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Aspected Magicians

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« on: <10-16-16/1634:22> »
With how the priority table is set, the only reason to be aspected is to be a conjurer because there are no spells for aspected mages on the table.

Do y'all think this should change any?

FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #1 on: <10-16-16/1716:14> »
I think the priority table can be made more fair, so that there is a real choice to decide to be aspected or not.

I think it would be fair to make aspected magician Magic rating on par with Adepts, as their magic use I think is more similar to adepts than full magicians--aspected magicians and adepts use magic to be better at/compliment another specialty, while magicians/mysads are magical specialists (or at least have the capacity to be).

Basically, I would give Magic 4 at C (instead of Magic 3) and Magic 6 at B (instead of Magic 5). To me, this approximates a lot of the karma cost of free spells that full magicians and mysads gets. So at Priority C, instead of getting 5 free spells (worth 25 karma), you get 20 karma worth of magic rating (raising from 3 to 4). At Priority B, instead of getting 7 free spells (worht 35 karma), they would get 30 karma worth of a magic rating (raising from 5 to 6). This serves to balance out the value of free spells that privileges aspected conjurers over other aspected types (this way all aspected magicians get a boost). I think this also makes taking aspected at B or C more viable, as of now it's almost always more efficient to pick full magician at C or B and just pretend to be aspected.  It makes for a more real chargen choice. You can be an aspected magician with higher Magic at a lower priority level, limiting the scope of your magic but giving you more chargen choices, OR invest more heavily in being a magical specialist for all of the perks and breadth you get for it.   I also think it is a simple solution, without having to change much of anything else.


Another other route is to offer free specializations to aspected magicians (I like this less as it is not lore-based, but mechanically works in karma/life module as well as priority/sum-to-ten). Basically aspected magicians get a specialty in their area of magic. Aspected Sorcerers get a free + 2 to casting/counterspelling/rituals of a certain spell group, aspected echanters get a +2 to making preperations/disenchanting/artificing enchantments of a certain spell group, and aspected conjurers get a free +2 to summoning/binding/banishing a certain spirit type. For example, instead of just being an aspected magician, you choose to be an aspected combat sorcerer, an aspected health enchanter, or an aspected plant spirit conjurer. It adds some more flavor to a character, and the specialization is far from game breaking.
« Last Edit: <10-16-16/1951:31> by FST_Gemstar »

Kuirem

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« Reply #2 on: <10-16-16/1818:43> »
Yeah the priority table is completely screwed for Aspected Magicians. They should have some free spells for Alchemists/Sorcerers and maybe some free bound spirits for Conjurers.

I would also remove the free group or give the option between that and free skill points (or 2 skill at rating 5/4 like for full Magicians) in your category because more than often it just screw you since you can't invest skill points in a started group at chargen.

I might also scale the magic rating on the Adept because the Aspected Magicians could really use that.

So : B - 6 Magic, 4 Skill Group or 10 Skill points, 10 Spells or 6 free services; C - 4 Magic, 3 Skill Group or 8 Skill points, 7 Spells or 4 free services; D - 3 Magic, 5 Spells or 3 free services

You might notice that this is similar to Magician 6/4/3 pattern and same for gained skill points. That way there is some real reason to chose Aspected over Full on B/C.

fseperent

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« Reply #3 on: <10-16-16/1822:41> »
I started typing this out before I read Gemstar's post.
Admittedly split on Gemstar's first idea on balance.
The second is much more appealing but would suggest 1 specialty at Priority C and 2 at
Priority B.
A single specialty for karmagen/life modules for aspected, given the difference in karma
costs, sounds good.

I suggested the following before, it might fit better with what you're after.

Aspected mages and alchemists get half the spells or formulas that normal mages would
get from the same priority (rounded up).
The rationale for this is so aspected mages and alchemists some magical options for the
cost of choosing those priorities during chargen without using karma.

As for aspected summoners, I would grant 1 specialty for a skill from the Conjuring skill
group at Priority C and 2 specialties for skills from the Conjuring skill group at Priority B.
Thanks for the idea here Gemstar.

