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  • Redesigned Prime Sphere

    Why redesign Prime?

    Prime has changed a lot over the years, and in every edition after 2nd, I've had a hard time telling when a Prime Effect requires points of Quintessence or not.
    After reading the four major Mage editions' descriptions of the ranks of Prime, my conclusion is 1E’s sparse sphere descriptions follow a very comprehensible progression with each rank providing power over new forms of quintessence. Subsequent editions often added new (and very cool) abilities, but the ranks they were added to seemed inconsistent with the original schema.
    What follows is my redesign of the Prime sphere with commentary intended to make the sphere easy to adjudicate. In a lot of cases, I've cherry picked and modified the wording from various editions. This is intended to work with my Wonder Creation rules.

    I'm interested in feedback, as long as it isn't a direct refutation of the concept of modding the game. If an explanation doesn't make sense to you, please let me know. I want this to be easily comprehensible.


    Quintessential classifications

    The game systems cover several different forms of Quintessence. I’ve abandoned the term “raw quintessence” and created several new terms to make manipulating Quintessence easier to understand.

    Cosmic Quintessence: There is a vast pool of energy suffusing the cosmos that mages can manipulate to varying degrees. It’s not measured in points unless a high level effect converts it into another form of quintessence. A trickle of cosmic quintessence flows into and out of the quintessence bound in a life pattern.
    Bound Quintessence: This is quintessence that’s been bound into a pattern, such as a force or a lifeform, or a discrete amount of matter. All things that aren’t free Quintessence contain bound quintessence. If all the bound quintessence is removed from a thing, it stops existing. It’s also not measured in points unless converted into another form. Quintessence bound in unliving matter or energy is unconnected to the greater pool of cosmic Quintessence.
    Free Quintessence: This Quintessence is measured in points and can be gathered from junctures (special times and places), nodes or tass that collects around nodes. Syndicate agents can extract it from certain business ventures - which might count as a specialized juncture.
    Personal Quintessence: A subset of Free Quintessence, personal quintessence is measured in points and is stored in a Mage’s Avatar. The Avatar rating determines how much from this pool can be expended per turn. Personal Quintessence is always marked with the Mage’s Resonance, a sort of emotional/magickal fingerprint.
    Tass: Known the medieval Hermetics as Vis, Tass is Quintessence in the shape of matter - often food. When it is eaten or the Quintessence is channeled out of it via a Prime 3 Effect, the form disintegrates.
    It is important to note that Tass is not the same thing as bound Quintessence. Tass is not matter, although it looks like it to non-magickal senses. As an analogy: If Quintessence can be likened to mercury, Tass is like frozen pure mercury, while quintessence bound into patterns is like mercury amalgamated into another metal. Attempting to use tass as a tool will quickly degrade its delicate form and cause its Quintessential energies to flow back into the Tapestry - often into the nearest Node.


