Mage: The Awakening, Open Development


Beating the Orders out by a nose, Paths won the vote. Like I said last week, we’re not voting on next week’s topic – I’ll be at GenCon, so I’m going to prewrite a guide to Awakening’s inspirational media and publish it on Wednesday whenever I get within range of the internet on my very, very long journey to Indianapolis.

We will have a vote this week, though – about a matter of linguistic accuracy that’s been brought to my attention.

The Paths

All mages Awaken to one of five Paths, which determine the nature of the Supernal World revealed to the mage under Mage Sight, the symbols he finds his magic responds to, and accordingly acts as the foundation of his magical style.

The Paths are the meeting points of the ten Arcana — each represents the crossing of a subtle Arcanum and a gross one. Mastigos aren’t “Space mages” or “Mind mages”, they’re “Space and Mind mages.” Each Path has a central dichotomy, a two-word theme that defines it — and, given that any mage can learn any Arcana, it’s these themes that are important. A Moros who knows Time and Fate is and should be different to an Acanthus who knows Death and Matter. Despite their identical Arcanum dots, they approach magic through different Supernal Worlds.

Acanthus: Choice and Consequence
Mastigos: Transgression and Confrontation
Moros: Permanence and Transition
Obrimos: Power and Command
Thyrsus: Boundaries and Intercession

The Watchtowers

Mages do not consciously choose their Path. When a Sleeper or Sleepwalker manages to see through the Lie in a Mystery Play, she has a chance of falling under the influence of a Watchtower, a realm/symbol deep within the Supernal Realms. Each Watchtower represents a Path, and by marking it in some way, the mage-to-be declares herself a member of that Path.

Mages don’t know exactly how the Watchtowers work, as only a minority experience them “in person” at all rather than some representation of them in the Supernal World, and they’re literally out of their minds at the time. That said, the Paths seem to have biases toward what sort of person Awakens to them. Philosophically-minded mages describe the Paths as revealing the truth behind five aspects of the Lie. Seers of the Throne sometimes go as far as to speculate that each Path is a challenge to two of the Iron Seals, and compare their mythology of Exarchal dominions to the nature of the Paths. Some members of a Path seem to be chosen by the Path Watchtower because they saw through the facet of the Lie it challenges at the moment of their Awakening. Others struggled with it all their lives, or knew it all along but lacked the power to do anything.

Once a person is Awakened, the opportunities of their Path Arcana and the spells they can freely improvise from them reinforce the stereotypes of “a typical Obrimos” or “a typical Acanthus.” Mastigos are partly seen as being suspicious of everyone because their Path reveals the Lie of separation and shows how alike everyone really is, and partly because they can easily read people’s minds or detect lies with their improvised spells, so they know all too well how untrustworthy everyone is.

Acanthus: The Watchtower of the Lunargent Thorn
Mastigos: The Watchtower of the Iron Gauntlet
Moros: The Watchtower of the Lead Coin
Obrimos: The Watchtower of the Golden Key
Thyrsus: The Watchtower of the Singing Stone

Path Stereotypes

At their most basic, the Paths are mages sharing similar magical methods, but like many White Wolf character options, the Paths encompass a wide variety of different characterizations. While Path determines how a mage interacts with the Supernal World, what she does with her power, how she reacts to the Supernal, and how she regards the Arcana she’s gifted with are up to her. Also, mages don’t have to be altruistic, and just because a mage has seen through the Lie doesn’t mean she has to help others see the light, or even give up exploiting it. Each Path has at least two broad stereotypes within it, roughly matching the choice of whether to prioritize one Ruling Arcanum or keep them in balance, and whether magic should be used to gain worldly power or seek the truths of the universe. The Path nicknames are based on these stereotypes, which Libertines like to assign to Tarot cards.

Acanthus: Witches and Enchanters
Mastigos: Warlocks and Psychonauts
Moros: Alchemists and Necromancers
Obrimos: Theurgists and Thaumaturges
Thyrsus: Shamans and Ecstatics

Paths as Game Mechanics

Each Path provides two Ruling Arcana, one Inferior Arcanum, and seven Common Arcana.

As well as defining which spells a character has to pay Mana to improvise (Common and Inferior), the difference determines the cost of buying dots in the Arcana, and at what point a character requires a teacher

Arcanum    Maximum Untrained
Ruling        5 dots
Common    4 dots
Inferior       2 dots

Characters can buy up to the above limits for four Experiences per dot, which can be regular or Arcane Experiences. Exceeding the limit increases the cost to five Experiences, requires a teacher who already knows the dot-level sought, and can only be bought with regular Experiences.

