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The spell description for Portal (Space***; M:Aw p 238) gives a casting cost of one mana. It also mentions how the number of successes required is based on the caster's sympathetic connection to the target. This makes it sound like the mana cost is taking into account the sympathetic nature. Or is the mana cost due to the power of the spell, and casting Portal on an unseen target would require a second point of mana?

If the cost does include sympathetic cost, does that mean a mage could cast Portal on a target he can see, such as through an office window, and not have to pay any mana? I guess this is more of a Storyteller's call than a rule adjudication, but I'm curious about what others would do.

Thanks! Mage is an intriguing game, but damn if spellcasting ain't complicated. I have much to study.

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The mana cost is partly due to the power of the spell, and partly because of the sympathetic magic inherent in the spell; casting it requires forging a sympathetic connection to the destination of the portal. To do it as you describe — using sympathetic magic to place the Portal near a distant subject — would require an additional point of mana, raising the cost to 2. In no case would the cost be 0; the rote includes the mana cost as a balancing factor, if nothing else.

As an aside, you mention casting a Portal "on a target," which sounds like you mean to use it as an attack. If that's the case, it's worth noting that doing so would probably incur the penalty detailed on page 115 — you'd need Space •••• to pull that trick off. If you just want to put a Portal from London to New York somewhere in Chicago for your pal to walk through, that's just Space •••, and they can choose how to use it.

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I'm not asking about creating both ends of the portal remotely, I'm just talking about a vanilla portal from hither to yonder. By "target" I simply mean the destination. So your interpretation is that an ordinary use of Portal costs one mana, and using it to travel to a place within sight, where sympathetic magic would not normally be necessary, still costs one mana? Sounds reasonable. Thanks! –  Jon of All Trades Jul 12 '11 at 12:36
    
If I'm understanding you right, then, yes. You're most welcome. –  Jadasc Jul 12 '11 at 12:55
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