Legacies

Mage: The Awakening, Open Development

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Legacies

As mages interact with the Mysteries, their gnosis grows, deepening their understanding of magic and developing into a unique style. In game mechanical terms, exposure to Mysteries earns Arcane Beats and Experiences, which you spend on traits relating to your character’s personal grasp of the Mysteries — Path Arcana, Praxes, and Gnosis.

If Order represents what a character believes the purpose of magic is, and Path provides the foundation of a broad magical style and a set of symbol-association, then Legacy is the combination of both, Gnosis, and Praxes – the capstone on the pyramid of your character’s traits, their specialization as a mage. They also fulfill a social role within the setting — emphasizing the mentor/student relationship, as iconic to sorcerers as creator/childe bonds are to Vampire fiction. Your character doesn’t have to join a Legacy (maybe he wants to create his own!), but they’re important to Mage‘s world; sources of interpersonal contact outside of the confines of cabal and Order for young mages, and the framework for Mentor and (once your characters advance) Student Storyteller Characters.

Ancient Legacies reflect belief structure that have rung true for some mage for centuries, and even contemporary ones represent a very specific worldview developed after careful reflection and self—examination.

Those who share a Legacy belong to an elite and highly specialized clique. Some consist of hundreds of members scattered across the world like members of an especially esoteric social clique. Others boast only a few dozen mages with a belief system others among the Wise find inexplicable if not outright objectionable.  For those within one, a Legacy offers a specialized network of social contacts that understand each other better than any other mages do.

Foundations

To date, 94 Legacies have been published and at least 14 more mentioned but not statted in Mage: The Awakening‘s gameline, including two books which are nothing but Legacies (the Sublime and the Ancient.)

The current edition’s Legacy mechanics are relatively simple – Legacies are linked to a single Arcanum, with a second as optional. You pick a spell from the main and optional Arcana at increments of Gnosis – a 2-dot spell at Gnosis 3, a 3-dot one at 5, and a 4-dot one at 7. You get the main Arcanum as Ruling if it isn’t already, and an Oblation that doesn’t need a Hallow. Simple.

In practice, however, Legacies were a bit trickier to write than they appear. Some broke guidelines on whether the Attainments could stack with the same effect from a spell, others required Mana to use Attainments. The entry requirements of Path and/or Order were not always clear. Most significantly, at least from my point of view, was the demands placed on Mage‘s setting by the Gnosis requirements – if every Gnosis 3 mage needs a Gnosis 5 tutor, and they all need Gnosis 7 tutors, then that says something about the Storyteller characters assumed to be inhabiting the gameworld.

In response, we’ve set out to make the guidelines for constructing your own Legacies much clearer in the second edition core, and lowered the Gnosis requirements for entry. The unwritten rules of Legacy design are now written, and we’ve fully written up one Legacy to show how it’s done.

We can’t possibly convert all 94 Legacies in the second edition core. We can’t even convert five of them with the wordcount we have, although we’ll try to list several to give new Storytellers an idea of the breadth of them.

Prerequisites

Path, Order or Praxis: All Legacies possess an originating Path, and many (though not all) are connected to an Order—Pentacle, Seer or Nameless.

Normally, your mage must either belong to the Legacy’s Path or Order. However, it is possible for a mage of any Path or Order to join a Legacy if she learns a Praxis that duplicates the Legacy’s first Attainment, and utilizes one of the Legacy’s Yantras. She develops the understanding to join without other requirements. If your character learns an Attainment duplicating a Praxis (whether she used it as an entry method or not) she receives an Experiences refund, with a bit extra, for the Praxis’ cost. In this way, characters are encouraged to “train” for their future Legacies by specialising in the spells that will become Attainments, or develop their own Legacies out of their personal styles.

Arcane (and Other) Knowledge: Before initiation, your mage must possess at least two dots in the Legacy’s new Ruling Arcanum. She must also possess two dots of Gnosis unless she’s founding her own Legacy, which increases the requirement to three dots.

Legacies also require other forms of knowledge based on their respective theories and beliefs. This normally takes the form of two or more dots in a particular Skill, but Storytellers and Legacy founders may specify additional requirements.

Indoctrination: Finally, each Legacy demands that prospective pupils perform tasks, endure ordeals and otherwise encounter the Legacy’s perspective through direct experience. Even a self-founded Legacy can’t be invented with a mere idea—the mage needs to explore its Mystery through action.

Legacies and Souls

Mages say Legacies change their souls, and this is true after a fashion, but they don’t do it by altering the soul itself. Instead, they alter a sorcerer’s Gnosis and concomitantly, her magical identity. If the mage’s Gnosis is a vessel that holds the waters of her soul, a Legacy changes the vessel’s shape—and the soul changes to fit.

This is an important distinction to note, because this is why soul theft cannot permanently deprive a mage of her Legacy. If a mage loses her soul, any replacement capable of supporting Awakened magic will take the “shape of the vessel,” returning her Legacy’s benefits as soon as she can use magic again.

If removed from its owner, an Awakened soul is not so liquid as to lose all marks of its Legacy. This makes it possible for soul thieves to learn Legacies from stolen souls and soul stones without the owner’s consent.

Initiation

Tutelage by an existing member (who must have at least the third Attainment) is the most common way to join a Legacy, but mages can also found their own, study a Daimonomikon (a special Grimoire that records Legacies) or study the soul or soul stone of an existing member. The various initiation methods are only required to join the Legacy, not progress in them, although continuing education from a mentor brings other reward, such as a steady supply of Arcane Beats for both mages.

In a change from the previous edition, all Attainments now cost Experiences, with the type of Experience varying according to how you were initiated. We’re still going back and forth about whether forming your own Legacy should require higher Gnosis than joining one you encounter, as it does in first edition, or should be the same Gnosis but have a higher cost.

