Author Topic: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?  (Read 21751 times)

Offline Watson

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2011, 12:20:33 PM »
Another way of limiting the extreme complexities possible through Thaumaturgy (without risking to fail if the Wizard have Discipline 5 or more) is by saying that every time you pour power into the spell, it takes one step on the “Time Increment” table (instead of one Exchange).

If you have Discipline 5, you can pour one shift of power into the ritual safely (without risk of failing). This means that one day is equivalent of 11 steps, which is the same as to say that a Wizard with Discipline 5, in case he wants to be 100% sure not to fail the ritual, it takes one day. Complexity 13 thus takes one week, and complexity 15 takes one month. Now were talking! If you want to add more than one shift of power every time, you can aim for higher complexities (or faster results), but you risk of failing the ritual.

If you have Discipline 6, you can pour two shifts of power into the ritual safely (without risk of failing), meaning that this Wizard can pour 22 shifts in to a Ritual in one day (i.e. 11 times, using the “Time Increment” table) without having to roll the dice. If he is aiming for a higher complexity or faster results, he will have to pour more than 2 shifts of power in to the ritual (and thus risk of failing the roll).

What do you think about that?

Offline crusher_bob

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2011, 01:32:45 PM »
Too low power, I think.  The implication in Storm Front is that any Wizard of the white council can pull off a shift ~30 ritual to kill someone if they really wanted to, and do it in a reasonable amount of time.

Here was my take on how to do thaumaturgy.

Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2011, 08:25:33 PM »
Your take looks reasonable, crusher_bob, but it isn't how I'd go about it. I came up with a houserule of my own when this problem first came to my attention. I don't know whether it's reasonable or not, but here it is anyway:

When casting a ritual, divide the difference between the complexity and your base complexity by your base complexity and round down. Add the resulting number to the difficulty of all control rolls.

Offline crusher_bob

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2011, 12:32:59 AM »
So, for example.  If you want to do some relatively 'minor' thaumaturgy (around complexity 15) and have a base complexity of 5, you'd add difficultly 3 to all your control rolls (making them almost impossible?).  And if you want to do a death ritual (around complexity 30) you,d have to make your rolls even more impossible (+6?). 

Heck, even trying to find someone (around difficult 4) and putting enough oomph into the spell to get past some thresholds (around 4 additional power) would already be extra difficult for someone who doesn't have a lore of 5 or a bunch of specializations.

Finding people is something that the Lore 3, Harry has no trouble doing in Storm Front, and it's implied that he'd be perfectly capable of the death rituals used to kill people in the book (complexity 30 or so).

Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2011, 01:46:37 AM »
It has always been my impression that 15 shifts is a fair bit.

Thaumaturgy is as written very easy. I may have gone too far in making it otherwise, I guess.

By the way, part of the point of this was to make Thaumaturgy specializations more valuable.

It always bugged me that someone with a base complexity of 3 could perform a 30-shift mega-ritual, and I wanted to make it harder.

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2011, 04:04:34 AM »
Thing is thaumaturgy is not about raw power, given enough prep time to do make the ritual complex enough anyone with just thauma can do it. For example Kim in Fool Moon created a specialized circle capable of imprisoning a Loup Garou, something easily comparable in difficulty to the heart exploiting curse in Storm Front and she was a kitchen witch nothing special or particularly powerful. I am guessing as weak as she was she probably would have had Ritual instead of full on thauma. For a full wizard or sorcerer.... Well it's far easier for them by comparison.

Offline crusher_bob

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2011, 04:26:41 AM »
IMHO:

Small fry thaumaturgy is stuff up to shift 8 or so; the limit is mostly there for safety, it's about as much power as you'd want to call and not have the backlash blow you up.  Anyone actaully competent at thaumatrugy can do this in a few minutes.

Then comes 'competent' thaumaturgy, up to around shift 20.  It's probably around what competent (but not great) practitioners can throw together in an afternoon.  While probably not good enough to kill you, it can certainly make your life very unpleasant.  The best wizards (e.g. senior council members) can throw something like this up in a few minutes.

