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Improving Multiple Mental Attributes with Mind?

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  • Improving Multiple Mental Attributes with Mind?

    Hi all,

    Apologies if the handful of searches I ran missed a previously answered question. I am looking at both Mage: Revised and M20 to determine how improving Mental Attributes with Mind works mechanically. I want to know if it is unreasonable to improve multiple Mental Attributes with a single effect, or if it is unreasonable to improve multiple Mental Attributes with multiple effects (up to three if the player wanted to hit all three). I will post the relevant snippets of text of which I am aware, and I will explain what my character is typically doing (and might want to do).

    First, from Revised, under one-dot "Mind Empowerment":

    The mage can even improve her Mental Attributes temporarily and artificially, although surpassing human limitations or supercharging her mind for too long can risk Pattern bleeding (see p. 168).
    (Revised at 176)

    From M20:

    For a scene or two, he can even raise one of his Mental Traits by one dot per success, thanks to a Mind Empowerment Effect that concentrates his mental faculties.
    (M20 at 519)

    That's about all I am aware of on raw mechanics. Currently, my character (Intelligence 4, Perception 3, Wits 3) only tends to increase to human limits, requiring 2 successes for Perception or Wits, and 1 success for Intelligence. He currently only does one attribute at a time. I will note that this is a Technocrat campaign; we have an apparatus/focus roll (appropriate attribute, which can change, and appropriate skill, which is usually constant) with successes adding to the Enlightenment/Arete roll [feel free to note if this is house-ruling; I have suggested to our ST an option to have the apparatus roll only modify difficulty of the Enlightenment roll as suggested in M20, but everyone seems to be happy with our setup as is].

    For me, this typically means I can expect about 3 successes per combined apparatus/Enlightenment roll. I tend to do this as a Brief Rite (pp. 541), which is one-to-five successes, involves 1-2 rolls, and is 5 minutes or less of story time. Each success is 1-for-1 on the potency of the effect, with 2 extra successes typically devoted to make the effect last for the day. If I can expect about 5-6 successes on a roll, that could be 3-4 on potency with a single Brief Rite, leaving me to wonder if I could increase both Perception and Intelligence (when I am investigating), or Wits and Perception (combat/concern for combat), or Perception and Wits (pure social interaction) at the same time. I believe I can adequately explain this within my character's paradigm and through his choice of apparatus, so the fluff is of little concern. It's really about me not abusing mechanics.

    I am trying not to abuse mechanics at all. I also wonder if it would be crazy to do three separate effects (so three Brief Rites, about 15 minutes of 3-6 rolls) to hit Intelligence 5 / Perception 5 / Wits 5 each day at the beginning of the day. This just seems to be a bit much.

    To ensure I am clear on Paradox and Pattern Bleed for this:

    -I would have a 'permanent paradox' point for any attribute above 5 until that attribute reduced below 5, correct?
    -I would experience pattern bleed (one lethal/one quintessence per day if I had Prime per effect) for each day beyond the first day?

    In short, if I keep any attribute to no higher than 5 and do not maintain the effects for more than one day, then I would never worry about paradox (assuming no botches) or pattern bleed, correct?

    Thank you for your patience, and I apologize again if I have wasted time.

  • #2
    You are correct, but you would receive a +3 difficulty modifier to your magic rolls because you have three complex ongoing effects (which apply separately from the normal maximum +3 difficulty modifier).

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    • #3
      Thank you. I can see how that affords a fair limitation. But could a Perception +2 / Intelligence + 1 be a single Effect, or would I need to do it as two separate Effects? Also, on the exact numbers for the modifier:

      Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
      You are correct, but you would receive a +3 difficulty modifier to your magic rolls because you have three complex ongoing effects (which apply separately from the normal maximum +3 difficulty modifier).
      Wouldn't it be +2 then? See what I pulled from M20 and Revised below.

      At 503 in M20:

      Juggling several Effects at once
      -->
      +1 per two Effects
      Then looking at Revised at 155-56 under "Simultaneous Effects":

      A simple Effect that just modifies the mage or surroundings for a time requires only a tiny flow of the mage’s attention and magical effort.
      Such Effects include things like body-enhancement, sensory improvements or even small changes to Patterns that are designed to last for only a short time. Such simple Effects cost you a difficulty penalty of one for every two full Effects in use, whenever your mage tries to cast a new Effect.
      Even for concentrating on multiple Effects that are "[m]ore complex," assuming the ST permits this (e.g., with a Mind 1 multi-task):
      If the Storyteller lets you concentrate on multiple Effects (or if your character has specific Merits or magical Effects that let him maintain multiple areas of concentration), you’ll still take a difficulty penalty of one for every two Effects that your mage has running. That’s for simple and complex Effects both.
      In sum, if I am going to look to maintaining multiple effects every day as Brief Rites, then I should likely keep it at 2 or 4 that fall under the examples from Revised. It seems like body-enhancement is in the same vein as increasing Mental Attributes, no?

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      • #4
        Well, it is up to ST interpretation, but I think you are right about +1 per two effects..

