No announcement yet.

Let's populate the British isles

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Let's populate the British isles

    One thing I have always wanted is a supplement detailing the British isles for mage the ascension. It is a topic I have seen come up numerous times so I am clearly not alone.

    We are unlikely to get anything official any time soon, so why not apply some group think? That way the next time anyone wants information on mage for the British isles they will have some inspiration to draw on.

    it seems to me that there are a number of initial strands that need consideration.

    Places of interest; what places in the UK would have the most interest for mages? What local legends might capture enlightened minds?

    Demographics; Looking at the demographics on Anders mage page (because they look pretty reasonable as a starting place for me), the isles should have about 4 chantries. Maybe 5 if two are small. And the same number of technocratic constructs.
    I figure probably 3 chantries across England, another across Scotland and possibly the very north of england, and the last in Ireland.
    Chantries have 3-5 cabals of 3-5 images each, with an average total of 15 mages in the chantry. Constructs are smaller.
    Two of the chantries should probably control powerful enough nodes to have a horizon realm.
    there should be a number of images floating around without direct chantry membership as well.

    Where would you place the chantries? Where would you place their nodes and other interests?

    Factions; the Chorus, Hermetics, and Verbena all have traditional stakes in britain. But other factions have interests there as well.

    what factions would you populate the UK with? How would they fill out the membership of the various chantries? Would you make any of the chantries mono tradition, or all mixed?

    Throw me your thoughts...

  • #2
    Isle of the Mighty is a Changeling supplement, but includes a fair amount of Mage material as well.


    • #3
      I believe an update to Isle of the Mighty would be an excellent work, especially if it's Mage-focused.

      Given the Aided are a canon Euthanatos faction of Celtic 'death mages,' they'd also be present. Scotland has a lot of education and many famous inventors, so I'd expect some Technocracy presence there. The Nephandi, well that would bring in the Hellfire clubs and other sorts (also some more extreme Cult of Ecstasy members who have yet to Fall).

      Also, I recommend anyone who is doing more than spitballing look at Ascension's Landscape on the Storyteller's Vault. Ander's Mage page was awesome (glad to see it somewhat back on the web). Ascension's Landscape goes into a lot more thought about the setting implications of various population demographics and choices in Mage and has worked examples, so this would be good to use to make a plausible and useful British Isles guidebook for Mage.


      • #4
        Cause of a game I'm preparing I have a special interest in British Hollow Ones. Canon places a couple of the craft's chantries in England. Two in London, another one outside it.
        In the revised Order of Hermes book they also mention the tradition has a school in London.


        • #5
          I have read those books some time ago but will revisit them.
          I didn't realise quite how much mage stuff isle of the mighty had scattered around it pages.

          I also seem to have miss calculated - according to Anders demographics the UK should have around 9 chantries, hosting around 135 mages, with another 45 mages floating around unattached to any chantries, giving around 180 tradition mages in total.
          I whil look at how the information from isle of the mighty maps onto that


          • #6
            Well, keep in mind that the demographics on Ander's Mage page, which Paul F. Strack wrote up, went with very Eurocentric demographics due to the lack of information on places outside of North American and Europe. If you go with a less Eurocentric assumption, such as the current M20 Technocracy Reloaded does by saying there are 3 Asian Technocrats to 1 European Technocrat, thus reflecting that the number of Awakened in the world is less Eurocentric, you'd have different numbers.

            That's where Ascension's Landscape comes in. What's the rate of Awakening in a culture? How lethal is the early stages of Awakening and how long do mages live (so, if you go with mages by their Arete and sphere ranks, what's the population structure from Apprentice to Oracle?). There are some worked examples of those assumptions. I'd suggest being upfront about your assumptions. While some people will question every assumption, Mage players know the world is based on them. So, if your numbers match your assumptions and make an interesting source on the British Isles, that's a good place to go.

            Terry Robinson's fellow podcaster at Mage: the Podcast interviewed Paul Strack about Ander's Mage Page and Paul's work there. The podcast is a good listen, especially if you were checking out that page in the 1990s. . .



            • #7
              At 12:58 into the podcast, Paul F. Strack says Awakenings seemed to be pretty random around the world, but the Eurocentric emphasis in the game made it hard not to work with a Eurocentric focus. He was working with what was available at the time and trying to be less Eurocentric with the groups of mages available.
              Last edited by baakyocalder; 05-27-2020, 06:06 PM. Reason: sloppy editing correction


              • #8
                Agreed however since I am only interested in the number of mages in the UK, I can pretty much ignore the implications for the rest of the world. Or, perhaps more satisfyingly I can start with the needs of a eurocentric setting and work outwards from there.
                I like the idea of the traditions being eurocentric, but other mage groups filling out the missing numbers in Asia.
                Anders number's seem to make sense for Europe, and fit within the (wide) range that Ascensions landscape describes as default.
                Actually though, I quite like the idea of using the base symptoms from landscape to account for differences in different places.
                Rate of awakenings is a constant. Lifespan should vary across the globe, as should the lethality of the early stages. This might also vary for different groups.
                the picture of the UK that is painted by isle of the mighty suggests that Britain is fairly safe for mages. This in turn suggests that if the UK has a default number of mages then the rate of awakening should be low to compensate, which has implications for the wider setting.
                it is worth thinking about


                • #9
                  I love "Isle of the Mighty" and most of my current Chronicles happen in the British Isles, so I would be willing to work in a SV-release (or a C:tD20, one can dream) of an updated "Isle of the Mighty"...

