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  • #46
    Originally posted by Thebian View Post
    OK, that would be cool if you're able to track the reference down. It does make sense if that's what was going on. Phil said in one of his FAQs that he fleshed out Porthos based on someone else's work, so that could well be the source of it .
    Dont know if this is what you want, but this is a quote from Phil about the question:

    Phil Brucato on March 6, 2014

    Thanks, Lindsay and Pepsi. And no, no Arch-Spheres in M20.
    For one thing, the book is already colossal. Secondly, VERY few mages are supposed to know such Arts. Thirdly, they're game-wreckers for sure. And fourth, I wish they had never been done.
    The only reason Spheres go above Rank 5 at all is based in a typo in the very first Mage supplement, The Book of Chantries. In that book, one mage - Porthos, who at over 500 years old, was one of the most powerful mages in existence, - had Forces 6.
    The Book of Chantries was my first Mage project, written and developed amidst a storm of life-changing circumstances, not to mention my concurrent writing of the Black Furies Tribebook. Steve Brown had done the basic draft of Chantries, and I was rewriting it to bring my take on Mage to the line as well as to fill out Steve's initial ideas. Because Vampire had recently added Disciplines 6-10, Steve found it perfectly reasonable to assume that a five-centuries-old Archmage might have similar abilities. I didn't fix that reference, in large part because I was both preoccupied and unfamiliar with the Mage rules... which, to be fair, had existed for about ten weeks, total, at that time.
    Once I began delving into the Spheres, their power, and the ways in which they differed from Disciplines and Gifts (hint: They're a LOT more powerful, flexible, and open-ended), I decided that Spheres should never go about Rank 5. After all Rank 5 Effects allow you to create human life from nothing (Life 5/ Mind 5/ Spirit 5/ Prime 2), conjure atomic blasts (Forces 5/ Prime 5), disintegrate solid objects by making them unreal (Prime 5), create new souls (Spirit 5), and STACK PLACES ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER (Correspondence 5). No vampire or werewolf can do that kind of shit, and so the Disciplines, Gifts (which go up only to 6) and Spheres are not even close to equivalent.
    But then, there was that damned Porthos with his Forces 5 in a published book. And so people kept asking, "What can Forces 5 DO...?"
    A few years later, after Mage 2nd had made the rules more workable than they had been in Mage 1, I did Horizon: Stronghold of Hope. In that book, Spheres went to 6 if you were incredibly old, unspeakably powerful, probably insane, and living in a Realm that allowed for gross distortions of Reality.
    So THEN, of course, everyone wanted Spheres 7-10.
    And I said No.
    And then I left the line, and folks both within and without White Wolf told Jesse to do a book with Arch-Spheres.
    So he did.
    And now, any young mage with enough experience points and a generous Storyteller can buy Forces 8 or something.
    In short, I hate the Arch-Spheres, but they were canon.
    I still have not yet decided what to do about that, but for that reason among many others, I was not going to put them in the main Mage 20 rulebook.
    Dont liked the conclusion, but I understand the argument of Phil.

    My only problem with the text is about the typo thing that really isnt a typo because Voormas already have Entropy 6 in the same Book of Chantries.... But Phil contradicty itself about the typo when talking about level 6 disciplines, in the end he say that it was rushed developer choice. A "marketing" choice makes more sense than a typo to me.

    But lets face the true, if they put some Archspheres in Mage20, even if minimal information, no one will buy Masters of the Art after Mage 20. Plus, add the rage of "anti-archspheres hatters" and thats why we will not get canon material in Mage 20. /sadface
    Last edited by Sp4rt01; 02-10-2015, 11:07 PM.

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    • #47
      That post makes me feel that all things are right in the world.


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      • #48
        Originally posted by Sp4rt01 View Post
        Dont know if this is what you want, but this is a quote from Phil about the question:
        That’s the quote I was thinking of; thanks for digging it up.

        Originally posted by Sp4rt01 View Post
        Dont liked the conclusion, but I understand the argument of Phil.

        My only problem with the text is about the typo thing that really isnt a typo because Voormas already have Entropy 6 in the same Book of Chantries.... But Phil contradicty itself about the typo when talking about level 6 disciplines, in the end he say that it was rushed developer choice. A “marketing” choice makes more sense than a typo to me.
        Yeah; he misspoke slightly. The essence of what he said, though, is that Archspheres were a mistake brought on by a poor understanding of the game due to it being so new; and that if he had it to do over, they never would have happened.

        Originally posted by Sp4rt01 View Post
        But lets face the true, if they put some Archspheres in Mage20, even if minimal information, no one will buy Masters of the Art after Mage 20. Plus, add the rage of “anti-archspheres haters” and thats why we will not get canon material in Mage 20. /sadface
        I don’t think Satyros was thinking in terms of Masters of the Arts’ sales potential when he decided against including Archspheres in M20.