Most Legacies provide a third Ruling Arcanum, converting one of the Commons or the Inferior.

Path           Ruling Arcana        Inferior Arcanum
Acanthus    Time and Fate           Forces
Mastigos     Space and Mind        Matter
Moros         Matter and Death      Spirit
Obrimos      Forces and Prime     Death
Thyrsus       Life and Spirit           Mind

Each Path also provides a free dot in a resistance Attribute. In the original corebook, these were set by Path, (e.g. all Acanthus had Composure), but in Fallen World Chronicle it’s the player’s choice of Composure or Resolve.

Path determines how the mage sees the Supernal World in her Mage Sight, and what sort of Supernal Entities she can summon.

To an Acanthus on the Path of Thorns, the world is replete with “trails”, odd time effects, and signifiers of fate acting on the world. Witches using Active Mage Sight often experience time dilation or contraction. Under Focused Mage Sight, many Acanthus see “mists” clouding mirages of past, future, or alternate times. Witches also see the thorns – visual metaphors for the branching timelines running behind and ahead of everything, which might appear as shining cracks in surfaces, ropelike, quicksilver vines, or shimmering lines in the air. They summon Moirae and Anachronisms.

To a Mastigos on the Path of Scourging, the world shows how all thinking minds turn back on themselves, and how that illusionary separation and distance is. Warlocks experience warping distance, mirages, and feelings of being lost, watched, or chased. Thinking beings are surrounded by indistinct auras, wrapped in their own thoughts and emotions. Under Focused Mage Sight, many Mastigos sense chains, bars, uniforms, or other representations of imposed boundaries. They summon Imps and Wraiths.

To a Moros on the Path of Doom, the world is a quiet, settled place — sounds dampen to the point of whispers, and movement seems to slow. Alchemists often see after—images of destroyed items or corpses, or look on the world through a lens of entropy and decay. Under Focused Mage Sight, Moros looking at places and people symbolizing distraction from the universe or holding on to things beyond their time (everything from a vampire’s touchstone or a ghost’s anchor to a fellow mage’s Magical Tool or a workaholic businessman’s office) see them set aside, discarded, or broken. Moros call these impressions shells or, when they’re locations, crypts. They summon Specters and Apeirons.

To the Obrimos on the Path of Might, the world is bursting with power. Theurgists see the interactions of Forces and Prime within everything, with the sense that the material world is straining at the seams, barely able to hold the power within itself. Under Focused Mage Sight, Obrimos see the mandalas — complex, twisting patterns; visual interpretations of all forms of power and authority. Theurgists see the leader of a gang decorated in golden jewelry, hear the sun making its passage through the sky, and perceive halos around the holy. They summon Seraphim and Cherubim.

Thyrsus on the Path of Ecstasy experience the world as the feeling of transcending the self to connect to the world around you. The world under a Thyrsus’ Mage Sight is alive – some Shamans experience a pulse, a rhythm connecting every creature, or see magic lapping in and out of Hallows like breath. Under Focused Mage Sight, every living being is clear as part of the superorganism, playing their part like individual cells in a body. Sometimes, Thyrsus deep in ecstasy glimpse totemic Beasts, supernal entities that symbolize animals, plants, spirits, and even diseases. They summon Totems and Atavisms.

Path Preview: Acanthus!

Like the Clans in Strix Chronicle and the Auspices in Idigam Chronicle, the Paths are almost right at the front of Fallen World Chronicle, following the introduction and contents.

The link below is the pre-redline (first draft) text for the Acanthus writeup. It might change a bit by the final book; it’s slightly too long, for starters, so please take it as a work in progress. Imagine it properly laid-out by Magical Mike Chaney, surrounding an iconic image of Lucy Sulphate.

Oh, yeah. Lucy is the Acanthus signature character. She’s actually statted on  pages 70-71 of Legacies: the Sublime, shows up in all kinds of fiction (even the Mekhet clanbook!) and the Fallen World Anthology will contain an original story featuring her.

Here’s the link:

Acanthus: The Witch

Vote! A Matter of Terminology

The “local” level of Diamond mages’ organisation is called a Consilium. At some point very early in Awakening‘s game line (I think it was Sanctum & Sigil) the plural Consilii crept into Awakening‘s lexicon.

It has been pointed out that this is linguistically bollocks. And further suggested that mages are the sort of people who’d insist on the proper Latin plural. Consilii is the genitive tense – it “should” be Consilia.

