Well, while magic is cool, it only works well when no one can see you do it. Like all awesome things, the moment you try to show off to impress your friends, it backfires on you. Since reality functions on Consensus whatever is believed by the most people is "true" in MtA, and since doing most magic involves at least swimming against the currents of reality a little, flagrantly breaking the laws of what is commonly believed to be possible generates something called "Paradox. Such as: The moment an "awakened" Mage tries to throw a fireball in front of a "sleeper" an average person , bad things happen. Backlash happens.
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Early times[ edit ] In the game, Mages have always existed, though there are legends of the Pure Ones who were shards of the original, divine One. Early mages cultivated their magical beliefs alone or in small groups, generally conforming to and influencing the belief systems of their societies.
Obscure myths suggest that the precursors of the modern organizations of mages originally gathered in ancient Egypt. This period of historical uncertainty also saw the rise of the Nephandi in the Near East.
Eventually, though, mages belonging to the Order of Hermes and the Messianic Voices attained great influence over European society. However, absorbed by their pursuit of occult power and esoteric knowledge, they often neglected and even abused humanity. Frequently, they were at odds with mainstream religions, envied by noble authorities and cursed by common folk. The Order of Reason[ edit ] Mages who believed in proto-scientific theories banded together under the banner of the Order of Reason , declaring their aim was to create a safe world with Man as its ruler.
They won the support of Sleepers by developing the useful arts of manufacturing , economics , wayfaring , and medicine. They also championed many of the values that we now associate with the Renaissance. Masses of Sleepers embraced the gifts of early Technology and the Science that accompanied them.
This was intentional. The Order of Reason perceived a safe world as one devoid of heretical beliefs, ungodly practices and supernatural creatures preying upon humanity. As the defenders of the common folk, they intended to replace the dominant magical groups with a society of philosopher-scientists as shepherds, protecting and guiding humanity.
In response, non-scientific mages banded together to form the Council of Nine Traditions where mages of all the major magical paths gathered. They fought on battlefields and in universities trying to undermine as many discoveries as they could, but to no avail — technology made the march of Science unstoppable. Their final counteroffensives against the Order of Reason were foiled by internal dissent and treachery in their midst. Rise of the Technocracy[ edit ] However, from the turn of the 17th century on, the goals of the Order of Reason began to change.
As their scientific paradigm unfolded, they decided that the mystical beliefs of the common people were not only backward, but dangerous, and that they should be replaced by cold, measurable and predictable physical laws and respect for human genius. They replaced long-held theologies, pantheons, and mystical traditions with ideas like rational thought and the scientific method. However, the Order of Reason became less and less focused on improving the daily lives of sleepers and more concerned with eliminating any resistance to their choke-hold on the minds of humanity.
Ever since a reorganization performed under Queen Victoria in the late s, they call themselves the Technocracy. The Traditions replenished their numbers which had been diminished by the withdrawal of two Traditions, the secretive Ahl-i-Batin , and the Solificati , alchemists plagued by scandal with former Technocrats from the Sons of Ether and Virtual Adepts factions, vying for the beliefs of sleepers and with the Technocracy, and perpetually wary of the Nephandi who consciously embrace evil and service to a demonic or alien master and the Marauders who resist Paradox with a magical form of madness.
This also cut the Technocracy off from their leadership. Both sides called a truce in their struggle to assess their new situation, especially since these events implied that Armageddon was soon at hand. Chief among these signs was creation of a barrier between the physical world and spirit world. This barrier was called the Avatar Storm because it affected the Avatar of the Mage. The Rogue Council only made itself known through coded missives, while Panopticon was apparently created by the leaders of the Technocracy to counter it.
This struggle eventually led to the point on the timeline occupied by the book called Ascension. While the entire metaplot has always been meant to be altered as each play group sees fit, Ascension provided multiple possible endings, with none of them being definitive though one was meant to resolve the metaplot.
Thus, there is no definitive canonical ending. Factions[ edit ] The metaplot of the game involves a four-way struggle between the technological and authoritarian Technocracy, the insane Marauders, the cosmically evil Nephandi and the nine mystical Traditions that tread the middle path , to which the player characters are assumed to belong.
