But modern cities are wired up to their figurative ears into electricity, all the time, and not all of it doing anything useful all the time. Lamps, screens, cables, cars are all around, in abundance of tens of thousands lights burning in downtown sunscapers through the night; even in darkest neighbourhoods there are enough power lines and boilers to do a trick or two in a scrap. Even mostly bound to do things, in cities there is still enough free energy in dense enough quantities to do so much more than practitioners of old ever could. You twist the conduit of wires to shape the energy as you wish, you drink from methaphorical vein of the city to power it, and off you go. Do you want to fly, to make people adore you, to heal from any injury short of death? Feel free. The only thing that can stop you is another mage, blackouts or a surprise bullet through the head. Keeping lowish profile is advisable purely out of practical reasons - there are no 'sleepers', no knockbacks from fictional abyss but for any clever screw who flaunts their power too much there bound to be a SWAT team with little understanding of arcane principles but with abundance of bullets and twitchy fingers, and unless you are literally sitting on top of a power plant in full control of it without burning out, you cannot deflect that many slugs.
|your spells; image from deeezy.com, I think|
|"The light eater" by Koren Shadmi|
This is just fun thought about inverting a tradition of 'powerful magic of old times'. I guess it is more light-hearted variation to what is going on in Unknown Armies, with difference that in UA the magic of old was powerful in its time but methods by which it was conducted are no longer working and have to be updated, while here the magic of old was never powerful to begin with. Here the magic is, basically, a world hack. In that reality most outgoing mages are probably going to be in Brazil, with its abundance of lightning, and Iceland, with its thermal environment.
I like the idea of mages unwilling to leave cities alike to urbanomancers but having wider range of powers, and of nuclear wizards sitting in their power plants like hens in a coop while being monstrous radioactive liches.