I have just started GMing a Mage: the Awakening game, and I can already tell what my players like and dislike about the game. They like using their (limited) magical powers to the fullest extent, they like tangling with supernatural creatures and spirits, they like subtle political machinations, and they like screwing with Sleepers. What they don’t like is Paradox, Atlantean history, Wisdom degeneration, and weird gnostic metaphors.
How do I make Mage feel more like a gritty, dark, superheroic game and less like a grimdark exploration of the human soul? My players don’t want to live in a world of moral absolutes, or have easily identified villains. In fact, they are just as likely to be the villains.