This struggle has in every edition of the game been characterized both as primarily a covert, violent war directly between factions, and primarily as an effort to sway the imaginations and beliefs of sleepers. Council of Nine Mystic Traditions[ edit ] The Traditions formally called the Nine Mystic Traditions are a fictional alliance of secret societies in the Mage: the Ascension role-playing game.
The Traditions exist to unify users of magic under a common banner to protect reality particularly those parts of reality that are magical against the growing disbelief of the modern world, the spreading dominance of the Technocracy , and the predations of unstable mages such as Marauders and Nephandi.
Each of the Traditions are largely independent organizations unified by a broadly accepted paradigm for practicing magic. The Traditions themselves vary substantially from one another. Some have almost no structure or rules, while others have rigid rules of protocol, etiquette, and rank. Though unified in their desire to keep magic alive, the magic practiced by different Traditions are often wildly different and entirely incompatible with one another. Understanding Traditions as a whole requires understanding each Tradition separately, and then assembling them into a somewhat cohesive whole.
Mages of Akashic Brotherhood are ascetics, martial artists, and monks, largely drawing from Buddhism , Taoism , Shinto , Hinduism and other such religions. They are masters of the sphere of Mind. Mages of Celestial Chorus are pious believers in a supreme being that encompasses all Gods ever worshipped. They are masters of the sphere of Prime, the raw essence that fuels magic itself. Mages of Cult of Ecstasy are intuitive seers using sensory stimulation, consciousness-expanding techniques, and meditation.
They are masters of the sphere of Time. Mages of Dreamspeakers are shamanistic emissaries to the spirit world. They are masters of Spirit magic, such as summoning or binding spirits, necromancy, creating fetishes and travelling to the Umbra. Mages of Euthanatos are Thanatoic willworkers and killers drawing from a legacy of death-cults in India , Greece , and the cultures of the Arabs and Celts. They are masters of the sphere of Entropy. Mages of Order of Hermes are formalized sorcerers, alchemists, and mystics drawing from classical occult practices.
They are masters of the sphere of Forces. Mages of Sons of Ether are inspiration-oriented scientists dedicated to fringe theories and alternative science.
They are masters of the sphere of Matter. Mages of Verbena are blood-shamans, healers, primordial witches and warlocks. They are masters of the sphere of Life. Mages of Virtual Adepts are technological adepts capable of informational wizardry. They are masters of the sphere of Correspondence, magic dealing with three-dimensional location, space, and communications.
The Technocratic Union[ edit ] The Technocracy is likewise divided into groups; unlike the Traditions, however, they share a single paradigm, and instead divide themselves based upon methodologies and areas of expertise. Technocrats of Iteration X are experts in the arena of the physical sciences, especially when it comes to mechanical and robotic advancements.
Technocratic Progenitors, on the other hand, are masters of the biological sciences as a whole, including genetic engineering and the medical science. Technocrats of the New World Order maintain control of information and knowledge, controlling the thoughts and actions of the masses by directing what they learn and see.
Technocrats of the Syndicate control the flow of money and power—though the two are frequently the same thing—between disparate groups. Technocratic members of the Void Engineers are explorers of the unknown. In the modern day, this not only extends to outer space, but to extradimensional planes of existence.
Marauders[ edit ] The Marauders are a group of mages that embody Dynamism. Marauders are chaos mages. They are completely insane.
To other mages, they appear immune to paradox effects, often using vulgar magic to accomplish their insane tasks. Marauders represent the other narrative extreme, the repellent and frightening corruption of unrestrained power, of dynamism unchecked. Marauders are insane mages whose Avatars have been warped by their mental instability, and who exist in a state of permanent Quiet. They cannot become Archmages, as they lack sufficient insight and are incapable of appreciating truths which do not suit their madness.
In the second edition of Mage: The Ascension, Marauders were much more cogent and likely to operate in groups, with the Umbral Underground using the Umbra to infiltrate any location and wreak havoc with the aid of bygones. They were also associated heavily with other perceived agents of Dynamism, particularly the Changing Breeds who equate Dynamism with the Wyld and sometimes Changelings.