        The other reason nothing made it into M20 concerning archspheres is page count: as it is, we’re getting a binding-breaker of a book with enough stuff taken out to fill a whole other book. To add material on Archspheres on top of that? Given that Satyros doesn’t see much value in them, that’s far more than enough of a reason to leave them out.

        All that said, I don’t really object to archspheres, per se; I just prefer them to be more akin to Horizon: Stronghold of Hope than Masters of the Art, when they show up at all. In particular, they should be treated as a very special case, not as a natural extension of the •–••••• progression. As far as I’m concerned, all you really need for them is “the sixth dot can’t be earned with mere xp; getting it requires a perspective shift akin to the Awakening itself, and only happens once the Storyteller says it does. Once you have the sixth dot, what few remaining constraints there were at Mastery are gone; if it’s suitable to your Sphere, you can do it.”
        Last edited by Dataweaver; 02-11-2015, 01:19 AM.


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        • #49
          Originally posted by Sp4rt01 View Post
          But lets face the true, if they put some Archspheres in Mage20, even if minimal information, no one will buy Masters of the Art after Mage 20. Plus, add the rage of "anti-archspheres hatters" and thats why we will not get canon material in Mage 20. /sadface

          Instead of just outright calling this bullshit, I would rather ask what you feel is the gross negligence of ignoring arch spheres? What is it we are missing out on?


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          • #50
            Originally posted by Sp4rt01 View Post

            Dont know if this is what you want, but this is a quote from Phil about the question:
            Ah, nice one . Thanks. Yeah, that makes sense. I'm not sure I agree 100% with all the reasoning there, but I understand where he's coming from. I did like Masters of the Art, particularly its cosmic approach to the Spheres, but I can also get behind the archsphere system from Horizon. There's something elegant about the exception-based idea of a single rank that covers whatever you need the Sphere to do that isn't already covered by ranks 1 to 5.

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            • #51
              Very interesting ideas here.

              I agree that Entropy is an odd mix. I also have gripes with Time. It is either something like fate and therefore similar to Entropy or it messes with space-time and is similar to Correspondence. I've rearranged the three into Correspondence and Fate. Even less I agree with Prime as a sphere. If magic is subjective, having a sphere that defines it, appears awkward. So I scrapped it.

              A friend then suggested a very clever way of handling sphere levels. Mage always has the problem that the order of effects doesn't fit someone's paradigm. So instead of using the spheres to limit what a mage can do, he suggested limiting what is required to do it. We came up with four requirements: Sanctum, Ritual, Tool and Formula. A mage can try anything but must then address all four requirements. So you can only do it at home (Sanctum) with an extended Ritual, after you have studied that particular spell (Formula) and using a Tool. Each dot in a sphere allows to overcome one requirement. That allowed for flexible styles.

              I complemented that by having characters choose a benefit for every dot in Arete. So players could assemble their own magic style.

              If you are interested, here it is.
              https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

              I actually tried modelling Penny Dreadful and gang with the method. She would have Street Magic, Familiar, Essence of Air, maybe Voices, a Knack in Fate for finding stuff, some dots in Forces and Life.

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              • #52
                I am also a big proponent of scrapping Entropy and tossing all the chance and destiny stuff INTO Time (or Fate or whatever you want to call it) and expropriating the rest back into the respective Spheres. There doesn't really seem to be much space-time manipulation in Entropy to discard or move over to me - fall apart or don't, rot or don't rot, degrade or reinforce ideas, luck, find weakness/strength... not sure I see any spatial aspects in there.

                I have also thought about scrapping Prime. I'd take a chunk of the abilities and fold them into Arete, so it's not just a "dice" stat but it actually sets up things like how much Quint you can hold and use per action, how many effects you can keep going at once. But I dunno. There is a way to interpolate some reasonable concept that can be represented by a Sphere like Prime in most of the uber-paradigms represented by the factions and sects - Technocratic baseline universal substratum, fundamental particles or the like, Etherites - ether-ish ideas, Dreamspeakers - baseline animatism, Hermetics - exactly as presented, Choristers - the presence of the divine, etc.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                  Personally, I’m of the opinion that tying all magic up into Arete puts a little too much weight to that one trait; and I’ve toyed with the notion of replacing it entirely with a triad of traits, inspired by the nWoD’s reworking of the attributes:

                  Dynamism works like Arete in a lot of ways, in that it serves as the basis for willworking rolls. It represents mystic finesse.
                  Primordial replaces Avatar in serving as a source of Quintessence; it also factors into how potent an effect is once it has been crafted (though I’m a little fuzzy on the particulars of how this works). It represents mystic power.
                  Pattern replaces Arete where countermagic is concerned, and is used to soak Paradox damage. It represents mystic resistance.
                  Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                  I don't think that Arete should be replaced, as it adds the interesting aspect of “Seekings” and “Enlightenment”. Of course, those aspects could be imported into your triad.
                  I just noticed this response. As you say, Seekings could easily be imported into my triad: the main change would be that a successful Seeking would earn you a dot in one of Dynamism, Primordial, or Pattern, as appropriate.

