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  • Using Sorcerers

    I was wondering what was the most abusive use of Sorcerer Paths (Mythic Numina, Psychic Numina, or Technological Numina) you have ever witnessed in a game? In my own case, I think it was when a Sorcerer used a Conjuration 5 hung spell (with forty successes from a tenfold extended spell) to send a group of five Mages five miles deep into the sea. In case you were wondering, she had Ability Aptitude (Occult), Mana 5, and five assistants with lesser levels of Conjuration helping her. It was quite impressive.

  • #2
    RAW sorcerers sound really problematic. If I include sorcerers in a Mage game they are either low-powered, or infernalists--channeling power they have no real control over.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Faradn View Post
      RAW sorcerers sound really problematic.
      Not...really...

      Understand, the above situation is a massive outlier, as Sorcery goes. First, it requires mastery of a Path, which is only really doable for a either a Master Sorcerer, or a starter character that blew all their starting dots on one Path. Second, the character is obviously min-maxed to hell. The Ability Aptitude merit, Mana 5, and as many assistants as possible who are also trained in that Path.

      Add to it that the character only accomplished that impressive feat through ten consecutive rolls, for forty successes. By the standards of successes a godlike feat, sure, but a Mage could probably do the same thing with fewer successes. And that casting probably took a Ritual the better part of a day long. Had to be really lucky that kind of extended roll didn't result in a botch.

      At its core, though, it's not a spell the Sorcerer could just cast on a whim. And it's not really all that impressive, compared to what Mages can do. Overpowered, they are not.


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      • #4
        Level 3 Alchemy gives you an unbreakable -1 difficulty sword which does +2 damage, level 2 hellfire gives +3 damage and makes the sword Aggravated.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
          Level 3 Alchemy gives you an unbreakable -1 difficulty sword which does +2 damage, level 2 hellfire gives +3 damage and makes the sword Aggravated.
          Which is still going to be outmatched by a gun.

          Add prime 2 and you get agg damage whenever you like.


          Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running UPDATE Chapter 22: The Morning After

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          • #6
            Forces 3 and you can even make it hit harder.

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            • #7
              The only issue I have with Sorcerers are thier Countermagic compared to a Mage. Simple fix I use is when a Sorcerer is countering True Magick it requires 2 successes for each success countered. End of problem. Incidentally I use the same rule for other supernaturals countering True Magick as well (when I allow it which isn't often).

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              • #8
                I do not find it to be a problem myself, as I think that it encourages Mage players to be careful and to not depend of True Magick for everything. Sorcerers cannot counterspell guns and, especially in the USA, you can get a gun without trouble.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Saikou View Post

                  Which is still going to be outmatched by a gun.

                  Add prime 2 and you get agg damage whenever you like.
                  So you can quite easily do Strength + 7 (+2 for being a sword, +3 from Alchemy 3 alloy, +2 from ritual) Aggravated Damage with your sword. A handgun does 4 dice of lethal (or sometimes bashing) damage. And the gun example is disingenuous; the Alchemist can make +3 damage bullets, almost doubling the effectiveness of a handgun.

                  Oh yes, Prime 2. However, you're forgetting the number of hoops Mages have to jump through. Most Mage Players read off the sphere effects and think that's a list of powers they possess. No. Before Consensus, before Arete, before levels in Spheres, the biggest limitation on a Mage is Paradigm. Most Mage Players, from what I have seen on these forums (and others) simply choose a Sphere effect, and then work backwards, paying lip service to their paradigm. Yes, someone with Forces 2 can perform Aggravated damage with any object they like, however this can be Vulgar, and it won't always fit with your Paradigm.

                  Also, our Sorcerer friend can spend Mana with that sword... for 2 points of Mana you can reduce the difficulty to hit from 5 to 3 (the minimum) and now you're getting on average ~70% of your dice as successes. A Mage with only Alchemy 3 and Hellfire 2 (and those only, plus Mana 5 which only costs 5 freebies) with a good setup for using Swords can do an awful amount of damage with absolutely no risk of Paradox.

