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  • First Edition versus Second

    Hi!
    I am planning to make the jump from Ascension to Awakening. I am struggling with the decision of which edition to start with. Obviously, the natural choice would be the newest edition. But there are some side factors I am considering. Foremost is the fact that there is a ton of material for the 1st edition. There doesn't seem to be much of anything for 2nd. Another consideration is Ascension, the game my group is familiar with. I have the Mage Translation Guide, which is a helpful bridge. But that only refers to 1st Ed Awakening.

    I have a lot of this stuff on PDF. But to take the game to the table, I need hard copy. Plus, it is much easier to read a book than a PDF. Which leads me to the subject of aesthetics. Which edition looks better? Which will do a better job of trying to convince my game group to try the game out?

    To further clarify, I have not played either edition of Awakening. I am fascinated by the systems and mechanics more so than the setting. It seems to be the most intricate magic system since Ars Magica (my main game).

    I am most grateful for any opinions and insight anyone may have to offer.

  • #2
    I think 2ed has far better spellcasting rules. The 1ed books expand on the organizations, antagonists and mysteries, there is a lot of cool material to go over. I was introduced to Mage in 1ed and the initial read of the book left me scratching my head. But 2ed was much cleaner on the rules, clearer on the themes, etc.

    So I recommend 2ed, but think 1ed books are great resources.
    Last edited by KaiserAfini; 12-21-2019, 04:37 PM.


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

    The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists
    The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy of Scholars of the Glyphs of Fate

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    • #3
      I'll also say 2e.

      2e's presentation and art, as this is a stated consideration, is going to be more appealing to new players than 1e. A lot of people bounced hard off of 1e, not necessarily because of the mechanics, but because of the presentation.

      The magic system in 2e is a large improvement in a number of areas, and is a cleaner break from Ascension. The "big 3" of Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage suffered a lot in 1e nWoD/CofD by keeping too much stuff from the original games, making them muddier and less interesting. An example of this in Awakening 1e was trying to keep the coincidental/vulgar split and Sleeper witnesses without the underlying subjective reality concept. Awakening 2e drops vulgar magic completely, because the primary battle isn't over Reality Zones or things like that.

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      • #4
        It's important to say this outright: 1st Edition books are still useful for 2nd Edition games. The 2nd Corebook even lists them as relevant reading material. Their worldbuilding still applies, and most mechanics can be adapted with minimum effort. The criticisms of the 1st Edition mostly apply to the Corebook, since the gameline hit its stride with the supplements.


        ~

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        • #5
          Second Edition. First Edition Mage's corebook suffers a lot from not being clear about the themes and focuses that the gameline centered around as it matured with supplements. 1e supplements aren't truly irrelevant to Second Edition. While a lot of their mechanical content doesn't transfer over, their setting text is retained and a lot of supplement material served as direct inspiration or focus for writing the Second Edition material.

          Second Edition also benefits from taking the mechanics further away from the base of Mage: the Ascension. While this might sound like a negative at first for being more unfamiliar, it avoids confusion as to what is and isn't carried over from Ascension and how the nuances differ. First edition's Covert and Vulgar aspects, for example, can easily lead to a misunderstanding as to how and why Awakening's supernal magic works through a false suggestion of consensus reality. Second Edition makes it easier to identify what the themes of a game of Awakening are.

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          • #6
            I also feel like you need to have 2e mastered less. I feel like you can run into a head scratching edge casw and fudge a ruling for it, and just *keep going*, than in 1e. In 2e Ive been able to just *go go go* easier, keep the action moving.

            Another important thing is xp gain. I feel xp gaining is more interesting in 2e, and also, dots cost the same no matter how many you have, the cost of your next dot inflates and gets steeper and steeper in 1e.

            Sooo... ask your players how long they want the game to be and if they want a more generalist approach or if people wanna specialize and have a "im the ghost guy and she does nuking". Cuz in 2e, its way easier to specialize in what you like.

