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High Paradox Mages

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  • High Paradox Mages

    Hi,

    I was thinking about mages, who are quite reckless with paradox. And I had quite a few 'ow really' moments there.

    The main question is: Do lapsed paradox conditions stack for extra paradox die? And can you eliminite all of them with a single Scouring?

    Here's my train of taught:
    - Let's assume a mage who cares only a little bit about Wisdom, but does not care about Paradox. So not fully Mad One, but quite reckless.
    - Let's disregard all the social implications (Pretty sure there is some backlash).
    - As most mages, he still wants to do his spell as he sets them up. So for casting, all paradox are contained and none released. (Releasing is kinda always a bad choice, even Mad Ones will almost always contain and just take the Paradox condition)
    - Paradox conditions can be quite annoying - depending on the ST. However: They lapse fairly quick at low Wisdom. Even at mage starting-level it is just a day.
    - A lapsed Paradox conditions is in the pattern, and there is an extra die for every spellcast.

    Here's a question: Do lapsed paradox conditions stack (extra paradox dice)?
    Argument for stacking: Moe paradox in the mages pattern makes Paradox more likely, it makes sense. And it gives incentive to scour those as soon as possible (even if more conditions are running).
    Argument against stacking: If they do, Mad Ones would have hundreds or thousands of Paradox die on every spellcast (every spell has one die at least, increasing over time, they can't contain at all, and gain conditions all the time, which lapse after a single turn).

    - Let's assume they don't stack for now.
    - If we just accept that one extra Paradox die from a lapsed condition is okay, we get in the interseting part.
    - If we want to cast something without paradox, we either have to be a bit more careful (Dedicated Tool or mana to reduce paradox to a chance dice without reach).
    - If we want to go full out, we dont care about paradox: We contain it, hope to low little successes on Wisdom (to take little damage, for that low Wisdom is a benefit). And we get paradox conditions
    - If Wisdom is fairly low (Falling), it will be gone after a scene anyway, and it is just one more lapsed condition - and we assumed the paradox die don't stack and had one already.
    - If we don't really care about generating more paradox conditions and go full out, then two of the three paradox conditions in the core book are irrelevant: Abyssal imago just means, we have to overreach enough, Abyssal Backlash means we risk more paradox, which will just result in another condition (with more successes) and we don't really care, and Abyssal Nimbus poses only a little risk: Even with the Resonant or Open conditions, there is no additional risk to summon abyssal entitied, unless you release a paradox.


    If a mage doesn't really care about paradox, then over-reaching is just a lminor issue.And it makes one of the most important negative effects of high Gnosis (more paradox for over-reaching) irrelevant. Even the "buffing before something important" are quite irrelevant at Fallwing wisdom: Any paradox conditions occuring while buffing only lasts for a scene, and then it's gone.

    However, the last question would be: How can a mage come back from that? If you can scoure all lapsed paradox conditions in a single go, then the return to the "normal" state is fairly easy - maybe even too easy. If every lapsed paradox condition has to be scoured on its own, then it would be a futile endavour after a certain amount of lapsed paradox conditions.

    After reading the section a dozen times, I don't think there is a stamenet in RAW how stacking/scouring exactly works.



  • #2
    They do stack, they can also be Scoured for a point of Resistant Lethal after they lapse.

    The way you manage it is you don’t rack up more Conditions by not casting while you’re working off the Condition or the damage from Scouring the lapsed Condition.
    Last edited by Mrmdubois; 06-18-2020, 11:44 AM.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your answer.

      But then I wonder, how do the Rapt manage this - and how do the STs manage this?
      Conditions lapse for them after a turn. Resolving them in time is kinda tricky, except directly Scouring. And to be honest, that's unlikely to happen for a Rapt.

      - Abyssal Nimbus is almost always not possible to resolve in a single turn.
      - Abyssal Imago is impossible to resolve, if there is a single lapsed paradox condition in the pattern of the mage.
      - Abyssal backlash might be possible to get rid of, if there aren't too many Paradox dice.

      A Rapt surely would cast most spells as "Contain Paradox" - in order to get the desired effect. But any success on the paradox roll will cause a condition - Wisdom 0 gets only a chance die to reduce successes. So those lapsed conditions will stack up over time, unless the Rapt casts very, very rarely any spells.

      So in my mind, a Rapt will just say:
      - Ignore Paradox alltogether.
      - Lapsed conditions will ramp up to immeasurable hights.
      - Cast all spells with trying and (quite surely) failing to contain paradox. If there are hundreds or thousands of paradox dice, rolling doesn't even make sense. And the success number will be "too high to count".
      - Only keep track of active conditions on subsequent turns, which means: Abyssal Nimbus will give everything and everyone effected by the mage's Nimbus the Open condition for abyssal entities; Abyssal Imago means the mage can't cast (can't get dozens or hundreds of reach); and just ignore Abyssal Backlash.

      The Rapt are an extreme example. But mages at Falling Wisdom might show similar behavior at some point: A single scene is a short time to resolve the conditions, Wisdom rolls only have a low chance to avoid getting new conditions.


