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  • Originally posted by HerbertIsBestBert View Post
    3/3/2017, on 4chan's /tg/ board, DaveB answered a couple of questions on Shadow Names
    This is the sort of thing you want to actually state outright first, given that the /tg/ archive-dump is not the primary reference and lack of text-tone makes it otherwise easy to read your response as a joke on the meaning of "arbitrary."

    So yeah, you can totally have 4, 3-dot merits for
    "The Angel of Destruction", "The Wise Old Witch", "She who waits in Shadows", and "The Mystic Leader of Mankind"
    It's having at least one Shadow Name which grants your normal life protection from your Nimbus.
    Nothing says you can't cultivate multiple separate personas.
    I imagine many Guardians do, given the 5-dot Masque benefit can grant a Shadow Name.
    The larger point stands: "developing an affinity for using multiple different Sleeper practices as magical aids" means a dramatically different thing than "investing to a moderately high degree in multiple different magical personas," particularly as a trick particular to the Sect that prefers Assemblies to Consilia and aligns itself with a variety of traditions that might otherwise sprout the odd Nameless Order.


    Resident Lore-Hound
    Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e

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    • Can you use Dream Reaching to tag along on someone else's Astral journey?

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      • no. the astral isn't a dream


        Dave Brookshaw

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        • Originally posted by Satchel View Post
          The entire deal with Tool Yantras is that they help spells whose effects are associated with what those tools do, and a generalist Libertine has the benefit of treating things like computers and astrology as specialist tools without needing particular investment. Their Instruments can be used for the things they can be used for, and the draw of techné is that that is a lot of different things, depending on the specific tool.

          So the question is more: Can Order Tools be used for any kind of spell as long as the player can give some form of semiotic justification or just spells relating to their teachings and symbolism?
          Can the Arrows use weapons and armour for things not realting to conflict? Can the Gaurdians use masks to give them selves a shit-ton of extra Prensence to give a speech infront of hundreds of people on the principles of tax-law... I don't think they can, they need to find some spell that resonates with the symbolism that the Order preaches, right?
          I just don't seem to find what the free council yantra symbolism is? I get what they can use but it's not that clear for what purpose.

          Okey now it's pretty clear, the Libertine symbolism is Culture. I didn't realize that every order has their symbolism in the heading in the "Magical Symbolism: <insert>" heading. Was looking over that and in the texts and it wasn't super clear exactly what was supposed to be their symbolism.

          Yantras worth more than one die without a limitation or cost are thin on the ground and being able to use your hobbyist cliques to manage low-key magic better is inherently geared toward having the spaces where those specialties are relevant be important to the character.
          Yeah they are sparse but the Techné merit takes up slots that you could fill most of the time anyway without it. Many times you can use a Enviroment yantra to get the same bonus. You need to be at Gnosis 3 before you could even take use of the whole merit as well as your order tool. It still takes up 3 slots to use the full effect if you want to incorporate your order tool as well, as it would be likely, already appropriate. Im just saying it seems like for most mages, it's just better to invest in the Shadow Name merit, even if you could only get one (which was pointed out, you can get more or change it). The Techné ain't any more universal as a yantra then the Shadow Name.

          It's two dots.
          Still experience, about two sessions wasted

          For the same price/.../
          Yeah but we're not talking about the other Order merits, which some of them are clearly better and more useful then others.
          But over all, it's only Masque, Prelacy and Epopt that's actually worth putting exp into, might be because they're styles.
          So 2 dots happens to be the common thing for the poor suckers that didn't get a style merit, but Lex Magica and Adamant Hand are arguably more useful even though the AH merit is pretty circumstantial.
          But yeah I'm aware that it's meant to be some extra spice for the characters, but why not make it one dot, or give every one styles that do something useful. If it ain't useful it ain't going to be bought. Sure mileage vary but i can't see why someone would choose Techné over a appropriate shadow name or such.


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          • Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
            no. the astral isn't a dream
            No, but surely you could use a Weaving or Patterning Mind spell to do just that?

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            • Originally posted by Poseur View Post

              No, but surely you could use a Weaving or Patterning Mind spell to do just that?
              Didnt the astral realms book have something similar, just port over the spells. Somebody would have to pay the mana cost for entering the astral though, Im sure one of the 1e spells let the caster spend for people he brought along.