            EDIT: xp gains are more interesting i 2e because you gain xp for developing your character. Whoever came up with aspirations was a genius, and adding obsessions just made it better. Thank you KaiserAfini for pointing out typos
            Last edited by Scarlet Witch; 12-22-2019, 06:22 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Scarlet Witch View Post
              I also feel like you need to have 2e mastered less. I feel like you can run into a head scratching edge casw and fudge a ruling for it, and just *keep going*, than in 1e. In 2e Ive been able to just *go go go* easier, keep the action moving.

              Another important thing is xp gain. I feel xp gaining is more interesting in 2e, and also, dots cost the same no matter how many you have, the cost of your next dot inflates and gets steeper and steeper in 2e.

              Sooo... ask your players how long they want the game to be and if they want a more generalist approach or if people wanna specialize and have a "im the ghost guy and she does nuking". Cuz in 2e, its way easier to specialize in what you like.

              I think you meant the cost gets steeper in 1ed, to the point where getting to 5 dots is mechanically disincentivized. So in 2ed, its easier to specialize.


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

              The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists
              The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy of Scholars of the Glyphs of Fate

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post


                I think you meant the cost gets steeper in 1ed, to the point where getting to 5 dots is mechanically disincentivized. So in 2ed, its easier to specialize.
                Yes, thank you, fix'd

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                • #9
                  So I decided to drop the dime and get a hard copy of 2nd edition Awakening. Should arrive in a few weeks. A Christmas present for myself. My decision was in part based on some of the advice you guys have given me. Another factor is that it is a complete book that stands on its own. No need for the CoD rule book. And third is that it is not so radically different that it ruins my long term plan. I do indeed want to do some sort of Ascension/Awakening mash-up. Or maybe reinvent the setting on my own terms. But first I feel it is important to know the game in its vanilla setting. Who knows? Maybe the setting will grow on me. The metaphysical concepts already fascinate me.

                  Just to note, I already have most of the material on PDF. Including a copy of both editions.

                  The reason I eventually want to mix setting elements is that I am an Order of Hermes junkie. A tad bit from Ascension, but vastly more so because of my Ars Magica background (the parent to Ascension, and thus the grandparent of Awakening). Most of my personal knowledge of real world occult history is in classical Hermetic philosophy. Awakening fascinates me because, in many ways, it is even more Hermetic than either of those other two games.

                  Which leads to a discussion best for another thread. I just wanted to thank everyone for their advice and put closure to the story.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Marko Markoko View Post
                    So I decided to drop the dime and get a hard copy of 2nd edition Awakening. Should arrive in a few weeks. A Christmas present for myself. My decision was in part based on some of the advice you guys have given me. Another factor is that it is a complete book that stands on its own. No need for the CoD rule book. And third is that it is not so radically different that it ruins my long term plan. I do indeed want to do some sort of Ascension/Awakening mash-up. Or maybe reinvent the setting on my own terms. But first I feel it is important to know the game in its vanilla setting. Who knows? Maybe the setting will grow on me. The metaphysical concepts already fascinate me.

                    Just to note, I already have most of the material on PDF. Including a copy of both editions.

                    The reason I eventually want to mix setting elements is that I am an Order of Hermes junkie. A tad bit from Ascension, but vastly more so because of my Ars Magica background (the parent to Ascension, and thus the grandparent of Awakening). Most of my personal knowledge of real world occult history is in classical Hermetic philosophy. Awakening fascinates me because, in many ways, it is even more Hermetic than either of those other two games.

                    Which leads to a discussion best for another thread. I just wanted to thank everyone for their advice and put closure to the story.
                    In that case, you might enjoy reading about the Thrice Great (from Legacies: The Ancient), who have a hermetic approach to magic and Ascension, often dealing with planetary court spirits.

                    You might also like the Stewards of the Celestial Orrery, a group of prophets for the Oracles, found in the Silver Ladder book. In the Seer book, you can find their evil counterpart, the Architects of the Future. They both have a preocupation with ordering the Tapestry in just the right way to favor their patron's plans.


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

                    The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists
                    The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy of Scholars of the Glyphs of Fate

                    Comment

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