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I wanted to give you guys a heads up about the impending changes to the Tradition names. For those who've already checked out the M20 book this won't be a surprise, but for those who haven't, a handful of the Traditions have name changes that I'm planning to employ. These are:

Akashic Brotherhood ---> Akashayana

Euthanatos ---> Chakravanti

Dreamspeakers ---> Kha'vadi

Virtual Adepts ---> Mercurial Elite

Cult of Ecstasy ---> Sahajiya

Sons of Ether ---> Society of Ether

Verbena ---> Verbenae (not so much a change as a shift back to using the correct plural)

(If you'd like to know the reasoning behind these changes, you can check out the M20 book on page 145 and/or the Tradition descriptions starting on 148. Or you can talk to me if you don't have the book.)

I'm not planning to make these changes official in our canon until we make the formal switch to M20, but in the meantime you guys should assume that the new names are starting to make the rounds among the younger members of the Traditions. There is talk of possible changes, and depending on how connected your character is to the rest of their Tradition, they may or may not already be aware of the movement. These kinds of things generally take some time to build up, so I figure, realistically, there are going to be mages who support the change and those who don't. Those who do will be pushing the new names into common usage, while those who don't may choose to stick with the old name even after the official announcement comes down from the Council. How your mage reacts to this, and which name they decide to use, is entirely up to you.


Regarding the Avatar Storm...

Awhile back Sam made an announcement that the Storm is going to be winding down. I'm not sure when or how he started employing that, or where we were at with it when he left, but I do plan to continue along those lines. My assumption is that the Storm has been growing steadily less violent over the past year. Mechanically-speaking, this means that it's been doing Lethal instead of Aggravated damage (still dangerous, but slightly less terrifying.) At this point, I'm ready to downgrade that even further to Bashing damage. The mechanics for passing through the storm will be the same, but it will do much milder damage. At some point, the Storm will simply cease to exist, but we haven't quite hit that point yet.
I made some small but significant changes to the ruling about NPC Mentors. Players can now have control over their character's mentor if they prefer to handle that relationship themselves or if an appropriate ST is unavailable. (Though you should still keep in mind that Mentors will have their own agendas that may not be perfectly in-tune with what your character wants. And they will have demands and expectations of the PC that should not always be easy to meet.) I also eased up a bit on the location requirements, which now states:

Quote:NPC Mentors must either not reside in the city of Denver or be disconnected enough from local events and politics that their presence will not impact the greater game.
Alright guys. Are you ready? I'm instituting the first official M20 mechanics change. And that new ruling is...

...wait for it...

10s rolled from specializations now give double successes instead of being re-rolled.

Which is how WtA and VtM have been doing it this whole time. So now we are finally joining the double 10s party. Woo!
I made some small changes/additions to the wording at the bottom of the XP and Advancement page, where it details prerequisites for Sphere advancement:


1-3 - No Prerequisites
4 - Successful Epiphany scene (run by Admin or Admin-approved ST)
5 - Successful Epiphany scene (run by Admin)

Only one sphere level may be purchased per month by the same character. Magical advancement is difficult and time consuming and epiphanies should be spaced out to reflect that.

The first sphere at rank 4 may be combined with the Arete 4 Seeking. Spheres at level 5 are the highest achievement a mage can reach, and will therefor only be handed out after a great deal of time and character growth. Additional requirements may be given, at Admin discretion.

Most of this is not new, but I wanted to re-label the epiphany scenes as such, rather than calling them "seekings" which was not technically accurate. Sphere epiphany scenes can be either mindscape scenes (similar to seekings) or they can be something more grounded in reality - a trial, an intense mentoring session, etc. Of course, anyone can play these scenes out at any level if they want to. Every character has some kind of epiphany moment when they learn a new sphere level. I just haven't required it be done live at lower levels because I think it would be too much hassle for all involved. At high levels though, I think it's important to do something live because earning a sphere at rank 4 or 5 is a significant achievement and should be acknowledged with character growth.

You'll also note I finally made that 'don't buy all your spheres at once' rule an official thing. I think by now a good number of you won't be surprised by that, but for those who haven't heard my explanation before, it's really just because I like to encourage players to focus on one sphere at a time and really think about how their character is learning and expanding their paradigm to accommodate the new knowledge. Having more than one epiphany within the same month is a lot for a character to process, so I like to keep the pacing a little more reasonable.
Awhile back I made an announcement about the state of the Avatar Storm in our game - in which I downgraded the damage to bashing. I am now officially announcing that the Avatar Storm is no more. Big Grin

Goodbye, Avatar Storm. You will not be missed.
Well guys, it finally happened. The M20 book has been officially released.

Naturally it happened while I was not paying attention, so it may have been out for a while and I just never noticed. (In which case, sorry about that.)

