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  • A Very Newbie Question

    Hey guys, my group will start a Mage campaign and everything was working well until we get a question that stole us a one hour:

    Damage and Duration

    When someone uses for example a Fireball he need 3 sucesses, he had Arete 4 and had 4 sucesses. Soooo, he make the fireball with 3 sucesses and causes 6 of damage and the other sucess go to the duration or magics focus on damage don't need duration? They just inflict the damage and period? So in that case the fireball deals 8 of damage? Or he need to use sucesses in duration for the damage have a duration?
    I know is a very dumb question, but some of us never played Mage and other never played WoD before. We really need help =P

    Sorry for the inconvenience

  • #2
    Hi,

    Let's say you make a fireball (using Forces) and got 4 successes.

    You can get 2 levels of damage per success but will need to spend 1 success to target someone or something other than yourself.

    Since you don't want to deal 8 levels of damage to yourself, you spend 1 success to target someone or something else and deal 6 levels of damage to the target.

    Other notes:
    Since you are using forces, you get an extra level of damage for free. (9 to yourself or 7 to someone else)
    Since you are using fire, the damage is aggravated.

    If you add duration, you simply deal damage over time. This means with 1 success to target someone, 1 success to duration, and 2 to damage, you will deal only 4 +1 damage over the course of 1 scene... Not so useful unless you want to watch someone slowly burn and still leave them alive.

    Glad to help.
    Last edited by Spacecat; 04-04-2017, 10:41 AM.

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    • #3
      Wow, thank you, spacecat! You really helped. Thank you so much, now the cabal can go ahead

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Spacecat View Post
        You can get 2 levels of damage per success but will need to spend 1 success to target someone or something other than yourself.
        Quick question, can a mage (i.e. not should, or would, but can) target someone or something other than themselves without spending the 1 success by risking an attack vs. dodge roll? I.e. Dexterity + Athletics (Throwing) [TN: 7] vs. Dexterity + Athletics (Dodging) [TN: 7]?

        I ask because I am putting together a cheat sheet for my players on how & why to spend successes to 'build their effects' (i.e. You want to do Thing X with Y circumstances? Choose an option from Table A, Table B, etc, and add them up to Z minimum successes).
        Last edited by tzizimine; 04-04-2017, 11:05 AM.

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        • #5
          The short answer in M20 is no. The effect still needs the 1 success. The long answer is a bit more complicated.

          Previous books seemed somewhat vague on the matter. M20 seems to change things a bit.
          This seems best clarified in page 417 under Magickal Fighting tactics (and the combat system chart on 445).


          If a magickal attack relies on a normal attack – like a punch or death-ray cannon, make a Dexterity + appropriate combat Ability roll (as an attack roll) in addition to the Arete roll. The Arete roll determines if the magick is successful. The Attack roll determines if it hits. It can hit something else. (Dice pools are not divided)

          The Arete roll still needs the 1 success, but chances are, if you have a good attack roll, you will have dice of damage from extra successes.


          If the magickal attack does not rely on a normal attack, The Arete roll is the Attack roll. Any attempt to dodge the effect subtracts from its effective successes on the target.


          Other notes:
          - Normally, only hand-to-hand attacks can be blocked. Your ranged and magical attacks generally can't be blocked.
          - Extra successes on the attack roll beyond what was needed to hit the target still add dice to the damage of the attack, even a magickal attack that only uses Arete as the attack roll.
          - It has been noted that certain types of attacks can be much harder to dodge in certain situations, such as lacking room to dodge.
          - The target must see the attack coming in order to dodge it. (Try lighting from behind, an invisible sonic beam of death, or simply a fiery explosion originating between the target's legs. They apparently use the same number of successes as lobbing the fireball from your wand or hand)
          Last edited by Spacecat; 04-04-2017, 12:05 PM.

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          • #6
            So that raises the question of when does a magickal attack require a normal attack roll?

            The answer I was working with so far is that is a choice the player has. Either...

            1) Spend the 1 success to not risk the attack roll failing
            or
            2) Risk the attack roll and save the success for a better effect

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            • #7
              It's how you deliver the attack. Simply throwing a fireball could be a single Arete throw. But you as a ST could rule this to be a Dex+Athletics roll as you have to use the fireball as a regular throwing weapon. It all depends on how complicated you want to make things. Whenever weapons are used (a gun with an enchanted bullet or an enchanted sword) the attack roll is required, but when using a magic only attack a hit-roll is usually not required unless you actually want the system to be that way.
              In terms of balancing, it's far easier to dodge an Arete-roll only fireball than a hit-roll fireball and the hit-roll fireball could have potentially way more damage (when you choose to include additional hit-roll successes as extra dice in the Arete-roll - which I would'nt recomment).

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tzizimine View Post
                So that raises the question of when does a magickal attack require a normal attack roll?
                It requires a normal attack roll when the magickal effect is directly reliant on a mundane form of attack.
                For example: A hypersonic punch, Mystic bullet gunshot, Flaming katana slash, etc.

                Originally posted by tzizimine View Post
                The answer I was working with so far is that is a choice the player has. Either...

                1) Spend the 1 success to not risk the attack roll failing
                or
                2) Risk the attack roll and save the success for a better effect

                Truth be told, you can go by that sort of rule without problems. I did in at least 2 of the games I ran.

                While book says that you either cast with the Arete as an Attack roll or a separate Arete roll and Attack roll, there is really nothing keeping you from using the rule you mentioned as a house rule. It does mean you have to be a bit more careful when lobbing powerful effects at players though.

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