                  Am I claiming that Sorcerers > Mages? No. However, I am saying that Sorcerers suffer from fewer consequences and oddly enough are more free. Their Magic IS reality. Reality is, oddly enough, kind of on their side. Truth Without Paradox. The upper limit for Mage Power is much higher, naturally, but in terms of PCs (who are limited to Arete 3 and take a long time to advance), Sorcerers can quite easily trump Mages at character generation, and if they are clever and played well they can mop the floor with Mages. No problems with Consensus, or Paradox, and their "Paradigms" are meant to be aesthetic, they aren't mechanically restrictive. They also only ever need one Tool/Focus, Mages need many, and a Sorcerer's tool could quite simply be a Mantra or a style of Martial Art or an ancient language, something they can pull out whenever they need it.

                  Then there's the fact that RAW, Fate 5 can completely screw over almost anyone before they even have a chance to detect it or use counter-magic (I believe that only Entropy 1 would sense this coming, and you'd need decent Arete to get enough successes to see a curse with many successes coming, but correct me if I'm wrong)... but I'll leave that out since I don't let PCs use Cursing/Blessing as it feels like it breaks the game.
                  Last edited by 11twiggins; 02-07-2017, 02:10 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Choosing an effect and working backwards to figure out how it would work in your Paradigm is a time honored tradition. It is one of the really fun parts of Mage and I won't hear a word said against it.


                    Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                      Choosing an effect and working backwards to figure out how it would work in your Paradigm is a time honored tradition. It is one of the really fun parts of Mage and I won't hear a word said against it.
                      Yes, of course my Meditative Buddhist Paradigm allows for melting people's faces with heat vision! Don't be silly, Storyteller! I... meditate at him. Very hard.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tuch View Post
                        The only issue I have with Sorcerers are thier Countermagic compared to a Mage. Simple fix I use is when a Sorcerer is countering True Magick it requires 2 successes for each success countered. End of problem. Incidentally I use the same rule for other supernaturals countering True Magick as well (when I allow it which isn't often).
                        When you try and Alter Reality at a person whose magic IS Reality, and their Countermagic is Supah Effective, I feel that makes perfect sense. Sorcerers use Magic which is part and parcel of The World As It Is And Should Be, and so I don't shed any tears for Mages who think they Counter too effectively.

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                        • #13
                          Well, there are also Paradigm limits for Sorcerers but, strangely enough, it allows them to focus. If someone to create a Sorcerer who melts faces (Hellfire), they will choose a Paradigm that allows for learning Hellfire (or will create their own Paradigm that allows for Hellfire). Since popular culture probably influences a lot of independent Sorcerers, I would not be surprised if a fair number of independent Sorcerers follow the Aes Sedai Paradigm of the Wheel of Time series, the Harry Dresden Paradigm of the Dresden Files, the Witchcraft Paradigm of the Buffyverse, the Force Paradigm of Star Wars, etc. In essence, any structured and formulaic method of magic could be transformed into a Paradigm for Sorcery.

                          So, let us take a look at the Dresden Paradigm (which is strangely closer to Numina than Spheres in cWoD). You have the Seven Laws of Magic, you have the division between Evocation and Thaumaturgy, etc. How would you run a Sorcerer who was following the Dresden Paradigm?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

                            So you can quite easily do Strength + 7 (+2 for being a sword, +3 from Alchemy 3 alloy, +2 from ritual) Aggravated Damage with your sword. A handgun does 4 dice of lethal (or sometimes bashing) damage. And the gun example is disingenuous; the Alchemist can make +3 damage bullets, almost doubling the effectiveness of a handgun.

                            Oh yes, Prime 2. However, you're forgetting the number of hoops Mages have to jump through. Most Mage Players read off the sphere effects and think that's a list of powers they possess. No. Before Consensus, before Arete, before levels in Spheres, the biggest limitation on a Mage is Paradigm. Most Mage Players, from what I have seen on these forums (and others) simply choose a Sphere effect, and then work backwards, paying lip service to their paradigm. Yes, someone with Forces 2 can perform Aggravated damage with any object they like, however this can be Vulgar, and it won't always fit with your Paradigm.

