Mage Rulings

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This article contains assorted notes, rulings, and systems modifications which are made over the life of the Chronicle.

Contents

Mage Metaplot Reminder

NO METAPLOT STUFF IN WODG.

Classic World of Darkness Concepts and Themes = ok

Ancient History and origins = ok

American History items from Classic World of Darkness canon = not ok

Modern Day Classic World of Darkness events from canon = not ok

Magick Notes

Sphere Levels

Sphere Levels are as follows: 

Correspondence

  1. Immediate Spatial Perceptions
  2. Correspondence Perceptions/Sense Space/Touch Space
  3. Pierce Space/Seal Gate/Co-locality Perception/Shift Through Space
  4. Blend Localities/Rend Space/Co-locate Self
  5. Mutate Localities/Co-location

Entropy

  1. Perceive Entropy/Sense Fate and Fortune
  2. Control Probability/Control Randomness
  3. Affect Predictable Patterns/Diffuse Energy/Destroy Matter
  4. Affect Life
  5. Affect Thought

Forces

  1. Perceive Forces
  2. Control Minor Forces
  3. Transmute Minor Forces
  4. Control Major Forces
  5. Transmute Major Forces

Life

  1. Sense Life
  2. Alter Simple Patterns/Heal Self
  3. Alter Self/Heal Life/Transform Simple Patterns/Create Simple Patterns
  4. Alter Complex Life Patterns/Transform Self
  5. Transform Complex Life Patterns/Create Complex Life Patterns/Perfect Metamorphosis

Matter

  1. Matter Perceptions
  2. Create Unified Patterns/Basic Transmutation
  3. Alter Matter/Pattern Disassociation
  4. Complex Transmutation/Quilted Forms
  5. New Substances or Structures

Mind

  1. Sense Thoughts and Emotions/Empower Self
  2. Read Surface Thoughts/Mental Impulse
  3. Mental Link/Walk Among Dreams
  4. Control Conscious Mind/Astral Projection
  5. Control Subconscious/Forge Psyche/Untether

Prime

  1. Etheric Senses/Store Quintessence
  2. Weave Odyllic Force/Fuel Pattern
  3. Channel Quintessence
  4. Expel Base Energy
  5. Alter Flow

Spirit

  1. Spirit Sight/Spirit Sense
  2. Touch Spirit/Call Spirit/Manipulate Gauntlet/Plumb the Deep Umbra
  3. Travel Spirit/Pierce Gauntlet/Rouse and Lull Spirit
  4. Fabricate Spirit/Control/Rend Gauntlet/Seal Breach/Bind Spirit
  5. Forge Ephemera Outward Journeys

Time

  1. Time Sense
  2. Past Sight/Future Sight
  3. Time Contraction/Time Dilation
  4. Time Determinism
  5. Future Travel/Time Immunity

Sphere Ranks and Specialties

We do not use select "specialties" for spheres in WoDG (this was a feature of 2nd ed.). There are no re-rolling of 10s for magickal effects. In WoDG, the rank a mage has in a given Sphere determines the following:

  1. Adds damage successes.
  2. Lowers difficulty on countermagick rolls.
  3. Rank in Correspondence determines the level of Spheres allowed to be used in any long range ritual. You may not use a level of a Sphere higher than your rank in Correspondence in a scry effect.
  4. Each rank in Spirit confers an auto success to counter a Garou Gift.
  5. Each rank in Mind above a vampire's level in Dominate gives them an effective generation lower than the vampire, rendering immune to that vampire's Dominate.
  6. Upon attaining mastery in Mind, a mage is immune to all mental/emotional Disciplines and Gifts.
  7. Archspheres are not used in WoDG. Once a mage has attained Mastery, they are a master of that aspect of the Tapestry. This means in effect, they have learned all there is to learn about the Sphere in question and can manipulate it in any way they see fit. The ST's job is to determine then how many successes is required for any given effect as normal. However, for particularly outlandish effects, STs will determine special RP consequences for extreme magickal effects. Also, STs will be free to say no to any game-breaking effects. See: Vampiric Lawn Chairs

Unnecessary Foci

In WoDG, when a mage reaches Arete 3 and becomes a Disciple of a Sphere (Rank 3), then they can drop the foci for that Sphere. They no longer need it to perform magick using that Sphere (and that Sphere only). Then for each time they gain a dot in Arete and reach at least Disciple of another Sphere they can drop the focus for that Sphere and that Sphere only as well.

