Aaand we’re back! GenCon was a blast as always, and it was great to meet so many of you. Lots of insightful questions about the draft, too, all of which I got down in red pen to look at when we redline.

Before we start, two points.

First, as you’ve by no doubt heard by now, the book formerly known as Mystery Play: The Fallen World Chronicle is now officially Mage: The Awakening, Second Edition. Which is, you know, neat.

Second, thanks to the release schedule until August 2015 getting published at GenCon, I can stop dancing around questions like “are you going to cover the magical materials” (which, seriously, I get asked about once a week.) Our first book for Mage after the new corebook is going by the working title of Shards of Power. It’s about Mysteries of Supernal origin – everything from a chapter on Yantras, expanded magical item crafting, to Artifacts, Supernal Verges and (if we can get them in) ghost mages and other liches.

With a three-vote margin, Paradox has finally won the day.

When we started to put the new edition together, we had a few goals in mind. We knew that Paradox’s function in the game is to give mages enough rope to hang themselves, that it’s the risk they take for overextending themselves. We also knew that the current magic system doesn’t neccessarily get that across – Paradoxes are relatively easy to absorb, and spells are set as either covert or vulgar in their mechanics, for reasons that often had more to do with balance considerations than any in-world logic. It was a progression from Ascension‘s “coincidental” and “vulgar” magick, which depended on how believable a spell was to the consensus. After nine years, knowing what Paradox is in Mage, we can go further.

The new Paradox system – in fact, the new edition – doesn’t contain the words “covert” or “vulgar.” No spell automatically risks Paradox. Instead, the spellcasting system defines whether a character can comfortably achieve a given effect, or if it’s difficult enough to risk the Abyss corrupting the spell’s imago. Mages have a defined gap between what they can achieve and what they can achieve safely. Going beyond those limits tests a mage’s ability to build a spell imago, and risks the Abyss corrupting the spell.

We call this concept Reach. As in “exceeds grasp.”

Reach and Paradox Risk

In the current system, when a mage has more dots in an Arcanum than she needs to cast a spell, she can employ advanced spell factors, use sympathetic range, or access any special mechanics in the spell’s description. For the second edition, we’ve wrapped all of these up together, slightly reduced the effectiveness of spells without using them, and decoupled it from requiring more dots.

By default, spells are cast in ritual time (as defined by Gnosis), on the caster or something the caster is touching, using the basic versions of all spell factors. Casting in combat time (Turns), on something the caster can sense, or using an advanced spell factor all cost Reach. Many spells have additional effects for more Reach.

You get one Reach for free with every dot in the primary Arcanum you meet or exceed the spell’s Practice by. Every additional Reach risks Paradox dice according to Gnosis. You can also risk Paradox in other ways – casting an obviously magical effect in front of Sleepers adds a die, or using a spell that you’ve burned your Wisdom over previously. If you have a Paradox dice pool, you also bag an extra die for each previous paradox roll your character has prompted in a scene. Multiple Sleeper witnesses apply a dice trick to the Paradox roll – a single witness doesn’t, but a handful of people will give it 9-again, light traffic 8-again and a crowd gives it the rote quality.

Witnessing magic like this, provoking Paradox, also makes Sleepers suffer an Integrity breaking point. Which unless you’re particularly hubristic will probably make the mage suffer a Wisdom breaking point. It’s bad all round.

Paradox Risk is reduced by two dice in the Shadow and Underworld. In the Astral Realms, Supernal Verges, and Demesnes, it’s removed entirely – no spells suffer Paradox at all, allowing mages to let loose with the strongest forms of their spells. In Abyssal Verges, however, it’s automatic – every die of Paradox Risk becomes a success with no need to roll.

Once a spell has a Paradox dice pool, you can’t get rid of it entirely. Spending Mana reduces the Paradox pool one-for-one, using your dedicated magical tool as a yantra knocks two dice off. The most you can do is reduce the Paradox pool to a chance die, though – once you’re risking Paradox, the Storyteller is going to roll it.

At this point, you the player haven’t rolled any dice. You can see the size of your spellcasting pool, you can see the size of the Paradox pool that’s coming for you. At this point, you have a decision to make.

Mages can sense the Abyss when it starts to take hold of a spell, as a clammy, icy feeling in their soul accompanying the rush of using magic. They can clamp down on that influx of Paradox, trying to contain it within themselves, or they can let it go, allowing the Abyss to warp the spell.


If a mage tries to contain a Paradox within herself, the Paradox roll is contested by the character’s Wisdom score. Any Paradox successes cancelled out become resistant bashing damage. If the Paradox roll still succeeds, however, the mage feels the hurt – she gains a Paradox Condition as the Abyss can’t corrupt the spell but gets grounded into her instead. The game has one sample Paradox condition per Arcanum, but we encourage you to think up your own. Here’s one that may seem familiar:

The mage is driven insane by her proximity to the Abyss. If the Paradox roll nets three or less successes, she gains a mild derangement. If it nets four or more successes, she gains a severe derangement (See p. XX).

Paradox Conditions grant Arcane Beats when they cause you problems, but are technically persistant. When a period of time determined by your Wisdom elapses, a Paradox Condition becomes “settled” – it’s fully entered your character’s pattern and will increase any Paradox rolls by a die until you remove it – and finally free yourself from it – by Pattern Scouring it out of yourself: effectively completing the attempt to turn the Paradox into resistant damage.

Whether the Paradox happens or not, the spell roll itself is unchanged.


If a mage chooses not to take the personal risk of containment himself, the Paradox pool’s successes penalize the mage’s casting dice pool. More than that, though, successes on a released Paradox become Reach – Reach that the Storyteller can spend. Paradox successes cancel Reaches that the player wanted, add additional ones he didn’t (your spell to affect one target now affects everyone in sensory range, for example), or even (when the Paradox gets multiple successes) leave an Environmental Tilt behind or summon an Abyssal Entity. No matter what happens, though, the resulting Paradox won’t come after the mage by default — unless you happen to be targeting yourself with your spell, releasing a Paradox is the safer option. For you. Not so much for any bystanders.


That’s a lot of explanation. Let’s look at an example.

Mark is playing Wolsey, a paranoid Silver Ladder Mastigos who is concerned that he’s building up too many sympathetic connections that the Seers of the Throne (or his political enemies in Caucus) could exploit. Wolsey is Gnosis 3 and has Space 3.

He doesn’t need to engage in creative thaumaturgy, as the spell he’s after is described in the rules.

Veil Sympathy (Space ••)
Practice: Veiling
Primary Factor: Duration
Suggested Rote Skills: Politics, Subterfuge, Survival
A magician’s sympathetic connections allow her to reach out beyond herself, but they are also an avenue by which her enemies can attack her. This spell conceals one of the target’s sympathetic links, chosen by the mage from those she is aware of. Any attempt to uncover the link, or to use the target as a Sympathetic Yantra, provokes a Clash of Wills.
+1 Reach: Rather than suppressing a sympathetic connection, the mage may instead make the target appear to have a sympathetic link to someone or something else instead. Attempts to detect the link provoke a Clash of Wills to see through the deception, but attempts to use the target as a Sympathetic Yantra automatically fail.
+2 Reach: The mage may suppress all the target’s sympathetic links. This effect applies in both directions; that is, if the mage casts it on herself, she cannot be used as a Sympathetic Yantra, nor can any Sympathetic Yantra target her, without a Clash of Wills.

