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[2E] Adamant Hand is Underwhelming?

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  • #61
    Taking time to pull a spell together is good complaint because this has nothing to do with casting times, and everything to do with Sleepers having lives of their own. Need to set a ward around an dangerous area, lets say? You can cast a spell on your own. Sleepwalker allies might understand the need and take off from work early; they might very well be part of the cabal itself, and instantly available. Mages who take part in a ritual will understand the need and donate their own free time, as suggested by the Status merit. With Sleepers, you have to arrange time when everyone can meet, and these are people with families and dates and plans and day jobs that can't just take off for a pagan ritual or a last minute computer coding party. You might very well need to wait for a weekend day, which is very inconvenient.

    You can cast spells when you'd normally have all these people gathered - let us say a weekly BDSM party for those FC using that subculture as a focus. Or you could go to a bondage club, assuming one is nearby. If you have all the time in the world and ability to pick the location, sure, its not a problem. And you have a spell that you can work the Sleepers into as a yantra, of course. And its not too obvious, since that would fail. If you have a need to move to somewhere unsecured, or pressed for time? These are very real concerns you have to consider, and limit when and where the merit can be used. Remember that the whole purpose of the game is to go out and investigate mysteries, and often times these mysteries are dangerous. Sleepers will object to certain times and places because they can't understand the need, and you can't really explain it. Mages and Sleepwalkers, on the other hand, understand.

    Sleepers aren't resources you can move around like chess peices. Not without controlling them with magic. These are people with lives, needs and thoughts of their own, and that needs to be taken into consideration.

    The sheer limit on when you can arrange for Sleepers is a huge huge drawback to the merit. The fact that you can arrange for more effective Yantra (read: higher dice bonus) in shorter amounts of time makes it virtually worthless. Its very neat from a thematic standpoint, but has little practical application. At Gnosis 5, I can have 4 Yantra prepared. I can chant High Speech, use a Persona, use a Path/Order dedicated tool, and a Legacy Yantra. Each of these can give a better bonus than a Sleeper, and can be used at any point in pretty much any spell I would cast, at any point in time, at any place. There's no reason for Sleepers here. And we're talking the upper limits on what PCs generally hit in terms of Gnosis - its rare to see games hit Supernatural Tolerance 7.
    Last edited by MCN; 05-23-2016, 10:22 AM.

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    • #62
      Even if they're members of your cabal, anyone who isn't a Sleeper who is participating in casting a spell also have "Families and dates and plans and day jobs" etc. I don't think acknowledging that people have prior commitments is the strongest argument you could have pulled together. Also, you don't need specific Sleepers at all, as long as they fall under the cultural group your Techne applies to I think it's likely you'll find someone with some free time. Also, Sleepers obviously don't know Magic is happening, so by my read you're basically skimming off the ambiance they provide which means that as long as they're actively participating in the culture they don't even have to do anything specific. You also don't actually need more than 1 Sleeper so it's not like you even have to get together a lot of people, you could just be playing on the Xbox with your Sleeper buddy and using that as your Order Tool while your other Mage buddy links in with you to give the 8-again.

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      • #63
        Necroing a bit: about the Adamant Hand Merit...
        I thought that MtA 1st edition orders' books were still good reference for MtA 2nd edition. The Adamant Hand as a full fledged fighting style was really cool, especially levels ***, **** and ***** (Star, Blood and Abyss, if I remember correctly), but the first 2 levels were nice as well. On the other hand the Adamant Hand merit as described in MtA 2nd edition Corebook was... eh, nice, but it lacked something. It was underwhelming.
        So... is the 1st edition adamant hand as a fighting style effectively dead and buried? Will it come back somehow, maybe a new future sourcebook on orders and something special, more detailed, for them?

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Avenging Hathor View Post
          Necroing a bit: about the Adamant Hand Merit...
          I thought that MtA 1st edition orders' books were still good reference for MtA 2nd edition. The Adamant Hand as a full fledged fighting style was really cool, especially levels ***, **** and ***** (Star, Blood and Abyss, if I remember correctly), but the first 2 levels were nice as well. On the other hand the Adamant Hand merit as described in MtA 2nd edition Corebook was... eh, nice, but it lacked something. It was underwhelming.
          So... is the 1st edition adamant hand as a fighting style effectively dead and buried? Will it come back somehow, maybe a new future sourcebook on orders and something special, more detailed, for them?
          Adamant Hand can be very powerful, especially with the new addition of the firearms branch in Nameless & Accursed.

          The way I understand it is that you can make use of that skill in combat and a spell on the same turn. So it means you can be dodging a werewolf or doing complex parkour in a chase while casting at the same time. You can lay covering fire and hit the enemy's position with an AoE in the same turn. You could throw a dagger at one foe and a spell at the other. That is huge, it increases the mage's combat options in a major way. Adamant Hand makes the Arrows terrifying because they become so much more efficient on the battlefield.

          Not only that, you choose when to use the bonus and there is no upper limit to the maximum. So in an engagement that lasts a bit, they could accumulate something like a +6 reflexive yantra to use on a really powerful spell, maybe even to teleport away from the danger.

          Regarding adapting the 1ed version, perhaps a Legacy could be a way to approach it.
          Last edited by KaiserAfini; 08-18-2021, 02:07 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 Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy of Scholars of the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)

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          • #65
            Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
            The way I understand it is that you can make use of that skill in combat and a spell on the same turn.
            A two-dot Merit does not allow you to break the action economy in this fashion. You can make use of that Skill and prepare a spell, but casting is still an instant action.

            Not only that, you choose when to use the bonus and there is no upper limit to the maximum.
            There is the same upper limit that exists for every Yantra, which is the one on the Gnosis chart.


