Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Magic Duels -- As boring as they seem?

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

  • #31
    I don't know how well I'm grasping the feeling of the game, but I always thought of Arcane Duels as the VFX-Oversimplyfied-Hollywood-Productions of the mage world.

    On my campaign Duel Arcane is like entering a Powerful Mage Simulation. I gave my players a huge narrative control over their Sword/Shields. These uber-narrative advantages, combined with my homebrew alegorical nimbuses made Duel Arcane a spectacular thing to watch. For RAW you may assume that it's an advanced Reached/Multi-arcana form of Display of Power.

    That's the Obrimos PC in his first Consilium duel.
    "...The instant Ra entered the runed area, he assumed his nimbus form. He was no longer a person, but the divine flaming hawk, the deity of the Sun. Solar flares were sparking from his bird-like body wildly, indicating his unruly nimbus. These fires were his Sword made out of Forces. His shield -made out of Mind- was an impenetrable aura of wrath..."

    On the same day...
    The Mastigos PC's Mind sword was an Umbearable Scrutinizing Gaze that for each Door opened it revealed an embarashing secret of the target, which was then projected on the mind of anyone present. His Space shield was a entropic space/mini-blackhole that blocked incoming Magic. He won the duel, but completely embarashed the Hierarch's student, revealing her memories of her getting caught cheating by her sleeper husband. It was an akward moment for the Characters, but hilarious for the Players.

    I don't know if this helps the OP, but my playgroup does not do "boring" regarding Arcane Duels. It works for us :P
    Last edited by Shadowjim12; 03-04-2017, 06:10 PM.

    Comment


    • #32
      What Shadowjim12 wrote - Duel Arcana is good setting idea on simulation or 'holograms' of magic - only on rules variety is lower then. Spice things up a bit, and it will be glorious!
      Last edited by wyrdhamster; 03-06-2017, 02:58 AM.


      My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
      MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events
      WtF 2E - Alternative werewolves myths from around the world

      Comment


      • #33
        Personally i just did away with the whole concept. As other posters pointed out there is very little strategy to the system as written.

        My take was inspired by broken diamond. The mages get together and negotiate concessions with the defending party getting first pick. Said concessions being whether the duel is to the death, what weapons are allowed, abilities, etc.

        Once thats done, they just attack each other normally.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by LokiRavenSpeak View Post
          Personally i just did away with the whole concept. As other posters pointed out there is very little strategy to the system as written.
          I think the concept is cool, it's the execution that's lacking. The idea of two mages facing off under the effects of Display of Power, forming imagoes on full display to one another without actually casting the spells to prove who would win if they fought for real? That's awesome! Makes me think of the trope of two master swordsmen staring each other down, sizing each other up, and then one congratulating the other because they've both been through a hypothetical fight in their minds and know who would win if they actually drew their swords. But with Magic, in this case.

          The issue is that the mechanics come down to a simple roll-off. The Astral combat idea is a decent replacement for the mechanics, but I like the fact that the Duel Arcane can be won with non-combat focused spells, just opening doors by proving how awesome you are at healing or whatever, and Astral combat does sacrifice that.


          Onyx Path Forum Moderator

          My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

          Comment


          • #35
            So, I grabbed some of my players at the time of a session and decided to try out an improvised system. The system I devised was as follows:

            -The characters collapse their attributes into Power, Finesse, and Resistance, as they would in a dream.
            -Their health is Doors, equal to their Willpower, modified by circumstance and negotiation.
            -Combat is as if the characters were physically fighting. They can use spells or raw combat ability, but spells cannot go beyond their natural Reach and they cannot use yantras.

