A Handful of Cogs

Mage 20 is a massive book, with several auxiliary books of rule and setting permutations. Even the most dedicated of players can’t be expected to read and internalize all of that. So I will use this space to discuss notable rules (both “RAW” and “house”) and themes I want us to use in this game.

Magic works according the default rules in M20, where you roll your Arete as a dice pool, against a difficulty determined by the scope of the effect you want to achieve. We will not use the “Dividing Successes” option. Under these rules, low-Arete characters (like starting PCs) will not always pull off a given effect on their first try, but neither will they need to spend extra time accumulating multiple successes.

Magic in M20 is supposed to be deeply personalized, and rooted in a character’s magical style and culture. I take this to mean that just because a given effect is mechanically possible (you have enough Arete and Sphere dots), does not mean that the mage knows how to do it or believes it is even possible for them. An Etherite spatial engineer might have no problem using a Star Trek-style transporter to beam to far-flung laboratories, but they might not know how an Akashic ninja steps from shadow to shadow (or vice versa).
I think limits like this can make the character’s magic feel more believable, and create interesting story beats. HOWEVER, I leave this in your hands; the Player should be the one to decide any limits to impose on the Character’s magical style. I would be happy to offer up suggestions, though.

Magic is an imperfect art and science, just like being a Storyteller. I will probably make bad calls when adjudicating magic uses and effects. I promise to try and learn from my mistakes, and to minimize character suffering resulting from them.

Arcane/Cloaking states it is applied to all Stealth rolls, but this means that it has a doubled effect in many circumstances, as it also penalizes your opposition. As a HOUSERULE, the Background does not give a bonus to Stealth rolls, unless the ST deems it more appropriate to the situation than a penalty for the opposition. All other effects still apply.

Chantry is incredibly vague and unhelpful in its description. As a HOUSERULE, we will… Let me get back to you on this one. For now, know that the descriptions given of benefits for different ratings are accurate, if vague. So the house the PCs shared in Kevin’s game might count as a “squat,” since we had some basic mundane and magical security, and a few communal resources stored there. In this story, the Council Chambers or the Solomon School would be at the “mystic chantry” level, with solid defenses, and many resources both mystical and mundane.

Nodes in this story give out 2 points of Quintessence per week, per rating dot. Some of it may or may not take the form of Tass, as seems appropriate for the site, but never more than half of it will be Tass.

A Handful of Cogs

Mage: New Orleans Redford_Blade