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Making a Thaumaturgy Ritual easier? Teamwork or something?

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  • Making a Thaumaturgy Ritual easier? Teamwork or something?

    My Tremere knows the "Enchant Talisman" Ritual. It's said that it's one of the first rituals a Tremere learns once they reach rank 5 in Thaumaturgy, but when I then look at the mechanics, I have trouble believing that to be true.

    You get 4 rolls of your Int+Occult, at Difficulty 8 and you need to get 20 successes total. By the time the Tremere gets their first path to 5, they maybe have Int and Occult both at 4 (which is what I have), which gives them 8 dice, which makes it a 2.5 percent chance of succeeding the ritual, IF they spend Willpower on every of the 4 rolls AND have a speciality that somehow applies.

    Sure you could say "Well that's average of 40 tries to get it, and each of them takes 1 month, so that's a bit more than 3 years, what's that for a Vampire" and you're probably right, but for an actual game it's kinda bad, in my opinion.

    Anyway, back to my actual question, I'm wondering, is there a way for another Thaumaturge to help with a ritual, so I'm getting to roll some more dice on it, or lower the difficulty? Or maybe some special ingredients you use to do that, or some property of the chantry? Has there ever been anything like that mentioned in the books?

  • #2
    The nature of vampire magic suggests that getting special ingredients is much more likely to help than more people. Vampire magic tends to be very hermetic, which is to say alternate-engineering-ish. That is to say, there are certain things you do, and these things are a mechanically valid method of creating certain effects. So I'm not certain if more people could help anymore than more people can help you cook a pizza. At most, they could assemble the ingredients faster.

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    • #3
      Yes it can be possible.

      Power of the Pyramid (level 3, Clanbook Tremere revised) is just that.

      - Saga

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      • #4
        Hmm, it says you can draw on the willpower of all the other tremere in the circle with the Power of the Pyramid ritual. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean each of them can spend a willpower for an automatic success?

        That would be nice, but if I only get access to their willpower and can still only spend 1 per ritual (which doesn't use Willpower) - it doesn't really amplify the ritual at all.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Quatar View Post
          Hmm, it says you can draw on the willpower of all the other tremere in the circle with the Power of the Pyramid ritual. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean each of them can spend a willpower for an automatic success?

          That would be nice, but if I only get access to their willpower and can still only spend 1 per ritual (which doesn't use Willpower) - it doesn't really amplify the ritual at all.
          A car doesn't go faster because fifty people built it instead of one, it just gets built faster. Since thaumaturgy rituals are basically alternate-engineering, it makes sense that it wouldn't amplify the ritual. It's one of the key differences between thaumaturgy and magick.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Quatar View Post
            Sure you could say "Well that's average of 40 tries to get it, and each of them takes 1 month, so that's a bit more than 3 years, what's that for a Vampire" and you're probably right, but for an actual game it's kinda bad, in my opinion.

            Anyway, back to my actual question, I'm wondering, is there a way for another Thaumaturge to help with a ritual, so I'm getting to roll some more dice on it, or lower the difficulty? Or maybe some special ingredients you use to do that, or some property of the chantry? Has there ever been anything like that mentioned in the books?
            I'd say that a character would definitely reach both Willpower 10 and Occult 5 before Tha 5, though - they're both dirt cheap compared to the discipline cost and Thaumaturgy might require 2-10 years to reach the last dot.
            So, let's make it an average of 2.5 successes each roll plus 1 automatic (not counting an appropriate specialization since it's uncommon to specialize in crafting talismans I think). You'll need good rolls to complete your talisman but it's certainly doable.

            I wouldn't allow other Tremere to help on this, since it's specified that every mage must make his own.

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            • #7
              For a couple of xp you can get the Incantation for luck (ToS p.71 f.)
              This incantation can lower the difficulty of a narrow task by 2 on 3 occasions. Or give an additional success that stacks with wp expenditure.
              Both methods can be combined. Each incantation requires a Willpower roll against difficulty 8 and 1 wp and must be cast outdoors without visible stars.


