I’ve been playing a lot of Ingress on my Android phone recently. It’s really growing on me.
The game functions on two main levels.
One: The crunchy strategy game.
The point of the game is to capture points on the map, Portals, and to control their resources. There are two factions: The Resistance and The Enlightened. You choose a faction then travel round your local area locating Portals and ‘hacking’ them.
Hacking a Portal gives you resources – useable inventory items such as shields grenades and resonators, keys – Portal access codes that allow you to manipulate the resources the Portal produces, experience – AP, and energy.
If you gain control of a Portal you can link it to other Portals. Link three or more Portals and you create a Control Field.
This leads is to the second level.
Two: The RPG setting
There is a growing back story to the game. The two factions have a scripted reason to be opposed. You choose your faction based on those reasons.
Portals are bringing a new kind of energy into our world – XM or Extraordinary Matter.
The Resistance want to stem this flow and protect the world.
The Enlightened believe that XM is a positive energy and act to encourage and nurture it.
The stated affects of XM is to change the brain waves and thought patterns of nearby people.
If you link multiple Portals together you create a Control Field over the area between the Portals. These Control Fields change the thought patterns of those within them to match the desires of the Faction that controls the field.
Apply this concept to Mage, Ascension or Awakening.
Both games feature two main factions: The Traditions vs The Technocracy / The
Orders vs The Seers of the Throne.
Both are arguably fighting an ideological battle to control or free the minds of the sleeping populace.
The Traditions want to reignite peoples imagination and belief. The Technocracy want to channel that imagination and belief into only one paradigm – Science.
The Seers of the Throne want to rule the Fallen World, with a docile and compliant sleeper populace whilst the Orders rail against this hubris.
The Ascension has Nodes, sites where Quintessence flows into the world that mages compete for and The Awakening has Hallows, sacred places where Mana crosses into the Fallen World.
Here’s my reading: The core concepts of Ingress can easily be applied to a Mage game. Players have already chosen a faction and an ideology. They already seek to control sites of power.
Add to that a concrete way to influence sleeping minds – linking these sites together to produce magical fields between them. Maybe these fields affect paradigm as well, or reduce Paradox or provide bonuses to certain Spheres or Arcana.
That’s a resource worth fighting for.
For years now I’ve had an idea about The Technocracy/Seers using mobile phone masts to channel mind controlling magic into the Sleeping populace.
Now I know how it would run.