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Duel Arcane

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These are the expanded rules for the Duel Arcane, courtesy of Tome of the Mysteries, clarified and tabulated, due to the somewhat complicated nature of the interactions between the ten Arcana in the heat of a Duel.

Each Arcana has four Invoking/Banishing related Arcana, which are of the opposite Aspect (Subtle/Gross).

Invocation Banishing
Prime Death
Forces Time
Fate Spirit
Time Forces
Mind Mind
Space Matter
Spirit Fate
Life Life
Death Prime
Matter Space
Prime Death

If a mage’s sword is one step above of the enemy’s shield on the banishing cycle, she gains a +1 bonus to its dice pool, because the blade’s arcane power tends to twist and cleave through weaknesses.

If the enemy’s shield is above of the sword, the sword suffers a –1 penalty to its roll, because the shield saps the sword’s power. (Example modifiers are for Attacker's roll)

In the following examples, we take Forces (Gross) and relate it with Mind, Spirit, Prime and Fate (Subtle).

  • Forces (Sword) attacking Mind (Shield), +1
  • Forces (Sword) attacking Spirit (Shield), -1

If a duelist’s shield is one step above the enemy’s sword on the invocation cycle, the mage gains a +1 bonus to the Armor provided by the shield, as the enemy’s attack actually feeds power to the duelist.

If the shield is one step behind the sword on the invocation cycle, it loses a point of Armor against its attacks — the reverse happens. (Example modifiers are for Attacker's roll)

  • Forces (Sword) attacking Prime (Shield), -1
  • Forces (Sword) attacking Fate (Shield), +1

If a mage possesses sword and shield Arcana that are one step away on the banishing or invoking cycle, she may command additional benefits. If the mage’s arms have an invoking relationship between them, the mage may recoup 1 point of lost willpower by making a successful reflexive Gnosis roll, whenever she chooses to defend without attacking.

  • Forces (Sword) combined with Prime or Fate (Shield), recover Willpower

If the mage’s arms have a banishing relationship between them, she may sacrifice her shield Arcanum to her sword. She adds the shield’s Arcanum dots to her sword’s dice pool, but cannot then subtract the shield from the enemy’s dice pool.

  • Forces (Sword) combined with Spirit or Mind (Shield), both apply towards attack pool for the turn

To reduce calculations and references, the following table provides the results of relationships:

Attacker (takes the modifier to their roll) / Defender

Death Fate Forces Life Matter Mind Prime Space Spirit Time
Death -1 +1 -1 +1
Fate -1 +1 -1
Forces +1 +1 -1 -1
Life +1 -1 +1 -1
Matter -1 +1 -1 +1
Mind -1 +1 +1 -1
Prime +1 -1 -1 +1
Space +1 -1 -1 +1 +1
Spirit +1 +1 -1 -1
Time -1 -1 +1 +1

The following table shows the interactions capable when combining your Sword and Shield Arcana.

Death Fate Forces Life Matter Mind Prime Space Spirit Time
Death / (R) (R) (A) (A)
Fate / (R) (A) (A) (R)
Forces (R) / (A) (R) (A)
Life (R) (A) / (A) (R)
Matter (R) (A) / (A) (R)
Mind (A) (A) / (R) (R)
Prime (R) (A) (R) / (A)
Space (A) (R) (A) / (R)
Spirit (A) (R) (R) / (A)
Time (A) (R) (R) (A) /
  • (A) = Can combine ratings for attack rather than defending if Sword and Shield match these
  • (R) = Can forfeit attack to attempt to recover Willpower if Sword and Shield match these