The “magic” in Mage is still the same concept that Ascension or Awakening worked upon. However, it’s mechanics and lore have changed.
“Magic” in the world is at its core the ability to alter reality against the majority consensus. When you alter the rules of reality, it will correspond to an area of expertise known as an Arcana. There are 10 arcanums that cover the entire fabric of reality.
The ability to change the world is based on how strong your characters Pattern is. A PC’s pattern is determined by how many plot points he has. Altering reality may cost plot points. The more drastic the alteration, the more plot points required.
Like in Ascension and Awakening, mastery of an arcanum is represented by dots in it. A person can achieve up to 5 dots in an arcana. Each dot is representative of the uses you have mastered.
Unlike in Ascension and Awakening, the lack of dots does not prevent you from manipulating reality in those fields. You are only limited by two things: your imagination, and your characters Pattern. If you wish to alter reality in a manner that you are not trained in, it will cost you 1 plot point per dot missing to do so. This is subject to the GM’s discretion so a character may not be able to do this at certain times.
▼ Gain knowledge and understanding of phenomena. (Practice of Knowing)
▼ Elementary manipulation of phenomena, enough to activate and/or impart direction. (Practice of Compelling)
▼ Gain sensory perception of phenomena (Practice of Unveiling)
▼ Exert elementary command and control over phenomena (Practice of Ruling)
▼ Conceal, camouflage or hide phenomena from scrutiny (Practice of Veiling)
▼ Protect a target against attacks by providing points of Armor. (Practice of Shielding)
▼ Alter the capabilities or functions of phenomena (Practice of Weaving)
▼ Injure a target (Practice of Fraying)
▼ Fortify, bolster or improve phenomena (Practice of Perfecting)
▼ Transform phenomena into a related phenomena or shapes, or replace capabilities or functions with different ones. (Practice of Patterning)
▼ Significantly injure a target (Practice of Unraveling)
▼ Create Phenomena (Practice of Making)
▼ Destroy or mutilate a target (Practice of Unmaking)
When you wish to manipulate reality, you simply think about the desired affects. Those changes will fall under 1 or more arcanas as well as require 1 to 5 dots from them. Example: freezing water would be Matter 2. Turning water into wine would be Matter 3. Turning water into blood would be Matter 3 Life 2.
Now to make what you imagined a reality, you need to roll some dice. Each dot in an arcana is represented by dice size.
▼ 1 dot is a d4
▼ 2 dots is a d6
▼ 3 dots is a d8
▼ 4 dots is a d10
▼ 5 dots is a d12
You would add the dice equal to your dots to a normal pool including your value, relationship and any other bonus’. This pool would then be rolled against the opponent, be it a person, or the world.
Dependent on the difficulty of the desired effect, some dice may be added to the Trouble or opponents Pool.
Some alterations to reality will cost plot points. Some may require 1 to 3 plot points simply based on the severity of the alteration. You will also need to pay plot points for each dot you are missing in an arcana.
|Cause and Effect|
Like Ascension or Awakening, careless alterations and general manipulation of reality have it’s ramification on everything around. Side effects have known to be as extent as reality striking back at its manipulator violently, biding its time to lash out within the area, or simply amplifying the effects all together.
No one person has lived long enough to fully document the extent the way Reality responds to the stimulation. They simply started calling it a Paradox.