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Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


Emy posted:

While it's true that there's a lot of room for more esoteric interpretations of the Virtual Adept paradigm, I'm of the opinion that example characters (or the example spells) should exemplify the core of their respective tradition or paradigm. If the book is chock-full of examples that all exist at the periphery of their traditions, how are we supposed to get a clear idea of what a typical VA looks like? Using yoga and weed to cast spells and omitting any mention of how these might be tied back into the core VA beliefs is not useful in the least. I don't even really care that those actions might be possible for a VA player character at the periphery of the VA paradigm, because they're not helpful as examples.

"The Traditions are just shorthand" itself seems valid enough, since they're pretty much a bunch of disparate groups who would probably be engaged in active thought-war with one another if not under Technocratic threat, but I don't get using that to try to defend the example characters and example spells—when the examples are all so idiosyncratic, it obscures what that shorthand is supposed to mean.

Maybe the sort of person who's Awakened their enlightened Avatar to bend reality by force of will alone doesn't look and act like 100 other Goony McComputerJanitors. Or maybe Paradigm/Tradition is just a springboard for ideas - so the 'Virtual Adept' idea tells you you can make Hackers or Tron. And in half the cases - Dreamspeakers, Choir, Akashics - presenting 'typical' Traditions can lead to uncomfortable stereotypes.

It's probably best to get rid of the whole idea altogether. Have the Technocracy, who are more stagnant, and the Traditions could be recast as memes/styles/aesthetic fads in Mage culture. High school cliques, basically- preppy, snobby Hermetics, gym-bro Akashics, annoyingly pious Choirsters, etc. But what styles are popular change constantly (tho some people will always be Hermetics or whatever, the same way we still have greasers). If you some how make Paradigm still matter a bit, you could have weaponized aesthetics vs stuffy Suits.

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



So basically what you want is something that isn't actually oMage at all.

The Skeep
Sep 15, 2007

That Chicken sure loves to drum...sticks





...j-johnny? is that you?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


theironjef posted:

Tell me it at least has an endless parade of angels and demons.

If by "angels" you mean "libertarian pipe dreams" and by "demons" you mean "one percenters" then yes.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

THEE Ukraine

Lipstick Apathy

Alien Rope Burn posted:

If by "angels" you mean "libertarian pipe dreams" and by "demons" you mean "one percenters" then yes.

Hc Svnt Dracones 2: Space Boogaloo?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Alien Rope Burn posted:

If by "angels" you mean "libertarian pipe dreams" and by "demons" you mean "one percenters" then yes.
Ohhhh boy well now I look forward to whatever this is.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



gradenko_2000 posted:

Hc Svnt Dracones 2: Space Boogaloo?

Heh, we got tweeted at by the Hc Svnt Dracones guy a while back asking us to be nice to his book on the show. Truth is if a book is actively in print enough that the author is worried about what our show could do to it then it's too active for us to review, but it was pretty funny.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Honestly I wouldn't actually mind if the Traditions were an eclectic group of all possible mystics rather than nine splats, but then, there's a reason White Wolf has always stuck to using splats—they're really helpful to new players.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!



Rand Brittain posted:

Honestly I wouldn't actually mind if the Traditions were an eclectic group of all possible mystics rather than nine splats, but then, there's a reason White Wolf has always stuck to using splats—they're really helpful to new players.

I kinda think that it'd be better if the Tradition splat wasn't sorted by Paradigm, but rather being political groups that share a vision for what the world should be like after they take down the Technocracy and establish a new world order. You could have a group that envisions a global transcendance over the physical form, and have both a radical transhumanist cyborg hacker and a traditional zen buddhist monk fit into that splat.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


I was about to say "don't a bunch of people like Steve Jobs believe in both?" but my mistake in this whole argument is that maybe Silicon Valley Techno-Hippies that I talk about should be their own sub-splat/whatever the Mage version of Bloodlines is called. Get a massive bonus to Resources, cheap Time and Correspondance, and a 75% chance of either disappearing up their own rear end in a top hat like the Free Software guys or just becoming Technocracy 2.0.

Maybe a Coincidental Rite to have an Uber show up literally ANYWHERE, even in the middle of the desert or Mars (same with food delivery bikes).