    Sphere Ranks

    • Prime Senses / Manipulate Personal Quintessential Resonance
    • Odyllic Senses - An Initiate of Prime studies learns to sense and see Quintessential energy, be it stored in Tass, welling up from a Node, traveling across a powerful line, swirling through a natural Pattern or shining during a Juncture of power. His Prime senses allow him to detect the use of magic, to determine when a coincidence was the result of a magical Effect and to see the flow of magic energy as it is shaped and cast forth. Although such perceptions are not necessarily sufficient to determine the exact Effect, they do alert the mage to the bending of the Tapestry.
    • Consecrate Matter or Life - When infusing her Personal Quintessence into a living object or small life-form such as a familiar or pet, that mage may also consecrate the pattern with her personal energy.
      (Note, since the Mage cannot yet channel points of Quintessence from pattern to pattern until Prime 3, this is done by being in physical contact with the object and expending a point of personal Quintessence stored in the Mage’s avatar. The points dissipate into the cosmic pool, but the resonance of the Mage transfers to the object.)
      When she shapeshifts, steps sideways, or otherwise alters her Pattern’s metaphysical nature, that consecrated object or small life-form will then change with her. When consecrating a Periapt/Matrix, the Periapt/Matrix can become a Soulgem (or a Soulflower in the case of living periapts/matrices), restricting access to the Quintessence within to the Mage who consecrated it. With a conjunctional Matter 5 Effect, the Mage can prevent initiates of Prime from re-consecrating a stolen soulgem by making the consecration a permanent property of the pattern. For soulflowers, this additional layer of security instead requires conjunctional Life 5.
    • Store Personal Quintessence - By sensing the strongest currents of Odyllic Force, a mage may align himself so that they flow into his own Pattern, charging his Avatar. Mages with one dot in Prime can now absorb Quintessence beyond their Avatar Background rating. Without rank 3 in Prime allowing Effects to directly channel points of free Quintessence, the Mage must meditate near a node or consume edible Tass to gain this benefit, just like any Mage without knowledge of Prime.
    •• Direct Cosmic Quintessential Flows / Rework Bound Quintessence
    • Fuel Pattern Conjuration - The mage realizes the existence of a seemingly infinite pool of Quintessence that exists throughout the cosmos. This Cosmic Quintessence is not bound into Patterns. lf the mage is knowledgeable enough in one of the Spheres of Pattern magick, he may divert a trickle from this great pool of Quintessence into a Pattern of his own creation. In the case of Patterns that create life, the mage sets up a stream of cosmic Quintessence to feed the created Pattern.
    • Conjure Platonic Form - If a Mage conceives of an idea for a form, but does not incorporate pattern spheres into the effect, the mage can still cause cosmic quintessence from the great pool discussed above to flow into the shape of the idea. These platonic forms do not exist in the physical world, but are visible to magickal senses and exist “solidly” in the astral plane, and other ephemeral realms in the High and Middle Umbrae. Mages often use this ability to create a “Body of Light” for astral exploration.
    • Enchant Pattern - Prime mages at this rank learn to reweave underlying (bound) Quintessence in matter or life to intensify existing forms, enchanting objects and creatures. Weapons (including fists) created this way do no more damage than their mundane counterparts, but inflict aggravated wounds against vampires, werewolves and other Awakened beings. Such items can also strike spirits, which normal objects can't do. Note, this does not cost any points of free quintessence since it reworks Quintessence that is already in the pattern. This is always a temporary effect unless incorporated into a continuous Artifact.
    ••• Channel Free Quintessence
    • Channel Free Quintessence - By tapping into the flow of Quintessence around her, the Prime-skilled mage can draw both free Quintessence points directly from Nodes (significant places), Junctures (significant times), and Tass (solidified Quintessence)…and she may also channel that energy into new and existing Patterns as well. Any Effect that requires or manipulates points of Quintessence requires at least Prime 3 to use.
    • Energize Platonic Form - Whereas with Prime 2, a mage could direct the flows of the great pool of cosmic quintessence to make immaterial ideas (or platonic forms, or mathematical constructs depending on paradigm), the disciple of Prime can now charge those ideas with points of free quintessence so that they can interact with the physical plane.
