|Arete||Cabal||Merits and Falws||Spheres|
|Ascension||Essence||Nature and Demeanor||Traditions (and Crafts)|
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Traditions: This is really the first thing I feel must be explained. This is the group your Mage joins or in the case of Orphans, does not join.
Akashic Brotherhood: "While most Traditions tread the path to
Ascension, Akashic brother's positively flow along its course. They pursue
the path of least resistance, not because the Way is any easier, but because
it is more natural. Akashic Brother's believe that one must understand
one's Self before one can understand All. Only by perfecting the body and
Mind, and by creating harmony between them, can one understand one's place
in the Cosmic All. This end is true enlightenment - Ascension.
In sanctifying the temple of Self, the Brotherhood melds seclusion with mental and physical exercise. Together this amalgam of martial arts and meditation is known as "Do" or "the way" of life. Renowned for there deep introspection The Akashic Brotherhood appropriately occupies the seat of mind."(Mage 2nd Edition)
This Tradition is not limited to men or to Asian's though it is more common. They do except women and men of various ethnic backgrounds.
Please note that "Do" is specialized to the Akashic Brotherhood. If a character outside the Tradition takes this ability it needs to be extremely well explained in the history. It is quite rare for anyone outside the Tradition to know it.
Celestial Chorus: "High upon the seat of Prime, the Primus of
the Celestial Chorus observes his spiritual domain. He sees that humanity
has forsaken faith in favor of reliance upon cold and impersonal technology.
This is a sad fall from the Middle Ages when the Christian Church dominated
Europe and spirituality pervaded the world. Yet all is not lost. As the
darkness of the world deepens, strays return to the fold. If the Celestial
Chorus can outlast the night, morning will bring the Tradition great influence.
The Chorus sees Magick in a religious framework. All houses of worship - temple, mosque, church - are considered equal under the sun; all godheads are but shards of the shattered "One." Above all, the Chorus members are concerned with the well being of humanity. As good Samaritans and religious leaders the serve Sleepers by maintaining a vigilance against evil, tending to those in need, and providing guidance through example or word."(Mage 2nd Edition)
Cult of Ecstasy: "From the Cults of Bacchas to Woodstock, there
have always been those who believe that free action and self-expression
can lead to something greater, weather this is heightened awareness or
revolution. The Cult of Ecstasy was formed by such people. In the realm
of their experiences no stimuli can be ignored. They open the floodgates
to all six passions: taste, touch, hearing, smell, sight and awareness.
A Cultist can find deep meaning in a gourmet meal or home-brewed alcohol,
dance or love making. Heavy metal or sonnets, Cubist art or psychedelic
drugs. All passions are constructive in their way.
Cultists rarely push their agendas: every Cultist (and like-minded sleeper) is left to his own devices. At the same time no one will take responsibility for his actions but himself. Paradoxically this most uninhibited Tradition is also one of the most disciplined." (Mage 2nd Edition)
The Cult of Ecstasy occupies the Seat of Time.
Ok time for me to put my two cents worth in here. Anyone who wants to play and Ecstatic should remember two things 1. It is not just an excuse for Cybersex. 2. Remember Cultists believe in freedom....theirs and everyone else's. It is not the way of the typical Ecstatic to try and push themselves or there "vices" on other people. Seduction should not be a part of it. If you want to build a character that runs around seducing people (by seduction I mean convincing someone you know isn't completely willing) then I would suggest another Tradition as few Cultists would ever do such a thing and the ones that do are not likely to be respected by their peers. Now that I said that I apologies fore sticking my little opinion in but I felt it was necessary, ignore me if you want...
prehistoric times, Dreamspeakers have wondered the meandering paths of
Ascension alone, meeting occasionally to compare journeys but more often
communicating through spirit messengers. With the aide of drumbeats and
other rituals, these Shamans enter Dreamlands and converse with spirits,
many even shapeshift into the animal forms of their guardian familiar.
Dreamspeakers are one of the two most Primal Traditions- those who seek
insight and attunement with the Worlds. They work less from service than
from respect and harmony. Nevertheless they can be quite brutal. Nature
Magick often requires self-mortification or symbolic death.
Undisputed masters of animism, Dreamspeakers occupy the seat of Spirit." (Mage 2nd Edition)
Euthanatos: The Euthanatos use Entropy to reduce and recycle.
