[[ExactWords C-O-N]]--

[[LamePunReaction Stop it.]]

Hooray, you've got phenomenal magical powers! Mastery of the universe is in your hands… at least the parts of the universe that let you [[PlayingWithFire throw fireballs]] or [[BalefulPolymorph turn princes into frogs]]. But wait… in order to [[ElementalPowers command the elements]] or [[SoulPower the spirits]], you'll need to follow very precise instructions and use just the right ingredients. Casting a spell, it seems, is less like pulling a trigger and more like baking a cake. You might find the recipe in a SpellBook.

There are six different types of component that may be involved, each with associated tropes.

* EyeOfNewt--physical ingredients
** EquivalentExchange
** InsubstantialIngredients
* FormulaicMagic--mathematical equations and formulas
* GeometricMagic--complex diagrams
** HermeticMagic
** InstantRunes
* MagicalGesture--anything from simply pointing up to ritual dance
** MagicDance
** PstandardPsychicPstance
** FullContactMagic
* MagicalIncantation--the words of the spell
** LanguageOfMagic
** IKnowYourTrueName
** MagicMusic
** WordsCanBreakMyBones
* MagicPrerequisite--external factors that have to be right
** {{Mana}}
* MagicWand--tools for doing magic
** LimitedUseMagicalDevice
** MagicStaff
** {{Magitek}}

A setting's FunctionalMagic needn't use all of these, but which it uses makes a big difference to how the wizards in that setting work. If all magic needs is the [[MagicalIncantation right words]], spells can be cast fast but a gagged wizard is powerless. If all magic is requires drawing [[GeometricMagic complex diagrams]], it won't be as fast, but even a bound and gagged wizard might be able to draw an explosive sigil with their elbow. If it requires [[RitualMagic a complex and demanding ritual]], then magic will be very hard to cast even unopposed.

Note that the spells do not neccessarily need to be cast as soon as they are created. If the setting allows for the user to hold onto a spell after construction to be used later, then it can have a construction method that takes very long such as RitualMagic, and still allow for spells that are cast instantly when they are needed, or to be used for fast-paced magical battles. See VancianMagic for this kind of solution.

This also means that we often make a distinction between '''''preparation''''' and '''''activation'''''. Both still use the above the list of components, but some of them may only have a role in ''creating'' a spell, while other will serve as a trigger to make it go off.

The more unusual examples of each component may blur into each other, but they can be distinguished by the way they are handled. if it's kept in a bottle, it is EyeOfNewt, even if it's the sound of a child laughing.

Sometimes, if the caster is sufficiently skilled or resourceful, they might be able to forgo some of the usual in-universe requirements to a spell. That is SimplifiedSpellcasting.

Compare TheLawOfPowerProportionateToEffort, for the kinds of efforts needed to use a superpower.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', most spells are MagicalIncantation, although Pactios seem to require GeometricMagic. There are also some MagicPrerequisite spells, which require that the magic of TheWorldTree is active before they can be used.
* In ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha,'' most spells use InstantRunes which have to be properly calculated [[FormulaicMagic with math]]. Most mages also use a Device, a MagicWand with a built in AI to facilitate casting. A MagicalGesture or a short MagicalIncantation is often used as a trigger command to cast a spell once it has been prepared, although those are just mental shortcuts. There are also some spells, such as Nanoha's [[WaveMotionGun Starlight Breaker]], that recycle recently used {{Mana}}, and as such are more powerful at the end of a battle.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'', spells are cast by drawing raw background magic into one's body, pinballing it around, and sending it out through a conglomeration or succession of “spellfuel” bits. The easiest spells require only simple pinballing. Harder ones require more complex pinballing and an assortment of spellfuel, and it's easy to screw up the process.

* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', most magic is cast with {{magic wand}}s, waved in [[MagicalGesture just the right way]], [[MagicalIncantation while speaking in]] [[CanisLatinicus psuedo-Latin.]] (The potions, however, are pure EyeOfNewt.)
* In ''Literature/TheLegendsOfEthshar'', wizardry combines EyeOfNewt, {{magical gesture}}s, and {{magical incantation}}s. And {{magic wand}}s (the Athame, a dagger with part of the wizard's soul in it).
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', minor magic requires magical words that can basically be anything the caster wants them to be so long as the intent is there, moderate magic and potions require EyeOfNewt, and very high levels of magic require rituals and a symbolic construction such as a model or magical circle. There are shortcuts around all of these so as long as you believe hard enough and have a large enough source of energy, but it might backfire badly if you try to do it without the spell components.
* ''Literature/YoungWizards'' and its sister series, ''Feline Wizards'' has the True Language variant where spells are just talking to the programming code of the universe itself to re-shape itself. Thus, magic needs to be either written in magical mental runes or spoken in a particular language.
** Some spells do have an EyeOfNewt component, such as Nita's rowan wand and Kit's steel antenna, which are said to aid the spell due to the particular way that space bends around them. [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness This is largely phased out in the later books]], [[FridgeLogic possibly due to the characters being more experienced]].
* In Creator/PiersAnthony's ''Literature/ApprenticeAdept'' series, each of the powerful wizards in Phaze has their own form of SpellConstruction; the Blue Adept uses MagicMusic, the Yellow Adept uses EyeOfNewt, White uses GeometricMagic, Green uses MagicalGesture, etc.
* Aversion: In Feist's ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle' the most powerful ''magician's'' would argue with you (if they'd tend to) since people such as nakor or Pug know rather well magic is just tricks and only idiots need chanting and those weird symbols others keep drawing.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The British TV show ''Series/{{Knightmare}}'' featured spellcasting which was literally having to spell a specific word. However the spell first had to be taught by an npc or found within the dungeon (most often in pieces)

