• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[Mage: The Awakening] Old books and the new edition

Thomas Ufnal Crowlake

Registered User
Validated User
Seeing as drivethrurpg has a great sale for the three main lines of CofD, I am considering buying some older Mage books. However, I am not sure how much they work with the new Second Edition of M:tAw. I know that Left-Hand Path is a sort of a bridge between editions, but what about the others? I'm especially interested in the Astral sourcebook and the Imperial Mysteries.
 

DaveB

No regrets
Validated User
Seeing as drivethrurpg has a great sale for the three main lines of CofD, I am considering buying some older Mage books. However, I am not sure how much they work with the new Second Edition of M:tAw. I know that Left-Hand Path is a sort of a bridge between editions, but what about the others? I'm especially interested in the Astral sourcebook and the Imperial Mysteries.
Astral Realms will be more useful than Imperial Mysteries, both in terms of setting (the 2e Astral is virtually unchanged, while Imperial Mysteries has a few things that aren't true any more in it) and mechanics (Astral Realms is just spells and creatures, both of which are easy to convert, Imperial Mysteries' mechanics are complicated and based entirely on the 1e ruleset). Left Hand Path also has that issue, but the updated rules for the factions it covers are coming in Mage's next-but-one 2e book (Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed, currently in redlines.)

I recommend Astral Realms, Secrets of the Ruined Temple, Left Hand Path, the six Order books, Intruders, and Summoners as the 1e books a 2e game will get the most use out of.
 

The Watcher

Cosmic Observer
Validated User
Astral Realms will be more useful than Imperial Mysteries, both in terms of setting (the 2e Astral is virtually unchanged, while Imperial Mysteries has a few things that aren't true any more in it)
Which things are no longer true from Imperial Mysteries? Or is that something that will be addressed in an upcoming book?
 

Thomas Ufnal Crowlake

Registered User
Validated User
It's an honour to have my queries answered by the Mage Guy himself!

Seconding The Watcher's questions. I've always loved the highest level metaphysical/godly/reality-changing stuff and I'd really love to use as much of Imperial Mysteries as I can. Will there be a 2nd Edition book that covers similar ground? Or at least an errata/update or something? ;)
 

DaveB

No regrets
Validated User
So, Imperial Mysteries pre-dates the shift in how the Supernal Realm is presented in second edition; that is, that the Supernal World is what mages see and experience in their Mage Sight, while the Supernal Realm is the entirely-conceptual symbols making that up, which you can't experience without being annihilated. It describes Emanation Realms as being entirely on the far side of the Abyss - which they aren't in 2e - describes a layer "above" the Supernal which doesn't exist in 2e and assumes that the Gentry of Changeling the Lost are Supernal Entities, which they most definitely, canonically, definitively, word-of-both-me-and-Meghan-the-Changeling-Developer aren't in 2e.

Rules-wise, Imperial Mysteries is based on the 1e spellcasting system, and would look very different in our 2nd edition of Reach and Practice-above-all.

Many of Imperial Mysteries' concepts - Pneuma (the energy that makes up the Golden Road), Aponoia, Lustrums, the Exarchs as symbols - are revisited in the upcoming Signs of Sorcery, after which you'll have a better idea of what archmasters should look like, setting-wise.

Archmasters were always a weird, in-between subject - you can't fill a whole normal-sized book with them, but they take way more than a single chapter in the back of another book to explain. It's why they were perfect for when CCP wanted very short, low-cost books to keep the gameline ticking over, and why we won't see them any time soon. But one day, eventually, I hope.
 

Thomas Ufnal Crowlake

Registered User
Validated User
That's a great explanation, thank you!

And, seeing as you are generous enough to answer, one more followup question: How well does Magical Traditions fit with 2nd edition vision of how Magick works?
 

DaveB

No regrets
Validated User
That's a great explanation, thank you!

And, seeing as you are generous enough to answer, one more followup question: How well does Magical Traditions fit with 2nd edition vision of how Magick works?
It doesn't. Except as inspiration for a Free Councillor mage's Techne dots.
 

Thomas Ufnal Crowlake

Registered User
Validated User
Coming back to this thread because something that's been said here has been nagging me.

In 1e Imperial Mysteries, as you mention, some types of beings such as the Gentry are described as Supernal entities. In my personal view, the 2e mythology of Supernal is both so metaphysically all-encompassing (as in, it seems to dwarf all other possible metaphysics and cosmologies) and so vast (with the untold symbolic possibilities of the myriad Supernal Realms) that "explaining" stuff like Stryx, Gentry, the Promethean "angels" etc. as facets of some unexplored parts of the Supernal is perfectly servicable (and actually wouldn't really hurt the mystique of such beings all that much). I also tend to think about Underworld, Shadow etc. as borderlands of the Supernal that stayed on this side of the Abyss.

Am I correct in understanding that this type of thinking is non-canonical and strongly discouraged in Mage 2e? If so, how are all these things and beings supposed to fit into the Supernal cosmology? (and if they aren't, doesn't it kinda undermine its inbuilt absoluteness?) Is there a canonical answer published as to what 2e Mages see when they look at Gentry/Strix and what they find out if they dig hard enough, or is it just a Storyteller's decision?
 

DaveB

No regrets
Validated User
Yeah, so the Supernal Realm is a poetic misnomer; it's not a Realm like the Shadow or Underworld are. When mages use their Mage Sight, they're seeing symbolic information about whatever they're scrutinizing overlaid as a hallucinatory Supernal World. The Arcana are like academic subjects, and mages are perfectly aware that the overwhelmingly vast majority of supernatural events in the Fallen World are not caused by their own powers. They don't mistake the various ephemeral, astral, and liminal realms within the Fallen World for the Supernal as that ability never goes away - an Acanthus deep in the heart of the Hedge can still use her Mage Sight and see Mage!Arcadia overlaid over it. There won't be a fat lot for a Thyrsus to see in Life and Spirit Sight deep in the Underworld, save perhaps for the essence of the ghosts around him, but he can do it.

Almost nothing's restricted to only one Arcanum, not even spells - spells always register in Prime Sight as well as their cast Arcana - and other supernatural beings are no exception. A Moros knows that a vampire isn't a Supernal entity, but that vampire still sticks out like a sore thumb in Stygia (Stygia being "what a Moros sees when he uses his Mage Sight") because she's dead. If that vampire used Majesty to hypnotize someone and a Mastigos was watching, he'd see chains snaking out of her toward her victim in Pandemonium.

So, no, not really. Those things and beings have information revealed about them by the Supernal same way everything does, but the Supernal actually causes very little while describing everything.
 

That Other Guy

Registered User
Validated User
So I imagine the most the average Mage would get from scrutinising one of the Gentry would be, likely, a brand shiny new Obsession?
 
Top Bottom