Every charm takes time to cast, in which the mana to power it can be drawn, impressed and woven, then loosed (“cast”) to manifest the desired effect … hopefully.
The minimum amount of time in which this process can be completed is called the Casting Time (CTM). This is the same as the Time Requirements for mundane skills explained in the text of Task Resolution.
The CTM begins at the point in game time when you announce that your character has commenced casting one of his charms, and ends when the d100 roll is made that determines the success or failure of the attempt when he looses it into the game world.
CTM’s are most meaningful and closely observed when the characters are engaged in tactical play (whether it involves a clash of arms or not), where the amount of time that tasks take to complete is critical due to the fact that the PCs’ accomplishing their overall goals is being fiercely contested by one or many opponents.
Cantrip: the normal/base CTM for a Common Sphere charm is equal to the final (adjusted/modified) [(casting DV) ÷ 10], counted in Pulses, MINUS (1 per charm skill LoA earned beyond Journeyman Proper) Pulses, to a minimum of 2 Pulses.
For Noble Sphere charms, the normal/base CTM is equal to the final (adjusted/modified) [(casting DV) ÷ 6], with the same adjustment for LoA, with a minimum of 4 Pulses.
For Sovereign Sphere charms, the normal/base CTM is equal to the final (adjusted/modified [(casting DV) ÷ 3], with the same adjustment for LoA, with a minimum of 8 Pulses.
The casting of cantrips has no effect whatsoever on the character’s allowance of physical action(s), which take place and are counted completely independent of them.
The CTM for a cantrip is rather brief, and eventually becomes little more than a moment’s concentration as the practitioner’s skill grows. Thus, High Magick may be cast “at will” in the normal adventure phase of play, in most normal roleplay situations (GM’s discretion), and grows to become much the same in regards to combat, also.
Spell: the normal/base CTM for a Common Sphere charm is equal to the final (adjusted/modified) casting DV, MINUS (casting AV), counted in Pulses, with a minimum equal to the number of Pulses the practitioner’s RoA dictates he needs to complete one (1) action.
Your character’s RoA is discussed and determined under “Tactical Attributes,” previously.
The normal/base CTM for a Noble Sphere charm is equal to the final (adjusted/modified) casting DV, MINUS (casting AV), counted in Pulses, with a minimum equal to the number of Pulses the practitioner’s RoA dictates he needs to complete two (2) actions.
The normal/base CTM for a Sovereign Sphere charm is equal to the final (adjusted/modified) casting DV, MINUS (casting AV), counted in Pulses, with a minimum equal to the number of Pulses the practitioner’s RoA dictates he needs to complete four (4) actions.
The casting of spells must be taken into account when determining your character’s physical action(s) during tactical play, as he cannot speak to others nor use his hands/arms for any other purpose, and moving while casting may raise the casting DV.
Ritual: the normal/base CTM for a Common Sphere charm is equal to the final (adjusted/modified) casting DV, MINUS (casting AV), counted in mileways (i.e., multiplied by 20 and read in minutes), with a minimum of one (1) mileway.
The normal/base CTM for a Noble Sphere charm is is equal to the final (adjusted/modified) casting DV, MINUS (casting AV), counted in hours, with a minimum one (1) hour.
The normal/base CTM for a Sovereign Sphere charm is is equal to the final (adjusted/modified) casting DV, MINUS (casting AV), counted in offices (i.e., multiplied by 3 and read in hours), with a minimum one (1) office.
Unlike either cantrips or spells, the caster has the option of getting help with the physical processes of casting a ritual, thereby cutting the CTM down beyond the break his own skill allows. Anyone can help the practitioner in this process, his valet, his chamber maid, the stablehand, or other hired servants (though overcoming their fear of magick to enable them to render effective help is likely to be a trick in and of itself), but many practitioners argue that only those accepted as apprentices should ever be allowed to witness the mysteries of their craft so intimately. The rest shrug and rebut with the fact that the incantations are lost to the ears of the uninitiated and take with them the memory of whatever they were doing when those words were uttered … so whatever it is they do remember won’t do them any good.
The number of common, unskilled helpers the practitioner employs to aid in the casting of a ritual is subtracted from the CTM in minutes, however, the minimum is still 1 mileway.
IF employing helpers for a ritual who are trained in the same Trade of magick but don’t know the particular charm being cast in the ritual, the CTM is divided by the number participating. Again, the minimum remains 1 mileway.
IF employing other practitioners trained the same Trade of magick who also know the charm they are helping to perform in the ritual, the CTM is divided in 1/2 for each helper participating, in succession, i.e., the CTM is 1/2 normal if one such is employed, 1/4th if there are two, 1/8th for three, 1/16th for four, and so on.
Again, the minimum remains 1 mileway.
IF the caster does not have sufficient Wind to get through the casting of a given ritual, it can be broken down into stages to enable the caster to complete it properly, generally due to limitations on his physical resources (Wind). This is detailed under the heading “The Cost of Casting Magick,” to follow.
When necessary due to changing circumstances and priorities, the practitioner can abort a casting in mid-cast at any time up to the commencement of the Resolution Phase in which the roll determining the success or failure of the casting is made.
To back out of the magick carefully and gracefully, dispersing the mana safely that was gathered for it requires one full Pulse.
IF the caster sees the need, castings may be cut off abruptly with no such proper procedure and preparation, but doing so may take a toll.
Snapping the magick casting off cold in the middle in this manner requires a successful (MGT att. mod. + TR) check vs. the (POT drawn for the magick) for the caster to protect himself from the energy rebounding on him.
Failing this roll, the mana whips back on the caster, stunning him for (POT used) Pulses. Like dropping a bucketful of water unceremoniously back into the pool whence it was drawn, one is bound to get splashed in return.
IF the Heroic Effects Rules are being used, the player of the caster who fails the roll above to disengage with the charm gracefully must also make a successful M-RES Block check vs. the POT of the charm so abruptly relinquished.
Failure to make the check subjects the caster to a Backlash in the form of a Bumble of equal POT, as described under “Casting Resolution,” following.
IF the magick is interrupted by the practitioner being struck or otherwise physically disrupted it at any time during its casting, especially by some witless Warrior afraid to allow him to finish, to the point where the cast chance falls to 25% or lower, he may drop the reins of power for the charm he is engaged in casting and by decreeing even only by the thought “Upon thy head be it.” consign the Backlash effect to the one responsible, inflicting it on the foolish interloper instead.
The GM should privately inform the player when the his character is placed in such a position, as the Wizard should have a good idea of his chances of success to start with, and is well aware of the damage done to the casting by such an interruption, especially when he is wounded as a result of the attack.
This rule ONLY applies in situations where the cast chance is reduced to 25% or less by the direct and willful interference of another, especially a foe in battle.
In the same vein, when the PC’s stumble upon the setting of some practitioner’s ritual that has been left in a balanced state, “hanging” to allow the caster time to rest, they must suffer the same consequences should they set about simply wrecking the site and spoiling the work. The power pent-up in the ritual casting awaiting completion must lash back at them when so foolishly and precipitously released.
Only another practitioner of the same Trade who ALSO has charms of the same Sphere of Power in his portfolio of magical skills can dismantle a casting that is left to rest and disperse the power safely, without repercussions.
Doing so requires [(POT held) – (disperser’s TR)] in minutes to accomplish, with a minimum of one (1).
The practitioner must have the ability to freely move or be moved/carried as he directs around the casting site to effect this.