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Musings about mechanics for the fate arcanum

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  • Musings about mechanics for the fate arcanum

    So i was doing some thinking and tinkering about the Fate arcanum (while being gameless), so I threw together a mechanic intended for spells that come to pass at some time in the future; such as "Quantum flux", "Shifting the Odds" and "Strings of Fate"

    Instead of using the normal duration chart; flip the chart upside down; and the effect of the spell happens at the end of the new duration. It is a lot easier for things to fall in your favor if there is a lot of time for the events to actually align. With reach spent on advanced duration, it happens improbably quickly.

    One year | Basic success
    One month | -2
    One week | -4
    One day | -6
    One scene | -8
    One minute | -10

    Advanced
    10 turns | Basic success
    5 turns | -2
    3 turns | -4
    2 turns | -6
    1 turn | -8

    Another mechanic idea i had is a chart similar to Temporal sympathy, but corresponding to probability, and used to Withstand fate spells. This one i'm still quite vague about (didn't develop it much...)
    I'm leaning towards something like this; the advantage this brings is that you can put a clause such as what is present in the sympathy charts, making the highest level untouchable except to Level 5 spells. It probably needs more details and granularity though.
    0 - Random events
    3 - biased towards success or failure
    4 - slight chance of happening (guessing passwords maybe?)
    5 - Nearly Impossible or Nearly certain events (Miracle level shenanigans).


    I also have some vague ideas about Using a persistent condition that changes based on the target's action for Divine intervention and using a description similar to prophecy for Chaos mastery, but that's just up in the air...

  • #2
    For probability, I'd go
    0 - biased toward success (but not assured or extremely likely)
    1 - random chance (actual chance is unknown)
    2 - 50/50
    3 - biased toward failure (but success isn't surprising)
    4 - very unlikely, but not "impossible".
    5 - Miracle level impossibility.

    (1 and 2 could be swapped, easily)
    Last edited by Vent0; 02-07-2018, 06:29 AM.


    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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    • #3
      Very interesting take on it. It does make sense for changes being more difficult the more immediate you want them to be and the idea of the "probability Withstand"is very ingenious.


      I'm So Meta Even This Acronym

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      • #4
        Ooh, this looks fun. Even if it’s not for Mage, it’s still something to make use of for destiny-shaping powers.


        MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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        • #5
          How would this interact with things like placing Tilts in time constrained conditions?

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          • #6
            You need to be very skillful/powerful or lucky to pull it out, and use Reach.


            I'm So Meta Even This Acronym

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            • #7
              Yeah, I’m not sure I like that aspect of it, though I do find the house rule being proposed here interesting.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                For probability, I'd go
                0 - biased toward success (but not assured or extremely likely)
                1 - random chance (actual chance is unknown)
                2 - 50/50
                3 - biased toward failure (but success isn't surprising)
                4 - very unlikely, but not "impossible".
                5 - Miracle level impossibility.

                (1 and 2 could be swapped, easily)

                I am finding it hard to word this in the right way.

                I would put your 0 (truly random) and 2 (50/50) on the same level: a situation where any outcome is equally likely. 50/50 odds is just a special case where the number of possible options is 2.

                What about this:
                0 = Equal odds or better
                1 = Less than equal odds
                2 = unlikely to happen (>5%)
                3 = very unlikely to happen (>1%)
                4 = Only theoretically possible (approaches 0%)
                5 = Statistical impossibility (i.e. requires multiple events rated 4 to happen simultaneously in order to have a chance of occurring)

                Level 5 improbability must be done with making/unmaking.

                Lucky Number and Chaos Mastery would have a withstand of 4 on this chart.

                An interesting possibility would be a spell that makes an event more or less likely to happen by changing the Likeliness of an event.


                Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                How would this interact with things like placing Tilts in time constrained conditions?
                As i wrote in the first post, the delayed onset chart was mostly intended for three particular spells; where the effect takes place within 24 hours (or a week of casting). If i were to apply it to other types of spells, i would make the resulting Tilt/Condition lasting; you'd have to recover from the tilt or resolve it the normal way. After all, the Magic part only brought the circumstances where it happened into play; the effect itself is not magical.
                However, i haven't really thought about using it this way.

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                • #9
                  Seems that Potency is the spell factor that should apply to your chart unless you want to create a new Spell Factor. Duration should retain its meaning, methinks. I do like this notion, so I'll consider it a bit and see what bubbles up.