I needed something for you lot to vote on, and now’s the time to do a massive find and replace on the Fallen World Chronicle‘s draft if we’re going to do it, so: Consilii or Consilia?

I expect this debate to get heated.


He’s acknowledged that it was him on other fora, so I’m okay to tell you that the Paths (and, as it happens, Legacies, too) in Fallen World Chronicle are the work of Malcolm Sheppard, veteran Mage freelancer. Malcolm was on the team who designed Awakening’s corebook a decade ago, and has never stopped working on the line – his latest credit is as co-author of the Mage chapter in Dark Eras.

  111 comments for “Pathfinding

  1. Dave Brookshaw
    August 6, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Oh, and someone tell me if the link doesn’t work. It’s my first time linking to Google Drive. I think I set the sharing properly.

    • Proin
      August 6, 2014 at 8:44 pm


    • Ben Quo
      August 7, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Consilia. I have studied Latin. I imagine a lot of Mage players have. We’re weird like that.

  2. August 6, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Link does work.

    I’ll vote Consilia.

  3. Nico
    August 6, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Consilia. End the debate. 🙂

  4. August 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Consilia. Because it is correct. And if you’re going to use Latin, you should at least take the time to make sure it’s correct. Besides, I’ll mentally read it as “consilia” no matter how it’s written; it’ll just annoy me every time if it’s written wrong.

    As an aside, it always annoys the hell out of me when I see bad Latin in books and games. Instead of just griping about it, though, I freely offer my services as a Latin proofreader. I minored in Latin in college, so while I’m not exactly an expert, I can at least help you steer clear of things that are blatantly wrong. Anyway, open offer. 🙂

    • Dave Brookshaw
      August 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      The call on “Consilii” was made some four or five years before I freelanced on my first book. But like Lancea et Sanctum, we can fix it!

      In the years since, Awakening has picked up semiregular Latin and Ancient Greek consultants. Well, I say “consultants” but that’s a bit formal. People we know who have doctorates in them who we can ask questions.

      • Aspel
        August 7, 2014 at 1:01 am

        Sometimes it’s amazing what you can get away with by saying “it’s for a book”

  5. JohnD
    August 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    If Consilia is grammatically correct, use Consilia.

  6. Michael Mattei
    August 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Consilia, without question. It looks better, it sounds better and its correct.

  7. Gizmit
    August 6, 2014 at 4:24 pm


  8. Alex Greene
    August 6, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Consilia. Go for the proper grammar.

    Bear in mind how bad the Latin scholarship was in naming the vampire Covenant “Lancea Sanctum,” though. There is still a precedent for bad Latin.

  9. Octavo
    August 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    That Acanthus document is filled with evocative imagery, and does a great job depicting all of the possibilities of the path.

    I love the new Experience costs and requirements for the Arcana.

    I like most of the names (especially Witch, Alchemist, and Ecstatic). I’m not sure why Obrimos needs Thaumaturge, when FWC is working to bring Second Sight Thaumaturges into Orders. This could end up getting confusing, unless Second Sight’s getting a new edition soon.

    I hate to agree with the Seers, but “Prophet” is a great companion to “Witch”, and I’m glad someone’s using that name for the Path of the Bene Gesserit.

    I was hoping that additional mana costs for improvising non-ruling arcana would go away, but that’s probably just because I came to Awakening from Ascension and I want as few barriers to creative thaumaturgy as possible. I have to admit that the effortless nature of path arcana really shapes how the different Paths see and interact with the world, so I retract any complaint about the rule.

    I vote Consilia, because a new edition is the perfect time to clean up Latin grammar!

  10. gothicountry
    August 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm


    This write-up has completely and utterly sold me on FWC. I’ve had issues with Awakening since it came out, trying to find my way into it on its own terms and not as the successor to the first game that I really fell in love with. And this finally did it. These Witches and Enchanters? I’ve been trying to play these bastards for almost 10 years, but felt like I was missing something or swimming against the tide. Thank you for helping me figure them out properly. I can’t wait to see the finished book.

  11. Claudia
    August 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Consilia. The Order of Hermes uses “medieval Latin” and not “Roman Latin” but this is basic wording rules even rural priests knew about.

  12. Stupid Loserman
    August 6, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    This is fantastic, and having simple thematic mission statements for the Paths is so useful it’s almost essential. When in the course of working on Awakening did you realize the Paths needed to have stronger identities of their own spelled out beyond their Arcana, or is this more like something you’ve always seen and finally have a chance to work into the game?