Now then. Wolsey has Space 3, so he can manage 2 Reach without risking Paradox. By default, the spell will affect himself or anything he’s touching (that’s fine – he’s aiming at himself), and require a ritual which at his level of Gnosis will take an hour (regrettable, but doable). The real pain as far as he’s concerned, though, is that it will only last for three turns (duration is the primary spell factor, so it moves up the duration chart by his Space dots. That’s still only nine seconds, though).

In order to get the spell to last an appreciable amount of time, he’ll have to Reach. Using one of his two Reach switches it to the advanced duration spell factor, where his Arcanum mastery nets him a week. He doesn’t fancy recasting this spell every week, though, so takes a 2-dice penalty to his casting roll to make it last a month. Using High Speech and destroying a photo of himself in the ritual will give him three bonus dice from Yantras, anyway, putting him on a mighty seven-dice casting pool. He’s feeling confident.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t know which angle the Seers will attack him from. Or even if they exist at all. Suppressing all of his sympathetic connections costs 2 Reach as per the spell’s description – combined with making the effect last, that’s beyond his abilities. If he were an Adept of Space, he wouldn’t have a problem, but now he’s sitting on two (thanks to his Gnosis) Paradox dice.

We’ll take the example through both of Mark’s options here, so you can see them play out.

Wolsey contains the Paradox: Dave (the Storyteller) rolls the two Paradox dice and gets a success. Mark rolls Wolsey’s Wisdom (5) and gets two successes. Wolsey suffers a level of resistant Bashing damage and the spell goes on unaffected – Mark’s seven dice easily get a success, and for the next month any attempts to use a sympathetic connection on Wolsey provoke a Clash of Wills.

Wolsey does not contain the Paradox: Dave rolls the Paradox pool and gets a success. Mark’s pool is penalized by one, reducing it to six. Dave is also feeling mean, so uses the Paradox’s success to add a Reach Mark didn’t ask for (if Dave were feeling particularly vindictive, he’d just undo the Reach for duration and let the spell elapse in a matter of Turns, but that’s boring). He uses it to activate the other function of the spell, to create false sympathies. Mark rolls his reduced dice pool, still succeeds, and instead of being off the grid Wolsey now has a collection of nonsensical sympathies – some of which are noted down in Dave’s chapter notes to come haunt him later…

Next week!

Lots for you to pick over there, I think. Next time, let’s look at something we haven’t had up for vote before. Antagonists or Legacies?


178 responses to “Paradoxical”

  1. Tiresias Avatar

    And now I know why the primary spell factor is listed.

    Paradox is much more interesting as something the players need to actively manage and plan rather than a random event nobody can really do anything about.

    Voting for Legacies.

  2. Vitriol Avatar

    Excellent and interesting writeup. Though I really want to see Antagonists, let’s go with Legacies!

  3. Will Avatar

    “Suggested Rote Skills”? Interesting…

    So Sleepers will continue to only count as witnesses if the spell is obviously and overtly magical? Or is that only in the case of adding Paradox, while the dice tricks are applied when you do magic in front of large groups of people regardless of it’s obviousness. I assume the former, but you never know…

    1. Will Avatar

      Oh, and Legacies!

    2. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      Yes, Sleepers only add Paradox if the spell prods them in the Lie; any obviously supernatural effect does it, but if your spell effect could happen anyway, you can cast in front of them.

    3. Chris Borgars-Smith Avatar
      Chris Borgars-Smith

      Given how the Quiescence works, I strongly suspect they only count if the effect causes a breaking point, i.e. is overtly magical. (But that could be a lot of things.)

  4. branford Avatar

    The system seems a little long and complex. I’m also not sure if I like that all spells now can invoke paradox, particularly since newer characters will not have any Reach to burn and characters will often have to spending hours to cast simple and minor spells of very short duration. Even a two dot simple healing spell by a Thyrsus now requires a significant decision tree.

    I would be interested to see the new inherent powers of mages as they progress in their Arcanum to see if they may balance the increased paradox risks and casting times.

    I also wouldn’t mind seeing more differentiation among the different Paths concerning paradox that would encourage mages to cast spells of their ruling Arcanum. For instance, maybe a mage casting a spell based upon their Ruling Arcana get one or two free Reach, while casting a spell with their Inferior Arcana has a one reach penalty.

    1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      “Meet or exceed it by” – you’ll always have one, even if you’re a brand-new mage using her weakest Arcanum. We’ve found in playtests that mages rapidly start running out of things to spend Reach on by the time they’re using their three-dot Arcana to cast one-dot spells, to the point that we’re trying to think of other things it could do.

      In practice, this means that when in the first edition spells would target youself at 1 dot and someone else at 2 dots (like most Unveiling spells), or take a ritual at 1 dot and be instant-cast at 2, that you get the choice of which you want. Or a Paradox roll for both.

      For example, a Space 3 mage can eat a large Paradox pool to do with portals what he’d need Space 5 for in the current rules.

      1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
        Dave Brookshaw

        Also, we’re heartily aware of how much casting a spell feels like a process. In practice, it’s like any other skill roll when you get the hang of it – you have your penalties (spell factors) and bonuses (yantras), but just as you went through the spell factors deciding what was advanced and what wasn’t before, you now tick Reach off.

        By the third spell, a complete newbie in our GenCon game (never even played a ttrpg before, let alone Mage) had the hang of it and was reciting “one for casting on someone else, two for instant…”

        But the new edition will also be presenting Down and Dirty Magic, for when you don’t care to go through the process of figuring out a spell’s parameters and just want to roll Gnosis + Arcanum and have done with it.

      2. Strill Avatar

        I see what branford means. In my games, players take quite a while to decide which spell they should cast, and this system adds another level of convolution to figuring out what you’re actually capable of, especially with so many different spells. I think it’s something that could probably be fixed with the right organization though. A neat list of all the player’s spells and their reach, and a list of things reach buys them might help this.

      3. branford Avatar

        As always, thanks for the response, Dave.

        I would note, however, that many of your referenced first edition spells particularly at lower levels, were already able to be cast covertly without paradox and were instant with no need for rituals. The fact that paradox wasn’t particularly deadly, and could be avoided relatively easily or with minor inconvenience speaks for itself.

        Although I admittedly do not know the exact details of the advanced spell factors, this new system appears to make casting lower level spells more time-consuming, risky and difficult (from an in-character perspective), particular for more inexperienced mages. The fact that you explicitly mentioned that you reduced the effect of spells from the first edition when advanced spell factors are not employed seems strongly reinforce this point.

        Given that the personal power levels of vampires and werewolves appear to have received a significant bump with the second editions, I’m unfortunately (for me, anyway) getting the feeling that the trend will not continue with the new Mage.

        Could you possibly offer more tidbits about the scarcity or abundance of mana and the new inherent powers of mages as they progress that might balance-out the new, more sever paradox system?

        1. Eolirin Avatar

          I wouldn’t put it that way at all. Mages are actually quite a bit stronger with these changes (Demesnes are amazing, especially if you can cast sympathetically out of them without risking Paradox), if they’re able to take the time and have access to the resources necessary to really amp up their abilities. That’s always supposed to have been the trade off with the Arcana; very powerful, very flexible, but dependent on preparation. These changes reinforce that.

