Author Topic: Mirror Magic (sponsored magic)  (Read 3126 times)

Offline nadia.skylark

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 873
    • View Profile
Mirror Magic (sponsored magic)
« on: February 23, 2019, 08:12:47 PM »
What do people think of this?

Mirror Magic (-4)
Description: You have found a way to draw magic from your own reflection. To use this power, you must have a specific mirror that you are magically linked to. (If your mirror is broken/sealed away, you lose access to this power. However, you do not have to have your mirror with you in order to use it, except where explicitly stated).
Sponsor: Your own reflection.
Agenda: Encourages deception (both deceiving others and self-deception), not looking past the surface, and being concerned more about appearances than reality.
Evocation: Mirror magic allows the use of the spirit element.
Thaumaturgy: This magic allows the use of magic for illusions and psychomancy.
Evothaum: Yes.
Extra benefits: Once per scene, you can use your action for the round to focus on your connection to your mirror to clear two stress boxes (if you do so, any attack against you that round is treated as an ambush). In addition, in a thaumaturgy spell, you can incorporate your mirror in order to double the power of your spell (the control roll(s) for this power is considered to be the same as for the power you called up the normal way). However, if the mirror breaks, every spell that you have cast using mirror magic is broken and you automatically suffer a mental attack equal to double your conviction plus the number of spells you've used your mirror in (to double power) for the last year and a day. You are not protected from this attack by thresholds, distance, mental armor, or any of your magic (other people's magic, however, may protect you). You defend against this attack with discipline.

I also have suggestions for different levels of consequences that this power might inflict, if anyone is interested.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 08:24:25 PM by nadia.skylark »

Offline Sanctaphrax

  • Warden
  • Seriously?
  • ****
  • Posts: 12191
    • View Profile
Re: Mirror Magic (sponsored magic)
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2019, 10:21:49 AM »
What do people think of this?

Mirror Magic (-4)
Description: You have found a way to draw magic from your own reflection. To use this power, you must have a specific mirror that you are magically linked to. (If your mirror is broken/sealed away, you lose access to this power. However, you do not have to have your mirror with you in order to use it, except where explicitly stated).
Sponsor: Your own reflection.
Agenda: Encourages deception (both deceiving others and self-deception), not looking past the surface, and being concerned more about appearances than reality.
Evocation: Mirror magic allows the use of the spirit element.
Thaumaturgy: This magic allows the use of magic for illusions and psychomancy.

Looks good.

Evothaum: Yes.

You should specify exactly what types of thaumaturgy it allows you to use the methods of evocation for. Illusions and psychomancy, maybe?

Extra benefits: Once per scene, you can use your action for the round to focus on your connection to your mirror to clear two stress boxes (if you do so, any attack against you that round is treated as an ambush). In addition, in a thaumaturgy spell, you can incorporate your mirror in order to double the power of your spell (the control roll(s) for this power is considered to be the same as for the power you called up the normal way). However, if the mirror breaks, every spell that you have cast using mirror magic is broken and you automatically suffer a mental attack equal to double your conviction plus the number of spells you've used your mirror in (to double power) for the last year and a day. You are not protected from this attack by thresholds, distance, mental armor, or any of your magic (other people's magic, however, may protect you). You defend against this attack with discipline.

This I'm not so sure about. Clearing stress boxes isn't really much of a thing in this system; I think it would be better to be able to hand a mild physical consequence off to the mirror.

As for the doubling-at-risk-of-backlash thing, I don't think it works. It's an inordinately powerful bonus, and while there's a way for the GM to turn it against you it seems hard to make that drawback interesting and game-able.

What specifically is the doubling bonus meant to represent, in the story of the game?

I also have suggestions for different levels of consequences that this power might inflict, if anyone is interested.

I am.

Offline nadia.skylark

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 873
    • View Profile
Re: Mirror Magic (sponsored magic)
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 01:14:47 PM »
Quote
You should specify exactly what types of thaumaturgy it allows you to use the methods of evocation for. Illusions and psychomancy, maybe?

That's what I was thinking. I wasn't certain if I should limit it, though, given that people on this board have said that psychomancy at the speed of evocation can be overly powerful.

Quote
This I'm not so sure about. Clearing stress boxes isn't really much of a thing in this system; I think it would be better to be able to hand a mild physical consequence off to the mirror.

Thanks! This is a good idea.

Quote
As for the doubling-at-risk-of-backlash thing, I don't think it works. It's an inordinately powerful bonus, and while there's a way for the GM to turn it against you it seems hard to make that drawback interesting and game-able.

What specifically is the doubling bonus meant to represent, in the story of the game?

Because it's mirror magic, the idea is that your mirror can double your power the same way it doubles your image.

The restriction is supposed to be that if you abuse it the GM gets your mirror broken. The idea behind it is inordinate power at inordinate risk. The "if your mirror is sealed away, you lose access to this power" means that it can't be behind wards, so it should be vulnerable to assault.

This power was inspired by Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett, where Esme Weatherwax's sister is super-powerful (and deluded) up until her mirror is broken, at which point she is completely destroyed.

Quote
I am.

Minor consequence: "A crack inside my head"--leaves you vulnerable to mental assaults, makes it harder to focus.

