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  • Noob question about spellcasting

    I've read the setting and factions, but I'd like to know more about the spellcasting system itself. I fear I'm making a bunch of assumptions based on Awakening (which I have a rather long history with), so any help understanding it would be great. Also: Do Technocrats need to prepare spells in advance, and do the tools need to be sufficiently advanced?

  • #2
    "Prepare" is an...interesting word, when it comes to Mage: The Ascension. Technically speaking, most (if not all) mages require some kind of "upkeep" for their magick. When it comes to the Awakened, Magick is a lifestyle. Hermetics recite long chants inside specially inscribed geometric circles. Akashics must regularly practice their Do kata and meditate. Etherites needs to sit in their labs and actually build rayguns. Even Technocrats must take time to create, procure, and/or maintain their tools of Enlightened Science.

    If it seems appropriate for the Iteration X cyborg to do routine maintenance on his implants, then he must. If the NWO black suit needs to keep up with the latest scientific journals of psychology, then he must. If the Syndicate rep needs to properly psych himself up in front of a mirror, in order to ready himself to make friends and influence people, then he must. A mage must put exactly as much time and effort into preparing their magick as makes sense for their Focus.

    A Technocrat's tools, though, don't need to be sufficiently advanced, though the agent's understanding of them may be. A Progenitor doesn't necessarily need to inject a person with a solution in order to make them puke. Not when reading off a list of additives in the average person's diet can do the same thing. An agent with martial arts training can do incredible things, when their fists are applied in the right direction. And any mechanic can take apart a complex machine in minutes with a few mundane tools...provided that mechanic is Enlightened, of course. So long as advanced understanding of Enlightened Science is present, a Technocrat doesn't need super advanced technology. Though it helps.


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    • #3
      Thank you! Will put it to good use

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Goatmanofcoffee View Post
        Do Technocrats need to prepare spells in advance, and do the tools need to be sufficiently advanced?
        It depends on what the Technocrat True Mage is doing. Sometimes, once they design and build a machine or a device, they can use it without any - or with bare minimum of - preparation. At other times - for example when a Progenitor is preparing a Treatment that has to be adjusted based on the situation - the Technocrat has to prepare it in advance; most probably spending a considerable amount of time doing so.
        Last edited by Muad'Dib; 11-09-2017, 09:58 AM.

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        • #5
          For the devices they don't want anyone to just pick up and use, Technocrats create devices requiring the Biotech or Hypertech skills. A hyperscience gene sequencer is not something anyone without a good understanding of gene sequencing should use, but with a sample of genetic material, a Progenitor can do all sorts of genetic testing and predictions. An engine for an advanced flyer such as a black helicopter isn't something that the ordinary citizen will have an idea of how to prepare.

          Each mage faction and each mage does their preparation in a different way. Those organizations which are more ritually oriented like the Celestial Chorus and Order of Hermes still have faster-casting options. It's just typically that the quicker you cast unless you have a mythic thread to pull on, the more likely the casting is to be vulgar.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by baakyocalder View Post
            For the devices they don't want anyone to just pick up and use, Technocrats create devices requiring the Biotech or Hypertech skills.
            Do you mean that they require those specific Skills in addition to their True Mage Spheres? If so, where is this written?


            Originally posted by baakyocalder View Post
            Those organizations which are more ritually oriented like the Celestial Chorus and Order of Hermes still have faster-casting options.
            I think that some of the True Mages of the Traditions prepare their Spells and Rotes at the same speed as the Technocrats do with their Procedures (and Treatments, in the case of the Progenitors) ; some might spend more time preparing their True Magick than the Technocrats.

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            • #7
              See pages 295 and 296 of Mage 20 for skill descriptions. Hypertech is more clear on this than Biotech and using other people's Devices would require understanding them.

              As for casting speed, it really depends on the nature of the effect. Science or mysticism can be quick or long, depending on the desired effect and how much success is needed. My point is that even the highly ritualistic Celestial Chorus and Order of Hermes have some rotes for quicker casting.

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              • #8
                That said, just because a High Ritual caster has faster options, doesn't mean they weren't the product of long rituals. The very idea of High Ritual Magick is to obtain power by grand, complicated rites. The Chorister's flask of holy water needed to be blessed in a holy place, as did their holy symbol and holy book. And that Hermetic's wand probably needed to be carved by hand - complete with the names of the godhead - and empowered in a rite, during a time when a relevant planet and zodiac sign were strong in the sky. Same with that Hermetic's specially smelted metal amulet, stamped with one of the Solomonic seals.

                In the case of the High Ritual caster, their quicker options are, like the technomancer and her inventions and gizmos, specialized tools made ahead of time. The advantage of the blessed holy symbol or the magic wand is that, since the "hard work" has been done before, they can work their arts more quickly, and repeated multiple times before requiring re-dedication.

                Even the use of simple prayers or incantations may be the product of earlier time spent "doing it right". The Chorister may seem like they've just clapped their hands together and said a prayer, but that was after saying more involved prayers earlier that morning, when they got up from bed. They can get away with a short prayer because, to them, they've already aligned themselves to the One's will beforehand. Similarly, the Hermetic's simple incantation - or even a single magic word - could be the end of a longer ritual in the morning. For them, their earlier rite might have been left incomplete until such time as they spoke the word, when the job was finished.


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