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Deimos_Masque

The Precusor of Mage: The Awakening

Old Mage the Ascension Players  

96 members have voted

  1. 1. Did you play Mage: The Ascension and what did you think of it?

    • Played it and LOVED it! But I like Mage the Awakening More
      8
    • Played it at thought it was good. I like Mage the Awakening More
      13
    • Played it and didn't like it. I like Mage the Awakening More
      5
    • Played it and HATED it! I like Mage the Awakening More
      3
    • Played it and was generally neutral to it. I like Mage the Awakening More
      2
    • Never Played it but am aware of what it was like.
      16
    • Never played and don't really know much about it.
      6
    • Played it and LOVED it! And I dislike Mage the Awakening
      18
    • Played it at thought it was good. And I dislike Mage the Awakening
      2
    • Played it and didn't like it. I don't like Mage the Awakening either
      2
    • Played it and was generally neutral to it. And I dislike Mage the Awakening
      0
    • Other (please explain)
      5
    • Liked Both Equally
      16


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Donor

So out of those that make a choice, of one over the other.

Ascension wins!

Hurray!

<Does a little panda dance>

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Donor

How do you figure Panda?

So far 12 like Awakening better and 5 like Ascension better.

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This came up on the "Why did you 'embrace' the New WOD" topic found here.

It's been suggested that the popularity of Mage: the Awakening hinges on a person never having played or liked the original Mage: the Ascension. So here we go, a totally and completely non-scientific poll to determine if anecdotaly, Mage: the Awakening players have never played Mage: the Ascension, or if they did they don't like it.

Please feel free to post any clarifications to your poll answers that you wish and share any experiences with either game that helped forge your opinions.

Realize that like all polls on an internet forum the poll is already schewed by the fact that this is posted on the Mage: the Awakening forum thus we are more likely to get Mage the Awakening fans. Thus any data obtained is purely information purposes only.

Now my answer. I loved Mage the Ascension, it was and still is my favorite game from the Original World of Darkness. However having said that I find Mage the Awakening to be a more grown up game and I love the themes of it more than I do the original game.

I disagree with that supposition. I played MtA for about 8 years (2nd and Revised). I really liked it but I didn't like the magic/mechanics system. One reason I not only have embraced MtAw is that its a much better game (no metaplot), setting and vastly superior Arcana/mechanic/thaumaturgy system. When I played MtA I had (at most) about 4 players. With MtAw I've been able to recruit 6. And all but 2 have played MtA.

Things I like about MtAw:

gnosticism

Arcana system

Atlantis (yeah, there I said it and Im proud of it)

thaumaturgy

13 practices

paths/orders

Legacies (probably one of my favorite aspects)

MUCH better antagonists (Seers/Scelestus/Liches/banishers)

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I like them both. Though I was sad to see some of the elements of Ascension go out the door, I still think Awakening is pretty cool.

Edited by Froggy711

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Atlantis (yeah, there I said it and Im proud of it)

I think most of the Atlantis haters probably haven't actually given it a chance (or read The Books of Magic, for that matter). At first, I was kind of annoyed by it. It felt like one of those cameos the oWoD was so fond of having, with every famous person ever and their grandmothers being supernatural. Then I read the Mage book, and realized that Atlantis isn't anything like that. Fact is, it's just a crackpot theory about why there's a big gap between the world we see and the world that is. It's the commonly accepted, institutionally supported crackpot theory, but it's still a crackpot theory which could have just as easily been adopted when some Awakened people in ancient Greece got drunk or high and decided that Plato was the shit as be actually true.

Even if you assume that Atlantis is true, The Books of Magic (unrelated to Mage but one of those things that no Mage player should go without reading) posits that Atlantis is more properly an archetype. There were many Atlantises and there will be many more, and they rise to the height of hubris, and then are lost under the sea as cyclical testaments to how much humanity is full of itself.

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Donor
Ascension's rules needed work. Many, many people liked shooting the breeze about Ascension, but I saw precious few sustained games. Personally, I think Awakening could do to be a bit less complicated, since people tend to overly fixate on individual spells now, over the back end of the magic system. Nevertheless, it's playable and the math actually works -- Ascension's math doesn't work, but unfortunately that couldn't be changed for legacy reasons.

What I have noticed with Awakening is people talking about the games they *are* running, not the games they fantasize about running, or the setting outside the context of play.

Sometimes I think I'd like a kick at the can of a "4e" Ascension, but the end result wouldn't look like anything people who like any edition of Ascension would be interested in. For the most part I'm done with it. I designed and ran Judgment (well I ran it, then redesigned it for a mass audience) and pretty much finished up, and can't wait to get back to my Awakening game (after I finish the next SWRPG miniseries for my group).

