[Let’s study Mage: the Ascension] Part 5: Opposition & Challenges

Posted: April 23, 2014 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Let's Study, Mage: the Ascension, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness
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The funny thing about Mage is that everything could be your enemy. Tradition mages, the technocracy, other supernaturals, ghosts, other-dimensional threats, unexplained phenomena, they’re all there.

The trick to Mage is understanding that no matter what happens, a Mage cannot simply “unsee” what they’ve encountered. Their ability with the Spheres leaves them susceptible to seeing exactly where all the cracks of this broken world are, and that propels them with morbid curiousity to see what makes it such.

As such I’d recommend structuring a Mage campaign that doesn’t think in terms of opposition, as much as situations that they have to unravel. To “fix” something in Mage is easy, as they all have Spheres that can do all sorts of nifty things. However, the fallout of their actions is where the fun really starts.

While the most obvious example is the Technocracy going on an investigation to determine the source of magic in an area, I prefer to take the magic that they’ve cast and see what other interesting things might happen because of it. Not to discourage players to use magic, but instead to make them consider their options heavily before employing it. Messing with reality calls down paradox, but actually successfully casting a spell is a plot hook in itself.

Mages always need to find out new things, and that makes them ideal investigators. The trick is recognizing that as a GM, you don’t have to hide things from them, but rather make them wonder at what they should do now that they know… and worse, make them wish that they’d never discovered about it in the first place.

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