Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-27-2017, 10:39 AM   #1
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default M:tA chantries

As I move toward the first session of my Mage campaign, I find one other area where I'm not quite sure how to proceed: Nearly all the player characters have put at least one dot in Chantry—the current total is 6 dots for 5 PCs. I'm not sure how to apply that.

I have Mage 2nd, which doesn't discuss this at all; the Book of Shadows, which mainly refers the reader to a design system in the Book of Chantries, which I no longer have; and the 20th anniversary edition, which explicitly allows PCs to pool their Chantry points, but doesn't give a detailed construction system. However, both the latter two specify that a bare minimal Chantry costs 10-20 points, which is really a huge expense for a single cabal with half a dozen members.

So what does a Chantry provide?

A starting step is to eliminate things that are bought as other backgrounds. You don't get a collection of books; that's bought separately as Library. You don't get a resident instructor; that's bought separately as Mentor. You don't get a source of Quintessence; that's bought separately as Node. You don't get magical concealment; that's bought separately as Sanctum. You don't get magical supplies; that's also bought separately as Sanctum. And Sanctum also includes reality being adjusted so that your particular style of magic is coincidental, so you don't get that—nor would it be easy to make sense of with adherents of at least three different Traditions in residence.

It does seem as if a Chantry ought to give you access to a physical space where you can meet, and do magic. It might also be a place to live, though not all of the examples support this. I don't think it should give you actual Resources, as that's also a separate background, but how much of a space you get might be proportionate to what you get for Resources: space comparable (in this case) to one upper middle class household plus lodgings for three working class people—but without investments, savings, or a steady source of income.

Most of the PCs also have one or more points in Node. In particular, a couple of them have skill in raising plants, which suggests that there may be a garden, and that would be appropriate if their Chantry were a house in a modestly pleasant neighborhood—not in the slums, and not in the intensely urbanized heart of the city, but someplace with space enough for at least a modest yard. I don't think all the Nodes have to be attached to the Chantry, but it makes some sense for at least one of them to be.

There's a separate Allies advantage, so I don't think that having a Chantry ought to include full on allies: people (or other beings) who are intensely loyal, who may be awakened or otherwise gifted, or who in any case may have high-level abilities. On the other hand, in 1905, running a house of any size at all assumed the labor of servants—at least, a maid of all work to do the general cleaning and help in the kitchen. So it might make sense to say that a Chantry can include some staff (a) of modest abilities who (b) have the ordinary loyalty of employees to their employers. The PCs could choose to keep them out of magical work areas, in the Bluebeard style; I don't know if it would make sense to say that they could claim the servants have seen enough magic so they don't count as witnesses for purposes of Paradox.

It makes better sense for the one Mentor in this group not to be in London, but to be back in the shires; as I've written her up, she's coming up on her century birthday, and has served as a local midwife for as long as anyone can remember, though no one tends to think about how long that's been or look her up in official records—in any case, in proper Verbena style, she has roots in her local community and isn't moving off to the big city. However, she has two dots in Correspondence and can keep up with the PC whose Mentor she is.

In this era, the house could very well not have a telephone, and may not have electricity; some areas of London had gaslight rather than electric light. It would be unusual for it not to have either, and I think it would need to have water and sewer connections. So there's at least a hint of Technocratic ties.

Does all of this seem to make sense in narrative terms, and to be balanced in game terms? Am I on a track that makes any sense, or does it need a different approach?
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2017, 12:56 PM   #2
RogerBW
 
RogerBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: M:tA chantries

Usual disclaimer - I don't speak Mage so I may trample all over setting assumptions.

In 1905 London had finished its explosive growth phase; in 1902 it was about 6.2-6.5 million and topped out at about 7.5 over the next century.

Having a telephone is vanishingly unlikely, though. I haven't been able to find hard numbers, but I think it's about 1-2 telephones per ten people in London, 1 per 10 in the country as a whole. 1905 was the year the National Telephone Company and the Post Office started allowing interoperation (though only between subscribers in the same local area).

I'm not finding any relevant maps at Perry-Castañeda, but the David Rumsey collection at Stanford (davidrumsey.com) has five maps of parts of London in 1901. Somewhere like Fulham is working-class with genteel pockets, and might offer enough space for what you're after. There's some sewerage there, but it's certainly not universal.

