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jlark92

Forces and Matter

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Hi all,

I'm currently in my first game of Mage. I've mostly been working on spending points in getting up my Forces and Matter arcana as an Obrimos. Now I'm looking for really interesting/powerful/efficient applications of existing spells to make my pursuit of knowledge turn a profit. What is particularly useful in battle? Out of battle? What rotes are really worth getting? What have you done with Force or Matter spells that was really memorable? Let me know if this brings anything to mind. FYI my legacy is celestial masters and I'm gnosis 4 with 5 dots in matter and forces (and 1 in prime, but I doubt that matters much). Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Curator

That's a lot of power for a starting character.

Forces and Matter 5 can both call down some unholy trouble - large scale effects, massive Paradox, enemies from all over the place who see the huge blasts and think that there's an Archmage nearby or something - then they see it's just a young Adept with way too much power on their hands, and run away very quickly.

Paradox backlashes at that scale can be nasty, and tend to drag down whole chunks of the local environment along with the mage.

Magic in Mage is not meant to be like magic in D&D. It's designed to be subtle.Weird, but plausible things happening that Sleepers could explain through science - like falls of fish "caused by a nearby tornado sucking up fish from a body of water and depositing them inland several miles away," kind of thing.

Forces damaging spells tend to be more along the lines of spontaneous human combustion, where people find the poor victim one day, burned to ashes in his chair, nothing left of him but a pair of boots filled with feet, and the upholstery of the chair under him surprisingly unharmed.

Prime is probably the best Arcanum for countermagic going. You might reconsider its uselessness should you try and ping a Master of Prime with something nasty, only to watch your best spell do a Worf Barrage and just splash harmlessly off his Prime 4 counterspell shield or something similar.

I recommend that you thoroughly digest the magic section of the Mage core rulebook, paying particular attention to the difference between Vulgar and Covert magic, and what happens when Paradox is invoked.

It might save you a few repeat chargens.

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I think you misunderstood what I was getting at. I know that prime is pretty damn cool (I'll probably specialize in it next game), I just have one dot in it so it's not useful as of yet. I also know the difference between vulgar and covert magic. I was just looking for interesting ways to use spells I already have. In the major/difficult battles we're in, we're not terribly worried about paradox because either we're not among sleepers/in the real world or someone has done something to eliminate paradox in an area. In that kind of setting, where you can let loose and not worry about subtlety, what do you recommend? What kind of preparations should I make? For example, our group was recently battling a seer mage who was master of mind, spirit, and life with 7 gnosis. It was a really hard battle where most of us almost died. What weapons would have been particularly useful in my arsenal? What I ended up doing was throwing him off a rooftop by controlling gravity and throwing lightning bolts at him while our prime mage was trying to counter him. I felt that was a kind of brutish and dumb way to fight him. Thanks for the help in advance.

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Curator

If your foe's Acanthus or Mastigos, your spells could be very useful against those Paths - their Minor Arcana are, respectively, Forces and Matter, your favourite Arcana.

H'mm. So, then, what fun could you have with Forces? That depends on the Arcana available.

Heat - Influence 1; Control 2; Create 3

Light - Influence 1; Control 2; Create 3

Sound - Influence 1; Control 2; Create 3

Electricity - Influence 2; Control 3; Create 4

Fire - Influence 2; Control 3; Create 4

Kinetic Energy - Influence 2; Control 3; Create 4

These are the minimum Arcana, though nothing stops a mage from using the Practice of Compelling on fire at Forces 2 (or higher), even though the book says he can use the Practice of Ruling at that level of Forces.

How about screwing with sound? If the attacking mage has to chant his spells, surround him with a shell of conically dead air, so every sound out of his mouth is killed. Screw up his spellcasting, until he starts doing his spells silently.

Influence Light can deprive the enemy mage of sight, while Nightsight can ensure your mage never has to worry about trying to sense the enemy in the dark.

Receiver and Tune In allow the mage to communicate through ultrasound / infrasound and through listening in on local radio networks; Forces 2 can allow your character to communicate through ultrasound with team members who can receive on that frequency, as Transmission can work through radio frequencies.

Pretty much everything above this level is Vulgar, which is not a lot of fun around Sleeper witnesses, with some exceptions such as Change Weather at Forces 4.

And now Matter.

Let's say that you know that the enemy mage is carrying gold items about his person for some reason, or wrought iron. Even invisible, your character can keep track of his movements by keeping track of that material that he is carrying on his person. Harry Potter's invisibility cloak would be useless if you could keep track of the glass in his prescription spectacles wherever he goes ...

Alter Integrity to weaken an opponent's armour and weapons, or to strengthen one's own, could be useful - especially since this is Covert. Ditto the Armour Piercing quality. Jury Rig and Repair can mend just about anything in a hurry, and Alter Efficiency at Matter 4 is a blessing for users of cars, computers, scientific equipment or firearms. And it's Covert.

Next to the Transmute spells, which have their own uses (Transmute coal into sodium and dump it into water; transmute sulphur into white phosphorus - instant spontaneous combustion; transmute a small percentage of nitrogen in the air into nitrous oxide and anaesthetise everyone in the room, or into acetylene and just let someone else light the match that seals their fate; or just turn all the oxygen into nitrogen and instantly suffocate everybody apart from vampires) these are probably the most interesting Matter spells going from the core book.

And as much as possible, I've tried looking for the obviously Covert ones, or those Vulgar spells whose usefulness makes it worth the risk.

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Having Forces and Matter together allow you to do all the computer manipulation effects. Since computers and hardware are both solid matter and forces for the memory and all of the complex electronic circuits. This is the best thing about having those 2 arcana together and that you can manipulate computer information subtly.

PS: Rotes for that stuff are in the Mysterium book.

Edited by DigitalCulture

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Curator

Indeed. Altering conductivity of crucial components to make your computer run more efficiently, or to make the enemy's computer run as if it were running Windows; manipulation of magnetic fields to erase hard drives; manipulating static to fry CPUs and flash memories, and so on.

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That's great stuff guys. Thanks. I'll try it out and see how it goes. Keep it coming guys.

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Curator

You might want to hunt down Tome Of The Watchtowers because of their treatment of magnetism and radiation in the game, too.

Only ... Tome of The Watchtowers, like a lot of people, gets it wrong ...

Magnetic fields may repulse other magnets, so reversing the polarity of a magnetic field with Forces would, you would imagine, cause that piece of iron you were drawing to you, like a car or a tank, suddenly fly away from you, yes?

Nope. That non-magnetised piece of iron will still come at you, because magnets only ever attract non-magnetised items.

But two magnetised objects won't behave like that, since two North or two South poles just repel one another so they'll fly apart, right?

Actually, assuming that the objects have a free range of motion and they're not constrained by an armature such as in a MAGLEV train, they'll just cause the whole object to spin around its most convenient axis of rotation, so that the opposite poles face each other. And then they'll attract.

So (to use superheroes as an analogy rather than mages) if Iron Man was facing off against Magneto, and Iron Man was non-magnetic, no matter what Tony Stark did Magneto'd still haul him in.

But if Iron Man magnetised his chassis ... it's a magnetic field. No matter which way around, it's still a magnetic field, and Magneto's the master of magnetic fields. So if Iron Man had put his Notth pole on his head, there'd be nowhere else for Iron Man to go put his South pole, meaning that Iron Man would spin around so quickly that it would probably snap Tony Stark's neck, followed by a humiliating few seconds being dragged tail-end backwards towards Magneto.

post-1197-0-08731300-1311201430_thumb.jp

Poor Tony. He should have made his suit out of titanium.

Edited by Libra

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