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FinarinPanjoro

Masterful Casting Question

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Hey all,

A question has arisen about the use of the Masterful Casting Talent (Tier 4, EPG).  Does it allow the activation of critical hits?  It seems that it could be argued that it does as that may be activated using a triumph.  But if so does it confer the x3 advantage (making it a crit at +20).  This seems like it could make a Deadly spell (with Vicious 3) particularly deadly.  A single Triumph could activate a crit at +50.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

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No, Masterful Casting does not allow for Critical Injuries to be triggered.

The talent allows 3 different qualities or effects to be triggered. Burn is a quality, as is Stun. Spending advantage for Additional Targets/Summons is an effect. Critical Injuries are neither of these things.

CRB102, Step 4, says "The first and foremost ways to spend [advantage] and [triumph] in an attack are to activate a Critical Injury or active item quality." Note that quality and crit are two sepaerate things here.

If you want to use a talent to trigger a crit, have a look at the Brilliant casting talent, EPG95. It adds advantages that can be used for anything, including triggering a Critical Injury.

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26 minutes ago, c__beck said:

If you want to use a talent to trigger a crit, have a look at the Brilliant casting talent, EPG95. It adds advantages that can be used for anything, including triggering a Critical Injury.

Where'd this info come from? Because the description for Brilliant Casting does not say anything about how the advantages can be spent.

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2 hours ago, Swordbreaker said:

Where'd this info come from? Because the description for Brilliant Casting does not say anything about how the advantages can be spent.

Exactly. There is no restriction on how they can be spent, and therefore can be spent on inflicting a Critical Injury, recovering strain, passing boost dice, or anything else you can do with advantage.

Masterful casting is the talent with restrictions.

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1 hour ago, c__beck said:

Exactly. There is no restriction on how they can be spent, and therefore can be spent on inflicting a Critical Injury, recovering strain, passing boost dice, or anything else you can do with advantage.

Masterful casting is the talent with restrictions.

All normal restrictions apply in both cases. You cannot trigger a quality or effect with advantage that doesn't exist, and unless you add the deadly effect, a magic attack has no critical rating that one can spend advantage on. On the flip side, you can always trigger a critical injury with a single triumph, regardless of whether or not an attack has a critical rating (and this can be done with any form of attack, magic or no). With Masterful Casting, you can only spend the triumph to trigger "qualities or spell effects" that would normally require advantage or triumph.

So the question boils down to: Does spending a triumph to trigger a critical injury count as a "spell effect" or not? I don't see why it wouldn't, but maybe the devs have a different idea.

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2 minutes ago, Swordbreaker said:

All normal restrictions apply in both cases. You cannot trigger a quality or effect with advantage that doesn't exist, and unless you add the deadly effect, a magic attack has no critical rating that one can spend advantage on. On the flip side, you can always trigger a critical injury with a single triumph, regardless of whether or not an attack has a critical rating (and this can be done with any form of attack, magic or no). With Masterful Casting, you can only spend the triumph to trigger "qualities or spell effects" that would normally require advantage or triumph.

Well, yeah, you can't trigger something that doesn't exist on the attack. So if there is no crit rating you can't trigger a crit with advantage.

5 minutes ago, Swordbreaker said:

So the question boils down to: Does spending a triumph to trigger a critical injury count as a "spell effect" or not? I don't see why it wouldn't, but maybe the devs have a different idea.

Well, that is your prerogative, but due to the reasons listed above I don't think that a Critical Injury is a spell effect. Heck, CRB90 lists the Critical Rating as a weapon characteristic, so it's not an effect.

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46 minutes ago, c__beck said:

Well, that is your prerogative, but due to the reasons listed above I don't think that a Critical Injury is a spell effect. Heck, CRB90 lists the Critical Rating as a weapon characteristic, so it's not an effect.

And all the other effects that can be added to spell are all called item qualities, yet spells are not items.

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Yes, I think the inclusion of "effect" in Masterful Casting is where the confusion comes in.  A crit is clearly not a quality (as these are well defined), but it's unclear to me if a critical injury is an effect.  So depending on your interpretation of that word it could or could not include activating multiple crits.

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It is difficult to answer how a crit is defined, if it is a spell effect or not in this case.

 

However, it is clear that you could not activate a crit multiple times. The talent allows you "to trigger up to three different qualities". Different. Not 3x the same.

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I could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that Masterful Casting is intended to work only for spell effects (the list of options underneath the spell descriptions) that are added to the spell at the time it is cast, thereby increasing the difficulty of the spell. If you haven't added the Deadly spell effect to your spell when calculating the difficulty, then you cannot use a Triumph to trigger a Critical Injury along with two other spell effects. You CAN use a Triumph to activate a Critical Injury on an Attack spell as normal, but Masterful Casting would not come into play.

On 1/10/2020 at 1:59 PM, Rogues Rule said:

It is difficult to answer how a crit is defined, if it is a spell effect or not in this case.

I think the issue is how a spell effect is defined. The GCRB uses the language of "additional effects." On page 215: "Before making a magic action, the character may choose any number of additional effects to add to that action (these effects are listed on an associated table)." That, combined with the last sentence of the talent, "These qualities or spell effects must be ones that can be triggered by spending advantage or triumph," means that only some of the additional effects of a spell may be open to use by this talent, since some additional effects are passive and require no advantage or triumph to be spent.

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On 1/10/2020 at 2:59 PM, Rogues Rule said:

It is difficult to answer how a crit is defined, if it is a spell effect or not in this case.

 

However, it is clear that you could not activate a crit multiple times. The talent allows you "to trigger up to three different qualities". Different. Not 3x the same.

Excellent observation.  I hadn't considered that.  It did make me wonder about adding the lightning quality and triggering multiple Auto-fire hits with a single Triumph.  I guess this would also allow you to only trigger 1 auto-fire hit and then two other qualities (maybe an auto-fire hit, a single crit, and another quality).

Edited by FinarinPanjoro

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On 1/10/2020 at 8:59 PM, Rogues Rule said:

It is difficult to answer how a crit is defined, if it is a spell effect or not in this case.

I don't think it counts as a spell effect in the sense that the Talent uses the term.

The Talent lets you spend Triumph to activate three different "qualities or spell effects". Qualities are pretty straightforward, but I think the "spell effects" part refers to those Additional Effects that come with their own way of spending advantages/triumphs, like the Additional Target effect, which lets you spend advantages to add even more targets after the check is made. What's important is that this is a rule entirely contained in the specific Additional Effect rather than a reference to a broader rule.

With that in mind, the Additional Effect "Deadly" on an attack spell does two things: give your spell a crit rating of 2, and the Vicious quality equal to your ranks in Knowledge. Vicious is a passive quality, so it's outside the scope of Masterful Casting. But the crit rating is neither a Quality in the sense the book uses a word, nor is it a new rule introduced by the "Deadly" Additional Effect - it's a weapon characteristic, a separate category of traits existing independently of magic rules. Hence, being able to trigger the crit when casting a Deadly spell is neither a Quality nor a "spell effect" and thus is unaffected by Masterful Casting.

In other words, if the Deadly quality read: "Your spell gains Vicious equal to your Knowledge, and you can spend ^^ to trigger a critical hit with your spell", then you could trigger a crit as one of your three effects of Triumph with Masterful Casting. But instead it reads "gain Vicious and Crit Rating of 2", so you can't.

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