A String Caster readying for a show!
-- o O --- O o --
• ~ String Casting ~ •
The Tool of the Show-Weaver
String Casting is a spell-weaving method which allows a Bardmancer to chain spells together without needing to spend additional emotes re-connecting to their mana pool, or channeling their mana. The slightly risky technique is commonly used for more grandiose performances, as with it the artist does not need to disrupt their flow to shoehorn in extra emotes before each of their spells.
Learning and Teaching
You reap what you sew!
String Casting is automatically learned once a Bardmancer reaches Tier 5.
String Casting CAN also be learned at lower Tiers, but for that it is a tutored-only technique, much like many Housemagery Spells. Therefore, it cannot be learned early through self-teaching books. Only via a lesson by another Bardmancer who knows it. Any Bardmancer who has previously learned String Casting may teach another Bardmancer the technique! Regardless of Tier.
Teaching is freeform and may be done however way one wants, but it is mandatory for teachers to hold at least 1 lesson, and establish at least 1 Task for that student to complete before they can be considered to have properly learned the technique. This can, and should, however, take longer to encourage both organic character growth and fun RP interactions!
For handy examples on what Tasks a student could complete, checkout the “Development Tasks” section in the Bardmancy Guide, here!
-- o O --- O o --
or... String Theory?
Instead of casting spells back to back as normal, a Bardmancer may opt to start a String Cast instead.
String Casting takes place over the course of 2 Emotes:
• Firstly, the Bardmancer Connects to their mana pool as normal. Their aura starts to take shape. Y'know- Usual bard magic stuff!
• Secondly, the Bardmancer proceeds to Weave their spell String, describing their String's intended length in their Emote. Like they're "calling their shot" before a big performance.
After Weaving their String, the Bardmancer may skip the Connection and Channeling Emotes of all Spells within that String's length. Simple as that!
Strings MUST have some sort of tell signaling their intended length in that second Weaving Emote, through a description of the Bardmancer's aura. This can be as broad as describing its size as "smaller" or "larger", as precise as giving an exact spell count through the mana's shape or texture, or anywhere in between. That creative flavor is up to the Bardmancer and only limited by their Tier's aura aesthetics!
Let's say you're a T3 Bardmancer, and you Weave a String that is 3 Spells long.
Those 3 Spells are "linked" together, and can be cast back to back!
But! They're also treated as one biiig spell. So stopping midway through will cost ya.
You better not mess that performance up! Because....
String Casting is a specially taxing technique if not executed right. Interrupting a String early by not casting as many spells as the ones signaled in the Weaving Emote will instantly give the Bardmancer one Frazzle Stack. To see Frazzle’s length, effects and roleplay conduct, kindly read the “Frazzle” section in the Bardmancy Guide!
A Bardmancer may String Cast as many spells as their Tier level. Strings can therefore range from at least 2 to at most 5 spells, depending on the Bardmancer's current Tier.
Chaining spells together is extremely exhausting, even for a Master, and it's not exactly WISE to rapidly drain from one's innate mana pool like it's a fire hose. But hey. Who DOESN'T want to use literally all their flair to be their own, lore-approved Rihanna show?
Frazzled String Casting
Threading the needle!
Sometimes, if a Bardmancer has spent some Spell Slots before String Casting, that String Cast may push them into Frazzle territory, Bardmancy's fatigue system.
A T4 String Weave entering "Frazzle."
If such happens, the whole String is considered Frazzled, and the Bardmancer enters a game of chance.
While performing a Frazzled String, a Bardmancer needs to /roll 20 after each String spell is cast. On a /roll of 10 or under, the Bard will gain a Stack of Frazzle. This repeats after each spell cast in that String.
Frazzle gained this way is applied instantly after each spell, giving the bard a harder time with continuing their String, and able to fully knock them out should they be unlucky enough to gain 3 Frazzle Stacks midway through a longer performance.
