Episode 108 – The Good Friends look for the magic in Mage: the Awakening

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Mage: the Awakening

We’re back and we’re following up episode 105‘s discussion of the World of Darkness with a more detailed look at one of the core games that make up the current incarnation of the line. Mage: the Awakening is the reinvention of the RPG that started life as Mage: the Ascension. Onyx Path released a second, heavily revised edition last year, and this version is the focus of our episode.

Mage: the Awakening

Once again, Matt is our native guide through the World of Darkness. While both Paul and Scott have played at least a few sessions of Mage, only Matt has any detailed knowledge of the new edition. His degree of familiarity with its dark arts would have had him burnt at the stake in less enlightened times. Today, happily, the only Inquisition he faces is lots of ill-informed questions from Scott and Paul.

Our use of torture instruments is purely recreational.

Mage: the Awakening is an odd game. Whilst it has dark elements, its fantastical approach seems an anomaly in a line of games whose focus is horror. In its latest incarnation, it trades much of the mechanical simplicity that drew players to White Wolf for a far more complex magic system. And it offers fewer answers to the question of what exactly the player characters do than many RPGs. We delve into these and other aspects, trying to work out where exactly Mage fits into the World of Darkness.

Centre stage and in the spotlight, apparently.

In the news segment, we mention that The Dark Times fanzine is looking for scenarios and articles for a variety of horror games. Please get in touch with them if you want to see your name in (digital) print. Also, Chaosium have released the print editions of The Two-Headed Serpent and The Grand Grimoire of Mythos Magic. We all worked on the former, and the latter represents a Herculean feat of organisation by Matt. The Excel spreadsheets for it are more complex than the budgets of many large corporations, although maybe not as sanity-blasting.

The Two-Headed Serpent

Slithering its way into all good game shops now.

Many of you may be relieved to learn that there is no singing in this episode. We do have a few new Patreon backers to thank, but none of them have called down the horror of song upon themselves. Our voices remain hidden in the dark corners of the world, waiting to be summoned once more.

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