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Magic in combat

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  • Magic in combat

    We are going to start our second game soon and I was wanting to make sure I had down what my character can do. He is a martial artist and in another thread someone told me Correspondence 2 could be used in combat to make yourself harder to hit. Like by sensing where people were at.

    If I used Correspondence 2 for this and got three successes the damage and duration chart says the effect could last all day. The spell would be 'cast' during the mornings meditation and while practicing Do. How would this effect attacks against me? Would it allow me to take off successes for attacks made against me?

    I also have Force 2 and in looking at what it can do on the same chart it says if I make 3 successes that I could do "success x 2" for all day. Does this mean all my Do attacks with my hands would do an additional 6 damage(3 successes x 2)?

    I thought I saw in the book that each magic effect you have going increases the cast difficulty by one but I can't recall where I saw it.

  • #2
    I differentiate "effects" and "enchantments".

    Enchantments are cast , and then, they are active and dont bother your concentration. However, they require prime and some quintessence to work.
    You could enchant your outfit with Prime 2 + Matter3 + Corresp 2 , or your body .. prime 3+ life 3+corresp2, and that will stay active, provided you fuel quintessence regulary to counter pattern bleeding.

    Effects are outcome of casts. Keeping an active effect requires concentration
    What you look for i guess is p528 of M20 book
    "Game-wise, you add +1 to your difficulty for every two Effects"


    • #3
      I think you've misunderstood the Damage and Duration chart. You have to divide the successes you gain between damage and duration. For example, if you get 3 successes, you could put 2 into the effect, and 1 into duration. If you want to put three into effect and three into duration, you'd need at least 6 successes.

      I know M20 changed things up a little, but the way I've always done it is offensive magic against enemies needed to split successes between damage and targets. So if you wanted to throw fire and someone, you'd need at least 2 successes to do anything (1 to target, and at least 1 to damage). However, I always allowed targeting self for free.

      Anyway, the number of successes you need for an effect is mostly up to the ST. So you'll have to discuss with them whether they want to give you a fixed number depending on how "great" the feat is, or if they want to do the split dice method. I personally advocate for a combination of the two as it allows the greatest flexibility, but that's a matter of taste more than anything.

      Regarding your Corr 2 "make stuff miss me" effect, this is what I would do as your ST. First I would ask you what it was you wanted to do. There are two answers to this, the first is mechanical and the second is thematic. Mechanically I want to know what effect you wish to pull off, thematically I want to know how your character sets about doing this and what they believe they are doing. In time my players learn to give me both information in the same answer.
      I require both the thematic and mechanic because the thematic will inform how the mechanic comes into being, as well as will inform me about the limitations of the spell, how it appears to others, and whether or not it has any other unintended consequences.

      So, if you said that your Akashic was using his practice in Do to allow for greater space around his body, making the space greater than can otherwise be perceived, then I would know both mechanic (Corr 2 to make it harder to hit me) and thematic (Space around me is weird because space is but an illusion, and an illusion that can be manipulated). For this, I would probably require 3 success for the effect, and any additional to go into duration, or pumping up the effect. So if you wanted it to last for a day, that would be at least 6 successes by my judgement. The result will be an increased difficulty for any attacks made against you (starting at +1).
      if you happened to roll 7 successes, you could put an extra point into duration to make it last longer, or you could put it into the effect and enhance it (say, to a +2).
      Because space around you is a bit strange, I would probably also increase the difficulty of doing certain tasks such as catching things thrown to you or reaching for objects or footholds, increased to the same level you made it difficult to hit you (so if it takes +2 to hit you, then it takes +2 to catch stuff). However, as this mage believes that space is an illusion, I might allow them to get around this by closing their eyes and using alternative senses to do things.
      I understand this paradigm may have nothing to do with your character, but I hope this serves as an example of how the mage's beliefs can influence the magic effects they create.

      As for forces 2. Your influence is limited to what there is available. If you just wish to make your punches hit harder, then it would be a simple matter of increasing your body's kinetic energy. I would just leave it to damage and duration. Each success put into effect would give you an additional 2 dice to roll for damage when using your body in this way, However, I'm aware M20 changed this to "1 success means 2 damage on top of your damage role, and forces gets an additional 1 point just because". I kinda don't like that as it can makes forces far too powerful in my opinion, but whatever works for you guys i guess.

