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  • The mechanics of a Combination spell.

    Here I am with another question about how to do something. As i have stated i have been playing a little more than a month so there are some aspects of the game that are a little harder to figure out.

    I want to Cast 2 spells, Both spells are from the Life Arcanum (Heighten Senses and Transform Life). I have a gnosis of 3 and life 3 (Common Arcanum).

    Transform Life (Life •••)
    Practice: Weaving
    Primary Factor: Potency
    Withstand: Stamina

    Heightened Senses (Life •)
    Practice: Unveiling
    Primary Factor: Duration

    Spell Factors: Which spell factors are used in the combo spell?

    Primary spell factor: What is the primary spell factor for the combined spell? Is it Potency (from Transform Life) or Duration (from Heightened Senses)? Do they each retain their own primary spell factor and the duration and potency will be different for each spell? Would it cost a reach to change the Primary spell factor of Heightened senses from Duration to potency.

    Free Reach: Is the free reaches figure from the Transform Life (1 free reach) or from the Heightened Senses (3 free reaches). Or do they each have the free reaches that are normal for the spell and i would apply them separately?

    Dice Pool: 3 (Gnosis) +3(Life) -2 (Combo spell). If I increase the Duration by step 1 by taking a -2 dice pool, Does that affect the entire spell or do I need to take a -2 for each spell in the combo to increase that factor? My understanding is that it affects both spells and I would have to take a reach to let it only affect 1 of the spells.

    Withstand: If one has withstand the other doesn't, and subject withstands it are both spell nullified?

    If someone could explain the process it would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Hardwire99; 01-06-2017, 02:26 PM.

  • #2
    My understanding is that while the casting action happens a single time, the spell effects remain separate and are considered separately.

    Primary Spell Factor: My understanding is that if you don't modify the Potency or Duration, then your Transform Life would last a turn and have Potency 3 and the Heightened Senses would last 3 turns and have Potency 1.

    Free Reach: I would expect you to only get 1 free Reach, because otherwise it seems like a cheap exploit to take a -2 in return for a bunch of free Reaches. (Likewise, I'd expect to get zero free Reaches when casting at the limit of my ability in 2+ Arcana.)

    Dice Pool: I would agree with your understanding: it affects the entire pool, so taking -2 for extra Duration would make Transform Life last 2 turns and Heightened Senses last 5 turns.

    Withstand: Withstanding a spell doesn't nullify it; it reduces the Potency. So assuming again that we're not touching spell factors, if Transform Life is Withstood by Stamina 3 and Heightened Senses is not Withstood, then Transform Life would have no effect (Potency 0) but Heightened Senses would be fine (Potency 1).

    So, based on this, my rule of thumb would be: If it's considered before you roll dice, combine it; if it's considered after you roll dice, separate it. So the number of times you apply a spell factor happens before you roll dice, because that's just determining dice penalty. But the actual effects of that application come afterwards.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by Errol216 View Post
      Primary Spell Factor: My understanding is that if you don't modify the Potency or Duration, then your Transform Life would last a turn and have Potency 3 and the Heightened Senses would last 3 turns and have Potency 1.
      Combined spells explicitly share spell factors, so while I'm not sure what the correct answer is, this doesn't seem to be it.

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      • #4
        I see that others are as confused about this as I am.

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        • #5
          After just reading it over, noticed a few things.

          Spell factors and Yantras affect all spells equally. This leads me to believe that extends to the Primary Spell Factors, so in you're above example both spells would have Potency and Duration at 3 to start.

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          • #6
            So, I'm going to list the way our group runs it, with the bolded parts being things that are explicitly stated in the book:
            • If combining spells with multiple primary factors, both factors gain the free steps (because the combined spell shares spell factors).
            • Free Reach is calculated based off of the lowest available free reach of the component spells. (An alternative option is that free reach is calculated for each component individually.)
            • Reach that effects spell factors applies to the whole combined spell.
            • Reach that does not effect spell factors is applied to a component spell.
            • Dice Pool is based off of the lowest Arcanum used in the component spells.
            • Component spells are Withstood separately.
            Now I'm going to include a sample combined spell from one of our games. This is an Archmaster's spell, cast using six soul stones as Yantras, so not really a common example but it's the only one I have at hand to include. The subject mage has 10 Gnosis, 6 Time, 4 Space, and 4 Prime. Only one of the component spells has extra reach effects.

