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  • The minor sphere of dreams, ephemera, illusions, or chimera

    Hi everyone, i have been creating minor spheres for my mage games for quite some time and lately decided that I want to share some of my ideas and get feedback on them.

    This sphere deals with dreams, emotions, illusions and other products of the mind; it also overlaps with prime and spirit to a lesser degree, much as the sphere of fire (the first and only published minor sphere), found in the Stroyteller’s Handbook.

    The first thing I’d like to address is the name. Does anyone have any suggestions for this? I think i could really use some feedback and any would be appreciated.

    Note that I use revised edition and not mage 20 when it comes to my guidelines on what spheres can do at various levels.

    The sphere’s powers are as follows

    Level 1)

    Sense minds/dreams and creativity: This conveys no sense of what those minds are thinking but only the existence of minds, though I feel it should be useful for differentiating between human minds and animal minds. This level of power also allows a mage to sense the energies of creativity and their root in the dream realms of our thoughts and emotions, insights into such thoughts and emotions become possible.

    Sense emotions: The mage can sense the emotions of others and gain some insights into their thoughts and identities from them.

    Sense Dream Spirit: The mage can detect Fae, spirits that emerge from the High/Astral Umbra (the domain of thoughts and dreams), and spirits that have natures deeply defined by emotions, creativity or other similar qualities. The mage can also sense if a person is a changeling or Fae touched mortal with enough successes, especially if that person is powerful in glamour. The mage can possibly sense a possessing entity if it is not well hidden, and especially if it feeds on creativity or acts on a person’s emotions.

    Mind Empowerment: As per mind 1, but only relevant to experiencing lucid dreams and putting one’s self to sleep.

    Sense Magic: this pertains to magic governing this sphere and, when relevant, its various peripheries (mind, prime and spirit, as well as other possible minor spheres).

    Level 2)

    Enter other’s dreams: The Mage may now enter the dreaming mind of another and exert some influence over it through their ability to create illusion and alter emotions. Larger changes happen later, though the mage can bring willing other’s into their own lucid dreamscape.

    Read Complex/deep emotions: The mage can now deeply read another’s emotions and possibly gain some insights into their memories. As dream like visions of what a person experienced come back into their mind and become detectable to the dream mage.

    Communicate with and touch Dream Spirit: communication with and power to affect relevant spirits along the lines of what spirit 2 can accomplish.

    Induce emotion: The mage can stir emotions in their target and even implant subconscious suggestions that may manifest in the target’s dreams or even their actions, though these subliminal suggestions remain vague. The mage may stir creativity in another or banish it way for a time.

    Imprint emotion/Dream energies: As per the psychic impression (mind 2) and consecration (prime 1) powers found in Mage revised. The mage can now imbue his thoughts and emotions on an object and also imbue it with his spiritual energies, allowing him to give it resonance sympathetic with him and take that object with him into the spirit worlds.

    Create Simple illusions: This allows the mage to create simple illusions, thematically, these illusions are pulled from the ephemeral realm of thoughts and the mage’s own awakened imagination and brought into this world. Illusions that fool sight must typically be objects, animals or people, not landscapes or large scale phantasms. Sounds and smells can be created in a small area; taste and touch can be imparted to one person per success but the other senses are fooled by any illusion that inhabits an area.

    NOTE A) While, with focus, the mage can move these visual illusions, giving them the semblance of moving about, the illusions themselves should be fairly static and not change their shape or apparent composition ie. no fire, but creating an illusionary cup and moving it around would be fine.

    NOTE B) I am considering allowing the mage to create illusionary clothing and minor cosmetic changes to their appearance (illusion only, no actual change in form) with this level ON THE MAGE ONLY. Such illusion clothing might blow in the wind or seem to be effected by its environment as long as it remains on the mage.

    Level 3)

    Summon/Harm/Heal Dream Spirit: As per spirit 3. Remember I use revised for my basis on what spheres can do.

    Control other’s dreams: Powerful control of another’s dreams may now be exerted, causing all sorts of experiences both wonderful and horrific.

    Bring group into lucid dream: The mage can now bring a large number of willing subject’s into a lucid dream of their creation.

