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Announcements for the Denver Mage System will be made in this thread.
Hey guys! As you may have already seen, I've agreed to step back into the role of Mage Admin. First off, I just wanted to extend a huge thank you to Sam for all the work he's done for this system. I'm the first to admit that it's not an easy job, and he stuck with it for a long time. Sam, you will definitely be missed, and I hope you decide to come back and play with us some day soon.

Many of you were around back when I started up the Mage game, so you probably have some idea of what to expect from me already. That said, we do have some new folks, and I think this stuff probably bears repeating.

Contact Info

If you need to contact me regarding anything Admin-related, please send it as an e-mail to the Admin account at mage[at]woddenver[dot]com. I check this e-mail daily, so responses should be pretty fast. If I'm unable to resolve the issue quickly, I'll let you know.

Please do not attempt to contact me via AIM for Admin issues unless a: the issue is time sensitive and requires an immediate response or b: I've given you a clear indication that I'm available to talk about it. In practice, I'll probably be pretty forgiving if you break this rule, but following it will go a long way toward keeping me sane and happy. And sane and happy Admins are a good thing for everyone.

Bearing that in mind, if you ever see me marked as available on AIM, it means just that. I am available. If you see me and I'm not already in a scene, you are always welcome to flag me down and ask me for one. Or just say hello. I don't bite, I promise. Smile
I made a couple of updates to the rules regarding Journals, XP and Advancement.

1: Players no longer need to notify the Admin via e-mail if they wish to reactivate a character. Just hit the restore button and I'll see it the next time I check the character roster for new submissions. I'd also like to note that my general philosophy on character reactivation is this: unless there is some serious mitigating factor, if you've already been approved once, you shouldn't need to worry about getting approval again.

I would only consider something a "serious mitigating factor" if it involved issues of game balance or player irresponsibility. Quotas are not something I take into account here. For instance, if you have a retired Disciple, you may still reactivate them even if Disciple submissions are closed. Yes, this might mean that we end up having more Disciples running around than anticipated, but I'd rather go that way than tell someone they can't play a character that they've already invested a lot of time and energy into developing.

2: Storytellers will now receive 2xp for running Seekings. Hopefully this will encourage more of you to try running them. Not that I don't love running Seekings myself. I totally do. But they are, admittedly, a lot of work and responsibility, and sharing the load would make things easier on everyone.

3: Spheres at Adept and Master level (4 and 5) now require successful Seekings to actually be played out in-game, just like with Arete. The first sphere can be combined with your Arete Seeking if you wish to buy both at once.
XP for January has been awarded! Please let me know if you find any errors.

One thing that I wanted to note: I know that Sam previously accepted continuity journals in order to keep characters active. I will not be doing those. I actually did remove that ruling from the XP and Advancement rules, but I realize now that I didn't mention that in my announcement - which is completely my fault. As such, I did go ahead and accept them for January. However, beginning next month continuity journals will no longer be accepted. I'd like the character roster to be an accurate representation of who is active in the game, and to be realistic, if you haven't played at least 1 scene in 3 months then your character is not active.

I do want to stress though that culling inactive characters is not intended as a punishment. If your character gets retired and you'd like to bring them back, it's extremely easy to have them restored. As I stated in my last announcement, the only time I will ever deny a reactivation is if there's some serious mitigating factor involved.
Three announcements:

1: I made a teensy tiny change to the Storyteller rules. Any SLs which involve crossover material from other systems need to be run by me first (not just Vampire.) But, you know. It's not a huge thing. I just need to make sure you're not planning anything totally nuts. So don't take that as an indication that you can't or shouldn't do it.

And on that note! I know awhile back Sam made an announcement stating that he wanted to have all SLs and one-shots run by him for coordination and pre-approval. I didn't see anything about that in the rules, so maybe he amended that and I just missed it. But either way - that is no longer in effect. You do not have to talk to me if you want to run something unless the thing you want to run falls under the restrictions listed in the Storyteller rules. (If you're unfamiliar with those rules, please check out the Storytelling page.) And even then, I mostly just need to be sure that it's not something that's likely to cause any problems.

I 100% love it when players run scenes and stories for each other. It makes my heart glow with incandescent joy.

