Today I got to kick off my Mage: the Awakening 2nd Edition campaign, “Darker Days”. But before I start putting up my actual play reports in earnest, I figure I might as well spend a little bit of time talking about the cast of characters first.
The initial brainstorm of this campaign was something that relied heavily on the character concepts that I was going to get during Session 0. With a bit of brainstorming, we settled on the following:
Boston, Massachusetts. 2019
A hotbed of smuggled magical artifacts, Boston is in a state of crisis. With the other cabals crossing paths with the Seers on a regular basis, it becomes imperative that the Consilium needs people to peer into the spaces where most decent mages have no oversight: the world of crime.
The towers of the Awakened cast the longest shadows, and without their own people who know the lay of the land, the Consilium is doomed to fail at the hands of countless threats that call the shadows their home: the Mad, the Damned, and the Seers of the Throne.
From early on in the brainstorm it was clear that there was a favored angle of doing a campaign revolving around antiheroes, Awakened criminals that do what’s best for their interests, which hopefully also align with those of the Consilium.
And so without further delay, let’s go over the character concepts:
Vardos (Player: RoninVampire)
Real Name: Raymond Vardos
Mastigos Criminal Mastermind of the Silver Ladder
Arcana: Mind, Space and Death
Sophisticated, intelligent and ruthless, Vardos is a self-styled super-villain. Possessed of incredible wealth and contacts that range from paramilitary forces to terrorists agents, Vardos does not hesitate to use any and all his considerable resources to get what he wants.
Of course, being one of the Awakened presents Vardos with a new set of challenges, one that he relishes as his ambition to own the city kicks in, with a fresh set of (hopefully worthy) opponents arrayed against him.
Jane Doe (Player: Silver Countess)
Real Name: Unknown
Obrimos Spy of the Guardians of the Veil
Arcana: Prime, Forces, Life, Fate
A woman without a name, Jane Doe was discovered as an Awakened by members of the Guardians of the Veil at an early age. Investigation to her past was met with no answers. No DNA matches, no known relatives, no records.
A Guardian agent decided to raise her in a fashion that would utilize her mysterious origins as a foundation for her magic. As such, Jane Doe switches identities using the Masques with alarming ease, taking on and abandoning names and faces for the sake of whatever mission she has.
Jane works with Vardos as as a favor from her adoptive father. Her other motive however, is to use Boston’s malleable histories as a means to find out who she truly is.
Ryan Raider (Player: CheekyBlinder)
Real Name: Ira Murphy
Mastigos Special Ops Veteran of the Adamantine Arrow
Arcana: Mind, Space and Fate
Ira Murphy’s career as a Special Ops Sniper came to a sudden and violent halt in an encounter that left him with a traumatic brain injury. He was medically discharged and was not allowed to enlist again.
He Awakened during physical therapy, and made an astounding recovery. It didn’t take long for the Adamantine Arrow to find him and recruit him into their ranks. Now that Ira knew that the world was fighting against threats more terrifying than insurgents, he found a new purpose for his warrior spirit and specialized skills.
Pythagoras (Player: Hikkikomori)
Real Name: Zack Fabian
Acanthus “Brogrammer” of the Free Council
Arcana: Fate, Time, Matter
Pythagoras Awakened in college, where he breezed through his courses with a combination of his “incredible” luck and more than a little bit clever social engineering. As a silicon-valley snake-oil salesman, Zack bounced from Startup to Kickstarter to Unicorn, racking up investor dollars and disappearing before the floor fell out and the business tumbled into bankruptcy.
It was in a high society networking gig that Zack ran into Vardos, and the fast-talking hipster found himself facing off against someone who had the same edge. Rather than fight, Pythagoras opted to join forces instead, and the two have been in contact ever since.
I’ll admit that this is the first time I’ve run for a deliberately “darker” premise with characters that generally have much less Wisdom as a norm. In a way, I’m enjoying the novel aspect of it as this is sort of, kind of the “Evil alignment game” take on Mage, but in the World of Darkness, everyone’s got a little bit of the evil alignment in them anyway.
I’ve also decided to go ahead and start documenting each of my sessions as an Actual Play Entry on this blog both as a means of taking notes, and documenting the adventure.