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Breaking Exceptional Luck

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  • #16
    Even if it were right? This is exactly the kind of situation in which I'd say that we're using the Down and Dirty spellcasting system now. It does nothing to further the plot and clearly the Mage isn't under any time constraints because he's not under pressure to do something -now- in order for this scheme to succeed.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
      That's not RAW, though, and Inodiv is right to note that skill dots explicitly become a Yantra bonus to spellcasting. Even at this point, the ST can (and should) shoot you down on the grounds that the rules don't explicitly permit what you're suggesting. Since this is clearly an attempt to abuse RAW, anything that's not ironclad undermines the argument.
      Nor is it RAW to claim that "Skill roll" is an actual rules concept. There is no definition of "Skill roll" anywhere in the Chronicles of Darkness core rulebook, nor is there one in Mage 2e. Even so, the Shadow Name Merit calls out the possibility of "mundane skill rolls," so magical skill rolls must exist.

      If there is no such thing as a "Skill roll" by RAW, then Informed would never work on anything.

      Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
      Informed must be resolved when you make a roll. It then applies based on the outcome of the roll; fails count as single successes, successes count as exceptional. Steadfast can be resolved when you fail a roll. That failure counts as a success.
      At no point does the Informed Condition specify the timing of when it must be triggered during the roll-making process. If you have made a roll and then gauged success or failure, you are still in the roll resolution process, during which both Steadfast and Informed are perfectly valid. Of course, you will want to resolve Steadfast first.

      Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
      So you can’t actually resolve two conditions granted by one spell, because as soon as you resolve the first one, the spell ends (taking with it the other Condition and anything else it’s providing).
      The boon is being split up into multiple benefits. There is no reason why resolving one benefit would end the entire spell.

      Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
      I went and double-checked the wording of the Boon entry, and noticed something interesting: the first 'option' in Boons spells out the option of using +2 Reach to apply the dice tricks/upgrade of chance dice to single dice. This suggests to me that the +2 Reach option for Exceptional Luck only applies to this aspect of the Boon, and does not allow you to apply Condition effects to spellcasting. It's muddy, because the Conditions you're looking at themselves don't include prohibitions against use in casting rolls, but since one part of the boon explicitly requires Reach to apply the effect to spellcasting, I take it that by implication you can't use the others.
      We are not using the +2 Reach option of boons themselves. We are using the built-in +2 Reach option of Exceptional Luck itself.

      Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
      You could, but since it's a custom Condition, it would be 100% subject to ST approval. You can't use it in white room theory-crafting to prove that the magic system is broken.
      I will concede that this method will require an additional layer of ST-based approval.

      Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
      It might just be clarifying that the penalty applies to non-magical attempts, unless there's something explicit in the RAW that defines a 'magical skill roll'.
      There is nothing that defines a "Skill roll" to begin with.

      Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
      TL;DR: The exploit doesn't work by RAW or by RAI. There might be an issue with Steadfast as written, but it's relatively minor. A clarification wouldn't hurt, but the problem is nothing like what you're suggesting.
      I have addressed your points above.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
        Plus it's actually wrong on the RAW...
        I have already addressed your points.

        We are at the point wherein the Informed Condition does not work by RAW to begin with, as there is no definition for "Skill roll."

        Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
        Even if it were right?
        It is right. Refer to my points above.

        Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
        This is exactly the kind of situation in which I'd say that we're using the Down and Dirty spellcasting system now. It does nothing to further the plot and clearly the Mage isn't under any time constraints because he's not under pressure to do something -now- in order for this scheme to succeed.
        The first version of the trick works as a reflexive action that does not require any Mana or Willpower. This is surely feasible in a scene with time constraints and/or tension

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        • #19
          Unnecessarily deconstructing an obvious concept is kind of not helpful.

          Originally posted by THEBOOKpage121
          Mudras
          Mudras are Supernal mnemonics taught by the Orders that
          draw on skills and knowledge of the Fallen World, cast through
          the Order’s philosophy. Creating mudras is part of defining a
          Rote, codifying the structure of magic in the symbols of the
          Lie. Mudras come in many forms — Buddhist Libertines may
          use zazen, while the Arrow may tense specific muscles in a set
          pattern, and Guardians use specific rhythms of walking and
          representative hand gestures. Each Rote is unique to the mage
          who created it — some encode specific symbolism into the
          positioning of individual fingers to allow a student to form his
          own mnemonic; far more present a paternalistic approach that
          teaches the mudra and the magic without an intervening step
          to consider the actions’ meaning.
          Effect: Using a Rote’s mudra adds the user’s rating in the
          Rote’s encoded Skill to her dice pool. If the Skill is one of her
          Order’s specialized Rote Skills, she adds an extra die. Mudras
          do not require the mage to actually use the Skill beyond remembering
          the gestures of the mudra; a mage cannot spend a turn
          hacking in order to then claim a Computers mudra for a spell.
          Here you can see the rating in the skill is added as a bonus, and not inherently apart of the dice pool. Where as normally a mundane dice pool, is attribute+skill. It can safely be inferred that spell casting is not a skill roll. And more over in the direction that a skill roll is a attribute+skill dice pool.


