Sample file - Wolf, Vampire, Vampire the Masquerade, Vampire the Dark Ages, Mage the Ascension, Hunter the Reckoning, ... Victorian Age Vampire, Dark Ages Mage, ...
1ContentsBy Bryan Armor, Tim Avers, Steven Michael DiPesa, Lenny Gentile, Bruce Hunter,Conrad Hubbard, Matthew McFarland and Malcolm Sheppard.Sample file2 Mage Storytellers HandbookCreditsAuthors: Bryan Armor, Tim Avers, Steven MichaelDiPesa, Lenny Gentile, Bruce Hunter, Conrad Hubbard,Matthew McFarland and Malcolm SheppardWorld of Darkness created by Mark ReinHagenStoryteller game system designed by Mark ReinHagenAdditional Writing: Biscuit, Lynn Davis, Sean PatrickFannon, Alejandro Melchor, Kevin A. Murphy, AdamTinworth and David WeinsteinDevelopment: Bill Bridges and Jess HeinigEditing: Janice SellersArt Direction: Aileen E. MilesCover Art: Christopher ShyInterior Art: Jason Felix, Landon Foss, Jeff Holt, LeifJones, Matthew Mitchell, Alex SheikmanLayout, Typesetting & Cover Design: Aileen E. MilesMea Maxima CulpaP. David Gill, in addition to being a cool roleplayerand all-around nice guy, wrote an entire chapter of theGuide to the Traditions for which he wasnt properlycredited. Whoops! Consider this our make-up call. 2002 White Wolf Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the written permission of thepublisher is expressly forbidden, except for the purposes of reviews and for blank character sheets, which may bereproduced for personal use only. White Wolf, Vampire, Vampire the Masquerade, Vampire the Dark Ages, Magethe Ascension, Hunter the Reckoning, World of Darkness, and Aberrant are registered trademarks of White WolfPublishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Werewolf the Apocalypse, Wraith the Oblivion, Changeling the Dreaming,Werewolf the Wild West, Mage the Sorcerers Crusade, Wraith the Great War, Trinity, Dark Ages Vampire,Victorian Age Vampire, Dark Ages Mage, and The Mage Storytellers Handbook are trademarks of White WolfPublishing, Inc. All rights reserved. All characters, names, places, and text herein are copyrighted by White WolfPublishing, Inc.The mention of or reference to any company or product in these pages is not a challenge to the trademark orcopyright concerned.This book uses the supernatural for settings, characters, and themes. All mystical and supernatural elementsare fiction and intended for entertainment purposes only. This book contains mature content. Reader discretionis advised.For a free White Wolf catalog call 1-800-454-WOLF.Check out White Wolf online athttp://www.white-wolf.com, alt.games.whitewolf, and rec.games.frp.storyteller.PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.Sample file3ContentsContentsIntroduction: Weaving the Tapestry 4Chapter One: The Craft 8Chapter Two: The Awakened Struggle 42Chapter Three: Awakening the Storyteller 66Chapter Four: Avatars and Seekings 98Chapter Five: Alternative Settings 128Chapter Six: A World of Magic 190Sample file4 Mage Storytellers HandbookSample file5Introduction: Weaving the TapestryIntroduction:Weaving theTapestryThis is your book.This is the book that results from adecade of Mage players and fans, from allof their feedback and ideas, from lots oflate brainstorming nights, change-oversand revisions.Usually, a Mage game book advancesthe storyline, introduces some additionalcharacter ideas, and maybe gives you somesettings or tools for developing your own stuff. It fitsneatly into the core framework of the game, expandscurrent rules or tweaks a few things to fix them.Now this book, in conjunction with you, will breakthem all again.Mage posits a framework a modeling set, if youwill of rules and setting to play a particular form ofgame. Sure, you might bend it a little to play a moreviolence-and-betrayal chronicle, or you could tweak itand play up a romantic game, but you still have Spheres,Arete, the quest for Ascension, and all that, right? Sowhat do you do if you want to play a game whereeveryone in the world is a mage? Or if you dont like theway the Spheres are defined but you like their imple-mentation mechanic? Or you want to play high-conceptbut cant wrap your brain around philosophy? Its theStorytellers prerogative to spin a game around andchange it into something more enjoyable for the troupe.Thats what this book is about: twisting and turning tomake Mage your own thing.To that end, this book has clarifications and up-dates on rules, sure. It also presents alternatives to theusual Mage game different ways of looking at chronicledesign and magical systems. More than just presentingoptions, it presents these as