Since the dawn of mankind its keenest minds have struggled to comprehend the fabric of the cosmos itself. Through mysticism, mathematics, alchemy, and prayer they have sought the keys that would unlock the doors of reality itself for them. Of the countless numbers of those who have tried only a very select few have ever Awakened to the truth. A mage is one of those few. Through sheer force of will the magi move the very building blocks of reality. However, deep divisions separate these seekers of knowledge. Disputes and blood feuds stretch back throughout the long winding path of time. In modern nights these factions still endlessly seek to subvert or destroy each other all in the name of Ascension: be they Nephandi, Traditionalist, Technocrat or Marauder. The fate of reality has not been written in stone and none are prepared to relinquish the prize.
Welcome to the Ascension War. The battle for reality still wages on centuries after it began. The Technocratic Union, seemingly omnipotent but not invulnerable squeezes tighter and tighter, while attempting to retain control of the Consensus. The Tradition magi battle against them for the hearts and minds of the sleepers who make up the Masses. The Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street and even Anonymous are all perfect examples of the world finally responding to the Traditions’ message. The first cracks in the Technocracy's armor are showing and it is here on the streets of Gotham that you will find out why Mage: The Ascension is one of the most rewarding and complex games in the cWoD as you seek to topple the oppressive control of the Union and liberate the souls of your fellow man. You will face much more than the Technocracy. You must navigate the treacherous waters of chantry politics as you share space with some of the most powerful willworkers in the world. The Nephandi lurk in the shadows ever ready to offer a helping hand to those who stray from the path for their own dark purposes. Marauders wage their incomprehensible battle against stasis. And then there is you and your character, the Traditionalist.
A famous saying follows that “with great power comes great responsibility." It is up to you to decide if this will be true or not. Will you give the Masses hope or will you use your powers to subvert their wills and minds to your own desires? Will you chase adventure and wonder or will you quietly build your power and influence through political intrigue? This is Mage: The Ascension. It’s a RPG about unlimited possibilities and many mysteries. The only thing for certain here is that the Ascension War will find you. It will touch you and you will have to make a choice as to where you stand in the war for reality.
The setting of World of Darkness: Gotham and by extension Mage: The Ascension while not a pleasant one is an entirely organic one. Your every decision and your every action will follow you for good or ill. The echoes of what you decide as a mage can and often do reverberate down the corridors of reality and time.
And you are not alone. Vampires, werewolves and worse things all have laid claim to society parts of the city itself. It will be entirely up to you to form your alliances, rivalries, and friendships. Throughout your time here you can expect to accomplish amazing triumphs while constantly under the threat of crushing defeats. To be both gods amongst men, but still forever tethered to the world of men. This world is organic, almost hungry and a mage who does not learn or grow can often find himself consumed by it.
Lastly is this:
I have thought long and hard over what genre I should use to describe Mage: The Ascension War. It does after all involve shadowy intrigues, riddles and enigmas, spies and their foes. It deals with the metaphysical and the ramifications of changing the world around you. And yes it is incredibly, incredibly violent at times. So I cannot tell you that Mage: The Ascension in World of Darkness: Gotham is an action game. I can't tell you that it’s a game of mystery. Mage is a game of dynamic change of birth, growth, death, tragedy, and triumph. If you like your mage game to involve long periods of doing nothing but drinking tea and watching vampires dry hump, that’s not what you're going to find here. Reality doesn't wait and War respects no man's wishes to be alone. Know this: if you think you can avoid the Ascension War, you are wrong. I will make sure it finds you. If you can live with that and the idea of playing a champion for change in a world where a shadow war for creation wages each night sounds cool to you, then come in. I think you'll like what we've done with reality.