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    Default MAGE the AWAKENING

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    MAGE the AWAKENING 2e Character Creation

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennosuke
    Okay, here we go. Some of this is going to be a little free form ranting as I explore character concepts.

    So first off, I'm leaning towards a foreigner to London. Doesn't necessarily have to be an American (though that would be the most honest thing for me to do), but I think being new to the city, having limited connections, family and support makes the disorientation of going through The Awakening even more dramatic/exciting/dangerous. It also means whomever is his/her touchstone is going to be that much more important for the Mage. Let me know how you feel about this.

    As far as concept goes, I think we agree on a Pre-med college student who works as an EMT.

    So as far as Path goes, I think the obvious choices would either be Moros (necromancers tied to Death Magic) or Thrysus (Shamans tied to Life magic). While Life magic makes more sense from a concept standpoint, I think the Moros "concept" makes more sense overall. Thrysus are supposed to be ecstatics who revel in the the pleasures of worldly flesh, and I definitely see this character as too focused, or uptight, or academic to be a hedonist. I also think there is something pretty dark and interesting about an EMT who sees a lot of patients die in the field, and who therefore becomes focused on trying to use his powers maybe not to heal, but to make the person's passing easier, or more meaningful or something. Let me know how you feel about this.

    Overall, I'm having a little more trouble with the Orders. In a way, I think the strict order of the Ademantine Arrows makes sense for the character, but I think this is really about making combat mages, and that is not what this character is about in any way. Alternatively, maybe the Silver Ladder or the Free Council. I see the Silver Ladder basically as Humanists, which pretty much any character could get behind, and the Free Council as political dreamers. While neither sticks with the character concept, they are both pretty easy to get behind.

    I guess part of this would depend on how far out from his/her awakening you want this character to be, but could the character also be unaligned... ie they haven't joined an Order yet because they are too fresh???

    I am starting to see this character as a Peter Parker of sorts, very bright, a little uptight, and a wallflower who will likely be a late bloomer. Of course, with new and great powers, comes great responsibility, but as is a major theme in Mage, power corrupts, and over time Mages become less human overall as they fall to Hubris.

    I'll stop here, and wait for feedback on what would work best in your game.


    Spoiler: Post Two
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennosuke
    Were you thinking the Touchstone would be in London, or abroad?
    I was thinking the Touchstone would be in London. Either a best friend who cares to much, or maybe an unrequited love interest. The first would be a foil becoming more worried as the character become more detached from college life and humanity, the latter something that perhaps the character thinks he can claim with the help of magic... something which I humbly think should backfire terribly. I don't know if you feel strongly about either concept, but both ideas can be used to further the basic character design and arc we are setting up.

    I think we are in agreement about Moros then.

    One option, as you mentioned, was to start off outside one of the Orders. I'm fine with that. These mages, if I recall correctly, are referred to as Nameless. If you want to be unaligned, I'm all for it. Offers an interesting plot hook as the Orders try and court you. Especially if they see the potential you have.
    I'm torn, but I think it would be helpful to have an idea of how recently the character was awakened. Are we playing through the awakening? Starting right after the awakening? Or has be been a mage for a while now? If we are starting pretty darn fresh, then I would be up for starting as Nameless, even though mechanically its a pretty big disadvantage as far as I can see. Which of course brings us to...

    Here's some questions to help narrow it down:

    1. How old are you?
    2. How long ago did you move to London?
    3. Did you Awaken in London, or back home (wherever that may be)?

    At first glance, my impression is that he Awakened in London, making the whole experience more traumatic. Unless you had an idea for your Awakening, I had thoughts it might have happened during one of your shifts as an EMT. You could have Awakened anytime within the last year, to year and a half, I think maximum. I'm okay with shorter.
    As above, so below. How old? I think younger end of college probably the better, so 18/19, at the end of Freshman year or beginning of Sophomore year. Enough time to develop some relationships to people and places in London and at school, but not enough to feel at home. So this means he's been there around a year. My thought is definitely that he Awakened in London. I think we are in agreement about the theme of things being foreign and disjointed, so Awakening in a foreign country is probably more appropriate. I like the idea of it happening during an EMT shift, probably with a patient dying in the field if we are going for Moros.