inspirations. These areexamples of things you can do, in ways that show youwhat youll need in order to implement them.Sample file6 Mage Storytellers HandbookThe Golden RuleFold, Spindle and Mutilate!All right, weve tossed the Golden Rule out thereand told you to mess around with rules that make thegame fun. So why, you ask, am I paying for a book thatjust tells me to make up my own rules?Because rule books are like prefab kits. They con-tain parts that are tested, that generally fit together, andthat usually offer a coherent and internally consistentframework. Instead of having to make up a whole bunchof stuff yourself and test it by trial and error, you gain thebenefit of premade parts. Mind you, you still have to putthem together and you have to make sure you pick theparts that you want to use. Instead of forcing a fit, youwant to put pieces together into a seamless chronicle and the published materials help to do that.When you want to diverge markedly from thedirection of publications, though, you may find yourselfin empty terrain. Sure, you might have some stuff inmind from a recent movie, or perhaps you want tohybridize some rules. Thats where this book comes in:You can take a look at ways to try out things youvewanted to do but havent put down on paper.Prepare for ItThe Storytellers Handbook is about preparedness.You can run great games on the fly, but when you wantto distance yourself from the basic model, you need toput your ideas down in concrete form. This book offersthe inspiration that helps you set down your ownchronicle directions.In Mage more so than in other games, preparationis key. Its a big universe with many complex rules youll need a bit more than Cliff Notes to make this fly!As you read through this book, interact with it. Askyourself how it might apply to your game. Put stickynotes on the pages with your own ideas and comments.When you dont just read about an idea, but you turn itover in your mind and see what you can do with it, youllnot only give it your own personal spin but youll garnera more comprehensive understanding of it.So take notes. Class is in session and this is yourtextbookbut its a ride through wondrous realms andthe graduates are all Storytellers with the right stuff.Whats in It for Me?So how can this book help you make up your ownstuff? Sounds like a contradiction in terms. Yes and no while this book cant be a comprehensive guide toThe pages you hold in your hands are fullof rules, clarifications, suggestions and ad-vice. Indeed, there are hundreds of pages ofthem. Ultimately, however, they are herefor one reason to remind you of thatsupreme guide known as the Golden Rule.Even the authors and developers at WhiteWolf bend the rules, make our own houserules, and wholeheartedly ignore rules al-together in our efforts to tell stories for our own tabletopgroups. We are constantly adjusting, often on the fly, tomake the game fit the needs of the story instead ofletting the rules of the game dictate the story. As youread these pages, remember that nothing herein isgospel; nothing in here is the right way to do it. Thisbook is just a grand collection of ideas, each presentedin all its raw glory, ripe for you to pluck out and test inyour own games as you strive to tell the best stories youcan possibly give to your troupe. Dive in, harvest thepearls you know will enrich your Storytellers chest oftricks and shuck the shells that strike you as empty intothe discard pile. You will hear a lot of people say thatroleplaying games are not about winning or losing, butthose groups of players and Storytellers that have themost fun really are winning the game, and dont letanybody tell you otherwise. We hope that our ideas willhelp you and your troupe win in your efforts to tellstories that are fun and entertaining for all of you.Ultimately, the Storyteller should use the rules astools to enhance the fun of the game for herself and theplayers. This does not necessarily mean wantonly aban-doning any rule just because a single player disagreeswith it; after all, the rules are intended to settle argu-ments rather than encourage them. Storytellers whocompletely disregard all of the rules will find themselvesstruggling to keep any sense of order, as players will growconfused and frustrated with no idea of what to expectfrom the game. On the other hand, Storytellers whonever bend on any rule are likely to find the game hasbecome a cage, with the Storyteller and players aliketrapped by the dictates of someone elses idea of whatmakes a game fun. The decision to ignore or change orbend a rule is an