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  • #31
    Originally posted by Saikou View Post
    There must be a reason behind why these instruments aid in the control of their magic. It can’t be as mechanical as “well, the book says I need a focus per sphere, so I’ll just take circles for Life and staves for Forces, oh look I’ve got to arête 6, guess I don’t need circles anymore”.

    No, that kind of thinking is lazy in my opinion. Perhaps the hermetic believes that staves are required for Forces as the staff is the tool by which they focus the elements of the world. The influence is carried through the staff, and as they slam it down, the energy they gather up is released in the direction they moved it towards. While life requires circles as the powers of life are inherently circular. Life is cyclic as are their energies, and so to place the body in the circle and call upon similar designs such as spirals, helixes, and perhaps even curves, they are able to manipulate specific aspects of ones internal circular energies, as the shapes force the pathways down routes that invoke the change they impart on their target.

    How do they shed this focus? Perhaps during their seeking, they realised that the way to govern the pathways of these energies can be shaped through hand gesture alone. Where they needed to draw circles about over their target and ensure the patterns lines up perfectly, they can now enforce circular movement by somatic gestures. Perhaps as they become more practiced, they no longer have need of somatic gesture, but just eyemovement alone is enough to direct these energies down the correct pathways.

    Also, arête 4 is - bit early to star dropping instruments entirely. I’d leave until at least arête 6, maybe 5 at most. Either way, I’d say it’s best done as part of the seeking, and must be a gradual process with a sense of progression associated with it.
    One instrument for each Sphere isn't in M20. Book of Secrets explicitly says that this is no longer a thing in the FAQ, since it leads to weird inconsistencies and thematic issues.

    M20 just has you take 7 Instruments (although you can take more!) which make up parts of your Focus, which relates to your Paradigm. All that matters is that you can honestly answer the question "how does your character think this effect is possible under their Paradigm/Focus". So with their World of Gods and Monsters Paradigm, and their Focus of High Ritual Magick, and their 7 instruments, they can do anything they can justify with them.

    And if they shed one of their Instruments (the one they are using the least under their Focus, typically) then that just means they can perform effects *which they could justify under the instrument they have lost* without the instrument itself, or with other instruments. So having lost their Tarot, Dice and other games of chance, they can now tell someone's fortune or alter their fate without instruments, as they have learnt that they themselves are an instrument of arbitrary fate and strange fortune. Having lost their incantations and commands (which would demand very high Arete typically, as it's often a central instrument) they could perform "non-verbal spells" to borrow Potter vocabulary, as they learn to speak the incantation with their very soul/essence/mind.
    Last edited by 11twiggins; 05-08-2018, 10:17 AM.

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    • #32
      Indeed, it's a new system that does need a lot of good faith, since you can potentially do everything with anything (no hard rules against that). However in no place it says that your most important instrument should be the most powerful or versatile (My Etherite has always special cameras on him, which he values a lot because he was/is a journalist, but hardly uses them for more than perception based stuff - which, granted, he uses a lot)

      And to think that you should purposely nerf the power of shedding your instruments it's as much metagaming as thinking purely on advantage - personally, I don't respect a lot Satyros reasoning. Each mage has a different Paradigm and that allows for different reasonings about which Instruments should be easier or harder to discard. For instance, I could equally argue that you should shed first the instruments you use the most because you have more practice with them - i.e you've practiced the sacred katas so much that now every movement of your body it's a kata.
      Last edited by Aleph; 05-08-2018, 10:45 AM.

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      • #33
        Yeah, without the logical progression as to why the instruments are no longer needed, it just comes across as arbitrary “level up” style nonsense to me.


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

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Saikou View Post
          Yeah, without the logical progression as to why the instruments are no longer needed, it just comes across as arbitrary “level up” style nonsense to me.
          Well the player is meant to say to the ST "yeah is it cool if I drop this instrument", and a good ST will ask them to justify it. I mean the system can be bad if it is implemented badly, but the same goes for Spherical Magick, Coincidence vs Vulgarity, buying Backgrounds/Traits with Experience, you get the idea. A good ST will ask the questions you're asking and want to understand why the Mage now thinks, with their greater sense of enlightenment and understanding of their Paradigm, they can ignore a certain instrument. There will always be a good justification if the player thinks about it. Then the ST just has to make sure they're not getting rid of an instrument which is too critical too early on, such as a Mage losing the requirement to use their wand/staff at Arete 3 when they use it for the majority of their non-ritual magick, for example.
          Last edited by 11twiggins; 05-08-2018, 11:13 AM.

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          • #35
            I guess so. Though the way it’s written makes it feel a lot more arbitrary than it should be.

            Arête 3 seems incredibly early to star shedding foci. Most characters start at arête 4.
            I thought it was starting from Arête 6, you lose one, and can lose up to two for every extra arête you gain.


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

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Saikou View Post
              I guess so. Though the way it’s written makes it feel a lot more arbitrary than it should be.