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?




PEOPLE, PART 5

2011 People
This is the set of people alluded to by the red notes in the Dossier, made by Hopkins in 2011. Same speed as before!



The Arms Runner
Razan Funar. Imports Russian weapons, has a 72-hour delivery service. Drug addict, ally of anyone who has enough money or who can treat his symptoms. Asset: "Anyone" in the previous sentence includes the Romanian SRI. Minion: His relationship with Dracula is one of mutual benefit. He can also serve as a tie-in to The Zalozhniy Quartet as the European end of Lisky Bratva's smuggling racket.



The Art Forecaster
Iulia Văduva. In-demand corporate trend forecaster for a lot of fields, with a tendency to assimilate into the local social landscape. She had galleries in Bucharest in the 70s, and was in fact born in Transylvania. Asset: Could be working for any western intelligence agency, becoming more and more valuable as her cover career expands, but she's a mercenary at heart - not actually Edom, but she's consulted for them. Minion: One of Dracula's original servants from Romania in the 40s. Has been operating on her own for a long time, and Dracula's proper return could cause her to seek help from the party.





The Black Site Interrogator
Manuel "Cyclops" Echeverria. CIA since graduation, but hasn't set foot in America in over a decade. Interrogator excelling at both Good Cop and Bad Cop. He's heard rumors about the weird poo poo happening to al-Quaeda, but maybe not proof. Asset: Echeverria worked at Black Light (more on that later), and might still have a job there, especially if it's run by the CIA. If America has a vampire program, he's a willing part of it. Minion: Echeverria tried to break a vampiric captive, and was broken and rebuilt in turn. He's working for Dracula, but very covertly, from within other organizations.



The BND Deep-Cover Agent
Hatice Peynirci. Deep-cover officer in German foreign intelligence, identifying agents of the al-Quaeda amidst the Romanian Turkish popoulation. Possible ally with a lot of contacts in Germany. Asset: She's a double agent for Edom, identifying monsters as well as terrorists. Minion: Unwitting psychic victim who may eventually be turned into a Bride of Dracula.



The Bookseller
Rabia Koraltan. Runs an obscure bookshop, is actually an expert on Vlad Tepes and Turkish vampire lore. Willing ally of the agents in a pinch. Asset: Former MIT operative, good at discreetly keeping tabs on high-priority targets. Minion: Great-graunddaughter of a vampire hunter, turned by Dracula as revenge. Could be a vampire assignn, a lamia, a Renfield, or a bride.



The Bucharest Private Detective
Dominic Ruzic. Ex-cop in Bucharest, specializes in missing person cases. Likely to try to blackmail the agents if he learns anything juicy. Asset: On the books for the SRI, SIE, BND, MI6, FSB, and CIA - he's everybody's eyes on the street in Bucharest. Minion: Finds disappeared people and hands them over to the Conspiracy as food.



The Bucharest Street Cop
János Tugurlan. The only honest cop in Bucharest, meaning he has lots of powerful enemies. Honesty makes him a useful ally. Asset: He owes the SIE a few favors, which is why he'll sell the party out to them (or whoever's using the SIE to get at them). Minion: Renfield who responds to Dracula's presence by going the Full Batman on people he thinks deserve it. He has no idea that he's a puppet.



The Bureaucrat
Natalia Barbulescu. Widow to a member of Romanian Parliament who died earlier this year, now an assistant deputy. She knows about everything that passes through the bureaucracy. Asset: MI6 lifer keeping tabs on goings-on in Romania. Minion: What, you think Ion Barbulescu died in an accident? It was her idea, and she can't be flipped to an ally.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

Alien Rope Burn posted:

To tease, I have an F&F coming up now that the roughs are finished. And I'll just say there are three things it doesn't have:
  • Mages
  • Witches
  • Unarmed Conveyances

GURPS Car Wars?

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Humbug Scoolbus posted:

GURPS Car Wars?

Car: The Racening?

