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  • Reach questions

    So, reading Awakeing 2nd edition I keep getting twisted when it comes to reach and the use of magic.

    So, with spell casting an effect I know that range starts at touch, 1 bashing damage, and so for effect. But, by spending reach teh effect changes and pushes the limits. I remember reading it implied that a mage can reach beyond the spell he is weaving and expand it to beyond his normal ability. For example, Unseen Sight (a 1 dot effect) can be expanded with Reach to include others by expanding the spell factors. It seems to imply that you cast beyond your limits into much higher ranks if your willing to take the paradox for the reach.

    Am I interpreting this correctly? Or am I reading too much into this.

  • #2
    You are right, but Unseen Sight isn't a spell, but an inherent power that Mages have. Also called Mage Sight. All spells start as you described: Ritual casting time, touch range, with a default Potency equal to the dots in the appropriate Arcanum. Reach is free based on skill versus the spell, i.e a Knowing spell having 3 Reach if you're a Disciple, but a Weaving spell only have 1 for that same Disciple. Rotes always have 5 Reach, in addition to the Mudra Yantra dice bonus.

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    • #3
      Okay, so. You know the parameters a spell starts with before applying any Reach. There's a little sidebar at the beginning of the chapter on spellcasting that tells you what you can do to those parameters for each Reach applied. (Note that just casting a spell without making it a drawn-out extended ritual costs a Reach; you'll pretty much never cast a spell without applying Reach to something.)

      You know the old saying, letting your reach exceed your grasp? You have a certain distance you know you can safely grasp before you start getting risky. This is usually referred to as "free Reach," and you're guaranteed to have at least one, because you get one for just meeting the spell's Arcanum requirement (without which, of course, you can't cast it anyway), and another for each dot by which you exceed it. So if you have Life 3, you can cast a Life 3 spell with one Reach applied without any risk incurred, and you can cast a Life 2 spell with two free Reaches. Free Reach is the main benefit of learning a spell by rote: casting a learned rote spell lets you calculate your free Reach as if your rating in the spell's Arcanum was 5. So that Life 3 fellow, if he knew a Life 3 rote spell, could cast it with three Reaches applied without risk.

      If you can't cast the spell with the magnitude of effect you want with just that amount of Reach, though, applying further Reach doesn't cost you any resources, and there's no upper limit to how far you can try to Reach. The only limit on Reaching further is that you take about half your Gnosis in Paradox dice, rounded up, for every additional Reach you push for. Under normal conditions, if you're casting a spell that doesn't produce obvious supernatural effects in front of a Sleeper, this is the only way you will provoke a Paradox – play it safe with your free Reach, don't blind Sleepers with displays of supernal glory, and you will be a nice, responsible sorcerer. Just a boring one.

      You have to roll for the risked Paradox before you cast the spell, and you have to decide before you roll whether you're going to use your own body and soul to try to hold it in or let it blast out. Successful Paradox dice that you let out into the world will penalize your spell (meaning too much Reach might pretty much doom your chance to successfully cast it) and wreak anomalies related to what you were trying to cast. Successful Paradox dice that you try to contain will injure you and may mess with your soul and your ability to cast magic reliably.
      Last edited by Stupid Loserman; 11-15-2016, 12:52 AM.

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      • #4
        So, to clarify:

        If I am a 2 dot fate mage can i reach out to the 4 dot Sever oaths effect? What about Space casting a gate (i dont remember the spell) and expanding the scope and potency to make a perm gate even if I dont have enough sphere rating to make a perm gate?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Huntingmoon12 View Post
          So, to clarify:

          If I am a 2 dot fate mage can i reach out to the 4 dot Sever oaths effect?
          Nope, spells whose basic effect is set at a higher Arcanum rating than you have are not within the bounds of Reach to use. You can make spells you're capable of casting last substantially longer or affect a lot more/larger targets with Reach, but Reach will not let an Initiate of Prime cast Hallow Dance, for instance.

          What about Space casting a gate (i dont remember the spell) and expanding the scope and potency to make a perm gate even if I dont have enough sphere rating to make a perm gate?
          Making a portal between locations is now a particular refinement on the spell to co-locate two places that uses a Reach. Having a spell last forever-in-theory is not locked to a higher Arcanum rating than the basic effect, though higher dots do make doing so substantially safer.


          Resident Lore-Hound
          Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Zombiecakes View Post
            You are right, but Unseen Sight isn't a spell, but an inherent power that Mages have. Also called Mage Sight. All spells start as you described: Ritual casting time, touch range, with a default Potency equal to the dots in the appropriate Arcanum. Reach is free based on skill versus the spell, i.e a Knowing spell having 3 Reach if you're a Disciple, but a Weaving spell only have 1 for that same Disciple. Rotes always have 5 Reach, in addition to the Mudra Yantra dice bonus.