      I have the feeling, the system kinda breaks down for low Wisdom mages - at least with the standard paradox conditions. To some extend, they don't even make sense, if the mage has a few lapsed and/or running conditions:
      - Abyssal Nimbus doesn't have much of an effect in general, it is only dangerous when Abyssal entities are around. The regular resolution without Scouring is extremly dangerous.
      - Abyssal Imago keeps the mage from casting, if the paradox roll had too many successes. And the resolution is impossible with lapsed conditions.
      - Abyssal Backlash: This is just a snowball effect. Paradox dice will rack up, regular resolution via full containing a paradox becomes almost impossible.

      The only solution I can see currently would be to tweak the standard conditions or replace them completely by custom ones.
      Here's an idea for tweaking the standard ones:
      - Abyssal Image: The required over-reach is a really nice effect. However, it might be useful to have a cap depending on Wisdom, e.g 1 + Wisdom / 3. The resolution should be achievable even by someone with some base paradox dice. It might be enough to consider a chance die on the paradox roll as fullfilling the requirement of "does not risk Paradox".
      - Abyssal Backlash: Possibly add a cap on the added paradox dice. The resolution should be changed, so that it's achievable by low/no Wisdom mages. Example: Release a paradox (which might actually give Low Wisdom mages a reason to release at all)
      - Abyssal Nimbus: To be honest, I would rewrite this completely. For example the mages Nimbus Tilt could give negative conditions - and other mages could counter with their own Nimbus. Applying things like megalomaniacal, obsession, rampant etc. could reflect the infectious nature of the mage in question. An interesting resolution might be: Not casting for a while, depending on Wisdom (e.g. a quarter of the condition duration, i.e. a week for Enlighted, a few hours for Understanding, 15 minutes for Falling, not casting for one turn for Rapt - then it resolved instead of lapsing).
      Last edited by Tyloron; 06-20-2020, 03:25 PM.

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      • #4
        A Rapt isn’t required to cast spells, though not pursuing their Fault will eventually lead to often disastrous effects there’s time between outbreaks. They probably let the Condition lapse and then Scour it just like anyone else who doesn’t resolve it in time.

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        • #5
          So that means, they are way more careful with spells than the ones with normal wisdom?
          Where normal mages can contain and take resistant bashing damage, a Rapt has to accept the condition and take a resistant lethal when scouring. Which takes 2 days to heal instead of 15 minutes per bashing.

          But why would the Rapt not say "Screw all that, I will just leave them all in my patten. And get a new condition on every cast - which affects me exactly for one turn."?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tyloron View Post
            But why would the Rapt not say "Screw all that, I will just leave them all in my patten. And get a new condition on every cast - which affects me exactly for one turn."?
            To point out the fundamental error in your process: Why would they contain the Paradox and risk getting a Paradox Condition in the first place?

            With the exception of applying Sacrament Yantras and otherwise limited resources, nothing stops the Rapt from trying to cast the same spell again like any other mage can. Paradox risk doesn't translate to a consistent direct penalty on the spellcasting roll, and penalties aren't the same thing as Withstand ratings.


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            Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Satchel View Post
              To point out the fundamental error in your process: Why would they contain the Paradox and risk getting a Paradox Condition in the first place?

              With the exception of applying Sacrament Yantras and otherwise limited resources, nothing stops the Rapt from trying to cast the same spell again like any other mage can. Paradox risk doesn't translate to a consistent direct penalty on the spellcasting roll, and penalties aren't the same thing as Withstand ratings.

              That's kinda easy to answer: The rules for releasing paradox. They have low wisdom - they are not necessarily reckless or careless. If anything, they are more driven to achieve their goal, and they probably want their spells to do what they intend it to do. If spells target different targets, it can be bad. Abyssal Environments are additional obstacles. And so are summoned entities.

              I don't think there is a reason why a Rapt would be the slightest bit more likely to release a paradox than any other mage. If anything, they are even less likely, knowing an anomaly would last even longer. And that's quite unpleasant where the Rapt lives or works.
              Last edited by Tyloron; 06-20-2020, 08:11 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tyloron View Post


                That's kinda easy to answer: The rules for releasing paradox. They have low wisdom - they are not necessarily reckless or careless. If anything, they are more driven to achieve their goal, and they probably want their spells to do what they intend it to do. If spells target different targets, it can be bad. Abyssal Environments are additional obstacles. And so are summoned entities.

                I don't think there is a reason why a Rapt would be the slightest bit more likely to release a paradox than any other mage. If anything, they are even less likely, knowing an anomaly would last even longer. And that's quite unpleasant where the Rapt lives or works.
                The solution to that is spend more Mana, not risk more Conditions.

                Paradox is your spell having unexpected results, but not all unexpected results are bad and not all Rapt have exacting standards for their Fault -- having low Wisdom specifically stems from at least a certain degree of recklessness or carelessness, particularly given the sort of things that prompt Wisdom loss at Falling level.


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

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