Actual Play – Murphy’s Laws (10/18/2009)

GM: Eric Fattig
Players: Travis, Chrissy, Cameron, Steve, and Sean
System: Mage, The Awakening

Murphy’s Laws:

I hate new mages. They are like prepubescent teenagers on crack. Did they ever see the movie Aladdin? Infinite Cosmic Power – itty bitty living space. That what magic is, you know. Sure, you can do whatever you want, but it comes with a cost and new mages never understand that.

I’ve looked at the estimates, over $450,00 for the primary controller alone that they fried. All tallied up its going to cost millions. And you know what insurance will say about this? Act of God. Act of God my ass, call it an act of stupidity. So Johnson Circuits is going to be behind on their production schedule, which means extra work for me, which means working on my projects is going to be that much harder.

Murphy’s Law #1: That which a new mage can break, he will break.

Yeah, they duped me. They got me out of the office and stole my files. But there were half a dozen of them. When do you ever see that many? Correction, when do you ever see that many actually working together? After the catastrophe, the Garth Brooks wanna be came over and started pestering me, which was annoying and effective. It kept me distracted while another stole a badge off one of my staff and traded it off to the bitch inside.

I would have stopped them too, would have caught on if not for that crazy Russian who claimed to be having a psychotic fit and destroyed one of the security cameras. I had to figure out if the ley line convergence was actually working enough that it affected other mages who weren’t attuned, or if it was just some teenage prank. Of course, I should have known it was the latter.

They are making me look bad, you know that. Willworkers are supposed to have style and finesse, always the right tool for the job. The brought a god damn limo to our place! Ostentatious much? I’m embarrassed. It’s just like when I go out to Aerosmith concerts and see all those old ladies taking their bras off, make me feel dirty just being associated with them.

Murphy’s Law #2: The cookie jar has fingerprints all over it.

I got back and saw the project was still intact but my research was missing. That’s when I put the pieces together and realized what had happened. I was just about to call, when I got that feeling, a numbness in my fingers, the kind that make them feel swollen and awkward even when they aren’t. Those young punks had the gall to scry on me! Don’t they know it’s like reading someone’s diary, or stealing their password, or fondling their mother? It’s a violation and it’s rude.

Murphy’s Law #3: Any lie a woman can tell to you she will.

After scrying didn’t work they tried something novel. A phone call! I was ready to give them a piece of my mind… or take a few choice pieces of theirs, but that bitch made an offer I couldn’t refuse. She told me that she would give me back binder with my research. I have to say, I couldn’t ignore that. And she said she’d give it to me in good faith, whatever that is.

Women are fickle, mages are arrogant. Put that together and… damn, no wonder I haven’t had a date in years. Back t the point. First our meet was at a Pizza place, then she changed her mind and wanted some place fancy. A set up probably so I did due diligence and set it to Sushi Nobu. I’m conformable there and I knew I wouldn’t be taken off guard.

But you know what; it’s damn hard to eat futo maki when there is a bomb threat in the building. Bitch! So we end up going to Barola Grill instead. That place costs half my paycheck for a good meal, but they do have great wine, and Lizardo at the bar always picks a nice one to compliment your food. Back to the point, we have our meet and the whole rat pack shows up. They try to be sly but their resonance gives them away, like shouldering fires amongst the land of the dead.

Vogue and Fisban meet with me and try to play all kinds of games, but it comes down to this. They want to talk to you boss, they want a meeting with the great Oraculis and they say you’ve got a book they want. So, a meeting it is. At the ware house. Can I have Fizban’s jacket when you’re done with them. It’d be a shame to waste a nice jacket.

– Murphy’s Report.

What rocked

We got to place with magics! Seriously, mage is one of those games where it is just fun to do stuff that you shouldn’t have any reason to be able to do normally. Like doing millions of dollars of property damage without anyone knowing.

The irony. You can’t however steal a single security camera without your magic without being sued by Johnson Circuits.

I believe the characters are developing their core issues. For Vogue (Simone) it’s really what identify means. She doesn’t like her old self very much and is trying to separate from that, but it’s hard to give up all that you were for what you think you are. This for her is like going through puberty again.

What could have been improved

The group as a whole lacks good motivation. We’re trying to find this book but still don’t have a strong allegiance to Valeno (Lawrence) or reason to dislike/mistrust/hate Oraculis. I’d like to know that he was behind the terrorist attack on the train, that would fuel us up on some Hatorade.

Actual Play – So Much for the Afterglow (10/4/2009)

GM: Eric Fattig
Players: Cameron, Alec, Travis, Steve, Sean, and Chrissy
System: Mage, The Awakening

This is a song about Susan
Yeah, this is a song about the way things are
This is a song about the scary things
You see from the corner of your eyes
Don’t you wonder why?

– Everclear

Personal note

I think I’ve changed my mind about shadow names. While Sean is very enchanted with having just seen Wicked, there isn’t a reason for Simone (my character) to be. Instead of Elphaba she’s going to be Vogue. It carries with it the notion of change and that is important to her.

I had this fascination with playing a drug dealer, someone who survived by picking off the scraps of society. I thought I would like it but I don’t. It leaves me feeling too callous, which I don’t like. I’m fine with playing really messed up individuals but I want them to believe in what they are doing, not just do it because they can.