ever-present one, but a good Storytellerwill gradually learn when she should stand by the rulesas a method of necessary order and when she shouldoverturn them in favor of story progress. We hope thisbook will help teach Storytellers to make these deci-sions on their own as often as it offers specific decisions.Sample file7Introduction: Weaving the Tapestryeverything, it can help point you in the direction of manydifferent and interesting ideas, and it can give examplesof ways to implement those ideas. Among these pagesyoull findChapter One: The Craft. Errata, addenda andanswers to those burning questions and errant loopholesyouve always wondered about. Sure, some rules havehad minor corrections over time. (Nobodys perfect.)Youll find answers to your questions here as well assome ideas on why things were done the way they were.Additionally, this section includes a boatload ofoptional rules and rules to change around the game. Ifits a rule that would totally alter Paradox, or changeAbilities or alter the Spheres, its in here.Chapter Two: The Awakened Struggle. Unlikemany roleplaying games, Mage can often seem overlysubtle and abstract. The villain is obscured and may notbe a villain at all when viewed from his own perspective.The various sources of dramatic conflict and the pos-sible antagonists central to Mages metaplot areintroduced here, along with ideas for using them todrive stories and plots.Chapter Three: Awakening the Storyteller. Ad-vanced advice for Storytellers who want to spruce upthe game or who keep having problems running it.Setting up in advance, advice for quick game solutions,ways to simplify your systems and paperwork. Motives,themes, and methods. Plus a dissertation on the basicsof philosophy and how you can apply that cerebral angleto Mage.Obviously, if youre running Mage youre probablya pretty advanced Storyteller already. Chapter Threesadvice covers unusual situations, offers a little back-upwhen players get out of hand and shows you how you canbring your game up to speed by combining advanceplanning with some quick time-saving templates orpared-down records.Chapter Four: Avatars and Seekings. Vital to amages magical development is the Seeking, a sort ofmagical mystery tour initiated by a willworkers ownAvatar to goad him toward enlightenment. But how inthe world do you devise and execute one of these strangetrips in a story? This chapter tells you how and producesmyriad ideas for Avatars of all Essences.Chapter Five: Alternative Settings. From fancifulworlds of magic to spins on the outcome of the Ascen-sion War, this chapter covers several samples ofchronicles that veer far afield from the usual Mage fare.Plus a checklist for making your own chronicles, ideason things you can tweak or change, and a bunch ofmaterial to enhance your specific themes for otherwiseusual chronicles.If youve been itching to run a Mage game thats aspace opera, or you want to play around with mages ina fantastic setting out of comic books or movies, this isthe place to look. Before the World of Darkness be-comes pass or repetitive, browse through these ideas.Some of them might spark a new direction for yourchronicle or spawn a completely new one.Chapter Six: A World of Magic. A long, hard lookat crossovers and where mages fit in a unified World ofDarkness and what you want to watch out for! Waysto integrate other game themes and characters. Expand-ing the World of Darkness to encompass other ideasbeyond the core of Mage.More than just giving you some crossover rules,though, Chapter Six is also a toolkit it examineswhere youre likely to run into problems with mixedvenues and how to address those issues. In some casesthey may not even be problems or may spark new ideas.Sample file8 Mage Storytellers HandbookSample file9Chapter One: The CraftChapter One:The CraftRunning a compelling, engaging Magegame is hard work! The Storyteller you must put a lot of thought intowhat the games about, how to executeit, and which areas of the theme andmood to focus upon. It may not seem likemuch at first, but its a lot to juggle. Doyour Storyteller characters have the rightmindset to capture the games mood? Does Reso-nance really work the way your players all claim thatit does? What the heck was the development andwriting team thinking, anyway?Lets start small, with the niggling rules, andthen move up to the big time: the assumptionsbehind why Mage not only works the way that itdoes, but has produced the many books it has.Sample file10 Mage Storytellers HandbookFAQVisitors to the White Wolf website willrecognize questions from the