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  • #31
    Originally posted by LokiRavenSpeak View Post
    That true tough the BSD are technically playable with book of the wyrm 20. You make a normal garou and then buy some of the Wyrm gift and flaws and there you go.

    Same with the Nephandi, you make a mage.....and mechanically that it. Unless I am forgetting some special rule their change (inverted avatar) dont have any change to the day-to-day mechanics of them.
    And that was my whole point.

    BSD haven't any more "agency" than Nephandi, once you walk the black spiral you're pretty much harcoded to be evil. It doesn't matter if you were a relatively nice guy before, Entering the labyrinth and embracing it's nature it's pretty much the same as entering a Caul and accepting the transformation. If you believe Nephandi aren't playable because what Ajax said before (agency and stuff), then you don't beleive BSD are playable because they have a relationship with evil that's analogous as that of Nephandi

    Phill says you shouldn't play with Nephandi, but if you believe that this is an argument, then you're accepting that Kiasyd are "unplayable" too (something I see no one accepting).

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    • #32
      Is making a cult of underage teens to make drugs bad when you pick them from the streets, give them a home and food and sense of belonging and forge them into a cult so making drugs with magic is easier? On one hand, yes is abominable. On the other.....is better than them being on the street.
      Humans can do that...

      Originally posted by Ajax
      If you don't think mages are monsters, you haven't really seriously thought over what it would be like to be a Sleeper in a world where mages are real and where one of them is interested in you. Or, perhaps worse, one in which a mage is doing something nearby and you are innocent bystander. .
      Yes, I have. Perhaps you are missing my point, there's more about being a monster that being evil. In fact, I would say that being a monster, in the classic sense, does not imply being evil.

      They don't need a decaying moral statistic or something to struggle against. They are pretty much amoral assholes with limitless power from the get go with pretty much just fancy botches to keep them in check. Even if they do have some "code" it's very likely that it doesn't really take your well-being as you see it into account.
      Missing my point.

      You're generalizing, I can name mages and mage organizations of the top of my head that aren't "amoral assholes": Like the whole faction of Extatics that dedicates to save victims of child abuse and punish pedophiles. In general, you may be correct, albeit it's debatable, but you're missing my point.

      My WHOLE POINT was that you're evil only if you want to be evil, which it's a completely free choice that the game in no way advertises. I never stated that there aren't whole organizations of Eeeeeeevil mages that love being evil. I merely stated that since you don't have any mechanic that rewards or pushes you towards being evil, then Mage it's not more a game of "playing the monster" than D&D. In that sense of being a Monster...

      Now, let's explore other senses.

      They are very much monsters in the Classic sense, if your "classic sense" includes tragedy or psychology and not the Hollywood Movie Monster pantheon. Mages are reality terrorists.
      Hollywood Movie Monster pantheon. Let's see, what's that pantheon made off ?. Vampires (Vampire), werewolves (Werewolf), the frankenstain monster (In CoD, they finally came). Wicked witches and noble wizards are part of Hollywood (see Oz) but the good ones are hardly characterized as monsters...

      Now. WoD it's , literaly, made of "the Hollywood Movie Monster pantheon". It takes a novel approach to the genre where, say, werewolves may be justified in what they do because they fight cosmic horrors, but I don't see why you would think that anyone should include in their classic sense anything but that pantheon. We're speaking about WoD after all, the games where you play with said pantheon, not with greek tragedy (where monsters weren't even that bad compared with humans) nor psychology.

      However, if you want to go to other works about monsters, fine, let's do it. Let's go to Greek mytology. Try to make a "Circe" like character, she was a "wizard" type after all: You need a Master of Life and Paradox may not like it. As a play stile, it sucks, Mage rewards being subtle. Thus, Mage it's bad at playing greek monsters too.

      There's no "reality terrorists" in any classic work about mosnters, as far as I know, but fell free to illuminate me and demonstrate why Mage it's the game that's supposed to be played like that. The closest thing I can think off it's the Illuminatus trilogy, which isn't that old, ad isn't what I would call "monster literature".

      You CAN play a Fomor (and yes, I have seen it done and done as well or better than most Werewolf characters) Or a Specter. Or a Baali working for the Black Hand. Or a Dunsirn Revenant. Or an Infernalist. There isn't a single line White Wolf ever drew saying "These guys are just TOO eeeeeeeevil for players" that they didn't later cross. Except, maybe for Nephandi.
      And you missed my point by a mile, as I stated above.

      But, since you have your doubts about Nephandi being playable because just because they do have said line, then perhaps you believe that Kiasid are unplayable too.
      Last edited by Aleph; 12-15-2017, 02:14 PM.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by LokiRavenSpeak View Post
        Personally what I hope for M5 that i definitely wont get is: Mage revised, with better rules and a restraining order that Brucatto wont put its hands on any mage product ever again.
        Same here, only for me it's Mage 2e instead of Revised. Nothing personal against Satyros Brucato, but I don't like the sweeping changes that Brucato made to M20. It was just too much for me.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Camilla View Post

          Same here, only for me it's Mage 2e instead of Revised. Nothing personal against Satyros Brucato, but I don't like the sweeping changes that Brucato made to M20. It was just too much for me.
          See, as someone who's played every edition of Mage at some point or another, M20 doesn't feel all that sweeping. To me, M20 feels like a Mage 2.5+e. Its got some of Revised's DNA in the bashing/lethal damage divide, but the Magick is very much in line with 2e (particularly in terms of Paradox and how it builds and is discharged), with the main change to magick being using a holistic Focus (paradigm/practice/props) and pulling at Mythic Threads instead of the individual specialized foci that 2e/Revised did.

          I don't mind either of those changes though because what I've found is that they helped a lot of my newer players grok Mage a lot better than the older rules did and replacing "using a sphere's specialized focus" with "use a mythic thread" as one of the tools for reducing magick difficulties made the players more apt to try and think about what sort of means and ends their tradition/craft/convention is associated with (ex. chanting in latin while scrawling symbols on the ground in chalk in order to summon a spirit or throw a fireball for a Hermetic) far more than just the list of props and using the right one at the right time for that -1 difficulty bump ever did.

          The softer 2e style paradox (relative to Revised) also made them much more apt to actually use vulgar magic in line with their paradigm because it was now worth the risk (i.e. 1 point that doesn't blow up immediately unless you're at 5+ banked paradox and might bleed off as paradox flaws instead vs. taking 4+ that blows up immediately for bashing damage if you're trying to throw a fireball in public).

          Other than that, just about all the updates were fluff updates the book went out of its way to say you could ignore. Including the disparates and conventions is just par for the course with the other 20th Anniversary editions because they're meant to be extremely comprehensive on that stuff (V20 including all the bloodlines/specialty disciplines and W20 including all the other changing breeds for example).

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          • #35

            I wouldn't like M5 to portray the Traditions as fanatic zealots. Guide to the Traditions has the model that I want the Traditions to follow, with mixed Traditions and a greater acceptance for science.

            I loathe, as I have stated many times, the M20 idea of painting the Trads as facist and creating a group of "new traditions" that are more politically correct than the previous one. Sadly, that does seem to be the actual course of action, and would fit with the "edginess" of the new books.

            I really like the way M20 has upgraded the rules, I may have a qualm here and there, but, frankly, I played with "reality zones" before they were a thing, I like the Mythic Thread stuff, I like Focus mechanics, and the Paradox and dice rules are pretty much like the 2ed rules I use. There's little I don't like from the way M20 does magick, altrough they explain it very poorly.

            And while I wouldn't mind playable Nephandi (aren't they a thing already?), I wouldn't want to paint them as "misunderstood". I like my Fallen to be corrupt, thank you.

