11 June, 2015
Storifying Mage: The Ascension (Part 11) - Rubbish
I've dug through the Vampire Quickstart that I was looking for in my last post, I've also found a Mage20 Quickstart. Both of these are interesting introductions to their respective games, but neither of them are really what I'm looking for.
The Vampire Quickstart is pretty much the one I remember, using a simplified d6 system rather than d10s, the Mage Quickstart is basically the core of the Storyteller System, with simplified magic instructions and very little about telling a good story with the game. The Vampire Quickstart strips back the system to such a degree that the standard character sheet can no longer be used, the Microlite Storyteller system is actually a better approximation of the game. The Mage Quickstart is better, but keeps the essence I've stripped away and doesn't delve much into the area that I actually want to be exploring with this project. Nature and demeanor are basically stripped out completely, except for words on the character sheet, willpower is reduced to something you use for generating extra successes, and a lot of the flavour is hand-waved. But it was worth looking at these two products, to ensure that I wasn't simply treading the same ground that someone had already explored.
The Mage Quickstart seems to imply it's players need a knowledge of the general conventions of gaming, so it basically functions as a half-way step for traditional gamers to dip their toes in the ocean of Mage, without overwhelming the with mind-expanding awesomeness. I know quite a few players who couldn't handle that awesomeness, so maybe this is a good product for them. It's not a particularly good product for exploring the other side of the equation, expanding story-oriented games with the paradigms of magick.
I'm currently rewriting a lot of my thoughts through this series into a specific rules set. at this stage I'm aiming for a single page each on: Character Generation, Conflict Resolution (excluding combat), Combat, Engaging Character to Story, Engaging Character to World, Character Advancement. Magick is trickier, and will get pages dedicated to: Core Magick Rules, What makes Magick Coincidental?, What are the outer limits of Magick?, Engaging Magick to Story. I'm fully expecting some of these sections to flow over onto a second page, but the general aim is to keep the whole thing under 12 pages (16 at worst). There might be some index cards to print out, to make this game feel even more 'indie"/"story-gamey".
Enough blogging, back to the grindstone.