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I want to start using the Correspondence 4 effect to Co-Locate myself. As described in rulebook, it also requires Mind 1 for basic effect (each copy doing the same thing) or Mind 1 + Life 2 for advanced effect (each copy acting independently).

What is not described however is what happens to the original when the copy is harmed or dies. I'd like to know this for both variants of the spell: C4 + M1 and C4 + M1 + L2.

I was under impression this will basically be a Kage Bunishin No Jutsu, with copies being perfectly expendable (thus allowing me to be out of harms way from that point onward, keeping my original self safe in base, while copies do the job) but I want to make sure.

As always, I need only RAW answers, preferably with quotes. I'm playing the 20th Anniversary version of Mage the Ascension but if there is nothing to be found there I'm fine with answers based on earlier editions.

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Based on Core Rules alone, with Co-location you get harmed or die

C4 M1 makes you be in two places at once. Your body is in both places in the same position, doing the same thing with this combo. It's the same body in both places.

If I shoot through the volume of your body in place A, my bullet damages it, and as it's the same body in place B, your body in B will show the same bullet wound. You don't get an extra health bar. You have one health bar for one body in both places.

The addition of Life 2 does not alter that: you have only one health track, not multiple, even if your co-located selves now can act differently

Expendable Dupes require Life 5: Create Complex Life-Forms + Mind 4: Control Conscious Mind/Astral Projection

To create an expendable body, you need to use Life 5 to create a complex life form (in this case a human body), which then is controlled using Mind 4. This body does have a separate health track and if you don't control it or project into it, it is a nonthinking shell.

However, these are not sentient, independent life forms. They only act when you control them.

You actually want Mind 3: Project Illusions

To create the illusion of a body somewhere, you want Mind 3. Combine it with Forces to punch from where the illusionary body is and you get the shadow duplicate as depicted in some Manga and Anime, such as the Kage Bunishin No Jutsu. To see through the illusions, you'll need correspondence depending on distance or possibly Mind 4 to astrally project through the illusion.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Jan 18, 2023 at 0:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ "You actually want Mind 3: Project Illusions" Or Forces 2, to manipulate light to create illusions, possibly on top of some other Forces or Matter-based humanoid elemental construct. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    May 11, 2023 at 1:24
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Answer to my question seems to be in How Do You Do That book. I have to add though, that this book is in conflict with Core Rulebook on several occasions, mostly when it comes to setting up Sphere Level requirements for certain effects.

With this being said, quoting page 79 in How Do You Do That, the answer is as follows:

• Although each manifested “self” has its own physical integrity, all “selves” return to the original mage when the spell’s Duration ends. Each “self” takes damage normally, as if each copy was a character in its own right.

• If several selves take damage, this might be fatal if and when all that damage gets added up in the original mage’s Pattern. Game-wise, every level of damage taken by a “self” winds up on the mage’s Health track if the mage re-integrates while several “selves” are hurt.

• That said, only the death of the original “self” will kill all the duplicates. Individual duplicates can die, and although their injuries no longer get added to the original character’s Health track, each “duplicate death” inflicts one aggravated health level of damage on the original character. This damage can’t be healed until all of the “selves” have been reunited into the original mage. And so, it’s in his best interest to keep them all alive. If the mage has eight duplicates, and all eight of them are killed, that mage immediately dies.

So essentialy, as long as less than 8 copies die, this can be repeated and aggravated damage from their deaths healed after reintegration. Same goes for damaged selves, it hurts but can be healed after reintegration. There's also nothing that says reintegrating copies can't be done one at a time, which makes managing reintegrated damage even easier.

After reading this I have to mark previous answer as incorrect, because health bars are, in fact, separate.

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