Mage Charts

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Magical Difficulties
(Minimum difficulty 3. If difficulty would otherwise be above 9, see '+rules mage misc' for house rules on thresholds. As per Mage Core pg. 149 No matter how many modifiers you apply, your Effect difficulty can’t be shifted more than three points in either direction.)
Activity Difficulty Modifier WhoopingCrane's interpretation
Researches lore on subject before using magic -1 to -3 House rule: Roll Intelligence + Enigmas or Occult, every N successes (N = highest sphere) = -1 diff. Or, at ST discretion, roll an attribute + ability directly related to the subject of the magic (difficulty = same as base difficulty of the magic), every success = -1 diff. These are not extended rolls, but they apply to the entirety of extended casting, and do benefit from specialties (as they occur before the magic).
Has item resonating with target's essence (sympathetic magic) -1 to -3 ST discretion
Near a Node -1 to -3 House rule: +rules nodes
Uses a specialty focus -1 For multiple spheres, must use a specialty focus for all of them
Uses a unique focus -1 For multiple spheres, must use a unique focus for all of them
Uses a focus when it's not required -1 n/a (Arete 6+, NPCs only, MtA 203-204)
Extra time spent on each step of the magic (Spending several turns for one roll instead of one turn) -1 House rule: One fewer Arete rolls before Stamina checks begin (+rules mage rituals)
Spending Quintessence -1 per point, maximum of -3 to final difficulty 5 at once or 10+ total = vulgar (MtA 127)
Appropriate Resonance (personal or from Tass) -1 ST discretion
Opposed Resonance (personal or from Tass) +1 ST discretion
Distant or hidden subject +1 ST discretion; Correspondence range overrides this
Fast-casting +1 ST discretion; does not apply to rotes from main rulebook (MtA 156)
Mage distracted +1 to +3 ST discretion; includes 'rote strain' of +1 per two ongoing effects (MtA 155), including Contingent Effect (Time 4, MtA 193)
Mage in conflict with Avatar +1 to +3 ST discretion
Domino Effect +1 to +3 +1/+2/+3 after 3/5/7 coincidental but visible effects in same scene (MtA 151)
Outlandish or greater feat +1 to +3 House rule: +1/+2/+3 if you've already accumulated at least 10/20/30 successes (including any auto-succs from Cult)
Surpassing a necessary focus +3 must also spend a Willpower just to try (MtA 203)
Magical Feats
(Do not use this chart for direct damage Effects; use the damage/duration chart.)
Feat Successes Required
Simple feat

(lighting a candle by touch, enhancing your senses defending yourself from mental attack with Mind)

Standard feat

(creating a small fire at range, sensing someone with Mind or Life magic, healing yourself)

Difficult feat

(igniting a flammable object at range, reading or affecting someone's emotions with Mind magic, transforming yourself)

Impressive feat

(Blasting someone with fire, forcing someone to perform an action, altering someone else's shape in a minor way)

Mighty feat

(Blowing down a wall, altering someone's psyche, conjuring a fantastic living creature)

Outlandish feat

(Blowing apart a car, turning a small mob into drones, binding a potent spirit)

Godlike feat

(Blowing up a building, putting a whole city to sleep, rewriting your own Pattern permanently)

20, and up, up, up
Damage and Duration
Scoring Damage:
  • Each success expended to score damage inflicts up to two levels of damage.
  • For Mind attacks, this damage is bashing, for most other Spheres, it's lethal.
  • Charged with Quintessence, it's aggravated.
  • Forces attacks inflict one extra level of damage automatically.
Scoring Duration: Each success expended on duration extends the duration beyond instant/one turn.
Extra successes Duration
1 Rest of scene
2 One day
3 One "story" (house rules: one month)
4 Six months
5 Storyteller's option (house rules: indefinitely)

Scoring double the normal successes required for a complete success on the Effect may make it permanent, at the Storyteller's option.
House rules:

