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Mage: The Awakening VSS

Venue Style Sheet for Armidale's Awakening game

This guide works in conjunction with the domain style sheet located HERE

Administration Information

1: Venue: Mage: the Awakening, Domain: Parskeue to Alpha Phaoes, Domain Number: AUD-14, Name: The Frozen Tapestry, Venue Number: UNSPECIFIED.

2: VST & VC Names and membership numbers (Can be altered at Mid approval) Samuel Holland AU2013030007 – Kris Le Mottee AU2012030007 -

3: Game Location, Time and Fees (Can be altered at Mid approval).

UNE Education building from 12pm.

All Games in the Armidale Domain are free.

With 72 hours notice the game may be started as early as 10AM in order to be more accommodating to visiting players.

4: Mailing lists, websites and other online resources used OOC Armidale (Email list)

Game Information

1: Genre Mage: The Awakening

2: Setting (No more than three paragraphs) The floor beneath the bottom floor of the UNE library contains the secret meeting place for the Mages of Armidale for the last 43 years, when the mages collectively decided to create a formal meeting place. All that ended eight months ago when all the mages of the city mysteriously vanished and are slowly determining the truth: that all of the mages in the city were wiped out in one of two disasters, an abyssal mirror that sucked in the unwary and a magical pathogen that feeds off magic and zombifies corpses. It is up to the players to discover the links between these events and piece together how and why the previous concillium fell met their fates.

The Library is a common ground for all mages, accessible 24h a day though either a mystic symbol at the bottom of the library stairs or through another one in an external wall. Knowledge of the external entrance is not generally well known, especially to new arrivals. Certain previously ‘trusted’ supernatural creatures have on VERY rare occasions, been given access to the library.

Due to the sudden departure of the Mages, the new mages find themselves in somewhat of a power vacuum, with all concillium positions and resources to be allocated and distributed by relatively junior mages. It is essentially up to the players to determine the structure they want in the Concillium, the consequences of their choices will be reflected in the chronicle.

3: Theme(s) (Listed and described)

1 (Never Present) to 5 (Always Present)

Style of Play Description Rating
Mystery Everything happens for a reason, especially with the magician's third eye to unlock the secrets of reality. 5
Danger Threats from all sides. Foes strike at you through a dozen intermediaries. Who will be next to die? 4
Horror It should not be. You mind refuses to grasp the very concept. 3
Hubris There is nothing you cannot do. You can rewrite reality. You are almost a god. 3
Compromise You can't win every fight, better figure out what you can afford to lose instead. 3
Lies Smoke and mirrors, misdirection and untruths. Your senses fail you, your mind rewritten. What is truth? 3
Wonder The terrible beauty of supernature pushes mages towards ascension. 2

Mystery 5 The world is full of things that are simply not known. Other things are known, but hidden behind conspiracies and misinformation. The world throws curved balls at those with the ability to see them that will knock them for six for months. Some will rock the foundations of the world, but most will seem odd till the players unravel the big picture from months of tid-bits and hard work that shatters their perceptions as much as an awakening and will change them for ever. Current plot threads will be updated on the Wiki to help players each arc out.

Danger 4 The enemy are at the gates, everyone is under threat, how can you survive the night? Players should get used to the threat of danger, the possibility of violence arising from multiple sources with little-no warning. For example, the Order of Reason cabal may choose to shoot you in broad daylight for doing vulgar magic in public. As soon as you leave the city of Armidale and head into the bush, you can expect to be in danger of attack or subversion by other creatures. Danger will always be present even if you are not physically harmed. Your assets, loved ones, holdings or other interests will often be under threat of something bad happening – and bad things WILL happen if you just sit there and do nothing! It is entirely upon the players to diffuse any situation and nullify a threat before it escalates out of control.

Horror 3 Even the most mundane of things can become truly horrifying. The supernatural intrudes into the mundane and makes the lines between fantasy and reality blur: You came away from that encounter with the zombies unscathed, you explored the strange cave inside the mine. And now you have no memory of certain household objects ever existing in your home, things that you KNOW you must have used. Horror singles you out, makes it personal. You might be able to warp reality, but can you trust your own perception of it? The aftermath of any supernatural encounter may have either psychological or supernatural consequences for any potentially any mage. The mage in question may never know which is which…

Mages, being fundamentally human, are forced to take resolve + composure rolls with a possible penalty based on the severity of the trauma. Failure on this roll results in a temporary derangement for the scene, though a WP may be spend to avoid this outcome.