                  "No, no, don't look any further, my profile is actually more handsome than me"


                  • #10
                    As a general rule, the number of X in a specific city or region is = "how many do I need for my game?"

                    I remember Isle of the Mighty getting a certain amount of flack from British people back in the day. I can't recall specifically why though.

                    There's also Dark Ages: Britain, which includes information for Dark Ages: Mage.

                    I suspect one could find various ideas from Ars Magica's sourcebooks on the Isles, Heirs to Merlin (England and Wales, what the Order of Hermes used to call the Stonehenge Tribunal), Lion of the North (Scotland, aka the Loch Leglean Tribunal), and The Contested Isle (Ireland, aka the Hibernia Tribunal). I think a lot of the Glastonbury Tor stuff in Isle of the Mighty originated with Ars Magica, IIRC. I suspect there are still Hermetics who think of Europe according to the old tribunal system.

                    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


                    • #11
                      One tiny bit from Heirs to Merlin is the Concordia Covenant, a failed 9th century effort to bring together a number of early factions from House Ex Miscellanea. I could very easily see some idealistic English/British cabal, perhaps in the late Sorcerers Crusade period, the Victorian Era, or post-WW2/early 1st edition period trying to resurrect the name and idea as a Chantry devoted to inter-Tradition cooperation. If nothing else, it'd make a good source of patronage or mentorship for a PC Cabal, as well as a possible reason for them forming.

                      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)


                      • #12
                        Thanks, there are some great ideas there. I will have a look at the ars magica stuff as well.


                        • #13
                          To start with, the first notable thing from isle of the mighty about the British isles is that they are a technocracy stronghold.
                          the UK is peaceful - no guns, ascension war is low key
                          since Victoria the technocracy (specifically the NWO) have held defacto control of the British government and authorities
                          the technocracy are dominated by a small but powerful faction called the harbingers of Avalon
                          this faction subvert technocracy resources for the glory of Britain (and are probably the power behind brexit)
                          Birmingham is basically a technocratic fortress


                          • #14
                            Tamuz would the Technocracy also control Handsworth or would that be Nephandi territory?

                            “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband


                            • #15
                              It is more the center of Birmingham that is a technocracy strong hold. They seem to have a construct (or constructs) for most conventions sited under and around the city, linked by a network of tunnels.

                              next, what makes Britain dark?
                              1) inequality.
                              Britain is essentially stratified into the elite, and the common.
                              the awakened make up an elite of their own, and even enemies will treat one another with respect, while those below them tend to elicit a mixture of scorn, pity, and indifference.
                              for sleepers there are the wealthy elite who run the government, own companies and the media, make the rules, and are largely above them.
                              Within the elite there are the old nobility, who have ties and allegiances going back hundreds of years and the are the new moneyed elite, who might have wealth going back generations but still struggle to get inside the most exclusive clubs.
                              Within the commoners there are those who work, making up the backbone of Britain's once thriving economy, and those who don't.
                              geographically there is the elite south where the countries remaining industry and syndicate backers bring progress and prosperity, and there is the common north where whole towns have been plunged into destitution by the loss of old industries such as mining and steel and Entire generations of families languish on sink estates like the infamous chatsworth estate.

                              2) Violence
                              The ascension war never burned hot in Britain like it did elsewhere, and with strict controls on things like guns the country has a reputation for safety. That reputation is only partly deserved.
                              If you belong to the elite, you can be confident of a high degree of safety. You have protections from commoners in the form of legal status, wealth, and (including magical for the awakened) power.
                              for commoners, things are not so simple. Destitution and lack of jobs lead to drug use, gangs, and knife crime. You can always expect respect from those on a similar social level to yourself, but the tharther down the ladder you go, the more brutal that respect becomes.
                              this is made worse by the fact that elite groups can invariably get away with doing pretty much whatever they like to lower social groups without repercussion.

                              3) Apathy
                              the technocracy rule Britain with a subtlety that makes them seem like a light hand when in fact they have it in an iron grip.
                              any tendency for the once proud British people to rebel has been crushed out of them long since. The ruling classes see their privilege as there due, and those not involved directly with the technocracy know not to rock the boat. The working poor think of themselves as well off, living syndicate endorsed lifestyles and directing their scorn and frustration onto those below them. The unworking poor are hooked on subsistence level 'benefits' designed by the syndicate and NWO to keep them quiet and subservient. In return, their existence provides both motivation and vindication to the working poor, who see the comparative rewards of their labour.

                              There are probably other factors making the isles dark as well, but I think these set the tone