Each Mage Paths have a pair of “default Magical Traditions”, which were created specifically to overcome the limitations of the Path's Inferior Arcana, and seemingly etched into the very Watchtowers themselves. A Mage may learn either Tradition appropriate to their Path at character creation without a tutor. The character is forging a strong mystical connection to their Path – besides counting as their Magical Tradition, it also counts as their Legacy as described in the core book, and their Magical Style as described in Mage Chronicler's Guide. Their two Ruling Arcana, and their Legacy Arcanum, always count as the Style's three Favored Arcana.
Since each Greater Tradition's Legacy Arcanum replaces one of its Path's Inferior Arcana, mages who start play with one of these Traditions no longer have an Inferior Arcanum. They pay (6x new level) XP for their two Ruling Arcana and their Legacy Arcanum, and pay (7x new level) XP for the remaining seven Arcana.
The Gnosis requirements for all Attainments have been toned down. Any Magical Tradition may be adopted at Gnosis 1 (or at character creation) as a 2-dot or 3-dot Merit, granting the acolyte the reduced XP cost for their Legacy Arcanum, their Favored Attribute and Favored Practices, and all other aspects of the Style. The first Attainment is learnable at Gnosis 2, so long as all other requirements are met. The second Attainment comes at Gnosis 3, and the third at Gnosis 4. A Mage creating their own Attainments must do so at a much higher Gnosis – Gnosis 3 for first-level Attainments, Gnosis 5 for second-level attainments, and Gnosis 7 for third-level attainments.
Once a Mage has reached Gnosis 5, and has gained all three of their Tradition's Attainments, they may begin creating their own further Attainments. One new first or second-tier Attainment can be learned or created at each new dot of Gnosis above 4, so long as the mage has learned all the necessary Arcana and Skills, and so long as the Storyteller approves of the Attainment as in-theme for the Tradition. New third-tier Attainments may be learned or created at each new dot of Gnosis above 6, following the same guidelines and strictures.
Legacy, Tradition and StyleEdit
Magical Traditions codify magic into a particular style, relying on centuries or even millenia of Sleeper belief to tap into the Tradition's resonance. In exchange, all the Command effects for the Legacy's three Ruling Arcana may be used with fast-cast Rotes, in addition to Ritual casting. The standard Magical Tradition bonuses – free Conditional Duration and Sleeper Acceptance – are replaced with instant access to the Tradition's three Command effects (they're technically the Life 3, Fate 3 and Mind 3 Command effects). Magic which does not use the Tradition's foci, trappings, and mudras does not gain these bonuses.
Each Magical Tradition also counts as a Magical Style. This means that at Gnosis 1, each Magical Tradition grants a favored Attribute and three favored Practices, in addition to a third Ruling Arcanum, and all three Ruling Arcana count as Favored. A favored Attribute is an Attribute that, when used as part of a Rote, grants the mage a +1 dice pool bonus for the casting. Likewise, a favored Practice or Arcanum grants a +1 dice pool bonus for all Rotes that utilize the favored Practice or Arcanum. These bonuses stack, granting a maximum bonus of +3 dice if a Rote uses both the favored Attribute, a favored Arcanum, and a favored Practice. Magic which does not use the Tradition's foci, trappings, and mudras does not gain these bonuses.
Types of Magical StylesEdit
Main article: Magical Style.
Among the various Magical Styles, there are certain categories. These are styles that share common elements sufficiently to impart particular advantages and disadvantages. The most common categories of Magical Styles are Ecstatic, Ritualistic, Techgnostic, Theurgic, and Freeform.
Magical Tradition and RotesEdit
All of the Rotes provided in the standard Mage books should be seen as guidelines. Each Tradition and each Order has its own versions of these Rotes, which use their own dice pools (often optimized to exploit their own Attribute and Practice bonuses). Purchasing an in-Tradition Rote only costs half the normal Experience – 1XP per dot of Arcana used in the rote. Many Traditions can share rotes – the Storyteller is the final arbiter as to whether two Traditions are sufficiently similar in outlook, and must decide on a rote-by-rote basis. Many Order Rotes, for example, are designed to be picked up easily by several Traditions.
It should be assumed, for example, that most Old Pact Rotes can be picked up as in-Tadition by the Wyck, Kali's Daughters, Children of Danu, Dreamspeakers and Seers of Chronos. Illuminati Rotes can usually be picked up in-Tradition by Disciples of Solomon and Architects of Thoth, while Adamantine Arrow Rotes can usually be picked up in-Tradition by the Celestial Choir, Akashic Brothers, and Reverent Ones. The Free Council and the Servants of the Void are too eclectic to offer in-Tradition rotes to the standard ten Traditions, but the Free Council has much to offer the Sons of the Aether, the Psychonauts and the Geniuses, while the Servants of the Void can share Rotes between the Nihili, the Heralds of Endings and Ragnarok's Soldiers. Other Traditions and Orders may be compatible at the Storyteller's discretion, or even on a rote-by-rote basis.
Whenever a mage creates a new Rote through experimentation, he pays the in-Tradition cost for learning that Rote, and always creates a version of that Rote appropriate to his Tradition. He may then teach his version of that Rote to others, who pay the in-Tradition or out-of-Tradition cost depending on how compatible the process of the Rote is with their world-view and Style of magic.
While most Rotes can be fast-cast, certain Rotes should only be performable as rituals.