I have Mind 4 and want to incapacitate a target in a nonlethal way (e.g., capturing enemy spies alive). I think Befuddle can do something like what I want, but it is touch only and I need range but have no Space spheres.

If I can make my target very apathetic or depressed it would make things a lot easier than just dealing damage.

How can I implement a spell to this effect using Mind 4?


I'll answer this in two parts, Range, and the Spell


Any spell can, with one Reach, be cast at a target at Sensory Range (MtAw2e p112 "Common Reach Effects"). This does not let you cast at someone remotely, however. To do that, you would need Space 2 to cast at Sympathetic Range (see p173)

The Spell

At Mind 4 you have a lot of options, including the Psychic Reprogramming spell (p164), which, among other things, states:

The mage may change one of the following aspects of the subject for each Potency of the spell: ...a non-Physical Persistent Condition

This means that you could inflict several very nasty conditions on them such as Broken, Fugue, or Madness (p314-316)

However, for a simple 'Nonlethally disable an opponent' spell in Mind, we can also look to lower Arcana spells. As you mentioned, Befuddle (p161) lets you reduce their mental or social Attributes, or Psychic Assault to deal bashing damage (although this can roll over into Lethal if they are already injured)

As another option, you could potentially create a Mind 4 spell via Creative Thaumaturgy to create a Weaving (Mind 3) or Patterning (Mind 4) spell to send someone to sleep, based off of Sleep of the Just (p162)

In Summary

You will not be able to cast a spell at someone who is not nearby using only Mind, but spending a Reach to get Sensory Range will let you cast on anyone nearby.

Remember that you only get limited Reach before you start incurring Paradox, so it is less dangerous to use Mind 3 spells (As you mentioned, Befuddle is an option) so you can cast them Instantly and at Sensory Range without risking the horrors of the Abyss trying to eat your soul. However, Mind 4 opens up several potent options that are much more flexible (e.g. Psychic Reprogramming).

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ In addition to using a Sensory Range effect, a Touch Range spell can be "thrown" as an Aimed Spell using the rules on p115. Unlike a Sensory spell, this requires a roll to hit (one or more successes on a roll of Gnosis + [Higher of Athletics or Firearms] - target's Defense) in addition to the casting roll, but there's no Reach required, making it less risky in terms of Paradox. \$\endgroup\$ – Snoof Jan 14 '17 at 12:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Snoof : Good point, I always forget about Aimed apells. Do you mind if I add that to my answer? \$\endgroup\$ – Teron Jan 14 '17 at 15:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Go ahead, that's why I suggested it. \$\endgroup\$ – Snoof Jan 15 '17 at 3:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.