                  Elaborating on this setup: for symmetry's sake, I'd make all three of these rated at zero to five, starting at zero. Spheres would relate to Dynamism the way Pillars relate to Foundation in DA:Mage — that is, you roll Dynamism + Sphere your effect-shaping pool, and Spheres aren't capped by Dynamism. Every character would start with one dot to place in one of the three traits.


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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by The_1of3
                    Very interesting ideas here.

                    I agree that Entropy is an odd mix. I also have gripes with Time. It is either something like fate and therefore similar to Entropy or it messes with space-time and is similar to Correspondence. I've rearranged the three into Correspondence and Fate. Even less I agree with Prime as a sphere. If magic is subjective, having a sphere that defines it, appears awkward. So I scrapped it.

                    A friend then suggested a very clever way of handling sphere levels. Mage always has the problem that the order of effects doesn't fit someone's paradigm. So instead of using the spheres to limit what a mage can do, he suggested limiting what is required to do it. We came up with four requirements: Sanctum, Ritual, Tool and Formula. A mage can try anything but must then address all four requirements. So you can only do it at home (Sanctum) with an extended Ritual, after you have studied that particular spell (Formula) and using a Tool. Each dot in a sphere allows to overcome one requirement. That allowed for flexible styles.

                    I complemented that by having characters choose a benefit for every dot in Arete. So players could assemble their own magic style.

                    If you are interested, here it is.
                    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing
                    Pretty good, It's interesting, but it needs a lot of work (it's reinventing a lot of wheels):

                    A few critics:

                    1. This system allows for immensely powerful feats with little difficulty. Think that any mage can cast a Spell requiring several Spheres at 5 with just 4 easy to accomplish activities. You can literally nuke cities from the commodity of your sanctum with a small cabal of "Neonates", and that's only the top of the iceberg. You can raise the dead, or create Horizon Realms as easily. I can't even begin to describe how immensely powerful a mere Apprentice can be exploiting your system a little. Having ALL what mages can do at your beck and call it's too much. It's just too much. I wouldn't dare to give players so much power (and I'm usually against putting limits to mages).

                    Also, with this system the major difference between a Master and an Apprentice it's the speed in which they can accomplish things. And that's not a lot.
                    I think that this system needs a better reason to justify the need of Apprenticeship, or why Horizon Realms and other epic stuff are the stuff of Masters. Perhaps a stronger limit on the number of successes you can gather at a given level?, Perhaps a limit on how far you can go in the successes table?

                    2. I like the receptacle thing, but it can easily fall into the same problem that this system it's supposed to solve, the streamlining of magick.

                    Without a very, very, vague notion of what a receptacle can be, magick becomes "vudu dolls"

                    3. Range needs a better definition. For instance, it isn't clear if I can count someone as "present" if I have some sort of "Simpaty" (like, having a True Name, a lock of hair, or a mail account)

                    4. Lots of the more "mystical" stuff that mages do aren't, arguably, "humanly possible" (like, say, becoming incorporeal, entering the Umbra, being in multiple places at the same time, leaving your body to travel in Astral Form). I don't like to have "human capability" determining the number of successes. Your success table it's perfect for Technocrats but mystics work under different cosmologies, under different assumptions of what's easy and what's difficult.
                    Your system it's meant to better represent the different Paradigms, that's why you ditched the limitations put by Sphere levels, isn't it?. Then it should adress this.

                    I would rather divide stuff between "parlor tricks" and "godlike stuff", like it's done in the canon material.

                    5. Why using a Method Sphere increases difficulty? I don't get it. We have whole threads bitching about "Sphere taxes".

                    Appart from that, some stuff it's poorly balanced (why transform into tiger spending an Arete "perk" when I can do it with magick at any Sphere level?), but I like the spirit of this rules.
                    Last edited by Aleph; 03-26-2016, 01:27 AM.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Dataweaver
                      Primordial replaces Avatar in serving as a source of Quintessence; it also factors into how potent an effect is once it has been crafted (though I’m a little fuzzy on the particulars of how this works). It represents mystic power.
                      As a suggestion, what if Primordial modifies the difficulty for dispelling and/or countering your magick. The more Primordial it's your magick, the more rooted. Also, it gives the mystic muscle to pierce through heavily defended Patterns.

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                      • #56
                        I like the idea of tying Arete, Essence, Resonance and Spheres together into something more flavoursome and holistic.

                        I, too, would group the nine Spheres into three groups based on Resonance: Dynamic, Static, Entropic. Each Resonance trait starts with a single dot for free, and you choose a style for each to characterise your flavour of magic. Your primary Resonance corresponds to your Essence, and you get to spend 3/2/1 on your primary/secondary/tertiary Sphere groupings, appropriately.

