Joey Z. Skater Boy - Part II


To complete the Joey Z. experience I now bring to you all of his wonders and custom rotes. The rotes he knows and uses include many of the basic rotes included in the Mage The Ascension core rulebook as well as the ones he created himself. I hope you enjoy.

To complete the Joey Z. experience I now bring to you all of his wonders and custom rotes. The rotes he knows and uses include many of the basic rotes included in the Mage The Ascension core rulebook as well as the ones he created himself. I hope you enjoy.


Really Cool Ray-Bans (Forces *, Mind *)
These glasses appear to be nothing more than normal, albeit very cool, Ray-Bans. When worn they will never fall off accidentally under any circumstances. Also, any one interacting with the wearer will automatically react more positively, similar to vampiric presence 1.

Flash Gordon Decoder Ring (Mind *)
This item appears to be an old, tin decoder ring from the �50s. When worn it grants it�s wearer insight and focus for the purpose of breaking codes, solving puzzles, etc. The wearer gains 1 additional die for any rolls of that type.

L.L. Bean Backpack (Correspondence *)
This appears to be a normal, nylon backpack from L.L. Bean. It is black and is custom embroidered with the words �Skater Boy� in white. While the bag never appears to be more than marginally full and never weighs more than 2 pounds; it can actually hold 30 cubic feet of space or up to 250 pounds. This is not an extra-dimensional space so any people or animals can still breathe and security tags will still set off alarms.

Carbonite T-Shirt (Matter **)
This shirt appears to be a normal but baggy gray t-shirt with a picture of Han Solo frozen in carbonite on the back. The power of the shirt is that it is as strong and tough as carbonite. This grants the wearer 2 dice of armor for resisting any type of damage unless it affects the entire body.

Studded Collar of Healing (Life **)
This appears to be a normal, studded leather collar. However, it grants the wearer the ability to cast a Heal Self rote without needing the Life sphere.

Ever Full Glock (Matter **, Prime *)
This is a normal Glock-17 with one exception: whenever a bullet is removed from the clip, another replaces it at the bottom of the stack. This power applies to any clip currently in the gun. If an empty clip is inserted than a new bullet will be created at a rate of 1 per minute until the clip is full. This rate only applies to empty clips where the pattern for the bullet needs to be created, not copied.

Nero�s Opera Coat (Forces ***, Prime *)
This jacket is identical to the one worn by Keanu Reeves in The Matrix 2 & 3. It is so imbued with telekinetic Forces magic that it always fits the wearer perfectly and flatteringly and billows dramatically. The jacket grants the wearer the ability to perform Matrix style stunts just like Nero, this includes wall walking, jumping and even flying without the need of wires or special effects. The wearer is assumed to pass any rolls required unless the move is particularly intricate, then the wearer gains 3 additional athletics dice. The wearer is so aware of kinetic energies around them that they gain 3 �bullet time� dice to all dodge rolls. Finally, because of the Hong Kong style moves the wearer is capable of they gain 3 dice to all brawl and melee rolls.

Universal ID (Mind ***, Forces ***)
Normally this item is a black, plastic card. When activated it can appear to be any form of identification the user wishes. It can pass the closes of scrutiny, as it will contain any and all vital information the viewer would expect to see. It has the added benefit of being able to pass any electronic scans the ID would normally be subjected to; this also allows the user to access doors and such the ID would have access to. If the electronic scan would bring up a computer record or account, it would display a non-descript example worthy of little notice.

Personal E-Mailer Palm Pilot (Correspondence ****)
This is a cutting-edge palm with unlimited Internet and e-mail. As long as the user knows the recipients e-mail address than they may send them e-mail. In addition, the user may choose to attach themselves and, providing they are in physical contact, up to three others. This will teleport the user to the close vicinity of the last computer used to check the mailbox mailed; this never places the teleportee above the floor or inside objects, etc. As this power is a teleportation, the displacement of air does make a fair amount of noise.

Glowing Stone Of Power (Prime ****)
This is a small, yet flawless, quartz spire that emits a faint silver light the color of moonlight. The spire hangs from a simple, silver chain worn around the neck. The crystal does not glow enough to be seen through clothing or to see by in the dark. It also has the tendency to attract the attention of anyone interacting with the wearer while it is visible. The wearer has the option to tap it for up to 4 points of quintessence at any time which replenish immediately, this can be done even if the wearer has no points in the Prime sphere. Anyone besides the wearer touching the crystal may inadvertently draw one or more, never more than 4, points of quintessence from it with varying results.

Tempus Fugit Watch (Time *****)
This appears to be an exquisite, antique, gold pocket watch. Because this item is so infused with Time magic it never needs to be wound, sets itself for different time zones and daylight savings time and always tells perfect time. The legendary power of this watch is that when activated it accelerates the user to the point that everything around them seems to be at a stand still. This affects only the user so they may not bring someone with them, however, its use is unlimited. For every hour that passes for the user only one second passes around them. Anyone not effected by the watch or using a Time 5 rote cannot see or otherwise detect the user, if they witness the activation or deactivation than all they see is the user blink in or out of existence. This effect creates a bubble around the user that they may step out of if they move away from the watch, if that occurs the watch immediately deactivates. Witnessing the use or effects of this watch does incur Paradox at a rate to be decided by the GM.

