fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
The Blood Path
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
These are from the White Wolf site, which has been posting these daily teasers for the forthcoming Mage: the Awakening game for the past two weeks or so.

Every mage in this game undergoes a process called the Awakening, in which their souls wander through a Realm - there are five - and face tests, until they reach a citadel, called a Watchtower.

Anyone familiar with Shadowrun? Because that sounds uncannily like an old time initiatory Astral Quest from MITS to me ...

Anyways, here's the skinny:

The password is 'Peekaboo ...' )
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
The Awakening

From time to time, everyone has moments of clarity in which they're able to connect the pieces of the larger pattern and, if only for a moment, understand. For one brief, shining moment, their minds are open to all the universe has to offer, ready to reach out and touch the greater mystery.

A soul, once stirred, is either sent into a dream or ecstatic vision onto strange astral pathways, or plunged into a "mystery play," a hallucinatory experience whereby the common, mundane phenomena of the world are transformed into highly symbolic and meaningful ciphers. A person experiencing an Awakening is called a seeker. Many seekers think they're going crazy, and in a sense they are. The insane sometimes perceive meaning in random events, but the mage sees how no event is truly random in a vast tapestry woven by consciousness.

The ultimate end of both a mystery play and an astral journey is to deliver the soul to a watchtower for initiation. The Awakening is sometimes named "the call." It's the watchtower that does the calling. The soul, hearing its name whispered from the supernal world across the infinity of the Abyss, either responds and enters the trance of Awakening, or refuses the call and remains in sleep.

In a mystery play, the watchtower can be nearly anything in reality: a skyscraper, a phone booth or a grove in the woods. Its true form is evident to the seeker, but to no one else. It is the archetypal castle perilous, the tower of testing, before which the seeker might be found wanting. If he passes the tests - by proving his perseverance throughout the Awakening - he is admitted into the tower, where he sees a multitude of names carved onto its walls.

With a knowing beyond reason, he recognizes the empty space for his name and begins to write, carve, or will his name onto the surface. Even the illiterate know how to do this, for the process of writing is an archetypal image, not a literal act of writing. It is the Awakened one's first spell, the declaration of his true self and his right to stand in the supernal world. By virtue of this name and its expression within the watchtower, the Awakened soul gains sympathy with the supernal realm in which his name is written.

Again, this process is archetypal and can take many forms. In a mystery play, the seeker might write his name into the ledger at a bank, although the clerks there might believe that he is merely signing up for a safe-deposit box, unaware that he now claims a much greater treasure than all the assets within the bank. Or he might instead sing his name outside the window of a lover he courts, initiating a marriage of his soul to the supernal. The permutations are endless; the symbols mean the same: a divine initiation.

Once he has established his name in the heavens, the seeker returns to bodily awareness in the "real" world, no longer a sleeper. He is now a Mage.

The Paths

A Mage's Path represents his innate magical connection to a higher reality ...

Acanthus: The Path of thistle, Watchtower of Lunargent Thorn, the realm of Arcadia, kingdom of Enchantment, abode of the fae, ruled by the arcana of Fate and Time. Enchanters epitomize the tarot trump of "The Fool" relying on luck and intuition to guide their way.

Magistos: the path of scourging, watchtower of the Iron Gauntlet, the realm of pandemonium, Kingdom of Nightmares, abode of daemons, ruled by the Arcana of Mind and Space, Warlocks epitomize the trump of "The Devil" exulting in unfettered will.

Moros: The Path of Doom, Watchtower of the Lead Coin, the Realm of Stygia, Kingdom of crypts, abode of Shades, ruled by the arcana of Death and Matter, Necromancers epitomize the tarot trump of "Death" remaining steadfast through a challenge.

Obrimos: The Path of the Mighty, watchtower of the Golden Key, the Realm of the Aether, Kingdom of the Celestial Spheres, abode of Angels, ruled by the Arcana of Forces and Prime, Theurgists epitomize the tarot trump of "Strength" pursuing a divine mandate.

