Oct 162013

After a long hiatus, we’re back with another installment of The Titor House! When we last left our heroes, Tiger, Dan, Gertrude and Jack were preparing to set off on a journey across medieval Britain to face off against an evil necromancer in The Adversary’s employ. Meanwhile, Freddie and Patrick planned to infiltrate the nefarious wizard’s stronghold by defecting to one of his evil henchmen. This week, Team Tiger will have to navigate a treacherous subterranean crypt in order to reach their destination, and Team Freddie will have to deal with the escaped mental patient’s penchant for causing trouble at the worst possible time. Can they breach the fortress without being spotted? Will they be able to defeat the dark mage in the tower? Will poor Gertrude finally lose her patience with Freddie? Listen to find out!

Campaign Navigator: Mage: The Awakening – “The Titor House”

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  • mid-listen comment: yeah, medieval armors suck in nWoD rules. there are a few situations where a +1 armor -1 defense is better, but meh. players aren’t usually that keen on the rules. I had to google it to remember.

    I look forward to seeing how you butcher the magic rules for the rest of the session! XD I’m in the opposite boat, just now learning Ascension’s magic system for the first time, and ohmygod am I bad at it.

  • so Paradox! Ed’s reading is a lot meaner than it’s meant to be. you guys can magic a little better than he’s lettin ya, Paradox-wise. the base pool is half your Gnosis rounded up, not your full Gnosis, thank fuck. you can spend Mana to reduce the pool on a 1:1 basis (and that’s basically the most useful thing Mana can do), and there’s no need to spend points to buy magical tools: you pretty much just decide on a couple of Foci you like for your character then use them if you want to, or just stare at things and make them explode if that’s your preference. if you’re using the nWoD Awakening cosmology it can be more limiting than that if you want it to be, because everyone is basically a Hermetic with a sideline in Verbena, but meh. and if you wanna cleave close to oWoD Ascension cosmology you could houserule something about -needing- Foci until a certain Gnosis threshold, but more meh.

    you actually roll the Paradox pool -before- the mage rolls his spell, and successes subtract 1:1 from the spell’s pool even before you start thinking about the Havocs and horsefaces it’s gonna cause. the mage can, though, and almost always will, choose to eat those rolled successes as bashing damage (oh, you just found that out!) rather than taking Paradox flaws/out of control spell effects. they still subtract from his spell pool, but he can avoid the Bedlams and Quiets and shit. I’ve almost never seen a mage who wasn’t already in full bashing suck it up and take a real Paradox effect. bashing heals at a rate of one every fifteen minutes, way easier to deal with. the spell still happens! having a Paradox show up and soaking it as bashing doesn’t damage the effect in any way, apart from the successes rolled reducing its dice pool.

    uhh…do I know anything else useful? each Paradox pool after the first one in a scene gets a stacking +1 die cause you’re drinking reality’s milkshake, and if reduced to zero the Paradox pool DOES get a chance die. if any of that prevents five-minute casting breakdowns in the future, well, good! I just don’t want you boys to be too scared to hurl lightning ’cause you’re readin the rules too strictly.

    • In my defense, magick and paradox are way more complicated in nWoD than it was in oWoD. And we probably weren’t playing those right either. I mean, the basic idea for the nWoD is simpler, but once you add magick there are so many variables to remember, and limitations and rules. In Ascension, it was sort of just…well if you can think it up and are skilled enough, you can attempt it. In Awakening you need to know how to determine the various factors of the spell; do you use you’re arcana rating, or successes…does the spell increase you’re whatever for that many turns or by that many points. Does it cost mana? Is it vulgar or covert? Then you have to do all these equations to figure that part out.

      As for the cosmology angle, I think you’re right. I’ve been holding to the letter of the law too much, maybe because it’s new to me and I’m trying to incorporate everything. I’ve always felt that in any system, I take what I like and ignore the rest when it comes to world building. When we used to play Ascension, we never really paid attention to the politics of the world. We just used the system, and the rules and then sometimes were like “Hey, there’s a MiB”. Choosing traditions was more of a “what kind of person am I/what kind of stuff do I want to do” rather than treating them as ideologies, or factions. We pretty much do the same with Awakening, with paths coloring magic use, and order having relatively no impact on anything any of us do expect for that bonus defense stat. So I feel like it’s not too much of a stretch to say “sure….knitting needles can be a foci. Or whatever.”

      In regards to Paradox, I actually knew most of that stuff, or at least I discovered some of that stuff after this game was recorded. In the subsequent game, I believe we fixed some of the problems, like the foci thing, the stacking thing, the base die pool thing and the bashing damage thing. (I made a cheat sheet)

      I wasn’t aware, however, that I roll BEFORE the effect and subtract successes from the casters die pool. Not sure how I missed that. It’s right in the bloody book.

      Sorry for all the dead air in this one. It had been a long time and the newly learned rules flew right out of my head. That’s for being an active participant though. I’s nice to know you’re paying that much attention. Still can’t figure out armor. The language in the source book can be convoluted and overcomplicated. Probably just gonna decide to play it however feels best to us.

      Wait…I mean….we’ve always played Ascension, crawlkill. What are you on about?

      • oh, no need to defend! it doesn’t bother me. I just hoped to be able to throw together a cogent summary and de-scarorize vulgar magic, in case the players were shying away from using it. you guys usually fill up the dead time okay. goofy-ass conversations about the least lethal superhero, omg, nerds.

        incidentally, healing non-agg wounds being covert in Awakening is part of the setting–mages are like, “wait, why should this be? it’s obviously impossible. does this mean someone rigging the rules of the universe likes us?” it’s seen as evidence that the Oracles might have won some victories for mages against the Exarchs in the BATTLE FOR REALITYYY. it’s mentioned in…some book somewhere, I dunno, newMage’s setting makes me vom a little. it’s basically just a shill to make the game a little easier on players, but it does get addressed a bit in a paragraph or two of fluff somewhere in the supplements.

        which isn’t to say you shouldn’t punish them with all the Paradox for it if you wanna make it vulgar, ’cause PCs are horrible monsters and should suffer, suffer, suffer.

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