            You've got a couple of things wrong there.

            It's only a default of potency equal to the arcanum dots if the spell has potency as primary factor. If the primary factor is duration then the duration moves up a number of steps on the duration chart equal to your arcanum rating -1 and potency starts at 1 dot. Also rotes don't have 5 free reach, they have reach as if you had 5 dots in the arcana (so a rote of a 4 dot spell will only have 2 free reach but a rote of a 1 dot spell will have 5 free reach).

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Huntingmoon12 View Post
              What about Space casting a gate (i dont remember the spell) and expanding the scope and potency to make a perm gate even if I dont have enough sphere rating to make a perm gate?
              What Satchel said, and also Reach lets you access Advanced Factors, but you still have to take dice penalties to move a spell beyond the factor base. So increasing Duration, or Scale or whatever is a two step process and half of it doesn't involve Reach at all.

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              • #8
                To structure things in steps and make a summary of how thing work exactly when speaking of Reaches.

                If I am wrong, or I cannot expose the rules like this in the forum, please someone correct me.

                Rules:
                1) You have a number of free reaches in the spell Primary Factor equal to the dots in your Arcanum, and
                2) You have also free reaches equal to (Arcanum dots - Spell Level) + 1, to apply in the factors you want. If the spell is a Rote, the Arcanum is considered to have 5 dots only for purposes of applying free reaches,
                3) Every Reach beyond free reaches gains -2 dice to the casting rolls and gains Paradox dice as indicated in the Gnosis table. You can apply non-free reach with no limit (except if the spell has a total penalty of 6 dice, it is uncastable, beyond your capacity).

                Example:
                - Take as example a Gnosis 3 Mage, with Forces 3, with the spells Telekinetic Strike (Forces 3, page 145) and Tune In (Forces 1, page 141) as Rote spells.

                - Telekinetic Strike:
                1) 3 free reaches ONLY in Potency (pontency is its primary factor, listed in the description)
                2) 3 more free reaches (5 for the Rote quality - Spell Level 3) + 1. This reaches can be applied where I want. If Telekinetic Strike wasn't a Rote, I would have 1 extra free reach (Forces 3 - Spell level 3 +1).
                3) I apply the 3 free reaches in Potency and the other 3 also in Potency (so 6 Reaches to Potency, all free). But because I want to cast an spectacular strike and this Mage is not very Wise, I apply 2 more reaches, at the cost of -4 to the casting roll and 4 Paradox dice (Paradox for reach-beyond-your-limits for Gnosis 3-4 Mages).

                - Tune In:
                1) I have 3 free reaches ONLY in Duration for Tune In (the primary factor of this spell)
                2) I have 5 more free reaches with Tune In (5 for the Rote quality - Spell Level 1 ) + 1. This reaches can be applied where I want. If Tune In wasn't a Rote, I would have 3 extra free reach (Forces 3 - Spell level 1 +1).
                3) I apply the 3 free reaches for duration, plus 1 extra for duration and the other 4 in Scale. I want to apply one more Reach (ambitious Mage...), at the cost of -2 in the roll and with 2 dice of Paradox (for Gnosis 3-4 Mages)


                Hope this makes things clearer.

                I repeat: if I am wrong, or I cannot expose the rules like this in the forum, please someone correct me.
                Last edited by dourden; 11-15-2016, 07:00 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dourden View Post
                  To structure things in steps and make a summary of how thing work exactly when speaking of Reaches.

                  If I am wrong, or I cannot expose the rules like this in the forum, please someone correct me.

                  Rules:
                  1) You have a number of free reaches in the spell Primary Factor equal to the dots in your Arcanum, and
                  2) You have also free reaches equal to (Arcanum dots - Spell Level) + 1, to apply in the factors you want. If the spell is a Rote, the Arcanum is considered to have 5 dots only for purposes of applying free reaches,
                  3) Every Reach beyond free reaches gains -2 dice to the casting rolls and gains Paradox dice as indicated in the Gnosis table. You can apply non-free reach with no limit (except if the spell has a total penalty of 6 dice, it is uncastable, beyond your capacity).
                  Yeah, you've gone and completely conflated reach with spell factors. They are not the same thing.

                  1) You move up the tables for potency scale and so on by taking dice penalties to your casting pool. Reach has no effect on this. You will, however, notice that every factor has two tables. One is standard, the other is advanced. Spending a reach lets you use the advanced table instead of the standard one. The primary factor of the spell automatically begins as if you had taken enough penalties to move up [arcarnum -1] spaces in it, without actually eating any dice.

                  2) Ok, this bit is right, except for the "also" this is the only source of free reach.

