Shadowrun Penumbra: Traditions and Initiation

   For today, it’s the basic magical skills and mage types available under the Penumbra rules. This information is also available in a better-formatted version in the character-creation PDF for our local games, but a couple of the players have requested posting the material (and some other stuff I may get to later) online for easy access – so here it is.

   The additional magical skills and mage types were introduced systematically (rather than as on-the-fly rulings and scribbled notes) after the first edition Grimoire came out back in 1990 and failed to explore many of the logical possibilities inherent in the system. They got a full revision around 1999, but there haven’t been any problems since then.

   The Initiate Powers listing was created just after the first edition Grimoire came out with a somewhat disappointing listing. It originally included 72 powers, but was expanded to the current 104 over the next few years. An option to treat Grounding Spells as an initiate power was added to maintain consistency with prior editions when SR3 came out in 1998. It was reorganized in 1999 for easier consultation. Half a dozen powers were renamed and tweaked in 2005 to accommodate the publication of some similar powers in the State of the Art and other sourcebooks.

Magical Basics: 

   Magic is magic. Adept Powers, Spells, Spirit Powers, Critter Powers, Item Powers and anything else you care to name are all a manifestation of the same thing. One way may be easier, but anything you can do with one you can do with another.

The Primary Magical Skills: 

  • Astral Access. The ability to perceive, manipulate, and travel through Astral Space, as well as to channel energy to and from it. Fundamental to Manifestation, Warding, Astral Tracking, and Astral Sculpting.
  • Conjuration. The ability to summon, bind and banish spirits. While there are a wide variety of spirits (as listed below), most mages can only summon a few, specific, types. Whether spirits are shaped by their summoners minds or are independent archetypes is open to debate. Conjurers are subdivided into Spontaneous and Ritual summoners and by the type of spirits they summon. Most can summon one primary and one secondary type.
  • Enchantment. The ability to both store magical energies in objects temporarily and to create long-term, or even permanent, links to astral space. It covers Trivial, Lesser, and Greater Enchantments. It’s powerful and durable, but extremely slow.
  • Enhancement (Exclusive). The ability to internalize a continuous stream of mana. This tends to interfere with astral sight, so any character with this skill who lacks full astral access must develop that ability separately if they wish to have it.
  • Sorcery (Exclusive). The ability to direct bursts of mana through mental constructs (“Spells”) into immediate manifestation. This skill is covered in the existing Shadowrun books except for the Master level.
  • Thaumaturgy (Exclusive). The ability to tap into and channel the powers of spirits, great and small. Very powerful, but rigidly limited in both the frequency of use and in the type of powers available due to the necessity of bargaining with the spirits called upon.
  • Witchcraft (Exclusive). The ability to subtly manipulate a continuous but externalized flow of mana. Witchcraft effects tend to be low-powered but supremely flexible.

Common Spirit Types:

  • Animal and Plant Spirits. Animal spirits usually manifest as animals, but plant spirits are fairly passive and can only possess the local vegetation.
  • Elemental. In general, Fire, Air, Earth, and Water.
  • Entities. “Demons”, “Horrors”, “Imps”, and so on. Usually limited to madmen and the throughly corrupt. Such spirits can be extremely powerful but usually must be “paid” to obtain services.
  • Free Spirits. Each “free” spirit is a unique individual and can only be compelled via their true name. Certain metamagical techniques, and “public” names, can be used to contact powerful ones though. A likely source of many historical “gods”.
  • Blood Spirits. Also Ghosts, Shedim, Wraiths, and Specters. A field that’s generally only available to necromancers, users of “sacrificing” metamagic and those equipped with relevant talismans or true names.
  • Insect Spirits. Usually limited to mad shamanic types.
  • Light and Darkness. These spirits are apparently related to nature spirits and to elementals, but with vague domains, and some unusual abilities. A conjurer can only call upon one such spirit at a time.
  • Loa and Zombie. Loa are highly individualized but zombies are all very much alike.
  • Machine Spirits. While these have been reported a number of times, no one who can reliably call them has ever come forward. Machine spirit types include Vehicle, Computer, Industrial, and Household spirits. They may be related to the Otaku.
  • Nature. Land, Water, Air, Sky and Man/Ancestor.
  • Primal (A.K.A. “Spirits Of The Elements”). Fire, Air, Earth, Water, and Wood.
  • Totem Spirits and Icons. These spirits are embodiments of ideas and philosophies. In general, they have forces too high for any mortal to survive summoning them, although minor aspects have been known to communicate with Thaumaturgists and some metamagical specialists.
  • Toxic. A distorted variant of another spirit type. It’s unknown whether some areas are inherently warped or if toxic spirit manifestations are a result of their summoner’s twisted mind.
  • Watchers and Allies. Specialists in this area may also summon Thought-Forms and even Mythagos (spirits and generic character “types out of popular myths). Sadly, these cost karma to call up. There is some debate over whether or not Totems and Icons fall into this category as well.