Magegames Frequently Asked Questionsherein. In some cases theyve been ex-panded upon, as necessary. Youll alsofind answers to several other questionsthat may have come up in the course ofa long-term chronicle.What happened to the numbers onthe book spines?The numbers on the spines of various Mage: TheAscension books, sort of reminiscent of the Halonumbers from various Nine Inch Nails CDs andvideos, provide a method of keeping track of whichMage books you do and dont have. The numbersexisted in the waaaaaay back very beginning on thefirst books, but theyre not used any more.In too many cases a spine number wound upbeing more trouble than it was worth. They neverhad much use (I need Mage book #21!) and theycaused some confusion when weird events tran-spired anything from books coming out of orderdue to changing release dates, to books with thewrong numbers!By the time of the Revised edition, it was clearthat the spine numbers, while perhaps whimsicallyflavorful, didnt serve much purpose yet converselycould cause problems. (Yes, people actually com-plained when a typo led to a duplicated spine numberon one printing.)Perhaps more noteworthy, some Mage books the Tradition books never had a spine number, sothere was no way to fit them into any sort of compre-hensive list.This list includes all of them, including editionsthat are no longer in print:01 Mage (first edition)02 Mage Storytellers Screen (first edition)03 Book of Chantries04 Loom of Fate05 Progenitors06 Digital Web07 Book of Shadows08 Chaos Factor09 Iteration X10 Book of Madness11 New World Order12 Ascensions Right Hand13 Mage (second edition)14 Mage Storytellers Screen and Companion (second edition)15 Void Engineers16 Horizon: Stronghold of Hope17 Book of Crafts18 Book of Worlds19 Book of Mirrors20 Syndicate21 Technomancers Toybox22 Digital Web 2.0 (misnumbered as 21)23 Orphans Survival Guide24 Tales of Magick: Dark Adventure25 Guide to the Technocracy26 Initiates of the Art27 Spirit Ways28 Masters of the ArtWhat happened to (my favorite stuff that wasntin any book)?Victims of word counts. Mage revised, for ex-ample clocked in with 90,000 words over what wecould print. For references sake, thats about equalto an extra 160 pages of material that just couldnt fitin the main book. Its unfortunate but its also a lawof publishing. Its up to the developer to decidewhats essential and what can be held until later. Soif you thought something was at the heart of Magebut you didnt see it in the book, chances are that itwas held for a later release.Of course, with the release of revised books andupdated Guides, a lot of material has finally made itto press. Still, every once in a while somethingdoesnt fit because of space (like Merits and Flaws inLaws of Ascension) or manages to slip through thecracks into obscurity (like Lions of Zion, who neverappeared in the revised Storytellers Companion).Im confused by the new Paradox system.Does Paradox always backlash? Does it alwaysrelease the entire amount? The descriptions seemcontradictory.Paradox is a fickle force. Sometimes it back-lashes; sometimes it waits. Sometimes its a hammerand sometimes its like sandpaper against your skin.Paradox usually ignites as its garnered but notalways. Figure about a one-in-ten chance that Para-dox will hang on a mage instead of backlashingimmediately. Of course, the player can always spendSample file11Chapter One: The CraftWillpower to prevent the Paradox from going off allat once. Ultimately its up to the Storyteller todecide whether the Paradox explodes as gathered orwhether it hangs in the balance.When Paradox backlashes, its usually easiest tosimply fire off all of the Paradox accumulated at onceand look up the results in the appropriate damageand flaw tables. If you want to run with more uncer-tainty in your Paradox, you can roll a die pool equalto the Paradox rating of the mage; each success (6 ormore) causes one point of Paradox to discharge fromthe pool in a backlash. (Permanent Paradox can stilldischarge in this case, but it doesnt go away.) Takethe results for the amount of total Paradox thatbacklashes; the mage stores up the rest.In the event that a mage has some hangingParadox left in his pool, it still disperses at a rate ofone point per week, as stated in the rules.What are the differences between vulgar andcoincidental magic? What happens when a magecasts coincidental magic, and how much does theplayer have to describe? The rules seem kindasketchy.Vulgar and coincidental magic are described inMage on pp. 137138, but the descriptions leave a lotof leeway. Ultimately, the