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Conditional duration attainment

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  • Conditional duration attainment


    I'm trying to learn the system for a new campaign, and I've got a few questions about conditional duration:

    The book states "duration increases are added depending on the probability". I find this wording suspect. Why wouldn't the book just say "improbable triggers add -2d, infrequent ones add -4 and common ones add -6"?

    Is it possible to add conditional duration to a beneficial spell reversing these negatives? (As per rules, this is not even an option, but I'm thinking about something like "you'll have this extra strength for a year unless you cut your hair")

    Also, what level of probability is the example in the book "this floor will vanish when I snap this glass rod"? I'm actually kinda stumped by the example. Is it implied the floor does not exist and is magically created, and the spell will end when the rod is broken? Or is it a dormant "destroy floor" spell that will trigger when the rod is broken? What would it take to mechanically create the version of the spell that is not in the example? If someone else snaps the rod, the condition wouldn't trigger, given the wording ("I snap")?

    Thank you!

  • #2
    What you're describing with the minus dice is a different mechanic to change the duration factor of a spell. The intent of conditional duration wasn't to automatically spend dice on duration, but rather to freely add to the duration. Furthermore, dice aren't spell factors, they are a mechanical representation of the possibility of the spell working. Since Duration is a spell factor, how you change that spell factor doesn't change the fact that it is still the spell factor, not the dice. Thus they describe altering the duration of the spell via the words spell factor instead of minus dice.

    Yes, it is fine to pick any possible condition for a spell to end (emphasis on possible). In your example, this would likely count as an Infrequent condition (one that will eventually happen but is unlikely to happen on its own). Thus if the extra two levels of duration would allow the spell to rise to last a year long then that is what would happen.

    Given the utility of eliminating a floor (whether by destruction or by the ending of its creation), "snapping this rod" would likely count as a Common condition. Technically it doesn't matter if the spell is designed to destroy the floor and has been suspended via a Time Hung Spell spell or was designed to create the floor and then will end after the snapping of the rod; both work for Conditional duration. The difference between them is that instead of conditional duration being added to the destroying spell, it's been added to Hung Spell.

    Yes, you are correct, if someone else snaps the rod then the condition hasn't been met since the words "I snap" were a part of that condition.

    I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "What would it take to mechanically create the version of the spell that is not in the example?". However, here are a few more examples that might help you out:

    Darius Luthor, a Mastigos, has recently acquired Apprenticeship in Fate (gained the second dot of Fate) and has decided he wants to make a permanent portal via the Co-location spell. He forms the spell in his mind, raising the duration of the spell to a year long (one set of -2 dice, the rest for free because duration is the primary factor and Darius is an Adept of Space) before adding the condition that when he next says "flipidijibit" the spell will end. He can now reach for indefinite (+1 duration factor for an improbable condition (he never says made-up words)) and spend the necessary mana to actually make it indefinite. He likely will also spend a dot of willpower to release the spell from his control, but that is a separate issue.

    Samson, a Thyrsus, has decided he is tired of having to cast a spell to reveal spirits to his senses every other day (yes, you can sort of get around this with Mage sight, but he also doesn't want to use that, he wants to always just be able to see spirits). So he has decided to temporarily cause his unveiling spell to last for the next week. He forms his unveiling spell in his mind, raising its duration to one day (free +1 duration factor because duration is primary and he is an Apprentice of Spirit), and then adds the condition of "This spell will end when I next walk through my front door." Not understanding that the condition is a common one, the spell instead has a year long duration (+3 factors instead of +1). The next day he forgets the condition and walks through his front door to go to work, ending the spell.

    d'Artagnan, an Acanthus, doesn't like to have his destiny messed with. Knowing that he's going to be facing an opponent sometime this year that will try to mess with him via Fate he casts Warding Gesture with an advanced duration and a condition of "When I next drink beer this spell will end." He raises the duration of the spell to one day long for free (Apprentice of Fate), adds the Infrequent condition (+2 factors, he does drink beer on occasion, but mostly prefers wine), and then spends 2 dice to bring the factor up from a month to a year. d'Artagnan is now protected from Fate spells for a year, unless he drinks beer in the meantime of course.

    All of these spells presume that the caster is spending a reach for advanced duration. You CAN use conditional duration for a spell that doesn't have advanced duration, but considering how quickly such a spell will end (a turn is 3 seconds long), it becomes trivially easy to add a common condition to a spell to make it last just a bit longer (presuming you have that one mana to spend; don't forget it costs a mana to add the attainment Conditional Duraiton).


    • #3
      Thank you so much!

      I was understanding conditional duration very incorrectly, now it all makes sense! This game is very particular with its mechanics, I'm sure once everything sets in, the abstraction and interactions make total sense, but while learning, all the parts are a bit overwhelming.

      Also, the examples are very useful, not simply for my question, but as good ideas to propose to the players on how to use magic!


      • #4
        Conditional duration is an excellent way to explain why Acanthus act in a superstitious or mercurial way. It really encourages players to pursue the Path's style.

        You can't borrow their gun because the enhancements will be gone once someone else uses it. Their lunargent coin that aids in Focused Mage Sight can only be used by those who haven't broken an oath in the past week. But it also means any imbued items they make can't be used against them, that their relinquished oath has a backdoor only they can exploit or, should their Sanctum be invaded, the portal they made for the cabal to explore a valuable site can be collapsed by whistling a certain tune.
        Last edited by KaiserAfini; 03-10-2021, 10:28 AM.

        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)