Now that we’ve got our sample character, let’s get to work on learning how the spell casting system works in Mage: the Awakening now.
For our scenario, Kibo has gone to investigate the latest in the Memento Mori suicide pacts. Three students had apparently killed themselves in their respective homes using suicide bags in their respective homes while streaming it to an anonymous image board for people to watch.
Thanks to her contacts with Psychologists and other counselors, she was able to get permission to visit the victim’s home, and get access to their room.
Upon entering, her Mage Senses could tell her that the ghost of the victim still lingered. With that, Kibo decides to cast Speak With the Dead, a spell that is also one of her Praxis.
A Praxis is a spell whose Imago your Mage is intimately familiar with.
While it isn’t a rote (and therefore cannot use Rote Mudras) scoring 3 successes on a casting with that spell makes it an Exceptional Success instead of 5.
You get 1 Praxis for every point of Gnosis you have.
Her starting spellcasting Pool is her Gnosis + Death Arcanum rating. With her Gnosis of 1 and Death of 3, that means she starts off with a paltry 4 dice.
Since Speak with the Dead is a Death 1 effect and her Death rating is 3, Kibo therefore has 3 free Reach to spend to tweak the Spell Factors beyond the basic settings.
She spends her Reach on:
– Moving the spell range from touch/self to sensory range
– Change the spell from Ritual to Instant Casting Time
– Change the Duration from Standard to Advanced
Kibo does not Reach beyond her Free Reach points and therefore does not generate Paradox at this step.
Kibo feels no need to expand her Spell Factors for this casting, and so incurs no further dice penalties.
with her limit of only 2 Yantras from her Gnosis rating, Kibo uses the following: Concentration (+2) and Mantras (+2) for a total bonus of +4 to her Spellcasting dice pool.
Kibo’s player then rolls 8 dice (4 base spellcasting +4 from Yantras) and gets 8,2,3,4,6,9,10,1 rerolling the 10 again to get a 4.
That gives her 3 Successes, which ccounts as an Exceptional Success for the spell. This allows her to regain 1 point of Willpower and allows her choose from a list of possible effects.
Kibo’s player opts to not choose any of the effects, the willpower return was good enough. She turns to the ghost of the victim and begins her interview…
Later on we find Kibo forced to fight for her life as she is confronted by a band of three Memento Mori cultists. She has been confronted in a late night subway train ride, and her assailants are taking advantage of the abandoned nature of the sparsely populated Subway car to try and kill her!
As her objective for the scene, Kibo has “Escape alive.” Normally this would mean that she would take actions to get away from the knife-wielding cultists, but as she’s trapped in a moving subway car, she is forced to use her magic against her opponents and in front of Sleepers!
On her turn, Kibo wants to cast Rotting Flesh (Death 3) on the target as an Improvised Spell.
Her starting spellcasting Pool is still the same with Gnosis 1 and Death 3, resulting in a pool of 4.
Unfortunately, now she’s forced to cast a Death 3 spell. This gives her only 1 Free Reach to work with!
She is forced to spend her Reach on:
– Moving the Casting time from Standard to Instant
– Changing the Range from Touch/Self to Sensory
– Change Scale from Standard to Advanced to affect up to 5 Subjects
Given that she has only 1 Free Reach, that 2 extra Reach she’s attempting is going to risk Paradox. Her extra attempt gains 2 Paradox die.
Kibo wants to be able to hurt the Cultists enough to stop them and make them run away, so she takes a -4 penalty to her dice pool in order to increase the Potency of her spell to 5.
With her limit of only 2 Yantras from her Gnosis rating, Kibo uses the following: Persona +3 and her Dedicated Order Tool to mitigate paradox Pool by -2 dice.
DETERMINE PARADOX POOL
The Paradox Pool was initially 2 dice. It also gains an additional 1 die because of casting in front of one or more Sleepers witnessing an obvious casting of magic. After removing the 2 dice from the use of a Dedicated Order Tool, that leaves one paradox die left.
The GM Rolls and gets a 4. The magic does not invoke a Paradox.
With her Spellcasting Dice Pool reduced to 3, Kibo’s player spends Willpower to add 3 more dice.
They roll 10,5,5,9,8,2 and rerolls the 10 for a 6 for a total of 3 successes!
In her desperation, Kibo turns to her assailants and reaches out with her will, calling on her command over the forces of Death to forcibly tear away at their bodies.
At Potency 5, this deals 5 Bashing Damage to each target.
If we were applying the Beaten Down & Surrender optional rule at this point, the 5 Bashing would then be compared to the Memento Mori cultists’ Stamina ratings. Since 5 would likely exceed their Stamina Rating, they would be Beaten Down and definitely Surrender.
They recoil away from her in horror as chunks of flesh start sloughing off their bodies.
As the train comes to a stop at the next station, Kibo runs out in hopes of finding safety.