Next step is actual scary stuff, death rituals, killer demon summoning, scary construct making, full magical transformations.  Complexity from maybe 30-50.  Most competent practitioners can probably do this in a few days.  The best wizards can probably do it in an afternoon.

Then we step up to plot device level stuff, setting off volcanoes, destroying bloodlines, stuff like that.  Which you normally need plot device like preparations to do.

Offline bitterpill

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2011, 04:01:35 PM »
A spell caster with Supernatural Recovery and Thaumaturgy and say two extra physical stress boxes you could then pretty instantly add 10 complexity to your wards by taking 5 consequences via a serious blood sacrifice (opening up a vein). The only downside is the inclusion of a blood sacrifise might corrupt the spells nature a make it nastier? (I would say this is a GM caveat situation).
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 04:04:30 PM by bitterpill »
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Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2011, 05:49:14 PM »
Personally, I rule that self-inflicted consequences and stress from spellcasting automatically satisfy catches. Because things get a bit silly otherwise.

Anyway, it seems that my opinion about what is a major ritual is slightly unusual or perhaps even wrong. But there haven't been any complaints about the basic idea behind the houserule.

So, would this be more reasonable to you if it increased difficulties by one for every two or three base complexities?

PS: I'm starting to think that requiring the caster to be able to control a shift on the worst possible roll might be too tough.

Offline devonapple

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2011, 06:33:08 PM »
Thaumaturgy is as written very easy. I may have gone too far in making it otherwise, I guess.

I feel that folks may be inadvertently forgetting that the GM is generally setting the DCs for the Lore Declarations. The rules mention (at least for Divination effects like Harry's tracking spell) to just let certain low-power Thaumaturgy rituals work, without requiring the "minigame" that is the spell construct and empowering phase.

At the other end of the spectrum, GMs who feel that Thaumaturgy is being taken for granted can shift the narrative focus to those Lore Declarations, making them into actual Scenes or Conflicts. If Thaumaturgy is about "the story of the spell," and the GM feels the players are using the Cliff's Notes, the GM can drill down into those scenes and require more character development and risk.
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Offline zenten

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2011, 09:53:22 PM »
I don't see why it is necessary to make it harder than the book.  You can't stop your ritual and then come back to it.  So if you think a PC is going too far on this, compel an aspect to have something that requires their immediate attention to deal with.  And yeah, they can then spend the Fate point to have it not matter, but at that point worse case scenario they've blown a bunch of downtime and a Fate point to have a kickass ward. 

Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2011, 01:07:45 AM »
@zenten: That sounds like a real jerk move to me. I certainly wouldn't want to get compelled like that when I'd spent twenty minutes real time (and all my fate points) on a ritual.

@devonapple: I'm not as concerned with declarations as I am with consequences.

Offline devonapple

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2011, 01:21:07 AM »
I'm not as concerned with declarations as I am with consequences.

Yes, using Recovery to regenerate away Consequences is pretty Munchkin, and if the rules don't specifically state that backlash/self-inflicted consequences automatically satisfy anyone's Catch, they should.

That sounds like a real jerk move to me. I certainly wouldn't want to get compelled like that when I'd spent twenty minutes real time (and all my fate points) on a ritual.
.

That totally happens in the books though (and I forget which late book this spoils)
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Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #43 on: February 11, 2011, 01:29:05 AM »
Yep, and he's not happy when it happens.

It's well established that Harry's GM is a jerk. Don't be like him.

Offline zenten

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Re: Setting up a ward how do you get all the shifts?
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2011, 05:40:51 PM »
@zenten: That sounds like a real jerk move to me. I certainly wouldn't want to get compelled like that when I'd spent twenty minutes real time (and all my fate points) on a ritual.

Well, don't compel them after the player has spent 20 minutes working on all the details and has already spent Fate points, do it before then. 

And if the player wants to spend all their Fate points on it I have *zero* problem with them being able to succeed on a massive thaumaturgy working like that, although I wouldn't let them do it at the end of the session.