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[OOC] [Mage: the Awakening 2E] The Supernal Suburbia

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  • Even if they aren't indestructible, you always have the option of getting a new dedicated tool, so it's not like you're screwed forever.

    I must admit, the idea of losing my dedicated tool actually makes me uneasy OOC. Certainly a way to get me personally invested in case somebody does steal mine :<


    Character Sheet: Oscar "Lynx" Dalgren

    Comment


    • Reading through the past few pages to see what big questions you're all waiting for feedback on. Looks like there are questions about the connection between Hakim and Phoenix's Hunter cell; Hakim's death and how it relates to recent events, and what implications that has for Moonstone and Phoenix; Lynx's familiar and rules for creation/function of his spirit; and Phoenix's dedicated tool as tattoos. Let me know if I missed anything.

      I'm going to start with the tattoo because I think it will be the easiest for me to answer right now.

      By my reading, a Dedicated Tool offers -2 on Paradox rolls and can also be used as a yantra for +1 as if it were a Path/Order tool. The disadvantage is that if it is lost, you must spend 1 month of incorporating that yantra into every spell you cast even if it does not provide a bonus.

      I am ok with you having tattoos for your initial Dedicated Tool, as long as you have the same potential for the disadvantage as anyone who holds a physical tool. Otherwise, it starts to approximate a Merit for me because of the intrinsic adavantages of not being able to lose the tattoo.

      Here is my idea on how to make this work. Let me know what you think and we can compromise if needed. I think it's a really cool idea, I just want to be fair.

      First, the book makes it clear that it's possible for you to use a Dedicated Tool for reducing any paradox roll but that (as with any yantra) not all Dedicated Tools have a semiotic link to a spell. For example, a glass dagger would probably not provide a yantra bonus on a healing spell, but could provide the -2 on the related paradox roll. For your tattoos, if there is some kind of spell that lacks a semiotic link, there will be that same disadvantage as well. I'm pretty flexible on what counts as being related to "potential," partially because the books aren't really clear on this idea.

      Second, you need to have ready access to the tattoo just like you would need to be holding or using a tool like a staff, dagger, etc. I like your idea of having the palms showing. I think the solution is to say that you can't use the tattoo in your spell casting (as yantra or tool to reduce paradox) if you are holding something or using something with either/both hands, or if your hands are not accessible or usable. You can still incorporate rote mudras or other yantras that require movement, or High Speech. But if you're holding something or grappling, or if your hands are covered at the time of casting, you can't use the tattoos. If you suffer the Arm Wrack tilt or a condition that causes severe damage to either hand/arm, you also will lose temporary access to the tattoo as a tool.

      Finally, the tool needs to have a chance at being "lost" like anyone else's dedicated tool. For you, that would include severe (aggravated) damage to the hand or skin or losing the limb. As you suggested, magic could also suppress the link to your tool, although I'm sure some Prime spell could also do the same to any other Mage. If you suffer a condition that results in loss of a hand or arm, not only do you lose the option of the tattoo as a tool until the condition is resolved, but you will need to spend a month re-dedicating the tattoo as your dedicated tool.

      Does that seem fair?


      My Games
      Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller

      Comment


      • Also, as a ST/DM in general, I like occasionally speeding up time and giving players a chance to do some things on their own between big plot-related events. So that means spending a month re-dedicating a tool may not always be a really serious commitment.

        On a side note, I'd love people to try and add a picture to their character post as well. Helps them feel more real to me.
        Last edited by rwknoll; 07-03-2016, 10:53 AM.


        My Games
        Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller

        Comment


        • Having some trouble adding an image to my character page, the forum is saying that I'm not authorized to add attachments. If you've ever seen the actor Brendan Dooling, that's who Ragnar resembles.

          Edit: Image added, crisis averted.

          In other news, I added stats for Ragnar's Dedicated Tool and equipment, not sure if they make sense.
          Last edited by Haberdasher; 07-03-2016, 12:51 PM.


          Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

          Comment


          • Regarding the familiar:

            I could've sworn the exact number of Attributes was in the book, but you're right. Weird. Let's go with 6 attributes and 2 Numina for rank 1, or 11 attributes and 4 Numina for rank 2. I will award bonus attributes and Numina as you gain experience, to reflect your familiar's growing strength through its own experience, which is why I would like to start just below median.

            In reading your post, it sounds like you want the spirit to have the literal shape of a lynx but be a spirit of a greater symbolic concept (e.g., knowledge). From my understanding of spirits, my stance is that low ranking (rank 0-1) spirits have very specific and clearly defined natures. As they grow in rank, their identity may change to take on broader concepts. Their identity and personality may also shift over time based on the Resonance of the Essence they consume. Any spirit can consume a spirit of another nature, and over time, that may change their own nature. So a lynx spirit can eat spirits of small birds/fish and keep its own nature indefinitely, or grow into a spirit of stalking predators. But if the Lynx feasts on anger spirits primarily, eventual your familiar will take on a darker personality and maybe grow into a spirit of death or hate.

            My vision of spirits is informed creatively by media such as Avatar: the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra, and "spren" from Brandon Sanderson's "The Way of Kings". So, if you take a rank 1 familiar, I would pick a clearly defined spirit type: Lynx spirit, spirit of knowledge/scholarship, etc. Rank 2 could be a broader or abstract concept (spirit of creativity or truth).

            Going by RAW, I think we should avoid Numina that act as spells using standard magic rules. However, you can creatively use spirits to gain knowledge and information that other PCs won't have access to. You could summon a spirit of time and try to coax it into divulging information to you about the past. You could also speak with death spirits that are drawn to a murder scene, due to changes in the local resonance, and ask them to tell you how a subject died.

            I will allow you to create Numina that you think would better reflect the spirit you want as a familiar, using examples in the book as suggestions on what format to include or what features are acceptable. Otherwise, I can give suggestions on new Numina or ones from the list that I think fit.

            In terms of playing the familiar, I am cool with treating it as an NPC under my control but influenced by your actions. As your relationship with the spirit matures and your Spirit arcanum improves, I will have you assume more control over its actions, especially in combat. The exception would be if you try to force it into doing something against its morals or nature, at least without use of Spirit magic.

            The way mages control or interact with spirits is analogous, but not identical, to ghosts. I think reading over the Spirit spells will answer most of your questions, or will become clearer as you get chances to interact with them in game. Spirit naturally involves more bartering with spirits than interactions with ghosts do, mostly because spirits have more nuanced personality and morals than I think of ghosts having.

            Having the familiar as an embodied creature has pros and cons. A lynx spirit can be involved in combat more easily, without the Guantlet as a barrier for attacks on beings in the material world. But it also may be harder to sneak through places in the suburban and urban settings we are playing in. If you go this route, I suggest creating some kind of Stealth-related Numina that allows it to go undetected from beings in the material realm (or other beings in the Shadow when you are in the spirit world).

            Whether you want Spirit 3 is your call. It opens up more options but has certain risks as well. If I want to include the Shadow or spirits for purpose of plot, I will find another way to do it, such as giving you access to a Loci or a Mage/mentor who has Spirit 3 -- which might come with a cost in exchange for the service (e.g., "Bring me back information on this certain spirit while you're there...")


            My Games
            Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Haberdasher View Post
              Having some trouble adding an image to my character page, the forum is saying that I'm not authorized to add attachments. If you've ever seen the actor Brendan Dooling, that's who Ragnar resembles.

              In other news, I added stats for Ragnar's Dedicated Tool and equipment, not sure if they make sense.
              You should just be able to post a link to an image hosting site, or the IMG BBCode tag.


              My Games
              Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller

              Comment


              • In regards to starting equipment, does someone know if that is detailed in the CoD core or Mage 2E book? I'm having a hard time finding it.