                        Other considerations: Balanced Essences have no primary Resonance and can spend their dots how they like. You must always put one dot in your affinity Sphere. There should probably be some kind of Flaw for mages whose Essence and Resonance don't align, making Seekings harder, perhaps.

                        When using one of the Spheres in a way that aligns with Essence, you could implement a lower difficulty (-1) to represent the harmony of Essence, Resonance and Sphere.

                        Resonance could be rolled like Arete to generate/create, weave/shape or destroy/undo. More simply, they can represent strength, finesse and resistance, if you like the organisation of nWoD's Attributes. You roll the Resonance trait that makes the most sense + Sphere. Note that Spheres don't have to always be used with the Resonance traits they're grouped under, but you get the difficulty reduction when they are.

                        Arete, if it stays, would be a combination of Sphere-level cap, personal Quintessence and Quintessence per turn. But you don't roll it directly any more. That job is taken by Resonance. Resonance, however, can be increased beyond Arete. So it's possible to roll, say, six dice for a level one Sphere, despite only having a single dot of Arete. You're just confined to first level powers. The upshot is that you can specialise in a few things you do really well because of your Resonance.

                        Resonance will usually shape your backlashes, and players are encouraged to incorporate it into effects anyway because of the difficulty reductions.

                        I'd prefer it if difficulty wasn't based on Sphere level used (since it seems to penalise high level Sphere use over lower level Sphere use, despite the fact backlashes are already harder and effects are more likely to be vulgar) but rather on opposed Resonances (mage versus mage) or Synergies (anything else). Alternatively, it could be equal to the Gauntlet rating with +1 difficulty for vulgar magick and +2 for vulgar with witnesses. The Gauntlet usually echoes how much disbelief is in an area anyway, so why not use it?

                        Avatar, as a background, could be folded into Past Lives, and its Quintessence cap folded into Arete, as above.
                        Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 03-26-2016, 10:09 AM.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                          Pretty good, It's interesting, but it needs a lot of work (it's reinventing a lot of wheels):

                          A few critics:

                          1. This system allows for immensely powerful feats with little difficulty. Think that any mage can cast a Spell requiring several Spheres at 5 with just 4 easy to accomplish activities. You can literally nuke cities from the commodity of your sanctum with a small cabal of "Neonates", and that's only the top of the iceberg. You can raise the dead, or create Horizon Realms as easily. I can't even begin to describe how immensely powerful a mere Apprentice can be exploiting your system a little. Having ALL what mages can do at your beck and call it's too much. It's just too much. I wouldn't dare to give players so much power (and I'm usually against putting limits to mages).

                          Also, with this system the major difference between a Master and an Apprentice it's the speed in which they can accomplish things. And that's not a lot.
                          I think that this system needs a better reason to justify the need of Apprenticeship, or why Horizon Realms and other epic stuff are the stuff of Masters. Perhaps a stronger limit on the number of successes you can gather at a given level?, Perhaps a limit on how far you can go in the successes table?
                          Thank you so much. Those are very solid suggestions. I assume that a ritual instantly ends, when you get a Paradox backlash. I'm now thinking about turning a number of bonus dice on magic rolls into rerolls. So making it more reliable instead of increasing power. Also a rule for a maximum number of rolls in a ritual might be in order. I think that is standard in WoD, but I can certainly make it explicit.


                          Making a more explicit list of master magic is also a good idea. Maybe something like that:

                          (Fate) The Limit of History: You cannot change what has happened.
                          (Life) The Limit of Life: You cannot stall death forever.
                          (Correspondence) The Limit of Shadows: You cannot make something lasting in the Otherworlds.
                          (Spirit) The Limit of the Soul: You cannot affect someone's magic, soul or whatever you call it.

                          Maybe three more for other Matter, Forces and Mind.


                          2. I like the receptacle thing, but it can easily fall into the same problem that this system it's supposed to solve, the streamlining of magick.

                          Without a very, very, vague notion of what a receptacle can be, magick becomes "vudu dolls"
                          My main concern was getting one component away from the difficulty table. And "duration" was very easy to separate from "magic power". So I stole ruthlessly from other games. Until now the only rule is: A normal human being (or some natural occurence) could in theory accidentally destroy it.

                          But anyway, what kind of additional rules do you imagine?


                          3. Range needs a better definition. For instance, it isn't clear if I can count someone as "present" if I have some sort of "Simpaty" (like, having a True Name, a lock of hair, or a mail account)

                          4. Lots of the more "mystical" stuff that mages do aren't, arguably, "humanly possible" (like, say, becoming incorporeal, entering the Umbra, being in multiple places at the same time, leaving your body to travel in Astral Form). I don't like to have "human capability" determining the number of successes. Your success table it's perfect for Technocrats but mystics work under different cosmologies, under different assumptions of what's easy and what's difficult.
                          Your system it's meant to better represent the different Paradigms, that's why you ditched the limitations put by Sphere levels, isn't it?. Then it should adress this.