          Also to note, the one free Reach you start with means you can instant cast a low level spell in exactly the same way you could before, you just don’t need to be an Arcanum dot above to use advanced prolongation factors. Now, a bit of a nerf to the basic table isn’t a huge deal if you get to use the advanced tables right off the bat, and a single paradox die isn’t that big a deal if your Wisdom is high. It doesn’t do that much to limit individual spells, it’s more going to cause issues when you need to cast many instant spells in a row, all of which need to use additional Reach. I suspect that won’t be that constant of an issue unless the mage in question is very reckless.

        2. Falco1029 Avatar

          First of all, mages don’t need the same power boost to begin with, compared to vampires and werewolves, who ended up as two of the weakest splats as every other game was released more and more potent.

          Second, don’t underestimate the benefit of being able to take advanced spell factors without needing higher arcana, especially since you can do that in the Astral without any risk and any Hallow lets you get into the Astral now. So, any mage with Hallow access can cast their advanced duration spells as soon as they first get them so long as they can spend a few turns in their own Oneiros.

  5. Caleb Cushing Avatar

    something I’m not sure I yet understand is why sleepers encourage paradox at all. (possible I just need to reread a ton of stuffs)

    1. Merkonan Avatar

      There is a shard of the Abyss in the soul of every Sleeper. Witnessing magic creates sympathy to it, and aggravates paradox.

    2. Froggy711 Avatar

      As Merkonan said. Essentially the Abyss is what is keeping humanity Asleep, and thus there is a little bit of the abyss in every sleeper. It’s like they are all unwitting spies for the abyss.

  6. Octavo Avatar

    Ok, that’s epic. I love that Awakening no longer relies upon the nomenclature of Ascension.

    I vote Legacies.

  7. Raibran Avatar

    Legacies! Legacies for always!

  8. Beard Avatar

    Interesting…dunno if I like the double whammy of witnessed spells giving paradox and a Wisdom check, but the rest of this seems pretty cool.

    Gonna vote for Antagonists.

    1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      Depends how high your Wisdom is. Releasing a Paradox is *also* an act of Hubris!

      1. Beard Avatar

        That makes sense, since its the “””easier””” option and often targets bystanders, especially if it hurts said bystanders. Every group does breaking point rolls a little differently anyway, it was just the one part that made me think, “…that a little much?”

        On the other hand Paradox being tied directly into how you make your spells is a brilliant change. Not only does it have more teeth, but Verges and astral spellcasting just became way more important, especially for magic item and long term enchantment making. Now mages fighting tiny wars over a powerful verge makes way more sense.

        1. Dataweaver Avatar

          What I’m getting is that the Wisdom roll to contain Paradox isn’t a Breaking Point; that is, failing the roll doesn’t lower your Wisdom — it just means that you get nailed by a Paradox Condition (which isn’t good, but isn’t a drop in Wisdom).

  9. PenDragon Avatar

    This spoiler brings me joy. Not least of all because it’s nearly identical to what I’m already running. Implementation will be a breeze!

    Also, Legacies. Definitely Legacies.

  10. Olivier Avatar

    legacies legacies legacies legacies legacies legacies legacies

    1. Olivier Avatar

      And I forgot to say: I love that high-powered magic stuff happens in the Astral.

      1. Atlatl Jones Avatar
        Atlatl Jones

        I completely agree. I love that this makes wild, high-fantasy, Dr. Strange-esque levels of magic easily possible in the Astral, while keeping Mages at John Constantine-esque street level in the physical world.

        My vote is for Legacies. Having learned how the paradox rules work, I’m really curious about how legacies break them.

  11. Grunt Avatar

    Well, first I’ll say thanks for taking the time to write this up even after Gencon.

    And now comes the gushing. I love it. I really do. This ties back to some fears that Demesnes were going to be weakened because of their modest bonus as a yantra but this obviously more than makes up for it.

    Also, and I hope I read that right, this makes Mana (and by virtue of that both Tass and Prime) far more valuable as it allows someone with a access to enough ressources but not a demesne to go all out with their most potent spells at the price of much of his stock and at worst 1 resistant wound.

    All in all, this feels like an excellent change to both make paradox a more involved player-involved process and change the economy of Mage.

  12. Yossarian Avatar


    Also, this is a great!

  13. Fata-Ku Avatar

    I’m throwing money at the screen but nothing is happening D:

    I wanna know more about Scelesti and Abyssal Manifestations.
    I’m voting Antagonists.

  14. Eolirin Avatar

    Holy… wow, that’s all sorts of fantastic.

    Legacies please! I’ve got some npcs that rely heavily on Legacies and I’m hoping we get a more flexible system for attainments.

  15. atamajakki Avatar

    I’m gonna vote antagonists in the hopes that the Seers of the Throne have become less one-dimensional.

  16. Maxime Avatar


  17. Blackheart Avatar

    Legacies please.

  18. krimcl Avatar

    My vote is Antagonists.

  19. nikink Avatar

    Wow, that looks amazing. Can’t wait to play!


  20. Victor Avatar

    Nice read, I vote for Antagonists.

  21. Falco1029 Avatar

    I’m really liking the concept of Reach, with Arcanum dots just giving you reach for free instead of being a requirement to do advanced things.

    Though, I’m curious about derangements; are they a mage only thing, or are they just specific lists of Conditions and work the same way? I’m also wondering how much Reach combat time casting needs. Will someone with 1 dot always be risking paradox in combat time, for instance? Or does it just use the same as the dot rating of the spell grants (thus never being over it, but using up any free reach you’d have for the highest spell levels you can cast)? Or is it a flat 1 reach? Or what?

    I vote for legacies, at any rate.

    1. Eolirin Avatar

      I’m really hoping that for consistency’s sake they’re just persistent Conditions, like the existing examples from other second ed books.

      1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
        Dave Brookshaw

        …Yes, that’s just the writer working on Paradox getting her editions mixed up. It’ll get fixed in the several rounds before the book comes out. I’m making a note.

  22. Juhn Avatar

    Legacies, of course! One of the primary ways of differentiating your Mage from others of the same Path, and I’d like to hear more about it. Here’s hoping they either do more mechanically or the requirements for entry are lowered, though – most games end before anyone sees their Third Attainment with the way things currently work.

    We might even get lucky and have both!

  23. Manu Avatar


  24. Seidmadr Avatar

    I feel almost like Buridan’s Ass with these choices! I’m just glad that I can wait a week and let someone else do the choosing most of the time! This time, though, I’ll choose Legacies, mostly because I think it sounds more rules-y than the Seers, Liches, Mad, and other fun members of the Magical Society.

    That said, this is awesome. This has turned Havoc from completely game breaking things that will kill you into something you can risk happening, and that’s fun. Compared to “This can do anything you can, and doesn’t like you” which isn’t.

  25. Leliel Avatar

    First: Love it, though I’ve developed an allergic reaction to Derangements. They aren’t tied to Wisdom, I hope?

    Second: Legacies, I have a handle on the antagonists.

  26. TheMartini Avatar

    Poor Wolsey, now with sympathetic connections to Cotton Candy and the 1974 Chicago Bears…

    I’d be happy to see either. I’ll be interested in how Legacies are presented, because I never had a good handle on them in the original version.

  27. Afro Luigi Avatar
    Afro Luigi

    Legacies please!

