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  • Reach to switch primary factor ...

    ... is the worst rule in 2e.

    It's the new speed bump. It makes little sense in Creative Thaumaturgy that you can't just make the spell that you want with the Primary factor that you want. Many times there are multiple interpretations of what a more powerful version of a spell would be, so I don't find this to be valid argument either.

    I'm going to house rule it away, but one of the problems is that it affects Legacy Attainments, which is a lot of fiddling around to fix.

    What's the justification for this? It seems really silly, especially when you can change 5 words in a published spell, call it a different spell and get around the rule anyway.

  • #2
    Hey Johnny Awesome,

    I really have no problem with the current 2E Creative Thaumaturgy aside from Unveling and Knowing, those 2 Practices really stomp me a lot of times regarding what kind of spells fall into those two categories and the major difference. Anyone with some tips on that regard would definitely be appreciated!

    As for the justification? I think the primary factor for 99% of the spells were done well and have no problem with them. However, it does appear you have run into some you don't agree with, do you have some examples that seem to be conflicting? Also, it might be possible a spell could have gone either way and it was a decision based on theme/balance that weighed into the final product. Also like you mentioned, CT is there to create a new spell with the desired Primary Factor and thus go that route to see how things work out.

    Obviously for some spells, spending a reach to change the primary factor to duration does not even make sense.


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    • #3
      Sorry, I decided to add on more to my thoughts regarding Reach to change Primary Factor. Probably to allow people to make changes to a Rote they learned from Bob the Mage, who felt Duration was the key for his spell, but for your uses it is much better for Potency since your goals and purposes do not align with his. Thus you can use one of those Free Reaches to adjust the spell to your desired effect.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Johnny Awesome View Post
        ... is the worst rule in 2e.

        It's the new speed bump. It makes little sense in Creative Thaumaturgy that you can't just make the spell that you want with the Primary factor that you want. Many times there are multiple interpretations of what a more powerful version of a spell would be, so I don't find this to be valid argument either.
        Amen. It's a bizarre rule. The best justification I can think of is to help new players figure out where to put their free factors. But, as you said, the Reach requirement flies in the face of the Creative Thaumaturgy system, which should absolutely allow a Mage to imagine up a factor flipped version of any spell.


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        • #5
          I think (I could totally be wrong here) that it was said at some point that that rule is there to make mages Reach more.

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          • #6
            A rule of thumb is:

            - Is effect feast-or-famine Potency reliant? Then go Potency as Primary, no exceptions

            - Is effect pretty much OK with Potency 1, and it's more iconic for it's magic to be more persistent? Duration

            With a bonus round of
            "If your spells is Potency reliant, BUT it's primary concerns are Clash of Wills , Duration is your road"

            It's little unintuitive at first, but Duration is much more than simply "how long your spell lasts" - it's also "how deeply anchored it is to the Fallen World". Persistence.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ashenrogue View Post
              I think (I could totally be wrong here) that it was said at some point that that rule is there to make mages Reach more.
              I hope that's not the case. It's a terribly artificial way to force players to interact with the system, especially given that subsequent books are almost certain to add yet further Reach options.


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              • #8
                It was less "force to Reach more" and more "avoid creating 1001 variants of the same spell in order to milk that one extra Reach for free". It also makes Combined Casting much trickier, which is good.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by WHW View Post
                  It was less "force to Reach more" and more "avoid creating 1001 variants of the same spell in order to milk that one extra Reach for free".
                  But isn't that exactly what the rules achieves? Creative Thaumaturgy absolutely allows you to invent factor swapped versions of spells, so every spell is essentially fractured into two spells.

                  Originally posted by WHW View Post
                  It also makes Combined Casting much trickier, which is good.
                  Is it good though? Mage already has a lot of bits to keep track of, especially compared to the other gamelines. I know my players are non-plussed when the system hurls additional non-narrative barriers in between their intent and the effect.