                          I would rather divide stuff between "parlor tricks" and "godlike stuff", like it's done in the canon material.
                          Concerning range, I think "sympathy" is a nice paradigm for active targeting. But that doesn't happen automatically.

                          As for the difficulty table itself, the normal rules only really work through examples. Calling something "simple" or "difficult" doen't mean anything by itself. I'm totally willing to change the difficulty table both for thematic and for gameplay reasons. I'd like something more concrete than "simple" and "difficult" though.


                          5. Why using a Method Sphere increases difficulty? I don't get it. We have whole threads bitching about "Sphere taxes".
                          I'm certainly willing to learn. Googling "sphere tax" for this board gave the following hits:
                          - One thread talked about requiring Spirit for an animist character just because. I agree that is a bad idea.
                          - Several times Entropy was called a sphere tax for turning up in unexpected places. I agree this is a bad thing. Same with Prime.

                          This here is different. It's meant that you can stretch a sphere's definition for things that just might fall under the sphere in your paradigm. The example in the text is curing head aches with Matter, by brewing Aspirin. Curing head aches is Life. But because the character believes that a certain molecule will get the job done, she can do it without any Life using only Matter.

                          I actually fear +1 difficulty is too light.


                          Appart from that, some stuff it's poorly balanced (why transform into tiger spending an Arete "perk" when I can do it with magick at any Sphere level?), but I like the spirit of this rules.
                          I wasn't sure about Shapeshift, either. I put it in, because it is very hard to do this reliably in a single turn. And I think that is kinda classic. Also you would probably incur more paradox. If you are looking at the Arete perks and would be so kind, please tell me:

                          a) Which ones do you consider most powerful?
                          b) Which ones do you consider least powerful?
                          c) Which ones do you consider most fitting for their faction?
                          d) Which ones do you consider least fitting for their faction?

                          So thank you again, your feedback was very helpful.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            It's meant that you can stretch a sphere's definition for things that just might fall under the sphere in your paradigm. The example in the text is curing head aches with Matter, by brewing Aspirin. Curing head aches is Life. But because the character believes that a certain molecule will get the job done, she can do it without any Life using only Matter.

                            I actually fear +1 difficulty is too light.
                            Oh, that's cool. I didn't understood it that way. I thought that you needed the Method Sphere in addition to the "normal" one. But if it replaces the normal sphere, it's ok.
                            Since your system has less need for Spheres anyway, you don't need to penalize it a lot, but you could count your Method Sphere as one level lower for Method purposes. That will make harder the casting of Method spells.

                            a rule for a maximum number of rolls in a ritual might be in order. I think that is standard in WoD, but I can certainly make it explicit.
                            There are official rules that limit the number of rolls, but you will have to rework these rules to the amount of successes needed in your system and the amount of power you want starting characters, and low level Chantries, to have.

                            For instance, blowing up a city in your system it's 80 successes. Not little but since your mages roll Arete + Sphere, four Arete 3/Forces 3 mages with a combined Cult of 4 (for a total of 4 automatic successes + 24 dice, without counting Paradox dice) can reach that amount in more or less 6 rolls. Specially if they have means to reduce difficulty to 5 or so, which it's likely, and spending Willpower. A starting Chantry can reach those numbers.
                            If you want nuking to be a little more exclusive, you will need a stronger rule.
                            My main concern was getting one component away from the difficulty table. And "duration" was very easy to separate from "magic power". So I stole ruthlessly from other games. Until now the only rule is: A normal human being (or some natural occurence) could in theory accidentally destroy it.

                            But anyway, what kind of additional rules do you imagine?
                            Receptacles, as a solid object, have the side effect of forcing mages to use objects as mediums for their magick. This isn't always a problem, but it can be so for spells that don't seem to depend much on an object.

                            For instance, a curse transforming a prince in toad "until it's kissed by a princess" shouldn't depend onto some vessel that can be broken by accident. In this case, you replace the physic vessel with a condition, like in Mage: The Awakening (you could add a "Fate" requirement).

                            And what if I wanted to have a multiple receptacle? Example: "five pillars sustain the spell, you need to break at least half of them for the spell to fall".

                            Also, what about a less physic medium?. You could potentially want to relate an effect to a computer program (last until deleted), or a sickness (lasts until it's cured), or even a word/meme (lasts until forgotten).

                            This could be tackled with Arete perks, though. Allowing for special Paradigms to use more convenient, Paradigm related, mediums. In fact, you could make the entire "receptacle" thing an Arete perk, as it adds a lot of power and has a lot to do with the flavour of the character.

                            As for the difficulty table itself, the normal rules only really work through examples. Calling something "simple" or "difficult" doen't mean anything by itself. I'm totally willing to change the difficulty table both for thematic and for gameplay reasons. I'd like something more concrete than "simple" and "difficult" though.