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' spells typically use [[EyeOfNewt material]], [[MagicalGesture somatic]], and [[MagicalIncantation verbal]] components (However, any arcane caster can take a feat that removes the need for material components that don't cost money-useful in the middle of a dragon raid and you're out of fireball components). It also has [[MagicWand focuses]] that are reusable but specific to a particular spell, and a few {{Prestige Class}}es that use GeometricMagic. [[ReligionIsMagic Divine magic]] rarely uses material components, and its gestures are simple enough that they can be performed in armor, but often requires holding a holy symbol.
** Dungeons and Dragons can use all six depending on the spell and the person casting it, but it is also possible to [[SimplifiedSpellcasting cast a spell without any construction]], typically by taking certain feats. The construction is mostly a helper.
** Pathfinder kept much of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' components, but also gave Sorcerers (mages that gain power from their blood, not their knowledge) the ability to cast without material components for free (Wizards still had to burn a feat for it).
* Magic in ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' requires {{Mana}}, [[MagicalGesture MagicalGestures]] and [[MagicalIncantation MagicalIncantations]]. Certain spells also need EyeOfNewt and complex designs. Energy requirements often necessitate items that provide additional power. Casters can ignore most of these (but never the mana) with sufficiently high skill or by taking penalties when casting.
* In ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'', every magic wielder pretty much defined his own "foci", as they were called. And while each Tradition had classic types of foci associated with them, you could have your own as long as it made sense within your belief system. For example, a mage who was also an archaeologist might use his [[MagicWand bullwhip]] to affect physical changes, while charging [[EyeOfNewt bullets]] with magic for destructive effects. Later on, however, as the mage became "enlightened", he could begin to use various types of magic WITHOUT his foci, though using them still made it easier.
** ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' runs the gambit. Improvised magic can be cast without any of the construction methods, buts its pretty unreliable so most mages use rotes which require [[MagicalGesture mudras]]. To get more benefits mages often also use, [[LanguageofMagic High Speech]] [[MagicalIncantation incantations]], [[MagicWand dedicated magical tools]], and less frequently [[GeometricMagic runes and sigils]]. If they really need to increase the power they can use a ritual with the right [[EyeOfNewt sacraments]]. Also, while they can usually get enough from the ambient magic, but some spell require them to spend [[MagicPrerequisite mana]].
* [[TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}} Shadowrun]] has all of the above as entirely optional. By default, no magic requires anything (except the specific combination of [[HermeticMagic hermetic]] [[SummonMagic conjuration]] always requires [[EyeOfNewt expensive components]] and [[GeometricMagic a summoning circle]]). Otherwise, you can accept any of the above as a limitation to offset the magical power lost because CyberneticsEatYourSoul (at the cost of not being able to use magic at all when you don't meet the requirements). Alternatively, or even on top of this, you can learn individual spells with such limitations in order to make them even more powerful (but likewise, you can never cast that spell, even a weakened version, if you can't meet your self-imposed restriction).

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Academagia}}'', magic spells are cast using special symbols, called "phemes", that are combined to produce spells a bit like phonetic sounds are combined to produce words. Spells are usually inscribed on magical three dimensional space, called a "palette", using a wand. However, it is the phemes that are essential to spell casting, specialized tools like palettes and wand are helpful in a number of ways but not necessary. Theoretically, a skilled mage could draw the phemes in dust or mud with a stick and still cast spells, provided the phemes are made accurately.
* ''VideoGame/TheSims2''. All spells require [[EyeOfNewt reagents]] (except for teleportation). Strangely, all the potions only require a cauldron and level 2 magic.
** In ''VideoGame/TheSims3'', spells require a MagicWand, which can vary in quality (the more expensive, the more likely the spell is to succeed) and also a certain level of magical skill.
* Several spells in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' require reagents, although they're generally very easy to get. It's also possible to use "Glyphs" to remove the material requirements for some spells.
** The enchanting profession follows this much more, requiring specific types of magical essences, dust and crystals, as well as special enchanting rods.
* ''VideoGame/WoodruffAndTheSchnibbleOfAzimuth'': Once you've learned some of the Wisemen's Syllables, you must enter a special screen, where you make specific groups of three Syllables (using some instructions you find in the Bouzouk throne room) to create some magic Formulas.
* ''VideoGame/ArxFatalis'' has you collect runes that you can use to make into spells, including an auto-updating spellbook as you have to cast the spells with mouse gestures. Of course, not all of the spells are [[EasterEgg listed]].

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' requires {{Mana}} and an incantation for magic to be cast -- higher rank spells require several verses (one verse is equivalent to 4-6 lines) in order to cast. Caster bypasses this because she has access to the skill "High-Speed Spellcasting", which allows her to use the language of the Gods and significantly reduce casting time, and of course allowing her to use Rank-A spells with ease. In addition, more complex magic rituals require runes (the Servant summoning ritual requires a circle made from blood) and a catalyst for the reaction (the aforementioned ritual requires something possessed by the Heroic Spirit in question).

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, most magic is MagicalGesture or MagicalIncantation, but some of Hekate's really dark magic is more EyeOfNewt.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', chi spells were typically prepared beforehand as [[EyeOfNewt potions]], which either had magical effects directly or were stored in a magical item (such as Uncle's blowfish) for later use. Casting spells usually also required a MagicalIncantation, usually "''yu mo gwai gwaai fai di zao''"[[note]]Some spells, most notably the Oni mask removal spell, had unique incantations, and Daolon Wong used a different incantation[[/note]].