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  • #16
    Entropy can augment (buff or debuff) every roll in the game save Arete. At rank 3 can manipulate matter to an extent. At 4 it can manipulate life patterns, cause aggravated damage and heal aggravated damage. At 5 it can effect ideas.

    So in 1 Sphere you can quasi effect nearly everything. Its useful at all levels whether you are specialized in it specifically or not.

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    • #17
      It's funny that this thread got rezed, I forgot I ever started it. I had been playing Mage for about a year at the time and now 4 years later my list of useful spheres is a bit different but not a lot.

      1 is still Entropy
      For the reasons I mentioned in the last post

      2 Spirit.
      With an animisim paradigm its almost better than Enrtopy

      3 Prime.
      Another one of those spheres that can cross sphere boundaries, though not nearly as much. Once you have a character with Prime 3 or 4 everything just seems to get eaiser.

      4 Mind
      Only over Life because its just so damn useful, especially at 1 to 3 dots

      5 Life
      For all the reasons mentioned by others

      6 Forces
      Combat made easy, if thats your thing. With everything being electronic it has many useful applications that can always be handy to have

      7 Correspondence
      Some might place a higher priority on this one but I just never seem to miss it when I don't have it, as a player. As ST its one of them goto spheres but thats another story.

      8 Matter
      If specializing in it Matter would swap with Life. Otherwise ho-hum. Everything I would need it for I can achieve other ways

      9 Time
      Ya just never have a reason for this one. Not very "Bang for your Buck". If the story deals with Time Manipulation then yes, otherwise no point really as xp is better spent elsewhere.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Tuch View Post
        Entropy can augment (buff or debuff) every roll in the game save Arete. At rank 3 can manipulate matter to an extent. At 4 it can manipulate life patterns, cause aggravated damage and heal aggravated damage. At 5 it can effect ideas.

        So in 1 Sphere you can quasi effect nearly everything. Its useful at all levels whether you are specialized in it specifically or not.

        So can Life. And I'd argue Life (and Mind) could even debuff Arete by fucking with the other mage's head. But that's up for the ST. Rank 3 cannot manipulate matter anymore then brak it or make something not work. As can Forces and probaby Time. Affecting matter and life with Entropy is limited.

        And if your argument is that it has lots of uses, I think people are not tinking very well about Forces. It is not just a damage/combat Sphere. It can affect everything in physics and that's a LOT of things.

        Forces can: deal lots of damage (much more than any sphere), protect against any kind of harm (including some agg), telekinesis (including flight), invisibility (and sound removal), create illusions (all 5 senses), augment sense (bending light/sound) and to the point of sensing all the EM spectrum (radio,infrared,UV, x-ray, etc.), paralyze others, create light/darkness (Obtenebration?), blind/deaf others, affect temperature, increase/decrease speed (+/- actions per turn), you could even stop everything motion in almost a "time stop" manner, create force walls, affect any kind of electric/electronic device.

        And if you think well, majority on the list, if not all, can be coincident. Telekinesis, to me, is more useful than almost anything.

        Life can: sense disease/injuries, sense the presence of others, sense phisiological input to determine mood/emotion/intentions, heal and soak agg/lethal, buff all attributes and rolls, debuff in several ways (raising diff for targets in every roll), control animals/plants, mutate living being, create diseases and drug effects, complete metamorphosis (including others, turn someone into a goat), adapt to any environment (including removing phisiological things like breath/food/sleep), affect body chemistry/mood (put to sleep, drug to manipulate easier, erase memory).

        I put those 2 on top, maybe Forces in 1st and Life in 2nd, for usefulness. If you have both, congratulations! You can now replicate almost every Vampire discipline except mayeb for Necromancy and Dominate (Life won't replicate it's poteny, though not even Mind can do that) and maybe some specific levels, like Quietus 2.

        My list would go

        Forces
        Life
        Prime
        Spirit
        Entropy
        Mind
        Matter
        Correspondence
        Time

        Prime is just required for a lot of things, and is good. While Correspondence and Time are very good, they are limited in their effects. And Time is a dox magnet. I dind't know where to put Matter exactly, never gave much tought to it.

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        • #19
          I'm not saying other spheres aren't great in their own respect. They surely are. Just saying Entropy, point for point, and for whats available at each rank is an incredibly good value when compared to most other spheres. And that it is useful at all ranks, something some spheres are not.