      When the conceptual form is itself energy, Mages can use this ability to generate blazing constructs of fierce energy or hurl bolts of light that deal aggravated damage to their targets. Each point of Quintessence dissipates after a turn unless conjunctional Entropy, is used to prevent the rapid energy loss.
      When the charged conceptual form emulates matter or dead life (such as fruits or mushrooms or soda), this creates Tass. The Quintessence does not leak out of Tass, but when Quintessence is withdrawn from the Tass (whether by prime 3 channeling or by consumption in the case of edible Tass), the form disintegrates.
    • Craft Temporary Wonder - Create batches of mystick charms or hypertech gadgets. See full rules on Page XX.
    •••• Expel or Infuse Bound Quintessence
    • Completely Expel Bound Quintessence - While Disciples of Prime are largely limited to detecting and manipulating points of free Quintessence, Adepts of Prime begin to learn rudimentary methods for channeling bound Quintessence. They are able to pull Quintessence out of the Patterns of matter and energy, thereby affecting the Pattern's incarnation in reality. Each shard of inanimate matter and each spark of energy has Quintessence stored in its Pattern. Adepts can expel the Quintessence from these Patterns, recycling it into the cosmic pool of raw Quintessence. Without Quintessence in its Pattern, the matter or energy ceases to exist. This does not need conjunctional matter or energy.
    • Selectively Expel Bound Quintessence - Adepts who are also knowledgeable enough in Matter or Forces can use conjunctional effects to selectively alter the amount of Quintessence bound in various parts of these Patterns, thereby "dissolving" different aspects or properties of the energy or matter. The mage could make solids become insubstantial, cause a magnet to have only one pole, remove a chemical's ability to form nuclear bonds with other chemicals ( this process would, for example; make an acid unable to corrode), or cause objects to have no mass and yet still be solid. While Pattern magicks themselves allow mages to alter or reduce these properties, the most direct way to erase select properties permanently is by extracting the raw Quintessence that fuels the undesired portion of the substance's Pattern.
    • Tap Wellspring - At places with strong Resonance, the Adepts of Prime also possess the wondrous ability to reach deep into the earth and tap a wellspring of free Quintessence. This act is the metaphysical equivalent of opening a fire hydrant on a hot day — it will soon be shut off, but is very refreshing while it lasts. Doing so may also recharge the Quintessence of Periapts in a controlled Effect.
    • Craft Permanent Wonder - Talismans / Devices and Periapts / Matrices. See full rules on Page XX.
    ••••• Master Cosmic Quintessential Flows
    • Withdraw Life Force - Living beings interact with Quintessence in a unique manner. Their bound Quintessence is not frozen in an unchanging configuration; rather, a stream of Quintessence continuously flows from the cosmic pool through their Patterns. By damming this flow of Quintessence into a life Pattern, the mage extinguishes the spark of life within the creature. Note that since this targets the cosmic flow of Quintessence, conjunctional Life is not required.
    • Charge Avatar or Periapt - In addition to stopping Quintessence flow, the mage can increase the flow of Cosmic Quintessence through a Pattern. This is of little benefit to lifeforms without strong Awakened Avatars, but those with strong dynamic potential can instantly recharge their Avatars' Quintessence or a Periapt / Matrix without needing to access a Node or strongly Resonant location.
      Note, cosmic Quintessence can only charge an Avatar or Periapt/Matrix up to its limits. The Prime 1 ability to exceed the Avatar’s limits when meditating or eating Tass does not apply when refreshing one’s Avatar using cosmic Quintessence.
    • Create Node or Juncture - In places or cyclically significant times where Resonance is strong, Masters of Prime can harness the power of the ley lines and dragon paths to force cosmic Quintessence to permanently create a new Node or Juncture. While previous Effects could direct flows of energy, this is the metaphysical equivalent of creating new plumbing and requires mighty rituals utilizing mystick ley lines, dragon paths, or technomantic equivalents taking advantage of geological features or weather patterns.
    • Nullify Paradox - With mastery of every form of Quintessence flowing through the Tapestry, the Mage begins to understand that Paradox is cosmic unreality that opposes the hyper-realness of Quintessence. Many Mages have can attest to the feeling of helpless horror as Paradox gained from vulgar magick eats away at their once full store of personal Quintessence, but now the Master of Prime learns to use the process in reverse to spend points of Quintessence to nullify points of Paradox in their pattern on a one for one basis.
    • Create Living Wonder - Living Talismans / Devices
    Last edited by Octavo; 03-03-2018, 05:42 PM.


