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  • Ideas for Famous/Well Known Mages

    Back in July 2014 I posted a bit about using Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma as mages who had left behind a legacy of mysteries in the form of master prints of his filmography that served variously as grimoire and artifacts.

    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...raphy-grimoire

    ​Last night I revisited the old idea with the thought of possibly updating it since 2E hadn't come out yet. It got me thinking though, what other famous people might be interesting as Mages. Not to over do it, or make every famous person one, just to sprinkle a few into the world.

    ​Personally two instantly came to mind that I would add to myWOD in a heartbeat. The first is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She just seems like she would be one of the worlds most powerful/high status Silver Ladder mages out there. Plus the image of her throwing arcane forces at an opponent, judicial robes flapping all around her, as she defends the Supreme Court Building is cool. The second one I instantly though of would be the Thyrsus Apostate Jane Goodall. I'll admit most of what I remember about her comes from the film Gorillas in the Mist, but is seems like a good fit.

    ​I'd be really interested to here if anyone else has snuck a public figure into theirWOD as mages and their role.

    Thanks,

  • #2
    Mages aren't really the type to openly advertise themselves, for a wide variety of reasons. Making your personal life public is a quick way to ensure your enemies know where to find you, or the people you love. Plus, Sleepers are a threat. Any Awakened who advertises themselves as a wise teacher or guru is risking having Sleepers turn up on the doorstep of their sanctum or chasing them for magic secrets. Not to mention that Guardians and the like are a bit paranoid about the Veil.

    In other words, if you've heard of the person, they're not likely to be a Mage. Doesn't mean that person wasn't involved with Mages, though. Or isn't, if they're still alive. It's a delightful trope to point to an unassuming figure in an old, grainy black-and-white photograph and have an old timer point out the heroic or sinister figure in the bunch.

    That said, Ruth Ginsburg is most certainly a badass; you Bader believe it.

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    • #3
      Always felt that Rasputin would be great Mastigos material.


      My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
      MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events
      WtF 2E - Alternative werewolves myths from around the world

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      • #4
        Well, we all know Alan Moore and Grant Morrison are involved in a magical feud/war with each other, possibly a case of conflicting Ascension gambits...

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        • #5
          I'm pretty sure Stan Lee is a Reaper.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Axelgear View Post
            Mages aren't really the type to openly advertise themselves, for a wide variety of reasons. Making your personal life public is a quick way to ensure your enemies know where to find you, or the people you love. Plus, Sleepers are a threat. Any Awakened who advertises themselves as a wise teacher or guru is risking having Sleepers turn up on the doorstep of their sanctum or chasing them for magic secrets. Not to mention that Guardians and the like are a bit paranoid about the Veil.
            While I respect that as a default, I prefer a "yes, and ..." approach to roleplaying and setting building to a "no." approach. In my view mages are still ultimately people (greatest strength/greatest flaw), so you are bound to have a few well known people that are mages.

            ​First, although I used the RBG example defending the court house as an example, that was for visual reference, not a literal interpretation. Like any mage, a well known mage would keep their magical life a low profile among sleeper for all the reasons that you could enumerate both mechanically and in setting.

            ​I'd like to use 1950s gay culture as an analog here. Many had to live a secret life, with their own meeting places, circles of friends, lingo, and culture away from their public life and lived with all the pressures and dangers of being publicly exposed, which could lead to ostracism, lose of job/housing, criminal or mental institutionalization, and death. That did not prevent famous people from being gay, living the secret life away from the prying eyes of the majority of people or having those in the know aid them in their double or even triple life.

            Finally, saying no famous people are mages, rather leaves out those who might awaken after they are famous, and the stories that might be told from that perspective. Do they give it all up to live a weird life (Howard Hughes maybe) or seek some sort of balance between their mortal and mage lives.

            Originally posted by Axelgear View Post
            That said, Ruth Ginsburg is most certainly a badass; you Bader believe it.
            A judicial Yoda is she!

            ​Ultimately this is (hopefully) just a fun little thread about who would make interesting mage NPCs.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
              Always felt that Rasputin would be great Mastigos material.
              ​I'd probably go with Thyrsus, just do to his indestructability and his enhanced endowment below the belt ​.

              But if I was honestly going to use him in a mage game, I would build a Proxima Legacy around him so I could have a bunch of Rasputin-lite antagonists to throw at my PCs.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by HerbertIsBestBert View Post
                I'm pretty sure Stan Lee is a Reaper.
                ​Holy crud, you just made me snort orange juice through my nose! I don't know if this is brilliant or just evil....

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                • #9
                  Re: Rasputin: You don't need to be a Thyrsus to learn Life and pretty much everything you're thinking of could be explained with Death.