Example

Eunice Euthanatos has Arete 3 and finally became a Disciple of Entropy. She used to use dice as her Entropy focus, but now her understanding of Entropy and magick is deep enough that she instinctively understands now that she does not need dice to use Entropic magickal effects. Down the road she has a Seeking and now is Arete 4. She already was a Disciple of Life and used old bones as a focus. Now she understands the Tapestry her place within it better so she can ditch her Life focus as well.  Eunice has been a very brilliant mage thus far and steadily progresses to Arete 5 after another Seeking. She has Correspondence at 3 and Prime at 4. She can only pick one to ditch the focus and the other will have to wait until her next Seeking. She decides that her character development has made her more understanding of Prime than Correspondence and so she elects to drop the focus for Prime. 

Now Eunice can work magick intuitively and without a focus that uses Prime, Entropy, and Life or any combination of the three. AND ONLY THOSE THREE! If she throws in an effect that uses Prime, Entropy, and Spirit she must still use a focus because she can't use Spirit without one.

Benefits

Using magick without a necessary focus normally incurrs a +3 difficulty adjustment to a magickal effect. By ditching a focus for a Sphere, a mage player no longer has to worry about that difficulty adjustment. Additionally, if a mage player keeps the focus and uses it when they aren't required to do so, they get a -1 modifier to their magickal difficulties for that Sphere and that Sphere only.

Tradition Notes

Akashic Brotherhood

Akashic magick is not an end to be pursued in and of itself. It is a side effect of Awakening. The spiritual understanding is the key to advancement. Drahma is taught in many forms but in the end it is the Wheel, the Yin and Yang of existence the balance. Mind, Body and Spirit must become balanced in the process. A player character who only focuses on fighting will not advance in the Do of the Akashic. Do is not just a fighting form but it is a way of existence. Do is the physical reflection of the Akashics internal enlightenment.

Li Hai

Li Hai are a sect within the Akashic Brotherhood which takes outside influences from a wide variety of disciplines (usually modern theories and methodologies) and infuses them into Akashic philosophy. They take outside principles and retool them so that they fit with Akashic teachings. This DOES NOT give players a license to play an Akashic Brother without paying attention to Akashic philosophy. Any player desiring to play a Li Hai MUST take whatever outside influence they want to use and BIND IT into an AKASHIC PARADIGM. NO EXCEPTIONS!

Do

No one may learn Do outside of the Akashic Brotherhood!

Eight Limbs of Do

Drahma Sutra teachings of Do are associated with abilities and they are as follows: 

  • Dhyana: Awareness, Enigmas, Meditation
  • Prajna: Academics (Philosophy Secondary), Cosmology, Law (Akashic Code)
  • Karma: Craft (Artistic or Professional skill), Etiquette
  • Sunyakaya: Performance, Stealth, Subterfuge
  • Dharmamukti: Alertness, Do, Dodge,
  • Shastamarga: Craft (Weapon), Melee, Strategy
  • Tricanmarga: Acrobatics, Athletics, Bodycontrol
  • Jivahasta: Academics (Tibetan or Chinese medical theory, Herbalism Secondary), Medicine, Survival
Raising Do

No Akashic character can start WoDG with a Do over 2. To purchase additional levels of Do a player character must have twice the amount of dots in Abilities belonging to the limbs of Do other than the Dharmamukti limb. He must spread these dots over the amount of limbs as the level of Do he is trying to learn. An Akashic therefore needs the following:

  1. 4 dots in Abilities associated with 2 different limbs to buy Do 2.
  2. 6 dots in Abilities associated with 3 different limbs to buy Do 3.
  3. 8 dots in Abilities associated with 4 different limbs to buy Do 4.
  4. 10 dots in Abilities associated with 5 different limbs to buy Do 5.

Akashic Knowledges

Body Control and Strategy.

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Cult of Ecstasy

Cult of Ecstasy Sects

  • Dissonance Society: The Dissonance Society went from its roots in 1st edition and then became something darker and more violent in Revised. In WoDG, they have been rebranded once again. As the Counter Culture gave way to the age of Disco and the Me Generations of the late 70s and 80s, it morphed into a dark dreadnaught from the punk scene. Extremism in views and practices gained them little ground with the consensus. The nail in the coffin was 9/11 as the entire country and the civilized world wholeheartedly rejected violence and terrorism as a legitimate strategy. Faced with extinction, the Dissonance Society was forced to acknowledge its hubris and adopt the Code of Ananda. After embracing the Code, the group developed strategies of civil disobedience, activism, and peaceful protest both online and off. They leverage social media, make independent films, documentaries, create independent press organizations, practice law, etc. in order to raise awareness and peddle their platform to the consensus.
  • Erzuli Jingo: Do not exist in WoDG. They are extinct.
  • Fellowship of Pan: As written in Revised.
  • Fifth World Tribe: Los Sabios Locos: Have toned down their anarchistic roots and follow the Code of Ananda for much the same reasons as the Dissonance Society.
  • Hagalaz: Confined to Scandinavia. Their platform has been consistently too unpalatable to the Masses.
  • K'an Lu: Are confined to China in WoDG.
  • Vratyas: Do not exist in WoDG.
  • Aghoris: Are confined to India in WoDG.
  • Acharne: Are as they are written in 1st edition.
  • Joybringers: Are as written and the mainstream of the Cult.
  • Klubwerks: Are as written in Revised except that they have gained ground due to the rave and techno music scene.