                  3) Reach does not directly cause any penalties to your spellcasting roll. Only moving up the spell factor charts (and paradox) does that.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                    Yeah, you've gone and completely conflated reach with spell factors. They are not the same thing.
                    First and foremost: thanks!! Your comments have clarified some things I misunderstood.

                    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                    1) You move up the tables for potency scale and so on by taking dice penalties to your casting pool. Reach has no effect on this. You will, however, notice that every factor has two tables. One is standard, the other is advanced. Spending a reach lets you use the advanced table instead of the standard one. The primary factor of the spell automatically begins as if you had taken enough penalties to move up [arcarnum -1] spaces in it, without actually eating any dice.
                    Ok, I understood that reaches were something like "raises" in "lengend of the five rings", and that every movement in the table was bought with reaches.

                    So, if I understood well, you can Move on the table of the spell Primary Factor so many steps as your Arcanum dots. If I want to go from Standard to Advanced table, I have to spend a Reach, so this "free movement" has nothing to do with it.

                    For example, for Forces 3, Influence Heat (Forces Spell level 1, page 141), I interpret then as:

                    - Wrong: I have 3 free Duration reaches. I spend 1 to go to advanced, and the other 2 to make it last for One Week.
                    - Right: I can make the spell last from 1 turn to 3 turns, or from One scene/hour to One week if I spend a Reach.


                    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                    2) Ok, this bit is right, except for the "also" this is the only source of free reach.
                    So, for the spell Influence Heat as Rote spell I have (5 - 1) + 1 = 5 free reaches, to spend on the effect that appear in "Common Reach Effects" in page 326, or in other reach effects indicated in the spell description. Right?

                    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                    3) Reach does not directly cause any penalties to your spellcasting roll. Only moving up the spell factor charts (and paradox) does that.
                    [/QUOTE]

                    So, if for Influence Heat I want it to last 10 Turns, I interpret then as:

                    - Wrong: 3 free Duration reaches + 5 free reaches = 8 free reaches, I spend 5 on Standard duration table for 10 turns effect with no dice penalty.
                    - Right: 3 free Steps in the Duration table + 5 free reaches. I move 3 free steps until Duration 3 turns, and then I apply a -4 penalty to arrive to the 10 turns duration effect.

                    Is that right now?

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                    • #11
                      Another question involving bonuses and penalties.

                      In Yantras, the maximun number of bonus dice I can get AFTER offsetting spell factor penalties is +5. Also, I can get +1 die per ritual interval, maximum +5.

                      This means I can get, after applying all penalties, a bonus of +10 dice from Yantras bonuses + Ritual bonuses, or only a bonus or +5, no matter how number sums Yantras + Ritual after applying all maths involving Bonuses - Penalties?

                      For example:
                      - Basic dice pool: 4 dice
                      - Bonuses (Yantras + Ritual bonuses): 9
                      - Spell factor penalties: -2

                      What is right?
                      1) 4 dice + 9 - 2 = 4 + 7 = 11 dice, or
                      2) 4 dice + 9 - 2 = 4 + 7 => cap +7 to +5 => 4 + 5 = 9 dice.

                      Thanks again
                      Last edited by dourden; 11-15-2016, 10:49 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I've made a handwritten spellcasting summary chart in the form of an electronic panel: in it, every Reach option is a switch you can turn on or off, and every one of the three spell factors is a separate dial. I also drew a Paradox meter with a "safe zone" and a "risky zone" which can be set according to the spell's free Reach. And a "Mana meter" as a column formed out of blocks, each representing one Mana.

                        You first think of an effect, then if it's going to be Improvised, Praxis or a Rote. Next, the ST assigns it an Arcanum level and the difference between it and the caster's Arcanum level (plus one) sets the red and green zones in the Paradox meter.

                        Now, when the player starts creating the spell, he starts turning on the switches representing the Reach effects he wants: for every switch he turns on, the Paradox meter goes up.

                        After all Reaches have been assigned, it's turn of the dials. The Primary Factor automatically sets the corresponding dial for a number of steps equal to the Arcanum level minus one. The rest of the dial adjustment gives a -2 to the spellcasting pool for every step increased.

                        It's currently a work in progress, but I'll try to post a picture of the panel when I'm back home.
                        Last edited by Zooroos; 11-15-2016, 10:53 AM.

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                        • #13
                          dourden I'd not allow them to stack higher than +5, but ritual time doesn't take a Yantra slot so it's a good source of extra dice to spend on spell factors.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                            dourden I'd not allow them to stack higher than +5, but ritual time doesn't take a Yantra slot so it's a good source of extra dice to spend on spell factors.

                            Wait. So you are saying that the bonus after all penalties and modifiers can be no higher than 5?

                            Edit: Yup, I forgot about it. Thanks!
                            Last edited by Moinen; 11-15-2016, 11:36 AM.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dourden View Post
                              reach stuff
                              Yeah, that all sounds about right now.

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