A World... of Darkness!

I couldn’t resist being cheesy in the title. :smiley:

So over the holidays my D&D group took a break and I ran a 3 session Mage: The Ascension campaign. Went very well and now some of the players are joining my “alt group” to play some one shot World of Darkness games (Werewolf, Changeling, Vampire, others) and once we’re comfortable a longer ongoing campaign, probably Mage as I love running it, broken up with one shots. We have 2 regular players and one who is only up for the one shots, planning to play 7-11pm EST on Sundays. Could use 1-2 more players and was wondering if anyone might be interested…

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Hello. I would be really interested in this. What VTT do you use? Any other things like Discord or whatever? Would I need access to WoD Source Books?

Heya Ranter, I would be interested in this, played WoD a little bit back in high school I love me some horror RPG.

@Bouldernoggin and @Ryukan here is a write up I did about the planned Mage game at one point to give you a sense of things, followed by some notes. Like I said, we’re likely going to do some one shots of different WoD games to ease into things and then alternate one shots with an ongoing campaign.

A New York Groove
aka Mages Take Manhattan

System: Mage 20th Anniversary Edition
Platform: Discord voice chat
Schedule: Sundays, 7-11pm EST (bi-weekly)
Setting: NYC, modern day (though darker, grittier in some ways)

New York, New York it’s a hell of a town. In your case, literally.

Having recently discovered your true nature, you are just discovering the hidden beings and society of the city. Regardless of whether you’ve lived in The City for years or only recently arrived, you still have a lot to learn about the “undercity” inhabited by Mages… and others.

This is the New York of the World of Darkness. A mix of reality and fiction. Even darker and grittier and more violent than in our world (if you can imagine that).

If you can make it here… well, you probably won’t make it.

Notes

  • We play over Discord and use photos and Google Maps for reference
  • We might use a VTT if needed (probably Roll20)
  • The game is roleplay/story focused though we use rules as needed, especially combat
  • Characters are normally from “good” factions (ie no Technocracy, Black Spiral Dancers, Sabbat, etc.)
  • Good and evil are of course very subjective in this setting
  • Campaign will be strongly based on character’s backgrounds, the more you develop your character the more I can work with
  • One shots will typically use pre-made characters
  • World of Darkness 20th Anniversary editions are used, excerpts will be provided if you don’t have the books
  • Unless specifically using a module type book, one shots and campaigns are somewhat freeform based on character backgrounds as well as ongoing metaplot(s), player “agency” is an important part of the games

More notes to come…

FYI some of the core Mage 20th books are on sale 90% off (!) this week!
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/4261/Onyx-Path-Publishing/subcategory/8329_20645/Mage-20th-Anniversary

Updated write-up slightly as I forgot it was originally for a non-voice game.

I have not played anything text based in a very long time. Sounds fun. Is the 20th anniversary version different than previous ones? I have some old books but not sure what version. They are old. It will take a few days to get ahold of them as they are a part of a library in a game hall, I am a part of, though I cannot attend in person anymore. I think I will try to get the pdf’s from the link you gave use. Which books will we need as players?

By the way, I am still interested, Mage is one of my favorite rpgs. I have also played Werewolf and Vampire and Hunters.

Sorry that was from a previous game… it’s voice.

The 20th Anniversary books are basically all the best parts of the original, 2nd, revised, whatever editions cleaned up, refined, and added to with a lot of playtesting and player input.

At the very least get the core book and you are good. The others are useful but not necessary, and I have to check them for “storyteller” only info actually. The Art of Mage and Mage Cookbook are just for fun of course.

As for one shots I am looking at Werewolf (might start with that as they had a run in with them in the one shot I ran previously), Hunters (though not the Reckoning types), and depending on the group possibly Vampire though of course it is a bit darker than the others. Maybe Changeling too as I like it but it is close to Mage in some ways. Wraith is just WAY too dark though, probably not gonna run that lol

Also… possibly a Mage “alt” one shot. :wink:

Schedule will be bi-weekly, working around peoples’ schedules as I want to really try and avoid sessions where someone can’t be there.

As mentioned, I ran a Mage one-shot which ended up taking three sessions. We used the Mage 20th quickstart PDF which included the characters in the attachment I’ve included and a very basic version of the rules, also attached. This is a free PDF by the way. I edited out of the character section some plot/story hook info. In the next post I’ll share the recaps I wrote up of the sessions which will might give you a sense of how I run my games.

Mage-Characters.pdf (1.4 MB)
Mage-Rules.pdf (3.2 MB)

Here is a quick summary of the characters as well (Sabra was run as a NPC).

Intro

It’s a surprisingly pleasant day in New York City despite the time of year. Climate change or Magickal influence or maybe the damn werewolves are causing it to be warmer than expected. After traveling cross-country and getting in and out of trouble, your group has temporarily settled in the city, currently camping out in the Washington Square Park area where you’ve somehow managed to avoid being driven out by the cops or getting into altercations with the gangs or others in the area mostly.

