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  • #61
    Originally posted by Yossarian View Post
    But what I'm saying is, I don't think there's any reason to think that it did change.
    But... we've provided a perfectly sound reason it could have changed between initial development/playtesting and the final product.

    I mean, we're left with either assuming that the text is unclear in failing to communicate in either direction. Either the intent communicated in the playtest thread is the final intent and the text doesn't specify the cumulative Paradox dice don't apply unless another Paradox dice source is applied to the roll when it should to execute that intent, or the intent was adjusted and the final rules reflect that.

    To me it's a bit of a wash in trying to suss out how to use the game. Either Dave will come by and say something or not. If he does, it's settled and done. If not this is a line of thinking that's too open to everyone reading what they want into it.

    That, and the wording is always specific about it being Paradox rolls when it comes up, not spells in general. If it changed, then why wasn't it reworded?
    I don't really see the importance of this though. The phrasing in all cases says "rolls" because the dice added to the Paradox pool is based on the number of Paradox rolls that have happened. That's why it talks about rolls. That's the math to figure out how many dice you add. It doesn't talk about rolls in a fashion that parses to "this specific source of Paradox dice only applies if you were rolling for another source already."

    What line in any of this (baring Dave's comment that one spell just doesn't risk Paradox without breaking out why), shows that rolls in the context of this source of dice means more than just how many dice it adds?

    It's a meaningful distinction from spells on that alone, because you can cast lots of spells without any Paradox rolls, and the value of the cumulative Paradox dice is zero, and doesn't add any dice to instigate a Paradox roll.

    Sometimes there are oversights, sure, especially in complex systems like Mage, but what's the evidence that it was changed? I don't think there's enough to go on. Like, I could easily be wrong if there's official confirmation, but it strikes me as strange that the rule is being read as a different mechanic even though the wording is pretty much the same.
    I mean, the core of this argument is to basically say to ignore the implications of passages in the text, because development stage comments contradict that reading. It's not really tenable to operate that way. I mean, running Exalted 3e or the Storypath games would be a nightmare if you overrode final text with development text due to the massive overhauls both systems got (and not exactly transparent ones where we know why each specific difference was included... esp. with some that are known errors).

    And the blog post doesn't contain the whole rules that the final text does, that leads to the conclusions those of us in the #2 camp come to. You've already acknowledged the weakness in relying on older texts where the rules where undergoing revisions. One of those is that there are things in the final text that aren't in those examples to compare apples to apples with.

    I agree that you can read it the second way, but why are we making assumptions that it changed on what seems like no evidence?
    How is the final text not supporting the same rules application as the earlier drafts not evidence though?

    I'm not trying to be combative, but I'm not really convinced by the speculative / semantic arguments as opposed to "The Mage developer did it this way and the wording hasn't changed."
    I'm not convinced that the text hasn't changed enough to consider it identical and thus to assume we know the intent stayed the same. I've read the blog post, I've read the thread you linked to... and stuff is lacking... and that stuff is where most of the arguments in this thread are coming from.

    Did the original documents we don't have have the cumulative Paradox dice specifically excluded from causing Paradox on it's own? We don't have that section in the blog post or the thread to know if it was always written as-is in the final text and is just not clear, or if it's actually significantly different.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Yossarian View Post
      I agree that you can read it the second way, but why are we making assumptions that it changed on what seems like no evidence?
      For my part at least, it's for approximately the same reason that my current reading of the Invisible Entities mechanics is that all the baseline Manifestation Conditions work the same and Anchor is just the only one with an explicit granular range limit — yes, the Ephemeral Beings rules are largely built on the old spirit mechanics and Essence bleed in 2e is drastically backed-off from how it worked in 1e, but in 1e spirits didn't need resonant conditions to seize hold of a subject and were outright able to Materialize directly through the Gauntlet, and also if being near the stuff that sustains them doesn't keep an ephemeral being from losing Essence more rapidly then out-of-Cover angels make very little sense without assuming they're all running with an unstated massive support structure of sacrifices and dead drops irrespective of their Rank and role; the game fiction as presented doesn't make much allusion to the kind of narrative circumstances that would correspond to the mechanics working that way, and in some ways contradicts such assumptions on a basic level.

