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In Arkham Horror, are there any restrictions on when spells can be cast?

My specific question is about the spell 'Find Gate', it reads:

Movement: Cast and exhaust to immediately return to Arkham from an Other World.

Can I, for example, cast this immediately after being drawn through a gate during the Arkham Encounters phase? This would effectively skip the Other World Encounter that is about to happen this turn, in addition to the one that would happen next turn.

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I went ahead and edited the full text of the spell into your question. I know it might make it look a little more silly, but I think it makes things clearer too. –  Jefromi Oct 25 '12 at 16:37
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Spells (and other items) will usually have some casting phase or timing defined on the card that states when they're allowed to be used.

http://www.arkhamhorrorwiki.com/Find_Gate

Find Gate has Movement: on it, so you can only cast Find Gate during the Movement phase. So if you were drawn through a gate due to an Arkham Encounter that said some thing like 'A Gate and a Monster appear!' you wouldn't have the opportunity to cast Find Gate before your first Other World encounter. But you would be able to cast it the turn after that.

Additionally, Find Gate has been subject to some scrutiny due to the fact that the delayed status doesn't explicity prevent you from casting spells, only from using movement points. So technically it's allowable that a Mythos Card draws your investigator through a gate and you use Find Gate before you have even a single encounter. Here's a thread on the Fantasy Flight forums where people talked about it:

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?efid=5&efcid=1&efidt=466654

Also a thread on BoardGameGeek where people talk about it:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/629282/using-find-gate-spell-when-youre-delayed

So currently the preferred way of playing these situations is that you're supposed to have at least one encounter in an Other World before you're able to use Find Gate, as being able to get through an Other World for essentially free is against the spirit of the game. So become un-delayed takes your entire movement and the combat penalty from the Nightgaunt immediately ends your movement phase. But again, there's nothing in the rules that explicity states this is the way it has to play out, so play it out however you like.

As a second example of timing, Astral Travel (from the Curse of the Dark Pharaoh expansion) has a timing of Arkham Encounters so you couldn't use it to rush into a group of monsters, take one of two out and then Astral Travel out of there.

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I didn't see anything about that in the rules. I would have expected it to be in the 'Casting Spells' section where spell casting is explained. Is this ever explicitly stated in the rules? –  Matt Oct 25 '12 at 17:03
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Hmmm, that's a good observation! Right now, the closest thing I can find is this from the FAQ: Q: When can a character perform actions during a phase? For example, if a player with the ally Duke (“discard to immediately restore your Sanity to its maximum”) draws an encounter and has to roll a die and lose that much Sanity, when can he discard Duke to restore Sanity: not at all once the encounter card is drawn, before the roll, or after the roll? A: Actions can be performed at any time during their listed phase as long as any given conditions are met. –  EvilAmarant7x Oct 25 '12 at 17:29
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You have to cast it during your movement phase. Which is over when you enter the gate.

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Welcome to B&CG! –  Pat Ludwig Oct 25 '12 at 16:09
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