  28. Aiden Avatar


    So far so good, guys.

  29. branford Avatar

    As a follow-up to my earlier comments, does the new system now prevent mages from casting ritual spells using the extended action rules? If so, that would seem to be a significant nerf to mages, particularly those with higher Gnosis.

    1. Eolirin Avatar

      Dave’s said in a few places that that is, in fact, the case, yes. No extended casting.

      Exactly how much of a nerf that is is going to depend on what the new spell factors charts look like. You no longer have accumulate successes, since all the spell factors are dice penalties, and with yantras and a minor spoiler on the forums about rituals being able to invoke a few types of teamwork bonuses, it should be possible to simply focus on getting big enough dice pools to get a single success on a very heavily penalized roll.

      Coupled with Demesnes and Supernal Verges removing paradox threats, letting you use unlimited Reach, you should be able to go for some pretty impressive effects if you can bring the right resources to bear.

      1. branford Avatar

        Unless the advanced spell factors provide VERY BIG bonuses, the advantages provided by routine one persona rituals with the old extended casting rules, particularly with a character with mid to high Gnosis, should far exceed anything gained by the far more limited circumstance and opportunity of casting at Demesnes or Supernal Verges or part of a group.

        1. Eolirin Avatar

          Given that potency no longer works the way it used to either, I’m really not sure that’s even remotely the case. Clash of Wills reduces the scope of things for you to care about. Area, number of targets, duration, damage. And those all have effective upper bounds. Also, the primary spell factor thing means that you’ll be starting with at least one factor pushed up pretty high already too.

          So generating really huge target successes versus generating a single success and having to bump up the dice pool should be roughly a wash; you’ll be able to cap out, so it’s just about whether you can get your dice pool big enough. And there are a lot of ways to get extra dice, especially when using group ritual casting, so you can pile on a lot of dice penalties. We see that a -2 penalty takes the advanced duration chart from a week to a month. That’s completely trivial to make up for, and pretty significant. I don’t think we’re going to be looking at a significant nerf except against thoughtless solo ritual casting.

          And you know what, those “routine” solo rituals are actually kind of terrible for actual play, so seeing them die in a fire is a good thing. There are precious few things worse than frequent, repetitive, solo player extended actions in a nWoD game, especially when it’s a prerequisite to action. They’re boring and they suck up time.

          1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
            Dave Brookshaw

            Potency this edition is very simply “if your spell does a dice trick, how many times does it do it, if it gives a damage bonus, how big is it, if it lays on a strength score, how many dots is it”

            It’s a spell factor like any other – often the primary spell factor.

            You only ever need one success on a spell – magic now obeys the dice mechanics of nWoD, where the only difference is between success and exceptional success. That’s why the primary spell factor gets raised by your arcanum without penalty; it doesn’t depend on your successes any more.

          2. Eolirin Avatar

            Right, that’s what I was trying to get at, that and that it’s no longer a factor for contesting other effects trying to overcome it, because Clash of Wills covers that. You don’t need to build up quite so many factors as you would’ve used to, when you needed a high potency *and* duration for that cloaking spell.

  30. Charlaquin Avatar

    Don’t tell me nobody else noticed the Bedlam Condition causes Derangements? And here I though Derangements were being replaced by Conditions in second edition. This is kind of huge news that was just subtly tucked away in all of the awesome Paradox spoiler. This gives me a lot to think about.

    1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      Yeah, our bad. We’ll fix that.

  31. Juhn Avatar

    “The new Paradox system – in fact, the new edition – doesn’t contain the words “covert” or “vulgar.” No spell automatically risks Paradox. Instead, the spellcasting system defines whether a character can comfortably achieve a given effect, or if it’s difficult enough to risk the Abyss corrupting the spell’s imago. Mages have a defined gap between what they can achieve and what they can achieve safely. Going beyond those limits tests a mage’s ability to build a spell imago, and risks the Abyss corrupting the spell.”

    This part makes me exceedingly happy – There’s a Death-focused Moros Guardian in my current game’s Cabal (partially because we were tired of the fact that every Moros we’ve ever seen played in a game has always been of the “we’re not all Necromancers, that’s a hurtful stereotype!” variety, and we wanted one unashamed of his facility with Death for once), and he’s still had to deny himself a very large chunk of his main Arcanum because almost all the cool stuff you can do with Death is Vulgar (and even some basic utility spells for a Guardian, like Final Sight). The fact that he now potentially has access to his entire Arcanum without risking Paradox, so long as he is sufficiently careful and patient, is going to be a godsend (as I imagine it will be for a lot of GotV players). Thanks, Dave.

  32. Eolirin Avatar

    Oh, Dave, also, the wording on the one Reach option is a little confusing to me; If you already know about the sympathetic connection that’s being faked, and you try to use that, it automatically fails, right? And attempts to use the fake connection also automatically fail, but if you successfully see through the faked sympathetic link, are you then able to use the real connection as a sympathetic yantra?

  33. Dusksage Avatar

    Antagonists , everyone loves a good villain.

  34. Asaram Avatar


  35. KingCarnival Avatar


  36. Arcane Avatar


    Also, I absolutely adore the Paradox rules. We’ve moved from “Going to buy it as a matter of course” to “This is the Mage I always needed to buy”.

  37. NateD Avatar

    Waow! The mechanics are hitting the themes so hard I’m worried for my screen.

    I understand the concerns about it taking a little while to figure out this stuff in the heat of play, but I’m sure it’ll all come together after a few casts (and besides, that’s on-theme, too, isn’t it?)

    Would I be right in assuming that one of these reach-costing factors would be damage type? +1 for Lethal, +2 for Agg, for instance?

    1. Eolirin Avatar

      I really hope agg damage is limited to the Practice of Unmaking, rather than being Reach on Fraying spells. The other 2e lines have significantly reduced access to agg, so far, and I hope Mage follows suit.

      1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
        Dave Brookshaw

        Reach on Unraveling, actually, while Fraying can only do Bashing.

        1. Eolirin Avatar


          1. NateD Avatar

            Yeah, I’m a little sadface, too – it sounds like no starting characters can do Lethal with magic, and even then they’d need 1 Reach for combat timing, 1 for range (unless they “throw” it, by the sound of things), and then probably a hell of a lot of minuses for extra damage.

            Still holding out hope that I’m missing things, though. Advanced Damage table, maybe?

          2. Eolirin Avatar

            I am sadface for completely opposite reasons. I’m happy with Mages not having good access to Lethal, I’m upset with them having seemingly much easier access to Aggravated damage than just about everyone else.

        2. ale Avatar

          so with 2 reach could a 3 dot spell (the mage only has 3 dots )do agg damage, or is it limited to go only one step above??

          1. Eolirin Avatar

            Unraveling is a 4 dot Practice. You need 4 dots to do it, period.

        3. The Grey Pope Avatar

          I hope that the practice of Fraying can cause lethal wounds with Reach at least. If it can’t, maybe I’ll just make it!

  38. NateD Avatar

    Also: Legacies!

  39. Satchel Avatar

    Antagonists, by a hair.

    1. The Nate Avatar
      The Nate

      Yeah, I’ll toss in a vote this way, too: Antagonists.

      I like the sound of reach. To those worrying about balance on damage: By all means house-rule this to taste. The new system has tons of factors to tweak. (I notice that the arcana as weapon damage is now essentially verified, as a consequence of how the primary spell factor now works.)

