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[OOC][MtAw 2e] Smoke and Shadows

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  • [OOC][MtAw 2e] Smoke and Shadows

    Smoke and Shadows

    The Campaign
    A Consilium recovering from years of war is rocked by unrest, dark temptations and an old sin coming back into the light.








    The city of East Bay has a checkered past. Situated on the American east coast it has a long history for American standards and its Awakened citizens have for most of it lived under the shadow of the Guardians of the Veil. Sixty years ago however a dangerous power vacuum opened the door for the Seers of the Throne and a long conflict resulted. After a particularly hot phase of the war that resulted in devastating losses on both sides, including the life of the previous Hierach, a tentative truce has been struck with the Seers and things have stabilized – on the surface. Tensions build as a generation that has known only war tries to cope with the idea of peace, evidence of left handed practices and other war crimes come to light and to top it all off whispers of an ancient boogeyman returned put fear into the hearts of the Awakened.
    The City & Consilium






    East Bay is a fictional city on the east coast of the united states. You can imagine it as a cross of New York, Chicago and Boston all rolled into one. It’s a harbor city and a river (the Lorn) is flowing through the city, cutting it roughly in half.
    The Pentacle is represented through the Vinorium Consilium – nobody quite remembers where the name comes from anymore – one of the oldest Consilia in the new world. For a long time it has been dominated by the Guardians of the Veil, but in the last decades the Adamantine Arrow and Free Council have been the dominant orders as periods of warfare against the seers have dominated local events. A little bit less than a year ago a particularly bloody series of exchanges has weakened both the Pentacle and the Seers to the point that a truce was agreed upon. A young théarch going by the name Phoenix initiated the negotiations and claimed the position of Hierach as much through popular support as by skills in the duel arcane. Now the Consilium stands divided by those who favor the peace and those who feel that now would be the time to drive the Seers from East Bay – whatever the cost.
    Due to the long wartime and the rather paranoid regime that preceded it the Cabal has become the cornerstone of Awakened life in East Bay, even more so than in other Consilia. Mages only trust a chosen few and for many that means only their Cabal. The locations of Sancta and Sympathetic Names are treated as serious secrets and the Rights Sanctuary and Crossing are treated very seriously indeed here. Outside ones Cabal the Orders offer a greater support network though through the constant warfare mages seldom gathered for Caucus and even more rarely for a full blown Consilium – too great were the risks. This lead to a fractured Consilium where every Mage only knew few others outside their Cabal. Only the Heralds and Councilors and a few other politically minded individuals have a broader overview of the Awakened population of the city. Now with Peace and an influx of new Mages seeking to claim a part of the rich supernatural landscape of East Port for themselves without the threat of war this might change, but for the moment Consilium is still fractured and paranoid – old habits die hard.
    Outside the Pentacle there is a strong presence of Seers. There are few Nameless as the war has not been kind to those who lacked the support of cabal and order. However few does not mean none and in the hard times many had to turn to unsavory sources of power for survival. A gamut of other supernatural critters of every kind also exists as one would expect for a major city, though most know better than to meddle in awakened affairs.
    The Rules






    I already warned you: There will be quite a few houserules. I’ll post all of them here, but I can’t make any guarantees that I will think of every particularity right off the bat – if I feel the need to make a new houseruling I will announce it in the IC threat in a spoiler and add it to this sections.

    Dramatic Failures: If a roll does produces ones and no die shows a six or higher it’s a dramatic failure. You will still get a beat if you produce a dramatic failure in this way, but they can not happen outside of chance dice (and player choice).

    Legacies: Legacies are ancient wisdom passed on from luminous masters of the craft. Not any two-bit wizard can create their own. To create a new legacy a Mage must have a Gnosis of 6 aswell as have attained Mastery of both the primary and secondary Arcanum of the Legacy. To teach a Legacy you are a part of to another Mage you need to have unlocked the third Attainment of the Legacy.
    I tend to give Legacies more leeway than RAW in their Attainments. You can take a look at my homebrew (signature) for some examples, but a good way to eyeball it would be that I tend to allow legacy attainments to have another reach.
    Legacy Oblations give Mana in accordance with their grade of initiation into the legacy. Meaning you get Mana equal to the highest attainment unlocked, not equal to the dots in the primary Arcanum.
    Legacies come with a Rote skill of their own, in addition to those unlocked by orders (to a total of 4).

