4.3.2 Modifiers for preparation

There are three ways in which a caster can improve his chance of success through the manner and amount of preparation that he/she puts into the casting:

These are explained in more detail below.

Preparation time

The normal time spent to cast an unprepared enchantment is one combat action (costing between 2 and 5 action points). A caster can gain bonuses to the casting dice roll if he/she spends time preparing the enchantment immediately before casting it.

Preparation time Modifier Maximum total modifiers
Snapshot cast [i.e. caster carries out a snapshot spell cast action costing 2 action points] -1 1 x Skill score
Normal [i.e. caster carries out a normal casting combat action costing 3 action points] +0 1 x Skill score
Prepared cast [i.e. caster carries out some preparation before casting the enchantment, total cost of the combat action is 5 action points] +1 1 x Skill score
1 minute +2 2 x Skill score
10 minutes +3 2 x Skill score
1 hour +4 3 x Skill score
4 hours +5 3 x Skill score
12 hours or more +6 3 x Skill score

Due to the stressful nature of magical enchantment, preparing magic counts as heavy exercise. Because of this, a character who is casting magic could become tired during the preparation, counteracting the benefits of spending the time preparing the enchantment. If preparation is interrupted part way through, the benefits of the preparation are lost and the caster must start again. Any activity by the caster other than concentrating on the preparation will interrupt it.

The amount of preparation time also affects the maximum bonus that the character can apply to the casting dice roll. The maximum total bonus (e.g. from situational modifiers, preparation, etc.) is equal to a multiple of the character's score in the relevant magical skill (including any relevant specialism). For example, Roger has Countermagic skill of 6 (with +1 specialism in detections). He is attempting to cast a detection enchantment. He can always include a total modifier of up to 7 points; if he prepares for at least a minute he can include a modifier of up to 14 points; if he prepares for at least an hour he can include a modifier of up to 21 points.

Words and gestures

Casting a magical enchantment does not require the caster to make any movement, nor does it require him/her to speak. A caster can obtain a bonus to his/her casting dice roll if he/she makes gestures and/or speaks during the (preparation and) casting. This is because both speech and gestures help focus the caster's mind on the enchantment.

Words and gestures Modifier
None [i.e. silent] +0
Words [e.g. an incantation, spell, rhyme, prayer or word of power] only +1
Gestures [e.g. hand movements] only +1
Words and gestures together +2

Material components

Casting a magical enchantment does not normally involve using any material components. A caster can obtain a bonus to his/her casting dice roll if he/she uses material components during the (preparation or) casting. To qualify, the material components used must be relevant to the enchantment's magical skill and/or nature of enchantment and must be destroyed during the (preparation or) casting of the enchantment. The modifier depends on the rarity/value of the item and its degree of association with the magical effect being produced:

Rarity/value of magical effect Modifier
Worthless commodity +0
Cheap (e.g. more than 6d) common commodity +1
Expensive (e.g. more than 5s) uncommon commodity +2
Very expensive (e.g. more than 50s) rare commodity +3
Priceless (e.g. more than 500s) or extremely rare commodity +4
Degree of association with enchantment Modifier
Associated with broad magical skill used in enchantment (e.g. Fire magic) +0
Associated with specific nature of magical effect (e.g. detection) +1
Associated with both magical skill and nature of magical effect (e.g. detecting fire) +2