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My player has a starting grimiore that is bringing up timing issues and questions.  Just want to get some clarification to make sure I'm not hobbling myself and giving the players too much license.

1.  If the Natural and Wind immuto are added to a spell, which "after damaging" effect triggers first, Rooted or the push?  (If rooted triggers first the effected character will automatically take 3 extra damage.)

2.  Delay immuto with the defined option.  Can the defined situation be "when this spell is successfully cast" effectively erasing the immuto?  My player ingeniously chose this as his Tradition immuto so it must be added to every spell for free.

3.  Delay immuto.  If the defined situation is "when target declares an attack" does the spell then interupt the attack and go off before any flip is made?  He used this defined situation with the Wind immuto so when the character he was engaged with declared a melee attack it pushed out of range.  Since the attack was declared, but the target was no longer valid, the attack failed.

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Honestly I think the short answer to all three is; It is up to the Fatemaster's Decision.  As the fatemaster you have the ability to determine if you think something does not fit right or is not healthy for the campaign.  That said you have to be very careful with your decisions as you have to take the player's enjoyment into consideration.  But also at the same time the health of the campaign as a whole.  It is best to catch any problem early and lay down the Fatemaster ruling so they have time to adjust their character if needs be.

Personally I would likely make some Fatemaster rulings and talk to the player about it and see if they want to adjust their character after delivering them.  For number 1, in Malifaux the timing would let him pick which after damaging effect triggers first letting him pull this off.  Glancing in the TTB book I did not find something that defines which one goes first.  Personally, at least at first thought, I am against letting them Root then Push them immediately to do damage if only because the spell is supposed to be a "single moment".  For Root and Push to work technically description wise the person would have to get rooted firmly and then shoved afterwards in my opinion.  That to me does not sound like something that happens in an instant.  Remember the describing spell effects on page 263, the spell has to make some sense.  Personally I would have the Rooted take hold after the push myself.  It means it is not as good for damage but it becomes a way to keep people off you as you can push them away and keep them from just charging back in.

Now before I go further I would also make sure your character defines his Traditional Magic Theory.  Unlike most of the other theories the Traditional Magic group varies widely on their roots, backstories, and thus the reasoning behind their traditions.  Why is the character's whole magic tradition rooted in Delaying the magic?  Why did his predecessors design everything they created around this sole concept.  Where they paranoid trap makers or chess like strategic operators or colossal pranksters.  Really that should give some grounds on what sort of trigger conditions the character would use for story purposes and I would hold them at least a little to it.

For 2 I would not allow it, that feels like an attempt to game the system in the wrong way.  Also I don't think is can works that way.  The spell is not actually cast till the action that triggers is taken if you follow the immuto.  The wording of the Immuto is "The Caster specifies a situation which the spell will be cast," this suggests the spell is not actually "Cast" till the condition is met even if the caster already set it in motion with their casting duel.  It is a weird Immuto that twists the norm on how things happen as you should be setting the TN by selecting Magia and Immutos, flipping the duel, and if you match the TN the spell is normally successful cast but this Immuto seems to suggest the spell does not actually Cast till the condition is met *It just sort of hangs around for that last part till the condition*.  Now that said I would let him use other conditions.  Him saying a certain word, pointing at the target, stomping his foot.  But none of them would be part of actual action of spell casting, it has to be a separate action.  Now I would let him use a (0) action to trigger it if it is a small thing such as pointing or using a trigger word.  That way he is making a clear action to do it and it does not cost him much *save if he starts getting other (0) actions*.  But I would also hold him to that trigger, as in he should only have ONE trigger when he is using his Delay Immuto this way.  After all this is a tradition he learned, not some random whispering of madness in his head at any giving moment.  So if he wants a short cast on his spell he is going to have to settle on a single method of triggering it that you can work with.  That way if he goes with a trigger word, if he cannot speak he cannot do it.  If he goes with lifting his arm and pointing at the target then having his hands tied behind his back could be a problem.  Or if it is stomping his foot if someone makes him float he cannot trigger it.  It gives options and is better story telling.

For 3... It is difficult.  I would not allow, Declare an Attack, as the target does not actually do that, the Fatemaster does it.  I would require it to be more narrative and set from the character's perceptions if I was the Fatemaster.  Such as "When he shoots his gun", "When he swings his sword", or "When he Draws his weapon".  Generally I would not let it interrupt the person's attack unless he finds a specific portion moment before the attack such as when charging in "When they step on that spot 2 yards in front of me".  Of course that has a higher chance of backfire if rather than charging they pull out a gun and start shooting at you *though it would still be there when someone stepped on that spot*.  It can still mess with their actions, as while it will not stop the first attack it can prevent a second swing *though they can still use the AP for something else like walking back into range or Focus then swing.

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1. I think its up to fatemaster, but you should prob discuss with the player.
I think there is a case for either, but rooted is intended to leave the character rooted after the damaging effect so I would probably rule push then root.

2. I think its reasonable to allow the player to do this. I think the weakness they have chosen is not being able to maintain an exisiting delayed spell whilst casting a new one. I don't think there is any reason to stop them casting immediate spells.

3. I don't think delayed conditions should be specified in terms of game mechanics. No character actually say's I'm  "declaring an attack" before punching someone, so pedantically I don't think that is a valid condition. Maybe "when that character moves", or "when that character is within 1 meter of me" would allow them to cast before being attacked. But if I was fate master I allow someone who moved and still has unspent movement after being pushed back to use the rest of their unspent movement. I quite like the concept of using push as a defense tbh, but there are ways around it that will cause the caster to waste their spells sometimes so I don't think it's unbalanced. Unless enemies are stupid they would adapt after having seen the tactic a few times. They can only delay one spell, so its not good against 4 enemies, so in a group fight if you realise there is an annoying mage pushing people back everyone either charges them or leaves them for last.

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