Mulcarn

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« Reply #4 on: <10-16-16/1936:06> »
The Aspected should receive a +2 DP bonus to their chosen skill group.  Making them a specialized magical archetype.  Being able to Astral Project and learn other magical skills and skill groups is very hard to pass up for only a semi-trained skill group.  And yeah conjurers are the best and most viable type of aspected magician.  Hands down no question.  Just my 2Y.
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FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #5 on: <10-16-16/2017:16> »
I don't like more complicated fixes. I think giving free bound spirits or free spells/preps is inelegant.

PC aspected magicians just don't seem well designed to be magical specialists, and I think that's a good thing. While an NPC aspected magician can try to pass themselves off as a magical threat (and to a team without magic expertise, they can be a serious magical threat), PC aspected magicians don't fit that role. What they can do is use the magic they have to be better at something non-magic. They do this using their option for lower priority magic selections and the cool magical things they get access to just for being awakened (mentor spirits, foci, astral perception, some magical skills, magical gear, metamagics, etc.)

Examples: 
Combat-Conjurer:  Instead of 'waring up a ton, using drugs,  or using adept powers, learning Channeling and channeling a spirit can make an effective combat specialist. Unlike mundane counterparts, they get to use weapon foci, and unlike combat adepts, they get to use spirit powers. Bonus: You get to build a herd of bound spirits to call upon when needed.

Conjurer-Face: While a typical magician-face probably more powerful, aspected conjurer-faces might have options at chargen for more attributes, resources, or skills, allowing for more customizable characters and quircks (cool summoning/binding foci, a good gun arm/or cyberarm, wider face skills ,etc.)  Assensing can be helpful to faces, as well as having a big spirit stand behind you when intimidating someone.

Sorcerer-Sam: Heavily 'wared aspected sorcerer that knows counterspelling and uses a weapon focus. Almost as fast as a combat adept, but can probably take more hits. Tough to target with spells, and again, gets to use a weapon focus. Can choose to learn spells for ranged combat, or just rely on their gun arm. 

Alchemist-Decker: Screw drugs and sustaining spells and 'ware. A few increase attribute preparations go a long way in boosting dice pools, and you can have several going for much longer than you need for most hacks. As you progress, you can give out preps to your team for their own uses, harvest reagents, and even pick up a cheap RCC and some drones to plant preparations where you need.  Fire-Bringer and a health alchemy specialization are your go-tos here.

Conjurer-Decker: This one is prob a GM approval. Learn channeling. Keep Low magic. Your VR decker gets to hack, while a spirit animates your body and keeps it useful (or at least moving/alive) in the meat.  Makes channeling good for action economy instead of inefficient. It lets your squishy decker and the low level spirits she can summon, who by themselves would be easy prey in a fight, to join together and be competent. At the very least you can get an easy body guard when you go VR.


These are just starters. None of these concepts are ideal magical specialists in a team. Some magic is usually better than no magic, and certainly aspected magicians can bring a lot of magical threat/utility, so i'm not selling them short, but aspected magicians shouldn't be directly compared to full magicians in their role (full magicians should have them beat at being best magical specialist out of chargen-compliment of spells, counterspelling, summoning/binding, astral projection, etc.). The goal shouldn't be to make aspected magicians fill the role of magical specialists, but for the priority table to reflect a real choice to making decisions about what kind of character you want to be.
« Last Edit: <10-17-16/1109:19> by FST_Gemstar »

Kuirem

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« Reply #6 on: <10-17-16/0339:17> »
It's really not much complicated, it's the same bonuses as a Magician but with a lower priority. It may be boring but at least it is a sure fix, you trade a lower priority against losing 2/3 of the magician kit.

Your fix just won't cut it, they might have a close karma cost but raising Magic is often cheaper than raising spells because you can use your Special Attributes to do it, which means Aspected will still have to spend all their karma for spells. Even if they were equivalent you just gave your Aspected Magician an equivalent karma (a bit less) to a full Magician, but Magician still is the much superior pick since they have access to the whole magic spectrum. Aspected Magician should have MORE karma value than full Magician at the same Priority to compensate their lose of magic.

I'm not fan of giving them specializations because Aspected are supposed to be cheap magicians, in every sense of the word, not specialized one.