              Arête 3 seems incredibly early to star shedding foci. Most characters start at arête 4.
              I thought it was starting from Arête 6, you lose one, and can lose up to two for every extra arête you gain.
              Max starting Arete is 3 right?

              And that's how it works for those with technological foci, unless they have the Techgnosi merit, which lets them shed the way mystic mages do.

              A technomage places MUCH more emphasis on instruments (if not Foci) than many mystic mages, in the sense that they believe the effect = tool and tool = effect. A mystic mage typically understands that what they're doing is a route to power, not power itself. Of course if they were a perfect servant of god they could invoke his power without having to go through a grand ritual, but they aren't that enlightened yet. That idea is drilled into their head and is a key part of many paradigms, and the same is true in the inverse. A progenitor can't really separate her Focus from her Instruments. But as they begin to truly understand their Paradigm, they learn to overcome more and more of the instruments they use. Most will still actually use them. However the Technocrats can never let go of all of their instruments, due to the conditioning of the Union. That iterator with Arete 9 will always use Cybernetics as a focus, however that isn't much of a disadvantage at all. I mean, he's a cyborg. And at Arete 9, does it make much of a difference? These distinctions are mostly for flavour.

              Mystic: 1 instrument for each dot of Arete, starting at 3.

              Technomage: 2 instruments for each dot of Arete, starting at 6.

              For example, a Progenitor who realizes that she doesn't actually need to use blood and fluid samples to develop her creations will likely still use them. She does this to avoid seeming unmutual, and because it makes the procedures easier. Furthermore it feeds into a lot of important cultural aspects of the union and their operatives.
              Last edited by 11twiggins; 05-08-2018, 11:50 AM.

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              • #37
                Mind you that, of course, just because the book allows you to technically start losing instruments at Arete 3 for mystics, does not means that the character is actually able to, mentally.
                Nor does it mean that the character actually wants to, so early. Their paradigm might as well still dictate at this age that, yes, those instruments are important! Necessary! Blasphemy to even think of not using them!

                So, depending on what character you play, how you play them, and what you also prefer as a player, it might be possible to lose that first instrument at 3...but it's just as possible to keep them up to Arete 5, at which point the character's mental state 'clicks' and they potentially start dropping one, two at once because of an epiphany. And of course they still might be constantly using them - just *knowing* that they might do without.



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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
                  Mind you that, of course, just because the book allows you to technically start losing instruments at Arete 3 for mystics, does not means that the character is actually able to, mentally.
                  Nor does it mean that the character actually wants to, so early. Their paradigm might as well still dictate at this age that, yes, those instruments are important! Necessary! Blasphemy to even think of not using them!

                  So, depending on what character you play, how you play them, and what you also prefer as a player, it might be possible to lose that first instrument at 3...but it's just as possible to keep them up to Arete 5, at which point the character's mental state 'clicks' and they potentially start dropping one, two at once because of an epiphany. And of course they still might be constantly using them - just *knowing* that they might do without.
                  Exactly. For the sake of flavour you might hang on to every single instrument you use, just for fun. And the -1 difficulty modifier that comes with it is a neat bonus.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

                    Exactly. For the sake of flavour you might hang on to every single instrument you use, just for fun. And the -1 difficulty modifier that comes with it is a neat bonus.
                    That’s not what Ambrosia is saying. They’re saying that even if the book says 1 shed per arête, the reality might be that your mage simply cannot let go of their instruments, not just yet anyway. They would not receive any bonus for using the instrument as they still need it.
                    It wouldn’t be flavour, it would be roleplay, and very honest roleplay at that, one that puts character progression ahead of rpg progression.


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

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Saikou View Post

                      That’s not what Ambrosia is saying. They’re saying that even if the book says 1 shed per arête, the reality might be that your mage simply cannot let go of their instruments, not just yet anyway. They would not receive any bonus for using the instrument as they still need it.
                      It wouldn’t be flavour, it would be roleplay, and very honest roleplay at that, one that puts character progression ahead of rpg progression.
                      I got the impression she was saying that a Mage won't stop using the instrument just because they're allowed to.

                      Regardless, what we're saying amounts to essentially the same thing.

                      A player could overcome the need to use an instrument, but still always use it, for any number of reasons. Alternatively they could simply ignore the mechanical upshot until they think it's appropriate, which is a player's prerogative. The only difference considering that both options use the same instruments in the same ways is -1 difficulty vs no change.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                        I got the impression she was saying that a Mage won't stop using the instrument just because they're allowed to.
                        A little bit of column A, a little bit of Column B, really!

                        Just because the book sets Arete 3 as the minimum for dropping the first instrument, a character might simply not be ICly ready for it yet. Shortcoming in their reasoning, a specific approach to their paradigm that does not make them realize it so early, simply not getting the idea into their mind to even try so soon in their magickal llife..really, there can be a whole bunch of reasons. It's a very character and character development specific thing, and the reason why the book sets it at Arete 6 for technomancers - they simply realize it later because of their paradigm revolving around technology. I don't quite agree with that latter approach, but it's pretty much the reason.

