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Fire slinging Magic in mage 20

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  • #16
    There is another thing, not very related, I was thinking over about magical violence. From what I understand, with just Life 3 + Correspondance 3 you can kill pretty much anyone (I mean normal people, without special fortitude or magical defenses) at a distance. You would need some body sample or possession in order not to waste too many successes on Correspondance, but it's often not so complicated to get, and you would still require a good number of successes, but since you are in no hurry and can work from the safety of your sanctum and treat it as a ritual, it's not so complicated: the base difficulty is only 6 if the attack is coincidental (heart attack, stroke, etc.) and can be further reduced by the sanctum background, personalized instruments, etc. "Only" 7 successes on damage - which could reliably be achieved in 3-5 rolls for a beginner mage at Arete 3 at low difficulty - would be enough to yield 14 dice of damage, which is enough to kill a normal human in 60% cases.

    Do I get it correctly ? I'm awed at how deadly this simple combination of Spheres you can start the game with is, but it's not completely unbalanced either. It's still serious ritual work with a potential for going horribly wrong (I snigger at the thought of how I would handle paradox backlash if such a ritual botches), it's long and tiring, and you would end up accumulating gruesome resonance. And all really major figures (politicians, leaders, etc.) are certainly under Technocratic Correspondance 2+ protection and oversight. If a player wanted to do that, I would let it get away with it a few times, until he picks the wrong target and triggers technocratic (or other) magickal tripwires, or does it often enough to attract some unwanted attention (maybe technocratic entropy procedures spot weird patterns in recent deaths, maybe some death spirit or nephandus find him "insteresting", maybe the Euthanatoi are pissed off about all those people dying when they shouldn't have, etc.)

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    • #17
      Yep, Mages can be incredibly deadly, but there are numerous ways sphere magic can prove fatal to a regular human.

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      • #18
        Wait does magick inflict points of damage or dice of damage?

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        • #19
          EDIT: leaving that here not to break the flow of the thread, but I'm actually wrong, disregard this post

          Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
          Wait does magick inflict points of damage or dice of damage?
          Dice. The basic rule is 2 dice per success dedicated to damage on the Arete roll. You need one success just to affect something other than yourself, so basically you need 2 successes to start doing damage (2 dice), 3 successes = 4 dice, etc. And using Forces add one extra success to damage (so, two dice). That's how I understand it, at least.
          Last edited by alexendy; 09-16-2018, 03:29 AM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
            Wait does magick inflict points of damage or dice of damage?
            As far as I can tell, magick deals levels of damage, as indicated by the chart on M20 p. 504; the combat example on page 415 seems to reflect this chart as well.

            I wouldn't be surprised if the rules said something different (like the aforementioned "2 dice per success") on another page, but I haven't found it in M20 yet.

            The notion that you could deal six levels of damage straight-out just by rolling two successes on a Forces effect (because Forces effectively gives you an extra success for damage) seems a little crazy, but that's what the rules appear to say.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Jefepato View Post

              As far as I can tell, magick deals levels of damage, as indicated by the chart on M20 p. 504; the combat example on page 415 seems to reflect this chart as well.

              I wouldn't be surprised if the rules said something different (like the aforementioned "2 dice per success") on another page, but I haven't found it in M20 yet.

              The notion that you could deal six levels of damage straight-out just by rolling two successes on a Forces effect (because Forces effectively gives you an extra success for damage) seems a little crazy, but that's what the rules appear to say.
              To be fair, 2 successes on a Forces effect is quite a lot when your Arete pool could be as low as 2 for that effect.

              But yes Magick does inflict a L O T of damage.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Jefepato View Post
                As far as I can tell, magick deals levels of damage, as indicated by the chart on M20 p. 504; the combat example on page 415 seems to reflect this chart as well.

