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What are your preferred settings for Mage?

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  • What are your preferred settings for Mage?

    ...and why?

  • #2
    Early 15th century in Germany.
    Medival meets Renaissance, the Ascension war is getting on, and I am familiar with the place.

    So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"


    • #3
      For me it's been these:

      The 80's: I like how everything fits here. With the game being published in 1993, much of what the game is comes from the experiences of people in the 80s, from the cold war and space race to the computer age before the internet and mobile phones were everywhere.

      A few decades into the future: Because it is far enough removed from today that you can make all sorts of stuff up without too much worry as to how incredible this might be but with enough links to the present that you can use the news as a good source of story material.

      With regards to geography, I tend to use:

      Some made up place in the U.S.A.: Because U.S. culture is all over the media and it's easy to take a known city or maybe something other people have made up (D.C.'s Gotham City, Lovecraft's Arkham Massachusetts, or Innsmouth, Hill Valley from back to the future, or something from GTA) and change the names and details.

      New York: Because of how easy it is to find plot hooks for Mage based there, all the landmarks, and with NY in all sorts of movies, and books, and TV shows, players generally know exactly what you are talking about.

      I'd like to try others in the future, but this has been the default.


      • #4
        Been doing one in modern day London and it's been a great deal of fun. Using real locations that we've all been to and superimposing Mage and Technocratic features on to them seems to resonate with a lot of my players and adds a level of realism and gravitas to the stuff they do.

        Having London as a Technocratic stronghold allows for a permenent state of paranoia that anything the mages do can draw attention to them if they are not careful. But it also means my mages are more willing to do magic to communicate with one another rather than just using phones and laptops since the Technocracy may be watching at all times.

        M20 really helps in updating a lot of Mage's finer themes into modern day. But I also love how aspects of the metaplot are now old enough to be considered as a historic tragedy.
        The avatar storm is something that happened over 15 years ago, and my mages were either children or weren't awakened when it happened. It's something my NPCs reference with sorrow for the lives lost, and the umbra they are now cut off from. Some even talk about trying to wrestle the umbra back from the storm.

        Similarly, Doisetep and Horizon all seem like distant memories of the older generation. The sort of thing that appears in legend as only a few Mages who have seen these places are alive today, most of them perished in the storm after all.

        Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy


        • #5
          I'll second the "new meta" from M20, especially the part about making the storm something that's pasted and umbra is a whole different thing.

          I like running games set in Chicago or New Orleans.


          • #6
            I've run games in Chicago and Yellostone National Park, that was really fun. I also want to run a cross-country traveling game across the U.S. Its not an exact location, but I think travel games make for a unique modern game.


            • #7
              Originally posted by OmegaZ View Post
              […]I also want to run a cross-country traveling game across the U.S. Its not an exact location, but I think travel games make for a unique modern game.
              My campaign in college was a The Fugitive-style travel story.

              Our previous setting was the town right down the road. It's a place we're all familiar with so the descriptions were particularly effective and it has a long history which could be easily interpreted as supernatural. We actually rotated through Mage, Hunter, and Werewolf in one running Chronicle set in our area. We incorporated people we actually know into the storyline. I think this was my favorite overall.

              My current campaign is rural Florida, of course, in keeping with my inspirational source material.


              • #8
                I like the 60's and 70's, when the ideology of mystic mages seems to be the most predominant it has been for a very long time. Also it is similar enough to nowadays that you don't have to do too much research.


                • #9
                  My preferred setting for Mage is the solar system as seen by the Void Engineers.

                  Mage: the Ascension - Redesigned Prime Sphere; Streamlined Wonder Creation
                  Mage: the Awakening 2E - Hogwarts: the Wizarding World Chronicle
                  Mummy: the Curse - Lightweight 2E Conversion; Disciples of Duat


                  • #10
                    Modern day in the bay area, California. You have the east bay (Oakland, Berkeley, etc.), San Francisco itself, and the Silicon Valley and San Jose all around. Part of the appeal of Mage: the Ascension is how the game universe could conceivably map onto our own world (just a little bit darker, no?). So that can be exciting for players (and definitely the ST) to conceive of why something is the way it is in that area (who caused it to happen and how). That said, there are some things that you don't actually make darker than real life (e.g., the Oakland PD incident with them running through three police chiefs in nine days or so is hard to make any darker than it was/is).


                    • #11
                      I go with inverted flight controls and I map jump to the spacebar.

                      Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink


                      • #12
                        ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

                        cWoD Dice Probability Chart ||| cWoD Dice Statistics Calculator ||| cWoD Alternative Armor System
                        cWoD Alternative Damage Roll System ||| My explanation of cWoD Damage Levels ||| 'Intersting' Strength Attribute Stuff
                        EXPLOSIVE cWoD STUFF!


                        • #13
                          I don't think I have one. Every campaign I've run, I've changed the milleau, the timeframe and the backdrops drastically.

                          What doesn't kill you, makes you... stranger.


                          • #14
                            Hard to say, I've played mage set in my hometown (btw if you ever want to play vampire in an oppressively conspiratorial political environment, study brazillian politics in the last 200 years), boston, ny, la, constantinople, vancouver, ankara...
                            but each game had different vibes and my playstyle shifted accordingly...
                            I had the best time fighting in vancouver and ankara (half the fighty games), where I made an ecstatic and a kung fu cyborg etherite. Vancouver had lots of trouble with the overpowering presence of the prince and the tradition/werewolf attrition. Ankara was a hellhole and most players where in some kind of spec ops. Given both the storytellers and some players have been to those places we had very thorough landscapes to explore too.
                            In constantinople I had my favorite political game ever. Wish I had made a fighty character there too because vandals.


                            • #15
                              I haven't played or ran Mage, but I know the very general gist about it. I actually have been brainstorming a story and went ahead and just ordered Mage 20th because one of the players is a huge Mage fan and sold me pretty much.

                              My idea is for the story to take place in San Francisco right at the beginning of the Summer of Love and take off from there. My goal is for it to have this weird dynamic where is deal with just how insane the late 60s where with the Flower Power movement, Scientology getting its feet underneath it, The Process Church, Manson, War, cults, and everyone trying to find/and or thinking they know how to enlighten and save people's souls.

                              It'll also deal with the seething underbelly of the hippie movement to include drug addiction, and people encroaching, such as The Hell's Angels, to fulfill their baser desires.

                              For different game play videos of White Wolf Games from my play group
                              If you want to find White Wolf game play media or subject matter media