Without some breakdown, they know that reality would become dense and unyielding
- a static sect-piece instead of a dynamic experiment. One means of insuring
this is to administer the "good Death" upon those who are ready to die
- those who take life's gift to lightly, or have suffered but can not heal.
The spirits of these dead may then reincarnate into more productive forms.
Their seat of course is Entropy.
Though many Euthanatos kill few enjoy it. They mourn deeply for every loss of life, so as not to forget the gravity of their charge. Thus they often seem dour and distant. Yet Euthanatos do not fear death either, every apprentice visits the Other Side during initiation, and the Ever-turning Wheel assures them that death is only temporary. (Mage 2nd Edition)
Order of Hermes: "The Order of Hermes traces its Magickal Tradition
to ancient Egypt and the near East. Once there houses included nearly a
dozen different Magickal societies, each practicing an Elaborate Ritual
Art. Fate's fortune have since thrown them all together and cost them much
of the power they once held.
Proud and select, Hermetic mages are jealous of there secrets. They conceal their Arts in arcane tongues, numbers, rituals, complex calculations and metaphor's such as Tarot. Their most elaborate schemes are reserved for the destruction of the Technocracy, who brought their, treasured "Mythic Age" to a premature end. Persistent and patient these Master'' of Forces magick occupying the seat of Forces, are content to manipulate politics, finance and education - for now, but when the star's are right..."(Mage 2nd Edition)
NOTE: The Hermetic's are divided into houses. I have observed that it is usually important to know the houses. I do not own or have access to the Tradition Book so I can not include the information on houses. If you wish to play a Hermetic your best bet is to find someone willing to be your Mentor OOCly and ICly. They can explain the House's to you.
((Anyone who has said info and wants to send it to me feel free to do so and I will post it. The only request is that the info is from the books and personal addenda and opinions are noted as such))
Sons of Ether: "The Sons of Ether are a wacky and diverse
lot. Equally comfortable with cigar and brandy or aviator goggles, lab
coats and particle rays, they are part Buck Rogers another part Proper
Victorian and a third part Mad Scientist. As many technocrats would confirm,
this is a volatile mix.
To understand the Sons of Ether (if that is indeed possible) one must grasp three basic tenants. First they believe that true science is Art, an expression of the human spirit. Every machine should reflect the unique inner vision of the creator. Inspiration is beauty even if the final product is quirky to others, and sense this science is personal, no theory can be proven "wrong." Second, the role of science is to bring peace to the world (a la Captain Nemo) and Awaken humanity. Finally the unseen, ever-present "fifth essence," Ether must be a prominent part of any theory, experiment, or device - if for no other reason than it exists.
After defecting from the Technocracy to the Traditions the Sons of Ether accepted the long vacant seat of Matter." (Mage 2nd Edition)
This Tradition is not limited to men and many prefer the name "Etherites" to eliminate the gender bias. Though in some cases (just based on the old-fashioned aspect) a woman may have to do more to achieve the same position as a man does.
Verbena: "Verbena" is the Latin name for vervain, a herb with
manifold properties, both real and imagined. Through the ages it has been
held as a miracle plant. Roman's used it to consecrate temples; herbalists
used it in love-potions; superstitious peasants believed it a ward against
witches. Ingesting this herb causes nausea. Each of these aspects makes
"Verbena" an appropriate name for the Tradition, which occupies the Seat
Verbena are fate-weavers and rune-cutters, shape-changers and bewitchers, herbalists, and midwives dedicated to learning the secrets of life, pain and death. To them life is the most potent force in existence. The growing ash can crack mountains. The living cauldron, the womb, is a constant source of generation, unequaled since original Creation. Thus each body is a sacred shrine; the substance and power of the body - blood, sap and other life-giving fluids - serve as sacraments. Life therefore is their specialty and they're chosen seat in Counsel." (Mage 2nd Edition)
This Tradition is not limited to women, though many individual Coven's are. Men seldom achieve the same levels as women. (Though it does happen).
Virtual Adepts: Virtual Adepts invented "morphing," cyberpunk
and interactive video, and perfected the computer as a means for people
to reach beyond a hopeless world. Champions of the Fifth Amendment, these
hackers liberate the most sensitive information and post it on public bulletin
boards. Virtual Adepts it is said were responsible for a practical joke,
which sidetracked the FBI towards an anonymous roll playing publisher in
Texas instead of their own subversive front company.
The Virtual Adepts discovered and redefined the Digital Web (or Net). This alternate reality, they believe will become humanities new home. Having heard about explorations of the Net, the Counsel offered the Seat of Correspondence to the Virtual Adepts. These ex-Technocrats gladly accepted.