2: I've finished the new mage wiki! Or... the new-new mage wiki? Or more like the new-old mage wiki. In any case, the links have been updated on the site. One important thing that I wanted to note though - I copied the pages over from the original wikispaces files. Which means that if you've made changes since that site was shut down, or if you made any new pages since the change, then you will need to add them yourself. Or, if you want, just let me know and I'll go deal with it for you. I will be checking over the Wikia pages at some point, so I may catch some of that anyway.

So you guys are aware, this is being hosted on a wiki that I originally set up as a kind of roleplaying archive. As of the moment, the vast majority of it is devoted to the Denver Mage game, but there is some other stuff on there. (I have clearly marked and organized things so that my archives won't get in your way, so I don't think this will be an issue.) Moreover, I've allotted space for resources for the other WoD systems as well. Which, as of the moment, there are none. And it may stay that way for a while. But hey, if anyone is feeling industrious and wants to add some, go for it! For that matter, if anyone wants to use the wiki to host their own roleplaying stuff, again, feel free. If you want to make pages for your non-mage characters, you can totally do that (and I will make proper index pages for them if I see people doing that.) Or you can just stick to Mage stuff. That's fine too.

Or you can continue to not use the wiki, if you're not interested. That is also totally acceptable. Cool

3: I updated the Chantry page! The images for the floorplan are up to date now. And speaking of the Chantry... there will be NPCs there soon. I will be posting more about this in the Chantry sub-forum tomorrow.
So, it's Valentines Day. And I know that a lot of people have a lot of different feelings about this holiday. It's possible I may have gone on a rant this morning at work. I will not repeat it here. There was a lot of cursing involved.

But you know, one thing I do like about the holiday is that it gives me an excuse to tell people how awesome they are. Winter is a rough time of year for a lot of people. Depression, work stress, holiday stress, etc. I know that a lot of you have a lot on your plate right now, and I just wanted to say that I appreciate all of your wonderful, creative contributions to this system. You guys are amazing players and super talented writers and I love being able to RP with you.

Seriously. Love. With pink hearts and everything.

Happy Valentine's Day to those who celebrate it. And happy just-another-day-where-you-are-awesome to those who don't. Heart

P.S. I can't buy you all candy, but you may want to check your character sheets.
I wanted to make an announcement to clarify a few things about how I calculate threshold for certain effects (since someone asked me about it and I figured it might be helpful to know.)

1: Combo Effects.

There's a lot of room for interpretation in Mage when it comes to casting. I've played with STs who don't allow characters to cast rotes with more than one intended effect, and while I can see the logic behind that, I also think that there are enough examples of complicated/combination type rotes in the books that it doesn't make sense to disallow it. What I'm talking about here is, say, scanning an area for both life patterns and spirits. Or using Life magic to give yourself claws and a strength stat boost. Anything that might normally be calculated as a distinct effect of its own.

My compromise here, in acknowledgment that it should at least be a little more difficult, is to add 1 to the threshold for each additional, distinct effect that the mage wishes to add to their casting roll. Most of you, I think, have noticed that I do that, but may not have known exactly what my reasoning was. So I wanted to clarify that it isn't about the number of spheres a character uses - an effect could incorporate a whole host of different spheres without changing the threshold. It's about the intended results.

Obviously, this is an extremely subjective issue. The same effect could be interpreted differently by different people, and by no means do I think that I should be an authority on whether or not something should be considered a "combo" effect. I've never added a specific ruling about this precisely because it's so subjective. And I don't really intend to? But if I'm running a scene or witnessing a roll, assume that I'm going to take that into account when calculating the threshold. If another ST runs their scenes differently, that's fine. It's not something I'm hugely concerned about. This is just what seemed fair and logical to me. In keeping with that, I did add a brief note about it to the top of the casting guide, but it should be considered less of a rule and more of a guideline.

2: Time/Corr/Gauntlet Thresholds.

I've actually gone back and forth with these, so a number of you may have been asked to roll these effects differently at different times. I'm sure that has caused some confusion, so I want to apologize for that.

