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[OOC] [Mage: the Awakening 2E] The Supernal Suburbia

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  • [OOC] [Mage: the Awakening 2E] The Supernal Suburbia

    The Supernal Suburbia

    Close enough to Chicago for an easy commute, but far enough away to avoid the...less than savory aspects of the Windy City, La Grange is a Cook County suburb that some would say is a boring alternative to city living. Many families choose to live in this area for a number of convenient factors: less congestion than its neighboring villages to the east, quick CTA access to the city and nearby towns, and a downright pleasant feeling that scratches the suburban itch that so many middle-class American families are seeking. Locals are quick to brag about La Grange's quality schools and that, yes, the actor David Hasselhoff is from here. What more could you ask for?

    However, very few people, locals or otherwise, will let conversation linger on topics about the strange occurrences that have plagued parts of their town for years. It's a simple fact here: If you don't talk about it, it's not really a problem. Suburban lives goes on...except when they don't.

    So no one talks about, for example, the way that kids from Lyons Township High School sometimes go missing for a week or two at a time, only to show up in town with no memory of where they've been or what they have been up to. People prefer to quickly change the topic when someone asks about the distant howling they heard coming from the woods at night on the north side of town. And no one really knows, and certainly never talks about, why these disruptions to their idyllic suburban life happen in very specific pockets of town while others have almost never reported these same problems. No one in their right mind discusses how absolutely dreadful all of those bizarre experiences are in Chicago, only a short train or bus ride away.

    But you have Awakened. You don't just talk about these odd happenings; you can't get enough of them. And suburban life, it turns out, has a lot of secrets hiding behind its white-washed fences and nicely furnished homes.

    Current Player Characters
    1. Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon - Lynx, Thyrsus Mystagogue, animist/college student (old character sheet here: Lynx)
    2. Second Chances - Eurydice's Heir, Moros Arrow, neopagan obsessed with ephemeral beings
    3. DrSteve - Morganna, Mastigos théarch, soccer mom / con-woman
    4. DArchon5 - Fatewise, Acanthus Mystagogue, high school grad with supernatural family problems
    5. squidheadjax - Caliginosa, Obrimos Guardian, magical thief and artifact remover

    Inactive Player Characters
    1. Beans - Dr. Asphodel, Moros theoretical physicist
    2. MagicSwordsman - Binder, Mastigos bookstore owner/family man
    3. Caladriu - Moonstone, Mastigos Sleepwalker-turned-mage
    4. crapcarp - Phoenix, Obrimos Hunter-turned-mage
    5. Haberdasher - Ragnar, Acanthus Renaissance man
    6. Thorbes - Ouroboros Ophis, Moros occult physician

    IC Thread


    Game Conventions & Rules

    Posting Frequency and Availability:
    As a general rule of thumb, please aim to post a minimum of 1-2 times per week, especially if the scene cannot realistically continue without your involvement. If you are going to be unavailable for more than a week, please let me know on the OOC thread or via PM if possible. In turn, I will try to follow the same guidelines myself.

    Post Bookkeeping:
    Please keep a running header at the start of each post on the IC thread with your character's current status, including active spells under their control, conditions, health, WP, mana, etc. For health, consider using O, B, L (or X), and A characters to represent your health bar and damage type; for example, ALLBBOOO would be a character with 8 health boxes, including 1 aggravated damage, 2 lethal, 2 bashing, and 3 empty health boxes. It's customary for players to each find a font color that they like to represent their character, so it's easier to follow conversations in posts visually (see the IC thread for details).

    Here is a sample post template for a character header who uses the red color font:
    Mage Sight: Peripheral | Conditions: None | Spells: None
    Health: OOOOOOOO | Willpower: 6/6 | Mana: 11/11

    Body of post here.