Common Magical Types:

Class-A+ Magic-Wielders

  • Archmagi. Archmagi are rare enough that each is a unique case.
  • Grandmasters. Grandmasters are full masters of two different magical skills. To date one of them is always Conjuration, but the sample size is extremely limited.

Class-A Magic-Wielders 

  • Magician. The classic Shadowrun magic-wielder. They get Astral Access, Enchantment, Conjuration, and Sorcery. They’re usually subdivided by type of conjuration used. Hermetics (Ritualistic Elemental), Shamans (Spontaneous Nature), and so on. Variants include Druids, Wuxing, Neopagans, Houngan, Pathmagi, and many more. The more exotic traditions use various edges and flaws to represent their special abilities.
  • Thaumaturgist. Living channels for spirit powers. They get Astral Access, Conjuration, Enchantment – and Thaumaturgy. In general they may summon any spirit – but cannot compel them. They’re normally defined by the bargains they’ve made, hence each is an individual.
  • Witch. Experts at subtle magical manipulations, witches get Astral Access, Conjuration, Enchantment, and, of course, Witchcraft. They’re usually subdivided by the type of conjuration they use, but usually go by group or path names rather then by type names. They tend to be subtle and adaptable enough to get along with each other.
  • Yogi. Masters of personal enhancement, Yogi tend to be rare in western settings and more common in the far east. They have Astral Access, Conjuration, Enchantment, and Enhancement and most often summon Ancestral and Place spirits.
  • Masters. Masters, obviously enough, get master-level use of a single magical skill. The seven variants are usually referred to as Dreamers (Astral Access), Aces (Enhancement), Summoners (Conjuration), Crafters (Enchantment), PowerShapers (Sorcery), Theurgists (Thaumaturgy) and Spellbinders (Witchcraft). Note that Otaku are a type of Ace with the Computer Emulation ability.
  • The Others. Magic-users who use two or more of the four “exclusive” skills must divide their magic rating between them. They’re relatively rare, but present unique challenges. Physical Magi are the most common, but many others exist.

   The Otaku are humans and metahumans who have developed the ability to interface with, command, run programs on, and store data from computers with nothing more then a datajack. The change is apparently induced by a quasi-mystical effect called the Deep Resonance, and defies analysis.

   This is a giveaway. The neural nets of the brain, it’s various functions, and it’s biological basis, were all in the process of being fully analyzed at the end of the 20’th century. Current science is capable of rewiring portions of the brain, interfacing it with electronics – and even simply programming in skills and reflexes. The only function of the brain that still defies analysis is magic – unless you care to believe that somehow a large computer network has created some new laws of nature.

Class-B Magic-Wielders

  • Adepts. Get full use of any one of the seven basic magical skills. Most of them get Astral Sight. Adepts include Enchanters, Astral Adepts, Conjurer Adepts, Sorcery Adepts, Invokers (Thaumaturgic Adepts), and Spellweavers (Witchcraft Adepts).
  • Aspected Magicians. Get limited use of three of the basic magical skills restricted by some sort of “Theme”. Elementalists and Wujen only use magic associated with a single element, Shamanists and Voodounista only use magic associated with a particular Totem Spirit, Priests only use magic associated with a particular Entity, Negators can only use Sorcery for Defense, Conjuring to Banish, and Astral Access to create Wards. Warlocks (Diviners, Illusionists, Shapers, Technomancers, Bards, Beastmasters, and Necromancers) only use magic associated with a particular field , and Espers (Who only use magic associated with “Psychic Powers”). Note that they may use Sorcery, Witchcraft, or any of the other skills. For Aspected Magi it’s the theme which matters, not the specific means.

