Mage Character Creation

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Note: As our Mage: The Ascension venue is intensive, it is open to current community members who have been invited to participate only. We extend invitations to community members who possess the following:

  1. A demonstrated track record of regular and active participation in another WoDG venue.
  2. A conscientious and respectful attitude towards other community members.
  3. Proven communication skills and ability to keep others in the loop regarding absences.
  4. A love of brain teasers and mind benders of all sorts.
  5. An ability to get deep into character.
  6. An ability to wade into controversial subject matter.
  7. Uninhibited and open minded.

Although incoming players to MtA are seasoned WoDG community members, we still recommend that they refer to Mage New Player Quick Start as a supplemental guide to this Character Creation article.

Now, before you continue to reading on the particulars of character creation take this rule of thumb and apply it to the entire process: Traits are not the core of the character. They are a way to express your character's concept and motivation. You tailor your character's traits to express what you envisioned your character to be and not vice versa.

PC Acolytes start here with: Acolytes and Acolyte Character Creation


Step 1. Character Concept

Name, Age, Sex, Date of Birth

Ok. Self-explanatory. Please fill it in. Minimum age is 18. Recommended age is 21 and over.

Note: At 18 in the United States, the character is still a minor in some respects. He can go to jail as an adult. He can vote. He can go to war. He can buy tobacco. He is just old enough to have consensual sex. He can purchase a firearm. He cannot gamble, loiter on a casino floor, drink, purchase alcohol, or get into a nightclub. He will be still seen as a child in society as few people tend to think that 18 year olds are more than children. This means that he will have negative adjustments to his social dealings and be excluded from settings. Flinging magick around constantly to avoid these sort of annoyances can draw unwanted attention. So while we understand that some people have a fetish for playing barely-legal characters, we don’t recommend it.

Character Concept

Character concept is the core of what your character is in a brief declarative statement or descriptor. It can be occupation, but usually that’s just part of it. Who you are isn’t just what you do. Most of us hate our jobs we don’t like to think of ourselves as the job title. It functions as the skeleton framework on which all other aspects of your character is built and is the core theme of your character, so take a moment as this definition will guide the entire rest of the character creation process.

You may want to take a look at the PC Census early on to see what is over or under represented in the chronicle already. All concepts and related characters to that concept must be your original creations.

Concepts that do well are concepts that don't require a lot of ST maintenance. Uncompromising and loner concepts tend to do poorly because players end up writing themselves into a corner and leave little room for other players to hook into your character and develop a connection. If your character has little motivation to connect with other characters, the other characters are not likely to chase yours for RP. They will just seek a connection elsewhere and you'll be left with little to RP.

This doesn't mean that stealthy concepts or spy concepts don't do well, we have unique tools to accommodate characters with Rotes and Wonders that supplement more clandestine characters. However, these concepts still require more creativity and patience than other more socialized concepts.

Sample concepts include:

  • A musician who espouses his beliefs to the Masses through his art.
  • An antiquarian and historian with elitist views.
  • An anachronism and victim of a magickal ritual or experiment gone awry.
  • Former gangbanger turned crusader for social and economic justice.
  • A hacktivist urging the Masses to think outside the box.
  • Spirited entrepreneur and innovator.

There will be no Character Concepts allowed that involve the player character starting with any lore in the Enemies of Ascension or other supernaturals. Characters will not have more than the basic understanding of what those groups are. Here are some broad generalizations:

