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Did Onyx Path and Dave Bradshaw got a lot wrong with Mage 2ed?

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  • Did Onyx Path and Dave Bradshaw got a lot wrong with Mage 2ed?

    I didn't saw Mage 2ed until today. Then I found this improvised spell helper app: http://www.voidstate.com/rpg/mage-spell-helper/#/

    Seriously, what the fuck DaveB? I need to be enrolled in a real mage university to get a improvised spell right as it seems. Why such a complicated system in 2021?

  • #2
    It's much easier if you just write down what everyone has in a quick sheet. That gives you a better idea with what you're dealing with. Paradox is a little more complicated though. However, the last ST I had for mage didn't let you make up a new spell in session because it took too long to make. Even with this helper, that's still a possibly 5-10 minute slow down of the game amplified by 3-5 people.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by thelinuxlich View Post
      I didn't saw Mage 2ed until today. Then I found this improvised spell helper app: http://www.voidstate.com/rpg/mage-spell-helper/#/

      Seriously, what the fuck DaveB? I need to be enrolled in a real mage university to get a improvised spell right as it seems. Why such a complicated system in 2021?
      Because mages can do a lot with spells, especially improvised and ritual spells. And seriously, it's not hard; figure out spell factors, assign Reach. It's moderately simulatonist, but at its core, you are not going to need it too much unless you're really a fan of improv magic and rituals.

      EDIT: Still, it does take time to figure out a rote, so Epithemus has it right; clear up what spells you want before the session.


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      • #4
        So your review of the Mage Second Edition system is based not on the Mage Second Edition book, but a website designed to help adjudicate more complicated uses of the creative thaumaturgy system on the fly?

        I'm by no means going to say Mage Second Edition's system isn't complex and detailed. But in practice you don't run through this entire system every time you cast any spell. A lot of spell effects are provided pre-written and often without need to alter spell factors. This is the involved back end of the system written for when you want to do something in the Freely Manipulate the Basic Forces of Creation game that's improvisational and fiddly.

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        • #5
          I kinda wish they'd lean into it a bit more.
          Like, yeah, it's 2021. I haven't payed in person in 10 years, and tablets/smartphones are ubiquitous. Using an app to allow for a more complex spell system would be pretty cool.

          But yeah, it's not actually that difficult to work out.


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          • #6
            I agree it can be initially overwhelming, but its pretty intuitive after some practice. Its a system that models just about every spell you could ever want, defining fairly consistent boxes for the effects, difficulty and accounts for enhacing the power via playing to the spell's themes (yantras). It also allows for a lot of approaches to the same effect. I think they did a great job considering how absurdly wide the possible uses are, especially without being as specific as D&D spells.

            In contrast, 1ed had me scratching my head on what a Practice entailed, why they were all over every spell level, the restrictions on covert or vulgar felt like a clunky port from Ascension and the whole thing felt like a mechanical mess. So much so that on our first campaign, we gave up on creating spells on the spot and just deferred to the book. But second edition feels more clear, concise and evocative.

            Give it time, eventually it will click and be pretty fast.


            New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.

            The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
            The Szary Stra┼╝nik, an Obrimos Legacy of Scholars of the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)

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            • #7
              Once you get used to it it's less of an issue. I think going to this 'helper' especially if you're barely exposed to the mechanics, can make it seem more daunting than it would actually be. Especially since out-of-combat stuff is more likely to use down and dirty casting, and in-combat spells are less likely to be very complicated.

              I prefer the appendix in the back of the book to really cast the spells, most of the time you don't have to even worry about things like Paradox, which only really comes into play when you're overreaching, and what an arcana is capable of is usually shown in the spells section.

              One thing my players did was when they cast improvised spells, write the main factors down on an index card. Then if you want to cast the same spell later it's all there. If your character raises some stats, you just have to change some numbers. If they're fidgeting with the spell, like targeting two people rather than one, it's just a small adjustment.

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              • #8
                Don't post attacks on authors.


                Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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