    Voting for consilia. Death to legacy decisions kept solely for the sake of continuity.

    • Dave Brookshaw
      August 6, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      A few years ago, when for fun I figured out how Awakening Pathbooks in the style of Requiem’s Clanbooks would go. The innovations in how to present the Paths I came up with came out of my old, dusty notebooks and went right into Fallen World’s outline.

      • Kwom Masbag
        August 7, 2014 at 4:03 am

        FWC Pathbooks being a thing pls.

  13. Chazz Kellenr
    August 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm


    And I really like the take on the paths.

  14. Leliel
    August 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Consilia. I doubt if mages are lacking in people who know proper Latin plurals, ESPECIALLY the Libertines.

  15. Jack Stephenson-Carr
    August 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Mages would use the correct term – Consilia

    And the link for your Google Doc worked perfectly for me.

    Love the tweaks to the Acanthus flavoring and themes.

    Have fun at Gen Con. Hope the travel isn’t too tiresome.

  16. Mr. Paint
    August 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm


  17. David Paul
    August 6, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    “Consilia.” You gotta know the Diamond Orders are gonna be sticklers about that sort of thing.

  18. Pharniel
    August 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm


    As for Lucy…I always assumed she was an Obrimos (’cause the sparks on her head) but rechecking the book nope, she’s Acanthus. Huh. Things we misremember from…too many years ago.

    I do feel bad for her though – Concluding that the era of the Superstar DJ was over and she’d lost her chance to make it big…….a few years before the rise of the New Superstar DJ and EDM festival movement.

    I don’t feel that bad for her though – Unless she hates The Wubz it’s prolly a pretty awesome time to be DJ in London.

  19. Nick Pilon
    August 6, 2014 at 5:19 pm


  20. Thorbes
    August 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Well, that’s kind of a non-choice. Consilia, of course.

    Also, Psychonauts, good one 😉

    • Dave Brookshaw
      August 6, 2014 at 5:41 pm
      • The Guy
        August 6, 2014 at 7:38 pm

        I was terrorising a civilisation of tiny fish monsters again the moment the word psychonauts flitted across my perception.
        And loving it!

      • AlexS
        August 7, 2014 at 12:02 pm

        I did, and I suspect it’s not what you’re going for.

        I’ve always used “Mesmerists” to denote Mind-focused magi in my games.

      • Thorbes
        August 8, 2014 at 6:09 am

        Never heard of that game before. First thing that came to my mind (ha!) was Peter J.Carroll “Liber Null and Psychonaut”.

        Is curious how “traditional” Diamond mages are sort of Chaos Magicians, and the “modern” Free Council are more into tradition-bound mysticism.

  21. ale
    August 6, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    so an arcanthus could buy the 3 dot of fate or mind with the same exp cost now??

    • Dave Brookshaw
      August 6, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      Yes. But she’ll have to pay Mana to cast Mind spells.

      All Experience costs in Storytelling Revised are flat — the difference between the limits of your Path and exceeding them is the first time a Chronicle Book has had different costs for the same thing.

      • Dave Brookshaw
        August 6, 2014 at 5:47 pm

        We did experiment with having Ruling Arcana only cost three Experiences, but after a year’s playtesting I decided it was too cheap.

  22. Arcane
    August 6, 2014 at 5:48 pm


  23. Beachfox
    August 6, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I honestly would think that most (modern) mages wouldn’t care about “proper” Latin grammer. It’s a Fallen language, unconnected to Atlantian, and any assumed rules it might have as are firm and binding as any other part of The Lie.

    I could see the Free Council in particular doing it wrong on purpose just to drive home the point.

    • Beachfox
      August 6, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      Let me rephrase:

      Latin is a Fallen language! It’s rules of pluralization and construction no more substantial than gossamer and cobweb! Why should the masters of The Supernal give heed to the so-called rules of The Lie’s languages when they could be mapping out the sentence structure of magic itself? Let the mewling servants of the Exarchs cower before the specter of Incorrect Latin Grammar! The Orders call things as they will, for they know that all is but a pale reflection of a true reality which cares not for how you pluralize your nouns!

      • Leliel
        August 6, 2014 at 7:14 pm

        The Jnanamukti would agree with you! …Everyone else would recognize their psychotic ideals, though, and begin to slowly back away.