Legacies and Sympathetic Magic

Legacy members form close ties in part due to their sympathetic bonds. Every Legacy mage serves as a Symbolic-rank Sympathy Yantra for every member of the same Legacy, and all daimonomika and soul stones belonging to that Legacy. Members versed in Space or Time find it easy to communicate and gather, as well as track down errant pieces of their tradition. On the other hand, kidnap a member or steal a book, and you can do tremendous damage to a Legacy.

These bonds can be suppressed with Veiling magic, but it takes Unravelling magic to eliminate them completely.

Legacy Advantages

The benefits of initiation are many, from a connection to other Legacy members to the magical advantages of an altered Gnosis.

Yantras: Initiates learn the Legacy’s Yantras. Most require one turn to deploy and adds +1 to spellcasting rolls. A few add +2 but either impose a disadvantageous Condition or require rare materials, extra time or special care. The required effort is part of the Yantra so sidestepping its disadvantages (by eliminating the stupor created by a drug used as a Yantra, for example) reduces its bonus accordingly.

Oblations: Each Legacy also teaches Oblations that reflect its philosophy and legends. Unlike ordinary Oblations, the mage does not need to perform Legacy Oblations at a Hallow—her soul becomes the “sacred place” being drawn upon. However, a mage away from a Hallow cannot gain more Mana per day than her dots in her Legacy’s Ruling Arcanum.

Ruling Arcanum: Initiation into a Legacy confers an additional Ruling Arcanum, set by the Legacy’s creators. This normally raises an existing Common or Inferior Arcanum to Ruling Status, but in some cases the mage already possesses the Legacy Arcanum as a Ruling Arcanum. In this case, he develops an especially strong understanding of the “doubly Ruled” Arcanum’s Mystery. Every time she learns a new dot in this Arcanum he earns an Arcane Experience.

Legacy Attainments

All Legacies teach special Attainments. The mage invokes them from her reshaped soul instead of reaching into the Supernal. Thus, Legacy Attainments provide the following advantages:

Atypical: Legacy Attainments generally operate according to the Legacy’s traditions, which may slightly limit or expand their scope. For example, a Legacy of fire worshipers may be restricted to heat and fire-based versions of Attainments based on Forces spells. These adjustments shouldn’t make Attainments significantly more or less powerful than they otherwise would be.

Automatic Activation: In most cases, a Legacy Attainment can be activated with an instant action and do not require die rolls. If the Attainment requires spell factors, it automatically confers factors that would impose a penalty up to the mage’s dots in the Attainment’s highest prerequisite Arcanum. If the Attainment would require a measurement of its successes, it automatically scores a number of successes equal to the mage’s dots in the highest prerequisite Arcanum.

For example, if a fire-summoning Legacy Attainment requires spell factors and requires Forces 3, a Legacy member with Forces 5 harnesses spell factors that would normally impose a -5 penalty to die rolls—though remember that you don’t actually have to roll dice.

Immune to Countering and Supernal Dispellation: Legacy Attainments cannot be attacked with countermagic or Supernal Dispellation using the Prime Arcanum. They can be undone based on the specific effect they create, however, but are considered no different than natural phenomena. Forces can snuff out fire made by a Legacy Attainment as easily as it could suppress a similar ordinary fire.

Legacy Wisdom: Using a Legacy Attainment is never considered an act of hubris; the mage’s mystic self is completely attuned to their use.

Mana Break: Legacy Attainments issue from the mage’s soul instead of the Supernal Realms, so Mana is only used to reinforce her will, not channel power from beyond. When adapting Attainments from spells, reduce any Mana cost higher than one point to one point.

Optional Effect: Some Legacy Attainments include an additional or alternate effect if the mage possesses dots in an additional Arcanum equal to the required Legacy Ruling Arcanum. This additional Arcanum is almost always a Ruling Arcanum from the Legacy’s originating Path.

Transient Stacking: Legacy Attainments may stack with spells, but only for a short time, and doing so eradicates the spell, as the Attainment’s intuitive, personal nature unravels the spell’s Supernally charged imago. Stacking a Legacy Attainment with a spell causes the spell’s duration to end, as if cancelled, after one turn per dot the mage possesses the spell’s highest Arcanum. For example, if a Perfected Adept with three dots of Life casts a spell that increases his Strength by 3 dots for the day, activating his Attainment to add another 3 dots of Strength increases it by 6 dots, but his spell disperses after three turns.

Transient stacking can only be performed on spells lingering within the mage’s own Gnosis (i.e. those that impose penalties for being actively maintained) and not spells cast by others, relinquished, or bound to enchanted items of any kind.

Learning Legacy Attainments

A mage may either develop Attainments according to the orthodox teachings of her Legacy, or invent novel Attainments based on her personal approach to the Legacy’s doctrine.

Rather than the three tiers of Attainments in the first edition, second edition Legacies provide five tiers. The first attainment (based on a 1-dot spell) comes with initiation, although most characters buy the second attainment at same time;

Arcanum Dot / at Gnosis
1 / 2
2 / 2
3 / 4
4 / 6
5 / 8

As well as their Arcanum requirements, some attainments require skill dots.

Still with me? Okay, then – how about an example. Here’s my favorite Legacy in Awakening, converted to second edition’s rules by Malcolm “monopolising the last few week’s spoilers” Sheppard;

The Eleventh Question

She called it an interrogation but never asked you a thing, though she spoke as if you said exactly what you wanted to hide. You volunteered more to cover your ass and make a new story look consistent with what she already knew, but that just helped her hone her non-questions. You confessed it all, in the end; better the Hierarch than the masked man outside the door.

We’re The Ones Who See

The Eleventh Question credits a 19th Century mystagogue named Lucy Caspian with the core of its philosophy. She said that every Arcanum answered an eternal question so that, for example, Mind revealed the nature of identity and thought; and Matter showed Awakened the truths of tangible, inert phenomena. Yet these were always incomplete answers, and the full Mystery of sorcery, even Ascension, required an Eleventh Question, beyond the domain of the Arcana.

