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  • Gnosis levels

    So I'm working on the NPC mages that populate my chronicle and had a question. What sort of spread of Gnosis do mages have now in 2e? It looks like in 1e a gnosis above five was more archmage level stuff but not so in 2e. That seems like it makes the 1e NPCs not necessarily best things to go off of. For example, The Nemean in the old corebook is Gnosis 5. But in 2e would he be higher? Anyone have any info on this or am I missing something?
    Last edited by Therian; 01-02-2019, 10:23 AM.

  • #2
    Well, something to take into consideration is that anyone with a gnosis of 5 or above is capable of being a master, though they aren't necessarily one. If you go with an average of 100 mages per city (approx 50 for the Pentacle and 50 for the Seers (something on the scale of Dave B's numbers)), you should have approximately 2 masters in your consilium. So that means at least 2 mages will have a gnosis of 5 or higher. Obviously you could alter these numbers, say by increasing how many mages are in your average consilium or by increasing the average gnosis of mages.

    Perhaps a better way of answering the question would be how dangerous is your world? Realistically speaking most mages don't die of old age, they die of things killing them. Mages are, after all, some of the most curious people in the world. So if your world (or at least the local scene) is quite dangerous then you're not going to have a lot of powerful mages. If the place has an average amount of danger for a CofD game, then I'd go with the numbers above, perhaps slightly tweaked to get exactly what you're looking for. If the local scene is fairly safe with an abundance of mysteries, you could have multiple masters in each order.

    Does that help?

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    • #3
      One way to decide would be to examine the historical events that leads to the actual state of the consilium

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      • #4
        There was an earlier discussion about this subject, where I managed to dig out some of the developer's calculations:

        Link

        They're taken from 1st edition, but they're based on Legacy calculations. Since in 2nd edition Gnosis requirements for Legacy initiations are lowered by 1, you can take the suggested percentages and shift them by one step, making Masters scarcer. It would make Gnosis 5 Mages 10% of the population, as opposed to 29% as was suggested for the 1st edition.


        Find my Homebrew Fangs of Mara 2ed update Here

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        • #5
          Gnosis is not a good way to determine if a Mage is approaching archmastery, there are more Gnosis 10 Mages than there are archmasters and many of them will never seek the Threshold.

          That said, it’s whatever is most appropriate for the needs of your game.

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          • #6
            In the Chronicles of Darkness book there are descriptions for how rare stats are. example is 4 Brawl is indicitive of a MMA champion or a world class martial arts star, 4 Medicine might be a brai surgeon at a world class hospital, and 4 subterfuge is a world renowned poker player or a top pay deep cover spy. These are at 4 dots. Attributes follow this too. 4 strength and 4 stamina means your olympic gold medal quality and 5 dots is literally peak human maximum power, strength 6 you literally need non human muscles or physiology cuz that strength hints at tearing your own arm apart cuz your stength exceeds the physical limits of your natural body. And 5 Intelligence is simply astonishing, Sherlock Holmes memory retention and deduction and processing of information is SUUUPER fast.

            You can see how rare such people must be!

            I apply this to magic too. 3 gnosis 3 arcana is someone who is highly competent and well respected. Theyre called Disciples but make no mistake, theyre very qualified!

            4 gnosis 4 arcana is very rare, their power isnt just considerable, but they're probably the movers and shakers of comventional mage society. Unless its a very populous and dynamic scene like in Daves games or a major location like NYC or London or Hong Kong, anyone but the hierarch, if that, might only be Adepts.

            Players dont seem to do this but NPCs across the games hint that npc mages have a bias toward merits rotes and gnosis and ignore arcana, so an adept with gnosis 7 isnt out of the question.

            So I'd say what arcana maximums your mages have is more important than gnosis. However, for deciding Gnosis, I'd recommend focusing on how that high gnosis will affect their NIMBUS and their perspective. A high gnosis mage might have severe reactions to being told they don't know whats going on, the sensation of knowing the truth will be very strong for them. How many peeps you want with block spanning nimbi and intense gnosis side effects is a good thing to consider.

            The way I have it is that I only run 1 Master for every 50 mages in a given area on average, and higher for hot spot areas. My settings town has 200 mages investigating a world class mystery, and yet there are only 5 or so masters and maybe 15 adepts. Mooost mages are gnosis 2 on my side, making their dice pools 4, which by CofD att+skill conventions makes them "average" which I find very helpful. Most mages cant effect much at 4 dice which allows me to have lots of them without too many people noticing them (ie hunters)

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            • #7
              The problem with with equating Gnosis and the Arcana to mundane attribute, is that Mages have two pools of Beats to draw from in order to advance them.
              You can also consider the Gnosis levels in terms of what they 'mean' in terms of how powerful they make Mages.
              Also unlike many other Supernaturals, the only real disadvantage from increased Gnosis is increased Paradox dice for each uncompensated reach, so Mages are strongly incentivised to increase it.

              The way I see it, until you hit Gnosis 3 you're essentially basically still barely out of your apprenticeship, as that's when you get the largest number of extra abilities (3rd Yantra slot, 2nd Obsession, 1-hour casting interval, Combined Spellcasting, the ability to form your own Legacy, the ability to get to Adepthood).

              Gnosis 4 is the truly "experienced" Mage, as they have finally reached the stage where they can (probably) teach others their Legacy.

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              • #8
                When I was first doing mage, thats exaaactly how I did things! I found that making most mages gnosis 2 ended up making my setting faaar more stable. With Gnosis 3 Mages the most common I kept having issues where my players were unnotivated to solve problems cuz they figured other people should realistically be dealing with local dangers and mysteries, but when most everyone was gnosis 2 the problem vanished!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Scarlet Witch View Post
                  When I was first doing mage, thats exaaactly how I did things! I found that making most mages gnosis 2 ended up making my setting faaar more stable. With Gnosis 3 Mages the most common I kept having issues where my players were unnotivated to solve problems cuz they figured other people should realistically be dealing with local dangers and mysteries, but when most everyone was gnosis 2 the problem vanished!

                  Yep, there was even a similar thing in the Voice of Freedom AP, throwing quite a curveball to the GM. The players discovered an aswang, but instead of chasing after it and getting their very green characters into a dangerous situation, they simply called the Sentinels. They were some very experienced Arrows, who quickly apprehended it, then had the Guardians come in to clean up the scene MIB style. Very clean and efficient, even if they made it clear there was no "cure" for the cryptid and it was going to be executed, but then again, even if they felt bad, it didn't reflect badly on their Wisdom. On one hand, that sounds like how a Consilia is supposed to work, but on the other hand, some trouble still happens in such a setting because certain secrets are too tempting to have them exposed to the public.


                  New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.


                  The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

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                  • #10
                    Calling in competent backup is not the wrong thing to do to have a good game, and when Mages are new that's a good way to show case how other Mages handle things, have them model their Orders, act as Mentors, stuff like that. As new Mages become less new they will become the competent backup.

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