Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Alternate rules for Paradox

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Alternate rules for Paradox

    I really don't think Paradox is punishing enough in this game. Containing Paradox is very easy with 5+ Wisdom (unless you've got a High Gnosis, but there isn't much reason to overReach once you are there) and there is just no reason not to contain in not-action scenes. It can only become truly dangerous in specially constructed action scenes (with Sleeper witnesses, without your favorite magical tool, etc.) and even then there just isn't enough danger if you have a Mana battery.
    I get it that Paradox isn't supposed to be beating stick, that RAW plays to "hubris is bad" theme, that it's supposed to lure players into false security feeling, etc. But at the end, I just don't like how it is written - I'd like for Paradox and Abyss to be more constant and tangible threats to mages, which require less GM work to use. Does anyone have alternate rules for Paradox which make it less of a joke? Post them here and let's discuss them. Ideally such rules have to be balanced - every decision "try to contain Paradox or let it run free?" should be a hard one for mage. At the same time, they shouldn't penalize all attempts to cast, so no "constant +2 for Paradox dicepool" homerules.

  • #2
    Make containing paradox do (resistant) lethal damage. I remember being surprised this wasn't in the core rules when I first read them.


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

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Caladriu View Post
      Make containing paradox do (resistant) lethal damage.
      I was just thinking this. It still might not stop them during the 'downtime' stuff but depending on how you time your games you could make it matter a lot more.

      Comment


      • #4
        Paradox only feels non-punishing if there's nothing else going on that complicates it. Absorbing Paradox and eating the "Your intestines now form an unholy pain rune" damage is trivial if you're just throwing about one spell and have time to recover. If you're fighting for your life on the run from a Banisher cult or ass-deep in giant-leech-infested water in some Atlantean Ruin, odds are good you'll feel it way more.

        Paradox is something you can generally get away with a little bit at a time, especially when you're glutted with Mana, which is why most Mages aren't constantly exploding. It's when you're strapped for resources and desperate that it starts to murder you. If you're getting away with it, you simply haven't been in a situation desperate enough to warrant it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by WHW View Post
          You could always use the less orthodox reading of the Cumulative Paradox rule. Basically, rule isn't very clear if it talks about adding +1 Paradox Dice per Paradox Risked in the scene to All Spells, or to spells that risk Paradox "to begin with". I like the unpopular ruling, mostly because it allows risk generation even in slow scenes (scenes can be long) instead of making pretty much "intense action scenes only". It also introduces a soft limit on a number of times you can try something - if you risked Paradox at least once in a scene, you can't really fish for Praxis in order to mana regen because each fishing attempt will bloat the paradox risk.

          EDIT
          For reference, page 115 of core rulebook. Dice Modifiers table, third entry.
          I use this for my own games and I really, really like how it works. It invites you to be efficient with your magic, finding shortest route to solve your problem, and non-magical solutions become an appealing alternative. It, however, requires you to pay close attention to Scenes - poor Scene management will make it either toothless or TOO punishing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Axelgear View Post
            especially when you're glutted with Mana
            This is another thing to take advantage of. Apparently the fuel control is really glossed over in a lot of games so everyone ends up with max Mana at the beginning of each session. Simply keeping a more tight schedule and counting Mana and Tass can go a long way.

            Comment


            • #7
              Honestly, Paradox is a much more sinister beast in Mage 2E than it was in Mage 1E. Take a look at the following side by side comparisons regarding Mage Editions:
              Mage 1E Mitigation capabilities:
              Spend Mana
              Use Dedicated Tool
              Use Rote

              Mage 1E Instigation Capabilities:
              Sleeper(s) Witness Vulgar Magic
              Cast a Vulgar Spell

              Mage 2E Mitigation Capabilities:
              Spend Mana
              Use Dedicated Tool

              Mage 2E Instigation Capabilities:
              Sleeper(s) Witness Obvious Magic
              Gnosis Based Die Per Over Reach Spent
              Gnosis Based Die Per Spell exceeding Spell Control

              If you want Paradox to be more of a threat then I would suggest making the penalty higher for using "Obvious" Magic kind of similar to the old 1E, mix and match. If it is still not deadly enough for you then increase the amount of Paradox inflicted by having multiple witnesses or when multiple Mages cause paradox in one scene, they all add up.
              Last edited by Taldorblackfire; 02-23-2017, 05:02 PM.


              "Teamwork makes the dream work!"

              Comment


              • #8
                I feel like it really wouldn't be that surprising if Abyssal stuff tends to be fairly common and that it would have interactions with Paradox. I mean if a Spirit goes Abyssal it's going to start creating a court of Abyssally tainted spirits that might have Influence: Abyss, stuff like that. If you want Paradox to be a bigger problem then ramp up the problems generated by the Abyss in general. Shit, Sleepers have an Abyssal shard that reacts badly to obvious magic, maybe they also generate Abyssal Essence when their Dissonance is triggered and then it's mixed into the other Essence spirits are gathering off those Sleepers or its seeping into their Oneiros and contaminating their Goetia and the Temenotic realms they're connected to. Sleepers killed by magic may leave behind Abyssally corrupted ghosts. That's not even getting into the stuff that just crawls out of the Abyss via Abyssal Verges that can attack Wisdom directly.

                I dunno, I feel like it's not Paradox that's the problem, it's just a failure to use the setting creatively to make Paradox more likely.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                  I feel like it really wouldn't be that surprising if Abyssal stuff tends to be fairly common and that it would have interactions with Paradox. I mean if a Spirit goes Abyssal it's going to start creating a court of Abyssally tainted spirits that might have Influence: Abyss, stuff like that. If you want Paradox to be a bigger problem then ramp up the problems generated by the Abyss in general. Shit, Sleepers have an Abyssal shard that reacts badly to obvious magic, maybe they also generate Abyssal Essence when their Dissonance is triggered and then it's mixed into the other Essence spirits are gathering off those Sleepers or its seeping into their Oneiros and contaminating their Goetia and the Temenotic realms they're connected to. Sleepers killed by magic may leave behind Abyssally corrupted ghosts. That's not even getting into the stuff that just crawls out of the Abyss via Abyssal Verges that can attack Wisdom directly.

                  I dunno, I feel like it's not Paradox that's the problem, it's just a failure to use the setting creatively to make Paradox more likely.
                  I agree with this. Upping the pressure should either increase paradox or simply increase pressure, which is ultimately what paradox serves to do. If you haven't been increasing the pressure of paradox inducing forces (directly or indirectly) as players level, then you might be seeing the players naturally progressing over the previous threshold and leaving it behind.

                  I personally like the degree of freedom afforded to paradox control, but I'm one of those people that hated the restrictions of VtM with regard to political systems and not being able to do "whatever you want, whenever you want."

                  I shake my head at Paradox being used as a beating stick but to each their own.

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X