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Understanding Sympathy

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  • Understanding Sympathy

    It is my understanding that in order to cast a sympathetic spell you need the following
    - Space 2's Sympathetic Range Attainment or Time 2's Temporal Sympathy Attainment (only for specific spells)
    - Spend +1 Reach for Perception range
    - You target something with a sympathetic link to the intended subject, essentially bouncing the spell to them. In the case of Temporal Sympathy you have to target the subject themselves.
    - In addition to the above, you need a sympathetic Yanta. It grants +0 instead of its normal bonuses.

    So, here are the the sticking points.
    - If you are attempting to Sympathetically cast a spell with Temporal Sympathy, do you need two seperate Yantras? I lean yes.
    - Since sympathetic yantras don't offer a bonus, RAW it looks like you can just draw a characiture of the person and use that as a yantra for everything. That reads right, but at the same time feels like it takes the challenge out of finding a good sympathetic yantra?
    - Can you use anything with a sympathetic connection as a sympathetuc yantra?
    - Can you use the thing with a sympathetic connection as a sympathetic yantra, or do they need to be seperate things?

  • #2
    Originally posted by SoulGambit View Post
    You target something with a sympathetic link to the intended subject, essentially bouncing the spell to them. In the case of Temporal Sympathy you have to target the subject themselves
    To target someone/thing sympathetically you use your own sympathetic connection to the target, there is no bouncing.

    Sticking point 1: The answer is no, you only need one Sympathetic Yantra.
    Sticking point 2: Yes, you can just draw a caricature of the person, it's a symbolic yantra. The real challenge of a symbolic yantra is that it's very unlikely to carry any Sympathy to the target that the Mage can borrow in order to establish a Sympathetic connection to the target that can then be exploited for use in Sympathetic casting. In other words it fulfills only one prerequisite for casting a Sympathetic spell instead helping a Mage to fulfill all prerequisites like a Material yantra would.
    Sticking point 3: Yes, but only to things that it's sympathetically connected or that it symbolically represents.
    Sticking point 4: Don't understand the question.
    Last edited by Mrmdubois; 04-23-2017, 11:10 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SoulGambit View Post
      - You target something with a sympathetic link to the intended subject, essentially bouncing the spell to them. In the case of Temporal Sympathy you have to target the subject themselves.
      With Sympathetic Range you need to personally have sympathy to the target, and using that sympathy you can cast directly on the target. However, it's a 2 dot spell to borrow sympathetic connections from other people and objects so it's not a big deal, but it does mean that they in turn (or their Space friend who borrows the same connection) have sympathy to you personally and can target you with sympathetic spells.

      Originally posted by SoulGambit View Post
      - Can you use anything with a sympathetic connection as a sympathetuc yantra?
      No. It needs to fulfil the conditions of sympathetic yantras, meaning that the yantra needs to be a representation of the subject. Body parts, pictures, drawings can be used as yantras. Belongings, friends and family members can not (though they are a great source for borrowing the sympathy).


      Bloodline: The Stygians
      Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
      Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SoulGambit View Post
        So, here are the the sticking points.
        - If you are attempting to Sympathetically cast a spell with Temporal Sympathy, do you need two seperate Yantras? I lean yes.
        - Since sympathetic yantras don't offer a bonus, RAW it looks like you can just draw a characiture of the person and use that as a yantra for everything. That reads right, but at the same time feels like it takes the challenge out of finding a good sympathetic yantra?
        - Can you use anything with a sympathetic connection as a sympathetuc yantra?
        - Can you use the thing with a sympathetic connection as a sympathetic yantra, or do they need to be seperate things?
        1. If you are attempting to cast at sympathetic range, while casting temporally, you have to pay both costs according to Temporal Sympathy. I qualify the Yantras as part of the cost, so yes - you need a sympathetic yantra in order to cast sympathetically, and a sympathetic yantra in order to cast temporally. See answer 4.

        2. Yes, however - if the mage themself has little to no sympathy to the target themselves, that yantra is also likely to be what you are using in order to target them. A lock of hair has a strong connection to it's owner sympathetically, while drawing a picture of someone has no sympathy to them whatsoever. You can utilize this in order to focus on the importance of finding good yantras.

        3. No - Material, Representational, or Symbolic are the limitations of a yantra. Usually a person does not work for a sympathetic yantra for another person (barring legacy members but that's a whole different can of worms) - its usually things that you can, in some way, tie a person and say 'this is them'.

