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[2E] Tricks for Actions Economy

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  • [2E] Tricks for Actions Economy

    I really was thinking about calling this topic - 'Cheating in Action Economy' - but went with more neutral name. You were warned on spirit of this thread.

    I'm very much 'think one cool monster against characters to put on' Storyteller. I also have (in)famous cabal of Masters and Double Adepts in Mage 2E with five-six PCs ( depending on players showing on session ). I run combat with them and even started to 'cheat' in the game.

    On last game sessions I gave them as enemy Triple Archmaster ( mage with 3 Arcana on dots 6+ ) the ability to use two mundane attacks ( because of 4 arms he have ) AND then cast spell ( cause he have high Time ) - i.e. two attack actions and one spellcasting action per turn. Still, players more or less easily just beat the Archmaster to pulp, with least damage! If he would be much more invested in fight that he could not recreate his body after 'death' - he would be devasted.

    I'm starting to believe you cannot run combat against high level mages unless you have <Number of PCs>+1 full Actions per boss. I know, I know - it's 'cheating'. But letting PCs win with most powerful beings in universe just by mass beating 5 spellcasting against his 1 spellcasting - it's just feel to cheap.

    I even think about making Time Archmastery spell for this:

    Many Seconds in One (Time ••••••)
    Practice: Dynamics
    Primary Factor: Potency
    Suggested Rote Skills: Athletics, Intimidation, Science
    The mage can replicating flow of Time, allowing target to do many action in the same time. For each point of Potency on spell, target can do one more instant action per turn.
    +1 Reach: By cost of one Mana target can do number of spellcasting actions per turn.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 06-16-2017, 12:53 AM.


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  • #2
    I'm not saying anything about the topic, but it seems to me that you could solve this problem by having more enemies. The arch mage could've had a cabal to back him up, or at least capable minions to draw some attention. Five on one is never a fair fight, and I don't think an archmage reaches their position by staying to fight when in such an extreme disadvantage.

    The spells seems in line for archmaster spells for me. I'd just add a Mana cost for including spellcasting actions.


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    • #3
      Shouldn't a Time archmaster have forseen that he was going to be pulped? Therefore I'd assume this was what he wanted it to happen.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tessie View Post
        I'm not saying anything about the topic, but it seems to me that you could solve this problem by having more enemies. The arch mage could've had a cabal to back him up, or at least capable minions to draw some attention. Five on one is never a fair fight, and I don't think an archmage reaches their position by staying to fight when in such an extreme disadvantage.
        They problem is not even that he was not having normal support - with Adepts and Masters non-magical enemies are just one spell away ( on Aggraveted damage) from death. Enemies need to counter-spell PCs, 1 on 1 basis, or fight ends as 'I kill him in 1st round by my Arcanum... M... Matter'.

        Originally posted by Tessie View Post
        The spell seems in line for archmaster spells for me. I'd just add a Mana cost for including spellcasting actions.
        Will remember on that in second iteration of spell.
        Last edited by wyrdhamster; 06-15-2017, 05:46 PM.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael View Post
          Shouldn't a Time archmaster have forseen that he was going to be pulped? Therefore I'd assume this was what he wanted it to happen.
          This time - yes, it was 'friendly banter' from Archmaster. But if using boss as enemy I point that multiple spell castings on player's side is simpler too much to make any real damage to Mage PCs. Many spellcasting actions or go home.


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          • #6
            You could always try reversing the situation. Have an archmaster bring in 25 magi who are all slightly less powerful than the players. 5 for each player.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
              They problem is not even that he was not having normal support - with Adepts and Masters non-magical enemies are just one spell away ( on Aggraveted damage) from death.
              How much Potency can your players get on damage dealing spells?


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Michael View Post
                You could always try reversing the situation. Have an archmaster bring in 25 magi who are all slightly less powerful than the players. 5 for each player.
                And I will kill any dynamic of fight, by making individual moves by circa 30 NPC, to cast spells and decide factors. Also, it seems weird in my chronicle background, where Archmasters are assumed to come back in last months to test particular PCs.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                  How much Potency can your players get on damage dealing spells?
                  They have Gnosis 5-6 and highest Arcana 4-5 - so we look over automatic 4 Aggravated and up to 5 bonus damage ( from -10 on Potency Factor ) - Really, if they want, they just can kill humans by single thought. Only counterspells and supernatural Armors are stoping them.


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                  • #10
                    Mage is a game that's designed to work like a giant chess game. The intent of the game is to load up on defensive abilities, then do research on finding the one spot that was missed, and aim for it. I don't think its going to matter how many actions (or opponents) you really put out. Hitting 10 enemies at once is just a reach and a -2 penalty away. Or use an AoE effect.

                    My recommendation is to start using things like Charmed. You only take one point of damage per attack. Sure, it resolves, but if you have it Oathed (I think that's the Fate 4 ability) you basically get it as a Persistant thing. If only supernatural armors are stoppign them, then go for it, load up on them. High Potency signs and wards. Fill up on counter magic. That's the game working as intended.

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                    • #11
                      You could try demanding other sources of their attention, instead of just a straight lone target. Have spell effects pending that will kill them if they don't spend the effort countering them, or tides of minions spawning that need to be handled every turn, or devices coming online that will leech away their Potency. Make it so being able to launch an attack is a reward (or at least a gamble) and not something they can count on doing until the opponent goes down.

