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What can and can't Entropy do?

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  • What can and can't Entropy do?

    Once upon a time after a session my friend and I started talking about some crazy stuff. One of them was next:
    There's a piece of space debris big and tough enough not to be burnt into the atmosphere.
    There's a building on Earth that some Cabbal would want to be destroyed.
    There's an Etherite with his own "Chaos Generator" that can lead the time flow on the path of greater (or smaller) destruction (or small "e" entropy).
    So can Etherite witn Entropy 2 control the colliding pieces of debris as he controlls colliding dices? That needed piece would fall on earth as dice and make a great botch for the building. Does a mage need to have Corespondence if he can see building and the area around the building (not the debris) is the target of Effect?

    P.S. English is not my native language. If you see any solecism, I'll fix. If you have any questions - I'll try to answer. If the question is "why do you need it?" - It's because this crazy stuff sounds not so crazy for me and could be a great element of the story. (I know, it's a powerplaying but... after talk with my friend I really want to explode something)

    P.P.S. System is Revised.
    Last edited by MesmerOfLife; 05-07-2018, 12:32 PM.

  • #2
    So is the Entropy effect to stop the debris hitting something.

    I’d say that would certainly be in the overview of Entropy, and you could cast it either in front of the area you wish to preserve or while beside the debris itself to not require correspondnace.

    This would be the same if you were trying to make the debris more likely to hit the building too.


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

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    • #3
      Mmmm...I'm not sure. Would you allow to "increase/decrease the odds of being struck by lightning in a storm" with pure Entropy? Because this sounds similar.

      I think this it's dangerously close to "entropy can do everything": What are the odds of space debris falling into this house?, What are the odds of raining today?, What are the odds of someone throwing a charged gun to the street right now in front of me?. Nearly everything it's "possible", but I would think that summoning a specific object out of chance (rather than a random curse or altering probabilities rather than possibilities) involving the element of other Sphere would need at least a passing knowledge of that Sphere(s)

      I'm contemplating that to use Correspondence 2+ to at least see if a piece of debris may, indeed, fall (and then increase "those" odds - mind you, it may take a while for the thing to fall without nudging reality a little more with other spheres) OR Matter 2 to increase the chances of that particular Matter Pattern coliding with the house (much like you need Matter to make a random meteor apear in your hand with Corr 2/Matter 2, you use Matter/Entropy to turn the house in a meteorite magnet) it's reasonable.

      Entropy 2 would be enough if it was already probable for the piece of debris to fall on the house to begin with (and you're just nudging it like with the dice). To create the probability out of pure possibility you would need Entropy 3 to "Affect predictable patterns":
      At this Rank, the mage can also start controlling the fate and fortune of objects and people, giving them good or bad luck by controlling the probability of events around them.
      As per M20. Revised it's the same, but I don't have it to quote.

      The difference lies, I think, in how likely it's that to happen (the piece was falling in the area and could hit the building - Entropy 2 + whatever. The piece wasn't going to fall in that area but may if something hits it, solar winds happen, or something - Entropy 3 + whatever).

      Originally posted by MesmerOfLife
      I know, it's a powerplaying but... after talk with my friend I really want to explode something
      Well, the ST has right to ask for a lot of successes since the probability of debris to hit something it's way low, even if the debris was already going to fall on the zone. Thus, arguably, it's not that OP (or it doesn't need to be)
      Last edited by Aleph; 05-07-2018, 02:11 PM.

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      • #4
        I’d argue that, yes, Entropy can indeed do everything, but only in so far as how spirit can technically do everything. As in, not directly.

        I’d say preventing lightning from striking you when in a storm is most definitely an Entropy 2 feat, where as controlling someone throwing a charged gun to the streets would be Entropy 5.

        When it comes to weather, I might argue that influencing when it would rain would be an Entropy 4 type of deal, since the dynamics of weather are probably on par with the dynamics of life in terms of uncertainty, but for being hit by a specific bolt of lightning, that’s more Entropy 2 since it’s a specific event that you’re altering rather than a whole host of events that constitute the storm itself.