      In 2e the primary source of the base Paradox pool on the Gnosis chart changed from using spells with intrinsic vulgarity or casting obvious magic in front of Sleepers to voluntarily Reaching beyond your limits; after you've raised your Gnosis above the lowest point on the scale, both of the other direct sources of Paradox risk start at or below the number of dice you get from a single excess Reach. Rotes explicitly let you use more safe Reach than you necessarily have at a given level of Arcanum knowledge, and most of the spells that require Reach to be particularly useful are either clustered around Mastery or the sort of thing that you take the extra time to ritual cast anyway if you're being careful. Your spell control limit is lower (albeit softer) than it was in First Edition, but without specific pressures it's increasingly difficult to run up against the number of active spells needed to push you into the cascade of extra Reach exceeding your spell control imposes. Getting multiple Paradox rolls to happen in the first place, much less getting them to have a tangible likelihood of danger, all but requires leaning into hubristic recklessness beyond the scope of its potential rewards, and (unless there's an unstated rule about how anomalous spells relate to spell control) the most basic Paradox Reach effect can be undone with a reflexive action if you want it gone (which you might not, even, because it's able to be additive or subtractive and affects almost purely binary toggles that are more likely to benefit if you've spent less Reach on them specifically).

      Despite this, Paradox is supposed to happen often enough that the Guardians of the Veil's party line can be called a reasonable enough position, and Dave is on record that the Awakened tend to view it as a badge of pride just as much as the heightened visibility exceptional Gnosis grants to their resonance, so there must be a reason for Paradox to be frequent enough for these to be he case despite 2e's generally reduced likelihood of any given individual Paradox roll having a deleterious outcome.

      Part of the complication here is that there's not a very definite picture of how escalatory a standard game of Mage is expected to be; Dave is also on record that the ceiling for danger is higher for mages by virtue of the powers they're capable of meddling with. If the average Wise are keeping four extra spells running back at the Sanctum at any given time of the year and sustaining a self-imposed handicap for experience on top of a degeneration-based Condition that warps their Vice and Obsessions, that's well and good, but all of those spells can be dropped faster than they can be eased off and the template's primary defensive tool isn't a spell anymore, and again, Rotes offer a safety margin no matter your actual Arcanum rating, such that the basic effect of a Rote can usually be used safely even if you're a little overburdened on spell count.

      So that boils down to Actually Reaching, failing to clear Sleeper witnesses out of the area, or using Inured spells as far as things to actually cause Paradox risk to cascade in the first interpretation, and one of those only ever adds a single die while the other two are generally very deliberate; there's participating in the character's own hubris and then there's actively aiming for catastrophe, and I imagine the intent is not for Paradox to be entirely the province of the second method in actual play even if the How To Play section at the front of the book does tell players to make the buy-in for a game about Wizards (No Sense Of Right And Wrong!) pursuing their Mysteries. Dramatic irony is awesome, but that doesn't seem likely to outweigh the fact that a lot of people are going to look at choosing to take the gamble on Paradox as a trap instead of a trade or a calculated risk, which, in the absence of a firm Some Spells Are Just Inherently Risky factor, leaves us with precious few avenues for I Didn't Want To Do This But I Had No Choice (Or Did I?) that don't require ironclad commitment to inhabiting the headspace of a character obsessed with the how-does-that-works and the what-if-I-do-thises of the occulted universe to the detriment of their own safety.

      There's not a lot of evidence in the fiction to suggest mages are so frequently stretched thin that they need to risk multiple Paradoxes in one scene to begin with, but if toeing over the safe limits of your soul's grasp has short-term consequences similar to casting spells without a soul then that's dramatically more likely to tap into the thrill-seeking danger center of being confronted by a Mystery slightly out of your weight class without needing it to be thirty feet tall and made of smoke.

      (It's getting late and I've gotten rambly, for which I apologize.)


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      • #63
        Originally posted by Satchel View Post
        Wizards (No Sense Of Right And Wrong!)
        At least on that we can agree!



