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  • #46
    Just to set the record straight, Mage Revised had Merits for playing Mages that were either Kinfolk (Shapechanger Kin, 4-Pt Merit), Kinian (Fae Blood, 4-Pt Merit), and Ghouls (Ghoul, 5-Pt Merit). So not only is it possible, there are mechanics covering them. Blood Treachery had a Merit for playing the descendant of gods, angels, demons, or other residents of the Astral Umbra (Nephilim, 7-Pt Merit).

    Furthermore, the Revised Storyteller's Handbook contains optional rules for Mages with any of those Merits, allowing them to draw upon the Mythic Threads that inherent to their being. If the Storyteller is willing, the character could cast Effects that emulate the powers of the relevant supernaturals, while being Coincidental. So long as those powers are attributed to them in popular consciousness, of course. (So, for instance, Celerity or Protean = Okay, Obtenebration or Vicissitude = Off Limits). Personally I find these rules more compelling than letting the characters buy powers from the other Splats. Everything is funneled through the Spheres, there's less book keeping, Experience isn't divided between two sets of systems, and Paradox is still a problem (if the character Botches).


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    • #47
      Furthermore, the Revised Storyteller's Handbook contains optional rules for Mages with any of those Merits, allowing them to draw upon the Mythic Threads that inherent to their being. If the Storyteller is willing, the character could cast Effects that emulate the powers of the relevant supernaturals, while being Coincidental. So long as those powers are attributed to them in popular consciousness, of course. (So, for instance, Celerity or Protean = Okay, Obtenebration or Vicissitude = Off Limits). Personally I find these rules more compelling than letting the characters buy powers from the other Splats. Everything is funneled through the Spheres, there's less book keeping, Experience isn't divided between two sets of systems, and Paradox is still a problem (if the character Botches).
      I like this thing. It plays with the concept of Mythic Threads instead of making them just an excuse to explain why supernaturals don't suffer Paradox. I like the M20 section, too, that mentions that if you use magick following the lines of a given Mythic Thread you gain advantages. The default advantage it's a -1 to difficulty (if you do magick that resembles "clasic" magick and fiction tropes), but the spell could also be considered Coincidental in special cases (like those mentioned above). It still may cause Paradox (in a botch), but being able to "tap" into the Threads to nullify or reduce the impact it's cool.

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      • #48
        >Mythic Threads
        Yeah this is another reason why as far as I'm concerned M20 is far superior than the previous editions. Much less antagonistic to players much more a modern RPG than an eighties/nineties RPG.

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        • #49
          Considering M20 seems just as antagonistic to the players, if not 100 times more so.... I don't get your point there.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Enginseer-42 View Post
            Considering M20 seems just as antagonistic to the players, if not 100 times more so.... I don't get your point there.
            100 times more antagonistic? I really don't get that.

            I mean, M20 has its pros and cons, yes. But aside of one, two points, I'd not call it really more antagonistic.

            * The system of Arete rolls has reverted to 1st/2nd/Sorc Crusade.
            As in, the *total* amount of successes determines the effect's parameters, instead of having to split up the dice between all of them (with the exception of Damage vs duration). The split successes rule is optional for those that want it, which is a plus.
            This especially allows younger Mages with smaller dice pools to achieve average effects with less rolls. No more repeated-orgies-of-ritual-rolls-for-small-things like in Revised. Thank deity-of-choice for that. Seriously.

            * Foci and tools-to-drop are not tied to spheres anymore.
            It never, ever made sense to me that you'd have to select a special focus for whole spheres, given that each level of a sphere can mean very different effects and VERY different practices of achieving them.
            Choose 'water' as a specialty focus for Time, because you figure 'hey, it's awesome flavor for my character to specialize in getting glimpses of past and future in the surfaces of ritual pools' suddenly makes you require water in order to get the specialty difficulty decrease for...speeding up? Traveling through time? Freezing time? What? Such things require completely different approaches, style- and paradigm-wise. It does not make sense to have specialized foci having to encompass whole Spheres.