        If you had Forces, then you might also be able to direct the bolt of lightning towards somewhere specific, but with Entropy alone all you can affect is the event. The lighting still strikes, just not on you.

        With Entropy 4 and Force 4, though, you could manipulate the weather in a much more specific method. Rather than just say “it will rain with a great deal of thunder” you can say “the wind shall blow from the south, while the thunder rages over the the city, striking anything that gets too close to the eye of the storm.

        Entropy effects are nebulous and vague, only influencing the event until other spheres detail the specifics.

        Regarding the effect, I don’t think you need Matter for this at all, nore would correspondence be your only means of seeing the debris, you could use a telescope for instance, be aware by watching the sk, or through time 2, or even Entropy 1 if cast at the location.

        But here’s the thing. With Entropy alone, you can increase the chance of something happening to the building, but nothing more specific than that. Entropy is all about the end point, the event, how it comes into play requires other spheres for specificity, like Time for an exact moment, and yes, Matter to specify what hits it.

        But if the event is already fortold, then it’s just a matter of altering the course towards this endpoint.


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

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Saikou
          When it comes to weather, I might argue that influencing when it would rain would be an Entropy 4 type of deal, since the dynamics of weather are probably on par with the dynamics of life in terms of uncertainty, for being hit by a specific bolt of lightning, that’s more Entropy 2 since it’s a specific event that you’re altering rather than a whole host of events that constitute the storm itself.

          If you had Forces, then you might also be able to direct the bolt of lightning towards somewhere specific, but with Entropy alone all you can affect is the event. The lighting still strikes, just not on you.
          The context implies that the OP wants to make a meteorite that's in outer space to fall on top of someone's chantry. You would say this it's NOT possible with Entropy alone just as you say that Entropy alone can't cause a lighting to hit a particular person that's not you?

          Keep in mind that being hit by a falling meteorite it's much more uncertain than being hit by a bolt of lightning

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          • #6
            My take on it is simply that the side of Entropy that is used here works with chance. Which means that there needs to be a chance for something to happen in the first place, for Entropy to make it happen.

            And this is not theoretical as in 'Meteorites can hit buildings', but there is a practical, specific state, object and task at hand - If the meteorite is not heading in a way where a few nudges of chance would make it fall onto the Chantry, Entropy alone won't work.

            If the meteorite's flight path is too off in the first place, the Entropy, if one still wants to attempt it, would not only have to change the variables of the meteorite's flight a bit - the change is too drastic to be an effect of Entropy alone - but instead first Entropy could be used, *maybe* to change the paths of nearby smaller meteorites to hit the larger one to bring its path into something that Entropy can nudge.
            This would require the Entropy user to actually locate those first, then those little meteorites would ALSO have to be on paths that only need certain nudges....you get an, excuse my french, clusterfuck.

            Simply put, Entropy does not work in or from a void. It depends on, and changes the chance of things already probable, even if the chance is small - not theoretically, but practically possible.

            If a thing simply has no chance to happen at all on its own, with all external factors included, you are really, really better off involving other spheres to make it all work.
            And if the chance is utterly *tiny* in the first place, you are heading for 'massive tons-of-successes-ritual' land, or at least for a LOT of prep work first to establish the array of external factors you need to take care of first, to increase the chance you are trying to nudge in the right direction after.
            Last edited by Ambrosia; 05-07-2018, 02:39 PM.


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            • #7
              I interpreted the OP post saying that there was already a piece of space debris that was hurtling towards the building to begin with.

              But I’d say still that the more successes you get with Entropy, the more the universe may bend around to give you a similar if different outcome.

              You might not get the space debris hitting the facility, but perhaps something else.

              But I would agree that Entropy 2 would probably be too weak for something so vague.


