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  • #16
    Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
    Or, you know, one of the Solificati/Children of Knowledge. You could totally claim that an alchemist can use complex designs as a "transmutation circle". FMA doesn't have to be a thing in the game world unless you want it to be; maybe alchemists in the setting were ALWAYS capable of doing it like that.
    True. The difference between Awakened and non-Awakened alchemists, perhaps?


    Anyways, this thread is giving me ideas. I really should pick up M20 when I can afford it. Does anybody have ideas for Mind?


    MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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    • #17
      For Mind?

      Use Mind 3 (+ Correspondence 3 for remote casting) to enter and manipulate an NPC's dreams. In the haze of slumber, people tend to be less guarded about revealing information, and be easier to fool (unless they have dots in Lucid Dreaming, of course). Present yourself in the dream as the NPC's "longtime friend and confidant". From there, it's a simple matter to induce the sleeper into revealing information they would otherwise be less than forthcoming about. Chances are the NPC won't remember the dream come morning, and likely wouldn't think much of it even if they did. Best of all, by the nature of dreams, this Effect is 100% coincidental.

      Another trick would be to create a Mind 3 mental illusion in a someone's mind, in the form of an illusory person. It begins by stepping out from behind a corner, and the encounter will end with the illusion stepping out of view again. So long as the illusion is believable, it's coincidental. After all, it only exists in one person's head, and so it only has to fool them. (No, the target reacting to the illusion in a strange way under no circumstances makes it Vulgar; people talk to themselves all the time, and the target being led to believe they were fooled cannot retroactively bring down Paradox).


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      • #18
        Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post

        True. The difference between Awakened and non-Awakened alchemists, perhaps?


        Anyways, this thread is giving me ideas. I really should pick up M20 when I can afford it. Does anybody have ideas for Mind?
        Using Mind 1 and Correspondence 2, find people with low Willpower in semi-important bureaucratic roles. Now control them to gain access to their intelligence electronically (acquire their login for an intranet or moodle, for example). Now dominate them to completely ruin the lives of those around you. Create problems you can fix. Foreclose on the house or loans of an antagonist. Flag them as a potential target of an audit.

        Alternatively, this low Willpower individual can simply be used as a patsy for an arson/terror attack. Being investigated by the local police department? Well all of their records and evidence are about to be destroyed by a Disgruntled Employee! They're the worst. Sure, Badass McLooseCannon might remember that you were under investigation, but they can't officially go after you with no records or evidence. An investigation relies on a paper trail, and continuing is untenable without certain prerequisites.

        Now your bureaucrat is in jail, and you have a low Willpower pawn sitting inside of a prison. This means that you have a person on the inside, and that's another resource for the future.

        This is all very Coincidental. Minor threats and bribes are 100% coincidental as a cause for a person behaving irrationally and going against their own interests. And you can always command them to erase all traces of your control (text messages, emails) as they go along.
        Last edited by 11twiggins; 07-21-2018, 06:14 PM.

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        • #19
          An observation; “it’s Coincidental” is often cited as why a particular Effect can be powerful in the game, and it seems all the Effects here are Focus-agnostic, so to speak. Am I right to assume that then, at least from a Storyteller perspective, judicious uses of Paradox and reinforcing of characters’ Focus are the main limiters and sanity checks to spellcasting?


          MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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          • #20
            Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
            An observation; “it’s Coincidental” is often cited as why a particular Effect can be powerful in the game, and it seems all the Effects here are Focus-agnostic, so to speak. Am I right to assume that then, at least from a Storyteller perspective, judicious uses of Paradox and reinforcing of characters’ Focus are the main limiters and sanity checks to spellcasting?
            I would agree with this, but I'd add a focus on consequences too. Paradox isn't the only consequence to using magick in an aggravating way; if you draw attention to yourself the Union, other antagonistic Mages, local Vampires and Werewolves will begin to notice you, and everyone can find a reason deep inside their heart to hate you.

            But yes, a big limiter on a Mage is "my character doesn't think that's possible", "my character doesn't have the knowledge to make that work", "my character wouldn't do that, even if they are capable" and "I fear the Paradox would kill me".

            Sure, it's technically possible that a Chorister could transform some air into thermite, but they don't think magick works that way. They're breathing out some golden flames or letting light reflect off their holy text to burn the unholy foe they are facing.

            Something has occurred to me with the Thermite example, actually.

            In the M20 FAQ section you have "Can I use matter to make spikes of earth leap out of a muddy puddle, impaling someone's heart and killing them instantly?". The answer is yes, with plenty of successes. To do 7 points of Damage (or more if they soak), you need to get a certain number of successes. So to generate enough explosive material in a single roll, while fast-casting no less, that you can inflict 100s of points of damage instantly... that's not going to fly actually. It's very similar to our mud spike. It's theoretically possible to kill someone in one with a mud spike or a sudden explosion, it's harder to actually do it. And if Matter can make explosives appear around someone and inflict far more damage than Forces, with similar successes, what's the point of Forces in combat?

