The rules for magic in Ascension Nova are identical to those in Mage: The Awakening, with the exception of the few differences listed below:
- There is no Mana cost of performing any Improvised Casting.
- The duration of the the Life •••••rote Regeneration (M:tAw, p. 193) is Lasting, not prolonged.
- The additional lifespan granted by the Life ••• rote Body Mastery (Mysterium, p. 195-196 & Grimoire of Grimoires, p. 32-33) is 40 years per dot of Life (instead of 25 years). Also, the healing and disease resistance provided by this spell depend solely upon the Mage's dots in Life instead of the numbers of successes they roll. A Mage with Life 4 would heal 16x as rapidly and would gain a +4 bonus to resist diseases and poisons.
- Until a Mage reaches Gnosis 6, they must use magical tools to perform magic. Mages gain the listed benefits for using magical tools.
- Use the Road One: Together Forever (Mage Chronicler's Guide, p. 55) option for Magic, Gifted Science, and Psychic Powers. Awakened Magic can be perform as any of these. However, Mages can only use one of these methods for any particular.
- When using Extended Spellcasting, Mages cannot generate more than a total of 20 Successes. Any successes more than this that are rolled are always discarded.
- Regardless of the reason, no more than 5 Successes can be applied to any spell effect. Additional successes can be applied to increase the number of targets, the duration, or similar factors, but never to increasing the effect of the spell.
Foci In Ascension NovaEdit
Foci are the physical manifestations of a Mage's personal paradigm. One of the key points is that any foci and paradigm must make sense with particular spells or rotes. If it isn't reasonable that a particular Foci could be used to produce a specific effect, then it can't. For example, a Son of Ether may have a raygun as a focus for Forces effects, and could easily use it for everything from Control Electricity to Light Mastery, or even possibly Telekinesis. However, it doesn't make sense that a raygun could be used for informational spells like Tune In or necessarily for complex and subtle effects like Transmission. It also doesn't necessarily make sense for Prolonged spells like Unseen Shield or Personal Invisibility. On a related note, if it doesn't make sense that a Mage could perform a particular spell because that spell doesn’t make sense in their personal paradigm, then the Mage cannot perform that spell.
Psychic Powers as FociEdit
Psychic Powers are possible foci for many Arcana. They are most common for the Sons of Ether, but can also be used in more limited circumstances by members of the Akashic Brotherhood, Cult of Ecstasy, Hollow Ones, Order of Hermes, and even the Verbena. However, for these Traditions, psychic powers can typically only be used for mind reading, telepathy, and other Mind spells. Psychic powers are also a possibility for foci for members of the Technocratic Union, but members are only permitted to have two Arcana that use psychic powers as foci – typically Mind and either Forces or Life. Union members who have more than two Arcana with psychic foci are considered unacceptable unorthodox, and depending upon the vision of the Technocratic Union in your campaign are liable for everything from unofficial disapproval and lowered social and professional status to forcible re-education.
Using psychic powers as foci simply involves the character concentrate, which for everything but one-dot spells requires the character to spend a turn in intense concentration. In this state, the character can take no actions other than movement of up to the character's Speed per turn (no running). In this state, the character loses their Defense against attacks. Also, if interrupted, the character must make a successful Resolve + Composure roll to maintain concentration. The Meditative Mind Merit adds to this roll normally. Players and Storytellers should also take a look at The Psychic Sphere (Mage Chronicler's Guide, pp. 63-72). In Ascension Nova, we assume that psycic powers are limited in that only effects that seem like they should be psychic powers are possible for Mages who choose Psychic Powers as their focus for a particular Arcana.
Mythic Threads: Foci & CoincidenceEdit
Mages in some Traditions can benefit from mythic threads (both ancient and modern) associated with using various Foci. Dreamspeakers, Ethanatos, Order of Hermes, and Verbena Mages who perform magic using complex and ancient rituals treat all spells that are similar in effect to one of the Thaumaturgy Rituals in Second Sight as Covert. However, to gain this benefit, the Mage must perform the spell in a manner essentially identical to the ritual. The Mage need not perform the spell as extended spellcasting (Mage: The Awakening, pp. 120-121), but they must spend an amount of time performing the ritual equal to the Ritual Length listed in Second Sight.
Mages who use Psychic powers as foci for Mind spells also gain the same benefit (although the vast majority of Mind spells are already Covert). Using psychic powers as a Foci for other Arcana provides a similar, but lesser benefit, since other psychic powers has not sufficiently become part of the Consensus to allow them to be fully Covert. If a spell duplicates or is very similar to the effect of a particular psychic power, then if the spell is normally Vulgar, the following changes are made:
- A spell that is Vulgar with Witnesses is treated as Vulgar w/o Witnesses
- A spell that is Vulgar w/o Witnesses is treated as Covert.
Sons of Ether, Virtual Adepts, and members of one of the Conventions of the Technocratic Union gain the above benefit when using devices that are just outside the current Consensus as Foci. Examples include a large and somewhat bulky raygun that could either fire laser beams or some ray that stuns a target, or a cloak or hooded trench coat made of specialized metamaterials that allows the wearer to become invisible.
Legacies in Ascension Nova permanently encode a portion of the mage's Paradigm into their mind and their Avatar. In this limited sense, the mage causes part of their Paradigm to be completely Coincidental and, to locally become part of the Consensus.
Rules: Legacies function exactly the same as they do in Mage: The Awakening. The only difference is that the requirements for using the different Attainments differ depending upon the mage's Tradition and personal paradigm. If the Attainment must be activated, the mage must perform a specified action that depends upon their Paradigm. One mage may need to perform martial arts katas to use an attainment, while another mage may need to use some technomagical device, and a third may need to recite a phrase in Latin. However, all Attainments are always Coincidental and unless otherwise stated in the description, none of them require Mana to use.