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The collected Fiction Inspirations for Mage: The Ascension

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  • #46
    I've just finished watching "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" on Netflix, and it is a nice bit of inspiration. It's about two magicians that initially set out to restore magic to 19th century England, with different ideas on how to do it. One wants respectable controlled magic while the other one is wild and searches for older magic. It reminded me a bit of the Technocracy vs Traditions, at least on the surface. There is also an antagonist, an incredibly powerful faerie king, who is playing his own games with and around the two. I love how alien he is while at the same time being both childish and supremely confident.

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    • #47
      Heart of Darkness, can't recommend this enough if you're running a game that includes Nephandi or if you're playing a Nephandus. Or the film adaptation, Apocalypse Now.

      The background of a lot of Nephandi is that they are so psychologically damaged by the evil that they have seen that they decide that joining evil is the only survivable course--like with Mal's theory about Reavers in Episode 3 of Firefly. I've seen this idea dismissed at these forums as solipsistic adolescent melodrama that shouldn't be taken seriously in this Serious Grown-up Game of Seriousness. Heart of Darkness is a thoughtful and evocative book written in response to the contemporary horrors of the Congo Free State; it is not as easily dismissed as tired goth strawmen. As uncomfortable as it is to acknowledge, evil is real.
      Last edited by Faradn; 10-18-2016, 01:26 AM.

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      • #48
        Just watched Dr. Strange yesterday. Holy shit! This movie was like what would happen if MC Esher dropped LSD at the Shaolin Temple! 5 out of 4 stars!

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        • #49
          While we're speaking of Dr. Strange, I would recommend the 2011-2012 Defenders comic series, by Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson. It stars the Sorcerer Supreme himself, as well as Iron Fist, a very Akashic kung fu hero. It's also got Namor (the Submariner), Red She Hulk, the Silver Surfer, and a bunch of guest heroes, but they are less important from a Mage perspective.

          As for the plot, it's a pretty compelling mystery, that takes the Defenders from Kun Lun, to Prestor John's secret mountain fortress, to an alternate universe inspired by 60s spy fiction (can you say Paradox Realm?). It even takes a lot of inspiration from pulp adventure stories for some parts, which will really help any Etherites in the audience. All winding around a mysterious macguffin (the Concordance Engine), and a series of enigmatic arc phrases.

          Oh, and astounding revelations about the Marvel universe that may or may not be canon anymore (or, indeed, may or may not have ever been canon).


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          • #50
            While we're on the subject of comics, I've got two more. The list already has Shade, The Changing Man. Well recently, DC comics has launched a new series called Shade, The Changing Girl. Starring bird alien and fan of the original Shade, Loma Shade steals the Madness Coat, and uses it to travel astrally to Earth. Possessing a brain dead high school girl, Loma has to balance the chaotic and emotion-heightening power of the Madness, and the long-term consequences of her host's previous transgressions. Only one issue has been released so far, but it's already evocative of Marauderdom.

            It's also kind of a mature book. Shade the Changing Girl is part of DC's new Young Animal imprint, along with a new Doom Patrol series, and a series called Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye. I've read the first issues of all of them, and they are trippy, heady, and abstract in a very Mage way. Young Animal publishes the sort of stuff that used to come out of Vertigo, before that imprint became DC's main house for creator owned books.

            Speaking of Vertigo and creator owned books, we have the second series I recommend - FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics.

            As the name implies, it follows a government bureau devoted to handling disturbances in the laws of physics. Wells of altered gravity, wormholes, and whole areas being sucked into alternate dimensions with different physical laws. If this concept doesn't scream "Technocracy", I don't know what does. Especially since it turns the normal Technocrat game on its ear, by making the Union deal with Reality Deviance that apparently is disconnected with the agency of any antagonist. The laws of physics just go wonky, and need to be corrected.


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            • #51
              Fight Club.
              Frankenstein
              The Golem
              Dr. Faust.

              Shaman King (dreamspeaker the anime/manga)
              the movie Birdman

              Transmetropolitan
              Dylan Dog
              Last edited by Crowley; 11-02-2016, 08:45 PM.


