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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.

Summary

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 fiction

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.

Introduction

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 Flesh

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

Chapter One: The Tellurian

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 Path

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 Society

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 Magick

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

Book Two: The Spirit

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

Chapter Five: Basic Rules

The basics of the Storyteller System.

Chapter Six: Character Creation

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

Chapter Seven: Storytelling

A guide to running a chronicle

Book Three: The Machine

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

Chapter Eight: Magick Rules

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 Rules

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: Drama

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

Appendix

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 Information

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

Memorable Quotes

Characters

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


References

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

Previous book:
Technocracy: New World Order
Game Books
Mage: The Ascension books
Next book:
Hidden Lore
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