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[2E] Adamant Hand is Underwhelming?

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  • [2E] Adamant Hand is Underwhelming?

    I dunno if it's just me but I'm amazingly underwhelmed by this merit versus the other Order specific merits
    Originally posted by Mage the Awakening 2E pg 99
    Adamant Hand (••)
    Prerequisite: Adamantine Arrow Status •, (Athletics, Brawl, or Weaponry •••, Special)]When taking this Merit, choose Athletics, Weaponry, or Brawl, which your character must have three or more dots in. This Merit allows use of that Skill in combat as a reflexive Order tool Yantra, adding dice to a spell cast on subsequent turns, or to a spell cast reflexively in the same turn as the combat action. You may purchase this Merit multiple times to reflect the other styles.
    Compared to, say, the Silver Ladder merit
    Originally posted by Mage the Awakening 2E pg 102
    Lex Magica (••)
    Prerequisites: Silver Ladder Status •
    First, add her Silver Ladder Status or Consilium Status (whichever she’s acting with) to her Doors when a character attempts to outmaneuver her socially (see p. 215).
    Second, characters cannot use Willpower to increase dice pools on Social actions or magic which would influence her behavior. Lastly, your character may use her Silver Ladder Status or Consilium Status (whichever is higher) as a Yantra in spells directly enforcing the Lex Magica’s laws. This includes spells to investigate potential crimes, to pursue offenders, to use the law to defend innocence, and any other spell to help the rule of law work more thoroughly. The dice bonus for the Yantra is half the Merit dots used, rounded up.

  • #2
    Casting a spell with a yantra bonus in the same turn as doing a combat action is pretty potent - it's essentially an extra action. Breaking the action economy in 2e is pretty rare. Admittedly an Order Tool Yantra is only worth one die, which is also my issue with the Free Council Techne merit - it's a two-dot merit that's slightly worse than the one-dot version of Shadow Name. I really like the flavor of incorporating Sleepers into your castings, but access to two one-die yantras that take up two separate yantra slots is strictly worse than spending two merit dots on one yantra that gives two dice and takes up one yantra slot (to compare the two-dot version of Shadow Name to two dots of Techne). The bonus Withstand rating cloaking your mundane ties is also better than an 8-again that requires everyone else involved in the casting to also have the merit, considering extra successes on spellcasting don't do anything aside from get you closer to an Exceptional.
    Last edited by Juhn; 05-09-2016, 09:20 AM.

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    • #3
      Does it give a reflexive spell? I'm reading it as "or to a spell cast reflexively in the same turn as the combat action." I.E it's giving that +1 Yantra bonus reflexively to the spell cast on the next turn or adding +1 Yantra to a spell that you can cast reflexively.

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      • #4
        I thought it made the combat action reflexive, while the spell takes up your primary action.

        I might be reading it wrong, though.

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        • #5
          The merit allows for a combat skill use to be an Order Tool Yantra on spells cast in future turns within that combat or a spell you cast reflexively (such as Turn Momentum with the first Reach effect). The merit does not give you a way to make spells reflexive. I'll grant that the comma usage makes this a little confusing.

          A merit that allows you to break the "one action a turn" rule with ANY spell would be insanely powerful, especially when making the way you get the additional action to cast a spell. . .you know, being part of the Order of Let's Fight People and attacking someone. I could MAYBE see some subsequent merit letting you do so, but it would need some STEEP pre-requisites. I'm talking high Gnosis, multiple fighting style dots, and even then giving you the ability to spend a Reach (maybe TWO) in order to reflexively cast a spell as part of an attack. MAYBE.

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          • #6
            Throwing an Aimed Spell is a combat action using Athletics Skill. You can pretty much trigger this every round, which gives you two reflexive yantras to your spells - in combat, this is amazing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by WHW View Post
              Throwing an Aimed Spell is a combat action using Athletics Skill. You can pretty much trigger this every round, which gives you two reflexive yantras to your spells - in combat, this is amazing.

              This is an excellent idea and I hadn't thought of it.