Now if you have a more elegant solution than just giving them free spells to make them worth I'm interested but even with your changes the only Aspected Magician worth picking is still Priority D.

FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #7 on: <10-17-16/0906:58> »
Aspected magicians are tough because I would prefer a a more unified fix. Conjurers through a wrench in it because they don't benefit from free spells. Giving them something else just doesn't work for me either.  I also don't love the specialization approach, but mention it because it it works both in priority and non-priority builds (and on top of priority builds as well). 

Remember that aspected magicians get to be magic at a priority selection less than full magicians. That is where the bonus comes from.

My initial fix comparisons:

                       
Magic B        Aspected                  Full 
                       Magic Rating 6      Magic Rating 4
                      Skillgroup 4             Two rating 4 skills
                                                        7 free spells

                  Karma: 155                Karma: 125


Magic C    Aspected                   Full 
                   Magic 4                    Magic 3
                   Skillgroup 2             5 free spells 

                 Karma:  65              Karma: 55



Karma perks value is higher for aspected magicians  for B and C, effectively downshifting the the Magic priority for aspected magicians compared to full magicians. The trade off is that full magicians can start with the possibility of being magical specialists and have astral projection, but aspected magicians get to prioritize other priorities higher than magic for their more limited use of it. They will have to use karma to buy spells/preps/rituals, but I think that fits that they will probably start play with fewer of them. Again, they are not the magic specialist of a group, they use some magic to be better at something else, and have an option to grow more into their magic as they go on. 

I don't love the forced skill group either, and I think it would be fair to break it up into like 2 R4 skills in the aspected group at B and 2 R3 in the aspected group at C. I think this is actually a net karma loss, but it would allow aspected magicians to max/spec certain skills at chargen at least. Or give them a choice. However, the more different from core, the less I like my solutions. Simplier fix = best fix.

Blue Rose

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« Reply #8 on: <10-17-16/0915:08> »
The Aspected should receive a +2 DP bonus to their chosen skill group.  Making them a specialized magical archetype.  Being able to Astral Project and learn other magical skills and skill groups is very hard to pass up for only a semi-trained skill group.  And yeah conjurers are the best and most viable type of aspected magician.  Hands down no question.  Just my 2Y.
I'm a fan of giving the aspected magicians that +2.  "You only do this one thing.  But you do it just that little bit better."

Only aspected mage I ever made was a weird priority D magic aspected summoner just to say I did it.  Wasn't very good, but... eh.

Kuirem

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« Reply #9 on: <10-17-16/0952:39> »
Remember that aspected magicians get to be magic at a priority selection less than full magicians. That is where the bonus comes from.

If you really want that to be true you need to balance the cost of Aspected Magician with the cost of Full Magician one priority higher. Here you compare it with full Magician of the same priority. This is what I am proposing, Aspected lose access to 2 magic group and projection to have 1 priority lower.

Anyway Karma cost is not a good metric to balance in Priority, bonus karma from higher magic isn't always as valuable as bonus karma from extra spells since you can pay for Magic with Special Attributes OR karma while spells are limited to karma.

Now for your fix the Magic B isn't too bad, you can pick a Ork/Dwarf at C, Elf at D and Human at E and still have the full Magic Rating so here you do get magic at lower priority like intended. You still have to spend all your karma into Spells though. In the end you have to pay all your karma (for only 5 spells) + 2/3 of the magical skills to have one priority lower, I'm still not convinced it's worth it.

C is much worst, especially if you look at the Special Attributes. Human at D, Ork/Elf/Dwarf at B and Trolls at A will have enough special attributes to reach 6 Magic with either Full or Aspected. So the gain of karma in that case would be on the Edge difference between an Aspected and a Full. For Human, Ork and Dwarf it will be 15 (2 to 3), Trolls would be 20 (3 to 4), Elf would be 25 (4 to 5). Aspected is still slighly cheaper than Full but not by much.

However, the more different from core, the less I like my solutions. Simplier fix = best fix.

I would be all behind this if the core's balance wasn't so broken on some things like Aspected Magicians, Alchemy or Technomancers. You just can't stay that close to the core to balance them.

