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Can mages mimic the powers of other splats?

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  • Can mages mimic the powers of other splats?

    I was just wondering if a mage could give someone Disciplines like Potence or Animalism, or grant werewolf gifts/formor powers. If so, what spheres would they need? Spirit? Much of these don't have physical effects on people, so I was wondering if this would be an application of spirit?


    Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
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  • #2
    There's a significant difference between how a mage would give someone else super-strength that would rival Potence, and actually give them Potence. Mimicry is fairly simple. Copying directly less so.

    While in theory a mage can do anything with the right motivation and metaphysical outlook, outright replacing spirits in their functions is questionable on how powerful that magic really should be.

    What it would take for a mage to teach a Garou a Gift depends highly on what you think is necessary for that to happen.

    It is fairly easy to figure out how to create a fomori/possessed, and for a mage to work to control what powers such a possession manifests. Giving someone possessed powers without actually binding a spirit to them, or modifying one of the possessed's powers is another major "it depends," sort of thing.

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    • #3
      Mages can mimic other power types, but it is of limited use. Now if a given Mage is a Kinfolk, they can use Spheres to mimic the gifts of the type of Fera they are kin to. This allows them to perform these acts without paradox, or at least a very low risk. Kinaine can do something highly similar with simulating Fae Arts. But otherwise, what's the point?

      Sure I can take Celerity with the Time Sphere, but other than attempting to con neonate Vampires or other similarly in the dark types it isn't useful. Paradox will still burn me.

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      • #4
        As per what Heavy Arms said, there's a significant difference between how a mage would mimic a supernatural power, and actually give them that power.

        As an example, I wouldn't allow ordinary magick to give someone Potence - and there's no rule that would allow that in the first place. However, one could conceptualize Potence giving successes in Strenght checks as "strength that doesn't fail". I would argue Entropy added to Life's strength argumentation one should be able to diminish the effects of probability over the strenght given.

        I think the RAW-est result would be extra Str dots and a -3 to the difficulty of Str rolls.

        But it's my personal belief that, in Mage, the ST it's supposed to see beyond that:
        Entropy 2 already can give extra successes to any roll under very limited - and very restrictive - conditions (see Beginner's Luck - Mage Revised). That's not a bonus to diff, that's automatic successes added to a roll. An example of how Mage specific rules (rotes) go beyond general rules. In my opinion, the point of these abundant exceptions it's to inspire STs to think outside the RAW box

        I, as ST, would allow Entropy 4 (the level where entropy starts to become interwoven with Life patterns) to eliminate chance at physical activities (turning dice into successes or 1s) . That would allow to mimic Potence a lot better - still not Potence, in a metaphisical sense.

        However, note that this latter example enters in the terrain of ST fiat, much like allowing to give the actual Discipline would be (although perhaps not to the same degree, since I'm advocating with precedents). So it's not like an ST it's compelled in any way to allow it, or to allow it in the same fashion. YMMV
        Last edited by Aleph; 03-08-2021, 09:21 AM.

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        • #5
          I think it's part of WoD's background and charm that the different splats have different areas of specialization. For example, Vampires have temporal might with the physical Disciplines and unparalleled potential for influencing and controlling the minds of others. This is their due as per the Vitae coursing in their veins and their state of undeath. To have Mages imitate the powers of Vampires in a cost-effective way would be taking away some of the atmosphere of WoD.
          Similarly, outright receiving (or stealing) the powers of other splats with Magick is a feat that I don't think is feasible, outside of perhaps epic quests and arduous preparations.
          Last edited by Muad'Dib; 03-08-2021, 04:33 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Astromancer View Post
            Mages can mimic other power types, but it is of limited use. Now if a given Mage is a Kinfolk, they can use Spheres to mimic the gifts of the type of Fera they are kin to. This allows them to perform these acts without paradox, or at least a very low risk. Kinaine can do something highly similar with simulating Fae Arts. But otherwise, what's the point?

