Category Archives: Games

We’re Off To Free the Wizard!


The Mages have stumbled upon a powerful Seer operative who has a hidden, subjugated personality. This personality is not entirely happy with the things he has witnessed himself doing as a Seer. This personality could be a great help to the Player Characters with little things like freeing people from the oaths that they made to the “Guardians of the Veil” who were really Seers in disguise. After a little heavy-handed arm twisting they have finally decided that freeing this personality might be a good idea.

Well, most of them decided that. Others are not entirely convinced, but they’re all going anyway dammit!

Sadly for them they decided to let slip to the Seers that their star operative hidden in the Consillium is losing control of his inner Mage. Naturally this means that the Seers, headed by the Arch Master Mastigos who was directly told of the potential containment breach, devoted some energies to improving security around this guy’s psyche. Go Team Mages!

The Bridge:

First the Mages have to find a way in to Morgan’s Oneiros. This won’t be incredibly easy as they haven’t invested a great deal of time in getting to know him well. In fairness, his dominant personality has been kind of a douchebag. He did lock them in a house filled with a horde of acid-vomiting zombies, a whirling silver chandelier of death, a flame-throwing stove, staircases that turn into slides that dump you into pits of even more acid-vomiting zombies, and other assorted fun.

Morgan knows how to throw a party.

There is one thing that they do know about Morgan for certain though – Morgan is the one who brought Narsil into the Guardians, and as it happens the Consillium Library’s Chief Relic-Hunter, Reenie, was there when it happened. That she was there brings this particular moment in time into the Temenos, a shared piece of Astral Space where memories held by more than one person exist, and makes her a bridge to that moment’s place in the Temenos. If the Mages can get there they might be able to use it as a  bridge into Morgan’s own dream space. It’s a risk, but it’s one they will have to take.

The Bridge Memory happened just before Narsil and Glamdring’s Wedding was supposed to happen. Glamdring was busy getting ready to walk down the aisle when Reenie just happened to wander into the hallway in time to hear raised voices in the groom’s room. Curious to know what was going on, Reenie stayed in the hallway and saw Narsil leaving with a black-robed Guardian of the Veil. Narsil did not look pleased. The black-robed guardian was Morgan. This is the point where the Mages can jump into his Oneiros, if only they can figure out how to do it.

I pictured it happening in much the same way as Sally possessing someone in the US version of Being Human. (Sadly, I am woefully behind with the UK version.) For those who haven’t seen it (like my Players, as it turned out):

http://www.syfy.com/videos/Being%20Human/Clips/Season%202/vid:17763682

I figured they would worm their way in through his back just the way it happens at about the 35 second mark. Since they hadn’t seen it it took them a few tries to figure it out, but ultimately figure it out they did and away they went!

The Labyrinth:

Anticipating a potential problem with his operative, Dr Blair (aka Brahms, aka Head of the NYC Seers of Panopticon), constructed a Labyrinth at the edges of the man’s Oneiros. And what Labyrinth is complete without a Minotaur I ask you? And so the players need to make their way through the Labyrinth into the main part of Morgan’s psyche. In game mechanics terms, they had to hit a target number of successes to find their way out by whatever means they could come up with that would make sense to the situation. Fate could have them happen to turn the right way, Matter could take “walls” out of their way, Prime could give them a line on the floor to follow, Space could help them keep their bearings, etc, etc. Successes would accumulate over multiple rolls, and botch rolls would reduce the number of successes they had already accumulated. Along the way there are pit traps filled with punji sticks, tentacles reaching out of the walls to grab them, nasties crawling along the floor, and the heavy breathing of the Minotaur.

I built the Minotaur to be impressive. He had massive, sharpened, blood-stained horns on his head and a vicious ramming attack that gave him oodles of dice to beat them with! He also had a massive hammer that he could whomp down on their heads. His hide was thick enough to give him some natural armor points, backing up a large number of hit points. His roar could induce fear en masse!

And yet, every time his initiative came up that stupid SOB would F@%$ing whiff! He didn’t do A SINGLE POINT OF ACTUAL DAMAGE TO THESE JERKS!

 

The GM was not pleased.

