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  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    Originally posted by JuniorALR View Post
    As a mage player and ST i prefer when the books give me ideas rather than tie me by the balls while saying "No, you CAN'T do that because it's unfair to vampires". I only hope they don't turn True Mages into Static Sorcerers.
    There's an in universe reason for that, it's not just that it's 'unfair'.

    Mage as it is is really, really fine. The explanation of how powers work just needs to be better


    RE- Mage computer game

    Players level up spheres. Spheres provide lots of handy little 'perks' based on paradigm. Some of which have odd keybindings or are set as a 'weapon' (The plasmids from bioshock, but more subtle, are a good leaping off point) But many are completely passive.

    I don't think it'd be undoable. Though there would be much more issue in grand schemes. Then again, it's not like a Vampire game has really let you set off free form machinations with your social powers so...

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  • Grumpy RPG Reviews
    replied
    There is a surprising amount of talk about the plausibility of a MtA – but then forms always wander off topic.

    I played the Dark Wars: Dark Forces II game. Before the dark times, before the Empire (i.e. Disney).

    In the game, a character gradually acquires force powers with no real teachers, and little to no in-game exposition on the subject. The player chooses among a set of symbols to use various powers, gains experience and either has new powers appear or existing powers grow.

    The point being, something similar could be done with MtA – a minimum amount of momentum killing exposition, but thematic appropriate powers.

    Back on subject, I am most intrigued by the property being handled by Green Robin, or Atlas Games.

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  • Trippy
    replied
    Originally posted by Marko Markoko View Post
    Atlas Games would indeed be a fascinating choice. They are the ones who own Ars Magica. Atlas and White Wolf are both descended from Lion Rampart (I think, something like that). Something like this would freak out the Ars community (they are still bitter about the "divorce"). Hell, I am a major part of that community, but I am the rogue that likes to shake things up.
    Atlas has access to some real talent. And they are great at recruiting and molding new talent. If they could get David Chart to work on it, it would be amazing. Great writer, but his true brilliance is as a line-editor. I know he knows Phil. Don't know if they get along. But I do know how pleasantly diplomatic David Chart can be when working with chaotic writers (I was one of them). There are other freelancers that work with Atlas that I would love to see tackle Mage. Jonathan Tweet, Timothy Ferguson, Mark Shirley, and more. And David Chart is a wizard at recruiting quality talent from the fan base. Ars Magica 5 was written mainly by fans turned freelancers under his guidance.
    Mage has a rich fan base, and some of them would make magnificent contributions to this game. I have a hunch that is how Atlas would handle a project such as this. Atlas is also very apt at keeping up with the internet community of their games. Another trait essential to Mage.

    On a related subject, something that would benefit Mage is to isolate it further from the oWoD storylines and systems. Make Mage its own game. Don't worry about crossover compatabillity. And cut the cord to some of the old history of the game. M20 had this strange feel to it. More of a piece of nostalgia than a current event. It real like "a bunch of stuff happened back ten to twenty years ago, some of that stuff didn't happen, nothing has happened for ten more years, now go!".
    I like David Chart, and directly congratulated him at the time when he chose to stand down from developing Ars Magica. Under his stewardship a relatively small print game kept regularly chugging out excellent supplements for years - indeed it was one of the longest running games kept in continual publication I think. Unfortunately, the supplement driven game line doesn’t appear to be as effective business model as it used to be, and the indication was that they were actually losing money on some of the later books. When they finally stopped the line, they declared that there 40+ supplements still around, and this was more than enough to finish the line.

    It would be interesting to see they develop the game from this point - and it is notable that all their other lines (Feng Shui, Unknown Armies and Over The Edge) have had new editions in recent years, so maybe they might decide to do something similar with Ars Magica. There was some talk about doing a Gumshoe version of the game, focussed mainly on the investigative House Geurnicus, but it’s not come about. I’d like to see it, as the rules-set would actually simplify a lot in the game I think (the rules became a little convoluted over the years).

    How does all this relate to a new edition of Mage? I dunno, but I would argue that all of Atlas games are Mage related in some ways - they all deal with magical systems or paradigms on one level or another, and so Mage would fit right in there and could sell a lot for them. I’d love to see what Jonathan Tweet could do with the game, especially.