                        And then, yes, as you say, even *if* a character realizes that they *could* do something without an instrument, they might choose not to do so - either because they still find that magick is easier to perform with it, or again for paradigmic reasons that can downright forbid it, or what have you. Again, manyfold reasons.


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                        • #42
                          Correspondence 2 lets you do some of the stuff that Dr. Strange does with his sling-ring, just not full-body teleportation (need Corr 3 for that).

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                          • #43
                            By the way, there is a certain nasty use for Correspondence 5 in combat - and it doesn't even need to be cast during combat.

                            Just take a nice blade of your preference, then use Correspondence 5 to make it really, really thin. Super thin.
                            Here's the neat thing about this: Its dimensions might be thinner than paper, but its sturdyness hasn't changed a bit, at all. Same reason why making somebody tiny with Correspondence 5 would not allow you to just squish them under your boot. Correspondence hurts the brain like that.

                            After that, you have a blade that pretty much can ignore the durability rating of objects, as well as armor. Heck, it might cause Aggravated damage just from this to jump straight over lethal soaks. And the roll required to make a trinket like that might not even need many successes since you're not changing dimensions that much in the first place, especially if you just apply it to the edge.

                            Bonus if you make it a Wonder using Correspondence 5 to lengthen when you slash. I bet there is a Technocracy Cyborg with white hair out there that has a blade like that, and a liking to Time 3..
                            Last edited by Ambrosia; 05-16-2018, 03:46 PM.


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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
                              By the way, there is a certain nasty use for Correspondence 5 in combat - and it doesn't even need to be cast during combat.

                              Just take a nice blade of your preference, then use Correspondence 5 to make it really, really thin. Super thin.
                              Here's the neat thing about this: Its dimensions might be thinner than paper, but its sturdyness hasn't changed a bit, at all. Same reason why making somebody tiny with Correspondence 5 would not allow you to just squish them under your boot. Correspondence hurts the brain like that.

                              After that, you have a blade that pretty much can ignore the durability rating of objects, as well as armor. Heck, it might cause Aggravated damage just from this to jump straight over lethal soaks. And the roll required to make a trinket like that might not even need many successes since you're not changing dimensions that much in the first place, especially if you just apply it to the edge.

                              Bonus if you make it a Wonder using Correspondence 5 to lengthen when you slash. I bet there is a Technocracy Cyborg with white hair out there that has a blade like that, and a liking to Time 3..
                              I don’t think the blade would be any different at cutting. The space around it is compressed, but just like you can’t squish a corr shrunk person, your blade would react to to things fairly normally once you eventually make contact.

                              So it wouldn’t cause agg or ignore armor. But it would be impossible to parry and very difficult to doge, if not impossible.
                              Last edited by Saikou; 05-16-2018, 09:11 PM.


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

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Saikou View Post
                                I don’t think the blade would be any different at cutting. The space around it is compressed, but just like you can’t squish a corr shrunk person, your blade would react to to things fairly normally once you eventually make contact.
                                That's the very key to this though - the space is compressed, which means the blade's durability, weight and force is not affected at all. It stays just as heavy and forceful, but the area of impact on the target is much much muuuch thinner

                                This is how cutting power works in the first place - or the penetration power of a bullet; A lot of force either over a very thin, linear space, or a very small spot.

                                Ballistic vests work the opposite way - they try to take that tiny impact area of the bullet, and try to instead spread the kinetic force across your body - as if the bullet was actually much larger (without the weight increase of a literally huge chunk of metal).

                                You can't squish a person shrunk down with Correspondence 5 under your boot because if you step on them, they would feel the weight of you stepping on them spread on their entire body instead of a small part of them - which isn't dangerous, spread out like that.
                                It would be like, ahem, another person laying on top of you (if they are seriously standing on you with the other foot lifted up). Perhaps not exactly comfortable, but not at all threatening.
                                Heck, the tiny person can just lift your foot up because it would be like a large person pushing themselves up against your foot. A tiny part of your foot, with their full strength as if they were normal size.

                                The blade makes use of exactly that, just in the opposite way:
                                Its weight, intertial force and shape gets applied to an incredibly thin area of the target. And despite the blade being paper thin, it's just the space that's compressed, which means the blade is just as durable, heavy(!) and inertial as if it was its normal thickness.

                                It's the same reason a truck Correspondence'd down to Matchbox size still weights several tons - and still could drive right through a wall. However the entire force of the truck would punch (super easily) through a tiny part of the wall. The Correspondence'd matchbox truck would not drive against the wall and leave a huge-sized hole.
                                Last edited by Ambrosia; 05-17-2018, 03:44 AM.


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