Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition Now on DriveThruRPG

For the last few years, White Wolf and later Onyx Path have been resurrecting the classic World of Darkness starting with the 20th Anniversary Editions of Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse. These editions served as both nostalgic icons and handy compilations of the major touchstones of those games' decades-long histories. Now, it's Mage's turn.

I've played my share of World of Darkness in both of its incarnations. The two versions of Mage are easily among my favorites. But it's Mage: The Ascension that I gravitate back to when I think about favorite systems and settings. Mage is a game that says, "Believe, and believe hard, and you just might change the world." It's a game that requires you to think about how your character views reality, and it rewards you both for defining the restrictions that belief places on your character and also for being creative within those boundaries.

The 20th Anniversary Edition of Mage: The Ascension is nearly 700 pages, bigger than its Vampire and Werewolf counterparts. I've had the PDF for a few months through the Kickstarter, and it's gorgeous on the screen. I will be getting the deluxe print edition in a few more months, and I imagine it will blow me away. But now Mage 20 is available on DriveThruRPG in Standard or Premium Print on Demand, and I am likely to pick it up to have as a table copy. As a Kickstarter backer, I received a coupon that cuts the PoD cost by almost half.

Mage 20 isn't the only new Mage: The Ascension material to come out in recent years, either. +Ryan Macklin and an amazing team of writers put together four Convention books to complete the series begun a decade before in Convention Book: Iteration X to reboot the Technocracy as a playable faction. The metaplot of an impending Union civil war and the existential crisis posed by Threat Null are cool, but it's the theme of wonder and missteps on the road to progress that make the series remarkable. Check out the New World Order, Progenitor, Syndicate, and Void Engineers books while you're over there; while a lot of the historical specifics have been ignored in Mage 20, the tone and spirit does carry through.

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