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              • Originally posted by Poseur View Post
                Okey now it's pretty clear, the Libertine symbolism is Culture. I didn't realize that every order has their symbolism in the heading in the "Magical Symbolism: <insert>" heading. Was looking over that and in the texts and it wasn't super clear exactly what was supposed to be their symbolism.
                This was why I pointed to that section, yes.

                Yeah they are sparse but the Techné merit takes up slots that you could fill most of the time anyway without it. Many times you can use a Enviroment yantra to get the same bonus.
                By this selfsame logic you might as well never bother with common Sacraments. A place doesn't need to be resonant with gematria or ornithology for a character with the appropriate Techné to use the active presence of its practitioners anywhere to benefit spells that take less than a scene to cast.

                You need to be at Gnosis 3 before you could even take use of the whole merit as well as your order tool. It still takes up 3 slots to use the full effect if you want to incorporate your order tool as well, as it would be likely, already appropriate.
                You can make use of "the whole Merit" at Gnosis 1. The bonuses Techné opens up are not meant to be the same as the singular bonus Shadow Name opens up. Most Yantras give less than two dice — this does not make them worthless to everyone with less than four "slots."

                Im just saying it seems like for most mages, it's just better to invest in the Shadow Name merit, even if you could only get one (which was pointed out, you can get more or change it). The Techné ain't any more universal as a yantra then the Shadow Name.
                It is more universal than Shadow Name, because what the Shadow Name Merit represents is more specific than Techné. Three dots in a Shadow Name built on the symbolism of a binder of demons won't let a Libertine use religious trappings and practices for things that don't fit with that persona.

                Still experience, about two sessions wasted
                If your approach to a Merit is to call the cost of getting it a waste compared to picking up largely-redundant dots in another instance of a different Merit you already have, then it's just possible your approach to character advancement is askew.

                But yeah I'm aware that it's meant to be some extra spice for the characters, but why not make it one dot, or give every one styles that do something useful. If it ain't useful it ain't going to be bought. Sure mileage vary but i can't see why someone would choose Techné over a appropriate shadow name or such.
                Literally the same reasons a character would take Hobbyist Clique instead of/on top of Professional Training. It's not just about the dice bonuses and approaching the game in that manner is going to result in you asking a lot of fruitless variants on this question.


                Resident Lore-Hound
                Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e

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                • Death Spell Devouring the Slain (Page 130) allows a mage to harvest willpower or mana (dealing damage in a ratio 1:1) for each potency from his target. With 1 reach a mage is allowed to cast this spell on a target that has not received damage. From what is written this seems like a superior version of a spell Rotting Flesh (page 132) or a Rank 4 spell Withering (page 133) allowing the mage to deal lethal damage with a 3 dot arcanum. Is this the intent of a design ? Personally I would rule that the target has to be stationary as the intent of the spell is not to deal damage, but to replenish the mages resources.
                  Last edited by Stralos; 04-07-2018, 05:54 PM.

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                  • Originally posted by Stralos View Post
                    Death Spell Devouring the Slain (Page 130) allows a mage to harvest willpower or mana (dealing damage in a ratio 1:1) for each potency from his target. With 1 reach a mage is allowed to cast this spell on a target that has not received damage. From what is written this seems like a superior version of a spell Rotting Flesh (page 132) or a Rank 4 spell Withering (page 133) allowing the mage to deal lethal damage with a 3 dot arcanum. Is this the intent of a design ? Personally I would rule that the target has to be stationary as the intent of the spell is not to deal damage, but to replenish the mages resources.

                    Without another Reach it counts towards the limit of times you can Scour, even if you harvest Willpower instead of Mana, so that might be a balancing element. And reading the spell's description again it seems that harvesting Willpower doesn't inflict damage, though it still counts towards the Scouring limit. And Rotting Flesh has a Reach option that inflicts Social penalties, while Withering can inflict aggravated damage, so they have their niches.