    With spellcasting, please make it really clear how you created the spell, especially for creative thaumaturgy, and include that in a spoiler box in your thread. Here is a sample post template for spellcasting information:

    Primary Spell Factor:
    Casting Time:
    Base Dice Pool:

    Paradox Dice Pool:
    Roll for Paradox:
    Roll for Wisdom:

    Spellcasting Roll:

    Rolling Dice:
    All dice rolls by players need to be made public and permalinked to a roll on your preferred dice roller. Orokos is my current personal favorite. Please pay attention to your dice expressions, especially if you have a dice trick such as 9-again or a rote action. Please place rolls and other OOC information in a spoiler section in your post. For NPC rolls, or especially for hidden actions, I will roll online but will not include the results in my post. Please resist the temptation to browse my roll history.

    To help speed up gameplay, if you believe that a roll is needed to perform some action and you think you know what dice pool will be used, feel free to include it in your post preemptively. My general rule of thumb is that a roll is not needed unless there is some risk or consequence of failure. If you are unsure, skip the roll and I will ask for one. Players roll their own Paradox and Wisdom rolls when casting a spell, if relevant.

    I may modify your roll after it is made. If I need to grant you a bonus, I'll roll extra dice and give the updated count of successes. If I need to apply a penalty, I will remove dice results from your roll starting with the final (rightmost) rolls and moving backwards.

    Per the standard rules on successive attempts for rolls (Mage 2E p. 214), when you fail a roll, you can roll again. If you're in a tense or time-limited situation, you can make successive attempts on a roll but at a cumulative -1 penalty for each attempt. However, you aren't penalized for rolls that are free of time pressure. This equates to a "take 1" rule for certain actions. For example, if you want to cast an instant cast spell that does not risk Paradox (not even a chance die roll), and the dice pool is above 0, roll it online once. If it fails, you may "take 1" -- assume you eventually cast it with 1 success. Roll each time for successive attempts at a ritual spell, or if the spell risks Paradox, using a cumulative -1 penalty on subsequent attempts. Cumulative penalties last until the end of the current scene.

    NPC Control:
    As the Storyteller, I will take the lead on introducing, describing, and speaking for NPCs during the game. However, players are welcome to introduce or speak for NPCs when they have specialized knowledge about an NPC (e.g., conversation between a PC and their sibling or parent), or when doing so would not have any significant impact on the current drama and is otherwise flavorful.

    Tracking and Spending XP:
    In my ST offline notes, I use a table to track which characters have earned Beats and Arcane Beats in a given scene. I will try to offer prompts or look for opportunities to offer Beats, and reward players for good roleplay. Players are responsible for tracking their Beats, Arcane Beats, XP, and AXP on their character sheet posted on the forums.

    When spending XP, please make a note in the OOC thread so I know that your character has changed. You can spend XP any time and on anything you want. Purchases will generally take effect at the start of the next scene, but if you want access to a new ability and you think it would be dramatically appropriate to gain it immediately (such as a new dot in Gnosis or an Arcanum), let me know.

    Whenever we formally enter combat, please roll initiative and provide a brief statement of your character's intent during the conflict.

    To expedite combat, at any point during the current round of combat, make your post with your action and description of what you would like to do; the actions will then occur in order of initiative. If you need to change your action because of what occurred on someone's turn before you were able to act, then you can edit your post accordingly.

    For reflexive actions such as activating Mage Armor, you can do this whenever it might be relevant. If an NPC or antagonist attacks you, I will roll based on your current Defense and mark successes/damage based on that roll. If you decide you would have activated a Mage Armor that affects Defense or damage, you can post in the IC thread and edit the roll or damage accordingly. Follow the same guidelines for Dodge, Counterspell, or similar instant actions that you can do as a reaction, although you cannot use these actions if you have already acted on that turn of combat.

    Player vs. Player Conflict:
    In some cases, characters may be at odds with each other and may engage in some type of conflict. Whenever such situations arise, please make sure that you are being mature about it and communicating in the OOC thread to ensure that everyone has a positive roleplaying experience. Please first attempt to resolve the conflict narratively, and I can help mediate if needed. If necessary, conflict will be resolved using typical combat or Social Manuevering mechanics. In these situations, please be mature and avoid metagaming here whenever possible.

