Daily Archives: May 23, 2011

[M:tAw] Awakening High – Episode 1 This Weekend!

After a few weeks of planning, it looks like the Awakening High game will finally be able to take off the ground.  Things have been hectic as hell at work all of a sudden as if in response to me running a campaign, but I’ll do my best to make this one work out.  As my usual gimmick for campaigns, let me set down some resolutions here on the blog for people to see (and to force me to comply.)

  1. Focus on high school scaled issues – No Prince of 100,000 Leaves or taking down Seer Ministries here.  High school is hard enough with hormones, academics and a reputation to think of, all while trying to stay on the good side of parents and teachers.
  2. Pay attention to pacing – Again, space things out… Werewolf today, Abyssal entity tomorrow is not a good way to try and encourage players to relax.
  3. Expand the cast – work on my NPCs, broaden my reach to more than just a single group of NPCs, and run them like people with their own goals and personalities beyond broad strokes like “Helpful to PCs”
  4. Character Stories – Character focus, this isn’t about a big plot, there’s no Voldemort waiting at the end for them.  But at the same time, this needs players who are willing to run with it and set their own goals as well.
  5. Light Hearted – No murder, no torture, no rape, no school shootings.  This is a game meant to explore an attempt at making a more humorous game of Mage, with less focus on the pessimistic side of the WoD.
  6. Actual Play Reports – I tend to be lax about this, but I do intend to document every session of this campaign, just so I have something to look back at and study and see where I went wrong, or what I did right.

It’s a strange list, but one that I’m hoping to be able to stick to.  Thankfully the player characters that I have so far are all pretty interesting, and each of them has a hook or two that I can pull on if I really need it to generate conflict.

[Let’s Study] All For One: Regime Diabolique – Part 4, Artes Magicae

Given that it was a Swashbuckling setting with supernatural / occult elements, I shouldn’t really have been surprised to discover that there was a magic system in All For One: Regime Diabolique.  Being a big fan of Mage: the Ascension and Mage: the Awakening, I was even more surprised to discover that Regime Diabolique’s magic system is an elegantly constructed freeform type, where there are no spell lists, and the Player is free to come up with magical effects that they can think of assuming that the spell in question is within the boundaries of the character’s Tradition and Arts.

So on to the basics of spellcasting for All For One: Regime Diabolique.

First off, all spellcasters in the setting should have one Tradition, and one or more Arts.  A Tradition is akin to a magical paradigm, and include:

  • Ceremonial
  • Natural
  • Theurgical
  • Alchemy

Each Tradition dictates how the mage in question performs their magic.  Magic is a very real thing in Regime Diabolique, and superstition is at an all time high.   While very useful, mages have to be careful about how and when they cast, as it would be very easy for a town full of superstitious peasants could round up a posse to burn you for being a Witch if you’re too flagrant.  That said, a level of discretion would be sufficient to get most quick spell effects off without the torches and pitchforks.

Spellcasting is presented as a difficult task, and is the exception to the “Take the averages” rule in the Ubiquity System.  Spellcasters must roll for the spellcasting action, and every spell cast is against a difficulty number set by adding the base difficulty of 2.  These additions to the difficulty are dictated by 4 spell factors:

  • Range
  • Duration
  • Area / Period of Effect
  • Effect

The result of a spell can be anything from a simple cantrip that requires only 2-4 Difficulty to really long ritual effects that could easily hit Difficulties of 12 or so and require many in-game hours of preparation and casting to pull off.

Regime Diabolique also has a large selection of Arts, which are the individual studies of magic that are common to all the Traditions.  If Traditions dictate the how of casting magic by defining the methodology, the Arts define the what of magic, giving the definition of what a mage can or can’t do.  These arts are:

  • Aeromancy
  • Benignus – Healing
  • Cryomancy
  • Divination
  • Enchantment
  • Faunamancy
  • Floramancy
  • Geomancy
  • Homomancy – Magic involving enhancing / altering the human body
  • Hydromancy
  • Necromancy
  • Pyromancy
  • Transmutation
  • Transportation

It’s an interesting list of Arts, and I do like how they work in terms of giving a player an idea of what he can or can’t do with their magic.  Getting a Magical Tradition gives you a free Art, but you can buy other Arts as well.  Alchemy is an exception in the sense that they can perform any effect from any art, but with a significant drawback of needing time, reagents and concentration to pull any of these effects off.  Furthermore their methodology is restricted by the “Can it be done with chemistry?” question.  If the answer is No, then the Alchemist is out of luck.

Magic in All For One: Regime Diabolique is powerful, interesting, and difficult.  It is also an interesting addition that spawns a lot of possible plot hooks and may even be used to simulate magic from other settings if using Regime Diabolique for a conversion.

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