      Negative consequences for having such amazing fists? Well, that extra momentum is going to be a problem for walking around if you keep in on all day. I might have to make you roll just to avoid crushing people as you shake their hand, or closing doors without destroying them. You basically become superman walking through a city made of cardboard.

      For every 2 ongoing effects you have, difficulty to cast new effects increases by 1. That means if you have both your Corr 2 and your Forces 2 effect up and running, all further magic will be at difficulty +1 until you dispel either of the effects.

      Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy


      • #4
        Something neat you can do with Forces 2 and Correspondence 2 is perceive and strike an enemy who is in another place. The justification will vary by paradigm; if you were a martial artist who believed that reality is an illusion, and that all separation is a lie, it could be justified by tugging on the fabric of unity to lash out.

        Since you're striking using Do, it will typically be Lethal damage. If you were to add Prime you could inflict Aggravated damage with the strike.


        • #5
          As Saiku said, it very much comes down to ST interpretation. For the example effect they provided (increasing the space around you to increase difficulty to hit for a day), I'd only require three successes to add +1 and make it last a day - and then allow successes beyond that to add additional difficulty at a 2-for-1 rate (5 succ = +2, 7 = +3). I tend to front-load abilities so that starting PCs can pull off cool things right away.

          M20 has so many optional rules and variations that how each game plays out is very dependent on the group. Basically, it's easier to ask your ST these questions, since the internet will tell you Mages can't do anything at Arete 2, and also that they can do almost anything - and both answers will be right at their own table.


          • #6
            Originally posted by BlueWinds View Post
            since the internet will tell you Mages can't do anything at Arete 2, and also that they can do almost anything - and both answers will be right at their own table.
            I agree with this up to a point, since the number of successes needed for a Feat is often left up to ST judgement, but...

            Well some people seem to think that single success level 1 effects don't do anything. If a Mage has Arete 1, they have 1 dot in 6 Spheres. That means that they can reduce the difficulty of almost any roll by 1, quite reliably. That's a significant advantage in many situations. With an extended roll, they can do something like the effect described earlier; prepare a Correspondence / Forces / Entropy 1 effect (for example) where they have an understanding of the movements and distances around them, and how things are falling into place, which makes all attempts to strike or attack them have +3 difficulty.

            As for Arete 2... I mean no matter what an ST's personal opinions are, short of house-ruling you have defined rules for what kind of damage you can inflict with Forces 2, how much you can heal with Life 2, you get the idea. So I think there's a lot of ambiguity, but it doesn't go as deep as that.


            • #7
              The whole magic-modifying-combat-difficulties ruleset is indeed ambiguous. Some examples from the books have successes directly change the difficulty on a one-by-success basis, but it only lasts a turn. other example go for duration based on the Arete roll, but only modify by -1/+1.

              Going by pure Core Rules, the Arete successes would determine duration by the Damage/Duration table, but the rate of succeses vs increase/decreate by -/+X is up for grabs, depending on the ST. 1 per success? Per two successes? That's really not defined.

              If the ST wants to make it quite powerful, it would be one difficulty increase/decrease per base success - so...

              Without the Optional Divided Successes rule and 1-difficulty-per-success:
              Rolling 3 successes on Arete would give you a duration of 1 day, and -/+3 to difficulty.

              With 1-difficulty-per-2-successes:
              Rolling 3 successes would only be -/+1 difficulty (3 successes divided by 2, rounded down) and one day. If you wanted to reach -/+3 it would require 6 succeses, and the duration would become negligible.

              With the Divided Successes rule and 1-difficulty-per-success:
              Rolling 3 successes would give you, say, one turn for -/+2, or one scene for -/+1. etc, depending on how you split duration and difficulty successes.

              Accordingly with 1-difficulty-per-2-successes:
              Rolling 3 would give you -/+1 difficulty for 1 turn.
              Rolling 6 would give you either +1 or +2, and either a story-long duration or one scene.

              So yeah. Pick your poison

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