402 is a formerly-weekly episode-based Mage: The Awakening game that ended its first "Season" arc after a two-year span, in December 2009, and plans to continue with the second "season" in September 2011.The game focuses on a group of five young magi whose lives are all intertwined with the University of Portland. They attend 'Magic Class' in an abandoned old building, taught by a mysterious but trustworthy teacher, Holmes. In the first season, the player characters training started to take a backseat to their duties of saving the world as we know it. The player characters are:
The group have played through 12 episodic chronicles, each with their own distinct stories, that figure into the overall story.
1: "Rebirth". The cabal is formed, sans Mingan, and begins to recieve tutelage under Holmes. After he is put into a magical sleep-state by an unknown party, the cabal sets out to find the culprits, but find much more sinister plots at work.
2: "Encounter". 402 are attacked by a group of hunters but manage to escape. They track down the hunters and discover that they may not be what they appear to be..
3: "Discovery". When Smokey finds a cave that contains the mythical Codex of St. Cyprian, the cabal becomes a target for multiple psychopaths who want to claim the book's devastating power for themselves.
4: "Control". When Hyde and The Swarm destroy a convoy being protected by 402, he springs Faust, an infamous mage who caused a catastrophic incident in the past.
5: "Midnight". The vampire population in Portland explodes as a huge gang of Brujah descend upon the town.
6: "Compulsion". Smokey murders his girlfriend in his sleep, prompting him to join Hyde, as promises of salvation are whispered in his ear. Did Smokey really kill Milly?
7: "Origin". Wiki learns that she was adopted, and brings the group to France for an investigation. They discover a conspiracy that threatens mage society everywhere.
8: "Resistance". Mingan meets a group of werewolves with which he becomes close. When one of their number is found dead along with an influential mage, tensions fly between the two factions. Who is really pulling the strings?
9: "Retribution". Justicar's pursuit of a serial killer brings him back to Portland. However, the killer is soon found dead, killed by his own mind. And something escaped.
10: "Epicenter". Quantum starts to blink in and out of another world, one shrouded in red mist. She meets its inhabitants and discovers its properties, while the rest of the cabal struggle to keep her from blinking away forever.
11: "Echoes". A surprise attack by Hyde has left 402 in a very tough spot. However, they are suddenly shunted back in time to the year 1207, and meet a very familiar looking knight..
12: "Absolution". The final battle between 402 and the Traveler Cult.
Abnormal Ammo: 402's main weakness before Mingan gained the ability to suppress it is to Atlantite, a mysterious stone substance that can be used to cripple a mage's abilities, depowering them for a short time, depending on the dose.
Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Heart of Time, Quantum's uber-powerful bastard sword acquired in "Echoes". She uses it in conjunction with her Time magic to defeat Hyde.
Action Dress Rip: Quantum and Wiki in "Echoes", after they're dressed "properly".
Anti-Hero: Smokey. Dark past? Check. Daddy Issues? Check. Occasional severe homicidal tendancies? Check.
Anyone Can Die: Both subverted and played straight. It's pretty clear that Hyde wants 402 alive, and might not even be able to kill them, but the people around the cabal have no such immunity, and sometimes die.
The Load: Aponea, frequently. Having a pubescent teenage girl around tends to complicate things. Tessa especially despises the poor girl, constantly arguing with her during her planned "training". It didn't take.
Magi Babble: Tessa does this a lot. Most of the seasoned magi still have no idea what she's going on about.
The Magocracy: The combined forces of the Adamantine Arrow, The Mysterium and the Guardians of the Veil. The Free Council are still getting running in Portland, and the Silver Ladder is non-existent.
Meaningful Name: Mages usually pick names associated with their powers, personality, or particular skills (there are exceptions). Smokey changed his mage name in regards to the incident below.
No Range Like Point-Blank Range: Smokey used this strategy on a group of cultists, wanting to surprise them. It worked, but backfired when one of the cultists shot him in the chest with lightning, leaving a burned and smoking wound, and resulted in a name change from Mosh to Smokey.
Padding: Some of the character-centric chronicles, mostly. "Midnight", "Origin", and "Retribution" can be considered this, given their plot irrelevance to the Traveler Arc.
Police Are Useless: Subverted with the Adamantine Arrow, but played straight with the in-universe cops, who always arrive late.
Rule of Cool: The way the gaming aspect works. Think of something cool? You're a mage, DO IT.
Satellite Character: Rosaline, Zion's girlfriend. She is literally attached magically to Zion, in a weird master/servant relationship.
Science Is Bad: Subverted. The Free Council are constantly creating magical devices, even ones that can be used by sleepers. The Adamantine Arrow is also starting along this path, with magically imbued weapons, armor and tools.
The Scrappy: Jim D'Artagnan is a rare in-universe example. 402 tend to hate him even more than Hyde.
Succession Crisis: In "Absolution", the Adamantine Arrow HQ in Portland is bombed and many of its soldiers killed. Apollo, their leader, is nowhere to be found, leaving low-ranking novice general Bast in charge. She struggles to keep control of the situation, panicing and terrified, until Lancer reappears, with a troupe of Elite Archers and regroups the entire place.
Suicide Mission: Both "Rebirth" and "Absolution". Not everyone makes it out of the latter.