Spell Casting Prepping
When a character is throwing magic, they must first prepare – or prep – the spell. This is reflective of remembering the spell's words and gestures, and sorta pulling the power pool up in your body. This takes a melee to do. It is often done in the moments before the door is opened, or the situation is joined.
If you are throwing the same spell again the next melee, the spell is still high in your mind – and you do not need to prep again. You are already ready to wield the power. Just go ahead and throw the spell again (mark off the mana, and roll the dice).
Changing the spell you are casting? Then, you will have to prep the new spell. So if you have thrown 3 magic missiles and now want to go with Invisible – you need to take a melee between the offensive spell and the new defensive spell to remember the gestures and words of the next spell.
It is generally assumed that once you have the spell in your mind, that you keep it there until the encounter is over. You can always tell the DM that you are dropping the prep. This takes no time, as it's merely turning your attention to something else.
This process is the same for all spells – whether magical or clerical in nature. Sorcerer's are a different matter – and they do not need to prep.
If you are in active melee, and have a spell preped – then, it is possible that you might be struck while you are ready to cast magic. If you take damage while you are ready with magic – then there is a roll on the spell fumble table.
Roll percentage and add your character's level
Spell Fumble table:
1-13 On Party + spell cost
14-27 On Party normal cost
28-30 On Party -spell cost
31-40 No spell + spell cost
41-50 No spell normal cost
51-53 No spell - spell cost
54-60 No spell No cost
61-72 In room + cost
73-83 In room normal cost
84-90 In room - cost
91-95 On Target + cost + stay preped.
96-99 On Target normal cost + stay preped.
00 On Target - spell cost + stay preped.
On Party means you have hit someone in your group with the spell (this can work in your favor)
No spell means nothing manifests.
In room means you might not have hit what you were aiming at, but the spell has splashed in the room somewhere.
On Target means you were not as interrupted as you thought, and can continue to act as directed.
+ spell cost means the DM will roll a D4. The cost of the spell is multiplied by the result.
Normal cost means the fumble costs the normal amount of mana or karma
- cost means that the DM will roll a D4, and then divide the spell cost by that amount.
No cost means – nothing happened.
Dropping your Prep
Just say, I drop my prep. Your character stop thinking about the gestures and words and moves on to the next task at hand. The GM should be told – just in case you get hit again.
This can be important in the game. If you are about to be struck by an opponent who has an excellent chance of hitting you – you might be losing mana and chance to act. It can be frustrating to realize that in terrible combat – it's best to leave your greater arcane power behind and hit the thing with a stick. But it happens!
Be aware that being preped is like having a loaded weapon.
Walking and Staying Preped
There is a general idea that you can travel with care for a short time with your mind readied with a spell. Like sneaking into a life or death situation – you can keep your mind on the fact that you might need this magic.
Then, there is the idea of I'm just strolling down the dungeon corridor and look a squirrel! What's that doing here? Was that a dripping sound or a moan? Wait – now I'm distracted. You can't always be preped and be able to function.
Ways to Help your Spell Fumble Factor:
There is a feat that allows you to throw a magic spell in your ability set -without needing to prep it. It's a reflection that I know this spell so well – I could do it in my sleep.
Spell Mastery is set to a spell when you take the feat. It is attached to the spell. If you drop the spell, that Spell Mastery is wasted until you re-memorize the spell again.
A spell casting feat that adds +15% to your spell fumble roll.
Mind Focus (3rd level Mage Spell, 4th level Cleric Spell)
There is a spell that allows you to do away with the spell Fumble at all. The idea is that the spell sharpens your mind to the point that you can not be knocked off the thought.
Mind focus lasts for a while – but is dangerous to have permeated onto a characters psyche permanently.