If there is electricity, it's locally generated, probably a few streets away at most. Reliability and price vary enormously. So does voltage - every supplier chooses its own! (If you look up catalogues from the period, you'll see that you have to specify your local supply voltage when buying e.g. a wireless set.) It would be quite usual for a house not to have it at all.

The Metropolitan Water Board was created in 1903 and absorbed the private companies that had gone before. I think that if you want mains water you can get it.
RogerBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2017, 01:20 PM   #3
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: M:tA chantries

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
Usual disclaimer - I don't speak Mage so I may trample all over setting assumptions.

In 1905 London had finished its explosive growth phase; in 1902 it was about 6.2-6.5 million and topped out at about 7.5 over the next century.

Having a telephone is vanishingly unlikely, though. I haven't been able to find hard numbers, but I think it's about 1-2 telephones per ten people in London, 1 per 10 in the country as a whole. 1905 was the year the National Telephone Company and the Post Office started allowing interoperation (though only between subscribers in the same local area).

I'm not finding any relevant maps at Perry-Castañeda, but the David Rumsey collection at Stanford (davidrumsey.com) has five maps of parts of London in 1901. Somewhere like Fulham is working-class with genteel pockets, and might offer enough space for what you're after. There's some sewerage there, but it's certainly not universal.

If there is electricity, it's locally generated, probably a few streets away at most. Reliability and price vary enormously. So does voltage - every supplier chooses its own! (If you look up catalogues from the period, you'll see that you have to specify your local supply voltage when buying e.g. a wireless set.) It would be quite usual for a house not to have it at all.

The Metropolitan Water Board was created in 1903 and absorbed the private companies that had gone before. I think that if you want mains water you can get it.
All of that looks good. I had been thinking of somewhere south of the Thames, but an area further west than the West End could work, and might be less built up. A look at Google Maps makes Fulham look fairly green even today; I don't think a house with trees and an herb garden would be ridiculous.

Obviously the Technocracy would be pushing for power and communications grids to be developed!
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2017, 01:00 PM   #4
alexondria
 
alexondria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Atlanta GA
Default Re: M:tA chantries

So I mostly play the second edition revised. From what I remember the way Chantry worked was for every two dots that the players spent they would get one point for the Chantry. So say between all of your players they spent 10 of their points on Chantry then the Chantry would have five points that I could spend on things like Library mentors nodes sanctuaries that kind of thing. Personally I always thought this made it prohibitively expensive for characters and a small group to actually be members of an established Chantry. I mean if you wanted to Chantry to have Say Mentor level 3 Library level 3 and a node level 2 you're already 16 points between the players and that's a fairly modest Chantry.
alexondria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2017, 01:33 PM   #5
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: M:tA chantries

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexondria View Post
So I mostly play the second edition revised. From what I remember the way Chantry worked was for every two dots that the players spent they would get one point for the Chantry. So say between all of your players they spent 10 of their points on Chantry then the Chantry would have five points that I could spend on things like Library mentors nodes sanctuaries that kind of thing. Personally I always thought this made it prohibitively expensive for characters and a small group to actually be members of an established Chantry. I mean if you wanted to Chantry to have Say Mentor level 3 Library level 3 and a node level 2 you're already 16 points between the players and that's a fairly modest Chantry.
I have to say that I seriously disliked 2e/rev. It seemed as if it was taking all the things that made Mage cool and flattening them.

I suppose the idea is that if you spend 1 dot on Chantry, and I spend 1 dot on Chantry, then we can buy one of the other backgrounds and have it be available to our entire Cabal? So if six players each spend one dot, they can each have the benefits of Node 1 and Library 1 and Mentor 1? That does sort of pay off, and pays off more with bigger groups.

But a lot of those things are already available in 2e under the rule that you can pool background points.

And, well, take Node. If I put 1 point into Node I get one Quintessence/week. If you also put 1 point in the Node provides everyone in the Cabal 1 Quintessence/week? The could be, say, 6 Q/week for a typical Cabal size for 2 points. Or if all six put in 1 point, it seems like 3 Q/week for each person, or 18 Q/week, which is pretty insane. And on the other hand, I suppose everyone can use the Node to meditate and recharge up to Avatar level; but I don't see anything in the rules that prevents me from just letting you meditate at my Node anyway.

