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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.

  • Charlaquin
    replied
    Hour long scenes is another one of those "rule of thumb" things. Personally, I ignore that suggestion entirely. A scene should last exactly as long as it needs to for the purpose of dramatic pacing, and no longer or shorter. Keeping to that 1 hour guideline can only harm the pacing of a game.

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  • Hardwire99
    replied
    Loosely defined but still implied. Hence in Advanced Spell Duration is has 1 hour/Scene. That isn't a set in stone definition but it is an implied length of time.

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  • Malus
    replied
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    You can do scene long conditions if you want to. I don't personally agree that conditions should expire after just a scene (partly because I don't think people reboot every hour; I think day long conditions seems a lot more reasonable), but you can run your game however you like.
    My two points have been that scene long conditions is not an explicit rule, and that it's not the default way of handling conditions or otherwise the book wouldn't recommend handling it in a different manner.

    Edit: Sorry. Didn't see your post. I type very, very slowly.
    A scene could be a day long, or 30 seconds of gun-slinging action. It's another thing that's loosely defined.

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  • Tessie
    replied
    You can do scene long conditions if you want to. I don't personally agree that conditions should expire after just a scene (partly because I don't think people reboot every hour; I think day long conditions seems a lot more reasonable), but you can run your game however you like.
    My two points have been that scene long conditions is not an explicit rule, and that it's not the default way of handling conditions or otherwise the book wouldn't recommend handling it in a different manner.

    Edit: Sorry. Didn't see your post. I type very, very slowly.

    Leave a comment:


  • MCN
    replied
    There's a reason I'm using generalities and "rule of thumb." Because I know its not an official rule. In fact, the actual rules are very light, because hard rules get in the way when things do become important. However, understanding the point of view things come from helps a lot when addrssing issues, like the first poster's.

    If someone is twisting the rules in a way that doesn't make the game more fun for all involved, then something isn't right.
    Last edited by MCN; 12-28-2016, 01:38 PM.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    While you can certainly choose to run things that way, there's nothing in the books that affirms that approach. That's not, "how the rules are meant to be used," just how some people feel is the best way to use them to maximum effect. The books never say to treat getting a given Condition from an exceptional success on a normal roll vs. a Breaking Point to be treated differently in terms of resolution as a general consideration. Mage does have special rules, but only for Conditions created by spells and mostly because of Mage's 'build your own spell' base line. The other 2e game lines do have magically created Conditions but if they're exceptions they're stated in those Conditions like any other Condition rather than assumed to be "because magic.".

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  • MCN
    replied
    And I'm saying that "scene-end" and "no longer relevant" have a high instance of being the same thing for a lot of Conditions. Especially ones generated through Dramatic Failures or Exceptional Successes, which is the case being discussed here. Scenes end when all the action is generally resolved, and moving on to a new series of actions. Generally speaking, what Inspired/Shook/etc you previously has worn off, the adrenaline has faded. These kinds of Conditions are generally meant to be used and Resolved kind of immediately, doing something almost right away.

    Now, Conditions that come from something more serious, such as a breaking point, will often have longer durations because these are generally long term implications on a person. Magically created Conditions will last as long as the magic power say they do, because magic. These are generally the only time when a Condition will come with a pre-listed expiration date. But Conditions generated through general dice rolls aren't generally a big-impact-situation.

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  • Tessie
    replied
    That would be using the fourth method I described, but reading the book I get the impression it should be a rare occurrence and not something that happens after most scenes. (In my group we generally gain several conditions each scene and rarely use up all of them during that particular scene.)
    Top of page 231: "We recommend doing this sparingly"

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  • MCN
    replied
    Its been mentioned before that most non-Persistant Conditions do expire after a scene. I don't think its a hard rule, but its a good rule of thumb to follow. If you gained Inspired in one scene, and you don't use it, by the next scene its well within the ST's rights to say that you're no longer as inspired/Inspired as you were.

    I like to think that Conditions of the non-persistant variety are generally meant to have immediate narrative impact, not XP farming mentalities.

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  • Tessie
    replied
    No they're not. Persistent only means the Condition is hard to get rid of and tend to be a lot harder to resolve.
    Normal Conditions disappear through four methods: Resolving them, letting them expire (when they do is written in the Condition text in those cases), removing them with a spell, and ST telling the player that the Condition is no longer relevant.
    There's nothing in the rules about Conditions only lasting for a scene. If that were the case the book wouldn't have rules for removing conditions that are no longer relevant.

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  • Malus
    replied
    Simple fix? If it's not dramatic don't roll dice. He can't shed the condition, he can't keep the loop going.

    Also? Conditions that aren't Persistent last for a scene. They are shed if not resolved within them.

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  • TelperionST
    replied
    Originally posted by EvilSqueegee View Post
    if you don't mind my asking, how often do you ask for rolls?
    Rolls on anything approximating significant are very common.

    Originally posted by EvilSqueegee View Post
    About how many beats per session are folks earning?
    For the regular biweekly gaming group they get 5-6 beats (regular and arcane) per session. A common session lasts for three scenes.
    For the daily PbP group they get maybe 3-4 beats per scene.
    The disparaty between groups is the from the different medium of play: there are longer conversations and debates going on in the real-time game than in the PbP game. The PbP game is more gamist in that respect, which doesn't bother me in the least.

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  • EvilSqueegee
    replied
    Glad you found a solution, TelperionST -- if you don't mind my asking, how often do you ask for rolls? About how many beats per session are folks earning?

    Leave a comment:


  • Johnny Awesome
    replied
    I bought the Condition cards and I'm thinking of having a rule that you can't get a Condition on a card that someone else already has until they resolve it and give me back the card. I'm not sure if this will slow things down a little or not...

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