                Otherwise, I would say to be reasonable based on what fits your character concept and Resources merit. If you don't have at least Resources 1, I would keep your equipment list smaller, as it would be difficult for you to afford more items. People with higher resources dots can have more items and have a lot more leeway with what they pick.


                My Games
                Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller

                Comment


                • Originally posted by rwknoll View Post
                  Regarding the familiar: I could've sworn the exact number of Attributes was in the book, but you're right. Weird. Let's go with 6 attributes and 2 Numina for rank 1, or 11 attributes and 4 Numina for rank 2. I will award bonus attributes and Numina as you gain experience, to reflect your familiar's growing strength through its own experience, which is why I would like to start just below median.

                  Going by RAW, I think we should avoid Numina that act as spells using standard magic rules. However, you can creatively use spirits to gain knowledge and information that other PCs won't have access to. You could summon a spirit of time and try to coax it into divulging information to you about the past. You could also speak with death spirits that are drawn to a murder scene, due to changes in the local resonance, and ask them to tell you how a subject died.

                  I will allow you to create Numina that you think would better reflect the spirit you want as a familiar, using examples in the book as suggestions on what format to include or what features are acceptable. Otherwise, I can give suggestions on new Numina or ones from the list that I think fit.
                  Noted.

                  In reading your post, it sounds like you want the spirit to have the literal shape of a lynx but be a spirit of a greater symbolic concept (e.g., knowledge). From my understanding of spirits, my stance is that low ranking (rank 0-1) spirits have very specific and clearly defined natures. As they grow in rank, their identity may change to take on broader concepts. Their identity and personality may also shift over time based on the Resonance of the Essence they consume. Any spirit can consume a spirit of another nature, and over time, that may change their own nature. So a lynx spirit can eat spirits of small birds/fish and keep its own nature indefinitely, or grow into a spirit of stalking predators. But if the Lynx feasts on anger spirits primarily, eventual your familiar will take on a darker personality and maybe grow into a spirit of death or hate.

                  My vision of spirits is informed creatively by media such as Avatar: the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra, and "spren" from Brandon Sanderson's "The Way of Kings". So, if you take a rank 1 familiar, I would pick a clearly defined spirit type: Lynx spirit, spirit of knowledge/scholarship, etc. Rank 2 could be a broader or abstract concept (spirit of creativity or truth).
                  Avatar: TLA/LOK is also how I've imagined spirits as well, though those based on animals always felt like an abstract appearance of the original creature. I suppose what's important to me, in that case, is that it has the feline characteristics, but I imagined it'd evolve based on its actions and what Essence it consumes.

                  In terms of playing the familiar, I am cool with treating it as an NPC under my control but influenced by your actions. As your relationship with the spirit matures and your Spirit Arcanum improves, I will have you assume more control over its actions, especially in combat. The exception would be if you try to force it into doing something against its morals or nature, at least without use of Spirit magic.
                  My understanding of the rules is that Spirits generally don't (or can't) act against their nature unless forced to by magic - which is an Act of Hubris for Wisdom over 3.

                  I like this way of doing it.

                  If the Familiar isn't Embodied, it is wholly in Twilight per the Familiar merit. This, combined with Spirit 3 "Spirit Summons" allows me to give an area the Open Condition, regardless of Resonance - and if my Familiar has the Materialise Manifestation Condition, it can join the physical realm whenever I want it to. Assuming it succeeds on its Manifestation roll, at least. So at this rate, if I go for the Familiar, I'll also go for Spirit 3. Now I just need to make up my effin' mind.



                  Character Sheet: Oscar "Lynx" Dalgren

                  Comment


                  • For what it's worth, as far as I can tell, there isn't really such a thing as an Embodied familiar anymore. Instead, Familiars just have to use Fetter, Posses, Materialize, etc. like other spirits.

                    Comment


                    • This is true, but the merit does want you to specify if it's wholly in Twilight or if it's Fettered to an animal or fetish. In this case, Embodied = Fettered to animal. But it's a leftover from 1st Edition, yeah. Bit silly of me to think of it in those terms, really.