Crafts: Similar to Traditions but smaller and not members of the Counsel of Nime
Deus Ex Machina: A relativly new Craft founded by a disgruntled V.A. This Craft combines Technomany and Spiritualism to form something new and exciting. (Was created by the player of Harvin Torres)
The Chosen: The Chosen are the result of a religious movement begun in 1990 among the churches of Christ, a rationalistic but quasi-fundamentalist organization based primarily in the South. Their immediate ancestry, known as the Restoration Movement, combined early Enlightenment thought with a sort of revivalism and the desire to unite Christians under the "original" beliefs and organization of the church. The Movement failed and splintered, and the churches deriving from it have proved of little use to the Awakened until recently, save as a convenient social faction for the NWO to make use of.
Hollow Ones: This modern "Street Tradition" (Craft) has never
been formally invited to join the counsel. Indeed many older mages look
in horror at these Gothic Orphans and shoo them on their way. Yet many
progressive Tradition Sorcerers see these survivors as an asset the Counsel
could dearly use. The time however has not yet come.
More Goth than punk, Hollow Ones are not Predators but a species perfectly adapted to survive and prosper in a desperate urban environment. Most seem to have little interest in Ascension; judging from the sad state of the present, the feel it's futile to hop for the future. Instead they find beauty in the danse macabre. This dark sensibility draws them to the occult and urges them to seek out other denizens of the hidden world. Despair and cynical humor shape the "hollow" in the Hollow Ones.
|Akashic Brotherhood||Euthanatos||Virtual Adepts|
|Celestial Chorus||Order of Hermes||Hollow Ones|
|Cult of Ecstasy K'an Lu CoX||Sons of Ether||Orphans|
These Pages are not all operational yet, I dont have acess to all the Traditions books, and am waiting for volunteers to post the information.
You seek to leave lasting accomplishments
Avant-Garde: You must be the first to do anything
Bon Vivant: Life is too important not to enjoy.
Bravo: You are a protector - or a bully.
Caregiver: You must help alleviate suffering.
Conformist: You are a team player.
Conniver: It's in everyone's best interest to help you - really!
Critic: Things can always be better. Point out how.
Curmudgeon: Cynical, hell! You see the world for what it is.
Deviant: Rules exist to be broken.
Director: Stability requires order, bring it about.
Fanatic: The cause is everything to you.
Jester: Help others see the joke in everything.
Loner: You have never fit in and never will.
Martyr: Any cause worth having is worth dyeing for.
Rebel: You struggle against oppression, wherever it may breed.
Survivor: Nothing stops you. It slows you down, maybe, but you always survive.
Traditionalist: The old ways are best
Visionary: Hidden truth is your greatest quest and your greatest gift.
(Mage 2nd Edition)
There are many many more Nature's and Demeanors. Some are listed in other books some are not. Please feel free to make them up on your own. (Also if you have good ones from other sources or created by you please feel free to E-mail them to me and I will post them.)
to eternal change they flit from one task to another
Pattern: The opposite; these architects try to build something lasting from chaos.
Primordial: Old souls, these Avatars draw their essence from the beginning - and end - of the universe.
Questing: Eternal Galahad's who strive for balance and purpose. They often hold the middle road between the pull of others. (Mage 2nd Edition)
Some Mages have a very close relationship to there avatar, they no how
to communicate with it and understand it to some extent. Others barely
know it exists or don't believe in it at all. The background "Avatar" indicates
this. The Mage's relationship with the avatar while symbiotic is not always
harmonious. Sometimes the avatar and the Mage do not agree. Or the avatar
may lead the Mage down a path that is not necessarily the best one.
i.e. Gabriel Stonebrook, a Celestial Chorister, who is as kind and gentle, and forgiving as one could wish has an Avatar that is an avenging angel constantly urging him to seek vengeance when wronged. He has a very low "avatar Connection" because he constantly fights the Avatar and try's to tune it out, so to speak.
i.e. I know another Hermetic character whose avatar manifests as a mighty Griffin. The Avatar is so filled with Hubris (overwhelming pride) That it can not conceive of itself as less than perfect. It leads the Mage in question down a path of growing hubris, (dangerously high hubris)
A Seeking occurs for many reasons. Often a Mage will do something such as fasting or mediation (dependant on Trad) To induce a seeking. A long bout of quiet or other traumatic event can also cause a seeking. A Seeking can also be simply a Mage's response to the events in her life and her ability to handle them. It is best to role-play these out with a storyteller who knows your character fairly well.
