Rote Spells

Over time, a wizard uses a particular evocation often enough that ... its use becomes reflexive. When this happens, the spell is considered to be a rote spell.

(YS, p. 257; emphasis mine)

How often is "often enough" to allow a wizard to change their rote spells? When a certain type of milestone is reached? When that exact evocation is cast a certain number of times in-game? Does it matter if the spell was not safely controlled? Does the answer change if the wizard switches one rote for another, instead of adding a new rote?

I have already checked every instance of "rote" in Your Story, but none of them were conclusive. I would prefer a RAW answer over homebrew, but experience-backed homebrew works if no RAW answer exists.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It's funny, I've always lumped Rotes in with Stunts and Powers and assumed you could change them in the same way. But now I see that it says nothing about that... \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Oct 1, 2018 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


Yes, I think that the specific mechanic for converting an evocation to a rote spell would be the Milestones.

No, there is no rule specifying anything like a specific number or frequency of uses or successes with the Evocation, nor is there anything specifically explaining how and when to convert a well-used Evocation to a Rote spell.

However, there is a specific number of Rote Spells your wizard can know (YS page 257), so, if she's already at a number of Rote spells matching her Lore skill level, converting another Evocation to a Rote spell would depend on reaching a Milestone which lets her increase her Lore skill level. So, right away we're already talking about Significant milestones at a minimum.

Moving an existing Evocation from its spot on the character sheet to the Rote spells implies that there is now an opportunity to replace it with a new Evocation, since you'll have the Refresh available to do so. This brings us to Major Milestone territory, since that's the one where a wizard can gain "new stunts and powers". (YS pages 89, 90)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure what you mean by the last paragraph. Are you saying that there isn't a way to swap one rote for another without raising Lore or spending refresh on something like Refinement? \$\endgroup\$
    – Red Orca
    Sep 17, 2018 at 21:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ I suppose I might have assumed something you didn't state in your question. However, even if you intend to drop one Rote spell in order to take another one without raising Lore, I think that gaining Rote on an existing Evocation counts as a "new stunt or power" and would not be attainable without a Major Milestone at all, even if you did not raise Lore. \$\endgroup\$
    – Beanluc
    Sep 17, 2018 at 21:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I see. I added some clarification - I was originally talking about swapping one rote for another, but adding another rote is another valid possibility. \$\endgroup\$
    – Red Orca
    Sep 17, 2018 at 21:59

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