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Is this a Risk of Wisdom?

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  • Is this a Risk of Wisdom?


    If a High Wisdom Life Mage in his comfortable standard living conditions uses magic to nourish his body because he personally believes it is not moral to end life of another being if you could avoid it easily.

    Do you
    A: Have him roll for wisdom lose because feeding himself is something he could do without magic with little or no personal risk?
    B: Do nothing because that is in line with Wisdom
    C: Other(please explain)

  • #2
    Considering Death is an Arcanum, sustaining yourself with Life magic is a Reach effect on a Disciple-level spell, and we have an entire framework for "this spell never causes you to risk Wisdom"? Yes, absolutely. You don't, as a character in a horror game, engage the raw descriptive substrata of the universe because you want to be not-even-vegetarian and expect that to not have consequences for how you operate.


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    Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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    • #3
      Originally posted by WalkingEye View Post
      A: Have him roll for wisdom lose because feeding himself is something he could do without magic with little or no personal risk?
      This. It's not in line with Wisdom to make that decision.

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      • #4
        I wouldn't make him roll it if causing as little harm to other living beings as possible were a significant aspect of his moral framework. Nourishing himself is definitely something he "could do through mundane methods with little or no risk". Sustaining himself without harming any other living being cannot be done via mundane means, AFAIK.
        Additionally, what constitutes an Act of Hubris can be subjective. If they believe that casting a spell is the only way they can avoid causing harm to another living thing, then it's as good as true.
        I think it could be a breaking point if the character cast the spell in such a way as to change their humanness long-term
        , or if they were irreverent with the spell. I think a daily casting of Knit in the form of some kind of ritual would work best. Not like a Ritual for spell mechanics, but a ritual like a daily prayer, meditation, yoga, or unnecessary garden work.
        Last edited by IcecreamGolem; 10-29-2020, 07:32 PM.

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        • #5
          Alternatively, make a Legacy based around the idea and it becomes Hubris-free as a matter of course.

          Edit: to clarify, using an Legacy Attainment to achieve this effect would not risk Wisdom.


          The longer I study science the more I am convinced that it is functionally indistinguishable from what our ancestors would refer to as sorcery. And I would know, being both scientist and sorcerer.

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          • #6
            In theory its only a risk to Enlightened Wisdom, because its using magic to accomplish something for which there is no need (they are not stranded in an island). But the dice pool is not bad, so maybe it could lead to many Arcane beats.

            They could, however, use Life and Spirit/Death/Mind to feed on Essence. With Life and Fate they could eat the small bits of bad luck people have on their daily lives. Forces lets them consume electricity, Matter lets them feed on the beach sand.

            Arguably all those options and more exist, but a high Wisdom mage should know each one is another way to accidentally expose themselves to their enemies and risk causing Breaking Points to Sleepers.
            Last edited by KaiserAfini; 10-29-2020, 08:12 PM.


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            • #7
              I need object. The prohibition against magic that basically does what you could mundanely and without risk is problematic. The mechanics makes it possible to avoid a paradox roll and Sleeper attention if you can manage the logistics, in that scenario it would be arbitrary to penalize that over other possibilities. The prohibition is also arbitrary depending on how you define your goal, like practicing to fulfill an Obsession or gain a Praxis. In the event technology renders an entire Arcanum's 13 Practices redundant it would then be an Act of Hubris just to develop your skill in it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Excess View Post
                In the event technology renders an entire Arcanum's 13 Practices redundant it would then be an Act of Hubris just to develop your skill in it.
                In the event technology renders an entire Arcanum's thirteen Practices redundant in a manner widespread enough to reasonably affect a character's Acts of Hubris you are no longer playing in a Chronicles of Darkness game, because Making and Unmaking spells break conservation over their knee.

                You have bigger gameplay hurdles to rebuild if your hidden-world horror setting has produced player characters who are accustomed to the laws of reality being fluid and still managed to undergo a process that requires exposure to novel signs that the laws of reality are not as they once believed.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                  In the event technology renders an entire Arcanum's thirteen Practices redundant in a manner widespread enough to reasonably affect a character's Acts of Hubris you are no longer playing in a Chronicles of Darkness game, because Making and Unmaking spells break conservation over their knee.

                  You have bigger gameplay hurdles to rebuild if your hidden-world horror setting has produced player characters who are accustomed to the laws of reality being fluid and still managed to undergo a process that requires exposure to novel signs that the laws of reality are not as they once believed.
                  Okay then, agreed. I hope you got the point I was trying to make here.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Excess View Post
                    I need object. The prohibition against magic that basically does what you could mundanely and without risk is problematic. The mechanics makes it possible to avoid a paradox roll and Sleeper attention if you can manage the logistics, in that scenario it would be arbitrary to penalize that over other possibilities. The prohibition is also arbitrary depending on how you define your goal, like practicing to fulfill an Obsession or gain a Praxis. In the event technology renders an entire Arcanum's 13 Practices redundant it would then be an Act of Hubris just to develop your skill in it.
                    I would recommend against thinking of it as a prohibition. The Acts of Hubris are moments of drama, sure, but to be a Mage is fundamentally to be hubristic. The nature of hubris is to think oneself above the little people, to believe that reality and consequences do not apply to you.