              Forum's Official's Joker and Trickster. Pardon my bad english, aint my first language (I Speak Spanish).
              ST: DtF, HtR, WtO, MtA
              Signature Chars: Crowley (hakalu), Joe The Nuwisha (WtA)
              Changelings: be afraid of the Technocracian High Five of Doom

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                While we're speaking of Dr. Strange, I would recommend the 2011-2012 Defenders comic series, by Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson. It stars the Sorcerer Supreme himself, as well as Iron Fist, a very Akashic kung fu hero. It's also got Namor (the Submariner), Red She Hulk, the Silver Surfer, and a bunch of guest heroes, but they are less important from a Mage perspective.

                As for the plot, it's a pretty compelling mystery, that takes the Defenders from Kun Lun, to Prestor John's secret mountain fortress, to an alternate universe inspired by 60s spy fiction (can you say Paradox Realm?). It even takes a lot of inspiration from pulp adventure stories for some parts, which will really help any Etherites in the audience. All winding around a mysterious macguffin (the Concordance Engine), and a series of enigmatic arc phrases.

                Oh, and astounding revelations about the Marvel universe that may or may not be canon anymore (or, indeed, may or may not have ever been canon).


                Spoilers but: spheres and arete of the characters? im curious to see what Rotes would they have as well xD


                Forum's Official's Joker and Trickster. Pardon my bad english, aint my first language (I Speak Spanish).
                ST: DtF, HtR, WtO, MtA
                Signature Chars: Crowley (hakalu), Joe The Nuwisha (WtA)
                Changelings: be afraid of the Technocracian High Five of Doom

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Crowley View Post



                  Spoilers but: spheres and arete of the characters? im curious to see what Rotes would they have as well xD
                  It's been a long time since I've read the series, or much of any of the characters. I read a few issues of a Dr. Strange series a couple months ago, but even that escapes me. I know for a fact that Dr. Strange hops through dimensions and talks to umbrood, so he has Spirit. And if I recall correctly he was the primary teleporter for the Defenders for decades in publication time, so he's got Correspondence. Both he and Iron Fist probably have Forces, and maybe Life? Sorry I can't be more helpful.


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                  • #54
                    Update: I found this article from Comic Book Resources listing 15 of Dr. Strange's most significant powers and abilities. These range from his various elemental conjurings, to his shields, to his powerful mind powers, to his Cape of Levitation, and even his training in martial arts. Most of these convert to Spheres with little effort, with a focus on Forces, Mind, Correspondence, and a little Prime (his blasts of pure magical energy). The aforementioned Cape of Levitation is an obvious Wonder. And it can be assumed that one of his Practices is Martial Arts (others maybe being High Ritual Magick and Yoga).


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                    • #55
                      Just wanted to let you know that I was a bit distracted by work, but am planning to continue updating this!


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

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                      • #56
                        Aliester's Crowley "The Moonchild."
                        theres a webmanga called "The Gamer:" Everyone keeps telling me its "Virtual Adept the comic."

                        Also, the band Portishead has a very "mage" vibe to it. i highly recommend the Album "Dummy" and the self titled "Portishead."

                        And the comic Planetary/Stormwatch (if it wasnt mentioned before)
                        Last edited by Crowley; 11-10-2016, 12:43 AM.


                        Forum's Official's Joker and Trickster. Pardon my bad english, aint my first language (I Speak Spanish).
                        ST: DtF, HtR, WtO, MtA
                        Signature Chars: Crowley (hakalu), Joe The Nuwisha (WtA)
                        Changelings: be afraid of the Technocracian High Five of Doom

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Crowley View Post
                          Aliester's Crowley "The Moonchild."
                          Well while we're on the subject - and it's a subject I've been meaning to bring up here - let's talk about the new graphic novel, Aleister & Adolf. It was a book I'd been looking forward to for months, and recently came out. And it was everything I hoped it would be.

