Shadowrun: Advanced Metamagic

   Hm. I put up 103 Initiate Powers, and still people want more, and more details on advanced powers. Well, here’s the first set. This time around I’ve simply listed some of the advanced effects with the new powers. It’s simpler to keep track of that way.

General Initiate Abilities:

   Augmentation increases the characters effective level of initiation with respect to a selected initiate ability by +2. This may be taken repeatedly, but may not more than double the user’s effective level of initiation with regard to an ability.

   Circuiting allows a sustained effect to become temporarily self-sustaining, giving it a duration of (Magic Rating) hours per success devoted to this purpose on the effect-generation test. Circuiting must be applied to a particular magical skill when purchased, if applied to Enchantment it allows a test to set things up to proceed unsupervised, or to allow a focus to remain active while separated from its owner. Sadly, circuited spells are easy to dispel: all you have to deal with are the successes invested in the circuit, not the entire spell.

   Intuition reduces the target numbers for the theoretical design aspects of magic – such as spell, ally, focus, and other forms of formula design, as well as the target number for any ritual casting which takes at least four hours – by two. This may be taken repeatedly, but will never reduce such target numbers below two or by more than (the user’s Intelligence score).

   Karmic Ritual allows a specific magical operation that normally costs Karma but can be done quickly (such as Quickening, Faceting, or Oathbinding) to be carried out as a ritual, substituting 1000 NY worth of ritual ingredients for each karma point beyond the first. Unfortunately, at least one karma point is still required.

   Piercing allows the user to more easily penetrate Metamagical defenses, such as masking and shielding. Any target number penalties you are subjected to when rolling against such defenses are reduced by 4, although this will not provide a bonus.

   Sortilege: You gain an initiate dice pool, equal to one-half your initiate level +2 dice. It can be applied to any magic-related test, but is subject to the usual dice pool limitations. Advanced forms add additional dice, provide the ability to let other people use your pool, or allow you to roll against anyone making such a magic-related test nearby.

   Magic Protection reduces your effective magic rating by 2 when checking for magic loss. Advanced versions can either continue reducing the effective score (even a magic-loss check of “2” cannot cause magic loss if the effective value is already 0) or allow the user to temporarily shut off his or her magic (it requires at least four hours to reactivate it). Additional improvements can reduce this minimal time, (2) allow the user to purge himself of spiritual parasites by shutting off their astral access as well, or (3) be used to temporarily suppress the force of any spirit the user touches.

   Technomancy is very simple: it reduces the target numbers for affecting high-tech objects, items, and substances with magic. At first level it reduces the target number for high-tech and highly-processed targets to 6, but increases the target number for affecting natural objects to 4. At level two, all effects targeting inanimate objects have a target number of 5. At levels beyond that, this technique provides +2 bonus dice per level for spells targeting objects.

Advanced General Abilities:

   Amplification can be upgraded to allow either greater boosts OR to allow extreme, but very short-lived boosts.

   Astral Awareness can be upgraded to increase the range, the sensitivity, or the amount of detail revealed.

   Astral Sight is actually the first step in acquiring the full Astral Access ability. The next step is to be able astrally project in the immediate vicinity of your body for a minute or two, and so on. Unusually, Astral Access is relatively easy to attain: you only need six levels of this ability in total.

   Attunement can be simply repeated, but it can also be aspected; enhancements to magic that can only be used in particular locations, at particular times, or by fulfilling other restrictive conditions provide +2 points worth of magic. Unfortunately, magic points cannot be restricted by purpose, by type of spell, or by the magic skill involved; how it’s used is irrelevant to how more power can be evoked.

   Centering actually has two variants: it can either be used to allow focusing on a mundane skill to counteract target number penalties or to allow a mundane skill to be used as a complimentary skill for magical activities. In either case, advanced techniques allow centering to be applied to additional skill groups.

   Divination can be improved to gather additional information (usually allowing the use of additional senses over the astral link), to reduce the difficulty of locating a particular target in the first place, to allow the user to scry for unknown but involved factors, and to allow improved transtemporal perceptions. Unfortunately, while upgrades improve basic divinations limited attempts at such things, even a string of upgrades is not enough to make any of them – much less transtemporal effects – entirely reliable.

   Endowment can be enhanced to allow magic to be channeled through multiple creatures, at longer ranges, through nonsentient creatures, or to place the loaned under the control of the recipient.

   Grounding can be taken over and over again to reduce the effects of handling excess energy, but – unfortunately – becomes less effective each time.

   Lore can be improved to allow the user to explore mythic realms, and to translate various problems into metaphorical terms in a fashion similar to Dreamquesting primitive magical skill.

