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Sorcerous Workings on Yourself? For superpowers?

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  • Sorcerous Workings on Yourself? For superpowers?

    Solars are (obviously) the easiest to play Ex3 splat right now, as they're all we've got solid rules for. I'm largely ok with this, as I like Solars, and can find fun in them. One thing I miss, however, is SWLIHN's Mind-Hand charm sequence (including the homebrew from Revlid, I think, that lets you clean with it automatically). As I was pondering this problem, one obvious solution is to build an artifact that lets you move things with your mind at a distance as a baseline, and unlock evocations from it. This 'works', but isn't quite the effect I'm looking for, where even a naked, restrained Solar is a threat Vader-style. I could build the artifact internally, or make a potion one drinks that lasts for a week per draught, or maybe bind a demon, or... somehow, there's got to be some crazy magical trick I can figure out.

    Clearly, the solution might be a great sorcerous working. It encompasses all of those things at their core, and thus, I'm considering if such a thing is possible. Essentially, a sorcerous working that allows me to move things with my mind, thus allowing me to develop my own innate charms, because that's now a thing I can do.

    This is part 1.

    Part 2, then, is if that works, what _else_ might work? Can one sorcerous working oneself to have a higher effective strength? Baseline soak without needing to have ISoB as your control spell? I feel like part 1 is 'sane', but part 2 might slowly unbalance the game, or cause problems - even though it'd be fun for the sorcerer until someone distorted them.

  • #2
    I would definitely avoid Working that just purely increase your mechanical stats, unless you want the whole party to has Essence 5 with every Attribute and Abilities at 10.

    Originally posted by GreenLantern View Post
    even though it'd be fun for the sorcerer until someone distorted them.
    I'm 100% sure that you can't Distort a Working.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by GreenLantern View Post

      Clearly, the solution might be a great sorcerous working. It encompasses all of those things at their core, and thus, I'm considering if such a thing is possible. Essentially, a sorcerous working that allows me to move things with my mind,
      A working or an Initiation; there are already Initiations that grant Merits for things like shooting fire or shaping rituals to extract souls.

      Originally posted by GreenLantern
      thus allowing me to develop my own innate charms, because that's now a thing I can do.
      ​This I would say shouldn't be; Solar Charms are operating off of an aesthetic and theme slightly narrower than what the Exalt can already do.

      Originally posted by GreenLantern
      Can one sorcerous working oneself to have a higher effective strength? Baseline soak without needing to have ISoB as your control spell? I feel like part 1 is 'sane', but part 2 might slowly unbalance the game, or cause problems - even though it'd be fun for the sorcerer until someone distorted them.
      ​There's not really any basis not to, and I'd say the effort is enough to make them not excessively unbalancing. Just keep in mind that you would need high Finesse to be able to define the thing as working without any potentially troublesome additions; a lower Finesse working could give you enhanced strength, but only while you don't cut your hair.


      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
      Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GreenLantern View Post
        This is part 1.

        Part 2, then, is if that works, what _else_ might work? Can one sorcerous working oneself to have a higher effective strength? Baseline soak without needing to have ISoB as your control spell? I feel like part 1 is 'sane', but part 2 might slowly unbalance the game, or cause problems - even though it'd be fun for the sorcerer until someone distorted them.
        The only reason I'd object to this in my own game is that it just isn't very interesting. There are already athletics charms that increase your effective strength in a dozen different ways, and simply ignoring them all in favor of adding a few dots of strength via a working is kind of boring.

        If the strength were part of some other transformation that had a little more to it, I wouldn't mind. But even those athletics charms are more involved and interesting than "I do magic and have higher stats" most of the time.

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        • #5
          I probably wouldn't let workings add base attributes or abilities, but I probably would let them add merits like Mighty Thews (to increase strength) or Unusual Hide (to represent skin of bronze) at the normal experience costs for such merits (instead of the standard cost for undertaking a working)

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          • #6
            The telekenesis thing seems like the kind of thing you could just make a spell for? Activated by meditation? A Working seems a bit of an more extreme effort for the eventuality of being restrained.

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            • #7
              Ghosthead - It does seem like extreme effort, but in this case, it's also about the aesthetic. Yes, there are many ways. But the working gives the 'purest' version.

              Also agreeing with most of you that it's boring to add raw stats - but also the easiest way to express concerns about game-breaking "Hey, the Lore/Occult character now has Strength 10, and is overshadowing the Athletics character".

              It sounds like there are no major problems with the fundamental of the idea, as long as the implementation is done 'sanely'.

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              • #8
                We have the precedent of the tattoo from the mara initiation that lets you buy evocations for it. So a working that gives you a power and then you can build evocations on it wouldnt be too far off.
                I wouldnt make the working increase your own stats, but giving the telekinesis power its own dice pool for feats of strength would be ok.

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                • #9
                  Workings can definitely do this sort of thing, but you'll need to negotiate with your ST about the exact results. Like, if you just want TK, that's probably Celestial 2, but if you want the ability to get a short set of custom TK charms you can learn, I'd probably put that at Celestial 3.