                          It's a pseudo-historical telling of a conflict between Occultist and Great Beast, Aleister Crowley, and the Nazi dictator who needs no introduction, Adolf Hitler. It's kind of an occult spy thriller, except with symbols instead of guns. The Nazi regime's infamous occult branch is pitted against the British and American government's use of Crowley, who seeks to subvert the Nazi's magical advantage with his own. Sigils play a huge part in the book, and how they become charged.

                          If I may, I'd like to take a quote from the book:

                          Hess: Your pathetic sex rituals don't stand a chance against the power of the Swastika.
                          Crowley: The symbol isn't yours, Rudolf.
                          Hess: The blood of thousands will make the Swastika a Nazi sigil forever. The Jews, they will power it with their lives.
                          Crowley: Their deaths, you mean. God will forsake you! I will bring such horrors down upon you!
                          Hess: We are creating horrors you cannot even imagine. Filling our sigil with the deaths of millions. Death is more powerful than sex.
                          As you can guess from that conversation and from the fact that the principle actors of this play are Adolf Hitler and Aleister Crowley, this is a mature book. Not safe for kids. But it gives a glimpse into the sorts of high stakes conflicts that occur between magicians, and how their opposing ideologies clash...and sometimes mix. The narrative payoff to the work is sublime, and makes the reader consider the power of Symbols, both in the past and in our modern world.


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                          • #58
                            I have another reference: Last call written by Tim Powers in 1992. I did not see it here. I think it was an original reference for the authors when Mage was written (I'm sure I read it somewhere but I might be mistaken). It may even reconcile poeple with the Entropy Sphere. It is a major work. The book itself is not that great. It is strangely written though very interesting and as a Mage ST it is absolutely fabulous. It tells the story of Scott Crane, a loser that lost a lot in his life due to a poker game played 21 years ago in Las Vegas. It was a game played with strange Tarot cards and he might have traded his soul with money. It tells a race between a Mage and Fate.

                            From a Mage: The Ascension point of view, Scott Crane is a Mage with a strong Entropic resonance. The story is about the mysticism and mysteries around the Poker game and the cards. It is a goldmine of ideas for Entropy based rituals and shows the real magic of Las Vegas. I currently run a chronicle in Las Vegas with the Fallen Tower setting and read Last Call to get ideas. I was far from disapointed and I heavily recommend it !

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                            • #59
                              Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror. An anthology of psychological horror about how Fucked Up as a society and our dependence in technology

                              Music
                              Dummy and Portishead by Portishead
                              Radioheads albums The Bends (Prelude story), Ok Computer and Kid A are perfect for depticting a world where the Weaver has Control. I havent listen to Hail to the Thief yet but i know theres some good songs that might convey "Subliminal messages " from reality such as "Go To Sleep.". Hell , in retrospect Every album of Radiohead might work.
                              Pyramid Song and Videotape are Amazing songs for characters about to ascend or about to face Death.
                              Go To Sleep is a nice play to settle the ambient mood of a game
                              National Anthem and Idiotique work perfectly to depict the office space within the web's of the Weaver.
                              and i dont know ho the hell "Karma Police" isnt the Anthem of the Euthanatoi
                              Last edited by Crowley; 11-18-2016, 01:23 PM.


                              Forum's Official's Joker and Trickster. Pardon my bad english, aint my first language (I Speak Spanish).
                              ST: DtF, HtR, WtO, MtA
                              Signature Chars: Crowley (hakalu), Joe The Nuwisha (WtA)
                              Changelings: be afraid of the Technocracian High Five of Doom

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                People might already know about this, because it came out in 2015. But I just found this video: Hackerman's Hacking Tutorials - How To Hack Time.

                                I can just imagine the eponymous Hackerman being a Virtual Adept (with at least Time 3), producing and circulating bootleg VHS tapes with tutorials on how to hack reality. All with 1980s computer hardware. I can further see these tapes being collected by modern VAs for their historic collectors value. A VA being willing to trade considerable goods or services to another VA simply to get their hands on one. Their practical advice, obviously, wouldn't be very useful nowadays, both because all the hardware is outdated, and because all the network loopholes were long ago filled or covered by the Technocracy.

                                On another note, this video is so eighties. I love it.


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