[03] Systems References.   Posted by Storyteller.Group: archive 0
Storyteller
 GM, 8 posts
Sun 30 Oct 2016
at 15:36
[03] Systems References
Gnosis & Mana



GnosisRitual TimeTrait MaxYantrasParadoxCombined SpellsObsessionsMana/Per Turn
13 Hours5211110/1
23 Hours5211111/2
31 Hour5322212/3
41 Hour5322213/4
530 Minutes5432214/5


SPENDING MANA
  • Spend to cast spells not based on ruling Arcana
  • Spend to reduce Paradox risk on spell at 1:1 value
  • Spent to activate Attainments (as noted)
  • Spend three to heal one level of bashing/lethal damage
  • Spend three to remove a Mental Condition or Physical Tilt (no beat)

GAINING MANA
  • Meditate at Hallow (Gnosis + Composure w/ 1hr)
  • Absorb at Hallow (w/ 3 dots of Prime)
  • Supernatural Revelation
  • Tass
  • Scour pattern (reduce physical attribute by 1 for 3 Mana)
  • Blood Sacrifice (act of Hubris)

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:17, Sat 05 Nov 2016.

Storyteller
 GM, 9 posts
Sun 30 Oct 2016
at 23:39
[03] Systems References
Spellcasting 101

THESIS

Using magic in it's base form is not the most potent of arts available to the Awakened. Without any spent dice or Reach used, the following can be assumed about a spell:
  • Only grants one-die bonus or penalty
  • -OR deals one point of damage
  • -OR heals one wound
  • Only lasts for one turn
  • Affects a subject of Size 5 or less
  • -OR area equal to arm's length circle around point
  • Can only be cast on self or when touching subject
  • Takes ritual time based on Gnosis

Obviously, this doesn't always cut it. Mages have several options that allow them to squeeze more out of their spells, but the most effective way is to use Reach. The Mage's ability to Reach is determined between the highest Arcanum being used against the highest Arcanum rating, and even more can be taken if the Awakened is willing to risk Paradox (see section below).

Example: If an Awakened is attempting to cast a Forces 2 effect, and their rank in the Forces Arcanum is 4, they will gain 3 free Reach. If the same Mage was casting a Forces 4 effect, they would only receive 1 free Reach.

Effects of Reach:
  • Change casting time from Ritual to Instant
  • Change primary spell factor
  • Move spell from Standard to Advanced Potency
  • Move spell from Standard to Advanced Duration
  • Move spell from touch/self to sensory range
  • Extend sensory range to remote viewing range
  • Move the spell from Standard to Advanced Scale
  • Cast a spell when no spell control spots remain

A Mage can use more Reach than they gain for free, but for every additional Reach they must take Paradox dice (based on the Gnosis table) that must be rolled when the spell is cast. These dice can be partially mitigated by spending Mana, but once a Mage has overextended themselves, there's no way to escape a chance of things possibly going wrong.

Other options a Mage can use to enhance a spell:

Yantra - Whether it is High Speech, using a magic crystal, casting by the blood moon, etc...a Mage may utilize a number of different Yantras in order to gain additional dice for their effects. (see page 119 for Yantras)

Praxes - Every Awakened has a few tricks that they are just particularly good at, whether by practice or just a natural talent. When casting a Praxis spell, the mage gains an exceptional success with three or more success. Praxes do not require a point of Mana to cast from Inferior or Common Arcana.

Rotes - As they gain experience, Mages begin to grasp at certain spells, developing skills to recall the Imago and cast with ease. When casting a Rote using their Order's recall technique, the mage may use dots in the associated Skill as a Yantra. Also, when casting a Rote spell, the mage is considered to have five dots in the highest Arcanum for the purpose fo determining how much Reach they have. Rotes do not cost Mana as well.

(NOTE: There is a difference between a Rote spell and a dice pool gaining the "rote" quality, per book terms. If the book says that a Mage cast something as a Rote, they add skill dice as well as gain free Reach. If the book states that a roll gains the "rote" quality, this means that the roll gains the 8-again quality in which 8's, 9's, and 10's are rerolled).

