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The Trouble with Technomancers.

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Enginseer-42 View Post
    Anyone with the appropriate skill can use a Techno wonder. That's worlds apart from anyone with an Arete score.
    Only wonders that do not depend on the wielder having an Arete score. That was Moirdryd's point.


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    • #17
      An enlightened mage has versatility up their sleeves, Unless your agent has every possibly conceived application of the combinations of spheres, then there are things a mage can do that they can't.

      Now numbers are still an issue, sending hordes of sleepers with weapons and defenses for counter magic is great; but smart mages with sufficient power should be able to work around it.
      Last edited by Illithid; 08-10-2018, 02:52 AM. Reason: I used the wrong their/there/they're. I will now go flagellate myself in pennance

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Aleph View Post
        Also I think this it's a good time to aplaud once again M20 Book of Secrets system to create Wonders because it had the good sense to explicitly include the roll needed to cast the spell into the roll to make the Wonder (something I've always tought but wasn't propperly ruled).
        I still very very strongly believe that Wonders do not "toss out a full effect with only one success". Every described Wonder that I look at, wether it uses a Mage's Arete, or the Wonder's Arete, always refers to the results of the Wonder's effect being based on the actual amount of success resulting from the roll when using the Wonder.

        Examples for Artifacts/Talismans as written:

        "An Enlightened character can also use a built-in Mind 2
        Empathic Bond Effect. The dice pool for this Effect comes from
        the wearer’s own Enlightenment Trait, which makes a high-end
        Syndicate VP far more impressive than a low-level street op."

        "By rolling the
        amulet’s Arete (difficulty 6) and spending one Quintessence
        point, that wearer gets one dot of Strength per success"

        Even the Artifacts in Dragon's Fire base the potency of their effects usually on the successes rolled when using it more often than not. Of course there are also the Artifacts that don't require a roll at all and just break the game logic, so I'm wary of even using DF as examples. Not that the M20 example are better, since there are charms/gadget examples that require no roll, have fixed effects, yet the rules for charms expliciately state that they require a roll and the potency is based on the result...

        So. What is it?
        I still cannot find any line that explicitely says "You roll all your successes during creation, and a single success when using the wonder give you the whole rolled success shebang you did during wonder creation".
        But I see many Wonder examples that explicitely rely on rolling more successes when *using* the wonder.
        What I read in Book Of Secrets is that you need to (of course) include the Spheres you wish to use for the effect when Investing into the wonder, and that you need 3 successes per dot the Wonder has, as well as 3 successes per extra feature (more quintessence, Arete etc.).

        The Dragon's Fire confusion is, IMO, still not quite cleared up. But so far I simply conclude that Arete roll successes when *using the wonder* = effect successes. Thus a 50-success giga-ray isn't exactly possible unless you shove a loooot of extra Arete die into an Artifact to be rolled on usng the wonder - And I agree there that building that kind of thing would be increeeeedibly hard.
        And I still think a Mage shouldn't be able to make a Wonder with more Arete than they themself have. It makes no sense to me. A group working on a Wonder on the other hand..

        TL;DR: Example wonders still don't mesh with what's written, and things are still as unclear as before, the more you read into how wonders' effects actually work.
        Last edited by Ambrosia; 08-10-2018, 05:57 AM.


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        • #19
          Originally posted by Illithid View Post
          An enlightened mage has versatility up their sleeves, Unless your agent has every possibly conceived application of the combinations of spheres, then there are things a mage can do that they can't.

          Now numbers are still an issue, sending hordes of sleepers with weapons and defenses for counter magic is great; but smart mages with sufficient power should be able to work around it.
          Except in most cases, they actually don't. Most mages are Arete 3 on the upper end. There are masters around, but few and far between. However, with Technomancy, one master can grant the versatility of 4th and 5th level sphere effects to anyone. Meaning that essentially, while yes, they only have what they bring to any particular mission. That's all they need to bring so long as their Intel is good.

          Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
          Only wonders that do not depend on the wielder having an Arete score. That was Moirdryd's point.
          I guess? That makes the statement an utter nonsequitur then. Because I'm talking about Devices. Not inventions.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Enginseer-42
            I guess? That makes the statement an utter nonsequitur then. Because I'm talking about Devices. Not inventions.
            If you're using the rules of Forged by Dragon's Fire remember that you need to expend one Permanent Willpower point to create a Talisman/Device

            This it's a much less reasonable resource to expend compared with Quintessence because it's way scarcer. The average human has just 2 or 3 of these and they're pretty much the only source (no Nodes, no Orgone Generators, no PU).

            Fortunatelly there's a lot of humans. ​I imagine the Technocracy wouldn't be above of sucking the Willpower of innocent humans to mantain their factories running. Unfortunatelly lowering that in masse to create thouzands of Wonders would sit very firmly on the darkest aspects of the supposedly gray morality of the Union. With humans as your only source you are left with only the "questionable sources" as a source.