While investigating a haunted estate, ghosts possessed members of Caspian’s cabal and used the victims’ own magic to not only kill each other, but cover it up as an apparent murder-suicide. A Guardian hermit named Sullivan helped Caspian’s protégé Jeremiah Moon uncover the truth, clearing the names of the deceased. Combining Sullivan’s Guardian training with the philosophy Moon had learned under Caspian, the two founded the Eleventh Question and became nomadic consulting investigators. After Moon perished in their last “case,” Sullivan passed the Legacy to three Guardians, then vanished.

Mages accepted the history taught by the so-called “Jeremiad” Eleventh Question until 2008, when mystagogues claiming descent from the “real” Legacy went public, claiming that Caspian had founded the Legacy and taught it to Moon—and that Jeremiah had killed him to claim it. Members of the “Caspianite” line (both lines just refer to themselves as the Eleventh Question, and use the sectarian names for their opponents, while neutral observers use both) even suspect Sullivan arranged for the original estate murders to cover his tracks.

Even before this nasty business, other Guardians of the Veil kept the Eleventh Question at arm’s length due to the unorthodox, even bizarre way they dug up the truth. Now that Caspianites initiate worthy individuals from any Order, Guardians consider the Querents barely trustworthy, though occasionally insightful.

Origins

Parentage: Moros, Guardians of the Veil or Mysterium

Background: Many Querents hail from law enforcement backgrounds; a smaller number were mathematicians, priests and philosophers devoted to metaphysical questions. A few Jeremiad Querents were supposedly headhunted from spy agencies. All entered the Legacy with a passion for seeking the transcendental truth behind raw facts.

Appearance: Querents often develop behavioral tics or off-putting habits from stress of their work and a general impatience with the half-truths of ordinary human interactions.

Doctrine

Prerequisites: Time 2, Investigation 2 and one of the following additional Skills at 2 dots or higher: Academics, Larceny, Medicine, Occult, or Science.

Initiation: The prospective Querent must successfully investigate a mystery assigned by her tutor.

Organization: Querents don’t follow any formal hierarchy, though many work in pairs. If more than two gather for any reason, it’s to deal with a Legacy-wide emergency or something really, really strange.

Theory: The Eleventh Question believes that all evidence provides clues to a holistic ultimate truth. Secrets bar the path to enlightenment; they must be exposed to the light of investigation. Yet not everyone deserves enlightenment, so they don’t usually share what they discover with a free hand, though new members from the Free Council have been known to defy the rule of secrecy.

Sorcery

Ruling Arcanum: Time

Yantras: Succeeding on an Investigation roll relevant to the spell (+2); verbally explaining a mysterious phenomenon to a trusted associate (+1); collecting samples or recording information (images, sounds, writings) relevant to the spell—note that the act of collection is the Yantra in this case, separate from possessing an item that might be used for sympathetic magic (+2); using stimulants to stay focused (+1, or +2 if this creates an adverse Condition)

Oblations: Solving a riddle or puzzle; studying esoteric magical theories; pursuing an obsessive or antisocial habit; giving an extended lecture about an intellectually challenging topic.

Attainments

First: The Undisturbed Scene

Prerequisites: Initiation Requirements

You usually arrive at a location before nature and human hands wipe away evidence. The authorities haven’t arrived yet to destroy subtle information, or they (or someone trying to cover her tracks) didn’t have the opportunity to do a thorough job. The mage gains extra dice equal to his Time Arcanum on one Skill roll to retrieve information from the scene. Within these bounds, the Attainment emulates “Perfect Timing” (p. XX).

Optional: Matter 1

You also may engage Active Mage Sight (Matter) upon arrival. If it must pierce any form of supernatural concealment, it automatically scores successes equal to the mage’s Matter dots.

Second: The Unobvious Answer

Prerequisites: Time 2, Investigation 3

Studying your subject for a turn, you peer into her recent past relayed through telling behavior, minute elements of her appearance and other sensory cues. This is usually used on a person, but may also be used on a location. It duplicates the effects of the “Postcognition” spell (p. XX).

Optional: Matter 2

You may also cause liquid or solid matter that has been diluted or diffused to take the shape it possessed in the past, as long as some residue remains. This might cause wiped fingerprints to reform and washed away blood to pool in its old location. You must touch these spots. This duplicates the effects of the “Shaping” spell (p. XX) and applies to both liquids and particulate matter. You may decide to make the change obvious (by giving a murderer bloody hands) or subtle (recreating a clue for Sleepers who “might have missed it”).

Third: The Chance Answer

Prerequisites: Time 3. In addition to the Investigation 3 requirement from the previous Attainment, the Querent must increase the other Skill she used to meet the requirements of the Legacy to 3, or must attain two dots in a second skill from the list of possible requirements.

Confident that the truth of a thing will be revealed, you query the flow of time to fetch information from a future where it has been revealed. You receive answers to questions that can be answered with “Yes,” “No,” or “Irrelevant” (if the question is somehow nonsensical). This resembles the spell “Divination” (p. XX; cast at +2 Reach, allowing for a greater range of questions) except that you may ask any question which you believe your future self knows the answer to (not counting the predestination paradox created by the Attainment)! If you would not have personally discovered the answer, you will intuit it as “Irrelevant.”

Optional: Matter 3

You intuitively reshape matter into an object relevant to your personal future, particularly if it involves an investigation. This might be the duplicate of a murder weapon, or an item of clothing an important person may be wearing—or a key you need to open a future door. You need matching raw materials but no tools, and from your perspective you might “discover” it. It might become the actual future object, depending on the vagaries of time.

Fourth: The Timely Answer

Prerequisites: Time 4, Investigation 4 and the other Skill requirements of the previous Attainment.