                  Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MovingMind View Post
                    So i was doing some thinking and tinkering about the Fate arcanum (while being gameless), so I threw together a mechanic intended for spells that come to pass at some time in the future; such as "Quantum flux", "Shifting the Odds" and "Strings of Fate"

                    Instead of using the normal duration chart; flip the chart upside down; and the effect of the spell happens at the end of the new duration. It is a lot easier for things to fall in your favor if there is a lot of time for the events to actually align. With reach spent on advanced duration, it happens improbably quickly.

                    One year | Basic success
                    One month | -2
                    One week | -4
                    One day | -6
                    One scene | -8
                    One minute | -10

                    Advanced
                    10 turns | Basic success
                    5 turns | -2
                    3 turns | -4
                    2 turns | -6
                    1 turn | -8
                    Bwahahahahahaha!!!!!

                    *ahem*

                    So, I wrote a "Conjunction" spell factor to handle this in Fate, but it got cut both because of word count limits and because at the extreme end of Advanced Conjunction, it strained credulity even for Awakened magic. (My playtesters joked about the perpetually annoyed wizard cop who went around using Space magic to ensure chance meetings between people on opposite ends of the world drawn together by Strings of Fate with the Advanced Conjunction dialed up implausibly high - not because he cared, but because Destiny itself had essentially made it his job to enforce the dictates of Fate manufactured by the whims of Acanthus.)

                    And you more or less just backed into it independently, which is both awesome and hilarious. Here's how it looked when I dialed back Advanced Conjunction so that my players would stop begging me to have a little pity for that poor cop:

                    Conjunction

                    Many Fate spells – and certain spells of other Arcana – indicate that the event the spell brings about happens within 24 hours (Conjunction). This is the maximum amount of time that will pass before the event the spell put into motion takes place - with the exact timing determined by the Storyteller. Conjunction is treated as a separate spell factor for those spells that have it, with increases in the Conjunction factor reducing the maximum interval. By adding +1 Reach, the mage can move Conjunction to Advanced Conjunction. Spells with a Conjunction count any Duration from the time the conjunction takes place, not from the time the mage casts the spell. However, they count toward Spell Control immediately.
                    Factor Conjunction Advanced Conjunction
                    1 (basic success) 24 hours One hour
                    2 12 hours 30 minutes
                    3 Eight hours 15 minutes
                    4 Six hours 10 minutes
                    5 Four hours Five minutes
                    6 Three hours Three minutes
                    I also found it useful for adjudicating things like a weather control spell where you want a bigger effect than you can safely manage, but you're not too particular about exactly when the thunderstorm (or whatever) hits. A one-hour maximum delay might reduce the dice penalty imposed by spell factors by two, for example, while a 24-hour delay would reduce the spell's Reach by one.

                    In the same vein, you could probably experiment with something similar for hostile transformations with Life or Mind. You don't just turn your victim into a frog; you set the amphibian transformation into motion, and his body slowly takes on the new shape over the course of an hour or day or week or month - although that shouldn't be allowed to dodge Duration, since some of the "benefits" of the spell come into play long before you reach the limits of the Conjunction.

                    There's plenty of textual support for this sort of thing in the game's inspirational media, so I'm happy to see someone else playing with this idea, too.


                    Onyx Path Freelancer and Fantasy Author

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                    • #11
                      Hmmm, i like your chart better than mine, but i think the extra factor is going to far. Mind you i like options and complexity, but i'm probably the only one in my group...
                      What about making it a lesser utility attainment for the Fate Arcanum.

                      Fate: Machinations of Fate <provisional name>
                      The mage can break down the imago of his spell such that rather than taking effect instantaneously, the effect gradually unfolds over a period of time.
                      To use this attainment, spend 1 mana and choose a length of time.
                      This is the maximum amount of time that will pass before the event the spell put into motion takes place - with the exact timing determined by the Storyteller.
                      Spells with a Conjunction count any Duration from the time the conjunction takes place, not from the time the mage casts the spell. However, they count toward Spell Control immediately.
                      1 hour - +1 step on any spell factor.
                      1 day - +1 reach

                      This way it's not such a big change.

                      Any ideas about the name?

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                      • #12
                        An Attainment works, as well. I just woke up, so naming things is gonna be hard for me just now. I find that either the name is obvious to me immediately or I end up having to agonize over it. Machinations of Fate is fine. Something that evokes words of prophecy could work, too. But having something that does what you want is usually a higher priority in house rules than giving it a cool name.


                        Onyx Path Freelancer and Fantasy Author

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