Rules for Mage: The Ascension
in the Time of Empires Setting

"For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious -- such as digging up and mutilating the dead."
-- C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man


Reality definitions are more loose. Science is well on its way, but Magick is not gone. It is still in the minds of most people. People are aware that both exist and there are people that are embracing or terrified of each. The melding of the two does cause paradox however.


Affiliation Source Affinity Spheres Found In...
Ahl-i-batin Dark Ages: Mage Mind, Correspondence M:SC
Akashic Brotherhood Mage: Sorcerer's Crusade Mind, Matter M:SC
Artificers Mage: Sorcerer's Crusade Matter, Forces M:SC
Cabal of Pure Thought Mage: Sorcerer's Crusade Mind, Forces M:SC
Celestial Masters Mage: Sorcerer's Crusade Correspondence, Spirit M:SC
Chakravanti Mage: Sorcerer's Crusade Entropy, Spirit M:SC
Dream-speakers Mage: Sorcerer's Crusade M:SC Spirit, Life
High Guild Mage: Sorcerer's Crusade Mind, Matter M:SC
Hippocratic Circle Mage: Sorcerer's Crusade Life, Prime M:SC
Messianic Voices Dark Ages: Mage Prime, Forces M:SC
Old Faith Dark Ages: Mage Life, Spirit M:SC
Order of Hermes Dark Ages: Mage [see below] M:SC
Seers of Chronos Mage: Sorcerer's Crusade Time, Mind M:SC
Solifacati Mage: Sorcerer's Crusade Matter, Prime M:SC
Spirit-Talker Dark Ages: Mage Spirit, Forces M:SC
Valdaerman Dark Ages: Mage Spirit, Time M:SC
Void Seekers Mage: Sorcerer's Crusade Spirit, Correspondence M:SC

Order of Hermes - House Affiliations

House Direction Affinity Spheres
Bonisagus Masters of magickal knowledge and theory. Mind, Prime
Bjornaer Germanic in origin. Rustic shapeshifters focused on self-perfection. Forces, Life
Criamon Cryptic, ecstatic seers and prophets. Forces, Time
Diedne Draws from Celtic druidic tradition. Matter, Spirit
Flambeau Studies the magick of warfare and the potent use of mystickal forces. Have Zoroastrian roots (common with Taftani Craft) Forces, Prime
Guernicus Acts as the judges and lawmakers of the Order. Correspondence, Mind
Jerbiton A public relations House; members are often writers, artists, philosophers, doctors, or nobility. Forces, Mind
Mercere Acts as messengers for the Order; membership is not restricted to the Gifted. Experts in politics and conspiracy. Forces, Correspondence
Merinita Students of the Fae. Forces, Entropy
Tremere A political House, weak in magic; creators of certamen. Forces; -1 difficulty for OoH politics rolls
Tytalus Strives to improve itself through conflict. Forces, Entropy
Verditus Artificers and enchanters who cannot perform magick without tools. Forces, Prime
Ex Miscellena Is a collection of Minor Houses and magi who are not members of a House. Forces, [pick one]

Permanent Paradox

A mage may have certain effects permanently alter his or her body so that it is no longer within static reality. This gives the mage a permanent level of Paradox. Every point in a ability above 5 gives 1 point of permanent Paradox (unless the GM allows one change to alter 2 abilities, e.g. growing to 8 ft tall allowing a 6 Strength and Stamina). All changes must be paid for, and the mage's player must have 50% of the points required as a "downpayment". Permanent Paradox stays with the mage even after '1's are rolled, and a mage's permanent Paradox rating may never be higher than his or her Arete.

Alternate Damage Rules

Roll effect.

The highest sphere level in the effect plus your Arete minus one is your base pool. Add the number of successes on your "magical effect" roll minus one to the base pool.

When using a conjunctional effect add one die for each additional sphere.

Roll these dice (difficulty 6).

Note: This sheet refers to damage dealt directly by the magikal effect, rather than by circumstances surrounding the effect. There are endless ways to deal damage by creative use of magik through almost all of the to effects. Even the level one effects can be used to help do more damage through determining weaknesses, precision strikes, locating targets, etc.

Note: Certain effects will inflict aggravated damage based solely on what the target is.


A mage may spend 1 freebie point or 1 xp (the cost may be higher for more complicated rotes) and make any rote "well-learned" This rote must be within the mage's sphere knowledge. Upon choosing the rote, the mage's player must state to the Storyteller the following things: what spheres are used, any foci required, and whether (the first time used) it is vulgar or coincidental (the name is nice, but not required). Anytime the mage uses the rote and fufills all requirements the difficulty for the effect drops by 2.