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  • A Question on Boons and Hexes

    Hello, everyone!

    Having recently started a Mage 2E chronicle, I've realised that I'm not entirely clear on how boons and hexes actually work. Sure, Exceptional Luck is pretty straightforward, but the other spells which allow you to mess around with boons and hexes confuse me. For example, Sworn Oaths applies a boon to the oath-swearer for as long as it's upheld. But what does that mean? After all, boons tend to give "benefit X for Potency rolls", or "X uses of a Condition" (or, you know, a mix and match).

    Does this mean that once the oath-swearer has used his, let's say 5 8-agains, the oath just leaves the "defend against supernatural tamperings" effect? Which, yes, is pretty great, but what if they break it and get a hex? Do they just get 5 penalised rolls and then move on with their lives, just nebulously cursed? And things like Pariah or Monkey's Paw just make me even more confused. Are there, then, 5 8-agains on the blessed item, which gets passed around? Or does everyone who hold it get those 5 8-agains?

    I mean, as I see it, there's two possibilities:

    1) A boon is a boon is a boon. Doesn't matter if it's Exceptional Luck or Pariah, the effects are capped by Potency. Sure, this takes the edge off things like "and you shall be cursed henceforth with awful failure... for the next 7 attempts you make, you know," but it's straightforward and consistent.

    2) When it's tied up to an ongoing effect, the boon (or hex) is persistent. If you give 9-agains, it applies to all the rolls of an oath-sworn person. If someone's holding a -3 penalty cursed item, anything they do is penalised while holding it. This adds some nice juice to the spells, but I'm not sure how to apply it to the Conditions. For example, does someone holding an item blessed with a Charmed boon have an infinite uses of it? Or what about an item cursed with Knocked Down? Can they just never get up while holding it? Or do they keep slipping on random banana peels literally every time they get up?

    Any advice or directions to skipped sections would be appreciated! ^_^

  • #2
    In page 112 under 'Duration'
    Duration is simply how long a spell lasts once cast. Standard spell Durations are measured in turns, while using a Reach to use the Advanced Duration chart makes the spell last much longer. If a spell would logically have an immediate effect but is cast with Advanced Duration, the effect recurs at every multiple of the character’s Gnosis-based ritual casting time, until the Duration runs out.
    the way i read it, the effect would recur, so for a gnosis 1 individual, having a potency 1 boon attached to an oath with indefinite duration would lead to the subject of the oath benefitting from the boon once every 3 hours.
    I've never seen this in play at high gnosis... but i suspect it's insanely strong.

    Comment


    • #3
      If you're going to use Boons that give you dice tricks, then they run out when the Potency number of rolls is used up. If you want Boons that last then you're better off using positive Persistent Conditions, or Conditions like Bonded. You may have to get creative.
      Last edited by Mrmdubois; 04-10-2019, 10:06 AM.

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      • #4
        In page 112 under 'Duration'
        Thanks! Yeah, that's exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. It's going to get pretty damn powerful, yes... and potentially hilarious: "well, it's been three hours since last time, guess I'm about to fall down again. Time to stay away from solid surfaces or staircases, and also to never piss off an Acanthus again."

        I'll try that on for size, and if I want to houserule something, at least I have somewhere to start, so thanks again

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        • #5
          Dice trick boons don't reboot after Gnosis Ritual Interval. They aren't like healing spells where their effect is instantaneous and as a result increasing their Duration makes them go off again automatically.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
            Dice trick boons don't reboot after Gnosis Ritual Interval. They aren't like healing spells where their effect is instantaneous and as a result increasing their Duration makes them go off again automatically.
            If you look at the difficulty of actually casting a spell with indefinite duration (i.e. -10 penalty and an extra reach over and above advanced duration), getting a boon that is gone once expended is really not worth it. Also, the generic dice penalty hex is really not that much of a threat. Admittedly, for the Oath spell, the tilts are much more appropriate... still Tilts can be removed.
            Makes the Oath spell rather toothless.

            Mind you, i can see where you're coming from... a new tilt every 3 hours (let alone 10 mins or even 1), indefinitely is ... utterly game breaking. The way i would run it in this case (sworn oath, exceptional luck), is that if you get rid of one Tilt, you'd get another one after an interval.

            I rather prefer my reading of it.

            What would happen if you cast a direct damage spell with advanced duration? my first inclination would be "wasted reach"

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            • #7
              I didn't say anything about Tilts so I can't be sure you actually understood me at all.

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              • #8
                Yea, could be just me drifting off on a tangent.

                You are referring to the 8-again, 9 again and Rote action; not sure if you include the conditions that can be granted by boons under that as well.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MovingMind View Post
                  Yea, could be just me drifting off on a tangent.

                  You are referring to the 8-again, 9 again and Rote action; not sure if you include the conditions that can be granted by boons under that as well.
                  There are 3 broad categories of Boons, 1) dice tricks, 2) bonus dice, 3) Conditions.

                  1 and 2 clearly state that you only get a number of rolls with either bonus dice or dice tricks equal to the Potency of the spell over the Duration of the spell. They do -not- refresh at Gnosis Ritual Interval.

                  If you want a benefit that’s supposed to be longer lasting you go with a Condition. Many Conditions can survive multiple uses, such as Persistent Conditions and you can use it’s benefits over the duration of the entire spell without risk of burning out of the benefit early like you might with dice tricks or bonus dice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    To clarify: Conditions and Tilts (from Hexes) also don't reset at the end of the interval since they too are dependent on the duration of the spell (as in they go away when the spell goes away, unless resolved before that).

                    So no Boons or Hexes are renewed after the mage's ritual interval time.

                    Only instantaneous effects (something that happens at the time of casting, though they generally have lasting consequences) are subject to the repetition rule.
                    Direct damage spells are one example of such spells, but their different Reach options are generally not. You cause damage every [ritual interval time] but you don't reapply or stack penalties gained from looking like a corpse (from one of the Death spells) since that's bound to the spell's duration.


                    Bloodline: The Stygians
                    Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                    Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                    • #11
                      True, but Conditions can have effects that last a while as long as they're not Resolved.

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                      • #12
                        If you are correct, Fate becomes a mechanical oddity; in that you can still be under the spell's effects but not get any further benefits

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                        • #13
                          Not really, for instance if the subject's Withstand is higher then the spell's Potency the spell is still active on their Pattern, and they are still under the spell's effects, they just ignore it.

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                          • #14
                            That's true for any spell whose effect no longer is applicable even if Potency would be enough. Fate is just the most obvious because it has a dedicated subsystem for effects that have a limited amount of applications, but any Arcanum can have such effects.
                            Any spell that grants Conditions (something all Arcana can do) can have them resolved and still be going with no other effect. Life spells that transform a living body would presumably stop having any effect if the subject dies.

                            Spells can even be cast in anticipation of the subject changing to make the spell apply its effect in the future, such as Reapers casting Soul Jar to trap a soul within the body of a subject they anticipate to die within the spell's duration. Or a Life mage casting a Life Veiling spell to hide claws on a person before casting the Weaving spell that grants them claws (because they didn't want to or couldn't cast a combined spell).


                            Bloodline: The Stygians
                            Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                            Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              So, I've considered a bit back and forth on this one, because there's good points all around. I'm thinking that I'll give it a shot with the mechanics of dice tricks "refreshing" at every Gnosis-interval, while Conditions that are fire-and-forget aren't refreshed (and thus have a finite pool), while, obviously, ongoing effects keep going until fixed or the Duration expires. This will only be the case for boons and hexes which are attached to spells that do other things, not just plain ol' exceptional luck.

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