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Temporal Sympathy: Post-Errata

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  • Temporal Sympathy: Post-Errata

    Before the errata to the 2e core rules, Temporal Sympathy was basically just regular Sympathetic Casting but into the past instead of across Space. You could cast a spell at a past version of any given target that is within sensory range. This could cause all sorts of fun (and headaches), and was pretty broken. With the errata, the Temporal Sympathy attainment was somewhat nerfed by requiring other spells to be Combined with a Time spell that calls for Temporal Sympathy. That's all fine and good. What I'm unclear about is how does one now go about casting arbitrary spells into the past?

    I have two different ways of interpreting the new rules:
    • Postcognition counts as a remote viewing window. That seems dangerous and not necessarily supported by the text (I've seen people argue against this on the forums too).
    • You need Time 3 or Time 4 to actually reach the part of the past you want to get to, and then the Combined spell(s) will take effect. So far this is the most logical way I've come up with to apply the errataed attainment.
    Thoughts?

  • #2
    The basic gist of Temporal Sympathy is that it strengthens spells that affect the past, by extending the degree of time they can reach backwards into. Most of these are naturally going to be Time spells, with the occasional odd exception such as Web-Weaver.

    Spellcasting is always a present-moment thing. You can't make spells come into existence before they were cast. Therefore, the latter option seems to be the correct rule.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
      The basic gist of Temporal Sympathy is that it strengthens spells that affect the past, by extending the degree of time they can reach backwards into. Most of these are naturally going to be Time spells, with the occasional odd exception such as Web-Weaver.

      Spellcasting is always a present-moment thing. You can't make spells come into existence before they were cast. Therefore, the latter option seems to be the correct rule.

      It sounds like the most straightforward way to go. I have grander ambitions beyond such subtle manipulations though. A more powerful example would be casting Exceptional Luck at yourself in the past. Fall and break your arm? Well, use temporal sympathy and Exceptional Luck on your past self, and it turns out you didn't break your arm at all!

      Other silliness such as lightning someone on fire in the past with Forces might also be getting considered...

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      • #4
        Then you'll want Time 5 (or Time 3 for very recent events).
        That way you can actually go back in time, cast the spell, then jump forwards again...

        And hope you roll well with the Butterfly Effect.

        Not unreasonable to find out that in the new timeline, younger-you somehow died.
        Leaving you in the present, completely alive, but believed by everyone else to have been dead for 7 years.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HerbertIsBestBert View Post
          Then you'll want Time 5 (or Time 3 for very recent events).
          That way you can actually go back in time, cast the spell, then jump forwards again...

          And hope you roll well with the Butterfly Effect.

          Not unreasonable to find out that in the new timeline, younger-you somehow died.
          Leaving you in the present, completely alive, but believed by everyone else to have been dead for 7 years.
          Certainly going directly back in time makes more sense in many situations. It gives more direct control over the timeline. In real situation, if I needed to light someone on fire in the past, I'd definitely use actual time travel. This exercise is more just to try and understand the mechanics of Temporal Sympathy.

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          • #6
            Just do note that it's not "Cast a spell at my past self," and really it's "Rip apart history to a certain point in the past, cast a spell on myself, and let history reassemble itself to the present point but with my spell taken into account this time."

            Time travel in Mage, at least below Archmastery, is done by literally breaking the timeline from the present moment to a specified moment in the past.
            Last edited by 21C Hermit; 03-06-2017, 07:01 AM.


            MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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            • #7
              The mechanics are now pretty explicit. It can only be used on spells that specify it can be used, and spells combined with them.
              For which the examples are time travel, history re-writing, summoning past versions of something, viewing the past, and determining the future outcomes for someone in the past.

              For example, Postcognition calls for it, and that can be combined (for example) with Exorcist's Eye.
              Meaning that you can see an area in the past, as well as the presence of Spirits and their Conditions within that Time.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
                Just do note that it's not "Cast a spell at my past self," and really it's "Rip apart history to a certain point in the past, cast a spell on myself, and let history reassemble itself to the present point but with my spell taken into account this time."

                Time travel in Mage, at least below Archmastery, is done by literally breaking the timeline from the present moment to a specified moment in the past.
                I agree. The guidelines I had assembled before even posting this thread included this: "Temporal Sympathy: Casting spells into the past leaves the alteration of history beyond the spell's effect to the whims of the Supernal. The Storyteller decides what happens for the alterations to history beyond the spell's immediate effects."

                For example, Postcognition calls for it, and that can be combined (for example) with Exorcist's Eye.
                Meaning that you can see an area in the past, as well as the presence of Spirits and their Conditions within that Time.
                This is a good example, yes, and makes sense. It's essentially a thematic relation, or a logical combination. I guess where I start to get confused is when assembling such logical relations is harder.

                How would you rule on Exceptional Luck + Temporal Sympathy (assuming the mage in question didn't just go back into the past with Time 3 to change their fortune)?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by projectmoon View Post
                  How would you rule on Exceptional Luck + Temporal Sympathy (assuming the mage in question didn't just go back into the past with Time 3 to change their fortune)?
                  It's neither a Time Spell that involves manipulating the past, nor a spell sensibly combied with one.
                  No dice.

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                  • #10
                    You'd have to combine Exceptional Luck with a Time 3 or higher spell that uses Temporal Sympathy to cast it into the past.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                      You'd have to combine Exceptional Luck with a Time 3 or higher spell that uses Temporal Sympathy to cast it into the past.
                      This is my original thought. I guess you could just use a Time Weaving or Patterning spell (Not sending yourself back in time, but simply to give Temporal Sympathy access to the history it needs) Combined with Exceptional Luck. But, I can also see the argument for requiring some sort of logical/thematic Combining of spells.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by projectmoon View Post
                        This is my original thought. I guess you could just use a Time Weaving or Patterning spell (Not sending yourself back in time, but simply to give Temporal Sympathy access to the history it needs) Combined with Exceptional Luck. But, I can also see the argument for requiring some sort of logical/thematic Combining of spells.
                        The relevant limitation of Temporal Sympathy is "you can't cast a spell that begins before you cast it." Spells that send a target back/"back" in time do so as their main effect by threading them backwards along their histories or copying old states forward, meaning most spells that sensibly combine with valid spells are going to be sensory magic combined with Postcognition or self-targeted spells mixed with sending the caster back in time.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                          The relevant limitation of Temporal Sympathy is "you can't cast a spell that begins before you cast it." Spells that send a target back/"back" in time do so as their main effect by threading them backwards along their histories or copying old states forward, meaning most spells that sensibly combine with valid spells are going to be sensory magic combined with Postcognition or self-targeted spells mixed with sending the caster back in time.
                          So are you saying basically that you would NOT directly use Temporal Sympathy for the Exceptional Luck example? You'd use Temporal Sympathy to send yourself back in time, and then cast the Exceptional Luck? Or can you, say, Combine Exceptional Luck and Shifting Sands into one casting to make it all happen at once?

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                          • #14
                            I'm not sure what would be the intent of casting Exceptional Luck into the past when you can flat out Rewrite History.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EW-Matias View Post
                              I'm not sure what would be the intent of casting Exceptional Luck into the past when you can flat out Rewrite History.
                              As I said earlier, this is more to understand exactly the limits and abilities of Temporal Sympathy, rather than what would be the most effective in a given situation. Obviously if you can straight up rewrite history, it would be better to do that.

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