After waiting for years for the right moment, I'm finally about to start a short Wraith the oblivion campaign (hopefully. Last time I started what I wanted to be a short campaign it lasted more than two years). There is a bit of murder-mistery woven in... anyway at this point, the hidden plot is something along this:

There is a neuroscientist researcher who discovered (unpublished yet) some kind of structure in the brain that would (unbeknownst to her) identify mages, maybe even with some kind of special pupillary reaction or something like that, which would permit identification of a Mage. Basically the theory would allow the creation of a Voigt-Kampff machine for Mages and all that would imply.

Now, I know very well Vampire and Werewolf, buy I played Mage the Ascension only briefly, and I'd like to know which faction would be most likely get to know this kind of research before it's published and be inclined to try to obliterate her (I need her to be burned in a car in the woods).

Or, if it's likely, which collaboration of factions would do this.

I'd prefer canon sources from the 20th Anniversary edition of Mage the Ascension but earlier editions would be fine as long as they do not directly contradict M20.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So it's basically a Voigt-Kampf machine for Mages? If so there's plenty of canon resources to make this answerable, I'm going to vote to reopen please. \$\endgroup\$ – user28291 Mar 9 '17 at 10:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm assuming this is revised edition you're thinking of? could you state the version explicitly please? and whether or not you're interested in canon from other versions? \$\endgroup\$ – user28291 Mar 9 '17 at 10:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ As for Wraiths I plan to use the 20th Anniversary Version, but I'm doing groundwork using the 2nd edition. Mages for now is mostly background, but canonwise, I would say Mage 20th Anniversary edition. Anyway, I imagine thatn an alternative would be something that would alter consensus. \$\endgroup\$ – Duralumin Mar 9 '17 at 11:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Clara Based on the question and the comments on the existing answers this is looking for ideas, not answers, and that means it's off topic. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 9 '17 at 16:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I don't see how this is any more idea based than any number of gm-techniques questions (rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/gm-techniques) and there is plenty of canon material to reference an answer from, also most of the comments are to clarify the question and answers, please reconsider (again) \$\endgroup\$ – user28291 Mar 10 '17 at 11:38

Your title question lists "Mage: The Awakening" while the rests seems to discuss "Mage: The Ascension". While related, these are certainly different.

In Mage: The Ascension, I suspect none of them would be inclined to assassinate your researcher without more. While Tradition mages individually often need to hide the fact they are mages, they would love for the world to know that mages are real and start shifting the global paradigm that way. They would have reason to protect her. The Technocracy on the other hand wants to hide the existence of mages, but they would rather recruit her than kill her. That research could be useful to them as they hunt for both "reality deviants" to eliminate and potential recruits. The Nephandi would be happy to kill just about anyone, but not over that...unless there dark masters wanted it for some reason.

That more could be that the Technocracy tried to recruit her and failed. In that case, they may want to kill her to stop knowledge of mages from getting out. On the other hand, it could be that the Technocracy tried to recruit her and succeeded and now the Traditions (probably the Euthanatos) decide they need her eliminated to deny the Technocracy her research.


If you did actually mean Mage: The Awakening, then the answer is easy. The Seers of the Throne would want her dead or at least stopped.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry for the mixup! I meant Mage : the Ascension! Thank you for the tips, the failed Technocracy recruit seems an interesting story to pursue. Otherwise, is there anything that a neuroscientist could come up that would worry a mages faction enough to kill her outright, even with some risk? \$\endgroup\$ – Duralumin Mar 8 '17 at 14:07

Starting with the Mage: The Ascension (not Mage: the Awakening) bit from @TimothyAWiseman's answer... (TL;DR answer in third paragraph - make it a marauder - the rest is explanation.)

When I hear neuroscientist, the two most obvious choices are a Son of Ether (from the Traditions) or of Progenitor (from the Technocracy). Which of those two to choose depends on your story: do you want a renegade mad scientist, or would you prefer an ivory tower scholar from academia? (Other paradigms are very possible - those just struck me as the most likely.)

One possibility then would be to have this mage (doesn't matter which flavor) have delved too deep into attempts to avoid Paradox, tried to do so with a neurological mumble mumble effect (note that the players never need to know the details)... and become a Marauder. It is entirely possible that the Technocracy might send in a squad to "clean up" the "dangerous reality deviant" - and not take the time to try to assimilate their research (which has obviously potentially dangerous side effects).

This gives you several of the key elements you were interested in:

  • A burnt car wreck is easily explained as a Technocracy hit.
  • A Marauder is dangerous enough to be a threat worth dealing with.
  • Marauder research is dangerous enough to avoid the Technocracy attempting to run with it.

It's been a while since I've cracked my source books - but a Mind/Spirit effect (looking for an Avatar) could also have tie-ins with the Umbra. I don't recall if you need Entropy for the Low Umbra (with the wraiths) - but having the possibility for the original equipment to interact with the wraiths on their home territory may be desired.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I probably was ambiguous. I wasn't thinking of her as a Mage, but as a normal person, a sleeper. But could it be that someone would mistake her for a Marauder? As the story goes, she has been under investigation for some time by one of the deceased characters. I'm trying to keep most of it on the mundane and low key side of things, at least in the beginning before the ramifications explode. She would be the only survivor of a complicatedly knitted group of four, and be fetter for each of the three recently departed. \$\endgroup\$ – Duralumin Mar 8 '17 at 15:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Some kind of interaction with the low umbra would be interesting for the later phases of the campaign. I intend for them wraith to be in a particular situation because of the influence of magic on their death and the shadowland / low umbra. \$\endgroup\$ – Duralumin Mar 8 '17 at 15:24

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