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The Hits Just Keep On Coming


It took some doing, but I did finally manage to put together a mostly coherent timeline based upon all that horrible brain busting stuff I posted last week.

Here’s where we stand:

The PCs (AKA: “The Good Guys”) lured a Seer of the Throne to Central Park with claims of wanting to talk with her. She specifically asked if she was to show up alone, and when Damien (“Good Guy”) said “No, you can bring someone else” she dropped her guard a bit and brought someone.

The PCs (“Good Guys”) shoved her through a portal and started beating on her as she tried to escape.

~~~~~REDACTED: To Prevent Sanity Loss~~~~~

The PCs (“Good Guys”) continued to beat on The Seer while she couldn’t get away.

The Seer (Evil Doer) healed herself in the hopes of escaping when the spells that held her in place wore off, if she lived that long. She was kind enough to warn Aenaiyah that if she dies it will be harder to get to Betsy.

Rex (“Good Guy”) said that it wouldn’t be a problem because they would simply interrogate her ghost – so no one should hold back and they should just kill her. He uses plasticity to mold a chunk of concrete over the portal so that Seer +1 can’t use the portal to get into the room with them.

Arrow (Good Guy – note the lack of quotation marks) suggests that killing her isn’t a very nice thing to do, and maybe they really should hear her out since it isn’t like she has attacked them yet! (I feel compelled to note here that Arrow has, if not the lowest Wisdom in the group, the second lowest. I may have to fix that!)

The Seer’s +1 turns the air around everyone in the room into chloroform, which would knock everyone out without lasting ill effect. Sadly, everyone makes their stamina roll and has one more round to act as the gas begins to work. (They were in a big room.) Some take this round to continue beating on a woman who is about to be knocked out by chloroform anyway. Rex (the matter Mage) spontaneously creates respirators to prevent his Cabal from being affected by the gas.

Seer +1 drops the chloroform, clearly it won’t be helpful at this juncture, and turns a chunk of concrete into a massive swarm of wasps. (Wasps can sting more than once, and they provide good cover for his fellow Seer to escape.)

Arrow becomes the Wasp Queen and holds the wasps at bay. His Cabal-Mates take advantage of this opportunity to continue beating on the Seer who has not attacked them even once until she slips into a coma.

The Seer lies dying in a pool of her own blood.

Seer +1, frustrated at this point, finally lashes out and casts “rotting flesh” on Aenaiyah sympathetically and comes close to killing her. Somehow she manages to live long enough for Argus (“Good Guy”) to wipe all the sympathetic connections Seer +1 has to the room, making it impossible for him to breach the ward. #pout

Fortunately for the Seer, Arrow stabilizes her so that they can, you know… talk to her about what she knows regarding the whereabouts of Aenaiyah’s sister. (He does this after he gets the wasps to leave the room of course.) It seems as though they have decided to forcibly invade her mind instead.

And remember… these are the good guys!

Mages Make Me Cry

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RetCon Relic Romp


I’ve decided that this year I’m going to run 2 games at RetCon: Long Island’s Gaming Convention.  I’ve also decided that this year, one of them will be a “Mage the Awakening” game.

I never tried to convince anyone here that I’m sane. This blog is called ‘A “Mage the Awakening” Game Master’s Descent into Insanity’ after all.

I’m all about truth in advertising like that.

Anyway, so I’ve decided to up the ante by running two games this year. One will be the highly successful session I ran at last year’s convention called “Asylum”. I named it that before I realized that White Wolf published a supplement with the same name.  I have since considered re-branding it “Truly Terrifying Tales: The Asylum” to distinguish it from said “World of Darkness” supplement, but it’s already on the schedule and I’ve been a bit lazy about changing it, I admit. Of course, this entire paragraph is really just one more way to avoid thinking about the inevitable… that being the fact that I now have to write up a one-shot “Mage the Awakening” session.

I know what you’re thinking.  “You run a regular Mage campaign, how hard could writing a one-shot be?” Silly you. That’s what I thought when I agreed to do this. Those were in fact the very words that flitted through my brain. (Are you sure you aren’t a Mastigos?)

The fact of the matter is that they are two very different animals.

In the campaign I have all the time I want to allow events unfold as they will. If my characters feel like making a stop at their favorite bar, The Hole in the Wall, then I have to do that much less planning for the next session. Win for me! I also get a bunch of new ammunition to use against them in the future. It’s Bi-Winning. I can always pick up the main storyline next session, or the session after that, or whenever the PC’s finally do make a successful sobriety roll. (RESOLVE+STAMINA)

