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Old 10-11-2017, 09:11 AM   #21
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: rotes in M:tA

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Well, this probably won't result in you changing your mind, but Discord is a system similar to IRC and other chat systems (while it supports voice, IME almost everybody uses text-only communication on all the servers I've been to, surely because it's more efficient in those contexts). The server maintains long-term persistent logs of the text chats, but it's still a somewhat different experience than a forum - potentially more time-efficient for quick back-and-forths, but unthreaded as a result in generally operating with a relatively stable number of channels per server (each dedicated to a given subtopic).
I don't think that format is what I'm looking for. "Quick back-and-forths" are not my style; that's why I've never signed onto Twitter and hardly ever look at tweets.

There's a White Wolf devoted wiki that I find useful and look at a good deal. But if it allows asking questions, I haven't spotted that functionality.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:00 AM   #22
baakyocalder
 
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

I haven't seen a question format in the White Wolf wiki and in some areas, the coverage is spotty.

While I enjoy Mage, trying to get into all the metaphysics can ruin my enjoyment of the game. At some point, I like having a mystery that I can resolve if I need it.

The various convention books for the Technocracy, especially the Revised edition books, go into a lot more of how the Technocracy thinks than the main books, which are primarily from the perspective of the Traditions. The Syndicate book is particularly interesting.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:21 AM   #23
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

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Originally Posted by baakyocalder View Post
While I enjoy Mage, trying to get into all the metaphysics can ruin my enjoyment of the game. At some point, I like having a mystery that I can resolve if I need it.
On that we're just going to have to disagree. Of course I'm not going to talk about the metaphysics with my players; I'm more concerned to give them guidelines on how to cast spells. But I can better mystify them with the weird stuff the technos are doing if I know how that stuff actually works at a level of basic world assumptions.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:10 AM   #24
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

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But that seems to imply a radically different construction of what "mages" are doing. And what I'm trying to do is work out this paradigm more fully. Without denying the validity of the Hermetic paradigm that the Traditions rely on! If reality is subjective, then it's entirely possible for both paradigms to be "true," for local values of truth. But a technocrat who wants to explain why certain people can set things on fire by staring at them would not think of it as a result of spirits, or magic; they would need to come up with some other explanation, which would then be true in technocratic areas of the world, if they persuaded the Masses to accept it. (And of course, radical new ideas would be vulgar as hell until the Masses did accept them!)
It seems to me that in technocratic reality people don't set fire to things by training for years and then staring at them (the exclusionary, aristocratic paradigm); they set fire to things by picking up a cigarette lighter or a microwave emitter or a laser and pointing it at them (the universal, socialist paradigm). My understanding of the Technocracy, which admittedly was formed in the early Mage days and may be outdated, is that they want everyone to be able to share in the power.

Of course as a human organisation they're intrinsically broken and reserve some of the neat stuff for themselves rather than giving it to everybody. ("They're not ready yet.")
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:29 AM   #25
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

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It seems to me that in technocratic reality people don't set fire to things by training for years and then staring at them (the exclusionary, aristocratic paradigm); they set fire to things by picking up a cigarette lighter or a microwave emitter or a laser and pointing it at them (the universal, socialist paradigm). My understanding of the Technocracy, which admittedly was formed in the early Mage days and may be outdated, is that they want everyone to be able to share in the power.

Of course as a human organisation they're intrinsically broken and reserve some of the neat stuff for themselves rather than giving it to everybody. ("They're not ready yet.")
Or "this is really advanced technology, and it's likely to be unreliable outside the controlled setting of the laboratory."

While I quite agree about the Technocracy's aspirational goals, they do have people whose mission is to track down mages (and monsters and the like). Some of those beings CAN set fire to things by staring at them. So there needs to be a "scientific" explanation for how they do it. And ideally that explanation needs to support the need for a mission of putting a stop to that sort of thing, and the possibility of doing so by scientific means—not by "thinking about reality differently to make reality deviance impossible."

So what is that explanation? Well, for the Sons of Ether, "mad scientists experimenting irresponsibly with poorly documented phenomena." For spirit-based mages, "making contact with alien beings from other dimensions with different natural laws." But for a lot of mages, "human beings with abnormal brains" seems like a plausible handwave, something in between X-Men and Alphas. All that stuff about "spells" is partly the product of prescientific theorizing about things that aren't yet understood, and partly fetishistic behavior to allay the anxiety of having a brain that does unaccountable things—and of course there is no element of either in the careful procedures and documentation of SCIENCE.

So I think what I'm trying to do is come up with a model of Technocratic beliefs about the universe, as a basis for describing Technocratic activities and policies, so that I can script or roleplay Technocratic characters without turning them into anything as unsubtle as out and out consciously villainous villains.
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:52 AM   #26
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

So if you have a Talisman with a stored rote, and you use it to cast that rote, how does that interface with your casting your own spells?

The Talisman has its own Arete, separate from yours. Does that mean that you can will it to operate, and have it roll versus its Arete, and then you can cast a spell, and use your Arete, and there's no splitting dice pools? Or do you use whichever is the smaller dice pool?

Can you use your Willpower to get the Talisman a guaranteed success? If you can, is that all the Willpower you can spend that turn, or can you also buy a guaranteed success for your own spell?
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Old 05-06-2018, 06:57 AM   #27
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Default Re: rotes in M:tA

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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).
Correspondence level 2 will take care of 100% of the communication that you're wanting to do. Correspondence by itself, IS vulgar. What it's doing is opening a house window next to the grandmothers protege, without the house attached to the window. There's a specific rote which is Correspondence 2 and Mind 2 (I'd have to look up the name), but this makes it -not- necessarily paradoxical because now the window is in the Grandmothers mind. Consequently with Correspondence 2 and Mind 3, you could do open Telepathic communications over any level of range modifiers and no one would be any wiser for it.

Another alternative is Correspondence 2 and Forces 2. This way would also be non-paradoxical as long as observation is the only thing happening. In this case, the "Window" is there, but the use of Forces hides the window on the other side so no one can see it. Could even block sound from coming out if you wanted, but then you'd have to have Grandma come through the window a smidge to talk, or simply do another "Forces 2" roll to be adjust it so sound came out.

Modern days, everyone has a cellphone on them... Correspondence 2 and Forces 2 for the phone to ring (yes, even if it doesn't have power) and then the "Sound" from the conversation comes out the phone - non-paradoxical.
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