Class-C Magic-Wielders

  • Talents. Class-C magic-wielders get a single, and often near-unique magical ability. Sample talents include
    • The ability to sketch the “inner essence” of a passerby.
    • Being able to spend karma to bond with animals, gaining the ability to see through their eyes and communicate with them at a distance.
    • Being able to act as a channel or host for spirits.
    • Being in touch with a particular spirit or entity.
    • Having occasional clairvoyant visions.
  • Monomagi. These minor magi get limited access to a single magical skill. Breakers may have access to Sorcery (Spell Defense), Spirit Fighters get Sorcery (Astral Combat), Psychics get Witchcraft (any single speciality), Exorcists get Conjuration (Banishing), Mystics get Sorcery (A single spell type), (Spirit Type) Masters get Conjuration (may Summon, Bind, and Banish a single type of spirit, such as Fire Elementals), Pacters get Thaumaturgy (A single entity), and so on.

Class-D Magic-Wielders

   Technically there aren’t any. The Class-D magic purchase provides latent abilities which may be trained later. There are, however, a few options for increasing your effective magic rating.

  • Occultists. These characters can tap astral space for mana, but must channel the power through their own life force. They can use active magic as if they’d purchased it at one rank higher, but drain which would normally be Stun damage is Physical. Drain which would normally result in Physical Damage results in instant death. Overchanneling Thaumaturgy and Witchcraft is also fatal.
  • Ritualists. These characters can only tap into astral space very very slowly, but can use active magic as if they’d purchased it at one rank higher – given minutes to hours for normally near-instant effects and days to weeks for effects that normally require an hour or so of ritual.

General Magician Notes 

  • Approximately 1% of the population has Class-C potential, and many of those are never trained (remaining Class-D).
  • Approximately .9% of the population has Class-B potential. Most get a little training – unless they go mad or get themselves lynched. Sadly, this isn’t uncommon.
  • Approximately .1% of the population has Class-A potential. There are about 5,000,000 competent, trained, Class-A mages in the world. Untrained Magi often go a bit mad.
  • Less than .001% – 1 in 100,000 – of the population has A+ potential. Keep that in mind when dealing with one.
  • Many magi are seriously deluded about the source, nature, and limits of their power. This doesn’t make them much less dangerous, although it sometimes makes them pretty hard to work with. 

Initiate Powers Listing

   Since it is possible to start off as an Initiate, and what powers are available in the future may have a major impact on setup decisions, here’s a quick summary listing of the initiate powers.

   Initiates get three powers per level or initiation, but initiation carries no automatic bonuses. Depending on the setting, certain powers may not be available, or may only be available from specific groups or other sources. Check with the game master before taking Initiate powers.

   Abilities listed with an (R) may be taken repeatedly to acquire more advanced abilities. Abilities listed with a number in (-) require that minimum level of initiation to take. The “Threat” listings are abilities that sane magicians should not take; none of them ever turn out well in the end. All Initiates gain access to the “General” list and may take Mastery to access the sublists associated with their particular magic skills.

Initiate Powers and Capsule Descriptions

General Powers:

  • Amplification; Temporarily boost your magic rating. Those using Enhancement skills must select what powers are usable with the enhanced rating.
  • Astral Awareness; You may sense astral presences and disturbances without being astrally active.
  • Astral Sight; For those who don’t have it already. Those who do have it gain the ability to use astral sight without becoming astrally active.
  • Attunement (R); +1 magic rating. May be taken multiple times.
  • Centering (R); Focusing your concentration through some ritual. May be taken multiple times to expand it’s applicability.
  • Divination; Scrying through astral space or via various foci skills.
  • Endowment; Channeling your magic though others.
  • Grounding; Reduces the effect of excess energy handling.
  • Lore; Accessing the akhasic record. Allows astral quests for general information.
  • Mastery (R); Gain an advanced mystic “technique” associated with one of seven magical skills (Below). May be taken many times.
  • Metamorphosis (R); Undergo, or progress in, a mystic change. May be taken multiple times.
  • Unification; Effect melding, for improved group magics.
  • Insanity (Threat); Provides a potency boost dependent on the depths of your madness.

