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Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition $29.99 $22.49
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
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Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Martyn F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2019 05:01:08

I was invited to a Mage game a week ago and jumped at the chance! I remembered the original back in 1993 and how cool the magic system was but, back then, could find no players.

To my dismay, this new edition is double the size of what I remember and benefits not one whit from the self-important, indulgent, patronising, and boring woffle it is stuffed with. Making progress with learning the core mechanics so I can get up to speed in just a few days is like swimming through treacle.

Mage 20 is morbidly obese and, along with sensations of frustration and depair, you'll find your arteries hardening with the sheer length of time you need to sit still to absorb and make sense of it.

I must assume that this book is for long-standing fans only whose past dedication to the game has given them postgrad level knowledge of its immensity.

The notion of trying to recruit new players to the system and then handing them 700 pages of rules comes close to being a laughable refutation of the whole system.

I'm still giving Mage 20 three stars as the magic system, that one thing which made the original Mage so interesting and original, is still there; but it's now relegated to chapter ten with a massive potential barrier of drivel erected in front of it.

There must be many experienced gamers out there -- I am one -- who have not played Mage before but who do not need to be spoon fed over how to role play or sermonized over modern American topics in social justice. We want rules that give us the core systems in compact and clear format; rules that enable us to gain a sufficient understanding to jump into our first game with just a few days notice. Even when such core rules are presented within this volume, they themselves are padded from within with interstitial fat that absorbs a lot of the wonder and joy I remember feeling when reading the original.

I think what we are looking at here is the Entropy Sphere in action. The game itself has become a form of decadent bloatware. Its grossly increased length represents a decline in standards rather than the opposite.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Carl L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/01/2019 11:51:05

First off, this book actually has some good to it. Mechanically it makes it possible to actually play, unlike 3rd Edition, er Revised... What it has, it has well. The rules for the spheres, the way to build a spell, the modifiers for said spells. The compilation of the various factions and sides in the Ascension wars that were stretched across dozens of books, possibly more over the three prior editions. Solid enough stuff.

But ultimately I'm unhappy with it. 700 pages, but they can't give you the Rotes under each Sphere. 700 pages, but they can't actually include even a decent sized fraction of the Merits & Flaws. Instead the book is chockful of plugs for all the other books intended for the Mage 20 line. Thankfully I got this book during a sale, but I honestly still feel more than a touch ripped off to basically have an incomplete book. And deliberately so. I really don't get it. V20 wasn't a constant plug for the other books. W20 wasn't either. It's more than a touch disingenuous and a shameless money grab.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by William V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/26/2019 10:42:23

Book is too big for the cheap binding they use. My group bought 4 books and all for bindings broke. I expected this, so no surprise.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Matthew D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/08/2019 03:14:52

This book has a lot of good and the bad in my opinion. It repeats a lot of the same stuff over and over and over and over again. The Fluff section could easily either be cut in half or incorporate actual new information. It was nice to see the Disparates in the main book, but having all those groups aligned didn't make a lot of sense. The fluff of this book, while containing some really good info overall, has been horribly mismanaged.

The Sphere Rank rules seem sometimes to move some stuff just simply for the sake of moving them. A lot of that fluff could have been replaced with a bigger and better setup of what the Spheres can and cannot do. The How Do You Do That book would have been pretty unnecessary then, since that tome is also very repetitive in material.

All in all, I enjoyed the book, as a I like some of the old fluff. But honestly, unless you really care about the Disparates in your game, just get a previous edition. This book is largely unnecessary.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Thomas B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/04/2017 19:35:37

at almost 700 pages, this is a massive tome, beautifully printed and lovingly illustrated. if you are a fan of the series, this is worth spending a bit extra to get the high quality print. contains core rules, examples of play, details for both traditions and technocracy mages, magic references, and tons and tons of lore and histories.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Lucus P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/24/2017 20:10:02

There's too much to say about how excellent this is -- but it can all be culminated in a simple "This is the BEST version of Mage." -- any other discussion is just trying to convince you to be "into" the game -- but if you already know you are, then this is the best version to own. If you don't know if you're into Mage -- the fact that you're thinking about it, shows you should be, and thus you should have the best version, and this is it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by julien l. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/30/2017 14:42:50

As a fan of World of Darkness fan, I like Vampire 20 and Hunter 20 a lot, and I adore Werewolf 20, I've read the first edition of Mage: The Ascension and so I was very hyped to get M20.

M20 is great, the book is superb, explains well to tellers and give a crapton of options. Your players want to play tradition mages? It's ok. they want to be orphans? They can. They want to see how it is when you're a techno? It's also aviable!

The book is great and I love how much they use examples or details (like the book of Shadowrun 5th) to understand most.

The only thing : don't use it with beginners players. Mage is hard to make them understand there are much risks.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Marcin T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/20/2016 11:52:29

Really nice book - it has everything to get you started and more. In fact the only issue I have with this book that it's so big it's hard to find things you need during the game. Content seems to be randomly scattered. But once you prepare yourself it's great!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/18/2016 00:56:31

I was extremely disappointed in the binding and quality of this book. It feels like it might fall apart at any second, and I just opened it. I bought the Premium Heavyweight and the paper is pretty low quality, and I've bought new textbooks at the same price with better paper. The paper honestly feels like I printed it out of my printer on standard 8x11 paper, and threw it in a cheap hardback cover with terrible binding. :(



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/01/2016 17:17:39

The book is huge, litteraly, and that's awesome. The thing is beautiful. The colors are vivid and the arts are nice. The one thing that bothers me a bit is that it seems like it's a softcover glued to a cardboard hardcover. It doesn't change much on the functionnal side of the product, but it reflect poorly on the quality. None the less, i love this product. Thk Onyx Path.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/27/2016 07:09:38

I have mixed feelings about this product.

