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oMage v. nMage
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Heaven's Thunder Hammer
Journeyman


Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I ran an oMage game a while back, see this thread:

http://tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?p=428021&highlight=#428021

Frank rightly pointed out that I threw out just about everything that made the game oMage. I ran on the premise that the Crafts, Traditions and Technocracy annihilated each other during WWII, so other than a handful of shellshocked survivors no one was left. This event also devastated other supernaturals (werewolves, wraiths and vampires). I used a Syndicate Financier in New York as one of the villians, but she was no longer strictly a technocrat as it no longer existed.

The PCs played a group of "breakfast club" like high school students who found an sentient ancient hermetic grimoire that taught them magic, slowly in fits and starts. They had to balance time to their commitments to school, family, adventuring and studying magic. To mimic paradigm, I just laid out some simple rules that my PCs agreed with:
1. Hermetic Magic and Technology mix very poorly. i.e. They could enhance a hammer, a knife, sword, cloak or staff, but not a gun, let alone anything with flowing electricity or a car.
2. I had fixed "focuses" for each sphere that had to be used, i.e. Forces required a wand or staff to direct the magic. Spirit & Correspondence required drawing massive diagrams, long distance scrying magic required a bowl of water or an orb. Basically, the magic had to have a certain "hollywood" feel, perhaps a bit hokey but me and my players had a lot of fun with it, which is the important part.
3. It was always assumed that they were muttering in Latin and waving their hands around, so if they weren't careful bystanders would notice, and possibly, connect cause and effect.

The story revolved around the fact that other supernaturals in the world were slowly coming back (vampires waking from torpor) and things going bump in the night were causing problems in their small town. Their first adventures dealt more with weak spirits and wraiths, and they pretty much ran away from everything at first because they were just teenagers with one dot in a sphere. The game started with them entering 11th grade, and they didn't get a second dot until 12th grade. "College" was 3 dots and higher. The game didn't last much longer after they had 4th level spheres, as two of my players left to another city. At that point, with prep time, they could take apart most challenges, and the story was more about the consequences of their actions rather than overcoming obstacles.
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saithorthepyro
NPC


Joined: 08 Jan 2017
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mechalich wrote:
You would love to play the Technocracy instead. Technocracy: the Enlightenment is the best oWoD game. It has a setup for why the party exists and what the party does. It has organization goals to serve as hooks for the party to pursue. It utilizes well established themes and tropes that anyone who has ever watched any police procedural or Bond film will recognize and understand. It even manages to understand large bureaucratic organizations correctly and posit an internal conflict (the Schism) that makes sense in context. I'll OSSR Guide to the Technocracy if anyone wants more on that particular front.

As for the motive behind playing on the side of magic, well, it's a hard sell. First you have to accept that the modern world is a horrible place that crushes minds and leaves everyone unfulfilled and trapped by capitalism and life is totally spiritually bereft, corrupt, and sick. Mage just sort of asserts this implicitly, it doesn't provide any evidence or marshal any arguments. Once you've bought that, Mage throws the Technocracy at you - stating that the world is not only irredeemably corrupt, but that there's this giant corporate conspiracy that is actively working not just to keep it that way but to make it worse. With that in place, the Traditions - which represent an alternate core worldview, are presented as the other option available.

This is rather like capitalism versus communism. Capitalism has a lot of flaws and there are people who are beaten down by the system or otherwise dejected and unable to cope with the modern rat race who rebel against it, seeking the total destruction of the modern edifice. Historically, such people were attracted to communism, since it was presented as any alternative system that at least had the potential to work better. That crashed pretty hard when communism actually got hold of Russia and China and the grand experiment didn't work out so well, but there are still communist rebels out there and there's a whole bunch of other anti-capitalist creeds still going, sometimes with surprising local success (Venezuela anyone?).

Mage offers players a chance to indulge in their fantasies of 'bring the revolution' in an extraordinarily literal way, without having to necessarily face any of the costs. There are a lot of people who want that.


I would love to see an OSSR for that, sounds like something I would like. Assuming that the prose and rules aren't the same incomprehensible mess I've seen in other WW products. WoD is the only RPG system where I've been unable to finish the books because of not understanding the mechanics.

From what you've described for why people do play Mage, sounds like it's people who took the exact wrong message after reading V for Vendetta.

If the intent was to show technology as causing problems, that's certainly true, and spiritualism is an alternative (not one I prefer, but I don't think it's supporters have no points), but Mage doesn't really give any examples. Well, it gives examples, but they all seem to support the opposite viewpoint. If I didn't know that it was in fact serious, I'd say Mage was an ironically written stealth Black Crusade for the WoD books.

Actually, since both books have the goal of bringing back hordes of marauding demons, the two might be closer than I originally though.
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Mask_De_H
Duke


Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I would also be down for a Guide to the Technocracy OSSR.
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Ice9
Duke


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 1512

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

saithorthepyro wrote:
From what you've described for why people do play Mage, sounds like it's people who took the exact wrong message after reading V for Vendetta.
Eh, we just played it as "urban fantasy, secret organizations, wizard politics, doing cool shit with magic, sometimes monsters show up". There's a lot of stuff to do outside the "main" metaplot.

Awakening changes the Technocracy to the Seers, who aren't "science is bad", they're more "the people in power steer things toward whatever keeps them in control" ... so, very realistic then. Tongue IIRC, one faction of the Free Council is even aggressively pro-technology; trying to advance it more rapidly than the Seers want to.
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saithorthepyro
NPC


Joined: 08 Jan 2017
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ice9 wrote:
Eh, we just played it as "urban fantasy, secret organizations, wizard politics, doing cool shit with magic, sometimes monsters show up". There's a lot of stuff to do outside the "main" metaplot.


