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Old 06-06-2013, 01:20 PM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: L.I., NY
Default Re: Updating/recreating GURPS Mage the Ascension to 4ed

Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
It shouldn't be too much trouble as long as you keep it to a minimum number of variants.

A way to keep the mages limited is through judicious use of labeling what is and is not vulgar magic. How far into the wild they need to go to cast off the technocratic paradigm helps for that ever shrinking sense of freedom. The oldest local mages remember when the nearby forested park at night was enough. Then you needed to hike miles into rough woodlands, and now you can only feel safe in the heart of a mighty rainforest.
That raises one of the questions that anyone has to answer to run Mage, which doesn't really have anything to do with the conversion. How persistent is the dominant paradigm where there are no observers? Does Tradition magic become less vulgar out in the woods? Or do you just avoid the additional penalties for Vulgar with Witnesses?

If you are in the middle of Boston, almost anything outside the Technocratic paradigm would be vulgar. In a remote village in Haiti, where you are surrounded by people who believe in the Loa, a Dreamspeaker would be able to do much more that would be considered coincidental. But what if you are alone on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?

My answer to the questions is that at this point in the World of Darkness there is a 'background' global consensus that is close to the Technocratic paradigm. Most people in the world don't believe in big, significant magic. Some people might buy into astrology, crystals, maybe even mediums who can communicate with the dead, or faith healing. But the average person on the planet is always always skeptical about really flashy 'impossible' things, and allows that it might be a trick, scam or baseless superstition.

It's the active belief of the villagers in Haiti that forces the Technocratic paradigm back. So you might get away with a little more in a remote wilderness with no people around, but it wouldn't be much. You need active believers or a long history of the alternate paradigm being used in the area to switch the local paradigm away from the global dominant paradigm. So if one tradition had been using a spot in the deep woods for rituals for a hundred years, it could have essentially become a sanctum for that tradition and allow its paradigm to be used coincidentally. But a random spot, even in the deepest wilderness, won't help a mage avoid paradox that much.

As to my question about using different optional rules in different realms, I didn't mean just how magick works (vulgar vs. coincidental, etc.), but how the world works, as represented by what optional rules from GURPS are in effect. Maybe PCs could visit one realm where some people are actually mooks and where TV Action Violence rules work, or another where there would be harsh bleeding rules.

I think I may experiment with this a little if I get a chance to run a Mage campaign. See how players react. It might be too confusing and disjointed if overdone, but it could make the experience of being in different realms wildly different and travel between them feel significant.
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