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MtAwakening Inspiration

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  • MtAwakening Inspiration

    I just rewatched ‘Wreck it Ralf’, and I definitely got the vibes of an Exarch (or at least a Tetrarch, possibly Ochema) trying to prevent an Ascension, with the looming threat of an intruding Annunkai. I’d even be tempted to consider Vanelope and/or Ralf selesti - as claiming power from a different, incompatible reality is a fair definition of selestus; and Vanelope’s “glitch” kind of feels like the epic paradoxes from Aponia. Overall, a lot of good inspiration for an imperial mysteries campaign - including the casting of an imperial spell from a lustrum.
    I wouldn’t consider either protagonist to be archmaster a themselves… but It does renew my longing for cosmic-tier stories with more moderately powered characters.

    As I bat around this inspiration, I might have more specific ideas to pull out of this, but at the moment it was just a thought I wanted to share.

    Anyway, I’d be really eager to hear other people’s inspiration for Mage, particularly from unexpected sources.
    Last edited by Seraph Kitty; 03-21-2023, 06:13 PM.

    Second Chance for

    A Beautiful Madness

  • #2
    People tend to go for Sidereal Exalted when drawing Mage (both Ascension and Awakening) inspiration from Exalted, but at least for MtAw, I find the Solar Exalted a better match. Especially the ones who explore their full potential as Sorcerers.

    Dawn Caste as Arcadian warriors, charmed to always slay the dark lord at the end.

    Zenith Caste as Aethereal priests, preaching of and embodying fire and radiance.

    Twilight Caste as Stygian sages, diving deep into lore of both the seen and unseen worlds.

    Night Caste as Wild hunters, striking their quarry from the shadows.

    Eclipse Caste as Pandemoniac ambassadors, swaying minds and hearts and fates with a few words.

    MtAw Homebrew:
    Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
    New 2E Legacies, expanded


    • #3
      The Wheel of Time books often give me nice little tidbits to work with - make Arrows act like the Black Tower and Silver Ladder like Aes Sedai, for example. Also a good source of names. Mat is a great Fate-Acanthus who casts his spells unconsciously, Perrin is a Thyrsus Dreamspeaker, and Rand is an Obrimos who went all-in on combat magic and possibly a bit of Abyssal taint.

      The mobile game Arknights mostly gives me seeds for Changelings, but the Sui or Aegir event enemies are good fodder for... action Mysteries.

      Crusader Kings is surprisingly good for modeling political undercurrents - between religion, culture, Dynasty, and titles, there's lots to model for large-scale Consilium/Caucus/Cabal/Legacy relations.

      The movie Bullet Train was surprisingly good as a low-scale Mage game. No powerful spells, but lots of "doing".
      Last edited by Cauthon; 03-21-2023, 06:59 PM.

      Monkish Asexual.

      I make Legacies when I'm bored. They're of middling quality, but have a look if you're interested. Advice and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.


      • #4
        Persona 5 has huge amounts of Mastigos inspiration, as I'm sure many know, but it also contains a plotline dealing with a Mastigos Rapt/Scelesti that shows a very well-meaning mage doing horrible things for their vision of how the world should be.

        Cultist Simulator has some fun inspiration for magical materials and spirits, and of course, the goal of the player character is to ascend.

        Some of the various The World Ends With You soundtracks are great for getting into the mood of Mage. That includes the sequel, which is an excellent inspiration for an Acanthus.

        I'm sure this is heresy, but if I ever get a group of players to run Mage for, I'm dropping a DnD module dungeon on them and seeing if they notice anything weird about it. Like the perfect down to the nanometer 10 ft by 10 ft rooms.

        Edit: minor clarification
        Last edited by TempleBuilder; 03-21-2023, 07:23 PM.

        To whomever reads this, I hope you have a good day/night. May you be Happy.

        So, I made some Mage Legacies here, with some help. They vary in quality, but I hope you take a look at them. Every one contains pieces of me, for better or worse.


        • #5
          Pathologic 2 feels like a town full of high tier Acanthus Mysteries, that act as linked pieces to a bigger one at the borderline of the Imperial tier (the Polyhedron is like a Phenomenal shadow of the Watchtowers). Everything being framed as a narrative, the tragedians and executors acting as spirits of the zeitgeist, the inconstancy of time (with the theater operating on narrative time), the nature of death being rewritten, stage lighting framing characters, props all over. Understanding it all requires reframing your view to see where the lines between natural law and occult narrative are blurred.

          Even the UI is integrated into the internal logic of the world (seeing the Lines is seeing the narrative graph in it) and everything is overflowing with symbolism. Its a relentlessly though game, but very thoughtfully designed and deeply satisfying if you stick to it. The worldbuilding, writing and soundtrack are stellar and overall its a very rich font of ideas.

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

          The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
          The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy whose invisible hands guide through the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)


          • #6
            A few TTRPGs.

            Nephilim is basically 1e Awakening before there was a 1e Awakening. We've got Atlantis, knock-off Theosophy, and immortal magicians fighting secret societies to reach ascension to a higher plane of existence. There are also 22 (I think) different Order-analogues, which is interesting.

            Kult & Kult: Divinity Lost have a similar quasi-gnostic setting as Awakening, but it's just a lot weirder, and frankly nastier about it. Their version of the Exarchs represent things much closer to central elements of what it means to be human, which gives the setting a bit more ambivalence. Plus, there are the Death Angels, which are kinda like Abyssal Exarchs. I've always wanted to port them over to Awakening. The original Kult also had two super-evocative magic books, though they can get really nasty.

            Ars Magica is the predecessor of Mage: The Ascension, so basically the ancestor of Awakening. Whilst the magic is in some ways quite different, the Order of Hermes (the social organisation of the protagonists) is kinda like a different take on many of the same ideas as the Diamond in 2e.​


            • #7
              From the New World - an anime I watched recently, and loved.

              The human characters are all psychokinetic, not magical, but it is a fairly sophisticated ability, capable of doing things such as dickering around with genetics or neutralizing poisons, not simply tossing rocks with one's mind. People are trained to use their abilites by forming specific mental patterns, some people being better at certain things than others. One exceptional talent figured out how to use the mental patterns used to fix a broken pot and alter it to apply to her chromosomes to drastically show her aging. It helped shape the way I think of Imagos.


              • #8
                2nd Ed's Mystery mechanic feels like it's taken Mage much further towards being a toolbox game; you can use almost anything if you work out how to make a Mystery out of it.
                I had a thought that you could set up something like the Laundry Files, where a cabal of Mages semi-secretly controls a department of spies, civil servants and a magic R&D outfit to investigate Mysteries (and preserve public well-being, secondarily) on the government's dime.
                I didn't really like the book "Ninth House" but the magical landed societies of Yale were a cool idea that would make for good Mysteries.


                • #9
                  Obsession can absolutely ruin people, and that's not even going into being Obsessed with dangerous stuff like the Abyss, this video (titled: Somebody Dead Ruined My Life...Again) goes through the progression of some of the pitfalls of even relatively mundane and tame obsessions, like where did the name of Tiffany come from. (It's a 20 min video going over how hard research of obscure topics can be, and it's pretty funny. I'd still say that it's obsession, not Obsession, but it's still pretty illustrative.)

                  Edit: It's also a good example of mundane Pancryptia.
                  Last edited by TempleBuilder; 04-07-2023, 08:01 PM.

                  To whomever reads this, I hope you have a good day/night. May you be Happy.

                  So, I made some Mage Legacies here, with some help. They vary in quality, but I hope you take a look at them. Every one contains pieces of me, for better or worse.