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scifirabbi

World of darkness mage conversion help

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Has anyone attempted to do a Mage:awakening or Ascension conversion for genesys? I've loved those settings and the freeform magic they use and think Genesys would be a good fit for that. I've made a conversion for Savage world and Fate Core but I'm less familiar with Genesys and wondering if someone else has already invented the wheel here so i don't have to reinvent it.
 
From a very rough look at the Genesys rules it seems that the various Arcana/Spheres could be done using magical actions/spells replacing Heal, attack, Curse etc with Life, Mind, Forces Spirit etc. Paradox could be done with challenge dice. Not sure how to recreate the idea that the level of your magical skill in each arcana/sphere dictates what you can do with that arcana/sphere. Like I said still not as clear about how this system works and how to best adapt it.
 
thanks for the help

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I've also been looking for a Mage conversion, as I love Mage and its various iterations. I really like the logic of its magic spheres, and the narrative nature of the game. I have yet to see a magic system as deep and self-consistent.

However, I have always been unsatisfied with the WoD dice system. For one thing, the checks get a bit crunchy and situational. Also, for high levels of difficulty, the statistics don't scale properly. In the extreme case of a difficulty 10 check, you can roll 100 dice and have equal chance of botch and success.

Genesys looks like a very natural engine for the game. I think it addresses the narrative intent of Mage much better. Also, there are a lot of similarities between the two systems:

1) The storyteller system uses character stats between 1-5 with a human average of 2. This is the same for genesys.

2) The storyteller system uses simple difficulty checks and counts degrees of success. Opposed checks where appropriate. Same for Genesys.

3) The storyteller system uses degrees of success. Genesys does this, plus the advantage/threat axis for flavor.

My initial thought is to take the Mage character sheet and experience system, and use it directly with the genesys system rules. Most things map directly, at least statwise. Looking over the Mage magic rules, my quick thoughts are:

Magic Stat - Arete, and I'm not sure what to pair it with. Could use intelligence, but that elevates that stat above all others. Possibly don't pair it at all, and upgrade dice with quintescence. I think foci and rituals should add boost die.

Magic difficulties - Coincidental: Highest Sphere; Vulgar: Either difficulty +1 or upgrade the challenge; Vulger with witnesses: Either difficulty +2 or upgrade the challenge twice. Increasing the difficulty fits closer to the M20 rules, but I like adding the challenge dice. This brings in despairs, for which likely effect is paradox backlash.

An obvious use for threats is to generate paradox. I would think to use paradox in place of strain for magic, so coincidental spells add paradox equal to the number of threats, vulgar adds 1 plus threats, and vulgar with witnesses adds two plus 2 times threats. This may be too heavy-handed with the paradox -- so a bit of testing is in order. I do like the idea of generating paradox even on successful casts.

Advantages can be used creatively. If nothing else, they can bleed off paradox, at a rate of one per advantage. This way vulgar magic is somewhat risky, and vulgar with witnesses is always dangerous.

I'm curious to hear thoughts on this, but I suspect it will be an easy conversion. Easier than  running Mage in its own dice system, really.

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You're definitely right in thinking that Genesys makes a good substitute for World of Darkness games. I've (almost fully) made a Vampire the Requiem conversion for Genesys. However, I don't know anything about Mage whatsoever. Quite a lot of the existing rules (at least in the case of Vampire) moved over relatively easily, or at least it was simple enough to figure out what would and wouldn't work. I know that's not much use, but just know you're not the only person that's shifting a WoD game to a superior system!

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On 10/17/2018 at 11:10 AM, scifirabbi said:
Has anyone attempted to do a Mage:awakening or Ascension conversion for genesys?

No, but now that you've mentioned it... ?

I would re-skin as much of the mechanics as possible. I'd use the Strain mechanic for Paradox. Subtle magic = normal strain. Vulgar magic = double strain. Vulgar magic + witnesses = triple strain. That multiple applies to all strain associated with casting -- threats/despairs and the 2 stain incurred after casting is complete. Exceeding strain threshold due to casting triggers paradox with TBD negative effects for TBD duration (maybe use failed Fear check penalties as a starting point). Magi, possessing preternatural willpower, do not simply pass out after exceeding their threshold, but certainly cannot cast anything until they can bring their strain below their threshold (burnout). Only if their strain exceeds twice their threshold do they become incapacitated. Fluff those mechanics up the wazoo, and I think it could work.

