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  • Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
    I'm also pondering the Arete + Sphere hack. Since Spheres are capped by Arete anyway, it just seems like doubling up Arete, and still doesn't make most dice pools much bigger until characters become Masters.

    For a bigger dice pool, Willpower seems like a far more natural solution, and it makes crossovers especially easier. But does that put too much emphasis on Willpower as a trait?
    I'm quite satisfied with spellcasting rolls being Arete+Avatar (plus everybody has 1 avatar, and avatar is expensive to rise). It's a bit more streamlined, keys part of your spells' power to something the setting does key directly to a mage's power, gives some use to the background besides being a glorified battery, and doesn't change the dynamics of the liminar rules, since they're all still keyed to arete alone (sphere cap, automatic successes...).

    Sticking base difficulties to 6/7/8 instead of Sphere+3/4/5 also works pretty well. The low level loss is compensated by bigger pool, and the high level gain is alleviated by the typical large amounts of successes necessary to cast anyway.


    Check my Exalted homebrew!

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    • Originally posted by Synapse View Post
      Arete+Avatar
      Now THAT is an interesting fix that I hadn't considered before. I too have granted my players 1 point in Avatar for free, with the intent to make it about as difficult as Arete to raise.

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      • I considered Arete + Avatar, but it would just encourage players to throw all their points into what is a very cheap trait in M20 (for five of their seven Background dots, they'd get a minimum casting pool of 6 dice and would be able to channel five dots of Quintessence per turn). I've also scrapped the Avatar trait and rolled it into Arete already for this same reason.

        I think I'm going to go with Attribute + Sphere (similar to Changeling, which I play more often), because it encourages players to invest in a wider range of traits. Plus, Spheres seem kinda analogous to Abilities, so it fits the (initial) simplicity that the Storyteller system presents.

        I'm also rolling Resonance into Echoes (or, rather, requiring people with Echoes to flesh those Echoes out as per the Resonance sidebar), as M20 gives descriptions for it but doesn't say how a character generates, gains or loses Resonance dots. I can't find any mechanical stuff for Synergy, either, beyond the fact it's Dynamic, Static or Entropic. I'm guessing maybe the ST just allocates a rating to places and locations, and then narrates how this might affect or colour a mage's magick? I searched the entire book for better crunch here, but just found an annoying reference to the next supplement. (Am I missing something?)


        Writer, publisher, performer
        Mostly he/his, sometimes she/her IRL https://adam-lowe.com

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        • Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
          I considered Arete + Avatar, but it would just encourage players to throw all their points into what is a very cheap trait in M20
          Which is why Avatar is repriced when that happens. It's probably best put just behind arete in cost to buy/upgrade



          Check my Exalted homebrew!

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          • Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe
            I think I'm going to go with Attribute + Sphere (similar to Changeling, which I play more often), because it encourages players to invest in a wider range of traits. Plus, Spheres seem kinda analogous to Abilities, so it fits the (initial) simplicity that the Storyteller system presents.
            If you do so, then what role will serve Arete beyond 5 in your game? (assuming you're going to use it).
            I was thinking on my "supernatural counterspelling" problem. What if instead of making the difficulty of said counterspelling 6 or Arete (whichever its higher, as per the rules), we limit it to the permanent Willpower of the mage.

            The old Thaumaturgy counterspelling system used Willpower as it's difficulty (it's a classic). Also since such a Trait it's easier to get than Arete 7+, then the raise in difficulty that supernaturals seem to experiment when facing some mages (in particular, powerful ones) wouldn't be anecdotal (powerful mages tend to have bigger Willpower, anyway)

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            • The main problem I have, especially with younger players, is that the moment they see that they "only" have one, two or three dice at the beginning to do magic they loose all their motivation. Seriously, it's like watching a balloon loose it's air. I don't know if we have some kind of deep bias that we need as many dice as possible but that's how they feel. Even after I explain to them that mage is not a game about power but extraordinary people and what they do to change the world, even after I tell them that they have options like using quintaessence and willpower it's useless. Anyone here with this problem?
              Last edited by Firanai; 06-23-2015, 04:35 PM.

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              • I've seen it happen.

                IME it's a result of the flexibility of the magic system combined with how powerful even a single success can really be. A lot of players new to Mage really don't know how to calibrate their expectations. When most of the system treats 3 successes as a "basic" success, only have 1-3 dice seems like you'll almost never get what you want with magic without throwing every last modifier and a WP at it.

                The system itself sets the bias that you usually need ~6 dice to be considered good at something, but then shoves magic to such a low starting dice-pool. Besides house rules to increase the dice-pool in some fashion, the only way I've been able to get players past that is by talking them into playing long enough to try things out and then get the hang of it; at which point such concerns usually stop.

