Friday, March 21, 2014

Mage 20th Anniversary Edition Kickstarter

I don't normally get to talk about RPGs because I don't have the time (or players) to play them but I stumble across this and couldn't resist handing over a portion of my tax refund (good timing Onyx Path.)

Deluxe Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition

If you know what this is, I both commend you and call you a great big nerd.

Mage was my favorite tabletop Role-Playing Game (RPG for those not in the know) during my time in high school and post-high school. Sadly, between work, school, marriage, and life I've drifted from the Ascension War of idealistic throwbacks fighting to bring wonder and potential back to a world increasingly stagnant and unwilling to see mankind's full potential.

This new book might just spell a return for me, or at least a good read, since it looks like a new company (Onyx Path) took over the whole classic World of Darkness line (the previous company, White Wolf, rebooted the setting with some heinous abortion of good storytelling by comparison.)

*Yet, you own five core books from the reboot?*
*Shut up, subconscious*

Onyx Path seems to have done some awesome stuff with the material (Threat Null is awesome) and I can't wait to get this book in my hands.

A basic primer for those that never heard of Mage: The Ascension:
So WWWAAAAAAAAAYY back, you had all of these mystical belief systems that thought that they had a piece of the one truth that should guide mankind and believed they had a moral obligation to force them down mankind's throat. So, not to different from real life so far. A couple of people with radical ideas (early scientists and masons) were against that thought and decided that they'd take up arms to wipe magic out and eliminate it from the world.

You see, the rules for reality are actually determined by what mankind believes can be done. Things fall because the collective will of mankind believes they fall. Ditto for everything else you see in the world and science TV shows. In order to eliminate magic, this group, calling themselves the Order of Reason, started to both kill off mages and to spread scientific 'truths' to so much of the world (see: Age of Exploration) that mankind started to disbelieve in things like miracles and flying carpets. Eventually these things went away. At least that is what the Order of Reason would want you to believe.

The mystics had actually gotten their act together and put their differences aside for survival of their ways of life. Wizards, witches, shamans, priests, and monks began to cooperate in an unheard of way to keep their traditions alive in the increasingly harsh world. They formed the Nine Mystic Traditions (the 'Traditions') and began to wage their own underground campaign to keep their beliefs within the worlds, showing impossible things to those ready to believe in them so that they can recruit and spread. Over time they even added two groups of scientists to their cause, groups whose beliefs were deem unsuitable for the masses by the now monolithic Technocratic Union (the renamed Order of Reason.)

These two groups now wage a hidden war for the hearts and minds of mankind, the Ascension War. Its a conflict of both ideas and arms as ray guns and hyper-tech meet fireballs and pillars of salt while control and safety duke it out with potential and risk. Along the way, the characters might also encounter:

  • Vampires: Who don't sparkle
  • Werewolves: Hyper-violent crusaders for mother earth and nature
  • Hunters: Humans you fight non-humans
  • Marauders: Mages who've completely lost it and now run wild
  • Nephandi: Twisted dark mages that have a deep spiritual need to skin kittens and get their elder gods back into reality. Everybody hates them and dynamically opposed groups will even work together to stop them, they're so bad.

So, common. Join the last stand in the war for reality. (Best catch-phrase ever.)

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