            Which in my book implies that the Technocracy does it but keeps it a secret from their own members, if only so the rank and file can believe the Technocracy actually isn't a giant spider sucking the will to live and progress from humanity like the Traditions say.

            This wound require a quieter (and smaller) opperation than the whole ransaking of Nodes. Of course, places like MECHA should have carte blanche to drain all of it, mages without Willpower can't do magick after all, so it's justified. You can use similar Constructs as a way to "wash" all that Willpower so the rank and file suspects nothing even after questioning how the Techncoracy has so many Devices.

            In M20 it's stated that the Technocracy has some way to eliminate the Willpower cost...but it's also stated that the method and the places where this miracle happen are top secret and the average agent doesn't know how it's done...
            Last edited by Aleph; 08-10-2018, 10:28 AM.

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            • #21
              Devices are actually mechanically distinct from Talismans, Rather than just another name. The rules are found in Technomancers Toybox.

              The key points are that Devices simply DON'T require will power, but neither are they connected to their maker, or able to perform magic on their own without operators. And despite possessing it's own enlightenment score, use counts as your magical action for the round.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Enginseer-42 View Post
                Devices are actually mechanically distinct from Talismans, Rather than just another name. The rules are found in Technomancers Toybox.

                The key points are that Devices simply DON'T require will power, but neither are they connected to their maker, or able to perform magic on their own without operators. And despite possessing it's own enlightenment score, use counts as your magical action for the round.
                It goes back and forth as a matter of "Pick your poison".
                Technomancer's Toybox is a Second Edition book, while Dragon's Fire is Revised. Dragons Fire explicitely states that Devices 'contain a Mage's Willpower' and act as independently in terms of Arete rolling as Talismans. (Page 46 DF)
                M20 and M20 Book of Secrets on the other hand references the Toybox book once more for further examples, and seems to be treating Devices more akin to what you describe, yeah. (M20 has more connections to 2nd than Revised anyways, rules-wise).


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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post

                  It goes back and forth as a matter of "Pick your poison".
                  Technomancer's Toybox is a Second Edition book, while Dragon's Fire is Revised. Dragons Fire explicitely states that Devices 'contain a Mage's Willpower' and act as independently in terms of Arete rolling as Talismans. (Page 46 DF)
                  The Storytellers Guide of Revised also states explicitly that Devices and Talismans are the same thing...

                  M20 and M20 Book of Secrets on the other hand references the Toybox book once more for further examples, and seems to be treating Devices more akin to what you describe, yeah. (M20 has more connections to 2nd than Revised anyways, rules-wise).
                  I'm not so sure about that. Read the table of P.160. Technomancers also have to expend a Permanent Willpower Point. Technocratic Union has facilities that produce Devices without expending permanent WP. Individual Technocrats that want to make a Device "off the grid" must invest the WP and personal Quintessence like every other mage

                  Also, p.140: Artifacts: "...a single success activates the Artifact's Effects...". The same it's written in FbDF.

                  This can be interpreted as Enginseer-42 does: that with one success you get the whole effect of the Artifact....OR as that a single success it's always enough to do something (and the effect can be increased with more successes). But there isn't a rule indicating how much effect it's that in any fashion...

                  And, p.156: All the Right Spheres: "During the investment process those Effects (the ones you want the Wonder to cast) get cast into the fundation, hopefully taking hold when the Prime magick melds the energy intot he process"

                  From this I've interpreted that you have to actualy cast the rotes you want the object to cast...but perhaps I misinterpreted the wording and this was reffering just to the roll to enchant the item.


                  Enginseer-42 : It seems to me, then, than the authors fixed (partially) the bug you're complaining about in Revised and M20 but they neglected to update the Toybox, Understandable since they haven't updated the Guide to the Technocracy either.
                  Last edited by Aleph; 08-10-2018, 01:30 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Or perhaps it seems my collection of books, purchased second hand, is from a number of different editions without my knowledge because such is unlabeled.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Enginseer-42 View Post
                      Or perhaps it seems my collection of books, purchased second hand, is from a number of different editions without my knowledge because such is unlabeled.
                      In the end, it really just boils down to that you should use a mixture of whatever you prefer

                      Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                      [FONT=inherit]I'm not so sure about that. Read the table of P.160. Technomancers also have to expend a Permanent Willpower Point. Technocratic Union has facilities that produce Devices without expending permanent WP. Individual Technocrats that want to make a Device "off the grid" must invest the WP and personal Quintessence like every other mage
                      Oh yeah, true that.

