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  • Therian
    started a topic Sleepers to Awakened PCs in play

    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!

  • Scarlet Witch
    replied
    In Imperial Mysteries there are challenges to becoming an archmage. To get started you need a second Awakening. The first one made you a Mage by making you confront the Lie and that philosophical battle attracted a Watchtower to guide you. Without that tower, you'd either fall asleep or become a sleepwalker.

    The next epiphany is about yourself, or your own relation to the Supernal. The one in the book is a woman finding her own true name, and a man who changes his relationships with magic and his students. Its a finding yourself exercise, but it can be more nuanced. In either case, your world needs to be shooken up again.

    So one of my players I had an abyssal monster stalk them from the abyssal part of your Awakening, the brief part of nightmares where your soul crosses the Abyss to the Supernal. THIIIS was more relevant in 1e which is when I played with my friend for this, but, it was important for this Mystery Play to make sense. So his character was Obrimos and in the Aether he was safe from the gulmoth that was after him. Here, he encountered the truths of the Aether, and witnessed sounds made or fire and discussed truth with seraphim and discussed physics with elementals.

    EDIT: long posts on phone are bad idea.

    So it was mostly spaced themed, and he got to visibly surf on gravity waves and walk roads of stardust and sound to the Watchtower, where an angel said truth cannot be changed. He then Awakened.

    During the game itself though, he came to discover that a childhood friend was Scelesti, Legion, aaand apparently signed under the Lonely Watchtower of the Abyss (another old abandoned 1e thing).

    He wanted to rescue her but everything in the cosmos was saying there was nothing to be done. This truth cannot be changed, she belongs to the Abyss.

    Truth cannot be changed.

    By confronting this, his character eventually triggered his Treshhold Seeking when he learns from an archmaster's subtle hints that supernal symbols are mutable. The hint at his awakeninf that the angels can be changed helped him get started. Next was the abyssal challenge, where he encountered the gulmoth from his Awakening at the foot of the Lonely Tower. He found his friend's name and blasted it off with Prime, which normallu wouldnt work, but her name became the quintessence of his Archmastery, and then he went to the Supernal for his next challenge. After confronting an angel on the nature of power truth and free-will, Dominic realizes that he can save his friend by changing her true name to something else. However, what to choose? He divines a name she'd like and uses that, while the angel had tempted him to use a name *he'd like*. Renaming his friend saves them both, truth is rewritten, and aponeia triggered. He returns as an archmage with his friend renamed and having no memory of being a scelestus, although now shes a mastigos and kind of grim for it. Some other changes occur as well, not all of them good, but Dominic takes his blessings.
    Last edited by Scarlet Witch; 12-17-2018, 06:04 PM.

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  • Therian
    replied
    Originally posted by Scarlet Witch View Post
    Tome of the Watchtowers and Summoners are what made me best prepared to play out Awakenings which are my faaavorite aspect of Mage.

    But, two more places to draw from are the Threshold seeking located inside the Imperial Mysteries book as well as, oddly, the spells!

    Spells and making allusions to what is possible to mages is great symbology, really try to showcase what symbols exist behind the spells your characters will cast! It also helps new players realize spells and what is available to them if you can show what spells you predict they'll be using most in the awakening itself.

    But Imperial Mysteries can be used to make a really deeper more mystrious Awakening by foreshadowing a possible future archmastery---but only if you are subtle and delicate.
    Watchtowers just straight explains the realms and whats there. cool!

    And Summoners has a bestiary of Supernal Denizens for you to summon, but, you can meet some during the Awakening, and also, how to cook up more and how they act. and of course how they act teaches you their environment so you can reverse engineer Awakening scenarios.

    THEEE most important thing is that the Awakening is meaningful personally to each character. They need to feel enlightened, VERY much so. Almost desperate to express that gnosis. Read the Gnosis section in character creation over again and ponder how you can make an Awakening trigger that feeling of *knowing*, of being the only knowledgable one in an ignorant world.

    the best hubris comes from mages who were enraptured with their awakening (me!), or those who ignore its lessons

    This all seems like really interesting advice. Do you have any examples of what inspiration you get from the spells? Also, what is it that you got from Imperial Mysteries to help with the Awakening specifically?