      I also notice that this Paradox system make Mana demand a whole lot more certain. If the spiritual fount of mana is dammed or diminished, the cost of Tass is going to skyrocket. This might even be something worth some real favors, now. I approve.

      I’m ambivalent on the part where the effect chosen doesn’t affect the result.
      +It makes things more consistent and, thus, easy to adjudicate
      -it means that nothing (procedural or spell) is simply safer or less safe to cast than anything else. The book that this warps the most is going to be Seers of the Throne, I suspect, what with all their Paradox alteration effects. I’m assuming all the “…is considered vulgar” now could become “…automatically gains a base Paradox die.” or “…requires Reach equal to (some appropriate trait like Arcana or Resolve).”
      I’ll have to try it out to get a feel for the change, but I think that trade-off sounds good.

  40. Tori Avatar

    I don’t think I fully understand the process of Reach yet. Like do you have an unlimited amount of Reach just going beyond the Reach that your Arcana level can handle causes a Paradox?

    Or does the character gain points of reach by sacrificing Dice and the automatic Reach generated by the level of Arcana vs the level of the spell?

    Typing it out I think it makes sense the second way but I am not sure.

    My vote is for Legacies.

    1. Eolirin Avatar

      So, if I’m reading it right, every point of Reach past the free ones you get adds a number of dice to the Paradox pool based on Gnosis. In the Wosley example, he gets 2 dice for being one Reach over, a second Reach over, say to make it an instant cast, would then add another 2 dice for a total of 4.

      1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
        Dave Brookshaw


        1. Yawgmoth Avatar

          Doesn’t that make having a high Gnosis more of a liability than a boon? As you go up you can spend and keep more mana, but you *have* to spend more mana, a lot more in fact, to reduce paradox. Getting to cast spells faster isn’t really enough of a benefit most of the time (especially if you just throw your free Reach at making it instant) to warrant 5xp.

          1. Eolirin Avatar

            Nah, you also have way more access to Yantras and your ritual cast time goes down a lot, not a little. You need to up it to have access to higher Arcana as well, so you’ve got access to the better practices and more free Reach on the lower ones, and things like Desmesnes become more practical to consider, which remove all of the Paradox issues.

          2. Jaerys Avatar

            Even discounting that Gnosis adds to the dice pool of all Arcana, it still has uses beyond affecting ritual cast time and Mana capacity & throughput.

            Gnosis determines Spell Control. A Mage can easily maintain a number of active spells equal to their Gnosis. Every spell after that costs extra reach. Presumably the penalty stacks additively. For example, a Gnosis 1 Mage can maintain 1 spell, but any spell cast while the previous spell was in effect would cost one extra reach. If they were maintaining two spells then any spell they cast would cost two extra reach, etc. A low Gnosis Mage might generate less paradox dice when they overreach, but they’re more likely to have to overreach in the first place. Also, remember that if there is a Paradox dice pool then it gets a one dice bonus for each previous Paradox roll prompted by the Mage that scene, regardless of whether those rolls caused Paradox. Paradox can quickly snowball if a Mage is casting while at or beyond their Spell Control

            Gnosis determines how many Yantras a Mage can incorporate into an Imago. While time is probably the main bottleneck in combat, outside of it I expect most players will try to incorporate as many Yantras as possible so that they can offset penalties taken to increase their spell factors.

            Each dot of Gnosis comes with a free Praxis. A spell cast as a Praxis makes all Magical Tools used as a Yantras in the Imago count as Dedicated Tools. A Dedicated Tool reduces Paradox by 2 dice. It won’t eliminate Paradox completely, but a Mage with more Praxes will have more variety in spells that they can overreach with while remaining relatively safe.

            Presumably Legacy attainments still have Gnosis requirements. Unless it has changed, Legacy Attainments don’t provoke Paradox or Dissonance (Disbelief). A Mage player could get a lot of mileage out of making a custom Legacy and converting their bread and butter spells into Attainments (or just picking an existing legacy if one is a good fit).

            Finally, Combined Spells probably still have Gnosis requirements while the increased Arcana requirements for them in 1st edition have probably been replaced by Reach. Admittedly, that’s conjecture, but it would be consistent with the philosophy presented so far.

  41. Aspel Avatar

    A few questions:
    1) You mention Derangement. Is that a typo, or are they a thing for Mages?
    2) Why is Wisdom rolled against Paradox? It doesn’t seem to do anything, or maybe I’m just reading things wrong.
    3) “Mystery Play: The Fallen World Chronicle”? Come on, you guys have GOT to keep these cool names. No need to change the titles for 2e.

    1. Juhn Avatar

      As I understood it, rolling Wisdom against Paradox is for when you’re trying to contain the Paradox. Every success on the Wisdom roll lets you contain one Paradox success in your Pattern, converting it to a point of Resistant Bashing damage. Excess Paradox successes not matched by successes on your Wisdom roll would escape out into the world normally.

      The lower your Wisdom is, the harder it is to willingly damage your own Pattern in order to save the Fallen World from suffering Paradox.

      I’m not sure what the implications of this are for the Guardians of the Veil, since they’re both about never letting Paradox out into the world *and* about voluntarily sacrificing their own Wisdom. These two would seem to be at cross-purposes here.

    2. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      1) Typo!
      2) Wisdom, among other things, represents the health of your soul, which is what you’re grounding the Paradox into.

      Oh, right – interesting parenthical note. If you don’t have a soul in the current edition you can’t cast spells. Now you can, but they automatically risk paradox and you can’t Contain it.

      3) I was so proud of myself for coming up with that title. We’re going to put it on the cover somehow (“featuring the Fallen World Chronicle”)

  42. Maina Avatar

    So… what happens if witnesses make Paradox have 8-again, but it’s reduced to a chance die via mana or whatever?

    How does an 8-again chance die work?

    Or a rote chance die, for that matter?

    1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      The core Storytelling system does, actually,, cover this! Dice tricks fall off Chance Dice – if you buy an obvious spell down to no paradox dice with mana, even if it’s in front of a crowd, it’s only a chance die.

      They’ll all suffer breaking points and then forget what they saw anyway, so congrats on fraglantly wasting Mana.

  43. Austin Loomis Avatar
    Austin Loomis

    ‘The new Paradox system – in fact, the new edition – doesn’t contain the words “covert” or “vulgar.” No spell automatically risks Paradox. Instead, the spellcasting system defines whether a character can comfortably achieve a given effect, or if it’s difficult enough to risk the Abyss corrupting the spell’s imago.’

    Brilliance. That is all. (BOOMdrop)

    I vote for Legacies.

  44. Dataweaver Avatar


  45. Yuukale Avatar

    Are the “number of safe castings per gnosis” gone?

    also: Legacies

    1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      The what?

      1. Eolirin Avatar

        I *think* he means active spell slots. You start increasing paradox when you go over them, right? Just straight Gnosis now, too?

        1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
          Dave Brookshaw

          Yeah – it’s just straight Gnosis, and every spell over it requires a Reach. So, if you’re gnosis 2 your third spell needs a Reach, your fourth spell needs two Reach and so on.

      2. Yuukale Avatar

        I am SO sorry. I got the previous spoilers all wrong. I thought you had a limited number of spells you could cast before they all started risking paradox. The new system is way better than this =D

  46. Brian Goubeaux Avatar
    Brian Goubeaux

    Antagonists please.

