View Full Version : Mage the Awakening (LEMON)

02-11-2008, 09:38 AM
I'm still reading my brand new Mage the Awakening book, not always following page order. And yeah, it's taking me quite a little time. And I put the blame on White Wolf in general : every game I bought from them had kind of an issue at putting down game rules in a digestible format. It's not the first time I'm saying sth like this about White Wolf products. I love their games, especially their settings and the variety of characters you can play with them. But damn the way they explain rules suck. And a few diagrams to help STs during action would help a lot. Well I guess, I'll have to create them.

I'm pretty much in love with the game globally. Still there are stuff that are a bit cheesy. For instance I find funny that the game makes jokes about "new age" ideas and cults on one hand, and based the core mythology on the city of Atlantis on the other hand. Personally I don't fancy the Atlantean folklore so I'll figure out an alternative myth for the first city of the mage even if it's only a cosmetic change. Actually the more I get familiar with the book the more I feel like tweaking the setting. For the sake of a fertile conversation I'm going to write down a list of what I feel like keeping and what I may ditch. I'm curious of any reaction.

I like :

The paths, there pretty much interesting and they provide a mean to make players choose area of specialization for their PCs. I find the watchtower concept a bit cheesy though, and I may consider other explanations for paths, which could open the door for more paths... After all they used the tarot analogy, and there's definitely more than five tarot arcana (I mean the symbolic cards, not the game powers).
The orders, though quite vague in the book they offer different attitude and ambitions for mages. They bring NPC background and flavor. Plus if the players choose an order for their cabal it would give the ST an indication of the type of adventures they're looking for (highly confrontational for Adamantine Arrow, magic Indiana Jones for the Mysterium etc..)
The magic system. It's the marrow of the game. I'm still not familiar with the complexity and balance of it. It looks like fresh PCs are a little less impressive at casting spells than they were in Ascension but it's probably better that way : old experienced NPC will be more respectable...
The concepts behind Supernal world, Abyss, Fallen world, Disbelief, the Sleepers. I like all that.
The core story of the ladder and how the material world fell. It's nice in the way it's possible to link to Bible mythology, or Babylonian etc... Why not the Babel tower (the splitting of languages by opposition to the true speech) Even the Nephilim seems a nice direction to explore.I'm not excited about :

Atlantis... I just don't care for this one. It's in my guts. Whenever it's about ufos, Atlantis, Nostradamus and all these corny stories History channel love to fill their empty program grid with, you can be sure I zap ! I know it's all about imagination, myths and folklore. It shouldn't matter which legend or what, still it would be a big turn off for me.
The antagonists in general. Maybe I would make an exception for the witch hunters. But I can't see them as very influential in the game.
Seers of the Throne. Com'on... No real agenda. No ambition. They're supposed to enforce disbelief and to even try and provoke paradox. But they are mage themselves, so it's a little too contradictary. Plus they have no real interaction with their "masters" so where's the motivation ? Yeah ok they could be some kind of dumb cultists, acting for pseudo religious motives but it hardly makes for the biggest threat of the game. Their concept is incoherent deep at the core : they're here to enforce the Lie and Sleep. But they're mages, so in order to continue their fight they'd better have some fresh troops from time to time. So they expect someone to "awaken" (even if it's a different form of awakening) and become a recruit right ? Just doesn't work well for me. I wasn't very excited about Technocracy but at least I could believe in their dynamic and motivation.
The banishers... Well, huh, well. Their description is so empty that there isn't much to oppose. Once again it's difficult if not impossible to define a coherent, perenial faction of mages that hate the mage in general but why don't they comit suicide for a start anyway ? :D Just like the Seers, they don't bring anything to the setting IMO.Owning only the main book I probably could change my mind about this or that after reading additional material... Now I'm curious to read about your feelings and thoughts on the game and your reactions to my point of view.

02-11-2008, 11:01 AM
Yes, aesthetically White Wolf's books are awsome; but I have the same grips pretty much. Some of the fonts and colors detract from the reading experience for me, and make it difficulty to digest easily. Also, the game mechanics aren't packaged well in the book in my opinion.

02-11-2008, 11:26 AM
The font is really annoying both because of the script style and color. I also think all nWOD suffer from blandness in the corebooks :rolleyes: I guess it sells supplements though.

02-11-2008, 08:50 PM
I would agree about the Atlantian connection. It's like if they suddenly introduced completely ridiculed nonsense like bigfoot into a game as something revered. Once I dislike it, writing it into a game isn't going to make me believe in it or suspend my disbelief in it.

02-12-2008, 12:11 AM
I liked the paths.

I didn't like the orders, mostly because I didn't care for Atlantis. That, and, the premise of these little, local, insular cabals of mages who all happen to be members of world-spanning organizations.

This is a reference book. So, let's use gold ink on glossy paper for the section headers. That'll learn people to try to look stuff up.

I like the Seers and the Banishers, but maybe that comes from supplements rather than the core, I can't remember how I felt about them originally. I found the writing in the core book to be so dry that it took a lot of effort to get through a couple of pages a day.

[Oh, and if you're mocking the (PEACH), you should be aware that "lemon" has an idiomatic meaning with respect to purchases made.]

02-12-2008, 11:11 AM
ok next time I'll write DURIAN hehehe

02-12-2008, 11:21 AM
Anyone has read the book on the Abyss ? I think the name is Intruders: Encounters With the Abyss

I'm curious about it and I assume it should be more my type of stuff. The direction, the atmosphere I'm trying to head to would be comparable to Clive Barker's The Great and Secret Show or The Damnation Game. My kind of Villain are the Jaffe and the Last European (wonder if anyone will know what I'm talking about but hell).

02-13-2008, 01:20 AM
I've read Intruders.

There's some good creepy stuff in there (the brain spiders, in particular, stuck in my head [sorry] ). Some discussion of Astral Space, the Abyss and the Underworld.

I recognize none of your references, however. (I must lead a sheltered life.)