I think there is a stat somewhere deep in 1st Edition Mage the Ascension that allows a Luck Skill or Background. I was wondering if anyone would have a clue where it might be?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just a reminder that you're asking a question about 1st edition specifically which is a game that came out almost 25 years ago in 1993 and has been updated three times since then so almost everyone's knowledge is muddled up between the different versions - you could consider allowing answers from the other editions as they are mostly compatible anyways, it's not like the difference between 4th and 5th edition DnD \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2017 at 8:58

1 Answer 1


So far as I can tell the core rulebook for the first edition of Mage: The Ascension (1993) includes neither a skill nor a background dealing with luck specifically. There are, however, two possible equivalents:

  • The background Trait Destiny (154) allows the mage, once per session, to roll a number of dice equal to her Destiny rating (difficulty 8), with each success restoring 1 spent Willpower point. Since spending Willpower points fairly accurately represents luck, getting more Willpower points to spend is pretty lucky.

    Although I am largely unfamiliar with Mage's other editions, some research shows that this background may've been subject to substantial revision in later editions (e.g. one source reduces the frequency from 1/session to 1/story, another limits the Trait's starting value to 2 dots), possibly making this earliest version of background Destiny particularly awesome.

  • The Talent Intuition "reflects a mage's ability to guess correctly and follow her 'gut feelings' [making it a] kind of a safety net for characters, and it is up to the Storyteller to keep it from being abused" (147). Examples of Intuition Specialties include dice and horse races, which may make a bunch of dots in this Talent, if leveraged properly and if allowed to by the Storyteller, seem like luck to sleepers.

However, the Book of Shadows (1993), the first edition Mage: The Ascension player's guide, presents the 3-point Merit Daredevil (which reduces the difficulty of—and possibility of a botch during—actions that are "particularly dangerous") and the 3-point Merit Luck (which allows the mage 3/story to reroll a "failed non-magickal roll" but not more than once per failed roll).

Nothing else from Book of Shadows appears to deal with luck in any sort of direct fashion.

(Of course, to avoid paradox—the force that lashes out at mages who employ magic in an obvious ("vulgar") ways—, mages often disguise their magic to appear accidental, coincidental, or just plain lucky, but this notion's integral to the setting rather than specific to any particular character option.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, would you know of any of the 1st ed games in Whitewolf that had any sort of rollable luck stat? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2017 at 0:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MagetAQuestioner I'm sorry but my knowledge extends no further. Mage: The Ascension and Aberrant were the only White Wolf game lines I ever chased, and those but half-heartedly. It's only (nonvulgar) coincidence that I happened to have among my seven M:TA books the Book of Shadows. You'd probably have better (ahem) luck with another question that casts a wider net. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2017 at 0:33

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