            * Sphere specialties
            We finally have 4+ specialty rules for spheres as well, which gives players the chance to focus the type of magick their characters do a little more. Yay for that.

            * Flexible Specialty Spheres per Tradition
            Instead of being tied to one specific specialty sphere for each Tradition, each Tradition/Convention now has a few to choose from, matching the different styles and paradigms of the various subgroups. Especially Hermes benefits from this, as some of their Houses simply are not 'Zomg Forces!'

            * Lots of Metaplot options
            M20 openly gives the ST several options wether to go hardcore dark Reckoning squash-ze-Mages metaplot or not, Avatar Storm, Technocratic control, Horizon realms - the setting per se can be as Antagonistic or relaxed as you are in the mood for.

            * Belief / Practice / Tools
            The whole sections about explaining and describing the various beliefs, practices and tools helps players to translate the character idea they have in their head into the Magick system in a much more flexible way than before. They could before of course, but this time around the corebook actively aids in that idea. One of the best changes in this edition, especially for new players.

            * Wonder creation
            Much more streamlined and simplified in the corebook, even if some examples are screwy.
            This makes it, IMO, much simpler for players to create the kind of Wonder they want.

            * Clarification of Coicidental vs. Vulgar, keeping things simple
            HOO vs HAB gets explained, and the book heavily weights towards 'Average Bystander' and process-driven sphere usage, keeping things simple and flexible - no Reality constantly peeking inside your pockets. HDYDT sadly breaks the process-driven part in some rulings, but see below.

            * Life Sphere got fixed.
            The Life sphere is more consistent, and finally gives you the full range of possibilities at 5 that it should have had in Revised. No more Archsphere required to turn people into frogs.

            ---

            Neutral:
            * Paradox is back to accumulating instead of near-instantly backlashing at 5+
            I really consider this a near-neutral change as the nastyness of this depends on your viewpoint: Constantly getting hit with smaller Paradox backlashes that still can ruin your plans hard depending on what situation you are in like in Revised, vs. slowly building up to larger ones but being able to pull off several small effects without getting negative repercussions immediately.
            Bonus: The Revised rule is described and an option for those STs that want it.


            ---

            Now, not all is rainbows and roses of course.
            The Bad:

            * The crossover rules in the book suck oh so damn hard for doing a pure Mage-theme game, as they don't really match the theme and fluff of the nature of how True Magick works outside the boundaries of reality, vs. the rest of the splats working within those boundaries.
            Fine for an even crossover-game or online games, where non-Mage players are a big consideration - but not so much for a pure Mage game, especially fluff-wise. I personally prefer keeping splat-vs-splat as pure effect-vs-effect counterspelling. But I've ranted enough about that before..

            * HDYDT fires a whole barrage of rule inconsistencies and arbitrary rulings at you, that simply don't match or even contradict the more elegant corebook rules. It highly overcomplicates Magick for players at times.
            Best treated as 'Phil's book of houserules'. Cherrypick with your players what you want and what you want to discard.
            To give credit where credit is due, the book itself actually tells you to do that in its first pages!


            ----


            So there you have it, at least from my perspective. '100 times more antagonistic to the players' looks different to me.
            Maybe I missed something that especially grinds your gears, but on average I'd say that the book makes playing your average not-off-their-hubris-rocker Mage more relaxed and fun than Revised ever did, while still allowing a Mage to screw themselves over hard if they overdo it.



            .
            Last edited by Ambrosia; 02-13-2017, 06:29 AM.


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            • #51
              Originally posted by Ambrosia
              ...Stuff...
              My toughts exactly.

              I also find that the description of the Spheres it's much less rich than in Revised, and far too simplified, and that's bad, you shouldn't need aditional books to figure out the Spheres. While this isn't bad for the novice who wants to start the game and doesn't understand much about Dynamic Magick, it's bad for the Mage player that want's to think deeper about the full potentiall of the Spheres.