Recap - 12/22/21

The group started their day in Washington Square Park by putting on a performance for the crowds and did moderately well in their performance and collections, enough to cover at the very least a cheap lunch. While Synder performed flaming juggling and jumping through hoops assisted by Khan; Jinx kept lookout, Chopper managed the music (while tinkering with some new device), and Sabra (quietly) collected money. In the course of things, Jinx noticed some local homeless or thugs giving them dirty looks and got the feeling they should call it quits. They also had a dark, foreboding feeling. Heading out to find some cheap pizza, the group stopped at a bench so Jinx could better explore their feeling with some Entropic exploration. They had a vision of the group being surrounded by a net of some kind growing closer and closer with the net having an electronic basis of some kind. While at the pizza shop (with a somewhat belligerent owner who did not appreciate them bringing their dogs and a bird into the shop), Jinx explained their vision and Khan decided to reach out to contacts who might be able to help them get more information. Shortly afterwards, while still at the pizza place, a woman showed up, already sitting at the table before they realized she was there. She introduced herself as Calli and despite being extremely attractive physically, obnoxiously explained she was there to help them as a favor to a mutual contact. The help was in the form of her somehow mystically leading them to a brownstone downtown which upon entering they were introduced to the odd Dr. Landau who, in-between constantly writing in his notepad, said they should speak to the Oracle. (edited)

After sitting at a table in the next room, the group discovered Dr. Landau WAS The Oracle as he took on a different personality. The Oracle told them they were being pursued by “NWO” and they should stay out of sight. They also discovered the “box” Chopper had been messing around with the whole time was the reason they were in trouble and Khan, angry and frustrated, smashed everyones’ phones as a precaution and stormed out. As they could not figure out where to go, Calli reluctantly offered to help them saying they would owe her BIG. After Synder calmed Khan down (not the first time apparently), the group asked Dr. Landau to thank The Oracle and set out with Calli. Rounding a corner, someone slammed into Calli knocking her down. A seemingly normal person, he turned on the group, claws extending from the backs of his hands. He leapt at Khan slashing him but Khan managed to block most of it and was only grazed. Chopper and Sabra dove for cover. Synder hit “Woo” with a Magick-augmented punch that bypassed some kind of innate armor and caused some damage. Using Entropy, Jinx cursed “Woo” which hindered his skills (out of game he would lose a success from every roll). Khan then managed to wrap things up by body slamming his opponent and knocking him into a spiked fence, the spikes ripping through Woo’s upper arm, shoulder, and part of his chest, immobilizing him and knocking him unconscious. Calli got up and was actually impressed by the group, though she still called them amateurs. While standing there, everyone heard a weird “shlorping” noise and as they watched, Woo’s body was slowly pushing away from the spikes as it healed. The group led by Calli quickly left and before they knew it, they were suddenly by the fountain in Central Park…

Intro 2

Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. Site of countless “meet cutes” in the movies. It is night and the mood is very different from that in Hollywood portrayals. The odd person or couple walks quickly through the esplanade, leaving the area at a brisk pace. Some of the lights are dark while others flicker softly. The water of the fountain gurgles in the background and an occasional bird call is heard. A strong sense of pure and powerful energy can easily be perceived accompanied by a strange sense of foreboding and of being watched… (edited)

Recap 2

calli talks to “figure” by the fountain jinx gets neutral feeling chopper gets sense of spiritual and magickal energy calli says it is safe here, stay in area just away from fountain chopper makes hidey-hole in rock people take watch chopper hears wolf howl makes device to mask scents jinx sees a giant wolf sniffing foot then takes device uses magick make it leave it khan and sander encounter the warden sabra gives everyone pilfered pizza chopper heats it up with their microwave gun the box beeps crazily and rips open portal khan and chopper power down box warden says they have to go they ask if they get rid of box can they stay and he says maybe they drop box off queensboro bridge cops see and chase jinx tries to stop them but one of them falls off bridge khan uses forces to slow fall so cop doesn’t die chopper realizes the box is in his bag again group tries to get rid of it no luck calli returns and they go to restaurant while she figures out next step everyone freezes in restaurant and “cyborg” attacks… jinx tries to pin her arms but they dodge out of the way synder snares them with plants using life magick chopper manages to do some damage with the microwave “enforcer” khan throws a table at the cyborg but misses and knocks out sabra cyborg fires at chopper but misses hitting cashier instead calli turns into a giant black panther and leaps to attack but misses (TO BE CONTINUED)