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Y'know, I don't give poo poo one about Mage personally but it doesn't seem terribly hard for even me to figure out that if you're going to sell Mage fans a big 20th Anniversary love letter edition of their beloved game that maybe you ought to give them what they want and not "here's the way it should be to me, Phil Satyros Dogfucker Brucato." There's a time and a place to editorialize, and the history of White Wolf's Mage is one of writers being unable to figure that out.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



And it does not help Brucato comes off as an extremely smug bastard high off of his own fumes, or all the troubling content: the overuse of rape and sexual abuse as drama without warning, the 'Old man yells at clouds' sneering at technology, magical fetishism of LGBT people - especially Trans people being treated like magical third sexes hermaphrodites, his inability to keep his biases out of the writing, downtalking the traditions and technocracy for his special-sue groups - instead he turns what's suppose to be a revised guidebook for oMage into his own personal soap box.

If he wants to write about Chaos Magick as the paradigm of the world, he's free to write it as his own thing and publish it - easier to do it now than ever before with the advent of e-books, but in a product line with established lores and expectations, that's not acceptable to throw it all out for his unique vision. That's like someone revising say... Eberron and they declare that Gods are real Faerun-style meddlers and the clock/steampunk elements have been wiped away in a catastrophe.

Yeah, technically that person can do it, but people will be rightfully pissed off.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Robindaybird posted:

And it does not help Brucato comes off as an extremely smug bastard high off of his own fumes, or all the troubling content: the overuse of rape and sexual abuse as drama without warning, the 'Old man yells at clouds' sneering at technology, magical fetishism of LGBT people - especially Trans people being treated like magical third sexes hermaphrodites, his inability to keep his biases out of the writing, downtalking the traditions and technocracy for his special-sue groups - instead he turns what's suppose to be a revised guidebook for oMage into his own personal soap box.

His weird trans boner is pretty hilarious, actually. Like some (hopefully) hypothetical hardcore weeabo who unironically agress with the "Katanas are underpowered" meme.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





What would be clever is if you were able to draw on the ambient vision of katanas as some kind of super ninja sword as opposed to "OK swords, very pretty, impressive for being made out of virtual garbage" to justify sick swordkills, but that doesn't quite feel like Mage, except in so far as you could probably get away with more coincidental magic around your katana.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Doresh posted:

His weird trans boner is pretty hilarious, actually. Like some (hopefully) hypothetical hardcore weeabo who unironically agress with the "Katanas are underpowered" meme.

It's hilarious, but also pretty gross - he puffs is chest in pride at being so liberal and enlightened, but there's so much awful stereotyping, from magical noble savages to mystical asians, and the overuse of the 'women only gaining power and agency after being made victims' in his write ups.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Robindaybird posted:

It's hilarious, but also pretty gross - he puffs is chest in pride at being so liberal and enlightened, but there's so much awful stereotyping, from magical noble savages to mystical asians, and the overuse of the 'women only gaining power and agency after being made victims' in his write ups.

That's some weird overlap with this Witch Girls: Adult Edition nonsense. Apparently, the more you're willing to cram your progressiveness into your books, the less you actually understand about it.

Nessus posted:

What would be clever is if you were able to draw on the ambient vision of katanas as some kind of super ninja sword as opposed to "OK swords, very pretty, impressive for being made out of virtual garbage" to justify sick swordkills, but that doesn't quite feel like Mage, except in so far as you could probably get away with more coincidental magic around your katana.

"I use my weeabo paradigm to cut that vampire into a lawn chair with some sweet iaijutsu."

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Doresh posted:

"I use my weeabo paradigm to cut that vampire into a lawn chair with some sweet iaijutsu."
CUT THROUGH!!!

Nah though I meant exploiting the media to make the +4 damage dice from subatomic sharpness on your hanzo steel... coincidental. 'Well of course he cut that car in half, he had a katana.'

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Doresh posted:

That's some weird overlap with this Witch Girls: Adult Edition nonsense. Apparently, the more you're willing to cram your progressiveness into your books, the less you actually understand about it.

