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Commonality of Hallows

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  • Commonality of Hallows

    In your games, how common are Hallows and why? What criteria do you use when deciding where to place them?

  • #2
    Personally, I hung onto the description of Hallows being “located near unique features, or in places that seem to be the epitome of their environments” (Mage 2E, 241) as my principle guideline. When possible, I like to look a wide arial photographs of a setting, and place a hallow at points that “draw my attention” or appear particularly iconic. As another shorthand, any Hallow would probably be used as a landmark - if not a place people intentionally visit to soak in the view, then at the very least a place they mention when giving directions.

    I’m tend to be pretty laissez faire with placing Hallows. I assume any well established mage factions control one in or near their stronghold: cabals might control a 1 or 2 dot hallow, orders a 3 or 4 dot. I try to only have one 5 dot hallow in the region. But I try to always portray these as “hiding in plain sight” - due to the aforementioned sense of importance around them.
    The main downside to big Hallows is that /everyone/ notices that place - seers, mortals, spirits, mummies. A 5 dot hallow should be a defining feature of a large region, on everybody’s radar, and a combination of too remote to be useful, too contested to be owned, and too iconic to avoid sleepers - IMO. A place like Stonehenge, where you might be able to use it for a one-off ritual, but it’d take planning. Even lesser hallows should be neon signs, that require active management of sleepers and probably give away your stronghold to enemy mages.
    But 1 and sometimes 2 dot Hallows I present as common enough to not be in a constant fight for, noticed by sleepers but pretty easy to secure or use discretely, and noteworthy if you see them, but not glaringly obvious to draw the attention of enemies. They’re smaller, local landmarks, like the dive bar everyone gravitates to, a sewer entrance that etches into your memory as creepy, a particular flowerbed in a neighborhood park.

    I assume there’s enough 1 dot Hallows in the setting, even undocumented ones, that any time a player wants to throw exp at it, they can find one that doesn’t cause them trouble. Likewise, any NPCs I want can control a 1 dot Hallow. It’s 2 dot sites that I start attaching complications.
    But I tend to use large metropolises as my settings. I’d probably scale these back considerably in smaller or historic settings - or if my players really wanted to focus on mage politics or shaping resonance as main themes for a chronicle.

    Hope that helps,
    ~ Seraph Kitty
    Last edited by Seraph Kitty; 04-14-2021, 02:36 PM.


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    • #3
      I think a good rule of thumb is that there are enough Hallows that any reasonably dedicated cabal can find at least one, although that can necessitate needing to be within driving distance of the Consilium's activities.

      I think the norm for Consilia would be a concession to personal liberties in the form of permitting any cabal that lacks a Hallow to lay claim to the first one they come across, regardless of its rating, possibly with a requirement to register it. The complication ensues should they locate an additional Hallow; that requires them to make a case for why they have a need for ownership of more than one, and word is put out to the other cabals so that they might make their own case. It can be possible in such cases for no cabal to make a sound argument for why they deserve an additional one, in which case the Council would declare it a resource for their distribution (which can often lead to it being a dedicated refinery for tass), although it might also be ceded to an Order caucus. Giving the Hallow directly to Consilium or Caucus can be a good way to raise one's standing.

      Basically, I think a priority should be placed in Hallows being frequent enough that nobody is struggling to get one, but scarce enough that there aren't enough to comfortably serve all mana needs. The kind of thing that can lead mages to need to go hat in hand to other cabals if they desperately need a refill and then compete viciously over new ones showing up.

      I think a neat thing to do with the unique features thing is that they're often sites of potential or former Hallows; areas that were tapped out (or left untapped for so long that they just sublimated) or have the correct features but need some work to become a proper font.


      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
      Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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      • #4
        Extremely rare, at least in the campaign that exists only in my head. Rare enough that cabals can form just to take/defend/share one.

        But I go with a lot lower population counts of supernatural beings generally than the norm.

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