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        • #64
          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

          To get into a few key specific issues:

          1) You have never "explored" any opinion but your own. All posts about other readings/interpretations have simply been to state that they're dumb/weird/nonsense/etc. without any actual engagement with them.
          Just because you have (vague, unspecified) problems with my reasoning doesn't mean I lied, misrepresented, or put words into anyone's mouth.

          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          2) You have hypocritically inserted your own "house rules" into the text by asserting that the cumulative Paradox dice require other Paradox sources to add to the roll after the cumulative factor is triggered by rolling Paradox.

          3) You repeatedly assert this whole "only one Paradox free" spell thing despite it being a complete strawman. The #2 position is that the cascade only starts after something else causes a Paradox roll, but once it's triggered the die/dice it adds count as incurring Paradox like any other source of Paradox dice.
          It's actually quite the opposite. The only thing I did was take the rules as written, consider the two possible interpretations, and point out the implications of both. It is you who are insisting that your unsupported house rule is actually the intended interpretation and flat out ignore me when I ask you where in the rules does it say that it works the way you describe.

          I never lied, never misrepresented anything, and never put words in anyone's mouth. It's actually both you and Satchel who've been being extremely hostile to me the entire time for no reason at all, and then trying to paint me as the aggressor and unreasonable one. I only asked you where did you get your interpretation from, and you and Satchel ganged up on me dismissing everything I say out of hand and attacking me personally. It's pretty galling of you to then come and say I lied, misrepresented and put words in anyone's mouth after all that.

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          • #65
            So, to parse this entire thread, some of you believe that the rules as written in the book are wrong and that the intention of the devs MUST have changed during playtest because you play very safe and carefully and very rarely run into problems with Paradox, so your interpretation of #2, that flies in the face of the rules as written, is necessary so you even get some minor Paradoxes in your games?

            See, I can see that as a reason for a house rule. But claiming that MUST be intended by the devs is beyond a stretch.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by EW-Matias View Post
              It's pretty galling of you to then come and say I lied, misrepresented and put words in anyone's mouth after all that.
              You've made this post right next to the next one, which is quite useful for illustrative purposes.
              Originally posted by EW-Matias View Post
              But claiming that MUST be intended by the devs is beyond a stretch.
              Nobody has said this and you're here saying that that is our claim.

              Do you not see how this looks an awful lot like putting words in people's mouths?


              Resident Lore-Hound
              Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                You've made this post right next to the next one, which is quite useful for illustrative purposes.
                Nobody has said this and you're here saying that that is our claim.

                Do you not see how this looks an awful lot like putting words in people's mouths?
                Excuse me, if you are not claiming that... what are you actually claiming? Someone asked a rules question. you either go rules as written or rules as intended. None of you said "#2 is my preferred house rule", whenever anyone makes an argument for #1 you double down on #2 being the correct interpretation. If you are not claiming that's the devs' intention, then what are you even arguing?

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                • #68
                  I feel like if the intent was "Once you've rolled paradox, every spellcasting attempt you further do in the scene will automatically have paradox" it would have been stated plainly. Cuz, y'know. It's two different games. Occam's Razors. #2 needs to infer things.
                  Last edited by Malus; 08-07-2019, 11:06 AM.

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                  • #69
                    I've actually never even considered the interpretation #2 until I read this thread. To me, the rules and intent are clearly #1, because if the paradox risk only increases after the inicial paradox-risking spell, with no further distinction between safe/unsafe casting, the system would have been baked into the Reach options (just like the spell control rules), instead of paradox modifiers. That clearly states the intended ruling to me.
                    Besides, coloquial language and technical language don't always parse the same way, and it is even more common with rpg manuals than in most other books. I can see how the quoted paragraphs could be misinterpreted, but to me it feels a very mechanistic/logical parsing of a ruling, justified by in-setting considerations of tone and intentions that are not actually specified anywhere but in the mechanics in contention themselves.
                    Last edited by Zooroos; 08-07-2019, 11:28 AM. Reason: Further clarification.

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                    • #70
                      The paradox pool bonuses only happen if you have one. It is every spell that risks paradox that gets the extra dice after already risking it.

