Table Talk (OOC)

Then I'll let you take the lead. =]

If nobody else wants to play Dagny, should I? Just so Rafael doesn't have to talk to himself?

I forgot to advance the grogs - Gwyneth is probably learning High German, but she's still far from fluent.

Don't mind me, I talk to myself all the time. :upside_down_face:

If no one else jumps in I was thinking of having Wolfgang wait a half hour and then Dagny comes back and reports. Assuming she did an average job. But if you want to play her a bit, go ahead!

That works for me, too.

I will post tomorrow. Might even jump in and play Dagny, but don't wait for me in the giant story!

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I'll be offline this weekend. Should post on Monday.

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I just sent private messages to Reminiscent and Itzhak, as it's been a few weeks since they've posted anything here.

Do you have anything from Callen?

I'll go ahead with Giant Problem, since I sent Reminiscent a message about two weeks ago and he has yet to reply. We can always introduce his companion at a later point (or even in another story).

Nothing from callen either. I also sent him a private message yesterday.

Sorry for the silence, work and health issues have kept me from posting. Plan to post tomorrow, once I get some sleep after this night shift


Will be posting today. Started working on an overview of what I want her story to be like for the next few years, but it takes time to elaborate, and write it out, since I like to add hooks for future stories.

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IMO, Wolfgang cannot cast both spells in the same round. I'm open to an argument on why he should be able to.

Seems to me like neither of the situations apply here.

Note that Wolfgang has the element of surprise. He could easily cast his first spell on one round, then the second one on the second round, before the giants have time to react.

I don't usually see a problem with fast casting as a response to an arbitrary event (like, "I'll fast cast just before I cast my own spell") but you have the problem of determining the fast cast speed. Which in this case would be everyone else's initiative, if I'm reading correctly.

But that's in my table. Let's go with whatever Arthur prefers.

Addressing the questions:

  • For what I'm concerned you can use any online dice roller and just present the result. If you tell me you rolled eleven 1's in sequence I'll believe. You either are very lucky or you want to destroy your own fun, either way I'm not going to stop you. =9
  • Regarding Kiefskala: as you prefer. I can control him if you want him to have some independence from Wolfgang. Might also be a chance to let Red-Shadow join the fun if you are not against it.
  • I'll consider that Wolfgang shared his Parma. :+1:

We'll be needing initiative's for everyone anyway. I've already rolled for the giants, but it's just a note in my .txt file until they notice they are under attack.

My understanding is you get normal casting + 1 fastcast spell in a round. Multi-casting with mastery counting as normal casting; fastcasting with mastery as the fastcast spell.

I was intending the statement re fastcasting as a provisional - if the giant attacks him, he's fastcasting Mien of Helios in response (so if he doesn't beat the initiative with his fast-cast initiative his spell doesn't go off before the attack.)

Perfectly happy for anyone to join as Kiefskala or grogs, not sure if anybody else is still around, though.

Not automatically. When you read the section on Concentration (p.82), one of the conditions for a Concentration roll is trying to cast a spell when maintaining another, with is Very Hard (15). It's difficult for me to believe that casting two spells in a single round would be any easier, even if the second spell is fast cast.

Of course, failure on the Concentration roll wouldn't necessarily mean that you can't fast cast the second spell -- it may mean you have to abort the first spell in order to be able to fast cast the second one. If you decide to abort the first spell, you still need to check for a botch, since you started gathering magical energies for it.

Fast casting isn't (and shouldn't be) a silver bullet, IMO. It allows you to act more quickly than with a normally-cast spell, but in most instances you still only get 1 spell per round (although the rules make an exception for fast casting several spells on p.83).

Well, I won't argue. It's your game, you're allowed to make house rules.

Actually, it's our game. It isn't a matter of house rules, but rather a matter of how the rules are interpreted. Which is why I decided to raise the issue here. At this point, this is a discussion, not a ruling.

My view is that magi are already very powerful as opposed to anything else in the setting. When you stack multiple spells in a single round (not even taking into account that one of those spells can be multi-cast), then you reach a level of combat power which become very hard to oppose without resorting to potentially instant-kill opponents.

