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  • On the Subject of Durable Build

    Mages are notorious for being as fragile as they are potentially powerful, if a mage goes one-on-one with a Night Folk, chances are the mage gets creamed. I'm looking for input on constructing a build for games where immediate physical danger is imminent, especially if I'm part of a multi-splat band and I don't want look like a weakling.

    P.S. do not suggest becoming a ghoul as that has severe long term drawbacks.

  • #2
    Join the Akashayana. Or the Syndicate. Or just take up a Practice (like Martial Arts or the Art of Desire) that includes an element of honing your physical prowess.

    Or you could do the Iron Man thing, and equip yourself with Wonders that make you more durable.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
      Join the Akashayana. Or the Syndicate. Or just take up a Practice (like Martial Arts or the Art of Desire) that includes an element of honing your physical prowess.

      Or you could do the Iron Man thing, and equip yourself with Wonders that make you more durable.
      Could you go in more detail?

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      • #4
        Best thing: Resources 5; buy a tank.

        Second best thing; buy a mech.

        Third best thing; abandon the flesh, for the flesh is weak. embrace the machine.

        Fourth best thing; Life sphere and a lot of paradox.


        Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
        There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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        • #5
          Time 2 (with Life) to not be where they would get injured. Time 3 for "Bullet Time". Throw in some Entropy, to again predict and play probability. Throw in some Correspondence to move self or the incoming things might help as well (though may need a Matter prerec), Force (though again may need a Matter prerec) to deflect the bullets might also be an option. Then there is Life 2 with heal self.

          Not being there to be hit is a durability option in my view.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
            Best thing: Resources 5; buy a tank.

            Second best thing; buy a mech.

            Third best thing; abandon the flesh, for the flesh is weak. embrace the machine.

            Fourth best thing; Life sphere and a lot of paradox.
            5 in resources could be usefull, although there are no irl mechs to my liking, is there anything in the sourcebooks that resemble power armour or exoskeletons or small meches, something that could go through a front door?

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            • #7
              Myrmidon suits. might be more Heavy powered armour than mech. revised thing. Maybe it was in a technocracy book? Theres a lighter, less bulky suit used more often that offers (only) 7 dice of protection, which iirc can also be found in m20. In M20 the lighter armour has even become coincidental (no doubt through downgrades)

              so yeah, you can defo do powered armour...
              you can cyborg yourself and then wear armour...
              And then you can sit in a hidden bunker with remote controls for HIT marks.
              Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 03-02-2021, 11:57 AM.


              Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
              There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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              • #8
                So the Akashayana (Akashic Brotherhood) practice a "mystic" martial art called Do that they use to do magic. This enables you to beat stuff up and get away with feats of superhuman durability and beat downs as a coincidence as it's all "ancient martial arts secrets" like you see on TV. For this, you would want a mix of Mind, Life, Entropy and Forces as your Spheres. Mind and Entropy allow you to know what your opponents are planning on doing. Entropy can also tell you where to hit something to do the most damage and in a multi splat game Mind can also help stop you from having dominate used on you by vampires. Life is used to obviously heal but also to reinforce you, making you faster stronger generally better, if used well you can get away with a lot of internal changes and modifications that allow you to ignore pain and the like. Forces can get vulgar but you can use it for subtle things like weakening other peoples attacks by reducing the kinetic force and increasing the damage of your punches. With a bit of Entropy you can make it so that you can deflect all their blows while all of yours hit their weak points.

                Society of Ether/ Iteration X is probs the best bet for an Iron man alike. The main downside to this one is that you're going to be dependent on your armour and devices if don't have your tools then you don't have your power. So you'll want Matter, Forces, Prime and possibly Life. Matter is important for the building of your armour you need a way to make all those super tough, lightweight metals and fabrics. Forces is of course for any energy weapons you want, it can also allow for flight and you'll need it to help imbue your armour with kinetic absorption and heat proofing all those good things. Seeing as your going to be making wonders your gonna need Prime and it also gives you a good way to power everything, Finally Life as what sort of super-suit doesn't have life support

                Also, why fight up close if you use a mix of Mind, Correspondence, andthen your choice of Forces, Life, Entropy you could just astral project about and cause havoc with your powers from far away.

                Hope that helps.

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                • #9
                  so after a little refresh

                  Alanson hardsuit: slightly futuristic armour/exoskeleton. Modular and you could put -more sci-fi stuff if you wanted.

                  Martinez: a little bigger, a little better, more vulgar. you can probably fit through the door.

                  Myrmidon: You're piloting a small mech.


                  you could do some non-technocratic armour tho. 16th century style full-plate enhanced with high levels of Matter... could be impervious.


                  Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                  There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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                  • #10
                    What sourcebook details the suits?

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                    • #11
                      Iteration X Convention Book, revised. I think there might also be something about it in the upcoming Technocracy Reloaded; but I'm not sure. And that's not out yet, so…


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AscentionTheMage
                        I'm looking for input on constructing a build for games where immediate physical danger is imminent, especially if I'm part of a multi-splat band and I don't want look like a weakling.
                        I think it could be useful to think, In general, what are the advantages other splats tend to have over you as a mage. As I understand this:

                        *Easy multiple actions: These aren't always a given for the splats, but they're easier than getting Time 3, having to do a ritual 'cuz M20 gives you only 1 action per 2 successes, and eating paradox for breakfast
                        *Resist Lethal (sometimes Aggravated). Barring special powers, this is a function of Stamina. It usually doesn't go above 8-10, but that's already a lot for a mage
                        *Stronger attributes (and, thus, greater initiative). Blood buff, physical Disciplines, Werewolves just being themselves
                        *Counterspelling rules: Stronger dicepools to counter your magick. Also, their powers can be hard to counter four you.
                        *Note that crossover rules can vary, and can make some difference here

                        So, some tougths:

                        In general, I wouldn't recomend playing into *their* game. The claw & having high stats game. Namely because they're good at it: usually don't have to sacrifice anything to get the basics, and can increase their capabilities even further. Mages don't figth like bears - unless thay can transform into one, and that's high level magick. Mages fight like humans.

                        *Have a big weapon, have an armor. Then get sure these are enchanted to do everything better (more armor dice, resist agg, cause agg, lower diff to attacks, etc.).
                        *Use your perception magic to gather intel, then tailor your spells to the kind of treaths you expect (all mages start with at least two, so think about what you mage "sees")
                        *Don't try to face tank monsters: Use ambush, illusions and other misdirection if possible. (Even in a Technocratic suit, strong supers are going to make short work of you, if you don't use some strategy)
                        *Don't neglect Rituals. You can easily have one or two unobtrusive buffs at all times ("danger sense" it's a classic, but far from the only one), and prepare some realy nasty buffs (like a forcefield) for when you *know* there's going to be trouble.
                        *Like some suggested, you could figth from outside the battlefield. This is probably the best and safest way of figthing.

                        Like: a VA with Corr. 3 could ask his merry band of supers to wear a camera. Then he can connect with the camera and do all his magicks remotely from the safety of his nerd-cave. Such a character can help to detect and defuse lot's of traps and ambushes with Corr + perception spheres alone. Classic hacker style. The danger it's that you may (hint: will) be detected, and then attacked remotely by another mage or find enemies closing on your location - but then, that's what makes life interesting

                        *if you really want to be part of the brawl, consider in taking advantage of "Violence as a Focus". This "saves" you an action, as you don't need to choose between attacking (maybe dodging) OR casting a spell. Your spells can be woven in one of your attacks (and if I'm not mistaken, in a simple dodge too) w/o dividing the dice

                        *Spheres & Wonders
                        Wonders are great because they give you a lot of power immediately from the get go. The disadvantage it's that you may loose it. Cybernetics and Biomods are good too, and can't be taken from you, but have the disadvantage of giving you Permadox or flaws - so you have to think about it

                        If you want an effect badly (like, say, Time multiple actions), but you don't like the rest of the Sphere - don't buy the Sphere, bake that effect into a Wonder instead. Ally mages could help you with some effects, too.

                        *A very special note: Unlike your buddies, you don't regenerate so easily. Natural healing takes WAY too long for a party that's going to be in a pinch regularly. So you really, really, want healing magick. Either by having Life, or a Wonder that heals. Remember also that healing Aggravated costs Quintessence, so be prepared

                        Also you want to think "Coincident" for your combat shenanigans. This is true for all magic and all mages, but especially so for the magick you want to use regularly.

                        *Think on your team

                        Be a team player. Depending on the kind of creatures that make part of your band, some choices could be more important than others. Prob. they have the "brawl" covered (but maybe they don't, maybe they're socialite vampires that would scream at the sigth of anything Aggravated), see how you could make *them* better, and what do they need to function.

                        For instance, if you're dancing with wolves you need Spirit (or something like that) otherwise you're off the game at the moment they jump to the Umbra.

                        *If you want overkill, read the Merits & Defects section of the Book of Secrets. There are some really juicy (when not downrigth OP) stuff there. Stuff that makes being a ghoul like a second rate offer, even w/o the disadvantages
                        Last edited by Aleph; 03-02-2021, 04:43 PM.

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                        • #13
                          When I think about it, a lot of "Mage" solutions require too much investment in different spheres; You'll be a master mage, or in a lot of debt, before you can reliably beat a claith in melee.

                          -Go invisible. The others in your party being extra loud should help with your sneaking.
                          -Be out of reach. Perhaps a helicopter?
                          -Master the art of having enough Dakka. I know, I know, Melee is cool, but your starting character is closer to imperial guard than space marine; if you can help it, artillery only. Just use enough guns that nothing can get near you.


                          Honestly, playing a ghoul in a vampire game isn't that bad, and kinfolk can have great fun till we go into the umbra. IMO, playing a glass cannon is nervewrackingly fun.
                          But, as you're playing an ultra-violent, possibly post apocalyptic game, you should really try to bring a military tank into the game. Tank beats everything. Maybe you'll have too much soak dice then, and it'll get boring for you. The only thing tougher than an MBT would be, like.... do battleships have thicker armour? Then you Mage-up your tank into a super tank and mow down entire septs...

                          Tank
                          Beats
                          Everything


                          Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                          There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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                          • #14
                            Another possibility, although this is a real stretch: the recently released STV product Sorcerer: the Paths of Power has a Merit in it that lets you learn a Mage Rote without the usual Sphere requirements (or even being Awakened, for that matter). If you can get your Storyteller to allow the supplement, you can argue that this Merit should also be available to mages, like True Faith but unlike Hedge Magic or Psychic Phenomena.

                            This would let you pick up one or two key Rotes early on to improve your durability. This is akin of Aleph's suggestion about getting your hands on a Wonder or Enhancement tailored toward survival, but in the form of early access to a useful spell instead of an object that you can lose, or an implant/biomod/mystical tattoo/whatever that carries a Magickal price with it. The downside is that you actually have to “cast the spell” in order to use it; and unless you pay extra for it, that's going to have a small dice pool and will take extra time to do. Not to mention the usual inconveniences of having to use Instruments through your Practice in order to do it.

                            But again, that's a long shot. If your Storyteller doesn't go for it, your best bet to avoid being too squishy is what Aleph described.


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                            • #15
                              Look at what can be done with Drones by mundane science. You can cast through a Drone from home with 3 levels of correspondence. For more mystical types you could cast through animals. Stay home defend your shit adventure via drone.

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