In honor of the impending election season, and because — oh, wait, nobody demanded it. Well, our mashup of the day is The West Wing anyway. Depending on how you look at it, West Wing is either a brilliant show about a team of exceptional individuals working to maintain their ideals under the spotlight of Presidential politics, or it’s a self-indulgent epic about a bunch of unlikely White House staffers that takes place in an alternate reality in which liberal politics work. Either way, it’s got that snappy Aaron Sorkin dialogue and it’s kind of nice to pretend that our government is that idealistic.
Have at it.
I think the most interesting thing about West Wing is watching the relatively inexperienced crowd deal with power. So I’m going to use it as a template for a Mage chantry. I’m seeing Bartlett as an NPC whose actions are severely limited because he’s such a big bright target — he can barely leave the Chantry without getting attacked by the Technocracy. (Or, if players prefer, the Traditions — I think the PCs could be a Technocracy Chantry.) This follows the themes of the show, keeps him from being an all-powerful problem solver, and serves as an interesting lesson in the perils of growing overly powerful and flashy.
The PCs are the hands of the Chantry. And — hey, why not put them in DC? Let the politics of the show echo into the campaign on multiple levels. You’d probably want a strong Nephandi/Marauder presence too, as cognates for the serious problems that compel cooperation between parties in the real world of politics.
And I think we’re talking PCs who are new to being mages. Hm; I haven’t kept up with the Mage metaplot, but I seem to recall there was a sourcebook on some kind of youth movement in the Traditions. That’d be a useful plot line to adopt. Put the PCs’ Chantry in the middle of that… say they lucked into the powerful Chantry in the middle of DC somehow, and nobody thinks they deserve it.
Ah. In fact, the Barlett cognate managed to get his hands on the place, since he’s always been highly respected in the Traditions, and for no clear reason (he’s got one, but the PCs don’t know it) he chose the PCs as his staffers. That’d work. And his motive is perhaps as simple as wanting to bring that youthful passion into the heart of the Traditions.