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Lunaroki, March 17th, 2015, 11:51 am     Reply

So basically, the more high-level your magic is the less worth it it is to use it?

Guest, March 17th, 2015, 12:11 pm     Reply

@Lunaroki: greater risk for greater reward. You want to be able to shoot lightning and fly? Well that's not gonna come without a cost...

epicarp (Guest), March 17th, 2015, 3:53 pm     Reply

@Lunaroki: Well, in this particular case with them fighting an Abyssal, yes. That's what makes Abyssals so dangerous, using any sort of magic near them carries the risk of your spells being corrupted by the Abyss, and a greater risk than normal at that.

However, without Abyssals or Sleepers (the term for muggles) present, even when you're not in a place where magic flows freely (like in Amical's mansion), the risk is a little more manageable, especially when you've done a little work to mitigate that risk.

So basically, the more powerful you are, the greater the risk and thus the smarter you have to be about using your magic. It's a really great system that both encourages and challenges your creativity.

Verzerren (Guest), March 17th, 2015, 11:59 am     Reply

At least when fighting an Abyssal; sleepers can be a little more complicated depending on what kind of magic you are using and how well they are educated.

Kamikaze (Guest), March 17th, 2015, 9:59 pm     Reply

The most prominent theme in Mage the Awakening is "power corrupts" in all senses: the fabric of reality and the magi themselves; when you're a god-like person it's tempting to use miracles for personal gain, which causes loss of wisdom and leads to hubris.

Now, I never played the game, just read the book, but can't magi expend mana or health to lessen paradox? And covert magic is less paradoxical, right? Can't Malloy just use Mind, which is a primarily covert Arcana? Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

ChibiSilverWings, March 17th, 2015, 10:42 pm     Reply

@Kamikaze: There are lots of things that mitigate the risks yes, I don't think we've actually introduced the covert/vulgar magic stuff yet, but we will a bit later.

Though, getting into the super nitty gritty of all the ways you can vary a spell can bog down a story like this, so we're simplifying the rules slightly, and keeping explanations in smaller chunks when the concept applies very heavily. We very much want to make it so that it's accessible to newbies just as much as people who know the system well.

When it comes to Sleepers, we'll cover the vulgar/Covert magic distinction, but for dealing directly with an Abyssal item or entity, we treat it more like an oil and water situation. They don't mix. Because this is a narrative versus a game system, keeping in a lot of the "chance" type elements that make a game system work smoothly don't do so well in fiction form. Imagine how frustrating it'd be for an audience to watch a movie where they establish a rule and sometimes the characters can overcome that rule and other times they can't, at completely random times. It just muddies things up.

TLDR: You're right, but the comic functions a little differently than the game for better story flow.

am529, March 18th, 2015, 12:03 am     Reply

Since Amical briefly pondered shooting Asia, am I correct in assuming that abyssal entities are only capable of existing in the world by inhabiting someone's body, and also that Hizrim would not be able to use any sort of magic to block or evade a bullet?

ChibiSilverWings, March 18th, 2015, 12:05 am     Reply

@am529: It depends on the Abyssal entity, also maybe ;)

burningtyger, March 18th, 2015, 7:08 am     Reply

@ChibiSilverWings: I was going to say, leave some of the chance elements in, but let the mages learn them later, and use them to further the plot. (Can Yugi assemble Exodia before Swords of Revealing Light dissipates, or will he fall to his enemy's attack?) In this case, however the possible consequences of screwing up are just too grave to risk an attempt.

ChibiSilverWings, March 18th, 2015, 8:51 pm     Reply

@burningtyger: We won't have no chance elements involved, I mean, Fate magic messes with that stuff a lot! Just not going to exactly mimic things that happen in normal gameplay with dice pools. In a game, literally anyone can fail at literally any time, if your dice happen to hate you that day.

One time early on Billy lost a game of chess to Curio just because I rolled poorly and Alexis rolled well. It was funny, and we all had a good time playing of course! It makes things exciting! But it just doesn't make logical sense in narrative form. If I wrote that in the comic, people would be like, "that doesn't make sense, how could an amateur beat a Grandmaster!" and they'd be right XD

burningtyger, March 18th, 2015, 11:22 pm     Reply

@ChibiSilverWings: Oh completely! Though Billy might well use an irregular opening if upset... they have names like Wayward Queen And Hippopotamus Defense, which is really cool.

Kamikaze (Guest), March 18th, 2015, 8:26 pm     Reply


Oh, totally okay. Your way paradox is more threatening and thus more dramatic. I prefer it.