If you possess at least a Representational sympathetic connection to your target, you may predict her possible future actions. This duplicates the effects of the “Prophecy” spell (p. XX).

Optional: Matter 4

You no longer require a Representational sympathetic connection, as Time and Matter conspire to create one for you. Impressions from the past or emanations from the future shape present matter into a Representational strength Yantra.

Fifth: The Penultimate Answer

Prerequisites: Time 5. In addition to the Investigation 4 requirement from the previous Attainment, the Querent must increase the other Skill she used to meet the requirements of the Legacy to 4, or must attain three dots in a second Skill from the list of possible requirements, or two dots in a third Skill from the list.

You project your consciousness forward in time to inhabit a version of yourself from a possible future, for as long and as far forward in time as your Time dots and automatic spell factors will allow (use the spell “Future Legacy” on p. XX to determine how far forward you can go, but you may choose to travel less than the furthest point). After your return, this future may appear. If it does, you may elect to do exactly what you did before with exactly the same results for any action under your control (such as successes on dice rolls), or you may act differently, taking the unpredictable path. You may even avoid that possible future entirely. If you die during the exercise of this Attainment (though not the actual future) you automatically snap back to the present.

Optional: Matter 5.

When the future you experienced comes due, you may add or delete material objects (as per the spells “Ex Nihilo” or “Annihilate Matter” with combined factors equal to the lesser of your Time or Matter dots) from your person or within sensory range to give yourself an advantage. Instead of drowning, you happen to have a rebreather in your coat, or your enemy’s enchanted blade somehow vanishes. Eliminating magical objects costs 1 point of Mana.

Next Week!

A slightly different form to the polling this week, as we’re past due for looking at the final third of character defining options. So we’re going to be talking about the Orders.

My question for you is: Which Order’s writeup do you want to see?

  113 comments for “Legacies

  1. September 2, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Cool. Sounds like we’ll have some fun updating Legacies when this comes out.

    As for my vote, Free Council! They always seem to be the underdogs in my games.

    • Dave Brookshaw
      September 2, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      Yeah! I can’t promise we’ll do all the 93 remaining 1st-ed Legacies in any kind of timely fashion, but what to do about them is on my mind.

      • Scutarii
        September 3, 2014 at 3:44 am

        I suggest getting the forums to do the work and then every now and then coming in and giving a stamp of approval to some of them and then stickying a thread with all of the ‘dev approved’ stuff in it. The ‘dev approved’ stamp is simply there to give the recalcitrant GM or inquisitive player some confidence that the homebrewed stuff is at least thematically consistent and not obvioulsy borked.

        Also: Silver Ladder!

  2. Tiresias
    September 2, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    This sounds like it’ll make Legacies so much easier to work with. I never liked how some Legacy Attainments automatically succeeded, some required a roll, and some just didn’t explain how they actually worked and made everything confusing because of the above two. Standardization is good.

    There are two things I’m wondering about.
    1- I’m assuming Attainments are always cast as if they were instant spells rather than rituals unless explicitly stated otherwise.
    2- The optional Matter power of The Undisturbed Scene is exactly like the standard Active Mage Sight (Matter) Attainment, except it gains automatic successes for the sole purpose of seeing through magical concealment.
    Are these correct?

    Voting for the Mysterium.

    • Tiresias
      September 2, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      And now that I think about it, do Attainments use standard or advanced spell factors?

  3. Falco1029
    September 2, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I personally prefer the idea of personal legacies giving you an option depending on how you go about it, with regards to prereqs. That is, the attainments cost more if you form it through X means, or they come at a higher gnosis with y means.

    But anyway, I like the legacy mechanics so far. I like that legacies go on just as long as before but do it by giving you more attainments and earlier.

    Anyway, write up the Mysterium, I demand it!

  4. Leetsepeak
    September 2, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Everything I’d hoped for.

    I’m gonna vote for Mysterium.

  5. Arcane
    September 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Guardians of the Veil!

  6. Raziel
    September 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Mysterium please!

  7. Octavo
    September 2, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Legacies are what drew me into Mage, so I’m really glad to see them revamped.
    I’m especially happy that characters don’t have to wait until Gnosis 3 to get them.

    I vote Silver Ladder since they’re my least favorite in 1e.

  8. Yossarian
    September 2, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Glad to see the Eleventh Question get overhauled–they were a big part of my Mage Noir chronicle. I love those guys.

    Hard choice this week, but I’ll vote Guardians of the Veil, just because they’re my favourite.

    • Dave Brookshaw
      September 2, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      They also had a rolled Attainment – which no one does now, and they’re in theme for the Chronicle. So they were a good choice to convert first.

  9. Uxas
    September 2, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Mysterium, please!!

  10. Will
    September 2, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    So the Querent’s 5th Attainment can more or less replicate the fight scenes from the Robert Downey Junior “Sherlock Holmes” movies? Neat!

    Pleasantly surprised that you made the Eleventh Question Moros rather than Mastigos

    Guardians of the Veil!

  11. Matt
    September 2, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Mysterium!

    and

    GOOD JOB. so cool. Also, I have a new found love for this legacy, and its bizarre “looking into the future to solve mysteries of the past” paradoxes!

  12. Thorbes
    September 2, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Guardians of the Veil all the way, bonus points if you give us Masques too!

  13. MikePGS
    September 2, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Glad you wrote up the eleventh question, my favorite legacy.

    I vote for Guardians of the Veil.

  14. CJ_D
    September 2, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    So an Issue I’ve found with the ways that legacy work, that I’m not certain is dealt with here is a disconnect between the power level of attainments and the power level of the prerequisites.