              So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Quatar View Post
                My Tremere knows the "Enchant Talisman" Ritual. It's said that it's one of the first rituals a Tremere learns once they reach rank 5 in Thaumaturgy, but when I then look at the mechanics, I have trouble believing that to be true.
                Why is it hard to believe? Enchant Talisman is put forward as the Thaumaturgical equivalent of a PhD candidate defending their dissertation. If it were easy, everyone would do it.

                That said, I am inclined to believe the "first taught" comment to be puffery on the part of the writer. Does the ritual yield a useful ritual object? Yeah. Is it worth devoting every night for however long it takes to enchant the object? Probably not. Is it something useful to the whole of the Pyramid, moreso than any other learning that strengthens individual Tremere? Nope.

                There are lots of decent level five rituals. By the time a Thaumaturge has reached Thaumaturgy 5, they likely have their own specialty and area of research to pursue. It seems unlikely Vienna would enforce a rule that requires this ritual be the first learned. If nothing else, what chantry couldn't use at least one member who knows Blood Contract or Dedicate the Haven?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nonsense View Post
                  For a couple of xp you can get the Incantation for luck (ToS p.71 f.)
                  This incantation can lower the difficulty of a narrow task by 2 on 3 occasions. Or give an additional success that stacks with wp expenditure.
                  Both methods can be combined. Each incantation requires a Willpower roll against difficulty 8 and 1 wp and must be cast outdoors without visible stars.
                  Does anyone have any ideas why lack of stars in the sky is considered to be related to luck in this Incantation ? I can't figure out at all what is the symbolism implied here.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
                    Does anyone have any ideas why lack of stars in the sky is considered to be related to luck in this Incantation ? I can't figure out at all what is the symbolism implied here.
                    Maybe the stars are not supposed to see you cheating.


                    So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nonsense View Post

                      Maybe the stars are not supposed to see you cheating.
                      Makes sense ; so it is symbolism of obscuring or hiding the distinct advantage that this Incantation provides.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Quatar View Post
                        Hmm, it says you can draw on the willpower of all the other tremere in the circle with the Power of the Pyramid ritual. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean each of them can spend a willpower for an automatic success?
                        I assumed this meant that you roll with a combined willpower score of everyone taking part in the ritual. It is how the Tremere conduct their major workings, supposedly.

                        Path of the Focused Mind has some abilities that can drop difficulties, but I think their duration is measured in "scenes".
                        Last edited by Zanos; 01-01-2019, 02:27 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Yeah it is certainly flawed. Do we have a difficulty dropping method? Feels like we need one for something like a dedicated Lab/chantry/Dragons Nest.


                          It is a time for great deeds!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Zanos View Post
                            I assumed this meant that you roll with a combined willpower score of everyone taking part in the ritual. It is how the Tremere conduct their major workings, supposedly.
                            That's what I thought at first. But rituals use a dicepool of Intelligence + Occult, not Willpower. So that won't help at all with rituals, which is in complete opposition to what that ritual's description says. I'll have to chat with my ST about this I suppose, doesn't seem like there's much in the way of things supported by the rules.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by V20 Core Book, p253
                              Teamwork
                              You don’t always have to go it alone. If the situation warrants (usually during an extended action such as staking out a suspected Sabbat or decoding an Aramaic inscription), characters can work together to collect successes. If the Storyteller decides that teamwork is possible for the task in question, two or more characters can make rolls separately and add their successes together. Their players do this by each rolling their own character’s appropriate dice pool (they do not combine their Traits into one dice pool).
                              Teamwork can be effective in many situations — restraining the frenzied Gangrel, gathering some physical resource, or doing research in the library, for instance. However, it can actually prove to be a hindrance in certain situations (including most social interaction such as fast-talking or seducing a subject, where too many people can overwhelm a single subject). As well, one person’s botch can bollix the whole attempt.
                              I'd be happy with casting this extended ritual with assistance; apprentices to purify components, do the solid hours of chanting or whatever is needed, but have the main bits that tie it to the "Caster" have to be done by them.
                              Don't forget that the apprentices likely won't spend willpower for it and will have lower dice pools, higher chances of botching and a possibility of being loyal to another Tremere that sabotages it.
                              The perks, and drawbacks of being in the Pyramid

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