          As far as Entropy only being able to break things or not make them work, that is false. Entropy works both ways. It can strengthen as well as weaken energy, objects, organisms and thought/idea. Though of course it wouldn't be able to repair something from dust it can be used to repair worn down machines and even people. Just as its stated to be able to deal aggravated damage it can be used to heal such as well.

          Again, Matter works better, and in more ways, but Entropy can have its hand in the jar. Life heals more efficiently, and at lower rank, but Entropy can do it too. Entropy isn't the only sphere I want to have by any means, but having it allows me to kinda jack-of-all-trades a situation when I dont have access to something more specific.

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          • #20
            Lord Revan Think about it this way: With Entropy I don't need to struggle trying to think on the fly (and quickly) how I'm going to sell to the ST that I can lower X difficulty this time. I don't need to stop to think how I'm going to use Forces to seduce the secretary, or Life to better hack the phone - Entropy directly messes with the dice. I don't need to beg or debate for ST aproval because *not* allowing a difficulty reduction/increase made with Entropy 1-3 "giving me luck" it's what would require an *explanation*.

            My experience it's that the least mental gymnastics I need to do to justify my effects, the better.

            And about Arete: It's a bit of a holly cow. That's why in general you don't mess with it, and not because Entropy has a specific clause against doing that (I don't think I've ever seen such a clause). Arete has a table informing what can affect the diff. and "magick helping magick" isn't on it.
            That being said, I would think trully odd to allow to mess with Arete probabilities by messing with someone's brain, yet not allow to do the same by messing with the law of probability itself.
            Last edited by Aleph; 06-06-2020, 05:04 AM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Aleph View Post
              [USER="3153"]And about Arete: It's a bit of a holly cow. That's why in general you don't mess with it, and not because Entropy has a specific clause against doing that (I don't think I've ever seen such a clause). Arete has a table informing what can affect the diff. and "magick helping magick" isn't on it.
              Of course there is always "Mundane abilities enhancing magick" rolls however.
              So the cycle goes Entropy -> Lower difficulty for specific ability roll(s) for the rest of the day -> Use ability roll(s) to lower Arete difficulty.

              This is especially nasty when it comes to Mages that rely heavily on physical actions to work their Magick. Akashicks, Black Suits in combat, etc.


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              • #22
                Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                Lord Revan Think about it this way: With Entropy I don't need to struggle trying to think on the fly (and quickly) how I'm going to sell to the ST that I can lower X difficulty this time. I don't need to stop to think how I'm going to use Forces to seduce the secretary, or Life to better hack the phone - Entropy directly messes with the dice. I don't need to beg or debate for ST aproval because *not* allowing a difficulty reduction/increase made with Entropy 1-3 "giving me luck" it's what would require an *explanation*.

                My experience it's that the least mental gymnastics I need to do to justify my effects, the better.

                And about Arete: It's a bit of a holly cow. That's why in general you don't mess with it, and not because Entropy has a specific clause against doing that (I don't think I've ever seen such a clause). Arete has a table informing what can affect the diff. and "magick helping magick" isn't on it.
                That being said, I would think trully odd to allow to mess with Arete probabilities by messing with someone's brain, yet not allow to do the same by messing with the law of probability itself.

                I understand your point. I just think that that's not enough. A sphere to get dif modifiers and at high levels be able to heal/damage things. I agree that with Forces you have to think a lot to get some modifiers, but with Life you can buff all attributes and thus, apply modifiers in all rolls. On top of that you get healing on lvl 2, soaking lethal/agg, and all that I posted before. It even gets into the realm of Mind with some effects. Regarding versatility it's one of the bests, and definitely better than Entropy, in my opinion.

                About the mental gym, you don't have to think on the fly. You can, and should, think about your effects beforehand. Everything in my examples are supported by the rules, and if you ST doesn't allow it, well.. There's nothing you can do about it.

                I don't know, maybe I'm not seeing the big picture, I never used Entropy. Maybe if someone could provide a a list of effects like I did with Forces and Life. Preferably levels 1-3. If you go through the common magickal effects tables in M20, Entropy is one that appears the least.

                Tuch

                All spheres are more usefull at high ranks. At least in the variety of things you can affect. Life starts to affect other patterns other than yourself and Forces just increase area and potency of the effects (with some bonus, like being able to affect atoms). I see that as a good thing, because you have the majority of effects in lvl 1-3, the initial ones. This means that you don't have to spend xp to get to lvl4-5 unless you want to be a powerhouse of Forces.

                Also, Entropy can break/fortify things, but I think it cannot rebuild them if they are already broken.