            Sure I can take Celerity with the Time Sphere, but other than attempting to con neonate Vampires or other similarly in the dark types it isn't useful. Paradox will still burn me.
            Note that the Kinfolk and Fae-blooded merits have been revised in M20 to remove the bit about coincidental use of mimicked Gifts and Cantrips.

            If an Awakened Kinain has an appropriate Focus (and she probably does, if she's aware of the Kithain), then she can craft Effects that resemble Cantrips; but whether or not she takes Paradox for doing so depends on the Reality Zone she's in, just as with any other mage.
            Last edited by Dataweaver; 03-08-2021, 04:50 PM.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
              I think it's part of WoD's background and charm that the different splats have different areas of specialization. For example, Vampires have temporal might with the physical Disciplines and unparalleled potential for influencing and controlling the minds of others. This is their due as per the Vitae coursing in their veins and their state of undeath. To have Mages imitate the powers of Vampires in a cost-effective way would be taking away some of the atmosphere of WoD.
              Similarly, outright receiving (or stealing) the powers of other splats with Magick is a feat that I don't think is feasible, outside of perhaps epic quests and arduous preparations.
              I suspect that this would be in the domain of Archmastery; i.e., “can do what regular Magick can't”.


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              • #8
                Even if not Archmastery, a lot of things would be at least a 4 dot if not 5 dot base effect, with multiple conjunctional Spheres, require huge numbers of successes, and have to deal with Pattern Bleed or Permadox.

                While there are ways for individual mages to copy individual powers in a relatively cost effective way, in general mages are better sticking to their own methods rather than trying to imitate other supernaturals. Some Mage has stressed in multiple editions, is that mages don't get to avoid Paradox just by copying other supernaturals. In the select cases where they can, it's more complicated and limited than just, "a werewolf can do it, so I can do it."

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                • #9
                  aye but say you're trying to aid others:mages are rare, but their cronies are easy to pick up and would benefit from such offers. . or you're a technocrat who insists they can understand and mimick supernatural powers through scientific method.It could just make you wealthy to be able to sell such things: Potence, at least with vampiers, is far less intrusive than other strength powers


                  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
                    Note that the Ghoul Merit does let you acquire Potence, even if you're Awakened. But you legit need to be a ghoul; you just can't use Magick to copy Potence.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                      Even if not Archmastery, a lot of things would be at least a 4 dot if not 5 dot base effect, with multiple conjunctional Spheres, require huge numbers of successes, and have to deal with Pattern Bleed or Permadox.
                      In particular regarding to permanence and ease to access.

                      Different effects could be harder or easier to attain. Powers that some splats take for granted could be extremely bizarre to duplicate with the Spheres, while others would be quite simple, if perhaps not particularly useful, for mages One would have to look case by case.

                      But almost in any case the capability to just "have" the power whenever you feel like (as opposed to have to do complex, lengthy and risky magical rolls) it's what's going to be tricky: this (more than superstrength or social influence) are the thing other splats have almost for granted, and mages lack .

                      As an example:

                      Protean Claws come to my mind- Life 3/Prime 3 - +2 to unarmed damage, aggravated, temporary. Pretty basic stuff, should be feasible to cast on the fly or with a short ritual (But, why? - mages suck at fighting with claws - it's never going to beat a big gun with some magical enhancements).

                      But have no fear, this in no way endangers the "holly cow" nature of vampire Disciplines - as I have said before, there's a caveat with the "access": A mage needs to *cast* this every time, this likely requires more than one turn, and it's a chance for Paradox each and every time, and barring special circumnstances it's obviously Vulgar.

                      Now, the mage could easily make a more serious ritual to add some serious Duration, as to avoid the need to cast it over and over. Sure. If the mage likes Pattern Bleeding, because that's how you get Pattern Bleeding.

                      Giving such a power to others, and or having it activate w/o needing to get many successes in a risky roll, that's the province of Wonders. And these have their own rules (that may include Permadox, as is the case with the Cybernetics that give you retractable claws).