    I will keep a running list of custom Conditions that I or other players have added throughout the game. New Conditions can be suggested in the OOC or IC thread, and will be added here once finalized for future reference. My goal with Conditions is to make something interesting and fun, and to incentivize you to voluntarily take dramatic failures for Beats or Arcane Beats frequently.


    Custom Conditions

    Fabled. Your character has performed an impressive feat in battle, and it makes for a great story.
    Resolution: When your character speaks of their action to a receptive audience, you may resolve this Condition. This grants +2 to one Social roll and restores a point of Willpower.
    Beat: N/A.

    Irritable. Like a lion lashing its tail and looking ready to pounce, your character is feeling on edge and thinking about lashing out. Small things that you might normally ignore or brush away have a tendency to get under your skin. Take -2 to Composure rolls.
    Resolution: This Condition is resolved when your character's anger causes you to do something that you might later regret about yourself or someone else, such as saying or doing something that might cause harm to a significant relationship (e.g., spreading a negative rumor, breaking something you or someone else owns).
    Beat: N/A.

    Misinformed. You struggle to understand the social undercurrents in a particular group, identified at the time you gain this Condition. You take -2 on Social rolls and Social Maneuvering attempts involving members of the social group related to this Condition. Whenever the Storyteller asks you to roll for a Social action or Social Maneuvering attempt pertaining to this Condition, instead of rolling, you may voluntarily fail the roll and resolve this Condition.
    Resolution: Opt to fail a Social action or Social Maneuvering attempt with someone in the identified group, as described above.
    Beat: N/A.

    Supernal Blindness. Like a blind spot from staring too close to the sun, your intense gaze upon a Mystery has temporarily harmed your Sight. You must spend a Willpower point to enter your active Mage Sight, even for the first time you use it per scene; you may then maintain it for the remainder of the scene or until leaving active Mage Sight. You also suffer -2 penalties to all Revelation and Scrutiny rolls.
    Resolution: This Condition is resolved when you successfully Reveal the surface or deep information of a Mystery.
    Beat: N/A.

    Trapped. Due to the Space Arcanum, you find that you simply can’t move despite all of your efforts to do so. It’s like being lost, but without actually moving.
    Resolution: This Condition is resolved when you successfully cast a Space spell, or spend an instant action to roll Wits + Athletics and succeed on the roll.
    Beat: N/A.
    Last edited by rwknoll; 11-18-2020, 01:32 PM.

    My Games
    Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller

  • #2
    I'm certainly interested in taking part if you're going to run a game. What do you have in mind?


    • #3
      Interested. I'm running a couple of games right now, so I'm all ST'd out, but I'd love to have another game to play in.


      • #4
        I'd be interested in being a player in this. It sounds like it might be a lot of fun.


        • #5
          Yes hello I am here to yes. I'm leaning toward a Silver Path Moros myself.
          Last edited by Beans; 06-25-2016, 03:52 PM.


          • #6
            On a random note, is there a way to edit titles of a thread? I could turn this into the OOC thread, or add the Recruitment tag, but not sure how to do that.

            My Games
            Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller


            • #7
              Also, already getting a number of people indicating interest to play across Reddit, GitP, and here. So, I'll just dive in and say I'll try my hand at storytelling. God help us. :P

              More details to come soon.

              My Games
              Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller


              • #8
                I'm leaning towards a hacker/programmer type, potentially an Obrimos Free Councillor who believes magic flows through code and the network in creating invisible structures out of nothing. Th character may take some inspiration from Root from Person of Interest.


                • #9
                  Ok, I updated the first post with a working draft of the story pitch, info about setting (definitely more to come), and what I would like for you in terms of character submissions.

                  I will consider multiple characters with the same Path, so please feel free to submit a character that is of the Path you would most enjoy even if someone else submitted one. However, I think the cabal will be stronger in general if you have a good spread of Arcana covered.

                  Let me know if you have any questions!

                  My Games
                  Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller


                  • #10
                    This is just a brief summary for now. I'll expand as more details and characters emerge.