Astral Access Powers 

  • Astral Gate; As per the free spirit power. This may be used on yourself.
  • Awareness; You may automatically sense environmental and astral disturbances and landscapes in a wide radius.
  • Dreamgate (5); The ability to astrally project into dreamworlds.
  • Freedom (12); Becoming a being of pure spirit.
  • Loremaster; Gaining Karma through Ritual very slowly.
  • Manifestation (3); Creating a physical form for yourself.
  • Masking; The ability to disguise your aura and foci.
  • Metaphysics (R); Enhanced abilities and speed on the astral plane.
  • Metaplane Access (R); The ability to go on astral quests.
  • Possessing; The ability to take over other creature’s bodies.
  • Psychometry; The ability to detect the traces left on physical items by astral disturbances and interpret them.
  • Sheltering (7); The ability to sustain spirits inside yourself.
  • Worldwalking (Threat); Allows the user to open portals for spirits and entities from the metaplanes without having to be able to successfully anchor them to the material plane.

 Conjuration Powers

  • Blessing; The ability to summon beneficient energies.
  • Circle Casting; The ability to conjure arcane constructs.
  • Cleansing; The ability to banish residual magical energies.
  • Compelling (3); The ability to command embodied spirits.
  • Gathering; Summoning extra power to back another effect.
  • Hosting; The ability to let a spirit temporarily inhabit your body and enhance your abilities.
  • Invoking (R); Allows the user to conjure “great form” spirits.
  • Naming (12); The ability to deduce, or bestow, true names.
  • Oathbinding (5); The ability to magically “seal” a bargian.
  • Pacting; Allows the creation of a link with a willing free spirit that enhances the abilities of both parties.
  • Tolling (7); The ability to contact major magical beings.
  • Transcending (R); The ability to summon a new spirit type.
  • Entities (Threat); Allows the user to contact and summon spirits which have no common mental frame of reference to use as a linking point. This is rarely a good idea.

Enchantment Powers 

  • Anchoring; The ability to bind spells to a physical item.
  • Artifice (R); The ability to create advanced magical foci. This may be taken repeatedly to acquire ever-more advanced techniques.
  • Biomanipulation (7); The ability to permanently transform living beings.
  • Bloodbinding; The ability to make a spell irreversible by giving up a point of magic to it.
  • Ceremonial Magic; The ability to attempt to cause unique, massively-powerful, magical effects.
  • Charmsmith; Allows the user to tap into ambient mana to reduce the cost of major enchantments and allow the creation of extremely minor charms without karma expenditure.
  • Energization (12); The ability to enhance or act as a focus.
  • Feng Shui. Allows the user to rearrange or aspect power lines and nexi by rearranging and manipulating the landscape.
  • Focus Block; The ability to neutralize foci.
  • Linking (3); The ability to set up “instant” astral links. For SR3 there is an advanced version which allows magic wielders to use the link of an active focus to transmit spells to or from astral space. This requires a minimum initiate grade of 5.
  • Quickening (R); The ability to make spells self-sustaining. This may be taken more than once to reduce the cost or to make the spells more difficult to break.
  • Transmutation (5); Mastery of the philosopher’s stone.
  • Sacrificing (Threat). The ability to obtain mana and karma (for limited purposes) by draining it from others. This usually kills them even if the rite used normally wouldn’t. Unfortunately, draining such resources from an unwilling victim invariably corrupts both the power and the results.