PARADOX

As a check and balance to the ultimate power in a Mage's hands, the Fallen World has it's own way of twisting and complicating the effect into a Paradox. Commonly, these dice are added by the caster using more Reach than they initially receive (each Reach above that limit adds Paradox according to Gnosis). Once a single die is added to the Paradox pool, it must be checked for, even if effects would reduce the pool to 0 or below (but will be rolled as a Chance die at this point). If Paradox occurs, the Mage can either choose to Contain it or Release it.

Containing Paradox - If a Mage chooses to Contain the Paradox within their soul, they contest the Paradox by rolling the character's Wisdom as a dice pool (which may not be modified). Each success cancels out one success on the Paradox roll and deals one bashing wound to the mage. If the Paradox still succeeds, the spell is not penalized and does not create an anomaly, but the Mage gains a Paradox Condition (with severity based on the number of remaining successes).

Releasing Paradox - If a Mage chooses to Release the Paradox, the following happens when the Storyteller rolls the Paradox Pool:
  • Dramatic Failure - No Paradox incurred, Mage gains a point of Willpower, as well as a bonus to their next Paradox roll
  • Failure - A Paradox does not occur
  • Success - A Paradox occurs, regardless of the spellcasting's success or failure
  • Exceptional Success - The Mage gains a Paradox Condition and Paradox occurs

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:50, Tue 08 May 2018.

Storyteller
 GM, 10 posts
Mon 31 Oct 2016
at 00:10
[03] Systems References
Spellcasting 102

SPELL FACTORS

Potency - Measure of a spell's power. Potency is the basis of granting a bonus, imposing a penalty, or providing graduated levels of effects (such as dealing damage, healing, or increasing dot ratings). Every -2 dice penalty increases the Potency rating by 1.

Potency works directly against a Withstand trait in some spells. The subject's Withstand trait removes Potency at a point-per-point value, and only the remaining ranks in Potency have any effect. If this reduces the Potency to 0, the spell is still considered active, but takes no effect. A Mage may spend Reach to gain Advanced Potency, which increases the spell's Withstand Ability against dispellation by +2.

Duration - Simply how long a spell lasts once it is cast. Mages may spend dice to increase the Duration, spend Reach to move it to Advanced Duration, or both. If the spell is already at an Advanced Duration, spending one Reach and one Mana can move it to Indefinite Duration. This would still count against the number of spells a Mage can have active unless they choose to end it or release control of the spell.

Standard Duration
DurationDice Penalty
1 TurnNone
2 Turns-2
3 Turns-4
5 Turns-6
10 Turns-8

Advanced Duration
DurationDice Penalty
One Scene/HourNone
One Day-2
One Week-4
One Month-6
One Year-8


Note that the primary spell factor (Duration or Potency) automatically increases equal to the highest Arcanum used in spellcasting, unless the Mage actively chooses not to cast at full power. The other factor is equal to 1, or the first step.
  • Example 1: If an Awakened is casting a Forces spell where the primary factor is Duration and their highest rank in Forces is 3, it lasts for 3 turns (by moving to the third step on the Duration chart above). Potency remains at 1.
  • Example 2: If an Awakened is casting a Forces spell where the primary factor is Potency and their highest rank in Forces is 3, the spell gains Potency 3 but only lasts for 1 turn.

Scale - How large the spell is. Mages must decide when casting whether they are targeting specific subjects or a blanket area. Aimed spells must use area of effect, centered on wherever they were aiming. If using "Number of Subjects" for scale, the factor determines how many subjects may be affected.

STANDARD SCALE
# of SubjectsSize of SubjectArea of EffectDice Penalty
1 Subject5Arms' Reach from centerNone
2 Subjects6A Small Room-2
4 Subjects7A Large Room-4
8 Subjects8Several Rooms or Single Floor -6
16 Subjects9Ballroom or Small House-8

ADVANCED SCALE
# of SubjectsSize of SubjectArea of EffectDice Penalty
5 Subjects5Large House or BuildingNone
10 Subjects10Small Warehouse or Parking Lot-2
20 Subjects15Large Warehouse or Supermarket-4
40 Subjects20Small Factory or Shopping Mall-6
80 Subjects25Large Factory or City Block-8


Range - If the spell requires the Mage to touch their subject, or if it is sensory. This cannot be increased by spending dice, and only by spending Reach. However, a Mage may attempt an Aimed Spell, which is essentially "throwing" a spell at the subject instead of touching them when casting at standard range. Aimed spells are not considered covert, and will cause Paradox when done around sleeping witnesses. The player rolls Gnosis + (highest of Athletics or Firearms) - subject's defense. The subject of this attack can use cover.