    Homebrew: I’m open to homebrewed merits and utility attainments. If you want to take something like that I’m certainly open to it, though I may tweak or veto stuff I’m uncomfortable with for any reason. Additional utility attainments beyond the first unlocked by reaching the appropriate Arcanum level can be purchased with 1 (lesser) or 2 (greater) xp.
    Arcane Experience: Half of the price (round down) of purchasing another Arcanum or Gnosis dot must be paid in Arcane Experience. If you don’t explore the magical side of things you won’t develop your magical abilities.

    Training Arcana: Arcana outside your Paths and Legacies ruling Arcana require a teacher to be increased, regardless of rating. Why derive ourselves of this storyhook?

    Wisdom: Does not exist as a stat. The consequences of your actions are their own rewards. Paradox is contained with a Resolve + Composure roll (taking a -1 penalty for every Soul Stone you have created). The Mad still exist, they usually come to be when a Mage focusses on his or her obsessions to the exclusion of everything else.

    Pattern Restoration: Certain (supernatural) conditions cannot be removed using Pattern Restoration. An example would be things like a Vampire using Dominate on your character.
    Spirit Clash pools: Ephemeral Entities will use their Rank + Attribute for Clashes of Wills. This will make them quite more powerful in Clashes of Wills (as opposed to being ridiculously bad at it before, often rolling only their Rank as of RAW making even lesser Incarna pushovers for even Disciple mages), think twice about messing with Rank 3+ spirits, even if you are versed in the relevant Arcana.

    Clashes of Wills and Mages: First off you do not ALLWAYS know when one of your spells clashes another spell/ability. This is a case by case thing, but the most important example for this rule will be veiling spells. If somebody uses a veiling spell to hide a door and you cast a spell looking for hidden compartments then on a failure on the investigators part he will NOT be aware that he just ran into an illusion he failed to penetrate.

    Enhancing Magic with Magic:
    Clashes of Wills: You can spend a wp to get the normal +3 dice and get the boni from duration and advanced potency, but otherwise the pool cannot further be enhanced by magic. No Prime/Fate Ruling or Perfecting spell can give you Potency dice or dice tricks on those.
    Spellcasting: Fate or Prime (or with some creativity maybe other Arcana) spells can give you dicetricks for spellcasting (9/8 again for ruling, Rote quality at Perfecting), but straight up dice boni are out of the picture.

    Reflexive Spellcasting: Will mostly not be a thing, looking at you there Exceptional Luck. I’m fine with it in some cases, like the Death Veiling spells that lets you play dead, so feel free to ask. But I’m going to say no in many cases.

    Messing with Powerstats: Is a no. You can’t increase/decrease another Mages Gnosis by one with Prime Perfectign/Fraying, at least not really. Same for Spirit ranks, Blood Potency, whatever.

    Surpassing the Dicecap: Can usually be done with a Mana and a reach, I will take this option out. Not really because it’s necessarily to powerful or anything, it just tends to lead to prolonged and completely unfun preparation fests (and forces me to consider NPCs doing the same which is a lot of really unimportant work I’d rather not do, figuring out the spells npcs would have running is a chore already).

    Specific Spells:
    Shifting Sands – The reach to travel back a whole scene can only be taken once.

    Rotes:
    Using a rote for a spell of an Arcanum you have mastered grants another free reach.

    Sympathy:
    Not knowing the sympathetic name of the target will (in addition to increasing withstand) reduce the effective degree of sympathy by one, resulting in weak sympathy being unable to establish a connection at all if you do not know the targets name.

    Character Creation







    You start out as established mages. Wether you’re a new arrival or a native, just finished your apprenticeship or have been around the block on your own for some time is up to you.
    Who is your character? What are her Aspirations, her Obsessions? What are your goals ooc (if any), what would you like to see/experience in this campaign? What are the Associates (Acolytes, Friends, Family, etc.) of your character? What’s his or her history?
    Rules wise use the standard chargen for MtAw 2nd Edition with the following changes:
    Gnosis starts at two without any additional cost. You cannot trade in your starting Merit points for additional points of Gnosis.
    If you want to start initiated into a Legacy you can trade one merit point for a Legacy Attainment.

    The Cast







    @Second Chances -
    Beans -
    Arcanist -
    Nicolas Milioni -
    gamora -
    Last edited by Flinty; 07-26-2018, 03:26 PM.


    My Mage 2e Homebrew

  • #2
    My character is being as a i type this

    Comment


    • #3
      Reserving this space for an eventual document link.


