[Mage: the Awakening] Legacy of the Stone Assembly




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    [Mage: the Awakening] Legacy of the Stone Assembly

    Legacy of the Stone Assembly

    A Mage: The Awakening Chronicle

    For three hundred years, Boston's Stone Assembly kept order among the mages of New England. By the end of World War I, the mighty fathers of the Stone Assembly began falling, one by one. In 1917, Tobias Dalton, a master of Mind and Prime as well as a temperance sympathizer, was found overdosed on laudanum in a gutter in Back Bay. William Wolfe, the Consilium’s Sentinel and foremost member of the Adamantine Arrow, was arrested for “crimes against nature” and found dead inexplicably in his jail cell. Theodore Newbury was run over by a runaway automobile. By 1923, the last bastions of the Stone Assembly’s control over Boston had disappeared, as had most of its members. More fled than were actually killed, but that mattered little. Their power was broken, as was the Consilium.

    Eighty-five years have passed, and new leadership has come to Boston. Now that your training in the mystic arts is complete, your teachers have introduced you into the dangerous world of Consilium politics. You and your cabal of fresh-faced willworkers are free to use the arcane powers you've accrued as you see fit, but be forewarned: now that you are out from under their protective wing, your teachers can no longer guarantee your safety, nor can they offer you immunity from the consequences of your actions.


    The Pitch
    Legacy of the Stone Assembly is a play-by-post Mage: The Awakening game set in Boston, Massachussets, in the present day. I am looking for four to six players with interesting characters, strong writing skills, and time enough to post at least once per day. I'll be including pictures in my posts of NPCs and locations, and will occasionally link to sound samples or music, so players with a dial-up connection may need a bit of patience.

    Mechanics
    In this chronicle, players are not restricted in their choices of ruling and inferior Arcana, and need not choose a Path (unless, of course, you want to). In lieue of choosing your arcana based on path, choose any two ruling arcana and one inferior arcanum, and gain 1 dot in your choice of Resolve or Composure. If you want to use a legacy, you need to have at least one ruling arcanum from the legacy’s parent path.
    When formatting a post, please type all out-of-character information or questions in quotes, like so:
    Quote Originally Posted by OOC
    Casting Mental Wall (p.211) on the trucker with the fu manchu moustache. Roll: Gnosis+Mind (4 dice)
    That, by the by, is how I'd like spellcasting to look, too. Describe the act of casting in-character, say what you're doing mechanically out-of-character, and I'll roll the dice and describe the effect. If you're using Creative Thaumaturgy, give a good description of what you're trying to do, noting which practice you think it falls into and how many dots in the related arcana it should require. For other rolls, use the format "Attribute + Skill (X dice)."

    Falling Behind in Posts

    If you won't be able to post for a couple of days, please let us know in this thread. I won't fault you for a planned hiatus. If we don't see any posts for three days, and you haven't given any warning, I'll have the character act in a way that I think is appropriate to what I know about the character until you return. Characters whose players have been gone for more than a week are likely to ride off into the sunset.

    Joining the Game

    If you're interested in joining the game, just say so in this thread. Once you've got an idea for a character, PM me the build (standard, beginning mage), a one-sentence summary of your character concept and a short bit of writing. The writing can be backstory, a short vignette that tells me something about the character, a link to a cool bit of writing you've done, or the like. Preference will be given for:

    1. Quality of writing.
    2. Character concept.
    3. Group cohesion and composure.
    4. Bonus points if you have a portrait of your character to post when s/he talks.

    Thanks for your interest!
    Last edited by Hella_Tellah; Friday, 6th March, 2009 at 05:03 PM.

 

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    *glomp*

    Consider me interested.

    Been ages since I had a chance to crack this book open.

    I shall PM you shortly.

  • #3
    I am all over this, if you'll have me. The last Mage game I played was with Mage: The Ascension revised edition. I assume The Awakening is a new edition that's significantly different enough to require a book purchase.

    I loved Mage: The Ascension. I'd love to play in this game, but I have a bit of catching up to do with the setting. Until I can get my hands on a copy of the book, which I won't try to do until I know I'm going to play in the game, I'm afraid that I can't offer game mechanics specifics in a character concept.

    I'll work on a character concept and get it posted soon.

    edit: On further consideration, I have decided it's probably best if I withdraw my request to join this game. I did some online research on the differences between The Ascension and The Awakening and found that they're almost two entirely different games. I don't think it would be fair to force everyone to hold my hand in such a situation. I'm basically asking to join a game where the extent of my knowledge comes from reading the introduction at the bookstore and not even buying the book. I don't even know enough to know if I like the overall setting.

    Sorry for the inconvenience and good games to you all =)
    Last edited by BlueLotus; Sunday, 2nd November, 2008 at 04:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueLotus View Post
    I did some online research on the differences between The Ascension and The Awakening and found that they're almost two entirely different games.
    Awakening has a much more detailed system, but I don't think the learning curve is all that steep for someone who has played Ascension. To me, it's much more important that a player know how to get into the style of the game, which in my games is very similar.