    Enter Dream Realms: As per mind 3

    Induce sleep/waking dream in others: Not designed to be effective in the heat of combat without a LOT of successes.

    Create body of light: As per prime 2, really only relevant to travel in the Dream Realms and such

    Awaken the inanimate: As per spirit 3.

    Ephemeral Tass and essence manipulation: as per Prime 3 “Chimerical and ephemeric Tass, such as the substance of dreams and the ectoplasm of ghosts, follows the same rule as physical matter — sentient chimera and living ephemera are treated the same as living beings, while inert dreamstuff and ectoplasm follows the rule of Tass created of base matter and energy.”

    Wonders of Dreams: The creation of a wonder, useful only in certain layers of the Umbra and in the Dream Realms, and also, the beginnings of creating a demense (a dream sanctum), the equivalent of no higher than a level 1 or 2 background at this point.

    Craft complex illusions: the appearance of people moving, walking and talking. Fire, running water, landscapes (with enough successes, and probably only over small areas as well) can all be created. Intrusion over the senses of touch and taste are still more difficult than the other senses and pain in particular is easily tuned out as the person rejects or resists the sensation.

    NOTE: Willpower rolls are more effective for resisting illusions that cause physical sensations rather than other illusions, which may not always be resisted at all, there is no reason for a person to disbelieve that you died your hair since they saw you last night.


    This is all i have so far. The higher levels will allow more powerful control over Dream Spirits, the creation of Greater Demenses and Dream Realms, the ability to manipulate the Tass and essence of Glamour and the energies of the Fae (as is already beginning to be covered by the 3rd level)

    Please let me know if you have nay thoughts.
    Last edited by Zennis; 10-01-2018, 10:37 PM.

  • #2
    Seems interesting ; I think that dreams certainly are a thematic and conceptual area which is appropriate for the basis and the subject of a Minor Sphere.
    Did you think about how a Mage would learn this Sphere, and what would the requirements for learning it be ?
    Last edited by Muad'Dib; 10-02-2018, 05:12 PM.

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    • #3
      If dreams were a dominant theme in a chronicle, this sphere pretty potent.

      As for names, Oneiromancy, Sphere of Morpheus, or Hypnos, hypnomancy, sphere of dreams, sandman's demesne, sphere of phantasm, Oneiroturgy, sphere of somnus, sphere of Phantasus, phantasmics.
      Last edited by PhillyCuriosity; 10-02-2018, 05:54 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PhillyCuriosity View Post
        If dreams were a dominant theme in a chronicle, this sphere pretty potent.

        As for names, Oneiromancy, Sphere of Morpheus, or Hypnos, hypnomancy, sphere of dreams, sandman's demesne, sphere of phantasm, Oneiroturgy, sphere of somnus, sphere of Phantasus, phantasmics.
        Ooooohhhhh the sphere of Morpheus, that’s a good one, I like it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
          Seems interesting ; I think that dreams certainly are a thematic and conceptual area which is appropriate for the basis and the subject of a Minor Sphere.
          Did you think about how a Mage would learn this Sphere, and what would the requirements for learning it be ?
          I Think that mages who are naturally in touch with their dreams, not necessarily their spirituality, but their imaginations would be likely candidates for the development of this sphere.

          Those who can get in touch with and be deeply engaged in the world of the imagination, especially those who can do this while engaging with others, are the sort of person who could develop this sphere.

          I believe it would take great focus on this engagement with the dream like state of mind that one is in when deeply in touch with the world of imagination and dreams. I think this sphere would require people who have a strong and forceful personality to bring the creations of their imagination into this world especially if they are to pierce the minds of others and bring their dreams to life within those other minds.

          This process would be one of deep personal exploration in my opinion, I do not find it likely that someone would be able to go through this imaginative process of exploring how to bring their illusions into the mind of another without having first been engulfed in those illusions themselves. And in that imaginative state of mind where you are in fact enraptured by our own imagination, you are held captive by it, and it can act on you before you even realize. When confronted with what your imagination produces, you are confronted by what you are as a human being and there’s no getting away from that fact. You must come face to face with what you have created, deep down in the recesses of your own mind, and to further develop this sphere would require going through this process again and again, a process that I believe would leave no room for one to hide from what they see in their own minds.
          Last edited by Zennis; 10-02-2018, 08:42 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Zennis View Post

            I Think that mages who are naturally in touch with their dreams, not necessarily their spirituality, but their imaginations would be likely candidates for the development of this sphere.

