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  • Sleepers to Awakened PCs in play

    Hey all, while a fairly long time ST, I am new to Mage. We’ve been playing Exalted 3e for several years and are taking a break and the game we ended up deciding to play was Mage. In order to get acquainted with the COD rules I’m running them through the old Nightmare at Hill Manor scenario which has converted pretty well and everyone’s settling into their characters. I’d like to possibly take the base Sleeper characters they’ve made and Awaken them. Any more experienced Mage people out there with any advice? Thanks!

  • #2
    As an addendum, any older books I should pick up that would be helpful to a new Mage ST to start off with?

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    • #3
      This is an outline of someone's take on how someone of each path awakens I found somewhere here on the mage forums:
      Acanthusawaken as an exploration of agency.
      • The Monotony: The destiny set before you
      • The Breakaway: Going against the expected
      • The Stranger: a first brush with Arcadia
      • The Clue That Leads to the Edge of Arcadia: The seeking
      • The Deal: Winning; being your own master
      • The Transformation
      Mastigos
      • The Flaw or Obsession
      • The Descent
      • The Turning Point
      • The Choice: Fix, or Crash-and-burn for good; choose neither
      • The Revelation & Transformation
      Moros
      • Impending, unavoidable change
      • The resisting, and the pressure increasing
      • The height of intensity
      • The action/choice
      • The transformation
      Obrimos awaken as the logical consequence of their theories and research.
      • The Logic / Ordered System
      • The flaws in their thinking
      • The Incongruity / Wordless Truth; the Compulsion
      • The Decisive Action: Do or die, command your experience
      • The Transformation
      Thyrsus
      • Living things and the spirits within them
      • The first bit of descent into being a wild one; the first signs of the animistic world
      • They fall off the edge of humanity and into dominance, apex predator or alpha; blatantly supernatural experiences accepted as primal truths
      • They claim their territory and return to the world, evolved

      I highly recommend digging through older thread pages for more info. Unfortunately Signs of Sorcery isn't out yet. It will be the official source book on awakening (apart from the Core rule book).

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      • #4
        Yeah I just looked at the Sign of Sorcery previews and it looks like chapter 6 would be amazing to have for what I’m wanting to do.

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        • #5
          On the mechanical level, a newly Awakened mage has 3 dots in Arcana, all three of which must be in their ruling Arcana. They have no Rotes and no Praxes, and none of the benefits of being in an order.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by LadyLens View Post
            On the mechanical level, a newly Awakened mage has 3 dots in Arcana, all three of which must be in their ruling Arcana. They have no Rotes and no Praxes, and none of the benefits of being in an order.
            That’s really good info as I was trying to figure that out. Where did that come from?

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            • #7
              A combination of Awakening 1e rules and simple logic. A chargen-level mage is normally assumed to have put in about a year learning their new abilities, which is where they get the three extra Arcana dots, their initial rotes, and develop an initial Praxis. A newly Awakened mage obviously hasn't had time to learn any of this, or be recruited by an Order and learn High Speech or gain other benefits.

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              • #8
                The Newly-Awakened Template is in Signs. I will not spooil all of it, but you may assume;

                They get the extra Resistance Attribute dot

                They get two dots in one Ruling Arcanum and one dot in the other

                They have Wisdom 8, no matter how much Integrity they used to have

                All Supernatural Merits, conditions, tilts, and effects on them are destroyed - Awakening removes things like your telekinesis Merit, but it also removes blood bonds, Demon pacts, etc.

                They have no Rotes, rote skills, or the dot of occult from being in an Order

                They have no Praxis but can assign any spell to be their first praxis by soending a willpower (but no changing your mind)


                Additionally, for the first scene immediately after Awakening at least they're still high on the Supernal - ignore mana costs, the willpower costs for mage sight, and they automatically win all clash of wills rolls. This fades more quickly the more they use it.

                Someone completing an Awakening gives all mages in sensory range the Stunned Tilt, and all members of their Path (plus Supernal entities of same) can sense it within their Gnosis or Rank in miles. With wiggle room for dramatic effect.




                Full systems and explanations for what's going on behind all this are in Signs.


                Dave Brookshaw

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Falcon777 View Post
                  This is an outline of someone's take on how someone of each path awakens I found somewhere here on the mage forums:
                  I'd like to see that, having done something similar myself.

                  I'd capture what you've written here with some differences:

                  Basic stories, to steal from Christopher Priest, consist of the Pledge, the Turn, and the Prestige.
                  I.e., first something is promised as true, then it's defied, and then the magic happens.

