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  • #76
    Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
    How about Reading the Outermost Eddies? It hangs over its subject for the Duration and does nothing if the Duration expires before the Blessing or Curse kicks in, but is Potency Primary. Or Exceptional Luck, which apllies a Boon or Bane to the subject for the Duration, but is Potency Primary.

    Both of those spells have to overcome Withstand if used in a hostile fashion. Spells that have to overcome Withstand are Potency primary.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
      I feel like there's a misunderstanding going on as to the nature of the grievance with the whole primary factor thing. For me at least, I don't have a problem with primary factors being fixed based on the effects of a spell per se. My problem is that the guidelines for determining primary factor subjective. It's "what you think of" and different people are going to think of different things. For me, either more specific, objectice guidelines on how to determine a spell's primary factor or more flexibility on what primary factors a spell might have would fix the problem. Explaining to me why primary factors should be locked in, whether from a mechanical perspective or a lore perspective, will not resolve this issue for me because no matter how sold I am on "primary factors should be fixed", this won't change the lack of guidelines for how to determine Primary Factor.

      I went after the inability to change Primary Factors with creative Thaumaturgy originally because it's the path of least resistance for me to resolve the cognitive dissonance I am having between primary factors being objective and the guidelines for determining them being subjective. Rather than try to dissect the spellcasting system and figure out the unspoken rules of what makes a spell Duration Primary or Potency Primary, I can just say "Creative Thaum can be used to change primary factors in my game" and have it done with. Through all of this, though, only one person has offered more specific guidelines for determining primary factors, the other thing I have repeatedly said would resolve this issue for me. Or, apparently two people, but Satchel's attempts to do so did not come across that way to me at all.

      Rather than talking about Magic being like a snake or a river, what would be helpful to me is for someone to tell me how to figure out based on a spell's effect whether it should be Potency Primary or Duration Primary. WHW got that, but didn't go so far as to actually offer an explanation. So far I've got "instantaneous effects tend to be Potency Primary, efects that apply continuously for a finite Duration tend to be Duration Primary." Is there anything else I should add to those guidelines?
      Eh, remember that I'm not an english native speaker and my english aptitude comes from watching Cartoon Network and playing games in english when I was in primary school, so I don't feel comfortable trying to explain something so complicated. That's why I nudged Heavy Arms to give it a shot in one of earlier posts. But I guess I'll try:

      - If a spell is naturally lasting, like healing or damaging spells, it's going to be Potency primary. I don't think there are any Duration Primary spells that would repeat on Ritual Interval rate.
      So *if a spell would be something that repeats on Ritual Intervals, it will almost never be a Duration Primary spell*. This is also why a lot of people look at Primary Factor when trying to guess if spell was intended to be Lasting or not.

      -If spells function isn't something that takes place immediately, and it's basic concept requires it to stick around for more than a blink of an eye, it will be probably Duration Primary. That's why Zombie Spell is Duration Primary - sure, BIGGER STRONGER FASTER SMARTER zombie is great, but there is no point having Super Hulkbuster Zombie for 3 seconds, isn't there? This is why spells that generally create something - this can be an item, a creature, or a bond - are generally Duration Primary.if you want more evocative reason for this, the "biggest miracle" of these spells usually isn't how strong the effect they conjure is; it's the fact that alas, the body started walking again! Making it little stronger is in no comparison to the fact that dead walk again!! Or something. I'm not good at evocative writing. Fireball is measured by how strong the fires are; obtaining ability to command fires is measured against how long you can sustain this effect, with "what is the biggest fire I can command" being secondary question.

      - If a spell bestows upon the subject a new quality - like a new skill, ability to control something, or so on - it's usually Duration Primary, because again, how strong is the skill you gained is secondary to the fact that you gained the skill.

      - If a spell primarly operates against Clash of Wills - like a lot of shielding spells (though "shielding" in general also falls under above criteria) do - it will be Duration Primary, because Duration also represents how tenacious the spell is and how deeply it roots itself in the Fallen World.

