[Mage: the Awakening 101] Arcana Basics – Fate (and Merry Christmas!)

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I know I really should lay off on large articles like these since people are usually busy with the holidays but I figure that I’m already on a roll so I might as well keep it going.



The Arcanum of Fate enjoys the reputation of being one of the most difficult to understand.  Perhaps it is because Fate is not the arcanum of absolutes, but rather the arcanum of possibilities, chance and luck.  Fate cannot predict nor perceive the future nor the past, but what it can do is to nudge the probability of something happening to favor a chosen outcome.  Fate is the arcana of conditions, trying certain themes to subjects should they behave a certain manner, a virtuous soul who continues to be so may be blessed with good fortune, while a cruel person will find themselves cursed with ill luck.  To become a practitioner of Fate magics is to manipulate destiny, create good or ill fortune, forge binding oaths and levy blessings and curses.

Sphere Levels:

Fate is a potent arcana that has a host of effects that can be of use in almost any situation. Among the phenomena that fall under the purview of the Fate arcanum are: blessings, curses, destiny, fortune, oaths and probability. The following is a general list of effects that a mage can pull of with varying degrees of mastery of the Fate Arcana:


  • Perceive Interconnections between people, places and things
  • Perceive and compensate for adverse factors in order to increase the probability of success of a single action
  • Negate adverse factors that threaten to reduce an accuracy of a ranged attack
  • Know the outcome of a small (non-life changing) random action within the mage’s immediate vicinity (for example, a coin toss or a card draw.)
  • Detect if a subject has a significant interaction with fate
  • Scrutinize a subject for the presence of Fate resonance
  • Counter an incoming Vulgar Fate Arcanum spell
  • Avoid or attract minor good or ill fortune


  • Apply a conditional duration on any spell
  • Bestow oneself with exceptional luck
  • Curse another with immediate ill-fortune
  • Create an armor out of the Fate Arcanum
  • Enable the caster to act with perfect grace and timing in order to leave a positive impression in a social situation
  • Imbue a mechanism with perfect precision
  • Create a shift in good or ill fortune
  • Swear a magically enforced Oath
  • Exempt a chosen target or targets from the effects of the mage’s spells


  • Alter the terms and conditions of a sworn oath
  • Bestow exceptional luck upon another
  • Fabricate a false destiny upon a subject
  • Grant another an armor out of the Fate arcanum
  • Bestow fortune upon an object, making it more capable in performing the tasks which it was designed to do
  • Instill ill-fortune upon an object, making it more likely to foul up a task that it was designed to perform
  • Protect a destiny from tampering
  • Bestow oneself with amazing luck.


  • Free a bound soul restrained outside its proper place
  • Bestow an object with a fate-driven volition to become the possession of a chosen individual
  • Ensure the probability of a given action to succeed
  • Witness and sanctify an oath
  • Sever an Oath


  • Dispel or edit the conditions of a Geas
  • Bestow a Destiny upon a subject
  • Bestow a Doom upon a subject
  • Forge a person, place, object, condition or physical strength into a Godsend
  • Create a Geas
  • Levy a powerful Curse
  • Cause a powerful fortean events to happen


Usage & Tips:

The Fate Arcanum is one that requires a mindset of an author coupled with the cunning of a trickster.  At early levels of knowledge, the Fate Arcanum is one of small coincidences, and “meta” knowledge.  With it, the Fate mage can discern who the “players” are of a given situation, such as identifying those who are fated to be involved in a given endeavor.  The Fate mage learns to stack the odds in their favor, ensuring in many little ways that things will go their way.

As the Fate mage gains greater proficiency, they are not no longer mere spectators.  Capable of enforcing conditions, they are now capable of changing the rules of destiny.  Fate might not seem as capable as the other Arcana, but it is one that is fraught with multiple ways to stray from the path of Wisdom.  A vengeful Fate mage can curse his enemies with lives of abject misery that can make the cast of Les Miserables seem like a cheap comedy by comparison.

When used properly however, the Fate Arcana can single-handedly change people’s lives for the better.  A reformed ex-convict might find that his job prospects are suddenly better, or perhaps a children abused by a wicked stepmother find salvation from a seemingly random happenstance that delivers them from their suffering.

Towards the end of the scale of power Fate is truly frightening.  More than any of the Arcana, Fate is one that can run roughshod almost nearly anything.  It lies with the GM to decide if certain uses (or abuses) of Fate should count against a mage’s Wisdom.  Almost everything in the top level also counts as a Vulgar effect, as a Mage does not merely command a given subject, nor harm it, but can single-handedly dictate the very themes that rule over a subject’s life.

Recommended Rotes:

  • Quantum Flux – Being able to “aim” an action is remarkably beneficial for the daredevil mages that find themselves in tricky situations.
  • Exceptional / Superlative Luck – The mechanical benefits of the 8- and 9-again rolls can’t be overlooked.
  • Lucky Coin – Given man’s dependence on tools, having a lucky object can solve many problems without having to resort to Vulgar magic.

5 thoughts on “[Mage: the Awakening 101] Arcana Basics – Fate (and Merry Christmas!)

  1. Sorry for commenting about this on an unrelated post, but it’s the latest.

    Some friends and I are about to start a Fantasy Craft game, and I wondered if you had some kind of IM client on which I could talk to you about it and get some advice? It was your blog that turned me on to FC.

    Merry Christmas!

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