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As it stands, the Gifted Science splat in Mage Chroniclers Guide is incomplete. Several aspects of the Mage template are not appropriate for Scientists, therefore I have put together a guide to the differences between them for better playability. This document is based on suggestions by Dataweaver, Reflections85, TheKingsRaven, Isator Levi et al.

Character Sheet: http://mrgone.rockso...ed_Editable.pdf

Laboratories (Sanctums)

Laboratories have the following aspects: Amenities (CtL 95), Archive (Library), Chemistry Lab (ToTM 146), Guardian Retainer (S&S 85), Materials (S&S 86), Security, Size, and Workshop (RoS 97).

Pattern Restoration/Scouring

It makes sense for a mage to be able to channel Mana into his Pattern in order to heal damage, or to scour his Pattern in order to free up Mana; it doesn’t make sense for a scientist to do the same with Vision. A gifted can sacrifice a dot of any Mental Attribute to gain three points of Vision, sacrifice points of Willpower to do the same, or pay three points of Vision to recover one point of Willpower.

Regaining Vision

Oblations become Research. Scientists who perform Research at a Laboratory can gain Vision points. Doing so requires an hour of uninterrupted concentration and an Insight + Composure roll. Each success provides one Vision. Scientists cannot gain more Vision per day, however, than the Laboratory’s Archive or Workshop rating (whichever is applicable). Research can take several forms: designing or planning a new device, which would use the Workshop; searching for information in a library or database, which would use the Archive; coding in the “zone,” that sort of disconnect you get from reality when utterly absorbed by your program, which would use Workshop (Computer); et cetera.

Blood sacrifices remain the same, but take the form of surgical dissections.

Tass becomes Scrap, and is now produced by Laboratories, taking the form of raw materials (batteries, fuse circuits, scrap metal, computer code, bacterial cultures, stolen organs, et cetera) left over from previous Experiments and Research. To harvest the Vision contained therein, a scientist needs merely to recycle the scrap for use in something else, no dots in Elemental Particles necessary.

Astral Journeys

Vision quests aren’t part and parcel of the scientist’s experience; scientists lack the innate ability to engage in Astral Journeys, although the College of Essential and Advanced Psychology includes Experiments that allow for the same sort of thing, a la Dreamscape or Inception, for those scientists who are familiar with it.

Inventions (Imbued Items)

Tool-making is part and parcel of the scientist’s experience, and every scientist has the innate ability to create Inventions with just the Crafts skill and the appropriate College(s) for the Experiment that the Invention duplicates — no need for three dots in Elemental Particles the way that mages need three dots in Prime to Imbue Items.


Choose a resistance Attribute at character creation as with the default Mage template. For beginning Colleges, allocate 2 dots in one College, 2 dots in a second College, and 1 dot in a third College. Finally, allocate 1 additional dot in any College.

Open-Minded and Close-Minded

Just in the field of mathematics, a lot of people simply don’t grok it. In some cases, it’s because they’re willfully limiting themselves (“I’ve never been good at math; it’s just not my thing!” ); in other cases, they lack the time and inclination to figure it out; and in a few cases, they genuinely are unable to get into the mindset needed to get the more abstract mathematical concepts (geometry isn’t really about lines and shapes; it’s about proofs and the methodical way of thinking that is required to understand and work with them). And even some people who have a “head for numbers” aren’t particularly adept at coming up with something new. And that is the essence of Gifted Science: the ability to invent, repeatedly and reliably. That is what Enlightenment provides, and what the Insight/Vision mechanic represents: the ability to come up with innovative concepts and radical new theories. That spark of genius can be nurtured when it is found; but it isn’t something that everybody has, and it’s not something that everyone will achieve given sufficient persistence.

Proven Theories can be taught to, and performed by, those who aren’t Enlightened; but it needn’t be easy for “ordinary folk” to learn or use the esoteric theories that Gifted Science is composed of. Among the Enlightened, Sleepers and Sleepwalkers are thought of as the Close-Minded and the Open-Minded, respectively. Only the Open-Minded can learn Proven Theorems; the Close-Minded self-sabotage any such efforts. Among the Open-Minded, each Proven Theory is learned as a Merit, rated at (rank + 1) dots.