                      Also, p.140: Artifacts: "...a single success activates the Artifact's Effects...". The same it's written in FbDF.
                      And this, right there, always has been the #1 point of confusion, because there are so many example Artifacts depending on what you roll when using it. :| Then there are Artifacts that do not require *a specified roll at all* and give amazing effects. It's a mess. It's gotten a little bit better with the Book Of Secrets, especially the Wonder Creation, but that quote still keeps things unclear, and the actual examples don't help. Just like the strange charms that work without a roll, despite Charms needing a roll. etc.
                      I think the Wonders really need an official FAQ at some point for a few of the remaining confusions.
                      Last edited by Ambrosia; 08-10-2018, 04:57 PM.


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                      • #26
                        I mean, my way of handling that has always been to say that any variable effect was determined by roll (damage, duration, distance). But any flat effect (flight, shielding, teleportation). Simply happens with any successes, though modified by the variables of the roll.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
                          Only wonders that do not depend on the wielder having an Arete score. That was Moirdryd's point.
                          Furthermore, the hypertech skill makes it quite clear that in order to use hypertech wonders, devices, foci etc. you will almost always need to have a certain level in Hypertech. At 1 and 2 you have a strong understanding of hypertech in the "style" you're used to (an extraordinary citizen might have this) and at 3+ you can understand weird stuff you aren't familiar with (mad technomagickal devices you've grabbed off an Etherite's bench).

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                          • #28
                            Devices, while we are looking at them are rather close to Fetishes from Werewolf in many respects. The Book of the Weaver goes into this in a little detail as it features both. If you look at the Devices listed in sourcebooks that will provide an actual idea and template of what can be reliably created for what kind of rarity, each Device also tends to be fairly limited in its scope as Technomancy is more restrictive by its nature than other forms of Magick. So if you've made a Plasma Gun device then it's a Plasma Gun with a Base Damage, ammo count etc, it can have a rather High base damage but the irony of that is the more it's going to creep away from Coincidential Effect and the more Hypertech skill is going to be required to operate it, not to mention the quintessence battery/ammo that needs to power it.

                            Far easier and effective to mass produce something a little less complicated for specially trained UnEnlightened agents (like marginally enhanced firearms), more reliable outside of Lab Conditions and to save these things for more specific operations.

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                            • #29
                              The same technology and paradigm that give the Technocracy an edge over the Traditions limit them in certain ways. Void Engineers require survival gear and spacecrafts to survive and travel in the Deep Umbra. This means a lot of resources, and any danger associated with space travel. A tradition Dreamspeaker can do the same half-naked with no problem.

                              They greatly suffer from hubris. They also suffer from corporate bureaucracy. They suffer from corporate hierarchy; if you boss is an idiot your team and branch of the corporation will suffer as well.
                              The most loyal members of the technocracy are just surrogates to the Control. The most "liberal" technocrats (aka Jhon Courage) will go through multiple reprocessing procedures.

                              An agent requires resources or loyalty to get devices, focus, access to the best hypertech.
                              The Syndicate will not giving funding to inventions unless they have some grantee, is in the Time Tables, or is for a cause that interest them or the Union.
                              They require their agents to be careful to not raise suspicions.

                              So, yes, is a big advantage in the Ascension War, yes, but it have a price.

                              If you roleplay all those things, be a Technocrat is not that all easy. Other technomancers (Virtual Adepts) lack the resources and access to the best devices and gear.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Moirdryd View Post
                                Devices, while we are looking at them are rather close to Fetishes from Werewolf in many respects. The Book of the Weaver goes into this in a little detail as it features both. If you look at the Devices listed in sourcebooks that will provide an actual idea and template of what can be reliably created for what kind of rarity, each Device also tends to be fairly limited in its scope as Technomancy is more restrictive by its nature than other forms of Magick. So if you've made a Plasma Gun device then it's a Plasma Gun with a Base Damage, ammo count etc, it can have a rather High base damage but the irony of that is the more it's going to creep away from Coincidential Effect and the more Hypertech skill is going to be required to operate it, not to mention the quintessence battery/ammo that needs to power it.

                                Far easier and effective to mass produce something a little less complicated for specially trained UnEnlightened agents (like marginally enhanced firearms), more reliable outside of Lab Conditions and to save these things for more specific operations.
                                Part of the issue is the high sphere levels we're talking about. It requires Prime 4 just to make something like this. That's very close to MASTERY. Widespread Adoption of this as a method means that they have access to that, having some of their artifacts requiring even higher spheres only emphasizes the fact that they have higher.

                                Meaning they have access to the many many means to nullify paradox that are available with wonder creation and prime 5. Periapts/Matrices present the issue in that Vulgar or not, the paradox is going to get stuck into a bottle, then shipped off to some nullification plant in nowhere'sville kentucky or something to have the paradox wiped out using prime, before shipping the paradox bottle back to central for re-issue.

                                Heavy use of Wonders simply strips away almost all instability of the use of magic in game, and instead replaces it all with a massive quintessence bill and high sphere requirements to even to get started.

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