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  • High School Cabals?

    Any thoughts on adapting Mage to run a high school or college game? I keep coming back to the idea - where the PCs and/or key NPCs are a cabal of teen mages, rather than adults. How would the Legacies manifest at that age, what would be good Mysteries (particularly ones that older mages would overlook), interesting plot twists . . . Seems like it would be fun. Any ideas?




    Edit: For example, in such a game, I can definitely see the Sisterhood of the Blessed masquerading as the "rich girl" sorority on a college campus.

  • #2
    I played in a game where we started at age six and then worked up to awakening and being in a high school cabal. It was set where the characters were six in 1954, background info.

    Anywho, we didn't use Legacies, but I believe we were up against adult mages who wanted to hurt us to get to our mentor (my character's grandmother).


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    • #3
      The mysteries don't actually have to be ones that adults would overlook, just locate them in places that adults would overlook. How many adults are going to run across the spirit of teenage angst that is haunting the high school, or the ghost of Moaning Myrtle haunting the girl's restroom. Have the initial clue containing high speech show up in a school text book, how many adult mages read high school text books. The same could work for college and university chronicles. Campuses are their own little worlds largely separate from the rest of the world, they even have their own police forces and what happens between staff and students often stays within that bubble. Colleges do not want the parents of prospective students knowing about every little thing that might happen on campus and take subtle steps to keep it all in house. Even the local clubs and hangouts of school kids are unlikely to attract many adults from outside and those they do are usually viewed with suspicion.

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      • #4
        Era is definitely important to pin down here; even the difference between 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 is going to be big, given how much communications tech changes hows young people socialize. When I was in a game like this it was the eighties, for maximum high school drama tropes.

        For high school:
        - How do the adult mages treat them? Do they figure that the Awakening basically counts as achieving your majority, or still try to enforce norms and laws about teenagers even outside of the public eye? How would one of the more protective types feel about someone choosing a legacy and permanently sculpting their soul while they're still a child? For bonus fun, different mentors might have different takes on these issues.
        - The question of why there's 3-6 awakened teenagers (or more, if there's teenage mage antagonists) all in one place and time probably counts as a mystery in and of itself.

        College, on the other hand, I don't think changes up the game much at all. It emphasizes the ideological and self-discovery themes (and academia parallels) of the game, where high school zeroes in more on identity and responsibility. There's probably a lot of mystery cults around your college campus - intake for cryptopolies and the labyrinth on the one hand and for the Seers' pawns on the others. It's a convenient time in life to recruit pawns. Plus who doesn't want to run a story about how Bone & Skulls is legitimately a magic cult?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nicias View Post
          College, on the other hand, I don't think changes up the game much at all. It emphasizes the ideological and self-discovery themes (and academia parallels) of the game, where high school zeroes in more on identity and responsibility. There's probably a lot of mystery cults around your college campus - intake for cryptopolies and the labyrinth on the one hand and for the Seers' pawns on the others. It's a convenient time in life to recruit pawns. Plus who doesn't want to run a story about how Bone & Skulls is legitimately a magic cult?
          For a college game, you could make a game about the Seers fighting to poach young mages.

          I say, as someone in academia in Seers Central Boston at the moment *shifty eyes*


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          • #6
            There's an excellent story in the Mage anthology about two mages fighting over the humans who tie to (slash are) their obsessions. That's going to come up in a game with college recruitment. The question is: did it already happen, and the factions came to some kind of settlement about how to resolve their conflicts? Is it a cease fire? Or is it just a powder keg?

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            • #7
              I thought Mages usually Awaken a bit later in life than High School. What about Proximi?


              Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
              Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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              • #8
                Anyone has the potential to Awaken at any point in there life. Heck in the Supernal Tarot there's a baby that's conceived Awakened. It's triggered by his mother's simultaneous Awakening, but still...

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                • #9
                  Teenagers could be trouble for the consilium. Mages have the tendency to wield their power irresponsibly even when they're adults and teenagers and responsible doesn't stick together.

                  Their mentors would have to be a bit of a parent figure as the young mages wouldn't treat their sleeper parents seriously. Imagine the 15 year old mastigos:
                  - "You're grounded"
                  - "No, I'm not"
                  - "... no, you're not... ughhh my head"
                  It would be up to the mentor to teach morals upon the youngster and protect from their bad decisions.

                  Also teenagers have a higher need for social acceptance and the detachment from society that happens with awakening might hurt them doubly.

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                  • #10
                    I've currently got a teenage Mage PC on the edge of college. It's been interesting to see how mundane situations play out and get extra emphasis for how they impact the seemingly more important magical adventures. They add humanity to the superhuman.

                    Mage games with young characters can be great, in my experience, because of tonal harmony; stories about discovering who you are, entering a big, wide world, all while living two lives; one for your family, one for your peers.

                    It's pretty great.

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                    • #11
                      My chronicle in planning revolves around a cabal of five teenage mages.
                      They all awoke in the same place and time due to the machinations of an Acanthus making a bid for ascension (he required the aid of mages representing each path, impressionable ones, and used Time and Fate to arrange their presence retroactively) and that is the first mystery the new cabal will pursue.
                      ‚ÄčI side stepped the adult issue for now by placing the cabal in the backwater fringe of the Concillium with the only Pentacle Mage present being too bound up in their own obsession (which will ultimately tie into the actions of the Acanthus) to notice this new group of Awakenings. I am instead using grimoires to fill much of the tour guide role (undecided on how to deal with Legacies at this point in planning).
                      The side mysteries the cabal will encounter are either tied into their search for answers or will be located around the areas they as teenagers frequent. For example one of them involves a group of bullet bike riding teens who come under the influence of a 'Rush' spirit.

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                      • #12
                        Daimonomicons can do legacies, so no need to stop using books.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 2ptTakrill View Post
                          The mysteries don't actually have to be ones that adults would overlook, just locate them in places that adults would overlook. How many adults are going to run across the spirit of teenage angst that is haunting the high school, or the ghost of Moaning Myrtle haunting the girl's restroom.
                          Its ban could be judgemental adults.




                          Currently Running: The Shield Bearers - W:TF 2nd
                          Currently Planning: The Dead End Kids - CoD
                          Untilted Tenra Bansho Zero game
                          Currently Playing: The Unusual Suspects - D:td, I am playing The Naturalist

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                          • #14
                            I'd imagine a group of young mages, who had somehow all awakened would likely find themselves in an isolated suburban location, being apostates and thus avoiding the attention of the Orders or any sort of organized Consilium. Some plot hooks for mysteries, that I thought of: (a) why did only they seem to Awaken? (b) Why they all keep having similar prophetic dreams that seem to be teaching them all the finer points of Magic while also teaching them High Speech, (c) why is there a weird aura around their high school and weird warnings written in High Speech within the school about not going into the furnace room and (d) why do people who come out of the furnace room all have a smoldering aura afterwards that all of them can see but with no further changes?

                            I'm currently reading "the Magicians" by Lev Grossman (and watched the first seasons of the show on SyFy). You might enjoy it, it's kind of a take on the Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter, except the characters (mostly) start at the age of 17 and it follows them through their 5 years at a magical university, and the years that follow.

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