                            The problem with defined stuff in mage it's that it usually goes contrary to the assumptions of one Paradigm or another.
                            Different cosmologies means different ideas about what should be simple and what should be impossible (that's why the more freeform system of DA:Mage, despite how hard it's to understand and use, has many adherents).

                            As a difficult, but plausible, middle ground, I would suggest to allow characters to decide this: If my Paradigm was real, what kind of effort would be routine and what would be nigh impossible?
                            Like, Lay on Hands, let's say a 2 (any competent priest), Raise the Dead, let's say a 6 (messiah level).
                            This adds another leg to the discussions about Paradigm, but it's less Technocratic in its basic assumptions. It lets the player customize what would be easy and what nigh impossible for the character (at the storyteller discretion) adding flavour to the character (that will be thinking on terms of Paradigm instead of doing the same in terms of technocratic reality).

                            Or you could say that Technocratic Paradigm rules the earth and you have to roll with it. Maybe giving a "success break" (or a penalty) when the mage it's in a Reality Zone where a paradigm with different assumptions has more power (in a church, you only need one priest to heal the sick).
                            This gives the Storyteller more power. Also, you could allow for Arete perks to alter the amount of successes needed for a certain type of Paradigm relevant feats.

                            However, I would suggest that for the sake of game balance you do a table based on feats. Why?. Because that let's you to determine how hard or how easy would be to do attacks, defenses, healings, without having your players trying to justify everything with some sort of convoluted logic. You can determine, for instance, that affecting others will always be a 3, that affecting yourself it's a 2, sensory effects are at a -1, a lasting effect adds a +1, Time magick it's at +1...etc. That sort of stuff. This it's good for balance.

                            Concerning range, I think "sympathy" is a nice paradigm for active targeting. But that doesn't happen automatically.
                            Thats a problem. What if i'm a witch and someone brings me a lock of hair to curse someone that it's in the other side of the planet ?. I need to travel to the other side of the planet to see the guy and cast a spell on him in order to be able to use "sympathy" to curse him at distance afterwards? . That's totally out of question, nobody would accept that.

                            I wasn't sure about Shapeshift, either. I put it in, because it is very hard to do this reliably in a single turn...
                            Why? With Life 2 you should be able to do it without Rituals and Sanctum, you could also have it as a knack...

                            The only reason your Jaguar mage can't turn into Jaguar in one swift action it's because you use the Technocratic Paradigm and are stuck with declaring said feat as "impossible" (6 successes). If you used a more flexible Paradigm you wouldn't have this problem. And this it's a problem that will be suffered by many mages, when their "clasic" stuff get's declared "too unhuman".

                            About other perks:

                            "When you perform a Ritual, you may assume you have a receptacle with a number of successes equal to your sphere rating in the spell. You can use an actual receptacle to complement this benefit. " I don't understand this. receptacles have numbers of successes?, how can you complement this benefit with an actual receptacle?

                            All the ones that allow to ignore Requirements are useful...until you get to Sphere level 4-5, then they become useless. You could add an aditional -1 to difficulty for those mages that have overcomed requirements on the affected magicks by Sphere Mastery, or allow a reroll or an extra success.

                            The Digital Web it's a world onto itself. I don't like to make it into a perk. It's like if the Void Engineers had a perk called "Outer Space", and "Outer Space" was merely a set of benefits, instead of a setting with antagonists and such. But suit yourself.
                            Now, having globar range it's immensely powerful, especially with the limitations of Range, I think it can be one of the most powerful perks

                            Other perks that seem powerful are : Wonder (the only way to do wonders) and Proper Action (easy way to add 5 extra dice to your Arete, since Skills are very cheap. I think this one it's way too powerful, even when it can only be used in Rituals.). Chorodia it's very powerful...but it's downside can be interpreted as something quite nasty (having increased difficulty to casting alone, and being unable to cast with non-sisters), so I don't know. Cybernetics can be pretty insane, depending on how you interpret that Paradox can "make it break down", and how costly can that be for the character. Exploration can be too powerful or too weak depending on your interpretation of "wonderous stuff" and of "not being able to resist the unknown".

                            The weakest to me seem Subtlety (avoiding Paradox it's neat but "to hide" it's simple magick and it's Trouble it's very troublesome. failing randomly at your Vulgar or offensive magick seems too much), Shapeshift (what a surprise ), and Cosmology (having two less dice for the "possibility" of having less Paradox doesn't seem very impressive when you ponder that it also comes with a Trouble that might appear sometimes). Seer can be powerful, depending on how good it's the info provided by the Storyteller, but it overlaps with the Dream background, and Dream it's better (you can ask about things that arent present, and even gain a skill. Plus Dream hasn't a Trouble). The ones that only remove one requirement (or only in very limited circumstances) aren't very impressive when compared to ones that allow for entire new realms of Willworking, but they aren't too weak either.

