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  • Alternate Arcana Attainments

    I'm pretty dissatisfied with the Forces arcana attainments, so I think a do over is in order.

    The changes I'm making:

    Forces 2: Spend a mana to gain Sensory Range on Forces spells. You can thank the smug sidebar that mentions how dangerous working with Forces can be for this change.

    Forces 4: There's no reason at all that you shouldn't be able to enter a CoW if someone casts a direct Forces spell at you at this level. So I'm adding that to the original attainment.

    While I'm at it:

    Matter 4: Changing the Durability of an object is really lackluster, especially since the change only lasts a Scene. To be fair to whoever made this attainment, we didn't have Perfected Materials yet. Instead, a Mage with Matter 4 can Perfect a material without the use of Twilight or a spell. Right now I'm toying with the idea that it modifies Mage Sight when using Scrutiny on an object. Treat the Size, Durability, or Structure (Whichever is greater) as the Opacity of the Mystery (Material to be Perfected). This must be performed in a Demesne, Verge, or other appropriately resonant location for the task of Perfecting. Times between Scrutiny rolls are an hour as you're not just studying the material, but slowly teasing the imperfections of its existence out of it. Mana can be spent as usual to accrue more successes. Once the Opacity is reduced to 0, roll a Revelation to "cap" the process. The transformation is permanent. This method of Perfecting cannot be used on energies such as Fire, or on living materials such as blood or flesh.

  • #2
    Yeah the Forces attainments are definitly... lackluster to say the least. I agree with your assessment of Forces 4, it should entitle you to a CoW and your thoughts on Matter 4 are also interesting. I'm not sure about Forces 2 though....

    Forces 2: What is the metaphysical reasoning here though? Time and Space do it because they help with reaches that literally touch upon their purviews. Matter can do it for Matter because to be enduring is distinctly a property of matter, even when Matter changes in the end there will allways be matter left over. How does Forces relate to sensory range? Is it because all of our senses are related to forces? Makes sense from an anthropological viewpoint but in mage the truth is not necessarily constrained by a human perspective. For now it seems to me that range is mostly a seperation of space, not purview of Forces. On the other hand Forces may be king when it comes to spells that enhance the range of your senses (see "Zoom In"). I like the idea, I'm just not fully convinced of the metaphysics yet.

    Here's an alternative that came to mind: Forces releases alot of Force but doesn't last long. By spending a point of mana the mage can add 2 to the potency of a Forces spell, however the spell cannot reach for advanced duration.
    Last edited by Flinty; 10-03-2017, 06:55 PM.


    My Mage 2e Homebrew

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    • #3
      The reason for Sensory Range is as I said because of the sidebar on pg. 141:

      Many Forces effects are just as harmful to the
      mage herself as they are to any potential victims.
      If the mage does not Reach to cast them at sensory
      range, she could just as easily electrocute or
      incinerate herself in the process. Some effects are
      beneficial enough that the mage need not worry
      about harming herself, such as warming a cold
      area or lighting a dark room, but proper caution
      is advised when conjuring fire, explosions, electricity,
      and other such destructive forces.
      This sidebar is basically saying that Sensory Range is required to use Forces safely, if it's going to be required then it makes sense that Forces Mages would develop such a propensity for using Forces at Sensory Range that they learn to spend just a mana to make it happen instead of a Reach.

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      • #4
        Attainments aren't about what would be useful for that particular arcarnum, they're effects that logically stem from a deep understanding of it. Nothing in forces logically lends itself to being able to cast at greater range. If anything that is an alternate form a space attainment could take.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Elfive View Post
          Attainments aren't about what would be useful for that particular arcarnum, they're effects that logically stem from a deep understanding of it. Nothing in forces logically lends itself to being able to cast at greater range. If anything that is an alternate form a space attainment could take.
          Attainments are magical effects, similar to spells but not subject
          to the same rules. They allow a mage to employ meta-magical
          effects in order to improve the efficacy of her Arcana and change
          the world around her in lasting ways.
          ​Yeah, I think the text disagrees with you. It doesn't say anything about it needing to be thematically appropriate to the arcana, and to my mind, easing the use of Forces at Sensory Range certainly would be thematically appropriate to boot.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
            ​Yeah, I think the text disagrees with you. It doesn't say anything about it needing to be thematically appropriate to the arcana
            That passage is not the reason I believe that attainments need to be thematically appropriate to the arcarna. I think that because every single fucking attainment in the fucking book is thematically appropriate to it's arcarnum. It's called pattern recognition.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Elfive View Post
              That passage is not the reason I believe that attainments need to be thematically appropriate to the arcarna. I think that because every single fucking attainment in the fucking book is thematically appropriate to it's arcarnum. It's called pattern recognition.
              I don't think you understood why I used the quote. I was backing up my claim via the text, which is to say that this explicit piece of text is a superior piece of evidence to your implied evidence. Oh, and I think that a Sensory Range attainment is thematically appropriate to Forces too, and fits your "pattern recognition" requirement. So I don't know what you're getting so bilious for.

