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Old 09-30-2017, 06:22 AM   #1
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default rotes in M:tA

I've thought of a possible rote for Mage: The Ascension that I may want to use in play. I'd like to see what other Mage players think of my analysis of it. From time to time I may think of further rotes for which I want the same thing; so I'm going to make this a general topic. (For that matter, other people who play M:tA are welcome to contribute their rotes.)

The Mentor of one of the PCs is her great-grandmother. She (the Mentor) has Correspondence 2 and Arete 6. If she wants to have a look in at the PC, she can use Correspondence 2 to open a window in space through which she may look and listen. This is not level 1, but it appears to be a form of sensory magic, so I think the rules for that can be applied; it may be coincidental but will sometimes be vulgar without witnesses. So that's difficulty 5 or 6. If she uses her focus (a plumb bob and a map), the Mentor can lower this to 4 or 5, and with six dice, she expects 3.6 or 3.0 successes, more than enough to reach a blood relation or indeed any disciple.

Now, suppose the Mentor wants a two-way conversation? Extending a sensory magic to another person adds +1 to the difficulty. Normally the person would have to be within sensory range, but Correspondence 2 lets you extend your sensory range to remote places, and indeed the roll I just described does precisely that. Two people staring into the air and talking to each other will definitely be noticeable, so I think this is vulgar without witnesses (if they do it in private), which raises the difficulty back to 6, allowing an expected 2.4 successes, still enough to reach any disciple. If there are witnesses, it's 1.8 successes, which will still usually work.

So at appointed times, Moon goes into her private room, and her Mentor first casts the easier rote to get a look at her, and then casts the harder one to let them talk to each other. If this isn't a dramatic situation, I would allow just making the harder roll. In emergencies the Mentor may attempt to break in, perhaps just to say, "Moon! Moon!" and wait for Moon to find a private place for conversation; this will usually work, and spending one Willpower will let it work almost all the time (2.8 expected successes). Or she could just speak to Moon and let Moon disguise her responses as ordinary conversation with a Wits+Subterfuge roll (6 dice against difficulty 6, 2.4 expected successes).
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:09 AM   #2
johndallman
 
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

That looks pretty plausible to me as the kind of thing that ought to happen in a M:tA game. Almost all the play I've done has been GURPS: M:tA, so I can't speak to the calculations.

A related idea would be for the Mentor to use some effect that's thoroughly non-obvious to attract the attention of the person she wants to speak to. For example, a ring they're wearing warms or cools a little.
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

Correspondence 3 allows scanning of multiple locations and teleporting, so that's more in line than Correspondence 2 with an effect allowing you to see and communicate with someone at distance.

I'd probably add in Mind 2 or 3 to make it possible to send thoughts or communicate, though forces 2 could manipulate sound or light to produce images.
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

Quote:
Originally Posted by baakyocalder View Post
Correspondence 3 allows scanning of multiple locations and teleporting, so that's more in line than Correspondence 2 with an effect allowing you to see and communicate with someone at distance.

I'd probably add in Mind 2 or 3 to make it possible to send thoughts or communicate, though forces 2 could manipulate sound or light to produce images.
What do you think you can do with just Correspondence 2? Does it let you see the face of a person in a distant place? Or do you need Forces 2 to see anything?
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Old 10-01-2017, 04:15 AM   #5
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

Why would remote viewing ever be vulgar without withnesses? A person standing next to you as you cast your thing would not consider you to be doing anything impossible. (What you do with the data you get after that is your own business.)

Now, sharing a view with a non-mage would indeed be vulgar (with said witness), sure. But getting a picture and giving someone a picture are two different things even if they can be bundled into a single spell.
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Old 10-01-2017, 04:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
What do you think you can do with just Correspondence 2? Does it let you see the face of a person in a distant place? Or do you need Forces 2 to see anything?
My experience is more Revised-oriented, but AFAIK Corr2 alone (without other spheres) provides sensory capability, not affecting capability. (Except maybe some unweavings.)
Of course, sensory capability, especially given how good sensory capabilities provided by Corr1 are, is already a very powerful thing. You don't get to do spectral analysis, but you can perceive the whole layout of space itself, knowing every position and shape of everything in a room or (with more effort) a city block, ignore darkness etc.
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Old 10-01-2017, 09:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
My experience is more Revised-oriented, but AFAIK Corr2 alone (without other spheres) provides sensory capability, not affecting capability. (Except maybe some unweavings.)
Yes, that's how I read it. But "sensory capability" includes the ability to see a person, and probably to hear what they're saying. And we can achieve communication that way, without resorting to telepathy or the like. In fact senses-based communication is the only thing the unawakened use!
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Old 10-01-2017, 11:19 AM   #8
baakyocalder
 
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

Think of Correspondence 2 (Data 2 for Technocrats) as letting you extend your senses and make small changes when combined with other spheres to objects in space.

So, with Correspondence 2, you could see or hear someone else, and not need to worry about light.

With Correspondence 2 and Life 2 or Matter 2, you could move small living or unliving objects.

