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I had a nWoD Mage game a while back with a time mage who had selected Postcognition as a rote. In the book, the spell is a covert, and so provides no paradox. The mages quickly discovered that as long as they had their focus, and sealed the room from sleepers, they could continue to use Postcognition indefinitely until the determined the time of the event. Regardless of how small the die pool is, or how brief a window they gained, they could continue repeatedly until they achieved the information they needed.

I could not find a good rule within the system that would prevent this from working, and caused all crime scene investigations very troublesome as the players could look back and watch enough fragments from the scene to piece it together.

Was I missing something? I don't like telling players "you can't do that because I don't want you to". I feel that a better answer is needed.

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I don't know how compatible it would be with the nWoD system, but you might try implementing the "Let it ride" rule from Burning Wheel - in a nutshell, if they fail their task when trying to achieve a specific intent, they don't get the intent and can't try again (and likewise when they succeed, they succeed; no need for multiple sneaking tests in a row, etc). –  Daenyth Jan 30 '12 at 21:14
    
Their is a rule for failing making subsequent attempts increasingly difficult or having a limited number of attempts. The problem is they often succeed but with one or two successes, which should give them 5 second windows or so. The problem comes when they get 150 5 second windows... –  Pyrodante Jan 30 '12 at 21:18
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up vote 14 down vote accepted

That rote is working as intended. If you can secure the room, maintain your focus, get the proper amount of "temporal sympathy" — the modifiers for sympathy are in effect, as detailed under the Space arcanum and made explicit in the rote — and penetrate any magical protections placed on the time of the event, then yes. They can search through time until they find the event they want to see, and watch it in real time.

The moral: in Mage, the challenge is almost never about finding the information. The most basic levels of the Arcana see to that. The difficulty is knowing how to use the information. So you can see the crime in progress: that's hardly what you'd call evidence, and even if you could show it off to people and have them believe you without attracting the Guardians' attention, it still won't stand up in mundane court.

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+1 for The moral: in Mage, the challenge is almost never about finding the information. The most basic levels of the Arcana see to that. The difficulty is knowing how to use the information. –  wraith808 Feb 1 '12 at 19:25
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