[Mage: the Awakening] Order-Inspired Campaign Ideas

Posted: April 22, 2013 by Jay Steven Anyong in Articles, Campaign Design, Mage: the Awakening, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness
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I’ve recently been talking to Sheimaruen, one of the other GMs in my gaming group about Mage. The topic was that of how to come up with interesting new ideas for Mage campaigns.

I mentioned that there was some merit to limiting choice with regards to the player options, and that led us to talking about what kind of good limitations work best for Mage. Rather than limit the Paths available to the characters, we figured that it might be a better idea to constrain a games options based off the Mage Orders.

While single-Order games are nice, I think there’s some measure of tolerance in the idea of mixing 2 Orders together to create a campaign. Some of the ideas that came up from this discussion included:

  • A Silver Ladder and Adamantine Arrow campaign based off the idea that the Consilium is a metaphor for organized crime. A cabal of Silver Ladder mages with Adamantine Arrow backup moving into town with the express agenda of taking over the city’s current ruling faction makes for an interesting game involving politics, combat and a lot of back room deals. Fun opponents for this include a well entrenched cabal from the Seers of the Throne or an old boy’s club of mages who don’t like the new upstarts. Think Saint’s Row meets Awakened Magic.
  • A Mysterium and Adamantine Arrow campaign that plays up the whole Occult Pulp angle. A special cabal of mages recognized by and sponsored by the Order itself to travel around the world to liberate Magic from those who would abuse it. This team would be composed of those who specialized in acquisitions and would run into all sorts of threats from strange creatures guarding Atlantean ruins to the Consilium of other countries.
  • An all-Guardians campaign usually works well, but mixing that with the Free Council might be interesting to come up with a techno-thriller of Occult Espionage featuring Techgnostic solutions to stranger problems dealing with forces of the Abyss or of the Exarchs. Think John Constantine meets James Bond.

Out of the three I have to admit that the second one sounds the most interesting to me. That said I think I could run the first one very well too, as long as I get to stick to street-level stuff first. Eking out territory ala Saint’s Row does sound like something that works in the context of Mage after all.

I think I might have found the next game I’ll run after HERO. Just need some extra time to plan it out. What do you guys think? Which campaign concept should I try fleshing out?

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