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                • #23
                  By saying Entropy is good at every rank I mean in how the new avenues opened with each rank are readily useful in everyday effects.

                  Life 1-3 is great. Sensing to healing, to self buffs and healing others. All useful and great. At 4 and 5, unless your a shape changer, or hoping to one day create new life there's no need for progressing to them.

                  Mind 1-3 has all the stuff we love mind for. Unless we're wanting to Astral Travel, flat out mind control others, or create new consciousness then 3 is where you stop.

                  Matter and Spirit are great if your character is specialized in them, otherwise you don't really need them at all.

                  Prime is always good and usually to however far you take it, but it works best in conjunction with other spheres so you don't always have points to get it past 3. Of course if I can I always do.

                  Correspondence is awesome at 2 so you can extend those sensory effects out to greater limits. Beyond that I always find things like Teleportation, Co-location and whatever else to be far more wonderful in theory than actual game play.

                  Forces is fine to 3 when the new functions basically stop. 4 gives more area of effect and 5 gives even more. 5 can't do nuclear/radioactive by itself as it needs Matter and, or Prime at 5 as well which if thats the focus great, otherwise for most circumstances 3 is where everyday usefulness ends.

                  Time is just, well, Time sucks. It has a few cool effects at rank 2. 3 can get extra actions and some trickery, and 4 can hang effect (really useful actually) but thats too many points for too few uses.

                  So thats how I get to my opinion of Entropy being the most useful sphere with something at every level. Now even saying that, Spirit is my favorite sphere, but thats just preference. Because its certainly not the most useful sphere point for point.

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                  • #24
                    Well you need Life 5 Time 5 for having eternal youth because rejuvinating yourself about a decade need both of those. But more of this is part of http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...y-so-difficult


                    As I am from Austria I need to clarify two things.
                    First my native language is german and so please point out if the english I write is broken so I can improve.
                    Second I do not own VTMV nor any line after M20 because it is not out there and I wait for the translation.

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                    • #25
                      @tuch
                      You completely missed my point. Being useful in all levels is not a good thing. The ammount of different effects you can do with a sphere, andgow useful they are in game is what determines if a sphere is useful or not.
                      If you have like 20 main different effects with Forces and you can do majority of them with Forces 3, that's way better than having 20 Entripy effects where you can do 4 each level and have to buy until lvl 5 to do. Besides that, lots of effects are locked until you get your Arete to 5 and buy level 5 in that sphere. Also, this means that you can start with Forces 3 and do lots of things, while Entropy 3 doesn't.

                      So, the more effects you can do with low level in a sphere, the better. And that's why Forces and Life are on top.

                      I never gave much attention to spirit, but I believe it is one of the best spheres, because you have all the versatility of spirits. You shouldn't be attached to the versatility per sphere level, but per sphere in a whole.

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                      • #26
                        I never really liked Matter, it always felt weird and the people that use Matter, the traditions and technocracy, I never felt they really had good examples of matter rotes. Or matter rotes in the field.
                        Also I think M20 said with Matter 2 you could make stuff levitate (Not Matter 2/Forces 2, Matter 2 by its self. It lists like 3 different ways to fly. One is forces 2, one is Matter 2, then it suggests some crazy shit like Corr 3/life 1 or something) ….but nothing about Matter 2 says you could make things levitate? Idk.

                        I'd be more fine with matter stuff if it was better explained, it just seems there are very few reasons to go above matter 2-3 unless you intend on making crazy shit. I couldn't see the need to make an Etherite with more than matter 2-3, I can build my rayguns mundanely to begin with but I guess I could use matter to build then super quick (Or matter destruction rays, turns stuff into dust or something) but I can't see the need for 4-5.

                        Spirit is a sphere I don't use a lot because it needs a lot of pre-planning if you want to do more than just smack the shit out of spirits. I also never liked how they never explain properly the interactions with human souls. I remember reading a method of getting a possessed body would be to beat a human's soul into submission, I think it mentions using either spirit or mind, to let the spirit possess the weakened body but aside from that I don't think it ever mentions if I can use spirit 2-3 to slap a human soul and what the consequences are (It does mention in Gilgulling someone that if you simply use spirit 5 the spirit/soul/your avatar [I forget which] eventually comes back which makes me think you are just using the spirit 5 'Fuck up spirit' ability on a human soul and human souls just come back over time, but that doesn't explain if you can use spirit 2-4 on human souls as well)
                        I do like using Spirit for ghost hunting/spirit hunting.

