Weird Wonders & Revolutionary Magick for Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary: Victorian Age collects a dizzying number of Rotes, magickal items, and all manner of political upheavals you can explore in your games of Mage: The Ascension. Here’s how the introduction outlines the content you’ll find within:
Weird Wonders: 35 magickal items of varying power, ranging from the simple but essential Endless Notebook to Dr. Neptune’s Diving Dynamo — a submarine straight from the pages of Jules Verne.
Revolutionary Magick: 27 rotes, procedures, and other spells designed to improve life in the Victorian era. Some of these are transformative rituals to turn a possible famine into a thriving area, such as Bountiful Architecture. Others are for mages living a more dangerous lifestyle, such as Hell’s Coming With Me — a rote that spreads a mage’s threat faster than rumors.
Revolutions!: Plot seeds and setting information for revolutions occurring in America, China, France, Japan, and many other countries. These settings involve armed conflicts, battles for Consensus, and even calamities that threaten to spill over into other Realms.
Let’s explore some of the Weird Wonders from Chapter One:
This modern Victorian era we live in is a time of delights and dangers. It’s best to be well-prepared to handle both, and there are few better ways to do that than to have the right item at hand. You could make most of these yourselves, of course, but who has the time? The right amount of coin in the right hand can make you impervious to harm or the life of the party. So, take a gander at what’s on offer. It might just save your life.
Traveling the world’s a hard life. But it doesn’t have to be that hard; the right equipment can make all the difference between having to eat your trusty steed on a lonely mountain and enjoying the view with a nice glass of wine.
• Botanist’s Delight Curiosity Case (Trinket)
Arete N/A, Quintessence 15, Background Cost 3 pts.
As European countries spread across the world like out-of-control vines, rare and previously unknown (to Europe) plant species have become all the rage. Glass specimen transportation cases, Wardian Cases, are must-have items amongst would-be naturalists, as well as magi seeking out new occult reagents.
Superficially similarly to their mundane, Wardian counterparts, Botanist’s Delight Curiosity Cases are terrariums that appear made out of clear glass and wood. The major difference is that magi can attune their cases to an ideal environment for any plants they collect. Small examples remain the most common. There are a few of these large enough to rival royal greenhouses.
System: Using Life 2 to analyze the specific needs of the specimens within, Matter 3 provides the exact environment necessary to thrive. If too many plants or fungi with incompatible needs are placed inside the same case, there is no guarantee for any of their health. This artifact consumes 1 point of Quintessence every week. Effects are elegant.
•••• The Dandy Doctor’s Tools (Talisman)
Arete 6, Quintessence 30, Not Available for Purchase
Robert Lovecraft was a good doctor in Providence, Rhode Island for decades. He was particularly well-liked by parents because their children were always so well behaved for the good doctor, and even for several days afterward. Dr. Lovecraft was also an excellent surgeon with a near perfect surgical success rate, and when he finally became Enlightened and inducted into The Hippocratic Circle, it seemed he’d go on to make a name for himself in the Order. However, the Doctor’s personal history finally caught up with him a few short months after acceptance into the Circle. As a child, his brother Winfield was a changeling who regularly dragged Robert into his adventures, the worst being a fortnight-long trip into Nightmare Realms. Robert successfully suppressed these memories for decades, having trained his mind to be a banal gauntlet against anything resembling childhood joy. He’d have continued on as a horrid antagonistic person of Autumn, if he hadn’t stumbled his way into Enlightened Science. After Awakening, his memories began to slowly resurface, until he could no longer sleep and was plagued by both nightly and daytime nightmares. Now, the good doctor has taken to an aggressive use of his new state. He captures changelings and uses his tools to graft, replace, and experiment upon them and other subjects. So far, he’s escaped the notice of The Circle, but time will likely reveal he’s fallen deep into deviant territory.
System: This set of doctor’s surgical tools includes the latest in medical technology for the Victorian Era. It also includes old standbys like a bone saw and thread. The tools are considered Enchanted and allow anyone holding them to interact with chimerical reality (see Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition p. 32). Activating the tools allows the surgeon to graft chimerical body parts from one person to another without infection or rejection of the new body part. This is an uncanny Effect. The surgeon may also remove and graft chimerical body parts onto normal humans, Enchanting them so they can interact with chimerical reality. However, it also makes the normally chimerical mien parts visible to normal humans. This Effect is catastrophic and usually causes the person with the grafts extreme pain while interacting with normal people who can see their chimerical graft, reflected as a ?2 dice penalty on all actions.
•• Dreamer’s Hoop (Talisman)
Arete 3, Quintessence 15, Background Cost 2 pts.
Crafted by Dream-Speakers with a loving relationship with the Nunnehi, these hoops are braided circles about three feet across. They are crafted using river reeds, silver filament, and the hair of three separate Nunnehi given willingly to the crafter. The art of making these has almost been lost, with only two Master and Apprentice pairs still living who know the method to craft them. The mage must have a familial or deep relationship with the Nunnehi to make these effectively. Currently, one of these hoops is on display in the British Museum. A group of wolf-shifters has discovered this theft and is planning an attack to repatriate the hoop.
System: The hoop must be placed above one’s place of sleep for at least three nights. After, it can be activated to cause the sleeper to physically enter the Dreaming or the Umbral Dream Realm. This Effect is uncanny. The owner of this hoop is also considered to be permanently Enchanted for purposes of interacting with The Dreaming or the Fair Folk of any place.
• The Gravekeeper’s Lantern (Trinket)
Arete N/A, Quintessence N/A, Background Cost 2 pts.
In the upward sweep of the spiritualist movement, there’s been no shortage of charlatans ‘summoning spirits’ in nearly every parlor. Real magi know that nobody needs an hour-long ceremony with eight people just to briefly speak to spirits; either it works in short order, or you need more study. Of course, not everyone wants or needs to put in the extra effort perfecting their understanding of the Spirit Sphere. For many, simply being able to see the spirits is good enough. These lanterns take their name from Awakened and Sleepwalking groundskeepers who would rather avoid groups of spirits than speak with them (although the lanterns permit either).
System: Crafted from wrought iron and glass and decorated with popular cast iron gravestone motifs, the lantern’s flame is a sickly, gray green. It casts its eerie light over a 20? radius, revealing all creatures physically present and in the adjacent Penumbra via a Spirit 2 Effect. The light can be adjusted to permit two-way speech with beings in the area, encourage them to leave, or both. All Effects are uncanny.