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It's not always about how fast you can ruin the storyteller's plot line, how many bad guys you can mow down, or how min/max you can get that character; it's about playing smarter than the average foe, using your environment to your full advantage, and trying to have at *least* one of your character's die from natural causes <No, I =don't= mean getting knifed in Newark, OD'd in New Orleans, or thrown off a high-rise in Portugal, despite the fact these are all perfectly natural ways to die ;)..>
Thus we begin our venture into the beautiful world
of playing smarter than the other player, storyteller, or bad situation.
Whenever in doubt, trouble, or the middle of downtown at 3 AM wearing a
galosh on your head screaming obscenities in seven foreign languages, remember
"It ain't whether you win or lose, it's how you look doing both at the same time."
"This game is twenty percent physical, and ninety percent mental."
And my personal favorite:
"Hero: a coward out of options."
Mage: the Ascension
First, an analysis of the options available while
building your genius, hardass, streetwise, wisecracking gun nut/bodybuiilder/mathematician/arcana
When making your character, decide whether any of the above will apply. If your a genius, act the part; cerebral over emotions, but when emotional, go all out. Read some of the quotes from Einstein for an idea of what an intellectual sounds like when emotion gets the best of them.
If you go more for the "Macho Man/Woman/Androgyne/?" with Large Firearm/Melee Weapon/Martial Arts Specialty/?, then I =highly= recommend finding someone either related to, or actually the person you are trying to emulate/simulate. I myself, when planning a tabletop M: tA session set in the 1960's and 70's, called upon the assistance of a coworker, who had field combat experience in the era in question. Later, this proved to be a =damned= good idea, as it allowed him to both experience a roleplaying environment, both as a player, then a little later, as a storyteller, not to mention give the next generation <myself included> some astounding insights into the era, both in the subculture in America, and in the front lines of Viet Nam. It also proved to a be a good idea when he turned out to be a fine ST for Vampire: the Masquerade, with an incredible grasp of drama, intrigue, and a gritty realism.
If you are a budding social butterfly, and like
the "high society/low society" heavy RP base, then I recommend finding
a job in either catering, wait staff, or similarly employed parties to
interview. More than few of these people are willing to let you in on the
goings-on at high/low-level gatherings, and usually have a good yarn to
tell themselves. Myself, I have more associates than I can count with a
few "Well, it all started in this bar, y'see.." or "So this guy walks into
the bar, and he.." stories either under the belts or permanently burned
into their memories. The age-old "You all meet in a bar" routine
may get kind of stale after a while, but trust me, it livens up some when
you throw in a little insight from a talkative bartender, perceptive waitress,
or well-trained bouncer. These people, amongst =many= others, can give
you the lowdown on how those gatherings work.
Besides, there are worse things than having a bartender in your gaming circle. :)
Should your tastes go towards the well-travelled genteel combination platter, then I recommend getting a taste of the world; a taste for exotic cuisine, a well-used passport, or a good search engine can be your tickets to a fun, exciting, and informative journey, even if it's to the library, foreign neighbor, or relative. Myself, I have a rather well-travelled family, and was never really at a loss for the experiences, but since discovering the joys of out-of-country city maps, overhead satellite photography of metropolitan areas, and more Tourism Bureaus than I could count, my personal favorite archetype for a character, the worldly Mentor, has gained immeasurable depth. It's worth the effort it if pays off half as well for you as it did for me.
That, and there's worse things than being able to say in the midst of gaming, "Hey guys, I'm going to order take-out, what's the preference?" and hearing shouts of every conceivable food fill the air. Personally, I like being able to enjoy Thai/Sicilian/Cantonese/Mexican food, served out of one large dish in the middle of the table, surrounded by gamers, hangers-on, and stacks of literature and music.
Now, on the =really= difficult part: actually giving some hard-and-fast advice. It might be presumptuous of me to do so, but it is a granted and understood idea that you, the reader, have a basic to extreme grasp of the concepts of Mage: the Ascension, both in what's out there, and what it can do.
The next section is going to be Effects, Rotes, Talismans/Fetishes, Foci 101, and here is the Infamous:
"Fifty Dirty Tricks Your Mentor -NEVER- Wanted You To Know, and You Were Scared to Think About."
Click here for the Rants Page
Click here for the Dark Metal Page
Click here for page one of the Book Of Nasty
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