Mage: the Ascension was one of the most influential RPGs in my time in the hobby. Next to Legend of the Five Rings, M:tAsc helped shape my approach to GMing, playstyle and the tone of my games.
It is surprisingly daunting to go back to where I began with Mage: the Ascension, Revised Edition. I know that this whole edition war was a big thing back then, but now I think I’ve hit the point where I can just look back at it and laugh. This is the book I had when I started, and this is what we’ll be covering in this series.
The Revised edition was a departure from the earlier tone of the line, and while I’m not entirely familiar with 2nd Edition, I do feel that my eventual acceptance of Mage: the Awakening was greatly aided by my familiarity with this particular edition of Ascension.
Mage: the Ascension’s default setting was a World of Darkness that was barreling towards an unknown but inevitable apocalypse. What further complicated this was the fact that despite being able to change reality with the power of their will, Mages couldn’t agree on just how they want reality to turn out. The world was going to hell on a bullet train and the only people that could turn the whole thing around couldn’t see past their petty squabbles until it was almost too late.
Thankfully it’s entirely possible to overlook the Apocalypse and still run Mage: the Ascension in the present day. In this series we’ll be taking a look at the game as it was written, and we’ll discuss ways to bring things to the present.
Due to my lack of experience of living in other cities, I’ll also be putting up notes for running a present-day Mage: the Ascension game set in the capital of the Philippines: Metro Manila.
We’ll start off tomorrow with a review of the setting and the cosmology behind the Classic World of Darkness as it relates to the Mages.