                  Acanthus:
                  Pledge: Everyone follows a script.
                  Turn: You don't like your script.
                  Prestige: You realize you have a choice.

                  Mastigos:
                  Pledge: Every individual is a discontiguous island.
                  Turn: You recognize an underlying connection.
                  Prestige: You can take advantage of relationships of every kind.

                  Moros:
                  Pledge: Everything is atomic.
                  Turn: You realize everything can be broken down.
                  Prestige: And then they can be rebuilt however you like.

                  Pledge: Everything is as it has always been.
                  Turn: Everything was something else once.
                  Prestige: And everything could be something else tomorrow.

                  Obrimos:
                  Pledge: Everything has its own motive force.
                  Turn: You discover that two independent things affect each other.
                  Prestige: You map out the system through which causality is traced.

                  Pledge: The loudest voice wins belief.
                  Turn: You realize that truth can be quiet.
                  Prestige: But you can make it the loudest.

                  Thyrsus:
                  Pledge: Reality is bland and obvious.
                  Turn: But there is sapience hidden behind veils.
                  Prestige: They tell you powerful secrets.

                  Pledge: Only the big, powerful people matter.
                  Turn: But you know so, so many little creatures.
                  Prestige: And together, they can accomplish amazing things.


                  I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
                  An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
                  Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Therian View Post
                    In order to get acquainted with the COD rules I’m running them through the old Nightmare at Hill Manor scenario which has converted pretty well and everyone’s settling into their characters. I’d like to possibly take the base Sleeper characters they’ve made and Awaken them. Any more experienced Mage people out there with any advice? Thanks!
                    Oh cool, I've been running that exact setup. I altered the Hill Manor scenario to incorporate stuff from Awakening, so Barnes was a mage and I made the whole event an Abyssal Anomaly which helped explain the weirdness of the whole thing, like why Joisah Hill is way more powerful than a ghost should be, why an anchor needs to be atomised by lightning, why Barnes hasn't been able to remove the barrier etc.

                    I don't know how closely you've read it but Hill Manor is quite easily broken as a scenario. I suspect it was possibly written quite quickly. Like, the scenario assumes that players will look for keys to doors rather than just smashing them down, some of the geography doesn't seem to quite make sense, and I'm not entirely sure the plot makes sense. Still a fun scenario though.


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
                      The Newly-Awakened Template is in Signs. I will not spooil all of it, but you may assume;

                      They get the extra Resistance Attribute dot

                      They get two dots in one Ruling Arcanum and one dot in the other

                      They have Wisdom 8, no matter how much Integrity they used to have

                      All Supernatural Merits, conditions, tilts, and effects on them are destroyed - Awakening removes things like your telekinesis Merit, but it also removes blood bonds, Demon pacts, etc.

                      They have no Rotes, rote skills, or the dot of occult from being in an Order

                      They have no Praxis but can assign any spell to be their first praxis by soending a willpower (but no changing your mind)


                      Additionally, for the first scene immediately after Awakening at least they're still high on the Supernal - ignore mana costs, the willpower costs for mage sight, and they automatically win all clash of wills rolls. This fades more quickly the more they use it.

                      Someone completing an Awakening gives all mages in sensory range the Stunned Tilt, and all members of their Path (plus Supernal entities of same) can sense it within their Gnosis or Rank in miles. With wiggle room for dramatic effect.




                      Full systems and explanations for what's going on behind all this are in Signs.


                      Dave, thanks so much for sharing that. I've only really been diving into Mage content the last couple weeks, but I can already see why Signs of Sorcery is so heavily anticipated. It looks like I will probably already have muddled through it by the time it comes out, but will there be advice on how to put a group of players through their Awakenings as a game session, and why a group Awakening would happen?

                      Btw, I recently came across your Actual Play threads on rpgnet and so far what I've read of them has been great. Makes me feel like I'm slacking a little in theme and prep for my games. But I was wondering, if I only had time to read one of them, which do you think would be the best for a new Mage ST to check out all the way through?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Michael View Post

                        Oh cool, I've been running that exact setup. I altered the Hill Manor scenario to incorporate stuff from Awakening, so Barnes was a mage and I made the whole event an Abyssal Anomaly which helped explain the weirdness of the whole thing, like why Joisah Hill is way more powerful than a ghost should be, why an anchor needs to be atomised by lightning, why Barnes hasn't been able to remove the barrier etc.

