Character Creation

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If interested please reach out to Rob to gain a fillable character sheet pdf and discuss book options.

Please note for those familiar with the World of Darkness or Mage: The Awakening that the 2.0 rules are slightly changed. For example, paradox isn’t as prevalent but still possible. Accordingly, character creation has changed as well.

The Character Creation Quick Reference begins on page 82 of the Mage the Awakening 2.0 book.

Step One: Concept

  • Create a two word or small phrase concept for your character idea.
    • “Puckish rogue” “celebrated author” etc.
  • Note if you wish to start as an established mage or just Awakening.
    • If you wish to be able to call in favors amongst Awakened society, have connections there, Awakened political clout, etc. you likely want to be an established mage.
    • Before game begins you will work privately with Rob on your history, your Awakening (in the past or current), etc.
  • Note three aspirations or goals for your character: two short-term and one long-term
    • They might be goals you set but that your character doesn’t personally have.
    • Ex. “see my character lose a friend”

Step Two: Attributes

  • All attributes start at 1 dot. Prioritize the three categories: Physical, Social, Mental. (5/4/3) 5 points to primary, 4 to secondary, 3 to tertiary.
  • No attribute can go above 5.
  • Attributes are detailed on page 207 of the Mage the Awakening 2.0 book.

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Step Three: Skills

  • Prioritize the three categories: Mental, Physical, Social. (11/7/4) As above, spend points. No skill may be above 5 at start.
  • A skill with more than 3 dots will need justification and must fit prominently into your history. However, consider how any skill dots fit into your character concept.
    • Below you will get a free dot in the Occult skill.
  • Skills are detailed on page 208 of the Mage the Awakening 2.0 book.

Step Four: Skill Specialties

  • Also, choose 3 skill specialties. A specialty will grant you an extra die in that case.
  • For example: Athletic 2 (climbing). You’d roll three dice for athletics if you were climbing instead of two.

Step Five: Supernatural Template (Mage)

  • Choose a Path
    • Acanthus, Mastigos, Moros, Obrimos, or Thyrsus
    • They are detailed on page 19 of the Mage the Awakening 2.0 book
  • Choose an Order
    • Orders of the Pentacle only: Adamantine Arrow, Guardians of the Veil, Mysterium, Silver Ladder, Free Council
      • They are detailed starting on page 39 of the Mage the Awakening 2.0 book
    • Note your rote skills
      • When casting a Rote (well-practiced) Spell with a Rote Skill you add one die to the roll.
    • See page 82 of the Mage the Awakening Book
    • This will grant you a free merit dot in the relevant Order Status, a dot of Occult skill, and the High Speech merit.

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  • Determine your Nimbus
    • Your path should flavor your Nimbus. “Remember that a Nimbus is subtle for characters with a starting level (single dot) of Gnosis.”
    • See page 89 of the Mage the Awakening 2.0 book.
  • Determine your Dedicated Magical Tool
    • Your Path and Order determine options
    • See page 121 of the Mage the Awakening Book
  • Determine your starting Arcana
    • You start with 6 total dots in Arcana
    • Only one may start at 3 and none may be above 3 unless your Gnosis is 3 or higher.
      • If you start with Gnosis 3,, you can have one Ruling Arcanum at 4 and others can be to a max of 3.
    • 3-5 of the dots must be in Ruling Arcana based on your Path and both must have at least one dot
    • No starting dots can go to your Inferior Arcana
      • Though if you use Freebie points, you can invest in it
    • I.e. if an Obrimos then Forces and Prime must both have 1 dot and you have to spend at least 3 dots total between the two
    • It is in your best interest to invest character creation dots for a starting Arcana at 3 due to experience costs later on.
    • Arcana (and example effects and rote details) begin with Death on page 128 of the Mage the Awakening 2.0 book.
  • Determine Rotes
    • Your character begins with three rotes, three well-practiced spell effects. This allows you to have a greater dice pool by adding a specific skill to the dice roll of the spell.
    • Starting rotes should use a “suggested skill” from that description in the book. Other rotes can be found/developed later.
    • If the Rote uses one of your Order’s Rote Skills you get +1 dice to the roll.
  • Gnosis
    • “Have you ever been the expert in a room full of opinionated but uninformed people? Think about the feeling you get when they speak intellectual falsehoods, and others agree. Think About the feeling you get when you voice is shouted down by the raw numbers of other voices. Then, think about the feeling you get when your voice begins to click and resonate with the audience, and you feel you can make a change, to inform, to enlighten. Multiple those feelings one-hundredfold, and you have an idea of what Gnosis is.”
    • This is your core magical stat. It starts at 1 and can not be raised above 3 during character creation.
    • If you want to have refined your soul and understanding or be a magical prodigy you will want to spend merit or freebie points on Gnosis.
  • Mana
    • Your mana is full to the maximum allowed by your Gnosis.
  • Obsessions
    • These are like long-term Aspirations but grant Arcane Beats and Mana when you resolve/progress along them. They should be magically influenced.
    • Gnosis 1 and 2: you may have one Obsession
    • Gnosis 3: you may have two Obsessions
    • Ex. “I want to find the lost city of Atlantis.” a very common Obsession for Awakened
  • Praxes
    • A praxis is a spell that you are well-trained in and/or have special talent/insight with. It’s not uncommon to choose a Rote Spell as a Praxis. With a praxis you get an exception success with 3 rolled success instead of 5.
    • You start with one free Praxis per dot of Gnosis so be sure to come back and choose others if you increase your Gnosis later!
  • Resistance Attributes
    • Mages are resilient in a supernatural fashion.
    • Choose a free dot to be placed in Composure, Resolve, or Stamina. It can not raise it above 5 dots.