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

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              • #8
                If you were at my table and wanted to use Entropy to alter the probability of space debris hitting a building, you would just do as much damage as an Entropy attack could. So you would need Entropy of at least 3 to just damage the building, and 4 to actually hurt people within the building (if so desired).

                To do raw orbital damage by simply using raw chance to provide a chunk of space debris big enough to get through the atmosphere and hit your target would require a ton of successes that would be beyond Entropy 2. The only way around that would be lots of prep work, a high AF arete, lots of quintessence, and other spheres (such as knowing that such a piece exists, where it is, etc) to bring down the astronomical success numbers as other have pointed out.

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                • #9
                  - IMO, Entropy can get lightning to strike someone, or a meteorite to fall on a building. It just needs a tonne of successes to the point of being impractical. Say it's the middle of a thunderstorm; a Forces 2 effect could quite easily strike someone with lightning. However, with Entropy 3 (you're controlling an predictable random pattern, however it isn't THAT predictable) you could achieve the same thing with more successes. So many successes that you might actually need to use a Ritual. Now if you wanted to tilt a piece of debris in space towards hitting a certain building, you could do that, but it would require EVEN MORE successes. If you were lucky and you found a meteor which was going to hit that city anyways, changing its trajectory by a few hundred meters would be much easier, and perhaps even coincidental.

                  - However, Entropy has to work with stuff that's already out there. What are the odds that a clear sky would, within a few seconds, turn to a black storm and strike out with lightning. Even if you succeed, the effect you want could take hours or days to manifest. And RE the gun being thrown out in front of you, you need to remember that there HAS to be someone carrying a gun in the scene, and the ST needs to think about what that person does afterwards. Say a nearby police officer just so happens to have a gun; if it's safely holstered on their belt with a clip, then it isn't going to fall out in front of our mage no matter HOW much he shifts the odds in his favour. Think of the famous Taxi example. Entropy 3 might make the odds of a taxi passing increase by a lot, so in London you would find one on any street through luck, even if that street normally lacks cabs. But in the countryside you might be waiting a few days. Taxis won't appear out of thin air, nor storms, nor loaded guns.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Onkwe View Post
                    If you were at my table and wanted to use Entropy to alter the probability of space debris hitting a building, you would just do as much damage as an Entropy attack could. So you would need Entropy of at least 3 to just damage the building, and 4 to actually hurt people within the building (if so desired).

                    To do raw orbital damage by simply using raw chance to provide a chunk of space debris big enough to get through the atmosphere and hit your target would require a ton of successes that would be beyond Entropy 2. The only way around that would be lots of prep work, a high AF arete, lots of quintessence, and other spheres (such as knowing that such a piece exists, where it is, etc) to bring down the astronomical success numbers as other have pointed out.
                    Indeed. And short of having a Cult or other Mages assisting you, or plenty of Arete, you might never reach the number of successes needed before exhausting your Stamina and losing your progress. And if you're "storing" your successes, say in a rune or a machine which will then execute a program to move the meteor after you have finished the ritual, all of the work you've done won't be valid once enough time has passed, in my opinion, since the meteor is moving freely through space and so is the earth.

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                    • #11
                      Those are all very reasonable reflections about the limits of Entropy. I would certainly reward the adding of Forces to any "May lightning strike you!" curse, but I wouldn't make it impossible with Entropy alone on a second thought.

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                      • #12
                        If there was already a storm brewing, Entropy 2 would increase the chance that lighting might strike, but it would be a dice roll as to whether it hits your target.
                        Entropy 3 would be good to ensure that the lightning connects with the target, but would probably only be able to strike them once reliably, with each successive attempt becoming more and more difficult. So if 4 successes for the first hit,(one to target, three for the effect itself) then perhaps 6 for the second strike, and 9 for the third, 13 for the fourth... and all the while the domino effect is getting ever higher.
                        The idea is that Entropy gets progressively more difficult to enforce repeatedly, but is much more coincidental as a result.


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

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