More so when you throw in the fact they insert their weird fetishes into their words, Soto's Transformation/Smoking/Snuff with Brucato's Animal loving/Furries

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Robindaybird posted:

It's hilarious, but also pretty gross - he puffs is chest in pride at being so liberal and enlightened, but there's so much awful stereotyping, from magical noble savages to mystical asians, and the overuse of the 'women only gaining power and agency after being made victims' in his write ups.
I'm always reminded of this quote from Snow Crash

Neal Stephenson posted:

It was, of course, nothing more than sexism, the especially virulent type espoused by male techies who sincerely believe that they are too smart to be sexists.
People who are convinced of their oh-so-enlightened nature almost always have huge blind spots about their own privilege, and they refuse to listen to even the mildest criticism about it.

Old WW was full of it, so 90s-college-leftist-as-gently caress, that it let things like Gypsies and Pimp:the Backhanding out the door without anyone saying "hey, hold on a second".

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

Kai Tave posted:

Y'know, I don't give poo poo one about Mage personally but it doesn't seem terribly hard for even me to figure out that if you're going to sell Mage fans a big 20th Anniversary love letter edition of their beloved game that maybe you ought to give them what they want and not "here's the way it should be to me, Phil Satyros Dogfucker Brucato." There's a time and a place to editorialize, and the history of White Wolf's Mage is one of writers being unable to figure that out.

Well, I have occasionally come into conversation with this huge M20 fan on rpg.net who thinks that M20 is a work of unparalleled perfection written for 2e fans like him, so some people seem to really like Brucato as a writer and think that his writing is the epitome of MTAs.

Of course, this same person also dismissed my complaints about editorializing about Abrahamic religions as a) the demented scripture actually was demented, so M20 was just saying it like it was, and b) it was in-character text, so I shouldn't take it seriously or be offended by it because nobody was actually stating that's the way it was.. It was just supposed to set the tone, because the World of Darkness isn't our world, so senseless religious violence is really just par for the course. His only critique of M20 was that the Hollow One was Japanese goth and not European goth, and that was totally wrong. It should be more like the German goth festivals and clubs he frequented.

But I digress to rant about strangers on the Internet. My dislike of M20 actually seems to be fairly atypical. Though of course most people talking about M20 these days are going to be people who've read M20 and come to the conclusion that it was just what they wanted, because everyone else have either stopped being interested or wasn't interested in the first place.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Anybody who likes Phil Brucato's writing is someone whose opinion you can pretty safely dismiss.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Well, one thing about Mage is that was always at heart a Thelemic game (hence the "k" in magick); that is is, the teachings of Aleister Crowley, at least at heart. But it had other things layered over it that obscured that some, and M20 kind of pulls the dust jacket away and Brucato just no longer cares to even try and give any nods towards other belief systems like earlier editions did to broaden its scope, presumably.

Mind, basing your game around the teachings around somebody who may as well have been the L. Ron Hubbard of his day save for a greater share of vices and -isms, might not hold up over time. Thelema is - and I'm sorry if I offend anybody, but I think this is historically frank truth - a bunch of bullshit wound out by a racist, abusive con man who never saw a grift or a power grab he didn't like. It's a bunch of platitudes and rituals without much actual direction, wisdom, or meaning. That isn't to say Crowley can't be inspirational or fascinating, but I wouldn't take life lessons from the guy. Which is what leads to the actual lack of direction in Mage itself, because its core principles are as vague as its inspiration. That's not to say you can't enjoy Mage, I know I have, but you have to be aware that it's a framework for you to lay something meaningful and interesting over. And when you pull the cover off of the framework like M20 does, it starts to look as hollow as Crowley's teachings actually are.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 22:31 on Mar 30, 2016

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Kai Tave posted:

Anybody who likes Phil Brucato's writing is someone whose opinion you can pretty safely dismiss.

Well, I mean, it's not like the guy never did anything good. He was behind Guide to the Technocracy, and I don't think any of the complaints listed about M20 would apply to that.

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012




Part 2: Being the Best Character from the Best School

RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

quote:

Was it Paul Dini who loved Zatanna so much he married a woman who looks just like her? She's kinda a witch.
She not only looks like her, she's a stage magician herself.

Well, that's explains it.

The book starts off with all of the bonuses characters get for being a Coventry student. The reasons given are that Coventry students are just more powerful due to having a better education and, in some cases, are handpicked for being prodigies. On top of the usual starting stuff, they get 10 extra skill points (5 mundane, 5 magical), 3 extra magic ranks, +3 to their Basic and Mysticism skills, can put up to 4 ranks in their magic skills, and 20 points to put towards a custom wand.