    Leave a comment:


  • Master Aquatosic
    replied
    It will be given more mechanics and storytelling description hints in the upcoming SIgns of Sorcery book

    Leave a comment:


  • Neos01
    replied
    Originally posted by Gantolandon View Post
    How other mages can interact with someone's Mystery Play? The core book suggests it's possible, mostly to prevent someone from Awakening.
    A mage of the same path can see the mistery play going on.
    To interact he can simply meet the mage or the supernal creatures (entering in the "plot" of the awakening)

    Leave a comment:


  • Gantolandon
    replied
    How other mages can interact with someone's Mystery Play? The core book suggests it's possible, mostly to prevent someone from Awakening.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scarlet Witch
    replied
    Tome of the Watchtowers and Summoners are what made me best prepared to play out Awakenings which are my faaavorite aspect of Mage.

    But, two more places to draw from are the Threshold seeking located inside the Imperial Mysteries book as well as, oddly, the spells!

    Spells and making allusions to what is possible to mages is great symbology, really try to showcase what symbols exist behind the spells your characters will cast! It also helps new players realize spells and what is available to them if you can show what spells you predict they'll be using most in the awakening itself.

    But Imperial Mysteries can be used to make a really deeper more mystrious Awakening by foreshadowing a possible future archmastery---but only if you are subtle and delicate.
    Watchtowers just straight explains the realms and whats there. cool!

    And Summoners has a bestiary of Supernal Denizens for you to summon, but, you can meet some during the Awakening, and also, how to cook up more and how they act. and of course how they act teaches you their environment so you can reverse engineer Awakening scenarios.

    THEEE most important thing is that the Awakening is meaningful personally to each character. They need to feel enlightened, VERY much so. Almost desperate to express that gnosis. Read the Gnosis section in character creation over again and ponder how you can make an Awakening trigger that feeling of *knowing*, of being the only knowledgable one in an ignorant world.

    the best hubris comes from mages who were enraptured with their awakening (me!), or those who ignore its lessons

    Leave a comment:


  • Therian
    replied
    Originally posted by 2ptTakrill View Post
    Astral Space, it doesn't deal directly with the Supernal but deals the most with surreal imagery.
    Personally I would look more towards the Character and their Path, take a scene from their life and then apply the appropriate Supernal symbols directly onto that.
    Awakening is all about realizing the underlying truths of the world more than taking an exotic journey to an alien environment.
    Yes my plan is to make it more of the waking dream variety, similar to whats described in the core book, but was just looking to see which books had info on what those Supernal symbols are.

    Leave a comment:


  • 2ptTakrill
    replied
    Astral Space, it doesn't deal directly with the Supernal but deals the most with surreal imagery.
    Personally I would look more towards the Character and their Path, take a scene from their life and then apply the appropriate Supernal symbols directly onto that.
    Awakening is all about realizing the underlying truths of the world more than taking an exotic journey to an alien environment.

    Leave a comment:


  • Therian
    replied
    So following up on this, we finished up the intro scenario and I'm going to be focusing on setting building and the Awakenings next week. Aside from the core book, what older books will give me the most imagery about the Supernal Realms to mix into the Awakenings?

    Leave a comment:


  • EW-Matias
    replied
    Just a small piece of advice from our own experience: don't have your character running around with just a single dot in a couple arcana and no rotes for TOO long. It's cool at the beginning because you are doing impossible and wondrous things, but quickly it can get a bit frustrating to try to do even simple things with a dicepool of just two or three dice (since they will probably have limited access to yantras, too). Either let them "learn quickly" or have a time jump before things get to that point.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gallus
    replied
    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.

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  • KaiserAfini
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael
    replied
    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.

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  • Therian
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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