    Mage: the Ascension - Redesigned Prime Sphere; Streamlined Wonder Creation
    Mage: the Awakening 2E - Hogwarts: the Wizarding World Chronicle
    Mummy: the Curse - Lightweight 2E Conversion; Disciples of Duat

  • #2
    Where's page XX?


    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Saikou View Post
      Where's page XX?
      Just a dumb joke. The rules are here http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...onder-creation.

      Edit: There, hyperlinked it in the original post.


      Mage: the Ascension - Redesigned Prime Sphere; Streamlined Wonder Creation
      Mage: the Awakening 2E - Hogwarts: the Wizarding World Chronicle
      Mummy: the Curse - Lightweight 2E Conversion; Disciples of Duat

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Octavo View Post
        ••••• Master Cosmic Quintessential Flows

        Charge Avatar or Periapt - In addition to stopping Quintessence flow, the mage can increase the flow of Cosmic Quintessence through a Pattern. This is of little benefit to lifeforms without strong Awakened Avatars, but those with strong dynamic potential can instantly recharge their Avatars' Quintessence or a Periapt / Matrix without needing to access a Node or strongly Resonant location.
        What kinds of requirements and limitations would you envision in regards to this True Magick capability of a Mage ? For example, how often could a Mage recharge a Periapt with this capability of Prime 5 ?
        Last edited by Muad'Dib; 03-03-2018, 04:42 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
          What kinds of requirements and limitations would you envision in regards to this True Magick capability of a Mage ? For example, how often could a Mage recharge a Periapt with this capability of Prime 5 ?
          Good question. This ability has been in every version of Ascension's Prime Sphere from 1st to M20, and as far as I can tell, the only limitation has been that you can only charge up to your Avatar Rating with this ability (despite Prime 1 letting you exceed those limits) Each Arete success on a base difficulty 8 roll grants 1 dot of Quintessence.

          Edit: I suppose that makes sense. Just as prime 2 can use the cosmic pool to divert only enough quintessence to give a pattern form, so too does Prime 5 let you use cosmic quintessence to charge up to the natural extent of one's Avatar or Periapt/Matrix rating. To use the Prime 1 effect to exceed those ratings, you need to be using sources of free Quintessence points by meditating at a node or eating tass grapes (or quaffing some Erg Cola.)
          Last edited by Octavo; 03-03-2018, 04:55 PM.


          Mage: the Ascension - Redesigned Prime Sphere; Streamlined Wonder Creation
          Mage: the Awakening 2E - Hogwarts: the Wizarding World Chronicle
          Mummy: the Curse - Lightweight 2E Conversion; Disciples of Duat

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Octavo View Post

            Good question. This ability has been in every version of Ascension's Prime Sphere from 1st to M20, and as far as I can tell, the only limitation has been that you can only charge up to your Avatar Rating with this ability (despite Prime 1 letting you exceed those limits) Each Arete success on a base difficulty 8 roll grants 1 dot of Quintessence.
            I think that the writers/designers should in the future add a suggested required waiting time between using such Spells and Rotes to each capability of a True Magick Sphere ; especially to such Spells or Rotes like this one. As it is written, a Mage of Arete 7-9 can regularly gain Quintessence with no clear definition at all as to what the limits are. I think that the possibility of gaining Paradox is not a limit enough, for multiple reasons.


            Is this Prime 5 Effect Coincidental or Vulgar ? If it varies, then in what situations it is Coincidental, and in what situations it is Vulgar ?
            Last edited by Muad'Dib; 03-04-2018, 04:30 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post

              I think that the writers/designers should in the future add a suggested required waiting time between using such Spells and Rotes to each capability of a True Magick Sphere ; especially to such Spells or Rotes like this one. As it is written, a Mage of Arete 7-9 can regularly gain Quintessence with no clear definition at all as to what the limits are. I think that the possibility of gaining Paradox is not a limit enough, for multiple reasons.


              Is this Prime 5 Effect Coincidental or Vulgar ? If it varies, then in what situations it is Coincidental, and in what situations it is Vulgar ?
              I would say that in all reality zones, the Effect of refreshing one's invisible Avatar/Genius with invisible energy would be coincidental. Given that this only charges an Avatar up to its limits, I don't think it's too unreasonable to imagine that a Master of Prime have access to a little trickle of power at all/most times.

              Sure, it's not too hard to imagine a Prime Mage breaking the Quintessence economy by gassing up the rest of the Cabal / Amalgam with cosmic quint before squaring off against a tough challenge, but I would argue that that's what Prime Mastery is there for.

