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Primium rote (from Trad. Book Sons of Ether Rev.)

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  • Primium rote (from Trad. Book Sons of Ether Rev.)

    In the Revised Sons of Ether tradition book, there is a rote for making Primium, the system for which specifies that there are 15 necessary threshold successes before the rote actually starts producing any actual amount of Primium. The system further elaborates that the Primium confers innate countermagic proportionate to the mass of Primium used (2 dice per 1 success past the threshold).

    My question is this: how much mass is produced for every success past the threshold?

    Many thanks to any who respond.

    Mini-Rant:
    It's all fine and good that they say that the countermagic provided is proportionate to the mass -- but that doesn't provide any kind of a basis upon which to determine how much mass is produced per success beyond threshold. I mean, is one success past the threshold enough for a bangle? Or a sword? Or a small knife? Or a large knife? Or 12 rounds of 9mm bullets.

    I absolutely adore the game of Mage, but sometimes I wonder how the HELL they made it to print with these glaring holes in the system. I mean, you can proudly proclaim that the game is about story as opposed "systemz" and what have you -- fine -- but can't the systems that are provided at least not be functional in ways that are material to use of said systems?



  • #2
    It was the 90's, remember--they greenlit Twin Peaks. And the world is better for it. I'd probably go with small masses--to be formed into amulets or spread in a thin layer over armor, depending on your paradigm. It makes more sense to me that HIT Marks would just be gilded with it, rather than a large part of their mass being made of the stuff.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the input, Faradn. I'll probably just cobble together a list of items to correspond to different degrees of threshold success (i.e., 1 successes = a bangle; 2 successes = knife; so on).

      Here's my next question, the system for innate countermagic says that the dice are rolled automatically against any effect cast within 2 yards of the Primium. So, the next logical question to ask is, does this effect magic cast by the person wearing the Primium? I mean how do HIT Mark-Vs roll around with Primium and whatnot if their mere functioning requires magical activations rolls? Or Technocrat vehicle with Primium countermeasures -- how on Earth do the Technocratic mages inside cast magic, or activate the vehicle's enlightened functions?

      Thoughts?


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      • #4
        I don't know if there's official word on it. My thought would be some kind of Resonance attunement using Prime. If you have enough Prime to make Primium, you can probably attune it to yourself (probably with a lot of Arete successes). If you just stumble on it and there's not a friendly Prime Adept nearby, it could be an interesting challenge to work around--deciding what situations you take the Primium into. Maybe you're going into the lair of a powerful Nephandus, but first you have to get past his cultists. There you have your Consor hold the bangle and keep some distance since you're not up against magic yet. Later it's down to you and the Big Bad, who far outmatches you in magic. You're good with a gun though. You take the Primium off your dying comrade...

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        • #5
          I was intentionally vague about mass when I designed that rote because Ascension doesn't have hard and fast rules for that, but for larger objects use the Magical Feats examples, modified by the fact that the basic roll should cover anything bullet-sized to human-sized.


          Writer, Game Designer, Pro since 99.

          Thoughts at mobunited.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Malcolm View Post
            I was intentionally vague about mass when I designed that rote because Ascension doesn't have hard and fast rules for that, but for larger objects use the Magical Feats examples, modified by the fact that the basic roll should cover anything bullet-sized to human-sized.
            I can't tell you how much I appreciate the insight, sir. Many thanks!


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            • #7
              One appointment - i've made the number of Factions with this Rote: Sons of Ether, Iteration X, Order of Hermes (House Solificati via), Celestial Chorus (Templars via), Children of Knowledge and templars (Crafts).

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              • #8
                Matter 5 could change the density and mass of Primium... In theory...

                Could I use... Say... 100 layers of 10 dice Primium? Giving a final network of 1.000 countermagik? (For spacecrafts for instance)

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                • #9
                  Nope. Premium is a magical substance and Matter only deals with mundane substances. You can create plutonium and change the mass of lead, but you cannot change anything about magical materials. Anyway, the countermagic dice of Primium works against any magic effect that targets it or anything that it encases (otherwise, opponent Mages would use Matter 3 to turn the Primium of Hit-Marks to butterscotch before frying the cyborg inside).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CaptOtter View Post
                    I absolutely adore the game of Mage, but sometimes I wonder how the HELL they made it to print with these glaring holes in the system. I mean, you can proudly proclaim that the game is about story as opposed "systemz" and what have you -- fine -- but can't the systems that are provided at least not be functional in ways that are material to use of said systems?[/SIZE]
                    We're talking about a line where the core mechanics were basically introduced not in the first edition core book, but the first edition player's guide. That there was ever any detail at all about anything seems miraculous in that light.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                      Nope. Premium is a magical substance and Matter only deals with mundane substances. You can create plutonium and change the mass of lead, but you cannot change anything about magical materials. Anyway, the countermagic dice of Primium works against any magic effect that targets it or anything that it encases (otherwise, opponent Mages would use Matter 3 to turn the Primium of Hit-Marks to butterscotch before frying the cyborg inside).
                      That's not true... "Magikal substance" isn't really a thing... Anything that is not in Consensus is "magical". With Matter 5 you can create tiny black holes or anti matter for example, both considered "magical" by Consensus, you can also create substances with new properties (like being imaterial against steel, or a metal that shines in blue when orcs get near, or whatever). And yes, because of the anti magikal properties of Primium, it would be hard to work it... But, since a cyborg with Primium skin can still cast effects, there is a way around it, which is probably an atunement effect of Prime (not to mention that the metal itself probably needs Prime 4 to be made, which would make every bit of Primium a talisman of sorts)

                      The thing about those specifics is to give life to the scenario, not about rules. I mean, take Prime 4 and the right kind of Tass - there you go, you've just made an ordinary rock into a "magikal material" that confers countermagik. But those things added in the lorelore give more life to the game.