Casting Time - All spells with no Reach take time according to the Mage's Gnosis rating. By spending a Reach, the caster may instead cast their effect immediately in a single turn.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:28, Thu 10 Nov 2016.

Storyteller
 GM, 11 posts
Mon 31 Oct 2016
at 00:22
[03] Systems References
Spellcasting 103

WALKING THE WALK

Step 1 - Choose Spell
  Either use an example built in the Arcanum listing, or use the Creative Thaumaturgy (pg 125) for additional rules on building effects. Of course, the Mage must have all necessary Arcanum to cast the effect.

Step 2 - Choose Casting Method
  Improvised spells cost one Mana if they include Common or Inferior Arcana.
  • Rotes gain free Reach as well as a bonus to the dice pool
  • Praxes gain exceptional successes on three successes instead of five.

Step 3 - Assign Reach and Spell Factors
  Mages gain free Reach according to the dots in the highest Arcanum subtracting the highest Arcanum used -1. Every Reach beyond the free amount gains Paradox according to Gnosis. Don't forget that the Primary Spell Factor may already be increasing either the Duration or the Potency of what you are casting.

Step 4 - Determine Yantras
  Mages can incorporate Yantras up to their Gnosis limit. When doing Instant Spellcasting, only one Yantra may be reflexive. All others become Instant, and extend casting time by one turn. The maximum dice bonus a Mage may recieve is +5 after offsetting spell factor penalties (see page 327 for Yantra index).

Step 5 - Check Dice Pool
  The dice pool should roughly equal this formula:
  (Gnosis) + (Highest Arcanum used) + (Rote Dice) - (Spell Factors) + (Yantras)
  Ritual casting may extend the casting time by +1 Die per ritual interval, max +5. If the dice pool after Yantras is -6 or less, the spell is impossible. If it is between -5 and 0, it becomes a chance die.

Step 6 - Spend Mana
  Mana may be required when casting improvised Common or Inferior Arcanum spells, attempting Indefinite Duration, and mitigating Paradox. Spending Mana above the characters limit (determined by Gnosis) extends the casting time in instant spells.

Step 7 - Paradox
  Skip this if no Paradox dice have been gained thus far. If the pool is gained and removed by penalties, a chance die is rolled. The Mage can choose to Contain or Release the Paradox if the roll is a success.

Step 8 - Roll the Dice
  Roll what was determined in Step 5. One success is required for the spell to take effect.

_____
SPELLCASTING RESULTS


Dramatic Failure - The magic does not work, and the caster gains a Condition based on the intended outcome of the spell.

Failure - The magic does not work.

Success - The spell takes places as imagined/intended

Exceptional Success - Everything is coming up Milhouse. The Mage regains one point of spent Willpower, and the player may choose one of the following results
  • A bonus step in the primary spell factor
  • A bonus Reach in the primary spell factor
  • A Condition which will give Arcane Beats when resolved, on either the Mage or Subject
  • All Mana spent on the spell is refunded +1
  • The spell ignores any Withstand levels and takes effect at full Potency

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:04, Tue 08 May 2018.

Storyteller
 GM, 15 posts
Tue 8 Nov 2016
at 05:39
[03] Systems References
MAGE SIGHT


With eyes pulled free of the wool, the awakening opens a new level of vision; a third eye that never blinks, letting unfiltered reality pour in. If they are willing to risk the associated dangers, quite a good deal of truth can be drawn from the world that surrounds them.

Mage Sight has three levels: Peripheral, Active, and Focused.

Peripheral - Always active as long as the Mage is conscious, and not limited to just sight in terms of interaction. Peripheral Mage Sight only notices active supernatural effects, however; a creature attempting to conceal itself succeeds without a Clash of Wills or other effect. Likewise, this level of Mage Sight can detect a magical presence, but does not automatically tell a Mage anything about what has happened.