    Again, sounds like we are pretty much on the same page.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Erulasto
    Quote Originally Posted by Bennosuke
    I was thinking the Touchstone would be in London. Either a best friend who cares to much, or maybe an unrequited love interest. The first would be a foil becoming more worried as the character become more detached from college life and humanity, the latter something that perhaps the character thinks he can claim with the help of magic... something which I humbly think should backfire terribly. I don't know if you feel strongly about either concept, but both ideas can be used to further the basic character design and arc we are setting up.

    I think we are in agreement about Moros then.
    I've been a huge fan of love interests involved in RPG's ever since I played the original Knights of the Old Republic back in the day. I'm totally down with that idea, if you'd like to proceed with it. But ultimately, it's your call as to what your Touchstone will be. I think the love interest offers some great potential for Hubris. Get into a fight about something? It's so easy to make the problem go away with magic. But then...that's bad!

    I'm torn, but I think it would be helpful to have an idea of how recently the character was awakened. Are we playing through the awakening? Starting right after the awakening? Or has be been a mage for a while now? If we are starting pretty darn fresh, then I would be up for starting as Nameless, even though mechanically its a pretty big disadvantage as far as I can see. Which of course brings us to...
    Valid point. I've got a solid idea for a couple events that could trigger your Awakening (most of them horrifying and traumatic), and I think it would be great to play that out as a sort of Prelude. After that, maybe skip ahead a couple weeks to a couple months and go from there.

    You're right though, it is a pretty big disadvantage.

    As I read and re-read through the books, the Orders seem a lot more...inflexible...than the factions of a lot of other WoD stuff. I suppose that's just me not thinking about a bigger picture though. Just because the Adamantine Arrow are traditionally the warrior-mages of the Diamond/Pentacle, doesn't mean the warrior has to be martial. Heck, even the Army has medics, right? I'm sure we can think of something.

    It'd be really interesting to run a character early enough that he hasn't joined a side yet, but the mechanical disadvantage can be a real hindrance.

    Here are some thoughts...

    Adamantine Arrow: Front-line Medic concept. This would be apt considering he's currently an EMT. And if he ends up finishing medical school, a focus on trauma or emergency room processes would be similarly apt concepts.

    Guardians of the Veil: The internal police of the Pentacle are the kind of people who, in my opinion, would want someone with a high level of Death or Life. Need to find out which mage killed Person X? Raise the shade and interrogate it. A mage, suddenly revealed as a Seer or walking the Left-Hand Path runs after critically injuring one of your comrades? A Life Arcanum would be perfect to knit those wounds.

    Mysterium: While the Life Arcanum is a bit trickier here, the same idea for Death works as above. Word comes of a group of Scelesti who are tailoring a magic pathogen to unleash on the population? Well, Life would counteract that. Death could be used to track down their test subject spirits and figure out where their base is. And that is exactly the kind of secret (magical pathogen from the Time Before) that the Mysterium would want under wraps.

    Silver Ladder: Not as tricky as the Free Council, as they're really focused on trying to be the political power players and stars of the Mage world, but still a bit trickier. Yes, Humanity is Magical. That means that one could make a strong case for any humanitarian profession being a great mage. EMT/Doctor would be a good fit for this Order as you'd be trying to keep that magic alive and strengthen humanity.

    The Free Council: Arguably the trickiest (next to Seer, which is not the type of game I want to run at the moment), a Libertine I think would work well as some sort of healthcare provider, but might focus more on the notion of rising up certain politically disparate groups. Like a doctor who works pro bono at a homeless shelter.

    I really am okay with you starting Nameless or as part of an Order. I think ultimately, if you go Nameless, I'll start it only a few weeks after Awakening. It's probable that you'd already have had some encounters with recruiters for the various orders because a lot of them keep an eye out for the signs of someone Awakening. But if you've decided on a specific Order already, it'll be maybe three to six months in. Long enough for you to have at least a passing knowledge of who is who and some of their magical practices to help mechanically.