                      Cast at risk, then cast without it, then cast at risk again, and the third spell has +1. Until then, you don’t have a paradox pool to modify

                      These are two quotes from Dave in the Mechanics thread on Axel's Discord channel. I understand if that's not formal enough for some people, but I thought that you all might want to know.

                      The conversation continued as thus: Quoting Elementa:
                      So which modifiers do "initiate" a pool and which don't?

                      Quoting Milo: I imagine all of the ones that don't specify they need to be a paradox roll. Which would be reaching, inuring, one or more sleepers, and certain conditions (I think just abyssal imago so far but I'm not 100% on that)

                      Quoting Dave: Milo is right

                      Last edited by Falcon777; 08-07-2019, 12:45 PM.

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by EW-Matias View Post
                        Just because you have (vague, unspecified) problems with my reasoning doesn't mean I lied, misrepresented, or put words into anyone's mouth.
                        No, the big lists of examples I posted means that.

                        The only thing I did was take the rules as written, consider the two possible interpretations, and point out the implications of both.
                        No, you didn't. Please cite which of your posts you feel actually does this.

                        It is you who are insisting that your unsupported house rule is actually the intended interpretation and flat out ignore me when I ask you where in the rules does it say that it works the way you describe.
                        I've explained my position, in detail, as have others. The simple version is actually in my first post of the thread (#2 at that!):

                        Once the dice from cumulative Paradox rolls grows from 0 to 1, you trigger the rule that says if any Paradox dice are added, you have to check for Paradox even if the final value is below 1.

                        There is nothing in the entire book that says the cumulative Paradox dice should be treated differently once they exist.

                        Nobody in support of interpretation #1 has made a direct claim from the book to demonstrate this is not the case. The two main arguments have been either, that the phrasing is clunky if #2 is the intent, or that #2 doesn't follow playtest era statements by Dave. Which is to say, you're 100% in the wrong here. The #2 position is the stronger case just by reading the wordings in the book.

                        I actually agree with Zooroos that the most strict technical reading isn't the best way to go about this, since frequently that means accepting some pretty stupid rules as "right." However, in this case, there's an extremely good case for #2 to be the way things work that is independent of assuming authorial intent. It's not one of the multitude of cases where if you parse things super technically you get some absurd result, where if you parse things a bit more openly you get a clearly superior result (for example, take the CtL thread about attacks in 2e rules any whether or not weapon damage's bonus successes should count towards exceptional successes; though fortunately Rose stepped in on what the developer intent was eventually).

                        It's pretty galling of you to then come and say I lied, misrepresented and put words in anyone's mouth after all that.
                        I'd pretty weird for you to try to paint yourself as the true victim while also trying to claim you're trying to be as neutral as possible. If you really wanted Satchel or I to consider your posts in a less negative light... maybe show some self-awareness and reflect on all the stuff we pointed out when you invited us to point it out? If you can't see how you're coming off to us from us telling you what's making us read you that way if it's not your intent to be read that way... there's not much else we can do.

                        Originally posted by Malus View Post
                        I feel like if the intent was "Once you've rolled paradox, every spellcasting attempt you further do in the scene will automatically have paradox" it would have been stated plainly. Cuz, y'know. It's two different games. Occam's Razors. #2 needs to infer things.
                        Two different games is a pretty strong hyperbole. IME, and watching APs and such, players rarely open with Paradox incurring spells and then go back to safe ones. The course of play is almost always escalation, where players avoid risking Paradox as long as possible until pressed, and once they're pressed the scene would be over before any serious spell use would resume.

                        Lets also be clear that it's "...will automatically check for Paradox." or, "...will automatically have Paradox dice." Which is a lot less scary than automatically "have Paradox."

                        Even if you go with interpretation #1, Paradox cascades are still an explicit part of the game: it's what happens when you let a Paradox Condition lapse. If you let one lapse every spell you cast gets 1 die of Paradox, triggering the full Paradox roll rules, and you're going to cascade automatically without any question about what the rules intend here. And you have to stop and Scour it out before that will go away. Is anyone actually going to argue that a lapsed Paradox Condition doesn't result in this sort of cascade?

