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  • #91
    I thought honing the form was duration because you don't want it to end in three seconds....


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    • #92
      It has bothered me that augment mind is potency but honing the form is duration. I wonder if that was missed or justified during the process of applying errata to the final version of our books.

      I remember when Birth Spirit was Potency instead of Duration. I'm glad they errata'd that, it was such a huge disconnect between me and my ex-ST.

      If I had to hazard a guess, if you want a stronger body, you want it strong for a long time because you're not sure when you'll need that strength? But if you need a stronger mind or social skills, you'll know precisely when the situation has arisen because the time is now at the time of casting, and now its time to boost your mind and you won't need that mental strength so much during the down-time when the scene is done.

      But I'm not satisfied with my own explanation. I think all buff spells should be duration, if for no other reason that, speaking in the meta, it makes the spell less spammy, and rewards mages who plan and prepare instead of impulsive mages. But that's just a ST preference of mine--I like mages being at their strongest when they plan and prepare.

      And this is also why I feel that the +reach option for switching primary spellfactors is an interesting one. It is a roadblock. It absolutely is. It absolutely is.

      But when is it a roadblock? Well, typically its a roadblock when you've run into a niche situation where the normal version of the spell isn't quite as good. This is a rare situation. Its a rare situation where your mage is caught off-guard. So how do you get back ontop? By doubling back, preparing, find a way around your limitations, around your roadblock, by spending extra time and care (and reach) into making a sub-optimal spell that will do the job better this way at this time despite it being unorthodox. This feels very Mage-ey to me.

      The heuristic of when the primary spellfactor feels appropriate is deeefinitely weird to me too, though. There are some spells where the primary spellfactor feels arbitrary. In these situations I think it should either be homeruled or left up to the player based on the Mage's magical style--but it should remain consistent after-that-point.

      If the stronger faster zombie or the Hone the Form spell being Potency primary spellfactor feels right to your mage player, then that might be true for that Mage. But it will probably lock them into it--overcoming their biases and instincts for magic to rewire their instinctive expectations for a spell by using reach? Sounds interesting to me, sounds lore-friendly to me.

      This has been such an interesting thread...!
      I hope my contribution isn't too uh... haphazard or uninteresting...


      I did have a minor example for something like this, where you meta a pre-existing spell a bit to get the same effect but with different implications. I"m sure some people would disagree but consider this --- The spells Mutable Mask and Many Faces are duration spells that stop working when the spell ends, and then you return to your true form. I've wondered if there was a legitimate way to make these spells lasting without them being unfriendly-to-the-lore, or require archmastery, or some other obvious problems. I think I have one!

      Instead of the imago creating immediate changes, the changes take place over a long time as the body is slowly controlled to create these physical changes, making them lasting by virtue of them being consequences of what the spell actually does--which is to rewire your body's processes to cause the changes you want as a logical consequence of what the spell does. Instead of making your body more attractive in an instant and then having to maintain the spell to maintain your new looks? You cast a spell that changes how your body wants to arrange flesh, making a slow process that the mage has to follow-up on with the correct eating or exercise habits--the spell just makes it easier.

      The set-back to this? You have to know what you're doing. If your imago is wrong, you could end up screwing your body up. Perhaps with a medicine or athletics + intelligence check? Unless its reasonable that knowledge of the Life Arcanum fills in those gaps already...

      I dunno if that's a good example since in both cases the primary factor seems sensibly to be duration. Unless your casting on someone else and then it is Withstood by stamina? Or maybe it would be Withstood by stamina even if you are targetting yourself because your body resists these sorts of changes as a matter of course? I don't know. But if so, maybe this train-of-thought helps show an example where an established spell is experimented with to get a different factor.

      The established spell causes effects and maintains them until the spell ends. In this creative-thaumaturgy version, the effects will last after the spell is over, but only if the spell lasted long enough to cause those effects, and the effects take time, and are at risk of dissonance in the mean-time. How's that sound?


      EDIT: I can't believe how wordy I am.
      Last edited by Scarlet Witch; 11-13-2017, 08:43 PM.

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      • #93
        Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
        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.
        This. I generally recommend rooting out the inconsistencies (such as Augment Mind / Honing the Form) and houseruling them to the same Primary Factor at the start of every Chronicle.
        Last edited by lnodiv; 11-14-2017, 07:39 AM.

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        • #94
          Generally, three seconds of super-intelligence is all you need. Unless it's activated reflexively, three seconds of super-strength is less useful.

          The power of a spell is a product of its function, not its form.

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          • #95
            I’d disagree, I can think of plenty of situations where physical abilities aren’t used in anything except short bursts unless you’re engaged or anticipate being engaged in an activity that will require some endurance. Need to jump? Short burst. Need to lift something heavy? Short burst

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            • #96
              See, lifting something heavy I could see maybe taking maybe ten seconds or so.

              In other words, exactly what Honing the form gives you with no reach or extra spell factors.

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              • #97
                Also there are really not that many instances were super intelligence for three seconds is that helpful. You usually don't look at a puzzle and just solve it in three seconds of genius, while you didn't really think about it at all in the time before and after. I would also rule that Augment Mind should be duration Primary.
                For determining Primary Factor I also find it helping to ignore the Advanced Duration template. Since going to Advanced Potency is not actually improving Potency I often find myself thinking: "Oh Potency Primary is so much better, I can just go to Advanced Duration with a reach and don't need any more than that." But if you compare them both without going to advanced I find +1 Strength/Intelligence for 3 turns usually better, than +3 Strength/Intelligence for 1 turn.

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                • #98
                  If I were going to worry about putting all the buff Perfecting spells on the same Primary factor I’d make them Potency primary. The boost is large and it’s just a Reach to get the effects to last for a scene.

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                  • #99
                    I would say it makes more sense for Augment Mind to be Duration, rather than Hone the Form being Potency.


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                    • In my game they are all going to be Potency as I feel that makes the most sense.

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                      • Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                        Generally, three seconds of super-intelligence is all you need.
                        I'm going to have to strongly disagree based on my own play experience.

                        Most physical actions (strength-based) are instant. Mental actions in our chronicle lend more towards extended.

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                        • I think the problem isn't instant vs. extended as much as things like combat and chases where there isn't a break to cast a buff spell between actions, and social maneuvering and investigations where there is generally time to buff between intervals of action (also, I see a lot of instant Wits rolls due to perception).

                          The game generally treats detailed physical scenes as being very immediate. A small buff to Strength for the duration of a fight with one casting is generally (obviously not always) better than one round of high Strength per casting. The action economy of combat doesn't favor cutting out half your actions towards casting spells that increase your mundane combat skills over just attacking/defending actively each round.

                          The game generally treats social and mental scenes as having more narrative leeway. You don't need to keep your mental buff during a whole investigation, you just need them buffed in short bursts when rolling to collect a clue. When you're using Soft Leverage to open Doors, you don't need to keep buffed the whole time, just long enough to complete whatever action is supposed to appeal to the target before you go back to whatever you were doing between intervals.

                          Generic extended actions aren't very illustrative to which is more useful in general, because they can model either scenario. A generic physical extended action could be immediate (climbing a tall tree) or something that can be done in spurts (carving a statue), as can a generic mental extended action.

                          I don't think house ruling these to have the same primary is inherently going to be a problem (Attribute buffs are, generally speaking, going to be things you want to increase in Potency and Duration when the chips are down so in their most useful applications is when you want to increase both and which the base is matters the least), but them not being the same has mechanical logic to it as well.

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