  47. shkspr1048 Avatar

    Legacies, if you please.

  48. reseru Avatar

    Man, that’s all still really confusing to me. But one question:

    So Paradox has less effect in an Other-world? Does that imply they’re closer to the Supernal, or the Abyss doesn’t leak through the ephemeral realms as much? If I were a Mage in Strix-land, Duat, or Arcadia (or a Beast’s Lair…hmmm?) might Paradox also be weaker?

    And…I vote for antagonists.

    Hopefully it’ll be less about the Seers and more about liches and the Mad. Also, great to hear ghost mages might finally get some expansion in a supplement!

    1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      The more… Let us say “psychoactive” realms are easier to build an imago in. Fewer pesky laws of physics to account for.

      Might reduce the mitigation effect of the Shadow and Underworld. We’re keeping the Astral as where you go balls-out, though.

      1. reseru Avatar

        Ah, I see. Easy enough to grasp.

        I think two dice is fair. It’s presumably going to still be decently difficult to reach those places anyway

      2. The Grey Pope Avatar

        I’d be hard pressed to reason out why there is no Paradox in the Shadow or the Underworld. They still have their physics, and their Laws, even if they’re subject to the will of potent spirits or ancient ghosts, and their still bound closely to the Fallen World. What about other realms tied to the Earth that are partly removed? The Hedge? The Infrastructure? The Lie may not be writ large there, but if the Abyss has no influence in those realms, I think that leaves too many places where a mage can feel … safe.

  49. Sir Phobos Avatar
    Sir Phobos

    This is awesome! The are many things that I like about the new paradox system: they feel way more personalized by giving Reach points to the ST, it seems very appropiate that the personal paradoxes like bedlam are a consequence of a failed attempt at containing a paradox within oneself and now the Guadians of the Veil are less restrained by their no-paradox philosophy which discouraged the use of vulgar spells.

    I’m very curious about abyssal verges, are they a wound on reality’s pattern? a scelestus demesne? a powerful spell gone wrong? a mystery to be explored? all the above?

    My vote goes for Antagonists.

  50. branford Avatar

    Heh, Forgot to vote.

    I’ll go with Legacies!

  51. RisTigger Avatar

    Yeah, I’m probably going to need to read the actual book to actually wrap my head around all this stuff. Most of this was gibberish to me. One of the reasons I couldn’t get into Mage, it seemed like a lot more book keeping than in the other books. Is Mage 2.0 going to be a little easier to keep track of? But I’m really happy that Paradoxes are being made more dangerous.

    I thought nWoD 2.0 wasn’t using derangements anymore? Was that just copy pasted from the old system or is derangement going to be something in Mage?

    I vote for Antagonists. I love the villains in the nWoD games (the True Fae and God Machine Angels being my favorites).

    1. Leliel Avatar

      Earlier in the thread, Dave said it was a misprint, so…

  52. Rosicrucian Avatar

    This is some wonderfully tight stuff. I’m loving how this continues to evolve away from Ascension and come into its own.

    I vote antagonists.

  53. crawlkill Avatar

    well that’s stupidly cool. way more interactive, I love it.

    is there a discussion of ritual magic and why mages don’t walk around with massive buffs on them at all times somewhere in our future? spell cloaking makes that behavior particularly low-risk. I was wondering if maybe spell tolerance would be better measured in terms of maximum combined strength of spells on a character, rather than gross quantity. playing mostly in online games, there’s more of a culture of “the rules say it’s okay so I can so it!” MUSH staff tend to let more nonsense slide than do tabletop GMs.

    at any rate, I’d like to see antagonists.

    1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      Spell Tolerance no longer exists. Your stamina has nothing to do with it.

      Spell *Control* is how many active spells you can have safely. It used to be your Gnosis + 3, now it’s just your Gnosis. You couldn’t go beyond it before, but now you can… with a Reach per spell you’re over.

  54. Cokesakto Avatar

    Legacies fo’ sho’. In an environment of crazy magic-using reality warpers, I wanna see how they can get extravagant.

  55. Maina Avatar

    I forgot to vote.

    I’m really curious about Antagonists. I’m hoping it’s an overarching external villain like the Strix or Angels (in God-Machine Chronicles, as opposed to in Demon. I know they’re the same thing, but they’re a different kind of antagonist to humans), rather than “mages that don’t like you”, which is all I really got from core Mage. Not that there’s something wrong with “mages who don’t like you,” just that every splat has “X that doesn’t like you.” I want to see what unique foes Mages face.

    tl;dr My vote is for Antagonists!

    1. Rosicrucian Avatar

      Abyssal entities may be happy to prey upon nearly anything they come across, but it’s certainly mages that opened the door to them, whether intentionally or accidentally.

      1. The Grey Pope Avatar

        I second Rosicrucian’s thoughts. Magi created the Abyss, they’ve summoned it’s denizens, and so they ought to reap what they’ve sown!

  56. Zanity Avatar


  57. Thorbes Avatar

    This is the Paradox we needed.

    I like how rituals are kinda the default but that you can just as easy cast in a turn if you so want. This combined with Yantras really makes Mages feel like actual sorcerers and magic has that tinge of something potentially very powerful and just as dangerous.

    And I’m glad to see that “paradox successes add Factors (now Reach) that you didn’t intend”. I’ve been using that as a houserule for some time.

    Let’s see what you can tell us about Legacies.

  58. Deranged Platypus Avatar
    Deranged Platypus

    Nice stuff. Paradox definitely got more interesting.

    Another tough choice, but I’ll vote for Legacies.

  59. wyrdhamster Avatar

    I’m very interesting in this new Paradox rules, but also on Manifestations. We know that character can containment Abyss inside them – but are Gulmoths returning to play? When the Release will summon them? Are Scelsati still a thing in this 2nd Edition?

    As to voting, I go with Antagonists. I really like to read both options to be fair, but villains need a bit boost in a vote. 😉

    1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      There’s a small table of what Storytellers can spend Reach on when they get it from Paradox successes. Five Reach (ie, an exceptional success on the paradox roll) can spawn a Gulmoth.

  60. Chris Handforth Avatar
    Chris Handforth


  61. Wildeyes Avatar

    Paradox is now super, super, awesome! Looking forward to spell factors now as well! Since that is not an option however, I shall throw my vote in with Antagonists, I’m hoping a little bit for some good old fashioned abyssal problems, everything I read from Dave about the abyss and the relationship of paradox and the lie and everything just makes me tingle!

  62. Peter Avatar

    Antagonists please

  63. Obsidian Pharaoh Avatar
    Obsidian Pharaoh

    People who know me would know it that my choice for next week’s blog is pretty obvious:


  64. Dave Avatar

    Legacies please.

    I like the change, finally means high gnosis mages wont get hit by paradox with every vulgar spell cast (+ the added flexibility for weaker casters)

  65. tau neutrino Avatar
    tau neutrino

    What’s the Paradox Risk in the Hedge or God-Machine Facilities?


    1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      Facilities are still in the material world, just inside folded space – they wouldn’t change Paradox at all.

