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  • Dynamic Mages and Rituals

    Do dynamic mages (not dynamic essense but dynamic magic using mages) stop doing rituals the higher their Arete gets? One of the reasons I like about sorcerers/linear mages is that they feel more like the classical wizard/witch/mage that prepares their spells ahead of time, make use of many instruments, or uses a lot of rituals for their most powerful spells. Dynamic mages seem to be more like superhero reality-warpers in that they can make something happen in a matter of moments by simply thinking it. I know that is really only possible at Archmage levels of Arete, but it does seem like the more powerful a Mage gets, they can stop doing rituals because they discard the use of instruments and just mentally will things to happen. Technocrats are the exception to this of course.

    I am asking because I am wondering once my sorcerer in the current Mage game I am in reaches 6 dots in one or more paths, the STs may talk about the possibility of him awakening. I find it hard for him to awaken as he is zealously committed to the Aeon Rites and has the Ritual Sleeper flaw and believes it is impossible for magic to occur except through rituals. Is it possible for him to awaken, but still cling to the belief that rituals are the only true vector for magic?
    Last edited by Starcomet; 12-25-2020, 11:50 AM.

  • #2
    It might be better to not reify the Essences. Dynamic mages seek change, but that does not mean they must do magic without structure. Dynamic mages create, innovate and pursue novelty.

    For example, in Cult of Ecstasy Revised, you have the Modern Dionysian, the Dance Instructor and Extreme Athlete as Dynamic. All of those fields and concepts require some structure.

    While the rules do allow shedding of required foci, it might be best to look at Arete as realizing, 'I know reality better and don't need to do that to make it work.'


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    • #3
      Originally posted by baakyocalder View Post
      It might be better to not reify the Essences. Dynamic mages seek change, but that does not mean they must do magic without structure. Dynamic mages create, innovate and pursue novelty.

      For example, in Cult of Ecstasy Revised, you have the Modern Dionysian, the Dance Instructor and Extreme Athlete as Dynamic. All of those fields and concepts require some structure.

      While the rules do allow shedding of required foci, it might be best to look at Arete as realizing, 'I know reality better and don't need to do that to make it work.'


      Oh you misunderstand! When I say Dynamic mages I am not referring to the essences but to the fact they use Dynamic/True magic in comparison to Linear magic/sorcery.

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      • #4
        As of M20, the answer is clearly “yes”: even in MRev, you never had to stop using rituals and tools as your Arete increased; you could continue to use them as a way to pick up a -1 Difficulty to your castings. It's just that in the first three editions of the game, the default assumption was that all mages were moving toward an end-state where they shed their paradigms and practiced their Magick through pure Willworking.

        In M20, that changed with its new take on Focus. Now, the progression toward pure Willworking is a choice; and it's still the favored choice of the Traditions, being part of the shared teachings they have that all Magick is at its core the same. But where the Traditions were the stars of the show in the earlier editions, they aren't anymore; and there are many mages, such as the Technocracy, most of the Crafts, and the various independent mages, who simply don't buy into the “it's all just Willworking” line. In fact, unless you've been exposed to the Traditions' teachings, the default assumption is that you don't believe that it's all just Willworking and that it's your destiny to become a Willworking god. Your former sorcerer could easily fall into that category.

        To play this, simply avoid using the “Working Without Focus” rule that lets even Arete 1 mages create an Effect through force of will alone, and always use your Instruments even after your Arete says that you no longer have to: instead of thinking of it as surpassing your Instruments as your Arete increased, think of it as mastering them.

        And for what it's worth, I have a game hack that takes this a step further, recasting the “technomancer vs. mystic” divide as an “Externalist vs. Internalist” mindset: Internalists are your traditional mages who believe that the key to magick lies in some sort of innate quality of the mage himself that empowers him to change the world; Externalists believe that the key lies in some sort of secret in the nature of reality that the mage has unlocked through her Practice and Instruments. The Internalists work according to the rules for mystics in regular Mage, while the Externalists work mostly* according to the rules for technomancers. The main difference is that I decouple the technomancer flavor (i.e., the Instruments and Practices must be technological in appearance) from this decision: while most technomancers are Externalists, and all Technocrats are, there are many mystics who are also Externalists, same some technomancers who are Internalists.



        * I say “mostly” because I try to tweak the Externalists so that they're not strictly disadvantaged compared to the Internalists: while they lose the ability to Work Without Focus and at higher Arete to discard their Instruments, they retain the ability at higher Arete to gain a difficulty reduction with their Instruments and they lose the Willpower cap on their Arete. Nothing major; just minor adjustments to address the fact that Willpower isn't central to them.
        Last edited by Dataweaver; 12-25-2020, 03:13 PM.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
          As of M20, the answer is clearly “yes”: even in MRev, you never had to stop using rituals and tools as your Arete increased; you could continue to use them as a way to pick up a -1 Difficulty to your castings. It's just that in the first three editions of the game, the default assumption was that all mages were moving toward an end-state where they shed their paradigms and practiced their Magick through pure Willworking.

          In M20, that changed with its new take on Focus. Now, the progression toward pure Willworking is a choice; and it's still the favored choice of the Traditions, being part of the shared teachings they have that all Magick is at its core the same. But where the Traditions were the stars of the show in the earlier editions, they aren't anymore; and there are many mages, such as the Technocracy, most of the Crafts, and the various independent mages, who simply don't buy into the “it's all just Willworking” line. In fact, unless you've been exposed to the Traditions' teachings, the default assumption is that you don't believe that it's all just Willworking and that it's your destiny to become a Willworking god. Your former sorcerer could easily fall into that category.

          To play this, simply avoid using the “Working Without Focus” rule that lets even Arete 1 mages create an Effect through force of will alone, and always use your Instruments even after your Arete says that you no longer have to: instead of thinking of it as surpassing your Instruments as your Arete increased, think of it as mastering them.

          And for what it's worth, I have a game hack that takes this a step further, recasting the “technomancer vs. mystic” divide as an “Externalist vs. Internalist” mindset: Internalists are your traditional mages who believe that the key to magick lies in some sort of innate quality of the mage himself that empowers him to change the world; Externalists believe that the key lies in some sort of secret in the nature of reality that the mage has unlocked through her Practice and Instruments. The Internalists work according to the rules for mystics in regular Mage, while the Externalists work mostly* according to the rules for technomancers. The main difference is that I decouple the technomancer flavor (i.e., the Instruments and Practices must be technological in appearance) from this decision: while most technomancers are Externalists, and all Technocrats are, there are many mystics who are also Externalists, same some technomancers who are Internalists.

          * I say “mostly” because I try to tweak the Externalists so that they're not strictly disadvantaged compared to the Internalists: while they lose the ability to Work Without Focus and at higher Arete to discard their Instruments, they retain the ability at higher Arete to gain a difficulty reduction with their Instruments and they lose the Willpower cap on their Arete. Nothing major; just minor adjustments to address the fact that Willpower isn't central to them.

          Thank you for this clarification! As an Ancient Order of the Aeon Rites (AOAR) mage/sorcerer he would not believe the goal of the mage is to become a willworking god. While enlightenment and perfection are sought after by members of the AOAR, the goal is to bring out this perfection to all of mankind and magic is meant to help bring about harmony, peace, and oneness with God. The idea of becoming a god would be deemed egotistical to its members. And the AOAR teaches that this perfection is made manifest through magical rituals and ceremonies. Thus they believe the Aeon Rites to be the most pure and powerful form of magic. Now that I know he could awaken and maintain this mindset, I have a way for my sorcerer to awaken and still thematically be the same if the STs talk about him awakening later in the chronicle. I like your house rule of the Externalist vs Internalist mage. Another suggested I could ask the STs to do something similar by making it so that my character can ONLY perform 10 minute long rituals to perform magic(unless he uses Time sphere to hang them for later) and I do not discard my instruments as my Arete goes higher. But, I get to increase my spheres at a reduced exp cost and I get a -1 difficulty since I am performing a ritual using my instruments.

          Note: Sorcerers can by default fast cast and use magic without rituals including AOAR sorcerers, but with the AOAR emphasizes on "high rituals" and my character's Ritual Sleeper flaw, he cannot perform any magic unless it is through a fancy ritual or at least takes a few minutes.
          Last edited by Starcomet; 12-25-2020, 03:20 PM.

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          • #6
            As you say, the “must use lengthy rituals” thing is inherent in the Ritual Sleeper Flaw. Instead of trying to roll it into the Internal vs External hack (now linked to in my last post), I'd recommend trying to convince your Storyteller to just let you keep that Flaw when your sorcerer Awakens, despite having “Sleeper” in the name.


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            • #7
              Thanks Dataweaver !

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