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                • Well, an improvement from M20 when compared with revised edition is that you don't need as many successes, since you don't need to divide dice.

                  One problem is when the subject can null your powers in a one by one basis with a dicepool that it's much larger than yours (like Willpower. That's why mind magicks need to be very subtle, or very powerful)

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                  • Originally posted by Aleph View Post

                    If you do so, then what role will serve Arete beyond 5 in your game? (assuming you're going to use it).
                    It's probably unlikely to happen for most characters, but the fact that the caps on Spheres goes up too makes up for this. At Arete 6, characters can raise their Spheres to 6 too, which will be reflected in their dice pool (Attribute + Sphere).

                    Alternatively, if we decide to avoid Archspheres altogether (easier, TBH), I might translate the extra dots of Arete over 5 into automatic successes or a reduction in difficulty/threshold. Probably the former. That still encourages players to invest in Arete.


                    Writer, publisher, performer
                    Mostly he/his, sometimes she/her IRL https://adam-lowe.com

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                    • Has anyone come up with paradox rules that are more varied than the "one point for all things vulgar" rule.

                      I threw down on that and would like to hear what other's have done.

                      It just doesn't make sense to me to get one point of dox whether I summon a candle flame or summon a giant spider.

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                      • It sounds like you might want to tie the amount of Paradox generated to the number of successes achieved on a Vulgar effect — say, one Paradox for every five successes (or fraction thereof) needed to achieve the feat. Most Feats would still be one Paradox each; but Mighty Feats would tend to generate two Paradox, Outlandish Feats would tend to generate three or four, and Godlike Feats would tend to generate five or more.

                        I've also toyed with the notion of Vulgar effects generating 1 Paradox, plus one more Paradox for every "1" rolled, regardless of how many successes are rolled. This results in larger dice pools and extended rolls generating more Paradox, at an average rate of one more Paradox for every ten dice rolled.


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                        • Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                          It sounds like you might want to tie the amount of Paradox generated to the number of successes achieved on a Vulgar effect — say, one Paradox for every five successes (or fraction thereof) needed to achieve the feat. Most Feats would still be one Paradox each; but Mighty Feats would tend to generate two Paradox, Outlandish Feats would tend to generate three or four, and Godlike Feats would tend to generate five or more.

                          I've also toyed with the notion of Vulgar effects generating 1 Paradox, plus one more Paradox for every "1" rolled, regardless of how many successes are rolled. This results in larger dice pools and extended rolls generating more Paradox, at an average rate of one more Paradox for every ten dice rolled.
                          It already happens, considering you'll need extended effects to pull so many successes, and extended magicks already accrue more paradox: None if coincident, [number of rolls] if vulgar.


                          Check my Exalted homebrew!

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                          • Not really, as I have said, that Paradox exist only in a botch. The idea that you indeed garner it, but discharge harmlessly in a success it's purely academic, the Paradox isn't here if you don't suffer it.

                            Now, the normal rules are a sort of Damocles Sword. You CAN get out with a lot. If lucky, Your mage can change reality in very noticeable ways, and cast down mighty magicks. Of course, someday, you won't be lucky (and there's more chances if you need to accrue more successes), and the hammer will fall.

                            In contrast, giving a "fixed" number of 'dox, even in a success, makes bigger magicks inherently more paradoxical. So, getting 10 actions per turn whit a Time ritual WILL have more consequences than a 3 successes spell. Actual consequences, not potential ones.

                            That's the difference. I personally think that the damocles sword it's more "Mage" than the direct punishment (which, in turn, it's more akin to revised theme of magic dying, and a harsher reality where big miracles can't be). Paradox was always worse in a botch. That says something about the themes of mage.
                            Hubris is evident when, and only when, your character HAS the power of doing what she wants. That's the moment when a mage, knowing that her magicks might produce a lot of damage, will use them anyway, in the hope that they will succeed. But where they to fail, you will fall from your tower of successes, hard. Well, that's the theorie...
                            Last edited by Aleph; 07-03-2015, 09:34 AM.

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                            • This is one of the reasons I always applied paradox to each roll for vulgar effects. Bigger change bigger paradox.

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                              • The ones im implementing for now are

                                Not botching on spellcasting rolls. I mean my games never go past arete 5 really and until they reach that point players are rolling 2 dices for long months until they reach arete 3. So to add to that puny roll the posibiliy of botching is to much IMO

                                Secondly i will do away with the familiar rules in favor of the ones in forged by dragon fire.


                                Im curious though, i suggested the idea to my group of doing "arete + sphere" for the spellcasting rolls and they say they didnt want it that because magic became too powerful but i see it as a common houserule, People that have used it, whats have being your experience with it?

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