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          • #20
            Even in the absolute best case scenario wherein Skill rolls are given a formal definition in such a way that they exclude Mudra Yantras, and Informed's timing is cleared up such that it can never stack with Steadfast, Exceptional Luck is still degenerately powerful.

            Consider the following trick, which requires no looping of Exceptional Luck at all, and uses only Steadfast for Conditions. Again, this requires a minimum of Gnosis 3 and Fate 2, and a Rote for Fate 2's Exceptional Luck; but since we are taking this to the logical extreme, let us assume a 0 XP mage with Gnosis 3, Fate 3, a Rote for Fate 2's Exceptional Luck, 5 dots in that Rote's Skill (let us call this the Rote Skill from henceforth), and an Order specialty in the Rote Skill.

            Step #1: Cast Exceptional Luck with a Mudra Yantra. Two Reaches for casting it as a reflexive action for 1 Mana, and two Reaches to have it affect spellcasting. -2 spell factor for +1 Potency.
            Dice pool: Gnosis 3 + Fate 3 + Mudra 6 - spell factors 2 = 10, for a ~96% chance of success.
            Result: Potency 4 Exceptional Luck lasting for a turn. Allocated to 9-again or chance-die-to-regular-die to the next dice roll, a +2 dice bonus to the next two spellcasting actions, and Steadfast.

            Step #2: Cast any other instant action spell, availing of the +2 dice bonus from Exceptional Luck. Crank down the dice pool to -5 using spell factors, transform the chance die into a regular die, and roll it, and then resolve Steadfast if it fails.

            For the low price of 1 Mana and a reflexive action, you have supercharged your "real" spell and guaranteed its success.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by MercSet View Post
              Here you can see the rating in the skill is added as a bonus, and not inherently apart of the dice pool. Where as normally a mundane dice pool, is attribute+skill. It can safely be inferred that spell casting is not a skill roll. And more over in the direction that a skill roll is a attribute+skill dice pool.
              "Merely adding your rating in a Skill does not make a roll a Skill roll" and "Attribute + Skill is a Skill roll because it is 'inherently' part of the dice pool" is no more RAW than "if a Skill rating is added to a roll, it becomes a Skill roll," because there was never any definition for "Skill roll" to start with.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Earth Seraph Edna View Post

                Nor is it RAW to claim that "Skill roll" is an actual rules concept. There is no definition of "Skill roll" anywhere in the Chronicles of Darkness core rulebook, nor is there one in Mage 2e. Even so, the Shadow Name Merit calls out the possibility of "mundane skill rolls," so magical skill rolls must exist.

                If there is no such thing as a "Skill roll" by RAW, then Informed would never work on anything.
                It's a question of reasonable interpretation. Is Dexterity+Stealth a skill roll? Well, it's a Stealth roll, and Stealth is a skill, so I'd say that it's a skill roll. When a skill is used to generate a Rote Yantra, you're by definition making a spellcasting roll (since you don't roll dice using a Yantra unless you're spellcasting).

                You can disagree with the interpretation, but it's equally as valid as yours, which means we should look at which interpretation gives the most reasonable outcomes. Since you've already conceded that your interpretation leads to us needing to revise the whole Hex/Boon system, I think we should go with the alternative.

                At no point does the Informed Condition specify the timing of when it must be triggered during the roll-making process. If you have made a roll and then gauged success or failure, you are still in the roll resolution process, during which both Steadfast and Informed are perfectly valid. Of course, you will want to resolve Steadfast first.
                You can't succeed or fail on a roll until you've made a roll. You have to have rolled in order to fail. Checking for success or failure is not part of making the roll, it's a result of making the roll. This is basic causality, but it's also spelled out on p. 213. You calculate a dice pool, then roll it. Once you have rolled it, you check for successes.

                But even so...

                The boon is being split up into multiple benefits. There is no reason why resolving one benefit would end the entire spell.
                The rules say that when you resolve a Condition granted by a spell, the spell ends early. The Boon may be split into multiple effects, but they all stem from the same casting of Exceptional Luck.

                Here's the logic:

                P1: When you resolve a Condition granted by a spell before the spell's duration expires, the spell ends early. (M:tA 2E p. 126).

                P2: Exceptional Luck is a spell.

                P3: You resolve a Condition granted by Exceptional Luck.

                C: Exceptional Luck ends.

                Now, you can certainly argue that this doesn't make much sense, but neither does your supposed exploit, and the RAW is unambiguous..

