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Indefinite Duration on Living Target

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  • Indefinite Duration on Living Target

    ...why allow it? In the 1e, it was one of those little nice restrictions on Arcana, which didn't look as that much (after all, you aren't casting Indefinite every day), but which did wonders to setting. It explained nicely why mages go to such lengths to achieve immortality. It disallowed permanent buffs. You had to recharge your sanctum and hallow defenses, and many other things. It gave the sense that mages are powerful, but not all-powerful. Was it a design decision, or what?

  • #2
    Because even with indefinite Duration, a Prime spell to dispel it or a Sleeper in the right place to Dissonance it away can ruin a spell.

    The game design does indeed go away from hard-cap restrictions that outright forbid certain actions. Instead, it gives you soft restrictions that you can easily break but brings you more consequences, usually in the form of Reach-induced Paradox.

    This results in a setting where mages are frighteningly powerful but must avoid falling into Hubris, lest the world come crashing down on them.


    MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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    • #3
      Yes, it was. I believe the devs took some inspiration from the common curse of turning a victim into a frog and decided they should e able to play out that common fantasy trope.

      No Mages are not all powerful just because they can make spells Indefinite.

      And no you didn't have to recharge your sanctum and hallow defenses in 1e, those aren't alive and were frequently targets of permanent buffs.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
        Sleeper in the right place to Dissonance it away can ruin a spell.
        Not if he can't understand what he is seeing, and not if he has a low Integrity.
        Last edited by Dark Archon; 03-03-2017, 07:30 AM.

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        • #5
          Understanding has little to do with it, noticing does. Not that it's germane to the conversation you started which is about being unhappy with Indefinite Duration on living beings for some reason.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dark Archon View Post
            Not if he can't understand what he is seening, and not if he has a low Integrity.
            Indeed. But will that Sleeper be the only one to come across your spells? Will he be the last one? Can you be sure? What can you do to be sure? What will you do to be sure? Protective measures are a step away from preemptive measures, and it's so easy to cross the line when you know you can do it.

            And hey, if the mage is making sure that any of his long-sustained spells are subtle enough for Sleepers to pass, then that qualifies for the narrative of the wise master. And if the mage is making sure that any Sleeper around him has too low of a self-image and mental stability to do anything, then that qualifies for the narrative of the evil sorceror. Works either way.


            MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dark Archon View Post
              ...why allow it? In the 1e, it was one of those little nice restrictions on Arcana, which didn't look as that much (after all, you aren't casting Indefinite every day), but which did wonders to setting. It explained nicely why mages go to such lengths to achieve immortality. It disallowed permanent buffs. You had to recharge your sanctum and hallow defenses, and many other things. It gave the sense that mages are powerful, but not all-powerful. Was it a design decision, or what?
              One of the more interesting results of indefinite duration spells (for ST's at least) is an increase in carelessness in mages. Back in 1e you had to keep a pretty strict eye on a lot of effects because they would run out and come back to bite you. Now however you can pretty much cast and forget, because unless acted upon by an outside force your spell will continue to endure the test of time. That means that if and when something does cancel one of a mages spells, they're much less likely to see the fallout coming because they aren't constantly reassessing that same spell every other week.

              Another upside is the idea that long lasting spells warp and mutate if left to their own devices long enough if not released using the more costly method of doing so. You'd be surprised how quickly people can forget about such things, and then a few months later, right when they least expect it and when it would be most inconvenient, BAM!

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              • #8
                Edit: Nevermind


                Bloodline: The Stygians
                Ordo Dracul Mystery: Coil of Smoke

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                • #9
                  If I cast an indefinite spell on a Sleeper turning him into a frog, even releasing it safely, doesn't his own Dissonance eventually unravel it?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 2ptTakrill View Post
                    If I cast an indefinite spell on a Sleeper turning him into a frog, even releasing it safely, doesn't his own Dissonance eventually unravel it?
                    Yes. (...)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 2ptTakrill View Post
                      If I cast an indefinite spell on a Sleeper turning him into a frog, even releasing it safely, doesn't his own Dissonance eventually unravel it?
                      Eventually, yes, but Shapechanging is a Duration-primary four-dot spell. Every point of extra Potency beyond that necessary to beat the target's Stamina is another exceptional success the target needs to roll.


                      Resident Sanguinary Analyst
                      Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 2ptTakrill View Post
                        If I cast an indefinite spell on a Sleeper turning him into a frog, even releasing it safely, doesn't his own Dissonance eventually unravel it?
                        Depends of the nature of transformation. If you change only his body he will unravel the spell someday, but if you change him entirely he won't do much harm to it since only a Sleeping human can do it.


                        [2E] Moinen's Homebrew Hub

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                        • #13
                          If you turn someone mentally into a frog, their ability to notice that they have been transformed is diminished to the point where they wouldn't likely inflict dissonance.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                            Eventually, yes, but Shapechanging is a Duration-primary four-dot spell. Every point of extra Potency beyond that necessary to beat the target's Stamina is another exceptional success the target needs to roll.
                            But wouldm't lowering the potency until it's equal to Whithstand turn him back well before the whole spell is destroyed? Would disonance keep eating the spall at that point?

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                            • #15
                              Because it makes Mages go, cast Indefinite spells on things, and then die while they are up so 10 years later, spell becomes so tainted it turns a local murder of crows into a monster or something interesting like that.

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