        4. If you have a piece of material sympathy which represents a target as well as a certain point of time, I might say that the same piece of sympathy would work - you might not need a whole new object. Mechanically, I would say that you still use 2 yantra slots (if you are gnosis 1 or 2, your out of yantra slots to use) but I personally would say there is nothing stopping you from using the same -thing- as the two yantra's.

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        • #5
          Ignore my #3 above, others explained it better.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tessie View Post

            With Sympathetic Range you need to personally have sympathy to the target, and using that sympathy you can cast directly on the target. However, it's a 2 dot spell to borrow sympathetic connections from other people and objects so it's not a big deal, but it does mean that they in turn (or their Space friend who borrows the same connection) have sympathy to you personally and can target you with sympathetic spells.
            Only if you think sympathetic links are 2 way things, pretty sure they are one way.

            A's sympathy to B is non existent, B's sympathy to A is also non existent. A borrows a strong link to B. A now has a strong link to B, B has a non existent link to A still.

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            • #7
              The only mention of sympathy being one-way was an old post made by Dave. There's nothing in the book that implies sympathy is one-way. In fact, while it's never openly stated the text continously implies sympathy is two-way.


              Bloodline: The Stygians
              Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
              Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                The only mention of sympathy being one-way was an old post made by Dave. There's nothing in the book that implies sympathy is one-way. In fact, while it's never openly stated the text continously implies sympathy is two-way.
                Its def two way but is it two different links? I think borrowing threads or web weaving to increase them and giving your target free links back to you is dangerous and one could run it that way. Mages would probably check their sympathy alot more and cast spells to lower their sympathy to something after using a strong link.

                The way i imagine it if that A's link to B is strong its like a huge metal chain, but its my link, B cant use it. B's link to A is weak so it looks like a hemp rope, but its his, i cant use his link and he cant use my link. We can both detect each others link though, B might see A's link and think wtf is this?

                Where the hell is the FAQ??? Did anybody even ask about this in it?
                Last edited by totalgit; 04-23-2017, 01:46 PM.

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                • #9
                  I'm pretty sure that sympathy is a two way street in terms of sympathetic connections. The connection between a person and their hair for instance is strong - no matter which side of the connection that you are looking at. Your magical tool is strong for you - you can connect to it easily, and it can connect to you easily. A relationship is never really 'two different connections' but one thread which can be pulled at from either side.

                  That isn't to say that you cannot, however, have a one sided sympathetic attack - either literally or through the use of spying. If you hold little to no sympathy to someone, and use something of theirs as the yantra - such as their hair, or even a soul stone of theirs - then you have effectively created a scenario where you have a sympathetic tie and they do not - at least not to you. A person -can- follow that thread back to their hair or to their soul stone, but not necessarily to -you- in that sense.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jakondite View Post

                    That isn't to say that you cannot, however, have a one sided sympathetic attack - either literally or through the use of spying. If you hold little to no sympathy to someone, and use something of theirs as the yantra - such as their hair, or even a soul stone of theirs - then you have effectively created a scenario where you have a sympathetic tie and they do not - at least not to you. A person -can- follow that thread back to their hair or to their soul stone, but not necessarily to -you- in that sense.
                    Thats not how sympathy works, you need to borrow/replace the sympathy the hair has to the person over your own. You dont use the hairs sympathy link directly..

                    It could also be said and im sure there was 1e essays on this that items dont create their own sympathetic link being only items, sure they pick them up from people and have them by being what they are, but if you put two cans of coke together in a room do they form sympathetic links with one another? I dont think so.
                    They dont share an emotional link, or a physical one (unless made from the same roll of steel maybe?) and dont usually have a mystical one until somebody adds one.
                    Last edited by totalgit; 04-23-2017, 02:18 PM.

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                    • #11
                      No. But if you put two people in a room together they don't form sympathy either. However, if they work at the same place, if they barely know one another, etc, they do form a weak sympathic connection. From my read, Sympathy isn't -emotion- so much as -significance-. Those cans of coke that sit next to each other have no significance to each other - but if they were made in the same shop, from the same sheets of metal, tied to the same 6 pack? Might be a weak connection there.

                      As far as that not being how sympathy works, I disagree. While it is possible to borrow or replace the sympathy one person has, I'm not sure that's strictly necessary. Consider this - in order to cast against a person utilizing a soul stone or their familiar - do you use your own sympathetic connection to the target, or do you use the sympathetic connection to the familiar or soul stone?

