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What's the official stance on mage population density in Mage: The Awakening?

Also, what are the best unofficial alternatives (and where can we read about them)?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Like a lot of the details of the nWoD, I don't believe there are any hard and fast published stats on this. I've read most of the published material and don't recall ever coming across such information.

It's likely to be highly varied based on local culture, rate of awakenings (again, no solid stats on this that I know of), attrition of the local population due to departures, deaths, etc.

Really, I think these elements (or rather the lack thereof) are features of the sandbox nature of the nWoD. Unlike vampires, who need a set density of mortals to sustain them, which can be computed mathematically on known data (minimum blood consumption and mortal healing rates) it would theoretically be possible to have a city composed entirely of mages without putting strain on the local area unless they were engaged in a lot of vulgar magic, messing with the gauntlet, etc.

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Sure, in theory I agree with your opinion. Yet I guess there must be at least some kind of an implied stance on this subject in the official material. I own only a few books of the line (hence my asking), but I think the official setting's info on mage population (whose description began in the core book and was extended in Boston and possibly further in later expansions(?)) could be considered... well... official. :) – OpaCitiZen Mar 25 '12 at 19:28

I think their density should be disproportionate to the number of other supernatural beings. If the game is solely mages then the number should go up quite a bit. With the added presence of Kindred/Garou/Changelings/What-Have-You's their numbers should decrease thanks to the food chain going all funhouse mirror. Nothing in WoD likes each other and for the most part not even their own kind beyond some tolerances, thus population density of mages should reflect the superhuman carnage caused by inter "species" strife.

EDIT: Decider number two is the area. If you walk into the Arrow's dojo, maybe the off individual is a "vanilla" mortal. Sitting at Starbucks you might have a Matter mage making the coffee beans or a technomancer going nuts on the wifi, but you might not expect more than that.

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I don't play Mage but I found someone who worked on this kind of problem in the past.

Alternatively I could suggest two different way to proceed with this:

  • Decide/invent what (in your opinion) the ratio of awakened-to-humans should be. In this case you should also take in account that this number should be further detailed by power level... e.g. 50% of this number will maybe have Gnosis-1, 1/10 of these will have Gnosis-2 and so on... adjust as you see fit.
  • Get some official sourcebook describing one big city (Chicago, for example) in terms of Mage... then adjust the number of detailed NPCs by a factor of 2 or so. I.e. expect that the number of detailed NPCs represents only the movers and shakers and there are at least the same number of even more reclusive or just less powerful mages around.
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Thanks, but unfortunately the source you linked deals with the previous edition of WoD: the factions listed are those from Mage: The Ascension whereas what I'm looking for is official info on the world of Mage: The Awakening. – OpaCitiZen Jul 22 '12 at 21:02

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