Custom Rotes

EMP (Forces var.)
The use of this rote creates a localized EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) that allows the caster to deal direct damage to anything with an electrical circuit.
Focus: An action figure of Max (Jessica Alba) from Dark Angel.

Look Ma, No Wires (Forces ***)
This is essentially a variation of the Telekinesis rote. When cast the mage is able to perform super-human, Hong Kong style stunts without the wires. The caster is assumed to pass any tests required for the maneuver unless it is particularly intricate; in this case the caster receives 3 additional athletics dice. If the caster is in combat than they receive 3 additional dice for any dodge, brawl or melee rolls because of the maneuvers they are capable of.
Focus: The caster makes a weird kung-fu noise.

John Woo Style Shooting (Forces ***, Prime *)
The casting of this rote creates small telekinetic fields around gun barrels that keep them steady and on target. This negates any recoil and allows double fisted shooting without penalty, or the Ambidexterity Merit. The rote also slightly alters the gas discharge of a semi or full auto weapon making the action much faster. This allows the caster to fire more bullets than is normally allowed by the weapons rate of fire. However, the mage must still split their dice pool for and multiple actions as normal.
Focus: Two guns, one in each hand.

Jedi Mind Trick (Mind **)
The use of this rote implants a simple suggestion into the target�s mind. As other Mind 2 rotes the more successes scored the more effective the rote is.
Focus: The mage wakes their hand and speaks the suggestion to the target.

Wasn�t Me (Mind **)
Similar to the Jedi Mind Trick; the caster can convince the target they are not guilty of something, that it happened to be someone else who looks similar. This rote will work regardless of whether the target witnessed the caster commit whatever it is they are accused of or not. As with other Mind 2 rotes, the more successes scored determines how strongly the target believes in the casters innocence.
Focus: Upon being initially accused by the target the mage states: �Wasn�t me.�

Kender Taunt (Mind **)
The use of this rote implants a deep rage in the target directed toward the caster. The target will fly into a violent rage at the caster with little regard for their own safety so all difficulty to strike the target is lowered by the number of successes scored on the casting roll.
Focus: The caster spews forth a stream of vile insults at the target.

Faulty Security System (Forces **)
Security scanners, the kind used by retailers to prevent shoplifting, are touchy things. The use of this rote banks on that fact. When cast it temporarily shuts off security scanners long enough for the caster to walk through.
Focus: A security tag of some find.

Self-Propelled Skateboard (Forces ***, Prime *)
Casting this rote propels a skateboard along at a steady speed through a telekinetic field. With the use of Prime magic the caster/rider need not even kick off to get the initial momentum.
Focus: The caster makes car noises while moving or when starting.

Bullet Catch/Stop (Forces ***)
This rote allows the caster to literally catch bullets out of the air or stop them in mid-flight. The caster dispels all the kinetic energy moving the bullet rendering it harmless so the caster can pluck it out of the air or simply stop it. The number of successes gained on the roll determines the success of the rote based on the base damage of the caliber. This can also be used on slower moving projectiles at a much lower difficulty.
Focus: The mage makes no attempt to dodge and moves to catch or block the bullet.

Bullet Time Dodging (Forces var.)
The casting of this rote heightens the perceptions of the caster concerning kinetic energies in the vicinity. They are so in tune that they gain a number of additional dice equal to their Forces sphere to all dodge rolls.
Focus: The caster wears a cape, trench coat or similar garment that will billow dramatically.

Damn I�m Cool (Mind **)
When the mage casts this rote it implants in the target�s mind a perception that the caster is more interesting than they may actually be. This generally causes a sense of awe in the target. Because of this rote the target is more likely to react positively or will react more positively to the caster. As with other Mind 2 rotes the number of successes scored determines the effectiveness of this rote.
Focus: The caster just did or said something that was legitimately cool.

All The Right Moves (Forces ***, Mind **)
The casting of this rote has a few effects. First, through telekinetic manipulations, the caster is more pleasurable during sexual intercourse than they normally are. The use of Mind magic also puts an air of eroticism and enjoyment to the encounter.
Focus: An unopened condom.

Hey Baby (Mind **)
This rote is similar to other Mind 2 rotes but is focused on making a female desire the company of the caster more than they already may. As with other Mind 2 rotes the more successes scored the more effective the casting is.
Focus: The caster coolly approaches a female and says: �Hey baby.�

Superman (Forces ***, Prime *)
This rote is essentially an advanced telekinetic manipulation. When cast it allows the caster to fly or levitate easily and gracefully. The use of Prime magic allows the caster to create a kinetic field and stay aloft indefinitely.
Focus: The caster wears a cape, trench coat or similar garment.