Dreamspeakers

Dreamspeakers and Garou Gifts

Garou have -2 Difficulty to their Perception rolls to detect Dreamspeaker invasive magick being used against them. However, Dreamspeakers, being connected to the Gaian paradigm, have their difficulties to resist and counter Gifts reduced by 2.

Dreamspeaker Backgrounds

Totem and Spirit Ally. These backgrounds are not available at Character Creation. A Dreamspeaker may have either a Totem or a Spirit Ally, not both. Dreamspeakers with either background are given an additional number of dice equal to their background rating for social rolls involving Garou or other changing breeds.

Dreamwalking

Dreamspeakers can enter into the Dream Realms (Zones in the Umbra) in person with Spirit 3 and a Wits+Enigmas roll to find the way. The Dream Realms are as unique to Dreamspeakers as the Digital Web is to Virtual Adepts. Other mages are limited to meandering in these realms Astrally unless guided there by a Dreamspeaker.

Etiquette and Spirits

Only Dreamspeakers may use Etiquette to gain insight on how to deal with any given spirit.

Factions

Red Spear Society is closer to how it is written in Revised edition. It is not an eco-terrorist or primarily a nativist militant movement (which is described in earlier editions). It is a group of Warrior Shamans from various other factions and peoples to be concerned with simple localized tribal issues alone. They have very far-reaching concerns both on Earth and in the Umbra. For although it fights to protect the traditional ways of tribal peoples and shamanism, its scope is much broader in the context of the Ascension War. They participate in the Ascension War and interact with other Traditions in order to guarantee their ways are preserved should the Traditions be victorious. Past Technocratic pogroms have ensured their militancy and participation in this regard. They regard the Technocracy and the Ascension War as the greatest threat to the preservation of all tribal peoples. Sometimes their operations overlap with other groups, sometimes they do not.

Also, in the interest of allowing them to be reasonably available to player characters, they do not require that Red Spear Society operations be solely conducted in groups with other Red Spear members. Other mages with similar interests and objectives will do and yet still keep true the core belief that no single individual should act on their own. That means that you don't need to have other Red Spear characters in game in order to play a Dreamspeaker of this faction.

Since the Avatar Storm has not and will not happen in WoDG, there are still plenty Spirit Smiths around.

Euthanatos

All Euthanatos will Awaken during the performance of the Diksha and experiencing the Agama. There are no exceptions. Prior to the Diksha, the mage would have been watched and vetted as a potential candidate for the Diksha with or without their knowledge. For example, a mentor might have been vetting the player character while he or she was a sleeper as their college professor or perhaps as a work colleague, etc.

No Euthanatos will start as a member of a Vrata.

There have been no bombs going off in the Shadowlands and no Avatar Storm, so some Euthanatoi still find themselves dabbling with Wraiths as part of their work balancing the Wheel. As such use Tradition Book: Euthanatos (2nd Ed.) when dealing with different necromantic arts for Euthanatoi characters.

Order of Hermes

Naming

Hermetics have three names which they take upon entering into the Tradition. All Hermetic characters should have the following noted on their sheet:

  • Craft Name: The name the mage takes upon initiation into the Order that replaces his mundane name within the Order. This signifies the mage leaving behind his past as he Awakens and looks towards the path ahead.
  • Shadow Name: A title of high honour and understanding. The longer it is, the more powerful (or pretentious) the mage.
  • True Name: Birth name, craft name, with all honorific and secret appellation all combined into one. Note: this is his secret name. each true name includes a secret component which the mage guards with magical protection.

Example name: Birth Name: Steven Carson
Craft Name: Amadeus Chanti DuMarque, Bani Flambeau (or simply Amadeus)
Shadow Name: Amadeus Steven Carson Chanti DueMarque, bani Flambeau, Windborne Seer of the 5th House, Drowner of Mad Cats, Jewel of the Beloved One and Ranger of the White Frost.
True Name: Amadeus Steven Carson Chanti DuMarque, bani Flambeau, Windborne Seer of the 5th House, Drowner of Mad Cats, Jewel of the Beloved One and Ranger of the White Frost; In Caligine Abditus, Mhai Akil Koth Rignorum Ommas

True Names do not confer any special bonus or hinderance in magick systems in WoDG.

