Abstraction and Distiliation.

Just having read the Magic Burner I’ve had an idea about how Abstraction and Distilation could be made feasible again in Gold Edition. Facet Skills (or Wises if you prefer) which can be used as Forks when attempting an Abstraction only.

Note this is a repost as I originally posted this in First Reading, instead of here where it belongs.

It’s a very good idea, thought skill point intensive for burning up your Abstraction Sorcerer if each Facet was a separate skill, You’d really want your Ars Magica style longevity potion to get the time to study all the stuff you’d want to become Archmage.

Actually, that makes me wonder about using Ars Magic styled descriptors for magic for a game. This is an interesting idea. Burning Mythic Europe [Ars Magica].

You could also add a special rule that lets Facets be learned like spells (can be aquired via resource points) but still allows them to be forked into Abstraction tests.

If you’re looking for Abstraction solutions, here is a proposal by Thor you should probably read.

Yea I did a searched the forum for Abstraction, and read all of the results. I just didn’t really find any solution I particularly liked. In my opinion having items that make abstraction easier is cool, but making them essentially required to use abstraction at all, not so much.

I read through the Arts magic chapter as well, and I didn’t really like it. I can see how it is trying to simplify things and have fewer factors (which cuts the difficulty down) However it feels like it hasn’t been designed with as much care, and its missing a lot of the flavor of the main sorcery system. The two just don’t have the same idea of how things should be priced. Arts magic has +4 obs for a duration of campaign, essentially a permanent spell, while Abstraction has +10 obs for a permanent spell.

Lasting for the duration of the campaign isn’t the same as a permanent duration.

If you bind a demon permanently, you’re a hero.
If you bind a demon for the duration of the campaign, you’re kind of a jerk.

Permanent fixes a problem, campaign just delays it until it’s someone else’s problem.

Ah, I get it. If you bind if for a campaign you’re a politician.

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Art magic is also designed to be quite different from standard sorcery, and much more particular. Also, Obs in Art Magic being the way they are is in part because Art Magic never had the bonus will dice in casting. I’m a big fan of Art Magic, mostly because it so far makes my players think of other things than, “ZomG, must have big scary combat spells plural!”

That said, I’m also the guy who think Abstraction and Distillation work fine in BWG, just that they’ve now moved from being in the realm of the practiced journeyman Sorcerer (4s through 6s) to near exclusive domain of the Archmage (Sorcery 7-8, plus FoRKs, maybe a call-on, and an optional boost from one of those lovely items Thor designed. It’s also something I like, flavour-wise.

Edit: That said, I do like your proposed hack. “Each facet you add on to a spell nets you one bonus die to the casting roll. Channelling untamed magical energy comes with its fringe benefits.” Nice enough to add a boost, but not so much that it gets you there on its own. If you really wanted to do that with skills, just make them all wises. Then folk can roll them for all kinds of cool things. Definitely means that folk need to spend serious time researching the crap outta that stuff before they want to tackle it.

If you’re adding one die for each facet used, you might as well drop back to Spellweaver for pure abstractions.

I’m coming late to this discussion, but what’s the argument against using the new BWG Sorcery rules for regular casting and the old Magic Burner rules for Abstractions and Distillations?

My take:
Abstractions aren’t hard enough with spell weaver in many cases - all those Ob 1-3 spells are Ob4-Ob6 abstractions in most cases. Not too hard to hit on 10+ open-ended dice. You’ll also run into the same problem where most abstractions will still be routine tests for advancement.

I have sorcerers that have a bunch of facets as PC’s.

To be totally honest, abstractions just sort of work fine. Granted, they’re up to a B6 and B7 Sorcery each now, but between lobbying for FoRK’s and artha, they do just fine when casting abstractions. It’s actually a challenge now. They have to actually sometimes consider the ramifications of casting lots of spells.

If you only have a B4 Sorcery, Abstraction should really be beyond your grasp anyhow. Screwing with the fundamental nature of magic is hard. If you’re looking for that really versatile type of spellcasting, I’d say you should use Art Magic instead.