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                  • #10
                    I would say that a Working that gives you a power that you can then learn Evocations for makes the most sense. Adding new options for native charms seems dubious.

                    Of course, you could also word the power you grant yourself with the working in a way that lets your native powers work with it. For example, in 2e there was a laser-shooting mutation, which would count as either an Archery or Thrown weapon and could therefore be enhanced by those.

                    Solars don't get general-purpose telekinesis charms, but if you have general-purpose telekinesis from elsewhere, it's reasonable to be able to enhance your Telekinetic Throw with normal thrown charms, to enhance your Telekinetic Crush with brawl charms, and to enhance your Telekinetic Slash or Telekinetic Parry with melee charms. So another option would be to use a working to give yourself a general suite of telekinetic actions like that which can then be enhanced with Solar charms the same way you would enhance "normal" actions. There would probably be some stuff that would be hard to accomplish this way, though.

                    Part 2, then, is if that works, what _else_ might work? Can one sorcerous working oneself to have a higher effective strength? Baseline soak without needing to have ISoB as your control spell? I feel like part 1 is 'sane', but part 2 might slowly unbalance the game, or cause problems - even though it'd be fun for the sorcerer until someone distorted them.
                    The basic rule for Sorcerous Workings is "can you sell your ST on this?", which, most of the time, requires two things.

                    First, your working has to be balanced. Workings that obviously break the game will (and should) be rejected.

                    Second, your working has to be interesting. This is where your part 2 suggestions somewhat break down. Giving yourself telekinesis is cool. I would argue that you could justify baseline soak in a number of ways. Often workings are more interesting if they involve trade-offs, and there are obvious ones here - permanently making your skin as hard as steel has mythological precedent and obvious drawbacks, so I'd definitely allow it. Similarly, if you're going to give your character an obviously unnatural grotesque physique with muscles visible through your ruined skin as a way of getting more strength, that would be cool.

                    I'm not saying they all need drawbacks, just that drawbacks are one way of making workings that would otherwise be "just some flat numerical buffs" more interesting. The point is, workings are a story, and you have to sell your ST on the fact that the story you're going for here is interesting. If you're just using a working to add +X to something with no real thematic resonance or depth to it, that's going to be a hard sell.

                    (Also, aside: If you just want to tell the story of your slim and nerdy character buffing your stats and bulking up through supernatural means, why not just use that as a justification for buying your stats up the normal way? You could, in-story, talk about your character mixing potions and testing rituals, while mechanically just buying up your strength the same way everyone else does.)
                    Last edited by Aquillion; 02-25-2017, 06:06 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Changing topic slightly, then - how does one design/build for workings? So far, I see only two Occult charms that can help. The Excellency itself, and the Ancient Tongue Understanding, which gives (roughly) two-to-three successes for most characters. If you're maxed on Int+Occult, that's 10 dice (20 after charms), and with 0.5 successes per die average, that's 10 successes, and 2-3 from ATO. I don't see any other Occult charms that help that pool. If I'm being saucy, I can go Larceny, and pick up Fate-Shifting Solar Arete once or twice to get an extra 0.1/0.2 successes per die. That's literally all the charms I can find that can help.

                      Are there any other effects or charms to boost that pool? I was really expecting to find things like double-9's, and reroll-successes, etc, in the Occult tree, and really - nothing.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GreenLantern View Post
                        Are there any other effects or charms to boost that pool? I was really expecting to find things like double-9's, and reroll-successes, etc, in the Occult tree, and really - nothing.
                        Working is pretty game changing and can only be "dispel" with another Working, so I think that they don't want you to be able to spam it effortlessly.

                        Originally posted by GreenLantern View Post
                        I can go Larceny, and pick up Fate-Shifting Solar Arete once or twice to get an extra 0.1/0.2 successes per die. That's literally all the charms I can find that can help.
                        Sadly, FSSA can only "enhances any kind of action that is not part of an extended roll".

                        There is another way to get free dices though, get another Solar with Empowering Shout, this give you 1 non-charm dice to an Attribute and Abilites (for a total of 2 dices). If the Solar has Essence 4, then it's 2 non-charm dices (For a total of 4 dices).

                        The Miracle of Solar supplement also has an Occult dice trick charm that can get you some additional dices IIRC.

                        Don't forget that you can also spend 1wp to get a success on the Working roll.


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                        • #13
                          As an aside, i would guess mortal sorcerers, who have the ambition but much less options when it comes to supernatural improvement, might have an even greater interest on the subject than most exalts. Making oneself the match of a 2nd circle demon - risky like hell? Certainly. Totally worth it? Possibly.

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                          • #14
                            Jen - That must be one of the changes they made; my PDF (not sure when I got it) doesn't include the bolded line you describe in FSSA.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jen View Post
                              Working is pretty game changing and can only be "dispel" with another Working, so I think that they don't want you to be able to spam it effortlessly.
                              You cannot dispel a working even with another working. You can only change its context.

                              (My go-to example is the Fairy Godmother curse in Sleeping Beauty - you can't simply undo the curse that she'll prick her finger and die, but you can finesse the meaning of "die".)

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