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A world of apostates, and the elites in orders

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  • A world of apostates, and the elites in orders

    In one Mage game I ran, the majority of mages in the world did not belong to orders. Orders were for the elite and the political. Most other mages were happy pursuing their mysteries without getting heavily involved in politics. Maybe they held nominal membership (status 1) or maybe they didn't belong at all. This made those part of orders (like the PC's) special just based off that one fact alone, and it gave the impression of greater importance as they rose in power. It also implied a larger, secret, magical society. Apostates tried to stay under the Seers radar, and those in the Orders represented those ambitious enough to tempt fate.

    I was thinking about both Harry Potter and Professional Organizations one day. In professions with professional organizations, there are often large numbers of people doing really great work who dislike the limelight. They will never present at conferences or run workshops unless forced to. This is especially common in librarianship. These are exceptional people doing great day to day work who you can't pull into the wider professional organization. So we have a professional culture with meetups, networking events and conferences that they will attend. There is the gossip, personal alliances and friendships they form. They will participate in this, but they are rarely the ones who volunteer do things. So they are never office holders, or even volunteers on the lowest level.

    In Harry Potter, you have a wider magical culture which is enchanting. It really roots you in the world of the books. Even if you personally don't like them, no one can argue their cultural impact. In these books you have people who aren't apart of the Voldemort/Order of the Pheonix Paradigm. They are magical bystanders to the war. People who are just trying to go about their day to day lives. Now... the culture of Rowling world might be too expansive and magic reliant for a setting like mage, but I like the idea of developing more... magical bystanders with their own traditions and cultures.

    thoughts?


    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

  • #2
    In that same vein, i've also thought about upping the importance of the relationship between mentor and apprentice. Making the network of alliances and vendettas between mentors and apprentices the primary ''map'' of social interaction on a more local scale, and the Orders working on the global scale.


    Completed campaign: Scion 2nd Edition. Les L├ęgendes Currently playing: Being a dad for a 3 year old daughter and a 2 years old son and now a beautiful new baby.

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    • #3
      Being in an Order doesn't really detract from being a bystander, sometimes it's just not your fight.

      You can see this in the DF with the White Council, big important political organization, but most members are pyramid-sitting on the sidelines or whatever.

      There's also the Paranet, a constellation of lesser talents who do only what's necessary to survive and live a mostly normal life.

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      • #4
        I'm curious where Legacies fit into this, since they seem to be designed to fill some of the niches in the Orders that you're moving to the Orders by making apostate the default.

        It seems pretty easier to treat Hogwarts as a Mysterium deal, with some of the highly specialized groups being Legacies.

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        • #5
          This is an interesting idea! It would be a lot of fun in a game set during the Nameless War especially. On a smaller scale, the Tucson setting in the core book takes an approach like this.

          I like it because I'm not a huge fan of every mage having a "job" in the Orders. It feels like my PCs are often not very interested in interacting with their Orders as institutions (which is a shame because personally I find that aspect very appealing), and just fill something in that box because they have to pick one. Especially with the Guardians of the Veil, I think there's a sense that you have a specific Job To Do which restricts character options a bit.


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

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          • #6
            The setting I like to toy around with are the war by proxies. Nameless / Lesser known / Local Factions. Vying for influence and power in an area. Its lets the players more or less see a gradient of dedication. Where each side was patronizing a faction under the table. Members that show a lot of potiental and dedication become recruitment targets for the larger factions. A sliding slope. And then the larger "war" becomes a more centered part of the narrative. and the innerfaction conflicts and relations evole naturally.

            "Should you do that thing? No don't do that thing, do this thing. Guys if we don't do X, Y will happen. Y is only a theory and not worth looking into. We need to go on the offensive! No build up our forts for winter!"

            The main factions offer to the players reward safety and pay for services rendered like a real organization. Say all you want about altruism but at the end of the day. Those R.O.U.S in the Basement aren't killing themselves. Bills need to be paid, Watches need to be manned, and a meandering P.I. needs to strap together a Harpon Zipline from stuff lying around the attic.

            I often like playing the unalign just so I can work with different factions without the overhead, and so the character's decisions are more of a moral / survival alignment rather than an idealogical one. Knights were just hired muscle that got romanticed later in the telling.


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            • #7
              If they're only Status 1 (In the authoritative sense, not the reputation one though usually one comes with the other) and don't care about going higher then honestly the only "job" they have to do is follow the Order's rules and run errands once in a while.

              Y'know, if you wanted to push the envelope a bit with players that have selected an Order just because it's the "thing to do" you could always end up having an in character conversation about it. "What do you do here? What do you want to do? Maybe we can find an accommodation that makes you useful to us and gets you what you want." Buying into an Order requires a personal interest before they start to worry about it as an institution whose goals they align with.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Maitrecorbo View Post
                In that same vein, i've also thought about upping the importance of the relationship between mentor and apprentice. Making the network of alliances and vendettas between mentors and apprentices the primary ''map'' of social interaction on a more local scale, and the Orders working on the global scale.

                I like this a lot. Sort of the old apprentice system with the trades. Local mages compete to get the better apprentices. Some just collect a bunch. Make the occurence of awakenings in family lines more common without necessarily increasing the number of true proximi, and you have a colonial era education system

                I'm curious where Legacies fit into this, since they seem to be designed to fill some of the niches in the Orders that you're moving to the Orders by making apostate the default.
                When I did it the first time, Legacies were numerous (I based it in NYC), and they were like marrying into a family? I think that is the best comparison I can give. The next time I do it, I want to define the wider magical culture more.

                This is an interesting idea! It would be a lot of fun in a game set during the Nameless War especially. On a smaller scale, the Tucson setting in the core book takes an approach like this.

                I like it because I'm not a huge fan of every mage having a "job" in the Orders. It feels like my PCs are often not very interested in interacting with their Orders as institutions (which is a shame because personally I find that aspect very appealing), and just fill something in that box because they have to pick one. Especially with the Guardians of the Veil, I think there's a sense that you have a specific Job To Do which restricts character options a bit.
                That is just it. We are pretty ambitious individuals, and we game for entertainment and relaxation. The story line of moving up in an order is something we played through before, and we are currently clawing our way up in our careers.

                If they're only Status 1 (In the authoritative sense, not the reputation one though usually one comes with the other) and don't care about going higher then honestly the only "job" they have to do is follow the Order's rules and run errands once in a while.

                Y'know, if you wanted to push the envelope a bit with players that have selected an Order just because it's the "thing to do" you could always end up having an in character conversation about it. "What do you do here? What do you want to do? Maybe we can find an accommodation that makes you useful to us and gets you what you want." Buying into an Order requires a personal interest before they start to worry about it as an institution whose goals they align with.
                That is how I've did it in New Light, and Ardus Turris. My last and first mage Chronicle. I'm interested in trying something different this time and building a wider metaplot for myself. The vampires in the city are large independent, and the covenants are maneuvering to kill the independent prince. I'm interested to see what the crossover chronicle brings.


                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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