  • For things that could be bought with XP, this qualifies for a '+rules free lunch' discount, but 'normal successes' includes five extra successes for indefinite duration. (Example: Life 3 can give you +1 Strength indefinitely for 1+5=6 successes, so for the discount, you need 12 successes.)
  • Magic items may continuously generate an effect (per the magic item rules, based on Forged by Dragon's Fire, which use the same double-successes approach).
  • Otherwise, effects with a duration greater than 'instant' can't be made permanent. A broken rock stays broken, but a ward counts toward rote strain for as long as you maintain it. Five extra successes lets you maintain an effect as long as you want.
Scoring Area: Affecting a Pattern other than the mage himself requires a success. Each additional Pattern affected after the first requires additional successes at the Storyteller's discretion. A giant ball of flame is harder to make than a simple, single bolt of fire.
Example of Total Scoring: A mage scores four successes on a vulgar fire blast. Two success are used for damage, so it inflicts five levels of aggravated damage (four for the successes, one for a Forces effect, aggravated for fire). One success is used because it is affecting a target other than the mage, and the last success is used to strike an additional target. Two targets are struck, each taking five levels of aggravated fire damage.
Dice Result Degree of Success
Botch The mage fails to bend the Tapestry correctly, and the entire Effect comes crashing down. No effect occurs, and the mage gains Paradox.
Total failure (no successes, but no botch; includes successes cancelled by ones rolled) The spell has no effect, yet. The mage may continue, but with cumulative difficulty penalty of one. He may also quit and start over. Paradox accumulates for Vulgar effects as if the spell had succeeded.
Beginning success (some successes, but less than 50%) The magic has not formed completely, but it can still be finished properly. Continuing the Effect incurs a cumulative difficulty penalty of one (if casting at combat speed). If the mage stops now, the Effect has only some minor, trivial result, and Paradox accumulates normally.
Partial success (50% of the necessary successes) The mystic accomplishes what he set out to do, but not as well as he would have liked. The effect is incomplete, missing some pieces, or in some way flawed. The mage can continue to accumulate successes if desired, at an increased difficulty (if casting at combat speed), or he may stop, take the appropriate Paradox and leave the Effect at this semi-functional state.
Success (100% of successes required) The mage does exactly what he wanted to do.
Extraordinary success (150% or better) The mage not only succeeds, he succeeds brilliantly. The Effect has a much greater range and strength then he hoped for originally, but not too much to go outside the bounds of the mage's intent. Some all-or-nothing Effects might not have extraordinary results (you did or you didn't), at the storyteller's discretion.
Range of Correspondence sphere
Successes Range Connection
One Line of sight Body sample
Two Very Familiar Close possession or companion
Three Familiar Possession or casual friend
Four Visited once Acquaintance or object used more than once
Five Described location Briefly touched or met object or person
Six+ Anywhere on earth no connection
Range of Time sphere (duration of effect is covered elsewhere)
Successes Effect Time-span
One Within a year
Two Five years
Three 20 years
Four 50 years
Five 100 years
Six+ 500 years
Ten+ 1000 years or more
Area Difficulty Successes Needed
Node 3 One
Deep Wilderness 5 Two
Rural Countryside 6 Three
Most Urban Areas 7 Four
Downtown 8 Five
Technocratic Lab* 9 Five+
*Note that Technocratic Dimensional Science treats such an area as a Node.

The Gauntlet may vary by up to two points due to local conditions. A haunted, abandoned lot in the middle of the city at night has lower Gauntlet than the rest of downtown, while a carefully trimmed and maintained woodlands in a biodome has a higher Gauntlet.

Actually reaching across the Gauntlet or stepping into the spirit world causes one level of aggravated damage for each failure on the dice roll.

Difficulties and Paradox
N = highest sphere used
5+ at once risks a really nasty Backlash (MtA 149)
Vulgar? Base difficulty Paradox gained (success) Paradox gained (botch)
Coincidental N + 3 None N
Vulgar Without Witnesses N + 4 N N + 1
Vulgar With Witnesses N + 5 N + 1 2*N + 2
Extended ritual See below N/A +1 per Arete roll after the first

For extended rituals, the base difficulty remains the same, but you may pick up modifiers mid-ritual (all cumulative).

  • Casting at combat speed: +1 diff after each roll, even if you succeed.
  • Fail a roll: +1 diff.
  • Reach 10+ successes: +1 diff ("Outlandish or greater feat").
  • Reach 20+ successes: +1 diff.
  • Reach 30+ successes: +1 diff.