I tend to prefer slower-paced combat sequences, which leaves some space for wounds and opportunities to retreat rather than "bang, you're dead" situations. In addition, super-powerful magi in combat strain the credibility of the setting, because frankly, if they can be seo powerful then why haven't they taken control of the setting already.

On the other hand, I don't want to put too much emphasis on combat in a PbP game, because combat can be time-consuming. So I'm not against letting things be.

Edit: One of the problems is that the ArM5 rulebook is quite old by now, and doesn't cover many of the combinations that can occur. It leaves a lot to interpretation from each troupe, and many people tend to use the least restrictive interpretations that they can. (Man, do I feel old now!)

Point taken, I appreciate the discussion.

The page you quoted (83) supports the idea of multiple fast-cast spells (which I actually didn't realize), and obviously multi-casting from mastery is part of the rules. I'll admit that I don't see a clear written statement that supports "one normal spell and 1 or more fastcast" - part of the reason I let it go so quickly - but that's been the rule in every Ars game I played so I just thought it was accepted by the community.

I don't think we can blame the age of the book, it's more the thoroughness of the book. But you're right, that it has blind spots.

As far as magi being able to take control of the setting, I don't think that really hinges on spell speed in combat. That's a whole big separate conversation, but my take on it is - they probably could, but they've promised not to, largely because if they did, they'd be constantly looking over their shoulders, and have to defend themselves from everyone in the world trying to find a moment of weakness to take them out.

I've been playing and running Ars games for a long time (over three decades now), and that interpretation of the rules have developped slowly over the last ten years or so -- one of several areas of power creep that the game has seen over its long life.

It looks to me that it started with a few troupes, which adopted it as a house rule. Then, when new games start with a player who's played that game, the same house rule is adopted in that new game, and so forth. An understandable attitude, since players are always looking for ways to make their characters more powerful. :wink:

Now it's almost taken as a given in most troupes, even if it is not clearly supported by the rules.
Of course, it isn't also prohibited in the rules, either. As you say, that leaves us with a blind spot.

Just for perspective, in 4th edition, there was no such thing as mastering a formulaic spell for Fast Casting. Fast casting was something you did with a spontaneous spell only, usually as a last-ditch defense. And the main thing that mastery did was reduce the risk of botching and give access to multi casting.

It is 5th edition that introduced the many mastery abilities, raising the power level of spell mastery, particularly in combat.

Now, think about it. Multiple casting already gives a magus the ability to essentially cast several spells in a single round, albeit the same one. Allowing fast casting in the same round adds another spell in the same round. Perhaps even several, since fast casting can potentially be done several times.

On the other hand, ArM5 p.83 clearly states that in order to fast cast a spell, the Fast Casting Speed must beat an Ease Factor. In combat, that is always the opponent's Initiative Total. Outside combat, it is an arbitrary number set by the Storyguide to reflect the situation. You can even fast cast additional spells, but suffer from an additional -6 for each further fast cast spells.

(BTW, that also means that since in the current scene the giantess has rolled an Initiative Total of 36, Wolfgang is unlikely to be able to successfully fast cast any spell during that battle.)

But what happens to any other action attempted during the round? The fast casting section doesn't say. In fact, nowhere does it mentions any other action during a round when you fast cast a spell. All it says is that "A fast-cast spell is always cast with a firm voice and bold gestures, and the maga may not exploit any other spellcasting options, as there is not enough time."

So, if the magus is using firm voice and bold gestures, and cannot use other spellcasting options, then how can he cast another spell at the same time? After all, on p.81 it is stated that "It takes only a few seconds to cast a Formulaic spell." And a combat round is only 6 seconds long (which pretty much constitutes a few seconds).

That has always left me with the conclusion that, when fast casting a spell during a round in which the magus had already begun begun casting a normal formulaic spell, he needs to abort the normal spell in order to fast cast. In the same way that he would need to stop speaking to his grog while he fast casts his spell, he needs to stop casting his formulaic spell to do so.

Needless to say, this is not a popular interpretation with people who like spell mastery, since (god forbid!) it imposes a limit on what magi can do. :wink: