The metaplot of the game involves a four-way struggle between the technological and authoritarian Technocracy, the insane Marauders, the cosmically evil Nephandi and the nine mystical Traditions (that tread the middle path), to which the player characters are assumed to belong. Time magic offers one means to speed up a character to get multiple actions in a combat round, a much coveted power in turn-based combat. For example, the Marauders chapter in The Book of Madness is narrated by a Corax (were-raven) named Johnny Gore, who relates his experiences running with the Butcher Street Regulars. They won the support of Sleepers by developing the useful arts of manufacturing, economics, wayfaring, and medicine. But within that sometimes cosmic scope, Mage asks an intimate question: If you had the power of a god, what would you do with it… and what would IT do with YOU? While the nature of a Marauder's power may make them seem invincible, they are still severely hampered by their madness. Life deals with understanding and influencing biological systems. Both sides called a truce in their struggle to assess their new situation, especially since these events implied that Armageddon was soon at hand. This was intentional. The Avatar Storm was a very convenient explanation for the Underground's loss of power and influence, though they also became more vulnerable to Paradox. With this Sphere, matter can be reshaped mentally, transmuted into another substance, or given altered properties. As the masses' beliefs shifted, the Consensus changed and wizards began to lose their position as their power and influence waned. Stone, dead wood, water, gold, and the corpses of once living things are only the beginning. In response, non-scientific mages banded together to form the Council of Nine Traditions where mages of all the major magical paths gathered. The idea of magic in Mage is broadly inclusive of diverse ideas about mystical practices as well as other belief systems, such as science and religion, so that most mages do not resemble typical fantasy wizards. Entropy is a symbol for rotting or decay, "Putredo/putrefactio". As more and more sleepers began to use the Order's discoveries in their everyday lives, Reason and rationality came to govern their beliefs, and the old ways came to be regarded as misguided superstition. For example, an alchemical paradigm might describe the act of wood burning as the wood "releasing its essence of elemental Fire," while modern science would describe fire as "combustion resulting from a complex chemical reaction." Finally, from 1997–2000, a series of metaplot events destroyed the Council of Nine's Umbral steadings, killing many of their most powerful members. When it is performed ineptly, or is vulgar, and especially if it is vulgar and witnessed by sleepers, magic can cause Paradox, a phenomenon in which reality tries to resolve contradictions between the consensus and the Mage's efforts. This is called the consensus. Thus, being alive protects a thing from direct manipulation by the Matter sphere. While the entire metaplot has always been meant to be altered as each play group sees fit, Ascension provided multiple possible endings, with none of them being definitive (though one was meant to resolve the metaplot). This sphere is an eclectic mixture of abilities relating to dealings with the spirit world or Umbra. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The sigil of Forces is part of the symbol for "boiling," "Ebbulio". As the defenders of the common folk, they intended to replace the dominant magical groups with a society of philosopher-scientists as shepherds, protecting and guiding humanity. Like other storytelling games Mage emphasizes personal creativity and that ultimately the game's powers and traits should be used to tell a satisfying story. They currently control the Consensus, though they have very little in the way of altering it. Obscure myths suggest that the precursors of the modern organizations of mages originally gathered in ancient Egypt. Marauders are insane mages whose Avatars have been warped by their mental instability, and who exist in a state of permanent Quiet. All of the Traditions are updated and elaborated, along with the history of mages in the World of Darkness. (This struggle has in every edition of the game been characterized both as primarily a covert, violent war directly between factions, and primarily as an effort to sway the imaginations and beliefs of sleepers.) Explore the revised rules of the Spheres, Resonance and Paradox. 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