        The Fallen World and the Lie are two entirely different things, and the Lie is something the Fallen World could shed and be all the better for it. Rome was a civilization of PEOPLE, and to ignore PEOPLE is to serve the Lie, because the Lie is disempowerment.

        The previous blog posts are all about this.

    • Ravenmancer
      August 6, 2014 at 11:39 pm


  24. PenDragon
    August 6, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    I submit to the grammar nazis, Consilia.

    • Satchel
      August 6, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Pilkunnussijat, please.

      Another -lia for the pile.

  25. Deflare
    August 6, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Consilia. Unless you’re talking to a Libertine, in which case it’s ‘Consilii’ just so they can watch the old Latin-speaking guard squirm.

  26. Chris Borgars-Smith
    August 6, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    It looks interesting; I like that path is being brought forwards in more overt ways than just “what can I cast for free”. I’m not sure if the fluff really gives me much to hang on to though. The ‘dichotomies’ in particular seem a little bit lonesome and lack real context and grounding. Any particular reason why it’s the Singing Stone now?

    Consilii. Because mages are exactly the sort of people to be pedantically wrong.

    No, wait. Consiliorum. Even better. Much more latin-y.

  27. Vance
    August 6, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    “Psychonaut” seems too similar to astronaut. Obviously the words are related. As the benign counterpart to Warlock, I’d try to find a different word. The word works, but I’m sure you can do better. The connection, both consciously and subconsciously, to “astronaut” doesn’t work well when you’re going for transgressors and adversaries on the path of Scourging. It give an exaggerated example, it’s like casting Barney the purple dinosaur as an intimidating leader of thugs.

    • Black Flag
      August 6, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      The term has been around a few decades. You can look it up on Wikipedia. It’s also a cult video game. The fact that it shares a root with “astronaut” doesn’t mean anything. Lots of words share sounds with other words. It’s like complaining that “warlock” sounds too much like “padlock.”

  28. Black Flag
    August 6, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Consilia. Thanks for addressing this, Dave! And for the updates in general. You are doing a fine job of pre-selling me on the Fallen World Chronicle.

  29. Montuban
    August 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    I will vote Consilii as I have been in the minority on every vote since the first one and I see no need to break the streak.

  30. Victor
    August 6, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Consilia ! Have fun at Gencon.

  31. Yossarian
    August 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Consilia! Conjugate that Latin!

  32. Chris Borgars-Smith
    August 6, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    “Doubling down on Composure (already the Path’s favored Attribute)” Choosing is a recent change then?

    • Dave Brookshaw
      August 6, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      Aha! Yes, choosing is a recent change.

      • Chris Borgars-Smith
        August 7, 2014 at 8:19 am

        In which case, mind explaining how the choice determines your affiliation? Am I right to suppose that Resolve tilts you to the subtle arcanum and Composure to the gross?

        • Dataweaver
          August 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm

          I’d expect it to be the other way around: Resolve strikes me as being more in-your-face whereas Composure feels more subtle.

        • Thorbes
          August 8, 2014 at 6:17 am

          As Data says, the other way around. Resolve is more about being focused in the objective and be with your feet firmly on the ground, while Composure is more about and air of calm and inner peace.

  33. BigDamnHero
    August 6, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Consilia. I want to say that Consilii sounds better (and it does) but I think I’ll go with what’s more appropriate.

    Also: Have fun at GenCon! I can’t wait to hear what the new line is going to be!

  34. Falco1029
    August 6, 2014 at 7:05 pm


  35. That Guy
    August 6, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Am I the only one thinking “”ROMANES EUNT DOMUS”? “People called Romanes they go the house?” nah I can’t be this is the internets after all.
    I vote for consiliatium!
    And bask in my near complete ignorance of dead languages.

    I am intrigued but not entirely sold on this one.
    I never been a great fan of the Paths

    The biggest shake up and the most critical thing seems to be the mage sights I crave nice lengthy examples of how the mages are to precieve things.
    Always had trouble describing mage sight well.
    Especially things like prime or space.

    I particularly like the witches in the order section. Much nicer and broader than the old descriptions with such insights as Moros make stabby swords for Arrows.

  36. Vance
    August 6, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    “The fact that it shares a root with ‘astronaut’ doesn’t mean anything. Lots of words share sounds with other words. It’s like complaining that ‘warlock’ sounds too much like ‘padlock.'”

    It’s not, because -lock and lock- are used extensively in the English – whereas -naut is used rarely, and only then primarily referring to autronaut.

    • Leliel
      August 6, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Eh? So?

