Inspired by another question and some recent events in my campaign how would a Mage set up a Mind Sphere effect that both shields their mind and traps any enemies who attempt to mind control the Mage. e.g. a vampire's Dominate Discipline or an enemy Mage's mind attack

To slightly broaden the question I'm interested in several options for the 'trap': either some sort of riposte attack doing psychic damage, a literal trap to render the enemy helpless, a counter mind control attempt, or simply forging a connection to allow later magical attacks.

I'm using the 20th anniversary editions and have 'How Do You do That' so I'd prefer answers that reference those but earlier editions and other books are okay as long as they are suitably fair.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wait, you are playing Mage and concerned about balance? ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Phlyk
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 15:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well yeah, because as far as I know the earlier editions are even more 'unbalanced'! \$\endgroup\$
    – user28291
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 15:45
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ "Fairness" might be a more achievable goal than "Balance". WoD doesn't care much about balancing Werewolf vs Mage the same way you'd balance Druid vs Ranger in DnD. It does however care about players enjoying the game, and having agency. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


Let's break this effect down into its component parts:

  1. You want a mind shield. (Mind ••)
  2. You want a contingent spell effect (Time ••••, with a potential Entropy ••• add-on) that perceives when a mental attack connects with you (Mind •) and then releases another spell that either does psychic damage (Mind •••) or creates a psychic landscape that constrains the attacker's consciousness (Mind ••••) or forges a link to allow later magickal attacks (Correspondence ••)

So, what I see here is a Mind 3, Time 4 effect that could be boosted any number of ways. You'd want to allocate successes to the various aspects of the spell: the strength of the shield, how long the shield is up, how many times the shield's defenses can "go off," the damage that the blast inflicts, or the length of time the trap "holds" the target. I'd want to prepare it with as many advantages as I could, but once it's up, it's a nasty surprise for an attacker.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I hadn't thought of the Time aspect but wouldn't it actually be a Time 4 'trigger' rather than Time 3? Or is Time 4 only for triggering against a specific person? \$\endgroup\$
    – user28291
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 16:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ClaraOnager You're right; it's Entropy 3 but Time 4. I'll fix it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ If this was an active effect could you do away with the Time 4 component? I really dislike that the designers chose time 4 as the only way to trigger effects. \$\endgroup\$
    – user28291
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 12:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ClaraOnager You mean that it's no longer a "trap," but something that the mage would cast on his or her turn to affect someone who had attacked them the round previous? If I understand you correctly, yes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 12:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ClaraOnager The benefit of the Time part is that the spell is "bottled"; if the conditions are met, it goes off, even if you're busy doing other things. Casting two spells in a turn is powerful stuff; even the highest levels of Mind and Prime don't let you do it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 12:14

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