      - If a spell flat out doesn't work when stopped by Withstand - like Sever Soul - it might be Potency Primary, though this is a slippery measure.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
        Mrmdubois has a working explanation up there, though. Maybe we should add his second sentence as another criterion? Would that turn up further inconsistencies, or help resolve them?
        It's not spelled out very well in the spell, but it's apparent that though all the information is delivered immediately that it's supposed to be able to keep on updating you or there would be no need for it to mention studying the subject of the spell.

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        • #79
          Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
          Both of those spells have to overcome Withstand if used in a hostile fashion. Spells that have to overcome Withstand are Potency primary.
          Ok, so that's one to add to the list of criteria. Thank you.

          Originally posted by WHW View Post
          Eh, remember that I'm not an english native speaker and my english aptitude comes from watching Cartoon Network and playing games in english when I was in primary school, so I don't feel comfortable trying to explain something so complicated. That's why I nudged Heavy Arms to give it a shot in one of earlier posts. But I guess I'll try:

          - If a spell is naturally lasting, like healing or damaging spells, it's going to be Potency primary. I don't think there are any Duration Primary spells that would repeat on Ritual Interval rate.
          So *if a spell would be something that repeats on Ritual Intervals, it will almost never be a Duration Primary spell*. This is also why a lot of people look at Primary Factor when trying to guess if spell was intended to be Lasting or not.

          -If spells function isn't something that takes place immediately, and it's basic concept requires it to stick around for more than a blink of an eye, it will be probably Duration Primary. That's why Zombie Spell is Duration Primary - sure, BIGGER STRONGER FASTER SMARTER zombie is great, but there is no point having Super Hulkbuster Zombie for 3 seconds, isn't there? This is why spells that generally create something - this can be an item, a creature, or a bond - are generally Duration Primary.if you want more evocative reason for this, the "biggest miracle" of these spells usually isn't how strong the effect they conjure is; it's the fact that alas, the body started walking again! Making it little stronger is in no comparison to the fact that dead walk again!! Or something. I'm not good at evocative writing. Fireball is measured by how strong the fires are; obtaining ability to command fires is measured against how long you can sustain this effect, with "what is the biggest fire I can command" being secondary question.

          - If a spell bestows upon the subject a new quality - like a new skill, ability to control something, or so on - it's usually Duration Primary, because again, how strong is the skill you gained is secondary to the fact that you gained the skill.

          - If a spell primarly operates against Clash of Wills - like a lot of shielding spells (though "shielding" in general also falls under above criteria) do - it will be Duration Primary, because Duration also represents how tenacious the spell is and how deeply it roots itself in the Fallen World.

          - If a spell flat out doesn't work when stopped by Withstand - like Sever Soul - it might be Potency Primary, though this is a slippery measure.
          Thank you so much. This has been the single most helpful post to me in the entire thread.


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          • #80
            Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post

            It's not spelled out very well in the spell, but it's apparent that though all the information is delivered immediately that it's supposed to be able to keep on updating you or there would be no need for it to mention studying the subject of the spell.
            Like a doctor in diagnosis? Interesting.


            MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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            • #81
              Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post

              It's not spelled out very well in the spell, but it's apparent that though all the information is delivered immediately that it's supposed to be able to keep on updating you or there would be no need for it to mention studying the subject of the spell.

              Yeah, for a comparison look at Pierce Deception and Know Nature. Know Nature is instant "burst" of information - thus it's Potency Primary. Pierce Deception is "an enhancement that allows you to detect lies", basically "updating" you with new information like Analyze Life, so they are Duration Primary - their biggest boon is bestowing a new ongoing ability on you.

              There are some tricky spells, like Platonic Form, but I guess Platonic Form being Potency Primary is because the spell conceptually sacrifices "lastingness" - items created by it are short lived and their lifespan is determined by their Mana capacity (and thus potency) more than actual Duration. In comparison, Shadow Crafting has no "destroy after X uses" clause, and thus is Duration Primary. Shadow Form spell probably would look a lot like Platonic Form with Potency Primary being included in it, while Platonic Crafting would probably be a palette swap of Shadow Crafting, with Duration being primary.