Magic gets three skills, organized however you (the GM) like, splitting up the magical effects in a semi-equitable manner. (That's just how the mechanics are balanced, and I wouldn't mess with those too much.) There are a few fan-made effects (like illusion and divination) around here somewhere, so probably incorporate those.

Definitely listen to the DicePool podcast episodes with GM Chris and the gang talking about magic (it's a 2-parter, iirc). Lots of good homebrew advice, especially with respect to Talents. A few good talents can go a long way to imparting Mage flavoring into the game, making it feel less generic.

That's all I got right now...

Edited by Lorne

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In This Thread I recently voiced some initial thoughts about converting Awakening to Genesys. As my current Star Wars game is reaching a convenient stopping point I have started to think abut other genres that would work with the narrative dice system. 

The main idea - I am tempted to keep all 9 arcanum as skills based off of an ability that is path dependent (Cunning, Intelligence, Presence . attribute and Then develop talent trees that allow for the combination of arcanum Base difficulties for spells roughly correspond to the "magical proficiency" dots with black dice and upgrades added for a whole HOST of reasons (Time, not having a rote, combining arcanum)

I may develop this further if I find players who might be interested...

MB

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Yes, kinda. Last week I've started working on a conversion of Mage the Ascension 20th anniversary edition to GENESYS.

Here is what I have so far: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13rCYi9T1GIbUtX16rGb5i81HHfvw_qnZT5iMRNPbCyE/edit?usp=sharing.

If someone would be interested in collaborating, give me a sign ;)

Edited by Nok Gemo

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Fundamentally, I see two ways of going about Mage-style magic in Genesys:

Simple approach: each Tradition's magic is its own Magic skill with a list of available magic actions and modifiers comparable to Genesys' default Arcane/Divine/Primal. Pros: easy to balance with existing Genesys magic rules, arguably represents the fluff of how Traditions do magic better than the Spheres system. Cons: compared to infinite combinations of Sphere ratings, this loses a lot of granularity and Mages of the same Tradition may end up feeling more same-y than in the original game.

The involved approach: Treat Arete as a seventh Attribute with unique rules for raising it during play, and each Sphere becomes its own Skill tied to Arete. Figure out the rest from there. Pros: you get the exact same basic setup as the original system, but using Genesys narrative dice instead of bland d10s. Cons: like in the original system, you'll be paying through the nose to improve your magic, and you have to figure out the rest ;)

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I created a port for WoD: Second Sight for use with the Psychic for the Ghostbusters setting, I'm still trying to transcribe that from handwritten to a Google Doc, it's all been (mostly) playtested and works well. I discovered that you can basically rip anything whole cloth and reskin it to fit, Merits work awesome as Talents if you treat dots as Tiers, with those ranging from 1-x as Tiered with a cap, and those going from x-x (Tier 3-5) as an improvement to Mastery. I also own Mage: The Ascension 2nd edition as well as the Sorcerer supplement. I can port it, but don't know how to format it into a pretty PDF. I agree each Sphere should be a separate Skill, and each should have it's own governing Attribute, but overlap will be inevitable. As for Quintessence: just rip it whole, it'll work better, trust me. Paradox should use strain, and I like @Lorne's idea of tying it to the Strain Threshold, I disagree however, in that I feel Paradox should be used as a form of Strain Critical, will need to think more on that.

Edited by AlanTheBothersome
Bad autocorrect

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I play with this, and converting other systems to Genesys for my own amusment. It keeps me sane, as a GM between campaigns.  My thought was to treat the Traditions/Conventions as Careers, and the Spheres as skills. Your tradition would determine what attribute you use for your sphere dice pool. Arete becomes a talent; each level of mastery being a tier. Obviously, this will limit the number of ranks you can place in each sphere skill, per the spirit of the WoD rules.

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WOW - back from the dead thread!  Unfortunately I could not get interest in this idea with potential players and have done very little with it in the last year. 

That character sheet is very similar (Minus the MUCH BETTER MtA theme!) to my attempts at never used sheets. 

On 11/15/2019 at 9:55 AM, Morangias said:

The involved approach: Treat Arete as a seventh Attribute with unique rules for raising it during play, and each Sphere becomes its own Skill tied to Arete. Figure out the rest from there. Pros: you get the exact same basic setup as the original system, but using Genesys narrative dice instead of bland d10s. Cons: like in the original system, you'll be paying through the nose to improve your magic, and you have to figure out the rest ;)

This is the approach I was favoring.  Using the talent tree to increase Arete was the default idea, 

Yes - you have to figure out the rest, which is why I originally posted the group think article in the FIRST PLACE 😉

Edited by GM_Michael

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On 11/21/2019 at 1:07 PM, Captain Ether said:

My thought was to treat the Traditions/Conventions as Careers, and the Spheres as skills. Your tradition would determine what attribute you use for your sphere dice pool. Arete becomes a talent; each level of mastery being a tier. Obviously, this will limit the number of ranks you can place in each sphere skill, per the spirit of the WoD rules.

We now have enough magical talents such that, far from being just a speedbump, each level of Arete would grant a mechanical benefit like an equivalently leveled talent, allowing the Mage to go beyond the baseline mechanics.

Edited by Lorne

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2 minutes ago, TheSapient said:

Just to make sure I remember correctly, Arete in Mage tells you how many dice to roll.  Ranks in Spheres tells you what effects you can accomplish.  Yes?

Depends on the version of Mage, but yeah.

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23 hours ago, TheSapient said:

Just to make sure I remember correctly, Arete in Mage tells you how many dice to roll.  Ranks in Spheres tells you what effects you can accomplish.  Yes?

In Mage: the Ascension, a.k.a. the old/classic World of Darkness Mage, yes. 

In Mage: the Awakening, a.k.a. the new World of Darkness/Chronicles of Darkness Mage, Gnosis (Arete equivalent) and Arcana (Spheres equivalent) form a dice pool like a normal Attribute+Skill pair, which I think is superior for the purposes of converting to Genesys. 

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1 hour ago, Morangias said:

In Mage: the Awakening, a.k.a. the new World of Darkness/Chronicles of Darkness Mage, Gnosis (Arete equivalent) and Arcana (Spheres equivalent) form a dice pool like a normal Attribute+Skill pair, which I think is superior for the purposes of converting to Genesys. 

In the spirit of Mage the awakening, the improved version of Mage 😉, I'll convert it to Genesys with Arrete / Gnosis as a skill and each Sphere / Aracna as a ranked talent not counting against the max number of Talents per rank. And each Tradition / Convention, from Mage the Ascension as career that gives which attribute is used for the dice pool. That could work with Mage the Awakening Path too, but there's only five Paths for six attributes. One won't be used.

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10 hours ago, WolfRider said:

In the spirit of Mage the awakening, the improved version of Mage 😉, I'll convert it to Genesys with Arrete / Gnosis as a skill and each Sphere / Aracna as a ranked talent not counting against the max number of Talents per rank. And each Tradition / Convention, from Mage the Ascension as career that gives which attribute is used for the dice pool. That could work with Mage the Awakening Path too, but there's only five Paths for six attributes. One won't be used.

I really don't like tying magic to Attributes, I feel it's against the spirit of either Mage game to have your magic be the outgrowth of any of your mundane traits.

Again, I'd mirror the nWoD way and build magic dice pools using Arete/Gnosis as Attribute and Spheres/Arcana as Skills. Since Genesys is too stringent about raising Attributes to let Arete/Gnosis raise using those rules (and since you don't want people raising it through the roof on chargen), I'd set it to one for starters and only let it advance through either a Ranked Talent, or even a special system like how Terrinoth characters get to upgrade their special abilities every X experience points.

Of course, that's just me. Whatever works best for your table is best.

 

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What about making Spheres like Force Powers from Star Wars ? Each Sphere is like a Power with the basic effect you get when buying it, and you can buy upgrades to modify expand its use. So it's possible to make Arrete / Gnosis a skill that work like Discipline works for Force Power check in SW. And rather than spending Force Pips, the Mage spends Quintessence. With rules for using more than one sphere in a spell that doesn't make it overpowered.

Not sure if it could work to get the Mage feeling with Genesys, but that might make for an interesting alternative magic system for Genesys.

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Doing a homebrew campaign setting of Mage: Wild West. From the WoD end, using Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade as a reference. Based on advice here thinking of going "Arete is the Attribute" and Knowledge Lore the Arcana (always hated Spheres as a term, but that's a digression). Seems gating both Arete and Skill on RP events or campaign milestones will be the way to go. We've done two sessions using system as written with modifiers based on Casual/Vulgar magic. Paradox/Scourge in the form of additional fatigue or events suggested by story. 

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