Enhancement Powers 

  • Adaption (3); The ability to modify your abilities over time.
  • Containment; The ability to draw a spirit into physical form.
  • Empathic Healing; The ability to take on other’s wounds.
  • Focus Use (5); The ability to use power foci – among others.
  • Heroism; The ability to draw power from your reputation as a noble, heroic, figure.
  • Imbuement; The ability to imbue an inanimate object with a portion of your essence, making it a part of yourself.
  • Inspiration; The ability to tap into ideas as well as power.
  • Metabolic Control; The ability to alter your body processes.
  • Mindlink (R); The ability to imbue another creature with a bit of your essence, creating a permanent psychic link between you.
  • Stunts (R); The ability to use powers in new and unusual ways, albeit only in brief bursts.
  • Touch of Life (12); Unification with the planet’s life forces.
  • Transference (7); The ability to lend someone else your powers.
  • Villainy (Threat); The ability to draw power from having a reputation as a villain, being feared, and intimidating people – thus allowing you to continue the process. Oddly enough, the power of Villainy can be easily renounced, but is so tempting that this rarely works for long.

Sorcery Powers 

  • Absorption; The ability to absorb incoming magic to use to empower your own.
  • Disjunction (12); Disrupting the astral/physical interface.
  • Duplication (5); Deducing the formula of observed spells.
  • Extension; Making spells briefly self-sustaining.
  • Maintaining (R); Reduces penalties for sustaining spells. This ability may be taken repeatedly to continue reducing penalties.
  • Matrix; The ability to “filter out” background counts.
  • Psychic Reservoir (R); The ability to absorb or defer drain. This ability may be taken repeatedly.
  • Reflecting; The ability to turn mmagic against it’s caster.
  • Severing; The ability to break astral links.
  • Shielding; Enhanced spell defence.
  • Trigger (3); The ability to save cast spells for later use.
  • Will Force (7); The ability to compose spells “on the fly”.
  • Corruption (Threat); The ability to tap into the distorted mana generated by suffering to strengthen your magic (and, incidently, damage your mind).

Thaumaturgy Powers

  • Accumulation (3); The ability to accumulate spiritual favors quickly.
  • Bestowal; The ability to draw on the skills associated with one of your patron spirits.
  • Channeling; The ability to funnel magic through others.
  • Compact (R); A permanent pact link a very powerful spirit which grants a permanent spell effect. This may be taken repeatedly.
  • Consecration (12); The ability to link items with spirits.
  • Countermagic; The ability to ground out magical energy.
  • Guardian; You become the physical anchorpoint for one or more lesser spirits in the service of your patron.
  • Guidance; Advice and wyrd.
  • Miraculum (5); The ability to “purchase” major mystic effects.
  • Prophecy (7); Reading the “currents” of the metaplanes. .
  • Resistances (R); Immunities and innate powers.
  • Spellweaving; The ability to tap into the background count for purposes appropriate to its origin.
  • Infernalism (Threat); The ability to tap into the conceptual metaplanes, gaining their powers in exchange for appropriate services.

Witchcraft Powers

  • Aura; Enhancing or Suppressing background counts.
  • Beglamourment (R); Magical enhancement of social skills. This may be taken repeatedly to increase the effect or to extend the range of skills affected.
  • Brewing; Reducing target numbers with ritual.
  • Domain; Increased power within a limited compass.
  • Dowsing; Remotely locating magical forces.
  • Guardianship; The art of protecting areas from magic.
  • Magebane; The art of suppressing magic.
  • Mysterium; Suppressing the traces of your existence.
  • Poppetry; The art of using symbolic, nymic, and physical links
  • Spirit Link; Finding a suitable companion.
  • Sustaining (R); Reducing penalties for maintaining magics.
  • Wild Magic; Reducing target numbers by losing control.
  • Hagriding (Threat); The art of tapping into other people’s minds and energies to augment your own. Sadly, this tends to lead to schizophrenia.
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15 Responses

  1. Some questions I have been meaning to ask for a while:

    What does “master level” use of each skill get you?
    or
    Where do I look to find descriptions of “master level” skills?

    is there a place to find more in depth rules for these initiate powers?