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        • #5
          How many things you can achieve with a single effect is up to interpretation.
          Mechanically it is beneficial to press as many things as you can think of into one effect.
          It depends on the table if it is ridiculous to have a Stat boost, a Mind Shield, a Multitask, a Thoughtdetector and a Painkiller originating from the same Mind 1 effect.
          Min-Maxed you could roll 8 dice (Arete 3 + Cult 5) for a maximum of 13 times (Arete 3 + Willpower 10) against a difficulty of 4(Rank 1 +3 for coincidental) -2(unique personal instrument e.g. your cult) -3(investigating the target) -2(Sanctum) -3 (Node) +1(Fast casting)=-5

          You roll against 4, because that is the minimum difficulty. Each subsequent roll is at +1 difficulty, but your modifiers eat up this increase. For the first 10 rolls your difficulty stays at 4. That gives us something in the neighborhood of 50 successes upwards plus 3 rolls at difficulty 5, 6 and 7 if you think that isn't enough.

          It is open to interpretation how long each roll takes, but a point could be made for a standard turn because of the fast-casting modifier. That would be 30 to 39 minutes of non-Ritual activity.

          With this many potential successes it wouldn't hurt to divide the benefits a bit over a couple of effects. Or you could throw Life 3 in and lock the effects to circumvent the difficulty increase (don't forget to boost physical stats and add a little lethal soak and stuff while your at it).


          As you can see, the mechanical side can allow for quite ridiculous things.
          And that was just a starting level mage.
          Speak with your ST and/or the group is the only advice I can give you.


          So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks a lot for the responses! Nonsense, that example is great to show just how far mechanics can go. Just to note, I think at least in M20 the minimum difficulty is 3 (page 501). For my character, I imagine paradigm/apparatus explanation is what will justify (or fail to justify) raising two mental attributes by a little bit in one effect. Thanks again.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nonsense View Post
              How many things you can achieve with a single effect is up to interpretation.
              Mechanically it is beneficial to press as many things as you can think of into one effect.
              It depends on the table if it is ridiculous to have a Stat boost, a Mind Shield, a Multitask, a Thoughtdetector and a Painkiller originating from the same Mind 1 effect.
              I think it's less about 'ridiculousness' of putting all those things into a single effect, and more about the controlling factor in regards to this being, once more, Paradigm and Practice. Roleplay.
              Their Paradigm and Practice, while the Mage stills requires tools for all these effects you listed, would need to have a practiced way of achieving all those things with a single way of focus, or at least a couple of ways that can be performed at once.

              If the mage is required to perform a long silent meditation for the Mind shield, but is required to paint a compex sigil onto their forehead for the Thought Detector, then you simply have two things you cannot put into the same effect as they essentially need two castings as they can't be done at the same time.

              To cast all those things together in a single effect, either all of them would have to employ tools that can be used together (or the same tool in some cases), or they no longer require the tools that they previously weren't able to mix and match for a single effect.
              Which is another reason why dropped tools are mechanically more powerful than people might at first think

              Paradigm, Practice and Tools remain the single most balancing factor for a specific Mage, without needing to tweak hard rules.
              Last edited by Ambrosia; 02-16-2017, 07:48 AM.


              > Classic WoD Dice Probability Chart
              > Classic WoD Dice Statistics Calculator
              > Classic WoD Alternative Armor System
              > Classic WoD Alternative Damage Roll System

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              • #8
                It's interesting that there isn't a difficulty penalty for combining multiple spheres, only the highest one counts for setting the difficulty. I wonder why they chose that?

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                • #9

                  Combining spheres does not inherently make for more powerful or complex effects - some simple things can only be pulled off by combining spheres, due to the spheres simply being a separation of different aspects of reality.

                  So adding difficulty increases for combining them would not inherently keep things consistent along the lines of 'easy simple effect' and 'difficult complex effects'. We already get a difficulty increase for that - by using the highest sphere level involved
                  The higher the used spheres in an effect, the more inherently complex and powerful the nature of the magick is. It's the very reason why you need to learn level 1, 2 and 3 before learning the 4th.
                  Last edited by Ambrosia; 02-16-2017, 04:17 AM.


                  > Classic WoD Dice Probability Chart
                  > Classic WoD Dice Statistics Calculator
                  > Classic WoD Alternative Armor System
                  > Classic WoD Alternative Damage Roll System

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post

                    Paradigm, Practice and Tools remain the single most balancing factor for a specific Mage, without needing to tweak hard rules.
                    Yup. Thank you so much!

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                    • #11
                      Do you wanna know what I think? Make an etherite, and let him build a "ultron mental capacitor helmet 2.0!" that increases all attributes, gives a mental shield, remove pain, fear and emotional imbalance, and gives a mind detector plus multitask capacity... Because your high tech helmet... Increases your brain capacity by exponential times...

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                      • #12
                        I allow players to improve multiple attributes via the same Effect, or affect mechanics involving a single attribute in multiple ways, but I draw the line at radically-different mechanics being tied into one Effect.

                        If someone wants to use a single Effect to raise their Perception to 5 for a scene and reduce the difficulty of Perception-based rolls by -3, that's fine. If someone wants to use a single Effect to raise their Perception and Wits to 5 for a scene, that's fine. But, if someone wants to raise Perception and Wits, and get a -3 on Perception-based skill rolls, that's where the line gets drawn.

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                        • #13
                          By the way, I make Dexterity an attribute dealt with Mind, and not Life. Charism and Manipulation too (so, Life is used for Strenght, Stamina and Apareance). How about you guys, what do you think?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Karlgust View Post
                            By the way, I make Dexterity an attribute dealt with Mind, and not Life. Charism and Manipulation too (so, Life is used for Strenght, Stamina and Apareance). How about you guys, what do you think?
                            At what ranks?

                            I allow little improvements in Physical traits with Mind #(1 for 1 point in Strength, Dexterity and Stamina. 3 for Social traits)


                            So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

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