The book is too heavy for using it at a gaming table easily. The binding is ok, and I have had no problems with it yet. The quality of the illustrations varies a lot, the quality of the printing in the heavy paperweight version is ok, and the space management and layout of the elements of the book is a bit underwelming.

"Ok" means "sufficient, but not great".

The books gathers a lot of gaming content. It touches the History and metaphisics of Mage, the worlds beyond Earth, and allows for player characters from the Traditions, the Technocracy and the Disparate Alliance factions. It covers a lot of topics but does not move into much depth. Some players claim that certain things are explained in not a deep enough detail for using them in the game despite taking many pages of the book. I am prety sure any compenent Storyteller will manage to make something out of the content even if it is not explained in full detail, though.

The content is badly organized. Certain pieces of information are duplicated, which is a problem because the book is already big as it is. I think it would be hard to follow by a newcomer to Mage: The Ascension.

I think the "focuses" of certain Traditions/Crafts/Conventions are arbitrary and that the authors did not put a lot of thought into making the suggested tools/foci related to the paradigms represented by each faction. Hence you get cybernetics and hypertech as suggested tools for Verbena mages -who are portrayed as druidic mages with primitivistic beliefs and points of view. A good Game Master is obviously going to hack this if need be, but it looks ugly to me.

As a side note, there has been some Internet drama and forum flaming because the authors made an active effort to be socially inclussive towards homosexuals and transexuals, that is, to include characters with gender identity crisis in the fiction and so on. Most of the time it is not annoying and it feels like a natural incussion. Some of the time you feel like they shoehorned a political advertisement at some sidebar. I think they had good intentions but did a lousy job: it is ok to have a computer advertisement in the Linux Magazine; it is ok to have ethics advertisement in a religious magazine; it feels odd to have ethics/political advertisement in high end entertaiment books for which you have paid premium. If they wanted to publish a socially inclusive product, they should have learnt from authors who introduce such concepts in a way that does not feel like the element was placed in the book just because they wanted to do a political declaration. Onyx Path also messed it up pretty badly when addressing related flames in the forums by sutting down, suspending, banning and locking related forum threads and people who disliked the way this was done.

The book is entertaining to read and can be used as a source for inspiration. If my books suddenly burned down, I am not sure I would buy it again, however. Too "average" for a 20th Anniversary edition.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Akaki K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/18/2016 03:45:43

To begin with it's a...meh. The book is huge, inclusive and slightly updated to modern paradigm. I did sorta like it, there are all sorts of interesting bits that have been underdeveloped or omitted from the previous editions. However, it also has a host of problems that makes it just a next mage dust-off. To begin with, the book is still in 90ies. Written with opinions and language that remind past millenia. For an example, tazer bullets are mentioned as technocractic ammunition, when they are really just sold online, just as already working Life printers. paradigm and focus systems aren't well developed. Neither is the influence of modern media and science. On the other hand, it's inflated with repeated unnecessary information that contributes nothing but takes space. To add to frustration whole sections that would be facinating to read are missing under the excuse of 'not enough space'. The fiction bits are mostly horrible and problems that it mostly tries to raise and bring into spotlight of 'mage' attention are mostly irrelavant, uninteresting or misinterpreted. Every problem of the world is basically blamed on the devil. It's also amusing how book treats the reader with the mitten gloves, avoiding the topics and themes that could be considered gritty or insult mainstream sensibilities. Same with crossovers, Beast had dealt with that issue far better. Also, it introduces systems to handicap mages vs other supernaturals. Like giving them near innate ability to countermagic and quite a few other hacks. As for diversity, any mages outside the mainland America are mentioned at best with information that is neither relevant, nor well organised. Just enough to leave you mentally salivating. To top it off, for a book that should concentrait on diversity and creativity illustrations are horrible. It's either an overcised mage tarot card, or a trendy 20 something with tattoos. exceptions are rare and far between.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Tresi A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2016 19:48:06

It's exactly what you expect: an updated, lightly tweaked version of Mage that casts a wide net across the infinite expanse of the Tellurian.

Minor nitpicks:

  • Could use another copyediting pass, but anything this large will have that problem.
  • Too big to be an easy introduction to a new player or group.
  • Very short Merits and Flaws list, which may be for the best.
  • How Do You DO That?! would have made an excellent chapter but instead is its own book. Which makes sense, since it's 143 pages.


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Joshua M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/29/2016 12:48:55

Opened this book less than a dozen times before the binding completely broke away from the pages. I could not be more dissapointed, especially given the pricing.

I'm honestly not surprised this site forces you to the "create new account" login option before the basic "login" option. I don't imagine they get much repeat business.

What a joke.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Sylvain P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/28/2016 21:43:03

Fantastic PDF, terrible, terrible binding. Worst book binding I've seen in 25 year of collecting hundreds of books. Literally cracked open at the seams upon 2nd or third handling. I leave it on the shelf now. A pretty expensive decoration, north of 150$ Canadian dollars.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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