Moderate consequence: "cracked and shattered sight"--you see the world as if through shards of glass: imperfectly, missing information, and with prismatic rainbows everywhere (applies both to your actual vision and to how you interpret the world).

Severe consequence: "which one of me is real?"--you are trapped in a world of infinite reflections, and you can no longer recognize yourself.

Extreme consequence: "fractured personality"--you have MPD.

Offline Sanctaphrax

  • Warden
  • Seriously?
  • ****
  • Posts: 12191
    • View Profile
Re: Mirror Magic (sponsored magic)
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2019, 08:02:50 AM »
That's what I was thinking. I wasn't certain if I should limit it, though, given that people on this board have said that psychomancy at the speed of evocation can be overly powerful.

I think it'd probably be fine.

You may have already realised this, but in case you haven't: there's some controversy over whether the spirit element can be used to make mental attacks by default. If it can, then it's pretty easy to one-shot almost everything with it, because evocation attacks have huge weapon ratings and hardly anyone is tough enough to tank evocations with both their physical and mental stress tracks. Psychomancy evothaum doesn't pose the same threat because thaumaturgy attacks are weapon 0.

Because it's mirror magic, the idea is that your mirror can double your power the same way it doubles your image.

Doubling the mechanical power of a spell often does a lot more than double its power story-wise, though.

I think it would be more flavourful if, instead of doubling power, it allowed you to select a second target. Even that is probably overstrong, especially for magic with another extra benefit, though.

The restriction is supposed to be that if you abuse it the GM gets your mirror broken. The idea behind it is inordinate power at inordinate risk. The "if your mirror is sealed away, you lose access to this power" means that it can't be behind wards, so it should be vulnerable to assault.

This power was inspired by Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett, where Esme Weatherwax's sister is super-powerful (and deluded) up until her mirror is broken, at which point she is completely destroyed.

I don't think that's likely to lead to good gameplay.

Offline nadia.skylark

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 873
    • View Profile
Re: Mirror Magic (sponsored magic)
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2019, 01:33:47 PM »
Quote
Doubling the mechanical power of a spell often does a lot more than double its power story-wise, though.

I think it would be more flavourful if, instead of doubling power, it allowed you to select a second target. Even that is probably overstrong, especially for magic with another extra benefit, though.

I don't think that's likely to lead to good gameplay.

So, if I change the power to allowing you to select a second target, would that fix the gameplay problem, or do I need to modify it more?

Offline Sanctaphrax

  • Warden
  • Seriously?
  • ****
  • Posts: 12191
    • View Profile
Re: Mirror Magic (sponsored magic)
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2019, 12:12:58 AM »
I'd be inclined to increase the cost to 5 as well.

Not confident that it'd be fair then, but I figure it's at least test-able.

Offline nadia.skylark

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 873
    • View Profile
Re: Mirror Magic (sponsored magic)
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2019, 11:30:15 AM »
Quote
This I'm not so sure about. Clearing stress boxes isn't really much of a thing in this system; I think it would be better to be able to hand a mild physical consequence off to the mirror.

Just re-read this and realized that you might have thought I meant physical stress. It's actually supposed to be clearing mental stress to help with spellcasting.

Offline Sanctaphrax

  • Warden
  • Seriously?
  • ****
  • Posts: 12191
    • View Profile
Re: Mirror Magic (sponsored magic)
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2019, 10:17:53 PM »
I assumed it affected a track of your choice.

Regardless, I think the consequence-based approach is better.

Offline nadia.skylark

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 873
    • View Profile
Re: Mirror Magic (sponsored magic)
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2019, 12:33:12 AM »
Quote
I assumed it affected a track of your choice.

Regardless, I think the consequence-based approach is better.

Thanks. So, modification is that it lets you clear a mild mental consequence.

Offline nadia.skylark

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 873
    • View Profile
Re: Mirror Magic (sponsored magic)
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2019, 05:01:26 AM »
Quote
I guess that could work. Honestly, though, I'm not a fan of the whole "you're overpowered until you get screwed over" paradigm.

Would it be better if it cost a point of sponsor debt? I don't want it to be too overpowered; I just want to make a power designed for characters who like to game the system*, and encourage character development away from doing that too much. A character with this power doesn't have to deal with a sponsor telling them what to do (ex. faerie queens), doesn't have to deal with dark powers like necromancy, and isn't tied to a location. Seems awesome, right? Until the character realizes that they're being driven to delude themselves, all their friends are upset with them because the character keeps lying to them, they can't have wards on their house, and on top of that if their house is attacked (or if they so much as trip and bump the wrong thing during a ritual) they risk fracturing their mind.

The power is supposed to have as many downsides as upsides--they're just not supposed to be obvious to characters when they start using it.

*By "game the system," I mean doing things like Constantine's trick of selling his soul to three demons, or trading your firstborn child to Summer only to turn around and make a deal with Maeve to get her handmaiden pregnant in exchange for something. Also, this power should probably not be taken by any character whose player is not willing to have the mirror destroyed in gameplay.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 05:27:17 AM by nadia.skylark »

Offline Sanctaphrax

  • Warden
  • Seriously?
  • ****
  • Posts: 12191
    • View Profile
Re: Mirror Magic (sponsored magic)
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2019, 08:43:50 AM »
I do like the sponsor debt approach better.