At the end of the Frazzled String, all Frazzle Stacks that the Bardmancer would have gained by casting regularly will still be applied as normal, if they were lucky enough to not gain any mid-performance. If the Bardmancer gained the same, or over the amount of Frazzle they would have by casting normally, they gain no extra Frazzle.
♫ String Casting may only be performed out of Combat, and only works with Bardmancy Spells.
♫ After Connecting and Weaving a String the Bardmancer MUST start casting Bardmancy spells in their next Emote, or the String will be considered interrupted and they will gain one Frazzle Stack.
♫ A String can also be interrupted if the casting Bardmancer is thrown off their performance, by being distracted, disoriented or attacked. While what could throw a Bard off their game varies from artist to artist, slapping them in the face will always work!
♫ Strings MUST have some sort of tell signaling their intended length in their second Weaving Emote, through a description of the Bardmancer's aura. This can be as broad as describing its size as "smaller" or "larger", as precise as giving an exact spell count through the mana's shape or texture, or anywhere in between. That creative flavor is up to the Bardmancer and only limited by their Tier's aura aesthetics!
♫ Strings, of course, cannot be longer than the length signaled in their second Weaving Emote. Attempting to emote without connecting to your mana pool after the string is over will be treated as Powergaming.
♫ All Spell Slots signaled during the Weaving Emote are instantly spent during that Emote. To clarify: The slots are spent, but each spell in the String will still need to be cast regularly, just with the added luxury of being able to skip Connection and Channeling Emotes.
♫ After a String uses up the chosen amount of Spell Slots, any Spell Slots in Frazzle territory do not immediately gain the usual subsequent Frazzle stacks. Instead, Frazzle is applied either at the very end, or during the strings.
♫ While casting in a Frazzled String, a Bardmancer may gain a lot more Frazzle than they would normally if they are unlucky enough in their rolls.
♫ While String Casting allows Connection and Channeling Emotes to be skipped altogether, those CAN still be added in a performance for timing or aesthetic purposes should the Bardmancer choose such.
♫ String Casting does not use up any Spell Slots by itself. It is its own technique on how to spend them.
♫ String Casting CAN summon an Emotion Wisp after enough spells are cast in quick succession.
♫ String Casting does not skip Emotes needed to Connect to an Emotion Wisp.
♫ You cannot String Cast Mastery Spells, or a Bound Wisp’s Manipulate Art Casts, as they work separately from the normal Spell Slot system.
♫ While in a Bardmancer's Amphitheater, String Casting cannot build up any Frazzle, nor can Strings themselves be Frazzled. The technique still uses up Spell Slots as normal, however.
♫ Fun is, as always, strictly mandatory.
Having been out for almost a year now, Bardmancy has been thoroughly poked and tested by the community- With many interesting interactions, fun mechanics and neat tricks found along the way!
One major hassle that stood out to the more show-centric bards is being forced to get through the idle Connection Emotes in performances. Needing to tap into, and channel your mana pool before each and every spell can create a type of dead air between more flashy displays, which may stagnate RP flow and just overall turn into a hassle.
String Casting aims to remedy the show-weaver’s dilemma by introducing some new mechanical and roleplay adaptability to the base magic, alongside a risk vs reward dynamic of its own!
Credits and Thanks
Art and writing is done by me! tgrt!
Thank you to Leonie, Blackbobross and Hyperdron for proofreading and just overall helping make this a cooler project!
Thank YOU for reading!
♪ To not completely knowledge-lock this mechanic, while still encouraging teaching/learning RP, String Casting is now automatically learned once a Bardmancer reaches Tier 5! Furthermore, Bardmancers of ANY tier may teach other Bardmancers String Casting, if they learned it already!
♪ Weaving Technique section has been simplified.
♪ Corrected an oversight related to what TYPE of Emotes this addition can skip: Connection AND Channeling Emotes!
♪ Added in how exhausting this crazy thing is.
♪ Added a Redline specifying how attacking or disorienting a Bardmancer interrupts a String! Go slap some bards! (Don't tho D:)