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Damaging Subjects Without Fraying or Unraveling Practices?

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  • Damaging Subjects Without Fraying or Unraveling Practices?

    Hello! I've recently gotten into Mage: The Awakening and I have some questions I hope y'all folks can answer. I understand that every Arcana allows the user to cause direct damage with the Fraying and Unraveling Practices. However how would one handle "indirect" damage? Some examples that come to mind would be using the Ruling practice to cause a bonfire to engulf a rando nearby, or Weaving the concrete beneath someone's feet into spikes? Would it just be Potency amount of an appropriate damage type? Or maybe Potency divided by two rounded up? (I don't know i'm just spit balling) If so, then how does that play in with Fraying and Unraveling? Would game balance be damaged? I'm just a little confused.

  • #2
    I believe the idea is to use the environmental tilt rules to mechanically describe what these spells do.
    So, Fire damage is handled by the fire rules; 228. Falling damage is 97 of the CofD core (couldn't find it in the Mage core).


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    • #3
      The capacity to make some already dangerous environmental feature like fire go for a target with Ruling spells would be the sort of thing that is why the Obrimos can have a reputation for being particularly dangerous.

      I'll also note that reshaping matter is also a Ruling spell, so available earlier than the level where Fraying could be cast anyway. Still, that's one where I'd be inclined to think that, apart from applying relevant Environmental Tilts that model things such as traps, the spikes don't necessarily form in a manner that makes them super dangerous. Like, the concrete reshapes, but maybe in a manner that ends up pushing things standing right atop it at the time aside rather than dramatically skewering it.

      In any case, I think there's also something to be said for how such effects, in addition to calculating their damage differently, might provide more accessible methods for defending oneself, whether in the form of a physical countermeasure or getting out of the way.

      To my understanding, it actually is part of the intent that Fraying and Unravelling spells aren't necessarily the most efficient things for using to assault something. I would find they make up for that, and any other spell that might provide a different means of attack, in the areas of precision, discretion, and much reduced potential for defence. If a mage so wishes and has the proper yantras, they can make an Unravelling spell Potent enough to be deadly in one go, from a distance without necessarily having a visual component, and where the only recourse could be having a Prime Shielding to Withstand it a bit. Not necessarily practical in all events, but I'd say a step up from the more splashy low-level stuff.

      I would personally characterise in terms of there being implications to forming an imago that itself contains the details of maiming a living target that I would not think to be the case in targeting a statue to make it kick air that a person might just happen to be standing in at their own fault, but that might be another conversation.

      In any event, I'd say that all such magic should be considered in terms of the general tone of Chronicles of Darkness fight mechanics; these aren't rules for cool action scenes, they're rules for sneaking up on somebody in a dark alley and smacking them over the head with a pipe.


      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
      Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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      • #4
        I think a big part is to recognize that the INTENT of the spell is "different" specifically the symbols involved, by far the easiest way to see this in action is the 4th attainment of forces, which SPECIFCALLY says that forces spells of the fraying/damage variant effect them because the mage is saying "f#@k you, your taking damage" so the best way to play it is any spell that take advantage of environments like the happy bonfire that wants to give a BIIIIIGGG hug is stoppable by effects that usually repel fire like the forces attainment, but being A LOT more stricter about what can stop an actual fraying/unraveling spells, because again, harm is literally baked into the spell, the bullet from this spell has your name on it supernally speaking. Outside of that, actual damage would definitely depend on the specifics in question, bonfire? There's rules for damage on that. Spikes? Wouldn't damage immediately but falling on it from a height would do damage.

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        • #5
          In the end, when you're causing harm with lesser levels you're just going to use normal rules for that kind of damage. You'll cause a Tilt or you'll have a weapon and make an attack. You'll use spell rules to cause the base effect, but will determine damage the same way you would if the effect was mundane.


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          • #6
            FYI, not all of the direct damage spells are Unraveling or Fraying, Forces uses Weaving and Patterning for its direct damage spells.

            Indirect damage spells use the damage of whatever is being used to cause the damage. Using Forces 2 to move fire onto someone will deal damage based on the size and strength of the fire, without regards to the potency of the spell.


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