So in principle, anyone could learn any given scientific theory, be it “normal” science or “Gifted Science”; but in practice, many people close themselves off from the possibility, and only a very few have the knack for innovation.

Foundations and Academies

After the Enlightenment, scientists are recruited to one of the Foundations. The Foundations offer training in Esoteric Mathematics and a few introductory proven theories as “tasters” to encourage new gifted into their doors, but to join properly requires initiation. The Foundations are organized as academic departments in which new scientists are trained en masse by professors, who each have a staff of disciples to assist them in their own studies and answer up to a council of masters, with learning being freely shared within the organization. As well, the gifted within a given Foundation submit discoveries for peer review and testing.

The Foundations are distinguished by how their members approach the Colleges and the purpose of Science. The Foundations rise and fall with the rigors of history. The relationship between Proven Theories and mundane skills varies by Academy rather than by Foundation.

The language of science is mathematics; similarly, the High Speech of Science is Esoteric Mathematics. According to MCG, the organization of the Foundations among academic lines means that “Esoteric Experience” tends to come from mentoring younger scientists — the idea being that you don’t truly understand a subject until you can teach it to others. The other significant difference is that the Foundations lack the “Supernal weight” that the Orders have: unlike the Orders, the Foundations change over both space and time rather than tending to re-establish themselves after seemingly getting wiped out and existing globally. Finally, rote specialties tend to vary according to Academy rather than Foundation; as such, individual Foundations don’t really have unique game mechanical bonuses associated with them. Indeed, Foundations are effectively alliances of more or less like-minded Academies rather than being organizations in and of themselves: if two Academies share a common Foundation, they’re more likely to end up cooperating rather than fighting each other.

Academies should be a bit like Orders (in that they provide three Rote Specialties), a bit like Legacies (in that they provide a College Major and a series of Degrees), and a bit like Proximus Dynasties (in that they can teach Proven Theories to Open-Minded students whether or not they are Gifted, in a manner not unlike a Proximus acquiring Blessings).

Where Legacies provide the Awakened with Attainments, the Academies of the Gifted provide them with Degrees: Bachelor's Degrees, Master's Degrees, and Doctorates of the appropriate Academy rather than First, Second, and Third Attainments of a given Legacy; mechanically the same thing, just different terminology. Per Pathless, Insight 2, 4, and 6 provide the scientist with the first, second, and third Degrees, respectively.

Examples of Foundations

  • Philanthropists, devoted to using their innovations to help mankind.
  • Entrepreneurs, who feel that they should use their advances for their own profit.
  • Metascientists, interested purely in research and providing funds and infrastructure to aid research. They could also be described as “those who seek answers” — which is not to say that nobody else asks questions and demands answers, but for the others investigating things is a means to an end. For this Foundation, satisfying their curiosity is an end unto itself.
  • Deontologists, dedicated to regulating the other Foundations and ensuring that they adhere to certain ethical and professional standards, and their logical extreme, Technocrats, who show neither restraint nor humility and seek power over others “for their own good.”

    Examples of Academies

    • Transhuman Engineers, who want to usher humanity towards the technological singularity. Major: Energy Evolution. Specialties: Computer, Science, Subterfuge.
    • Forge Masters, dedicated to creating and improving powerful inventions infused with Elementary Particles. Major: Elementary Particles. Specialties: Craft, Investigation, Science.
    • Threnodists, dealing with quantum mechanics and the nature of consciousness. Major: Spatial Awareness. Specialties: Investigation, Medicine, Science.
    • Zero Coders, who “hack” reality like a computer simulation. Major: Spatial Awareness. Specialties: Computer, Investigation, Science.

    Mad Scientists

    If a scientist descends so far that her Wisdom drops to zero, she can no longer be played in any meaningful way. She becomes a “Mad Scientist” (refer to “The Mad,” Mage p. 314).

Edited by JAnderson789

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Possible amendment: since this was posted, the new World of Darkness has undergone a renaissance of sorts.  The God-Machine has taken on a new prominence, and a Translation Guide has been published to smooth the process of converting elements from Ascension to Awakened and vice versa.  The following borrows from both of these notions, giving the Gifted Paths of their own, patterned after Ascension's Conventions.  

I’ve got to say that the notion of the Gifted as “Awakened to the God-Machine” is an intriguing one. If I were to do it, I’d scrap the “no Paths” bit that Mage Chronicler’s Guide posits, and I’d replace it with something similar to (but not quite the same as) the Technocratic Utopias in the Mage Translation Guide outtakes. The main difference is that I’d shuffle the Subtle Arcana around a bit:

The Gifted don’t undergo “vision quests” or “mystery plays”— or at least say they don’t. At the cusp of comprehending Enlightened Science, these prodigies undergo a moment of Actualization, where they harness their knowledge to fulfill a moral imperative. They imagine a glorious end of history their methods will bring about: a Utopia.

The Singularity, Utopia of Transhumanism

Engineering, AI and uploaded minds create a world of spiritual machines. Humanity is gone; self-modifying, immortal patterns of information construct the bodies they wish. Technocrats with this vision Actualize the Path of Engineering.
Ruling Colleges: Matter and Fate
Inferior College: Spirit

The Republic, Utopia of Social Harmony

Ubiquitous surveillance and rational ideologies create a world without conflict. Only merit determines one’s social position. Advanced psychology diverts destructive emotions to useful ends. Technocrats with this vision Actualize the Path of Society and often join the New World Order.
Ruling Colleges: Space and Mind
Inferior College: ???

The Garden, Utopia of Engineered Life

The prodigy dreams of an engineered natural paradise, where all human needs can be met by biological machines. Intelligence has been engineered into virtually every species, and immortal humans live among them as simply as hunter-gatherers, but free of disease and filled with the sum total of human knowledge, which grows within them as an instinct. Technocrats with this vision Actualize the Path of Biology and often become Progenitors.
Ruling Colleges: Life and Death
Inferior College: ???

The Market, Utopia of Free Exchange

Humans become true rational economic actors, rejecting all laws except for freely negotiated contracts. This is a culture of tremendous wealth, able to build projects requiring eons to complete. Still, one must be careful of the self-made Executives who can build worlds out of their desires. Technocrats with this vision Actualize the Path of Utility and often join the Syndicate.
Ruling Colleges: Time and Prime
Inferior College: ???

Type V, Utopia of Cosmic Humanity

Spreading across the known universe, humanity harnesses the total energy of this reality and others seething in quantum foam—a “Type V” civilization on the Kardashev Scale. Technocrats with this vision Actualize the Path of Physics and often join the Void Engineers.
Ruling Colleges: Forces and Spirit
Inferior College: ???
Most of this text is straight from the Mage Translation Guide outtakes; I added the Ruling and Inferior Colleges.

Rationale for the Gross Arcana: Assigning Matter to Iteration X, Life to the Progenitors, and Forces to the Void Engineers are self-evident. Space goes with the New World Order for reasons outlined in the Data Sphere write-up in the NWO Convention Book. That leaves Time for the Syndicate, which isn’t a bad fit.

Rationale for the Subtle Arcana: Assigning Mind to the NWO is self-evident. Prime should go to the Syndicate for reasons outlined in the Primal Utility Sphere write-up in the Syndicate Convention Book, and Spirit should go to the Void Engineers for reasons outlined in the Dimensional Science write-up in the Void Engineers Convention Book. Fate should go with Iteration X due to their obsession with making everything predictable, and Death acts as a counterpoint to Life for the Progenitors.

I’m not sure how I’d assign the Inferior Arcana, other than to make Spirit Inferior for Iteration X.

I also wouldn’t have the Gifted Colleges be mere relabelings of the Arcana: tweak the College counterpart to Space to be more like Data; tweak the Prime counterpart to be more like Primal Utility; and tweak the Spirit counterpart to be more like Dimensional Science.

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