Mage New Player Quick Start
From WoD Gotham
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:
- A demonstrated track record of regular and active participation in another WoDG venue.
- A conscientious and respectful attitude towards other community members.
- Proven communication skills and ability to keep others in the loop regarding absences.
- A love of brain teasers and mind benders of all sorts.
- An ability to get deep into character.
- An ability to wade into controversial subject matter.
- Uninhibited and open minded.
Even though this quick start is aimed at invited players, we would like to reintroduce ourselves to you and remind incoming players to the MtA venue of our expectations and standards.
Who We Are
Our community is made up of a bunch of seasoned players, writers, actors, and staff who are thoughtful about character and who are able to collaborate and improvise with one another in an effort to bring rich and vibrant stories to the Chronicle.
Our views and approach to role playing has a heavy thespian and literary philosophy grounding it. We resemble a theater troupe which keeps the drama on stage and discourages drama off stage.
We enjoy stories with a focus on personal horror, rather than over the top comic book sagas.
What We’re Looking For
We are always looking for intelligent and creative individuals who are able to think deeply about character and go beyond the average collection of dots to deliver a more compelling addition to the cast.
Our community is comprised of mature adults who understand offline obligations and who also understand online commitments to one another. We are looking for responsible RP partners that are respectful and appreciate the investment of other players in story and character development. Flakes are not tolerated, but we understand the need for balance and appreciate those who are considerate enough to give notice when an absence is required.
The ideal troupe member would be a self-starter who can work independently without the need of constant ST attention. Players who have a good instinct for story and character who can hit the ground running and aren’t afraid to jump in with other players tend to thrive in our community.
A willingness to respect mechanics as an impartial guide to plot twists and character development is always helpful.
A good mind’s eye or willingness to research the setting and current conditions within a scene is also desirable as it helps keep the setting and scene believable.
If you’re the type of roleplayer, writer, or actor who enjoys daydreaming about character, able to apply a Method approach to getting in character, thoughtful about character motivation, understand the importance of researching a role, and are intrigued by the opportunity to delve deeply into the psychology of supernatural creatures and the humans that surround them, then you may find that World of Darkness: Gotham is a good fit.
What We Offer
We offer a community comprised of mature players who appreciate well thought out characters and that have a love for IC drama and a good sense of story. Each of them has gone through a rigorous sanctioning process that involves collaboration with a ST to ensure that their characters will be interesting and compelling to role play with.
We have a strong sense of the Chronicle’s mood and theme which we preserve vigorously for all to enjoy. Over the top antics and obnoxious joke characters are not part of the daily fare. Therefore, we offer an immersive World of Darkness experience which is believable and filled with compelling storylines driven by both the players and STs.
We keep the spotlight on our player characters rather than on NPCs. Stories deal with their ambitions, motivations, and development giving players the opportunity to connect with their characters and the setting on a level that is meaningful to them.
We have a team of seasoned STs and powerful tools to communicate with them so that your character can enjoy ongoing growth and development in a consistent fashion. Our Character Dossier allows for timely updates to character sheets and keeps a record for you and the STs of all changes made so that you can track your character’s progress and maintain a complete record for your convenience in one centralized location.
We understand that great stories thrive on literary conflict. Plotting and maneuvering your character within the setting is nurtured by ST guidance rather than discouraged. STs are there to help facilitate behind the scenes activities so that metagaming and even unintentional metagaming is minimized.
No matter how big or small, we allow for player characters to have a meaningful and lasting impact on the wider Chronicle. This is not only allowed, but encouraged by our STs. From the most common mortal to the most powerful supernatural, all player characters are treated the same and have the same opportunity to make their mark on the Chronicle’s stories.
While we don’t facilitate titles for player characters, they can still enjoy being a power behind the throne as it were and enjoy heaps of influence within the game if that is their character’s ambition.
We have a stable platform with which to get your RP on. World of Darkness: Gotham has been delivering that platform since 2011 without a single service interruption due to admin shenanigans. Our staff is comprised of stable, adult and mature individuals. We have jobs and the bills are paid. We respect our player base and understand the commitment players make to their characters. Therefore, you can be assured that our chat will always be there so you can invest the creative and emotional energy that is required of exceptional role players without fearing if the chat will be there over the long term.
Quick Start Steps
Please follow our step-by-step guide and ST tips. It'll help you get acclimated to the venue and in game smoothly.
- 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 MtA 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 MtA 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
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
- Be patient and understand that this will be a process rather than a quick fix.
- Don't try to get it all done in one sitting. Save your work by hitting submit early, then give yourself some time to contemplate your character. You can then come back to the Character Dossier at anytime and continue where you left off.
- 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.