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[2e] Convince me Prime is great

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  • [2e] Convince me Prime is great

    Now I haven't actually played the game yet, but when considering the types of characters I'd want to play someday, it always feels like Prime is a bit dull compared to other Arcana. Is that the case? I can see the appeal from a mechanical point of view, with dispellings and how it can interact with Hallows and Tass. But ... I'm having a difficult time seeing really cool stuff to do with it. With Forces you could control technology, command the elements. Life lets you heal and shapechange, Mind has a whole lot of broad stuff you can do with it. Etc. Prime, in contrast, seem a bit ... boring. Functional, but boring.

    So, what would you do with Prime in-game that makes it fun? In what kind of situations does Prime turn into something that's awesome and really cool to have many dots in, or lead to nice role-playing?

  • #2
    Admittedly, Prime doesn't seem like much at first glance; however, with a few more glances it does shine.

    Prime is the Swiss army knife of the Arcana; it has a lot of tools that you can use for just about any situation. Someone tosses a fireball at you? Universal counterspell. You need the key to this door? You can make a skeleton key out of nothing. You get into a fight with beings of Twilight, but can't quite hit them? Prime solves that issue just fine.

    Prime is also great in conjunction with other arcana. The more arcana you have then the prime arcana just gets better and better.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ever Professional View Post
      Prime is also great in conjunction with other arcana. The more arcana you have then the prime arcana just gets better and better.
      Like Voltron...

      Also the Attainments are wonderful, specifically Imbue Item. I'll note that's also the level you get Apocalypse so the ability to record mage sight or imbued items that grant mage sight would be some of the most common items (everyone that can Imbue Items can make them, and the utility is obvious and ubiquitous).
      Last edited by Pale_Crusader; 07-18-2017, 05:06 PM.


      “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
      "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

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      • #4
        God where do I even begin? I don't think I could make a character -without- Prime. It's like... well, yeah the swiss army knife of the Arcana is a good analogy. 2e Prime is a bit different from 1e Prime so I'm not as well versed in selling it as I was - but here we go.

        Prime is at the core of magic itself. By itself, it is probably not a very interesting concept because it seems like it is a religious tool more than anything else. In fact, the Arcana actually expresses that without other Arcana it is fairly empty. I personally kind of look at it like... coding? Most people using computers utilize graphical icons to run programs, not really understanding the code that goes into that - you might liken that to the use of Forces, Mind, Spirit, etc. Prime however would be the equivalent to understanding the very coding of the magic you are using. Utilizing that coding, you can use the powers that you have to do things that otherwise might seem impossible.

        One of the things I did in 1e with prime is I had a penchant for creating -worlds-. Fantastical worlds, impossible worlds that most people would say couldn't exist. My Silver Ladder would utilize Prime to create the illusion, and mind / space to solidify that illusion further. While illusions have been removed from the purview of prime, instead of creating solid 'truths', that doesn't change the possibility of that - the use of Platonic Form and Eidolon still seem pretty solid as tools to create and simulate environments and the like.

        Ultimately though, Prime is not really a 'by itself' arcana. It's kind of a supplementary arcana. For instance, affecting resonance is all well and good - but your going to find a lot more use in altering resonance if you say focus on the spirit world.


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        • #5
          Prime's ability to mess with ley lines is basically a ready-made linker for Mysteries; whether you're observing what sort of phenomena are drawn to a node or pinning a bunch of lines together to try and give form to an Aetheric Verge, Prime gives you the tools to directly shake the tree of knowledge and see what falls out.


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

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ever Professional View Post
            Admittedly, Prime doesn't seem like much at first glance; however, with a few more glances it does shine.

            Prime is the Swiss army knife of the Arcana; it has a lot of tools that you can use for just about any situation. Someone tosses a fireball at you? Universal counterspell. You need the key to this door? You can make a skeleton key out of nothing. You get into a fight with beings of Twilight, but can't quite hit them? Prime solves that issue just fine.

            Prime is also great in conjunction with other arcana. The more arcana you have then the prime arcana just gets better and better.

            Ooh, what spell is it you would use to create a skeleton key out of nothing? Is it something like Platonic Form? But could you make one to fit a specific lock?