      “Naut” means “journeyman”, and there’s actually a lot of English words that end with -naut:

      So…no, I don’t understand. Am I an astronaut, because I am also an infonaut?

      • Dataweaver
        August 7, 2014 at 8:10 pm

        Personally, “psychonaut” makes me think of a mage who makes liberal use of Astral Sojourns to explore Astral Space more than any particular Path; but I can see how it fits the Mastigos.

  37. An Fhuiseog
    August 6, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Consilia. On a related note Morrigan is “An Mórríoghan” in Gaelic, seeing as how you have Cú Chulainn in Gaelic there. (This is completely unimportant, but I thought you might like to know).

    • Dave Brookshaw
      August 9, 2014 at 4:03 am


  38. Kara
    August 6, 2014 at 9:01 pm


  39. Caelene
    August 6, 2014 at 11:09 pm


    Also, any chance of getting the proper plurals for the paths? Curious classics majors want to know! >.>

    • Dave Brookshaw
      August 9, 2014 at 4:08 am

      Plurals? The Paths don’t use the singular forms of Greek properly. (it should be Acanthos: “Thorn”) – we figure that the Path names have had a bit of drift.

      The Mage chapter in World of Darkness: Dark Eras uses “corrected” Path names, along with a couple of other renamings (“Arcana” is Latin, and being set in Alexander the Great’s empire, we can’t use it.)

  40. Sir Phobos
    August 7, 2014 at 1:00 am

    My vote goes to Consilia.

    The way each path perceives the world with Mage Sight is a great way to understand their archetypes and that first draft makes me want to read the others path’s descriptions. It’s very cool that mages interact with the denizens of their path when they awaken, altough I suspect it doesn’t happens in every awakening.

    Best of luck on the GenCon, have fun!

  41. samcwic
    August 7, 2014 at 2:03 am

    While I find the idea of voting on correct grammar to be a strange one, I’m going to vote “consilia.” People voting the other way can make their arguments, but newcomers to the game reading the Fallen World Chronicle aren’t going to know about those arguments; they’re just going to see bad grammar. It’s going to make the product look less professional to them.

  42. Charlaquin
    August 7, 2014 at 2:45 am

    I agree, Mages would be the type to insist on proper latin. Concilia.

  43. Aleksandr
    August 7, 2014 at 5:19 am

    Consilia, because it’s proper, and I can imagine my character wincing every time she hears the other.

  44. Dusksage
    August 7, 2014 at 7:36 am

    I vote Consilia, now that I know that’s the proper word I can’t get it out of my head.

  45. tau neutrino
    August 7, 2014 at 7:44 am


    On the subject of learning Arcana, will the Arcana Mastery chart still be used? It’s clunky, confusing, and requires a lot of bookkeeping potentially. The only point seems to be a game balance that OP is moving away from.

  46. Zooroos
    August 7, 2014 at 8:20 am

    I vote for Con”C”ilia.

    CONCILIUM means “council”

    CONSILIUM means “counsel”



    Also, Lucy Sulphate is seven kinds of awesome. 🙂

    • B
      August 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      I voted for Consilia below, but if this is true then I vote for Concilia and Concilium.

      • Calrabjohns
        August 7, 2014 at 7:23 pm

        I vote for Concilia and Concilium also if they are the correct respective spellings.

    • Thorbes
      August 8, 2014 at 6:23 am

      Good one, Zooroos.

      Now I’m torn, but maybe Consilia still applies being as they are now less political ruling goverments and more dispute solving courts.

    • Dave Brookshaw
      August 8, 2014 at 6:46 am

      Yes, but the Consilum’s job is to counsel people – they’re there to resolve disputes.

      • Zooroos
        August 8, 2014 at 12:35 pm

        So there would be “counselors” instead of “councilors”?

        Personally, I prefer good ol’ council idea.

        • Zooroos
          August 8, 2014 at 3:03 pm

          Now that I think of, what about the Free Council? Would it be renamed “The Free Counseling Board” now? 😛

          • Dave Brookshaw
            August 9, 2014 at 4:09 am

            Council of Free Assemblies.

  47. Angrycuc
    August 7, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I feel like Matter and Fate are better inferior arcana fits for Mastigos and Thyrsus. Matter does not fall into the pulsing with life sight while minds can be easily seen as alive, and Fate kind of asks for belief in a superior force that bounds you, anathema to transgressors. Everything else is awesome, as always.