Thank you for weighing in Malcolm. For me it is all all about the metaphysic and the rules. I can't play a game that doesn't follow either for long without wondering about stuff....Then again I have to be honest I am into DnD 4.0 for now given I am a little burnt out on the WoD...I will be back though. I am not married to just one game, though any game I am married to for the nonce I am passionate about.:)

I love both games for different reasons of which should be obvious, and more obvious should be that I vastly prefer Awakening without disliking Ascension. (Believe or not I was a staff member back in the day and that meant that I had to be open minded yes, even Kumi had to listen to all sides of the discussion without bias, I miss those days to be honest). Current vote is 19 for Awakening, 9 for Ascending, 9 that would do either and the rest undecided...and the rest are not many. Seems like MtAw fulfilled the mandate White Wolf was after yes?

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Donor
I think most of the Atlantis haters probably haven't actually given it a chance (or read The Books of Magic, for that matter). At first, I was kind of annoyed by it. It felt like one of those cameos the oWoD was so fond of having, with every famous person ever and their grandmothers being supernatural. Then I read the Mage book, and realized that Atlantis isn't anything like that. Fact is, it's just a crackpot theory about why there's a big gap between the world we see and the world that is. It's the commonly accepted, institutionally supported crackpot theory, but it's still a crackpot theory which could have just as easily been adopted when some Awakened people in ancient Greece got drunk or high and decided that Plato was the shit as be actually true.

Even if you assume that Atlantis is true, The Books of Magic (unrelated to Mage but one of those things that no Mage player should go without reading) posits that Atlantis is more properly an archetype. There were many Atlantises and there will be many more, and they rise to the height of hubris, and then are lost under the sea as cyclical testaments to how much humanity is full of itself.

The emphasized passage in your post above is specifically the reason that I'm an "Atlantis hater".

Actually I like the idea of ancient enlightened civilizations. What I don't like is the idea that there's an ancient civilization about which little is conclusively known, which has an inherent and identical impact on every modern occult society. In several hundred or thousand years only five mystical orders have sprung up, mostly based on the castes of one society?

I've read the Books of Magic (at least the initial series) and don't recall a point at which Tim is forced to choose which ancient faction he's a part of. In fact I got the impression that in that series Atlantean magic was just one small piece of the magical picture among many, and that quite a bit of magical practices, individuals, and groups in the series ignored the idea of Atlantis altogether.

True, in M:tAw, you can ignore or change preconceptions about Atlantis. But it's still in there as a pretty ubiquitous part of the canon setting.

Current vote is 19 for Awakening, 9 for Ascending, 9 that would do either and the rest undecided...and the rest are not many. Seems like MtAw fulfilled the mandate White Wolf was after yes?

Seems to me that if you hold the poll in a forum dedicated to MtAw then you're likely to get more votes that think MtAw is pretty good.

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Guest SKeLoRiC
Seems to me that if you hold the poll in a forum dedicated to MtAw then you're likely to get more votes that think MtAw is pretty good.

Yeah, this poll was intentionally skewed by its placement.

I placed a poll in a proper place to avoid skewing the results but had it moved so as to INCREASE the skewing of the results in favor of the opinion of the mod that moved that poll.

It just happens and there is no way to get anything fixed about it.

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Again, the question was specifically about polling MtAw fans about whether they've played Ascension. It wasn't about seeing what people like better, it was about the assumption by a lot of anti-fans of Awakening that Awakening fans only like the game because they'd never played a "better" version of Mage. THAT is the question this poll is addressing--"Awakening fans--have you played Ascension?"

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Strongly prefer the old game, but the new game has it's moments every now and then. Every now and then i try and build a Hibred, but it never comes out quite how I want. A lot of what I like and dislike seems to be mutually dependent. A lot of it is not knowing what I want as much as knowing what I don't want.

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The big problem I have with new mage is the idea of drawing down power. It feels much less like will working to me, and more like introducing the laws of an alternate reality onto earth. This annoys me, and how paradox works in the new system is a bit silly to me. Consensual reality is gone but sleepers produce paradox if they see a vulgar spell, but tribesmen in, say, new guinea aren't necessarily going to blanch at seeing magic. I know there are answers to this but it still bugs me a lot.

That being said, new mage really gets my gnostic/platonic jive going, even if i dislike the metaphysics and the atlantean orders. Its weird, some days I think new mage sounds awesome, other days, bleh...

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I voted for having never played Ascension but having a fairly good idea of what's going on, and I must say I rip off Ascension left right and centre, whatever else can be said of the system, there were some damn fine ideas in it... Oddly enough it's usually the Technocracy rather than the Traditions I rip off the most. Guess I just have a thing for Techno-mages.

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I have it, but I never ran it. Me and my group kinda jumped into the chronicle...