      Abyssals: Whom Death Has Called, a PEACH-as-heck attempt to make an Abyssal 3E holdover.

      Where I try to make Artifacts. When I finish them I'll probably post them in the Artifact Workshop thread so people can help me hammer them into shape.

      Comment


      • #4
        As I've pointed out before I'd appreciate it if you guys could brainstorm a little bit about what you want your cabal to be like. Maybe I'm just traumatized, but I've seen a number of expertly crafted characters utterly incapable of functioning together due to personality/goal differences a few too many times.


        My Mage 2e Homebrew

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        • #5
          okay. My character is an Obssesive person. His name is Erik Angelo,Shadow Name Lumiel.
          He's a real life min-max. Has very little skills,but he is extremely badass on the ones he does have,he knows damn near everything there is to know about ghosts. He awakened at 14,he's 24 now and he spent 95% of his time studying magic. He neglected social situations,has very little friends,little connection to family. And he's onky realizing that now! So,one of his aspirations is to find a girlfriend,he' also good at making friends,he just never tried before. He's crazy good at the Egregore,a small high ranking member of the mysterium. He wants to be the top dog of the order one day,
          He also really bloody loves ghosts,he has empathy for their sadness,the horror of their existence,so he spends most of his time helping. Anything a ghost aks he does,he feels guilty is he doesnt.
          He's eager to make friends,join a cabal,find a girlfriend and help even more ghosts!

          Comment


          • #6
            I Also bought five dots at mentor,because his mentor is the baddest motherfucker in town,Lucifel gave Lumiel his Shadow Name. Lucifel is a Mastigos,who spends most of this time stealing banks to give money to the poor. He's a rogue,a crazy person but he loves Lumiel/Erik like a son. Lucifel is not part of any order but the mages all respect his power. He oftens helps Lumiel when he can,but aalmost always extract a price for his actions.
            He also,gave Lumiel his shadow name,When young erik said he want to be a light to lead ghosts into the afterlife,Lucifel told Erik about the angel of light,Lumiel. And that's the name he picked

            Comment


            • #7
              Just checking, Nicolas, is Erik a Moros?

              I had been leaning toward a Moros myself, but I also have Acanthus and Mastigos ideas I've been juggling. ... Also an Obrimos, now that I think of it. Welp~
              Last edited by Beans; 07-20-2018, 05:36 PM.


              Abyssals: Whom Death Has Called, a PEACH-as-heck attempt to make an Abyssal 3E holdover.

              Where I try to make Artifacts. When I finish them I'll probably post them in the Artifact Workshop thread so people can help me hammer them into shape.

              Comment


              • #8
                Nicolas Milioni A few questions. Don't worry I think your ideas are groovy, I just tend to pick things apart and want to know a bit more about your character.
                So as an obsessive and for allmost all of his life (including formative years) downright antisocial person he is good and talented at making friends. How come? How does he deal with the anxiety talking to other people certainly would cause to such a person? Due to his background he seems to have had allmost no opportunity to develop social skills.
                Regarding Egregore I'm fine with you taking the merit, up to 5 if you really want it, but the initiations its taking its name from are part of a bigger mysterium social order a starting char would not have the qualifactions to go through (amongst other things starting chars just aren't magically proficient enough for anything past... the second initiation, I think?). But that's fine, more opportunities to undergo them later IC! Regarding your status in the order I think there are certain limits however. You can certainly have "high" order status, but I think high for a starting char would probably end at 3 and even then your character would need to have some extraordinary accomplishments and abilities under his belt.
                Incidentially the highest ranking Mystagogue in the area is leading a cabal focussed on studying the underworld and death, we'll have to figure out a reason why you are *not* a member of said cabal.
                His proclivity for helping ghosts will get you into all sorts of trouble, considering how unreasonable they can be. It will probably also be a point of derision for other mages aware of the habit, many mages have rather dim views of ghosts and their personhood (not saying they are right, mages just tend to be egomaniacal dicks and the world is easier when the ghost you enslaved isn't really a person for this or that reason).
                Regarding your mentor I'll have to think about it first - I have a certain power structure in mind and throwing in a random all powerful badass wildcard mage is not really going to be conductive to the campaign, so this is a tentative no. There are certainly mages who could function as a 5 dot mentor though.
                Morrigan, Mystagogue Councilor and leader of the Lords of the Below is for example a Master of Death and would be sufficiently powerful to serve as a five dot mentor. There is also another mage who could work for your char stat wise, but is really a militant isolationist, so I see no reason why he'd tutor your char.