I'm going to buckle down and finish reading the book this week (I'm almost done, for reals) and then I'll be able to start converting us to the new system. Nothing is going to change until after I make specific announcements detailing said changes, so for now don't stress. I would recommend everyone get a copy of the pdf through some means or another, and I do think you should all read at least some parts of it. If for no other reason then to get a sense of the tone and how things are being updated, etc. If you are super committed and want to read the entire thing, awesome. If not, don't worry. I am not going to require everyone to read all 700 pages. I've been taking down notes of all the changes, and when I start rolling them out I will give you guys a summarized list of things you need to be aware of.

I am actually going to be doing this in three stages.

1: Metaplot updates. This is the easiest thing to implement, so I'm going to start there. The M20 book, unlike previous core books, doesn't have a set metaplot. Instead it offers a whole bunch of potential options. So in the interest of making sure we are all on the same page as far as what the state of our system is, I'm going to write up a metaplot section to add to the Setting info. Some of the decisions have already been made for me, since until now we were already playing with the standard Revised metaplot (so I couldn't, for instance, decide the fall of Doissetep didn't happen.) As for everything else, what I tried to do while making my decisions was to find a balance that would work best in the kind of game we're playing here. Sometimes that means leaving things ambiguous and/or middle of the road so that STs will have options to play with. Other times it means dialing back certain aspects of the game that don't work well in an online sandbox (as opposed to a more standard TT campaign.) I will talk more about that when I actually start implementing things, but I do want to reassure everyone that your characters aren't going to wake up one morning and suddenly find that they're living in a totally different reality. You can choose to pay attention to metaplot things, or mostly ignore them, as you (and your character) see fit based on interest and involvement.

2: Everything except magick. Game mechanics, character creation stuff, etc. At this point I am going to have a poll to talk about some of the new character traits and whether we want to implement them as they're presented in the book or not. I have my own opinions, but I want to get a consensus before I decide anything. As for everything else, I'll post a list of all the rules changes, and I will be updating the judgment calls and the wiki guides to reflect the new system.

3: Update the Spheres and magick guidelines. Since magick is kind of its own whole thing in this game, I'd like to wait to focus on everything related to casting once we've got everything else settled and stable. So this will be the last step in converting the system over.

In the meantime, if anyone has any questions or concerns, please feel free to drop me a message.
As of today, stage one of the M20 conversion has been officially implemented!

There is now a Metaplot system page and a forum post listing the major world-state changes. Tradition names changes are now official. I will be updating the demographics and character sheets soon.

(To clarify: Game mechanics, abilities, sphere guidelines, etc have not been implemented yet. I will announce when I'm ready to roll those out.)
Update: Tradition names are fixed on the demographics spreadsheet and the active character sheets (those that needed it, anyway.)

In even more glorious news, I just figured out how to update the sidebar links.

[Image: latest?cb=20131101144820]

So now those link trees should all be current.
There are currently two polls posted that I'd like to draw everyone's attention to:

1: A vote to decide whether we should implement the new M20 core abilities.

2: A vote to decide how we'll be dealing with the XP cost of broad ability traits.

If you could all please take a look at those and let me know how you feel, it would be much appreciated.  Heart
As of today, all system changes not related to magick/casting from M20 should be considered officially implemented. I've posted a list to the forum detailing all of these changes. Reading this post is only required if you have not yet read or finished reading the book, and even then you are welcome to skip around to find the information you think is most relevant. That said, it's important that everyone make themselves aware of the system changes - as there are quite a few of them. In many cases, I only listed "such-and-such has changed" and then provided the relevant section of the book. (I did not list page numbers, as they will differ depending on which version of the pdf you have.) This is because I wanted to keep the post as summarized as possible, and generally in those cases the rules were lengthy and would have taken up too much space.

I have updated most of the system pages. However, the Judgement Calls page is still being revised. I will finish that up as soon as I can. (There aren't any additions yet, only things that I removed.)

I have NOT updated anything on the Wiki, including the Combat and Healing Guide. I will get to that once I've finished everything else.

More importantly, I have also not yet updated the character sheets. I do plan to get to that ASAP though (probably tomorrow.) I will at some point be asking you guys to send me updated revisions for your character sheets, but I'll let you know when I'm ready for that and what info I need.

I realize it's not exactly ideal to make you have to play in this quasi-updated state, so I apologize for the mess. Converting the system is a pretty big undertaking so unfortunately I can't just do everything at once. Once I get the character sheets dealt with, I'll start working on all the casting-related stuff. (I have the notes done, I just need to convert that into something legible that people other than me can read.)

In the meantime, if anyone has any questions for me, or is just generally having issues related to the conversion, please don't hesitate to contact me and I'll do my best to help.

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