    As far as the setting, you've probably heard that the default setting revolves around Atlantis. This is somewhat true, although later supplements emphasized other explanations for the supernal realms. In my games, I treat that as one explanation for why magic works, and not even a particularly popular one. Some mages think it's a way of accessing the mind of God directly. Some mages believe that reality is inherently subjective, and only by realizing that fact can one alter reality. Maybe it has always been around, and the Technocracy has been working hard at hiding the truth. Who knows?

    That's the major alteration I make to the game. I don't like the certainty with which the book lays down the Atlantean myth, so I treat it as a particularly implausible, but somewhat popular fable.

    Maybe all this won't change your mind much, but I think you'll find that the way I run the game shaves off some of the rougher edges of Awakening. And I'm more than willing to work with you in PMs and such to explain anything you might need clarified.

  • #5
    I just wanted to chime in and say that I'm also interested in this PbP game. I'll begin working on a character application tonight.

  • #6
    Ah... Yes I do like your take on it better than what I read about the standard setting. It fits very well with the old feel of Ascension too. Very well, I'm in! I'll do some character brainstorming, and some more reading on some of the other aspects of this edition and PM a character concept for your consideration =)

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    Great news! I'm glad you've decided to play, BlueLotus. And I'm going to take it as a direct complement that your first post on ENWorld was in my thread, Annalist.

    I guess now is as good a time as any to give you all this next bit. In my real life, on the table games, I give each player the following as a handout during character creation.

    Handout: The Informing

    How to Succeed in "Legacy of the Stone Assembly"
    This game is about roleplaying above all else. Do as your character would do, think as your character would think, and you'll be in the right mindset to enjoy the game. Play it as a problem-solving exercise or a tactical simulator, and you'll probably find it lacking.
    That said, it's a game, and there will be problems to solve and tactics to use. Mages are at their best when they are creative and prepared. Creative thaumaturgy is your best friend, and as you become more comfortable making spells, it should be your first resort. In terms of preparation, mages tend to die when they rush in blindly. The Consilium heirarch got to where he is by being clever, sure, but mostly because he always remembers to cast four different forms of magical protection before leaving his sanctum.
    Therefore, be forewarned that World of Darkness has no yardstick for what constitutes a "balanced encounter". There will be some characters you'll be able to steamroll with social skills, and there will be others from whom you should run swiftly, or better yet, have the Space mage teleport you someplace safe. When in doubt and in danger, retreat, regroup, and deck yourself out with as many triggered spells and magical wards as you can handle.

    The Paths of Magic
    The Paths and Watchtowers are merely descriptive terms used by a majority of mages. Most of Awakened society accepts, or at least perpetuates, the idea of a bygone magical civilization, a diaspora, and five Watchtowers that guide the Awakened. This does not mean that the stories are necessarily true. Most mages take the Atlantean myth as seriously as we take Virgil's Aeneid, or the story of George Wash-ington and the cherry tree--which is to say, hardly at all.
    In game mechanics, this means that players are not restricted in their choices of ruling and inferior Arcana, and need not choose a Path (unless, of course, you want to). Choose any two ruling arcana and one inferior arcanum, and gain 1 dot in your choice of Resolve or Composure. If you want to use a legacy, you need to have at least one ruling arcanum from the legacy’s parent path.

    Flavor Text That Matters
    As a player, you won't be required to provide me with ten typed pages of back story. In order to flesh out your character, though, you'll need to decide on a few key principles that are sure to come up.
    Mentor:
    Somebody taught you how to use magic effectively. Is that relationship still strong? How do those lessons color your view of magic and mage society?
    Magical Tools:
    Most mages use special dedicated tools to reduce the Paradox chance of casting a spell. What are yours? Be creative here--wands are lame, zippo lighters are decent, but Jimi Hendrix's guitar pick is awesome.
    Nimbus:
    When another mage senses your magic, what does it look like? Try to keep it from being specific to any particular sense, and allow for varied, specific descriptions. "Academic" is a good descriptor, because some mages might smell old moldy books, others might hear squeaking chairs and tapping pencils, and another might feel enveloped by an ill-fitting tweed jacket. "Blue" is not a good descriptor, and "Chaotic" is worse.
    Tradition:
    This one's optional, but potentially really fun. If your mage interprets magic through a real-world myth tradition, what is it? Did a childhood spent studying the Torah lead your character to imagine magic through Kabala imagery? Maybe growing up on the bayou led you to think more in terms of voodoo.