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  • Grumpy RPG Reviews
    replied
    Originally posted by Marko Markoko View Post
    More of a piece of nostalgia than a current event. It real like "a bunch of stuff happened back ten to twenty years ago, some of that stuff didn't happen, nothing has happened for ten more years, now go!".
    Given the final apocalyptic events of the game - the Avatar storm devastating the command of the major factions - this should be very possible. A not-quite clean slate world for surviving mages should be feasible.

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  • Trippy
    replied
    Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
    Then don't try to translate the system directly. That's a fool's errand.
    Well, if you do that, you aren’t really playing Mage - just a modified version of Mage. That’s really my point - it’s hard to translate to other mediums, or at least harder to translate than both Vampire and Werewolf.

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  • Marko Markoko
    replied
    Originally posted by Asimar View Post
    If there is a M5, I would vastly prefer that Paradox handed it to another company. For exemple, both Mophidus (with Kult) and Atlas Games (with Unknow Armies) have some experience with occult conspiracy games, and I'm very curious of what they can do with Mage.
    Atlas Games would indeed be a fascinating choice. They are the ones who own Ars Magica. Atlas and White Wolf are both descended from Lion Rampart (I think, something like that). Something like this would freak out the Ars community (they are still bitter about the "divorce"). Hell, I am a major part of that community, but I am the rogue that likes to shake things up.
    Atlas has access to some real talent. And they are great at recruiting and molding new talent. If they could get David Chart to work on it, it would be amazing. Great writer, but his true brilliance is as a line-editor. I know he knows Phil. Don't know if they get along. But I do know how pleasantly diplomatic David Chart can be when working with chaotic writers (I was one of them). There are other freelancers that work with Atlas that I would love to see tackle Mage. Jonathan Tweet, Timothy Ferguson, Mark Shirley, and more. And David Chart is a wizard at recruiting quality talent from the fan base. Ars Magica 5 was written mainly by fans turned freelancers under his guidance.
    Mage has a rich fan base, and some of them would make magnificent contributions to this game. I have a hunch that is how Atlas would handle a project such as this. Atlas is also very apt at keeping up with the internet community of their games. Another trait essential to Mage.

    On a related subject, something that would benefit Mage is to isolate it further from the oWoD storylines and systems. Make Mage its own game. Don't worry about crossover compatabillity. And cut the cord to some of the old history of the game. M20 had this strange feel to it. More of a piece of nostalgia than a current event. It real like "a bunch of stuff happened back ten to twenty years ago, some of that stuff didn't happen, nothing has happened for ten more years, now go!".

    Leave a comment:


  • JuniorALR
    replied
    As a mage player and ST i prefer when the books give me ideas rather than tie me by the balls while saying "No, you CAN'T do that because it's unfair to vampires". I only hope they don't turn True Mages into Static Sorcerers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bluecho
    replied
    Originally posted by Trippy View Post
    It’s not just about the scope, it’s also about the exposition and execution. Just a quick glance at your own post details well over a dozen different groups and terms - some of which actually come from other games - there would be a lot of front on explanations needed in order to make these accessible to a casual audience before they assume play.
    The amount of exposition for any given mission is negotiable.

    Let's take that Sabbat mission, for instance. It would take maybe a minute to explain "lol, Hemovores exist, and some of them don't even bother being subtle about it" in a briefing cutscene. They can easily do it on the helicopter ride over. Then, once the player gets into the Sabbat haven and starts encountering flesh-crafted monstrosities, that this was even a possibility can be explained very briefly over the radio. You can even make a joke about it, like the protagonist was being improperly briefed about this aspect of vampire ability.

    The player does not need everything explained to them. Even VtM: Bloodlines didn't bother explaining all that much about the Kuei Jin and how they worked, and they were one of the main antagonists of the game. The hypothetical Damage Control game is allowed to be selective about what aspects of Mage and the greater World of Darkness it shows. If anything, keeping lore dumps to a minimum is an advantage, since it makes the world seem strange and mysterious. Like there's more between heaven and earth than is dreamt of in the Technocracy's philosophy (and that the protagonist, like all Technocrats, is the victim of a Union that is not entirely forthcoming to its agents).