full limits on what countsas vulgar versus coincidental are up to the gamethat the Storyteller wants to run.In brief, coincidental magic is anything thatcould reasonably have happened without the inter-vention of magic. If a mage does some mojo and acouple of cars crash, well, they couldve crashedanyway; its a coincidence. Likewise, if the mageprays for intervention while an enemy is chasing himand suddenly the enemys elevator gets stuck, its acoincidence not because all miracles are coinci-dental but because an elevator could conceivablyjust happen to become stuck.Vulgar magic is anything outside the bounds ofcoincidence. The mage hurls lightning from his fin-gers that couldnt plausibly happen in the realworld, so its obviously magic! Similarly, if a magesteps into a bathroom in one city and steps out of onein another city, its clearly something that couldnthave just happened, and its vulgar magic.The boundaries of coincidence and vulgarityarent set, though. The Consensus has some effect:What people believe is possible shapes what is pos-sible. Thus, if a mage manages to convince peoplethat he has some incredible gizmo that really worksand lets him appear to hurl lightning, the effect maywell be coincidence the mage does his magic andwaves his hands, but the device is doing the work,right? As far as people can tell, anyway. Similarly, amage may have special knowledge about some little-known fact of science that he leans on, but if itsnot widely spread and believed, it wont appear to bea natural part of what could have happened, so itll bevulgar magic or science.When a mage does vulgar magic, he cuts loosewith an effect and fires off something that clearlyviolates the natural order. Simple. A coincidentaleffect is usually much more subtle, though. Themage sets magic in motion but then weaves thatmagic into the Tapestry. The magic nudges eventsinto a certain direction; those without magic canteven tell that anything unusual happened. Themage might not even know what is going to happen!The player should describe a plausible coincidence,but the mage merely sets up events and probablydoesnt even know if the end result came fromchance or from magic. For instance, a Hermeticmage could invoke the power of Forces to strike anenemy down coincidentally. The mage weaves themagic into the Tapestry and hopes that it works. Loand behold, a severed power line hits the foe andshocks him. Unusual, but it could happen, so its acoincidence, and nobody can really tell if it wasmagic or not. The player knew by rolling dice, andthe player described the plausible coincidence (sub-ject to the Storytellers approval), but the mageonly knows that he relied on magic, he believed,and lo, his enemy was struck down.Individual Storytellers should play with theboundaries of coincidence as it suits the nature of thegame. Coincidence and vulgarity will shift from timeto time, place to place and person to person, too.Whats permanent Paradox, how do you get it,what does it do and is it the same as a permanentParadox Flaw?Permanent Paradox results when a characterhas some sort of massively unusual alteration thatconsistently and constantly violates the rules ofreality.For instance, a mage can, using Life magic, givehimself better muscles. Usually this use is short termto give a temporary boost; the mage garners a smallamount of Paradox and suffers Pattern bleeding be-cause of the stress of altering his personal Pattern.On the other hand, a Master of Life might use magicto preserve himself beyond normal human lifespan,retaining youth and vigor for a century. This usageSample file12 Mage Storytellers Handbookclearly violates the laws of conventional humanexistence. Why doesnt the Master suffer Patternbleeding? Because instead of temporarily stretchinghis Pattern, he permanently rewrites it. The problemis that he rewrites it in a way that reality doesntaccept, so he constantly has the looming threat ofParadox hovering over him. In game terms, he haspermanent Paradox.If your mage garners permanent Paradox, mark itby filling in (not just Xing) the Paradox box(es).That Paradox always counts for the characters Para-dox backlashes it means worse backlashes andmore damage but it never goes away. It cant beremoved with Prime magic. It only goes away if themage undoes the thing that caused it (such as remov-ing a cybernetic enhancement) or if the Consensuschanges to permit it (such as if the Consensus comesto accept that cybernetic enhancement as nor-mal). Once that happens it converts to normalParadox and can be discharged.Permanent Paradox is not