Welcome to the Sons of Ether JPL, the playgrounds for Matter mages. And there is a whole coven living in them, and when they work together, well, you know how that turns out: Flying cars, Autonomous buildings (with or without murderous intention) and plans for guns that aim themselves.

But now the current archmage of the coven wants to best them. He is pretty old, he packs Arete 7. And a 5 in Matter, Correspondence and Forces, a 4 in Prime, 3 in Time, 1 in Spirit and Mind and finally nothing in Life and Entropy. And he wants to make the self aiming guns of the fledgeling with that cursed entropy sphere ("Hey, I just happened to aim in that direction he was about to turn to.") obsolete. So... self aiming bullets were put upon the agenda by him. And since he read Grunts! by Mary Gentle, he thinks about the literal smart type. The type with an LCD telling "Sir! Ready for action, sir! Shoot me at the bastards now sir!" in bright gleaming letters and to be fired from a machinegun so they home in on the target. Paradox be dammned, that's what he asks for.

Just... he has no mind or spirit large enough to create a Spirit/AI to make the bullets actually smart.

What combination of his other spheres could be used to make a resemblence of "smart ammunition" that aims and homes in on non-human beings, especially Vampires? Remember that the "smart bullet" itself should be able to find the target to fit into its stats and then aim after being fired.


2 Answers 2

  • Correspondence 1 to detect and lock the targets spatially. This presumes that you actually want the bullets to travel through space to get to the targets like mundane bullets rather than just teleport the bullets or bend space in exotic ways. You'll want Correspondence 2 if you want bullets going around corners or following beyond line-of-sight.
  • Forces 2 to intensify the forces involved in shooting the gun.
  • Prime 2 and Quintessence for Aggravated damage.

The LED display and programmable logic are more about paradigm than spheres, in my opinion.

Directly affecting vampires is generally tricky because you need both Life and Matter. Better in your case to imbue the bullets with Prime 2 and Quintessence for Aggravated damage. Ideally you could use Life 1 and Matter 1 to target Vampires directly rather than trust Correspondence to lock into them, but you don't have Life.

And unless the bullets are wildly bending space or punching impossibly huge holes into things, it might all come off as coincidental if they've got a convincing, Big Enough Gun.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This combination explaines well how it works... but: How does the bullet on itself discern that the target is within its parameters? It should do so on its own, AFTER being fired. Corr/Forces/Prime/Quint for curve flying, super deadly bullets is a good start, but this is not yet "smart". \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Nov 2, 2017 at 8:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish Now we're in the handwavy realm of designing Mage effects. Let's say you've made a paper airplane and you throw it down a hallway. What if there's suddenly a corner? With a high enough Correspondence, you could warp space for the paper airplane so that, to its point of view, everything is straight. But we don't even need to do that here, depending on paradigm. It seems pretty reasonable to me to tie Correspondence (targeting) to Forces (impetus and directional) so as to minimize the distance (until impact). No smarts required. \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Nov 3, 2017 at 0:28

I would think that the targeting itself does not really need a sentient mind. Mind 1 is enough to detect if there is a sentient or semi-sentient creature there, and a Matter 2 or 3 should be enough to effectively exclude humans from the possible targets, and Correspondence 1 and Forces 3 would do the physical steering after being fired (of course, you could add more matter/force/prime effects for higher damage). Maybe place a Forces 1 trigger to detect the firing or gaining sufficient velocity (if "sufficient" is set slow enough, even throwing the bullets may trigger the effect, but that could be highly vulgar).

You could then create special bullets or imbue existing bullets with relevant etheric energies.

The bullets would - after firing - randomly select targets given the mind/matter profile given, and steer themselves toward them.

I would think, that if you do not use quintessence during creation, then the effect will eventually disappear, and you get normal bullets after a time.


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