  2. I shall have to put up an expansion file I suppose – but by default, master level:
    -Sorcery adds +2 to the effective force of each spell you cast, while leaving other factors – drain, learning cost, etc – unchanged.
    -Witchcraft reduces all its target numbers.
    -Theurgy provides a better Karma Multiplier for pacts.
    -Conjuration allows the user to summon all types of spirits.
    -Enhancement doubles the effective magic rating (or halves the cost of buying abilities) and allows a wider choice of abilities.
    -Enchantment halves both item-creation and initiation costs.
    -Astral Access allows physical transitions, halves the cost of initiation, and allows you to affect others.

    A few of the initiate powers are covered in various sourcebooks, for the rest it’s either let me know what you’re interested in and I’ll provide more details or – since you ask – wait until I convert more old files.

    As a side note, the list is not complete, and the effects of master-level skills are negotiable: at that level it’s not uncommon for every character to be a bit unique. When you start getting down to magical characters who are – quite literally – one in a million, oddities are to be expected.

  3. Hello Thoth, my ibis-headed friend & keeper of knowledge. I dig your site! Pretty dern spiffy! But I gotz a question for ya.

    I’m all kinds of intrigued by the various forms of magic that you’ve listed here. A goodly amount of what you’ve written matches some rather nebulous ideas I’ve had floating around in my head. It’s seriously nice to see them get some solidity from someone with far more dedication than I. =) But I digress.

    What I’d really like to see is any sort of detailed write up you may have on the basics of your Witchcraft. Some starting-character type detailed intro for the n00bish street-witch, if you will. I looked the site over, but didn’t find that for which I searched. So if I missed it, please lemme know. And if not, my questions to you are thus: Do you have such a thing? And if so: May I see it?

    Thanks –
    Pen =)

  4. Well, since you ask, I shall rummage that file out of the mountains of old files and beat it into shape for posting. The formats will need some converting, since most of that stuff goes back to the last days of first edition and the early days of second. When it’s ready, I’ll send you an Email.

  5. Much obliged! =)

  6. Well, it’s up and the Email is sent. If there’s anything else you’d like to see something on, just let me know: it’s just a random mixture of stuff from the old files and stuff for the current games otherwise,

  7. Question:
    With masters if i were to choice that in my A slot… what does it mean?
    Does it mean I only get spell craft if i choice spell craft?
    Would i be able to astral preseve if i cant project?

    • A master starts off with access to only one of the seven magical skills (Sorcery, Astral Access, Conjuration, Enhancement, Witchcraft, Enchantment, and Theurgy), but is especially adept at that particular skill. Some notes on the most common versions of Mastery are in the second response above.

      In particular, if you pick – say – Sorcery, you only get Sorcery. However, if you take the default effect, all your spells are take effect, and are resisted, as if they were two force points higher than you actually learned and cast them at. That means you can have a lot more spells, learn spells more quickly and for less karma, and cast them more often. They don’t automatically get Astral Perception since that’s a part of the Astral Access skill – but it’s a part that can be picked up fairly readily as an initiation choice, so most Sorcery Masters pick it up pretty quickly.

      If you pick – say – Astral Access, you get astral perception and projection and you can take your physical body along with you into astral space – along with whatever you’re carrying. You can also help other people – including mundanes – astrally project and can initiate at only half cost.

      If you pick Enhancement you’re normally an Ace (the details are over here: https://ruscumag.wordpress.com/2008/12/04/aces/ ) – a physical adept with a wider range of possible powers and an effectively-doubled magic rating to buy them with.

      Similarly Witchcraft can be found over Here: https://ruscumag.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/shadowrun-penumbra-witchcraft/

  8. So you would only start with 25 points as the full Mage does?
    What would the astral access use its spell points on? Foci?

  9. Also Does that mean with the astral one u could do the following (which is extremly powerful)
    Take your body astral it, then manfiest your body clear on the other side of the world in like 10 min by going supper fast astrial?
    Since in the normal rules theirs a time limit how long you can be away from your body does it apply to this?

    • Well, for question one:

      Yes, a Sorcery Master only starts with the appropriate number of karma points. The numbers are in the chacter creation material. Of course, they can stretch them a good deal further than a normal character with access to Sorcery since they get an effective discount on every spell. They can stretch them even more than that if they combine their innate cost reduction with some appropriate edges.