            But, like so many people said, I have my books, I have my group-I can play however I want. Thus I don't care a whole lot.
            Originally posted by Aleph
            My WHOLE POINT was that you're evil only if you want to be evil, which it's a completely free choice that the game in no way advertises. I never stated that there aren't whole organizations of Eeeeeeevil mages that love being evil. I merely stated that since you don't have any mechanic that rewards or pushes you towards being evil, then Mage it's not more a game of "playing the monster" than D&D.
            Perhaps a clarification it's in order. Let me exemplify:

            I have an Etherite that's a paranormal detective. He's an adventurer and has always defied danger and avoided death by a hair split, but he never killed anyone. He loathes violence too, albeit he's not above giving information to hunters or the like if a creature relly needs to be put down. I modeled the character with some inspiration from The Doctor, in that he wouldn't use a gun. Also, he won't kill a monster just because the creature preys on humans. Vampires have to feed too and it's in their nature.
            Now, his presence can be very enigmatic, sometimes even scary to the onlooker when he does uncanny stuff (trough I try to resort to Coincidence), but he wouldn't be called, nor call himself, a "monster".

            I have a Brujah that was a humanist philosopher. Very high on Humanity, he values not only human life but human rights. Or he used to.You see, with my best intentions I couldn't avoid Frenzi forever. He fellt atracted to human blood, and he wasn't always able to contain this unhuman desires. He was horrified by his dependance on fresh blood, and loathed being a vampire.He's not a bad guy (even now, with Humanity 4, I don't think about him as a bad guy, he's just more willing than before to "take hard choices", and don't care about feeding on humans if this helps against the Beast), but he believes to be a monster, and for all the right reasons-he did not choose the Curse but wasn't about to suicide either.

            Vampire has a lot of mechanics thar reward being a monster, like Humans giving more blood, Diablere being the path to power. Vampire seems to discourage this with the menace of the Beast, but this same mechanic forces you to do bad stuff even if you don't want to. Playing the drama of not wanting to be bad while you're, undoubtedly, a monster it's not only encouraged by every part of the fluff, but very cleverly aided by the rules.
            Mage has nothing of that. Mages are very free, this does include a (mostly unrewarded, sometimes punished) potential to play the monster, but really, the game isn't about that. Nothing in the game pushes you towards that gaming experience, at least not more than D&D pushes you towards evil alignments.

            But well, nuf said about that. Let's just say that the way I play Mage wouldn't be compatible with making it "a game about playing the monsters"
            Last edited by Aleph; 12-15-2017, 06:32 PM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Aleph View Post
              I wouldn't like M5 to portray the Traditions as fanatic zealots. Guide to the Traditions has the model that I want the Traditions to follow, with mixed Traditions and a greater acceptance for science.
              I liked that portrayal of the traditions too, although I'm not against showing their darker sides either. I'm just saying that, when the WW guys were asked about Mage, they tended to be saying a few ideas about how the world seems to heading to the direction of global surveilance and cop state vs. religious and ideological fanaticism and I agree Mage should speak bout that. Now, the how and how much is an entirely different question, I don't want to see the Trads as solely zealots and terrorists either. A portion of it, sure, but not the whole.



              I loathe, as I have stated many times, the M20 idea of painting the Trads as facist and creating a group of "new traditions" that are more politically correct than the previous one. Sadly, that does seem to be the actual course of action, and would fit with the "edginess" of the new books.
              I'm not pointing at you, but I notice people on the internet seems to regard everything authoritarian, or even militaristic as fascism. Not a big deal, but mildly annoying, IMO.

              I'm not totally hating the Disparates, I just find it very stretching that those groups would form any kind of widespread alliance with each other.

              Agree about the rules.


              If nothing worked, then let's think!

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              • #37
                Most of my issues with M20 are the changes to the setting and the fluff, namely the inclusion of the Disparates.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                  And that was my whole point.