Active - The conscious effort of looking into a deeper level of reality, allowing the Supernal to overlay itself with the Fallen for the Mage's ruling Arcanum. This level of Mage Sight causes hallucinations or other heightened sensory perceptions, and carries additional effects based on the Arcanum used (see page 91 for list). Active Mage Sight also reveals all Awakened spells as they are being cast, as a Mage can see another caster's Nimbus flare as spells are formed from the Imago (Active Mage sight has to be used in order to use the Counterspell Attainment).

Entering Mage sight is a reflexive action with Ruling Arcana, and an instant action otherwise. While Mage Sight is active, a Mage gains a -2 to all activities either unrelated or not using the ability. Clash of Wills is used to pierce concealment effects, with a Gnosis + Arcanum vs defender's concealment ability. Finally, a Mage can maintain Active Mage Sight for a number of minutes equal to Gnosis; after that, a Willpower point must be spent to keep it active for the remainder of the scene.

Focused - Gazing into the abyss. Focused Mage Sight allows a Mage to put all their attention on one target, and see it from every angle that their awakened soul will allow. Once using Active Mage Sight, a Mage can Focus on a mystery to either Scrutinize or have a Revelation about the subject of their study:

Revelation - The Mage may use this as an instant action either when first encountering a Mystery, or once some of it's Opacity has been unraveled. (roll Gnosis + Arcanum - Opacity)
  • Dramatic Failure: Sensory Overload. No Scrutiny or Revelations are possible for 24 hours without magical intervention.
  • Failure: The mage cannot Reveal anything.
  • Success: The mage discovers surface information about the Mystery.
  • Exceptional Success: The Mage discovers the surface information, and can either lower the Opacity by 1 or uncover 1 piece of deep information (at ST discretion).

Scrutiny - Answers don't come quick, and only to trained eyes. The Mage spends a point of Willpower while studying as an extended action, and receives a -3 to any actions not related to Scrutiny. Each roll is one turn, and each time the Mage reaches a number of successes equal to the Opacity, the rating will fall by one (example: an Opacity 5 is being Scrutinized, once they reach 5 successes, the Opacity is reduced to 4. Once 4 successes are reached, it lowers to 3).

After a number of rolls for Scrutinizing a Mystery equals the Mage's unmodified Gnosis + Arcanum pool, the character's own Nimbus begins to touch the Mystery. Every time the player fails a roll after this point, the Opacity rating has the potential to rise, further obscuring the answers for them and any other Mage trying to unravel it. (roll Gnosis + Arcanum)
  • Dramatic Failure: Add 2 to the Opacity. Don't worry, that's not the only bad stuff that'll happen.
  • Failure: No progress, but nothing is lost. If the player has made a number of rolls equal to the unmodified dice pool, a failed roll adds half the mage's Gnosis (round up) to the Opacity.
  • Success: The Mage gains successes and can spend Mana to add more up to the Gnosis limit. If the player accumulates enough successes to lower the Opacity, all successes are reset and the mage can continue. If a Mage breaks off the Scrutiny, they can return at the Opacity rating they left at.
  • Exceptional Success: Same as Success, but the player may choose between the following: apply all successes to lower Opacity by more than one, spend a point of Mana to add the Mage's Gnosis rating to the Opacity for other Mages, or spend a point of Mana to obscure their Nimbus' trace from the area.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:53, Sun 13 Nov 2016.

Storyteller
 GM, 23 posts
Sat 12 Nov 2016
at 19:07
[03] Systems References
SUMMONING SUPERNAL ENTITIES


Stealing power to fuel magic isn't the only thing that the Awakened can do; if they are willing to dedicate their time and resources as well as put themselves in exceptional danger, they can call forth a Supernal entity into Fallen reality. While risky, the reward is sometimes worth it: a Supernal being can answer magical riddles, carry forth Artifacts, use Magic outside of the Awakened grasp, and other things that are not bound by the rules of the Fallen World.

Summoned entities fall into two categories depending on which Arcanum they come from:

Gross Arcanum - Forces, Life, Matter, Space, and Time.
  • These call forth Manifest beings, which are generally more forthright and obvious, and sometimes animalistic.

