Mage has some very nice magic rules-- very flavorful and extremely flexible. Now I've always sort of thought that they might better suit some aspects of magic in exalted-- the mage who doesn't learn set spells, but molds magic to his will, on the fly. So has anyone tried putting mage powers into Exalted? If so, how did it turn out.
From discussions on the White wolf forum, it was agreed, the one to three dots would be equivalent to terrestrial circle spells, 4-5 celestials, and solar circle spells would be 6+ dots. What do others think?
Comments & Suggestions
Note that mage spells are significantly different from Sorceries, and they can oftentimes get game-breaking. Especially at high levels, and consider that a sphere can do a lot more than a single spell. In fact, if you're creative enough, you can replace three or four charms at (if you use the original game's cost for spheres) the same price of one charm. Or less. And Paradox is going to have to be utterly reworked to make it actually noticed and not a 'I can utterly ignore Paradox because it doesn't hurt at all' thing.
That would, I think be one of the appealing points to it-- mage sorcery is more flexible than traditional sorcery... which of course brings up balance issues, some of which might be adjusted by making the various spheres more or less expensive-- at the very least I'd argue that each dot in a sphere should cost about as much as a charm. Paradox is a bit of an iffy question-- obviously, nuking someone with a lightning bolt ISN'T something that people in creation would disbelieve. Maybe instead of having it be a "disbelieve" effect, it should be, like the sidereals-- a "Did you make the pattern spiders skip lunch" effect where too much blatent activity gets them PO'd. That way you can have paradox be stable nomatter where you are in creation. -- CharlesGray
One other possibility is to integrate things mechanically as well as thematically. Rather than relying on the oh-so-powerful "Arete" trait, try something where effects are based on Ability+Sphere, for example. Shooting lightning bolts might be Archery+Forces, for example. It should hopefully slow down the progression of Mages, which goes from "Oh noes, I'm a total looser!" to "Bow before me!" in only one or two well-placed dots. -- GreenLantern
Played in a game that mixed mage and exalted; it was not a good mix, at all. Also depends if you are doing old world of darkness mage (and which edition) or new world of darkness... oWoD mage spheres were occasionally insanely strong (mind 1 anyone?). nWoD is generally much better, but the dice mechanics don't mesh as well with exalted. Mage also explicitly permits several things which are explicity not permitted in exalted cosmology. Really don't recommend mixing the two, spheres (especially low level ones) break exalted in all sorts of ways... ~Capric
- Sorry to respond to my own comment, but I thought I should perhaps offer an alternative: Fair Folk. Modifications to existing FF shaping rules might do more what you are looking for, and will likely be less problematic. Make a character's Avatar akin to a (mostly) controlable raksha that resides in the soul (or not, for some classic Persona style action). Make lots of places behave as the bordermarches for shaping; make shaping easier at night than in the day, gossamer acting as replacement for quintessence, etc etc. Just an idea ~Capric
I like the above idea. This makes it so that the Spheres are what can be Shaped by the power, as if you were still in a place rich enough in Wyld, but then would Paradox be the World reacting to the unnatural state and correcting it at the source, ala Fate/Stay Night. Hmm, a proposal would be that Paradox also give a penalty [external or internal] to the roll, in which case even the power of spells would become a matter of difficulties. Oh, and just saying a lighting bolt deals 3+ successes Bashing damage... so with the ridiculous amounts of soak I've seen in the game that isn't really game changing, dangerous yes but not any more dangerous than a Exalt with the Obsidian Shards of Infinity.
My opinion on this is that shaping defenses should work against anything that directly interacts with the victim while they shouldn't when your going through a 'middle-man'. Mental attacks would slam into Integrity Protecting Prana but that trick with calling down actual lightning would hit, if the Exalt doesn't have Seven Shadow Evasion. Mind has One Mind Two Thoughts, which incredibly awesome by itself with no bread or filler needed, but in Exalted the world is about being all that and you carefully balanced breakfast. High end Mages match step for step on the power scale as a powerful Occult based Exalt would, though the Mage would win out most of the time unless the Exalt is running some form of Perfect but as soon as Perfects get brought into the game the Exalts swiftly gain power. This is because, in this instance we're using, the Mage's are in Creation and thus play by the rules of Creation which state that no matter how strong the attack if a perfect defense is in the way the attack can't get through.
Yes this dose mean that Seven Shadow Evasion is literally faster than lightning and Heavenly Guardian Defense Parries a three foot wide thunderbolt. Even things that are unblockable aren't for these abilities. High end Mages can drop a ton of hurt on a Exalt [That route cast Call Lightning runs Attribute + Skill + Arcana dice pool before getting into other things.] but the big problem is making that damage stick.
The point is that without widening their abilities a super specialist like a guy with Forces 5 [54 xp] and a Exalt with a pair of Dodge Charms [24xp] ends with the Exalt having to run away from curtain of lighting that can't touch him, but he in turn can't do anything but focus on dodging lighting, thus the reason he needs to get away. The Exalt can neatly dodge, at the cost of motes, the Lightning a close to fight the Mage in CQC. Supposing average builds with only minor optimization the Exalt has a pair of Orichalcum Smashfists [Artifact 1] and in a single flurry [Rate 2] grossing a mere 10 bashing damage per single success equals to a whopping 20 dice to throw at the Mage. Unexpected attacks would turn the fight back to the Mage as he can easily put down the dodging Exalt with a one of his high end bolts. [Which by the way can gross over 20 Bashing damage in one go, well over enough to knock out your average beginning Exalt, heck even optimized would merely be able to dodge it.] The back and forth continues on and on with the Mage gaining more for his dot, but the Exalt benefiting from Perfects, which can bypass many defenses as long as they aren't Perfect themselves. Just my eight and half dollars on the subject. I've also run a game that mixed nWod with Exalted and the only evidence that I have is that anything with a Template eats everything else s raisins bar none. Raven Xanthus