Hubris 3 Paradox, poor life choices and other things cause mages to move closer to the Abyss, but because of the nature of Hubris, not all these things will be made readily apparent to the player. The Storyteller will judge your level of Hubris and narrate your experience based on that as appropriate. This will distort how a scene is described, with particular details empathised or downplayed depending on the levels of hubris of the mages. It might be as a simple as “You (mage with low Wisdom) notice feature X in particular.”

Compromise 3 Life is about compromises, even more so when magical war can strike you down from anywhere at a moment’s notice. Mages are still human and few in number, they can’t afford open conflict with all the other pissed off creatures that stalk the night. You will have to make decisions on when to stay strong, bend, or break most games. Black and white decisions quickly fade into a muddy grey as consequences are revealed and choices are revisited. There is almost never one single solution to a problem, particularly with the opportunities provided by Supernal magic, but compromise is always present, whether it’s avoiding vampire feeding grounds or agreeing to work with a rival in the concillium to banish an ancient evil, compromise is ever present.

Lies 3 Information can be controlled, warped, lost. How can you tell what is true when everyone can lie so well? Lies aren’t just spoken, there are disguises, fake auras, supernatural enhancement of the wits, befuddlement and rewriting of memories. It takes research, dedication, investigations, allies, magic and a bit of luck to the truth sometimes, to see through the lies, to unravel the conspiracy they don’t want you to know about.

Wonder 2 Sometimes the world is just damn beautiful, for all its deadliness. This is mostly a flavour detail for the game that will only rarely affect the outcome. The deadly and the weird have their own rules and laws that can astonish even mages.

4: Mood (Listed and described)

Tension – things are bad and can always get worse. The last lot of mages were all killed. Are we next?

Paranoia – The main antagonists are ALWAYS watching through security cameras or other electronic surveillance. They will shoot you and make war on the survivors. And can you trust the mage next to you? The concillium is new, and your colleagues could be from anywhere.

Power – Power is here for the taking for those that can hold on to it.

5: Preferred character types, and restrictions (Examples of the exemplar)

Characters may be from any Atlantean order, or may have no affiliations with an order as long as they support the worldview of the orders of the Pentacle. Seers of the Throne or other orders are not allowed. Historically the Armidale Concillium is supportive of Mages that do not have an Order, as long as they actively contribute towards the smooth running of the Concillium itself.

Because of the nature of the ‘sudden’ silent demise of the Armidale Concillium over a two-and-a-half month period (December 2012 - January 2013) and the (as yet unrevealed) events leading up to it, no player character can have been resident in Armidale over from July 2012-January 2013.

Exemplar character: James “Silhouette” Archer Silhoutte Awakened in the Armidale concillium while attending an engineering course at UNE, but returned to Parrmatta, Sydney, where he grew up, to better adapt to the life changes that come with awakening. After learning about the mysterious disappearance of the Mages who helped him through his first days of Awakening, Silhoutte felt compelled to return to Armidale, meet up with some old contacts, and maybe figure out what is going on. If he can take advantage of the power vacuum and get some quick advancement, then so much the better.

The Adamantine Arrow supplement has a number of spells that are not compatible with the precedents set for arcana use in the majority of other supplements and as such, any spell in the supplement is subject to low approval for players.

6: Location of Venue history information (Histories should be in a separate document)

The recent history of the Armidale concillium has currently been lost – the historian has been killed. Significant events of the Armidale concillium will slowly be revealed as the Chronicle progresses. There are hidden events that occurred in the past that have been omitted or removed from the official histories. Players are encouraged to delve into the true history of the region to obtain new insights, powers or other benefits.

7: Transport In/Out Information (threats, methods etc)

Space magic may be employed in most of Armidale except near the power plant, where spells go awry and Mages entering a portal may never exit out the other side.

There are a number of mundane travel methods also available:

Air Travel: Flights originating from outside Armidale will ordinarily land at Morningstar Field Airport. There is however a small private airport shared by Sumarez and Moore Park

Road Travel: With multiple roads and approaches into and out of Armidale, road is the travel method of choice for those wishing to be more circumspect. Even so, roads do leave some predictability in travel, and it is not completely unheard of for the occupants of a lone car to vanish without trace once it leaves the comforting lights of the city.

Rail Travel: The All-Stops, Sydney to Brisbane train, does overnight in Armidale. However there is also a non-stop express.