 

That’s the last time I bring in a Minotaur to do a mind-altering drug’s job.

Mages Make Me Cry

Well, That Happened


MageMistress is a sad puppy this week. Just when I thought that things would settle back into a normal routine and I could start scheduling game sessions again I got the bad news.

My beloved Friendly Local Game Store is closing.

Ravenblood Games is one of a kind. It’s spacious, and clean, and filled with great people who just want to hang out with other great people and play some games. RPGs, board games, CCGs, miniature warfare, deck-building games – chances are if it’s a game then someone at Ravenblood Games would be willing to give a try. (if they weren’t already enthusiastically familiar with it)

If you’re in the Long Island Area and you want to see what a game store can be, what it should be, then head over to Ravenblood Games before it’s too late. You have until Memorial Day weekend, and then it will be gone forever.

Mages Make Me Cry

I Peed My Pants!


Previously on Mage the Awakening…
The Mages tracked a Banisher to an abandoned monastery on Staten Island. How, you ask? Rex’s skill with the Matter Arcana allowed him to isolate a sliver of metal from the iron murder shovel embedded in the flesh of one of the victims. At that point Damien cast a Space spell to discover the location of the rest of the shovel, using the sliver as a focus. This particular shovel dated back to a time when the monks at the site forged their own tools, which made it different than your typical modern shovel, though they did turn up two sizable sources of the same iron at the site. One source was about 2 stories above ground, the other roughly as far below ground, and smaller than the first.

Upon arrival the Mages find all of the things you would expect to find at a long abandoned monastery. They wander through a small religious shop where they get their grubby paws on some blessed items (useful in case there might happen to be some ghosts nearby), a chapel with some blessed Bibles,  and a ladder leading up to the bell tower. The bell is the first and larger source of iron at the site.

Now, being a GM I know that if I put a rope next to a bell and there are seven players at my table SOMEBODY is going to pull that rope. Who could resist? When I’m a player character, I can’t. To sweeten the temptation I made sure to point out the location of a small plaque next to the ladder that leads up to the tower which reads: “Faustus Upstairs Up Ladder In Tower.” I promise you I did not make that up. I actually found that on not one but two of the websites I visited while researching the very real abandoned monastery St Augustine’s! How could I not include it? I was obligated. It was a sacred duty. Who am I to drop the ball on the performance of sacred duty?

And so, of course, Riff-Raff pulls the rope. Good old Riff-Raff. I knew I could count on you.

Then the demon attacks. Now Nokoni had been using his Spirit sight to scrutinize the area, but Faustus (I had to name him Faustus under the circumstances) was discorporated until someone rang the bell because that is one of his abilities. So as soon as Riff-Raff pulled that rope several things happened:

  1. The peal of the bell nearly deafened several characters
  2. Faustus materialized
  3. Nokoni’s Spirit senses started tingling
  4. The party was attacked by a swarm of bats

Put another way: shit got real.

It was an epic battle. Aren’t they all? Faustus has the ability to instill fear in people, causing Damien to flee the area for multiple rounds almost immediately. He can not create fear in anyone who rings the bell, so Riff-Raff was off the hook on that one. Faustus can create more bats. Faustus can freeze someone in place – paralyzed with fear. All of this is pretty fun for me, but my personal favorite of Fausty-baby’s abilities is the Desiccation Numina. This particular Numina drains the fluid from its victim. Due to the nature of my dear little demon’s abilities I decided that this took on the very particular form of the character losing bladder control, and taking bashing damage in the process.  And who do we think I targeted with this ability?

Some days I love this job.

Next Week on “Mage: the Awakening”:
Aenaiyah calls Damien back to the monastery with a desperate request. Damien is almost murdered by a cabal-mate when he arrives on the scene with ass-less chaps.

Mages Make Me Cry

Shameless Self Promotion


If you’re reading this blog, then chances are you like gaming. Do you know what’s better than a reading a gaming blog? I know, there isn’t much in life that’s better than reading MY gaming blog, but playing some games at RetCon: Long Island’s Gaming Convention is… especially if they are games written and run by me. (Games written and run by my good friend Aenaiyah over at Adventurer Misadventures are likewise sure to induce sanity loss.)