            Those who can get in touch with and be deeply engaged in the world of the imagination, especially those who can do this while engaging with others, are the sort of person who could develop this sphere.

            I believe it would take great focus on this engagement with the dream like state of mind that one is in when deeply in touch with the world of imagination and dreams. I think this sphere would require people who have a strong and forceful personality to bring the creations of their imagination into this world especially if they are to pierce the minds of others and bring their dreams to life within those other minds.

            This process would be one of deep personal exploration in my opinion, I do not find it likely that someone would be able to go through this imaginative process of exploring how to bring their illusions into the mind of another without having first been engulfed in those illusions themselves. And in that imaginative state of mind where you are in fact enraptured by our own imagination, you are held captive by it, and it can act on you before you even realize. When confronted with what your imagination produces, you are confronted by what you are as a human being and there’s no getting away from that fact. You must come face to face with what you have created, deep down in the recesses of your own mind, and to further develop this sphere would require going through this process again and again, a process that I believe would leave no room for one to hide from what they see in their own minds.
            Sounds good. Is this Sphere an additional one that a Mage can learn, or does it replace one of the defualt nine Spheres ?

            I think that Polyappearence from Correspondence 4 - but without being able to interact with anything through the co-locations, other than speaking - would be appropriate ; also Affect Thought from Entropy 5 ( maybe make it so it can only be used after entering a given person's dreams, within those dreams ) .

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
              Sounds good. Is this Sphere an additional one that a Mage can learn, or does it replace one of the defualt nine Spheres ?

              I think that Polyappearence from Correspondence 4 - but without being able to interact with anything through the co-locations, other than speaking - would be appropriate ; also Affect Thought from Entropy 5 ( maybe make it so it can only be used after entering a given person's dreams, within those dreams ) .
              Hi there, the minor spheres are essentially alternatives to the nine major spheres. They were proposed in the revised edition of the storytellers handbook. They are deemed something of a middle ground between the paths of sorcery and the major spheres. Many players like them because they are not so sweepingly powerful as the major spheres and, I feel, they also have a degree of thematic identity that some people say makes them feel more mystical in nature.

              Oh, and thank you for your suggestion. I like the additions though I’m not sure if I should try and cram more levels of power into this sphere just yet.

              Also, to more directly answer your question, you can learn minors spheres and major spheres and possess overlapping powers with both.

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              • #8
                I could see this being immensely useful in a crossover with Changeling, where it would interact with the Dreaming in much the same way that Spirit interacts with the Umbra.


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                • #9
                  I think that the Time 4 Magick hanging Effect is appropriate for this Sphere, as it would be conceptually about dreams coming back to a person, daydreaming, and making new associations. It can only be used for Mind-like effects from this Sphere ( including illusions ) and Body of Light.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                    I could see this being immensely useful in a crossover with Changeling, where it would interact with the Dreaming in much the same way that Spirit interacts with the Umbra.
                    I would almost fear that this sphere would make a mage drastically over powered when dealing with changelings... I actually hadn’t thought too much about it before now and a mage with this sphere, as it is written, could be devastatingly influential on the fae.

                    My original concept came from a place where I was looking to combine the elements of imagination, particularly when manifested directly such as through illusions, and the personal mystical journey. From there, I came up with this.