                        And... no... that's not how Occam's Razor works.

                        The facts from the book (nobody I know is disputing):

                        1) If you get Paradox dice, you have to roll for a Paradox.
                        2) If you roll for Paradox, there is an additional source of Paradox dice for the duration of the scene in the form of a cumulative +1 per roll after the first.

                        Negative assertions:

                        The book never states that the cumulative Paradox dice should be treated differently from other Paradox dice

                        Interpretation #1 requires you to infer that fact 2 is worded incorrectly in the text, or that the negative assertion has a positive counter in evidence, concluding that cumulative Paradox dice don't result in a cascade.

                        Interpretation #2 requires you to infer that fact 2 applies after one roll instead of two rolls, concluding that the cascade applies sooner rather than later.

                        Occam's Razor doesn't apply. Occam's Razor requires two identical conclusions, where we need to pick from different explanations of how to get there.

                        Both camps are inferring things. The interpretation #1 camp infers a ton from the book not explicating the cascade happening for an additional example.


                        Originally posted by Zooroos View Post
                        I've actually never even considered the interpretation #2 until I read this thread. To me, the rules and intent are clearly #1, because if the paradox risk only increases after the inicial paradox-risking spell, with no further distinction between safe/unsafe casting, the system would have been baked into the Reach options (just like the spell control rules), instead of paradox modifiers. That clearly states the intended ruling to me.
                        This being a perfect example. As a personal preference of how to read it? Sure. As an argument that others should read it this way? It's not all that strong.

                        Besides, coloquial language and technical language don't always parse the same way, and it is even more common with rpg manuals than in most other books. I can see how the quoted paragraphs could be misinterpreted, but to me it feels a very mechanistic/logical parsing of a ruling, justified by in-setting considerations of tone and intentions that are not actually specified anywhere but in the mechanics in contention themselves.
                        I 100% agree, about language and interpretation, but I think the whole first half of what I quoted is far worse the kind of mechanistic parsing we agree doesn't lead to good results.

                        Appeals to "this is worded correctly for interpretation #2," or "this would have been part of a different part of the rules," are not arguments for a more natural reading over a more technical reading. They're just different appeals to technical reading.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Falcon777 View Post
                          These are two quotes from Dave in the Mechanics thread on Axel's Discord channel.
                          For those of us who have no idea who Axel is, is there a link to the Discord server so we can see the full context ourselves instead of snippets? Or a screen cap?

                          Because while that does seem to communicate Dave's intent is #1 here, Milo's phrasing doesn't really work because the cumulative Paradox dice never say they "need to be a Paradox roll," so Dave saying, "Milo is correct," doesn't really help.

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Falcon777 View Post
                            The paradox pool bonuses only happen if you have one. It is every spell that risks paradox that gets the extra dice after already risking it.

                            Cast at risk, then cast without it, then cast at risk again, and the third spell has +1. Until then, you don’t have a paradox pool to modify

                            These are two quotes from Dave in the Mechanics thread on Axel's Discord channel. I understand if that's not formal enough for some people, but I thought that you all might want to know.

                            The conversation continued as thus: Quoting Elementa:
                            So which modifiers do "initiate" a pool and which don't?

                            Quoting Milo: I imagine all of the ones that don't specify they need to be a paradox roll. Which would be reaching, inuring, one or more sleepers, and certain conditions (I think just abyssal imago so far but I'm not 100% on that)

                            Quoting Dave: Milo is right
                            So the real question for me now, since our table treats Word of God as RAW, is do I want to houserule this in order to maintain the levels of tension and fun the previous interpretation allowed for, or go with this and see what happens?

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                              For those of us who have no idea who Axel is, is there a link to the Discord server so we can see the full context ourselves instead of snippets? Or a screen cap?

                              Because while that does seem to communicate Dave's intent is #1 here, Milo's phrasing doesn't really work because the cumulative Paradox dice never say they "need to be a Paradox roll," so Dave saying, "Milo is correct," doesn't really help.
                              It's mine and Axel's server, and far be it for me to turn down an invitation to plug it.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                                No, the big lists of examples I posted means that.
                                No it doesn't. Random, out of context quotes with no explanations or elaborations mean nothing.