            Note that we're playing with rules that allow Archmasters to cast using advanced spell factors without reaching for them. Were that not the case, there would need to be one additional reach for Advanced Duration (applying to the whole spell) for the same effects:

            Cloak of the Moon (Cloak Nimbus1, Ward2, Constant Presence3, Shield of Chronos4) [Oneiros]
            Ritual - 6 Minutes (+5)
            Chains - The Moon (+2), Justice (+2), Death (+2), The Sun (+2), The Fool (+2), The Devil (+2)
            3 Free Reach - Lesser Time1, Lesser Mana1, Lesser Gnosis1
            3 Overreach - Lesser Fate1, Lesser Space1, Lesser Prime1
            Primary Spell Factor Potency & Duration +4
            This spell grants the following effects to the subject for one year.
            • The subject’s true level of power is hidden. Any form of Aura Reading, including Supernal Vision, provokes a Clash of Wills. If the caster succeeds, the subject appears to have 4 dots of Gnosis, 13 Mana, 4 dots in Time, 3 dots in Fate, 2 Dots in Space, and 1 dot in Prime. In addition, while under the effect of this spell, her signature nimbus is muted, and her Immediate Nimbus does not flare when casting.
            • The subject’s sympathetic connections are warded. Magic using the sympathy of the subject provokes a Clash of Wills.
            • The subject is preserved against alterations to the timeline. Any alteration to history through the action of time travel provokes a Clash of Wills. If the mage wins, the subject is treated as though she was also a returning time traveller when history resettles.
            • The subject is shielded against temporal senses. Attempts to view the subject through time provoke a Clash of Wills.
            Dice Pool- 24 (Gnosis 10, Space 4, Ritual 5, Chains 12, Combined Spell -6)
            Spell Control - No Penalty
            Paradox - Chance Die (1 Elder Diadem, 15 Reach, Oneiros)
            Releasing / Containing / Controlling - Controlling
            Last edited by lnodiv; 01-07-2017, 07:31 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
              So, I'm going to list the way our group runs it, with the bolded parts being things that are explicitly stated in the book:
              • If combining spells with multiple primary factors, both factors gain the free steps (because the combined spell shares spell factors).
              • Free Reach is calculated based off of the lowest available free reach of the component spells. (An alternative option is that free reach is calculated for each component individually.)
              • Reach that effects spell factors applies to the whole combined spell.
              • Reach that does not effect spell factors is applied to a component spell.
              • Dice Pool is based off of the lowest Arcanum used in the component spells.
              • Component spells are Withstood separately.
              1. I Do not see anything that mentions Primary Spell Factors.
                1. I do see where it states that Spell modifications from Yantras and spell factors affect the entire spell, but I believe that they are referring to the spell modifications that are derived from taking a negative to the dice pool.
                2. I do agree that they share spell factors and that a primary spell factor need to be determined in some manor.
              2. I see this and I agree.
                1. I don't agree with the optional part but an argument could be made that supports this view.
              3. I see this and I agree.
              4. I see this and I agree.
              5. I see this and I agree, with a -2 per spell combined over the first, and then all negatives from spell factors.
              6. I don't see where withstand is mentioned at all in the section that talks about combination spells.
                1. I do not agree with your interpretation but an argument could be made that supports this view.
              If it was me I would run it like this.
              1. Primary spell factor: If the combined spells have different spell factors that the mage chooses the primary spell factor.
              2. Free Reach: Free reach is calculated normally for each spell involved and then you take the lowest number, that is the number of free reaches available.
              3. Dice Pool: The entire spell has one dice pool and it is figured as follows. Gnosis + Lowest Arcanum -2 for each spell after the first - spell factor adjustments that affect the entire spell.
              4. Withstand: If different withstands then the mage chooses.
                1. if 1 spell has a withstand and the other(s) do not then the withstand is applied to the entire spell removing potency from all components of the combined spell.
                2. As mentioned above I could be convinced to allow withstand to affect each component of the spell separately.
              5. Scale: The entire spell is the same unless a reach is used to have a different scale for each component.
              Last edited by Hardwire99; 01-07-2017, 08:26 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hardwire99 View Post
                I don't see where withstand is mentioned at all in the section that talks about combination spells
                I do not agree with your interpretation but an argument could be made that supports this view.
                It's not listed in the correct section, but it is explicitly stated, so it's not an interpretation and no argument is to be made. M2E p114, under the section 'Withstanding'.

                Each spell in a combined spell is Withstood separately.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
                  It's not listed in the correct section, but it is explicitly stated, so it's not an interpretation and no argument is to be made. M2E p114, under the section 'Withstanding'.
                  Thanks for the page number and I see that now. As mentioned I could see that and could be convinced to it's merits. But now no convincing is needed.
                  Last edited by Hardwire99; 01-07-2017, 11:46 AM.

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                  • #10
                    This is how it is going to be handled in the game I will be running.

                    Your Gnosis will determined the number of spells that can be combined into one casting. It is two at Gnosis 3, three at Gnosis 6, and four at Gnosis 9.

                    You may not have a rote in your combined spell.

                    You may combine Praxis spells if all spells involved are Praxis spells.