Thyrsus: the Path of Ecstasy, Watchtower of the Stone Book, the realm of the primal wild, kingdom of Totems, abode of Beasts, ruled by the Arcana of Life and Spirit, Shamans epitomize the tarot trump of "The Moon" following the allure of passion and impulsive action.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
On the Mage: the Awakening Homepage on the White Wolf website, the first of the teasers for the forthcoming Mage: the Awakening game has been released.

The updates are here.

If you'd rather read the first teaser(s) here ... )

I have more information to impart, though. The next White Wolf Quarterly, soon to be released, apparently contains a load of spoilers for Mage, a major taster for which has already been leaked out onto Shadownessence Forums in this thread here.

There you have it for now. More in a future posting.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
I have a list of really bad RPG games. I have played the ones I have listed below, and each and every one of these left me cold at some point.

I thought DragonQuest by SPI read rather like a college thesis on metaphysics. I lost my copy of the book for a time, got nostalgic, then rediscovered it. Read it, and promptly put it back where I'd lost it.

How it sucked: restrictive rules, lack of setting.

Odd thing is, it was the first FRPG I encountered to bring in, erm, you know, the ladies ... ;)

I liked Traveller, but I hated the Judges Guild crap they put out - and I could not believe what they did to the setting with Traveller 2300 and *choke* Traveller: The New Era, all of that dreck about bringing the Third Imperium down, the Vampire Ships, the Virus etc etc. Hated it.

The early FASA Traveller stuff was nice, though, especially the Sky Raiders trilogy - very Indiana Jonesish, with a Traveller twist in the tale when it turned out that the "ancient home of the Sky Raiders" turned out to be spaceborne.

Hated the K'Kree. Oh, and it also sucked that the Solomani (Terrans) were a slave race.

I kind of gave up on D&D when they brought out Spacejammer. That just blew chunks.

I thought the Middle Earth Rolemaster setting was a child's game. I still wouldn't dream of setting a game in Middle Earth, regardless of the game engine. The setting leaves me cold.

Chaosium's Superworld also left me cold. It was dry as dust. So, sadly, was Ringworld, in spite of its promise - the game was waay too overpriced, the sourcebook was replete with typos, and nobody here had heard of Larry Niven's Future History.

Oh, and the author of that game was Larry DiTillio, who went on to Babylon 5 via Captain Power and The Soldiers of The Future.

Spacemaster was a hard game to figure out. The rules hurt my eyes. Part of the setting was kewl, especially the Transhumans and the Kashmere sourcebook - but the game engine itself was agony.

I liked Chivalry and Sorcery, the original game, because that contained the first detailed magic system that gave mages a decent treatment. C & S paved the way for Ars Magica, the Order of Hermes, and ultimately, Mage: the Ascension ... but argh, the chargen went on forever.

Similarly, Space Opera required a full session just to chargen. But once again, I was enamoured of Transhumans in that game.

Maybe I'm just fixated by huge, buff Amazonian women with smooth bodies, not too muscly, but not flabby ... just right, sleek and graceful ... *glances around, sees everyone staring* *ahem* Space Opera - lacked a decent setting, the aliens were silly, and the rules were unbelievable.

But the biggest disappointment I faced, and a huge disappointment it was, too, came when, with enormous fanfare, R Talsorian released the "sequel" to the first, and best, cyberpunk game going ... and they gave us Cybergeneration.

Where you have to play kids.

By the time I got this game, I was already an adult. Hells, I was an adult when I first bought D&D. And kids were, and are, far more interested in other things than tabletop RPG. The video games market, for one thing, has undisputed control over the prepubes market, and this game could not hope even to make a dent in that.

So, that was a game which sucked in spite of the hype, the "kewl r00lz" (simplified to the point of condescension), and the "kewl new setting" (which sucked big time, because I'd gotten used to the old Cyberpunk 2020 setting and this one was just awful) and certain elements of that ugly game (like the Final Solution, where the kids' own parents turned against the PCs and shipped them off to concentration camps.)

Think about it.

A game which featured children being shipped off, by their own parents, to concentration camps, under a corrupt regime where the President of the US is the puppet of the oil corporations and the Religious Reich ...

I'm too depressed with the awful reality of this world, thank you very much. I don't want my RPG to be set in it ...

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