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Coronoides

Spell casting, what needs to be done.

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The MW sorcery rules do not clearly state what is required to cast a spell. Can you whisper a spell? Can you cast a spell if holding something in one or both hands? Do you need to speak or gesture at all? Each referee must craft the answer to this question with her world and table in mind.

What needs to be done to cast a spell in your games and why did you describe it that way?


My Houserule: My assumptions are designed for a campaign with talking animal PCs and diverse concepts that use the spell casting rules such as classic staff and robe wizards, shape-shifting berserkers, and war-priests. These assumptions also mean that spell-casting cannot be conducted stealthily.
I assume ‘memorising spells’ is actually completing most of a complex ritual requiring clear enunciation of mystic words, whole body movement, and drawing of glyphs even if it is just roughly tracing these in the dirt. Casting the spell is actually speaking a few words to complete the ritual and release the spell. Since words must be clearly enunciated, whispering cannot cast spells. Since gesturing is not required a sorcerer can cast spells while grasping objects. However, if range is touch then the sorcerer’s skin must contact the target. 

 

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When we play with standard magic as defined in the book we make the same assumptions. I just “assumed” that was what was meant an assumption I probably got from D&D.

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It depends on the mood/setting. Generally, I like the traditional (to fantasy RPGs) elements of verbal, somatic and material... because I think they all lead to fun complications. Like being out of some material component and needing to hunt down a replacement.
Also, having to say something and wave your hands about a bit justifies using some of the real-world methods of binding a 'witch' so they couldn't put a curse on their captors. Despite that, I have it that verbal components only need to be whispered, since the only person needing to hear the spell is yourself (to my way of thinking about fantasy metaphysics).
Thought I'm not too tight-assed about it all and give lots of wiggle room for clever Players to overcome certain difficulties.

Edited by Simlasa
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5 hours ago, Simlasa said:

It depends on the mood/setting. Generally, I like the traditional (to fantasy RPGs) elements of verbal, somatic and material... because I think they all lead to fun complications. Like being out of some material component and needing to hunt down a replacement.
Also, having to say something and wave your hands about a bit justifies using some of the real-world methods of binding a 'witch' so they couldn't put a curse on their captors. Despite that, I have it that verbal components only need to be whispered, since the only person needing to hear the spell is yourself (to my way of thinking about fantasy metaphysics).
Thought I'm not too tight-assed about it all and give lots of wiggle room for clever Players to overcome certain difficulties.

Do you use talking animal PCs? If so how do you handle those? Or does your world not have them (most don’t).

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10 hours ago, Coronoides said:

Do you use talking animal PCs? If so how do you handle those? Or does your world not have them (most don’t).

I did run a short adventure that had a lot of Fae elements and talking animals were part of that... and I figured their magic was more innate/natural to them, so not requiring all the hokum that humans need to pull it off.
A kid in one of the classes at school has been trading books with me, having me read 'The Familiars' series. It's all about animals with magical powers and has been giving me lots of ideas... but even its critter characters use somatic/verbal/material components.

Edited by Simlasa

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2 hours ago, Coronoides said:

In the old Merlin TV mini series with Sam Neill IMDB entry Wizards learned magic from the Fey. They began by speaking, advanced to ‘hand magic’ using gestures only, and true masters could cast a spell just by thinking.

That would be really easy to model if you used a Casting Skill to make magic work. Just tie the removal of somatic or verbal components to the arete system in Advanced Sorcery.

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7 hours ago, Nick J. said:

That would be really easy to model if you used a Casting Skill to make magic work. Just tie the removal of somatic or verbal components to the arete system in Advanced Sorcery.

Hmm - that reminds me if some ideas I had for BRP / MW spell casting spinning out of the Jorune conversion I did a way back when...

Nick

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