the same as a perma-nent Paradox Flaw. The latter results from a nastybacklash giving the mage some hindrance that per-manently hampers him: a withered hand, dead-whitehair, a Derangement or some similar problem.Okay, smarty pants, so if the Consensus saysreality is what people believe, then how come theConsensus works? Most people dont believe thatreality is whatever they want to believe, so itshouldnt be, right?The Consensus is an aftereffect of the creation ofthe Tellurian. Like the existence of Prime energy, itsnot really subject to interpretation. Prime energy(Quintessence) exists in spite of the fact that mostnormal people dont believe in it. In some cases thereare things that just seem to be, whether due tohistorical inertia or cosmological constants.In Mage, belief, channeled through will, createsreality. Mages can do this consciously because theyare Awakened. Sleepers do so only on the deepestmost unconscious levels, such that individual beliefamounts for little, but the collective mix of suchunconscious convictions is strong enough to bindreality to a particular mode of being to make itfollow certain rules of what is acceptable and what isnot. Since it is an unconscious process, people cantsimple wish things werent different (unless theyreAwakened). In addition, many neurotic contents ofthis collective unconscious of sorts might well maketheir way into consensual reality, even though no-body in his right mind would consciously let suchthings exist. Hence, vampires and other night beastieslurk in the real world.The real world is the material world. Any-thing can exist in the Umbra, regardless ofconsensual belief (although even here there arecertain laws, and hence Paradox). It seems that thereality filters only really kick in for the materialworld, much as an individuals own ego will notallow certain thoughts to become conscious, rel-egating them to the unconscious to reappear later asdreams or Freudian slips.Of course, you can play around with the idea ofwho exactly makes up the Consensus. Its not neces-sarily only humans. Maybe spirits, animals or evenunknown others participate in this masterful tapes-try called the Consensus. While belief affects theConsensus, it doesnt necessary create it. Some lawsof nature may exist independent of belief, andothers might change with varying degrees of easeand speed.When stepping sideways, does the Avatar Stormcause damage from failed Spirit dice, or from aseparate roll of Arete + Paradox? And does theStorm affect anything other than mages?Its Arete + permanent Paradox. The Stormaffects only enlightened individuals and creations that is, mages and Talismans.So how come the Avatar Storm doesnt affectshapeshifters, spirits, what-have-you?The Avatar Storm is attracted to strong, power-ful Avatars. Its like lightning striking a magnet.Shapeshifters arent exactly human and certainlydont have Avatars in the Mage sense (they havespirits, but they are part spirit). Spirit entities, by thesame token, are not necessarily Avatars.Why did the Avatar Storm happen the way thatit did? It seems like a cop-out to take Masters andthe Umbra out of the game.Some people think the Avatar Storm is just aplot device that came out of nowhere. Well, multiplenuclear devices went off in the Underworld. TheSixth Maelstrom arrived. Doissetep collapsed in thelargest display of Forces in memory. The Digital Webcrashed and reset. The Tradition stronghold ofConcordia/ Horizon was invaded and fell! And peoplethink that the logical result of these events upon thespirit world should be nothing happening?In a game-world sense, the Avatar Storm is agross consequence: Its a reminder of the impend-ing Sixth Age/Armageddon and a slap in the faceto arrogant mages (and others) who thought thatSample file13Chapter One: The Craftthey could meddle around with cosmically de-structive forces.In a theme/ mood sense, the Avatar Storm helpsto make the Umbra more isolated and mysterious. Italso cuts the Masters off from Earth, thereby chang-ing the power dynamic of the game.See also the metaplot wrap-up on pp. 33-35.It seems really hard to build a fast Effect. Withpenalties for fast-casting, required successes andthe like, most mages will have trouble getting morethan one or two successes in a turn.This rule is deliberate; mages should take time toprepare, cast their Effects wisely and use brains, notbrute force. Magic turns the universe on its head it is not something done quickly or lightly! Magic isnot an instant cure-all for everything. A mage cantrely solely on magic to fix every problem.A mage under