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How would you do this setting in Mage?

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  • How would you do this setting in Mage?

    I came up with a setting for a mage story. It Is basically a evil circus ran by a Nephandi. My question is besides killer clowns, evil Carneys and twisted side-show freaks, what could a Nephandi have in a twisted carnival for other Mage's to encounter?

  • #2
    I would pull my Midnight Circus book off the shelf....

    http://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/product/208
    Last edited by BurritoMage; 04-05-2017, 09:50 PM. Reason: Linky dinky

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    • #3
      If I might take inspiration from comics, why not have a "member" of the circus who is technically innocent, kept there against their will to suffer.

      In James Robinson's Starman, one of the previous heroes to hold the eponymous title of Starman - an alien come to Earth - was rendered catatonic by drugs or magic (I forget which) by an evil circus barker (who was also demon who fed on suffering), and kept prisoner as one of the freak show attractions. 'Cause he was blue with orange hair and a jewel in his chest, and all. Like I said, he was fed on by his demonic ring leader, by keeping his in delirium. This went on for years, until the then-current Starman freed him, and helped him recover from the trauma over a number of issues.

      More recently, a side story in the Gotham Academy comic had a circus come to the grounds of the eponymous school (because that's proper). The headmaster already knew the circus, and told his students in no uncertain terms that they weren't to attend it. Obviously this advice went ignored, leading to hijinks. The important part here, though, is we discover that one of the young-seeming kids working for the circus was the elderly headmaster's childhood friend. That he'd been captured by the circus and pressed into serving it forever (indeed, another supernatural circus, because Comics). When the supernatural threat was finally dealt with, the headmaster had a final reunion with his friend, before the latter aged rapidly to decrepitude, and passed away.

      While some of the characters at your Nephandic circus are definitely bad people - serial killers, thugs, minor Infernalists, draft dodgers, etc. - it might be interesting to have folks involved with the organization who aren't there by choice. It can give the players more reason to get involved with the circus (after all, they probably don't know from the outset that the leader is Fallen). And it provides someone who can give them necessary exposition, because they know the troupe intimately.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
        If I might take inspiration from comics, why not have a "member" of the circus who is technically innocent, kept there against their will to suffer.

        In James Robinson's Starman, one of the previous heroes to hold the eponymous title of Starman - an alien come to Earth - was rendered catatonic by drugs or magic (I forget which) by an evil circus barker (who was also demon who fed on suffering), and kept prisoner as one of the freak show attractions. 'Cause he was blue with orange hair and a jewel in his chest, and all. Like I said, he was fed on by his demonic ring leader, by keeping his in delirium. This went on for years, until the then-current Starman freed him, and helped him recover from the trauma over a number of issues.

        More recently, a side story in the Gotham Academy comic had a circus come to the grounds of the eponymous school (because that's proper). The headmaster already knew the circus, and told his students in no uncertain terms that they weren't to attend it. Obviously this advice went ignored, leading to hijinks. The important part here, though, is we discover that one of the young-seeming kids working for the circus was the elderly headmaster's childhood friend. That he'd been captured by the circus and pressed into serving it forever (indeed, another supernatural circus, because Comics). When the supernatural threat was finally dealt with, the headmaster had a final reunion with his friend, before the latter aged rapidly to decrepitude, and passed away.

        While some of the characters at your Nephandic circus are definitely bad people - serial killers, thugs, minor Infernalists, draft dodgers, etc. - it might be interesting to have folks involved with the organization who aren't there by choice. It can give the players more reason to get involved with the circus (after all, they probably don't know from the outset that the leader is Fallen). And it provides someone who can give them necessary exposition, because they know the troupe intimately.
        I could make one of the freaks and a couple of clowns innocent. Also, I am debating making the Fallen either a Infrernalist or a servant of the Outer Lords. Do killer clowns sound to cartoony to you?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Killerclown View Post
          Do killer clowns sound to cartoony to you?
          Yes, especially if they are part of an "evil circus"

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          • #6
            *Too

            And yes, it is pretty cartoony. Just look at Stephen King's IT, with the clown played by Tim Curry. But that's par for the course, when the plot is about an Evil Circus.

            On the other hand, it's possible to have a killer clown that's more grounded. Instead of having the clown be a wacky loon, who happens to throw pies with bombs in them or whatever, make him just a regular serial killer. A regular serial killer who happens to be a clown. They act professionally in the open, putting on the face of respectability (as much as one can in the make-up and floppy shoes). But in between cracking jokes and giving out balloons, he entices children into following him to a private place. You can imagine where it goes.

            Instead of making him a cackling lunatic, make him a subtle murderer. The kind of guy who uses his position to indulge his twisted habits, relying on the transitory nature of the circus to avoid detection. And if the lion tamer is willing to dispose of the evidence by giving his "pets" a "snack", the victims just become another case of missing children, never to be seen again.

            When the gig is up, play against type by making our killer clown drop all humor. At that moment, he's a remorseless butcher, taking a knife to his enemies with a cold, calculated malice. Only when he lies dying should he laugh.


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            • #7
              The description of the clown is pretty neat. Though, I was not planning on making him cartoony in the first place. Also, most of the Carney' s are thugs, cult member's and other unsavory characters and serve as the main fodder to fight through. I am wondering what a Outer Lord tainted circus would look like?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Killerclown View Post
                The description of the clown is pretty neat. Though, I was not planning on making him cartoony in the first place. Also, most of the Carney' s are thugs, cult member's and other unsavory characters and serve as the main fodder to fight through. I am wondering what a Outer Lord tainted circus would look like?
                Seriously look at the Midnight Circus book, this is everything you are talking about.

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