger boulder. But according to the countermagic rules, it can protect the maga or one other person - not one other person within touch range. So there's some iffy things going on with Range, as countermagic seems to have abstracted the Range out.

As such, in the absence of any explicit statements, I would argue that it's just power vs. power. Thought - if this is the case, then countermagic is probably closer to MuVi "mess with the effect of the spell" - the maga is weaving their own magic into the target spell as it forms, and thereby causing it to fizzle out somehow.

(Also - if we suggest that Intelligo magic can't actually do countermagic, then it's penalizing Intelligo characters. And while I know this isn't a game of subtle game balance, that seems to be a penalty for no real good reason.)

Of course, the rules as I interpret them give yet another reason to play specialists - as your highest TeFo now is your countermagic level, regardless of target.

EDIT - has there been any errata on this issue?

Kevin, by that logic the form of the magic being countered wouldn't matter and rules for determining the effect would be completely unnecessary.

Yep. That's my point. The rules don't actually say that you need to counter the effect, or even be able to identify the effect - just that you must be able to perceive the Form (pg 83, center + right column), and that the level of your spell must be half the level of the target spell. There is no discussion of creating or identifying an effect. (EDIT - a Creo Terram effect, for example, would be much different to counter than a Perdo Terram effect - but to counter it, you don't need to identify what the spell actually does.) Which implies that it's not about effect - it's about power.

Now, you could easily argue that "you must know the form" implies that you must also use the form. But it seems that everyone agrees that you could, say, use a Creo Aquam effect to counter a Creo Ignem - even though there is no discussion of effects vs. effects on that page.

AS such, "effects-based countering" seems to be a house rule, or maybe something pulled in from previous editions. But whatever it is, it's not stated in the RAW, here.

EDIT - which, as I re-read the original post more closely, is pretty much what the OP is asking about.

As a guess, the requirement that you must be able to identify the Form is an attempt to match up the Countermagic rules with the Perdo Vim Antimagic rules, which require that you be able to identify the Type (Hermetic vs. Infernal, for example) and the Form as well (Terram vs. Cursing).

Of course, you can do anything you like. I think it's a bit illogical to presume that Intellego Terram can be used as a fast cast defense against say any offensive spell. Your additional point about Perdo Vim antimagic rules actually makes Perdo Vim weaker than anything else at fast cast magic, since it, and only it, must respond to the form of the effect in some logical and consistent manner based on the Form of the underlying effect.

I will stipulate that it is not explicitly stated that the form of the spell must be specifically countered, but logic suggests that the form must be countered, otherwise there is no reason to bother with determining the Form of the Effect. How does a high level Intellego Terram spell stop an incoming PoF? It doesn't. You might say that it provides you with situational awareness of the terrain and a place to hide, but by the time that information can be acted upon, IMO, the die has been cast and you get roasted with the PoF.

I too think that InTe would not be a good choice of a fast-cast defense against a CrIg spell. The mean of defense should be approriate to the attack.

On the other, the Intellego specialist might be able to use an InIg spell to avoid the incoming CrIg attack, essentially supernaturally dodging the attack even if this is the kind of spell that cannot be dodge mundanely.

I'm struggling with InIg being able to defend against a Cr/ReIg attack, just a bit. On one level, I like it, in that it gives the Intellego specialist something he can do. Such a spell would provide information to "dodge" the attack, somehow, does he therefore automatically dodge the attack because of the information received? Can he communicate that information to others so that they can act in time? If he dodges the attack does his shield grog get hit with it, instead, say if the level of the fast cast effect is 1/2 the level of the offensive spell?

Problem with that is if the magus is not the target of the spell. I cast a CrIg against a house and your magus standing by my side casts an InIg spell and counters it? Sounds wrong to me.

If the player can provide a reasonable explanation of how the fast-cast InIg spell can help defend against the attack, I would allow it. If the magus orders his grog to duck NOW, at exactly the right time (info provided by the fast-cast defense) it might work. Makes for a good story.

My point is not to sweat it. If the explanation of the defense is reasonable, go for it.

There are very specific situations where an InTe fast-cast defense might work against a CrIg attack. Say, having the intuition to grab an iron shield and position it at just the right angle and at the right time to deflect a Pilum of Fire. Something that a shield would not ordinarily be able to do, but that due to the right alignment of the stars it works that once.

It encourages creativity. But the players should be informed that the more far-fetched the explanation, the less likely it is to work. The iron shield might work against a CrIg attack that ends up being a Pilum of Fire, but will fail utterly if that CrIg attack is a Heat of the Searing Forge.

It might let him throw a mundane bucket of water (which was conveniently there ready for use, let's say) at exactly the right spot to put out the fire before it spreads. Remember that even a D:Mom spell lasts for a few seconds. So the house is not ablaze instantly.

But yes, there are situations where it will not work if the TeFo is wildly inapproriate. Or it may be appropriate but only if the target is the caster of the fast-cast defense.

Let the player come up with a reason, then assess it and decide if it can work.

And here you highlight the biggest problem with Intellego spells as a means of countering offensive magics. That they provide information to act, and thus require some additional action. So the fast cast Intellego spell allows one to throw a bucket of water onto the structure to prevent it from igniting, but you're basically giving 2 actions to the Intellego caster, whereas everyone else only gets 1 action.

The Intellego caster against a PoF cast against him determines he needs to step 1 step to the right and put his back to the PoF, to avoid damage. So not only does he cast the spell, but he gets a free dodge, because that's what the spell told him to do? And you have adjudicate the possible actions at generally a busy time, such as combat, doesn't really make it flow well, as far as I can tell.

A valid point. But I would still tend to give a little leeway to the Intellego specialist, though, so that they don't end up handicapped too badly compared to the more physical techniques. After all, IMHO Intellego is the technique of obtaining knowledge, so a little bit of precognition (very short term) isn't too outlandish.

But that would be for the most part limited to the caster protecting themselves, because of the time delay of physical actions. As I wrote, let the player do the work and come up for a reason. Just be clear to him that the more involved physically the response is, the less likely it is to work. And they have only a few seconds to come up with said action. If they need to think about it for a more than 5 seconds, then their magus doesn't have time to do anything and their action is lost.

In short, wing it and make it a good story. 8)

So a combat specialzed magi is nerfed in front of the cluedo nvestigative magus in a combat situation because the intellego dude can counter what the combat magus does? Sounds like a really bad trade off to me... you are nerfing combat magi against other hermetics here.

If a flambeau goes against an intellego jerbiton i would expect the intellego jerbiton to be toasted, instead of using his knightly sword to actually win the combat agwinst the magus specialzed in burning/destroying stuff.

Creative use of tefo combos to counter spells are cool, but try not to stretch it or it becomes a serious problem.

No, I don't think that would go as far as "nerfing" the combat magus if he goes against the Intellego magus.

First, the fast-cast defense needs to be believable. The player needs to come up with an explanation of the defense using Intellego. Not an easy task, particularly since this needs to be done on the fly. Even then, it may not work.

Second, the combat magus probably has higher Finesse and Quickness, with mastered spells as well. I doubt the Intellego magus will have that.

Third, a fast-cast defense is a spontaneous spell in most cases. That means Fatigue. Whereas most combat spells will be formulaic spells, without Fatigue. There are no Intellego formulaic spell that is flexible enough to provide a fast-cast defense over a broad range of magical attacks. So at best the Intellego magus might be able to prolong combat by a round or two.

Overall, an Intellego defense might work once in a while, if the magus is lucky. Against a competent combat magus in a straight up confrontation, the Intellego magus will get fried.