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            • #7
              It would be Platonic Form, not something like it. You can make Platonic Form take any simple shape, so yes it could fit in a specific lock.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Razikale View Post


                Ooh, what spell is it you would use to create a skeleton key out of nothing? Is it something like Platonic Form? But could you make one to fit a specific lock?

                Exactly Platonic Form for the first question. First the term skeleton key is use, let me also introduce a more modern term 'master key'. Both are as simple as a gemstone or sword. Master keys and skeleton keys don't open a "specific lock", they open many types of locks. I'd say a good larceny or crafts roll, or the use of the encyclopedic knowledge or eidetic memory merits + having done research on master keys would be enough mundane help to know which type of master key to form the Platonic Form as, after that it's just a matter of making it. Basically it is the ability to turn something simple that is in your mind into a physical thing. VERY handy.
                Don't want to know the topic of locks and keys? Use magic to cheat and add Matter 1 Knowing. Prime can do it with knowledge or a little magic help to gain that knowledge. I would argue not knowing what you're doing will hamper any use of magic so requiring knowledge doesn't make it weaker.

                Also the Master Key/Skeleton Key locks within the same building tend to be the same type so you just made a key that will open most of the building with a single casting...

                Also from unarmed to carrying a sword is also handy and doesn't require any special knowledge.
                Last edited by Pale_Crusader; 07-19-2017, 03:34 PM.


                “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
                "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

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                • #9
                  Y'know when the big bad is basically Avade-Kedabra NPCs and cabalmates left and right with unmaking praxes and then you shut him down hard with counterspell after counterspell? That's an example.

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                  • #10
                    The first archetype that pops into my head when i think of Prime is the anti-mage, someone whose magical specialization is disrupting magic. The ability to negate hostile spells is crucial to any warrior or assassin who targets enemy mages, but also to any guardian of magical spaces and any explorer of Atlantean ruins. It's also crucial for anyone who strives to uphold the Lex Magica, be they investigators, judges or executioners. Such individuals will also be greatly aided by Prime's ability to reveal and enforce Truth. As will diplomats and arbitrators, who also enjoy the protection from the rash or underhanded use of magic that abounds when tempers flare at the negotiation table.

                    I think the issue is that while Prime can make for really cool and interesting characters, they will tend not to function very well outside the specific context of "mage stuff". A magical PI or leyline stitcher isn't useless on a vampire hunt, but their utility drops off in a way you don't really see with the other Arcana.

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                    • #11
                      I personally find defining Prime's purview as "truth" first and "magic" later significantly help in making it more appealing.


                      MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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                      • #12
                        What about a Prime Artificer. I do not mean the "boring" guy that just studies strong magical items (yeah, stuff created by archmasters, proto-portals to worlds unknown, cursed blades.... boring stuff :P ), but the mage that creates them.

                        For example, here is a "permanent" self-recharging protective sanctum (with Prime 4)
                        Mana Source: Find a remote (not contested) Hallow to use as a mana battery (with Prime 1 or create one with Prime 5)
                        Mana Amplifier: Connect nearby ley lines to that hallow to use as Yantra and increase the Hallow's rating (more mana/day) (Prime 3)
                        Security Capacitor: Imbue the area of the hallow with Celestial Fire and set the trigger to activate when something tries to cause harm to you/your cabal
                        Mana Recharger: Imbue an other item within the hallow with Channel Mana to recharge nearby magic items (and itself) that are not at max mana using the hallow as source (Prime 3)

                        Now, anyone that breaks into this sanctum and tries to harm you (or without the password) will get a baneful Celestial Fire to the face even if in twilight. The spells are triggered automatically by the imbued items and the imbued items are recharging automatically, provided the Hallow has enough mana.

                        In my chronicle, the local Hierarch had a signature move to create Cleansed Patterned Platonic Javelins and throw them telekinetically (all in one turn as combined spell). Combined with his team and strategy (time/space wards), he surgically purged the local consilium of Seers in the past, gaining his current title of Hierarch.
                        Last edited by Shadowjim12; 07-19-2017, 08:25 PM.