Subtle Arcanum - Death, Fate, Mind, Prime, and Spirit
  • These call forth recondite beings, who are generally clever and manipulative and subtle in their actions.

In order to perform a Summoning, a Mage prepares a circle in a ritual place, such as a Demesne or a Supernal Verge (see pg. 243). The summoner must walk a Path corresponding to the type of entity desired and use one of their two Path Ruling Arcana, which the Mage must have at least three dots in. Supernal entities are always based around two Arcana, from which is casts spells up to it's Rank; if the Mage gas another Arcanum at three or more dots, they may summon an entity with that Arcanum as it's second.

A summoned being cannot stand the Fallen World, and starts to take damage immediately upon arriving (unless the summoner added successes to the summoning roll to extend it). A Supernal entity takes 1 point of Corpus damage every hour within it's summoning circle, and 1 point every half-hour outside of it. This increases to 1 point every 15 minutes if it comes into contact with Sleepers. If a Mage causes a Paradox within 50 feet, even if contained, the being suffers 1 point of resistant Lethal damage for every success on the roll. Every time this being takes damage, rolls are made to determine if the being begins to lose it's traits.

If the being runs out of Corpus or all it's traits are diminished, the entity vanishes. If it does so within it's summoning circle, it returns to the Supernal; if it happens outside of it, however, the being is pulled into the Abyss.

Systematically, a Mage needs a base of 10 successes to summon the Entity. The following items may increase that cost:
  • Add 5 successes per Rank of the entity past 1. Mages can only summon up to Rank 5.
  • Add 1 success to extend the duration that the being can remain in the Fallen World without suffering damage. Each success adds 30 minutes.
  • Add 1 success or more to protect from Abyssal Intrusion. Each success allows one additional roll without the Storyteller checking for the Abyssal corruption.
  • Add 1 success per Sleeper present, who will suffer breaking points and Quiescence.
  • Add 1 success per Mage of a different Path present.
  • Add 1 success if the summoning is taking place in a Demesne oriented to a Realm other than the one in question.
  • Add 1 success if the Mage has caused a Paradox (even if contained) within the last week.
  • Subtract 3 successes if the summoning is taking place in a Demesne oriented to the Realm in question.
  • Subtract successes based on items and conditions incorporated into the summoning that correspond to the Realm in question (based on discretion).

The biggest risk a Mage faces is Abyssal Intrusion. Since they are attempting to reach across the Abyss to the Supernal and guide an entity back, they run the risk of the Abyss taking notice. A player can make a number of rolls equal to Resolve + Composure (as well as any successes from above dedicated towards doing so). After that point, the ST rolls for every roll made by the summoner, and if the ST accrues successes equal to the Mage's Gnosis + Summoning Arcanum, the Abyss cracks open. Congratulations. You have summoned an Abyssal being instead, which is significantly worse.

Finally, all Supernal beings demand something of Mages once summoned; a test, a condition, or an action that corresponds with the spirit's ban. The Supernal being cannot help them if this request is not fulfilled (and may take adverse action in some cases). Powerful beings tend to have complex and esoteric trials, and weaker beings might have simple requests such as demeanor or a demonstration of power. Mages can make an Intelligence + Occult roll when researching the being they are summoning that may let the Mage know what to expect from this request.

THE ROLL

Dice Pool - Gnosis + Arcanum

Action - 1 Hour per roll (Extended Action, see pg. 214)

Cost - 1 Mana, 2 if specifying a second Arcanum

ROLL RESULTS

Dramatic Failure - The ritual space becomes flooded with Abyssal energy. Mage and other Mages within 50 feet suffer aggravated damage equal to the summoner's Gnosis, and the Abyssal taint lasts for days equal to the same number. Abyssal entities may form in the area at any time while the taint persists, and could develop into an Abyssal Iris or Verge if bad enough.

Failure - No successes towards the summoning, and can either choose to stop or gain a Condition to continue.

Success - The player accrues successes, and if they reach the necessary number, the Supernal being appears. [Private to GM: reminder to self - reference for supernal beings on page 96]

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:57, Sun 13 Nov 2016.