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Related to War in the Great Basin, I think I figured out what mass combat might be like in the setting.

There's three sets of combatants.

Mystic Defenders, who are to some degree replenishable and are easier to kill than, but incapable of aerial combat due to lacking self or industry scores to fly with. Their Job is to wreck the enemy's stuff on the ground, fend off enemy Mystic Defenders, and where possible, assisting in mission killing enemy wizard commanders who fly too close to the ground or are on the ground for whatever reason.

Wizards unlucky enough to not have industry or self 4 fight on the ground to avoid being noticed by significantly faster fliers, coordinating their minions, providing support via higher level forms of war magic, and if possible, seeking to mission kill enemy commanders. Fighting on the ground makes you uniquely susceptible to being targeted by hostile aerial wizards and enemy mystic defenders. There can be ridiculous amounts of mystic defenders. If you're engaging 1000 Wizards with war 5 then mana permitting, you're engaging an army of mystic defenders a million strong, which is why it's better for wizards to be in the air. Getting speed blitzed because a wizard with industry or self 4 noticed you would suck though.

Wizards who have industry or self 4 are aerial combatants. They observe and coordinate Mystic Defenders on the ground. They engage enemy Wizards in the air beyond the reach of mystic defender fire, seeking to mission kill them to dent the enemy Mystic Defender supply. They provide air support to their minions when necessary/when they can do so. Since the people most capable of using vision enhancement in the air while maintaining their shape are Arete Practicioners using shapeshifting to give themselves hawk vision, telescopes and binoculars are commonplace.

Does this gel with your mental image of things? Is there anything I missed I should factor into my calculations?

I just realized something about the Emotional Burn-In Angle, and how tools made with Greed in the Heart will be better for building shops compared to homes, how tools made with hate in the heart are better tools of violence, and how anything you make with care should be kept close lest it be used to curse you(and how therefore you shouldn't make too many things with care), leading to "when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail" syndrome.

You may be able to fight it with Self 2 some but is it just me or does magic and the world seem like something that wants to make people into caricatures of themselves? If you want the Fellowship of Truth to have valid points there might be one there. You'd need to be a very specific kind of caricature to be good at leading a civilization.

Edit: Maybe something about how Wizards don't belong in regular society but apart from it as one of the Fellowships ideals or an example of one of the old ways?

Edit2: Of course most people born after the gift would want something like that to be solved by research instead and the old Fellowship members liked the amount of power they had over others back then so there's still self-servingness in the Fellowships desire to undo the gift.

Edit3: War in the Great Basin is probably very different compared to the real world given how everybody typically has at least 1 disposable mook to add to the army. It seems like something that inflates the scale of battles and changes what being a soldier is like some.

Edit4: Can Mystic defenders fly? I suspect not.

Ok - a few possibilities.

  • Lose effective points in Tech/Power while your actual score stays the same. Basically you're losing Reserve.
  • You could lose all effectiveness in conflicts for some of your Natures/Capabilities. It's not like having a 0 ability or disconnecting - you can still be in that conflict, you'd just take complications without dealing them.
  • You could have the penalties for disconnecting without the benefits. (SsA only) As an SA equivalent, you might be banned from the infosphere. I know, it doesn't quite make sense in-setting, but it's on par in terms of having a very bad day.
  • Increase your maintenance requirements. More mana, more electricity, constant infosphere connection, needs a new mystery to solve every day. Probably too much of a pain in the ass in roleplaying terms. No one wants to have the old-style Aquaman weakness.

Yeah, that's a "negotiate between player and GM" moment. It's a good example of spontaneous character advancement - you should expect to add it permanently to your sheet at that point, and to pay the cost in Import/Power.

Does that go for my edit about the Rage too?

Edit: Maybe unlocking the rage in game is practice ratings capped by core value?

Edit2: I just remembered practice and rage have different caps.

So core values set your peak for belief magic but it's still on the practitioner to reach that peak?

Edit: What of the rage also? Practice users can discover it in moments of great need Shonen power up style? Is that one of those things that just needs to be negotiated between player and GM to determine starting natures(capped by governing CV) if someone wants to unlock it in game?

There's a slight Conservation of Ninjitsu, yes. The 1000 defenders are still more effective in total, but if they just made 1 it might be worth as much as 10 in a fight.