    (Also, the fact that these missions are levels in a game that you play makes blunt exposition less necessary than you think. Having to do battle with a Giovanni's hoard of zombies, or an Etherite's Frankenstein creations, is its own exposition. It speaks for itself, especially when the Etherite in question joins his stitched-together minions by breaking out a cobbled-together lightning cannon. There's nothing to really explain at that point; the player is fighting a mad scientist. The phrase "Show, Don't Tell" comes to mind.)

    Secondly, Mage has the particular issue about how to translate the magic system into a video game, replete with all the options and variations it provides - and this would be tricky.
    Then don't try to translate the system directly. That's a fool's errand.

    I made a point of saying the protagonist of the Damage Control game would have a Focus that was "tightly defined". This was deliberate. You don't need to explain the tools and powers at the player's disposal in terms of Spheres, though you easily could as part of a nine-branched progression system. Most Mages don't use all of what the Spheres allow them to do; they prioritize the powers their Paradigm is built for. Various Mage groups are built around archetypes, that dictate what sort of fantasy or SF abilities they favor.

    In this hypothetical game, you hew close to that fact, and have this Progenitor agent use what tools and techniques are relevant to their Focus. They buff themselves by injecting chemicals or activating devices. They carry around a variety of weapons, some of them being provided by Iteration X. They get upgrades by tinkering with their DNA or getting xenografts.

    Don't fixate on how to stuff the entirety of Mage's magick system into an FPS. That's not remotely the point, and is counterproductive. You narrow it down to what's appropriate for the character and the game.

    This would also be the same in other Mage video games. You could have a narrative adventure game starring a Hermetic wizard detective (basically a Harry Dresden or John Constantine), where the "spells" are tools the character uses to solve puzzles, or else are rituals that are entirely narrative (maybe with part of the challenge being collecting all the elements needed to perform the rite). The character knows what they know, because their Focus and skillset are already established when the game starts. If there's something the character needs but can't do according to their skillset, they either need to do research or get other Mage characters to help him.

    The point being less to capture how a Mage game plays - which is difficult - and instead show what kinds of stories can be told with the system or what characters players can run.
    Last edited by Bluecho; 12-17-2019, 01:27 PM.

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  • Grumpy RPG Reviews
    replied
    Mage could work as a video game, depending on how much is invested in the game. The simplest solution would be a visual novel, similar to the recently published Coteries of New York. That set up would allow for only very specific choices on a part of the player, making the use of magic much more manageable by the game producers.

    Something similar could be true of a larger game, ah la Bloodlines, but the magical system would probably be complex and slow the game.

    Leave a comment:


  • Trippy
    replied
    Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
    Personally, I don't think Mage's complexity is as much a hindrance to video game adaptation as people make it out to be.

    The key, I think, is to limit the scope of any given game. (I mean, it works for Games Workshop with the myriad, highly specific Warhammer 40K games).

    A while back, I floated the idea of a Progenitors "Damage Control" first person shooter, where the player heads up a squad of Damage Control agents that go on missions throughout the World of Darkness. Using their combat skills and Enlightened Science in the field to cleanse the various biological ills of the setting. The protagonist's Focus is tightly defined, so the idea of Mages being these reality-warpers doesn't need to be front-loaded to the player to make the premise comprehensible.

    Each mission takes them to a different locale, where they fight a different form of "Biological Reality Deviance". It can start with cleaning out a Progenitor lab experiment gone awry, to get the player familiar with the Technocracy as an organization. Later, they're raiding Etherite labs (with their stitched together monstrosities), a Sabbat haven (complete with flesh-crafted horrors), a sewer full of Fomori and were-toads (the mockery breed from W20: Book of the Wyrm), a Black Spiral Dancer den, maybe a haunted house (with a helpful Void Engineer ally air-dropping anti-EDE ammunition), a Giovanni crypt full of zombies, and maybe ending off with a trip to a Nephandi stronghold (assuming the Nephandus isn't an infiltrator of the Union, and the last mission is to assault a Technocrat highrise to remove the cancer in the Technocracy's ranks).
    It’s not just about the scope, it’s also about the exposition and execution. Just a quick glance at your own post details well over a dozen different groups and terms - some of which actually come from other games - there would be a lot of front on explanations needed in order to make these accessible to a casual audience before they assume play. Secondly, Mage has the particular issue about how to translate the magic system into a video game, replete with all the options and variations it provides - and this would be tricky.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bluecho
    replied
    Originally posted by Trippy View Post
    Both Vampire and Werewolf are also easier to develop multimedia platforms for video games, primarily. Mage would probably require much more exposition to explain concepts and gameplay...
    Personally, I don't think Mage's complexity is as much a hindrance to video game adaptation as people make it out to be.