              Mastery is incredibly difficult to get. Assuming that the Mage starts with 3 Arete and 3 Prime (chosen as an Affinity Sphere), it would cost 105 experience to become a Master of Prime. That's around 21 sessions (assuming the Mage earns the maximum of 5 xp per session, but not counting the 4 from completing a story). Most Mages are never going to buy Prime 5, so there should be a really good pot at the end of that rainbow.

              I suspect most mages will buy up to Prime 2 (to get ex nihilo pattern creation) and put the rest of their dots into pattern spheres. Mages who want to specialize in Wonders will probably stick around for Prime 4, and quit there. Speaking of which, this is why I completely removed the Prime requirement for Artifact / Invention creation. I want more Mages to be able to make cool Wonders while leaving the truly potent Wonders (Talismans/Relics/Devices/Principae) for Mages who dedicate themselves to the Prime sphere.
              Last edited by Octavo; 03-04-2018, 05:07 PM.


              Mage: the Ascension - Redesigned Prime Sphere; Streamlined Wonder Creation
              Mage: the Awakening 2E - Hogwarts: the Wizarding World Chronicle
              Mummy: the Curse - Lightweight 2E Conversion; Disciples of Duat

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Octavo View Post
                Good question. This ability has been in every version of Ascension's Prime Sphere from 1st to M20, and as far as I can tell, the only limitation has been that you can only charge up to your Avatar Rating with this ability (despite Prime 1 letting you exceed those limits)
                And as far as I can see, in M20 that limit isn't mentioned. It actually directly states that the Prime 5 effect straight up uses the Magick damage roll scale.

                Personally I agree that the effect should remain coincidental when used carefully - there is nothing for an observer to witness that would make them go 'What the hell is happening right now!'.

                But M20 also helps in this regard!
                It states that if 3+ Quintessence get shifted about, "lights tend to dim, breezes blow, and the area’s temperature might rise or fall several degrees. Folks feel ripples even if they have no idea what’s actually going on."
                And the more Quintessence gets shifted about, the more obvious things become. Moving 10+ Quintessence becomes, quote, 'always vulgar', as even sleepers can see it fully at that point, and it wreaks havoc on reality's consistency. "Bright lights, ribbons of color, explosions, sudden freezes, and so forth" as the book states. Think Highlander.

                So there you go. The "trickle staying concidental" was pretty much spot on. The more it turns into a firehose or breaking dam, the less the chance for that. For reference, Page 332 M20 for all of the above.


                EDIT:
                I am also now imagining an Akashic using Prime 5 to 'power up' with a truckload of Quintessence at once...



                Thank you, internet.

                Last edited by Ambrosia; 03-05-2018, 06:15 AM.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post

                  And as far as I can see, in M20 that limit isn't mentioned. It actually directly states that the Prime 5 effect straight up uses the Magick damage roll scale.

                  Personally I agree that the effect should remain coincidental when used carefully - there is nothing for an observer to witness that would make them go 'What the hell is happening right now!'.

                  But M20 also helps in this regard!
                  It states that if 3+ Quintessence get shifted about, "lights tend to dim, breezes blow, and the area’s temperature might rise or fall several degrees. Folks feel ripples even if they have no idea what’s actually going on."
                  And the more Quintessence gets shifted about, the more obvious things become. Moving 10+ Quintessence becomes, quote, 'always vulgar', as even sleepers can see it fully at that point, and it wreaks havoc on reality's consistency. "Bright lights, ribbons of color, explosions, sudden freezes, and so forth" as the book states. Think Highlander.

                  So there you go. The "trickle staying concidental" was pretty much spot on. The more it turns into a firehose or breaking dam, the less the chance for that. For reference, Page 332 M20 for all of the above.


                  EDIT:
                  I am also now imagining an Akashic using Prime 5 to 'power up' with a truckload of Quintessence at once...



                  Thank you, internet.

                  Ohh, I forgot about what happens when 3+ Quintessence gets shifted. Perfect gif too!


                  Mage: the Ascension - Redesigned Prime Sphere; Streamlined Wonder Creation
                  Mage: the Awakening 2E - Hogwarts: the Wizarding World Chronicle
                  Mummy: the Curse - Lightweight 2E Conversion; Disciples of Duat

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