    In the long run, you're going to end up as part of an Order anyhow (unless you want to be an Apostate; someone who rejects the Orders) but while that makes for an intriguing story, it will impede your ability to learn magic effectively. Especially since between pre-med, EMT work and life in general that would hamper your ability to try and track down Grimoires and other things to learn magic from.
    Last edited by Erulasto; 2019-10-04 at 04:42 AM.
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: MAGE the AWAKENING

    Hey Erulasto, thanks for the patience.

    EDIT: Here is the character sheet. Please take a look at everything and let me know what you think. Definitely not sure about the Aspirations and Obsession, and would appreciate feedback on everything and anything.

    Character Description: Peter is a 19 year old American from the suburbs of New York City (a town known as Bronxville). He has a gaunt face, with wavy brown hair and dark small brown eyes, though he does require strong prescription glasses. Peter is tall and lanky. He's a bit of a no-it-all, and he leans heavily on his higher than normal intelligence to feel better about his lack of social skills and social acceptance. In High School, one of the football players told Peter that he was voted to have "The most punchable face in school". Peter has come to London hoping for a fresh start after eight years of bullying, shame, and loneliness. Unfortunately, he hasn't yet developed the social skills to improve his situation in college. So instead Peter has thrown himself hard into his Medical School studies, and work as an EMT, using his academic successes and career path to feel superior to classmates he can't seem to connect with.

    Side note, I believe in England you start Medical School after High School (unlike in the United States where it's after college), so I believe Peter has to be a Medical Student.

    Peter's name is derived initially from Peter Parker, whose skeleton provided the basic initial concept for the character. When thinking of a last name for Peter, the first thing that came to mind was "Townshend" as in Pete Townshend of The Who, and so I instead stole the last name from the band's drummer, Keith Moon, as the name has ties with insanity and sounds good for a Mage. Hence, Peter Moon.

    Touchstone and Friends: Peter's Touchstone is another Medical Student, Juliet. She's in a number of Peter's classes, and could probably be a model. She has almond skin, long luscious brown curls, and a beaming smile. Peter is absolutely smitten, even though he's never spoken to her. In classes they share, Peter is extra-vocal, showing off his intelligence in a (rather impotent) attempt to gain her attention. Juliet comes from Rome and speaks English with a heavy Italian accent. Despite his complete ineptitude and lack of experience, Peter is somehow convinced that he and Juliet are destined to be together.

    Peter's only friend (if you can call him that) is Neville, a rather jolly, though slightly dim witted boy that Peter met in his elective Italian Language class (I'll let you guess why Peter chose that class). Neville is short and rotund, with bright curly red hair and a pudgy freckled face. Neville is equal parts emotional support and punching bag for Peter, and mostly allows "his friend" to get away with this behavior, because Peter is pretty much the first friend Neville has ever really had.
    Last edited by Bennosuke; 2019-10-06 at 11:19 AM.
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    Default Re: MAGE the AWAKENING

    Hey Benno. Sorry for the delay. Work has kicked my butt three ways to tomorrow across the weekend.

    I took a look at the sheet you linked. Looks good. I like the flavor for the Nimbus. Real Angel of Death-ish.

    The idea that you go into medical school straight out of high school works fine for me, especially considering his age (19 if I recall correctly).

    Having read through your description and disposition notes for Peter, I can easily see Acts of Hubris being something heíll end up struggling with. Which makes for a great Mage character, as the conflict between Hubris and Wisdom is an integral part of a chronicle, I think.

    I like Juliet and Neville. Iíll stat them up soon.

    A couple questions about them:

    How old is Juliet and Neville? I assume theyíre likely around the same age. Did you have a preference for last names, or am I free to go to town?

    The Hallow you spent some Merit points on is a great investment. I do have a couple questions about it.

    Where is the Hallow located (Hallows are places, to the best of my understanding)?