                    The following is the Spell Factors for the spell:
                    1. Primary Spell Factor: If the combined spells have different spell factors then the mage chooses the primary spell factor. That becomes the Primary Spell Factor for all component spells of the combination.
                    2. Free Reach: Free reach is calculated normally for each spell involved and then you take the lowest number, that is the number of free reaches available.
                      The use of a reach
                      1. When using a reach it affects all component spells of the combination.
                      2. Spell specific reaches can be purchased on a per spell basis and affect only the spell they were purchased for.
                    3. Dice Pool: The entire spell has one dice pool and it is figured as follows. Gnosis + Lowest Arcanum + Yantras + willpower (if used) -2 for each spell after the first - Spell Factor modifications.
                      Dice Pool modifications
                      1. Yantras affect the dice pool as normal. If using a Yantra it must be relevant to all component spells of the combination.
                      2. If you take a negative to modify a spell factor it modifies that spell factor for all component spells of the combination.
                    4. Withstand: Each spell in a combined spell is Withstood separately. If a spell has multiple Withstand ratings (for example, a Withstood spell cast with the Sympathetic Range Attainment) it uses the highest rating, +1 for every additional rating.
                    5. Scale: Multiple spell effects must use the same scale unless the mage uses a Reach to separate the effects.
                    6. Potency: Is figured the same a normal, increasing the spell factor with either a reach or by taking a negative to the dice pool. This affects the Potency for all component spells of the combination.
                    7. Duration: Is figured the same a normal, increasing the spell factor with either a reach or by taking a negative to the dice pool. This affects the Duration for all component spells of the combination.
                    8. Range: Is figured the same a normal, increasing the spell factor with either a reach or by taking a negative to the dice pool. This affects the Range for all component spells of the combination.
                    9. Casting Time: Casting time is unchanged and the entire combined spell uses your Gnosis derived casting time for a ritual or if you spend a reach to make it an instant spell then the entire spell is an instant.
                    10. Mana: You must include all mana needed for each component spell used in the combination.
                    11. Suggested Rote Skills: Since a combined spell cannot have a rote in it this doesn't come into play.
                    As an Example: You have Gnosis 6, Fate 4, Life 3 and Death 2. If combining Touch of the Grave (Death ••), Grave Misfortune (Fate •••) and Transform Life (Life •••) it would look like this:

                    Primary Spell Factor: The mage would choose this, smart thing would to choose Potency.
                    Free Reach: 1 free reach (2 free reach from Fate, 1 free reach from Life and 1 free reach from Death, take the lowest one)
                    Dice Pool: Gnosis 6 + 2 (Death) - 4 combining 3 spells, +/- Yantras, Willpower and Spell factor modifications.
                    Withstand: Touch of the Grave is not withstood, Grave Misfortune is withstood by Composure and Transform Life is withstood by Stamina.
                    Scale: The scale for all components is 1 person unless modified.
                    Potency: The Potency for all components is 1 unless modified.
                    Duration: The Duration for all components is 1 round unless modified.
                    Range: The Range for all components is touch unless modified.
                    Casting Time: The Casting Time for all components is 1 round (plus Yantras used -1) unless modified.


                    Touch of the Grave (Death ••)
                    Practice: Ruling
                    Primary Factor: Duration

                    Grave Misfortune (Fate •••)
                    Practice: Fraying
                    Primary Factor: Potency
                    Withstand: Composure

                    Transform Life (Life •••)
                    Practice: Weaving
                    Primary Factor: Potency
                    Withstand: Stamina
                    Last edited by Hardwire99; 01-07-2017, 01:47 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I'd avoid giving the Mage the chance to choose Primary Spell Factor. It opens up a very exploitable loop hole to just combi-cast a same or lower dot spell in order to get a free change in Primary Factor instead of the Reach that is required.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                        I'd avoid giving the Mage the chance to choose Primary Spell Factor. It opens up a very exploitable loop hole to just combi-cast a same or lower dot spell in order to get a free change in Primary Factor instead of the Reach that is required.

                        Unfortunately I don't see in the book a different way. Until presented with a better way or the Devs chime in I think I will leave it as is.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                          I'd avoid giving the Mage the chance to choose Primary Spell Factor. It opens up a very exploitable loop hole to just combi-cast a same or lower dot spell in order to get a free change in Primary Factor instead of the Reach that is required.
                          What would you suggest for an alternative? The only real options are
                          1) Both get free steps (what my group uses)
                          2) Caster chooses which gets free steps (Hardwire's method)
                          3) You can only combine spells with the same primary factor (a severe restriction, if this was RAI I would expect that to be called out somewhere)
                          4) You don't get any free steps at all (a severe restriction, if this was RAI I would expect that to be called out somewhere)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
                            What would you suggest for an alternative? The only real options are
                            1) Both get free steps (what my group uses)
                            2) Caster chooses which gets free steps (Hardwire's method)
                            3) You can only combine spells with the same primary factor (a severe restriction, if this was RAI I would expect that to be called out somewhere)
                            4) You don't get any free steps at all (a severe restriction, if this was RAI I would expect that to be called out somewhere)

                            5) The spell with the highest Arcanum is the base spell and that is the ruling Arcanum and the primary spell factor. If a tie for the highest then a coin flip, ST chooses, Player chooses?

                            This also brings up another question. I would assume that you would still pay the Mana for any spell that was not in a Ruling Arcanum, Rote or Praxis, that was included in the combination spell.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hardwire99 View Post


                              5) The spell with the highest Arcanum is the base spell and that is the ruling Arcanum and the primary spell factor. If a tie for the highest then a coin flip, ST chooses, Player chooses?

                              This also brings up another question. I would assume that you would still pay the Mana for any spell that was not in a Ruling Arcanum, Rote or Praxis, that was included in the combination spell.
                              I would assume so, but it's not explicitly stated one way or the other.

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