      As far as an Astral Master goes, since “spell points” are simply karma points, they can use them for anything they’d normally spend karma on, including upgrading skills, improving attributes, and initiating.

      For question two:

      “Super Fast Astral” is measured in thousands of kilometers per hour and you can’t pass through the earth. You could make the other side of the earth in three hours or so using fast astral travel, presuming that you’re a decent navigator.

      Since you’re not away from your body, the essence-loss rule doesn’t apply when you take it with you (even if it did, simply dropping out of astral space for a few moments rest would fix it) – but hunger and thirst presumably eventually will.

      Now, being able to make a physical switch to the astral plane is indeed a powerful effect, just as it’s a useful ability for free spirit characters – but you’ve giving up sorcery, enchantment, and conjuration to get it. So far it hasn’t been a popular choice.

  10. So since i would get a two force bonus to Sorcerry when i cast a spell, Could i start out with a force 6 spell, and then cast it as force 8 spell? Or would max i could cast at character creation be 4 level spells?

    • As a Master Sorcerer, if you bought a spell at force six, you could cast it at force six, and take drain for casting it at force six – and it would go off like it was cast at force eight. The bonus is just that – a bonus. It doesn’t affect initial purchase limitations. You don’t actually “know” the spell at force eight, you’re just so good at Sorcery that your spells work better.

      There are several other ways to bring down the cost of learning spells, but not too many ways to bring up their effective force without taking extra drain or running into other problems.

      For other possibilities, you might want to look at the Edges and Flaws list over here:

      https://ruscumag.wordpress.com/2008/11/19/shadowrun-penumbra-edges-and-flaws/

      Major possibilities among the edges include Arcane Affinity, Bonus Dice, Dedication, Extra Force Points, Geneware, Initiate, Magical Talent, Mana Focus, Package Deal, Photographic Memory, Reduced Target Number, State of the Art, and Summoner.

      Sadly, the Master Sorcerer bonus doesn’t stack with Holy Man, since they’re the same thing from two slightly-different approaches.

  11. the astral master guy seems vary intersting. I might have to try that in the next campaign… Just the fighter aspect of it..,. being abel to pop in and out anytime makes it fun.
    (Currently I am playing a lupercan… (sub race of dwarf, +2 will, +1 int, +1 quickness.) with the Lupercan King Tottem (+3 illusians, Dissadvatages: Must be lupercan, -2 combat spells, Automatic Guas: Must have gold coin from pot of gold or can’t cast spells.
    The Lupercan home is on Tir an nog (ireland) on a meta plan. (my dm decied that lupercans know a few secret portals to the meta plan were u can take your body there… all of them are in irland.)
    Also in his campain… The Gold coins can controll the vail, since teh vail acording to the books is Chaos world, and lupercans have a vary nice bonus to illusians, so it would make sence that tehre ritual sorcery is whats aiding the vail.

    My Dm is really resistant to add anything else to his campaign.. so far out of all your meta magic abbilites he has only approved the one that adds +1d6 to the spell duration. :*(

    I would like to see the Master versions of it tho.. But in his campaign theirs only conjoures, sorcers. at starting character…
    also it seems to me (correct me if i am wrong) But couldnt A master level be just a type b aspected mage to? I mean a master of Defince, with the abbiltes to Counterspell, Banish, and Dispell? Master abbiltie of the force of spells is lowered by two when you try to do things…

    • Well, the Astral Master, like all the other character options, was intended to be fun. It’s also one of the few magical types that doesn’t really need a high magic rating…

      Hard to blame a game master for being reluctant to add so much material. After all, counting the various advanced versions of the 160-odd basic metamagics, there are close to a thousand variants on my lists.

      I’m not quite sure what you’re looking for a master version of though; is it a particular magical skill or do you mean a particular metamagic?

      And yes; they aren’t a particularly common variant, but a character could take Class-A magic, pick a Class-B “Aspected Magician” theme, and get bonus on the applications of all three of his (still theme-limited) skills. Once again though, those are rare enough that – like Archmagi – each one tends to be a special case.

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