                      Or, since their opponent is an Arch-master of Time, why not have the Cabal face 5-6 other Masters/Adepts? Like, say, alternate timeline versions of themselves. See how they like taking what they are dishing out. You can play slightly with the duplicates Arcana. And if any of the PCs die? Have them continue playing as their time duplicates.
                      Last edited by Vent0; 06-15-2017, 07:51 PM.


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                      • #12
                        Permit me to perhaps be a little rude, but, uh, didn't you have this exact same problem with the King in Yellow a while back? And if you didn't use the answers people gave then(which is largely the same as the answers given now), I need to ask what you did then to make those encounters worthwhile, and why aren't you using those tricks again here.

                        I also need to ask this again, because you didn't answer me last time in the Mage thread: If you're having this much trouble challenging your players, have you considered that now's the time to wrap up the chronicle and move onto something else?


                        Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                        The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                        Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                          I also need to ask this again, because you didn't answer me last time in the Mage thread: If you're having this much trouble challenging your players, have you considered that now's the time to wrap up the chronicle and move onto something else?
                          I AM wrapping things up - they visited half of Earths Chakras, they made 5 of 8 ( 9 ) needed steps. I just prepare last real challenge for them ( that probably will be thing like Archmastery Threshold Seeking for proper Hieromagus ). And as I ending plots and resolving things - I prepare final confrontation. I'm okay with them beating this Archmaster easily in 'friendly banter'. I'm not okay that I could not even in final-final battle do nothing to them. That's why I test things on encounter design 'on the way'.

                          Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                          Permit me to perhaps be a little rude, but, uh, didn't you have this exact same problem with the King in Yellow a while back? And if you didn't use the answers people gave then(which is largely the same as the answers given now), I need to ask what you did then to make those encounters worthwhile, and why aren't you using those tricks again here.
                          Which answers are off topic - I written in this forum topic as I want to talk about particular Actions Economics implications. My (in)famous cabal is just example of probable problem. I imagine it easily could be 'I run game of Elders vampires and want to put them against final boss - How can I make it possible with Celerity?'
                          Last edited by wyrdhamster; 06-16-2017, 12:38 AM.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MCN View Post
                            Mage is a game that's designed to work like a giant chess game. The intent of the game is to load up on defensive abilities, then do research on finding the one spot that was missed, and aim for it. I don't think its going to matter how many actions (or opponents) you really put out. Hitting 10 enemies at once is just a reach and a -2 penalty away. Or use an AoE effect.
                            I beg to differ on number of actions - if you can at least try to counterspell players, they loose they biggest offensive abilities ( like they literally did on my Archmaster NPC ). Mundane actions can easily be blocked ( had literal spell on the game session when players 'frozen' Archmaster in solid gel-ice ) but if you take out possibility of magic from players, they are go to be hit hard, at least.

                            Originally posted by MCN View Post
                            My recommendation is to start using things like Charmed. You only take one point of damage per attack. Sure, it resolves, but if you have it Oathed (I think that's the Fate 4 ability) you basically get it as a Persistant thing. If only supernatural armors are stoppign them, then go for it, load up on them. High Potency signs and wards. Fill up on counter magic. That's the game working as intended.
                            ​​
                            Originally posted by MCN View Post
                            Or, since their opponent is an Arch-master of Time, why not have the Cabal face 5-6 other Masters/Adepts? Like, say, alternate timeline versions of themselves. See how they like taking what they are dishing out. You can play slightly with the duplicates Arcana. And if any of the PCs die? Have them continue playing as their time duplicates.
                            Okay, will look in making this defensive abilities up on enemies. Have prepered now two major enemy cabals in game. And time travel story is months in preperation now.

                            Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                            You could try demanding other sources of their attention, instead of just a straight lone target. Have spell effects pending that will kill them if they don't spend the effort countering them, or tides of minions spawning that need to be handled every turn, or devices coming online that will leech away their Potency. Make it so being able to launch an attack is a reward (or at least a gamble) and not something they can count on doing until the opponent goes down.
                            Intriguing ideas, will test them on next site place.
                            Last edited by wyrdhamster; 06-16-2017, 12:42 AM.


                            My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post


                              Which answers are off topic - I written in this forum topic as I want to talk about particular Actions Economics implications. My (in)famous cabal is just example of probable problem. I imagine it easily could be 'I run game of Elders vampires and want to put them against final boss - How can I make it possible with Celerity?'
                              I actually imagine that it would not be off topic, because action economy was flat out integral to that conversation, and in fact integral to the heart of that conversation*.

                              Regardless, the argument stands: How did you resolve this when they were fighting the King of Yellow, and why is that not viable now?

                              *Or at least, I would absolutely assert that if not for the fact that Onyx Path's Forums searches literally cannot find it with it's limited search parameters compared to your topic starting. I actually have to congratulate you on having started so many topics (Somewhat sincerely**) that it has literally made the thread I am thinking of seemingly impossible to find.

                              **While a lot of your topics are either fluff or exasperating, I can't ignore the number of times you have legitimately started interesting conversations that diving into has provided the results of deeper understanding of these games, and that demands praise.

                              EDIT: Context found it this thread and that thread.
                              Last edited by ArcaneArts; 06-16-2017, 06:32 AM.


                              Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
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