    For instance in the above example, someone having achieved Gnosis 6, which officially qualifies them as a magical powerhouse acquires the ability to just straight up replicate a 4 dot spell. Its kind of neat with all the benefits of it being an attainment, but in the scale of “what can this character do” it can be matched by a guy with gnosis 2 (at least by the 1e scale of arcana progression.)

    The demanding and supposedly rare prerequisites attached to less impressive abilities makes it difficult to see the higher level attainments of legacies as anything particularly relevant.

    Its possible the new mechanics address this, but I worry that the high level attainments will be something that the average player has no reason to think about.

  15. Beard
    September 2, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Silver Ladder.

  16. Solarious
    September 2, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Free Council!

  17. Axelgear
    September 2, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Looks good! I have some misgivings over the notion of the AXP if primary arcana are redoubled, since, ostensibly, we still have Mana costs for non-primary arcana, yes?

    Also, do attainments invoke Paradox/Disbelief unraveling now? Or, since they issue from within, are they protected from the Lie somewhat?

    And as for which Legacy next… Mysterium. Since every Order is a Mystery Cult now, what changes are there for the original mystery cult to help them keep their unique flavour?

  18. Stephen
    September 2, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    First choice: Guardians of the Veil
    Second choice: Silver Ladder

  19. Chris Shaffer
    September 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Very cool. And not just because the Eleventh Question is a favorite of mine, too.

    Also, I’m curious to see more about the Free Council, simply because we’ve seen more references to the ‘Diamond’ than the ‘Pentacle’ and that’s been making me curious about the relationship between the Free Council and the other orders.

  20. Rosicrucian
    September 2, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Actively encouraging pursuit of eldritch mysteries via Arcane Beats/Experiences sounds like a phenomenally simple but effective mechanic.

    The Silver Ladder are my kind of bastards. Let’s hear from them.

  21. Valerius
    September 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Definitely feels more substantial than Legacies were in 1E. Hopefully we can beef up some of the mechanically “thinner” Legacies.

    I’ll vote Guardians of the Veil.

  22. Manu
    September 2, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Silver Ladder. Shows us the leaders.

  23. NateD
    September 2, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Hmm, nice! Just a question / confirmation, though – assuming that there will invariably be some “fireball-esque” Attainments, does that mean that you don’t need to roll to shoot it off AND you get free spell factors equal to your Arcanum dots?

    So for someone with Forces 3 and some kind of Fraying Attainment, for example, they could conceivably fire off a Damage 6 (3 for the primary spell factor + 3 spell factors for the Attainment), *without* a roll..? (except rolling to “throw” it, that is, unless they extend the range.)

    Interesting!

    Also: Guardians! I want to know about Masques!

    • NateD
      September 2, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      Also, thinking about it a little more, I don’t think that that’s a bad thing at all. Makes sense that those who shape their Soul into a weapon would be *good* at it, and would be afforded fear and respect accordingly. Very cool.

    • Strill
      September 5, 2014 at 12:48 am

      It said that with Arcana 5, you can get 5 DICE worth of spell factors, not necessarily 5 spell factors. We need to see how expensive spell factors are first.

  24. reseru
    September 2, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Does voting for Seers count? :p

    But, really, I’d rather see…Guardians or Mysterium? I guess I’ll vote for Guardians

    • Dave Brookshaw
      September 2, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Seers totally count. I’ll put you down for Seers.

      • reseru
        September 5, 2014 at 8:58 am

        Nooooo! D:

        Put me down for Guardians, I changed my mind! Should I ever run Mage, I’m thinking of a major antagonist who’s an ex-Guardian-gone-Banisher so I’ll vote for that.

        I just wanted to let other people know Seers could be an option :p

  25. Roads
    September 2, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    I’ll have to ask after the Free Council.

    The Eleventh Question really is the Best Possible Thing isn’t it? I like the new Legacy structure, the lowered Gnosis requirements especially. The coupling of the Primary and auxiliary Attainment effects is not something that would have occurred to be, but is so obvious I’d be delighted to see that standard.

  26. Deranged Platypus
    September 2, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Cool stuff. I’d like to see the Free Council written up, please.

  27. DreamingGod
    September 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I vote Seers!

    As for Legacies, I love this. I may start working on converting the Daksha over. No idea what to do for their Yantra though. Hm.

  28. eavatar
    September 2, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Guardians of Veil,

  29. Aspel
    September 2, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    It’s better than before by a long shot, but I hate that I still can’t get most of my Attainments until I get super high Gnosis. I’ve never played a game passed Power Stat 4, so needing Gnosis 8 for my final Attainment is basically useless…

  30. Saibot
    September 2, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    I was about to say Silver Ladder, but since you say Seers are okay…

    Seers of the Throne, pleeeeease!

  31. Merkonan
    September 2, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Another vote for the Seers.

  32. GhostTurtle
    September 2, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    I’m actually surprised/impressed how much more straightforward this makes Legacy design. Also loving that a lot of the potential min-maxing concerns have been alleviated.

    Since they seemed the most like an NPC faction to my players in 1E, I’m very curious to see Mysterium.

  33. inkpenavenger
    September 2, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Torn between the Seers and the Adamantine Arrow. Can’t wait to see the update of the Tremere. I’ve always planned to use one for a Big Bad, but I’ve never gotten around to it.

  34. The Didact
    September 2, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Based on what was written in the first edition core book — I own just one of the Order splatbooks — only three of the (Pentacle) Orders ever really appealed to me; the other two never hooked me at all. I’m kind of torn because while I really want to see what’s in store for the Free Council, I think I’ve always been an Arrow player at heart. So I’ll do that: one vote for the Adamantine Arrow please.

    I really like how the Legacies are going to become far more transparent and straightforward under the new edition’s rules. I remember when I first tried to use one of them, back when I was still a newcomer to nWoD in general. I wanted to play a Neocologist (Tome of the Watchtowers, pg. 155–158) but when I brought it up with my Storyteller, neither of us had much of an idea about how the second and third Attainments were supposed to work from the standpoint of the game’s mechanics. We kind of fumbled with it for a while before we both gave up and I decided to pick a more clearly-written Legacy. It was admittedly a little frustrating, but these changes have me feeling more confident about using whichever Legacy I feel fits my character without worrying about running into snarls like that.