                            Also, our Sorcerer friend can spend Mana with that sword... for 2 points of Mana you can reduce the difficulty to hit from 5 to 3 (the minimum) and now you're getting on average ~70% of your dice as successes. A Mage with only Alchemy 3 and Hellfire 2 (and those only, plus Mana 5 which only costs 5 freebies) with a good setup for using Swords can do an awful amount of damage with absolutely no risk of Paradox.

                            Am I claiming that Sorcerers > Mages? No. However, I am saying that Sorcerers suffer from fewer consequences and oddly enough are more free. Their Magic IS reality. Reality is, oddly enough, kind of on their side. Truth Without Paradox. The upper limit for Mage Power is much higher, naturally, but in terms of PCs (who are limited to Arete 3 and take a long time to advance), Sorcerers can quite easily trump Mages at character generation, and if they are clever and played well they can mop the floor with Mages. No problems with Consensus, or Paradox, and their "Paradigms" are meant to be aesthetic, they aren't mechanically restrictive. They also only ever need one Tool/Focus, Mages need many, and a Sorcerer's tool could quite simply be a Mantra or a style of Martial Art or an ancient language, something they can pull out whenever they need it.

                            Then there's the fact that RAW, Fate 5 can completely screw over almost anyone before they even have a chance to detect it or use counter-magic (I believe that only Entropy 1 would sense this coming, and you'd need decent Arete to get enough successes to see a curse with many successes coming, but correct me if I'm wrong)... but I'll leave that out since I don't let PCs use Cursing/Blessing as it feels like it breaks the game.
                            I appreciate your concern, but there's no need to explain the importance of paradigm for a mage, I assure you I'm quite clued up on this. Also, I do believe you are somewhat exaggerating these "hoops" quite a bit. A lot of these mental gymnastics are usually done when figuring out how the effect works, but after this, they become pretty standard, sometimes even rote.
                            We could have a chorister simply say a prayer, asking their lord for strength to protect themselves, and boom, Holy Enchanted Gun.
                            There may be an Etherite who's simply charging their gun with Plasmic energy.
                            It could even be an Ecstatic who is so in the flow that they can transfer their own personal energy into the gun itself just be kissing it.

                            While your sorcerer spends a few hours creating their sword, the mage can whip out their gun and enchant it in mere seconds on the fly.

                            Yes, Paradox is a thing, but for most vulgar effects you only get a single point. Backlash isn't going to happen until you accumulate a lot, and even then the effects can be pretty minimal. "3 points backlash, now I have a nosebleed..."

                            How's this for a major consequence. It's a goddamned sword! Run up to someone with a gun swinging a sword about, and I guarantee you'll be shot at least twice before you even get in range of striking, even without any spheres being used. After all, Aggravated damage and Lethal damage function identically in how quickly they kill you. And have you tried carrying a sword around in public? You can't conceal those things without a tremendous amount of prepwork, and even then you're more likely to be stopped by the police carting one around than say a gun, especially since small guns are very easily concealed.

                            Lastly, Sorcerers are very much paradigm based as well, after all, how can they do magic if they don't believe in their own techniques? You can't get a mystic pagan witch to do magic with testubes and computers anymore than you can get a faith healer to deal with sinister black tomes. They are confined by reality, but they are also confined by their own belief.


                            Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running UPDATE Chapter 22: The Morning After

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                            • #15
                              Is Meditate About Things the only tool in your toolkit? Normally I would have added more if I was expanding into other Spheres. Not a problem, though, it works either way. I'll assume he's CoX for this example because meditation is very much in keeping with their methods.

                              People often assume that the Ecstatics are limited to perception and self-enchancing effects. Actually, when they are able to get past their own perceptions they realize that the normal barriers on their capabilities simply do not apply. Distance is not real, my form is not constant, and I am not separate from those around me. Indeed I can make my own face melt as easily as I can blink. They are in fact the same motion. And since I am not separate from him, I can make his face melt as well. Blink.

                              Admittedly, it's pretty damn Vulgar, but there's a lot of potential in altered mental states.




                              Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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