By "does not scale with dedication" I mean that someone who really really cares about things doesn't create more effective magic. They still benefit from the devotion (because CVs factor into your actions), but just being driven doesn't let you accomplish magical feats you couldn't before. It's a weird division to draw, especially in this game, but basically what I'm trying to rule out is someone saying "But so-and-so just died in front of me and I want to use my grief to resurrect them" when they have Communion 2.

Thanks for the hint about new posts. Not sure what you mean by dedication though.

Also does that mean the inverse ninja law is in effect with Mystic defenders? That if someone with war 5 makes just 1 mystic defender it will be more dangerous than if it was part of a 1000 defender job lot?

Fixed the Soulpact CV. I've seen at least three spellings of Koss, so I just went with the one that seemed most phonetically right to me, but I definitely appreciate you checking for unintended meanings.

Null zones do indeed mess with your body and mind. It's like in SA where someone leaves the infosphere and suddenly does not have internet access WTF.

General rule: Mana cost does not correlate with effectiveness or dedication. There are Nature 5 techniques that cost less mana than Nature 2 techniques.

However, for Mystic Defenders in particular: As your Nature increases, you can handle more of them. It does take more mana to create more of them, and more mana to outfit them more effectively (flaming swords and the like), but you also become more efficient so the cost per defender actually drops. The cost stays at "Moderate to create, Low to maintain" regardless of how many your War score allows you to create.

I hope that makes sense.

Side note: When you ask a question, if you click "New post" at the bottom of this thread, it'll make a new item within this post that restarts the reply chain. That might be useful for letting people reply to multiple items instead of just the last one.

So something I started wondering recently. Are technology descriptions of Mana costs constant? Does the cost of a sustaining a Mystic Defender force scale up? Does the description of Null Zones mean that, in the absence of contradictory information on mana costs:

Nature 2: Minimal
Nature 3: Small
Nature 4: Moderate
Nature 5: Large

For example, a -1 Null Zone makes creating an Army of Mystic Defenders(I'm interpreting that as a battalion of 1000 for the moment) impossible for non Necromancy/Arete Practicioners.

-1 Null Zone description on page 34 describes large mana spells as impossible, presumably making non-healing tremendous workings also impossible. Someone with Communion 5 could do a healing one in a week in a -1 Null Zone, or a -2 Null zone if they're Necromancy/Arete.

Does this mean summoning an army of mystic defenders has a cost of tremendous(create)/large(sustain)?

Explaining my logic a bit, if the ability to create a single mystic defender starts at War 3 with Moderate(create)/Low(sustain), that would mean a 10 defender squad can be created at war 4 for Large(Create)/Moderate(Sustain), and a 1000 defender army/battalion can be created at war 5 for Tremendous(create)/Large(sustain). The cost for a Nature 4 working gets shifted into Nature 3 to determine the base mana cost and extrapolate from there.

I realized something. Mystery has Cognitive Enhancement of some degree. War has physical enhancement(War 2 suggests people may be able to do things beyond normal human physical limits). Trickery improves your ability to find economic loopholes. Communion makes you more socially adept.

Null zones, if they make you physically weaker and impede your cognitive function/social skills, would be farking terrifying on general principle there.

Edit: Tangentially the description of the soulpacts core value on page 112 cuts off in mid sentence it looks like.

After digging around more I suspected as much. The others seem mostly fine.

The Koss spelling(Wikipedia had others I think(Edit: Confirmed( )), has a somewhat crude definition on Urban Dictionary but google just has material on Koss the Headphone maker beyond that. (

Ratti and Maund don't seem to have Google problems.

Edit2: It keeps not linking the other parentheses in the link to the article on Kos

Hmm. Good to know. It's probably a regional language difference or a transliteration problem. Wikipedia lists Ghati (with a diacritic) as a unit of time, but if it overlaps with this term I might need to avoid it.

In universe though a mana hour would be 2.5 Mana Ghati, ruining the pun.

10 seconds from surroundings is moderate. 100 seconds is large. 1000 is tremendous. 1000/60.

On voodoo dolls: Right. Think of that section as a description of how people do their magic rather than as a list of powers.

For resurrection, 10 "mana-hours" doesn't sound entirely unreasonable. I still need to do some thinking in this area, though. The limitation is intended to be less a matter of sheer mana as and more the need to spend most of a day in the attempt (assuming you have Communion 5). How are you getting the 17 minutes figure?

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