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The collected Fiction Inspirations for Mage: The Ascension

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  • The collected Fiction Inspirations for Mage: The Ascension

    I'd like to request the mods to sticky this, so that we don't have one to two topics each month on what makes a good Mage resource.

    This is just the listing, the following posts will include notable summaries by the forum alumni. I'll try and keep this updated, and if you notice your contributions to the list, I wouldn't mind capsule commentary on what makes the specific work relevant to Mage: The Ascension. I'll likely get to it in time, but if you feel like sharing, you'll save me some time

    Books & Novels
    Flatland, Edwin Abbot Abbot
    1984, George Orwell
    Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
    The Robber Bride, Margaret Atwood
    Illuminatus Trilogy, Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson
    Wizards of Earthsea, Ursula LeGuin
    Gun Machine, Warren Ellis
    Gormenghast Trilogy, Mervyn Peake
    John Dies At The End, David Wong
    Odd Thomas, Dean Koontz
    Neuromancer, William Gibson
    Alchemist, Paolo Coehllo
    The Hollows series, Kim Harrison
    The Laundry series, Charles Stross
    Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling
    Harry Dresden series, Jim Butcher
    Bartimeaus sequence, Jonathan Stroud
    Ferrett Steinmetz
    Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

    Last Call, Tim Powers
    Works of Neil Gaiman
    Works of Phillip K. Dick
    Works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende
    Works by Carlos Castaneda
    Works of H.P. Lovecraft
    Works of William Shakespeare
    Works of Terry Pratchett
    Works of Neal Stephenson (Snowcrash, Cryptonomicon, Diamond Age, Anthem)
    Works of Stephen King
    Works of Clive Barker (Imajica, Books of the Art...)
    Works of Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked this way comes...)

    Comic Books
    Shade The Changing Man
    S.H.I.E.L.D. (2010)
    Dr. Strange
    Corto Maltese, Hugo Pratt
    Preacher, Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon
    Hellboy & BPRD, Mike Mignola & Co
    Akira, Katsuro Otomo
    The Adventures of Tintin, Herge
    Ghost In The Shell series, Masamune Shirow
    The Matrix comics
    The Blair Witch project comics
    Kill Six Billion Demons
    The Defenders (2011)
    Shade The Changing GIrl
    FBP - Federal Bureau of Psychics
    Aleister & Adolf

    Drugs And Wires
    Works of Grant Morrison (Invisibles...)
    Works of Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Stardust, Books of Magic, Neverwhere...)
    Works of Alan Moore (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Promethea, Swamp Thing...)
    Works of Warren Ellis (Gravel, Stormwatch, Planetary, Planetary...)
    Works of Alejandro Jodorowsky (Incal, Metabarons, Technopriests...)

    Dark City
    The Matrix
    2001: A Space Oddyssey
    Clockwork Orange
    Starship Troopers
    Lord of Illusions
    Sorceror's Apprentice
    Practical Magic
    The Circle
    Tron & Tron Legacy
    Lego The Movie
    The Mistress of Spices
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    The Prestige
    The Illusionist
    Pan's Labyrinth
    Pacific Rim
    Cloud Atlas
    Time Bandits
    The Fisher King
    The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
    12 Monkeys
    The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    Brotherhood of the Wolf
    Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
    Fight Club
    Run Lola Run
    Birdman Or The Unexpected virtue of Ignorance
    The Hills have Eyes
    Wicker Man
    Kung Fu Hustle / Shaolin Soccer / God Of Cooking
    The man from U.N.C.L.E.
    The Men Who Stare at Goats
    The Fountain
    Holy Mountain
    24 Hour Party People
    The Witch (2016)
    Lords of Salem
    Atlantis: The Lost Empire
    Treasure Planet
    Fight Club
    The Golem
    Pirates of the Carribean series
    James Bond series
    Jason Bourne series
    Indiana Jones series
    Men in Black series
    Terminator series
    The Marvel Cinematic Universe (Especially Doctor Strange)

    TV Shows
    Early Edition
    The Good Witch
    Warehouse 13
    Lost Girl
    Orphan Black
    Person of Interest
    Nanny and the Professor
    The Witches of East End
    Twin Peaks
    The X Files
    Outer Limits
    Twilight Zone
    La Femme Nikita
    Mr. Robot
    The Wire
    American Horror Story: Coven
    Black Mirror
    The Marvel Cinematic Universe
    Jonathan Strange And Mister Norell

    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (2016)
    Venture Bros
    The OA

    Anime & Manga
    To are Majutsu Index
    Darker than Black
    Ghost In The Shell (all variants)
    Serial Experiments Lain
    [C] - The Money of Soul and Possibility
    Witch Hunter Robin
    Read or Die
    Jojo's Bizzare Adventure(s)
    Death Note
    Puella Magi Madoka Magica