Forces 2 allows control of existing energy, be it light or sound. To communicate with someone from afar, use the Correspondence 2/Forces 2 effect to manipulate the light or sound around them and understand their response to your signals. For example, you could send an SOS using light patterns on a billboard.

I'm using Correspondence in Mage 2nd edition. Mage Revised tends to make magic harder and although the current edition, Mage 20th Anniversary is a tome filled with many bits of information on magic, it's pretty vague on what effects occur or goes baroque in Mage 20th Anniversary How Do You Do That?

It's always best to think less about the spheres and more about how the magick is going to happen. What is the desired effect and what does the mage see as happening. Typically this means most complicated actions require more than one sphere, but it's not that much harder to do multi-sphere magick if you have the spheres.

For an Arete 6 person using Correspondence on a family member or other well-known target, they will roll because you need more than one success to affect others, but should succeed most of the time on rank 2 effects.
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

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Originally Posted by baakyocalder View Post
Think of Correspondence 2 (Data 2 for Technocrats) as letting you extend your senses and make small changes when combined with other spheres to objects in space.

So, with Correspondence 2, you could see or hear someone else, and not need to worry about light.

Forces 2 allows control of existing energy, be it light or sound. To communicate with someone from afar, use the Correspondence 2/Forces 2 effect to manipulate the light or sound around them and understand their response to your signals. For example, you could send an SOS using light patterns on a billboard.
Well, yes. But that's assuming that you are creating light and sound at the other end in parallel with the light and sound at your end. That's not what happens in the reverse direction. Violet doesn't need Forces to see and hear Moon; she just opens the window, and some of the original light and sound comes through the window—in effect, she and Moon are adjacent to each other. That uses Correspondence 2 and nothing else.

What I'm suggesting slightly stretches a point, I admit. If Violet were standing next to Moon, and opened a window to someone Violet knew, and then extended her remote perceptions to share them with Moon, that would call for an extra roll at +1 difficulty, but still based on Correspondence 2. If Moon were somewhere far away, and Violet were looking at her, Violet could share the window with Moon the same way (Correspondence lets you use magic at a distance)—but the obvious result is that Moon would see herself, the same way Violet did. If Violet opened a window on a third person, though, that would be Correspondence 3, and the same at +1 difficulty if she shared it with Moon.

But what if the "third person" is Violet herself? That is, what if Violet makes the window two-way? You could say that it's just a special case of "third person" and still takes Correspondence 3. Or you could say that it's taking the Correspondence 2 effect and make it work both ways, and that's still Correspondence 2 at +1 difficulty, still lower rank because it's not general purpose.

From another angle, if you can open a window and look from Shropshire to London, can you visualize yourself as being in London? And can you then make yourself visible and audible, as a ghostly image, perhaps just of your face? In other words, can you do something like "astral projection" with Correspondence 2? (That seems to be a somewhat different effect.)
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Old 10-02-2017, 12:39 PM   #10
whswhs
 
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Default !

Here's a different puzzle:

My initial scenario involve Romani children being taken from their parents, under an excuse contrived under the first child protective law of the late 19th century. Most of them are made available for adoption into English families; but those who test positive for magical potential on a predictive statistical algorithm get sent to a residential clinic for "abnormal children," actually a Technocracy lab/construct.

As part of what they go through there, they're subjected to a procedure that tries to trigger an analog of Awakening—but a controlled one; it doesn't give them full access to their Avatar, but only allows them to manifest fixed effects. In effect, it makes the child's body and brain into a biological Talisman. For example, one of the children has Better Body (structured so that successive dots go into Strength, Appearance, Strength, Strength, and Stamina) and Self-Healing (restoring 0, 2, 6, 8, or 10 Health Levels of injuries).

So how does this procedure work? It's somewhat akin to Gilgul, in that it limits access to the Avatar; but it doesn't destroy the Avatar, which would be level 5, so it's probably level 4. On the other hand, Technocracy practitioners don't believe in the supernatural or have access to the supernatural spheres. So it can't actually be Spirit magic. And I don't think it quite works as Dimension magic, because I don't see the Technocracy as thinking of the Avatar as an alien symbiont. (Well, maybe a few Void Engineers use that version!)

Reality is subjective, so if the Technocracy think of enlightenment differently, it works somewhat differently. So what I came up with was Life 4, to modify the brain so that the genetic potential for reality deviance was placed under control, supplemented by Mind 1, to guide the Life procedures to affect just the right brain centers, the ones that grant Awareness (which the children no longer are capable of) and make contact with the Avatar. So in effect what the Residential Clinic for Abnormal Children is doing is creating children with superpowers (I described this to C and she said, "Dark Professor X!").

The abilities gained function enough like static magic to be coincidental, even if they're outside the normal spectrum. (Of course, the Progenitor involved may be suffering Paradox!) But they are powered by Quintessence. So once a child has used their powers too many times, their internal Quintessence battery is empty and they start draining their own Health Levels and becoming ill. But that's a plot for a later story.

This is a lot more handwavy than the last rote. But I think at least making it level 4 is justifiable.
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