by Richard Thomas
@Kairam: the bit about the Consensus defining reality is IMHO slightly misleading. The Consensus [i]influences[/i] reality; but it doesn’t [i]define/i] reality: reality would arguably continue to exist if every Avatar, Sleeping and Awakened, were to disappear tomorrow. That’s not to say that the laws of reality would remain as they are now; but laws of reality would exist even if the Consensus didn’t.
On a similar note, there’s also the possibility that the Consensus has wrought some permanent changes on the fundamental laws of reality: if all Avatars were to disappear tomorrow, there’s no guarantee that reality would revert to the state it was in before Avatars first appeared.
Finally, it’s entirely possible that the influence of what are now known as Avatars have _always_ existed, if there’s any truth to the Celestial Chorus’ theory about the Pure Ones that preceded Avatars and the One that preceded them.
I think it’s worth noting that while belief is indeed a cornerstone of Awakened Magick, the kind of beliefs that motivate and empower mages aren’t really about “what is”; they’re primarily about “what ought to be”.
I do enjoy the Consensus quite a bit, it's one of my favorite things about Mage. But I think the Earthly Foundations bit may be going a little too far. While I'm sure any ST would agree time travel had better be vulgar, I'm not so sure that gross violations of the natural world should be vulgar in a proper Sanctum. A good, strong Chantry with a solid Sanctum rating that houses Masters should look like a cross between Hogwarts, the TARDIS, and a whirlwind. A Master's Sanctum should be an oddball place where you can't be sure what the rules are.
Consensus is one of my favorite parts of the game. It's such an awesome application of postmodern thought into a the RPG genre.
So, it appears the Consensus has several ironclad, immutable laws and several laws that depend on belief.
Ironclad and immutable: Well, the fact that the Consensus exists seems to be one - the overwhelming majority of modern-day humans don't believe that their beliefs shape reality, yet in Mage, they do. I seem to remember that the state of vampirism and the fact that quintessence is the foundation of reality were mentioned in Mage Revised as solid laws that can't really be tampered with - or at least, that any magic you use to try affecting these laws will be incredibly difficult and vulgar as a five-minute rant by Otto from "A Fish Called Wanda".
Shaped by belief: Most of the modern laws of physics seem to fall under this header. Breaking these is not that tough with the right application of spheres and rotes - it may be vulgar, but it's far from impossible.
Am I getting this at least somewhat right?
I love the tone in this excerpt.
Kairam, that's a good question.
Here's another one: since Consensus seems to depend on human minds, does it hold very far away from Earth? If Mages could travel to Alpha Centauri, could they ignore Paradox there?
Anything with a Dune reference gets my +1.
OK, now I crave a Mage T-shirt saying "Reality is my bitch!" XD
Since reality was here long before any of us were and will be long after we're gone, whose Consensus ruled reality and whose will one day rule it?
Editing is still going on I watched them being posted and it was sort of in responce to quesitons.
This is "raw text." It has not yet been polished or edited. Polishing is in progress, and editing has not yet begun.
Is editing still ongoing? There are a few minor errors here...