                  Edit: Mind you, none of this is to say that Mage's casting system is bad. It's amazingly elegant for how much it seeks to achieve. This particular bit just seems weirdly unnecessary.
                  Last edited by PenDragon; 03-02-2017, 04:27 PM.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Taldorblackfire View Post
                    Hey Johnny Awesome,

                    I really have no problem with the current 2E Creative Thaumaturgy aside from Unveling and Knowing, those 2 Practices really stomp me a lot of times regarding what kind of spells fall into those two categories and the major difference. Anyone with some tips on that regard would definitely be appreciated!.
                    Knowledge grants information. Unveiling changes your ability to gain or process information.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SoulGambit View Post

                      Knowledge grants information. Unveiling changes your ability to gain or process information.
                      Thank you sir, that is a much better way of looking at it. I was thinking more like Knowing is a radar ping while Unveiling is taking a good look through some type of binoculars, but I suppose they both kind of mean the same thing.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PenDragon View Post
                        But isn't that exactly what the rules achieves? Creative Thaumaturgy absolutely allows you to invent factor swapped versions of spells, so every spell is essentially fractured into two spells.
                        Actually, you can't, as per page 127, "The Primary Factor of a given spell effect is always the same; you can’t make a creative thau- maturgy spell that’s identical to another spell except with a different Primary Factor."

                        And that's the rule I really think is nonsense. Being able to change a spell's Primary Factor with a Reach makes sense to me, in case you want to cast a Rote you know with a different Primary Factor than it normally uses. But to be unable to creatively cast a similar spell with a different Primary Factor is really silly to me.

                        Originally posted by PenDragon View Post
                        Edit: Mind you, none of this is to say that Mage's casting system is bad. It's amazingly elegant for how much it seeks to achieve. This particular bit just seems weirdly unnecessary.
                        Agreed.


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                        • #13
                          If you're running everything with Creative Thaumatury, it's not very useful.

                          However every Praxis spell, Rote spell, and Legacy attainment that is a set spell with a set primary factor now has an option to let you adjust that primary factor at a cost.

                          I'm not sure what the problem is exactly. For when you're not using Creative Thaumaturgy, it's a useful option to have. If you're using Creative Thaumaturgy, you can get around needing to use it, but then you're giving up on all the bonuses from all those other options.

                          I'm also with WHW on the idea that the primary spell factor should make sense for the spell you're making, not just be something you pick because it's better for your mechanically. It's not necessarily hard to come up with similar spells that would have flipped primary factors, but it should at least make sense.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                            Actually, you can't, as per page 127, "The Primary Factor of a given spell effect is always the same; you can’t make a creative thau- maturgy spell that’s identical to another spell except with a different Primary Factor."

                            And that's the rule I really think is nonsense. Being able to change a spell's Primary Factor with a Reach makes sense to me, in case you want to cast a Rote you know with a different Primary Factor than it normally uses. But to be unable to creatively cast a similar spell with a different Primary Factor is really silly to me.
                            Are you serious!? What is the possible benefit of this? All this does is confuse new players and make casting more frustrating.

                            I'm at a loss trying to figure out why picking your Primary Factor at the time of casting is something that must be restricted. It's clearly not game breaking, otherwise the Reach option wouldnt be there. It's hardly OP, as others have said there are only a handful of spells for which you'd even want to use the option. It's a weird outlier rule with no apparent benefit. Doubly agreed OP, hands down the worst rule in 2e. All of 2e.
                            Last edited by PenDragon; 03-02-2017, 05:16 PM.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                              Actually, you can't, as per page 127, "The Primary Factor of a given spell effect is always the same; you can’t make a creative thau- maturgy spell that’s identical to another spell except with a different Primary Factor."

                              And that's the rule I really think is nonsense.
                              On the other hand, "The exact same as this spell in the book but with a different primary factor" feels really metagamey to me.

                              If I have a spell that puts out a fire and uses Potency because it's a lasting effect making Duration meaningless, how does it make sense to make the same thing but with Duration instead?

                              Instead you'd make a second spell, which has a different spell effect, which temporarily suppresses fire instead of actually putting it out. This is a different spell, with different implications.

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