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Least disruptive Awakened

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  • Least disruptive Awakened

    So I'm playing an Awakened in a Forsaken game, and I want to make sure that, mechanically, I minimize the disruption a Mage can cause, and make sure that I'm not overshadowing the Werewolves.

    What order would work best in a Pack? Work least? What Arcana should I avoid? Any suggestions are welcome

  • #2
    With the exception of Silver Ladder I don't think the Orders matter that much. As for Arcana, I'd definitely avoid Spirit. The other Arcana are less disruptive in a Forsaken game, but all Arcana are potentially disruptive for all crossover games.
    I would personally also avoid Prime due to Ephemeral Enchantment and possibly also Space as it can bypass the Gauntlet quite easily at 3+ dots. Or Space might be necessary for your character since I don't think Uratha can bring other people when Reaching. It depends on the focus of the game and how important it is that all PCs can enter the Shadow. Two other Arcana I would avoid are Time and Mind; the former because of how it can mess with the flow of the game (especially during combat) and the latter because of how powerful it can be, but that is completely just my preference and not a warning.
    All in all I'd go with a Moros. Matter can be very useful in the Flesh (but not in the Shadow as everything there is ephemera, and everything you bring becomes converted to ephemera meaning you have to precast spells on your equipment before crossing) while Death should in most cases work on spirits like it works on humans (with the exception of the soul spells as spirits don't have those). The limits are there but not so restrictive that your character becomes worthless.

    Bloodline: The Stygians
    Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
    Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)


    • #3
      -You can probably pick any Order you want. They may create problems for your character, but none is going to be a significant factor in whether or not your PC steals the spotlight from the Werewolves in your pack.
      -Spirit is probably the most disruptive Arcana when dealing with Werewolves, but do keep in mind it´s not just a matter of not getting this or that Arcana- how advanced your character is at any one particular Arcana is also important. Just about any Arcana has the potential to be very disruptive at 4+ dots. This may be a problem if you are planning a long game.
      -Do ask around to know about the other PCs in your game. It´s easy to create a mage with a focus in, say, Death while trying to avoid being disruptive only to overshadow the death-obsessed Bone Shadows PC.
      -Do you think your mage should be able to get into the Shadow by himself? You may get an Artifact or maybe invest in a Spirit Familiar with the Gateway manifestation (you Familiar may even be the reason you got to know Werewolves in the first place).


      • #4
        Don't pick any Order at all; play an apostate and dump your Order-based perks. Instead, focus on your reasoning for why you're part of the pack. Why did they invite you? What value do they feel you bring? Why do you enjoy hanging out with them? How do they make you feel like a pack? Use that to guide the build you go for.

        Know your creative spellcasting. Try to have a good grasp of what your character can do. Don't slow down the table by having to look up Mage-only stuff that no one else really knows. This goes into why are you doing this in the first place? Why play a Mage in a Werewolf game rather than, say, a Uratha who's really interested in occult stuff? Lean into whatever your answer is.

        For example, if you're being a Mage because the Platonic symbolism stuff is super interesting, then you might be best buddies with the Ithaeur and spend a lot of time talking shop about the laws of the Shadow and how rites are designed and convince your ST to give each other bonuses in that area for some roleplay. In that case, Prime would be a great Arcanum to have. Maybe you've got some kind of personal mental block that doesn't let you grasp how to Spirit Arcanum, so there's lots you can't do yourself, but you can think circles around the theoreticals and running around the Shadow doesn't faze you at all, so maybe Space actually works just as well for you as it does in the Flesh.

        It might be worth focusing on building a Legacy and throwing XP into Gnosis rather than Arcana so that you have a fairly narrow specialist, even when powerful.

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


        • #5
          I would agree on the Apostate option, though be careful that the Fire-Touched don’t learn that bit, their Sacred Prey is loose enough that they might consider a mage like you fair game.. theeen again, you’re with a Forsaken pack so never mind, broadcast away!

          But in my less optimistic opinion, don’t be a mage in a werewolf pack, that’s a tragedy waiting to happen in my personal experience


          • #6
            Why specifically an apostate and not just a nameless mage? An apostate would either bring mage baggage into a werewolf game, or them being an apostate wouldn't even be relevant.

            Bloodline: The Stygians
            Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
            Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)


            • #7
              Apostate is just the 1e term for what are now called Nameless.

              Anyway, Xthing that Spirit is the Arcana to at least mostly avoid; past the first dot it does a lot of things that Uratha are expected to do the hard way. I’d ask the other players and the ST though; it could always end up being that they are interested in someone having “easy ways” in which case go for it. Any of the other nine should be fine by comparison though.

              Also I’d recommend being Wolf-Blooded for hopefully obvious reasons.