            The biggest change was thus:

            -The Duel Arcane is a battle of perspective. The "landscape" of the Duel begins as the dueling arena, but is shaped as Doors are opened.
            -Characters can spend a turn building momentum; a pool of dice gained by performing symbolic actions to shape the perspective. Such actions take the form of an Attribute + Arcanum roll appropriate for the act, with successes adding to a momentum dice pool (max 10 dice at any given time).
            -Momentum could be spent on a 1:1 basis, either to add to a spell dice pool or to reduce damage from an incoming spell. The former had to be spent before the spell was rolled. The latter had to be spent after an opponent committed to the spell but before they decided on spell factors. It could also be used to fight an ongoing effect in the same way as Willpower.

            This test run also included a rule that a character's Gnosis became automatic armour against all incoming damage, and that a character could summon any weapon as a +0 weapon.

            It went well enough. Players seemed to feel that the Gnosis armour could be a problem as it got higher up.

            Comment


            • #36
              Yeah the Gnosis armor would definitely give a high Gnosis Mage an overwhelming advantage.

              Except for adding a few things, and removing Negotiation though I fail to see how it's actually that different. Not different enough to make it "exciting" anyway, since it's still basically a roll-off like pretty much all combat.

              Comment


              • #37
                If you want armour I think reusing the Amnion would work well. You already use the attributes, and being able to summon a weapon is similar to how Dream Form mages can summon their path tools which includes weapons.


                Bloodline: The Stygians

                Comment


                • #38
                  Offhand. Decide on an Arcana to be your Sword and one to be your Shield, which can change turn to turn.

                  Defense is Gnosis + Shield (full defense does let you apply double this as a Dodge pool)
                  Offense is Attribute + Sword, you do not need to calculate Factors. Reach still matters.
                  You may spend Mana to add to your attack pool or your Defense on a 1 for 1 basis. When dodging, mana adds to the dodge pool after doubling defense.
                  All mystical buffs and supernatual merits do not apply unless they specify otherwise.

                  If an attack wins, you may remove a door, impose a condition, or shatter an Arcana (make it 0 for purposes of being a sword or shield). Exceptional success lets you do two of those things, even the same option twice, or lets you apply a persistent condition.

                  Negotiation can be done as a reflexive action and a point of willpower, or as an instant action.

                  Make sure there is a Dueling Fighting Style.
                  1) 8-again on attack rolls.
                  2) May spend a point of Willpower to restore a broken Arcana for one turn.
                  3) You may spend 2 mana in place of a Willpower during a duel.
                  4) If a successful attack does not remove one of the opponent's Doors, open one door.
                  5) At the end of the turn, if you did not dodge and the opponent did not hit you, open one of the opponent's doors.
                  Last edited by SoulGambit; 03-05-2017, 11:07 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                    Yeah the Gnosis armor would definitely give a high Gnosis Mage an overwhelming advantage.

                    Except for adding a few things, and removing Negotiation though I fail to see how it's actually that different. Not different enough to make it "exciting" anyway, since it's still basically a roll-off like pretty much all combat.
                    It's more strategic and allows for more creativity in tactics, since you can use spells to shape terrain or weaken your target rather than just plink at doors, but if that's your view of combat, that's your view of combat. No system of dice will ever be anything beyond a roll-off by that definition.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      While it goes nowhere near fixing the rules as they're written, when I was reading through Shadowjim12's post an idea struck me.
                      Would adding something akin to Stunts, like from Exalted, make the Duel Arcane feel more interesting?


                      Raksi plays Peek-a-boo for keeps. ~ nalak42

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Kleptomania View Post
                        While it goes nowhere near fixing the rules as they're written, when I was reading through Shadowjim12's post an idea struck me.
                        Would adding something akin to Stunts, like from Exalted, make the Duel Arcane feel more interesting?
                        I just fimished reading the Duel Arcane rules, and I cannot help but to agree: something is missing in the scarce description of the rules. My main doubts are:

                        1) Is there any purpose to try a spell beyond the very basic factors, or with a Withstand rating? Since only a basic success is enough to open a Door, it follows that the larger the spellcasting pool, the better. The mage could use a Knowing spell to open an opponent's Door, which doesn't makes any sense from the perspective that a Duel is a kind of a "bragging mystical standoff". Is there a basic defense value needed to be surpassed​ in order to qualify as an "attacking" spell? I think it would be more in keeping with the purpose of the Duel that only spells that penetrate the rival's defenses count as attacking spells. Pure damage effects should be recalculated, though, perhaps considering to be always Aimed with a throwing action of Attribute + Arcana.