                Beans
                Don't be afraid to make a Moros just because someone else also does. We don't need to represent every Path and indeed having holes in the party often can lead to interesting storyhooks. A Path offers enough thematic material to support many different char concepts anyway.
                Last edited by Flinty; 07-20-2018, 05:37 PM.


                My Mage 2e Homebrew

                Comment


                • #9
                  hmmm,can i rule Lumiel was actually a social person,just not with living people? Back when he awakened he started to see ghosts almost immediatelly,and they often talk to him The ghosts taught him everything he knows about the occult,he had several teachers from the Underworld.S,he's actually had a lot of scoail interaction,just not with the living. Does that sound good?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
                    hmmm,can i rule Lumiel was actually a social person,just not with living people? Back when he awakened he started to see ghosts almost immediatelly,and they often talk to him The ghosts taught him everything he knows about the occult,he had several teachers from the Underworld.S,he's actually had a lot of scoail interaction,just not with the living. Does that sound good?
                    That sounds like it would cause even more of a disconnect when dealing with living people, really. Ghosts are not entirely like the living.


                    My Mage 2e Homebrew

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If,you want tochange my mentor,that's fine. As long as he is pwoerful and resourcefoul enough to warrant five dots i'm okay with it.
                      As for the reason he didn't join the underworld cabal,i'll rule that secretely,Erik/Lumiel is also an egocentirc guy,he doesn't want to be part of cabal studying the underworld ebcause he wants to be the greateast student of the underworld ever,and he doesnt want anyone helping him because he wants all the glory to himself. As a player,i want him to learn that it is bs in game,i want to go through the old trope of an arrogant person learning humility,painfully if needeed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Flinty View Post

                        That sounds like it would cause even more of a disconnect when dealing with living people, really. Ghosts are not entirely like the living.
                        Oh man,can i just rule my character has a knack for social situations,that he just didnt want to put to use? I really would prefer no to change the dots on my sheet right now

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well a five dot mentor would sure mean a Master - who I should mention are going to be rather rare in my Campaign. Mages knowledgeable about the Consilium (which many would not be) would likely know about three Masters in total in the whole Consilium (though there may be more who do not advertise their skill). Hence my reluctance to add another super powerful figure into the mix.

                          For your char Morrigan seems like the most likely choice, we just have to work out why she'd take an interest in your char (there is allways a catch with mages ambitious enough to become so powerful...) and how your relationship is working out.

                          Regarding your social dots: Dots on the sheet should follow the story of the char not the other way around. But I think we can twist this in a way that makes sense AND gives you what you want (I think?). Just say that he wasn't a complete recluse for all these years, instead he allways had had an easy way connecting to people on the surface - but he's never formed any deep bonds for one reason or another. All his relationships are shallow and he wants to change that now (though that brings up the question: why the sudden change of heart?)
                          Last edited by Flinty; 07-20-2018, 05:56 PM.


                          My Mage 2e Homebrew

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                          • #14
                            As for his status in the mysterium,he only has one dot on Status. but he has four dots on Egregore because he spend all his time studying and training magic instead of making connections and trying to ascend the ladder. He only realized how little of a player he is recently,and now he wants to advance on his status.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Flinty View Post
                              Well a five dot mentor would sure mean a Master - who I should mention are going to be rather rare in my Campaign. Mages knowledgeable about the Consilium (which many would not be) would likely know about three Masters in total in the whole Consilium (though there may be more who do not advertise their skill). Hence my reluctance to add another super powerful figure into the mix.

                              For your char Morrigan seems like the most likely choice, we just have to work out why she'd take an interest in your char (there is allways a catch with mages ambitious enough to become so powerful...) and how your relationship is working out.

                              Regarding your social dots: Dots on the sheet should follow the story of the char not the other way around. But I think we can twist this in a way that makes sense AND gives you what you want (I think?). Just say that he wasn't a complete recluse for all these years, instead he allways had had an easy way connecting to people on the surface - but he's never formed any deep bonds for one reason or another. All his relationships are shallow and he wants to change that now (though that brings up the question: why the sudden change of heart?)
                              Oh i know,he changed his heart because a ghost approached him one day. And that ghost didn't want any requests of him,didn't want anything too difficult. the ghost just wanted to be heard. When Erik/Lumiel heard the ghost story he realize how important other people really are. Furthermore once the ghost was done,he disapearead,not going back to the underworld but for what Lumiel firmly believes is Heaven

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