    The key, I think, is to limit the scope of any given game. (I mean, it works for Games Workshop with the myriad, highly specific Warhammer 40K games).

    A while back, I floated the idea of a Progenitors "Damage Control" first person shooter, where the player heads up a squad of Damage Control agents that go on missions throughout the World of Darkness. Using their combat skills and Enlightened Science in the field to cleanse the various biological ills of the setting. The protagonist's Focus is tightly defined, so the idea of Mages being these reality-warpers doesn't need to be front-loaded to the player to make the premise comprehensible.

    Each mission takes them to a different locale, where they fight a different form of "Biological Reality Deviance". It can start with cleaning out a Progenitor lab experiment gone awry, to get the player familiar with the Technocracy as an organization. Later, they're raiding Etherite labs (with their stitched together monstrosities), a Sabbat haven (complete with flesh-crafted horrors), a sewer full of Fomori and were-toads (the mockery breed from W20: Book of the Wyrm), a Black Spiral Dancer den, maybe a haunted house (with a helpful Void Engineer ally air-dropping anti-EDE ammunition), a Giovanni crypt full of zombies, and maybe ending off with a trip to a Nephandi stronghold (assuming the Nephandus isn't an infiltrator of the Union, and the last mission is to assault a Technocrat highrise to remove the cancer in the Technocracy's ranks).

    Leave a comment:


  • Trippy
    replied
    Originally posted by Asimar View Post
    If there is a M5, I would vastly prefer that Paradox handed it to another company. For exemple, both Mophidus (with Kult) and Atlas Games (with Unknow Armies) have some experience with occult conspiracy games, and I'm very curious of what they can do with Mage.
    It is not that I dislike Brucato, but after M20, I'm ready for something else, The same way MRev was the brainchild of Jess Heining and had a different focus from the previous edition, M5 should shed a new light on the Mage setting.
    The only thing I'm a bit concerned is that in the presentation video of the return of the World of Darkness, a few years back, the Technocracy was among the antagonists. OTOH, there always be Technocracy Reloaded and M20 if I really miss the black hat and mirrorshade protagonists.
    I think the thing with any new edition of Mage, is that it would need a tighter focus than what we have with M20 - and yes, I think Brucato might have to let somebody else have a go, which he may not want to. If they did make the game a tighter focus, then I can see why the Technocracy would end up being straight antagonists again. Indeed, in MageRev (Jess Heining’s edition) they chose to cut out the Technocracy from the core rules book, although there was a separate Guide to the Technocracy book available.

    You could make the argument, as I’d like to see, for two separate games - one for the Traditions and one for the Technocracy. I could see this working for Vampire too actually, with a spin-off game for playing The New Inquisition (which would mirror nicely with the Technocracy, in a way).

    All that said, this is all just loose speculation. Since nobody has proposed taking the license for Mage any time soon, I think any M5 could be years away right now. I must say that the option of Atlas Games taking on Mage is intriguing, considering they have both Ars Magica and Unknown Armies (and Over The Edge, and Feng Shui too, to a degree). Not sure if Jonathan Tweet, Greg Stolze and Robin D Laws are available for development though.
    Last edited by Trippy; 12-17-2019, 10:19 AM.

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  • Asimar
    replied
    If there is a M5, I would vastly prefer that Paradox handed it to another company. For exemple, both Mophidus (with Kult) and Atlas Games (with Unknow Armies) have some experience with occult conspiracy games, and I'm very curious of what they can do with Mage.
    It is not that I dislike Brucato, but after M20, I'm ready for something else, The same way MRev was the brainchild of Jess Heining and had a different focus from the previous edition, M5 should shed a new light on the Mage setting.
    The only thing I'm a bit concerned is that in the presentation video of the return of the World of Darkness, a few years back, the Technocracy was among the antagonists. OTOH, there always be Technocracy Reloaded and M20 if I really miss the black hat and mirrorshade protagonists.