The book also introduces two new Talents: Humanity (+1 to mundane skill rolls and +1 to rolls when helping mundanes with magical issues) and Titled (+1 Allowance, +2 to social rolls when dealing with people from the country the character has a noble or royal title in).

After that is an “Abilities” section. They are the Knacks from Respelled except they use older rules (characters get 1 at creation and can buy more with 15 voodollars) and there are no negative ones. Some of them were even copy-pasted from here. The new ones are Bargain Hunter (-2 to item cost), Caller (send telepathic messages for free), Highbinder (+1 to Casting on mundanes, +1 to Social rolls with people in positions of power), Natural (+2 to Social rolls with animals), Quick Zap (signature spells automatically work on targets with Resist Magic 9 or less and only cost a zap), Ricochet Spell (spend a zap to bounce spells off of solid objects), and Sympathetic Magic (make a voodoo doll with someone’s personal effects, cast spells on it for one extra zap, have it affect them).

To get into Coventry, a witch either has to be discovered by a staff member or have a former student, usually a family member, put in a recommendation for them. Once that happens, a staff member secretly observes them for a month to see if they have the “greatest potential for academic and magical success”. If they pass the inspection, they then take several placement tests to evaluate their knowledge on basic academics and 9 different magical subjects. Failure of less than half of the tests means taking remedial classes on the failed subjects. Failing more than half of them gets the student bumped down a grade. (e.g. An Initiate that fails enough tests will get put in with the elementary school kids in the Neophytes class.) Students coming in from another magical school who have good enough grades don’t have to test.

In game terms, you have to succeed on a Hard Basic roll, a Hard Mysticism roll, get an 8 or better on an Enchantment roll (the test is to make a simple wand) and a Potions roll (make a love potion for a hamster and a parakeet), and whatever the DM comes up with for the 6 magic skill tests because those aren’t given specified rolls. Cheating is possible, but no one has successfully done so in the history of the school. The section on it suggests either putting a cheater in a class they’re not ready for or having them let in on probation with the caveat that they have to take the tests again under a truth spell.

As you can tell, the odds of getting in are against Outsiders and anyone else who hasn’t been involved with the magical world since they were very young. And the character section does reflect this; nearly all of the students are Insiders. (Though that could also be a case of :effort: on Harris’ part.) Though their emphasis on taking only the best and brightest does make me wonder why Lucinda, with her godlike competency in several schools of magic, isn’t a student here.

Next is a list of supplies students can bring and get from the school. It’s roughly the same as the one for Willow-Mistt. Though students get access to 20x10 foot walk-in closets, are allowed to bring any captured fairies or humans that they have (but are responsible if they end up escaping and dying), and aren’t allowed to bring alcohol and tobacco products. (Even though the book admits that witches are immune to the effects of both.)

Everyone who isn’t a Neophyte shares a 40x40 foot dorm room with another person complete with the closet, a bathroom, and one double wall socket. Wireless internet is available in the main hall and the dorm, but cable, cell signal, and satellite reception is nonexistent. The book doesn’t point out that that would probably not stop a student with a decent command of Cybermancy from finding a way around that.

When new students arrive, they are given a guide among the students close to them in age who has been there for a year or more. The guide stays with them for a week. If the new student gets disciplined for any reason, the guide gets in trouble as well.

The Code of Conduct is just the Willow-Mistt one copy-pasted from the core with a few added rules: no talking in class, no leaving the school grounds without written permission from a staff member, and no yelling in the main hall’s corridors. I’m sure they all get ignored for the sake of adventure just as much as the Willow-Mistt ones.

Coventry also uses the same Demerit system of punishment that Willow-Mistt does. (Though Willow-Mistt probably copied all of this stuff from Coventry in-verse.) Except instead of kicking a student out for a semester if they earn a demerit while on probation, they are put on trial in a special school court with the headmistress as the judge and a random sampling of 5 teachers as the jury. Students can either represent themselves or have someone who isn’t a staff member do it for them.