    Computer Games
    Clive Barker's Jericho
    Planescape Torment
    Assasins Creed series
    Deus Ex series
    Metal Gear Solid series
    X-COM series
    Shin Megami Tensei series
    The Works of Goichi Suda (Suda51) (No More Heroes, Shadows of the Damned, Killer is Dead, Killer 7)
    Far Cry Series
    Bioshock series

    Faradn, Aleph, Thebian, Papa Bear, Crowley, We love Anon, SixFootChicken, Ajax, Redford Blade, Nene Richards, Sp4rt01, Ciealago, MarioJPC, Captain Aeon, ZhyzhaksMate, Ramnesis, Thetcha, Zeroninja, Drakeneisen, Yasmijn, atamajakki, BC001, Ambrosia, Barbelith, OmegaZ, Dwight, Bluecho, JBRocky, MrTwist, Loomer, Saikou, Asmodai
    Last edited by Asmodai; 05-04-2017, 04:13 AM.

  • Bluecho
    The animation channel Worthikids recently started a series of animated shorts called Bigtop Burger.

    You cannot tell me this isn't the story of a Marauder and the poor service workers trapped in his distorted bubble reality.

    Leave a comment:

  • No One of Consequence
    As it had been decades since I originally saw it, I rewatched the 1980 film Altered States, and I really do recommend it as Mage viewing. It's science fiction edging into horror territory, about a research scientist's somewhat obsessive investigations into the world of altered states of consciousness, including sensory deprivation and psychotropic vision quests. This eventually goes into the realm of genetic memories and mind over matter physical regression. You get an interesting look at a native Mexican vision quest ceremony, as well as the sort of cutting edge late 60s and 1970s technology that works wonderfully with period Virtual Adepts, Sons of Ether, and others into a sort of "analog punk" aesthetic.

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  • GothicxXx
    Midsommar is something worth mention.

    Leave a comment:

  • No One of Consequence
    A few things I got in the mail recently, from a company called Stygian Fox. They primarily make stuff for Call of Cthulhu, but some additional stuff as well. Anyway, I picked up Hudson & Brand: Inquiry Agents of the Obscure, a fairly sizable sourcebook about a private consulting detective agency nominally set in Victorian London, but easily moveable to some place like Gilded Age New York, Chicago, or San Fransisco. The concept is a perfect set up for a Victorian Mage, Sorcerer, or Arcanum game. There's also two additional supplements for it. The first is The Spirits of London, a look at ghosts and spiritualism in the Victorian period. While this is for CoC, all of the non-mechanical information is a wonderful resource for Victorian era Mage, especially for certain types of Thanatoics, Dreamspeakers, and Hollowers. The other is The Thirteen, about a secret society of British Immortals dating back to prehistory. They're a cool potential antagonist (or possibly ally) faction to introduce into any Victorian World of Darkness game.
    Outside of Call of Cthulhu, I also picked up their Book of Contemporary Magical Things and Book of Contemporary Magical Places. These books are almost entirely mechanics free, designed to be a collection of ideas and plot hooks for any modern horror or fantasy style game. These range from the almost trivial curiosities to a set of potentially world altering (or destroying) devices. Even better, it provides a number of examples for what happens if certain objects or locations come in to contact with each other. Each book also includes a handful of organizations and individuals that deal with artifacts or sites, and they are easily adaptable to the WoD. These are really great books, and I'm looking forward to finding ways to use them in the future. (They've also got a forthcoming Book of Contemporary Magical People, which I'm eager to see.)

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  • Bluecho
    Been obsessed with Pathologic 1&2 for the past few months - watching analyses and let's plays of it off and on the whole time - yet it's only now I've realized it is VERY Mage.