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              • #8
                By the same logic, though, it would also make sense for Mages with an understanding in Forces to develop ways to handle spells. I feel like throwing a lightning javelin or tossing a fireball is thematically appropriate too, which would require use of being able to hold that energy without hurting oneself. Hmmm....

                So, what about this:

                A Forces apprentice has learned how to shield himself from the naturally harmful energies that he has been working with. A Forces apprentice can spend a dram of mana as he is casting to protect himself from the energies his spell. This protection lasts until the spell dissipates or until the end of the scene, whichever comes first.

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                • #9
                  That's not a bad alternative. I like doing Sensory Range because it's only a slight variation on existing rules for attainments. Doing something like that would allow you to reach into a fire and grab a handful of the stuff to hurl at a foe or direct where you will though. I like it, except it feels a bit like a cheat, like if you got Alchemist's Touch as an attainment at Matter 2 and better damage reduction.

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                  • #10
                    Well, it only works for your own spells, and you have to spend a mana per spell to shield yourself, so it's not quite as useful as a shielding spell. That being said it can save you a spell slot.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                      So I don't know what you're getting so bilious for.
                      You opened this thread by calling the sidebar in question "smug." Let's not pretend to impartial presentation here.

                      The trouble with Sensory Range is that it removes one of the other big dangers of using Forces right out the gate, i.e. using a spell at range without Reaching for it means you have to use Area Scale and risk the effects of an already volatile Arcanum propagating through the usual caveat about what things are Lasting. "Spend a Mana instead of a Reach" translates to, among other things, "Spend a Mana instead of [Paradox dice] Mana" for effects that push your limits.

                      The Lesser Utility Attainment for Life enhances Pattern Restoration; suppose Forces enhanced the effects of flaring your Nimbus?

                      For that matter, the Lesser Utility Attainment for Matter makes Advanced Duration easier; suppose Forces had greater access to Advanced Potency?


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

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                        You opened this thread by calling the sidebar in question "smug." Let's not pretend to impartial presentation here.

                        The trouble with Sensory Range is that it removes one of the other big dangers of using Forces right out the gate, i.e. using a spell at range without Reaching for it means you have to use Area Scale and risk the effects of an already volatile Arcanum propagating through the usual caveat about what things are Lasting. "Spend a Mana instead of a Reach" translates to, among other things, "Spend a Mana instead of [Paradox dice] Mana" for effects that push your limits.

                        The Lesser Utility Attainment for Life enhances Pattern Restoration; suppose Forces enhanced the effects of flaring your Nimbus?

                        For that matter, the Lesser Utility Attainment for Matter makes Advanced Duration easier; suppose Forces had greater access to Advanced Potency?
                        I don’t recall saying that I was making an impartial presentation. That said, I’m not using caustic language (Maybe slightly abrasive) against those whom I might disagree with. Basically, feel free to disagree, but keep it civil, and definitely, don’t presume I haven’t read and familiarized myself with these rules and their patterns, etc. and then take a condescending tone.

                        Now, on to the rest: I’m aware that allowing Sensory Range for a mana removes most of the danger of the use of Forces. That’s rather why I think that Mages over the untold ages they’ve had access to Forces would have developed a safer alternative. It also doesn’t lessen the inherent Hubris in the use of Forces for any number of things except in that it’s no longer necessary to pay the Reach tax of casting at Sensory to keep from being burned. If anything, it encourages you to control the fire to burn the bad guy because it’s a “safer” and easier route.

                        Your two examples of increased effect to Nimbus or Potency are well taken, but again I wanted to deviate from existing rules as little as possible. That makes your advancement of Potency the more compelling case, but it suffers from being very niche. The only instance in which it might matter is if someone entered a Forces CoW, or attempts to Dispel it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                          Your two examples of increased effect to Nimbus or Potency are well taken, but again I wanted to deviate from existing rules as little as possible. That makes your advancement of Potency the more compelling case, but it suffers from being very niche. The only instance in which it might matter is if someone entered a Forces CoW, or attempts to Dispel it.
                          I mean, this would be coming at the same level of Forces as Control Weather and Environmental Shield open up, and Forces is pretty well-stocked with effects that are likely to contend with Counterspelling compared to less energetic Arcana.


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

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                          • #14
                            The passage describing the attainments not mentioning that they have to be thematically appropriate isn't evidence against the notion that they should be at all, because why the hell would it? It's just an intro telling you what they do, not guidelines for making your own. They're all pre-made. We're not supposed to make our own, and so specifying the design parameters would just be a waste of wordcount.
                            Last edited by Elfive; 10-04-2017, 05:02 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                              The passage describing the attainments not mentioning that they have to be thematically appropriate isn't evidence against the notion that they should be at all, because why the hell would it? It's just an intro telling you what they do, not guidelines for making your own. They're all pre-made. We're not supposed to make our own, and so specifying the design parameters would just be a waste of wordcount.
                              I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but sprinkled here and there throughout all of the CoD game line are words like, “You can use this as is or change it.”

                              In fact under the 2-dot Arcana Attainment header is the sentence, “Below are some of the most common Lesser Utilities, though the players and the Storytellers may devise others.”

                              You don’t know what you’re talking about.

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