Here in Hawthorne Heights, things work a little differently from some other World of Darkness games.

To make clear any differences in the rules from the books, we’ve created this convenient page for players as a reference.

If I have not explained anything here, please refer back to the book or ask a question; this page and its information are subject to change by the Head ST – notifications will be given on the announcements page if changes are made.

General Effects Knowledge (aka – Did you know?)

- All healing Effects must be bolstered by a point of Quintessence or Prime 3 in order to remain permanent, otherwise the Effect will slowly unravel and the injured party will only have recovered as much as they naturally would have in that time period.

- At any point a Mage with Mind 3 and level 2 of the requisite Sphere may grant vision of the appropriate sphere to anyone, Mage or otherwise.


- Base difficulty of an effect should be determined by the level of the effect plus 3. (In other words if a 1st level effect is being performed, the base difficulty is 4.)

- An effect involving 3 or more spheres will add 1 difficulty to the effect due to its complexity.

- An effect involving 5 or more spheres will add 2 difficulty to the effect due to its complexity.

- A Mage is not required to have specific foci for different spheres, instead we allow for flexible general foci; however, if an appropriate focus is not available then the difficulty is increased by 2.

- Difficulty can be modified in a number of ways:
– 1 difficulty to any rotes
– 1 difficulty for taking one’s time
– 1 to 3 difficulty for a proficient roll of a mundane skill (playing the guitar for a COE, or a well written spell for a Verbena)
– 1 to 3 difficulty for having an identifier for a Correspondence or Time Effect (a lock of hair, item of importance to the subject, etc.)
+ 1 difficulty for being in heavy combat
+ 1 difficulty for fast casting
+ 1 to 3 difficulty for trying to scry outside one’s ability range

There are many more examples of how one might lower difficulty – if you have questions or ideas please contact an ST and they will clarify for you how well you can move your difficulty.

The difficulty enhancements here are the most common and should always be enforced even by regular players.

Resisting Effects

-Unlike other games, the subject of an effect may not resist an effect unless the effect is directly upon their mind, at which point the subject of the effect may roll their entire willpower pool. Every success the Mage has must be countered by 2 willpower successes.

- Supernatural Resistance – Vampires, Werewolves, Psychics et cetera may resist any effect with their blood points, gnosis rating, numina and so forth on the same 1 to 2 ratio without being required to be aware of the effect.


The use of Quintessence in spells is common when the event at hand is particularly important, this is because of the great array of good spending Quintessence can do for a spell.
A single point of Quintessence automatically does any and all of the following that apply to any Effect -

- reduces difficulty by 1 (max 3)
- eliminates 1 point of Paradox (max = Avatar rating)
- adds a full day of duration to any temporary effect
- adds permanence to any healing or creation effect (dollar bills pulled from thin air will not disappear after time)

Quintessence is also capable of grounding Patterns into reality making them complete in ways that a Mage can only imitate without. Forces can now deal aggravated damage, silver deals aggravated damage to Garou, sunlight deals aggravated damage to Vampires, so forth and so on. Without Quintessence or Prime of the appropriate level, anything a Mage creates is simply an extremely good replica that will eventually fall apart.

A great deal of Quintessence is utilized in the creation of any Wonder, Talisman, Node, Soul Stone, Dimension, Familiar, etc.
Access to Quintessence is fairly limited, only a Mage who has located a Node, Juncture, or Talisman that gathers it for him is in any luck regarding this.
For those who do not possess such access, Quintessence is restored at the rate of a mere 1 point every 2 weeks.

Quintessence can be regained by meditating at a Node with a rating of 1 point per hour spent there, this is the most natural means by which to recover Quintessence, and the least taxing upon a Node as it will not suffuse the Mage with Quintessence it does not have to give.
Short of this, some form of Effect must be utilized in order for a Mage to suffuse a Pattern with Quintessence.


Hawthorne Heights is a veritable hub of supernatural activity for one reason or another. Anyone who has been there long enough can tell you, but no one knows why in particular… Mages however recognize that (for whatever reason) the paradox here is thinner when it comes to coincidental magic, and to boot, it does not always afflict them immediately. A smart mage utilizes this to his advantage… but also recognizes the dangers that could come about of it…

Paradox will be garnered as such-

Coincidental effects will garner no Paradox barring the Domino Effect.

Vulgar without witnesses will garner Paradox equivalent to the highest leveled Sphere needed to perform the Effect.

Vulgar with witnesses will garner Paradox equivalent to the highest leveled Sphere plus additional Paradox for every sleeper witness to the Effect that can positively identify the Will Worker as the source, the ratings for this will be as follows -

- 1-2 people +1

- 3-4 people +2

- 4-10 people +4

- 11-20 people +6

- large crowd of people +8

- large public event +12

- daily news/the internet 16+

You will not acquire any additional Paradox than usual for botching an Effect; however, you will suffer the backlash of the botch and acquire the regular Paradox.

Paradox Triggering

Unlike traditional games of Mage this Paradox will not automatically trigger due to a roll.
Each will worker will have to have accrued five points prior to the Paradox being activated.

For instance Lance has four points of Paradox and casts a minor effect, garnering two more points of paradox, he does not roll paradox this round.
On the other side, Lance has five points of Paradox and casts a minor effect garnering another point of paradox, Lance now rolls his Paradox die.

When the mage rolls Paradox, the difficulty will be 6 unless effected by some outside influence.

The number of dice that succeed will provide the level of the backlash the will worker has the pleasure of facing. After the backlash is accepted all of the Mage’s Paradox dissipates.

At any point, an ST may override these rules and declare that you will roll your Paradox, because Paradox is fickle and can snap at any time. It is simply most likely for Paradox to trigger as you acquire more.

Any Mage with 1 point of Prime can expend a willpower to delay this Paradox Effect, halting the roll and allowing the paradox to build further. Similarly a Prime 2 Mage can trigger their Paradox with an Effect, preferably in a sanctum, and away from a Node.

Paradox will slowly dissipate on its own, assuming the Mage does not perform any further vulgar Effects, at a rate of 1 point per week

Ratings for Paradox

1-5 – minor effect – all the flowers nearby might wither, the mage has a sneezing fit, or a headache for the next few minutes that just won’t stop. The mage may take a point or two of bashing damage at most, but this is by no means life threatening

5-10 – hindering effect – the mage might not be able to leave the house for the rest of the afternoon, or find that none of his electronics turn on, the mage might take severe levels of bashing damage.

11-15 – significant effect – the will worker’s eyes glow brightly for a week, people around the mage are filled with fear when he looks into their eyes, a lesser paradox spirit afflicts him, the mage falls into a quieting, the mage takes bashing damage that rolls into lethal damage.

16-20 – near lethal effects – the mage becomes a beacon of paradox, effects that he is afflicted with may be permanent. Serious paradox spirits afflict the mage, the mage falls into a dark mindscape, the mage is severely wounded with lethal damage and/or aggravated damage. Without aid, your character may die.

21+ – lethal – tuck your head between your knees and kiss your bum goodbye, if your mage survives the paradox effects that precede this, they will more than likely snap mentally, becoming a marauder, or something much darker…


Mage: The Ascension - Hawthorne Heights Atxmagehh Syllabus