    One question, though: you say in the article that Legacies are meant to be “the capstone on the pyramid of your character’s traits, their specialization as a mage.” Does that mean that having a Legacy should be assumed “default” for a sufficiently advanced mage in the new edition?

    • Dave Brookshaw
      September 3, 2014 at 7:10 am

      It’s assumed in the current edition – the setting material in the corebook talks about how other mages start muttering about how you’ve got no committment if you make it to Gnosis 5 or 6 without joining or developing your own Legacy. Or that you’re *notable* for not wanting to shape your soul.

      Whenever I run Mage, I assume the majority of mages are in a Legacy or have reasons for not being in one.

    • Hrafn
      September 9, 2014 at 2:47 am

      Ha! I was worried I would be the only one to vote for the Adamantine Arrow!

      For which I now cast my vote. Ungula Draconis, please~!

  35. Brian Goubeaux
    September 2, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    I was always mad at the Mage developers for not writing up a proper healers legacy for Awakening. I’m sorry, but the Rivers legacy doesn’t cut it if the patient has a broken bone or a magical disease. And being that they stopped allowing new Legacies to bear fruit, we will now never see a doctor-based Legacy in Mage. (Again the Rivers Legacy just doesn’t cut it.)

    As for the Order, I would like to see is The Free Council.

  36. Cris Picado
    September 2, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    I am liking what I am reading so far.

    My vote is for the Adamantine Arrow…show me these guys anytime.

  37. branford
    September 3, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Mysterium, please!

  38. Leliel
    September 3, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Free Council, please?

  39. arthexis
    September 3, 2014 at 12:22 am

    This post was a pleasant surprise: 11th Question is my favorite legacy too (I even play one in LARP. Instead of a real detective, he is a Moros GotV who had to give up his dream of becoming a famous writer of detective novels in order to protect the mysteries. He fears that if he goes back to what his soul-self wants to write, he will reveal too much to Sleepers. So he instead he weaves a labyrinth with words and wishing some one else will make the right choice when he couldn’t).

    So, GotV obviously.

  40. Wildeyes
    September 3, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Hard to decide….. Put me down for the Adamantine Arrow. Love me some philosopher warriors!

  41. shkspr1048
    September 3, 2014 at 12:27 am

    I’d like to see a write-up on the Nameless Orders, but if that’s not possible I’d be perfectly happy with the Free Council.

    • Dave Brookshaw
      September 3, 2014 at 7:12 am

      I’ll put you down for Free Council.

  42. Obsidian Pharaoh
    September 3, 2014 at 12:27 am

    I am going to have so much fun with this!

    As for vote, I want to see the Silver Ladder.

  43. Zanity
    September 3, 2014 at 3:34 am

    The Silver Ladder.

  44. Orison
    September 3, 2014 at 3:40 am

    I’ve always loved the thearchs’ bombastic humanism, so I vote for the Silver Ladder.

  45. stsword
    September 3, 2014 at 3:41 am

    I vote for free council

  46. Blackheart
    September 3, 2014 at 4:46 am

    Show us the Ladder.

  47. wyrdhamster
    September 3, 2014 at 5:37 am

    I love ne take on Legacies – almost. The “doubly Ruled” problem solution isn’t best in my idea. Better could be something like lowering cost dice pools on Paradox, maybe one dice only.

    As to Orders preview, I’m torn between Free Council and Silver Ladder. I heard Council made biggest changes, so would love to see them. But also Silver Ladder are most “boring” Order for me, so maybe 2ed would change mine opinion on them. I vote Free Council, and Silver Ladder as second. 🙂

  48. Taejix
    September 3, 2014 at 5:47 am

    Ooh, Free Council please.

    Like most of the other stuff I’ve seen about MtAw 2e, this is looking incredibly fun. I just wish it were out now.

  49. MrParaduo
    September 3, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Mysterium

  50. September 3, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Vote for Free Council!

  51. Montuban
    September 3, 2014 at 11:49 am

    I have a soft spot for the Silver Ladder.

  52. Chris Borgars-Smith
    September 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Hmmm. I feel like I have the best handle on the Guardians, Arrow, Seers and Council… so it’s between the Ladder and the Mysterium.

    I’ll go for the Ladder, as I find them the least interesting.

  53. Vitriol
    September 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Excellent stuff, easier to get into than the original writeups. I’d love to see dem Seers or The Free Council.

  54. Full Time GM
    September 3, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    As it is my favorite I would like to see the Silver Ladder’s write up.

  55. Joe
    September 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I like this take on attainments very much. Quick question, is the intention of, say, the 3rd and 4th level attainment for them to be cast at will or X times per scene or day? It seems like a PC who can cast divination for free at will without any risk for paradox ever might end up leaning on that very heavily and would be almost impossible to surprise, which is not always a lot of fun.

    As for orders, I love most orders, but I have always hated the Adamantine Arrow. They are a mess, and I have faith that you guys are doing something good with them, so I vote Adamantine Arrow.

  56. AlexS
    September 3, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Silver Ladder

  57. Yuukale
    September 3, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Silver Ladder, for leadership matters.

  58. Raibran
    September 3, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    In 1e, Legacies had in addition to their three attainments a legendary “fourth attainment”, usually implied to go along with Archmastery. Do 2e Legacies have a “sixth attainment”, or is that whole concept scrapped?

    Also, Mysterium! Magic Indiana Jones!

    • Dave Brookshaw
      September 3, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      The Fourth (now Fifth) was Gnosis 9 or 10, and duplicated a master-level spell. Attaining it makes you an “Exemplar,” but it’s rare to find anyone using the title.

