[Mage: the Awakening] Limited-Order Campaign Musing

Posted: April 29, 2013 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Campaign Design, Mage: the Awakening, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness

Last weekend, I was talking to my players about limited-faction campaigns and how they’d turn out, and we decided to try applying that kind of thinking to a Mage game. The first game we’ve tried to play with this kind of thinking was with L5R, and the Lion Clan game was very successful, so perhaps we might be onto something.

That said, Mage is an entirely different kind of creature, so rather than restrict the players to a single Order, I figure that it might be best to adhere to a pair of orders instead. While I was initially looking at a globetrotting Mysterium + Adamantine Arrow game (something that I might come back to in the future), the alternative was to try out a Silver Ladder + Adamantine Arrow game instead.

In some ways, a game involving the SL and the AA is one mired in the discussion of Power. Authority and the Strength necessary to enforce such are core themes of both groups. Given this sort of setup, I’ve gotten to thinking that there might be something there.

I don’t have a complete picture in my mind yet, but the idea is a campaign about the acquisition of power and holding on to it. Given the city-focused nature of Mage: the Awakening, the closest metaphor I can think of is a crime story where a new gang moves into a city to try and take over. Games like Grand Theft Auto or Saint’s Row are good examples of this kind of story, where the focus is eking out a niche, then climbing up the food chain.

With regards to location, I’m seriously considering a fictional American city as to give myself some extra leeway to rely more heavily on cinematic tropes.

Mage is all about dangerous people doing dangerous and risky things in the name of power and hubris, and maybe learning to be a little wiser along the way. I’m still going over a few ideas in my head at the moment, and while I don’t have a solid pitch yet, I’m seeing it as a reflection of the original Sword of Damocles concept I had for a Seer game.

I’m still mulling it over in my head right now, but I think I might be on to something. Perhaps later this week I’ll be able to cement this all into a solid pitch that I’ll be posting here on the blog for my players to think about.

  1. EvilGardenGnome says:

    It sounds interesting. You could even take the position of having the players already the power group (recent or otherwise), fighting off the advances of former capos and new arrivals. Just how far will they go to keep what they have?

    The idea of a gangster style game sounds awesome. What time period? 1930s? 1950s? Maybe even a decline style game of the 1980s?

    I really enjoying reading the pitches you post and this sounds good. MtA really seems to lend itself to stories in ways VtR and WtF don’t.

    • Hey there!

      I’m considering using the Mage: Noir supplement to set it in the 1940’s for mood purposes, though I’m still not certain exactly which city to set it in. The idea of drawing parallels between the Mage factions and the Mob is one that appeals to me a lot, and occult secrets and artifacts fetch high prices and influence among their circles.

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