    How does Mana flow through the Hallow (and how does it accumulate into Tass)? For example, if the Hallow wasÖfor instanceÖ.a small pond in a city park, the Mana could flow in the water and accumulate in small crystalline sedimentary deposits in the depths.

    How did Peter come into ownership of the Hallow? Has he had any problematic encounters thus so far with other groups/entities looking to claim it? These can be answered as No, as a lot of that would be great to play out IC.

    Most of these are just fluffy questions about the Hallow to help me understand it a bit better and fit it in.

    As far as the Aspirations and the Obsession goes, I think the Aspirations are all pretty well appropriate. Two shorter term and one longer term. The first and second ones (hastening death and the date) are great because they can be fulfilled pretty early (moreso the first one) thatíll open up new options down the line.

    The Obsession, however, I think needs to be something a bit less rigid than Joining an Order. An Obsession is, as I understand it, supposed to be some great driving passion (obsession, díuh!) for the Mage. Itís what drives him to master magic. I canít see anyone really using the notion of joining an Order as a driving force behind their search for Ascension, though I could make the argument that if there was some overwhelming loyalty to a specific Order that might work. Such as joining the Silver Ladder as a sort of life goal.

    -Learn the secrets of the Death Arcanum so he can find a way to prolong the life of Juliet (or himself)

    -Find the secrets of the Underworld from the shade-denizens of Stygia

    Things like that.

    Itís a bit of a harder concept to grasp, I think. Which is one the things I like about the Obsession rules in MtA. Really metaphysical.

    A couple other questions I have.

    How did Peter learn High Speech? Iím okay with you starting with this as a Merit, but itís normally learned from tutors in one of the Orders.

    I assume your library is located at your residence. Do you live in a campus dorm, or do you have a little apartment to yourself? Solo, or do you have a roommate?

    And lastlyÖIíve mentioned it a couple times, but Iím not sure if I recall you giving your two cents on it.

    Gnosis. What did you think about starting at Gnosis 2? Iím content either way; was just a thought about potential
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    Sorry for the delayed response. I'm going to go through your response serially in my response. Looking forward to getting this off the ground!

    How old is Juliet and Neville? I assume theyíre likely around the same age. Did you have a preference for last names, or am I free to go to town?
    I imagine them both being the same age as Peter, and int he same grade. I have no preference for last names if you have something in mind. Feel free to go to town!

    The Hallow you spent some Merit points on is a great investment. I do have a couple questions about it.

    Where is the Hallow located (Hallows are places, to the best of my understanding)?

    How does Mana flow through the Hallow (and how does it accumulate into Tass)? For example, if the Hallow wasÖfor instanceÖ.a small pond in a city park, the Mana could flow in the water and accumulate in small crystalline sedimentary deposits in the depths.

    How did Peter come into ownership of the Hallow? Has he had any problematic encounters thus so far with other groups/entities looking to claim it? These can be answered as No, as a lot of that would be great to play out IC.

    Most of these are just fluffy questions about the Hallow to help me understand it a bit better and fit it in.
    So I had not thought too hard about this, and TBH, again I find some of the concepts in Mage hard to grapple with because they overlap with or contradict concepts found in and taken from other CofD game lines. I imagine this is a Hallow in the school library, and Peter found it during his studies. My understanding is that Hallows don't have to be places of nature, just strange locations that have a lot of Resonance from the WtF standpoint. Perhaps the mana drips like syrupy ink from the pages of the thousands of tomes that pile up in this strange part of the library, coagulating into a parchment like substance glowing with runes and power???

    So the problematic part of this concept, is that there is likely another mage in this institution. Perhaps, if we are playing off of Peter having only Awakened recently, this is also a Hallow frequented by one other Mage, and while Peter does have access to it, he's not the only one, and this will allow for some exploration??? Thoughts?

    The Obsession, however, I think needs to be something a bit less rigid than Joining an Order. An Obsession is, as I understand it, supposed to be some great driving passion (obsession, díuh!) for the Mage. Itís what drives him to master magic. I canít see anyone really using the notion of joining an Order as a driving force behind their search for Ascension, though I could make the argument that if there was some overwhelming loyalty to a specific Order that might work. Such as joining the Silver Ladder as a sort of life goal.

