Mage - Freebie and Experience Costs




Raise Attribute 5 Current Level x4
Level 1 Ability 2 3
Raise Ability 2 Current Level x2
New Specialty 1 2
Background 1 In Game Justification (A)
New Sphere 7 10
Raise Sphere 7 Current Level x8 (x6 for Tradition Specialty)(B)
New Path (C) 4 5
Raise Path (C) 4 Current Level x4
Raise Willpower 1 Current Level
Raise Arete NA (D) Seeking (E)
New Merit Level Level x2
New Flaw 1 2 (F)
Remove Flaw -- In Game Justification (F)

(A) Backgrounds normally cost nothing to be raised once they are earned in game. A character that simply wants to raise a background during downtime without roleplaying out the process may be allowed to do so at a cost of the background's new level.

(B) Spheres require extensive study and apprenticeship to learn in most cases. Consult below for sphere learning times.

(C) These are the costs for Mages and Candleflames to buy sorcery paths. Unawakened sorcerers pay double this amount.

(D) Mage characters begin with 3 Arete and cannot raise it further at character creation. Candleflames begin with 1 Arete and also cannot raise it further at character creation. Candleflames receive 8 extra freebies, however.

(E) Raising Arete in game costs nothing in experience, but requires a successful seeking when the character's Avatar (and, indirectly, the Storyteller) feels that the character is ready. Characters with a low Avatar background may have to jump through several hoops just to get close enough to the Avatar to undergo a seeking. Each avatar will have a different requirement for when the character is ready to progress, but do not expect to achieve Arete 4+ for several months of real time after game start.

(F) A flaw purchased when the game is in progress can either be cementing a problem that came about as a part of the game so that it gives extra experience or developing a new problem in downtime. Derangements, handicaps, or other problems that occur during the course of the story will not grant extra experience or willpower unless they are cemented with 2 exp. Flaws must be worked off in the course of the story, and cannot simply be bought off with experience, whether they are cemented flaws or not.


Sphere and Path Learning Times


I'm going to go a bit simpler with my learning times for this game. Basically, take your ratings in Chantry (Representing access to other mages and the chantry library), Mentor (Representing private teaching from your mentor), and Library (Representing access to a mystical library) and add them together, then add 1. You should wind up with a number from 1-16. This is how much experience you can spend into learning spheres or paths for each optimal month of study (say, around at least an hour or three a day in study). The only way this number will increase is with either a really well stocked chantry or with extra access to your mentor and tons of free time spent in study. This number can decrease with less time spent on studies or less access to resources. A character on the cusp of a breakthrough might be able to push through faster than normal with a seeking, but this should not be depended on.

Essentially, it will take a mage working completely on her own over a year to learn a level three sphere, while a mage with complete support can learn it in a month. Most characters will fall somewhere in the range of 1-2 months per sphere level.

Current exp in each sphere and path should be kept track of. Multiple spheres or paths can easily be pursued at once, but the total exp put into all is from the same limit.

Higher level skills and knowledges might also require similar limits of exp per month, but those are less problematic and will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Character Creation and Downtime Exp

Attributes: 7/5/3

Abilities: 13/9/5 +1 dot in each Tradition Specialty ability* (Max of 3 before freebies)

Backgrounds: 11 (Max of 3 before freebies)

Spheres: 5+1 Tradition Specialty

Paths: 0 (2 for each Sphere removed)

Arete: 3 (1 for Candleflames)

Willpower: 5

Freebies: 10+Question freebies (+8 for Candleflames)


*Traditions Specialty Abilties:

Akashic Brotherhood: Brawl, Enigmas, Meditation

Celestial Chorus: Alertness, Leadership, Performance

Cult of Ecstasy: Awareness, Drive, Expression

Dreamspeakers: Cosmology, Dodge, Survival

Euthanatos: Firearms, Investigation, Stealth

Order of Hermes: Academics, Linguistics, Occult

Sons of Ether: Crafts, Science, Technology

Verbena: Athletics, Medicine, Melee

Virtual Adepts: Computer, Law, Subterfuge

Hollow Ones: Etiquette, Intimidation, Streetwise


Downtime Exp: Characters will receive a base of 1 exp per month, +1-4 for having something interesting and instructive to do during the downtimes. This does not mean having to write up extensive downtime blue books, though you can if you want. You can just tell me what you're doing in some detail when you see me, or shoot me a brief email, and if it sounds cool, dangerous, or helpful to the plot then I'll give you more exp. Most downtime exp should pretty much go into what you're studying during the downtime, obviously enough.