    • Nepher
      August 8, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      I myself actually use Fate as Mastigos Inferior and Prime as Acanthus one. The reasoning is that Fate play with the old “binding demons” thing, and Prime show the lack of control of the Universe the Acanthus display (not too far from Force, but, hey, it’s the same path anyway 😉 ). I like my Inferior being all Subtle.

      By the way, Consilia of course. Correctness is better than old book legacy.

      On a side note, I see you’re now allowing Arcane XP to be spent on Arcana. It’s a hack I already use in my 5 year long campaign. It has been a mess. The characters reached Mastery too soon, granting them some status they don’t deserve among the Orders. I’d never use it again. So I guess I’ll hack it again in the new version 🙂

      • Dave Brookshaw
        August 9, 2014 at 6:11 am

        You *can* spend Arcane Experiences on Gnosis, and Arcana within your Path limit.

        You *have* to spend it on Legacies, and Praxes.

        I personally used a house rule in the old edition that meant my players couldn’t use regular xp for Gnosis or Arcana – only Arcane. And tweaked the amounts of both they got accordingly, because they found the temptation to shoot for mastery outweighed buying all the Merits and skills their characters should have. In FWC, we’re trying the approach of giving other uses for Arcane Experiences.

        • Eolirin
          August 10, 2014 at 12:01 am

          Are Legacies a more flexible, bigger thing than 3 attainments now? I can’t see that being that much of an XP sink otherwise; just getting to Gnosis 5 to get the second attainment is quite time consuming.

          I suppose Praxes may be a big enough sink to not make that matter much though.

  48. MisterE
    August 7, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    looks like this is most definitely shaping up to be one hell of a great update. Only thing that really irks me so far is ‘the Watchtower of Singing Stone’! Why the hell chose that alteration? Makes it sound like a Disney film. What was wrong with the Iron Book (or whatever it was)? Especially when the other Watchtowers are associated with a metal or earth element of some kind.

    • Eolirin
      August 9, 2014 at 11:52 pm

      It was the Stone Book, so they’re only changing the book part. And a book isn’t entirely appropriate as a symbol for the Thrysus. Song is much more appropriate a symbol.

  49. AwakenedInterest
    August 7, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I like the new approach to the Acanthus in the write up. It feels more compatible with the World of Darkness cosmology as a whole without it pushing any canon rulings. I feel its partly due to the Supernal World being established as more of a permeating layer of experience rather than some distant dimension.

    It makes all proceeding content flow well with a more character-centric idea of; instead of a having a GM/Storyteller decide which gameline source material to use, its more really a Mage’s choice to seek out Changelings, Sin-Eaters or Demons to decide for themselves what it all means. Be it their own Hubris at work if they attempt to establish some rigid paradigm.

    Oh and consilia.

    • That Guy
      August 7, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      The Tarot cards being tied to the free council rings a bell actually.

      Tarot cards first became popular, in the UK at least, at the turn of the nineteenth century with the rise of victorian spiritualism and occultism.
      And of course this is when the setting has the free council forming from the nameless order so its natural to have the councilors of the time steeped in this manner of magical practise.

      I think it was even suggested that the council were involved in the spread of this sleeper interest in the supernatural.

      Course I am not entirely sure if this was in a book or only in Dave Brookshaws Soul Cage actual play thread with Kosciej the deathless

      • Dave Brookshaw
        August 7, 2014 at 6:27 pm

        I think you’re trying to reply to Beard, a few more posts down, but… Basically, yes.

        Tarot cards have only been used for divination since the late 18th century. That period of occultists being what they are, we even have the names of the people who made it up, in the real world.

        Now, in-setting for Mage they’re viable Yantras – so what does that mean? The Diamond Orders work on archetypes and symbolic structures, so Diamond cartomancers would tell you the Tarot taps into Supernal archetypes and shared myth-figures. They’d theorize that De Gebelin and company were picking up on traces of Supernal magic left over from the Fall.

        Libertine cartomancers will cheerfully tell you that Tarot is a human invention, but works anyway because human works are magical. The occultists in the 1780s who invented the cards had a spontaneous moment of inspiration.

  50. B
    August 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Consilia. Not only is it grammatically correct, it’s easier to say.

  51. Maxime
    August 7, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    While the original Mage: the Awakening book was something I felt was always very dry and vague (similar to Requiem in a way), this is just bursting with flavor and content. Mage used to be my least favorite nWoD game, but this could really turn things around.

    Also, consilia I guess, if it’s correct?

  52. Mr Adventurer
    August 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Consilia. If you’re going to do something, do it properly. Also double i looks silly.

  53. Tori
    August 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm


  54. Exploding Frogs
    August 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm


  55. Nathan Henderson
    August 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Concilia. Why is this even up for debate? You use the correct word!

  56. Lone Gunman
    August 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    This is easy, Consilia! 🙂

  57. Eric Christian Berg
    August 7, 2014 at 4:09 pm


  58. Beard
    August 7, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Consilii. Free yourselves from the rigid laws of the Fallen World and embrace the grammar of the Supernal.

    More seriously I’m kind of getting worried about how every time some cool magical thing pops up it turns out to be a Free Council thing. Even Tarot cards? Not only does it seem like we’re going from ‘The Pentacle’ to ‘The Diamond and those cool Free Council guys you should want to play.’ but that we’ve got four Orders worth of ‘boring wizards’ because everything magical seems to fall under Techne.

    • Leliel
      August 7, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      Look above you. The Free Council just has more explanations and is more likely to explore mundane occultism.

      The Atlanteans would say they’re missing the forest for the trees, but the trees are still part of the forest and thus worth consideration.

    • Chris Borgars-Smith
      August 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Masks, veils, disguises, weapons, armour, symbols of office, dragons, tomes…

      I think essentially the way I would see it is that each *individual* Libertine has a portfolio of symbols that are just as limited as any of the Orders’. It’s just that of course there’s more diversity in the Council – they’re very much House Ex Miscellania; “Everyone Else.” I’m sure that some symbols resonate with the Libertines as a whole, but I’m damned if I can think of any offhand.

  59. Kelly Pedersen
    August 7, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    I vote “Consilia” for the plural.

  60. Phersus
    August 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Consilia, of course 🙂

  61. Dataweaver
    August 7, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Concilia. The Diamond Orders will want to use it because it’s true; the Seers of the Throne will want to use it because it’s proper; and the Free Council will want to use it because Latin is a human invention and shouldn’t be abused.

  62. SNear
    August 7, 2014 at 10:10 pm


  63. Jen W.
    August 7, 2014 at 11:03 pm


  64. Lou
    August 8, 2014 at 3:17 am


  65. Michelle G
    August 8, 2014 at 11:38 am

    I’ll cast my vote for concilia.

    I’ll admit, having been busy these past few days, I haven’t gone far beyond my cursory skim of this post. But, I like what I see so far. I thought the path descriptions in the original core were a little wanting, and I felt like what were evocative ideas to start were diminished by a surface treatment of stereotypes. Mages might be chosen by there path, but five watchtowers doesn’t make for cookie-cutter personalities, and all awakened had something… before, which will inevitably color their lives when they become mages. I think this passage better explains the wide range of options within a path.

    I especially like that you’ve included an individual order for the path. I hope that you’re doing that for all the paths. I think it’s better than just listing one or two that a path might favor, and one that few join. So what if a player character wants to play in an order that seems unusual based on path stereotypes–players should develop their characters beyond stereotypes, and having a section that suggests the role of a path in each order is helpful when somebody needs to brainstorm.

    • Michelle G
      August 8, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Oh! Fun ideas from the post! If acanthus might see alternate timelines as branching thorns, what might an unwary acanthus think should she find herself in the hedge.

      Okay… so, it’s not exactly a question. But I thought I’d throw it out there. I’m still in love with how mage sight was revised, and I love the evocative descriptions you gave for each path.

  66. FallenEco
    August 8, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I love what you’ve done with the Paths. With any luck I can thank you in person at a Concilia.

  67. Agonium
    August 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I vote ‘Consilia’ for the Diamond Orders, Consili’ for the Free Council, because they aren’t really concerned with being proper.

    Also, the Watchtower for the Primal Wild was called ‘The Watchtower of the Stone Book’ in the original Mage: The Awakening book. I’m not complaining though, I kinda like ‘The Singing Stone’ better, but it reminds me of the Omphalos in the Astral Realms. I can’t tell if the name change was intentional.

    • Dave Brookshaw
      August 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Yes, it’s intentional.

  68. MugaSofer
    August 10, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I was a little worried the change might be jarring, but honestly “Consilia” sounds, if anything, better.

    I can see why you might want to tighten it in places, but I’m actually pretty psyched after reading that writeup.

  69. Brian Goubeaux
    August 11, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I can just picture the reaction of Acanthus mages with the Witches nickname:

    “We prefer the term Wiccans, you bigoted elitists.”

    Anyway, Mike and I vote for Consilia.

Comments are closed.