September 21, 2013
A Look At The Fluff Of Mage The Ascension
So imagine that you are a young man or woman who has just discovered that the rules of reality are not fixed. That you can bend and shape them to your will. That you are, in fact, a wielder of the great power collectively called magic, or “Magick” if you are feeling archaic. That is right, you are a mage, a will-worker, a doer of impossible things. Congratulations. Now you get to learn just how much the rest of the world does not want you to exist.
The central theme of Mage the Ascension is, as is in the title, the idea of ascension. Ascension not just for you, but for all of mankind. You see, as a mage, it is not that you alone are capable of attaining ascension, but that you are of the few capable of leading others to that same state of high being, of enlightenment. How you can do that, well, that is purposely a bit vague. This is not an easy thing, especially when the normal folk of the world, the “sleepers” as they are, somewhat derogatorily called, are perfectly happy exactly where they are. Worse, the more content they are, and less able to believe in the fanciful and the weird – magic, in short – the less able you are to work your craft around them. Their belief in how the world works contradicts your belief in how the world works, and the two clash, creating Paradox.
Worse, there are others out there who seek to prevent your gaining of enlightenment. Most notably are your most common enemy, the Technocracy. The Technocracy is an organization that came into being with the Age of Enlightenment, and their goal is to bring “truth” to mankind through scientific discovery and logic, which runs in strict contradiction to the path of enlightenment that a mage is normally bound to follow. Because of this, their very existence weakens your power over magic. Oh, and they want to kill you. There is that too. Then there are the Marauders, mages who have gone completely mad with power who now use their powers on even a subconscious level and change the world with their very presence, pulling it further and further away from enlightenment. The Nephandi, on the other hand, are mages who have willingly sold their souls to darker powers in order to destroy and corrupt all that exists. They have grown tired/disgusted at the world and now seek its end. These are the foes you must face as a mage.
Worse, you are just as capable of becoming a Marauder or a Nephandi yourself. No one ever said being a mage was going to be easy, after all. This is the World of Darkness.
Mage the Ascension is a wonderful game of modern fantasy, dark horror, suspense, mystery, and a quest for enlightenment in a world one placid. Unlike its siblings Vampire the Masquerade or Werewolf the Apocalypse, mage is not about being a monster. Being a mage is like being something else entirely. Not fully human, but not a monster either. It is a game about being something different and special in a world of conformity, the single beam of sunlight shining through a cloud. Like all World of Darkness games, I recommend it highly.
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