                        2) It is not clear to me whether a Praxis or a Rote can be used for the Duel, beyond the initial phrase of "...raw magic...". My guess is that the former is allowed, while the latter is not. A clarification would be much appreciated. Also, is there any extra benefit for rolling an exceptional success? Perhaps a Condition can be imposed on the target or the attacker, but a clarification would be much appreciated, too.

                        3) The rules say that, during a Negotiation action, the acting mage may make mystically enhanced promises, which are equivalent to formally sworn oaths, yet they are not Fate-enforced by themselves. What does it mean, beyond its obvious and (frequently) public natures? My gut feeling is that said promises, as coming within the area of effect of a Prime spell, must be uttered in complete honesty, otherwise the mage cannot even part her lips to say them. Of course, all of these doesn't mean the oath-sayer will feel the same afterwards, but I'm imagining it could be a really could way to extract a confession from a suspected mage. Again, a little more detail regarding what these types of promises entail would be appreciated.

                        4) A Stunt bonus-dice rule could be a great addition to the system, in my opinion, especially if any spell can count as an attacking spell and therefore there's no purpose to apply any Factors and/or Reach beyond the very minimum (see #1). I'm blank here, frankly, but I feel something like this could add some tactical and descriptive flavor to the Duel Arcane rules.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Zooroos View Post
                          1) Is there any purpose to try a spell beyond the very basic factors, or with a Withstand rating?
                          Nope. As others said, the optimum strategy is a basic attack spell that uses your biggest dice pool that doesn't suffer Withstand, such as Celestial Fire for a Prime mage.

                          2) It is not clear to me whether a Praxis or a Rote can be used for the Duel, beyond the initial phrase of "...raw magic...".
                          In theory, yes. You can use them to construct some rather radically awesome images of magic. And, from a teaching perspective, that's pretty cool. From a number-crunching point of view to open Doors in combat? Not so much. Yanta don't apply, Reach is meaningless, there's no benefit for exceptional successes beyond the typical Condition granting. I suppose the lack of a mana tax for non-affinity Arcana could come up, but that's not something I think will matter during a Duel. In short, while they can be used in the initial phase, they're meaningless and don't impact dice rolls at all.

                          3) The rules say that, during a Negotiation action, the acting mage may make mystically enhanced promises, which are equivalent to formally sworn oaths, yet they are not Fate-enforced by themselves. What does it mean, beyond its obvious and (frequently) public natures?
                          There's mention of a "sealing" effect, but no details, which means we're left to make up details on our own. Or just say its all bullox, since Prime has absolutely no sealing ability in the first place, and just rely on social pressure.

                          4) A Stunt bonus-dice rule could be a great addition to the system, in my opinion, especially if any spell can count as an attacking spell and therefore there's no purpose to apply any Factors and/or Reach beyond the very minimum (see #1). I'm blank here, frankly, but I feel something like this could add some tactical and descriptive flavor to the Duel Arcane rules.
                          While that could be neat, its actually not that beneficial in the long run. Extra successes on one roll beyond the first add to your roll for the second. So, a good Attribute+Arcana roll will increase your next roll, and so on. There's a point where you have enough dice that stunting is meaningless.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            I am looking for a link I saved somewhere but haven't been able to find it. It included ideas for AD variant rules, mostly built around new Conditions and maneuvers. I'll see if I can find it, but I think what AD needs is a way to allow more skillful dueling approaches to influence the outcome rather than pure dice rolls.


                            My Games
                            Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Being able to choose a strategy that leads to a win is a skill beyond just relying on pure dice pools.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X