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                    • #11
                      Here are two more Effects that I think would be appropriate for this Minor Sphere :

                      Truth of Dreams, level 1 Effect - the Mage knows if a person believes she or he is telling the truth in regards to anything she says about dreams. This Effect can also check a person talking about topics or events related to or involving dreams, but this only goes so far ; and might require additional successes.
                      ( This Effect is equivalent to Entropy 1 Ring of Truth, with the mentioned limitations. ) ( ' Dreams ' here does not at all refer to hopes or aspirations about the future, of course. )

                      Know the Dreamer, level 1 Effect - this Effect is a variable and dynamic combined Sight / Sense that includes : Prime 1, Time 1, Matter 1, Life 1, Correspondence 1. This can be used only on sleeping persons.
                      ( This Effect is equivalent to Sights / Senses of the mentioned Spheres. This Effect can find out facts about a person, and check if the person has any supernatural ability or unusual conditions affecting her. )

                      ( The thematic reason for not including Mind 1 in this is that this Effect checks for facts that can be, at least to an extent, known with certainty. Thoughts and feelings are subjective, and it can be disupted what the exact state of mind of a person is. )
                      Last edited by Muad'Dib; 10-11-2018, 04:08 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I have thought about possible Effects for the Minor Sphere of Dreams, and wrote up six additional Effects for this Minor Sphere


                        To Sleep and Wake with the Time's Certainty , level 1 Effect -
                        The Mage knows what time it is when she or he wakes up ; also, when she wakes up, she knows what time it was when she fell asleep. If she wakes briefly and falls to sleep again, she will know the time every instance that this occurs.

                        This tends to be the default of this Effect ; as it is for most Mages who know and use the Minor Sphere of Dreams. Fom this start point this Effect can be developed in various ways. The Mage might have it that she knows the time already when she is honestly trying to go to sleep ( Emphasis on the 'honestly' part - the Mage can't go to bed, close her eyes and wait for a few minutes to use this Effect. But she can take a short nap with the intent to activate this Effect. ) . Another possible part, or a variation, of this Effect is knowing how much time has passed between going to sleep and waking up, in addition to the knowing the time that was when the Mage fell asleep.

                        Some Mages are able to delay the realization of time to the moment they perform some activity ; examples include: making up one's bed, eating breakfast, smoking the first cigarette, saying goodbye to a lover or a friend, standing in front of a window and having a long look at what is outside, taking a bath, having a certain kind of thought or remembering a fact, looking at a work of art, or starting to read a book. If this Effect works with such a delay for a given Mage, then the moment it triggers she becomes aware of the current time, and the times of falling asleep and waking up, in one moment or over a short period of time. For the Effect to work this way, the delay between the Mage waking up and this Effect activating can be no more than around thirty minutes ; exceptionally attuned and skilled Mages might delay it to around forty minutes.


                        An Hourglass of Dreams , level 1 Effect -
                        While being conscious and aware in dreams ( the Mage's dreams or another person's dreams ) the Mage is aware what time it is.
                        This Effect usually manifests itself as a half-faded item ( which doesn't have to be related to measuring time ) or a group of floating runes ; that the Mage can manifest in a dream at any time and anywhere. The Mages knows the time by performing an activity with the item or simply by holding it for a moment ; or by looking at the runes for a moment. The item ( or runes ) fades and disappears after the Mage has used it to know the time.

                        Assuming a dream specific situation in regards to time, this Effect also does grant knowledge of what hour or what time period it is within the bounds of a given dream's time flow. Both a particular's dream specific time, and the time outside the dream, can be known by the Mage during the same instance of using this Effect ; though this might require scoring an additional success or two.


                        Count Dreams' Minutes , level 2 Effect -
                        The Mage knows for how long she has dreamed during a given period of sleep. This includes knowing how much time has passed while being aware and conscious during dreaming, or during being in another person's dreams.

                        This tells about any dreams that the Mage might not remember or has forgotten. The Mage is keenly aware of any difference between what she remembers and how long it lasted, and any additional time that is not accounted for in the dreams that she does remember. What the Mage does with this knowledge is up to her.


                        Recall Dreaming's Time , level 1 Effect -
                        The Mage is able to recall and memorize very easily the information the she gains due to the three time- and dreams- related Effects described above ; and also any other Effect that seem appropriate.

                        The Mage might know the information instinctively in her thoughts and feelings, possibly coming to it with a brief trance or a mental excercise ; or she might gain this knowledge with a divination involving items as Foci. This Effect could be said to be a part of all three of the above time-related Effects.