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                        • #13
                          As Above so Below can turn basically any spell you can cast into a Praxis. It's easier to regenerate mana and WP for you than for other Mages.

                          Prime is particularly good at turning you into a magical imposter, no one knows that you cast that trouble-making spell because it's Veiled to frame someone else.

                          Invisible Runes basically gives you fast access to the Rune Yantra, you could even have it at Sensory Range.

                          Wards and Signs, 'nuff said.

                          Words of Truth can also double as a covert walky-talky system. The ability to communicate truth while speaking in tongues to your cabalmate who is waiting a half mile away for a report from your attempt at infiltration of a Pentecostal cult is not to be underestimated. Presumably it would work just as well if you were whispering or using sub-vocal communication. Heck, you could use sign language and the true words you're trying to send along would get passed to whoever you cast the spell on.

                          Channel Mana, cast it on a Hallow, cast it on yourself, give it a decent Duration, say a month. For the next month you don't have to be anywhere near the Hallow to draw its daily mana from it. Become a Hallow prospector.

                          Cleanse Pattern, whoops, there goes the mystical evidence that could have got you indicted at the Consilium or dogged by your political competition.

                          Display of Power: This is how you get the Rotes that other Mages know so you can jot them down with Scribe Grimoire. Now you have a spell arsenal to rival anyone you probably know, even if you can't cast those spells yourself you can probably find a buyer.

                          Geomancy: Any Node you need at a discount. Any Resonance you want as a bonus. It's been noted the subtle, but profound effects this will have on the Fallen and Shadow over time.

                          Platonic Form: If you need a hammer, and are exploiting Channel Mana properly, then you will never run out of hammers.

                          Stealing Fire: What are spell control limits? Seriously, create Sleepwalkers from your family or other Sleepers you're familiar with, you can probably bump them to Banner-Bearer with Reach, and then ask yourself if you really have to relinquish spells. Works great with Influence Mystery Cult or just Mystery Cult too. Bonus, they can't lie to you if they ever think they got the bum end of this deal because of Pierce Deception.

                          Apocalypse: Is it really worth your time to investigate every Mystery personally? Wouldn't it be much easier to send out your Sleeper friends who have been bolstered with Stealing Fire?

                          Create Truth: Fuck up your antagonist's carefully cultivated mystical landscape, and as a bonus distract them with entirely new Mysteries to Obsess over so they forget to come after you. If that doesn't work, just switch their Obsessions to one of your own anyway. Because as a Master of Prime you are a total Mage troll with

                          Forge Purpose

                          If you're trying to not turn all the Mages/Sleepwalkers/Sleepers in an area into your minions, then stick with Eidolon. Not as creative, but they can hold a fort down.

                          Basically, my opinion of Prime is that it doesn't look that great on the surface. It looks better with other arcana, sure. If you really dig into what it can do on its own though you can find a -lot- of devious applications. Notice how I only drew from the published spells, then think on the fact that Creative Thaumaturgy is basically the beating heart of this game.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                            As Above so Below can turn basically any spell you can cast into a Praxis. It's easier to regenerate mana and WP for you than for other Mages.
                            Caveat that the probabilities aren't quite equivalent, but it's still another thing that can help you squeeze more out of spells you cast a lot with tools you use a lot.

                            Invisible Runes basically gives you fast access to the Rune Yantra, you could even have it at Sensory Range.
                            I've asked about this and I don't think we've ever gotten confirmation one way or the other, but I suspect that "short message in High Speech" is not within spec for a spellcraft-booster that takes ten minutes to properly make at the height of Awakened power.

                            Channel Mana, cast it on a Hallow, cast it on yourself, give it a decent Duration, say a month. For the next month you don't have to be anywhere near the Hallow to draw its daily mana from it. Become a Hallow prospector.
                            Channel Mana's touch-based.

                            Display of Power: This is how you get the Rotes that other Mages know so you can jot them down with Scribe Grimoire. Now you have a spell arsenal to rival anyone you probably know, even if you can't cast those spells yourself you can probably find a buyer.
                            Scribe Grimoire requires knowledge of the rote or access to a grimoire.


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

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                            • #15
                              Man, imagine if we didn't had Satchel to elucidate that mages are OP but not Broken.

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