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Spell casting and the Inspired Condition infinite loop question

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  • Spell casting and the Inspired Condition infinite loop question

    I have noticed that a player is using a loop to gain Arcane beats whenever he needs them. He isn't doing this for every spell he casts, but often enough where I have noticed it happening within every scene of any significant length.

    He originally got an exceptional success on some spell-casting dice roll. I forget which one. Now he has an infinite loop going where he constantly has the Inspired Condition, and uses it to gain an exceptional success on dice rolls he is good at. Gaining three successes isn't that hard, because the skills he uses have a large dice pool. And, if he runs out of exceptional successes then he uses the Mind 4 Intuitive Leap attainment to gain an exceptional success, which he uses to gain the Inspired Condition on whatever he wants. And it's not unreasonable stuff. It is always at least somewhat related to what is going on. Like Inspired Condition(Time-magic), because he just got an exceptional success on a Time-spell.

    So, I'm just asking: is this infinite loop working as intended? It seems to me that there's nothing in the books that says it doesn't work like this.

    I don't have a huge problem with it, but I have heard grumblings from other players, because they can't get arcane beats whenever they want. Should I just teach this technique to everyone, so everyone can have the Inspired Condition all the time?

    I should probably have another read through how Conditions are supposed to work, because what's bugging me is that the Condition system isn't being used to fuel the story in any way. It is being used to quickly advance in Arcane Experience. And it's my understanding that that's not the intended use of the system.
    Last edited by TelperionST; 12-11-2016, 06:44 AM.

  • #2
    It is viable to give yourself conditions to learn from the experience. It is listed that some initiates are given such conditions from their mentor to help them grow as mages.

    In truth, this seems to be more an issue among players. In any game there is a gentleman's agreement so I suggest taking to your player. There are some cases of something being in the rules that you can do but that doesn't always mean you should.

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    • #3
      Within the game I could reasonably say that the character has become so accustomed to gaining exceptional successes that they no longer inspire him. Gaining an exceptional success has become what he expects of himself, and therefore it is not exceptional. It is the base-line success that he expects of himself, and is therefore not worthy of the Inspired Condition.

      However, I don't want to punish a player just because he has figured something out. Found a way to gain an advantage. At the same time there's a constant nagging feeling: is this working as intended? It feels broken, but I can't point to a rule in the rulebook that says "this is why it's broken".

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      • #4
        First, if the other players are grumbling, it might be worth pointing towards their Praxis spells (they should all have at least one). The whole point of having some Praxis spells is to, well, not have to waste time on this. You can just pick a few spells that are always 3 success for an exceptional success without even getting into Conditions. If they're not harvesting Arcane Beats from that... they're kind of missing out.

        I think it's also worth not handing out Inspired for every exceptional success. Inspired isn't the only positive Condition out there. As well, exceptional successes can result in other characters gaining a Condition that's favorable towards the original character. The exceptional success rules for spell casting say the player can choose, "A Condition which will give Arcane Beats when resolved, on either the mage or her subject." So don't feel bound to have it always be Inspired, or always on the caster.

        Honestly, it's not broken because trying to get exceptional successes for Arcane Beats is something you're supposed to do, to the point where this method isn't even necessary. However, Beats are supposed to be moments of narrative significance, and if they're just becoming boring check marks that's not how it's supposed to work.

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        • #5
          Here's another question:

          The Inspired Condition doesn't allow you to gain beats.

          If you take the Inspired Condition with the exceptional success from a spell-casting dice roll then does that overwrite the "you don't get beats for completing this condition" part of Inspired Condition?

          The players haven't really figured out how Praxis work, and apparently I haven't thought of everything either. Well, it's my first time running Mage 2E, so I'm still learning stuff.

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          • #6
            We agreed at the table that you can't get a positive condition from using a positive condition - with some exceptions judged by ST and players. So when using condition that lets you change success into exceptional success you don't get another condition. It declutters the game and everything goes smoother.


            [2E] Moinen's Homebrew Hub

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            • #7
              Okay, I had another round of discussions with the players, and the whole situation seems to be resolved. I'm going to be helping those players who aren't quite so intimately familiar with the system to gain more Arcane Beats. Thanks for the help!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TelperionST View Post
                The Inspired Condition doesn't allow you to gain beats.
                Exactly, it lets you gain willpower. It's still useful, but not in the xp department. At least, that's how I play it.

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                • #9
                  You gain beats from Inspired because you resolve it. Like almost all Conditions.


                  Bloodline: The Stygians
                  Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                  Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                  • #10
                    Consider using group beats if one player is gaining way more than everyone else.


                    2E Legacy Updates
                    Brotherhood of the Demon Wind
                    Choir of Hashmallim (plus extra Summoning content)
                    Storm Keepers

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TelperionST View Post
                      Here's another question:

                      The Inspired Condition doesn't allow you to gain beats.

                      If you take the Inspired Condition with the exceptional success from a spell-casting dice roll then does that overwrite the "you don't get beats for completing this condition" part of Inspired Condition?
                      That's not what "Beat: N/A" means. You always gain a Beat for resolving a Condition, unless the Condition explicitly says otherwise, and Inspired does not. The Beat criteria provides a way of getting Beats out of Persistent Conditions without resolving them.

                      Originally posted by TelperionST View Post
                      The players haven't really figured out how Praxis work, and apparently I haven't thought of everything either. Well, it's my first time running Mage 2E, so I'm still learning stuff.
                      They work just like any other spell, except that when you cast a spell as a Praxis it gains an exceptional success on three successes instead of five.

                      Anyway, what your player is doing with using Inspired to get Exceptional Successes more easily and using Exceptional Successes to gain Inspired is completely legit by the rules, but if it's causing a problem for the group you should discuss it with your players. Which it sounds like you've done and worked something out, so glad to hear things are going well.


                      Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                        That's not what "Beat: N/A" means. You always gain a Beat for resolving a Condition, unless the Condition explicitly says otherwise, and Inspired does not. The Beat criteria provides a way of getting Beats out of Persistent Conditions without resolving them.
                        Ah. I see. I wish the book was more clear about that.

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                        • #13
                          It's written in the Character Advancement section in the list of ways to gain beats on page 81, as well as in the text describing how Conditions work on page 230. I realize it's easy to skim through and miss things in RPG books just because it's so much text to go through just to play the game (I'm a repeat offender of that myself) but the book really is quite clear when it spells it out in both relevant parts of it.


                          Bloodline: The Stygians
                          Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                          Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                          • #14
                            I think the best solution to this is to use Group Beats. Unless you have a problem with this rapid advancement, in which case houserule it, pool it. That way, players have incentive to cooperate.

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                            • #15
                              Or simply don't allow your players to pick the Conditions they get for an Exceptional Success (Assuming talking to the player(s) didn't work), or skip the Condition and give them a Beat. I do the latter at my table.

                              Typically though Conditions don't affect spellcasting without magical intervention so it'd also be simple enough to just let them take the Inspired Condition and then let them know that won't affect a spell casting roll.
                              Last edited by Mrmdubois; 12-12-2016, 01:09 PM.

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