Surveyor�s Eye (Correspondence *)
The use of this rote allows the caster to perceive exact distances and measurements in the immediate vicinity. This also reveals the existence of any secret doors, traps, etc. Extended use of this rote would allow the caster to make a map identical to the one held by the GM. Joey Z. is still working on this formula. (For the non-B.U.B., this is an inside joke among myself and my friends. We always felt that room descriptions in most D&D, especially the old TSR stuff, gave descriptions that were beyond what a character would know, specifically the exact measurements of a room or corridor that would require the use of surveyor�s tools. We joked that we should create a spell called Surveyor�s Eye that allowed the DM to read the descriptions as they were written. So that is what I did even though the correspondence 1 rote in Mage The Ascension already does this.)
Focus: An original copy of the D&D Dungeoneers Survival Guide.

Synchronicity (Mind **, Entropy **, Prime *)
The casting of this rote causes a hectic urban setting to move in perfect unison with the caster. Traffic lights turn green just as the caster approaches, a cab arrives just as the caster steps out onto the curb, subway trains run on time, etc. This rote also causes a crowd of people to move just right to allow the caster to move unhindered at any speed through it. Even opponents will subconsciously move to not be a hindrance to the caster giving them an increased difficulty equal to the caster�s Mind sphere. If not sustained than the casting of this rote will cause the effects to function for 10 minutes equal to the caster�s arete. Joey Z. is still working on this formula.
Focus: A gold or platinum credit card, preferably Visa.

I've resisted the temptation long enough now, I just have to ask:
I take it I'm not the only one who thinks "If all I have to say is 'not at my table, powerfreak' I shouldn't be saying anything at all" ?

I was keeping my mouth shut too.

Actually, Rob, I concur.

Granted, I'm not much of a Mage fan (Werewolf's my WoD game of choice- though Adventure! is my favorite WW product PERIOD) but most of the stuff seen here fails to impress me.

For one, most of the wonders seem overpowered- often with 4 dots of one or more spheres dumped into them. But that's not so bad as compared to their other failing: they're unoriginal.

Terribly, terribly unoriginal. Most of the wonders (and a good deal of the rotes) either rip off some movie-like SFX effect (in a vulgar as hell manner, of course) or just emulate something from D&D. (Kender Taunt, anyone?)

Now, correct me if I was wrong, but I thought Mage was s'posed to be a little more...subtle? Lest Paradox bite you in the ass, and all that. But one of the more interesting things to me about Mage was the fact that each mage got to cook up their own effects and rotes for interesting and unexpected hijinks. I mean, really, if the best you can do is pretend to be Neo (though I'll give you that The Matrix is essentially a Mage flick) then why play Mage at all?

I might suggest Feng Shui, myself.

I have a different take on these posts, stolen from a button I saw at a convention:

"Please DON'T tell me about your character."

All RPGs are fundamentally about fantasy, and for most people that means idealized self-image power fantasy. There's a reason no one complains about munchkins in Monopoly, you know. Independent of whether we'd ever allow this character in our campaigns, I just don't find descriptions of other people's characters useful to me. They're someone else's fantasy, and as such are too personal to be easily portable. And personally, I find them a little embarassing. Hell, *I* want to be Superman, but I don't tell perfect strangers that.

So, to whomever runs this board, please no more "post your character" articles. They're not useful. What might be useful is the kind of articles gaming magazines have been running forever - NPCs or important secondary characters that can be dropped into existing campaigns without excessive modification.


P.S. As for Mage - good idea, badly executed, same mistakes made 3 editions in a row. 'Nuff said.

Well, I hope I didn't sound too harsh (I'm a big supporter of the whole "each to his own" theory), but, looking at the number and quickness of occurence of coments at _other_ articles, I could do nothing but wonder...
I have to disagree with Daniel though. I like hearing other peoples character concepts (as long as they stop, if i tell 'em to), because I might always build an interesting NPC from that. _This_ particular character could inspire a nice young fellow who _thinks_ he is such a skater-kiddies-wet-dream-come-true, but instead is only tricked into it by some demonic forces (for fun). Would be interesting to see my KULT-Group reacting to that :-)
BTW, EaterOfTheDead42: Just because I happen to dislike your choice of character here doesn't mean that I don't want you to continue, ok? Criticism, even if it's non-constructive, still means someone was interested enough to actually read what you have written (which is more than I can say about my stuff :-)

I don't think we actually disagree, Robert (Rob?). I was actually suggesting character _concepts_ in lieu of fully realized characters, and I think that's what you're getting at. A fully realized character, such Mr. Boy, requires far too much redacting to be useful in anyone's campaign other than the original player/GM's. But a short character sketch - such as what you just gave - is more generally useful to a wide audience, as the specific details can be easily filled in with whatever works for a given player or GM.

And let me echo Mr. Kosten's final comment: please don't stop contributing. You can't please everyone all the time, and writing lots of stuff will help you determine how best to write for a specific audience.


Hey, what do you want? I was stuck for an article and I just liked the character so much I wanted to share him.

I know he's unoriginal in his wonders and rotes. Most of the wonders are actually in the FX Items chapter of the d20 Modern Core Rulebook.