Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition FAQ, Part 2

Here’s the second and final part of the m20 FAQ, as provided by Satyros Phil Brucato. View part one here.

 Why does the physical copy of the rulebook cost more than Vampire and Werewolf 20th Anniversary Editions? 

Because it’s bigger. That larger size translates into far higher per-unit costs, higher shipping rates, and larger amounts paid for art and text. Thus, the production costs for Mage 20 are a lot higher than they had been for the Werewolf and Vampire 20th Anniversary Editions. In return, Mage holds far more material, and will be as large as we can afford to make it.

• Can we add on pledges to get an Extra-Big Deluxe Edition?

Sadly not. As things are, the damn thing’s too big to print, and needs to be cut to down and formatted into a manageable size.

• What about a two-volume set?

Because of the per-unit costs and logistics involved, among other reasons, we can’t do that with the Deluxe Edition.

• Will we see additional material that couldn’t be fit into the main book?

Yes. The Books of Secrets will feature material that either was cut from the main book, or else was not written to begin with because we already knew it would not fit in there. See above for more details about that material.

• Can we get this stuff after the Kickstarter ends?

Mage 20’s full-color hardcover Deluxe Edition will be available only to backers of the Kickstarter campaign. The other material – including digital and Print On Demand editions of Mage 20, and the stretch goal PDFs – will be available at some time after the Kickstarter ends.

• How soon after the Kickstarter ends?

That depends upon the size and complexity of the project.

As of this writing, the text for Mage 20 has been written; it’s being revised right now. After a book has been written, and its illustrations have been commissioned, it still needs to go through the following steps:

–        Editing, in which the writing is examined, streamlined, and – when necessary – corrected.

–        Layout, in which the text and illustrations are formatted into book-ready files.

–        Proofing, in which the layout gets examined for mistakes, and those mistakes get corrected This stage usually demands several passes… and with a book as large as Mage 20, that process can take a while.

–        Backer proofing, in which the file is released to backers to check out and report errors.

–        Indexing, which can’t be done until the final layout is approved. This stage requires a lot of painstaking work, and rushing it is a really bad idea.

–        Press, in which the files are sent to the printers. (This is done separately for the deluxe edition and the print on demand edition.)

–        Physical proofing, in which the printers send back a sample of the book. That sample (a “proof”) gets checked for errors, and those errors get fixed if and when they’re found.  (This is also done separately for the deluxe edition and the PoD.)

–        Final print, when the copies that go out into the world are finally produced.

–        Shipping, where those copies get sent to their new homes.

Unlike the classic-era White Wolf Game Studio, Onyx Path isn’t an in-house production facility, with a salaried staff and dedicated workspace. We work from home, often on a freelance basis and frequently around the demands of a family, day-jobs, and other factors. In short, we’re not a bunch of hypercaffeinated 20-somethings working literally all hours to grind out our books, the way we used to be. We also aim now for a higher level of quality than what we often achieved back in the old days, and so the time involved in producing those books is longer than it once was. But seriously, though – the results are worth it.

• Will there be more Mage: The Ascension after Mage 20 and the stretch goals come out? 

That’s the plan. This Kickstarter has certainly shown us that there’s an eager audience for Mage, and so although we can’t go into details about them right now (as those details are always subject to change), we certainly have plenty of ideas for the Mage line in the coming years.

• Will you be reprinting the Mage Tarot as one of the stretch-goals? Or making a new one?

Due to the extensive (and expensive) technical and artistic issues involved in reprinting the old deck, or in creating a new one, we don’t plan to include a Tarot deck as part of the Mage 20 stretch-goals.

This doesn’t mean that we’ll never do a new Mage Tarot, just not as part of this Kickstarter.

• Will there be pins/badges/more physical books/etc.?

Probably not. We’re not set up to produce, store, and ship physical goods beyond the deluxe editions.

• Who’s involved with Mage 20th Anniversary Edition?

The core of Mage 20’s creative team involves Richard Thomas, the Creative Director; Michael Chaney, the Art Director and Graphic Designer; and me, Satyros Phil Brucato, the Line Developer and primary author for Mage 20 as a whole.

That said, I did not write Mage 20 all by myself. The following “Classic Mage” authors wrote sections of the book as well: Brian “Mr. Technocracy” Campbell, Rachelle Sabrina Udell, Allen Varney, Jackie Cassada and Nicky Rea, Bill Bridges, Jesse Heinig, John Snead, and Deena McKinney.

Bill’s also providing “oversight development,” hopefully catching anything we might have missed along the way.

Both Bill and Jesse – the Revised-era Line Developers – have also been part of the Mighty Mage 20 Brain-Trust: a group of friends, pros, and trusted fans who’ve been providing guidance, inspiration, oversight, and design help throughout the last year. These folks has been essential to the development of Mage 20, and they all deserve a big THANK YOU: Ryan Todd Baker, Sherry Baker, Hope Basoco, Raven Bond, Bill Bridges, Allison Brown, Sandra Damiana Buskirk, Raven Nichole Silva-Barton Danger, Trist?n Erickson, Antonios Rave-N Galatis, Valentine Graves, Inky Grrl, Jesse Heinig, James High, Mark Jackson, Jennifer Kellam, Thaynah Leal, Travis Legge, ?mili Lemanski, Ryan Loyd, Rafael Mastromauro, Eva Morrissey, Haris Odinsson, Michael Shean, Rhea Shemayazi, Malcolm Sheppard, Bryan Syme, Dan “Khan” Treichel, Rachelle Udell, Coyote Ashley Ward, Ian A.A. Watson, and Anders “Main Man” Wood.

On the art side, we’ve welcomed back a number of old-school Mage artists, and brought in some new ones: Mike Gaydos, Darryl Elliot. Vince Locke, Andrew Trabbold, Jeff Holt, Alex Sheikman, Christopher Shy, Drew Tucker, John Cobb, Larry McDougal, Echo Chernik, Steve Prescott, Mark Jackson, Michael Wm. Kaluta, and Jeff Laubenstein. We’ll also be using illustrations from Mage’s storied history. We may welcome new artists as we expand the amount of art in the book.

And yeah – it’s kind of awesome to have the old gang get back together under the Mage banner again. Welcome back, everyone!

• Last question: So what’s up with the “Satyros” thing, anyway?

I’ve changed my name since the old days.

I never liked my birth-name to begin with, and if I’d had a better option, I would have changed my name long before I joined the White Wolf pack. As it was, I acquired the nickname “Satyr” during my days at the Wolf, thanks to my passionate temperament and my work on Changeling: The Dreaming. When I left the staff in 1999, I started going by “Satyr” in order to rebuild my identity. I founded Laughing Pan Productions and Quiet Thunder Productions under that name, and have published dozens of projects under it as well. In 2011, our beloved Greek tribe gave me the name “Satyros,” and although I go by “Satyr” in my personal life, “Satyros Phil Brucato” is now my established professional name.

Thanks for keeping the faith in Mage.

25 thoughts on “Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition FAQ, Part 2”

  1. Amazing! Thanks for the clarifications, and thanks to everybody involved in the project. By the way, wasn’t Ian Watson the person in charge of the new technocracy books? Those were amazing, i hope that he is collaborating on this too!

    Again, Thank you!

  2. The pdfs of Ascension Warriors: Mage Character Pack PDF I, The Catastrophe Ballet: The 20th Mage Quickstart, “How Do You Do That?” Practical Guide to Magick Sphere, M20 Book of Secrets I, Familiar Strangers: Mage Character Pack II, Truth Until Paradox 2, M20 Book of Secrets II, Gods & Monsters: Mage Character Pack III also will be available on DriveThruRPG after the end of the collective funding ?

  3. The pdfs of Ascension Warriors: Mage Character Pack PDF I, The Catastrophe Ballet: The 20th Mage Quickstart, “How Do You Do That?” Practical Guide to Magick Sphere, M20 Book of Secrets I, Familiar Strangers: Mage Character Pack II, Truth Until Paradox 2, M20 Book of Secrets II, Gods & Monsters: Mage Character Pack III also will be available on DriveThruRPG after the end of the collective funding ???

  4. I hope we eventually get an update to Iteration X. It needs it – but please have Brucato and Brian Campbell do it. I’m jus’ sayin’

      • You could probably use it for any continuous physical object. The pins referred to above might not be doable, but badges should be. Dice are an obvious option, and different shops in Shapeways already have several. If someone still has the model for the klaive WW offered a while back, people could even order their own silver versions.

  5. I really don’t want to be the black hat in a bunch of white and yellow hats, but I could never afford any of the deluxe books.
    A deluxe book would just get coffee stains on it, and it would see so much wear that the binding would probably look like it’s been chewed by a Garou in Crinos form before the year’s out. So a workhorse of an ordinary book will do for me.
    I just wished I could have played M20 with the M20 sourcebook last year, on the actual 20th anniversary, instead of going retro and playing with Mage Revised.
    I just want the sourcebook in my hands, so I can start to play Mage 20.

  6. the Mage tarot is gorgeous. I bought three copies back when you could still get it off Amazon and am glad I did; only one’s survived the many moves. I dunno if I’d get another copy if it were to be rereleased, least not as long as this copy on my desk lasts, but definitely a quality piece.

    I was imagining the Satyros was some kind of reverse gravitas title. “enters the Satyros.”

    • V20 was 528 pages. We won’t know how big Mage20 will be until redlines, second drafts, and editing are done, but it’ll clock in above 600.

    • I’m not. I didn’t like his style at all. Don’t get me wrong, he’s got serious skills, but the style didn’t gel with me in the slightest, and it was at odds with all the intricate detailed works from the majority of artists in the books.


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