World War II is drawing to a close. The troops expected a warm welcome and a long-lasting, hard-fought peace upon coming back to the good old U.S. of A.
They only got one of the two.
The Cold War is just getting started. Paranoia and suspicion are at an all-time high, and the Seers of the Throne are riding the tide of distrust and in-fighting like a wave, reveling in the resulting fractures that the conflict has caused in the Pentacle Mages.
The Great Refusal has just occurred, and the collective Free Council have just told the Exarchs' slaves where they can stick it.
Unfortunately, the Pentacle isn't too fond of the technocratic upstarts either. No one trusts a radical.
The government should be better guarding the people and the streets from rampant crime and corruption, but they're too busy waging their shadow wars with the Soviet Union to be bothered.
Upstate New York is a straight-up mess. The Pentacle is beset on all sides by the conflicts of the sleepers and their own troubles with everything from Seer incursions to hack Scelesti ritualists and even a stray Banisher or two.
Any Mage coming to this town had better know what they're in for, and have a good plan in mind to set things right, or at very least, keep their neck off of the chopping block.
A great reckoning is coming soon, and heads are bound to roll.
was a .PDF expansion of sorts to Mage: The Awakening
Familiarity with the .PDF is by no means a requirement. Throw M:TA into the era of 1950s prohibition, paranoia, and propaganda, and there you go.
You should have access to the WoD and Mage corebooks, of course, but I can help you out if you don't.
If you have no clue what M:TA is, read beyond the spoiler:
As with most recent White Wolf games, Mage takes place in the World of Darkness:
The modern world as we all know it, only worse. Alleys are more dangerous, crime is more rampant, politicians and law enforcement are less reliable, and there's all manners of unseen entities operating in the shadows to prey on the innocent.
Awakening is the second incarnation of the Mage series. It was originally begun as The Ascension, and was among one of WW's most popular titles, in addition to being ridiculously complex.
Awakening's made the plot a touch easier to grasp for newcomers.
Once, magic was common in society, and its benefits were used for the widespread good of magicians and the unknowing alike. The standard belief in Mage lore was that magic originated in Atlantis, from which the golden age of mage originated, but there are those who feel differently.
Eventually a few Atlantean Mages become more powerful than the rest, and ascended to a higher realm; the Supernal World.
In the process, these mages cast down the rest of humanity into the world as we know it; the Fallen World, shattering the mystical ladder that binded the two worlds.
Separating the two is a space known as The Abyss, within which all manners of unpleasant entities reside to punish mages who tinker with magics best left untouched.
As a result of this division, humanity as a whole have become what Mages refer to as 'Sleepers': humans ignorant of their greater potential.
All humans have the potential for magic, they need only be awakened to it.
To counter the actions of those who put humanity to sleep(the Exarchs), another group known as the Oracles fight within the Supernal Realm to awaken humanity to their dormant abilities, and take the Exarchs down from power.
They are responsible for the Watchtowers, assorted beacons within the Supernal Realm that can guide a sleeper with adequate potential to awaken to their true abilities.
Every Mage awakens through a Path, each of which is linked to one of the Supernal Watchtowers, and allows specialty in certain varieties of magic.
All things can be possible through the different Arcana, each of which is attributed to a specific type of magic.
Nifty character sheet creator: here
You could also just type it up or use an image or other website, whatever you prefer.
There's PDFs here, as well:
Or there's always Myth-Weavers
, though that's just for NWoD sheets I think.
-Name, Shadow Name; can be PMed to me if you're feeling paranoid(and you should be).
-Virtue / Vice
(Virtues: Charity / Faith / Fortitude / Hope / Justice / Prudence / Temperance)
(Vices: Envy / Gluttony / Greed / Lust / Pride / Sloth / Wrath)
-Path, details in spoiler.
(Ruling Arcana: Fate, Time Magic / Inferior: Forces)
Enchanters on the Path of Thistle work with luck, intuition and destiny.
Connected to the Watchtower of the Lunargent Thorn in the Realm of Arcadia.
Generally associated with the Fae, and the Tarot of 'The Fool'.
(Ruling: Mind, Space / Inferior: Matter)
Warlocks on the Path of Scourging work with perception and inner demons.
Connected to the Watchtower of the Iron Gauntlet in the Realm of Pandemonium.
Generally associated with manipulation, subversion and the Tarot of 'The Devil'.
(Ruling: Death, Matter / Inferior: Spirit)
Necromancers on the Path of Doom work with death, mortality and material things.
Connected to the Watchtower of the Lead Coin in the Realm of Stygia.
Generally focused on the study of transition and decay, and associated with the Tarot of 'Death'.
(Ruling: Prime, Forces / Inferior: Death)
Theurgists on the Path of the Mighty work with the divine energies infusing the world.
Connected to the Watchtower of the Golden Key in the Realm of the Aether.
Generally associated with the pursuit of power, and the Tarot of 'Strength'.