Coventry posted:

Some students have summoned brainwashed, mortal attorneys and even fictional ones to help them get off.

“Members of the court, I’d like to introduce my attorney, Saul Goodman.”

“Sabrina, you’re 10 years old. Are your parents letting you watch Breaking Bad?”

“They do it if they don’t want to have their bodies turned inside-out... biznatch.”

Winning the trial puts the student back on another month of probation. If they gently caress up again or fail a class during this probation period, they get expelled. They can petition the Headmistress to be readmitted after a year as gone by.

Healthcare is provided by a six bed medical clinic staffed by the Healing teacher Sunshine Moonglow (yes, really), an Intern student with advanced knowledge of healing spells and curse-breaking, and any students who happen to be working off demerits. Ms. Moonglow is capable of bringing students back from the dead provided there’s at least a small body part left and not a lot of time has passed. If someone was injured because they were being a dumbass, she will usually let them heal at the normal mundane rate. However, the section does point out that witches are usually smart enough to avoid getting injured.

Students are expected take at least two mundane and three magical classes every semester. Classes are held Monday through Friday with the occasional optional Saturday class. Schedules are divided up between Monday/Wednesday/Friday and Tuesday/Thursday classes, with M-W-F classes being 1 and a half hours long and Tu-Th classes being 2 and a half. The school day starts at 9 and the last classes of the day end at 6:30 with lunch happening from 11:30 to 1:30. (The book itself doesn’t recommend taking a full schedule during your first year.) There are also the occasional 4 hour long lectures that last from 9 to 1 in the afternoon.

The blurb for “Typical Mundane Classes” was accidentally replaced with a repeat of a useless one about how students, when they’re not in class, do things that aren’t homework related. Here’s the list of mundane subjects Coventry students can take classes in.



Those of you who have been following Kurieg’s Bellum Maga writeup probably noticed that a “Ms. South” teaches History. It turns out that I was wrong. Sadie (Jo) South, the acolyte or whatever of Circe who is responsible for the horrific-looking Alteration spells in that game is a character in this one too. Unfortunately, most of the teachers do not have character sheets. (Cause it's not like people who would want to run a game at Coventry would need to know about the teachers.) So the name might be where the similarities end. (There is another NPC that Sadie’s whole look seems to be based off of. More on that later.)

And here’s the magical class list. Again, most of the teachers on this list do not have sheets.



Remember Ms. Sinclair, the Alteration teacher. We will be seeing more of her later.

Students who are an Initiate or higher and have acceptable grades can participate in the many extracurricular activities the school has. These are:

Softball: Held in the spring; usually plays teams from mundane private schools in the east coast of the US. Their coach is Carl "Wild Cat" Jones, the ghost of a former player in the American Negro League.

Soccer: Held in the fall; plays against both mundane and magical European schools. Their coach is the ghost of a Brazilian soccer star named Domingo Ibanez. He probably gets confused with the saint.

Ariel Expertice:[sic] “Broom Rodeo”. Wakenda Nightwoman, the Elementalism teacher, teaches the flying team, with the headmistress giving some coaching every so often to show off some of the stuff she learned while fighting in World War II.

Spelling Bee: It’s like a spelling bee, except you turn people into things for points. Anansi Batu coaches the team.

Cyber-Zone: The school-sanctioned competitive gaming team. Plays everything from first-person shooters to MMORPGs. Is probably full of the most obnoxious players and sore losers on the planet. Coached by Emily Foster. Yes, that is who you think it is.

Gourmet Group: The cooking club. Competes in competitions throughout Europe. Coached by Ms. Bole.

Choir: Coached by Ms. Diva, who is a gorgon. It’s won awards. That’s it.

Orchestra: Is one of the best youth concert groups in the world. Ms. Diva coaches this along with the ghost of Mozart.

Highbinders: The half-assed Death Eaters youth group. Minerva Stone, who is a Highbinder and wrote the Mysticism textbook from the core, sponsors it.

Witches Helping Against Malice (W.H.A.M.) Created in response to the witch supremacist group that’s allowed on campus by Emily Foster. Fun Fact: The name of this group comes from one of the OWG comics. In it, Janette and the girls try to set a group of mundanes who have been captured to be used as subjects for an Alteration class free. Janette eventually comes to the conclusion that a lot of the humans getting captured are annoying and not worth the effort.