                  BSD haven't any more "agency" than Nephandi, once you walk the black spiral you're pretty much harcoded to be evil. It doesn't matter if you were a relatively nice guy before, Entering the labyrinth and embracing it's nature it's pretty much the same as entering a Caul and accepting the transformation. If you believe Nephandi aren't playable because what Ajax said before (agency and stuff), then you don't beleive BSD are playable because they have a relationship with evil that's analogous as that of Nephandi

                  Phill says you shouldn't play with Nephandi, but if you believe that this is an argument, then you're accepting that Kiasyd are "unplayable" too (something I see no one accepting).
                  Sure, i agree nothing mechanically stops you from playing a nephandi or a BSD. Both are perfectly playable from RAW. That said i would never run or play in such game but that my taste.

                  Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                  I merely stated that since you don't have any mechanic that rewards or pushes you towards being evil, then Mage it's not more a game of "playing the monster" than D&D. In that sense of being a Monster...
                  There is kind of one though. Revised resonance, the basic idea being that the more you use magic in a certain way the better you become at that type of magic at the cost others.

                  Example in the last game i play at, one of the character got 5 entropic resonance (pain) so all his magic caused searing pain. He used to have rote to heal people but he couldnt use it anymore without his resonance tainting his magic and healing while causing searing maddening pain. What that good or bad? Neither, when he wanted to attack his resonance was useful to him but when he wanted to heal people it wasnt.

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                  • #39
                    I have long learned to filter out political opinions shoehorned into my entertainment - as it very much is with m20 (though so surprisingly little for how Phil lives his life I almost forget he penned it).

                    Maybe I just ignore it effortlessly and thus I cam get on to enjoying the entirety of the game without worry of haranging.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Camilla View Post
                      Most of my issues with M20 are the changes to the setting and the fluff, namely the inclusion of the Disparates.
                      But the Disparates have been around since the Book of Crafts was published in 1996. If something's been around for more than two decades its not a new change. All they did was put them in the core along with the Technocracy... just like the V20 book included every last minor bloodline and their custom disciplines and the W20 book included the werecats, rats, ravens, dinosaurs, sharks, et cetera. Because the 20th Anniversary editions were intended to be as all inclusive of the elements of their particular setting as possible.

                      The "Alliance" bit is stuff that, as they point out with all the fluff (and particularly with the Future Fates sections) can be used or IGNORED as you desire. The idea was to make a one-stop inclusive reference for EVERYONE, not a "You must play this way and only this way" product which was essentially the bane of the Revised Edition (i.e. using stuff like the Avatar Storm, wiping out the masters to force and all their "you're doing it wrong if you're not doing street level dying magic game" comments rife in that edition to push the OneTrueWayism of Revised's authors).

                      Instead M20 is all about options. It gives options for using it during Revised era events (by including the rules you'd need to do that if you wanted), presuming Revised era happened but is over now (the default) and even as if Revised NEVER HAPPENED and things kept plugging along as they were in 2e (Doisetep and Horizon never fell, Porthos and all the Old Masters are still around, etc.). The storyteller and players get to pick the sort of story they want to tell.

                      It sounds like your biggest gripe with M20 is that it offered people options instead of straight-jacketing everyone to your preferred style. I much prefer M20's "play the game you want to play" approach... it feels more true to the core concept of Mage... that reality is subjective and can be shaped to your own personal desires.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Chris24601 View Post
                        The "Alliance" bit is stuff that, as they point out with all the fluff (and particularly with the Future Fates sections) can be used or IGNORED as you desire.
                        Regardless, it's there, not even as a future fates box, but in the core writeups of the groups, so I think it's fair for someone not liking it, for whatever reason. I don't have serious gripes with it, I just felt it pretty stretching as an assumption that those groups would band together (they are very contrary to each other, usually lacking any central authority, etc.) and yes, it has some contemporary American political undertones, which isn't necessarily bad, I don't have problems with including political questions into the game, but it felt a little bit forced. I mean, in a way that the group's existence isn't really very-well justified within the setting internally, but by the author's political view. Mind, I'm not saying it is wholly bad, since as I read it, it's more like "we don't cross each other and provide some measure of basic help and camaraderie, if necessary", than any kind of organized cooperation.