                      Do the rules allow me to turnleatherther jacket into a jacket that confers countermagik dices? Yes, they do, and I would only need Prime 4 for that. So, why haven't anyone done that? Because the game Mage is more than just fast and dirty mechanics. The game is open ended to give full possibilities, it's the players who'll set the tone.

                      There is a reason for example, of why I asked if I could place 100 layers of Primium 10 on something. Because that could change gameplay. It would make Qui La Machine and Etherships impervious to direct magikal assaults (making the photon cannons and guided rockets the only way to resolve space battles). But, if that aint the tone you wanna in your game, you can simply say nope, after 10 dices, one layer would cancelcancel the other and nulify the effect. That will be up to the ST to set the tone of the game that his players wanna.

                      Another example: why do I have to remain meditating for 8 hours with my Akasha to make a mind shield? Couldn't I just scream "Kiai!" and be done with it?

                      Yes, you could. Just like you don't need to spend 1 min per role making enchantantions with your hermetic to teleport. You could just say that you do that rote with simple gestures, so you can make a role every round. And it wouldn't go against your Paradigm either.

                      But that doesn't feel like the way that those Mages would be... It feels more "akashic" to meditate for hours, and more "hermetic" to make enchantations for some minuts.

                      Hey, does that mean I could make a char that can cast anything in just a round, and if he needs any kind of prolonged ritual, it only takes one round per roll?

                      Yes, you could.

                      That however, would be boring and unbalanced. So, the ST should enforce changes.

                      Can my Verbena make Primium? Or a substance with properties like it?

                      RAW, yes he could.

                      So why don't him?

                      Paradigm. Knowledge.

                      There isn't mechanics about "research time" or "routine development". All those aspects are left for roleplay.

                      According to lore, it took many generations of Mages to discover that substance. So, only a few know how to do it... Even if RAW mechanics would let you do it, you can't, because of the roleplay.

                      Now, if you make a lot of research on alchemy, on Prime, if you make a lot of experiences, dedicate a real amount of time... The ST may tell you that you found out (without stealing the rote from someone who knows I mean). So, you can only make "magikal item that confers innate countermagik" with a lot of roleplay (and it doesn't even need to be Primium, your ST could say you just discovered a new thing with the same property, or similar properties, maybe with some different quirks about it).

                      When you tell your ST "I'll use Prime 4 to make a magikal sword that open portals", your ST shouldn't just let you gather some Tass and make one roll for each turn of a ritual... That should be an adventure by itself, as you make researches on the subject, you may need help from others with knowledge in Prime and Corr (or their insights may speed up the process), it may be necessary to go to the Low Umbra to collect some essence from the Nihils there (so, you probably would need the help of an Euthanatos), maybe the right substance for the ritual would be Hermenium, so only a Hermetic could give you some (as it is unlikely that he would teach you how to make it) and so.

                      As a guideline, I do this: the most "basic" rotes, everybody knows. Other than that, you'll need a lot of research; somethings are beyond reach (unless you REALLY dedicate, but some are beyond reach at all, only dedicated groups and many generations can came by, things like Primium or Etherships or the Agama Sojourn).

                      That's also a great way that STs can limit Mages without stonestone written rules that take away the wounderful delight that is the limitless capabilities of Mages.. So, like I always say, mages are as powerful as they need to be in your game

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Karlgust View Post

                        That's not true... "Magikal substance" isn't really a thing... Anything that is not in Consensus is "magical". With Matter 5 you can create tiny black holes or anti matter for example, both considered "magical" by Consensus
                        Anti-matter is well within the consensus, to the effect that physicists have been making it in real life for decades, albeit not very much of it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                          Anti-matter is well within the consensus, to the effect that physicists have been making it in real life for decades, albeit not very much of it.
                          Courtesy of the Time-Table. That brings the question: was gunpowder magikal before sleepers learned to use it?

                          And the answer is "yes"

                          (I love how Saruman used his "magic" to create gunpowder to destroy the walls of Helm's Deep on the Lord of the Rings movie)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                            Nope. Premium is a magical substance and Matter only deals with mundane substances. You can create plutonium and change the mass of lead, but you cannot change anything about magical materials. Anyway, the countermagic dice of Primium works against any magic effect that targets it or anything that it encases (otherwise, opponent Mages would use Matter 3 to turn the Primium of Hit-Marks to butterscotch before frying the cyborg inside).
                            Wholly unsupported by what Matter 5 says. Primium has innate countermagick, which makes it hard to affect with any Effects, but there's nothing to suggest anywhere that I've seen that it's somehow arbitrarily categorically immune to Matter-based manipulation.

                            Hell, its existing arbitrary absolute properties - superconductivity, imperviousness to nonmagickal attack, etc. - were set in place by a Matter rote in the first place. What the Spheres make, the Spheres can unmake, and often more easily. Changing its weight, etc. by alloying in other materials during the creation process or afterward is quite plausible from both a mechanical and paradigmatic standpoint.

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