            The same goes with stopping someone's heart with Life for example. What are you trying to do? You're trying to inflict 7 points of damage (assuming this is meant to kill them), and that means you need a certain number of successes, probably more than you can get in one roll. A common error in Mage is coming up with an idea, framing it as though it's a minor feat (I'm *only* turning nitrogen, oxygen and CO2 into Thermite, it's practically all the same elements!), and then saying you can do it with 1-2 success(es) when in fact you'd definitely need more.

            Simply put, "I turn all the air around them into thermite" sounds super easy but you're dealing with a lot of successes, some Prime, some Quintessence, and a difficulty hike from fast-casting in most cases. Making a 6x6 cube of thermite with Matter is going to be an extended roll, it isn't something you just click your fingers for.

            Quick dirty and cheap damage is best achieved with Forces, or ideally Forces/Prime. Dropping a tonne of TNT on a person takes preparation and time; for example hanging a conjuring effect (Time and Correspondence) so that the explosives you made with Matter fall on them at the exact right moment... that could guarantee 100s of points of damage, whilst also killing everyone in the vicinity and drawing a lot of attention. Consequences. I don't want to be a sour-puss, this is a great way of taking care of an ancient Vampire or mega-powerful supernatural being, it's just not *easy* or uncomplicated.
            Last edited by 11twiggins; 07-21-2018, 07:25 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
              I would agree with this, but I'd add a focus on consequences too. Paradox isn't the only consequence to using magick in an aggravating way; if you draw attention to yourself the Union, other antagonistic Mages, local Vampires and Werewolves will begin to notice you, and everyone can find a reason deep inside their heart to hate you.
              I would argue that narrative consequences are more important to limit sanity checks to spellcasting than Paradox or Focus.

              Paradox in M20 it's just one dot per vulgar spell until you Botch and there are ways to deal with Paradox (like having familiars). Now, Paradox It's fated to bite the characters ass eventually (especially if they use Spheres in Vulgar ways) but that's not going to stop a mage from trashing your plot.

              Focus it's easy for a creative player to circumvent and there are very permissive Paradigms out there. For instance: it would be rather easy for a Reality Hacker to transmute air into thermite (Just switch the Air of Room.FilledWith(Air) with Thermite :P . Warning: this may bug the room).
              Focus it's important as a narrative tool that provides flavor, if you use it as a limiter you will end lecturing your players about the limits of their beliefs. This it's wrong because the players are supposed to control their characters, they are the authority when talking about what their own characters believe.

              Matter alone isn't enough here; the air in that cuboid space doesn't hold enough energy/matter to account for a big cube of thermite. You need to use Prime and quite a bit of Quintessence.
              If I'm not mistaken Matter, RAW, doesn't respect conservation of mass. If that's the case you wouldn't need any of that. Albeit I would argue that scientifically oriented mages may believe they do.

              Quick dirty and cheap damage is best achieved with Forces, or ideally Forces/Prime. Dropping a tonne of TNT on a person takes preparation and time; for example hanging a conjuring effect (Time and Correspondence) so that the explosives you made with Matter fall on them at the exact right moment
              You don't need Time: If the explosives have a Duration and you left them in a place you're familiar with, you can conjure the explosives with pure Correspondence - no need to hang a spell there as teleportation from/to a familiar place it's dirty cheap (success wise).

              Teleporting stuff around it's one of the most classic Mage exploits. From the classic "teleport your enemy into the sun" (7 or so successes, as it's a very unfamiliar place) to things like teleporting yourself into your sanctum at the start of the battle, then teleporting those handy explosives any murderhobo keeps in his place back from where you came in your next turn.

              Transforming matter into dangerous matter it's another classic exploit, but it seems M20 has it covered.
              Last edited by Aleph; 07-23-2018, 10:32 AM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                If I'm not mistaken Matter, RAW, doesn't respect conservation of mass. If that's the case you wouldn't need any of that. Albeit I would argue that scientifically oriented mages may believe they do.
                Agreed, this is a point I meant to bring up previously. Physical laws of science only inhibit a mage if they believe it does. Yes, because of the Consensus, scientific laws are the default, but Awakened people (and to a certain extent Sorcerers) can operate their Magick based on alternative models for Reality.

                If, say, an alchemist wants to turn Air into Thermite, things like the exact arrangement of atoms and subatomic particles aren't relevant to his Effect. Mage isn't like the previously mentioned Full Metal Alchemist, for example, where the setting mixes the miracles of alchemy with Real World understanding of nature. In Mage, an alchemist doesn't need to operate assuming matter is composed of atoms. He can just as easily assume that all matter is composed of varying concentrations of the four classical elements. And that these "scientific elements" the Technocracy champions are just specific arrangements of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water.

                Nor does he have to believe that Conservation of Matter and Energy are relevant to his methods. To the alchemist, those are limitations imposed on the public by the Technocracy. To prevent a normal person from turning common stone into metal, so the Syndicate can profit massively (both in cash and Quintessence, because it's a Venture) off a mining company. An alchemist couldn't turn Lead into Gold if he cared about Conservation of Mass, because Lead and Gold (according to scientists) have different masses.

                So when an alchemist wants to turn Air into Thermite, all he really needs to do is figure out what reagent, elixir, or catalyst is needed to add a bunch of Fire to the Air in the room. With that, he can transmute the gases freely (though not, perhaps, without effort).


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