                    1. Character concept/archetype:

                    Sara Tath - 'Security Consultant' (Read, legalized hacker)

                    Sara is something of a scandal in La Grange. That might have something to do with the fact that she managed to plunge half the county into darkness when she was twelve and hacked into the electrical grid, marrying technical know how with being too young to really grasp the consequences of her actions. The FBI and NSA both took a certain interest at that point and she went through a lot of questioning to ensure she didn't have ties to untrustworthy elements.

                    She also got a lot of warnings and restrictions, but at the same time, her skills received more positive attention and her education was watched and shaped by those who had found her and wanted to ensure she was kept under control and motivated to use them in more desired ways. Her childhood and youth was therefore an awkward time, people both angry at her, and envious at what she could do, and the tale of the 'Blackout' circulated for a number of years.

                    2. Awakening:

                    Path: Obrimos

                    Her Awakening came about after several weeks of toying with code and the most complex program she'd ever worked on, one that kept filing on her for reasons she couldn't grasp. It was designed to write it own code, to solve simple problems she put to it and to be adapt to find correct solutions. She lost herself in the shining, ever more complex code as it grew tangled and ensnared her like a web, systems flickering to life and dying around her as she felt more and more, like she was in a living creature.

                    When she realized that everything she felt and sensed around her in the web as the living energy of both the physical and the digital world, her eyes finally opened.

                    3. Preferred game/player style: I'd be very keen on exploring mysteries and seeking answers, as well as dealing with tough choices and philosophical quandaries.


                    • #11
                      @Retias: Digging the character concept. How old is Sara now? Does she work for a specific firm or company, or does she do private consulting? How do you envision the "blackout" experience shaping Sara's relationships and interpersonal experiences with other people now that she is an adult?

                      For everyone else: I hope this format for submissions is ok. I know many of you have preferred Legacies or long-term visions for your character, and I don't want to discourage that by any means. I just want to know more about your character's foundation and personality.

                      I plan to keep recruitment active for about a week, give or take depending on volume of submissions and speed of posting. If you want certain information kept private from other players, you can discuss with me via PM, although you are also welcome to share OOC information and trust that we will keep it separate from IC knowledge.

                      How do people feel about the suburban Chicago setting specifically? My idea is to use La Grange as a contrast to Chicago, so the PCs get a chance to feel how different the areas can be. The local Consilium will be housed downtown, as will some of the Orders' headquarters. Like Sleepers, many mages will live out in the suburbs for more privacy and reduced intrusion from antagonistic rivals or the Consilium. Mages in La Grange this have less oversight, but also less immediate protection, from Pentacle mages.

                      I want trips into Chicago to feel special. Dangerous, brimming with possibilities, and dark. Corruption, predation, and danger will be big here.
                      Last edited by rwknoll; 06-26-2016, 07:25 AM.

                      My Games
                      Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller


                      • #12
                        I see her as being around 25 when she awakens, and, she's likely into private consulting, with the freedom that provides. (Though I'm pretty sure that she's on a watch list of some sort for the federal government). Her activities can sometimes be shady, but she avoids outright law breaking. All the same, she's go a capable presence on the Dark Net and in hacker communities. As for how people see her. I think a lot of older people see her as a potential nuisance, despite it having been 13 years since the Blackout. Those nearer her own age likely have more varying reactions, some seeing it as a cool story, others thinking she' reckless. A lot of local kids likely think the story's awesome and bug her for details. ^^

                        I like the contrast between the two areas. Gets us chance to be involved in two different types of lives, and also means it can reflect the difference between mage lives and 'cover' lives. (Sara's Shadow name is almost certainly going to be Spider)
                        Last edited by Retias; 06-26-2016, 01:01 PM.


                        • #13
                          Okay, here I go.

                          1. Character Concept/Archetype
                          Vivian "Vo" McCallister, PhD - Theoretical physicist (Shadow Name: "Dr. Asphodel")

                          Vo grew up in Ohio and was always a bright, hard-working girl. In fact, she skipped a grade or two and bagged herself an impressive scholarship to an in-state college. Her studies in physics caught a few eyes, and soon she was off to the University of Chicago for her Master's. She found herself a nice girlfriend there named Sandra, and everything seemed pretty great.