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Step Six: Merits

  • Spend 10 points in Merits. Supernatural merits are detailed starting on page 99 and general on page 104 of the Mage the Awakening 2.0 book. Additional merits can be found on page 44 of the Chronicles of Darkness book.
    • While a recently Awakened character may have more mundane Allies or Contacts, it’s possible for a well-experienced mage to have such. It’s up to the character and history you want!
    • Recall that being a member of an Order grants you a free merit dot in the relevant Order Status and the High Speech merit.
  • For five merit points you may increase your Gnosis to 2. For all ten merit points you may increase your Gnosis to 3!

New Merit: Cartomancer

  • (• to •••) Prerequisites: Awakened, Occult Specialty — Tarot, Wits •••
  • Effects: A cartomancer is never without a Tarot deck. In the myriad possibilities of the Tarot lies true magical power and a way to make Awakened magic fit a bit more seamlessly into the Fallen World. A mage can become a cartomancer without training by another mage, but must still fulfill the perquisites.
  • The Cartomancer Merit is progressive. Each dot is a prerequisite for the next dot. So your character cannot have the “Interpretive Draw” ability unless she first has the “Divinatory Eye” ability.
  • • Divinatory Eye: This level of the Merit represents basic familiarity with the Tarot. with respect to Awakened magic. This has two effects. First, the character gains a +2 to all attempts at divination, including spells that attempt to see the future or uses of the Dream Merit, if she uses a Tarot deck in the attempt. Second, the character can dedicate a Tarot deck as a magical tool. She can also dedicate individual cards as Arcana tools, but she needs a way to find a particular card quickly in a crisis situation if this is to be of much help.
  • •• Interpretative Draw: Before casting a spell, the character draws one card from her Tarot deck. Depending on what the card is, it can help her cast the spell or warn her against it. The system for this can either be a dice roll or a literal random draw from a Tarot deck.
    • If you choose to use a random draw from a deck, the Storyteller and the player must interpret the card in relation to the spell being cast and the situation at hand. If the card indicates that the casting is favorable, apply the bonus as described below under “Success.” If the card is something extremely favorable, the Storyteller may deem it an exceptional success. But by the same token, if the draw indicates something truly disastrous, the character suffers a failure or a dramatic failure.
    • The dice pool, should you choose to use that system, is Wits + Occult. Drawing and interpreting the card is an instant action, meaning that the character casts the spell on the following turn.
    • Roll Results
      • Dramatic Failure: The spell is the wrong choice for the situation. If the mage chooses to cast it, the player rolls a chance die. A dramatic failure on this roll is treated as a Havoc Paradox, whether or not the spell was vulgar in aspect.
      • Failure: The spell isn’t the best choice, but it might work. Apply a -2 to the character’s casting attempt if she chooses to go through with it.
      • Success: The spell is a good choice given the situation. Apply a +2 to the character’s attempt. If the character has the High Speech Merit and chooses to spend the next turn chanting, this bonus stacks with the High Speech bonus for a total of +4.
      • Exceptional Success: The spell is exactly appropriate for the circumstance. The player receives a 9-again bonus on the casting roll.
  • ••• Instinctive Draw: The character can now use the Interpretative Draw ability as a reflexive action, meaning that she can draw, interpret and cast in the same turn. Alternately, the character can draw, interpret and then chant in High Speech, thus gaining the High Speech Merit along with the bonus from this Merit (if any) on the following turn. Although the mage does not have to cast the spell if the draw isn’t favorable, the mage can only make one draw per spell, even if the draw is a reflexive action.

