Still possible to cast spells from text?

In the forth edition, it was possible to cast spells without having to know them, by using an instruction or text of the spell. I have looked in the 5th edition but I have not found anything mentioning this. So I was wondering if anyone here knows if it is still possible, and where one can find any info about it. Thank in advance =)

The closest equivalent in 5th Edition is Casting Tablets - see Covenants pg 89. In summary, they're a specific thing created by people who've mastered a spell in a similar way to lab texts, and the spell is cast exactly as described on the tablet with very little flexibility.


Thanks, I will look into that. =)

This is something I miss. I liked that option, or at least, the idea of it (the mage reading from a scroll. Yeah, I know I can still do that in other ways with virtues and flaws). And I know, original research and stuff :roll_eyes:.

The augustan brotherhood ( a Rival Magic) can kinda do this IIRC (it's been years and a stroke, so I may be confused. Memory is foggy and a quick skim couldn't find anything), so that could yield insight.

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That idea is still there, but the text has to be tailor-made for the purpose, as opposed to the dual-purpose lab texts of 4ed. It is called a casting tablet, but I do not think we need to take it literally. The format may well be a scroll. Obviously you can make enchanted devices (charged or otherwise) that take the format of a scroll too, just have the trigger action be the reading of the text.


Not me. It made things too easy.


Past discussion on this topic: Casting tablet

The key point: it is only mentioned in Covenants, p90. Not a single word or hint in the core rule. No wonder it is a recurring topic.

One important aspect to generate a tablet: the spell needs to be mastered by the mage writing the tablet, so it takes some effort to generate a table since it is one season to get the first mastery level, plus another one to generate the tablet.

Maybe you're recalling Learned Magicians, instead? They can cast charms directly by reading from texts, which they have assembled in large collections ("formularies").


yes, that's it, I remember it now, thanks! And, for completeness sake, they are described in Hedge Magic Revised

I agree
Back in 4th ed, we did this a lot. Combined with the +5 casting bonus for spending vis, and the fact that Pen= Casting total without subtracting Level, some things were made to easy.
We had the "anti-demon sack" with a text of DEO plus enough vim vis to be sure anyobe was able to cast it. It kind of took that speciality away from some magi.
Also, we had a bunch of copies of Wings of Soaring Wind, and it was too easy for magi to grab a copy and fly somewhere quick. It circumvented some story challenges, and the risk of destroying the text were non-existing. A bothc or poor control roll of the wind was no issue, because we had 16 other copies of the spell.
it seemed like a good iea off the bat, it was somehting them magi-characters enjoyed, because it was easy - but eventually it annoyed at least some players.


In one of my 4th Edition rounds the group even decided, that to make a copy of a scroll takes only hours ... so soon everyone had a big grimoire with lot of scrolls to cast from, nobody learned any spell, just bought them ... that was REALY annoying.
Now we play with the rule: a casting tablet is a 'magical' device, only someone who have mastered the spell can write it, he need the same time as for all lab text. And only someome who have mastered the spell, can make a 'copy' (or create his own casting tablet). This makes a casting tablet a valued treasure.


To be honest, I don't even like the casting tablets, personally.
But at least it's better than casting from text, I feel.

I think the casting tablets would have been fine with the proposed narrative, that casting from a tablet is extremely high risk. If they had backed that up with an insane number of botch dice, I would have loved it, but alas, the narrative is simply not true.

Same I do not like them either. I am not even going to tell my group about their existence.

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Same here.

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In my saga, they are only available for some healing rituals and Aegis - I don't necessarily want to force PCs to have an expert in ReVi just for that (although plenty powerful, Vim is hard to handle for most of my players with its funky formulas).