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Charging alembics

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  • Charging alembics

    I'm not sure I've totally grasped how charging alembics works. For a lot of alembics it makes total sense. Others (example: burning strike) have reflexive activation but limited duration; can you try to reactivate them when they run out, or do you have to wait a scene, or do you have to spend more pyros? Others (example: crucible of will) clearly give you a benefit when you spend the pyros, but does it then cost 1 or 2/3 pyros to recharge them? Or can they only be charged once per scene? Still more (e.g. Pilgrim's Landmarks) have a cost, a one-off benefit and an activation effect: can you try them repeatedly until you succeed? Can you spend pyros to try again?

    I'm not trying to be deliberately obtuse; I think I get it well enough to fudge it, but it feels like there's a lot of edge cases where alembics don't clearly and explicitly explain how they dovetail with the general rules, and I'm trying to get my head around them and if there's some additional point of clarity I'm missing.

  • #2
    Originally posted by crabbadon View Post
    I'm not sure I've totally grasped how charging alembics works. For a lot of alembics it makes total sense. Others (example: burning strike) have reflexive activation but limited duration; can you try to reactivate them when they run out, or do you have to wait a scene, or do you have to spend more pyros?
    Well, according to the general rules for Alembics, "Once the Alembic is charged, she may use the Distillation (and any lesser Distillation of the Alembic) for the remainder of the scene without further Pyros expenditure, unless otherwise specified." So I guess you can just re-active it for free as many times as you want during the Scene. That does seem strange though, if activating the Distillation is a reflexive action with no cost, it seems like giving it a limited number of turns tied to a dice roll is pretty pointless. I guess it's just to give you an opportunity to dramatically fail.

    Originally posted by crabbadon View Post
    Others (example: crucible of will) clearly give you a benefit when you spend the pyros, but does it then cost 1 or 2/3 pyros to recharge them? Or can they only be charged once per scene?
    Crucible of Will is really weird. It doesn't say that you have to spend Pyros to use it and it says that each use regains you one Willpower. By a strict technical reading, that should mean you can just keep re-activating it to keep your Willpower full for the whole scene, but that's obviously not the intent. My guess is that it's supposed to give you the one Willpower when it's charged, and then for the rest of the scene you just regain Willpower for failing rolls.

    Originally posted by crabbadon View Post
    Still more (e.g. Pilgrim's Landmarks) have a cost, a one-off benefit and an activation effect: can you try them repeatedly until you succeed? Can you spend pyros to try again?
    That one you should just be able to do again with an Instant action and an Intelligence +Occult + Resolve roll, since it doesn't specify that you have to spend Pyros to activate it. Again, seems like the roll mostly only exists to give you an opportunity to dramatically fail, but it does make a bit more sense since the action is Instant instead of Reflexive, so you are at least limited to one attempt per turn.

    Originally posted by crabbadon View Post
    I'm not trying to be deliberately obtuse; I think I get it well enough to fudge it, but it feels like there's a lot of edge cases where alembics don't clearly and explicitly explain how they dovetail with the general rules, and I'm trying to get my head around them and if there's some additional point of clarity I'm missing.
    I don't think you're being obtuse. A lot of Distillations seem like they're designed as though you have to expend a resource to use them, but don't specifically say you have to do so, which puts them kind of at odds with the general rules for Alembics.


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