Hex Scouts: The Girl Scouts with less cookies and more crimes against humanity. Helena, despite not being a staff member, is the “Hex Mother” for the school’s troop.

Godmother’s Guild: For aspiring godmothers, which is apparently an ancient tradition among witches. Sunshine Moonglow, who is a part-time godmother, sponsors the group. There's an unfinished comic about the girls being roped into the club. It goes just as well as you'd expect.



Daughters of Secrets: A group of students that spends its time researching ancient witches, magic, and magic sites. Sadie South is their sponsor.

Cryptozoology Rescue Team: A group for learning how to care for and preserve magical creatures. Sponsored by Artemis Olympia, the Cryptozoology teacher.

Mishaps and Misuse Mechanics: AKA “Triple M”. This is the training branch of an elite organization put together by the Witches World Council that takes care of all of the bigger Masquerade breaches. (Some notable incidents include the time the Queen of England was turned into a rabbit and when some rear end in a top hat shrunk New York City, put it in a jar, and toured Europe with it.) Ms. Frost and Ms. Juarez sponsor this along with the student’s trainers, presumably.

That’s all for now. Have some pictures.






(I really don’t like this art style. It makes everyone look like they’re 6.)

Next: The school’s grounds, history, and whatever else. There are no proper chapters in this book.

Adnachiel fucked around with this message at 22:55 on Mar 30, 2016

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Wait so what exactly is WHAM?

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Alien Rope Burn posted:

Well, one thing about Mage is that was always at heart a Thelemic game (hence the "k" in magick); that is is, the teachings of Aleister Crowley, at least at heart. But it had other things layered over it that obscured that some, and M20 kind of pulls the dust jacket away and Brucato just no longer cares to even try and give any nods towards other belief systems like earlier editions did to broaden its scope, presumably.

Mind, basing your game around the teachings around somebody who may as well have been the L. Ron Hubbard of his day save for a greater share of vices and -isms, might not hold up over time. Thelema is - and I'm sorry if I offend anybody, but I think this is historically frank truth - a bunch of bullshit wound out by a racist, abusive con man who never saw a grift or a power grab he didn't like. It's a bunch of platitudes and rituals without much actual direction, wisdom, or meaning. That isn't to say Crowley can't be inspirational or fascinating, but I wouldn't take life lessons from the guy. Which is what leads to the actual lack of direction in Mage itself, because its core principles are as vague as its inspiration. That's not to say you can't enjoy Mage, I know I have, but you have to be aware that it's a framework for you to lay something meaningful and interesting over. And when you pull the cover off of the framework like M20 does, it starts to look as hollow as Crowley's teachings actually are.
I think that your criticism is valid irrespective of the insults to Crowley, because Mage is actually based upon people who were inspired by derivations from Crowley, and indeed in turn off the pop versions of those aspects of things. The clearest example is probably the Verbena who seem obviously intended to be Wiccans or like, the ancient Real Wiccans, We Mean It, or perhaps generalized neopagans only they didn't have to be neo- about it, etc.

An actual game built upon Crowley's works could probably be pretty fun and would likely resemble a more action-packed version of Ars Magica. (e: meaning his occult philosophies etc. not so much fulminations on kinks or races) I'd actually say UA does it better in a lot of ways.

Speaking of Ars Magica, I'd say in an ideal world all of the Traditions would have had different systems which engaged in magick in different ways, with some obvious conceptual similarities but different divisions. The Hermetics would have probably just had the Hermetic system from AM, and from there it's mostly a question of what mixture of "cultural appropriation," "thematic imaginary stuff," and "shared concepts" do you want to have? The end result, though perhaps after like six or seven splatbooks, would have been a bunch of genuinely different magical paradigms even if they were all approximately equal in terms of their limits and overall potential.

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012


Hostile V posted:

Wait so what exactly is WHAM?