                          Then came the car accident. Her body was surprisingly mostly fine, but she suffered nerve damage. While fully functional both mentally and physically, she was left with a stammer and tremors. She bounced back pretty well, having her studies and her girlfriend. She carried on to get her Master's degree, to marry her girlfriend, and then to achieve her doctorate. Sandra assured her every step of the way that the nerve problems didn't change anything for their relationship. Unfortunately, this was not true.

                          After her Awakening (below), Vo believes her ex-wife cheated on her at least partly because she thought she could get away wit hit, because Vo was harmless. Paradoxically, while Vo wants nobody to underestimate her again, she plays into the imagery of helplessness; she lets her stammer and twitches make her seem vaguely pathetically eccentric, and walks with a cane she doesn't really need (which also functions as a dedicated tool).

                          Vo herself may be the center of a bit of a scandal, given the whole infidelity-and-divorce situation. I imagine that the general sentiment is one of pity.

                          2. Awakening
                          Path: Moros

                          Vo came home early one day with flowers for her wife. Like an agonizingly unfunny parody of tired old soap opera drama, she found Sandra in the arms of another woman. She shuffled to the kitchen to put the flowers in a vase of water, then made her exit while mumbling about some work she needed to get back to. The whole drive back to U of C and as she dug into work, she realized that there had been signs of her wife's lessening affection and she hadn't recognized them. The more she focused on the physics to block out the pain, the more she found new connections. She Awakened to a whole new world, a world more real and with physical laws outstripping the ones she'd spent her life studying. She had to see it again. Science studied what was real; theoretical physics studied what could perhaps be real; she wanted to study that which was more real than real could ever be.

                          Vo returned home to find the fornicators still present. Calmly, quietly, she ousted them from her house. Divorce soon followed.

                          3. Preferred Game/Player Style
                          Mysteries, adventure, and fun social dealings! A central part of Vo mirrors the Chicago/La Grange duality; outwardly, she seems pitiable and harmless---while in truth, she's a mage sizzling with the desire to prove herself.

                          Whoops, I missed the bit about not having direct Order ties. I do intend Vo to get involved with the Silver Ladder before long, though.
                          Last edited by Beans; 06-26-2016, 02:14 PM.


                          • #14
                            Question about this:

                            Note that the game will start immediately post-Awakening, so your characters most likely won't have direct ties to any of the Orders, unless it fits into their background (e.g., was a member of a Silver Ladder Mystery Cult and want to have contacts in the Order).
                            I have a vague concept of a character who was a Sleepwalker servant/companion/aide to a mage for several years, and had basically resigned themselves to being part of that world but never actually Awakening, until their mentor died or they otherwise had a massive break, and it led to them Awakening as an Acanthus when their destiny was radically altered by being forced into a new situation. Like, Wong if Doctor Strange was suddenly taken out of the picture. It would be fun to take the Infamous Mentor merit and deal with that complicated legacy and relationship.

                            I like the idea of a character who's been on the periphery of the Orders and their society, maybe living in a Sanctum and being around magic regularly, knowledgeable as an assistant and ritual companion but only in the background, and is just now being thrust into the role of full participant. Struggling to find their own voice and gain respect from other mages who already know them as "X's precocious Sleepwalker." The difference between "favored servant" and "independent but inexperienced mage".

                            Does that sound workable for this game, or would it be better to make a character who isn't as connected to Awakened society?

                            2E Legacy Updates
                            Brotherhood of the Demon Wind
                            Choir of Hashmallim (plus extra Summoning content)
                            Storm Keepers


                            • #15
                              I must say, I now more about my character's Awakened life (devout Mystagogue, focused on viewing magic itself as an organism) than what he was beforhand (probably something to do with outdoors).

                              The awakening involved getting lost in the woods, that's one thing I'm sure of. Probably looking for some cryptid sighting alone.

                              The gamestyle should focus mostly on Mysteries and adventure, preferably Archaeomancy. Player is interested in being the most awesome scolar.

                              Simurgh, Mysterium Thyrsus in Mountains of Shadow (IC|OOC)