Practiced Precision For Sorcery Spells?

Is it legal in burning wheel to use Practiced Precision to demonstrate a wizards favorite spell?
It would only apply to the spell it was purchased or awarded for. Say your wizard was a big fan of the Lights of St. Andrew spell. Normally, that’s a 2 action spell. With Practiced Percision it becomes a 1 action spell. (If I had a wizard that was constantly casting the same spell over and over or had repeatedly cast it Quickly, I would concider this as a Trait Vote). But again I ask, is it legal?

Nuthin’ says you can’t do it. I wouldn’t allow it, though, because every magic idiom I’ve used makes magic an art and an inherently difficult task. You can’t really practice until it’s second nature. You’re always wrestling the forces of nature into doing your bidding and there’s always the chance of horrific disaster; you’re never just going through rote motions.

True, but many wizards in mythology have a signature spell that they use on instinct when they are in trouble. Just like Harry Potter’s “Experiamous” (?) spell. Doing something that had been practiced so often that casting it quickly is easier than the other spells (any spell may be cast quickly to save time at an increased obstacle cost, the practiced proficiency spell would let you do the same thing but with lower risk). As a game mechanic, it does the same thing for a mages signature spell that it would do for an archers knock and draw, it saves one action. The difference is that the archer could use practiced precision to save one action from knock and one action from draw, there by cutting his reload time with his hunting bow down to three actions (one to knock, two to draw) while the mage is only able to save one action on his signature spell (unless he wanted to run the risks of casting quickly). Of course, technically there is nothing in the rules saying that mages cannot apply practiced precision to their sorcery skill (in which case, they would save one action from the cost of all spells and sorcery skill checks) but that could be a bit excessive.

Practiced Precision only applies to a single action, and in BW “Knock and Draw” is actually one combat action; there are two reasons why an archer only subtracts one action from the total required time. Similarly, “casting spells” is not by any reasonable stretch of the imagination a single kind of action. It’s many kinds of actions, at least as many as there are spells. You could make the argument for practiced precision with one of them.

If a sorcerer in your game is casting a spell enough that it’s a signature it’s a good candidate for a trait vote. I’d be uncomfortable with the power of making spells faster, myself, but you’re free to disagree. I’d still call it Signature Spell instead of Practiced Precision, though. It’s not a rote action, it’s just something you’ve done so much that you can do it quickly without penalty. It’s a semantics difference; I don’t think of sorcery as something you can repeat over and over until it’s in muscle memory. Rather you practice a spell so much that you’re familiar with all its quirks and permutations and can run through them at breakneck pace without greater risk.

Knock and draw are counted as one combat action but you can go into a situation with an arrow knocked (BWG gives the action costs for each bow type broken down in knock actions, and draw actions). Spell casting isn’t as much of a muscle memory as it is a mental memory thing. But just ss some people can do complex computations in their head, Burning Wheel mages can compress spells that they have created and can Cast Quickly any spell they know. Practiced Precision would just let them do it a little bit better than usual. However, I REALLY like the idea of a Signature Spell Die Trait!
Creating specific traits that are modeled on the traits that are bring pressed into service could solve so many problems I have with things being slightlu twisted. From now on, if a player wants to use a trait for something that is kinda close to what the book says, we will have the group vote to consider a new trait variation (Keeping practiced precision for non combat stuff, use Quick Draw or Signature Spell in combat situations). THANKS!

BWG gives the knock and draw time for each bow as far as I can see, not separated. It’s all put together as the set-up-for-a-shot action. You can keep an arrow knocked, but then you still need to spend at least two more actions to draw. Or one, if you have Practiced Precision: Knock and Draw.

Practiced Precision explicitly works for combat stuff that takes multiple actions (mostly drawing), but it’s always fun to rename traits to be more evocative. Fast Draw for a gun-slinging pistoleer, Iaido for a Japanese-themed swordsman, and so on.

You can prep a bow and keep it ready by spending three actions to nock the arrow. (pg 451 BWG) indicates that nock is separate from draw.
However it also mentions that you can pay the remainder of the nock and draw action to finish readying it. My group was using it as practiced precision: nock arrow and practiced percision: draw hunting bow. Thus taking 2 actions to prep their bows and one action to draw. It makes sense from a cinematic view point, but I can see now after rrviewing it how we misinterpreted that rule.
I still like it better the other way, but I’m sure there a good reason for it being counted as a single action instead of two (it takes two halves to make a whole. )

They had to buy the trait twice to get that second bonus, so it still made some sense.