                            Essense of the Air has a weird Trouble for an order of serious spies. "the urge to leave it all" seems more for Ecstatics than for the assassins whose job it's to keep the Order of Reason together.
                            Also Cosmology allowing to "have less chance of Paradox" seems inappropriate. Celestial Masters were one of the most Paradoxical groups of that age.

                            These two are the only ones that seem odd for their Factions to me. The others are ok, I particularly like Wonders (for Etherites) and The Art (for Hermetics)

                            As a suggestion, you might consider to add high level Arete perks. For instance, Wonder let's you do Artifacts, but Talismans were more powerful than Artifacts, also, you may want to make Wonders with a permanent effect, and that isn't covered . These could be perks that need a higger Arete Level.
                            Also, that way you could include high level "Prime" metamagical effects, like being able to create Nodes/ get Quintessence anywhere, using "offensive countermagick" (you only have normal counters as Perks), getting better defenses against Paradox and such.
                            Last edited by Aleph; 03-27-2016, 09:44 PM.

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                            • #59
                              Thanks again. Great inspiration.
                              I might need to make this clearer. The normal backgrounds are not used. The supernatural backgrounds are folded into the benefits. So there is no Dream or Cult. In Other Names it says which substitution I expect.
                              There are no Nodes either. The closest is Architecture that establishes a certain resonance at a place. Of course, such effects might occur naturally.
                              There is also no way of reducing casting difficulties. Characters do not have Quintessence. If you want to meditate for bonuses, take Prayer.
                              I like your idea of basing the difficulty table on the local consensus or umbral realm. Customizing difficulty per personal paradigm would be very hard for new players. But as an effect of place that is very good. Thanks.
                              Concerning targeting, it works like this. Either the target is around or you need a separate spell to find it. That takes time and you have one active spell. Sympathetic magic is nice explanation how your targeting spell might operate. Just as hacking their cell phone is. Does that sound acceptable?

                              Since your system has less need for Spheres anyway, you don't need to penalize it a lot, but you could count your Method Sphere as one level lower for Method purposes. That will make harder the casting of Method spells.


                              So that would be - 1 die. That's actually more in line with the rest of system. I would change Hardened then, making it so that it allows free method casting instead of ignoring penalties.



                              Receptacles, as a solid object, have the side effect of forcing mages to use objects as mediums for their magick. This isn't always a problem, but it can be so for spells that don't seem to depend much on an object.

                              For instance, a curse transforming a prince in toad "until it's kissed by a princess" shouldn't depend onto some vessel that can be broken by accident. In this case, you replace the physic vessel with a condition, like in Mage: The Awakening (you could add a "Fate" requirement).

                              That’s actually what Cycles is for. It gives you free duration without creating a receptacle. If that free duration isn't enough, you can add a receptacle to go the rest of the way. Requiring an ending condition for Cycles is a good idea.

                              And what if I wanted to have a multiple receptacle? Example: "five pillars sustain the spell, you need to break at least half of them for the spell to fall".

                              You mean extra receptacles for extra safety? No problem, just build more of them and link them to the spell.

                              Also, what about a less physic medium?. You could potentially want to relate an effect to a computer program (last until deleted), or a sickness (lasts until it's cured), or even a word/meme (lasts until forgotten).

                              Some of those I would accept without a problem. The computer program isn't more beneficial than a physical thing, if you require a certain instance of the program running. If you think of having the program run on any machine anywhere, that might be Cycles territory. In the same way, you could protect a town from the Fae as long as the children of Cochrane Elementary sing a certain song, without any special rule of allowance.


                              However, I would suggest that for the sake of game balance you do a table based on feats. Why?. Because that let's you to determine how hard or how easy would be to do attacks, defenses, healings, without having your players trying to justify everything with some sort of convoluted logic. You can determine, for instance, that affecting others will always be a 3, that affecting yourself it's a 2, sensory effects are at a -1, a lasting effect adds a +1, Time magick it's at +1...etc. That sort of stuff. This it's good for balance.

                              Sounds reasonable. I'll think about it.


                              All the ones that allow to ignore Requirements are useful...until you get to Sphere level 4-5, then they become useless. You could add an aditional -1 to difficulty for those mages that have overcomed requirements on the affected magicks by Sphere Mastery, or allow a reroll or an extra success.

                              I will think about that. I imagined those perks as shortcuts, so those characters are unlikely to ever get 5 dots in a sphere. That's why they mostly reside with the Crafts. Except for Euthanatoi.

                              The Digital Web it's a world onto itself. I don't like to make it into a perk. It's like if the Void Engineers had a perk called "Outer Space", and "Outer Space" was merely a set of benefits, instead of a setting with antagonists and such. But suit yourself.
                              Now, having globar range it's immensely powerful, especially with the limitations of Range, I think it can be one of the most powerful perks

                              I will think about that. I intended the benefit to represent a character's private domain within these realms. That's why I put all the various otherworldy repositories there. The range isn't actually all that fitting for the concept.