                        To Sleep and Wake with the Time's Certainty and An Hourglass of Dreams can be compared to Internal Clock of Time 1 , of course. Count Dreams' Minutes could be said to be either a Time 2 comparable divination of the past, or similar to a specific Internal Clock of time 1, or comparable to a Mind 1 or Mind 2 recall Effect ; or an Effect that involve both Mind and Time, assuming such a comparison. Recall Dreaming's Time is similar to Count Dreams' Minutes , in being comparable to Time 1 and 2 , and Mind 1 Effects.


                        Grant the Rest, level 2 Effect -
                        This Effect subtly but profoundly energizes and eases the body of the affected person, and slightly soothes the mind of a person who is trying to go to sleep. A person will go to sleep much more easily due to this Effect, though it is not direct - it stems from the person feeling better, both body and mind, in a particular way that makes them want to be at rest and go to sleep, and makes it easier. Nor does this Effect change the affected person's attitude towards sleep - if she will decide to get up for a reason, there is nothing preventing them or influencing them to do otherwise ; except this Effect making the period before falling asleep very pleasant. If a person falls asleep, wakes up, but does not intend to get up, and resumes going to sleep, then this Effect does not end.

                        If the person stops trying to fall asleep in any definite way - getting up, opening the eyes with intent to stay awake, periodically performing some activity that is meant to preventing falling asleep - this Effect ceases, but does not end. In such a situation, if a person will resume trying to go to sleep, then this results of this Spell are renewed, depending how many successes the Mage put into the duration while casting this Spell.

                        Skilled and experienced Mages casting this Effect might cast it in such a way that it's results will stay with a person for a short amount of time after she wakes up and gets up. Another possibility is that the results will begin as a person readies herself or himself for sleep ( this can include a person traveling back home or to a location, if she intends to go to sleep right after arriving ) . In the case of the second situation, the Effect ends - but might resume, depending on the number of successes put into the duration - if the affected person changes her intent.


                        Deny the Rest , Level 2 Effect -
                        The opposite and the reverse of Grant the Rest, this Effect makes a person's body feel stressed and unfamiliar if she is trying to go to sleep ; and their thoughts and feelings are slightly burdened with anxiety and worry about going to sleep. If a person has good enough reason and/or is vehement and decisive about going to sleep, it will likely take her or him between twenty and fifty minutes to fall asleep ; possibly more depending on circumstances, attitude, and the way the Mage cast this Spell. Many - if not most - of persons affected by this Effect will only go to sleep after multiple instances of getting up for a shorter or longer amount of time ; some persons will have such a reaction to the results of this Effect, that they will forgo sleep altogether for an amount of time ( one or two days ) .

                        The results of this Effect end when the person affected falls asleep. A skilled and experienced Mage might make it so the Spell will last through the affected person falling alseep ; and thus it's results will resume the next time the affected person will try to go to sleep. This is done by putting an additional success or two into the Spell as it is being cast, to make it's results have such a quality ; the duration of the Spell will be according to successes put separately into it's duration.

                        Additional details and possibilities mentioned in the description of Grant the Rest apply to this Effect, except of course they are changed if it is appropriate. Thus, this Effect's results end if a person gets up and stays up for more than a few minutes ( this can be prolonged if the Mage casts the Spell in such a way ) ; but the Effect stays as per the number of successes put into duration of the Spell when it was cast by the Mage, and the results resume if the person tries to go to sleep again.

                        Also, the casting Mage might make it so that the Spell's results will begin as the target starts getting ready to go to sleep ; or so that the results of the Spell will be affecting the target for a short amount of time after she wakes up and gets up.


                        Both Grant the Rest and Deny the Rest could be compared to a Conjunctional Prime 2 Mind 2 Spell ; or maybe to a Conjunctional Mind 2 Life 2 Spell.
                        Last edited by Muad'Dib; 10-11-2018, 04:27 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Peace Upon the Resting , level 2 Effect -
                          This Effect blocks, clouds, and dispels scrying ( as in, observation ) , time divinations, divinations in the vein of Entropy 1 Sense Weakness ( and Sense Strength ) , and mind-reading attempts on the person that the Mage casts it on, as long as the person is sleeping, trying to fall asleep, or resting by lying or sitting in a comfortable position that could very likely lead to her or him falling asleep. ( This Effect can be used on herself or himself by the Mage, of course. ) This Effect continues after the affected person wakes up, but ends minutes after waking up ; unless the person is definitely still trying to get some rest or to go to sleep again.