Ascension War: "An ongoing conflict between mage factions, with the future or reality as a prize. Actually a series of conflicts ranging from subtle maneuvering to appalling violence" (Mage 2nd Edition)
Paradox is accumulated whenever the Mage does something Vulgar outside
their Sanctum. When a Mage botches a magick roll and more paradox is accumulated
they must roll dice equal to there paradox. The number of successes determines
how bad the backlash is and if it is severe enough can lead to permanent
i.e. I once saw a Mage roll her paradox and get a 1-point backlash, which made her aura visible for a few minutes
i.e. I have also seen the same Mage take 5 levels of aggravated damage from a paradox backlash worth 5 points. YES!! Paradox can kill you if it is bad enough
i.e. another rather humorous backlash (but quite severe) occurred in a TableTop game. My Cult of Ecstasy Mage messed up and used Life one time to many and had a severe 6-point backlash. Said Mage had her metabolic rate increased to astronomical levels. She was forced to eat for 3 days without stopping to sleep or talk or anything. She also had nourishment being pumped in through a needle and still managed to loose enough weight to nearly kill her. In the end she accumulated a serious "Paradox Flaw" That causes her to have a metabolic rate some 4 to 5 times faster than normal even now. Thus she eats all the time.
These are just examples of what can happened to help you understand. There are 100's more examples. Some quite humorous some quite serious.
Like Paradox these can be quite humorous or very serious.
i.e. The case of Maxwell Child who spent several weeks believing himself to be "Paul Maud'dib" from the novel Dune, and unwittingly brought at least 2 more people into his quiet with him.
i.e. Marius "Dark Phoenix" Trantor and his change to that of a comic book character that was physically manifesting itself turning everything around him into comic book images.
i.e. More seriously perhaps the state of extreme heightened aggression that nearly caused Shane to kill his own son.
space is an illusion; all points of space are and can be united. With this
sphere the mage can manipulate space and distance
Entropy: All things must eventually make way for that which follows in the Great Cycle. With each death and re-birth, there is new hope. Some cal it decay others, Fate. Whatever name it goes by, this Art allows the mage to manipulate forces of probability, disorder and destruction.
Forces: Students of this powerful Sphere know the forces of the elements - electricity magnetism, fire, wind, gravity, kinetic energy, and even nuclear energy.
Life: The Sphere of Life addresses complicated biological patterns and energies - incredibly complex and intricate Arts requiring careful study and practice to master. Masters of this sphere can create and alter organic life patterns.
Matter: This Sphere covers the study of physical inorganic patterns. These templates though similar to use are not quite as flexible.
Mind: The Sphere of mind is the study of sentience. It allows the mage to delve into the mysteries of the human brain, to explore and avail himself of the powers within.
Prime: The Art of Quintessential reality; training in this sphere allows the mage to understand and manipulate reality in its rawest forms, to detect, absorb, and manipulate this mysterious element.
Spirit: To know the Otherworlds and their inhabitants, a mystic must study this illusive and ephemeral Sphere With its she may converse with the Umbrood and even enter their worlds.
Time: This Sphere teaches that time is as subjective as space or matter. Mastery of it allows the mage to manipulate the perception or the passage of time.(Mage 2nd Edition)
THE TENTH SPHERE: This is the search of many Mages. It would hypothetically unite the other nine spheres and show the true path to Ascension. Each Tradition has its own idea of what this Tenth Sphere could be.
In Game play you may spend a point of quintessence to lower your difficulty to cast Magick. You start with Quintessence equal to your avatar rating.
Tass: Quintessence stored in physical form. It tends to collect in nodes and takes forms based on its various surroundings - i.e. mushrooms at a wooded caern, water at a specific spring or magickal garbage mold at an urban node." (Mage 2nd Edition)
In game play this s rather like portable quintessence that the mage can use when needed. This does however require the use of Prime.
These are distributed 7/5/3 in whatever order you deem most important.
companions, from mortal acolytes to supernatural beings.
Arcane: A mystic ability to avoid attention even direct attention.
Avatar: Your Mystic self; this trait reflects the power and perhaps the personality of that "other half"
Chantry: Your Cabals meeting place; it may be a place you own or a fellowship you belong to.
Destiny: Some mages do great things - or die in great ways.
