Spellcasting and Versus Test

Hi everyone,

How would you guys handle spellcasting in simple versus test. There is many variable in a spell and those are actually hard form me to interpret into the fiction.

The example is a group of fighter trying to hold a sorcerer before is spell is cast. Would you handle this with a simple versus test? If so, how do you translate it in the fiction with the casting time/action and the spell obstacle…



You don’t adjudicate all the variables, you decide what happens if one side wins and what happens if the other does based on which of those variables are most interesting and applicable. Each side has an intent and task, so the results are intent-based. If you’re using a spell and the sorcery rules it isn’t a versus test, exactly, so it’s up to you to figure it out.

The easy way is to treat it like Fight. The fighters have time, determined by actions, to do something to stop the sorcerer. May Nots are good ones. Slug him in the face! You can abstract that to giving the fighters one roll (their task) to accomplish the intent of stopping the sorcerer. Or abstract it further and make it a true versus test, with the stakes being the spell being cast or not, maybe with each success by the fighter increasing the spell’s Ob by one and thus reducing those successes over obstacle bonuses.


But would you still apply the Ob for the spell itself or just use a sorcery vs let say brawling skill as a versus? Would still call for a forte test after the spell is cast? It seams the situation arise pretty often in my game, where the sorcerer wanna react fast before he get into trouble even in situation outside combat. It is the first time i have a sorcerer in one of my games and, sometimes, i feel like it is very chaotic (which i like), but on the other hand, it can be kinda complex to resolve simple situations where magic is involved.


So many variables!
First off, go to intent and task.
What are the “fighters” doing to stop the spell caster (weapon/dog pile/shoot him now/ect.)
What spell is the “mage” casting?
How long does it take to cast it?
What other defenses does the mage have in place?

If the mage is trying to get off a simple one action spell like Fire Fan (pg. 212) that’s not much different than the time to swing a weapon. Speed test to see who can get to the mage before the spell goes off, they get to attempt their tasks before the mage, if they fail to complete their task, the mage gets to try to cast his spell, apply results based on success or possible spell failure then the those who lost the speed test against the mage can attempt their task if it is still relevant.

Longer spells take more time to cast and as such we again look to intent and task.
If the intent is to “Stop him from casting his spell” I look to the Casting Time section (pg. 503) of the Sorcery chapter (pgs. 499-521) to compare what could be done during the casting time.
Again, most mages casting a spell with a long casting time would have taken some protective measures such as Turn Aside The Blade or an alliance of bandits/zombies/traps/trolls/Aura of Fear/(ect.) to keep them from suffering a possible Spell Interupt (pg. 511) and the Failed Casting (pg. 509) that goes with it.

This is why I prefer to use the Fight rules over anything else (more of a blow by blow/play by play style of game) however, anything that raises the spell obstacle increases the chance of failure as well as the tax placed upon the wizard. To “Sock him in the mouth” I require at least a Superficial Wound, and it has to get through any armor or other protection the mage has in play (such as Turn Aside the Blade) and the attack must strike the head. (Mage decides where he gets hit, Attacker must spend extra successes to move that location).

One of my players runs a rather psychotic rogue wizard who tends to taunt people into charging right into his Aura of Fear (que Steel Test) so that he can roast them all with his handy dandy fire fan spell, (thus triggering another Steel Test to add to the affect of the first one) add more flames, accompanied by maniacal laughter!

I love sorcery versus tests. I imagine little spells, tests of skill and speed-casting.

I think how I would run this in this case of “I want to stop him from casting a spell.” vs “I want to cast this spell.” Would be to look at the main challenge of the test. If it was whoever got there faster I would do a speed vs speed test, winner does their test. So if the sorcerer wins he casts the spell in time to cast it. If the fighter does he gets his brawl, boxing, etc. It is two tests which is not exactly as per rules, but it is the way that makes the most sense. Another way would be for the speed vs speed, and winner gets an extra die on their skill test to stop/cast in a straight vs test.