I think it makes better sense to have things that can be pooled by dealt with outside the rules for Chantry.

Addendum: At this point I'm up to 8 points in Chantry from five of the six players.

So far as physical plant is concerned, I think 1 point in Chantry is like having a room in a roominghouse; 2 is like having a modest house; and 3 is like having an upper middle class house with a servant or two (if you choose—these wouldn't be mages, or sorcerers, or intensely loyal mundanes, all of whom would be Allies, but just ordinary maids and grooms and so on who are there because they get paid). With what the PCs look like, we have three men with rooms (American Indian, Caribbean black, and British Romani); one man with a room and an enclosure for his tame bear (Chinese); and one woman with several rooms and perhaps a maid of all work and/or a groom/driver. All this could fit into a slightly large house, one with an Upstairs and Downstairs and probably an attic room for the maid.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.

Last edited by whswhs; 09-29-2017 at 01:42 PM.
whswhs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2017, 02:30 PM   #6
RogerBW
 
RogerBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: M:tA chantries

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
With what the PCs look like, we have three men with rooms (American Indian, Caribbean black, and British Romani); one man with a room and an enclosure for his tame bear (Chinese); and one woman with several rooms and perhaps a maid of all work and/or a groom/driver. All this could fit into a slightly large house, one with an Upstairs and Downstairs and probably an attic room for the maid.
I suspect the only cover that gives you anything even vaguely approximating respectability is that the woman runs a boarding-house and lets rooms to the others.
RogerBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2017, 03:35 PM   #7
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: M:tA chantries

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
I suspect the only cover that gives you anything even vaguely approximating respectability is that the woman runs a boarding-house and lets rooms to the others.
I kind of think the same. Of course, the character took three dots in the negative background Reputation, but I think that even five dots of that should not result in the police coming in and arresting you. Even so, the neighbors are likely to regard her with suspicion.

Oddly, the very diversity of the male residents might tend to lessen the scandal, because many people would simply not assume that an Englishwoman was sexually involved with a black man, a red Indian, a Chinese, and a Gypsy, particularly when the last is ten years her junior. But there will probably be a lot of "there goes the neighborhood!" Particularly, perhaps, among working class people who thought moving to Fulham was a step toward respectability. . . .
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2017, 04:29 PM   #8
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: M:tA chantries

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
But there will probably be a lot of "there goes the neighborhood!"
To be fair, that's accurate for any neighborhood that has PCs move into it.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2017, 04:37 PM   #9
RogerBW
 
RogerBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: M:tA chantries

What I've found for the time suggests a mostly working-class area with some more respectable pockets. So you might get "this was a nice street until They came along", but they'll probably have their defenders in the area too - especially if they participate in the local life, doing and receiving favours, etc.
RogerBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2017, 11:28 AM   #10
baakyocalder
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sacramento metro, California
Default Re: M:tA chantries

The Chantry system in Mage has always been wonky, even when the Book of Chantries was the rules set used.

I can see Chantry as having two functions not covered by other Backgrounds:

1. Access to other mages who are not mentors but who could provide assistance. These could be Allies or Backup or other backgrounds, but the power of a chantry is based on its membership. So, like being part of a squatter's chantry with a few weak mages is worth little but being part of an ancestral chantry like the one connected to Second World of the Dine, an old Dreamspeaker chantry, is worth a lot.

2. As noted by whwhs, you could also be buying real estate. Since there are merits for Property and Safehouse in Mage 20: Book of Secrets, which are similar to those in the Book of Shadows, real estate isn't a bad thing for chantry to buy. Sanctum, where the mage's paradigm works, might also be part of this background.

As for electrification in London, two books I read during research on the early electric industry could give you some background on electrification in early twentieth century Britain:

Thomas Park Hughes follows a systems approach in Networks of Power.

Alfred Chandler comparatively discusses the growth of electrical equipment firms and thus a little bit on electrification in the U.S., Britain and Germany in his tome Scale and Scope.

Oh, and a boardinghouse in a diverse neighborhood sounds like a great way for a chantry to form in London.
__________________
Currently Running: Mage The Ascension 20th Anniversary.

Waiting For: Car Wars 6e and A GURPS Vehicle Design system or big vehicle book.
baakyocalder is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
mage the ascension

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.