(Ruling: Life, Spirit / Inferior: Mind)
Shaman on the Path of Ecstasy work with all aspects of the natural world.
Connected to the Watchtower of the Stone Book in the Realm of the Primal Wild.
Generally associated with the wilderness, and the Tarot of The Moon.
-Order, if not an Apostate; Silver Ladder, Guardian of the Veil, Adamantine Arrow, Free Council, Mysterium.
The orders operate largely the same as they do in M:TA proper. The only noteworthy difference is that the Free Council are mostly just getting recognized as a bonafide order, since their Great Refusal got them the attention of the Pentacle as a respectable(if reluctant) ally.
More details in spoiler.
The Adamantine Arrow
Spiritual warriors and masters of conflict, who claim a heritage going back to the defenders of Atlantis. Currently, the Order of the Arrow could perhaps be described as something akin to a knightly sect, though bushido and other warrior codes find a place in The Arrow. These mages conduct intensive physical and mental training, honing the minds and bodies of order members into deadly weapons which magical society may then wield against its enemies (such as vampires, werewolves, Seers, and so on).
Guardians of the Veil
Spies and conspirators who claim their descent from the intelligence officers and enforcers of Atlantis' laws. Currently, they bear a resemblance to a combination of many occult conspiracies, such as the Thule and others. Many obscure their activities and identities even from other mages, and act as a check on humanity's dangerous curiosity for "that which man was not meant to know". To this end they falsify and obfuscate information through an elaborate honeycomb of lies and mis-directions known as "the Labyrinth".
Dedicated to pursuit of magical lore and the acquisition, cataloguing, and study of mystical and occult knowledge and artifacts. They continue the ancient heritage of the scholarly and intellectual of Atlantean society. Their internal structure often resembles the academic structures of the part of the world in which they reside. The Mysterium gathers, catalogues and maintains items of all types of magical and historical significance. These are stored in museum-libraries known as "Athenaea", which vary in size from private collections to massive storehouses that must be physically hidden by magical means.
The Silver Ladder
Dedicated to ruling and reshaping the world, the viziers and senators of Atlantis remain in force. Politicians and authoritarians, the Silver Ladder believes in creating a perfect hierarchy (with themselves at the top, of course) which will seize control of reality, subjugating it to the will of mankind. Many would say (justifiably) that the Ladder is only interested in power, but this dream is not without its altruistic appeal. As a member of the Ladder might point out, control over reality could bring an end to human suffering in all its forms.
The Free Council
Modernists who wish to create new forms of magic, a union of mages who have discovered ways of using magic that do not adhere to the Atlantean methods. According to Council members, mankind is subconsciously aware of metaphysical truths, and thus all of human society carries the potention for mystical wisdom. The 'Libertines' as they are also called, possess a strong belief in democratic process and anti-authoritarianism.
Belonging to any of the prior sects is completely optional for a character, though belonging to one can provide a safe haven and access to otherwise inaccessible information, both very valuable commodities in a world of darkness.
There's even a few groups of antagonists out there to take up arms with, if you're feeling particularly daring.
A sampling of the key antagonists:
The Seers of the Throne
Servants of the Exarchs, the Seers would rather serve those in power than strive to bring them down. The Seers want to keep the sleepers sleeping and undermine the actions of Mages at any opportunity.
The Pentacle aren't the only fractured community of Mages. Seers have their own factions called Ministries, which range from militant soldiers to religious fundamentalists to spies and secret keepers which keep the Guardians on their toes.
Those who awakened to their potential and regard it not as a blessing, but a curse. They don't believe that magic is a wondrous thing, but unnatural, and that only evil stems from its use.
Banishers actively strive to destroy Mages, their sanctums, and their works at any opportunity, for no reason but to see their influence wiped off the face of the earth.
Mages who practice darker arts such as soul-theft and demonic rituals. Bad mojo.
Pentacle Mages seek to destroy any of these factions or practitioners on sight, not necessarily in that order.
Attributes: 5/4/3 | Distributed between Mental/Social/Physical
Acanthus/Moros/Thyrsus: +1 Composure | Mastigos/Obrimos: +1 Resolve
Skills: 11/7/4: Mental/Social/Physical, along with 3 specialties.
Arcana: 2 dots in one Arcana, 2 in another, 1 in a third(two dots must go to a Ruling Arcana), free point to any other Arcana.
Rotes: 6 dots
Merits: 7 dots
Starting Wisdom: 7 dots / Starting Gnosis: 3 dots
If you use the WoD Toolkit I referenced above, it calculates out the easy stuff for you, such as Willpower, Speed, Health, all that jazz.
I'm hoping to begin in a week or so, but this isn't a first come; first served basis. The more fleshed out the character, the better.
Hoping for four characters, no more than six.
The setting is suburban New York.
And as far as anyone knows, the most dominant order are the Guardians of the Veil