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            • #66
              Originally posted by Satchel View Post
              A two-dot Merit does not allow you to break the action economy in this fashion. You can make use of that Skill and prepare a spell, but casting is still an instant action.

              There is the same upper limit that exists for every Yantra, which is the one on the Gnosis chart.
              Just to clarify, does that mean each +1 counts as its own separate yantra ? I thought it counted as a single one that accumulates value until you use it.

              If that is the case, then its extremely underwhelming. I thought the objective of the merit was to incentivize the diversity of combat approaches when spellcasting is heavily favored. Which it does, but not in a way that is as eminently useful or flavorful as other Order merits. Perhaps I am missing something about its potential.


              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 Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy of Scholars of the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)

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              • #67
                The purpose of 2e Adamant Hand is merely to give access to an additional Order Tool Yantra (in addition to the Order Tool Yantra everyone in an Order already gains access to) for Adamantine Arrow, much like Techné for Free Council, Lex Magica for Silver Ladder and the second dot of Prelacy for Seers of the Throne. (Mysterium instead gets their own Mystery Cult Initiation Merit in the form of Egregore, and Guardians of the Veil get their cool Masques.)

                What Adamant Hand does, is that when you make an attack, that attack can be used as a reflexive Order Tool Yantra. Order Tool Yantras only grant +1.
                Edit: You still need to spend the usual action to cast the spell once all Yantras have been added. Generally it's an instant action (which can definitely not be taken during the same turn as the combat action) but reflexive spells can still be cast the same turn.

                In comparison to Techné and Lex Magica, I have to agree that it's lackluster. In combat, you do get one additional die on whatever spell you'd like to cast (since you'll never fill out all the Yantra slots during a combat scene) but only if you engage in physical combat first (either attacking or Dodging). It's a nice thing to have when it becomes relevant, but it's doubtful it'll be relevant often enough to justify its cost. You can't use it on pre-combat buffs, and in my experience you generally don't mix spells and attacks during combat since situations tends to favour one approach over the other.
                Techné has the problem that +1 Yantras are already easily available outside of combat (if you have any Yantra slots over for Yantras that don't grant 2 or more dice), but in an all Free Council cabal it could be somewhat potent since it can grant 8-Again on ritual casts (which increases the chance of Exceptional Success, but unfortunately not the chance of succeeding in the first place).
                Lex Magica, on the other hand, is fucking gold compared to either. On top of giving some really good advantages outside of magic (which neither Adamant Hand nor Techné does), the Yantra part can be increase to a maximum of +3 which is a huge deal. Even if you'd remove the non-Yantra advantages and only have three dots of Order/Consilium Status (which makes it a +2 Yantra), it's still better than both Adamant Hand and Techné, imo.
                Last edited by Tessie; 08-18-2021, 09:06 AM.


                Bloodline: The Stygians
                Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                  A two-dot Merit does not allow you to break the action economy in this fashion. You can make use of that Skill and prepare a spell, but casting is still an instant action.
                  That's what I meant: in 1st edition Mage, one could physically attack *and* cast a spell using the Adamant Hand technique "Star". To do so:
                  - A Mage had to learn the 1st and 2nd fighting style merit, before being able to learn the Star (3rd fighting style merit). XPs had to be expended.
                  - A Mage had to learn and pay this fighting style separately for each Arcanum.
                  - A Mage had to spend 1 willpower point for every single use of the Star.
                  - A Mage had to keep following the Adamantine Arrow philosophy or lose all benefits from this fighting style.

                  I guess these 4 rules put together were enough for the developers to decide to allow an action economy exception?
                  Plus the mental picture of a mage, hitting hard with a punch and at the same time releasing magical power in a spell, is just too cool to just shelve away.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Avenging Hathor View Post
                    Plus the mental picture of a mage, hitting hard with a punch and at the same time releasing magical power in a spell, is just too cool to just shelve away.
                    Well the boring-but-practical method to do that would be just casting the spell at Touch range. If a mage who can deliver Thunderbolts with his palms says it’s stylish, it’s stylish.

                    Or perhaps allow Aimed Spells to be ‘thrown’ at point-blank range.


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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
                      Well the boring-but-practical method to do that would be just casting the spell at Touch range. If a mage who can deliver Thunderbolts with his palms says it’s stylish, it’s stylish.
                      Technically, you can't in second edition. Touching an opponent in combat is a type of attack action which is always an instant action so you wouldn't be able to both do that and cast a spell (unless it's a reflexive spell). And even if you could, you wouldn't deal any damage from the attack which defeats half the purpose of such a combo (the other half being that it's stylish).


                      Bloodline: The Stygians
                      Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                      Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Tessie View Post

                        Technically, you can't in second edition. Touching an opponent in combat is a type of attack action which is always an instant action so you wouldn't be able to both do that and cast a spell (unless it's a reflexive spell). And even if you could, you wouldn't deal any damage from the attack which defeats half the purpose of such a combo
                        Huh. Thought I nailed it. Guess I need to reread those parts

                        (the other half being that it's stylish).
                        Hey, at least that’s working lol


                        MtAw Homebrew:
                        Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
                        New 2E Legacies, expanded

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Tessie View Post

                          Technically, you can't in second edition. Touching an opponent in combat is a type of attack action which is always an instant action so you wouldn't be able to both do that and cast a spell (unless it's a reflexive spell). And even if you could, you wouldn't deal any damage from the attack which defeats half the purpose of such a combo (the other half being that it's stylish).
                          Is there anyone else on the forums who tried putting together a houserule for old-style adamant hand attacks or even just for 1 turn touch-range spell on enemies?

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