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              • #82
                I'm less sour about this rule than I was when I originally posted my complaint, but I still feel it takes a little of the "creative" out of creative thaumaturgy.

                For instance, if I create a spell that isn't in the book I can do whatever I want, but if a spell that I want is different only in Primary factor and it's in the book, then I can't do it without spending the Reach. That doesn't make sense.

                If there were firmer guidelines like the ones WHW is proposing I would be more supportive of the rule as there would be OBJECTIVE criteria for determining the Primary factor of a spell, not just "whatever you think of when you think of a more powerful version", which is very subjective and leads to arguments at the table and thus less fun.

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                  Because it's made with creative thaumaturgy. By the book's own description, a spell is either a Rote, a Praxis, or improvised. If my character is improvising a spell, should she not be the one who determines what the spell she improvised is "supposed to do"?
                  Something that you have said a few times here, and even more so when you said 'casting with Creative Thaumaturgy'. And something that I think will help clear up some of the confusion about which Factor is Primary for a given spell. Others have started providing actual criteria, but i feel like this is a metaphysical note that needs to be made.

                  Creative Thaumaturgy and Improvised Casting are not the same thing. Creative Thaumaturgy is the alternative to using printed spells; regardless of if those are then used as a Rote, Praxis or Improvised. It is a wholly out of character thing. Mage's don't concisously pick the primary Factor in character, they just construct an Imago with the effects they want. At the very first instance of that Imago forming they will have naturally envisioned either a hard hitting spell or a long lasting one (using the guidelines that WHW posted before), if they want to change that it takes effort (Reach). So when writing a spell out of character, you have to decide what is most likley to come to mind when a spell 'effect' is decided upon.


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                  • #84
                    I'm of unpopular opinion that limitations breed creativity and endless freedom is the worst thing for it, so I don't mind not being able to freely create anything I want.

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Johnny Awesome View Post
                      I'm less sour about this rule than I was when I originally posted my complaint, but I still feel it takes a little of the "creative" out of creative thaumaturgy.

                      For instance, if I create a spell that isn't in the book I can do whatever I want, but if a spell that I want is different only in Primary factor and it's in the book, then I can't do it without spending the Reach. That doesn't make sense.

                      If there were firmer guidelines like the ones WHW is proposing I would be more supportive of the rule as there would be OBJECTIVE criteria for determining the Primary factor of a spell, not just "whatever you think of when you think of a more powerful version", which is very subjective and leads to arguments at the table and thus less fun.
                      I believe people have been trying to tell me you should not decide Primary Factor without applying the Potency/Duration rule of thumb.

                      The game system is trusting you to use better judgment, because it doesn't necessarily word it like the ST is meant to intervene and restructure your spell for you if it doesn't sound right.

                      Basically, when you declare the spell, "I want to heal this person." That very initial statement, during the Creative Thaumaturgy process, constitutes Potency before anything else.

                      However, you are allowed to modify it with "I want to heal this person. - Continuously." At which point you would switch the factor over with a Reach. You've taken your base function, your root, and modified it. The confusion seems to stem from the belief that you're 100% free to declare it however way you want, but I think the book wants you to apply the rule of them whenever possible. It wants you to apply the rule of thumb ALWAYS for published spells because the writers of those spells have already determined the root function for you.

                      ---

                      The intent, as I see it, is to declare the root function of the spell as the Primary Factor. No matter what the spell is, you should always strive to narrow the spells intent to some really basic function and use that as your Primary Factor.

                      I presume that if you assign Primary Factor by the rule of thumb for every circumstance, regardless of whether or not the spell is published, you'll probably get to a conclusion that doesn't sound contradictory.