Right there at the top of your screen you’ll see some links to my previous RetCon modules: “Asylum”, “The Naos of Serapis”, and “Your Safety Is Our #1 Concern”. This year I’ll be debuting three entirely brand new adventures for “Mage: The Awakening”, “Hunter: the Vigil”, and “World of Darkness: Innocents”. Stay tuned to this page for module teasers!

Registration for RetCon 2012 is currently open, and you can save a sweet 25% if you register online before the end of this month. That’s money you can be spending on dice, T-Shirts, and a vast array of cool stuff in the dealer room! You know you want cool stuff, so come join us at RetCon: Long Island’s Gaming Convention this August. Meet some people, play some games, buy some stuff, fun will be had – THIS I COMMAND!

I’ll kill your character, I mean see you (yeah, that’s it) there!

Mages Make Me Cry

Love At First Sight


Some Game Masters will ask you for a backstory because they want to torture you by making you write one. Torturing players is kind of our gig, so you really have no right to blame us for it.

Some Game Masters will ask you for a backstory because they are trying to get a feel for what the table is looking for in a game. If, as GM, you receive a bunch of backstories that basically amount to “I pick things up and put them down” you will probably not want to run a game of political intrigue with this group.

Some Game Masters will actually use and abuse your backstories in the worst ways imaginable. For the record, I am one of those Game Masters.

My campaign had lost two players, bringing us down to a party of 5:

  • Aenaiyah: Acanthus Mysterium
  • Argus: Obrimos Guardian of the Veil
  • Neils: Obrimos Free Council
  • Nokoni: Thyrsus Adamantine Arrow
  • Rex: Moros Free Council

This was not an incredibly easy group of people to deal with. It was rather like herding cats. My Guardian of the Veil had already been broken by his fellow players: Rex the curmudgeonly old man who is deliberately contrary, Nokoni the Adamantine Thyrsus who can turn into a bird and fly away when the going gets annoying, Neils the mad scientist in the basement, and Aenaiyah the purple haired bane to my existence. Yet, as I lost two players I had two more chomping at the bit to join the troupe, and somehow or other I had already lost enough sanity to agree to this. One of these is someone I have played with before. He is an excellent player who decided that his character is an ex-police officer Adamantine Moros who had seen some bad things and may or may not have gone slightly insane causing him to “think” he can talk to ghosts. (Spoiler: He can.) I had hoped that he might decide to step up and help the Guardian get folks under control. The second new player was a mystery to me. I had never met him, but I had heard good things about his play style… from Aenaiyah’s player. Now, she’s a great player don’t get me wrong… but she lives to make me weep. I am on the fence about this.

And then I receive the backstory of Damien Goetz: Mastigos Free Council.

It is, perhaps, the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen. We aren’t just talking about the two page well written story of his Awakening, I think he may even have spell checked, but the bulleted list of important figures in Damien’s life.  For the first time in this campaign I was weeping tears of joy. This guy is a scum-bag lawyer who defends people he knows damn well are guilty as hell for the good of his own wallet, has an ex-wife he cheated on, was a rising star in his ex-father-in-law’s well connected law firm, has parents he doesn’t particularly get along with, and someone plunged an enormous knife into his chest recently and left it there. Oh, and he doesn’t know who tried to kill him or why. I get to make that up. And…and… when I tell him straight up that in the places where he has people’s motivations written down I figure that’s only Damien’s impressions of what their motivations were because at the time he couldn’t have known… he says: “I like that!”

Foolish, foolish, man.

This is a guy who voluntarily took the Narcissism derangement because it fit the character. This is a guy who prefaced various things he did in his early days of joining the campaign by saying “I hope you guys realize that I’m not an asshole. Damien is an asshole, but I swear I’m a really nice guy!” And what a glorious sphincter Damien is! He is perhaps one of the most vainglorious bastards I’ve ever seen.

Yes, over the course of the campaign since then I have had great fun letting Damien’s player know exactly how badly he screwed himself by giving me so much license with his backstory. His fellow Mages trust him less and less with each and every reveal.

It makes that dark little hole where my heart should have been all happy.

Mages Make Me Cry

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