                      The answer, by the way, is that you use the connected sympathy - not yours. You ignore withstand, and can target the target without issue. This is why someone having your soul stone is a threat. Sure, one might argue that you needed to borrow the sympathetic connection between that soul stone, but given that requires mastery to borrow, that wouldn't make it much of a threat from anyone besides a space master.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jakondite View Post
                        The answer, by the way, is that you use the connected sympathy - not yours. You ignore withstand, and can target the target without issue. This is why someone having your soul stone is a threat. Sure, one might argue that you needed to borrow the sympathetic connection between that soul stone, but given that requires mastery to borrow, that wouldn't make it much of a threat from anyone besides a space master.
                        You use the Connected Sympathy of the Soul Stone by using Borrow Threads, which temporarily grants you a Connected level of Sympathy to your target. So for the duration of your use of Sympathetic magic against a target you and the target share Connected Sympathy. Since magic gives no sign of a build-up unless you're watching the Mage with AMS though, you can blindside them with a spell and then immediately dispel Borrow Threads and they have no recourse to come at you directly.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jakondite View Post
                          As far as that not being how sympathy works, I disagree. While it is possible to borrow or replace the sympathy one person has, I'm not sure that's strictly necessary. Consider this - in order to cast against a person utilizing a soul stone or their familiar - do you use your own sympathetic connection to the target, or do you use the sympathetic connection to the familiar or soul stone?
                          The answer is that you copy the sympathy to yourself with the spell Borrow Threads since the Sympathetic Range Attainment only allows you to cast sympathetically on subjects that you have sympathy to.
                          The reason you'd want a soul stone or a familiar is because strengthening a sympathetic connection (to mitigate some of the Withstand) requires a 3 dot spell, and it can't strengthen the connection to Connected so you'd still have some Withstand left.

                          Edit: What Mrmdubois said.


                          Bloodline: The Stygians
                          Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                          Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                          • #14
                            Soul Stones proxy for their creators for the purpose of sympathy because of their connected nature, so... - still not entirely sure that borrowed threads is a requirement - in the same way that I don't think you'd need to borrow threads from a picture of a person to cast a curse on them. Now - I can certainly see the -benefit- of using borrowed threads, especially if you use it as MrmDubois said and then leave the sensory area of the soul stone; but - here's the breakdown of my logic.

                            In order to cast sympathetically you need to have a connection to the subject. Now - strictly speaking, it doesn't actually say that it needs to be -your- connection, just that you have to have a connection in order to do it. If you have a soul stone, you have a connection already - its just not yours. You can target that connection, you can copy that connection, and you can make it yours - but the fact is that you have it to the subject.

                            It -does- say that the spell is withstood by the fragility of the sympathetic sympathy between the mage and her subject - and I can see one coming to the logic that that means the connection -must- be the mage's own, and not the connection between whatever objects or people that the mage might have in their possession; but if you accept that for sympathetic range you need to also accept that for temporal sympathy - because it says that there too.

                            Now - it is under my understanding that you can enter a room, not have been there at the time - or ever, and still manage to cast a spell even if you have no actual connection to that room. This is - from my interpretation - because you have the room their and -it's- connection to that time line is the same as the temporal connection between the mage and the subject.

                            Transfer it over to it's spacial counterpart. Yes - you can totally use your own connections and there is a perfect reason to - but is it required? If you have a lock of hair of a person you just met, do you need to cast two spells - one spell being borrowed threads to -be- connected sympathetically, the other being the spell your casting sympathetically - to use the connection to affect someone you just met to spy on them, or can you use the connection it has already - follow it to the end - and let your spell hit the end of the line?
                            Last edited by Jakondite; 04-23-2017, 07:56 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jakondite View Post
                              Soul Stones proxy for their creators for the purpose of sympathy because of their connected nature, so... - still not entirely sure that borrowed threads is a requirement - in the same way that I don't think you'd need to borrow threads from a picture of a person to cast a curse on them.
                              Per the dev's post from last August:

                              Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
                              Spells are always withstood by your level of sympathy to the subject; how good a representation of the the sympathetic yantra is doesn't do anything, because it doesn't provide its dice bonus when used to activate the Attainment.

                              The way you do things like "ahahahaha, I have a drop of your blood, so I can curse you from across the country" is to cast Borrow Threads on the blood first, and then cast your spell.


                              Resident Lore-Hound
                              Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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