Mage: The Ascension Casts A Spell Over Bundle of Holding

Mage: The Ascension Casts A Spell Over Bundle of Holding

mage the ascension

White Wolf's classic game of magic and concencus reality, Mage: The Ascension, has arrived on the Bundle of Holding.

White Wolf has quite a few RPGs in its World of Darkness stable, including Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Forsaken, and many more. But few were quite as outrageous and mind-expanding as Mage: The Ascension. This game let players rewrite the laws of reality, creating some of the most memorable sessions in White Wolf's history. If you've never played Mage before, you now have a great excuse to try it - an entire Mage: The Ascension collection is available from the good folks at Bundle of Holding.

Mage introduces "Awakened" humans who follow a path to self-discovery granting them mastery over the universe. But instead of simply handing players a D&D-style list of spells, Mage gave players spheres of influence which could be combined to create unique effects. It also placed a huge emphasis on themes of concencus reality. In short, Mage's magic is altered by the beliefs of those who witness it - if you cast a destructive fireball spell within view of someone who believes that's impossible, it fails to materialize. This prompted players to find creative uses of magic that slip past the concencus reality while still achieving their goals.

Alternatively, you could project your avatar to Jupiter and wage magic wars across its moons. Yeah, Mage could be all over the place in tone, something its fans absolutely adored.

The Bundle of Holding Player's Collection comes with a solid starting library of Mage: The Ascension books. You start with the Second Edition Core Book, offering a revised look at this classic World of Darkness setting. It also includes a Player's Guide and two Mage sourcebooks (The Book of Crafts and The Technomancer's Toybox). Paying above the average unlocks the Storyteller's Collection, with additional sourcebooks for anyone running a Mage game. Specifically, it grants The Storyteller's Handbook, the critically-acclaimed Guide to the Technocracy, The Book of Chantries' magical locations, The Book of Madness' NPC adversaries, and The Book of World's guide on exploring other planets.

Whichever collection you go with, that's a great way to collect several sourcebooks from this beloved gaming classic at once. Bundle of Holding will run the promotion for two weeks, donating ten percent of proceeds to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Source: Bundle of Holding

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I loved Mage: The Ascension but holy hell was it difficult to work with at the outset. I must have read nearly every rulebook and supplement I could get my hands on before I understood the underpinnings of how the game should be run. One of the least self-explanatory RPG systems ever created IMO.

Imperioratorex Caprae:
I loved Mage: the Ascension but holy hell was it difficult to work with at the outset.

It's a game you'll spend much more time talking about than playing. Paradigm was an interesting idea to include, but I think they misstepped by making a core mechanic of the game arguing with the GM about whether or not you can do what you want to do. It trains an antagonistic play relationship.

JimB:

Imperioratorex Caprae:
I loved Mage: the Ascension but holy hell was it difficult to work with at the outset.

It's a game you'll spend much more time talking about than playing. Paradigm was an interesting idea to include, but I think they misstepped by making a core mechanic of the game arguing with the GM about whether or not you can do what you want to do. It trains an antagonistic play relationship.

Agreed, and the core books and supplements fail to really outline the idea of how to put together rotes and the concept of Paradox as a storyteller is somewhat of a nightmare to handle. A lot of our games were based upon a massive undertaking of house-rules to make it less of a chore to play. Loved the setting though.

Imperioratorex Caprae:

JimB:

Imperioratorex Caprae:
I loved Mage: the Ascension but holy hell was it difficult to work with at the outset.

It's a game you'll spend much more time talking about than playing. Paradigm was an interesting idea to include, but I think they misstepped by making a core mechanic of the game arguing with the GM about whether or not you can do what you want to do. It trains an antagonistic play relationship.

Agreed, and the core books and supplements fail to really outline the idea of how to put together rotes and the concept of Paradox as a storyteller is somewhat of a nightmare to handle. A lot of our games were based upon a massive undertaking of house-rules to make it less of a chore to play. Loved the setting though.

It's funny, my first thought when I got the game was "paradox is an easy concept to explain to the players. Just tell them that if a reasonable person could explain what just happened, it's not vulgar magic, and if they couldn't explain it, it is vulgar".

I quickly realized that people could come up with some extremely creative ways to explain how someone could technically think some sort of spell was a natural phenomenon. "Well, the fireball I just hit that guy with COULD have been caused by a gas leak that happened to be set off by a spark because the air is particularly dry, and then the gas JUST ran out in the line as soon as he got hit and set ablaze. Boom, non-vulgar magic."

Likewise, so much of what your guys can do is left to the discretion of the GM, since the game doesn't really have traditional "spells". One GM might say a 3 in Forces is enough to push a car, another GM might disagree and say it isn't. Often, my friends and I just said "screw it" and wound up playing Vampire and Werewolf, since rules and powers were so much more cut and dry.

Was still a fun game though, with a great setting.

Ihateregistering1:
*snip*

I get where White Wolf was going with the ruleset, even got to talk with a few of the creators at a DragonCon many years ago (one of the coolest things I've ever been privy to). The idea was that leaving things more nebulously defined allowed the players freedom to create some interesting things, but it also really hampered the ST/GM's ability to nail down what was and wasn't possibly strictly by the rules alone. With that in mindh my houserules did a lot to wrangle that particular beast into a more manageable state for storytelling as I generally GMed all the Mage campaigns for my group. A lot of friends hated me for putting limits on them, but I was never unfair, just kept a boundary present to remind my players that GM's are effectively the God of that universe they were playing in.
I'm a hard GM/DM but fair. I try to do things within reason... best example is that I don't believe that all natural 20's mean instant successes on even the most outlandish things in D&D. There has to be limits even in fantasy.

Imperioratorex Caprae:

Ihateregistering1:
*snip*

I get where White Wolf was going with the ruleset, even got to talk with a few of the creators at a DragonCon many years ago (one of the coolest things I've ever been privy to). The idea was that leaving things more nebulously defined allowed the players freedom to create some interesting things, but it also really hampered the ST/GM's ability to nail down what was and wasn't possibly strictly by the rules alone. With that in mindh my houserules did a lot to wrangle that particular beast into a more manageable state for storytelling as I generally GMed all the Mage campaigns for my group. A lot of friends hated me for putting limits on them, but I was never unfair, just kept a boundary present to remind my players that GM's are effectively the God of that universe they were playing in.
I'm a hard GM/DM but fair. I try to do things within reason... best example is that I don't believe that all natural 20's mean instant successes on even the most outlandish things in D&D. There has to be limits even in fantasy.

That's why I enjoyed Mage: The Awakening much more. The rules about what could/couldn't be done were way more defined. You still had an insane amount of flexibility with what you could do, that was truly only limited by your imagination, but within a few guidelines.

It made running and playing it WAY more manageable.

 

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