[Mage: the Awakening 101] Arcana Basics – The 13 Practices

In Mage: the Awakening, mastery of the 10 Arcana are subdivided among 5 “tiers” of mastery.  Mechanically speaking, having a certain dot rating in an Arcana permits the Mage character access to certain Practices related to that Arcana.  The more dots a Mage character has on a given Arcana, the more the Mage is able to do with it.

This list of Practices highlights the inherent flexibility of Mages.  Rather than having a set ability per dot like in most other powers available to the supernaturals of the World of darkness even just a single dot opens the door to a host of interesting and useful effects.

The following list provides a rough backbone to the next series of articles discussing each of the Arcana in turn, and the kind of spells that a Mage can come up with given each dot rating.  Take note that when a “phenomena” is mentioned, it refers to any number of specific effects that could potentially fall under the purview of a given Arcana.  For example, Forces could control phenomena such as fire, sound, light and other kinds of forces.

1 Dot: Initiate

  • Gain knowledge and understanding of phenomena. (Practice of Knowing)
  • Elementary manipulation of phenomena, enough to activate and/or impart direction. (Practice of Compelling)
  • Gain sensory perception of phenomena (Practice of Unveiling)

2 Dots: Apprentice

  • Exert elementary command and control over phenomena (Practice of Ruling)
  • Conceal, camouflage or hide phenomena from scrutiny (Practice of Veiling)
  • Protect a target against attacks by providing points of Armor. (Practice of Shielding)

3 Dots: Disciple

  • Alter the capabilities or functions of phenomena (Practice of Weaving)
  • Injure a target (Practice of Fraying)
  • Fortify, bolster or improve phenomena (Practice of Perfecting)

4 Dots: Adept

  • Transform phenomena into a related phenomena or shapes, or replace capabilities or functions with different ones. (Practice of Patterning)
  • Significantly injure a target (Practice of Unraveling)

5 Dots: Master

  • Create Phenomena (Practice of Making)
  • Destroy or mutilate a target (Practice of Unmaking)

Tomorrow we take on the task of discussing the cheery topic of the Death Arcana.

6 thoughts on “[Mage: the Awakening 101] Arcana Basics – The 13 Practices

  1. I just divide them as follows:
    1 dot: Detect Magic, Subtle Self use of Arcana, No Vulgar
    2 dot: Vulgar Self, Subtle Others
    3 dot: Vulgar Self, Vulgar Others
    4 dot: Vulgar Self & Others range.
    5 dot: Shit hit fan. Do not want.

    1. *Dot 1-3 are all touch-based.

      Dot 3: Vulgar Self, Vulgar Others (touch)
      Dot 4: Vulgar Self, Vulgar Others (range)

  2. I was totally about to sit down to make this very cheat sheet, and I see its already done! Excellently useful!

  3. Awesome as this summary is, isn’t it missing something? What about the 6th dot Archmastery? Forgive me if I’m wrong, but aren’t there rules for that now?

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