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Spellcasting and Paradox penalties

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  • Spellcasting and Paradox penalties

    So we're just getting into the post Awakening section of my new Mage game, and while reviewing the rules I just noticed that successful paradox dice end up as penalties for the spellcasting dice roll. I notice a lot of the paradox anomalies work off the spell actually going off so I was a little surprised by the fact that a lot of times it might just cause the spell to fail. For those of you running the game already, how does that usually come up in play? It seems like the paradox would be more interesting warping the spell than just fizzling it out.

  • #2
    Well, I think the strange stuff happening with a spell is when there are a low number of successes and is just meant to be a slap on the hand. At higher amounts you are more likely to gain Conditions, which are far more troubling than just your spell fizzling. You can also cause Anomalies or summon an entity at high levels, which can make things even weirder than a spell having some minor changes to it. Basically, Paradox is not meant to be just a spell manipulation but rather strange/bad stuff happening.


    "Teamwork makes the dream work!"

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    • #3
      The penalty might be to protect players, but, I never use that rule cuz my friends and I love chaos. I recommend ignoring the dice penalty cuz it also keeps the player aware of only the risk of the paradox and not the results, speeds things along too. Id talk to your players about it and see what they think, but the penalty is meant to let them know they are facing paradox before they roll, as some players are very particular about knowing what they need to "roll for" and some will hope to fail than face paradox. There are plenty of superstitious dice rollers who need to know the precise "value to shoot for" as if rolling dice requires skill. Nothing against it but, these players need your accomodation too so theeey might care about the paradox penalty roll.

      But not me. I like seeing paradoxes so I dump the penalty.

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      • #4
        I have always ruled that Paradox happens whether the spell succeeds or not. It is just there are options if the spell succeeds.


        "Teamwork makes the dream work!"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Scarlet Witch View Post
          The penalty might be to protect players, but, I never use that rule cuz my friends and I love chaos. I recommend ignoring the dice penalty cuz it also keeps the player aware of only the risk of the paradox and not the results, speeds things along too. Id talk to your players about it and see what they think, but the penalty is meant to let them know they are facing paradox before they roll, as some players are very particular about knowing what they need to "roll for" and some will hope to fail than face paradox. There are plenty of superstitious dice rollers who need to know the precise "value to shoot for" as if rolling dice requires skill. Nothing against it but, these players need your accomodation too so theeey might care about the paradox penalty roll.

          But not me. I like seeing paradoxes so I dump the penalty.
          Im thinking I will make make it so the penalty is optional on my part. That I can add up to the paradox successes but can choose not to.

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          • #6
            Just a side note, from the book itself:

            Success: A Paradox occurs, regardless of the spellcasting’s success or failure.
            So, removing the penalty is not really all that important. Unless you really just want to mess with the spell. Feels like you are limiting the havoc you can cause by just limiting your Paradox usage to spell manipulation. But it is your table.


            "Teamwork makes the dream work!"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Taldorblackfire View Post
              Just a side note, from the book itself:



              So, removing the penalty is not really all that important. Unless you really just want to mess with the spell. Feels like you are limiting the havoc you can cause by just limiting your Paradox usage to spell manipulation. But it is your table.
              Well I’m definitely not limiting myself, but what happens if you have one or two successes on a paradox roll and with the penalty the spell fails? It doesn’t seem like there would be any anomalies to use since evnvirontment and Abyssal entities are higher than that. Am I missing something?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Therian View Post

                Well I’m definitely not limiting myself, but what happens if you have one or two successes on a paradox roll and with the penalty the spell fails? It doesn’t seem like there would be any anomalies to use since evnvirontment and Abyssal entities are higher than that. Am I missing something?
                Put a condition on the target of the spell, doesn't need to succeed for them to suffer a condition. Maybe you planned on giving them a Hex, but Paradox happened and while the spell did not succeed they still gain a condition that benefits them or vice versa. You can remove an existing spell, modify an existing spell, or cause their nimbus tilt to affect them in a negative way. You could also make the area resonant with the abyss causing abyssal creatures to go to that area to feed off the essence growing stronger. Maybe all the light bulbs in the room explode for no reason. Lots of things can happen when you mess with the Abyss.


                "Teamwork makes the dream work!"

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                • #9
                  Um, hello? There's a very good reason why there's a dice penalty. If the dice penalty causes the spell to only have a chance die then there's a possibility of a dramatic failure, which has further mechanical consequences. If you're wondering why there's a dice penalty, there it is.

                  Edit: Sorry, I don't mean to be insulting.
                  Last edited by Falcon777; 01-04-2019, 12:45 AM. Reason: Snarkiness not intended.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Falcon777 View Post
                    If you're wondering why there's a dice penalty, there it is.
                    Also: Higher odds of failure mean stacking bonus dice on subsequent Paradox rolls in the same scene, which is easy to arrive at if you're working with a thought process of "if you need a result ASAP and the first attempt fails, try again."


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

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                    • #11
                      Yep, also other good reasons as well. Forgot about the Dramatic Failure, free ABeats!


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