  • Technocracy: They wish to dominate and enslave the Masses offering them science in place of wonder and ingenuity. While the Masses are comforted by what they offer, they do not see that it ultimately leads to the extinction of the human spirit.
  • Nephandus: Mages who have traded the promise of dreams for nightmares. They must be dealt with immediately before their taint spreads.
  • Marauders: Mages who have gone insane either upon Awakening or sometime thereafter due to the inability to cope with their profound sense of the Tapestry.
  • Hollow Ones: Contemptible. These bastards of magick have no place among true mages.
  • Orphans: Self-Awakened out in the world without guidance are ripe for induction into the Technocracy, death at their hands or worse – being lost to Madness or to Darkness. The kind thing is to save those who can be saved and destroy those who are already lost.
  • Other Traditions: Just some stereotypical and general information, I'm afraid.
  • Linears: Oh look he can pull a rabbit out of a hat. Isn’t that cute?
  • Lupines: They have an annoying habit of gathering around nodes. However, they have their uses especially in the Umbra. Do not get too close however, a dog can still become rabid and bite the hand of its master at any moment.
  • Vampires: Unfortunately a necessary evil to keep wonder alive among the Masses and the Union at bay. The civilized ones are manageable.

Your character concepts and histories can involve a goal to study one or all of these groups, but you certainly cannot have your beginning character begin with the knowledge that is born of careful study or experience. You will have to work for it ICly.

  • Farcical concepts or concepts that are tied to other venues will be shot down right away. We won't even look at it. Examples include: Scatterbrained Etherites with eggbeater plasma inducers or Mages who once had a werewolf best friend.
  • No concepts that involve the character working directly occupations in the public sector or in an industry that is conservative or rigid. Law enforcement, legal, judicial, finance, bureaucratic, government, and journalism positions are really not appropriate. They not only put the mage in a position where he’s going to get found out by the Union, but also these are the types of occupations that are just plain static. Occupations in such sectors are more appropriate for proxies such as Acolytes.

VERY IMPORTANT: It is REQUIRED that all mage players SUBMIT A CHARACTER CONCEPT PROPOSAL to the Storytellers prior to beginning work on a character sheet. This way you can conference with the Storytellers about what you intend to play and get your PARADIGM approved. Once that's done you'll be cleared to submit a character sheet. This will help you avoid too many hassles and re-writes during character creation. The last thing you want is to have to redo an entire character because the concept and PARADIGM you picked was inappropriate. Do yourself a favor and avoid that headache! Note that without an approved PARADIGM your character WILL NOT be sanctioned.

To find out more about what to include in your proposals see the Mage New Player Quick Start.

Nature and Demeanor

These are personality archetypes that function a lot like a general psychological guide for your character. They are another measuring stick and descriptor of your character’s personality, behavior, goals, motivations, and general direction. A list of them can be found in all core books for cWoD venues. Alternatively, players can create their own.


Your character will be from one of the major Traditions. Consider this carefully. Once you’ve chosen, we will not allow you to change your character's Tradition or add a dual Tradition.

NOTE: We will not accept concepts which are “brat concepts” where the Tradition the character is in is a group of big bad meanies that don’t let their character grow and he was forced into it and yadda yadda. That’s just bunk. Nor will we accept "virtual orphan concepts". All player characters will start as beginning mages fully inducted into their Tradition for at least 5 years, aware of the basics of Awakened Society, and accountable for their behavior.

Acceptable Traditions are: Akashic Brotherhood, Celestial Chorus, Cult of Ecstasy, Dreamspeakers, Euthanatos, Order of Hermes, Sons of Ether, Verbena, and Virtual Adepts

Please see Mage Rulings for information on specific rulings regarding Traditions and their magick.


We Are The Champions!

Recognize that you are creating a starting character. Characters that are at the peak of success are not appropriate. Leave room for growth.

Leave this field blank.


Leave this field blank.


Choose your character's Essence. An expanded explanation of your character's Avatar and Essence is provided elsewhere on the character sheet.

Character History

Awakening in Character Histories

Awakenings set the foundation for the rest of your mage's Enlightened life within their Tradition and within Mage Society as a whole. We will not accept histories that have Awakening stories that are atypical of your character's Tradition. Each Tradition has a Tradition book. In those books they go over how a typical mage is Awakened and inducted into their Tradition.

Once your concept has been determined you are ready to start on your character's meat and potatoes.

Your character history should be in line with your concept. When fleshing out the history, please be mindful of your character's motivations.

A good rule of thumb is to include a bit about your character's mundane life before Awakening, his induction into his Tradition and his Awakening, the Character’s key present social network (details of Allies, Contacts, Retainers, Mentors, etc.) and any other details of their life post-Awakening.

You need to include the explanation of any unusual Traits like Merits and Flaws.

All characters should be new to the city and therefore the history should also include how your character came to decide on New York City as a new home. It should end with the character making that decision. See below.

Many people are not writers by trade and find writing a history to be a grueling process, they simply have their own way of working a history out, or perhaps they flesh things out as they go. So to streamline the process, we require one small paragraph or a bulleted list similar to a timeline for a character history at a bare minimum. The most important thing about your character's history is that it functions as a means to communicate to the STs and to yourself who and what your character is and why is he driven to do the things he does. For some people all it takes to do that is a well constructed and thoughtful paragraph or timeline. For others it may take several paragraphs.

Don't be intimidated by the process if writing histories isn't your thing, just get your point across well and that should be enough.

Entering NYC and Joining the Chantry

Finally, the character should be new to the city and trying to gain acceptance to the chantry. It simply makes no sense to have new player characters entering the setting as new chantry members who have always been part of Mage Society when other player characters also in the chantry have no basis for knowing them. Therefore, you should spend some time detailing the circumstances of your character's relocation to New York City and there are a couple of key things that you need to spend some time thinking about before you wrap your history up.

Consider the circumstances of his decision to move to NYC carefully. The chantry is one of the most prestigious on earth. Many mages want to go there, few are accepted. Those that are accepted are under terrible pressure to succeed just like in any competitive institution or company in Sleeper Society. Some ideas for your mage's decision to go to NYC could surround a number of themes:

  • Education. All mage characters start out as Initiates or Apprentices and so they have plenty of room to grow and learn. The chantry is a prestigious multi-use chantry which in human terms would be among the top education and research universities in the world. Think MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, Oxford, Cambridge all rolled into one.
  • Operational hub. The chantry is a hub of activity for a variety of operations requiring a multitude of backgrounds. It offers an ambitious young mage an opportunity to earn a place in some noteworthy initiatives with a diverse range of tasks related to the Ascension War as well as general exploration and magickal research and development.
  • Political center. The chantry is the main seat on earth for the Council of Nine Mystic Traditions. It's a place for political or policy oriented young mages to get noticed by the more prestigious Masters and position themselves to have an impact on Awakened Society.
  • Activism. NYC is a unique city in which many important mundane domestic and international interests converge. What happens in NYC, often ripples across the entire globe. Influencing one or more of those thousands of interests, can often be the most effective way to forward a Mage's agenda.

Histories where your character has come to NYC to follow up a lead on a person from their past that has gone missing, done them wrong, been murdered, etc. is not appreciated by staff nor are they appropriate agendas to maintain. It requires staff to create a special storyline for your character alone and that's not a good use of ST time. Also, when your character finally achieves that objective it leaves little room for his story to continue.

Other Thoughts When Writing a Character History

We've had players ignore the rule of not being from the city or try to find workarounds by stating their character was originally from the city but left before Awakening and then Awoke elsewhere only to return to NYC after they have completed their induction into their Tradition or they aren't from the city perse, but one of its suburbs. So to be clear, your character should be completely new to the greater New York Metropolitan area.

When you are creating your character history remember your audience. You are creating a history and that audience is comprised of the ST and you. The only reason you write one at all is to make it a matter of record what you intend to play. We don't particularly LIKE reading them. These histories should convey your character's main idea. If you are playing a mage then draw us a picture with words about a mage. That means not spending a bunch of paragraphs on his life as a sleeper and a short epilogue of being a mage. All that tells me is that you have no idea what you're doing or how to make a mage.

Psychological Profile

This is a breakdown of your character's personality and what influences and shapes that personality. It's a more in depth study than what Nature and Demeanor provide. Please use this as an opportunity to flesh out your character and pay particular attention to how your character's Avatar, Awakening, Arete, Essence, Tradition, faction within his Tradition (if he has one) has shaped his personality.

Also be wary of creating a psychological profile that is more sleeper than Mage. One of the greatest challenges in Mage is to pull off roleplaying a character who is Enlightened without being Enlightened ourselves. Mage challenges roleplayers to imagine being a person whose state of being transcends the human condition or rather lifts it to its ultimate potential and that should never be lost on you as a player creating a mage character. Always remember, you are creating a mage. The psychology of the character should be one for a mage.

STs consider this section to be one of the three most important areas of the sheet so make certain to spend some time on it without getting too clinical. We're not looking for clinical, we're looking for what he's like and why - with the why keeping in mind his Awakened state.

So some things that you may want to spend some time thinking about could include:

  • What is your character's magickal style? How is that a reflection of his personality.
  • What is his world view and how does that relate to his personality? How did he come to that world view?
  • What is his paradigm and how does that relate to his personality? What led him to those beliefs that shaped his paradigm?
  • What is the relationship to his Avatar like? How does that personality influence your mage?
  • What was your character like before he Awakened? How does that differ from his personality after Awakening?

Next of Kin

Mages are mortals. They have mortal ties. Most mages break ties to their families and arrange to withdraw from their former lives; usually for the safety of their loved ones and to prevent them from being used as a pawn by the Enemies of Ascension. No matter how tragic the circumstances, your character likely has some relatives somewhere no matter how distant. If so please list them. Include information such as their names, relation to your character, occupations, ages, and locations.

Character Description

This is an area that will be available for editing post-sanctioning and it's viewable to all players in the chat. Therefore, you should limit the description to what one would gather from a first impression or meeting. Some players use it to describe what their character is currently wearing or their general appearance within a scene.

Don't Worry!

Did you know that you can save your progress by hitting submit on your character sheet form at any time? We understand that the process is lengthy and you might not have the time to get through it all in one sitting, so for your convenience you can save your character sheet and then return to the Character Dossier at any time to continue working on your character sheet.

Character Motivation

This form field is easily the most important part of your character's sheet and you will not be sanctioned without having it fully developed.

A character motivation tells you and the ST what makes your character tick and why. It's the engine of your character. The reason he gets up each day and does what he does. Each day he wakes and you wonder what you should be RPing, you can look back to your motivation and use that to help you get into character and know what he would do in a scene. Actors and writers use motivation to connect with their characters, explore them, and inhabit their skins - so will you.

We've found that players who don't have a thoughtful motivation on their sheet end up not knowing what to do with their character once in game. They are unconnected to their character because of it and the quality of their RP suffers. Essentially they are like ships without a rudder.

Players with strong, well thought out motivations tend to hit the ground running after sanctioning and have no shortage of ideas to bring to the game which in turn tends to help them work off other player characters much better than those with bland motivations. They find it easier to become their characters while in game and they are better actors and writers for it.

Since you are playing a mage, you will want to revisit what you wrote in the history and the psychological profile and see how those tie into his motivations. If your concept, history, and psychological profile were solid, writing a character motivation should be pretty intuitive. Just as in the psychological profile, you will want to pay attention to Avatar, Awakening, Arete, Essence, Tradition, and faction within his Tradition (if he has one). What part he plays in the Ascension War is also worth considering even if your character sits on the sidelines.

Mages are constantly evolving and growing with each epiphany and so strong motivations are inherent in every mage character. Just the influence and tug of the mage's Awakened Avatar provides enough drive to power much of Manhattan let alone a young mage.

In other words, ask yourself what motivates your mage and make sure that the motivation isn't something that could be interchangeable to a human character. After all, you are choosing to explore a mage character and not a human.

This motivation will serve as a guide to your character's development and his activities both in scene and in downtime. It will also change as your character grows and will need to be updated periodically as events in the game will affect him.

Goals: Short and Long Term

Both goal form fields are milestones that your character has and is very much guided by his motivation. It's his strategy to fulfill his motivation.

If say your character is motivated to be a figure of great renown among the Traditions, then the next thing to ask is how is he going to go about getting that recognition? What's the measuring stick for success? When will he feel fulfilled and satisfied? Will he ever?

These goal form fields are a way to express things he wants to achieve to have that renown, respect, and recognition. Maybe his ultimate measure of recognition is to be known for creating the most spectacular Wonders in Mage Society. Maybe he feels that if he does his due diligence with his research and works hard to create quality Wonders he'll become famous and respected among his peers. Maybe he has a combination of goals that form an overall strategy and need to be met in order to gain that renown. So in the form fields you'd want to sketch out some ideas of how he's going to go about gaining that recognition and respect.

Like motivation, goals change as your character grows and is changed by his experiences and the effects of events around him. So you should spend time updating them periodically as you develop your character over the course of RP.

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Expanded Magick Explanations

This section covers the essentials of mage characters. It's where you define your character's magickal style and flavour.

Paradigm and Belief

These must be supplied in the concept proposal phase and we recommend that you consider your character’s Belief and Paradigm along with the Avatar and Essence and build it all at the same time so that it’s a cohesive write-up. Make sure that you also consider:

  • The role of your character's Tradition in shaping his initial paradigm.
  • Your character's magickal or casting style.
  • Your character's magickal flavour or Resonance.

For players who are new to Mage: The Ascension, all of these concepts are discussed at length in our Belief and Paradigm wiki page.

Avatar and Essence

Players have to supply a description of their Avatar and note its Essence. We aren't really interested in the Avatar's cosmetic description so much as how it influences your mage's Belief and Paradigm, psychology, character motivations, and philosophy.

  • Avatars - are the fragments of the Pure Ones from ages past that allow magi to empower their wills to alter the very fabric of reality. They are very real and important figures in your character's development and should be detailed descriptively, taking into account your Avatar's Essence. Complete freedom is given to players in developing their Avatar's personalities and manifestation, but remember this Avatar will play a vital role in your character's development throughout the game and be a big influence on his paradigm, so pay careful attention not to create an Avatar that doesn't suit your character's concept.
  • Essence – is the archetype of your Avatar. It’s fundamentally the nature or personality of the Avatar. Because a mage and an Avatar are companions on the path to Ascension, the Essence of the Avatar is important because the personality of that Avatar affects the relationship it has with your mage and how it influences the mage to seek Enlightenment. (See MtA core, pp. 94-96 for more information).

Example: A Dynamic Essence Avatar might furiously seek all sorts of projects, but never hold attention for long as it tries to gobble down as much knowledge from as many varied sources as it can. So many goals, projects, and endeavors are left half done or dropped by the mage as the Dynamic Avatar pushes the mage to look for knowledge in another direction.

See also: Avatar

Paradox Flaws

Since you are creating a new mage you shouldn't have any paradox flaws yet. You can leave this field blank.


Once you’ve finished your Belief, Paradigm, Avatar, and Essence you must supply a list of Foci with their corresponding Spheres. You do not have to choose a Focus for a Sphere you have not yet taken. That can be left up to character development and when you gain a new Sphere.

The Foci you choose for your mage should reflect your character's over all concept, theme, magickal style, paradigm, etc.


Take a moment to pick a few starting rotes. You can take up to your starting dots in Spheres in rotes. So if you started with 6 Spheres, you can have 6 rotes. Rotes can be original creations or they can be taken from texts. However, all rotes should be in compliance with your character's paradigm and style.

See Rotes for more information on how to create rotes in World of Darkness: Gotham.


Wonders are allowed at character creation for up to 2 dots. The standard here is to allow technomancers and other characters to start with unique or special foci such as trinaries or quantum devices. Starting Wonders don't normally have any other purpose, but we will consider minor magickal effects if those effects are sensible given your character's overall concept, personality, and theme.

Step 2. Select Attributes

Mage Starting Stats
Attributes 7/5/3 Abilities 13/9/5
Backgrounds 7 Quintessence = Avatar Rating
Spheres 5 + 1 in Tradition Sphere 1 Foci per Sphere
Arete 1. No higher than 2 to start. EVER!!! Willpower 5
Resonance 1 dot per Arete. Freebies 15
All Attributes start with a rating of 1. Players then add their expenditures to that rating. So if you spend 2 dots in Dexterity, you would end up with a rating of 3. 2+1=3.

Attributes have not been modified in WoDG. However as with any other Trait on your character sheet, the dots must be supported by the character concept and history. If it doesn’t jive, it’s going to get sent back.

The starting specialty your character will have needs to make sense given your character concept. For example, we can accept that a scientist concept would have Intelligence 4. However, if that same scientist also has stacked himself with Dexterity 4 and Wits 4, we’re going to send the sheet back for revision.

You will note that there is a corresponding Attribute explanation form field supplied on the character sheet. This field can be left blank if there are no questionable Attribute ratings that need to be explained. If you think you chose something that might cause the STs to raise their eyebrows, then go ahead and detail why you feel the rating supports the overall character concept.

Step 3. Abilities

Abilities should never go above 3 for starting characters unless there’s a character concept that supports an expertise of some sort. For instance, if you are playing a medical doctor it’s perfectly logical to have Medicine at 4.

No specialties at all for starting characters in Combat Abilities. If you’re concept denotes an ex-military type or a mercenary or a veteran, we’ll allow you to specialize in a non-combative support function. For instance, a sniper might specialize in Stealth. A former Army Ranger might have Survival at 4. A former spy might have Subterfuge at 4.

You will note that there is a corresponding Ability explanation form field supplied on the character sheet. This field can be left blank if there are no questionable Abilities or Ability ratings that need to be explained. If you think you chose something that might cause the STs to raise their eyebrows, then go ahead and detail why you feel the trait supports the overall character concept.

Also we’ve made some expanded offerings on Abilities in WoDG and allowed for the robust use of Secondary Abilities. It’s worth a look, if you’re looking to make your character a bit more…unique.

Every player character gets Mage Lore 2 and 2 dots in their character’s own Tradition Lore to start for free. Yay!

One thing that I should point out is that think carefully where to spend your points. Your abilities need to support your concept and so you need to ask yourself what abilities your character would have in order to pull off his concept.

Remember you can't roll any pools using Knowledges in which your rating is 0. Pools with Skills at 0 will always have a +1 Difficulty to them before any other adjustments required by the scene.

Note: We've depreciated Dodge and Linguistics though both abilities are still present on the character sheet forms. We will not be updating those forms until 4th Edition is published. Dodge is expressed by Athletics and can be a specialty of Athletics or it can be taken as a Secondary Combat Talent. Linguistics is now a specialty of Academics or can be taken as a Secondary Ability on its own. Linguistics applies to scholars of languages. If your character is not a scholar and only fluent in one or more languages, then use the Language Merit. This merit does not count towards your 7 point maximum in merits.

Step 4. Advantages


You have 7 dots in Backgrounds to spend. All of these points must make sense with your character concept and history. Some of the more mystic backgrounds are more difficult to quantify in this way, so we will be understanding if you take quite a few dots in Avatar for instance.

We’ve made additions and modifications to Backgrounds. To make the most of your points, please take a moment to review them in the Backgrounds wiki page.

There are some Backgrounds which we limit at the start and some we disallow completely.

  • Resources: may not be above 4 to start. 2 if the only source of income is from a settlement, award, investment, trust fund, etc.
  • Contacts: Specify the name, ages, occupations (Include company name), marital status, and locations of each Major Contact. Include Minor Contact types.
  • Allies: Specify the name, ages, occupations (Include company name), marital status, and locations of each Ally.
  • Chantry: Not available at character creation.
  • Retainers: No more than 3 to start. 5 is the maximum. Of these 5 slots, only 2 may be filled by PCs at any time.
  • Followers and Cult: Not to be over 3 to start.
  • Influence: No influence to start.
  • Legend and Node: Banned.
  • Wonder: No more than 2 points total to start.

There is an explanation form field just as with Attributes and Abilities for Backgrounds. Here you would specify Backgrounds not specified elsewhere. For instance, you would use the field to specify your character's Contacts and Allies, but not his Avatar as that is covered in the Magickal Explanations area of the Character Sheet.

Supporting Characters

On Backgrounds and Adversarial Backgrounds that give your character access to NPCs, you will need to make a Character Sheet for them. This is done in our Character Creation System. Acolytes, Retainers, Followers, and Cult all follow standard Acolyte Character Creation or Mortal Character Creation Rules. See: NPC Creation

For information on creating PC Acolytes please see Acolytes AND Acolyte Character Creation.

Familiars follow character creation rules as per Forged in Dragon’s Fire pp. 84-93. Banned Charms: Paradox Nullification and Countermagic. They are also created using our NPC System. See: NPC Creation

These supporting Character Sheets do not require lengthy histories. Their associations to your player character will be dealt with in your player character’s history.

Step 5. Last Touches 


Absolutely no Arete rating above 2 to start ever ever ever. Those who take Arete higher than 1 will have to supply an explanation in their character history on how the mage has evolved from Awakening to achieving their next step in the path to Ascension as we don't use the initial "burst" method that the core book uses to explain higher starting Arete.

In WoDG, mages start at Arete 1 after Awakening and then proceed to Arete 2 after their first epiphany. We will want to have that epiphany and the Seeking that set it off, detailed in your character history.


This is not changed. Of course you can’t have any more in a Sphere than your Arete level allows.



If you still have questions after reading the Character Creation Rules, place a post in the Poke a ST forum and the ST team will have a look. Please do not send private messages in the forums.

No Willpower above 7 to start.


This is equal to your Avatar rating.


Pick one dot per dot in Arete in one or more Resonance types. Give it a descriptor word. Also see Resonance in our wiki for WoDG specific policies.

Merits and Flaws

Merits and Flaws should not exceed 7 points each. Mage characters can use Merits and Flaws from any venue so long as it is not specific to that venue. For instance, a mage could not take Blood Hunted!

The Language Merit is the only merit that will not count towards your 7 point maximum.

There are several Merits and Flaws that are not allowed. We’ve compiled a list of approved Merits and Flaws for your ease of use. Please don’t snowflake. If it’s not on the list, don’t ask for it.

Also if you have not already, it might be worth it for you to take a look at Backgrounds again and look at Adversarial Backgrounds. These special Backgrounds function like Flaws and may be appropriate for your character concept.

There is a corresponding form field for Merit and Flaw explanations.

Your character's Merits and Flaws should be pretty easy to pick out. Often times when players write their character histories, the Merits and Flaws just jump out and players then write them on the sheet. Regardless, they need to be fully documented and grounded in your character's history. There is a corresponding form field for Merit and Flaws explanations where you can summarize what you had fully explained in the character history. This helps STs quickly look up the Merits and Flaws without having to hunt and peck through the history while trying to work with you.

Warning: Players must be prepared to play out all their stats in this Chronicle. With respect to Flaws, we will enforce them regularly. Don't take them if you're not willing to RP them.

Equipment Owned, Carried, Created

The equipment form fields are used for listing equipment that your character owns and carries. These are possessions of relatively low worth or that would come standard based on your character's Resource Rating and the lifestyle that that Resource Rating can afford. Valuables like jewels, collectibles, etc are described further down the sheet in the Financial Assets area.

We don't require a complete inventory of every item a character possesses right down to the amount of hair ties and perfumes. However, items that can be relevant to a scene need to be listed. Carried items should be a more complete list.

The rule of thumb is that if you may use it in a scene, it must be on the list. Mobile phones, identification, business cards, etc should be listed. We don't really care to know about your character's personal grooming arsenal, but if you ever think you are going to McGuyver something out of a tube of lipstick, dental floss, and hair spray, you are better off listing everything.

Created equipment are articles your character has made and should be left blank at Character Creation.

Weapons and Armor

Fill in the form fields for any weapons or armor your character possesses. Make sure that you have indicated if it is owned or carried in either the item's name field. For melee weapons just put the base damage modifier of the weapon. This is usually a number between 1 and 3.

Note on Firearms: To have a Carry and Conceal permit in WoDG, your character must either purchase the Firearms License Merit (2 pts. HtR PG pg. 112) or you may buy 2 dots in the Background Certification. The presence of neither on a character sheet will indicate that any firearms carried are carried illegally. Premises permits will cost 1 point in Certification.

Furthermore, all firearms licenses will require that your character owe a boon to a NPC which will be expressed in the Beholden Flaw at 3pts for a Carry and Conceal and 2 pts for a Premises permit. This is because your character is a mage and therefore has no occupation that would meet the standards for a Carry and Conceal permit for NYC. NPCs in the game have been in NYC long enough to have the juice to facilitate workarounds.

Financial Assets

Your character can possess a number of assets according to his Resources Rating. When detailing assets, please list the estimated value of the individual asset and who is the owner of record of that asset. The owner of record will usually be your character's name unless you have the Alt ID background at rating 3 or more and for some reason have it set up where your character's assets are held under an alias.

Primary Residence

Leave this blank as you're creating your character. When you are in the sanctioning process with the ST, this field will be addressed.


This is fairly straightforward. However, it's worth noting that keeping some vehicles within the city can be quite costly and therefore require an appropriate Resources rating. The level of Resources required varies from borough to borough and vehicle type. For example, keeping a car in Staten Island is no more expensive than in your average American suburb and is required due to sprawl and less robust public transportation coverage whilst keeping a car in Manhattan is extremely costly and impractical.

Other Property

This area is for players to describe other valuable property their character's own. This might be income property, jewelry, a collection of rare stamps, a collection of antiques, paintings, etc. When describing the property, please include estimated value.


These are usually liquid assets like bank accounts, stocks, funds, bonds, etc. Please include the value of the account, the name of the account holder, and which financial institution or brokerage manages the account.


Insurance doesn't typically count against your character's Resources rating's total asset amount unless you have purchased certain life insurance products. However, some may carry insurance on vehicles, havens, and personal property.

Please include the policy type, name of the insurance company, and the name on the policy.

Step 6. Sanctioning, Prelude, and Getting in Game!

Leave Prelude at no as we have phased Preludes out of the process. Then hit submit.

You can go to your Character Dossier to review your sheet and correct any boo boos. When you are satisfied, you can CREATE A SANCTIONING TICKET which will notify STs that your sheet is ready for review.

At this point you and the ST will begin a dialogue in the ticket if you've not Poked a ST before. The ST will give feedback and request any changes if applicable. You can expect some collaboration with the ST. This is entirely normal.

Once everything is settled, the ST will let you know that you are sanctioned in the ticket and provide you with some starting information and give you access to IC forums and handouts for your venue. It's at this point that haven will be discussed as a finishing touch and you'll be asked to create a character wiki page like the Character Profiles located in the Player's Portal. The ticket then will be closed out and you'll be ready to RP and GAME ON!

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