Mage: The Ascension



          The Chantry

          The Technocratic Union


          Character Creation

          Merits and Flaws

          XP and Advancement

          Judgment Calls



          Casting Guide


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XP Journals and Advancement


In order to receive experience, players may submit journals for their characters at the end of each month. Journals are due by 11:59pm on the 3rd of the new month.

Journals must be submitted if you wish to keep your character active. If no journal is submitted for a character for three consecutive months, they will be considered inactive and automatically retired. This is not a punishment - it's just our way of keeping the roster up to date. Inactive characters can be reinstated at any time by hitting the restore button. The Admin reserves the right to deny reinstatement of a PC, but this is unlikely to happen and would only be employed under special circumstances.

In this system, we award experience for scene count, character development and storytelling, in addition to experience gained via kudos from other players.

Scene Count

When you write your journals, tally up all of the scenes that your character participated in that month and make a bulleted list. Each scene should be given a short, summarized description. If the scene in question isn't particularly worthy of note from a character development standpoint, you may put something like "social scene with [other characters] at [location.]" If, however, a lot of character development happened in a scene, you may provide a longer description (though do still try to keep it as short as possible.)

If a scene is longer than [3,000 words x the number of players in the scene], you may request double XP for that scene by placing two asterisks next to it.

Characters will receive 1 XP for the first scene of each month, and 0.25 XP for each additional scene.  Mood posts and forum scenes are a little more subjective, and depending on length may be given either full, partial or no credit.

Character Development

In addition to the scene count, please make a note of any important character developments. How do we define character development? Basically, anything that involves a lot of deep character work on your part as the writer. Scenes of magical epiphany, philosophical debate, emotional catharsis, personal growth or pushing boundaries and in-depth character interactions might all qualify, among other things.

Characters may receive an additional 1 XP per month for development.  (In rare cases, more might be awarded, but don't expect it.)  This is a subjective award that is up to Admin discretion.  Characters may not always receive XP for development, so don't feel bad if it doesn't happen.


If you run scenes for other players (either one-shots, scenes from larger stories, or character development scenes involving NPCs,) you may claim these on your journal. Please list each scene as a summarized bullet point, including a general description of the action as well as all PCs involved.

Storytellers will receive 1 XP per scene that they run. Additionally, they may be rewarded with extra experience at the end of a longer, more complex storyline - at the Admin's discretion.

There is one exception to this, and that is Seekings. Due to the complex and difficult nature of running a Seeking (and the important role they play in character advancement,) these scenes provide the storyteller with 2xp.


Players and STs may nominate each other for kudos XP. Reasons to give kudos may include any of the following:

  • You played in a scene with someone who went above and beyond expectations to help produce something truly memorable, through both writing and character development.
  • Someone else's character assisted your character's personal development by teaching or mentoring them, or by pushing them to do something outside of their usual boundaries (in a beneficial way.)
  • You participated in an ST'd scene, and you feel that the ST did a noteworthy job in creating a scene that was fun and well-managed.
  • You ran a scene for one or more other players, and you feel that their character did a particularly good job dealing with the situation, and/or you think that they did a lot of good character development.

Players may receive up to 3 XP per month from kudos. This will be awarded to whichever character was involved in the scene, or, in the case of an ST scene, to whichever character the recipient wishes it to go to.

When you kudos another player, a note will be made in their journal to let them know.  (Players will be informed of all kudos, regardless of whether or not they receive the xp.)

Example of a Journal Entry

Pipkin the rabbit's January '13 Activity:

Scene Count: 6

  • Nibbled some grass with Hazel and Fiver.
  • Huddled in a burrow with Buckthorn while it rained; talked about being afraid of the upcoming harvest.
  • Had a cute love scene with Buckthorn.
  • Flashback to a traumatic memory of almost being run over by a car. [Mood post]
  • Helped defend the warren from foxes. [Sally ST]
  • Had a lengthy discussion with Fiver about the nature and meaning of life.**

Character Development Notes:

  • Did a lot of in-depth self-analysis this month, and is beginning to work through some of his old traumas.

ST Scenes: 1

  • Blackberry and Dandelion were attacked by a dog and narrowly escaped.


  • To Sally, for an awesome one-shot.
  • To Mark, for Dandelion thinking on his feet and saving the day in my ST scene.
  • To Jane, for helping to inspire some great character development between Pipkin and Buckthorn.


XP expenditures must be submitted via the character journal whenever you wish to purchase something.

The following expenditures require approval

  • Attributes and Abilities greater than 3
  • WP
  • Backgrounds
  • Arete
  • Spheres
  • Merits and Flaws

Note that in these cases, a valid explanation will be required when you submit the request.  However, in many cases, all that's really needed is a brief (1 or 2 sentences) summary of why you think the new stat makes sense for your character.  

Spheres greater than 3 and any increase in Arete requires pre-approval from the Admin prior to submitting your request.

The Admin reserves the right to follow up on or deny any expenditure request, regardless of whether or not it normally requires special approval, in the interest of fairness and/or realism.

Experience Costs

The XP costs for raising each stat is below:

  • Attribute: Current rating x 4
  • New Ability: 3
  • Ability: Current rating x 2
  • Additional Specialty: 4
  • New Background: 1
  • Background: Current rating x 2
  • New Sphere: 10
  • Affinity Sphere: Current rating x 7
  • Other Sphere: Current rating x 8
  • Willpower: Current rating
  • Arete: Current rating x 6
  • New Merit: Rating x 2
  • Buying off a Flaw: Rating x 2

Note that the cost for Backgrounds and Arete is cheaper on our site than it is in the book.

See Judgment Calls for information on XP cost reduction from libraries and mentors.

New merits and flaws must strongly fit the character and will only be approved on a case by case basis. After creation, the 7-point cap for flaws is no longer in effect.

New Flaws either give their rating in XP or can be used to purchase merits 1-for-1 as they would at creation.

Prerequisites for Magical Advancement


  • 1 - ST'd Awakening scene played out in-game
  • 2 - Successful Seeking (run by Admin or another player)
  • 3 - Successful Seeking (run by Admin or an Admin-approved ST)
  • 4 - Successful Seeking (run by Admin)
  • 5+ - Successful Seeking (run by Admin)

At this time, there are no specific requirements for the length of time spent active in the game prior to an Arete Seeking.  However, such a requirement may very well be given at the Admin's discretion.  You will be notified if this is the case.


  • 1-3 - No Prerequisites
  • 4 - Successful Epiphany scene (run by Admin or another player- transcript required for Admin review)
  • 5 - Successful Epiphany scene (run by Admin)

Only one Disciple-level sphere can be purchased per month without compelling evidence to suggest why this is possible. All reasoning for purchasing these spheres must be submitted in writing via the journal system.

The first sphere at rank 4 may be combined with the Arete 4 Seeking. Spheres at level 5 are the highest achievement a mage can reach, and will therefor only be earned after a great deal of time and character growth. Additional requirements may be given, at Admin discretion.

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