                Well, it looks like you're right. My bad. That's quite insanely destructive, but well... yeah, that's magic.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by alexendy View Post


                  Well, it looks like you're right. My bad. That's quite insanely destructive, but well... yeah, that's magic.
                  And of course Paradox can be a problem; but I maintain that damage is one of the easiest things to make Coincidental. Using a taser? They can kill people instantly. Sure it's rare, but tasing someone and them falling to the ground unconscious (?) won't be Vulgar; sure they could be dead (they are!) but they might just be knocked out. Using a gun? No question. A sword? Easy.

                  Damage is very believable, essentially.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by alexendy View Post
                    There is another thing, not very related, I was thinking over about magical violence. From what I understand, with just Life 3 + Correspondance 3 you can kill pretty much anyone (I mean normal people, without special fortitude or magical defenses) at a distance. "Only" 7 successes on damage - which could reliably be achieved in 3-5 rolls for a beginner mage at Arete 3 at low difficulty - would be enough to yield 14 dice of damage, which is enough to kill a normal human in 60% cases. (...)

                    Do I get it correctly ? I'm awed at how deadly this simple combination of Spheres you can start the game with is, but it's not completely unbalanced either. (...)
                    One of Hunter: the Reckoning books has a Mage first using misfortune and mind influence Magick while trying to run away from a Hunter. After he is left no other options, as he is cornered in an apartment, he uses what is probably Life Magick, targetting the Hunter's head, to kill her in an instant.
                    So yes, sometimes there is nothing at all a person can do to protect herself or himself when targetted by Magick of a Mage.

                    Such use of Correspondence Magick like described by you should require either having items related to the target, or placing appropriate items near the target. This involves some work, and possibly risks.
                    Last edited by Muad'Dib; 09-18-2018, 04:06 PM.

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                    • #25
                      It may be worth to note that normal humans being pretty much screwed when faced with supernatural power it's a big staple of World of Darkness.

                      What can a strong thug do when a Werewolf transforms into Crinos in his face? - most likely he won't have enough Willpower to act rationally, not that such would have made a lot of difference. What can a normal person do when a Vampire decides to employ the ol' "look into my eyes" Dominate? - other than rare Merits or super high willpower there's no much a human can do to resist a vampire. Blood bond only makes it creepier.

                      It's no different with magick, a surprised mage trying to reach her wand in the face of a group of hunters that know what she can do should be genuinely scary (enough to try to stop her, desperatelly). Magick should be genuinely scary - if it was inferior to having a gun at hand (and sometimes is) then it wouldn't be much scary. By the same vein a group of mages doing a ritual it's no joke. While mages don't need to be bad people nor do bad things, they're supposed to be powerful nevertheless. Otherwise Hubris wouldn't be a theme. Mage isn't a game of humble mystic practitioners scared of the dark

                      But, of course, there's always greater monsters. That's another staple of WoD. Of course this manifests differently in each game. In Vampire it's about age and the potency of the blood (before an elder's Domination you aren't much better than a normal human). In Mage it's,among other things, about the powers unleashed by rituals of other mages. Antagonistic mages often are more powerful or resourceful than our heroes (usually it's the Technocracy that plays the role of boogieman), and even when they aren't you never know what powers or countermeasures the other mages may have

                      So yeah, ranged magick and rituals are crazy powerful. Better not forget that the other side can use it too.
                      Last edited by Aleph; 09-18-2018, 10:13 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                        By the same vein a group of mages doing a ritual it's no joke. While mages don't need to be bad people nor do bad things, they're supposed to be powerful nevertheless. Otherwise Hubris wouldn't be a theme. Mage isn't a game of humble mystic practitioners scared of the dark
                        It's not only Rituals with group of Mages that makes them a force to be reckoned with. Each person in a group of four or five Mages can cast one or two different Spells ( for example scrying, time divination, sense weakness, items scan, thoughts reading, body state scan, when investigating a person or an event ) in regards to a person, while at the same time being able to expand more Willpower and more Quintessence than a single Mage. Then they can also follow up with a group Ritual and/or mundane actions.
                        Last edited by Muad'Dib; 09-19-2018, 05:10 AM.

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