                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                No, you didn't. Please cite which of your posts you feel actually does this.
                                Look who's lying now. Weird, since it's quite easy to go and check, but here: My first post http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...61#post1329361

                                Then, thinking you were aguing in good faith, I further clarified: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...77#post1329377

                                And then I kept re phrasing and rewording the same points trying to make myself clear while you kept ignoring them.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                I've explained my position, in detail, as have others. The simple version is actually in my first post of the thread (#2 at that!):

                                Once the dice from cumulative Paradox rolls grows from 0 to 1, you trigger the rule that says if any Paradox dice are added, you have to check for Paradox even if the final value is below 1.

                                There is nothing in the entire book that says the cumulative Paradox dice should be treated differently once they exist.
                                Yeah, but nowhere in the rules does it say that after the first roll the counter is at +1. It actually says the opposite, it's the second roll that gives you the first +1. If it says otherwise somewhere, please, tell me where.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                Nobody in support of interpretation #1 has made a direct claim from the book to demonstrate this is not the case.
                                Easy to say if you just flat out ignore the people who actually did, isn't it?

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                I actually agree with Zooroos that the most strict technical reading isn't the best way to go about this, since frequently that means accepting some pretty stupid rules as "right." However, in this case, there's an extremely good case for #2 to be the way things work that is independent of assuming authorial intent. It's not one of the multitude of cases where if you parse things super technically you get some absurd result, where if you parse things a bit more openly you get a clearly superior result (for example, take the CtL thread about attacks in 2e rules any whether or not weapon damage's bonus successes should count towards exceptional successes; though fortunately Rose stepped in on what the developer intent was eventually).
                                This is quite rich, considering a technical reading is the only leg you have to stand on. The only reason #2 is being considered at all is that the stacking bonus is listed alongside all other sources of Paradox dice and with the exact same format. And as I pointed out, taking that route leads to "stupid" outcomes.

                                I also find the notion that something can be both not a technical reading nor an appeal to authorial intent while still being "the way things work" very weird . What makes it so then, if it's neither the letter nor the spirit of the rule?

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                I'd pretty weird for you to try to paint yourself as the true victim while also trying to claim you're trying to be as neutral as possible. If you really wanted Satchel or I to consider your posts in a less negative light... maybe show some self-awareness and reflect on all the stuff we pointed out when you invited us to point it out? If you can't see how you're coming off to us from us telling you what's making us read you that way if it's not your intent to be read that way... there's not much else we can do.
                                i stopped caring what you and Satchel think two pages ago, but you keep being disingenuous and personally attacking me, so I will keep defending myself.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                Two different games is a pretty strong hyperbole. IME, and watching APs and such, players rarely open with Paradox incurring spells and then go back to safe ones. The course of play is almost always escalation, where players avoid risking Paradox as long as possible until pressed, and once they're pressed the scene would be over before any serious spell use would resume.
                                In my games this happens often enough. We like to overreach if there is a compelling enough reason (and that doesn't mean dire or necessarily urgent, just "I want this"), but sometimes you just have free reach to spare. Maybe you need a big long spell to make the whole Cabal see through the Gautlet, or opening a Scrying window, but after that you just need simple spells or spells you know as rotes... until something happens that requires heavy guns again. We shouldn't make much of the rhythm and flow of our games because they more often than not will be far from universal.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                The facts from the book (nobody I know is disputing):

                                1) If you get Paradox dice, you have to roll for a Paradox.
                                2) If you roll for Paradox, there is an additional source of Paradox dice for the duration of the scene in the form of a cumulative +1 per roll after the first.

                                Negative assertions:

                                The book never states that the cumulative Paradox dice should be treated differently from other Paradox dice

                                Interpretation #1 requires you to infer that fact 2 is worded incorrectly in the text, or that the negative assertion has a positive counter in evidence, concluding that cumulative Paradox dice don't result in a cascade.
                                Not at all, look at my first post again. I linked it above, but #1 is compatible with the wording of the rules. The first roll doesn't count, and it only starts adding in the second roll. There is no second roll unless dice are added from other sources.

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