                      There are ways to make accessibility easier, but they all have a price (like Time 4 triggers requiring...well...Time 4), and one has to question it the effect it's worth so much effort (hint, Protean Claws *don't* deserve it)
                      Archspheres I would leave for the *trully* epic, not for trivialities like having some extra successes on mundane stuff. Stuff like curing the Curse of Caine, or re-enacting the ancient pacts of the Fera. And i those cases a quest could be called for, even with Archspheres.

                      In essence, saying that something requires Archspheres it's almost aking to saying it requires an epic quest. It's almost assumed those powers exist beyond players. Perhaps that's why the Rote that allows to cure the Curse of Caine it's systematized in Vampire, but not so much in Mage: Vampires can't ever get Archspheres, so they would have to do an epic quest to find a user of magick that fulfils all the prerequisites, with the risk it may end being a Nephandi or whatnot.

                      The quest in these cases it's finding the Archmaster - but I think some stuff could require even Archmasters to do more than just have the dots (and that certainly jives with how Archmasters act in the Lore - Voormass needed the special sword, among other conditions, not just Arch-Entropy)

                      Like, to create a new Fera race complete with spirit stuff I, as ST, would say the Archmaster needs to parley with a Spirit on the level of a Celestine, and convince it to give metaphisical backing to the pact that would allow them to learn Gifts. Stuff like "getting the attention of the main Avatar of a Celestine" and "being in such a presence w/o instantly dying or becoming mad" are feats that, in themselves, migth require potent magick and/or a high level of enligthenment. The particulars would depend on the pact and the quest, I would never make a simple rule for something that grand.
                      Last edited by Aleph; 03-08-2021, 07:32 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                        aye but say you're trying to aid others:mages are rare, but their cronies are easy to pick up and would benefit from such offers. . or you're a technocrat who insists they can understand and mimick supernatural powers through scientific method.It could just make you wealthy to be able to sell such things: Potence, at least with vampiers, is far less intrusive than other strength powers
                        Generally speaking "aid others" isn't a huge issue for mages. It might bump up the Sphere rating of the effect, or require more successes, or require them to craft a Wonder, but anything a mage can cast on themselves there have rather standard ways to cast on others.

                        However, that doesn't stop Paradox (via Pattern Bleed for non-mages if nothing else) from having a negative say in the matter.

                        And really, giving people superstrength is fairly 'meh' for a mage. For example it's very easy for a mage to give a servant/ally/etc a plethora of sensory powers. Mages are best when they're subtle, even when buffing others. Guards with Potence is nice and all, but even better are ones that have mind shields, can sense lies, see auras, and perceive magic being used.

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                        • #13
                          Granting powers to others, permanently, is handled via the Wonder rules; in particular, you treat the subject as a Relic (or a soon-to-be Relic). For a sapient character, this effectively gives them the Enhancement Background, or a mystical variation thereof.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            While there are ways for individual mages to copy individual powers in a relatively cost effective way, in general mages are better sticking to their own methods rather than trying to imitate other supernaturals.
                            While I can agree on principle (these kind of endeavors have a lot of well deserved flak), I have to say that I really like mages researching outside their own homes. Expanding what they know with outside imput. Making effects *inspired* by the research on the powers of a supernatural creature it's exactly the kind of things I would like to see.

                            But, of course, making a mere copy shouldn't be the goal. A mage should strive to make *better* versions

                            What's the fun with Paradox, if nobody is going to have a little Hubris?
                            Last edited by Aleph; 03-08-2021, 07:54 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                              Potence, at least with vampiers, is far less intrusive than other strength powers
                              If a mage does it, it would feel very intrusive. To expand on what Heavy Arms said about Paradox:

                              Just look at how problematic it's to give extra Strength dots (it has it all: Paradox if obviously supernatural. Causes Pattern Bleeding. Permadox or Genetic Flaws if you get them trough Cybernetics or similar - most of the time, it's just not worth it)

                              Anything resembling Potence would have to start with those problms as base
                              Last edited by Aleph; 03-08-2021, 08:14 PM.

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