                      Character Sheet: Oscar "Lynx" Dalgren

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by rwknoll View Post
                        In regards to starting equipment, does someone know if that is detailed in the CoD core or Mage 2E book? I'm having a hard time finding it.

                        Otherwise, I would say to be reasonable based on what fits your character concept and Resources merit. If you don't have at least Resources 1, I would keep your equipment list smaller, as it would be difficult for you to afford more items. People with higher resources dots can have more items and have a lot more leeway with what they pick.
                        The Availability rules are really designed to be used during play, there aren't any guidelines for starting the game with certain equipment (unless you take Enhanced Item or something). One route you could go: when I'm STing, I tell players to look at the rating of their highest Social Merit (Resources 4, Status 2, etc) and take up to X items of X Availability. So for example Moonstone has Infamous Mentor 3, so I took 3 items of Availability 3 or less on the assumption that Hakim provided those. In general I would encourage people to not overload on starting equipment, because the point of having traits like Resources and Status is using them in play to acquire things you need/want as they come up. You can always assume that you have access to a mundane phone or car or something and just not have it grant an equipment bonus, you don't need to literally model all of your character's possessions.


                        2E Legacy Updates
                        Brotherhood of the Demon Wind
                        Choir of Hashmallim (plus extra Summoning content)
                        Storm Keepers

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                        • Okay, so I'm close to finishing my character.

                          I decided go for Life 3, Spirit 2, Fate 1, and spent my 4 remaining merit dots on Resources 3, Striking Looks 1, and Iron Stamina 2, rather than Familiar. I think it's better to get the Familiar later, if at all.

                          I've updated the character sheet accordingly. I'm still not a 100% on Vice, Long-Term Nimbus, Aspirations, and Obsessions - suggestions on this front would be appreciated, because I feel like I haven't a frame of reference to what's appropriate, and I don't truly know how Lynx'll play out as a character until we're interacting IC.

                          With Resources 3, I gave Lynx the following equipment, subject to rwknoll's approval: First Aid Kit (Availability 2), usually kept at home or at the bottom of his rucksack; Personal Computer (Availability 2), a laptop he uses at Uni and for studies; and Smartphone (Availability 2), for practical purposes overall.

                          Other than aforementioned, I think I'm done.


                          Character Sheet: Oscar "Lynx" Dalgren

                          Comment


                          • I like Caladriu's idea for starting equipment. I'm ok with someone having items that might be hard for them to obtain, but narratively it might be used/secondhand or took time for your character to obtain.

                            @Kvitebjorn (sorry, I can't get the player link to work on my phone): Your equipment sounds great, as do your merits. I hope I didn't take the fun out of having a familiar. You can get one later if you like, or even make it an Obsession.

                            For everyone: I just edited the original post to put a ton of updated info about Chicago's Mysteries, some names and details of several key NPCs, and Awakened politics. Importantly, this also includes details about recent events that are shaping current Awakened politics and setting the stage for the game's start.

                            Now that I've added that, I think it makes sense that Phoenix's Hunter cell was hunting Hakim because they believed that he had something to do with the lich that they had first hunted together. Garrick/Phoenix was particularly motivated to put down this Mage because of his background with magic. When he Awakened and found that his comrades had all been killed, he assumed that Hakim had somehow ambushed them and killed them all. With his new Supernal enlightenment, this assumed violence not only enraged him because his friends had been killed, but because it was such a terrible act of hubris.

                            Moonstone wasn't with Hakim at the time of the hunters' death but he heard about it the next day. Another Mage from Hakim's Order questioned Moonstone about whether Hakim used magic to kill the Hunters, but Moonstone knew nothing. When he asked Hakim directly, he deflected the question. Before anyone investigated further, Hakim died the following night as part of the Deathstorm. Moonstone's own Awakening took place that night during the Deathstorm itself.