              * The system of Arete rolls has reverted to 1st/2nd/Sorc Crusade.
              As in, the *total* amount of successes determines the effect's parameters, instead of having to split up the dice between all of them (with the exception of Damage vs duration). The split successes rule is optional for those that want it, which is a plus.
              This especially allows younger Mages with smaller dice pools to achieve average effects with less rolls. No more repeated-orgies-of-ritual-rolls-for-small-things like in Revised. Thank deity-of-choice for that. Seriously.
              Amen.
              Last edited by Aleph; 02-13-2017, 10:51 AM.

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              • #52
                Personally, I prefer the Revised version of Mage, the game mechanics were fairly good at encouraging players to be subtle with their use of magic. It meant that vulgar magic was reserved for emergencies and, for the most part, players used conventional methods whenever possible (though they might have used magic to augment their conventional methods). With 2nd edition rules though, things tended to get silly.

                For example, Mages with Correspondence 3 were rarely unarmed because they could use their magic to summon any weapon that they possessed so, if they needed their custom Desert Eagle with silver ammo, they could summon it without much difficulty (and, unlike summoning a lightning bolt, their pistol summoning might be coincidental). When compared with Mages who depended on magical direct damage, the Mage with Correspondence ended up acquiring a lot less Paradox (which is why my players tended to depend on the Mage with Correspondence 3 to be their walking arsenal). Revised discouraged blatant magic, which was a good thing in my opinion.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Aleph View Post

                  My toughts exactly.

                  I also find that the description of the Spheres it's much less rich than in Revised, and far too simplified, and that's bad, you shouldn't need aditional books to figure out the Spheres. While this isn't bad for the novice who wants to start the game and doesn't understand much about Dynamic Magick, it's bad for the Mage player that want's to think deeper about the full potentiall of the Spheres.
                  Agreed. The sphere section of M20 leaves a lot to be desired. What's especially annoying is that there are subtle changes between Revised and M20 (prime aura reading, Forces damage, Spirit providing soak for Sprit Rage) some of which are only stated, others are only mentioned in completely different sections of the book. There are not many rotes to help illustrate the difference in levels, and many of the common magical effects just leave you to hunt around for the mechanics.
                  I get the impression they expect us to assume it's the same as Revised unless stated, which makes it difficult to judge in case the rule is around but obscured.

                  Oh, and can we briefly mention the god awful formatting? Revised wasn't much better, but at least they understood the concept of Section Breaks, and would clutter the page with space destroying images quite as much. The sphere section of M20 requires a lot of attention just to follow.


                  I'm in two minds about effect parameters not being built into. I kinda like you have to decide which successes go into area, damage, duration, and effect. It makes building big effects feel more substantial.
                  I get that it makes almost everything require a ritual to work, but I get around that by having up to the first 10 successes not increase difficulty per roll.


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

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                    Use Alchemy 6, you can become a Revenant and Quarter the rate again forever.

                    You could also just, you know... make a potion of true immortality at that level.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Prometheas View Post


                      You could also just, you know... make a potion of true immortality at that level.
                      It would be a much more costly process at my table. And it would need replenishing... Short of truly legendary tools and ingredients.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

                        It would be a much more costly process at my table. And it would need replenishing... Short of truly legendary tools and ingredients.
                        At the point we're talking about level 6 paths(the point just after 5 dots when paths start to meet or exceed diciplines and gifts in level of power at equal rank), your sorcerer would feesably already have legendary tools and ingredients or at least the means to aquire them(not that they'd be easy to aquire, just it's doable).

                        Though becoming a revenant has it's own benefits.

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                        • #57
                          Even just in the core book they make magic excessively complicated.

                          You are a wizard and you want to summon a taxi, literally? Good luck with your engineering rolls to actually design a taxi from scratch. Every single time.

                          You want to do a thing? Every possible sphere it so much as looks at must be included.

                          Not to mention the whole paragraph about how you should consider doing things with your mundane resources a spell you should roll Arete for.

                          If they hadn't stopped splitting the dice pool the game would be unplayable.
                          Last edited by Enginseer-42; 02-14-2017, 08:16 AM.

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