                We are not using the +2 Reach option of boons themselves. We are using the built-in +2 Reach option of Exceptional Luck itself.
                Yes. I am suggesting that they are one and the same. As I said, it's muddy. On the other hand, p. 126 is quite clear.






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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Earth Seraph Edna View Post
                  For the low price of 1 Mana and a reflexive action, you have supercharged your "real" spell and guaranteed its success.
                  As I said initially, you're right that if Steadfast can be applied to spell rolls, that's an issue that could do with clarification. This could either be in the in Steadfast text ("Steadfast can never be applied to a spellcasting roll, even by use of Fate magic or similar powers.") or in the Boon text ("Conditions granted by Boons can never affect spellcasting rolls, even if the caster applies other Boon effects using Reach.").

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
                    When a skill is used to generate a Rote Yantra, you're by definition making a spellcasting roll (since you don't roll dice using a Yantra unless you're spellcasting).
                    A roll can be more than one type of roll, unless an attack roll using Brawl, Firearms, or Weaponry is not also considered a "Skill roll."

                    Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
                    You can disagree with the interpretation, but it's equally as valid as yours, which means we should look at which interpretation gives the most reasonable outcomes. Since you've already conceded that your interpretation leads to us needing to revise the whole Hex/Boon system, I think we should go with the alternative.
                    Considering the breaking points of the "hex"/"boon" subsystem, overhauling it significantly seems like the wiser option.

                    Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
                    You can't succeed or fail on a roll until you've made a roll. You have to have rolled in order to fail. Checking for success or failure is not part of making the roll, it's a result of making the roll. This is basic causality, but it's also spelled out on p. 213. You calculate a dice pool, then roll it. Once you have rolled it, you check for successes.
                    I am going over pages 212-213 of Mage 2e, and at no point is it delineated that roll results are outside of the process of "making a roll."

                    Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
                    The rules say that when you resolve a Condition granted by a spell, the spell ends early. The Boon may be split into multiple effects, but they all stem from the same casting of Exceptional Luck.
                    You are referring to the rules for creative thaumaturgy, which, as page 125 states, are "step by step guidelines for creating your own spells." We are not creating our own spell, but rather using the premade Exceptional Luck.

                    Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
                    Yes. I am suggesting that they are one and the same. As I said, it's muddy. On the other hand, p. 126 is quite clear.
                    If they were one and the same, Fate 3's Monkey's Paw would spell out the same +2 Reach option for its hex/boon-granting function.

                    Additionally, even if they were one and the same, the first bullet point of boons ends with, "The boon may also affect spellcasting rolls and other powers at the cost of +2 Reach." This refers to the boon, not the individual benefit, and a single boon can grant multiple benefits.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Earth Seraph Edna View Post

                      A roll can be more than one type of roll, unless an attack roll using Brawl, Firearms, or Weaponry is not also considered a "Skill roll."



                      Considering the breaking points of the "hex"/"boon" subsystem, overhauling it significantly seems like the wiser option.
                      What breaking points are there aside from Steadfast abuse?



                      I am going over pages 212-213 of Mage 2e, and at no point is it delineated that roll results are outside of the process of "making a roll."
                      How are you determining success until after you have rolled?



                      You are referring to the rules for creative thaumaturgy, which, as page 125 states, are "step by step guidelines for creating your own spells." We are not creating our own spell, but rather using the premade Exceptional Luck.
                      If you're using this reasoning, why are you paying Mana to go past +5?

                      At any rate, the rule doesn't specify that it only applies to Creative Thaumaturgy. It says "Conditions created with magic only last as long as the Duration factor of the spell. If the target resolves the Condition before the Duration expires, the spell ends early and the target gains a Beat as normal."




                      If they were one and the same, Fate 3's Monkey's Paw would spell out the same +2 Reach option for its hex/boon-granting function.


                      Additionally, even if they were one and the same, the first bullet point of boons ends with, "The boon may also affect spellcasting rolls and other powers at the cost of +2 Reach." This refers to the boon, not the individual benefit, and a single boon can grant multiple benefits.
                      It's muddy, because it can be viewed as being intended to clarify which sorts of the boon can apply to spellcasting rolls if you use +2 Reach.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Earth Seraph Edna View Post
                        The first version of the trick works as a reflexive action that does not require any Mana or Willpower. This is surely feasible in a scene with time constraints and/or tension
                        Not to infinity.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
                          What breaking points are there aside from Steadfast abuse?
                          The sheer ease of granting long-lasting bonuses to spellcasting rolls. Even with Informed and Steadfast off the metaphorical table, there is still the possibility of gaining Inspired on spellcasting, trivializing exceptional successes at times.

                          On top of all this, since Charmed can be applied as a Condition and Exceptional Luck can be used reflexively, a mage can cast Exceptional Luck in response to an attack that gets past their Mage Armor in order to gain Charmed and then reduce the damage to 1.

