Blog Archives

Paradox Lost

Who thinks the paradox rules for “Mage The Awakening” really suck?

(No comments from the PC’s please. I wasn’t asking you.)

Take my word for it, they suck. My Co-GM and I can spend countless hours building an impressive array of antagonists to go up against my group of Mages (and his group of Werewolves) in preparation for the big fight at the end of a chapter, and what do my thoughtless, inconsiderate Mages go and do?

I’ll tell you what they do.

They create a gravity well the size the friggin’  building under my antagonists feet (while they, of course, stand just outside the door). This not only makes it impossible for my poor Promethean and friends to move at all (you try moving in 5 times normal gravity), but literally brings the house down on them, crushing them all to death.

We hates the Mages Precious!

My one joy in all of this is the fact that the gravity well spell is horrifically vulgar. I smile happily as I point this out and we begin to calculate the Paradox pool.

Sadly the antagonist, being a Promethean, is in an isolated and unpopulated area – so there are no sleeper witnesses. It’s the first vulgar spell of the scene, so that gives me the Mage’s Base Paradox Pool to work with. At Gnosis 4 this happens to be 2 dice. It isn’t much, but I laugh with evil glee as I select my 2 dice. Mua-haa-h…

“But wait! Not so fast Story Teller! I’m using my arcane tool, and this spell is a rote!  That’s -2 dice.”

And so this horrifically vulgar spell’s Paradox Pool is reduced to a chance die. A CHANCE DIE! What’s up with that? In the highly unlikely event that I manage to roll a success this pain in my butt will simply take 1 Resistant Bashing Damage and laugh it off. Bastard.

Clearly, something must be done… but what?

I have a few ideas:

  1. At the very least absorbing Paradox should be a difficult thing for the character to do. The character must succeed on a RESOLVE + COMPOSURE roll in order to mitigate the Paradox by taking Resistant Bashing Damage. (1 Health Point can be absorbed per success on the roll).
  2. You have absorbed a Paradox – this is some nasty shit. The damage is lethal. (Who’s laughing now?!)
  3. The Paradox is determined by the spell-casting roll. Any 1’s that are rolled as part of that roll contribute to Paradox. The more dice you have to cast the spell, the greater the chance of a Paradox.

Let’s make Paradox the nasty, scary, in your face deterrent it’s supposed to be! Who’s with me?!

%d bloggers like this: