Mage New Player Quick Start
From WoD Gotham
Below you will find a step-by-step guide along with tips from the Storytellers to help you get on your way. So let's start!
Quick Start Steps
- We've chosen to make participation in Mage by INVITE ONLY. We want to get to know players new to the WoDG community and vice versa before inviting them to play Mage as it is a complex, yet rewarding venue best suited for advanced players who have the time in their personal schedules to devote to the venue.
- Identify your play style and consider your availability. Running a mage character and developing it takes a substantial commitment when compared to less intensive venues like Category: Vampire. Because of the complex concepts and philosophies within the venue, Mage: The Ascension is a game best suited for players that want to and are able to get deep into character and do the research and character upkeep to pull it off. Therefore, the venue is closed to any player not maintaining a hardcore activity level of acceptably thoughtful RP. Invites will only be extended to that player type.
- Once receiving an invite, read through the Mage Character Creation Guidelines and start thinking about a concept for your character.
- Our Mage: The Ascension game is a Mage: The Ascension game. This means that we are closer to the original intent of Mage: The Ascension (back to the basics of first and second editions). We do not muddy the waters of Mage by introducing linears and psychics which have nothing to do with magick, Ascension, or being Awakened. Those character types are not part of mage as far as we're concerned (they were hedge wizards and mortals with numina in earlier editions and were not part of Mage: The Ascension). Players who have never looked at a second or first edition Mage: The Ascension book are advised to do so.
- Please read True Magick thoroughly so you can understand what this game is about and what it's not about. In addition to intense adventures expected of a good mage game, players need to understand that this venue will be pretty challenging, intellectually demanding, and intricate from a philosophical standpoint. It will require some dedication from the player for their character to advance in a meaningful way.
- If after reading the True Magick article, you are lost...please get a hold of some earlier editions of Mage: The Ascension and do some skimming. Then you can start reading the Mage section of the wiki to get a handle on the focus for our Mage venue. Important articles include:
- Mage 101 - All incoming players need to read this article.
- Paradigm and Belief - Besides the True Magick article, this is the next most important one. ALL your magickal effect rolls and a majority of any other roll you make in mage as a mage character will relate back to paradigm. You MUST get this concept down in order to play Mage: The Ascesion in World of Darkness: Gotham. No mage character will be sanctioned without having first articulated clearly a paradigm for their character.
- Creating Magickal Effects - Note the steps in creating a magickal effect. If you can't follow those steps (including describing how the effect works in the context of your PARADIGM - using your foci and how the foci work to help your character alter the Tapestry and so on), you will not be allowed to roll.
- Paradox - Note that how we run paradox is a lot tougher and closer to older editions of Mage: The Ascension. This means that you will have to figure out how to not go vulgar constantly or you can very likely rip your character to shreds. Understand that there not being sleepers in the vicinity is not enough as there is vulgar without witness.
- Seekings - Note that Seekings are only given to players who are evolving their mages and that means roleplaying out a lot of personal growth for your character including metaphysical discussions with other mage players and also Journaling your character's philosophical musings as well as articulating how your characters' PARADIGM is evolving. So you will have to be able to devote time to your mage character in order to do these things.
- If that all sounds good to you and you're up for the challenge, then read through the Mage Character Creation Guidelines and start thinking about a concept for your character. If it sounds like too much of a pain in the ass, please try a less demanding and intricate venue like Vampire or Mortal. Werewolf is also a less demanding venue than Mage in some respects, but be aware that the Garou have a lot of customs and cultural nuances that makes playing them a bit of work as well.
- Take a look at the PC Census and see if some of the concepts on your mind aren't already covered or just don't fit within World of Darkness: Gotham's scope.
- Note that at this point you are actually inside the World of Darkness: Gotham wiki and you are looking at a page within it. You can see the different menu items in the sidebar on the left. Take a moment to expand the different menu items to get an idea of some of the major sections of our wiki. Note that there is a search box as well. These will be key tools for you as you move forward. The wiki is designed as the Player's Guide for the community and anything in it supersedes the books. It's a very large wiki. You're not expected to know everything in it. You just should know how to get around so that you know how to look things up and get the information you need.
- Since you're already in the wiki (and presumably logged in), look up where the coffee cup is. See the little menu across the top? Click on the wiki preferences link and take a moment to set up your wiki preferences (Or you can just click the link I provided for you here in this step. Heh.). In those preferences there's one thing that you want to make extra sure is selected. Go to the edit tab and make sure that the toolbar is enabled. The rest of the stuff you can browse through and set up how you like. You can return to the preferences at any time to change up how you experience the wiki.
- Once you have a concept in mind, post a confidential Character Concept Proposal on the forums (don't worry just you and the MtA Storytellers can see your post!). The Storytellers will look over your concept proposal and have you describe your character's PARADIGM. The Storyteller will also engage you in a conversation if there are any questions or to offer suggestions that may make your character creation experience run more smoothly. Normal turn around times for STs to get to your initial proposal submission is within 24 hours. We put a priority on new player proposals so often times you can expect a response sooner, but please allow for 24 hours before you start hollering for attention. Sometimes our responses are slower due to IRL, but we try to give fair warning if that's the case.
- If you are planning on creating an acolyte, your character concept and your history should be worked out with the player of the mage associated with your acolyte prior to you submitting a Character Concept Proposal to the Storytellers. It is at this point that the Storytellers may schedule a conference with both you and your character's master's player to make sure that everyone understands the obligations of playing such closely tied characters and that everyone's expectations are reasonable.
- CONCEPT PROPOSALS MUST INCLUDE:
- A brief descriptor of your concept. This means a single paragraph of not more than 5 sentences. We don't want a character history at this point.
- A brief description of the character's Awakening. Note that it must be consistent with practices of your character's Tradition. No oddball Awakenings will be accepted. All Awakenings must be typical of your character's Tradition.
- A brief statement of how your mage fits into mage society and his or her Tradition. What chantry has your character been at previously? What was your mage doing after Awakening? What sorts of mentors has your character had? Again this should only be a single paragraph of no more than 5 sentences.
- A brief statement of how your mage relates to sleeper society if at all. Does your mage have a cover? Has your mage broken ties to his or her past? How does your mage deal with keeping the fact that he or she is a mage secret? In WoDG the Ascension War is alive and well. It's an ever present concern for mages who need to keep from being discovered by the Technocratic Union.
- A workup on the character's paradigm and magickal style as it relates to the teachings of the character's Tradition.
- An example of two effects utilizing your character's paradigm, style, and chosen foci. One effect should be vulgar and the other coincidental. We would like to see you formulate the effects mechanically and then describe it ICly.
- A description of the Avatar and how the Essence of the Avatar influences the mage and guides him to Ascension.
- The campaign is set within a very prestigious chantry. All mage characters become members of this chantry. As such, your character needs to have a pitch that makes them an acceptable candidate for entry to such a chantry.
- Confirm your availability and ability to make the commitment to play a mage character.
- SPACES BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS!!! We won't read proposals that are walls of text without spaces between paragraphs and appropriate formatting. We are human beings with eyes on the ST team. Walls of text are terrible on the eyes and a mark of a writer inconsiderate of their audience and just plain lazy. There's a preview button you can use before you submit and you can even edit your posts. So be mindful and considerate, lest you make a bad first impression on the STs.
- IMPORTANT CONCEPT NOTE: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: absent minded professor Etherites or Mages who once had a werewolf best friend. All concepts should be original characters of your own creation. No templates from the back of the books will be accepted. Name dropping from canon is also going to get shot down right away as we do not use the Metaplot.
- VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The concept proposal phase is critical in the Mage: The Ascension venue of World of Darkness: Gotham and MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE you start writing up your character to avoid having to do any lengthy re-writes. The Storytellers will want to be absolutely certain that everyone is clear on your character's concept and PARADIGM before you begin writing much of anything. The last thing you want is to spend a bunch of time writing elaborate histories and explanations only to find out that your character concept won't be accepted or that you totally screwed the pooch on the PARADIGM issue.
- After the conference with the Storytellers over the forums, you are ready to begin Creating Your Character.
- You will notice that our character sheets are quite expanded. This additional information helps STs understand your character so that they can ST your character without a lot of back and forth checking and rechecking of facts. However, it may be tough to sit down and write it all in one go, so you can at any time submit your character sheet to save it in the Character Dossier and come back to it later by clicking on the Character Dossier link in the main Website.
- 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.
- Once you have finished creating your character, create a sanctioning ticket. This is how STs will know that you are done with your character sheet and ready for them to review and accept it. You can expect a response time within 24 hours. As with new player proposals, we put a priority on your sanctioning tickets.
- You can track the ST's progress in sanctioning your character at any time through the Character Dossier link in the main Website and then click the appropriate tab to view your open tickets. This is the way the ST will engage you to request any changes or clarifications to your character sheet.
- After all your changes are made and the ST has accepted your character sheet, the ST will provide you with any appropriate starting information and instructions. This may include additional instructions, links, and other info.
- All characters will be marked as Sanctioned in the database at this point. Players need to totally log out of the website and log back in to see the change in the chat.
- If the character is a Mage, they will get their 1 point auto of Mage Status after their character has been accepted into the chantry.
- After getting a sanctioned MtA character, all MtA venue players will gain access to the MtA Player Handouts category of the wiki.
- With your character done and sanctioned, you can go to the CHAT LINK ON THE MAIN WEBSITE and select your character from the drop down list, then you will log on to the chat with that character. You are now ready to RP or meet the ST for your prelude.
- If you're new to chatting or just plain new to WoDG, having a look at the How To... is worth a look so that you can learn about how to use specific tools like the Dice Roller.
- IMPORTANT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION: To advance a character you must learn how to use our Character Dossier with respects to managing your character after sanctioning. Please review: Character Development and Experience articles.
- IMPORTANT COMMUNITY GUIDELINES: Now that you are part of the community, it's probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with our Chronicle Policies.
Optional Additional Steps
If you still have questions after reading the wiki, place a post in the Poke a ST or your proposal forum and the ST team will have a look. Please do not FPM.
- Take a look at the Players' Portal.
- Review how to use Player Pages.
- Review how to write wiki pages.
- Use the knowledge you acquired from the reading to create a Character Profile in the Character Profiles section of the Players' Portal and refer to the Wiki Cheat Sheet if you need hints on wiki mark up.
- If you suck at wiki, or need additional help you can refer to our Tips and Tricks Technical Forums and either beg someone to set up the page for you, or ask for help getting your page started.
Note: This is all optional, but as a segment of our sanctioning process we will create a Character Profile page for every player character as it's part of our internal Storyteller Character Development procedures. If you don't create a Character Profile, the page will just be left blank.
Character Creation Tips
- Take a quick look over the House Rules area of the wiki. Any changes there might impact the way you want to spend your points.
- Mage 101 is an article the STs have put together for both veteran and players new to MtA. It's worth a read for all.
- We use Secondary Abilities and so that might be worth a look to see how we run them when figuring out how you want to set up your character.
- Some expansions have been made to Backgrounds that might be different from what you are normally used to. This can have a big impact on Mage characters who tend to have a lot of layers to hide more effectively from the enemies of Ascension like the Technocracy. In order to set your character up in the smartest and most strategically effective way, you will want to look this area of the wiki over thoroughly.
- Mage Systems is likely worth a quick look during the Character Creation phase as there are many modifications that may impact your decisions on how you want to spend your points.
- Taking a look at how magick works with Crossovers is also important so I will recommend taking a good look at the Crossover Rules.