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Character Creation

Step One: Top of the Sheet

As per mortals.  Then pick your Resonance and Tradition (if you're not an Orphan).

Step Two: Attributes

After you divvy like mortals, take a free dot in any one Attribute.  How nice of me.

Step Three: Abilities

No changes from mortals.

Step Four: Advantages

Backgrounds

You have 7 points and the same choices as mortals, plus a few more.
  • Avatar The strength of your Avatar. Once per story (not chapter), you may add your Avatar to your Arete when casting a spell that's important to the story.
  • Chantry A place where PC mages congregate with NPC cabals. Dots in Chantry represent a mage's contribution to (and therefore influence in) their chantry. Points invested in Chantry can be pooled amongst player characters. The Storyteller will choose one Background (like Node or Library), Merit (like Arcane or Innocuous Magic), or other major Trait for each dot contributing players invest, but it's up to her to decide on reasonable ratings for each Trait. Once per chapter, you may roll your Chantry to gain access to one of your chantry's Traits. If you're looking to build a chantry for PC mages only, simply buy the Backgrounds you want and share them with your fellow players.
  • Node A place where power coalesces. It has a variety of uses.
    • Using vulgar magic in a Node does not incur Paradox (unless you botch your Arete roll, of course).
    • If you perform a ritual in a Node, add the node's rating to one of the ritual's casting rolls.
    • Once per chapter (not story), you may meditate at the node, allowing it to suffuse your Pattern with magic and roll the Node's rating. Success refreshes your once-per-story use of the Avatar Background. Botching this roll may harm the node or temporarily invert it, creating a nihil and tainting your Resonance.
  • Library A collection of mystic lore. Roll your Library to search for story-advancing clues or to justify Experience expenditures on rotes or rituals.
  • Wonder A magical item or device. Wonders come in three discrete forms.
    • Charms are one-shot wonders. Choose a single Sphere effect and a Resonance to go with it and purchase a charm with the same rating (e.g. a three-dot charm for a Forces ••• effect). Once used, it's rendered useless. If the effect is resisted or otherwise requires successes, roll its rating, but you don't need to roll to activate it.
    • Talismans are wonders that can be used again and again. Like Charms, choose a single Sphere effect and a Resonance to accompany it. One-dot effects cost at least three points, and two-dot effects cost five points – you can't buy a Wonder with an effect greater than two dots. To activate an artifact, assume it has the minimum number of successes for activation (one for a Wonder ••• and two for Wonder •••••). Alternately, you may choose to roll it's rating to try for more successes; if this roll fails, the effect doesn't manifest, and if it botches, you either receive Paradox as usual or the artifact breaks, Storyteller's choice.
    • Periapts are wonders filled with magical power. They don't produce efffects themselves, but instead can be used to augment your own spellcasting. When you make an Arete roll to cast a spell, you can "spend" dots of your Periapt – permanently lowering its rating – to add dice to your Arete roll. When it runs out of juice, it's useless. Storytellers may allow for "rechargable" Periapts, but the challenge of recharging should be commensurate to the effective [re]gain of points in the Background.
Remember that no Background rating can exceed ••• at this point.

Spheres

You begin play with 3 dots in Spheres; if you're a member of a Tradition, one of your dots is probably their specialty Sphere (though it's not required to be).

Merits

You have 4 points (7 if you're an Orphan). Choose from the mortal options and any of the below.
  • Arcane Requires at least as many dots in Arete. So long as you remain unobtrusive, add your Arcane to Stealth rolls and to the difficulty of rolls made to recollect details about you after the fact.
  • Dream Once per chapter, you may meditate for a whole turn to tap into the collective unconscious.  On your next turn, you may add your Dream to a single Ability roll.
  • Innocuous Magic Requires at least as many dots in Arete. Roll your Innocuous Magic to increase the difficulty to detect or identify your spells or Resonance.
  • Mystic Sensitivity Requires at least as many dots in Arete. Roll your Mystic Sensitivity to notice magic enacted in your vicinity, or to detect and identify lingering Resonance.
In case it needs to be said, the wake of the Reckoning has left so few truly knowledgable magi on Earth that the Awakened Lore Merit is unavailable to player characters.

Step Five: Final Touches

Just like mortals, you start with Humanity 6 plus one die of specks and Willpower 3.

Your Arete begins at 3.

You have 15 freebie points to spend, with expanded choices.
TraitCost
Attribute5
Ability2
Background1 (2 if above •••)
Sphere7 (5 if Tradition specialty); 6 if you're an Orphan
Merit1
Arete6
Humanity1
Willpower2
Rotes1 for two Rotes

Choose a focus for each Sphere.  You don't have to pick one for each dot in a sphere, but if you want to, make sure they're all related somehow.

Like mortals, your Initiative equals your Dexterity + Wits and your Speed is Strength + Dexterity + 5 yards.
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