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Sorcerous Workings: Where We Make Judgments

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  • It's a dragonblooded being drained. What's the power level?

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    • Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
      It's a dragonblooded being drained. What's the power level?
      Dragon-Blooded Willpower isn't intrinsically harder to drain than mortal Willpower, absent the Deeb buying Integrity Charms, which we haven't been told is the case.

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      • The sorcerer attempts a working to give his subject a new (albeit subtle) special ability: immunity to a certain type of disease. Let's say it's cancer: cancer can no longer develop, grow, or spread in the subject's body at all. (This effect doesn't actually remove any existing tumors, if any -- you'd need actual medical treatment for that, I think -- but they aren't likely to be dangerous anymore.)

        Or perhaps it's another broad category of disease. Something other than the Great Contagion, anyway -- cholera, plague, whatever. (I'm assuming the Great Contagion is much harder to ward someone against, although it's probably within a Solar sorcerer's power to at least partially protect someone if he really wants to put the effort in. I'm open to suggestions on that as well.)

        How tough a working is this? Might it be Celestial Ambition 2 (because you're granting the subject a supernatural power, even if it's not a flashy one)? Or perhaps Terrestrial Ambition 2 (you might consider it essentially just a mutation -- effective immunity to one specific category of disease isn't obviously magical in any way, nor terribly impressive compared to existing merits in the book)?

        (I have mixed feelings on the idea of sorcerous workings doing medical stuff at all, but I can't think of a reason to disallow it if the sorcerer's player really wants to spend the XP on this.)

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        • Originally posted by Jefepato View Post
          The sorcerer attempts a working to give his subject a new (albeit subtle) special ability: immunity to a certain type of disease. Let's say it's cancer: cancer can no longer develop, grow, or spread in the subject's body at all. (This effect doesn't actually remove any existing tumors, if any -- you'd need actual medical treatment for that, I think -- but they aren't likely to be dangerous anymore.)

          How tough a working is this? Might it be Celestial Ambition 2 (because you're granting the subject a supernatural power, even if it's not a flashy one)? Or perhaps Terrestrial Ambition 2 (you might consider it essentially just a mutation -- effective immunity to one specific category of disease isn't obviously magical in any way, nor terribly impressive compared to existing merits in the book)?
          I'd call immunity to a specific non-magical disease Terrestrial 2 - it seems pretty reasonable as a mutation, given that people are immune to specific diseases in real life too. A whole category of diseases, I'd actually rate at Terrestrial 3 instead. However, I actually wouldn't treat cancer as a whole category, just a single disease, despite in reality it being a whole swathe of diseases. That's because, narratively, cancer does tend to be treated as a single disease. A character doesn't really get "bone cancer" or "thyroid cancer" or whatever, they just get "cancer", in fiction. Plus, it kind of feels like a dick ST move to say "Okay, you're immune to colon cancer. Too bad you got stomach cancer instead!" I'd probably make the broader category something like "disease based on malfunctioning body", and lump in at least autoimmune diseases as well, for the Terrestrial 3 version.

          Originally posted by Jefepato
          (I'm assuming the Great Contagion is much harder to ward someone against, although it's probably within a Solar sorcerer's power to at least partially protect someone if he really wants to put the effort in. I'm open to suggestions on that as well.
          I'd peg any supernatural disease as requiring a supernatural power to be immune to, and thus Celestial 2. The Great Contagion I'd specifically make Solar 1, though, since it's supposed to be the ultimate badass disease, and putting it that high means that very, very few Terrestrial-tier sorcerers would have had a chance to make themselves immune.

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          • Kelly Pedersen is very in-line with my thinking on this; being immune to a specific disease type feels like a reasonable mutation, and thus Terrestrial 2 (though they might still be a carrier).

            ‚ÄčThat said, I'm still not a fan of no-sells, so I'd probably have the Celestial 2 version feel a tad more, well, supernatural. Like instead of just being flatly immune to diseases, you have a barrier around you that causes infectious material to burst into flame; if a disease manages to get through, you can't die from it (like an Exalt) and each time you fail a roll against the disease you get an increasing bonus on your next resistance roll as white fire surges through your veins, or something.
            Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 08-17-2019, 07:58 AM.

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            • Thanks, I think that sounds very reasonable.

              Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
              ‚ÄčThat said, I'm still not a fan of no-sells, so I'd probably have the Celestial 2 version feel a tad more, well, supernatural. Like instead of just being flatly immune to diseases, you have a barrier around you that causes infectious material to burst into flame; if a disease manages to get through, you can't die from it (like an Exalt) and each time you fail a roll against the disease you get an increasing bonus on your next resistance roll as white fire surges through your veins, or something.
              TBH I was already thinking that simple immunity was kind of boring and also that making the effect weirder would go a long way towards reducing the "using sorcery to do Medicine" problem here. But it was getting late and I was in a hurry to get my question posted in a coherent form. >_>

              I like the idea of the subject being bonded with some kind of minor fire elemental that embodies purity. If a disease gets through the flaming defense, the disease starts burning up inside the body; the subject might end up with an unpleasant fever for a few days, but that cancer probably isn't long for this world.

              ...A related question might be: could one reasonably develop a Medicine Charm that preemptively gives someone resistance or immunity to a future disease? It makes a lot of sense (of course a Solar physician could develop a cancer vaccine!), but I'm not sure what form the mechanics would take. (In particular, I'm wondering if it could be done without committing Essence to each patient.) I guess that's a question for a different thread though.

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              • Definitely agree that a working to provide immunity, even one to a mundane disease, is better described with cool and weird effects, rather than just "you don't get sick". For cancer immunity, I kind of like the idea that every so often, the sorcerer hacks up a tiny lump of flesh, the incipient tumor, that animates as a tiny homunculous under their control, and "lives" for a few days. After a particularly nasty dose of carcinogens (direct exposure to Ligier's light, for instance), this could produce several homunculi of notable size, or possibly they'd merge together to make one of human infant size.

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