              • #8
                I think the difference is apostates have been offered membership and refused, while Nameless have been Awakened and just unaware of the Orders or hadn't had an opportunity to join. But from the book. 'An apostate rejected membership in all the Orders for whatever reason. This is a daunting prospect when even casual membership in an Order grants access to so many resources — thousands of years’ worth of accumulated knowledge, Grimoires, rotes, Legacies, artifacts, Imbued items, and secrets. Some apostates were once part of an Order and left (voluntarily or not), taking some secrets with them. These latter apostates are distrusted by all the other Orders, who see them as potential traitors or enemy spies.
                A Nameless mage does not belong to any Order. Some hail from remote regions with few or no other resident Awakened, or haven’t attracted the attention of an Order yet. Most of these join an Order once the opportunity presents itself.'

                I think going Orderless would be a good step. You wouldn't have the connections or even the mysteries that would take attention away from 'werewolf stuff.' Then I'd just suggest avoiding Spirit above 2 dots. Life I don't think would be disruptive, being able to help heal Aggravated and heal yourself (werewolves tend to get banged around a lot) would make a character more likely to survive the pack 'full member' experience.


                • #9
                  I also agree on the Nameless option, helps keep things a bit more in check since mages do have a tendency to run away with whatever crossover they insert themselves into. Life is a good choice and depending on the players, I always love me some Time magic. It is extremely powerful to be sure, but if everyone playing is treating your character as part of the pack, then I feel a bit of showmanship is fair. I just would leave the combat stuff to the nice wolfmen with sharp teeth


                  • #10
                    I think I'll go with the Nameless option. I can always join an Order later if the story calls for it.

                    I'm also going to avoid the Spirit Arcana entirely, let that be the purview of the Werewolves entirely.


                    • #11
                      I may recommend having *A* dot of spirit, and just the one. 2E makes dabbling a little less costly, as it doesn't block the progression of other arcanum (the way the ladder of arcanum did in 1E). I recommend that only so that you can see the spirits as well and interact with them alongside the werewolves; they are still the masters of the spirit world, but it doesn't lock you out completely, which could be an issue. But, that is up to you - perhaps it would be fun to be the one person who can't deal with spirits in the group.

                      I think the "no order" idea works well too; just remember that it means you either won't have rotes or need an explanation for how you got yours (Grimoire, Nameless or Apostate Mentor - alive or dead, etc). But it also means fewer distractions, and takes away potential sources of power, in the form of not having Order requisitions or the ability to learn Order Merits - especially Masque, one of my three contenders for most powerful Merit alongside Professional Training and Mystery Cult Initiation/Influence (of course, the Arcanum and their flexibility are the main reason mages are so broken, as is their ability to achieve ludicrous results with enough prep time; but, anything helps to cut down on the advantages).

                      Something else to keep in mind is that Forsaken 2E are Experience Hungry, especially compared to Mages. They need Primal Urge for fuel and clashing, but they also need five separate mini-power stats in the form of Renown to actually benefit their power rolls. And while renown do give some gifts, you still have to buy other facets (and open gift lists) separately. Conversely, buying a dot in an Arcanum gives you access to an entire block of spell options, and increases their power activation rolls to boot. Further, gifts aren't strictly tiered; they give benefits and advantages but there isn't any more power to one over the other, whereas spells have power levels attached to them. A lower level spell may be more appropriate in a given situation (especially because of free reach) but it still is the case that a Mage who buys up an Arcanum gets more options of a higher power level than a werewolf who buys one facet of a gift. One thing to consider is to focus less on buying up Arcana and more on purchasing Praxes, skills, and merits. This can help smooth out the power curve a bit.

                      I agree a lot with Dr. Niemand and Tessie, especially that every Arcanum has the potential to be catastrophically disruptive at 4 dots (and at 5, you literally have ways to wipe out cities, if not nations. Five dots in ANY Arcanum makes you a human calamity). This is another good reason to keep Arcanum lower. You can still achieve a lot with three dots in a few Arcanum.

                      As for specifics, Life, Mind, and Fate are definitely hyper-powerful. Life and Mind have stat and skill buffs (and Mind is arguably more versatile, since it covers both Social and Mental Attributes, PLUS skills; Life just does Physical). Fate... Fate is just good. Especially if you have time to Ritual Cast and add in max Yantra, and if you can spread the buffs around. This is more limited if you keep your Arcanum rating lower; at three dots, you only get one free reach, which can limit how much craziness you can arrange. Time is also highly potentially disruptive, due to what you can do with it (even at three dots, you can rewind events, which can be a combat headache). Moros and Obrimos are your best bets for not being "too" powerful in this situation (if it was Geist, I'd throw out the Moros, but since it's werewolf it isn't so bad). That said, the tribes involved do matter. A Moros mage focused on Matter step on the toes of an Iron Master easily enough, and a Death-focused one may upset the Bone Shadow who wants to focus on exorcisms.

                      One idea to consider: See if you can have the character have started as a Wolf-Blood. They keep their Tells after acquiring any major template other than Werewolves. You could spend three merit points on a Tell Merit to represent this, if your ST doesn't want to give one for free (and really, you're a mage. You get enough for free). You also may be able to buy Pack Bond, which would explain further why the Werewolves keep you around.