                        Other than that and not really liking Time 1 (Though for some reason you can use Time 1 in slipstream, which is in HDYDT and I think suggests using the duration rules so with a 10 minute ritual/2 rolls you could have a +3 Difficulty to be hit for like a whole day rather easily...with Time 1 [I don't think Slipstream was meant to have a regular duration, using the duration chart, so I houserule that you can decide your successes go between the number of rounds it lasts vs the difficulty increase) I think most other spheres are pretty Gucci.

                        Over all:
                        I think most spheres are just good because of the generality to them, even Matter has a lot of shit on the plate, so I guess time just falls short of being rather versatile. M20 has a holy crusade against spying on the future or past and you can't do the fun stuff, AKA explode to paradox, till about Time 3. Then you can use time 3 to send a fireball 3 seconds into the past or something and make your ST have a headache trying to figure out how that fucks the timeline.

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                        • #27
                          Making things "levitate" with Matter is fairly easy: turn the object into a substance that's lighter than air. Matter 3 is easier since you can alter density directly.

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                          • #28
                            My personal list is still:

                            * Correspondence as a support sphere - outside the ranking because it enhances everything else. It's a must-have.
                            * Prime as a support sphere - 'support' here in terms of either 'Creating Wonders for other Spheres', 'Passively going past Avatar Rating in Quintessence storage', 'Creating things out of nowhere using other Spheres', 'Attuning items for Life shapeshifting' and 'Many kinds of Counterspelling' . They are such very BASIC things, so it's essentially a must-have sphere for any of those, so you probably want it either way at least at Rank 1 or 2. Higher for the Wonder stuff.

                            1) Life - Stay healthy, improve your physical senses, improve your physical abilities, improve your appearance, live long and do the same to other living things. Last but not least, HEAL. And in a pinch, invert all of that into harm and degeneration when it comes to the enemy. And it can all be done very coincidentally if you do it right, except maybe the healing. Also, it's a must-have sphere to work a lot of other magicks on living patterns - be it wards, or locking on effects. Especially locking on effects can be a powerful thing, be they harmful or benefitting effects that otherwise would require lots of target successes or repeated use. And as one of the best parts, your own physical improvements and better appearance and general health and such *do not need further magick* once made permanent.

                            2) Mind - Stay sharp. Stay smart. Be smarter and faster and be so until the day you die. Multitask like it's child's play, control your emotions, and sense those of others with ease. In social situations (which pretty much start the moment you leave your home) this sphere is unbeatable. It doesn't matter if you are negotiating over something, trying to impress, trying to intimidate or just have the flirt of your life, this is the sphere that gets you farther and higher in the social ladder, corporate structures, social organizations or just everyday little social problem solving than anything else. If there is a sphere that runs into the danger of "Power corrupts", it is this one, and that mirrors its sheer potential. On the other hand, this sphere likeways can be used to help people out of their misery. Mental deficiencies, psychological problems,

                            3) Forces - It is SUCH a versatile sphere. Combat with it tends to be vulgar unless done in clever ways, but the sphere itself is increeedibly versatile when it comes to its non-combat usages. All interactions between matter out there are governed by forces, all data transfers out there are goverend by forces, every computer works through them. It's what makes you feel warm and cozy or cold and shakey. They affect the way how well your car drives or sticks to the road, the way your physical tools work things, heck down to the quality of your home's ventilation. Your eyes, ears and skin only sense forces. Kinetic energy and pressure, gravity, heat/cold, sound, ultraviolet, infrared, radio waves, x-rays, radiation, large and small nuclear forces, friction, the centrifugal force, inertia, electricity, magnetism, tension and elasticity. All forces this sphere governs. A dampener is that the subset of Forces you can affect is quite dependant on Paradigm, but usually it at least covers the forces that one tends to observe in nature and personally consciously experiences.

                            4) Matter - Seemingly a sort of underdog, this sphere blooms with good coincidental use. Subtly improve the quality of things you own, remove impurities and chemicals from substances, exactly see a thing's structure and composition. In the hands of a physical craftsman, this sphere is (no pun intended) absolute gold, moreso than Entropy because it allows exact *control* over the result and outcome. It is also *the* sphere needed to, again, either lock-in magickal effects onto objects, or make Trinkets - and Trinkets are just wonderful (heh) in the way that you can make mundane objects that are just BETTER without going into Active Wonder territory. To a poor Mage, this sphere could as well be on third or even second spot in the ranking because of all that.

