As a Mage performs acts of magick, Paradox energies will build up within their Pattern; eventually, those same energies will begin to bleed off naturally, manifest as strange Paradox Flaws, or explode, with devastating results.
This is what's called Paradox Backlash.
Usually, the Storyteller will call for a Backlash roll when your Mage has done something stupid, glorious, or both.
Mechanically, every point of Paradox becomes a die that your Storyteller gets to roll against a difficulty of 6, to see how the discharge occurs; one point of Paradox is discharged per success, but successes also mean that the discharge isn't harmless, as is the case if the roll is botched.
|Successes||Effects of Discharge|
|Botch||All Paradox points discharge harmlessly.|
|No successes||No effects, but no Paradox points discharge.|
|1-5||One point of Paradox discharged per success. Mage also suffers one die’s worth of bashing damage per success and acquires a trivial Paradox Flaw.|
|6-10||One point of Paradox discharged per success. Mage also suffers a Burn of one die of bashing damage per success or acquires a minor Paradox Flaw.|
|11-15||Usual Paradox point-discharge, as well as a Burn of lethal damage or one of the following effects: a significant Paradox Flaw, a Paradox Spirit visitation, or a mild Quiet.|
|16-20||Usual Paradox point-discharge, as well as a Burn of lethal damage and one point of permanent Paradox or two of the following effects: a severe Paradox Flaw, a Paradox Spirit visitation, a moderate Quiet, or banishment to a Paradox Realm.|
|21+||Usual Paradox discharge plus a Burn of aggravated damage and one of the following effects: two points of permanent Paradox, one drastic Paradox Flaw, a Paradox Spirit visitation, a severe Quiet, or banishment to a Paradox Realm.|