Mage - Restricting supernatural Mage items to Mages

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Proposal Type: Bylaw Revision
Opened: 09-Jun-2016 12:55AM EDT
Closing: 16-Jun-2016 1:00AM EDT


 
Council,
 
Pursuant to Coordinator bylaw §3.C.iii, as the Mage Coordinator, I, Jason Place, propose the following:
 
The following items will be added to the character bylaws as §10.i.iii and §10.i.iv, with no grandfathering allowed.  If no objection is made, this proposal may auto-pass after a period of one week.
 
iii. Genre-specific Mage Backgrounds on non-Mages - PC: Coordinator Approval - NPC: Coordinator Approval - Coordinator: Mage
1. This includes: Arcane, Artifact, Avatar, Blessing, Chantry, Demense, Dream, Enhancement, Familiar, Guide, Legend, Node, Sanctum, Secret Weapons, Talisman, Totem, Wonder.
2. If another genre has a published background of the same name, this does not restrict characters of that Genre from buying their own version of the background.  For example, Werewolf characters have their own version of Totem, and so are not restricted from purchasing it by this bylaw.
 
iv. Genre-specific Mage genre Merits/Flaws on non-Mages - PC: Coordinator Approval - NPC: Coordinator Approval - Coordinator: Mage
1. This includes: Immortal, Immunity, Inner Knight, Legendary Attribute, Parlor Trick, Physical Enhancement, Primal Marks, Resistant Pattern, Sleepwalker, and any merit/flaw dealing with a Mage's Avatar.
2. If another genre has a published merit/flaw of the same name, this does not restrict characters of that Genre from taking their own version of the merit/flaw.
 
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On 07/08/2014, almost two years ago, I sent an email to the ST and Council lists titled "Because...Mages! (or - Please stop pooping on our genre)."  I can repost it later if people can't find it.  In this post, I laid out a number of situations that I'd been hearing about where Mage-specific items were being used in other genres in a fashion that was both incorrect from a genre perspective and also tended to portray the Mage genre in a bad light.  To quote my conclusion from that post:
 
So here's the bottom line.  Can you give your sabbat packs a +3 physical trait cap?  Sure.  Can you give a PC custom magical powers?  Sure.  Can you just totally make shit up on the fly and run it?  Absolutely.  You're an ST, you can do that.
 
But please, please, for the love of all that is holy stop using incorrectly run and abused Mage rules as your excuse to do so.  Man up, and take responsibility for it yourself.  Because, at the risk of overemphasizing - 
Your bad behavior is giving an incorrect and exaggerated portrayal of the Mage genre, and that hurts us when we are looking for more players and more opportunities for interaction in the Org.  
 
If you have them in your game, please, please get rid of them.  Refund the points if you need to.  If you've been doing this sort of plot thing in your game, please stop from doing it in the future.  I'd really rather not have to prop some of these things as R&U, which is why I'm coming to you like this informally first.  If we can rein it in, no need for bylaws, and I think everyone will be happier.
 
Now, I did see a dip in this sort of thing for a while, but in the past year it's begun creeping up again, and more so than ever.  The final straw for me was when I was reviewing sheets for our Beltane event.  Just short of TEN PERCENT of submitted werewolf sheets had the Legendary Attribute merit.  And there were a couple of other issues thrown in there as well (Blessing, Inner Knight, etc).
 
So, unfortunately, the time has come where I have to put my foot down on the issue.  This proposal basically takes the "mage only," supernaturally-related items, and makes it Coordinator Approval for anyone but mages to have them.  I've specifically included an exception so that if a merit/background of the same name exists in a different genre, that genre's characters don't get restricted from taking their own stuff.
 
This proposal is being made without Grandfathering.  I will be perfectly honest, I don't see myself saying yes in almost any situation.  Given that Blessing can be placed upon someone else by a Mage, I might bend on that somewhat, but only after reviewing the Blessing to make sure it's conforming to the rules for imbued sphere effects.
 
Thanks for your time, everyone.
 
Jason Place
Mage Coord

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