Dream: You are in touch with your cosmic unconsciousness. This allows you to know things you have never learned.
Familiar: A magickal companion with some special talents.
Influence: Your status in the sleeper community.
Library: A repository of Magickal knowledge and helpful lore.
Mentor: your tutor or guardian.
Node: A wellspring of quintessence you have at your personal disposal.
Resources: Your access to cash and property.
Sanctum: A place you have for yourself; your place of power.
Talisman: Some magickal items you have in your possession.
You have 7 points to spend on backgrounds
Immediate Spatial Perceptions.
Sense Space, Touch Space
Pierce Space, Seal Gate, Co-locality Perception
Rend Space, Co-locate Self
Mutate Localities, Co-locate
Sense Fate and Fortune
Affect predictable patterns
Control Minor Forces
Transmute Minor Force
Control Major Forces
Transmute Major Forces
Alter Simple Patterns, Heal Self,
Alter Self, Heal Life, Create Simple Patterns
Alter Complex Patterns, Transform Self
Transform Complex Life Patterns, Create Complex Life Patterns, Perfect Metamorphosis
Sense Thought and Emotion, Empower Self
Read Surface thoughts, Mental Impulses
Mental Link, Walk Among Dreams
Control Conscious Mind, Astral Projection
Control Subconscious, Forge Psyche
Weave Odyllic Force, Fuel Pattern
Expel Base Energy
Spirit Sight, Spirit Sense
Touch Spirit, Manipulate Gauntlet
Pierce Gauntlet, Rouse and Lull Spirit
Rend Gauntlet, Seal Breach, Bind Spirit
Forge Ephemera, Outward Journeys
Past Sight, Future Sight
Time Contraction, Time Dilation
Future Travel, Time Immunity (Mage 2nd Edition)
You have 5 points to spend in spheres, plus your Traditions specialty sphere, unless you play a Hollow One or an Orphan. Hollow Ones and Orphans may distribute as they please.
When you decide how your character awakens consider what Tradition they will possibly be and there inner personality. For instance a Cult of Ecstasy eventual may awaken during intense sex or drugs, an Euthanatos may have a near death experience, an Akashic may be in a deep meditation. These things are not cut and dry. Some people awaken in ways completely different from the Tradition they eventually become. Sometimes a traumatic experience such as a Hollow One who is attacked by a street gang and survives. Sometimes it can simply be a moment of understanding, or even something more vague. An Awakening can be as stimulating or as traumatic as you deem appropriate The following are examples of awakenings I know from online and table top games.
i.e. Cult of Ecstasy, Sharon, a social débutante, she sneaks out to a local Rave and meets a man there with whom she dances until suddenly the room freezes and she is aware of everything at once, she moves about slowly and is gradually engulfed by the emotions of the room and thrown into the depths of Lakashim. She has used Wild Talent of Time 3 to freeze the room, and has simultaneously turned on all her senses (1 in every Sphere) as well as Mind 2 to sense the emotions in the room.
i.e. Celestial Chorus, Anna, A young teacher in an inner city New York School is on her way home via the subways when she is attacked by Vampires. A man saves her (coincidentally an Euthanatos) she is badly injured and he uses Life 3 to heal her. While in her semi conscious state she has a vision of an angel coming down and saving her, then charging her to "wake up and go...go and protect the others as you have been protected" In this case her awakening did not have wild talent but the next day in the same subway she looks for the Euthanatos in question, her search leads her into the tunnels, which unknown to her are a haven for the local Sabbat. This time she is attacked and through Prime 2 and Forces 3, Spirit 3 (?) she sends out a blast of Holy light destroying a half dozen of the Vampires.
i.e. My Orphan Raina, who awoke at the sight of the "Red Star" Which, is supposedly a sign of the end of days. For her, her awakening was subtle and took time to become noticeable. In the beginning she thought she was loosing her mind. She is an astrologer and all her predictions began to be true (Entropy2 Time 2) and her eyes became open to the Spirit world (Spirit 2) and the voices of those inside it, (Positive Spirit Magnet Merit 3 Points) Eventually the sights of all these new things began to drive her mad, and in wondering in the park she met a Garou who took pity on her and brought her to the Chantry when after many adjustments she is beginning to learn. This is also a good example of how one becomes a marauder (was so close).
These are just a few examples of Awakenings and wild talent to give you ideas. Be Creative and be sure to read the Rules for the Chantry in the Directory section of this site.
Yes, it should take a long time to raise Spheres and Arete