    -Learn the secrets of the Death Arcanum so he can find a way to prolong the life of Juliet (or himself)

    -Find the secrets of the Underworld from the shade-denizens of Stygia

    Things like that.

    Itís a bit of a harder concept to grasp, I think. Which is one the things I like about the Obsession rules in MtA. Really metaphysical.
    How about something like "Find the key to immortality". I think in the immediacy, Peter probably sees this as a way to become famous in the medical community, and advance his career as a future doctor. However, probably as Peter becomes indoctrinated into Mage culture, the motivation behind the obsession shifts? I think finding Immortality is a pretty classic and understandable motivation, especially for an EMT who sees people die in the field every day.

    How did Peter learn High Speech? Iím okay with you starting with this as a Merit, but itís normally learned from tutors in one of the Orders.
    My understanding is that some mages simply gain this as part of the awakening (it's described somewhere in the book, but I am at work ATM), but that if you gain an order you get lessons in it as well as part of your order training, hence it being a free merit. But I can spend th dot on something else.

    I assume your library is located at your residence. Do you live in a campus dorm, or do you have a little apartment to yourself? Solo, or do you have a roommate?
    I imagine Peter lives on campus and the medical library that peter has access to is the University's. He has access to it as a student. I think if Peter has a roommate it should be Neville, otherwise, he lives alone?

    nd lastlyÖIíve mentioned it a couple times, but Iím not sure if I recall you giving your two cents on it.

    Gnosis. What did you think about starting at Gnosis 2? Iím content either way; was just a thought about potential
    I mean, I won't say no, and it will help make up for Peter's lack of an Order, and perhaps compel Mage society to take more note of him...
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    Default Re: MAGE the AWAKENING

    Hey Benno. All good. Iíve had a hiccup of my own. Got some construction going on down the street from my house and they absolutely wrecked a power line. Been without power until mid-evening today. Real crappy. Cold showers (Canadian Autumn didnít help!). No oven to cook dinner. Bleh.

    So all good!

    Iím going to touch on the points you made in order as well, though I donít have the quotes readily available at the moment.

    As for Juliet and Neville. Iíll go ahead and whip them up as I see fit then!

    So, Mage is definitely a difficult pill to swallow as far as the rest of the CofD cosmology goes.

    Hereís how I sort of view it:

    The Astral Plane sits above the material world. It is composed of a few layers of ascending power (ranging from the Oenerios or personal dream realm, to the Temenos or the dream realm of all humans combines).

    Then you have the Shadow and Twilight which are exactly like those in WtF.

    Then you have the Lower Depths which sort of includes the Underworld/Shadowlands where Ghosts dwell.

    Then you have the Abyss, which is sort of the space between all the realms.

    Itís sort of like the solar system. Earth is the material, while the Shadow and Twilight overlap with it. The Astral is outer space, pock-marked with realms (the planets and other celestial bodies) and the Lower Planes are inside the Earth. And the Abyss is everything behind the stars.

    Sort of.

    But ultimately, youíre correct. A Hallow is a place with an incredibly potent resonance that has fractures in the fabric of reality that allows Mana (which is, ultimately, the lifeblood of all of creation and akin to Essence from WtF but in a purer form) to flow through and congeal in the material world.

    I like the idea of the Hallow being in the library and the Tass being papers. Tass is a physical object, so anyone can pick one up and carry it around but only Mages can make use of it. Iím curious what sort of Resonance youíd see the Hallow having (not that it would affect the Mana you get from it aside from giving it a certain flavor, at best).

    I like that Obsession, and while it is a classic motivation, it offers some fantastic opportunities for me to include all the various and sundry potential methods. Like becoming a Lich, a Reaper, and even a vampire sorceress of Cruac!

    I looked up the High Speech thing, and double checked it. Youíre right. Iím fine with it as is!

    Iím fine with you having Neville as a roommate, but I think giving you your own individual dorm is probably a bit of a better idea since it gives you a place to cast some spells without having to worry about Neville witnessing it. Sympathetic connections are dangerous in Mage.

    Iím going to say go ahead with the extra dot of Gnosis. Because A) it bolsters you from the lack of an order to begin with, B) it helps as itís a solo game, and C) because youíre right, Mages will take notice of a potential prodigy.

    Unless thereís something else that Iím missing, I think that might more or less cover up all the major details.

    Thereís other things Iíd love to know.

    Like family. Does he have any back home in NYC? Any siblings? Does it keep in touch with them? Any friends left behind?
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    So slowly making my way through this. Am going to pick and choose, going through parts where you asked questions or a response is needed.

    I like the idea of the Hallow being in the library and the Tass being papers. Tass is a physical object, so anyone can pick one up and carry it around but only Mages can make use of it. Iím curious what sort of Resonance youíd see the Hallow having (not that it would affect the Mana you get from it aside from giving it a certain flavor, at best).
    Assuming Resonance works the same way as Essence does in WtF, my initial thought was Knowledge, as this is a library. However, I don't know if that either isn't a form of Resonance, or if that would be somehow overpowered in a mage game.

    Iím fine with you having Neville as a roommate, but I think giving you your own individual dorm is probably a bit of a better idea since it gives you a place to cast some spells without having to worry about Neville witnessing it. Sympathetic connections are dangerous in Mage.
    So lets go with Peter having his own room. That said, at some point or another, I suspect their relationship will be strained and Magic will probably be cast on Neville .

    Iím going to say go ahead with the extra dot of Gnosis. Because A) it bolsters you from the lack of an order to begin with, B) it helps as itís a solo game, and C) because youíre right, Mages will take notice of a potential prodigy.
    Okay, I think that makes sense! So in taking an extra dot of Gnosis, Peter also gets a second Praxes. I guess I am torn between Suppress Aura (pg 129) and Suppress Life (130). One would allow Peter to hide from other mages better, while the other would allow him to make people look dead, an interesting skill as an ENT. Thoughts???

    Like family. Does he have any back home in NYC? Any siblings? Does it keep in touch with them? Any friends left behind?
    Hmmm.... good question. If we were sticking to Peter Parker, he'd be an orphan raised by his aunt and uncle , but I think it would make more sense if he has a full family. Perhaps Peter and his older brother were raised by their workaholic lawyer single mother who was very high strung, and never around, as well as raised by their Haitian nanny (because... Voodoo). Peter's older brother Chris is practically the only person he really respects, reveres and seeks approval from.
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    Sorry for the delay Benno. Been a crazy, crazy week so far.

    AS far as Resonance goesÖanything can be a Resonance. There isnít, as far as I can see, a set list of what is or isnít. Itís just a word, concept or principle that something is sympathetically connected to on a spiritual level. I think the idea of a Knowledge Resonance works really well for a library.

    Realizing of course that Peterís personal resonances are affected by his Nimbus, and Ruling Arcana and the Hallow will eventually pick up the flavor of your own resonance as well over time.

    So after a while, I could see the Library having a resonance that manifests in a serene calm and stillness like that of a mausoleum, while the weight of knowledge is accumulated so heavily here as a way of keeping it from being lost through the passage of life into death.

    Thatís a great image, if you ask me!

    I think both of the Praxes make sense, though I think Suppress Life would be more viable to begin. Itís not like youíd have figured youíd need to hide from other Mages yet. I donít see Peter having encountered any Seerís, Banishers or Left-Hand Followers.

    And I like the family stuff!

    I think, unless youíve got anything to add, that should about sum up the creation of the character. Iím going to put together an IC thread tonight for it. I think, since itís a SOLO game, we might as well make things a bit more streamlined and just make OOC posts in spoilers in the IC thread so we donít have to worry about two separate threads.

    That work for you?
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    Okay, will take Suppress Life and Update my character sheet, and am ready to begin whenever you are!

    Hope the work load gets better... for the both of us!
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