    Leave a comment:


  • Trippy
    replied
    Honestly? At this point, I’m not sure that there will be a Mage 5th - for some of the reasons outlined above and a few others.

    Truth is that Mage is the most complicated of the classic WoD game lines, and it’s going to be an undertaking for any new company to take it on and develop it in such a way that can bring the old fanbase with it, while also trying to capture a new one. If Modiphius (or anyone else) had chosen to build a continuing WoD line, rather than just take stewardship of Vampire alone, then it may have been worth the development - because big core books, would spike sales each time they were released. As soon as it transpired that Werewolf: The Apocalypse was going to be released by another company, Hunters Entertainment, instead it became increasingly unlikely that anyone would take Mage on as a single game line - it’s a much more difficult game line to market I feel.

    Both Vampire and Werewolf are also easier to develop multimedia platforms for video games, primarily. Mage would probably require much more exposition to explain concepts and gameplay - and there has always been a problem, in my view, that the background and setting assumptions of Mage have always been a bit incongruous with the more classically gothic Vampire and Werewolf games. Moreover, M20 continues to be in live development for The Onyx Path and is a successful line for them. I’m expecting that it will continue to have releases for at least the next few years. On this basis, I’m not sure we’ll ever see Mage 5 (or Wraith 5, or Changeling 5). A more likely line, that could see happening, would be a separate Hunter line - where you play agents of the Second Inquisition - again, a much more straightforward game to market.

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  • Aleph
    replied
    Originally posted by Ambrosia
    Personally, I'd HIGHLY prefer it if OnyxPath continued work on the IP for several reasons;

    * They already have good relations with Satyr - who was lead dev for 2nd, Sorcerors Crusade AND M20. He just knows all the inside-outs of the setting, and even if Revised did a controversial hard turn in a different direction, even Revised was influenced by all that came before it. And even if Satyr isn't the one who is going to lead dev it in any way, OP can easily consult with him.

    * Onyx Path just does good books, hands down. If not influenced too much by Paradox (oh the Pun Potential...), they have shown to be utterly capable of handling oWoD in all regards

    * Mage is a gameline that *heavily* relies on philosophical lore-knowledge and having a feel for what it's supposed to be, how Magick works, and what the headspace of it all is. It requires heavy investment. It is a gameline that can easily be fucked up by changes that might seem Like A Good Idea At The Time to somebody without much experience with it. Likewise, I think 'streamlining' it in any regard would not affect it positively - IMO. More straightforward examples and good tables? Sure. Simplifying its mechanics away from the freeform Magick system we have? No.
    Onyx Path and their hired writers that worked on M20 *have* that experience. If a different company touches it, and people who possibly never touched Mage much try to develop for it...things might get so much harder to pull off right. It *could* be a refreshing change to have new pairs of eyes working on it, of course - and it *could* get pulled off right. But the risk would increase as much as any possible reward.
    That.

    I agree 100%
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    Also:

    I think that the perceived "complexity" of Mage from the PoV of newbies steems from how simple, yet vague and loose, it's core rules are...Mage rules are a combination very, very, loose crunch and a whole lot of guesswork and wishful thinking:

    The Sphere System core "crunch" can be largely reduced to "raw damage", "-/+ 3 to difficulty", and a table that allows everything with guidelines as concrete as "whatever you think it's weak/whatever you think it's strong"...and because this isn't very helpful, it has a lot of "side-rules" to control different kinds of very specific stuff (I.E: M20 rules about illusions), coupled with A LOT of exceptions (I.E: Rotes that have their own rules) to allow things that fall outside the cracks of that missmatched box.

    And that's why only "grognards" (as Kammerer puts it) understand it...and even that it's up for debate: I've been reading Mage stuff for more than a decade, and I think it would be hubris to say I *get* it completely...

    The whole problem, I think, stems from vagueness, not complexity...Mage certainly doesn't need simpler mechanics for the uninitiated, what Mage needs it's to be clearer.

    And I do believe Onyx Path, seeing their products, what they did with M20 and what they did with Awakening too (perhaps more so, because M20 its largely a compilation, even if it has some cool new rules), has what it takes do complex (yet freeform) rules respecting the philosophy of the game.

    That's not to say they're the only ones that can do it, just that I would be inclined to believe they can...
    Last edited by Aleph; 12-16-2019, 08:35 AM.

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