                        The idea was to make a one-stop inclusive reference for EVERYONE, not a "You must play this way and only this way" product which was essentially the bane of the Revised Edition (i.e. using stuff like the Avatar Storm, wiping out the masters to force and all their "you're doing it wrong if you're not doing street level dying magic game" comments rife in that edition to push the OneTrueWayism of Revised's authors).
                        Yeah... I started with the revised-era books (and with Vampire), back in the day and yes, it was painstakingly clear that the writers had their strong opinions about how the games "should" be played and even contemptous derision toward certain things. I just learned later on that it was mostly targeted toward their own fans and earlier editions. Nowadays, I prefer too if a book provides resources for all kinds of play, be it somewhat epic-toned, with lots of action and supernatural elements or street level, with lots of self-reflection and daily problems, or the mix of the two and the writers don't taking up blatant stances and condemning the others. I don't need the writers to tell me that I'm wrong if my mages in a game about magic and mages dare to throw around some fancy spells, from time-to-time, or that my vampires should burn in the morning if they ever dare to pick up a trenchoat.

                        Truly, it was yet again case of things going too far and then the retaliation being just as too extreme. On the other hand, Revised might be my favorite edition of WoD visually.

                        Instead M20 is all about options. It gives options for using it during Revised era events (by including the rules you'd need to do that if you wanted), presuming Revised era happened but is over now (the default) and even as if Revised NEVER HAPPENED and things kept plugging along as they were in 2e (Doisetep and Horizon never fell, Porthos and all the Old Masters are still around, etc.). The storyteller and players get to pick the sort of story they want to tell.
                        Yeah, I liked that too. Honestly, that is my favorite version (ie. that the revised era happened, but things are recuperating since), because you know what? The Revised era is a good story (IMO) and interesting as an era. I just don't want it to be the baseline forever, because it's also quite depressing on the long run. I think the writers recognized that and even softened up on things, even during Revised's run.
                        Last edited by PMárk; 12-16-2017, 12:43 PM.


                        If nothing worked, then let's think!

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                        • #42
                          I don't like the disparate alliance much ether to be honest

                          The whole group seems like a bad fit for its member crafts

                          I find the idea little hard to swallow for the simple reason that these groups don't strike me as even being capable of working together in a meaningful way, particularly the Taftani and the Batini and the Sisters of Hypolita and the Knights Templars.

                          If these groups can work together then they can work with some of traditions

                          this idea that the disparate alliance has banded together but won't work with the Trads because apparently they've been infiltrated by the nephandi strikes me as a little unbelievable.

                          Now I don't mind the disparate alliance at all aside from the above issue. I like most of the groups and even more, I like the idea of them coming to the traditions and saying "we can't be pushed around and we won't be forced to assimilate into one of the nine of you, so either get a bigger number and let us in as equals or lie in the bed you make for yourself without us!"

                          I also find the name to be a poor choice, I don't think they would call themselves that.

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                          • #43
                            Wait... How does M20 portray the Traditions as fascist or as just a bunch of religious fanatics? Maybe I missed something (the book is pretty freaking big) but I don't remember the Trads getting trashed that hard by Phil. In fact, I think he kind went of his way to make them straight up good guys.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by LokiRavenSpeak View Post


                              It doesnt feel earned, It just feel like yet another of Brucatto ego´s stroke for him to say "Look guys, i fix the mistakes of the past now you can play the tradition which are politically correct" with his usual lack of understanding of the issue at hand.
                              ​You were given a week suspension last summer for making personal attacks against Phil Brucato, this time it's a month. If you come back and the behavior doesn't change for the better then the next suspension will be permanent.


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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Weirdboyz View Post
                                Wait... How does M20 portray the Traditions as fascist or as just a bunch of religious fanatics? Maybe I missed something (the book is pretty freaking big) but I don't remember the Trads getting trashed that hard by Phil. In fact, I think he kind went of his way to make them straight up good guys.
                                I think the worry is that is what WW will be doing with M5, not what happened with M20.

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