      The *Final* Attainment is something that legendarily happens to some Exemplars – they get caught up in a Mystery Play to do with reaching the peak of their Legacy, and some Ascend at the end of it.

      Archmastery is not required to be an Exemplar. Just patience and success as a mage.

  59. Horun
    September 3, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I vote for Mysterium!

    One thing, I have a problem with, is the sequence in which you join: usually first an order, then a legacy. The oders are worldspanning organisations and might have glimpsed one of the greater mysteries of the mage world.
    It would seem more logical – to me – for a fully new awakened mage to be found and embraced by a local mystical society and later find out more about those big organisations.
    From a game-creating point of view I aknowledge, that its better to present just 5 possible joices instead of 94 … but that 4 of the 5 pentacle orders refer to the atlantis myth is the one thing that I didn’t like when reading MTAw (1st Ed). 😉

    All except that … I’m absolutely positive and am eager to see any new twists to the pentacle, seers, …

    • Strill
      September 7, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Finding new recruits is the Guardians’ primary job. They’re on the lookout for potential awakenings, and judge whether those people are responsible and sane enough to handle magic.

  60. Jeff Crowl
    September 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Dave, this stuff sounds really exciting. And I have to ask you to please, please keep simplicity in mind. Former versions of Mage have had cumbersome systems. Much as I love what Rose and co did in Blood and Smoke, I think it suffers from system creep in ways that make me really nervous about how M2e could turn out. Cool stuff so far, though, and I can’t wait to see more. Cheers!

  61. theglaucusgroup
    September 3, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Sins for a just end grant wisdom to the Awakened.

  62. Tori
    September 3, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Free Council

  63. Him Again
    September 3, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    I want to try playing by these new rules soooo badly.
    Now I need to go remodel the pile of home brew legacies in the notebooks.

    Also a big fan of having mages start off down the student mentor path earlier in the gnosis progression.

    I am also delighted by the rewrite of the eleventh question.
    Its terribly fitting that there is an unresolved murder mystery at the heart of their origin and it is quite simply wonderful that they are no longer a guardians only legacy so we don’t all have to come up with eleborate explanations for our free council supernatural detectives for hire.
    I rather love the idea of wraping time to consult your future self. The big cheats.

    • Him Again
      September 3, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      Oh and Free Council please!
      Found the book a bit of a disappointment and wish to have my mind changed.

  64. Aiden
    September 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Make me like the Free Council.

  65. crawlkill
    September 3, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    is there an essay on PCs leaning heavily on Time magic somewhere in Mage (or anywhere, really, for any game where precognition is a thing)? it seems like it’d be really hard to maintain a sense of…anything, either free will or mystery, when PCs gain access to high-level futureseeking.

    I’d like to see the Guardians, as they’re the Order I found most “blah why are these weird hypocritical fun police murder guys even allowed as PCs” in the original and hope they’ve evolved since then.

    • Nicias
      September 4, 2014 at 11:10 am

      Prophecies in mage are, essentially, probabilistic projections. They are the most likely future when you cast the spell. It’s explicitly possible (even likely!) that if you take action as result of prophecy that your rival can detect, their actions will change. So free will isn’t threatened. Mystery requires some forethought by the storyteller.

      I honestly have more problems grappling with postcognition, which takes real management to maintain mystery around.

    • Strill
      September 5, 2014 at 12:43 am

      The Guardians aren’t “murder guys”. Their “day job” as it were, includes spreading disinformation about magic among sleepers, and also seeking out those who show signs of awakening, and judging whether they’re responsible enough to handle magic. If they’re judged to be too reckless, unstable, or otherwise not fit to handle magic, they’re given a peaceful mundane life without conflict. Otherwise they’re either recruited or referred to another order. While no one can be sure what causes awakenings, they do know what prevents them. Awakenings cannot happen without conflict of some kind.

      Time magic does not rely on predestination, as Nicias said. 1st edition’s big problem with Time magic is that it does not give an explanation of how temporal sympathy works. Temporal sympathy is supposed to be what keeps you from casting time spells willy-nilly, and without that it can indeed cause problems. I expect that this has been fixed in the new rules, which should make dealing with Time spells much easier.

  66. WuseMajor
    September 3, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    First, Up the Free Council! Libertines forever!

    Second, Automatic Activation reads like it’s referencing the current version of the rules, not the new stuff. Or am I just confused about how Reach and Spell Factors work now?

    Thirdly, wasn’t Lucy a girl? So, how did Moon kill /him/ to claim the legacy? That said, I like the Sherlock Holmes vibe this legacy has.

    In any case this looks pretty cool. I’m glad we’re getting a relatively easy “build your own Legacy” kit in the book, since that should make it pretty simple to convert the existing legacies over. I’m super glad most of the powers are accessible before Gnosis 5 because, while they were really cool before, they were a form of cool that was mostly restricted to high-gnosis NPCs, and thus weren’t really much fun in play.

    • Him Again
      September 4, 2014 at 8:15 am

      Clearly Lucy had a fondness for certain body altering Life effects.
      Either that or its a clear case of A boy named Sue and Mr Caspian was a master detective and legandary bar fighter rolled into one.

  67. Jukkaimaru
    September 4, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Gotta go with Free Council on this one. Really liking how things are going so far with this new edition!

  68. camaeljax
    September 4, 2014 at 2:39 am

    The Silver Ladder

  69. kostas
    September 4, 2014 at 3:33 am

    I am torn between GotV and Seers, but as they say :”keep your friends close,and your enemies closer”…so Seers it is!

  70. Menace
    September 4, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Voting for Free Council.

  71. wologimbat
    September 4, 2014 at 5:14 am

    Interesting! I’ve always like the Eleventh Question. I vote Mysterium for next time!