                          Dreamer's Guard , level 2 Effect -
                          This Effect allows a Mage to create a melee weapon in her or his hand ( or hands ) out of ephemeral energy ; it can only be used immediately after the Mage wakes up or is woken up from sleep. The weapon inflicts aggravated damage, lasts a few minutes at most, and dissipates if the Mage is not holding it.
                          Last edited by Muad'Dib; 10-29-2018, 06:19 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
                            Peace Upon the Resting , level 2 Effect -
                            This Effect blocks, clouds, and dispels scrying ( as in, observation ) , time divinations, divinations in the vein of Entropy 1 Sense Weakness , and mind-reading attempts on the person that the Mage casts it on, as long as the person is sleeping, trying to fall asleep, or resting by lying or sitting in a comfortable position that could very likely lead to her or him falling asleep. ( This Effect can be used on herself or himself by the Mage, of course ) This Effect continues after the affected person wakes up, but ends minutes after waking up ; unless the person is definitely still trying to get some rest or to go to sleep again.

                            Dreamer's Guard , level 2 Effect -
                            This Effect allows a Mage to create a melee weapon in her or his hand ( or hands ) out of ephemeral energy ; it can only be used immediately after the Mage wakes up or is woken up from sleep. The weapon inflicts aggravated damage, lasts a few minutes at most, and dissipates if the Mage is not holding it.
                            I would just like to thank you for all of your excellent suggestions. They have been most inspiring and appreciated

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                            • #15
                              You are welcome.

                              Do you think that Spells of this Minor Sphere should have a limitation in regard to targeting persons who the Mage, using Magick, made to fall asleep, put into a daydreaming state, or influenced to have dreams ? That is, any Spells that require the targeted person to be ( for example ) sleeping won't work if the Mage induced the sleep with her or his Magick.
                              I think that there should be such a distinction and limitation, because I think that a Mage working with and believing in dreams to this extent would have this distinction between dreams ( and states a person is in, like being asleep or daydreaming ) that she encounters and can influence and deal with ; and dreams that she induced with her Magick, and thus are somehow less natural or in some way less authentic ( It is hard to find words for this, because such dreams would not be worse than those that occur without Magick Spells being involved, of course. )

                              This distinction and limitation would only apply to the Mage's own Spells, not Spells of other Mages - the latter, from the perspective and the outlook of a Mage using the Minor Sphere of Dreams, would be a situation that she encountered naturally.
                              Also, if the Mage who has this Minor Sphere would ( for example ) talk to a person and convince the person person to go to sleep, or would manipulate a situation so that a person would have dreams of a particular type or mood, it would be a naturally occurring situation in regard to the Mage casting Spells from this Minor Sphere ; as the Mage didn't use her Magick to induce a state in a person.

                              I think the matter should be different in regard to the Mage ( for example ) making herself have a particular kind of a dream with a Spell, and then being able to cast further Spells because of this. In this case, I think that there should be no difference in regard to casting Spells of this Minor Sphere ; even though a clear distinction can be made, in regard to the sleep being induced with a Spell. Likewise in regard to other Mages making the Mage ( for example ) fall asleep or have dreams of a particular kind.

                              To sum this up - I think that there should be a difference and a distinction in regard to casting Spells from this Minor Sphere, that require the targeted person to ( for example ) be dreaming, if the casting Mage induced ( for example ) a person to dream ( But there shouldn't any limitation if Mage makes the person fall asleep with a Spell ; as the particular requirement in this case is in regard to the person having dreams. ) . The Mage shouldn't be able to cast those Spells, but only in the case of her using her Spells to induce states in a person. Mundane actions she does, and Spells cast by other Mages, do not cause any difference in regard to her casting Spells from this Minor Sphere ; even though there are clear distinctions to be made here, compared to 'normally' occurring sleep or dreams.

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