From the core writeup:

quote:

Witches Helping Against Malice (WHAM) - The newest group on this list and the polar opposite of the Highbinders. These witches think that mundanes should be treated as equals and go around undoing the damage that other witches cause. They are allies with the Godmother's Guild and "the nicer Lilians" and the Highbinders and Shadow Spells hate them, natch. Members get a +1 bonus to detect and undo evil spells.

Either it went global or it's just the school's branch. Who knows.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Rand Brittain posted:

Well, I mean, it's not like the guy never did anything good. He was behind Guide to the Technocracy, and I don't think any of the complaints listed about M20 would apply to that.

So is Guide to the Technocracy the outlier or is Changing Breeds? I mean, I'm pretty willing to stand by my assertion based on what I've seen of the guy's work here and elsewhere. Maybe he magically managed to write something that wasn't really dumb at best, actively repugnant at worst, but if so it seems more like a happy accident than some deliberate application of skill.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Hostile V posted:

Wait so what exactly is WHAM?



Kai Tave posted:

So is Guide to the Technocracy the outlier or is Changing Breeds? I mean, I'm pretty willing to stand by my assertion based on what I've seen of the guy's work here and elsewhere. Maybe he magically managed to write something that wasn't really dumb at best, actively repugnant at worst, but if so it seems more like a happy accident than some deliberate application of skill.
Well people can have different sorts of works... maybe he was feeling better when he did Technocracy, or maybe it didn't set off his rants, or maybe there were other writers involved, or a better editor, or perhaps we all just have warm fuzzies over what was actually a Bad Book.

Lynx Winters
May 1, 2003

Borderlawns: The Treehouse of Pandora

Hostile V posted:

Wait so what exactly is WHAM?

It's everything she wants, and everything she needs.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Nessus posted:


Well people can have different sorts of works... maybe he was feeling better when he did Technocracy, or maybe it didn't set off his rants, or maybe there were other writers involved, or a better editor, or perhaps we all just have warm fuzzies over what was actually a Bad Book.

I'm not really well-versed in Mage so you'll need to help me out, was Guide to the Technocracy the book that started the whole "maybe the monolithic secret world order of men in black that like to lobotomize 'reality deviants' and send Terminator cyborgs to kill people aren't, y'know, that bad?" thing which characterized Yet Another Mage Fandom Schism?

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Kai Tave posted:

I'm not really well-versed in Mage so you'll need to help me out, was Guide to the Technocracy the book that started the whole "maybe the monolithic secret world order of men in black that like to lobotomize 'reality deviants' and send Terminator cyborgs to kill people aren't, y'know, that bad?" thing which characterized Yet Another Mage Fandom Schism?
I think it had started beforehand. Guide to the Technocracy gave you rules on how to roll up and play Technocrats as a PC group and guidance on how to do same, which of necessity involved a certain degree of face-turning or complexification from "they literally cut pieces out of their brains so they don't dream and risk the intrusion of the glamourous touch of Dynamism in their static brains."

I imagine the ROOT of the dilemma is that large swaths of the people reading Mage were also euphoric, because they were liberated, not by the touch of some ancient "avatar," but by their own Genius. This, plus the Traditions occasionally being violently retrograde (I remember metafiction specifically cursing Copernicus for loving up the gigs the Traditions had going on) were likely sufficient seed and soil for the Technocracy Did Nothing Wrong sprout to bloom. I do remember GttT leaned heavily on sources like "Men in Black" (the Smith/Jones film that is) as suggestions for inspirational tone too, which was probably a better angle for being a grim-faced nondescript federal agent than, you know, "Nazi Germany."

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Guide to the Technocracy is a not-very-subtle parody about how the Union are the real heroes. It wasn't written by people who bought into that view, although somehow a lot of readers missed it.

(It really isn't subtle at all.)

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





I suspect they did not produce a fancy hardbound book purely as an intellectual jape on their silly fans, though of course we are talking about White Wolf, so that's less implausible than usual.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

If we're going to start suggesting that every ridiculous World of Darkness book White Wolf made was actually intended to be some sort of insincere parody that fans were just too stupid to get then the entire line pretty much falls apart right there and then.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


"Oh, it was just a parody." says White Wolf, as they produce Pimp: The Backhanding...

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Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

No you see, WoD Gypsies was actually a clever deconstruction of the magical gypsy trope and

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