    Niche-Protection
    When building your character, try not to step on another player's territory. If you're both kung fu masters who enhance your fighting prowess with Time magic, try to negotiate some area where you strongly differ, or emphasize some other aspect of that archetype. Maybe your mentors were rivals, or one of you prefers the closed-fist techniques over open-palmed techniques, or one of you is more Jackie Chan and the other is Bruce Lee. Just leave other players with enough room to be different from you.
    You can definitely use the same ruling arcana as another character, if you want to. Just consider whether you might want to be the undisputed master of a particular field of study, or whether you want an in-party rival for that position.
    Talk to the other players. Don't steal each other's thunder.

    Acquiring Power
    To gain anything permanent, you must meet two conditions: justify the gain, and spend experience. There will be periods in the game where we simply fast-forward for a few weeks or months, so it will be fairly easy to say, "I spent a month studying Latin really, really diligently with the use of Mind magic," and that will be justification enough for your character to learn Latin. In most instances, learning mundane knowledge will be that easy.
    Learning rotes will require the player to meet with another mage who knows the rote, and that will usually need to be a mage of the order listed in the book. You might also find a grimoire with the rote inscribed. But you won't be able to say, "I spent a month looking for grimoires, and I found one with the rote I wanted."
    Improving an inferior arcanum, or improving a regular arcanum up to 5 dots, requires a mentor. The nature of this mentor can be pretty flexible, from an old coot in a tower to a powerful spirit to a self-aware computer program, but learning these arcana will require roleplay time.
    Spending experience makes up the other key element. We'll go be the maxim, "spend it to keep it," meaning that if you gain something through roleplay that you don't pay for in experience, it will be taken from you, possibly by things that can eat your soul and make Cthulhu look like Hello Kitty.

    Wisdom, Hubris, and Paradox
    The major theme of Mage, what makes it a game of modern horror, is the emphasis on mages as their own worst enemies. When you make a hubris roll, gain a derangement, or get slammed with a paradox, try not to think of it as a message from the Storyteller or from the game designers that what you did was a Bad Idea. It was probably a pretty good idea!
    Instead, claim a personal victory that you advanced the major theme of the game. Just like Call of Cthulhu is about being devoured by powers beyond the understanding of man, Mage is about personal corruption. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." In fact, if your character isn't getting hit with hubris rolls or paradox, you're missing out on a lot of the fun. If your character's Vice is telling you to go for the gusto and steal that enemy mage's soul, do it, hubris roll be damned. It'll be awesome, and you'll probably get bonus experience for it.

    The Cabal
    The players' characters are all members of the same Cabal. The game just works better if the players cooperate to a large extent, and the Cabals put mages together in a way that is best supported by the rules.
    Most cabals have a place they meet, which is called a Sanctum. In addition to Sancta, there are a number of other benefits for which players can pool their points: Library, Hallow, Artifact, etc. In fact, you are welcome to pool points for just about anything that makes sense (no pooling three players' points to each learn 1/3 of kung fu, though). If you pool points together for things, consider making those items part of a shared Sanctum, if only for ease of storytelling.
    The Cabal also needs to determine its stance in regard to the five Great Rights. The Right of Crossing means that the Cabal allows other mages to pass through their territory, as long as they do so peacefully. The Right of Emeritus is a statement that the Cabal will treat those who have earned respect with respect. Cabals that grant the Right of Hospitality will not turn down a reasonable request for sanctuary from a mage in good standing. Under the Right of Nemesis, the Cabal vows not to stand in the way of a mage who has declared another mage outside the Cabal his Nemesis. Finally, the Right of Sanctuary is a promise to keep the Sanctum safe, both from outside forces and from one another. Once the Cabal has decided on these Rights, they should include glyphs in the High Speech around their territory to let other mages know where they stand. Most mages will assume by default that your Cabal upholds all five, but that doesn't mean that every other Cabal upholds them. You might find that out if you go traipsing through the territory of a hostile Cabal that does not grant Crossing.

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    Would you be okay with the PC's comparing notes on general concepts outside of PM's?

    It'd make coming up with a good cabal a lot easier if we had some idea of where the others were going.

  • #9
    PM sent with character concept and build. I'm still working on the short piece of writing but will send that as soon as I'm done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayuri View Post
    Would you be okay with the PC's comparing notes on general concepts outside of PM's?

    It'd make coming up with a good cabal a lot easier if we had some idea of where the others were going.
    Absolutely! In fact, I was about to encourage you guys to do that very thing. I'm going to try to be hands-off about Cabal creation, beyond advising you guys mechanically, because I love being surprised and inspired by what players create.

    Quote Originally Posted by Annalist
    PM sent with character concept and build. I'm still working on the short piece of writing but will send that as soon as I'm done.
    If you want to send me more writing, I'd love to read it, but as far as assessing the quality of your writing, you've already more than passed muster. All three of you have, by the way; your character backgrounds all gave me a lot to work with and a good feel for your writing styles. That said, the more you give me to read about your character, the more I can custom-tailor things to you!

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