                  Obviously, some magi have to become famous or we wouldn't have Queen Gunhild and Merlin.
                  (and however you spell that blasted Celtic Cym Cahailiyannnasfdbbq)

                  'Course, how magic makes it into history and legend could make for a great Mystery to study.


                  Some ideas:
                  John Henry
                  Mesmer, Franklin or BOTH
                  Nick Tesla (and maybe Edison. I could see a nameless feud, there)
                  Marconi
                  Hoffer
                  Manson
                  Thatcher
                  Hamurabbi
                  Vlad Tepes
                  Saint Olaf


                  Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.

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                  • #10
                    Tesla/Edison feel very Mage Ascension to me with them each fighting to get their paradigm as part of consensual reality. Not sure how I would do them in Awakening.

                    ​Any one interested in learning more about Marconi, I would recommend ​Thunderstruck​ by Erik Larson. Its a pretty good read.

                    ​To each his own, but for me Manson is enough of a monster/nutbar as a mortal without any need to be elevates, although making him a Banisher could add an interesting layer to him and his followers actions.

                    ​Some of the others I am not as familiar with as I should be, any ideas on how they would fit in to mage society?

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                    • #11
                      I was actually thinking about going darker and having Manson be a Libertine or Ladder, actually, but obviously, yes: this was a list of potential figures that could make for story hooks and tastes vary all over the place.

                      Tesla and Edison could be any number of things. Completely mundane but attracted the wrong sorts of attention. (I loved the Masquerade's Lasombra for their outlook and attitude. In oWoD, Tesla makes for a perfect initial recruit where they break him.) Tesla could be going through a protracted Awakening through much of his career in large part because the Seers are actively interfering with the process whenever and wherever they can. Perhaps he is simply going through an Awakening where failures in worldly success are critical to the journey. They could actually be fast friends and using the "rivalry" to promote their ideas in the public as part of a plan to raise what people are willing to expect from life. That would have them be the public faces of Silver Ladder/Free Council efforts.

                      Hoffer wrote a few good books, and I recommend anyone read "The True Believer". He could be nigh anything in mage society, though I mostly picture him as a student of the mind and society, so more researcher than anything else, personally.


                      Dracula as a Mastigos fits. If you don't see it, check out the parts about when he was held by the Caliph as a youth and his uses of terror tactics throughout his reign. He'd be a great inspiration for a legacy similar to Fangs of Mara but more focused on creating and using mental weaknesses and fear as an attack vector. (rather than using dreams of something nasty) Could have the story be that he studied the legacy and laughed, noting that the potential for darkness within was what made the legacy's sympathies even work.

                      John Henry could have been trying to show limitless human potential as a means of preventing the Seers from dehumanizing industry. Silver Ladder or Guardians fit that take pretty well, though Arrow are an obvious choice.


                      Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.

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                      • #12
                        Derren Brown, the Free Council Mastigos. His TV shows and tours push the boundaries of what sleepers are willing to believe is possible. Using carefully applied magic while convincing the audience its just a "trick" he hopes to reduce the threat of paradox for everyone.

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                        • #13
                          Yeah, I completely see Vlad Tepes as a Mastigos as well. With his emphasis on protecting his country, I'd bet he was a fair hand with wards as well.

                          ​I could also see John Henry as a Libertine as well, with an emphasis on the labor side of Techne, and the entire folkhero/modern legend thing feeds into the humanity is magick. Some form of Paradox definitely got him when his Life magic failed and his heart gave out at the end of the steam hammer race though.

                          ​Regarding Hoffer, I feel I bit like an idiot since for some reason I read it initially as Hoffa (as in Jimmy), although I still am not familiar with Eric Hoffer, so I'll have to peruse his Wiki.


                          ​Another interesting possibility I thought of might be Rosa Parks. For some reason my perception of her would be as an Adamantine Arrow, not really sure why. In sleeper society she just had the courage to defy her day's cultural norms and demand equality by simply sitting at the front of a bus. I know she was by no means the only one who defied the segregation laws, just the most famous due to the court case and being the public face of a social movement. Maybe its because of the symbolism of her being a standard bearer for the movement that leads me to peg her as an Arrow. Senator Elijah Cummings on the other hand might make an interesting Silver Ladder, since he has always been a part of the civil rights movement and only moved into a prominently leadership position after King's assassination and decades of hard work.

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                          • #14
                            Never heard of Derren Brown, so I'll have to look him up, thanks for reference.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ckobbe View Post
                              ​I could also see John Henry as a Libertine as well, with an emphasis on the labor side of Techne, and the entire folkhero/modern legend thing feeds into the humanity is magick. Some form of Paradox definitely got him when his Life magic failed and his heart gave out at the end of the steam hammer race though.
                              He would be a text book Uncrowned King.

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