Enochian 

Enochian is a necessary Secondary Knowledge and needs to be the same level of a mage's highest Sphere used in an effect in order to work Hermetic magick. Preparing rituals ahead of time by employing Enochian symbology can reduce magick difficulties the same way other Abilities are used to reduce magick difficulties.

Umbrood Protocols

Is a Secondary Knowledge that is needed for Pacting. It is limited in scope and does not confer the same type of bonds and long term relationship building as with Dreamspeakers. However, it will make Pacting easier and is used in Social Rolls while attempting to Pact.

Hermetic Houses in WoDG

  • House Bonisagus
  • House Flambeau
  • House Fortunae
  • House Janissary
  • House Quaesitor
  • House Shaea
  • House Thig
  • House Tytalus
  • House Ex Miscellanea

Tremere

No Hermetic character knows the sordid history of the Hermetics and the Tremere to start. That requires way more than the starting 2 in Tradition Lore characters are given at character creation. The Second Massasa War did not take place as there is no Avatar Storm.

Also, Tremere are at -2 difficulty when making a perception roll to recognize a Hermetic invasive magickal effect enough to attempt to resist it. This is due to the fact that the Thaumaturgy uses a lot of symbology and components that are related to traditional Hermetic foci (they have common roots after all). However, Hermetics gain a -2 difficulty to their rolls to counter Tremere Thaumaturgy.

Sons of Ether

No Avatar Storm means that Ethernauts and Etherships are still part of viable options for Etherite character concepts.

Verbena

Verbena magick that uses blood as a foci is at -1 difficulty for Tremere perception rolls to resist invasive Verbena magick. However, Verbena who use blood as a focus gain a -1 difficulty on their countermagick rolls against Tremere Thaumaturgy.

Gardeners of the Tree

As there is no Avatar Storm in WoDG, the masters are still in the picture. The Gardeners are still effective and as conservative and orthodox as ever. As the oldest faction, they still have the most political power in the Tradition and steer much of its course and sets the tone for Verbena dealings with other Traditions.

Virtual Adepts

Virtual Adepts have had to be updated due to the fact that so much was changed in computing and science between Revised and previous editions to today. For the most part early history follows revised, but as there was no Avatar Storm and all that craziness in WoDG, there is no T-virus and the Tradition has not been suffering from a mass memory loss since they left the Union that they JUST recently discovered. That was a plot device to plug holes in the Avatar Storm story and to alter the Tradition history without destroying continuity of games in the 1990s running on early editions so that they could update to revised. There was no Great White Out, causing a severe loss on the Digital Web.

It's also important to understand that even from Revised the Tradition needs updating as computer science, information theory, and physics has changed ALOT since 2003. Old stereotypes of adolescent hackers with pimple faces sending DOS attacks to NORAD or the phone company just don't cut it. This is a grown-up Tradition based on physics and mathematics which has evolved its message into mass communication, media, computing, popular culture, etc.

Alts

Cyberpunks have changed a lot in a post 9/11 environment. Hardcore anarchists have gone lone wolf while others who remain within the faction have adopted different tactics to get their message of non-conformity across. They encourage the use of technology as a means for political activism and rebellion as seen in the Arab Spring. They have become experts of message crafting and few know social networking as well as Cyberpunks both in the mundane web and the Digital Web. Extreme anarchy and violence gains little sympathy in today's society or causes few to think or "wake-up" and only is seen as strategies employed by "terrorists".

Digital Web and Virtual Systems

See: Digital Web

Virtual Adept Technology

Trinaries have been updated to Quantum Technology. In game terms these are impossible to hack by mundane means as they use quantum states and not electronics. Other devices employed by the Technocracy, Sons of Ether, or some Glass Walker fetishes are the only types of devices suited for such a task.

Reality 2.0

Reality 2.0 isn't a literal "reboot" of the universe and reality as we know it. It's more or less a different zeitgeist composed of a collaboration of ideas from all manner of disciplines, areas of studies, cultures, etc. It's a utopian view of the future that is more along the lines of Star Trek espoused in STNG rather than in DS9. It's a bright future. This utopian view is shared with the Etherites and it's one of the common threads that both groups have always had which ultimately led them to defy the Union. The VA see this new zeitgeist rising through the use of science, technology, communications, and information. They create designs and release information which they ultimately hope will inspire the Masses thereby empowering the Sleepers (end-users) directly by giving them a voice in both the development of technology and in the global dialogue.

Essentially, Reality 2.0 is seen as a means to bring about a change in the Information Age where information and control of the global dialogue is more egalitarian regardless of class or station and thereby more easily melding ideas from multiple disciplines into one Utopian ideal where digital reality and physical reality communicate seamlessly to uplift existence into a higher standard for all.

Early prototypes of Reality 2.0 technology are smart phones, Social Networking, Blogs, SixthSense, and Google Glass.

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