Original Concept and Design: Stewart Wieck, with Stephan Wieck, Chris Early, Bill Bridges, Andrew Greenberg, Mark Rein•Hagen and Travis Williams
Second Edition Design and Development: Phil Brucato
Storyteller System by: Mark Rein•Hagen
Written by: Phil Brucato, Brian Campbell, Deena McKinney, Kevin A. Murphy, Nicky Rea, John R. Robey, Kathleen Ryan, Allen Varney, and Teeuwynn Woodruff
Additional Contributions by: Ethan Skemp, James Estes, Cynthia Summers, Fred Yelk, and Richard Dansky
Editing: Cynthia Summers, Laura Perkinson
Design Contributors: Kevin A. Murphy, Kathleen Ryan, and a special thanks to Christopher Kubasik for inspiration
Art Director: Richard Thomas
Artists: Ash Arnett, Mike Chaney, John Cobb, Michael Scott Cohen, Robert Dixon, Daryll Elliot, Mark Jackson, Leif Jones, Michael William Kaluta, Matt Milberger, Paul S. Phillips, Michell Prahler, Dan Smith, Lawrence Snelly, Alex Sheikman, Joshua Gabriel Timbrook, and Andrew Trabbold
Cover Design: Ash Arnett
Typesetting and Layout: Kathleen Ryan
Playtesters: Deena McKinney, Wayne Peacock, Stewart MacWilliams, Kieth Martin, Darrell Autrey, Bob Asselin, Timmie Capler, Jeff Baty, Carl Capler, Jay Brown, Jamie Johnston, Ryan Casper, Christina Harkinson, Phil Brucato, Wendy Blacksin, Nicky Rea, Jackie Cassada, Shadow Lied, Judt McLaughlin, and Ehrik Winters
Publisher: White Wolf Publishing, Inc.
Imprint: White Wolf Game Studio
Published: 1995
Pages: 312
Year: 1995
Publication #: WW04300
Reference #: ISBN 1-56504-400-2
Price: $30.00 US / $38.35 CAN

The Second Edition of Mage: The Ascension, incorporating many changes from the First Edition, notably to the magic system, and better defining the World of Darkness from a mage's viewpoint.


From the White Wolf catalog:

Magick is not dead,
Open your eyes and see with mystick sight.
A War rages,
A Reckoning is at hand.
On one side stand the Others,
Who would twist our world with their mad designs;
On the other hand, the snare of Pride,
And Power's lure,
Await an inner Fall.
Is our Path too narrow?
You decide.
Come forth,
A journey beckons.
Open your eyes,
And Awaken.

Intro fictionEdit

A full-colour, untitled section at the very beginning of the book which tells two stories in parallel:

  • in September 1995, the young mage Amanda is facing hardship as an Apprentice of the Euthanatos mage Senex in the Horizon Realm of Mus;
  • the best part of a century earlier, a woman named Mercedes is shown how far she has fallen.


An introduction to the world of Mage, including sections on "Concepts of the Game", a summary of the book's contents, and a lexicon of terms.

Book One: The FleshEdit

Fiction intro featuring "The Fallen One": Monique, a Nephandus, researches an ancient tome of unspeakable knowledge.

Chapter One: The TellurianEdit

An overview of the world and cosmos of Mage: the Tellurian, the Tapestry and the Umbra, and the denizens that dwell within them.

Chapter Two: The Mystick PathEdit

What it is to be a Mage. Introduces the Awakening and the Avatar, and includes a brief version of the Mage origin story.

Chapter Three: Mage SocietyEdit

The four factions of Mage society - the Council of Nine, Technocracy, Marauders and Nephandi - their history, and how player characters fit in.

Chapter Four: The Ways of MagickEdit

The metaphysics of magick: the basics, the Spheres, the Consensus and Paradox.

Book Two: The SpiritEdit

Fiction intro featuring "The Mad One": the ramblings of a Marauder who is now free.

Chapter Five: Basic RulesEdit

The basics of the Storyteller System.

Chapter Six: Character CreationEdit

How to create a mage, including descriptions of the Traditions and all the character Traits.

Chapter Seven: StorytellingEdit

A guide to running a chronicle

Book Three: The MachineEdit

Fiction intro featuring "The Cyborg": X344, a Technocratic cyborg, tracks down yet another "reality deviant".

Chapter Eight: Magick RulesEdit

Full rules for creating magickal effects, and for what happens when they go wrong. Includes full descriptions of the nine Spheres and the effects possible with each.

Chapter Nine: Setting RulesEdit

Systems specific to the mystickal side of mages: ideas for the Awakening, rules for increases Sphere mastery and Arete, how to journey toward Ascension, and the other denizens of the World of Darkness who may get in your way. Includes rules for Spirits and an overview of the Umbra and the Digital Web, plus rules for various objects with magical power, including Talismans and Fetishes.

Chapter Ten: DramaEdit

More advanced Storytelling System rules. Includes an illustrated example of play.


Rules and traits for Antagonists, some example Talismans, details of some important locations, a section titled "Afterwards" by Stephan Wieck and Phil Brucato on the path to Second Edition, and the Index.

Background InformationEdit

The Second Edition substantially changed on the magic rules and the setting of Mage, and was generally considered a great improvement.

Memorable QuotesEdit


Widderslainte on the road to redemption, and apprentice of Senex
Also known, ironically, as "Mercy" - Amanda's previous life
An old, powerful and revered Euthanatos; the "Old Man" of Mus
The Nephandus who successfully corrupted Mercedes


Magick, Spheres, Paradox, Council of Nine, Technocracy, Tellurian, Tapestry

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