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Donor

Not my forum anymore DM so don't be sly and attack me, just look at facts given, you ARE the leader of this forum yeah? (By the way I am not a fan of Atlantis, I prefer a lost kingdom setup, so ask me before you get arrogant and attack me ok?

(Read the results of YOUR own poll, but remember I do have issues with anybody that is staff, especially some that shall not be named because they NEVER followed through with certain promises made long ago). But I do follow the rules currently.

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Played Ascension and loved it. In my top three games. Probably number one. But I also like Awakening a lot as well. I haven't played it enough or run it as much as I did Ascension but I still really like it. I have most of the Order books and plan on getting some more books soon.

Are the two different? yes. But are they similar? yes. i like how the magic works. Awakening is a bit more 'esoteric' in my book. But I like the path and order functions better than I did in Ascension. I loved the writing of Ascension and have all the first edition books, almost all the 2nd and a good chunk of the revised. I still use them for ideas in Awakening.

I love Ascension, and really really like Awakening. They are siblings in my mind. Share core genetic traits but have different personalities.

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Played Ascension and loved it. In my top three games. Probably number one. But I also like Awakening a lot as well. I haven't played it enough or run it as much as I did Ascension but I still really like it. I have most of the Order books and plan on getting some more books soon.

Are the two different? yes. But are they similar? yes. i like how the magic works. Awakening is a bit more 'esoteric' in my book. But I like the path and order functions better than I did in Ascension. I loved the writing of Ascension and have all the first edition books, almost all the 2nd and a good chunk of the revised. I still use them for ideas in Awakening.

I love Ascension, and really really like Awakening. They are siblings in my mind. Share core genetic traits but have different personalities.

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Also, I feel the towers concept doesn't fit the idea of a mage, where traditions felt a lot more appropriate for the choices.

By Traditions you mean Avatars right? I'll take avatars over watchtowers anyday of the week.

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Curator
Quoted for unintentional goth truism. Vampire: the Mascara-ed. Heh. :D

Priceless even.

I find comparing ascension/awakening similar to our group's comparisons of rifts/gurps. rifts has killer story ideas and world themes, amazing even, if they were only a little less flat and more fleshed out/balanced. but horrible, horrible rules and (lack of) restrictions. gurps, quite the opposite. aside from the magic system, and the general approach that every character barely knows how to tie their own shoes if you go by default point values, incredibly balanced and diverse ruleset, skillset and such. And, craptastical settings. Friend recently bought banestorm, and it effectively summed up thus: read a fantasy novel, copy it.

I lurve teh ideas in ascension, but even trying to figure out how it would work and balance out in-game roll-wise(specially with other supers) gives me a headache. awakening, on the other hand, seems just about perfectly balanced in terms of power and such. I think I'll be trying to run Awakening within ascension's setting, minus a lot of the super-metaplot.

Another thing is, it seems to me like, despite it being arguable that *all* of the WW book lines rely on stereotypes for their clans/tribes/whatnot, there were at least enough in oWoD where you'd find a niche for your character somewhere. In new WoD, it seems five is the magic number, and there are five tribes, five clans, etc, and then a few, mostly antagonist only, non-affiliateds, and some bloodlines thrown in for the stuff that was thrown out, like malkavians becoming malkovians(ventrue bloodline). I guess, it seems a little bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater to label all setting elements in old WoD "metaplot" when nWoD's setting, despite having streamlined the rules to the max, seems to rely on more stale and tired staples(like atlantis) than diverse and unique thoughtpieces to spawn campaign ideas off of.

*/ramble

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Donor

I Loved Ascension, though not at first sight.

I got the revised core, read through it and thought: What the heck? How am I supposed to play that?!

It was really an awful book. Too short on many subjects, too metaphysical on magic and horrible art (except for the chapter pages. By Shy, right?).

So it took me a couple of months to get the game in my head, then I tried to run it for my group and it was a disaster. The game needed players who "got it" and the magic crawled unless everyone were fluent with the rules. The concept was awesome, but the game needed more invested in it then I could put in.

I was very skeptical about Awakening. And it took me a while to realize it was not Ascension. Then I started loving it for what it is. A complicated Mage game, my players could get into. It's more then that, though.

For example, Paradigm. I loved the concept of Paradigm in Ascension, as a storyteller. But as a player it was a bit of a nightmare. As a player you understand that all facets of magic are the same. You use the same rules, character sheets, dice and overall terminology no matter what Tradition you follow. As a character you have to forcefully ignore these things and develop a personal concept system that you shed as you'r character becomes more enlightened. Coming up and maintaining this 'personal concept system', this Paradigm, was a lot of hard work for a player.

Awakening doesn't demand these thinking loops. Your character starts with a generalized understanding of magic (like the player) and can choose to specify and specialized it as she grows in power and understanding. So much simpler and intuitive.