                            How does that sound in terms of the links with Hakim? Do you need more info? Does that work for you, or do you have other suggestions for plot hooks?


                            My Games
                            Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by rwknoll View Post
                              @Kvitebjorn (sorry, I can't get the player link to work on my phone): Your equipment sounds great, as do your merits. I hope I didn't take the fun out of having a familiar. You can get one later if you like, or even make it an Obsession.
                              Nah, you didn't take the fun out of it. I tried to design a familiar, but as I read over the rules and thought about Numina, I couldn't really figure out how to get something that fit, so ultimately, it felt like the four merit dots that were reserved for it fit better elsewhere.

                              Linking it to an Obsession is a good idea, actually. I did envision the Great Lynx from his Awakening to have some sort of role related to a familiar - definitely a plot hook - so maybe that's the current Obsession, try to find out more about the Great Lynx?


                              Character Sheet: Oscar "Lynx" Dalgren

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by rwknoll View Post
                                I'm going to start with the tattoo because I think it will be the easiest for me to answer right now.

                                By my reading, a Dedicated Tool offers -2 on Paradox rolls and can also be used as a yantra for +1 as if it were a Path/Order tool. The disadvantage is that if it is lost, you must spend 1 month of incorporating that yantra into every spell you cast even if it does not provide a bonus.

                                I am ok with you having tattoos for your initial Dedicated Tool, as long as you have the same potential for the disadvantage as anyone who holds a physical tool. Otherwise, it starts to approximate a Merit for me because of the intrinsic adavantages of not being able to lose the tattoo.

                                Here is my idea on how to make this work. Let me know what you think and we can compromise if needed. I think it's a really cool idea, I just want to be fair.

                                First, the book makes it clear that it's possible for you to use a Dedicated Tool for reducing any paradox roll but that (as with any yantra) not all Dedicated Tools have a semiotic link to a spell. For example, a glass dagger would probably not provide a yantra bonus on a healing spell, but could provide the -2 on the related paradox roll. For your tattoos, if there is some kind of spell that lacks a semiotic link, there will be that same disadvantage as well. I'm pretty flexible on what counts as being related to "potential," partially because the books aren't really clear on this idea.
                                How does this sound? The semiotic link for the tattoos are any spell that would unleash something's potential. For example, giving a person the Inspired or Informed Conditions, restoring their Willpower, spreading a fire, etc.. It could not be used to degrade something, as that would be destroying potential (so most combat spells will have to be handled by other Tools).

                                Originally posted by rwknoll View Post
                                Second, you need to have ready access to the tattoo just like you would need to be holding or using a tool like a staff, dagger, etc. I like your idea of having the palms showing. I think the solution is to say that you can't use the tattoo in your spell casting (as yantra or tool to reduce paradox) if you are holding something or using something with either/both hands, or if your hands are not accessible or usable. You can still incorporate rote mudras or other yantras that require movement, or High Speech. But if you're holding something or grappling, or if your hands are covered at the time of casting, you can't use the tattoos. If you suffer the Arm Wrack tilt or a condition that causes severe damage to either hand/arm, you also will lose temporary access to the tattoo as a tool.
                                Of course. I originally posted the whole "the palms must be open an clearly displayed while committing some kind of gesture with the hands" with the implication that holding items or Tilts like Arm Wrack would prevent this from happening. I should've pointed it out earlier.

                                Originally posted by rwknoll View Post
                                Finally, the tool needs to have a chance at being "lost" like anyone else's dedicated tool. For you, that would include severe (aggravated) damage to the hand or skin or losing the limb. As you suggested, magic could also suppress the link to your tool, although I'm sure some Prime spell could also do the same to any other Mage. If you suffer a condition that results in loss of a hand or arm, not only do you lose the option of the tattoo as a tool until the condition is resolved, but you will need to spend a month re-dedicating the tattoo as your dedicated tool.

                                Does that seem fair?
                                Yes it does!

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