                              Wonders/Proper action/Chorodia: I’ll keep an eye on that. Most other players that commented on the rules had a more tactical mindset, so they rated the more immediate benefits, like Subtlety, higher.
                              Cybernetics: I'll have a look at that. A fixed number might be better.
                              Ksirafai: I will address that.
                              Cosmology / Celestial Masters: The benefit is meant to allow for seemingly paradox effects without getting slapped, because you cheat. Might fit kinfolk or kinain mages as well. So if the Masters are vulgar, I think it's a good fit. I agree, it might be on the weak side. Would turning dox dice into normal dice be more appropriate?



                              As a suggestion, you might consider to add high level Arete perks. For instance, Wonder let's you do Artifacts, but Talismans were more powerful than Artifacts, also, you may want to make Wonders with a permanent effect, and that isn't covered . These could be perks that need a higger Arete Level.
                              Also, that way you could include high level "Prime" metamagical effects, like being able to create Nodes/ get Quintessence anywhere, using "offensive countermagick" (you only have normal counters as Perks), getting better defenses against Paradox and such.

                              Interesting. I don't have an FbDF here and I always forget the differences between the various kinds of items. But I'll think about it.

                              What do you mean by offensive countermagic?

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                              • #60
                                I might need to make this clearer.
                                Yup, it seems that I only managed to understood half of the rules (if that) .
                                What do you mean by offensive countermagic?
                                Offensive Countermagick it's a special kind of countermagick that a mage can use with any Sphere at 1 + Prime 1. It's somewhat more difficult than normal Countermagick, but it has the advantage that, where the mage to overcome the successes of the enemy spellcaster (if you got more successes than the enemy), the countered spell rebounds on the enemy, with an amount of successes equal to the extra successes that you got.

                                It's not terribly effective unless the enemy mage it's much weaker than you, but it's pretty cool.

                                There's also Anty-magick (similar to Countermagick, but it increases the difficulty of the offender mage, by expending Quintessence instead of defending against the magick)

                                And you may want rules for Primium, the secret metal that counters magick. It's perhaps the main factor that makes the HiTMark so fearsome.
                                Concerning targeting, it works like this. Either the target is around or you need a separate spell to find it. That takes time and you have one active spell. Sympathetic magic is nice explanation how your targeting spell might operate. Just as hacking their cell phone is. Does that sound acceptable?
                                Yes, it does. However, that would mean that the separate spell to find a target would need to be exempt from the normal limitations of Range
                                So if the Masters are vulgar, I think it's a good fit. I agree, it might be on the weak side. Would turning dox dice into normal dice be more appropriate?
                                I would think so, maybe one dice of Paradox into one normal dice?.
                                I will think about that. I imagined those perks as shortcuts, so those characters are unlikely to ever get 5 dots in a sphere. That's why they mostly reside with the Crafts. Except for Euthanatoi.
                                I think than that might cause trouble latter in the game because the player might want to have that extra dice that the level Five provides. Also because many of this perks that remove restrictions have their own complications (like Patience that forces the use of a Formula). Mastery has no such complications, thus it's better (if a lot more expensive and reserved only for very experienced characters). Granted that (realistically speaking) it's almost impossible to reach the point to where this benefits become truly useless in game, but it is theoretically possible, and the longer the player plays, the less useful they will be.

                                Wonders/Proper action/Chorodia: I’ll keep an eye on that. Most other players that commented on the rules had a more tactical mindset, so they rated the more immediate benefits, like Subtlety, higher.
                                I understand that, however, I want to point that my judgement on Proper Action it's bassed on the awesome and proven benefits of Ritual abuse (lengthy preparations). With your system, this gets empowered a thousandfold
                                Think that I could become an Iron Avatar with my lowly Disciple...You know what an Iron Avatar it's?, It's a nasty piece of extra actions, superhuman stats, aggravated damage, and spiritual posession that powerful (and mad) that Eutanatoi use from time to time. A nasty battle form (usualy casted as a "hanging effect" using Time 4 (now Fate), to be released in time of trouble).
                                If I can get my paws on 5 extra "Arete dice" and all the combined power of the Spheres, I would totally prepare a lengthy Ritual to "hang" a similar sort of transformation (perhaps adding a few tweaks like a fire aura and metal scales, after all, Spheres are free, I only have to care about successes) to get a damn lot of battle power that I can summon when necessary (Paradox be damn ).
                                But this it's only an absurd example . In truth, the power to cast in preparation allows for very powerfull spells ranging from subtle luck tweaks and minor argumentations to unsubtle forcefields and major boosts. Add to that dice boosts and receptacles and you can get a realy strong "strategy oriented" mage. It gives itself to abuse, I think (you may notice that this it's tied to the issue of the maximun rolls/successes alowed)
                                Last edited by Aleph; 03-28-2016, 09:13 PM.

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