                    If the world progresses such that we can manufacture nourishment from nothing at all, and such technology is so available to the vast majority that it is considered normal, then what is Supernal Magic at all? The Ladder may as well have been ascended, and the aspirations of the best Thearchs met. There then would be no separation at all between Mage and Human, and there would be no need to distinguish Integrity from Wisdom.

                    Indeed, accomplishing this world may be the Wisest strategy, through an agreement between Silver Ladder and Free Council belief. It is not terribly sexy though, eh? Or, ah, "politically feasible," as people are wont to say about ambitious society-wide projects.


                    I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
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                    • #11
                      You didn't address my point, nor did your link. Setting your schedule to avoid any encounters with Sleepers for the spell and setting it in the appropriate verge and only using mana cost-effective spells is nearly the epitome of responsibility. Yet here you are penalized by using it to throw and catch a ball for fun.

                      Perhaps for the most part your explanation holds but inuring and legacy wisdom represent extreme exceptions that some people on these forums missed the implications of. They mean that you can be saintly wise while demonstrating the total lack of either discipline or morality, such as possible for the Seers.

                      It is a prohibition. The developers did not think this through.

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                      • #12
                        Will be checking your Guanxi explanations by the way, they ought to be interesting.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Excess View Post
                          You didn't address my point, nor did your link. Setting your schedule to avoid any encounters with Sleepers for the spell and setting it in the appropriate verge and only using mana cost-effective spells is nearly the epitome of responsibility. Yet here you are penalized by using it to throw and catch a ball for fun.

                          Perhaps for the most part your explanation holds but inuring and legacy wisdom represent extreme exceptions that some people on these forums missed the implications of. They mean that you can be saintly wise while demonstrating the total lack of either discipline or morality, such as possible for the Seers.
                          Using magic at all is inherently irresponsible even if you've made sure it doesn't risk Paradox. You're basically doing the equivalent of granting yourself root access to open a folder or file that wasn't even protected to begin with. Even if you don't do anything that could mess things up, it's definitely bad practice and heavily discouraged. Not to mention that there still are dangers for a mage who uses magic unnecessarily, even if those dangers don't come across mechanically.
                          First, there's always the risk of not being thorough enough to keep Sleepers away. Perhaps someone is piloting a drone where you thought you were alone, or someone starts asking questions about where you get your food after noticing you never buy any groceries or eat out. Secondly, any time you perform magic you risk drawing attention, even if that attention isn't necessarily from the Abyss. Thirdly, you're feeding the latent addiction inherent in all mages to perform their magic. And lastly, making a habit of using your magic will increase the likelihood of something going awry, both because that's how probability works but also because making something a habit almost always leads to lax behaviour (which is why many safety features on machinery and the like are designed to force safe behaviour instead of merely warning you about unsafe behaviour).

                          Originally posted by Excess View Post
                          It is a prohibition. The developers did not think this through.
                          It's not a prohibition. It's an Act of Hubris above the Wisdom level player characters start at. You need to specifically invest in your character being a responsible mage for it to matter. It makes it more difficult to play a high Wisdom mage, but not prohibitively so. Compare how it is to play a high Humanity vampire instead.
                          There are many times I doubt whether the devs thought something through or not, but this is not one of them. Wisdom follows a particular vision by the devs, and you're simply not agreeing with that vision.

                          That is not to say Wisdom is by any means perfect. It's extremely under-explained, the three tiers of AoHs is pretty lazy and leads to weird plateaus (they could've expanded on the three tiers as the basis for determining AoH levels spanning the whole scale by granularly modifying and individualising them; but that's not how it is as is), and it's a pain to raise Wisdom for the player because you're supposed to allocate playing time for it when the rest of the group probably just wants to get on with the game's mysteries and plotlines. Equivalent traits in other games can often be raised through downtime actions between sessions and such if it doesn't fit during the sessions.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Excess View Post
                            Yet here you are penalized by using it to throw and catch a ball for fun.
                            "Behold! The awesome fires of God. The limitless power of pure Creation itself," my master would say. "Look carefully! Observe how it is used for the same purpose a man might use an especially sharp rock."

                            Horror setting, mate. Wisdom is a stat that exists primarily to fall as your character gradually gets lost in the sauce of raw symbolic power over the world around them. Casual use of magic being culturally viewed as profane by multiple groups of trying-to-be-conscientious Awakened doesn't emerge from nothing.


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

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                            • #15
                              Eh. Counterargument:

                              Without magic, one must harm living things to live. Only with magic can one avoid that.

                              If a mage used this as a lazy way to bypass eating requirements, it'd be a Wisdom check. Used as a means of living in the world in a manner more pure (or noble or whatever) it really isn't something that they can do, so why would it be a Wisdom check?

                              (I might have that character roll Wisdom if they carelessly ate a salad afterwords, though because it damaged that state of being.)


                              Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.

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