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              • #8
                Actually, I'm reading it as adding the skill (the dots) as a Yantra, meaning it won't be +1, but +dots, with the downside that it's only usable every other round (barring reflexive spells).

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                • #9
                  It counts as an Order Tool, and Tools all add +1 die.


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                  • #10
                    It's probably just +1. It says that "using the skill" is considered "a reflexive order tool yantra". Order Yantras are fixed at +1. In practice, it's a free +1, because in combat you would be insane to use non reflexive Yantras. It's not very strong, it would be probably better if the tool was also considered dedicated. With "Skill dots in Yantra bonus", it would be broken as fuck; you would pick the Athletics as Adamant Hand style, pick a Athletics Rote in your spell, and pick 5 skill points into Athletics. +10 Yantra bonus choo choo train.
                    EDIT
                    Of course, current spelling makes it sound like you can get multiple instances of this going, because it's subsequent turns and spells, not next turn and next spell. So in turn 1, cast Aimed Spell using Athletics. You get 1 Reflexive Order Yantra. In turn 2. cast Aimed Spell using Athletics. You benefit from one free reflexive +1 yantra. Turn 3, cast Aimed Spell using Athletics, you benefit from two reflexive +1 yantras (so 3 reflexive yantras in total). This interpretation makes it actually good without being brokkkkkkkkken.
                    Last edited by WHW; 05-09-2016, 10:19 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WHW View Post
                      Throwing an Aimed Spell is a combat action using Athletics Skill. You can pretty much trigger this every round, which gives you two reflexive yantras to your spells - in combat, this is amazing.

                      Unfortunately the aim roll comes after you've cast, so.. No.

                      The main use of Hand is that where every other mage has to stop fighting and rely on their normal Defense while casting spells that take more than one turn, an Arrow can fight and Dodge all she likes - and even use them as yantras.


                      Dave Brookshaw

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post


                        Unfortunately the aim roll comes after you've cast, so.. No.

                        The main use of Hand is that where every other mage has to stop fighting and rely on their normal Defense while casting spells that take more than one turn, an Arrow can fight and Dodge all she likes - and even use them as yantras.

                        But couldn't you use the aim roll as a Yantra for the NEXT spell you cast?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post

                          The main use of Hand is that where every other mage has to stop fighting and rely on their normal Defense while casting spells that take more than one turn, an Arrow can fight and Dodge all she likes - and even use them as yantras.
                          Our group has been in ~5 fights, and I don't think I have ever seen a Mage take an action other then spellcasting during a fight (well, one surrender action, but I wouldn't count that). I know we have less combat/session than most, but is my group also atypical for not using mundane combat actions during fights?


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                          • #14
                            Yeah, I was talking about next spell. So you go Cast-Aim-Fire!, and in next round, you get +1 for the trouble. It's amazing, because +1 in combat context *is* amazing.
                            Merit mentions subsequent turns - what if I spend 3 rounds hacking away with my Adamant Hand, and on the 4th round, I go cast? Is that one Yantra, or one-per-combat action? That would be also neat for Magical Samurai Wrestlers.

                            Originally posted by Joker View Post

                            Our group has been in ~5 fights, and I don't think I have ever seen a Mage take an action other then spellcasting during a fight (well, one surrender action, but I wouldn't count that). I know we have less combat/session than most, but is my group also atypical for not using mundane combat actions during fights?
                            Lots of people don't do non spellcasting actions because they are weaker than spellcasting. This merit gives you an excuse to whack a dude with a sword and then feel rewarded for doing so when you follow up with a spellcast. It's a concept enabler and a carrot to not spend all combat casting spells.
                            Last edited by WHW; 05-09-2016, 11:04 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Joker View Post

                              Our group has been in ~5 fights, and I don't think I have ever seen a Mage take an action other then spellcasting during a fight (well, one surrender action, but I wouldn't count that). I know we have less combat/session than most, but is my group also atypical for not using mundane combat actions during fights?

                              I think most Mages are by far better at fighting with Magic than fighting with physical attacks because two dots in Weaponry, a specialty, and four dots in a fighting style could instead be a Gnosis and an Arcana.

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