At RetCon I won’t be able to do that. I’ll have one chance to tell the story. That’s it. There is no “next session” here. The pressure is on! I need to have enough material to fill the four hour slot, but not so much that they don’t make it to the payoff. This is a tricky thing with Mages. You just never know when they are going to whip some annoying spell (Postcognition I’m looking at you!) out of the book and completely circumvent the very cool meeting of the Mastigos Minds you had been planning on. It’s all terribly unfair.

Of course, there are also those times when you have the best, most awful, most wonderful thing that can’t be unseen all ready because you just know they’re gonna look at you all smug and say “well I cast Postcognition and see what actually happened”, and they just don’t bother to do it! Royal pains in my arse these Mages be!

And so I’ve decided to run what I like to call a Relic Romp. At the end of the romp is some rare antiquity which the local Concilium has assigned the PC’s to be the acquirers of. Between my hapless players and the Thaumium MacGuffin will be a series of challenges. In theory these challenges will test various attributes to determine whether or not the PC’s are worthy of obtaining the Thaumium MacGuffin. In reality, well I guess I’ll just have to wait until July to see how they do. In any case, the structure of a series of challenges will allow me the flexibility to fit the session to the time slot on the fly. If I have veteran Mage players at the table I’ll have a bit more time for throwing things at them. People who are new to Mage will need a little more time to find the spells they want to cast and I’ll be free to leave out a challenge or two if necessary to allow the end game to happen at a natural pace.

Unless of course they get stumped at the front door.*

Why not stop by to see how it goes for yourself! RetCon: Long Island’s Gaming Convention is in July this year, and Pre-Registration discounts are in effect until June 1st. You know you want to come!

*The Elven word for friend is Mellon.

Never Mind the Body Posed in the Van… It’s All Good


The Old Posed Body in the Van TrickYou will never receive such a text message from any self-respecting Guardian of the Veil.

You might, however, receive such a text message if you happen to regularly hang out with an Acanthus Mage from the Mysterium.

And if there is a crazy pack of Werewolves in your city.

Let me try to explain:

Way back in the beginning of 2009 someone thought it would be a great idea to run a multi-table campaign set in White Wolfe Publishing’s “World of Darkness”. The idea seemed simple, elegant even… at first. A table of Werewolves and a table of Mages having adventures in the same city in the same timeframe. Every so often their paths may cross. In theory, this was a great idea!

In Theory.

In reality you have a situation that no good can come of. It should have been simple. Some initial sessions for each table from modules to allow the characters to develop a bit, and then you use elements of the character’s backgrounds and current actions to build a campaign story. The Mages were reasonably cooperative with this.

The Werewolves decided to pose a body in the driver’s seat of a van to “call out” the supernatural entity that committed the murder.

They didn’t stop there though. Oh no. That wasn’t nearly obvious enough. They posed this body in the driver’s seat of the van with the keys in the ignition and the headlights on.

The headlights were shining on a tree with the Pack’s territory marker on it.

They left the driver’s door open such that the “you-left-your-key-in-the-ignition-and-your-headlights-on” tone would beep incessantly in the night.

They did this right outside of Central Park, Manhattan.

(And in the interests of complete honesty… at every single place in the module where it mentions something the players might think to do that is smart, they did the opposite. As for every single place in the module where it is pointed out the players could not possibly be dumb enough to embark on a particular course of action… well I’m sure you can see how that went.)

It wasn’t long before the Guardians of the Veil tasked a group of expendable, and well-respected, young Mages to find out what kind of sick, twisted, depraved abomination would do such a thing. The Mage players were not told it was the players at the table in the next room.

In retrospect, hilarity did ensue. (In fact, the looks on their faces at the very moment when they realized the truth is permanently etched into the pleasure centers of my brain.)

My co-GM and I thought, and had hoped to be perfectly honest, that this would lead to fighting between the two groups. It was only the third session of the campaign at this point and Mages are rather squishy when they’re young. In comparison Werewolves are, well they’re F@%#ing Werewolves! We were hoping for some good Player-on-Player violence out of this situation! Maybe even a good character death or two! FTW!

Instead they became BFF’s. #sigh

So now we’re stuck with a table of Crazy Mages and a table of Crazy Werewolves traipsing around New York City together ruining all of our glorious plans.

Why God? WHY??

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