So Dresden Files then? Tongue

Sounds like it was a good time, I would have just done that in the one pbp game where it was the actual setting, but as mentioned above, I have difficulty reading WW material. Just WW.

Did manage to slog through the entire rulebook when someone was using it to run the Holy Grail War from Fate, but then the GM disappeared a week after the game started (off of Mythweavers, not in real life).
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TheFlatline
Prince


Joined: 30 Apr 2010
Posts: 2544

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Almost all of the nWOD books suffer from "Why the fuck am I reading this?".

Vampire- Took the metaplot away completely, made cities islands that almost never/never had any vampires migrate between the two (ignoring the fact that a vampire could drive from LA to San Diego in 3 hours), and decided that the whole game should be basically a PvP fuck-a-thon. Insert some VII faction fuckery. Oh I almost forgot. Every time a new vampire meets another vampire you have to roll to see if you rage and rip each others' heads off. Which is exactly as fucked from a gameplay standpoint as you can imagine.

Werewolf the Forsaken- Literally the acronym was WTF so that should tell you something. Took away the metaplot and made you a street gang defending a couple blocks of your "turf" from bad spirits and the good guy shapeshifters who are pissed at you for your ancestors killing the mythical wolf father spirit thing. Your morality track was basically trivial to max out and keep max'd out, but to compensate your ability to fuck shit up was nerfed to the point of being absurd.

Mage- The one book I actually didn't pick up. I heard it was the least painful of the books.

Changeling The Lost- I have this book, have read it more than once, and literally can't tell you what the point of the game is. You play someone kidnapped by the fae and now live a hobo life with other kidnapped humans who escaped the fae. I... don't know how you build any kind of game from that.

Promethean- Literally if you play by the rules of the game the rest of the party will eventually abandon you because people naturally shun you.

Scion- Frank did a drunken OSSR review of the bloat and insane bullshit that this game line was. Apparently you're the half human bastard of some ancient deity and... I'm not sure what else.


At least most of the oWOD games had a setting that, while bananas and batshit, you could pick out like 6 or 7 types of games you'd want to play within each setting and just fucking run with.
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DrPraetor
Knight-Baron


Joined: 02 Apr 2009
Posts: 780

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
Mechalich wrote:
I'll OSSR Guide to the Technocracy if anyone wants more on that particular front.


I'm down.


+one million to this, if that's the technocracy sourcebook I remember reading.

Is there more than one book with rules for playing technocrats? A compare/contrast might be helpful.
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When you talk, all I can hear is "DunningKruger" over and over again like you were a god damn Pokemon. --Frank
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Longes
Duke


Joined: 04 Nov 2013
Posts: 2416

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DrPraetor wrote:
Chamomile wrote:
Mechalich wrote:
I'll OSSR Guide to the Technocracy if anyone wants more on that particular front.


I'm down.


+one million to this, if that's the technocracy sourcebook I remember reading.

Is there more than one book with rules for playing technocrats? A compare/contrast might be helpful.


There are also Revised edition convention books, most of which came out shortly before Mage20. But still for Revised edition. For some reason.
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Occluded Sun
Knight-Baron


Joined: 02 May 2014
Posts: 931

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:
I'm not sure why you think sphere dots don't exist in setting. Character refer to the spheres and their mastery levels all the damn time. What the fuck do you think they're talking about?
Ah, the idiot writers strike again. WW had some real problems with them. No, the characters do not know about their mechanical ratings, nor the dice, nor the results of the dice.

Look, the great insight of mages is that they realize that reality is more than what most people assume it is. The great delusion of mages is that each believes reality really works the way they, personally, understands it. Even when they intellectually recognize that other mages can do 'impossible' things, that doesn't give them the ability to do those things too. They don't believe other things are possible. New mages don't have enough Arete (the trait or the mechanic) to believe that.

With enough enlightenment, the mage eventually realizes that obtaining perfect control over the dream is useless and meaningless, and the point is to wake up, leaving the dream and all power over it behind.
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Longes
Duke


Joined: 04 Nov 2013
Posts: 2416

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Occluded Sun wrote:
Voss wrote:
I'm not sure why you think sphere dots don't exist in setting. Character refer to the spheres and their mastery levels all the damn time. What the fuck do you think they're talking about?
Ah, the idiot writers strike again. WW had some real problems with them. No, the characters do not know about their mechanical ratings, nor the dice, nor the results of the dice.

Look, the great insight of mages is that they realize that reality is more than what most people assume it is. The great delusion of mages is that each believes reality really works the way they, personally, understands it. Even when they intellectually recognize that other mages can do 'impossible' things, that doesn't give them the ability to do those things too. They don't believe other things are possible. New mages don't have enough Arete (the trait or the mechanic) to believe that.

With enough enlightenment, the mage eventually realizes that obtaining perfect control over the dream is useless and meaningless, and the point is to wake up, leaving the dream and all power over it behind.


I've began OSSRing the New World Order book today, and in the opening fiction of that book a character referes to himself as the "Master of Forces" which is, surprise surprise, the in-character designation for having five dots in Forces.
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Mord
Master


Joined: 24 Apr 2014
Posts: 204

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The names associated with Sphere ratings - Adept, Disciple, Master, etc. - are part of Hermetic parlance in-universe, and to the extent that Hermetic thought informs the way that the Traditions in general refer to things, it kind of makes sense.
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Voss
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 3537

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Occluded Sun wrote:
Voss wrote:
I'm not sure why you think sphere dots don't exist in setting. Character refer to the spheres and their mastery levels all the damn time. What the fuck do you think they're talking about?
Ah, the idiot writers strike again. WW had some real problems with them.


So you're willing to admit it objectively happens, you just don't like it. Gotcha.
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