Step Seven: Advantages

Remember to review these again after doing Freebie Points

  • Size = 5 for adult human-sized creature
  • Health = Stamina + Size (5)
  • Willpower = Resolve + Composure
  • Defense = (Lowest of Dexterity or Wits) + Athletics
  • Initiative = Dexterity + Composure
  • Speed = Strength + Dexterity + 5
  • Mana = full to max based on Gnosis
  • Wisdom = 7
  • Vice and Virtue
    • You should have determined these earlier but verify now
    • Through your vice and virtue you can regain willpower…

Step Eight: Freebie Points

  • Spend 15 “freebie” points with the following values.
  • Attribute: 5 per dot
  • Skill: 2 per dot
  • Skill Specialty: 1 for one
  • Gnosis: 5 per dot
    • Max 3 at start
  • Arcana: 7 per dot
  • Merits: 1 per dot
  • Rotes: 2 per dot
  • Wisdom: 1 per dot
  • Willpower: 1 per dot

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Flaws

Additionally, you may gain freebie points by taking 1 flaw.

  • Conditional Magic (1-3 pt. flaw): There is a condition set to the functionality of your magical effects; they may work worse depending on certain circumstances, e.g. time of day, who you’re doing the magic on, etc. Difficulties may be raised by as much as 3 according to the circumstance; the degree of the flaw depends upon how rare or common the circumstance is.
  • Echoes (1-5 pt. Flaw): Your supernaturalness affects the world around you; for example, if you are a “witch” milk sours in your presence or you cannot walk on hallowed ground. Severity of the flaw depends on how severe–and noticeable–the echoes are.
  • Fractured Soul (7 pt. Flaw): Maybe by someone’s actions or maybe by accident your soul has been fractured. Choose one dedicated magical tool, likely your first tool. It contains a piece of your fractured soul you managed to hold onto through mental imago.
    • You need this tool with you to cast magic otherwise your Gnosis is treated as 1 less.
    • If it is destroyed you treat your Gnosis as 2 less. If this would result in a Gnosis of 0 then your magic is unreliable requiring at least two successes for the effect to work. If it results in a Gnosis of -1 or less then all spells run a risk of paradox. When you refashion the dedicated tool your Gnosis is only penalized by 1 until the month long resonance work has been completed.
  • Arcana Inept (5 pt. Flaw): Choose one of your Ruling Arcana. You struggle to learn and master this magic. You roll 1 less die when casting spells of this Arcana. Also you must spend 25% more experience to improve it. You may buy off this flaw with experience like a Merit.
  • Weirdness (1-3 pt. flaw): One of your Arcana has an unsettling effect attached to it: perhaps you broadcast random thoughts when using Mind or always create temperature fluctuations all others always feel when using Forces. This is an expansion to the Nimbus. The severity of the weirdness determines the value of this flaw.

Attainments

There are some magical abilities all mages learn as their development with certain Arcana increases. “Attainments are magical effects, similar to spells but not subject to the same rules They allow a mage to employ meta-magical effects in order to improve the efficacy of her Arcana and change the world around her in a lasting ways.”

The first dot in an Arcanum allows one to Counterspell within that Arcanum. One attainment at 2 dots allows for Mage Armor effects but there are specific Arcanum attainments as well. Other attainments exist at higher ratings and vary by that Arcanum.

Find more information about these attainments starting on page 192 of the Mage the Awakening 2.0 book.

Contact Rob

  • Contact Rob with your concept, sheet, and ideas for character and history.
    • Please ensure the email subject starts with: [Arcane Providence]
  • Later we’ll make characters on the wiki but hold off on doing so until AFTER all is approved.
  • Following all information from all players, an Addendum/Updated copy of this information will go out.
    • We’ll then make characters on the wiki.
    • Each player will also get some private, privileged information.

Character Creation

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