From now on this is how I'm going to interpret these:

The listed successes on these charts will be added to the effect's usual threshold. So attempting to attack a spirit across the gauntlet in deep wilderness would be (targets) + 2 (gauntlet) + 1 (attack.)

I did go through a phase where I used the listed thresholds as the total amount needed to pull off the effect (excluding targeting and duration) which... isn't necessarily wrong, since it's never actually explained in any way, but I've since reconsidered that because it makes the math kind of confusing, especially when calculating more complicated effects. I think ultimately it makes the most sense to handle these the same way we handle targeting and duration.

Which... might be how everyone was already doing it, and maybe the only person who couldn't make up their mind was me. ^^ In any case, this is how I will be doing it from now on.
I've updated/fixed a handful of small things:

1: The Mage Demographics chart now uses "Disparates" instead of "Orphans" as a category. This was done to more accurately reflect the broad range of non-Tradition mages, as well as it being a more neutral term. (Thank you Noel!)

2: I noticed that the Setting page was out of date, so I fixed the wording a bit. There isn't really anything new on there, so you don't need to go look at it or anything. I just fixed the timeline so it no longer says the incident with Leah and the Seekers happened "recently." Annie's return is also mentioned.

3: I added links on the Resources page to all of the wiki guides.

4: Noel was kind enough to fix the sidebar links for the Wiki and the Rote Compendium, so those will work correctly now.

5: I fixed two errors in the Combat and Healing Guide. Under the section about healing with Life magic, it now accurately reflects the difference between healing bashing/lethal damage and healing aggravated damage. Aggravated damage is healed at only 1 health level per success, whereas other types of damage are healed at a rate of 2 levels per success. I also fixed where it said "healing can only be done once every 24 hours to the same target" and changed it to "once per scene" (which is the actual ruling in the book.)

6: I also went in and updated the Life section of the Spheres Guide by adding a couple of clarifications that should have been on there:

All modifications to living patterns, including healing effects, can only be used once per scene on the same target. (Other types of modifications may still be cast on the target, so long as the effect is different.)

Damage from Life attacks can be either Bashing, Lethal or Aggravated, depending on the form they take. Aggravated attacks are those that rip apart the pattern itself (and are always Vulgar,) whereas Lethal and Bashing wounds come from damaging tissue or organs, or a host of other attacks on the body (including disease.) These can be either Vulgar or Coincidental, depending on circumstances.

(In case anyone was wondering where to find more specific details about Life magic, the revised Verbena book has a lot of clarified information in it. I recommend looking at it if you play a Life mage, even if the character isn't Verbena.)
Hey, remember that section on charms in the Judgment Calls page that's been under construction since... pretty much forever?

You probably thought I was never going to update that.

Well guess what? I did. Big Grin

There is now a long and detailed explanation of everything you need to know to make and use charms and gadgets. Along with a few house rules to clarify some things that were left ambiguous. If anyone is curious about this, you can check out the Judgment Calls page (it's under the "Wonders" section near the bottom.)

(I also moved the miscellaneous rulings off of the top of the page and tucked them down at the bottom, in case anyone wonders where those went.)
Some of you may already know this, but for those who don't, the M20 book was recently given a limited release to kickstarter backers. This .pdf is basically the final version of the new core book, but it still needs another edit before it gets put into general release. (Meaning it's not available to buy yet.)

I have a copy of the .pdf, but so far I haven't had time to do more than skim a few sections. What I've seen mostly looks pretty cool, but I'll wait to render a final verdict after I've properly read through it. It's nearly 700 pages so... bear with me. It might take me a bit.

I do want to say that I'm not planning to reboot the system or anything like that (you guys have spent a long time building your characters, and you deserve to keep playing them.) Once I've had a chance to read through the book, I'll have a better sense of how I'd like to proceed moving forward, but keeping changes manageable, realistic and low-stress is a priority for me.

This is really just a note to let everyone know what's going on. I would like to wait until the book is available to the general public before I officially switch the system over, but it's possible I may make some small changes before that happens. It's also likely that I may start incorporating some metaplot changes into the SLs that I have coming up. Of primary note are 1: The state of the Avatar Storm and 2: The evolution of the Technocracy. Both of these are going to be touched on in the coming months, so stay tuned. Smile
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