I can count on one hand the number of books that I can say I am better for having read. These books that have had such profound influence on my life that I can say they changed my paradigm forever. The most important was the Bible, specifically Romans. The second was a book called Waking the Dead, by John Eldredge. And the third was the Mage Second Edition rule book. Compared with the other two, a RPG book might seem out of place.
But gaming matters to me. Stories matter to me. I still remember where I was when I picked up the book for the first time (a small game store in St. Louis in 1999 while visiting a buddy while in college). Up until then, I had only run Rifts, Star Wars, and Fasa games. Little did I know what awaited me.
Mage opened my eyes. It showed me that gaming could tell stories that mattered. That fighting for what you believe in is the greatest war. That tolerance is not homogenization. That just because you fundamentally disagree with someone’s core beliefs doesn’t mean they can’t be important you, that you can’t love them. And most importantly, magik is real. It happens all around us, every day. You just have to know where to look.
Mage went through some revisions, and ultimately ended. It was replaced by a similarly named construct that looked like the game I loved, at least on the surface. Its unique heart had been removed. In its place was a cold, grey, sterile, homogenized… volume. I did not make it through the volume, I hate to use the term book, before I set it down forever. My Mage was dead. The Technocracy had won, and printed Mage the Awakening.
Why am I sharing this? Because Mage is coming back from the dead. Mage20, a love letter to fans of the game I loved, is nearing the end of its Kickstarter. It is funded. In fact it has raised over half a million dollars. It already is chocked full of the Traditions, the Technocracy, Magik and the Ascension War. The stretch goals kick the doors into this world wide open.
I offer you this link. It offers you the chance to buy a book. And that book offers to change you, if you let it.