                    MtAw Homebrew:
                    Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
                    New 2E Legacies, expanded

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                    • Originally posted by Stralos View Post
                      Death Spell Devouring the Slain (Page 130) allows a mage to harvest willpower or mana (dealing damage in a ratio 1:1) for each potency from his target. With 1 reach a mage is allowed to cast this spell on a target that has not received damage. From what is written this seems like a superior version of a spell Rotting Flesh (page 132) or a Rank 4 spell Withering (page 133) allowing the mage to deal lethal damage with a 3 dot arcanum. Is this the intent of a design ? Personally I would rule that the target has to be stationary as the intent of the spell is not to deal damage, but to replenish the mages resources.
                      We literally just did this one.


                      Resident Lore-Hound
                      Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e

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                      • In Legacies, it mentions that a spell that normally costs more than one Mana has the cost reduced to one Mana. However, since it seems like the spells are no longer improvised, what sort of spell costs more than one Mana?

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                        • Originally posted by aceDiamond View Post
                          In Legacies, it mentions that a spell that normally costs more than one Mana has the cost reduced to one Mana. However, since it seems like the spells are no longer improvised, what sort of spell costs more than one Mana?
                          I've found the most exploitative spell to turn into an Attainment is Platonic Form.
                          Make yourself a construct with your Potency in Mana, get a discount down to 1 with the Attainment.
                          Then drain all that Mana back out using Channel Mana.

                          Boom, free Mana.

                          But also Eidolon and Create Truth.

                          Create Truth can also be rather ludicrous as a fifth Attainment (at Gnosis 8 though, so meh).
                          Scene-long ritual, creates a 3-dot Hallow with a duration of a year, for a single point of Mana.

                          *EDIT*
                          But to concisely answer your question:
                          Not very many, and those those do are usually quite ludicrous when they only cost 1.
                          Last edited by HerbertIsBestBert; 04-07-2018, 09:23 PM.

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                          • Originally posted by HerbertIsBestBert View Post
                            Make yourself a construct with your Potency in Mana, get a discount down to 1 with the Attainment.
                            Potency increases the object's Mana capacity, which isn't filled for free by the fact of casting — the extra Mana "cost" is not so much spent as transferred. This is not just exploitative but conceptually shaky.

                            Create Truth can also be rather ludicrous as a fifth Attainment (at Gnosis 8 though, so meh).
                            Scene-long ritual, creates a 3-dot Hallow with a duration of a year, for a single point of Mana.
                            Create Truth is Withstood by the Potency of its own target effect — a 3-dot Hallow would require an effective Potency of 6 to produce.


                            Resident Lore-Hound
                            Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e

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                            • Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                              Potency increases the object's Mana capacity, which isn't filled for free by the fact of casting — the extra Mana "cost" is not so much spent as transferred. This is not just exploitative but conceptually shaky.

                              Create Truth is Withstood by the Potency of its own target effect — a 3-dot Hallow would require an effective Potency of 6 to produce.
                              Entirely correct with regards to Create Truth, can't believe I missed that.
                              However Platonic From states its cost is 1+
                              Which implies that the cost is a part of the spell, and viable for the reduction.

                              Either way you can just do what I do with my Legacy updates, and have that single point be 'stretched' across multiple uses.

                              Despite my fondness, the books are far from perfect and require some sensible adjudication.

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                              • Originally posted by Stralos View Post
                                Death Spell Devouring the Slain (Page 130) allows a mage to harvest willpower or mana (dealing damage in a ratio 1:1) for each potency from his target. With 1 reach a mage is allowed to cast this spell on a target that has not received damage. From what is written this seems like a superior version of a spell Rotting Flesh (page 132) or a Rank 4 spell Withering (page 133) allowing the mage to deal lethal damage with a 3 dot arcanum. Is this the intent of a design ? Personally I would rule that the target has to be stationary as the intent of the spell is not to deal damage, but to replenish the mages resources.

                                Satchel's prior answers are on point, but its also worth noting that Devouring the Slain is Withstood, while Withering/Rotting Flesh is not. That puts a pretty significant dent in the spells impact damage wise. Its a powerful spell, but I think it compares pretty well to plenty of the other crazy stuff that opens up at Disciple level.

                                PS Obviously, don't forget to point out to your players that using it frequently is likely to lose them a lot of Wisdom.

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