Another thing that bothered me about Ascension is it's scope. The second edition core starts with an opening fiction describing a battle in the umbra near Saturn (I don't have the book, doing it from memory)! It was out of this world. I preferred the revised setting- avatar storm cutting you away from the infinite realms and downplaying the Ascension war. The scope of the game was huge! You could go Sliders in umbral realms, deal with Cyborgs and other next-tech abominations of the technocracy in addition to dealing with limitless magic.

For me- it was a bit too much. Awakening, while still having a wide scope, is not uncontrollable. And you don't feel the urge to ask your storyteller if you are still playing mage every five minutes.

Add to these the regular nWOD advantages: easier system, localized focus and cosmology that doesn't knock on your door every Tuesday. I Prefer Awakening without a doubt. Although I still reserve a soft spot for Ascension and it's amazing potential.

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Most of what I could say has already been said.

Unless you were playing with a very strong troop, most ascension games devolved quite quickly. All were responsible for creating every aspect of that game, as each player was the mini-ST of his own paradigm, and had to keep a sharp eye out for how that played and meshed with the general one.

Awakening never demanded, and never will demand, as much from the players, making it a much smoother ride. It's plug and play (for ease, not diversity), with very definite conceptions, if not of settings, then at least of how reality works.

If i'd have to use an analogy, ascension is a wide bridge, with weak planks and dangerous gaps everywhere. Awakening is a narrow bridge, but made of sturdy material. Ascension is what Indiana Jones walks down, Awakening is what the tourist walks across.

This isn't saying anything about quality, it's just a matter of work and payoff. Ascension was always more work, but the payoff was far greater.

Also, ascension had the technocracy. For those who believe the reality-police to be a bland, 2d idea, they've probably never gotten to play AS the technocracy. Step behind the mirror shades, and the game was completely different.

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i never played ascension during its run - the whole technocracy/technomagic thing really put me off. To my mind mage should have been more about secrets and politics than attempting to remake the matrix - which is how ascension always felt from the cursory looks it got.

However we did play awakening - a lot. and i much prefer *most* of what changed. less techno-science, better definitions of what can be done with dots in the magic traits - the actual magical lores themselves seem better defined.

What don't i like about awakening? i'm non plussed about the atlantis myth, but at least it's a in game myth that can be ignored, i think the seers are a poorly presented protagonist. the timid didn't inspire me at all, and the best of the villains the scelesti... well they where in the old game under a different name anyway (nephandi). But the single biggest thing not to like about awakening?

The nWOD base system has flaws that i simply don't like - i hate the one roll combat system, i think the attempt to pare down the skill list was flawed (as now evidenced by the umpteen million merits across the books).

We're now playing a hybrid, because as a group we prefer the oWOD back system to nWOD - so ironically where many have been talking about updating ascension, we've gone the other way and have back dated awakening using the new traditions and magic definitions with the owod back system - it's easier to run than i thought.

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By the way, there is a flaw in the poll: you allow people to like Aw but HATE ascenscion, without giving the option to like Asce but HATE Aw...

In fact, there other flaw is adding "never played" to the choices. If that's the case, the opinion is rather moot, and shouldn't even be presented, as it's not an informed opinion.

Basically, polls like this should revolve around 6 choices:

Like both,

Like one more than the other (X2)

Like one and dislike the other (X2)

Dislike both of them...

Anything more granular than that should be explained by the voter in a post... You've got a total of 13 choices, which dilutes the votes, and as proved above and by other comments on this thread, there are choices which demonize one and not the other...

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Guest SKeLoRiC

By the way, there is a flaw in the poll: you allow people to like Aw but HATE ascenscion, without giving the option to like Asce but HATE Aw...

In fact, there other flaw is adding "never played" to the choices. If that's the case, the opinion is rather moot, and shouldn't even be presented, as it's not an informed opinion.

Basically, polls like this should revolve around 6 choices:

Like both,

Like one more than the other (X2)

Like one and dislike the other (X2)

Dislike both of them...

Anything more granular than that should be explained by the voter in a post... You've got a total of 13 choices, which dilutes the votes, and as proved above and by other comments on this thread, there are choices which demonize one and not the other...

It was a poll created to achieve the result of trying to show me that I'm "wrong".

Naturally, a faulty poll is vital in order to achieve that goal as it couldn't be done otherwise.

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Donor

I marked 'other' because I've never played either, I'm just interested in Mage, wondering which would be better to play, and using this forum to help me decide. Heh.

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Never had a chance to play Ascension TT... But had the opportunity in 2 different IRC games, one of which I wound up being the Mage ST for...

Hoping to get an Awakening TT game going in the near future...

Still fondly remember my Euthanatos using a .45 Magnum for his Forces foci... "Oh, I only use incendiary rounds"... ;)

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