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #10 on: <10-17-16/1004:13> »
Instead of spells, a summoner could receive a few of those neat positive qualities:

- Mentor Spirit (5 Karma)
- Spirit Affinity (7 Karma)
- Spirit Whisperer (8 Karma)
- Spirit Champion (14 Karma)

34 Karma in total which after generation would be worth 68

An aspected mage would get
2 Magic, 5 spells at D or Mentor Spirit + Spirit Whisperer (26 Karma after generation)
4 Magic, 7 spells at C or Mentor Spirit + Spirit Champion (38 Karma after generation)
6 Magic, 10 spells at B or  Spirit Affinity + Whisperer + Champion (58 Karma after generation)
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FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #11 on: <10-17-16/1052:48> »
Quote
If you really want that to be true you need to balance the cost of Aspected Magician with the cost of Full Magician one priority higher. Here you compare it with full Magician of the same priority. This is what I am proposing, Aspected lose access to 2 magic group and projection to have 1 priority lower.
 


This is a good point well taken. My fix lets your aspected magician have a magic rating of the full magician at a priority rating less, but the karma benefits are more equivalent priority level to priority level. I just think I'm ok with aspected magicians not knowing many (or any) spells at chargen. To be fair though, Magic C full magicians aren't a great priority choice either ( :-))

 If trying to match a magician in spellcasting ability, it's just not going to happen at chargen, and I think that is ok, as aspected magicians are equipped to use magicness for other things. An aspected magician's job is not intended to provide magical oversight to a team the way full magicians/msytic adepts can/do. They are more like adepts, using their awakenedness to be better at a more mundane specialty, have a magical twist, and perhaps fill gaps in a magical specialists area or fill-in in a pinch. 

Edge differences are not to be sneezed at either. Having max Magic is less of an expectation/necessity/advantage to aspected magicians as it is to full magicians, and being able to have higher edge could be lot more useful. Aspected Magician's use Magic Rating for less things than full magicians (fewer magical skills to learn), so investing in higher Edge and/or Drain Resistance may be a better use of chargen resources. Being able to build high edge aspected magicians with less priority allocation allows for some cool concepts. Ex. Feeling safer summoning higher than Magic rating force spirits, getting drain-resistance improving 'ware and casting higher than Magic Force spells with less fear of death (even if taking a hit to Magic Rating), having enough cash on hand to afford foci at chargen, etc.

« Last Edit: <10-17-16/2031:21> by FST_Gemstar »

Bushw4cker

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« Reply #12 on: <10-17-16/1632:58> »
Another Reason I like Kamagen Character Creation, it's way easier to make a decent suspected magician..

 
"Stupid men are often capable of things the clever would not dare to contemplate." -Terry Pratchett

Hobbes

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« Reply #13 on: <10-18-16/1128:16> »
My own house rules for Aspected Mages are simply buffing the Priority table at B and C for Aspected Mages:

B: Aspected Magician: Magic 6, one Rating 6 Magical skill group; 10 Formula/Spells or 35 Karma of Bound Spirits.

C: Aspected Magician: Magic 4, three rating 3 magic skills from one group; 7 Formula/spells or 25 Karma of Bound Spirits.

Even with these significant buffs none of my players have touched Aspected Mages.  Giving up Sorcery or Conjuring *and* Astral Projection or Adept Powers is just too huge. 

FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #14 on: <10-18-16/1338:54> »
That's quite the buff!!

I really think that aspected magicians need to be re-imagined as non-magical specialists. As PCs, they really shouldn't have magical rsponsibilities. Being aspected is mostly just a way to buy a magic rating, and an alternative growth path for your character.  Which is why D is likely to be the most popular way to do it. Unlike adepts/magicians who often increasingly benefit from having a high Magic, aspected magicians don't really benefit the same way from that scaling (fewer tests associated with magic rating, less free things from having higher magi rating  [power points, free spells, skills, etc.). . Having low magic is usuallyenough. A character can keep Magic 1 and counterspell, assense, use foci, get mentor spirits, as well as anyone with Magic 6. Using foci, mentor spirits, low magic, low skills, an aspected magician can get good enough dice pools for specific kinds of magic skills (spellcasting, summoning, etc.). 


I just find bound spirits as a chargen perk to not cut it, as they are not permanent the way spells, skills, etc. are.