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Mage Chapter Three

POWERS (3.0)

Gaining Spheres and Rotes (3.01)

Characters training with a member of their Tradition (or using the Mentor Background) learn Spheres at the rate of two weeks per level. It takes one month per Sphere level to learn a Sphere from another type of teacher. Add another month to the learning time if you don’t have a teacher at all. Learning time for your specialty Sphere is halved. All learning times for Archmaster rank Spheres are doubled. These latter two factors cancel out if you are learning an Archmaster-rank Sphere in your Specialty. The Library Background can help improve learning times.

A mage must have a higher level of the Sphere than the level they are teaching, with these two exceptions: A Master of a Sphere may teach up to Master level in that Sphere, and an Archmage of a Sphere may teach up to Archmage levels in that Sphere.

The cost of Rotes is changed to one Experience Trait for every five Sphere levels involved in the Rote (or fraction of thereof). Thus, Trick Shot would require one Experience Trait, while Void Strike would require two.

Upon learning each level of a Sphere, a character automatically learns one Rote of the appropriate level for that Sphere. A Rote requiring additional Spheres may be selected if the mage also meets the other Sphere requirements.

Custom Rotes (3.02)

Custom rotes require Mid Approval, unless they cause a Restricted Effect (see below). If a character with custom Rotes is played in another Storyteller’s game, that Storyteller (or the Narrator) is at liberty to disapprove or alter the system for any new Rote.


High Approval is required for any Effect that attempts to bring a dead character back to life. Returning from the dead is one of the most Paradox-ridden actions a Mage could attempt to perform, and it rarely works in the post-Storms Tellurian.

High Approval is required for any Effect that fundamentally changes the nature of a supernatural creature for longer then a turn. Few mages possess the power and knowledge necessary to rid a vampire of the Curse, return a ghost to life, rob a shifter of the blessing of Gaia.

High Approval is required for any Effect that interacts with an Avatar. This includes forcing a Sleeper to Awaken, destroying an Avatar through Gilgul, interrogation of an Avatar, or any attempt to negate a mage's ability to use magic.

High Approval is required for any Effect whose area extends outside the area of the current scene. For an example, Ball of Abyssal Flame should not normally be allowed to damage everything within half a mile of the casting. This rule is not intended to keep Correspondence Effects from functioning. This rules is intended to keep the effects of a game contained within the game (and under the authority umbrella of the Storyteller running the game). It is extremely difficult to moderate effects that cross the boundaries of other games, venues, regions, etc. and mages have a higher than average ability to create such effects.

High Approval is required for any Effect that will change the history of the chronicle beyond that of the current scene. The events of the past made the present. It is possible to see the past and even change the immediate past, but those who tamper with long settled history will fail and fall to Paradox.

High Approval is required for any ‘finite duration’ Effect that becomes permanent or lasts longer than 6 months due to Grades of Success applied for duration. For an example, see the Adept and Master levels of the Prime Sphere. Any Effect that results in the creation of permanent magic must be cast via Superhuman Ritual.

Any effect that would create a Shallowing must be undertaken at the strongest of Nodes. It takes a Node with a minimum rating of four for any attempt to create a Shallowing to work. Otherwise, Shallowings are High Approval.

Spending Extra Time
The advantage of “Spending Extra Time” when creating an Effect is one Bonus Trait on your Arete Test as detailed on page 136 (ignore the contradicting one Trait reduction indicated by the chart).

Inflicting Damage with Spheres
It requires at least Adept level to directly harm a living creature with Entropy. All damage caused solely by use of the Mind Sphere is automatically bashing. The Telekinesis Effect found on page 151 does a base of two levels of damage (not three).

Healing Damage with Spheres
The Life Sphere can be used to heal aggravated damage. Such Effects are always vulgar, except in the caster's Sanctum (where they are coincidental for the caster). Healing aggravated damage with magic requires the expenditure of one Trait of Quintessence per level healed, to be spent by the caster, the target, or a combination of both.

Mages do not need to spend Quintessence to heal aggravated wounds in the normal way, at the normal rate. (See Prime for rules on normal healing.)

Magical healing of Paradox damage is automatically Vulgar if done within twenty four hours of the backlash.

Using Quintessence
The lowest possible difficulty for an Effect is one. This is true even if there are other modifiers that would theoretically reduce the difficulty of the Effect below this minimum if you stacked them on after spending Quintessence.

Arete and Foci
A mage may discard the use of a focus for one Sphere at Arete six, as stated on page 117 of Laws of Ascension. (Ignore the contradictory statements on page 178.)