                          Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
                          How are you determining success until after you have rolled?
                          This is part of the roll.

                          Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
                          If you're using this reasoning, why are you paying Mana to go past +5?
                          Ask DaveB; that is their fix/ruling, not mine. As far as I can tell, there is no reason why it should cost Mana, seeing how there is no stipulated "trait maximum" for bonuses from supernatural powers.

                          Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
                          At any rate, the rule doesn't specify that it only applies to Creative Thaumaturgy. It says "Conditions created with magic only last as long as the Duration factor of the spell. If the target resolves the Condition before the Duration expires, the spell ends early and the target gains a Beat as normal."
                          That is referring to creative thaumaturgy, not general spellcasting. Unless there is a rule in the main spellcasting section covering such a thing or an appropriate errata or FAQ, I am not buying it.

                          Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                          Not to infinity.
                          Of course not, but a Potency 14 Exceptional Luck as a reflexive action for 0 Mana and 0 Willpower is still rather strong.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Earth Seraph Edna View Post

                            The sheer ease of granting long-lasting bonuses to spellcasting rolls. Even with Informed and Steadfast off the metaphorical table, there is still the possibility of gaining Inspired on spellcasting, trivializing exceptional successes at times.

                            On top of all this, since Charmed can be applied as a Condition and Exceptional Luck can be used reflexively, a mage can cast Exceptional Luck in response to an attack that gets past their Mage Armor in order to gain Charmed and then reduce the damage to 1.
                            Sure, and they're spending Mana every time they do it, on what is very probably Obvious magic.

                            This is part of the roll.
                            So the result of an action is part of the action? That's incoherent.

                            Ask DaveB; that is their fix/ruling, not mine. As far as I can tell, there is no reason why it should cost Mana, seeing how there is no stipulated "trait maximum" for bonuses from supernatural powers.
                            It's not a fix or ruling, since in that post (which you linked to) he cites rules on the same page as the rule I'm citing:

                            Originally posted by DaveB
                            >Even DaveB acknowledged that Exceptional Luck could provide bonuses beyond +5 in >>47578936 (You).

                            It can, but it makes the spell cost Mana. p.126.

                            But you've committed yourself to casting a three hour ritual over and over until you get it right, then immediately casting another one until you get *that* right. One Mana per attempt isn't that bad.
                            That is referring to creative thaumaturgy, not general spellcasting. Unless there is a rule in the main spellcasting section covering such a thing or an appropriate errata or FAQ, I am not buying it.
                            Example spells have to follow the same rules as Creative Thaumaturgy, or they wouldn't be examples, and the system wouldn't make any sense.

                            I can't force you to read the rules as a whole, rather than a bunch of detached ideas, but I don't really know why why you're so intent on avoiding interpretations that deal with the problems you think you're finding.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
                              Sure, and they're spending Mana every time they do it, on what is very probably Obvious magic.
                              1 Mana is a trivial cost for a reflexive action that lets you manipulate the dice in any number of rather powerful ways, particularly since you might just negate that Mana expenditure and regain an additional 1 Mana on top of that.

                              Furthermore, if the spell is indeed a manifestation of exceptional luck, as the name and the description both imply, then it is far from obvious.

                              Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
                              So the result of an action is part of the action? That's incoherent.
                              Hardly.

                              Let us look at this another way. We can, if we so choose, resolve Informed before the roll is ever made. "If you resolve it and the roll fails, it is instead considered to have a single success. If it succeeds, the roll is considered an exceptional success."

                              The moment the roll fails, we interrupt the resolution of Informed with Steadfast (Conditions have to interrupt roll resolution by design, or else many of them would be nonfunctional), forcing the roll to become a success. Then we resume the resolution of Informed, which must snap back to resolving the roll as a success, then an exceptional success.

                              Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
                              It's not a fix or ruling, since in that post (which you linked to) he cites rules on the same page as the rule I'm citing:
                              That should not be the case in the first place, since there is no "trait maximum" for bonuses gained from supernatural powers. Furthermore, let us work with your logic for a moment and suppose that the rules for creative thaumaturgy extend to all spells (despite an assortment of premade spells flaunting those rules):

                              "If the target resolves the Condition before the Duration expires, the spell ends early and the target gains a Beat as normal."

                              This applies to a singular Condition, and we have applied multiple Conditions. Thus, only once we are down to one Condition can it be accurately said that there is only one Condition, that is, "the Condition," left to resolve.

                              Originally posted by Eggs Maledict View Post
                              I can't force you to read the rules as a whole, rather than a bunch of detached ideas, but I don't really know why why you're so intent on avoiding interpretations that deal with the problems you think you're finding.
                              Let us not be disingenuous here.

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                              • #30


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