                        I don't know how closely you've read it but Hill Manor is quite easily broken as a scenario. I suspect it was possibly written quite quickly. Like, the scenario assumes that players will look for keys to doors rather than just smashing them down, some of the geography doesn't seem to quite make sense, and I'm not entirely sure the plot makes sense. Still a fun scenario though.
                        That's awesome that you're running the same scenario. I'd be really curious to hear what kind of changes you made. I agree that the more I read the scenario the more I started thinking it would need to be explained by Abyssal/Supernal activity, but I'm still not familiar enough with everything to come up with what would be going one exactly.

                        I've already run into a few weird things with Hill manor that wern't very clear. Janice is said to live on the 6th floor in her description, but in the story tries to go to her apartment on the third floor, it only mentioned the stairs in the summary, stuff like that. Once I realized it was a little wonky its been easy to make it fun. The players have the keys to the penthouse but haven't gone up yet, but in the meantime all sorts of chaos has ensued with the characters.

                        How did you transistion it into a Mage game? Were the characters all Awakened at the start or did that come after? I was almost thinking about it happening during the scenario and modifying the ending but wasn't sure.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Therian View Post
                          That's awesome that you're running the same scenario. I'd be really curious to hear what kind of changes you made. I agree that the more I read the scenario the more I started thinking it would need to be explained by Abyssal/Supernal activity, but I'm still not familiar enough with everything to come up with what would be going one exactly.
                          I more or less totally rewrote the antagonist. Basically, the scenario mentions that there's some kind of evil spirit haunting Josiah, that's why Barnes placed the silver ward that traps all the ghosts, and indeed apparently the spirit caused the fire. However, it doesn't show up in the scenario itself. Therefore I made that spirit the real antagonist with Josiah's ghost just there to essentially push it forward. The spirit was the Prince of 100,000 Leaves from Boston Unveiled, so the building kept transitioning over into an Abyssal other-world.

                          The Abyss is handy because it's potentially very powerful and you don't really need 100% coherent rules.

                          How did you transistion it into a Mage game? Were the characters all Awakened at the start or did that come after? I was almost thinking about it happening during the scenario and modifying the ending but wasn't sure.
                          I did consider something like that but I eventually kept it more or less separate. I had the timeline reset to immediately before everything went weird, and then the building burned down. As a result all the PCs are very weirded out, and homeless which was a pretty good place to awaken from.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I still need to read The Man Comes Around and The Soul Cage, but I greatly enjoyed The Broken Diamond and Bleak House (a one shot). They are fantastic, really transmit the feel of the setting.

                            I also recommend another AP called The Voice of Freedom, its not by Dave, but the story is really interesting. It also has some of my favorite depictions for Awakenings, how the small nuances of it influence your mage life in a big way. For example, an Obrimos who went to India to find her spirituality, but found nothing that connected with her. She Awakened in a gas station while drinking cheap tea. So she joined the Guardians ("the spiritual/magical is rare and must be protected") and went on to discover types of tass teas that resonate with each Arcana (referencing the cheap tea she drank in the station). It also has very evocative depictions of Mage Sight and the apprenticeship process.


                            New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.


                            The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
                              The Newly-Awakened Template is in Signs. I will not spooil all of it, but you may assume;

                              They get the extra Resistance Attribute dot

                              They get two dots in one Ruling Arcanum and one dot in the other

                              They have Wisdom 8, no matter how much Integrity they used to have

                              All Supernatural Merits, conditions, tilts, and effects on them are destroyed - Awakening removes things like your telekinesis Merit, but it also removes blood bonds, Demon pacts, etc.

                              They have no Rotes, rote skills, or the dot of occult from being in an Order

                              They have no Praxis but can assign any spell to be their first praxis by soending a willpower (but no changing your mind)


                              Additionally, for the first scene immediately after Awakening at least they're still high on the Supernal - ignore mana costs, the willpower costs for mage sight, and they automatically win all clash of wills rolls. This fades more quickly the more they use it.

                              Someone completing an Awakening gives all mages in sensory range the Stunned Tilt, and all members of their Path (plus Supernal entities of same) can sense it within their Gnosis or Rank in miles. With wiggle room for dramatic effect.




                              Full systems and explanations for what's going on behind all this are in Signs.
                              Oh man, I'm happy I saw this. It's perfect for the game I'm currently playing in.

                              EDIT: Would you allow a character to spend XP upon awakening to purchase more Arcana/Gnosis/etc. as part of their Awakening?
                              Last edited by Gallus; 12-13-2018, 05:49 PM.


                              SWTOR Referal: http://www.swtor.com/r/JQ2nqy

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