                            5) Time - Less so because of its vulgar applications, but the non-vulgar ones. A perfect sense of timing is important in a lot of things some people do. Performing music, physical competition, knowing the right moment to SAY something or perform a motion to impress. The ability to look into the past is *amazingly* good and potent at uncovering secrets (And making the ST scream), and much much more accurate than seeing into the future - although just constantly seeing into the future just a few seconds ahead is amazingly good, not just in combat but to also escape traps and sudden accidents. Time 3+ though has less everyday-use potential.

                            6) Entropy - Now, why do I put Entropy so low on the list, given that it can supposedly do so many things that other spheres cover? I mean technicaly you can, as mentioned, use it to bless somebody's health, decrease the chance of an object breaking, use it to increase your luck or give bad luck, change the difficulties of skill rolls or rolls in combat, perform (albeit high-diff) aggravated attacks etc. etc.?
                            Because it is a) Thematically way less precise and fine-grained than the more specialized spheres for several of those effects (Say, improving matter or Life patterns) and b) It is probably one of the spheres where the subset of Effects available to your character is MOST dependant on your character's Paradigm. A Mage with the Life sphere, almost no matter the paradigm, has an incredibly high chance of being able to at least Heal or harm. Almost every Paradigm in some way allows at least basic manipulation of forces with the Forces sphere. Bolstering mental defenses and reading Emotions through Mind is also covered by a broad spectrum of teachings.
                            But increasing your luck, changing fate, causing decay, casting a blessing? All those things are very very nitpicky Paradigm dependant. Witches are good at the blessings and curses. Probably Hermetics, too. Euthanatos are good about the decay and fate part. Decay though might also fit some Technomancer paradigms. But Entropy, more so than many spheres, stands and falls with Paradigm, and as I said technically lacks the precision of some of the other spheres.

                            6) Correspondence on its own - Kind of tied with Entropy on the ranking for me. The ability to block space, teleport or touch at a distance etc. is also incredibly Paradigm-dependant, though admittedly the main use of it for Bans/Wards is quite universal for many Mystic practices. However, you might have noticed that many of the sphere rankings to me is done on the bases of everyday-usage. Wards/Bans are a bit low on that, quite frankly. If you need one *right now* and you don't have this, you're screwed of course.

                            7) Prime on its own - Outside the supporting characteristics described at the very top making it a must-have at at least lwo levels, Prime on its own does not have much use potential on its own unless you drive it to HIGH, costly levels. The ability to make Prime weapons is vulgar as heck and mostly combat-related. The Paradox-negating and Node creation is at the costly rank 5, and while rank 4+ allows drawing Quint from everywhere (Depending on atmosphere or not), it is usually just more convenient to have at least a small Node - especially because those tend to be in Sanctums where you can directly make use of the Quintessence for rituals instead of having to head out.

                            Varies) Spirit - Highly dependant on Character. If you're a Shaman, this is rank 1. If you are an Euthanatos, this is probably also way up there along with Entropy. For most characters though, this just doesn't rank high if they don't interact with the Spirit world, don't tend to face Spirit threats, or just aren't the Umbral type.


                            So there you go, my ranking. You might notice that I'm mostly seeing them in usefulness for everyday Mage-y life, quality of life, practice and studies. If you go for a pure Combat-perspective High-speed-low-drag Dungeon-Crawly-fighting-enemies this whole ranking gets tossed around hard, but I just don't like to rank the Spheres that way - and aside of that, the #1 Sphere for combat is the Sphere of Handgun, preferrably at Automatic rank. It's coincidental, too.
                            Last edited by Ambrosia; 06-08-2020, 03:01 AM.


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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
                              live long and do the same to other living things.
                              Originally posted by Koronus View Post
                              Well you need Life 5 Time 5 for having eternal youth because rejuvinating yourself about a decade need both of those. But more of this is part of http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...y-so-difficult
                              So that is the reason why IMO Life is never above Spirit because it get dragged down by time. Though you forgot the part, where it let you soak supernatural damage that humans normaly can not soak.


                              As I am from Austria I need to clarify two things.
                              First my native language is german and so please point out if the english I write is broken so I can improve.
                              Second I do not own VTMV nor any line after M20 because it is not out there and I wait for the translation.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Koronus View Post
                                So that is the reason why IMO Life is never above Spirit because it get dragged down by time.
                                See the second post in the thread you quoted about my thoughts on prolonging life Also, there is quite an alluring set of advantages that sits between between not using Life and being eternally young. Ask anybody over a certain age.


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