A World of Darkness.
People have said that Mage: the Ascension could never be a MUD..
Let's prove them wrong!
Mage: the Ascension Online is a graphical MUD based on the RPG of the same name. The web client is necessary to view the graphics, but you can still telnet into the game as usual. The server is always open, but the game is in development.
The game uses the original rules for Mage: the Ascension, so players can still create new spells and dream up their own rituals. We also have enough spells you probably won't need to. The MUD uses a turn based menu for combat, which is based on the rules for The World Of Darkness. It is built on the Evennia codebase, and we could use your help with building and designing the world. If you are interested shoot us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org
It's hard to believe in something you can't see, but hiding behind the illusion of reality magic exists. We've been told that its superstition and that it's the work of the Devil. But that is just what 'they' want you to believe. We know deep down that the world is magic, and this is a game of Magick.
The stories told in this game are set in the World of Darkness. It’s a place very much like our world, sharing the same history, culture and geography. Superficially, most people in this fictional world live the same lives we do. They eat the same food, wear the same clothes, and waste time watching the same stupid TV shows. And yet, in the World of Darkness, Magic is real.
People in this world wonder if magic exists, but pretend nothing is out of ordinary. They are asleep to the reality around them, and refuse to open their eyes.
Mage: The Ascension is a type of roleplaying game, a game of make-believe in which each participant pretends to be somebody else, or pretends that he’s really something he’s not. This is a game where players participate in an online story, complete with graphics.
Mage: The Ascension takes place in a collaborative online space, existing in the limits of your screen and broadband connection. Online games like these are called MUDs, which stands for "Multi User Dimensions". More than that though, this is a game of story telling. It’s a shared experience where every player is involved in creating the story.
The world is a battleground of ideas. Philosophies, religions, nations. All of these forces divide the human race. Corporations gather wealth. Politicians broker power. Nations prepare for war. And behind the scenes, hidden from the Masses, the Technocracy pulls the strings. The Technocracy stands against magick, and unites the world under the umbrella of science. They control the masses, and blind them from reality.
People in the World of Darkness are controlled completely by the Technocracy. If an ordinary person witnesses magic the fabric of reality can rip and tear. If it tears too much, that magick can backfire on a mage. Sometimes even releasing a violent spirit.
The majority of humanity is made up of normal people, and mages need to blend in. It's smart to have a backstory to avoid detection by the Technocracy. The Technocracy operates behind the scenes of sleeper society, and will quickly turn a mage into public enemy number one.
The Technocracy have mastered science a century ahead of the present day. And have turned the world into a giant and impersonal machine. Surveillance cameras are almost everywhere to maintain watch on reality deviants. They control the media organizations, influencing what the Masses see and hear. Television, radio and the internet all deluge us with propaganda.
Cell phones, and computers make certain we can always be contacted and tracked. Addresses, phone numbers, bank accounts and credit cards are all stored in computer databases. Behind it all the Technocracy is collecting the data, and Mages are forced to live without such designations to survive.
The job of the Technocray is to police the thoughts of the masses. Even if it means cyborgs with high powered energy weapons. Agents of the Technocracy are everywhere, and have their hand in everything. Normal people aren't even aware they exists, and can't see them for that matter. Mages on the other hand can see them, but do their best to avert their eyes.
For Mages there is more to the world than this. Being a mage isn't safe, comfortable or easy. Hiding among the cracks of civilization they strive for truth, imagination, expression, and power. Mages take charge of their own lives.
Mages are desperate remnants of another age. Outcasts and rogues, they are revolutionaries who change the world. And in a world that doesn't accept magic, they work towards a better future. Mages awaken the imaginations of everyone and turn their dreams into a brighter world.
They lost the war for the reality long ago, and the world has left them behind. But the spark of imagination cannot die. Every person who believes in faerie tales or stories of magic gives strength to mages.
Mages have the will to ensure that the world never forgets, but they can't turn back the clock and make the world magical again. Not all hope is lost however. Mages are working for the betterment of the world. And taking up causes to improve the consensus reality.
When you first log on a character will be created for you. Type '+sheet' to look this character over. If you have a copy of the Mage: the Ascension rule book you may want to customize your character.
You can create new character concepts by typing '+archtype'. It will set your +essence, +concept, +nature and +demeanor. You can use these commands to tag good roleplay. Roleplay is then reviewed by the Storyteller who assigns experience points.
+Concept represents a Mage when he's not doing magic. There are many concepts to choose from here, and you may want to refer to the Mage: the Ascension rule book.
+Essence will be either, Dynamic, Pattern, Primordial, or Questing.
A Dynamic essence embodies change and adventure.
A Pattern essence is the oposite and embodies stability and order.
A Primordial mage is secrative and mysterious.
A Questing mage doesn't attach themselves to anything, and is always on the move.
+Nature & +Demeanor represent how you see yourself and how you present yourself.
Demeanor is how you wish to be seen, while Nature is how you really are.
There are a whole lot of options you can choose from here when you create your character.
+Archtype will also generate three random Practices. Each of these represents one way a mage practices their magic. Mages receives bonuses to their magic when using them. If you need help let someone know. There are over 180 different practices.
You can add a text description for your character with @describe, and you can add an image for your character with "image http://image.png".
You can also design a custom character with the commands +Attributes, +Abilities, +Advantages, and +Spheres. The White Wolf Storytelling system has many different types for each of these categories. We use only some of them for characters when playing at this time.
+Attributes has three categories, Physical, Social, and Mental.
Using this command you assign a primary category with 7 points, a secondary category with 5 points, and a third category with 3 point.
Physical has three types: Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina.
Social has three types: Charisma, Manipulation, and Appearance.
Mental has three types: Perception, Intelligence, and Wits.
+Abillities has three categories, Talents, Skills, and Knowledges.
This command allso allows you to assign a primary category with 7 points, a seconday category with 5 points, and a third category with 3 points.
Talents has six types: Alertness, Athletics, Awareness, Brawl, and Intimidation
Skills has six types: Firearms, Martal Arts, Melee, Meditation and Stealth
Knowledges have six types: Astrology, Computer, Medicine, Occult, and Rituals
+Advantages has 6 types: Arete, Avatar, Willpower, Belief, Quintessence, and Luck.
7 points go into advantages, but Willpower starts at 5 and Quintessence is equal to your Avatar.
+Spheres has 9 types: Correspondence, Entropy, Forces, Life, Matter, Mind, Prime, Spirit and Time.
5 points go into spheres.
If you wish to create a random character again you can type +random.
Here is what your character sheet could look like:
To make magic a reality, Mage's need more than just willpower. They also needs a profound grasp of the underlying elements of the cosmos. Long ago, the predecessors of today's magical practitioners divided Magick into nine Spheres of Knowledge to ease the daunting task of studying the nature of reality. Mages use this understanding by focusing on what a Sphere represents, rather than trying to take in and effect reality as a whole
There are a number of spells marked with a + sign in each Sphere. Players are able to use these spells immediately once their character learns the Sphere. Players can also design their own personal spells and engage in ritual magick to acomplish anything they want to with the help of a story teller.
By bending Space or bypassing it entirely, a mage can travel rapidly, or teleport from place to place. Divining locations allows the mage to see far-away places or send magic over distances. Distance forms no barrier to a master of Correspondence. Indeed, distance and even space do not exist to the student of this Sphere. Through the unifying Correspondence Point, mages realize that all things occupy the same space — or no space at all.
+Scry - Remote view other locations. +Locate - Provides directions to an object or character. +Where - Provides directions to a room. +Teleport -Teleport through a list of directions +Jump - Teleport to a room. +Peek - Look at what another character is holding. +Take - Teleports an object from another character / place. +Portal - Creates a portal that anyone can pass through. +Source - locks a source location in place for a portal.
Luck, fate, chance and chaos are the prime components of the study of Entropy. From this Sphere comes the study of order and randomness. All things dissolve eventually into haphazard components. Whether in thermodynamic theory or metaphysical metaphor, Entropy describes the simple fact that all things break down, but that new states come from disorder. For mages interested in coincidence and chance, Entropy affords great possibilities. The mage may not always be able to specify the exact outcome, but she can at least cause fair or foul fortune to fall as she wishes.
+Ban - Causes someone bad luck in a room. +Bless - Increases your luck at everything. +Charm - blesses an object with luck. +Curse - Increases any damamge the target is hit by. +Fate - View another persons luck / karma. +Hex - Ruins targets luck at everything.
Through Forces, the universe manifests impersonal energies. Those energies follow rules, though, and a mage with a command of Forces can control the elements. Every force has its own unique properties, and every magical style has a different means of addressing these forces. Regardless, the understanding of Forces lets mages manipulate the raw powers in the universe.
+Kinetic - Changes unarmed attacks to lethal. +Push - Increase your strength using forces. +Rush - Increase your speed using forces. +Stop - Prevents attacks from hitting you. +Strike - Call lightning. +Dark - Makes the room dark except for you.
The sphere of life is different, and it has a unique connection to the cosmose. Life is an everchanging flow that adapts and draws from its infinite complexity. Mages who study Life learn to heal and can even change shapes or restore youth. Conversely, they can strike down foes and even kill.
+Clone - Change your appearance into someone else. +Con - Examine character's physical state. +Heal - Restores a living being back to health. +Raise - Brings a corpse back to life. +Sap - Drains a person's physical atributes. +Shift - Changes you into an animal. +Deathtouch - Inflicts lethal damage
Given the incredible utility and variety of objects all across the world, this Sphere is highly versatile and useful. But it's often underestimated due to its perceived "base" nature. manipulating Matter is usually a much simpler affair than manipulating other Patterns. Magicians who study Matter can create objects, transform them and change their properties.
+Forge - Strengthen a weapon. +Make - Create objects. +Open - Open locked passage ways +Lift - Make an object weightless +Brake - Destroy an object +Shield - Strengthen your defense. +Alter - Change the appearance of objects.
The enlightened will shapes reality, so it should come as no surprise that the power of the Mind is, indeed, an esoteric yet highly studied tool of mages. The mage who studies Mind delves into the very root of reality, the formation of ideas and the power of will. Unlocking the mysteries of the Mind requires great work and discipline.
+Bug - Listen to someones conversations. +Illusion - Fills the room with an illusion. +Command - Forces a character to do something. +Invis - Temporarily makes you invisible. +Project - Causes a character to see an illusion. +Send - Sends a message to another character with telepathy. +Sleep - knocks a character unconscious. +Charisma - Good NPC reactions.
The Sphere of Prime is the study of raw creation and the energy. To every Tradition this is a sacred or valued power, for with Prime the mage can tap into and manipulate the keystones of cosmic forms. Quintessence is the underlying nature of the fabric of reality. While the other Spheres influence the actual stuff of creation, Prime controls the power from which they all spring.
+Source - Detect sources of Quintessence. +Dispell - Stops target from using magic. +Drain - Draw quintessence out of sources. +Use - Use personal luck/quintessence/willpower. +Reverse - Defends again magical attacks. +Ascend - Used once a day to gain experience. +Enchant - Attach a spell to an object
Spirit exists in the world beyond simple human perception. It is the result of emotion, hope and thought — the intangible end product of the mind. The mage skilled in Spirit can touch the wall that separates potential from material. They can reach through to see entire realms formed of maybes, might-haves and never-weres. The entities of the spirit world often reflect human drives or belief systems, and Spirit Mages interact with the half-felt dreams of the world itself.
+Exorcise - Send ghosts back to where they belong. +Last breath - Determine identity and cause of corpses. +Inflict - Causes harm through the spirit world. +Sight - Temporarily see into the spirit world. +Summon - Opens a gate to the spirit world. +Speak - Listen and talk to spirits.
Time, as the philosophers say, is the magic that all men know. The relentless tick of the clock leading down a road to an uncertain future. Although time may vary with the observer it's an undeniable part of existence. For mages who delve into the mystical study of Time, of course, matters aren't so cut and dry. Mages studying Time agree that the world is full of paradoxes. But that doesn't prevent mages from stopping, or even reversing time.
+Freeze - Freezes time in a location. +Slowtime - Slows time around you +History - Reviews the history in a location +Check - See a virtual outcome of combat. +Delay - Trigger events at a later time. +Speed - Two attacks a turn. +Time - Change the time of day. +Stars - Move the stars and planets
It's much easier to be different when there are other people, different just like you. Mages work together toward their common goal of surviving in a world which would destroy their magic and their myth.
the Traditions serve a variety of purposes. They help a mage learn magic and to understand and define the structure of her beliefs. A Tradition mage can also expect to be part of a group of people who will back her up and help her in difficult situations.
In the modern age, the Traditions continue practices of magic handed down from many cultures and legacies. They all believe it's important to keep magic alive and to give Sleepers the choice of a magical world. The Traditions defend a world where people can believe in wonder, mysticism and spirituality.
Not all mages choose to become part of a Tradition, however. Some prefer to work and live by themselves, figuring out solutions to their problems alone. When a mage first joins the game they aren't part of any Tradition. A Mage must first be invited into a tradition by another player who is already a member of one tradition or another.
Mind, body and spirit are all part of the larger whole of the person, just as the person is part of the larger whole of the universe. Identity, division and conflict are illusions. When the mind and body come into harmony, the soul follows. When the individual does not resist the universe but moves within, he embraces his nature. From these philosophical roots came the Akashic Brotherhood. By honing the body, the Brothers make, a temple for the mind; with the refined mind comes understanding of the spirit. The Brotherhood uses simple tools — exercise, meditation, practice and study — to refine the simple man into a brother of knowledge.
A return to simplicity lies at the heart of the Brotherhood's beliefs. Humans clutter up their lives with unnecessary and extraneous objects and desires. How can one understand the natural harmony of the universe by trying to grasp it, own it or control it? The natural place for every individual — the role of Drahma — is apparent when one is not blinded by the illusions of greed, desire and power. The exercises of living give a soul the chance to experience the universe in manifold forms, and so the individual should take this opportunity to gain insight by developing a harmony with the All. Each life is just a step on the greater wheel of Drahma until the individual releases himself from the chains that he forged with his own beliefs and desires.
The Celestial Chorus is one of the most misunderstood Traditions. Although it is a religious Tradition without question, it does not focus on one religion over another. The One and Prime that the Chorus reveres transcends any single congregation's deity. All humanity is part of that cosmic song, the glorious radiance of Pure and Prime. When humanity is united again in this reverence, the Prime shall be whole again, the song manifest and the universe healed.
Nothing so defines humanity as its capacity to strive for the divine. On some level, every individual is aware of this spark, this higher ideal, this greater power. Even the most evil and depraved monstrosity recognizes this divinity, if only through its deliberate rejection, but unity wails for all. Just as the splintered shards of the One are scattered throughout the world, so too do humans seek a unity of purpose that will rejoin them. The purity of song joins many voices together as one, in a greater harmony that unites them all and creates something new and beautiful that no single voice could make. From such a chorus, here comes a song of a glorious whole. Even strife and discord are washed away by the greater song. So, too, can all humanity be united when the greater unity brings peace, understanding and divine grace to everyone.
CULT OF ECSTACY
Many Initiates come to the Cult because of its reputation as a continual party. Popular opinion has it that sex, drugs and rock-'n'- roll are what the Cult is about. When the mages get to the party, though, they find out that there's a very specific point to all the revelry. The Cult of Ecstasy does use things like drugs and music and even sex, but they're just means to an end. The point is to achieve a mental state that transcends the physical world, a trance that allows the mage to see beyond his normal experience and go outside all the lines that keep most people and mages penned in. Cultists take the word ecstasy in its original meaning: a sudden, intense rush of feeling that catapults the subject into an altered state. It doesn't have to be a pleasant feeling, but given a choice, most Cultists definitely prefer it that way. The Cult of Ecstasy breaks down barriers and self-imposed limitations to give people a rush of eye-opening experience.
Ecstatic philosophy holds that all limitations are self-imposed. Humans build their own comfortable domiciles in both the physical and mental worlds. To surpass one's limits, one must move beyond the barriers of comfort and tranquility. Although sanity and safety are left behind, the true experience lies beyond — learning comes from new experience, not repetitions of old, tired things. Everyone must strive to push outward and discover their own new ways of learning about the world. The ecstatic state is just a mind open to new experiences because it's released from the confines of self-imposed limits. Once human limits are breached, the person sees beyond the horizon of human insight, to reach a truly cosmic consciousness. Tools like sex and drugs just open the door. It's up to the individual to step through, to see what's on the other side and to keep on going past where even those crutches take her, to the heart of the Lakashim, the pulse that drives the world.
Spirit-talkers, animal friends, brothers to wind and sisters to Earth — these mages walk the boundaries between our physical world and the realm of dreams, gathering wisdom and skill from the spirits that are native to the earth, the sky and the water. Dreamspeakers are often pigeonholed as shamans, and the name fits. They are the intermediaries between humanity and Spirit, communicating between the two worlds, maintaining balance and keeping the relationships between the inhabitants of both realms in their proper state of stasis or flux. Of all the Traditions, the Dreamspeakers have the most difficult role and the strongest centering, grounding influence.
There is infinitely more to this world than the things anyone can touch. Beyond the edges of vision are beings that have been with us for aeons, and they are bound up in the workings and the health of the world. The Dreamspeakers recognize this fact, and they honor the spirits. They are the gatekeepers between the two planes, serving as communicators and go-betweens. If either side of the spirit world is neglected, both will suffer, so the Dreamspeakers balance the two. The balance sometimes requires the mage to perform actions that seem irrational or trivial; other times the mage must make a sacrifice to keep the worlds in harmony. Too many people have forgotten the existence of the spirits of the land, and the Dreamspeakers must always remember for themselves and for everyone else.
It's hard to accept the fact that, one day, consciousness as every human knows it will end. Death, to most people, is a terrifying unknown that must be avoided at all costs. It's little wonder, then, that people look into the eyes of a Euthanatos and suddenly grow cold. The Euthanatos know death, and they know that it must and will come. Sometimes, these mages bring death with them. More often, though, they bring the potential for rebirth, for the seeds of creation in the remnants of the past.
Death is not the end; death is an end. There isn't much good in an existence that will serve no purpose, and there is less good in an existence that brings pain or trouble to everything it touches. It's better to end that thread and let a new one take its place than allow it to take up space. Like flowers that grow from a burned forest bed, these threads will be rewoven into the Tapestry. The Tapestry weaves into a great picture, but suffering and sorrow mar that picture. Every man must take up his burden, surpass it and accept the responsibility to deal with this inevitability. That responsibility becomes a keystone for the support of the world, for the willingness to support and shelter others — and to perform the duties necessary to release those who only bring or know suffering.
ORDER OF HERMES
The Order of Hermes are formalized sorcerers, alchemists, and mystics drawing from classical occult practices. These formalized willworkers stand proudly upon their achievements as high wizards, masters of ritual and spell, sages of great renown and learned builders of artifacts and enchantment. Yet their unity hides powerful political intrigue. Their heyday is gone, and their newest Initiates abandon the ancient codes in favor of new ways.
Hermetic philosophy is complex and many-layered. At its heart is the drive to perfection. Members of the Order of Hermes learn an esoteric language called Enochian, which is said to be the language of Angels. By learning the language of Enochian and all of its meanings, the individual rises to his inner nature, then beyond. Each step in the process is a challenge that requires a leap of perception but also opens the way to the next path. Eventually, the human passes far enough to become something cosmically divine.
SONS OF ETHER
Not all science needs to be a banal and regimented process trumpeted by the Technocracy. So say the Sons of Ether, and they practice what they preach. From the mad, inspirational science of Victorian wonder-workers' to the fringes of cutting-edge alternative scientific theory, the Sons of Ether use it all. While other Technomancers pioneer new worlds, the Sons of Ether take the discarded cast-offs of technology and turn them into creations of the imagination. No invention is too strange, no theory is too obscure, for them to tweak it and find a way to use it. Contradictions? Impossibilities? Nonsense — there are only doors that have not yet been opened by Science!
While Technocrats codify the universe into a static mold explainable by convoluted science, the Sons of Ether reject such a notion as foolish. The universe is far too vast, and its permutations too varied, for any single equation to hold sway over it. Indeed, the very act of observation changes the outcome, as the Technocracy has discovered in its own acceptance of quantum science. Thus, discovery and invention are personal processes, driven by the wonder and inspiration of the individual. Nothing is impossible or a dead end — it's merely an average that someone else decided not to explore. From the "disproven" theories of yesterday, the Sons of Ether create the wonders of tomorrow.
We come into the world bloody and squalling; we prey on flesh and fruit for survival; we grow, learn and adapt; we wane and die, only to feed new life. This never-ending cycle occupies the Verbena, and its constant pulse is the heart of the Tradition. Primordial sorcerers, potent healers, skilled shapeshifters — the Verbena dive into sex, blood and flesh without inhibition. Their passionate understanding of all life fuels an equally primeval magic.
Life is the greatest mystery of the universe. Base matter and energy do not grow, think, react and multiply. All life is a cycle that forms the heartbeat of the Tellurian. In the tiny fragments of that web are infinite individuals, all woven together by their shared trials and breaths. To recognize the constancy of life’s cycles is to realize its pattern to grow beyond any expectation or boundary, to take any form and to achieve any goal. The process is never easy. Often, it is fraught with pain, predation and death. Life perseveres.
No Tradition mirrors the modern world so much as the Virtual Adepts. These former Technocrats embrace technology and its ability to empower people, and they strive to make that technology available to everyone. While most Traditionalists concern themselves with antiquated ways and renewal of ancient practices, the Virtual Adepts are on the horizon searching for the cutting edge. The Virtual Adepts ride the wave of the computer revolution, and they use these machines to expand their minds, enable worldwide communication and model novel visions for reality. By spreading computer and communication technology to the Masses, the Virtual Adepts help people enrich their own minds. The spread of information and knowledge makes everyone richer and leads to better versions of the world, leaving behind antiquarian notions, physical suffering and social inequity.
Information is the ultimate power and the ultimate tool. Devices, magic, tricks and Traditions can all do great things, but only when guided with the proper information. Therefore, the Virtual Adepts want to learn as much as possible, to explore and develop as many ideas as possible and to open the world to new knowledge by discovering loopholes, tricks, shortcuts, innovations and dreams. Eventually, people will recognize that information (and their understanding or processing of it) is their key to sensing the universe. Once that happens, it's a simple matter to make a better universe — a Reality 2.0 that can be modeled, shaped, simulated in a virtually real fashion, then embraced and made into a new world for everyone. The best and brightest (and most elite) lead the way, so that humanity can benefit.
People are dying, ideals are dying, magic is dying, the world is dying. The Hollow Ones have known as much for some time, and they've accepted it. Now, they know that the world is going downhill, but they plan to enjoy the ride. Reveling in nihilism and a rejection of social mores, the Hollow Ones luxuriate in Gothic elegance and a decadent, romantic languor.
Although the Hollow Ones don't believe that the world is necessarily doomed, they do feel that it's a pretty crappy place. As a result, they seek out what satisfaction they can get, and they encourage others in their own morbidity. Still, they have an abiding curiosity, a desire to scratch beneath the surface and see how things really work — the squirming guts inside the underbelly of society. As a hodge-podge subculture, they take what they like and discard the rest; this applies equally to people, philosophies, magic and belief.