“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.”
― Robert Jordan
The benefit of being old is that sometimes you get to the point where you can reevaluate your history, and go back to the beginning and improve on it.
For me, the beginning of my drive to improve as a GM began with Mage: the Ascension (Revised Edition). And now, in 2018, the world has evolved so much from when I started with M:tA back in 1999 that it feels like a good time to come back to it.
Thankfully I backed the 20th Anniversary Edition of Mage: the Ascension, and I have a complete (if intimidating) tome of everything that’s worth knowing and coming back to.
Whose side are you on?
Now that I’m looking at Mage: the Ascension from the point of view of a husband, a father and a productive member of society, it’s easy to figure out where I can kick off a campaign: the Technocracy.
Don’t get me wrong, stories of the Traditions are still near and dear to me, but in this current point in time, I think the Technocracy has a lot of stories to tell in the games I can run for my group.
What do you believe in?
The central question of the game doesn’t change, except now you’re taking the point of view of the stewards of balance and stability. Innovation and such is all well and good, but in the end, humanity as a whole must benefit.
Given the number of interesting alternative viewpoints that have been given a voice and a community with the invention of the internet and smartphones, the Technocracy is suddenly awash with all sorts of problems. Diseases once thought all but eradicated are back in full force, dangerous ideologies flourish in communities that are geared towards incubating them, and ignorance has become a far more destructive force on the planet than it ever was.
We’re living in a world where everything has finally become political, and lines of battle are drawn and redrawn over rapidly mutating ideologies that fracture and fork into new strains, each with their own prophets and zealots each convinced to be superior to everyone else.
In my mind as a GM, there’s no better time to sit down with a group of players who are willing to dig into the heart of such ideologies and pick them apart and examine them than now. And I can only trust one game to make it possible.