    For reference, I'd recommend this video by Hbomberguy , these videos by Mandalore Gaming, and the entire channel of SulMatul. But to be brief, Pathologic as a series, when viewed through the lens of Mage: The Ascension, is about:
    1. A town deep in the Russian steppe with a strong, idiosyncratic Reality Zone, that blends an ancient culture of nomadic cattle farmers and herbalist mystics, with modern western ideas and technology (and sprinkled with some turn-of-the-century Utopianism). The Reality Zone makes, among other things, the use of edged weapons to harm someone basically unthinkable for years (with the exception of special priest-barber-surgeons, who have the sole right to cut flesh), until it happens, and suddenly everyone is using them (because the populace now accepts it as true).
    2. A town where impossible architecture allows various buildings to defy gravity. Including the Polyhedron, an enormous structure whose base is planted on a small island in a river (settling it in a liminal space), its interior is a Reality Zone unto itself where the dreams of children come to life, and it all seems to be constructed from its own blueprints.
    3. Indeed, the sheer impossibility of the abovementioned Polyhedron seems enough to have set off a massive Paradox backlash, in the form of a virulent plague, that can only be banished either by a miracle, or by destroying the Polyhedron itself.
    4. The landscape is dotted with megaliths and ancient structures, inside one of which traditional butcher-priests perform the rights of cattle slaughter, ending with the blood being drained into the ground "to feed the earth".
    5. The local environment is replete with Tass-laden herbs. When prepared with the correct recipes, can make anything from a psychedelic drink (that give visions and enhance acuity), to drugs that can cure disease. Blood and ritual dancing is supposedly needed to get the herbs to grow. During the events of Pathologic 1&2, these rare herbs have become strangely abundant during the plague year, with the side effect of making the town atmosphere thick with the herb, which has its own debilitating effects on those in the town.
    6. The protagonists are: 1) an Etherite from the capital with a college education and dreams of defeating death itself, and thus has earned the ire of the Powers That Be; 2) a returning Dreamspeaker barber-surgeon, who must take up his father's work in the town, both as a doctor and as a spiritual leader of the native kin; and 3) a Celestial Chorus miracle worker girl who is gifted with a touch that can heal or harm, whose standing with the town fluctuates due to the malicious antics of a body double who might be a Paradox spirit, or might be her Avatar trying to challenge and push her towards Ascension.
    7. All protagonists, naturally, have their own ideas about how to solve the plague afflicting the town. Each of their methods is able to work, but each comes at a cost, and none of them can be said to have the full picture due to their fractured perspectives. They also all gravitate towards different segments of the population, which further helps guide their hands.
    8. The three ruling families in the town represent different ways of holding power, and thus three interpretations of Technocratic praxis (though the actual Technocracy would find some of their beliefs unacceptably deviant, as is them all having prophetesses among their ranks who claim to predict the future and hold supernatural power). The Kains are high-minded Utopians, seeking to engineer the spirits of the townsfolk through, among other things, architecture and city planning. But they're also not above letting some parts of the town to die in order for the rest to grow. The Olgimskys are business-first folk, using absolute control of the central industry of the town (cattle) and intimidation to keep their predominantly native workers in line. The patriarch, Vlad the Elder, sees the native steppe folk as little more than animals, who must be guided by a firm hand, for their own good of course. The Saburovs, meanwhile, are the legal and bureaucratic powers in the town, powers they use with impunity (especially once the plague allows the head of the family to assume absolute legal power, that he promptly abuses).
    9. Until recently, the Utopians had a major power in their court: Simon Kain, the so-called "Immortal Dragon/Leviathan". A man seemingly 150 years old, who is said to have possessed vast control over his own body, and whom everyone in the city loved even more than the Mistresses (those aforementioned prophetesses). His demise - alongside the earlier deaths of (two of three) Mistresses, and the almost simultaneous death of the Kin's head barber-surgeon-priest (the Haruspex's father) - caused a power vacuum that exacerbated the turmoil of the Plague and made it impossible for the town to remain as it was. Simon Kain was almost certainly an Archmage, though this did not ultimately save him.
    Last edited by Bluecho; 04-09-2020, 05:20 AM.

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  • Malkavian87
    Gritty movie from 2018 showing Technocratic persecution at its worst.

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  • No One of Consequence
    Finally got around to watching The 6th Day from way back in the year 2000. It has a number of interesting ideas about the implications of cloning technology, especially in the hands of less ethical individuals. (Also interesting in some of the ways it tried to predict future social aspects.)

    Leave a comment:

  • Warpwind
    Westworld give pretty good conspiracy and robotics ideas.

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  • Malkavian87
    Just saw "Doctor Sleep" which turns out to be a perfect fit for Mage. The protagonist would make a great Euthanatos.

    Leave a comment:

  • Faradn
    The epic metal song Stargazer, by Rainbow. It's about a wizard who enslaves a bunch of people to build a tower to the stars so that he can climb to the top and then fly. Definitely captures the hubris of the Mythic Age.
    Last edited by Faradn; 11-15-2019, 08:01 PM.

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  • Bluecho
    So the YouTube algorithm dredged this up from last year, as the algorithm is want to do. (The Algorithm is love, the Algorithm is life).

    It's an animated short called The Dark Harvest, by Roastedstix.

    In WoD terms, it's the story of an old Euthanatos mage that drags his granddaughter(?) out on Halloween, to do a little "Wheel maintenance", right to the face of an unquiet spirit. Because it's the family business, and I guess "Gramps" is too old to be doing this (or aims to prepare a successor before he DOES get too old).

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  • nobby
    The Shape of Water

    The perfect example for a Man in Black in action, hunting down a reality deviant. He even reads one of those self help/self empowerment books that I imagine MiBs would use as instruments for advanced psychology.
    Also the all around atmosphere of the film perfectly encapsulates the Traditions vs Technocracy theme.

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  • No One of Consequence
    Just finished watching Repomen (2010), which was much better than I'd expected. In addition to being a pretty good cyberpunk film, it's great inspiration for the Syndicate's enforcement arm.

    Also watched Harry Brown, a 2009 Michael Caine film that is good general WoD as it looks to a lot of mortals fodder.

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  • Warpwind
    Boondock Saints
    Uncle Ruckus for an avatar XDDD

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