                      I think the reason it isn't a 100% bonafide ruling is because spells can be really complicated and the work of deciding the root cause can be difficult. However, that work is already done for you in the published spells. Ergo, you shouldn't tweak them if you're applying the universal rule of thumb.


                      EDIT: The rule of thumb I'm referring to is what 21C Hermit spoke of when they said in an earlier post:

                      "If a spell has an immediate effect, it's Potency-primary. If a spell has a prolonged effect, it's Duration-primary.
                      Making an immediate-effect spell repeat itself from lengthened Duration is inherently more complex, so it needs a Reach.
                      Making a prolonged-effect spell flare strongly with increased Potency, but burn out quickly due to lack of Duration defeats the purpose of the spell, thus it requires more mental effort represented as Reach to justify a spell working like that."


                      I think the other rule - "whichever you think of when contemplating a stronger version" - is a tool to zero in on the root function of your spell so you can go back to the rule of thumb and continue as per normal. Meaning you apply the second rule when applying the first rule isn't clear, if I understand correctly.
                      Last edited by kryptonitekrusher; 03-06-2017, 05:17 PM.


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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by kryptonitekrusher View Post

                        I believe people have been trying to tell me you should not decide Primary Factor without applying the Potency/Duration rule of thumb.

                        The game system is trusting you to use better judgment, because it doesn't necessarily word it like the ST is meant to intervene and restructure your spell for you if it doesn't sound right.

                        Basically, when you declare the spell, "I want to heal this person." That very initial statement, during the Creative Thaumaturgy process, constitutes Potency before anything else.

                        However, you are allowed to modify it with "I want to heal this person. - Continuously." At which point you would switch the factor over with a Reach. You've taken your base function, your root, and modified it. The confusion seems to stem from the belief that you're 100% free to declare it however way you want, but I think the book wants you to apply the rule of them whenever possible. It wants you to apply the rule of thumb ALWAYS for published spells because the writers of those spells have already determined the root function for you.

                        Or you could improvise a spell that looks and works differently towards "healing a person over a period of time" than a Ritual Interval Repeating heal spell. Something that, perhaps, gives them a Condition that heals them over time, or increases their natural healing, or regenerates them.

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by WHW View Post

                          Or you could improvise a spell that looks and works differently towards "healing a person over a period of time" than a Ritual Interval Repeating heal spell. Something that, perhaps, gives them a Condition that heals them over time, or increases their natural healing, or regenerates them.
                          Yeah, at that point I think your root function is a condition that applies healing/regen.

                          If it is in the book, such a spell would be Duration Primary anyway. (I haven't checked.)

                          Working backwards, you could also state I want to apply a condition that heals, and then switch with a Reach into Potency to maximize healing instead of duration.



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                          • #88
                            The Duration Primary spell Body Control halves the healing time for every Potency. However, the increased healing is just one out of many effects that spell grants.


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                            • #89
                              I still encounter way too many examples of spells in the book that have messed up Primary factors. I still believe a lot of it was done for balance reasons, not because it makes sense flavor wise.

                              Like Honing the Form: Clearly when you think of a spell that increases your Strength, you would think that Potency (literally a word for Strength) should be the Primary factor, but they made it Duration in the book purely for balance reasons.

                              The main culprit is that Advanced Duration is a whole Scene even at Level 1. This way they force you to use 2 Reach to get what makes sense.

                              Btw, Augment the Mind is Potency Primary. LOL No consistency.

                              Or Wards & Signs. Clearly a better Ward is a more Potent Ward. It's just a power speed bump to make it Duration.

                              I've decided to house rule that if the player can make a reasonable case for it they can change it without Reach, but that it has to be chosen and hard-coded for Rotes.

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                              • #90
                                Remember that the arcana were written by different authors, so consistency would suffer just from that although I'm sure they tried to keep it as consistent. The author of Honing the Form and the like probably had a reason they thought Duration made more sense, but if Potency does make more sense, just switch it to that as the usual Primary factor.

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