Back to the game

Our session started with a lot of mechanical bits. In fact the session was really Character Creation 2.0. Travis had a lot of questions about how the game works and how Arcanum work and how rotes work and… He had a lot of questions. I think they were very good ones to ask as many of the players are unfamiliar with Mage

After the questions we played two brief scenes of meeting Lawrence again (not Octavious as I thought he might be) during the FBI debriefing and then Later in his tallow museum workshop where he told us a brief history of mages and the supernal realms. Next he asked that we help him find this Octavious and get the Codex he had. Apparently it was previously safely kept by some vampires who, although dangerous, didn’t have the understanding to do anything with the Codex. Now that a mage has it, in this case a bad mage, it’s bad news unless the scooby gang can stop him.

What rocked

There was a ton of information that needed to be conveyed and I think between Travis’ questions and Fattig’s exposition, most of it came out.

Though my character knocked it somewhat, I dug the tallow museum. Very nice touch.

What could be improved

There wasn’t much “game” in our session. It was a lot of character creation stuff, which makes it hard to actually get rolling.

Our characters live in a vacuum. The only NPC we know that we have access to is Lawrence, which makes external motivation tough. If our characters have personal investment in “doing the right thing” I think we’d be better off but most of us are more interested in our own lives than in a book (except maybe Mulder). I think we need some external carrots. My suggestion to Fattig was membership in an order (or even the promise from Lawrence that he’d recommend us into an order), or the offer of being granted a sanctum or some of the other things that most Mage characters start out with but can be used in game as bait.

The system lacks a good way for player character’s to oppose each other without cutting the other down. In game one character is a pacifist (the player reasoning that if there was one game where a pacifist character would work, it would be Mage) but there is no good method for him to prevent people from doing violence, short of you know, doing violence to them, which doesn’t make you much of a pacifist. I think we’re going to work on some kind of opposed roll with the stakes set in advance for these conflicts in the future.

Actual Play – Mage (7/2/2007)

GM: Sean Nittner
System: Mage

Yay for a fun Mage game Monday night.

Things went slower than I had hoped (as always). The Cabal learned of a Magath, or a spirit gone wrong living under the Golden Gate. There just so happens to be a spirit locus on the Gate (which is part of he reason the Magath was hanging around it) so they were able to cross into twilight (notably not shadow) to look for this thing. Their first encounter were its minions, great white shark spirits with bloodshot eyes and if possible even more teeth than a real shark. The one who tasked them to go after the sharks just watched as they took on one of them. The thing really gave the cabal a run for their money. Sharks are tough, strong and fast and their spirits are no exception. Eventually they defeated it, but not without taking a licking themselves. Nightshade unfortunately was cut and nobody thought to do anything about the wound, so naturally they would be detected later as the sharks tracked the smell of blood. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

They traced the patrol back to a kelp bed with labyrinthine qualities. They passed through tunnels of kelp and oily, murky water to find a whole mess of sharks circling over a monolith of bike parts, running shoes and spandex shorts. This of course was when the pack noticed the bleeding mage and came chasing them. Fun Fun. With a little help from the previously useless councilor the cabal got away from the sharks, waded through the kelp and made it to the monolith.

After further inspection the made out that the monolith was actually the begining of an arch made up of salvaged parts. Also, scribed in bike frames, fenders and cell phones were Atlantean Ruins “The Guardians” but was clearly unfinished. Then Valkyrie notices the Magath and it notices him. Of course what does a Bridge Toll spirit look like… Yep, a troll. And what does a Bridge Toll spirit that has mixed with a salvage spirit look like, yep a Troll from Shadowrun. Anyway, he was insisting on being paid his “toll” which had to be some form of transportation. He was given some flippers, a buoyancy control device, a bike Val found in the kelp and other sundry bits. Eventually the Magath was appeased (nobody wanted to know its name, or actually they did want to know its name but when it told them it would answer 5 questions, nobody asked it) and they found out a demon and Constructum had gotten together to form this gate leading to the Alahan Monastery in Turkey. Good Fun.

Mix that up with suspecting their councilor (Paracelsus) is a mole for the 53rd and we have fun time. Next session is off to Turkey.

Actual Play – Mage (6/26/2007)

GM: Sean Nittner
System: Mage

Okay, so if you’re not in my Mage game, probably none of this will make any sense at all to you.

Just had a fun, if somewhat low energy game session with loupyone. Rhys got to have a personal “chat” with the Hierarch who tried to at once make a showing of being concerned and at the same time intimidate Rhys. I think both worked, Bannaker isn’t an especially nice guy.

After that he headed back to the Hallow, called up p01t3rg3ist and they went to work on Constructum, using the information he gleaned from the “ring sight” spell. It took some work (we had a investigation montage that was great fun) but Rhys eventually found the seal of one of the creators. He dumped some serious mana into it (seven pawns) and the seal opened, revealing the “brain”. A thousand golden threads, each finer than a spider silk and all of them interlocking to form some kind of clockwork mechanism. This of course lead to the great scientific insight of “huh, that’s strange” followed by a beer as the camera started filming the threads to try and create a model. I think the hard drive is going to fill up first.

And finally, Rhys asked p01t3rg3ist to look at the laptop Rhys took from the Seer sanctum. Weird shit on it. A camera program by Bay Area alarms forwarding the video capture to a static IP address. Okay normal enough. The other program, however was a proprietary medical monitoring software developed by Bay Area Advatatech, Ltd. which was what the 53rd was using to monitor the status of their “patients”.

All in all, good stuff. Rhys learned quite a bit. I just hope it wasn’t too dry as I didn’t have the energy I like to put into games.