1: Experience Awards

Attendance XP: (Max 5/ Game) Core Game (Armidale Court): 3 XP Mention during "Circle of Love": +1 XP This is usually due to Exceptional Costuming, RP, or Contribution Winner (most mentions) "Circle of Love": A further +1 XP The ST may nominate one or more players for particularly memorable RP sessions for a bonus of +1xp

Between Game XP: All at ST discretion. (Max 5/Month Total) +1-2 Attendance at a documented Support Game (Scheduled Scenes, RTRs, etc) +1-2 Character Detailed Downtime/Game Summary/Live Journal Entry +1-2 Special Character Write-up/Story/Plot/IC Media Release

Additional Awards: At ST discretion. (Max 8/Award) In exceptional circumstances the VST may award bonus XP to players. This may be due to exceptional role playing or the completion an important story arch. This can provide a maximum, per award, of 8xp at ST discretion. As with all awards, this cannot exceed the Incremental Maximum.

2: Custom Rules Paradigm – each player is expected to be able to describe, upon request, how they cast a given magical spell – not just the intended effects, but they method they use to achieve it. Examples might include drawing a seal of Solomon to summon or bind a spirit of the Shadow, or using a circle of salt and an incarnation to an ancient deity to achieve the same effect. At the ST’s discretion a good description may warrant a bonus to the spell being cast or a reduction in paradox (from one to three dots of bonus dice or paradox pool penalty). These bonuses can apply once per session/day of game time.

Mastery of Arcana - Players starting with Mastery of one or more arcana need to provide details on how they obtained this level of skill, including details such as who they trained with or how they obtained study material. As such this is a low approval item. Characters obtaining mastery though play must spend a minimum of two downtimes to obtain mastery, one to obtain study materials/tuition and a second action to assimilate and practice.

Antagonists - The Seers of the Throne faction is not a major antagonist in the Armidale setting. A major victory by the concillium in the past followed by the Age of Reason antagonist faction moving in has largely removed any niche the Seers might occupy. Of course there’s no telling when they’ll try and move back in…

3: Downtime Handling Procedure

Downtime is split into PvP and PvE actions to allow the ST to deal with them in good time. Mages may spend a single downtime action to obtain information from multiple arcane rituals towards the same end. E.g. Silhoutte casts three Time rituals over the course of week, determining the time line of a series of murders on the main street.

PvP actions Actions that affect other players (PvP) need to be submitted seven days after the game to allow time to get a response from the players affected. You may expect a response within two weeks of submission.

PvE actions Other actions that only affect your own character or NPCs may be submitted up to three weeks after the game and may be dealt with before the game (for actions such as research or ritual casting).

Regaining mana Mana is recorded by the ST, and must be regained between session in a number of ways

Prime – Mana may be gained equal to the dots in this arcana Animal sacrifice – no limit on mana gained this way Hallow Merit – X points per merit dot may be gained over downtime Pattern scourging – a mage may elect to take a point of resistant lethal damage to regain 3 points of mana. A mage may tell the ST that he is using this method to regain mana regularly, but will have a level of resistant lethal damage at the start of the chapter Attribute burning – Every 24h (or more often at higher gnosis, see core book), a mage may elect to lose a dot of a physical attribute, losing a dice from all associated pool but not derived statistics such as speed, health or initiative.

4: Crossover limitations (Physical, merit-only, information, firewalled/none) and expectations. (NB: all crossover requires both Mid Approval and the approval of the appropriate VST) The Armidale setting has been written with crossovers in mind and any/all sorts of crossover may be possible in collaboration with the rest of the inter-genre ST team. The ST team are developing a mechanic where representative of each genre can meet other representatives (feature in development).


1: Information for New Folks (new to Cam) Mage is a complex game. Don’t be afraid to ask for help on what you can do. There are spell supplements for every Arcana to help you figure it out. Don’t be afraid to steal them for the session!

2: Information for External Folks (from other Domains) As the mystery surrounding the Concillium and the entries to the Library are not well known, it is suggested that new players or travelling ask about on the National email lists for information on the Mages in Armidale if they have not established ties beforehand. Otherwise there are some entities about who can be summoned that will be able to give you an introduction to the game, but beware the price or the ulterior motives behind their information. Please also be aware that, with regards to magic, this setting will use tabletop rules in preference to the MET versions in addition to the global Mage addendum. Armidale Mage Plot Tracker is the official way to keep up with all Armidale Mage Plots. Read it before game!