    In general about Legacies, though, I was actually kind of hoping that Arcana requirements for Legacy Attainments would be dropped altogether. That way, Attainments could be effects that, due to their limited scope, aren’t really that powerful, but normally require significant investment in one or more Arcane to achieve. For example, consider the Vampire Protean 1 power “Unmarked Grave.” A Mage probably needs a fair amount of Matter and Life to duplicate this effect, even though it doesn’t seem like a high-powered effect.

    (Just to be clear: this is only an example. I’m not saying Mages should be able to duplicate this effect. I think it’s good design that there are things that are easy for one splat and difficult/impossible for others.)

    This would also make it possible to do Legacies that have a strong unifying theme, but whose powers might be all over the place in terms of Arcana. Something like a Legacy based on Hermeticism that incorporates alchemy, astrology, and theurgy (Matter, Time, and Spirit).

    I also think it would be awesome if there were more Attainments that weren’t just “…this duplicates the effects of the […] spell.” The Blank Badges are one of my favorite Legacies for just this reason. This ties into my earlier comment, too, I guess.

    Anyway, I really like what I’ve seen in the previews so far. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us, Dave!

  72. Phersus
    September 4, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Well, all the points i would remark in order to make the Legacies better are being addressed at the forums, so i will only say: great job once more. When you polish those last details it will be awesome.

    As for the vote… i have to go with Silver Ladder. Though i won’t be dissappointed if GotV or Silver Ladder win, either. 🙂

  73. Nyx
    September 4, 2014 at 8:22 am

    I could do with seeing more from the Guardians of the Veil

  74. Zooroos
    September 4, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I vote for The Council of Free Assemblies, aka the Free Council. 🙂

    I must say, I’ve hacked the heck out of Mage 1st Ed, and yet every spoiler amaze me with new and wonderful changes that I couldn’t even predict. Bravo, sir!

  75. Nicias
    September 4, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I’d like to see the Free Council writeup.

    The legacy yantras look incredibly fun to play with, but I still feel like legacies should grant you a third ruling arcanum, period. Even with the cost break leveled out the flexibility of getting a third arcana without improvised mana costs, etc, seems to be a big leg up.

    • Him Again
      September 4, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Perhaps a double ruling acrana from a legacy could grant extra reach to effects from that arcana representing a stronger connection to the watchtower?

  76. ale
    September 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    seers

  77. Rick Jones
    September 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Wow. I had no idea so many folks liked the 11th Question. I had fun creating them and it’s always awesome to know that stuff I create gets used.

    • Dave Brookshaw
      September 4, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      Rick!

      Yeah, they’re awesome, and I’ve loved them since long before I started writing.

  78. Sir Phobos
    September 4, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I have to admit I didn’t pay too much attention to the legacies in mage 1E, mostly because me and my group are fairly new to mage and had too much information to digest. Having said that, I like the new rules for legacies, specially the fact that the characters can have one with less gnosis and the 2 extra attainments.

    My vote goes to the Guardians of the Veil, I want to know how not having vulgar spells anymore and the fact that all the sleepers forget supernal magic has changed them.

  79. Snare
    September 4, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Another one for the Mysterium.

    Mystagogues were here. Libertines and Thearchs smell bad.

  80. Strill
    September 5, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Free Council!

  81. Dataweaver
    September 5, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Free Council: not only does their status as a faction allied to but distinct from the Diamonds need showcasing, but so does the fact that “Free Council” is much more than “technomancers”.

    BTW: you already get a benefit based on your selection of Ruling Arcanum: that’s the Arcanum that determines how much mana you can generate from your Legacy Oblations. Granted, that may not be enough of a benefit to entice Legacy designers to double up the Legacy’s Ruling Arcanum with one of the Parent Path’s Ruling Arcana by itself; but it is there. If additional enticement is needed, earning a whole Arcane Experience (not just a Beat) is an interesting way to go, effectively refunding one of the Experiences used to achieve the new rating in the first place.

    Also, put me down on the side of keeping Gnosis requirements the same when developing your own Legacy, but increasing the costs of the Attainments.

  82. Stark
    September 5, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    My Vote is Seer

    Also i feel that i need to agree with CJ_D with the gnosis requirement being strange. By gnosis 8 you are thinking of archmastery, and really you are going beyond being a “fallen being”

    I would almost be more on board for cutting these off at gnosis 5 or 6. I feel in general these would be much more useful to a character in “pre-archmastery” then at gnosis 8.

    Though i don’t know how much you guys take suggestions.

  83. Alex
    September 5, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Free Council!

  84. fuud
    September 6, 2014 at 6:58 am

    I vote for Free Council.

    While order books for Adamantine Arrow, Guardians of the Veil and Mysterium were masterfully written and fully succeded at showing the essence of those orders, I feel like Silver Ladder and Free Council books failed to convey the general feel and inner workings of their orders, so I would like a closer look.

  85. fuud
    September 6, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Free Council

  86. Dave
    September 6, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Arrow please

  87. John
    September 7, 2014 at 4:23 am

    323 Rolfe Rd.

  88. J-Frog
    September 7, 2014 at 4:24 am

    I’d like to read about the Mysterium next week please!

  89. Viridian
    September 7, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I vote for Free Council. It needs more love.

  90. Michelle G
    September 7, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    I’ll throw my vote in for the Mysterium.

  91. Steve
    September 8, 2014 at 3:21 am

    Silver Ladder!

    Still looking for a good Mastigos Legacy focused on Life and Mind, very much a self perfecting kind of Legacy.

  92. Juhn
    September 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Gotta vote for the Free Council. Not only have they always been my favourite Order, but their Order book was generally kind of underwhelming.

  93. LostLight
    September 8, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Seers. Seeeeeeeeeeeers.

  94. An Fhuiseog
    September 8, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Oh, hard choice, but I must say the Free Council.

Comments are closed.