      The Hedge depends on if you’re playing Mage or Changeling, and where you come down on THAT crossover question. It’s not mentioned at all in Awakening, but if you believe Arcadia=Arcadia it would EITHER be an Emanation Realm of Arcadia (rules to be in Shards of Sorcery, but for now treat it like an Arcadian Verge) or a bridge across the Abyss, in which case treat it like an *Abyssal* Verge.

      If you believe Arcadia=/=Arcadia (as I personally do), then make it up yourself. I’d treat it like the Underworld, personally.

      Changeling, at least in the current edition, likes to give lots of rules about how various Supernatural beings interact with the Hedge depending on what they’re doing, which would by neccessity be more complex than a flat bonus or penalty. It should be harder to leave the Hedge than enter it, for one.

      1. Falco1029 Avatar

        I like the idea of treating it like an Arcadian Verge when on the Path or other safe places (depending how the hedge gets updated and all), and like an Abyssal one when moving through the thorns; the hedge is akin to an emanation but the thorns themselves are the abyss encroaching.

        But I’ve always subscribed to the Arcadia~=Arcadia theory.

        1. Heu Avatar

          That answer is all kinds of hot and reminds me why I miss playing with you.

          1. Falco1029 Avatar

            Glad you approve 😀

        2. The Grey Pope Avatar

          That is an excellent interpretation. Beautiful and maddening at the same time!

      2. Yuukale Avatar

        Regarding “mage cosmology” (as in: changeling games don’t need to cater to this), wasn’t it hinted that Fae-Arcadia co-exists with Mage-Arcadia in some weird alternate-time-dimension wibbly wobbly timey wimey thing ?

      3. tau neutrino Avatar
        tau neutrino

        For Arcadia itself, even if Arcadia=/=Arcadia, I’d have it like an Arcadian Verge. There shouldn’t be any problems forming an Imago.

  66. Danny James Avatar
    Danny James

    This really is wonderful stuff.

    Legacies please.

  67. Menace Avatar

    It feels quite complicated. I wonder if my players will get the hang of it. I think I got the general gist of it.
    Addtional note: I really like the “suggested rote skills”. It allows for adding some of the less direct or more “symbolic” skills for the rotes, especially those that weren’t ever used. As when casting rotes you’re not using the skill but the symbolism behind it. So “Drive” for “Psychic Possesion” makes a lot of sense.

    I vote for Antagonists.

    1. Menace Avatar

      Oh and I forgot: I really like the fact that’s nothing actually stopping a newbie 1-dot mage from casting Making spells. And actually have a chance of success if they spent a lot of mana.

      And one question here: while I’m in a Demense i can safely cast Making spells without risk with even 1 do, cause the only thing that makes going over the limit harder is paradox or am i thinking wrong ?

      1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
        Dave Brookshaw

        Uh, no. You still need to be a Master to cast a Making spell.

      2. Chris Borgars-Smith Avatar
        Chris Borgars-Smith

        To expand on Dave: With 1 dot, you can’t cast Making spells. What you *can* do is cast, say, a Compelling spell with all the bells and whistles as if you had 5 dots.

  68. eavatar Avatar

    Legacy, please

  69. Montuban Avatar

    It is a really tough choice but I vote legacies.

  70. Yawgmoth Avatar

    Legacies PLEASE. Antagonists are kind of obvious, legacies not so much.

  71. Chazz Kellenr Avatar
    Chazz Kellenr

    This is absolutely awesome. I’ve always liked mage but there were some bits that didn’t seem to quite fit right. From everything you’ve previewed so far, 2e seems to be resolving my issues. 🙂

    1. Chazz Kellenr Avatar
      Chazz Kellenr

      Also, I’ll vote legacies.

  72. GhostTurtle Avatar

    Pretty awesome. Looking forward to see what the book gives in terms of ST advice for dealing with released Paradox; seems like it could frequently add a whole new plot hook on its own. I vote Legacies.

  73. kostas Avatar

    I think i like all these changes.Now Paradox has teeth in a more organic way and i find that the casting feels(at least to me) more natural.and flexible.
    My vote goes for Antagonists.

  74. JohnD Avatar

    Awesome! The new paradox definitely is intriguing, and I like the Reach concept, as well.

    I vote Legacies.

  75. Angrycuc Avatar

    Awesome, as always, i have some questions, if you have time:

    1-Holy shit beware of scelesti! You can just pile up unlimited paradox and release it, right? Probably will kill you with everyone else, but still, what a final blow

    2-if you dont need all your reach can you increase your dice or something?

    3-How much do spells in the astral carry on to the material? Obviously you cant improve your gun or create your portal tfrom there, can you?

    4 – I guess sympathetic is 2 reach (if just sensory is 1) and no reach for time holding (the busy spell slot is pay enough) and no reach for fate selectivity (too low power). Am i right?

    And thats all, no vote because i like both, but wait eager anyway

    1. Jaerys Avatar

      2. I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure that there’s no cap on how much Reach you can use, so if Reach could be converted to dice bonuses then casting in a Demense, Supernal Verge, or Astral Realm would be god mode. The Mage could keep adding penalties to increase spell factors and then use reach to add an arbitrarily large bonus to the dice pool without risking Paradox.

      4. I’m not sure, but I’d guess sympathetic range spells require 1 Mana, 2 Reach, and a Yantra. In the current edition at least, Aimed spells can’t be cast at sympathetic range, so you would need one Reach to change the range to sensory, and then 1 Mana and 1 more Reach to activate the Attainment. If a spell was being cast with both spacial and temporal sympathy then it would probably cost 2 Mana and 3 Reach since you wouldn’t have to pay for sensory range twice.

      1. Angrycuc Avatar

        Thanks, I hadnt thought about temporal simpathy. Good point abou demenses too, you kind of feel forced to spend all reach, but 5 at most is not that much really

      2. Eolirin Avatar

        You do get free Reach though, and those could be converted to some sort of bonus, certainly. Dave’s said they’re looking for a few more things to spend it on, since in playtests, one dot effects tend to cap out in term of Reach when the player has 3 dots.

        1. Jaerys Avatar

          True. I’m just not sure if a dice adder is the way to go. The main loophole could be closed by limiting how much Reach can be converted to bonus dice, but it would be a boring solution. Yantras can get away with being dice adders because incorporating them is interesting in its own right. Adding 1 to 5 dice to a spell’s dice pool just because there isn’t anything better to do with the free Reach is another matter entirely.

          Maybe Reach could be used to apply a dice trick to Clash of Will rolls. Even if a spell is one that wouldn’t usually cause a clash, it would still make those spells more resistant to dispelling, etc.

          I considered dice tricks on spell activation, but those would be mostly pointless since all a spell really needs to succeed is a single success. The exception is performing a rote action, but I feel rote action spell activation rolls should be limited to, appropriately enough, rote spells the Mage created themselves or are casting from a Grimoire. Of course, I don’t think it’s been said how spells that were contested actions before will work now, so maybe 9-again and 8-again on the activation roll would still help in those cases.

  76. B Avatar

    “First, as you’ve by no doubt heard by now, the book formerly known as Mystery Play: The Fallen World Chronicle is now officially Mage: The Awakening, Second Edition.”

    I didn’t realize it was going to have a title “Mystery Play” like “Blood and Smoke”. What about the Idigam, Firestorm and Huntsman Chronicles? What titles were they going to have?

    1. Jaerys Avatar

      I think the full title for the Changeling chronicle was Too Solid Flesh: The Hunstmen Chronicle. It’s part of a quote from Hamlet. I’m not sure about Firestorm, but I’m pretty sure that The Idigam Chronicle never had a longer title.

