Thinking on a Mage Game

Self care is retreating into worlds of imagination and letting the world burn. OK, no, we have to try to fight the good fight forever, I’ll be back to it, but for now I’m letting entertainment take me away. That means RPGs in this household, and the month of Halloween means spooky themes.

So I’m trying to run a short term game in Mage: The Ascension, with the aim of spookiness, and I’m not even using the Nephandi. Using the theme of Bad Religion, I’m making a story that’s Celestial Chorus cultists vs. Technocracy authorities. Waco in Oregon, with my player running a child in a bad situation.

I’m confident the player won’t read this, so I’m using this space to make my notes. Some of y’all nerds may find this interesting, if only to quibble and deride, or as a launching point to describing your own experiences with the RPG in question, or whatever. The rest of you can skip it.

>>PC is older brother in small family of four. Ma and Pa have been taken into a semi-rural cult of heretical catholics, under the guidance of a rogue Celestial Chorister.

>>The mage in question has found and cultivated an unusually large group of people with minor occult abilities, and taken his successes as a sign that global ascension can be achieved.

>>The ATF is interested in the cult, having been tipped off about them doing culty things, and wanting to know if that included a weapons stockpile. Through the ATF, the Technocracy gets a notion it could be reality deviants and sends in some agents.

>>PC is disturbed by his parents bringing them into a cult, and further when they actually start to get powers. They’re trained as weak hedge wizards, the power that grants them enforces faith and turns them into zealots.

>>Mage cult leader recognizes a true mage’s avatar is bound to PC’s younger brother, and tells the family the child is special, could be a saint if raised in the light, and they get weirder.

>>PC should get idea of escape, maybe is approached by agents during a supply run in the nearest suburb. May possibly betray fam.

>>I was thinking of having the technomancers offer to turn the PC into a cyborg that can mow down the whole cult from the inside, get some body horror in that way. Not sure tho, and probly the kid won’t go for it.

>>I should have alternate plans for each path the player can take. Not sure what to expect yet. But I’m starting tonight anyway, and winging it. Will add edits to this post as things become more clear.

>>Just remembered I was thinking the kid could try to contact the catholic church for help with the heretics scaring him, and have the Celestial Chorus send in someone to try to rein in the rogue mage.

>>First sesh. PC (age 16) is named James, his little brother (age 7) is named Peter, Mom and Dad are still Mom and Dad, the rogue Chorister is Father Tony, and four years of background were passed mostly in summary mode. Parents have magic ability to summon a light, may require killing a bird, or they just did that for fun.

>>We were hoping to do a lot more RP this Halloween than ended up being possible, and I came to realize what I ultimately wanted out of this game required too much groundwork to function as a spooky good time thing. Live and learn. I wish that wasn’t so often the case with RPGs. 😛 Anyhow, might finish it some day but life is so hectic and there’s so many things ahead of it, it’s not seeming too likely.

Rick & Morty Fandom Does Monty Python

Monty Python’s Life of Brian is an important cultural artifact, I think, whether or not one is capable of really loving it years after the fact. The comedy troupe’s second most quoted movie’s most quoted scene has Brian, who has been mistaken for the messiah, attempting to reject the role of demagogue. He addresses a massive crowd saying, “You are all individuals.” The crowd chants back in unison, “We are all individuals.” One contrarian says, “I’m not!”

I don’t think we’ll ever see a better recreation of this scene in real life than this weird Rick & Morty sauce fiasco. I don’t know from the show, except that it seems very nihilistic (right up my alley) and overly elaborate (less so). But clearly it’s trying to be chaotic and unconventional. Meanwhile, the fans decided to march in lockstep to do something very odd and shitty. Then the contrarian pens an article (the one I linked) where he claims (perhaps rightly) to understand the show more than the others, and demonstrate his difference from the crowd.

End scene.

The mobilization of an unfortunately politically important group of people makes one long for different circumstances. Says Dan Sheehan on Twitter,

“Rick & Morty should do an episode about how Rick’s second favorite sauce is Universal Healthcare”