Recap 3

During the course of the fight, people hit the cyborg with little effect, Khan manages to pin it to the wall by altering the metal legs of the chairs with Jinx reinforcing their strength, Synder uses Mind to distract the cyborg while Chopper uses a chainsaw (!) to try and break through the “mirror wall” which Khan’s assistance. They make a hole big enough for the smaller members to escape and Jinx manages to Entropically enlarge it. Khan pins the cyborg while Synder deals massive damage with a Life enhanced punch. Chopper creates an acid pool under the cyborg which almost finishes it off. It just barely escapes but Khan kicks it back in… and it starts to beep more and more rapidly. Chopper escapes tossing a smoke grenade behind them. Synder and Khan escape before the grenade goes off. The beeping stops… and nothing happens. Until a small chrome sphere flies out of the smoke and explodes blinding everyone with a bight light then knocking them unconscious. They wake up on a metal panel surrounded by a cube shaped force shield of some kind. Nearby, Calli (again in panther form) and Soot (Synder’s familiar) are also in similar cages and Sabra’s dogs are in metal cages. The room is full of zombie-like “science drones” who seem to take little notice of them beyond occasionally observing and taking notes as well as enhanced security guards with high-tech weapons at the doors keeping an eye on them. The situation and the caged dogs upsets Sabra and Khan comforts them. (edited)

Chopper tries to quietly assemble a device to take down the shield but ends up spilling everything in their bag on the floor getting the guards attention. Jinx speaks to Talon their avatar who says in the group, everything they need to escape can be found and also that the cage is a mix of science and magick so there is not much more they can do to help or otherwise give in advice. Chopper speaks to their “inner genius” (Avatar) who appears in a formless virtual dimension as a somewhat idealized version of themself with the same mannerisms. They also say that Chopper has what they need to escape but will need help to do so despite Chopper having a hard time with people socially (even the Trolls). Jinx shares what they learned and Chopper suggests a distraction. Khan has Sabra rile up the dogs and, after an exasperated sigh, Calli joins in as does Soot. The animals’ noisemaking distracted the guards and Chopper assembles an EMP device and with the help of the group manages to power it up and take out the shields and knock out all the electronics in the area including the guard’s enhancements and weapons and the drones who all freeze. The black box is on a table nearby and also powers down making a sad noise getting Chopper’s attention. Khan is against Chopper retrieving the box but it makes a weak sad noise and he relents.

Khan destroys one of the doors with an enormous heat blast (assisted by Synder), ignoring the convenient control panel on the wall next to the door, and the group makes their way through a metal corridor. At the end is a normal looking door and opening it, the group sees a normal looking office lobby with a fountain in the middle and a large “Gentek” sign over the reception area. On the other side of the lobby are large glass doors leading out. A woman at reception and a couple people nearby seemingly notice the door open but don’t react. Khan not trusting the situation decides to use Mind and “tagging” the door makes the effect that anyone passing through it will be unseen by people. The box also indicates to Chopper that the lobby doors are the only exit. Calli says the Gauntlet is very thick but that if they can reach the fountain by using the reflective surface she can get them out.

Reaching the fountain without incident, Calli transports the group several blocks away (seeing the Gentek building in the distance) where it is noticeably colder than it was in New York. They move out and find themselves by Fanueil Hall Marketplace in Boston. Staying on the move, they hide out by a nearby bridge. Chopper takes a look at the box and realizes it has a tracker. After destroying it and warning the group, they move out with Calli suggesting a safe place… the Infinite Corridor under MIT. Hiding out in a classroom/lab they settle down to rest with the box going into sleep mode and Calli, obviously weary, going to sleep. Opening up a fridge in the room the group finds a bunch of samples of some kind… and leftover pizza. Unfortunately with pineapple topping. The next morning Chopper names the box “Trouble” which it seems very excited about and gives it some basic speech ability. Now recharged the box says, “Home?” and opens a portal to Washington Square Park. Calli hops through and gives a brusque wave before disappearing into the crowd. The rest of the group follows and things seems normal until a giant ghostly figure appears in the arch with no one else reacting. It lets out a gigantic smelly belch then disappears. Just another day for the Trolls…

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Recap 2 was a bit rushed, as you might notice, as I try to write them right after the session and was getting sleepy lol

Here is some reference I used for the sessions…


Washington Square Park


Bethesda Fountain in Central Park


Google Maps overview of the fountain area

image
The Black Box

image
Calli


Dr. Landau


“Woo”


Hunter


The Cyborg (?)

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If you notice some of the NPC photos bear striking resemblance to various actors on TV… I have no idea what you are talking about. :wink:

This sounds amazing. I would love to join this if you still have an opening and if a vampire character is permitted!

Oh shoot this is on Sunday evenings :flushed:

I might run a Vampire one-shot (over time it could be more than one) but the plan currently is for an ongoing Mage campaign broken up by various one shots. Who knows though? I don’t generally like to run mixed system (“splates”) campaigns as they generally don’t get along with each other (especially Werewolf vs Vampire/Changeling). I am toying with a one shot where people could play almost any WoD type of character but we’ll see.

Let me know if still interested!

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Oops guess that is a dealbreaker? :frowning:

Unfortunately it’s the only night that works for me and two of the other players.

For the time being it is unfortunately as I’m currently in another gaming group on Sundays. Maybe in the future if you happen to get another opening and my schedule happens to also be clear.

This sounds amazing though. Loved reading the recaps!!

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Just reposting what I said in Discord in case other people are ever interested… " If you have a night off check in with me. Maybe we’ll be doing a one shot or maybe you can play a NPC."

:+1:

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