      1. B Avatar

        Do any of your friends remember for Idigam or Firestorm?

    2. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      I am not at liberty to say what Werewolf’s was (means I can’t remember.)

      1. B Avatar

        Do any of your friends remember for Idigam or Firestorm?

  77. B Avatar

    I vote for Antagonists. I want to know what kind of monsters and rival mages our “heroes” will be facing!

  78. ale Avatar

    Are there going to be rules to make consumable items it the core or Sords of sorcey?? things like magic bullets, enchanted granades or special ink.

    “Every additional Reach risks Paradox dice according to Gnosis.”
    how is the table for this?
    is it somthink like at Gnosis 1 1reach=1 paradox die,
    Gnosis 5 1reach=3 paradox

    and whats the limit for reach?? can i get 10 reach to cast the magical equivalent of a nuke?

    Legacy x100

  79. Axelgear Avatar

    I vote Legacies!

  80. Jalrin Avatar

    I love that the old pseudo-Ascension mechanics have been replaced by something much more in theme for Awakening. Also, am I right that rotes calculate Reach as though you had the amount of Reach of the creator of the rote? If so, that would finally fix there under-appreciation relative to what the setting would indicate they deserve. This is everything we could have wanted.


    1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      Yes, that’s right. If you buy a rote of a 1-dot spell, you have 5 Reach for it.

      1. Yuukale Avatar

        it sounds like a bit overkill buying a 1-dot spell rote. I mean, how many things could you possibly be able to do with a 1-dot spell that would justify 5 reach to pull it off ?

        1. Eric Zawadzki Avatar


          We’re still in first drafts, but that’s one of the questions I have been considering at great length for every low-dot spell I write: “Is it worth buying as a rote?”

          My other key question is: “Will it tempt players to add just ooooone more Reach to get X cool Reach effect?” If I do my job right you’ll have all the rope you’ll need to hang yourself (without it feeling like you can’t do anything cool at all unless you hang yourself, because that would be BS), and a 1-dot rote might actually be totally worth the XP to you.

  81. Zooroos Avatar

    I can see now that there are more nuances to this new system than those gleaned by the yantras article. It seems to me that new mages will tend to overreach a lot, but with a small paradox pool, while master would never overreach simple spells, but the ones which do will be mighty risky. I approve!

    One of the things that would come out more often though is spell control, since I know many players that love buffing magic and will find themselves quickly overreaching for the smallest spells. That would lead to an order-of-casting strategy. Which spell is more essential and which one will become too risky once they use up their safe spell control number?

    As to voting, Legacies please!

  82. Falleneco Avatar

    I vote for Legacies.

    Gimme some of that lovely Soul mutilation!

  83. Rosicrucian Avatar

    So I’m curious, now. Since this is now the second edition of the corebook, does that mean we’ll get a Kickstarter for a deluxe print edition?

    Because I’d really, really love that.

    1. tau neutrino Avatar
      tau neutrino

      No, they’re not doing it for second ed like Blood and Smoke.

    2. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      We won’t. Kickstarter don’t allow you to run more than one campaign at the same time Given that Rich has to be on point throughout a campaign, and we have a lot of cWoD books to run kickstarters for (the cWoD fandom is much less engaged with places like this very blog – the nWoD games don’t need the advertising boost of a kickstarter) we don’t see many nWoD kickstarters. Mummy and Demon had them, and Dark Eras is supposed to. I think Beast will, but don’t hold me to it.

      But none of the second editions will.

  84. Proin Avatar

    Sounds cool; interested to see how direct damage spells will work.

    Vote for Legacies x?

  85. Alessandro V. Avatar
    Alessandro V.

    i vote for Legacies

  86. Tenskwa-Tawa Avatar

    Hmmm, I’m torn. On one hand, I love how thematic Paradox now is, much more appropriate to Awakening than the old Ascension-inspired one. On the other hand, what with Yantras, Reach and whatnot, it seems to me that spellcasting may have become a bit too complicated and time-consuming. Still, since you say that it won’t be more convoluted than the old system, I guess I’ll just wait and see :).

    Question: what’s going to happen to old Arcana 2-dot effects (hanging spells, conditional durations, concealing magic, etc). Will they be effects you add if you have the appropriate Arcanum (like now), Reach-based effects, or a mix of both?

    Also, I’m now anticipating lots and lots of time to convert all those spells from old supplements :S. Oh well, I guess it was bound to happen anyway (in much the same way I guess it’s going to happen with Legacies).

    By the way, since Orders isn’t in today’s poll, my vote goes for Legacies :).

    1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      They’re all in there – as Attainments. Hanging spells, for instance, are a thing you get the ability to use when you buy Time 2. It takes a Reach and a point of Mana.

  87. Jota SG Avatar
    Jota SG

    Great upgrade
    Vote for Antagonists

  88. Lone Gunman Avatar
    Lone Gunman


  89. Nate Avatar

    Gona vote for legacies

  90. Eric Christian Berg Avatar
    Eric Christian Berg


  91. Phersus Avatar

    New and shiny mechanics in Paradox! Nice :3 My vote will go to Legacies.

  92. Full Time GM Avatar
    Full Time GM

    I would like to know more about Antagonists.

  93. DreamingGod Avatar

    Mage: the Awakening 2nd Ed is everything I have wanted from a mage game. Everything.


    I vote Legacies, cuz I have a Daksha character in a game that will convert when this comes out, and I want to plan ahead.

  94. Raymer Avatar

    I love this. Thank you for putting in an example, I’ve been nursing a migraine all day and without the example I was a bit lost for how reach was calculated.

    Anyhow, I’ll put my vote in for Legacies.

  95. Chris Borgars-Smith Avatar
    Chris Borgars-Smith

    Oh ‘ang on I didn’t vote. Legacies! I want to find out a) what their social role is, b) what their Attainments are like and c) if they’re still called Attainments…

  96. Joe Avatar

    I love that this is so streamlined. Are you guys clearing up sympathy a lot as well? I feel like sympathy was one of the most complicated, misunderstood concepts in Awakening so I’d love to see it made more workable.

    1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      The sympathy chart is greatly simplified, with fewer levels given more explanation each.

  97. arthexis Avatar

    Mmmm, Legacies.

    By the way I have run a couple of games with the rules cobbled up from these posts and the boards, and so far the game is looking good. The things we have had the most trouble with are Mage Sight (we need some good examples of what you get for each path and maybe some practical examples), Clash of Wills related stuff (we are improvising) and Merits (I the moment I have trouble convincing players to NOT spend their Merit points in Gnosis and get some Merits instead).

    Also, I hope that Rotes do NOT give you free reach and instead have built-in choices that use up Reach and spell factors in a way determined by the Master that created it. Or I am making it too narrow?

  98. Alok Avatar

    Love the new rules, they feel so much more thematic.

    I’m going to vote for Legacies.

  99. The Grey Pope Avatar

    Do keep up the excellent work, Dave. You’ve got me excited for this new book. Do you have an approximate release date?

    As much as I’d love to read all about the antagonists that magi will face (and I dearly hope that this section focuses closely on the Abyss) I’m too curious to see what you’ve done to clean up one of the more colorful, but less useful, elements of the system. I vote: