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Weighing the Cost
by Andrew F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/05/2020 20:45:31

SPOILERS

I just ran Weighing the Cost for my group. I had 2 players participating remotely and 2 players and I met in person. Here I present a playtest review.

The adventure, one of the few adventures for Mage, is well-written. You know what the themes and moods are and can adapt the main antagonist's actions a little to fit the player's needs.

As other reviewers have noted, the Marauders are difficult to handle in Mage. Presented as a threat, they can inspire tactical innovation by players. Presented in this book, a Marauder can lead to a human story.

We played all the scenes except the last one. This was my group's first session other than some connected preludes and Session Zero (planning). The 4 PCs participating were an Akashic Brotherhood with a focus on Life and Mind, a Dreamspeaker with Matter and Spirit focus, and two Virtual Adepts (Correspondence and Mind focus and one who had some Forces and Time). I started everyone with Arete 3, so most characters had 3 in their main sphere. The PCs met together beforehand and then wanted to meet Adeptus McCallister so they knew the mission.

McCallister's original request for help I had funneled through the chantry the PCs were about to join, with a clear hook of 'Help Hermetic Adept and collect a boon and prove you're worthy to join.' Adeptus McCallister is given a brief writeup in the adventure, but not enough to figure out what he could offer as a boon and what he did besides being friends with Jeremy Branton. I went with the name and make McCallister a good-old boy from the Midcontinent oil region (southern Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas) and his original statement was 'Branton went off the reservation.' McCallister was an Adept of Matter in my book--a sphere that complemented those of his best friend. I also gave him a little Correspondence to be able to help scry his friend.

The group and McCallister tried scrying Branton and failed to find the Marauder. The Akashic Brotherhood PC had asked about whether the enemies of Branton could have done something and asked for a police report. I had the helpful McCallister say it was an accident and provide the government report of the incident. From there, seeing as the death happened at a lake, the group jumped to the lake.

Seeing as there was no-build up to the final scene and with the players having already considered that Branton might have been home and not scrying the kids, I had McCallister say he saw the door to the Branton home open and that it must be Jeremy or someone who looked like him. The PCs and McCallister then went to the house and played out that scene.

The Virtual Adept with Time decided to set a bomb inside the family car parked in the driveway and to watch. The rest of the group investigated the home and after a botched Mind magic roll by the Akashic to scan minds and failure by the Akashic to mind control Tricia, the wife of Jeremy Branton, the Virtual Adept without Time helped restrain her.

Jeremy left and was going out in the car with the zeitgeist that looked like his late daughter. Through his Time magic, the Virtual Adept with Time noted something was wrong. The player did an excellent job dealing with Wrinkle, once he understood in character whom Wrinkle was. He offered Wrinkle a deal--I'll help you stop the ritual for a small favor. The group was to suffer less Paradox if things went bad. . . That part was fun, as the Virtual Adept with Time has few ties to anything as befitting a corporate spy who blends in with the scenery. Now he's got Wrinkle on his radar and has made an offer to aid Wrinkle for appropriate remuneration.

The group then split up--the Virtual Adept who had bound up Tricia and McCallister went to the lake to stop the ritual and the Akashic, Dreamspeaker and Virtual Adept with Time went to her house. They were a little late, so they moved to Mark's house where the final piece was being gathered.

As the players were debating, I upped the ante by having them see lighting bolts shoot into the house and the smell of burning flesh. Although Branton was himself untrackable, the zeitgeist was trackable with Correspondence and Time conjunctional magic and the aid of Wrinkle since Jeremy Branton's effective did not extend to the zeitgeist.

Mark and Jeremy were fighting upstairs--I put Mark in a large two-story expensive house. The Akashic and Dreamspeaker went up to help. Before they could, Jeremy grabbed Mark and used Correspondence to teleport into the car outside. Unbeknownst to Jeremy, the Virtual Adept with Time had placed a brick of plastique under the seat. I had him roll randomly for the dice of the brick-he rolled a natural 20.

So, a 20-dice brick of plastique went off in the car with the zeitgeist, Mark and the Marauder inside. I had forgotten about Katherine, or something, so I just later went with Wrinkle helped her out. I'd rolled badly on a few teleport rolls so it was easy to assume Jeremy didn't bring her because his main emotion was wrath at the universe and he was mad at Mark who tried and failed to save her.

17 successes on the damage roll and 3 dice soaked by Jeremy ended the Marauder. Mark had some protection because the blast was under the seat, but everything in the car was blown up in a fiery blast. Although the car still existed after the blast, it was in many small pieces and completely unrecognizable. So were the late passengers of the car--the zeitgeist went away when Jeremy died.

Wrinkle returned to say the problem was resolved. The group decided to cover up the explosion--a false call report was made to the police on the exploding car. They then debated whether to make the cover story an exploding tank of gasoline for a long road trip. This being 2040 in my campaign, with more electric cars, they decided to go with the second explanation.

There was a family BBQ and they had just bought propane and it was another tragic accident as propane blew up the car. Well, the new car, as they took the existing one in the driveway and used Matter to change its license plate and Virtual Adept hacking and the Akashic's influence merit with the DMV to take away the remaining car. So, it was like there was a new car and it just blew up, killing everyone inside, include Jeremy Branton.

Branton, being a family friend, would plausibly be traveling in the car to set up a BBQ.

The Akashic played his demeanor well and wanted to have Tricia looked after. He learned his Mind magic, previously something he considered very powerful, had limits. There was some excellent character growth there. The bomb-happy Virtual Adept was properly played for his Nature of Vigilante and Demeanor of Hacker, but realizing the shock on the faces of the group, offered a Major Favor as recompense to the other PCs for his out-of-bounds actions.

Adeptus McCallister is not sure what to do next. He definitely believes the Virtual Adept with Time was careless with Sleepers (there was a bomb planted in the sand at the site where the ritual would take place), but understands that with Marauders, one shot is all you get sometimes. McCallister's world is shattered--his best friend is dead. He lost three friends to death (Mark and his parents) and his best friend's wife is insane.

So, the group ended up gelling over tragedy. With only 1 Paradox gained in the session and no damage taken, they got out pretty light. They are now in Portland, full members of a chantry where their interactions with others in this adventure have been added to what others know about them.

The Dreamspeaker player had to leave early due to real life, but the other players enjoyed the adventure. Whether they explore Marauders and Paradox more, I leave up to them.

SPOILERS

Overall, this is an adventure that presents a clear problem to the PCs. They must resolve it, but how they resolve it will impact themselves and the world. As the title says, the costs and benefits of actions must be weighed, for reality will be reworked by the PCs.

I recommend this adventure, though if you have combat-focused characters with access to large quantities of explosions, adding additional protective effects would be prudent if you wish the challenge to be more difficult.

Having a Hermetic with great hubris die to a mundane bomb because he lacked the Matter sphere works for me, but your group may want the antagonist to fight longer.

Buy this book--you've got something you can run for a variety of characters and in a variety of locales.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Weighing the Cost
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Creator Reply:
Deeply grateful for your thoughtful and detailed review! Glad to hear your players enjoyed it!
Werewolf the Savage Age: Volume 1
by Darryl J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/19/2020 02:59:34

Love this book. Just that simple. Amazing ideas on practically every page. I had never considered a campaign in such a long gone age, but this really makes me want to slip into the time when languages are just forming, the dominance of man is a joke and the Wyld is a tangible threat to all that is.

Accounting for the Dead is the meat of the book and well worth it. The Apis feel much more fleshed out, givng them depth instead of just being generic healers and caretakers. The surprise new breed of Anupu-Ba-El was an unexpected detail in the creation of the Garou nation.

New Gifts, Rites and Abilities all await within. This is the sort of historical book I've been waiting for. By adding details to what we already knew, the authors have created an exciting new setting to play in.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf the Savage Age: Volume 1
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Bordeaux by Night - Players Guide
by Helton M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/13/2020 07:20:50

So.Much.Detail. Absolutely love the lengths in which the author goes to describe french (un)life on this guide! The layout is very clear and feels like one of the 2E books. There are plenty of full page maps and graphics to make sure you understand what the author is talking about and the court has npcs for every kind of game. With the simplified character sheets (that you can get for free) you get a lot of value for one purchase.

Get this and make sure to go nag Secrets on twitter so she will keep adding more stuff to the setting!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bordeaux by Night - Players Guide
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Bordeaux by Night - Storytellers Guide
by Helton M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/13/2020 07:06:57

It's a really detailed setting and you can see that a lot of work was put into it. For a foreigner like me, the history of the city was completely new and easily understandable. Frequently in products like these is hard to feel like you understand the setting without some painful hours browsing wikipedia. This one skips that part. The author also told me that she is working on getting some pronunciation help into the books for non-french people.
The one thing that could be a problem for some people is that the art has some minor inconsistencies here and there and every few chapters you catch yourself wondering "where have I seen this before?" This is very minor and doesn't take away from the experience. The book is worth getting for the dozens of npcs alone and it's a really good tool to have for moments in which you need to conjure someone out of thin air for a story but can't quite figure out where to go.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bordeaux by Night - Storytellers Guide
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Destiny's Price
by Charles S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2020 23:05:25

This is an extremely uncomfortable book, and it's not clear to me that it's for the reasons the author intends. It spends a lot of time in 2nd person, which I hate because it always means that it assumes things about me that are false and it feels more personally insulting to assume that I think I'm "tragically hip" (I know I am not hip in any way, shape or form), for example. It's description of the streets is extremely dated, and some of the information is outright false (for example, that serial killers don't bother the homeless). The book spends a lot of time berating and yelling at the reader, which is a writing style I dislike greatly.

Overall, I can't recommend this book. Perhaps if you're running a game set in 1991, but almost everything it focuses on has changed drastically over the last quarter century, and all major indicators away from the view it presents of the violent criminal streets.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Destiny's Price
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Vagabonds Craft
by Charles S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2020 02:23:47

The short version is: this is a good book, with a few editing issues, inconsistencies and missed opportunities.

This product describes a new Craft formed by North American drifters. They trace their roots back about 200 years, and the thing they have in common is a dedication to The Road. It's a strong offerring, despite several typos (easy enough to fix in a PDF release).

While strong, it suffers from several things that are either missed opportunities or tonal missteps. The whole thing opens by discussing the ancient human desire to cross over the horizon. With this in mind, there is no tie whatsoever to the Void Seekers, the Convention that became half of the Void Engineers, and whose fundamental nature was the desire to explore and who were described often as having some sort of wanderlust. The next odd moment was when Spirit was mentioned as an Affinity Sphere. while it makes sense in general for a group of travelers to have Spirit, this product has very little to say about spirits or the umbra and how the Vagabonds interact with it, rendering it a bit strange. The section covering Focus could have used a bit more expansion as well. It mentions a new Instrument, but from the preceding information, I had expected "The Unending Road" or something of that nature as a Paradigm level entry in the Focus. That said, Focus is often hard to pin down, and rotes are one of the key ways to do it, both describing what sort of magick is done and how the group does it, and sadly, Vagabonds lacks any section covering Rotes or Wonders.

Despite these flaws, it's still quite good, and the NPCs described in it have enough detail to at least be guest stars in a Chronicle that stays in one place as they breeze into town, things happen, and then they breeze out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vagabonds Craft
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Mysteries of the Blood
by DSC T. G. C. _. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2020 17:34:03

Mysteries of the Blood presents us with a variety of new "Thamuturgical" paths and ritual to introduce to your dark game. Each chapter focuses on magic favored in a different region of the world. The Britannia chapter focuses exclusively on the magic used by the Lhiannan bloodline. The Egypt chapter strangely enough included a lot of magic themed on Mayan and Aztec myth, but basically the chapter focuses on magic used by Setites. The Mesopotomia chapter seems to focuses mostly on Assamite magic along with introducing Djinn. The India & Sri Lanka chapter is the only chapter that seems to include magics used by different clans, amongst the clans who's magic is included is the Nagaraja and the Sulubri.

The Tabletop Gaming Club used this product in our game, and found most of the paths and rituals balanced. The only real issue we have with the book is the chapter layout, as the book might been easier to reference if it was broken down by clan or bloodline instead of region. Overall we recommend this book to those looking to add new vampiric magics to their chronicles.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mysteries of the Blood
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Beyond the Barriers: The Book of Worlds
by Terry R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/03/2020 09:41:06

This book was discussed on Mage the Podcast in this episode

TLDR: This is a good book that is a bit of mess with internal inconsistencies and vaguenesses that stop it from being truly great, but within its pages are the broad group of ideas that any Storyteller who wants to go beyond the Gauntlet will find endlessly useful. Consider getting Infinite Tapestry for a mechanically tighter presentation and a stronger focus on how to actually use the various areas.

This book provides Mage players with a torrent of information on what exists beyond the Gauntlet. Prior to now, some realms had been mentioned like the Maya being the land of warring Dreamlords, and the Middle Umbra having been described in 1993 in Werewolf but much of what Mage Mage was previously undescribed. This book came out of the gate with the High Umbra, the Vidare, the Shard and Shade Realms, locations beyond the Far Horizon, and Umbral, Horizon, and Paradox Realms largely alien to the other game lines. It was ambitious and it was messy.

The book leads by saying that the Umbra defies mapping. Narratively this may make sense but mechanically it presents complications. This could prove to be a get out of jail free card as it allows both the ST to ignore their own errors as well as allowing the authors to sweep their inconsistencies under the rug. While I understand that mapping could be folly in the traditional sense of looking for dimensions, a map also shows relationships. A subway or bus map can be stylized so long as it shows what’s at each stop as well as the relationships of one stop to another. I don’t much care how big the Legendary Realm is, but it’s nice to know roughly how to get there even if that’s not tied to spatial coordinates.

The page count the book dedicates to different areas feels highly hit-or-miss. Very little is given to the penumbra except in broad strokes and despite Vidare being nonsensical (if a character in the Vidare Mortuum gets on the Midnight Express and zooms away, what do the other characters see?) there’s no good explanation of why one would use the Penumbrae. The Vulgate and the inter-realm area of the High Umbra are also given little detail to the point where if I were to strictly use the book I don’t know if I’d be able to describe it. We get three or four locations in all of the Vulgate which is pretty light.

On the flip side, the Dream Realms are gone into with great detail to a level that I as an ST would never use. The Dream Realms aren’t given narrative justification to back the expansive page count for the Land of Nod and Hollywood. It has made me appreciate the focus in more recent books on “if it’s in here, it has to do something useful and that useful thing must be explained”.

Within a section, the results are varied and inconsistent. Some of the Shard and Shade Realms are discussed in exhaustive detail while others are barely considered. There’s also unclear information on what each place actually is with the Shard or Shade Realm possibly being the planet vs being the planet’s Penumbra vs something else entirely. I found it largely confusing. But what it does offer is a heaping helping of ideas. The book overflows with options for novel interactions and play, albeit with clunky mechanics and high barriers to entry. For reasons I don’t understand, most of the places the book says you can go require 4 or more dots in something from at least one member of a group which more or less makes this an intermediate or advanced area of play. Unlike the digital web which has VR as a quick way to enter it, there is really no analog to entering the other places.

This book feels very transitory between 1e and 2e. There are a lot of authors whose ideas are in this book and some are wonderfully fleshed out and others questionable. Many of the areas have little useful information but high detail. The Afterworlds are lengthy and seem to just be a space for introspection with little reason for a character to go there. Some of the difficulties presented are quite high, often 9 or higher which seems like a terrible narrative choice as I’d not want players interfacing with something where the odds of catastrophic failure are quite high. But along with 1e comes some imaginative ideas. The COP is outlined in detail making it a giant beautiful place and the contrast with the Darkside Moonbase is strong.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Beyond the Barriers: The Book of Worlds
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The Fragile Path: Testaments of the First Cabal
by Charles S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/03/2020 03:07:10

The Fragile Path is an in-world document, one of several across the World of Darkness, but the only one specifically for Mage. All in all, a good document, though at times it's a bit tricky to read (the Song of Bernadette is interesting and creative, but not the easiest thing to follow). In the end, it's very much worth reading, especially if you're playing or running a game in the Sorcerer's Crusade era. However, a few things about it do fall flat: it doesn't actually sell that Eloine is so irresistable that everyone is falling in love with her, and the case for Heylel is even weaker. In fact, playing Heylel in charge is a baffling choice for the nascent council, given that the description of Heylel comes off as a wildly unqualified and erratic individual. Those things are forgivable, however, due to the fact that it's supposedly testaments from the survivors of the betrayal.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Fragile Path: Testaments of the First Cabal
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Kitsune
by Jonnie S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/01/2020 07:25:13

As someone who has always loved foxes, I was very happy to see a Dreaming version of these clever creatures given life. This resource is beautifully written, thoughfully sourced and dutifully laid out. I could see this seamlessly fitting in with the classic source material.

In play test the kith holds up quite well. There may be some purists who click their tongues and start with the "You can achieve this by playing a pooka". Sure, but the same could be said of eshu and sidhe. Representation is important, and frankly, Changeling has struggled to represent Eastern Cultures well. Kitsune embodies it's folklore respectfully.

I highly recommend adding this book to your ST toolkit.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kitsune
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Kitsune
by DSC T. G. C. _. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/27/2020 13:20:22

Kitsune attempts to bring the Mythical fox people to Changeling the Dreaming. This product is short but does a decent job of presenting a Changeling version of the Kitsune. The kith seems to be well balanced and portrays the spirit of the fox people quite well.

The Tabletop Gaming play tested this product and the kith worked okay in our Changeling group. We recommend this product to those storytellers and players who want a Changeling version of Kitsune instead of a "Werewolf" version.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sources of Magick
by Harald B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/26/2020 20:17:57

Tl;dr: Are you a Mage Storyteller? If yes, then you want this.

This supplement fills a much needed niche in the setting of Mage, that of the Node. Nodes have such potential for, er, magic. The official rules have so far left this potential largely untapped, stranded in the limbo between soulless mechanics and bland templates. Charles Siegel, of Mage: The Podcast fame, has put together everything you need to breathe life into your Chronicle's places of power.

You get a number of paradigms defining how mages see nodes, a collection of sample nodes, and a set of rules that'll help you build unique nodes by yourself. More importantly, this supplement helps you think about nodes in the way they deserve.

The overall feel of this PDF is professional and official. At no point do you feel like you're reading anything but a Mage-supplement. Yes, there's the odd typo or editing error, but this is a very reasonably priced fan-made supplement, so I certainly wont complain.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sources of Magick
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Kitsune
by Matthew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2020 14:52:44

The art is the first thing that really pops out at you helping the book come to life. I'd advise reading through till the end before making a judgement call because the material is good, but as a whole, it comes to life. The research done into Kistune legends is solid and the design allows for it to easily be translated into Korean or Chinese Gumiho mythos as well with minor alterations to the luck bead into a knowledge one. Additionally, the Thallain references and inclusion of a Nine Tails merit flows well and isn't unbalanced or meaningless. The section on opinions of other Kiths is fun as well and definitely reflects the nature of the Kitsune.

White-Wolf would be well served by including some new Eastern Kiths like this. As a Korean, I would be delighted to see more material like this in the future.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kitsune
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Sources of Magick
by Alice W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/23/2020 19:47:25

This is the first Mage supplement I've ever read and it sets my expectations going forward. Sources of Magick is impeccably professional barring the odd typo here or there. Charles has prodigious understanding of the Mage source material, some real-world places (and historical events) as well as the creativity to tie all of it into a neat little bow via the copious example Nodes. Even still, the marriage of creativity and real-world relatability is taken to its heights in the section on node paradigms, which doubles as a crash course in metaphysical philosophy. At 49 pages cover-to-cover, it's a bit ambitious for what I expected as a fan supplement. In some ways, it could be perceived as too short.

Let me lay this down: Nodes were underexplained in the Mage core book, even as far as 20th edition. It's easy to see them as some simplistic place where power generically gathers and Mages can tap into it. This is true in a literal sense: in that you will use this literary device called a "node" as a building block to your story; though false in that you shouldn't take the formless prime material (heh) that is the Core's presentaiton of nodes and paste it directly into every campaign. Which is why all the subsequent features (such as Tass and resonance) can feel unwelcome—they run counter to my impression that nodes were simple. However, Charles reveals Nodes as they ought to have been portrayed. Let me say this again because it bears repeating: Charles would've been a good hire for a section on Nodes in the Core book.

So while it's easy to expect a short supplement (maybe under 20 pages), the expansion on this simple idea reveals how extensive it is inherently. I want more and yet I have all that I will need. This is key to me, regarding the utility of supplements. There's enough provided for a jump-start where you can pull in a vast array of these fully fleshed ideas and turn some of them into entire campaigns if you wanted. Yet some are bespoke and this may not contain a literary framework for every story. That's where "all you need but not all you want" comes into play. Far from being a negative criticism, this is the thing creativty is made from. Once you understand and use the supplement's stock ideas a few times, it still has provided the thought framework for your brain to quickly and easily create more. Wanting more is good because you will have the tools to create more at your whim. I would go so far as to say the node creation rules could be used for Werewolf: The Apocalypse cairns, or really any place of note in a World of Darkness chronicle. Because ultimately, nodes are storied points of interest with a special storytelling property. They should drip narrative and ooze hooks. Sources of Magick provides an abundance of both and then hands you the tools and understanding to continue its work for your own campaigns.

With the main body of the review out of the way, here's some of my thoughts on the individual sections in this book.

Paradigms Section or "the Nature of Nodes"

One of my favorite paradigms was "Gold Standard" where a Primal Utility-inclined mage such as the Syndicate may view a place as a a vault of gold ingots or mine of raw ore. As gold is an outdated—but still valuable—commodity, so-too are these nodes viewed as "nice-to-haves" but not essential. It's very cool that this paradigm is included, moreso because a logical conclusion to "all is value" is provided: if that node is hard to hold onto, it should just be drained. Like liquidating a possibly toxic asset long before it begins its downward trend in stocks. This isn't how I would see the world but it was such a shock to think of mages (technocrat or not) considering this as a viable option. It fits snugly within the market capitalist viewpoint that everything has to generate more value for whomever privately owns the property, rather than used for the common good. Which makes a perfect villain for a chronicle. There are several other good paradigms such as everything being made of computer data (i.e. "all is data"), which works very well for several paradigms even outside the Virtual Adepts, as mathematicians may recall Pythagoras believed "all is number". There aren't any weak paradigms on display here and I'd rather not spoil them all.

Resonance

One of the very cool things included in this book is an example of nodes attuned with a sphere's resonance. Resonance is another poorly explained core concept and reading The Book of Secrets may still be necessary to grasp it all but Charles does a great job of helping visualize the bizarre time warping effects of a Time-resonant node or the danger inherent to some Force-resonant nodes. Later, each one is expounded on in the node builder with varying degrees of extremity. The examples provided are just enough to use in a chronicle, yet inspire to create more.

Rotes

Many of the rotes in Sources of Magick are based on Prime, which I felt was a previously under-represented sphere. It's appropriate for Prime to feature in each rote since nodes are intrinsically linked to the Sphere as a whole, even if they are not always attuned to a Prime resonance. Speaking of which, the sizable 26 rotes provided are handily split into categories that deal with Quintessence, Ley Lines, Tass, and Resonance. I found this useful since I'm not always exactly sure how to categorize an effect unless I've seen it previously. Even if you use only a few of these rotes, there are plenty of ideas that easily transition into your own rotes and build a comprehensive toolbox for understanding Prime therein.

Node Builder

This has to be my favorite section, utility-wise. While paradigms brought me into the fold for understanding nodes properly, the builder is something I think most chronicles can use even beyond the equivalent building of Domains in Vampire: the Masquerade. Players and Storytellers alike can allocate points to the node and whatever comes out should be interesting enough that it forms a building block of a story. This is a great resource for story points of interest, even if you aren't playing Mage—which is why I say its use goes beyond building Domains in Vampire for Vampires. In the builder, you'll assign points to the amount of Quintessence, size of the node, the ratio of Quintessence to Tass, and special Merits/Flaws (of which there are a ton) that add more flavor and uniqueness to the node. I feel like Merits/Flaws are especially great if you start without a solid narrative understanding of what you want your node to be. If you know ahead of time, such as a powerful Prime node based in a stock exchange, then you can easily follow the point-buy to a logical conclusion. It's also nice to use as a node "power rater" since the points are easily tracable given the description of any node. This allows storytellers to compare nodes over a chronicle or between chronicles to understand the power differentials and potentials. Special care has also been taken within the node builder to help storytellers integrate nodes with Changling: the Dreaming and Werewolf: the Apocalypse as well!

Summary

Sources of Magick takes a concept which was too simplistic for what the developers wanted it to be and spins a comprehensive yarn to draw storytellers—once again—into the Ascension War. When fully fleshed out, it's easy to see why warring over nodes is so endless. They are integrated into the very things that Sleepers consider part of normal life. It may not do this for you but after reading this supplement, I looked at places very differently. I dredged up old thinking patterns that I used to fall into: How does this place flow? How are people unconsciously drawn to form certain paths within its architecture? Where does its "power" come from and what is it? From shopping malls with dead energy; sleepy cul-de-sacs that are nevertheless deathtraps and woven into a labyrinth of bourgoise privacy; to the Roman-inspired buildings of government where our collective belief (whether positive or not) in power flows. There is always something of a "node" around us. Viewing the real world in this way is nothing of a new process. It comes from Philosopher, Guy Debord's "Theory of Dérive" wherein the material world's conditions and structure should be explored deliberately rather than taken as a given. People within the system have decided where you can go, how you can get there, which routes lead to how much ease or difficulty, and have so often designed them without considering the diverse cast of humans among the world's stage. While I cannot know if Charles is familiar with Debord's work in derivé or The Spectacle, I can say that this exploration of nodes provides a deep and meaningful glimpse into the world behind the world, whether you choose to see our own that way or merely invite it into your fiction. Therefore I invite each of you who has a burning need to tell a story to explore a new world—alive, mysterious, connected and all at once looking for the many Sources of Magick.



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Sources of Magick
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Kitsune
by Steven M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/23/2020 15:17:02

This is a very fun and clever kith. i'm gonna play one soon. excited to see it in action!



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Kitsune
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