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Truth Beyond Paradox €6,18
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Truth Beyond Paradox
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/30/2021 12:11:28

It's worth to go beyond - a Mephisto review

Truth beyond Paradox

The title of the anthology Truth beyond Paradox is a direct allusion to the first short story volume published for Mage: Truth until Paradox. In this new volume, the authors again set out to illuminate the highly diverse world of Mage with their short stories. Accordingly, as diverse as the role-playing world is, the short stories also turn out to be very different in terms of plot, characters, and backgrounds. However, a common denominator is that they all generally focus on individual characters and disregard the larger metaplot of the game world. Here, it's not about the large groups of mages that clash in the Ascension War, but rather the individual paths to a mage's enlightenment.

For example, Wildfire Sky describes a mage for whom magic literally means playing with fire. Here, her personal interpretation of magic is much more important than the actual plot of the story. In Theogenesis Gimmick, the reader experiences the spontaneous and somewhat bizarre awakening of a mage. Famished Road, in turn, is about the confrontation of a mage and his friends with a dangerous threat from the spirit world. Each other story finds its particular topic. From my point of view, however, the highlight of this anthology is the last story. A Firm Place to Stand describes the rise of a young mage. Here, the larger organizations and their far-reaching goals in the world of Mage play a role. What is remarkable here is that the focus is not on the Traditions, but on the Technocracy - and that the portrayal of this organization is quite different from what one might expect.

As with most World of Darkness short story volumes, the focus is not on the system's metaplot or the larger game world. Instead, the stories present individual mages and thus a multi-faceted spectrum of backgrounds, ideas, moods, and characters. Therefore, even if no great metaplot secrets are revealed here, Truth beyond Paradox does an excellent job providing inspiration for Mage players. Alternatively, you can simply enjoy this collection of entertaining and well-written stories.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Truth Beyond Paradox
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Stéphane Z. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/03/2020 06:26:02

I'd purchased this book a while ago, but hadn't taken the time to read the stories it contains. Finally taking a close look at the Mage 20 core book had me take a look at Everything Mage in general, and Truth Beyond Paradox in particular. First off, I think all short stories contained in this book are great, and are all well worth reading.

This book's contents are the following: Introduction by Satyros Brucato We Are the Shadows Cast by the Memory of Giants by Seanan McGuire A Secret Palace by J. F. High Well Played by Emily Jones Bound in Blue by S. J. Tucker & Ryan James Loyd Famished Road by Balogun Ojetade Life by Antonios Rave-N Galatis Nothing Important Happened Today by Scott Havens Wildfire Sky by Kris Millering The Girl Who Remembered Tomorrow by Bill Bridges Dabda by Travis Legge Sympathetic Magick by Stephen Michael DiPesa The Process by Shawn Connolly The Theogeneis Gimmick by Luna Lindsey Toxic by Tina Shelton The Long Game by R. S. Udell Gray Rising by Janine A. Southard A Firm Place to Stand by Sandra Damiana Buskirk

In no particular order, I loved "The Girl Who Remembered Tomorrow," by Bill Bridges, which is a nice shout out to some of his previous work on the Sons of Ether tradition book, published 20+ years ago. "We Are the Shadows Cast by the Memory of Giants" provides a really nice view of what it can be to follow the Order of Hermes as new member. Dabda is a great story about loss and the possible choices (and consequences!) that ensue for a mage. A Firm Place to Stand gives insight into some Technocratic groups, and how they strive to help humanity; how they themselves are evolving to better serve it. The Process is one of the stories that is the most explicit about the source material (Order of Hermes, Technocracy, etc.), but also provides a very interesting story about the main character and his relationship with the City, its spirit, and the people that inhabit it. The other stories are also great. Some, I'll need to re-read, because while I know I liked them, I also know I don't know how to feel after reading them (which, in my book, is a Good Thing).

To repeat what I said at the beginning: if you're a Mage: the Ascension fan, I think this book is really good. If you know nothing about M:tAs, it's OK. The stories are all really well written, and most are written in a way that it does not matter whether you know the universe or not. Even when some specific names are dropped, it does not hamper reading at all (I think). This book is worth reading, and I'll probably use some themes in the stories in my own chronicles (aspects of characters, or some of the more abstract descriptions, etc.).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Truth Beyond Paradox
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/25/2016 21:50:09

This is a stellar collection of stories that really captures the sense of the world of Mage. My favorite stories at this point are Well Played and A Firm Place To Stand. The quality of the other stories is varied and while I haven't loved every piece it's a far more engaging view of the world than I've seen in the other RPG fiction I've read. It's also an excellent lens into a narrative setting that can be hard to fully grasp just from the gaming books, including some amazing takes on potential avatar relationships.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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