In the revised edition, Marauders were made darker and less coherent, in keeping with the more serious treatment of madness used for Malkavians in Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition. In this edition, the Regulars are a cell of the Underground, and like the other cells have highly compatible Quiets. Nephandi[ edit ] With the Technocracy representing Stasis and the Marauders acting on behalf of Dynamism , the third part of this trifecta is Entropy , as borne by the Nephandi.
While other mages may be callous or cruel, the Nephandi are morally inverted and spiritually mutilated. While a Traditionalist or Technocrat may simply fall prey to human failings or excessive zeal in their ethos, while a Marauder may well commit some true atrocities in the depth of her incurable madness; a Nephandus retains a clear moral compass, and deliberately pursues actions to worsen the world and bring about its final end.
To this end, the Technocracy and Traditions have been known to set aside the ongoing war for reality to temporarily join forces to oppose the Nephandi, and even the Marauders are known to attack the Nephandi on sight.
Some of their members, called barabbi, hail from the Technocracy and Traditions, but all Nephandi have experienced the Rebirth, wherein they embrace the antithesis of everything they know to be right, and are physically and spiritually torn apart and reassembled. While some of the background stories detail a particular mage and her teacher trying—and succeeding—at keeping her from falling again, this is very rare.
Others[ edit ] Other mystical traditions that are not part of the nine exist, and are known as Crafts. Some examples of these are the mages of Ahl-i-Batin also known as The Subtle Ones who are masters of the Correspondence Sphere and former holders of the seat now held by the Virtual Adepts, as well as the djinn binding magicians known as The Taftani and the eclectic nonconformist group of willworkers known as Hollow Ones, however they are far from the only ones.
Rules and continuity[ edit ] The core rules of the game are similar to those in other World of Darkness games; see Storyteller System for an explanation.
There are nine known spheres: Correspondence[ edit ] Deals with spatial relations, giving the Mage power over space and distances. Correspondence magic allows powers such as teleportation, seeing into distant areas, and at higher levels the Mage may also co-locate herself or even stack different spaces within each other. Correspondence can be combined with almost any other sphere to create effects that span distances. Entropy[ edit ] This sphere gives the Mage power over order, chaos, fate and fortune.
A mage can sense where elements of chance influence the world and manipulate them to some degree. At simple levels machines can be made to fail, plans to go off without a hitch, and games of chance heavily influenced.
Advanced mages can craft self-propagating memes or curse entire family lines with blights. The only requirement of the Entropy sphere is that all interventions work within the general flow of natural entropy. Forces[ edit ] Forces concerns energies and natural forces and their negative opposites i.
Essentially, anything in the material world that can be seen or felt but is not material can be controlled: electricity, gravity, magnetism, friction, heat, motion, fire, etc. At low levels the mage can control forces on a small scale, changing their direction, converting one energy into another.
At high levels, storms and explosions can be conjured. Obviously, this Sphere tends to do the most damage and is the most flashy and vulgar. Life[ edit ] Life deals with understanding and influencing biological systems.
Onyx Path Publishing: Many Worlds. One Path.
Edit Reality is not fixed, but rather a set of agreed upon assumptions enforced by the collective will of humanity, the Sleepers. Mages are those people who recognize that reality is not static, and realize that through the application of their will, usually channeled through rituals or other similar "mystical" or "scientific" practices, reality can be changed. The specifics of their own belief, called a Paradigm , guides them into joining either one of the nine mystical Traditions an ancient fellowship of mages of varying points of view , one of the five conventions of the Technocracy an organization founded at the beginning of the age of reason to bring science and truth to humanity , or to strike out on their own as Disparates unaffiliated mages , Marauders mages whose paradigm has overwhelmed their sense of reality , or Nephandi mages seeking to destroy or corrupt the world. The central theme of Mage is the search for Ascension , not only for the individual but for all of mankind.
Mage: The Ascension
Do alchemy-created alloys confer bonuses to weapons? Lamuerteteencontrara rated it liked it May 08, Please provide a valid price range. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Karolina rated it really liked it Nov 17, I am not sure if I understand the rules correctly how Magick actually works Edit: Skip to main content. The only of the five original World of Darkness games I never read nor played.
Mage the Ascension - Core Rulebook - Revised Edition