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Hoping to get some help on Lasting

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  • Hoping to get some help on Lasting

    So, I know I may be opening a can of worms by inviting discussion of Lasting. But in the Reach to change Primary Factor thread, WHW correctly identified that the issue I was having with that rule stemmed less from the rule itself and more from the book operating on guidelines that it did not thoroughly explain - "whatever you think of as a more powerful version of the spell" did not lead me to the correct assessments of what certain example spells' primary factors should be, and I blamed primary factors being locked to certain effects rather than the instructions being lacking. They also identified a set of guidelines that were extremely helpful for correctly assessing Primary Factors, which as pretty much resolved the issue for me.

    I was hoping we might be able to develop similar guidelines for what makes an effect Lasting. The book says only "When a spell ends, look at what it changed, if anything, in the environment. Those are its Lasting qualities." which has similarly lead me to the wrong conclusions about whether part of an effect should be Lasting or not. Can we put our heads together and come up with a set of clear, objective rules for what makes part of a spell's effect naturally Lasting, and what qualifies a spell's effect for being able to be made Lasting with +2 Reach?


    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.

  • #2
    "Lasting" is even more contentious and confusing than the Primary Spell Factor issue.

    I,too, would welcome additional clarity and guidance.

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    • #3
      Lasting, in general, is a very important "switch" or "lever" for GM to manipulate. Deciding on what is Lasting or not in your game massively shapes the setting and can be used for making the game low magic, high magic, horror, power fantasy, and for manipulating many other qualities. While figuring out what could be "Lasting or not" by default rules, it's also very important - if not more important - to understand what your Mage game wants to be Lasting.
      For example, a lot of Life Magic seems to not be Lasting - especially spells that regenerate. This leads into a Mage Society where you can do a lot of miracles, but there are still cripples and overcoming your disability isn't just a case of finding a Life 4 Cleric in the town to cast Regeneration. Do you want this to be case in your game?
      Any ruling on Lasting will have...I'm sorry...lasting effects on your setting. Be careful.

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      • #4
        Lasting usually seems to be the indirect result of a spell, for those instances when it's not it appears to be because it's taking advantage of the possibility of a thing to exist naturally despite the thing be forced by that spell in this particular instance. Souls belong in bodies, Hallows can theoretically exist anywhere, etc. There are some that seem to be exceptions to those general rules, Scribe Grimoire for instance, although theoretically you could have one delivered to you by a Supernal being you summon it which might makes its existence "natural" enough.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by WHW View Post
          Lasting, in general, is a very important "switch" or "lever" for GM to manipulate. Deciding on what is Lasting or not in your game massively shapes the setting and can be used for making the game low magic, high magic, horror, power fantasy, and for manipulating many other qualities. While figuring out what could be "Lasting or not" by default rules, it's also very important - if not more important - to understand what your Mage game wants to be Lasting.
          For example, a lot of Life Magic seems to not be Lasting - especially spells that regenerate. This leads into a Mage Society where you can do a lot of miracles, but there are still cripples and overcoming your disability isn't just a case of finding a Life 4 Cleric in the town to cast Regeneration. Do you want this to be case in your game?
          Any ruling on Lasting will have...I'm sorry...lasting effects on your setting. Be careful.
          Actually, Dave B of all people has specifically stated that Regeneration is non-Lasting. But totally agree with you on Lasting spells shaping the setting

          In fact, that might be the single most important factor here, despite how I too dislike arbitrary limits. More on this after some thought (and listening to what others have to say)


          MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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          • #6
            Yeah, there was a...heated discussion...about this where people were really angry about the fact that you are one dispel away from losing your regenerated limb or heart or whatever. I was, instead, incredibly excited by the idea that a Mage trying to help their grandma will live in terror thinking what will happen if spell runs out or if people will use that Sleeper disbelief thing to dissolve it.
            As you probably can see, setting where this is a case is *vastly different in tone and colour* from one where you can literally go and save whole hospitals of grandmas forever as an Instant Spell.

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            • #7
              So I think we can at least agree that the natural side-effects of a spell are always Lasting - if you use Life to give someone a fatal heart attack, you don't have to spend 2 Reach to keep them from coming back to life because the actual effect of the spell was giving them the heart attack; death is simply a totally non-magical result of having suffered a heart attack. Are there any exceptions?


              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.

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              • #8
                Oh, and we can add a rule that spells that regenerate limbs can never be made lasting. I'm not sure the in-world reason for that, but frankly that's not what I care about for the purposes of this discussion. Rather, I am interested in discerning by inductive reasoning the unwritten rules the writers were using to decide which abilities would get that +2 Reach option and which ones wouldn't. If "regeneration spells don't ever get that option" is one of those rules, it should go on our list. We can always house rule out rules we disagree with once we've established what they are.
                Last edited by Charlaquin; 03-05-2017, 07:33 PM.


                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.

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                • #9
                  In the case of regeneration, you are altering someone's shape. That is a direct result of the spell.

                  The nonsequitor is that *all* healing should not be lasting. That is the exception to the rule

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                  • #10
                    Hmm. It's less "regenerate limbs", and more of "spells that drastically modify the basic template of the subject", with the template not in mechanical sense but more of a "natural shape". I'm not sure how to express it, though.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                      So I think we can at least agree that the natural side-effects of a spell are always Lasting - if you use Life to give someone a fatal heart attack, you don't have to spend 2 Reach to keep them from coming back to life because the actual effect of the spell was giving them the heart attack; death is simply a totally non-magical result of having suffered a heart attack. Are there any exceptions?
                      That's a really good question. Apparently, using Life to speed a plant's growth is not Lasting (see Accelerate Growth). Would using Time to do the same follow the same ruling, or would the growth just be a natural result of a lot of time passing artificially quickly? I have no idea, though my intuition is that Time is probably(?) supposed to have the same problem.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WHW View Post
                        Hmm. It's less "regenerate limbs", and more of "spells that drastically modify the basic template of the subject", with the template not in mechanical sense but more of a "natural shape". I'm not sure how to express it, though.
                        Could it be said that Lasting generally applies to things that could conceivably (if not reasonably) happen naturally? Like, healing grievous wounds vs. regenerating limbs. You could, in theory, recover from a bullet wound to the head, but you couldn't regenerate a limb that got hacked off. Just on a cursory reading of the book, this kind of holds up...the exception being spells that have explicitly supernatural (Death, Spirit, etc.), which are bound to the CofD cosmology, so the given definition of "naturally" is fluid there.

                        That being said, there are (many) things that can't be made Lasting that you can do naturally -- raising an Attribute or Skill, for instance. I guess the caveat is things that are bought with XPs can't be Lasting, which is more of a meta reason.



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                        • #13
                          I think the overriding idea is that the effects of magic are not Lasting, except when it wouldn't make sense otherwise (healing, damage, and similar effects), plus some explicit exceptions that are mostly about Matter spells being more permanent because of thematic reasons.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EW-Matias View Post
                            I think the overriding idea is that the effects of magic are not Lasting, except when it wouldn't make sense otherwise (healing, damage, and similar effects), plus some explicit exceptions that are mostly about Matter spells being more permanent because of thematic reasons.
                            Not all healing. Don't forget about the regeneration exception.

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                            • #15
                              My interpretation of Accelerate Growth is that it makes biological matter behave as if it had grown older rather than actually becoming older. If the subject's cells actually did age like that the subject would most likely die due to the cells not being able to reproduce before dying.

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