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Intended power level

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  • Intended power level

    So, looking at the antagonists section of the book I have a question.

    The "Urban Shamanic Musician" has "Arete 3 or 4" and "Spheres: Forces 2, Prime 1, Spirit 3, Time 2". That's 9 dots of Spheres, for those counting.
    The "Awakened Hacktivist" has "Arete 3 or 4" and "Spheres: Correspondence/ Data 3, Forces 2, Mind 2, Time or Entropy 2". Also 9.
    And the "Black Suit" has "Arete 4 or 5" and "All Enlightened Black Suits have at least Mind 2, plus two to four other Spheres between Ranks 2 and 4. Typically, these Spheres are Forces, Prime, Time, or Entropy, occasionally Life or Correspondence/ Data."
    The sample Maradeur has Arete 6 and "Spheres: Correspondence 4, Entropy 3, Forces 2, Mind 4, Prime 2, Spirit 4".

    The closest character in terms of power to a starting PC is a bloody Nephandus, with Arete 3 and 6 sphere dots. Is this intentional? Are PCs supposed to be freshly made apprentices well below the power level of the "real" mages? If not, then why are the sample antagonists so damn powerful?

  • #2
    Mages are pretty rare. So it is unlikely for your group of players to run into a whole cabal of other mages at once, hence the need to make antagonists stronger so they can keep up with concerted efforts. Besides while I share your concern about the Arete levels of Black Suit and Marauder (those are definitly rather advanced mages, indeed the black suit probably should be wearing at least gray by now), it is rather easy for your starting pcs to reach more sphere levels rather quickly.

    Personally I sprinkle my settings with a variety of mages from arete 2-4, with sphere knowledges either broad or narrow.


    My Mage 2e Homebrew

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mahasamatman View Post
      Are PCs supposed to be freshly made apprentices well below the power level of the "real" mages?
      Pretty much, yeah. A starting mage PC is guaranteed to have Arete 1. That's all. Anything above that, they have to buy with freebies. You can make more powerful mages out of the gate, but the general concept is that they're new to the Awakened life.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mahasamatman View Post
        Is this intentional? Are PCs supposed to be freshly made apprentices well below the power level of the "real" mages?
        Your definition of "real" Mage is rather weird considering what can be done with 6 dots of spheres and Arete 3. Outside that, it's a normal conceit of all the WoD games that you start as the young Turk and need to work your way up to being truly badass.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cogliostro View Post

          Your definition of "real" Mage is rather weird considering what can be done with 6 dots of spheres and Arete 3. Outside that, it's a normal conceit of all the WoD games that you start as the young Turk and need to work your way up to being truly badass.
          My definition of a "real" Mage is based on the sample NPCs provided. Tradition books and sample antagonists in the M20 consistently show that NPCs have Arete 4+ and about 10 dots of spheres. If sample characters had Arete 1 and 3 dots of spheres I would say that PCs are above what a normal mage is. I mean, we are talking about a completely arbitrary scale of numbers here. The only way to tell if my mage is good or bad at his job is by comparing him with the other mages.

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          • #6
            If I pay for your copy of M20 will you stop posting threads bitching about it?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dwight View Post
              If I pay for your copy of M20 will you stop posting threads bitching about it?
              Is the fact that your favorite system is flawed so painful for you?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mahasamatman View Post
                The closest character in terms of power to a starting PC is a bloody Nephandus, with Arete 3 and 6 sphere dots. Is this intentional? Are PCs supposed to be freshly made apprentices well below the power level of the "real" mages? If not, then why are the sample antagonists so damn powerful?
                Nobody show this guy the VtM core book, he'd shit himself.

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                • #9
                  Sample antagonists (and to an extent, most NPC's) are more powerful to provide player characters with a challenge - but without the gamist conceit of something like D&D's "Challenge Ratings." Remember, there are multiple brains working in conjunction towards a common goal across the table, so sometimes the Storyteller just needs a bit of brute force on their side.

                  Cheers!


                  If you don't use an Oxford comma, I feel bad for you, son,
                  'Cuz I got ninety-nine problems, but clarity ain't one.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dwight View Post
                    If I pay for your copy of M20 will you stop posting threads bitching about it?
                    Nipping this fight in the bud. If this particular argument continues suspensions will be levied. Same goes for you Mahasamatman.

                    -Pendragon


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