stress is probably better suitedusing some subtle magic to nudge events into herfavor or splitting dice pools to get a simple per-sonal Effect backing up a normal action. Realtitanic workings will take time and effort. If a magejust has to do something phenomenal in one turn,thats what Willpower and Quintessence expendi-tures are for. Remember, too, that if all that yourmage wants to do is kill someone with vulgar magicthat successes on the attack roll do add to damageas with any other sort of attack, so even a one-success fire blast can inflict some hefty damagewith a good shot.If a Storyteller wants to let mages build fasterEffects, its easiest to get rid of the fast-casting diffi-culty penalty and to loosen up the success chart sothat one or two successes can still score useful results.Now you know what was intended that magicbe a demanding but rewarding craft. If you want tochange it, you can.Um, what are the Technocracys Conventions,anyway?Blast, that sidebar just didnt make it into MageRevised. In brief, the Technocracy has five Con-ventions: Iteration X, concerned with computerand material sciences; New World Order, whichworks with social engineering and information dis-tribution; Progenitors, who practice medicine; theSyndicate, which works with money and econom-ics; and the Void Engineers, who explore and chartunknown places and dimensions. Together theyuphold the Precepts of Damian, a set of guidelinesthat exhort them to protect humanity and explorethe cosmos.What level of Life magic is required to healother people?As implied in Life 3, To more complex creatures,she can exert change, causing the entity to grow orchange as she desires, a mage can heal or injure otherpeople (and complex animals) with Life 3. Transform-ing the Pattern into something else requires Life 4.Whats the deal with the metaplot?See pp. 32-35 for a discussion of all thingsmetaplotty.How are Geasa (Mage Rev pp. 298299) sup-posed to work?A geas Flaw reduces the value of a correspondingMerit or Flaw. The point table, unfortunately, isbackward (oops). So if you have a very simple geas,its worth 1 point it reduces the cost of a Merit orFlaw only slightly, because youre unlikely to break itand thus unlikely to lose the Merit or suffer the Flaw.If you have a very nasty geas, it can be worth up to 5points it will mitigate a Merit because yourealmost certain to lose it. Of course, a geas value cannever be more than one less than the value of itscorresponding Merit or Flaw.A straightforward example: Say that your magehas Sphere Natural: Spirit (a 5-point Merit). Thensay the character has a geas to always leave a smallsacrifice of food for the spirits when eating a minorgeas, worth about 2 points. The cost of the SphereNatural Merit is now only 3 points, but if the mageever fails to fulfill the geas, he loses the Merit.As a Flaw, consider a mage with the CrucialComponent: sunlight Flaw. This Flaw is 2 points.The mage also takes a geas: always eat your veg-etables, a 1-point geas. The mage gains one freebiepoint for the Flaw, but if he ever fails to eat hisveggies, he suffers from the Flaw in the future. (Inthis case, youre getting points for a Flaw you donteven suffer unless you break the geas. Pretty sweet.)Can a mage change Traditions?Conditionally, yes. A mage who switches throughdifferent Traditions during early training gains theDual Traditions Merit (see p. 298 of Mage). Similarly,a mage might gain this Merit during the course ofplay at a cost of 14 experience points and lots of role-playing. The mage gains the indoctrination andskills of both Traditions at once, which is why itssuch an expensive Merit.A mage might change to a wholly different Tradi-tion and abandon a former one at some point. Themage probably gains the Probationary Sect MemberFlaw or a similar social penalty. Making such aSample fileIntroduction: Weaving the TapestryThe Golden RuleChapter One: The CraftFAQOptional RulesThe Musicof the SpheresMetaplotStoryteller Character GroupsThe Importance of Being MageChapter Two: The Awakened StruggleFast Asleep in the Final DaysMystic EnemiesDark Wonders: The SupernaturalChapter Three: Awakening the StorytellerGetting the Most Out of MageElements of StorytellingWine and Fine Dining with Your GameMage and PhilosophyChapter Four: Avatars and SeekingThe Higher SelfSeekingsChapter Five: Alternative SettingsSo, The Worlds Gone To HellHistorical SettingsAlternative SettingsSuspension of DisbeliefChapter Six: A World of MagicBreaking BarriersVampire: Blood and MagicWerewolf: Claws and ShamansHunterMummyKindred of the EastOther Games