   Metamorphosis is – by it’s very nature – perhaps the most general initiate ability. Here are some of the more popular paths, but there are many others:

Path of the Artificer:

  • Facilitation: Halves the base time required for the use of Build/Repair and Technical skills. The conditions are always considered good and the available tools work as if one level better (None = Kit, Kit = Shop, Shop = Facility, and Facility = -2 on target numbers).
  • Craftsman: Build/Repair and Technical skills now require only one-fourth the base time to use. Having no tools is equivalent to working in a shop, a shop or better provides a -2 on all target numbers, and complimentary skill dice are rolled at 1-to-1 rather than halved.
  • Artificer: Build/Repair and Technical skills now require only 1/8’th the base time to use, having no tools is equivalent to working in a facility, a kit or better provides a -2 to target numbers, and the user is always considered to have common components to hand.
  • Mastercrafter. Build/Repair and Technical skills now require only 1/16’th the base time to use and are always at a -2 to target numbers. The user will only needs the rarest or most unusual components. Normal gear may be assembled without a base cost (the system doesn’t specify any anyway).
  • Engineering. Build/Repair and Technical skills now require only 1/32’nd the base time to use. The user now needs only basic raw materials – iron, copper, silicon, etc – to work with.
  • On the Factory Floor. Build/Repair and Technical skills now require only 1/64’th the base time to use, and are always at a -4 to target numbers. The user may multiply the work output by the number of assistants employed up to a maximum of (Magic x Charisma).
  • Automation. Multiplies the amount of work you can get done when working in a Shop or Facility by (Int + 2) times.

   Well, if you really want to devote seven initiate powers, and plenty of skill points, to building your own gear, this is the path for you. Most actual mages, of course, have other things to do with their Karma – but dabblers and people with minor talents may well find this path quite useful.

Path of Ascension:

   This is simply the process of gaining access to a new magical skill or upgrading an old one. Unfortunately, this usually requires at least nine levels to grant full access to another magical skill: it is usually more efficient to simply upgrade the characters base magical priority.

Path of Mechanosynthesis:

  • Cyberbond: Any cyberware the user has installed becomes even more a part of their body. It “heals” naturally or with magic and can be improved with Karma. Upgrading costs a base of 1/2/3 to upgrade from Basic to Alpha/Alpha to Beta/Beta to Delta times 1/2/3 for Minor/Major/Primary systems. Increasing its level costs 1x the grade being purchased, just like attributes do – but the essence cost must be paid as well.
  • Biointegration: Any cyberware installed in the user becomes almost undetectable (+4 to sensor target numbers) and the user no longer takes charisma or social interaction penalties for being heavily cybered.
  • Absorption: The user can install cyberware without fuss, recovery time, surgical trauma, or risk of magic loss (other than that inherent in essence loss), or surgical complications. All he has to do is buy the hardware, touch it, and will it’s installation. He or she can uninstall items similarly, although this does not restore lost essence. This eliminates surgical costs, reducing the cost of most cyberware by one-third. Since this also constitutes near-perfect “surgery”, the user also gets 20% off the base essence cost.
  • Interface: The user may connect his own systems to other systems, simply by touching them – and may attempt to control such systems with his or her own skills.
  • Synthesis: The user’s cyberware becomes perfectly integrated with his or her body, reducing it’s essence costs to 60% of normal. Lost essence is not regained, but additional cyberware can be added in the “open slots”.
  • Bio-organics: The user’s cyberware becomes mostly organic, attempts to detect it mechanically are now at +8 to their target numbers.
  • Cellular Integration: The user’s cyberware becomes a nearly-natural part of his or her body, reducing it’s essence costs to 50% of normal. Lost essence is not regained, but additional cyberware can be added in the “open slots”.

Path of Spirit Transformation:

   When you take the first step on this path, your Base Force becomes (Magic/2)-1, you gain 1 point of Spirit Energy, and you become a dual being. You also lose most of your ability to gain Karma, reducing your base award to one point per session and capping any bonuses at +1 point per session. To keep things simple, while in the process of metamorphosis, the characters magic rating and attributes are fixed.

   Each base attribute you convert – and each one is a separate step, although they may be taken in any desired order – has a new base value equal to your Base Force in astral space. On the material realm a modifier of (Old Base Attribute – Base Force)/2 (rounded down) applies. Thus if your Strength is 5 (9 due to cyberware) and your Base Force is 3 when you convert your Strength, your new Strength on the Physical Realm is 3 (Your Force) +1 (Your spirit Energy) +1 (your attribute modifier of 5 [old base] – 3 [base force] /2) = 5.

When you convert your:

  • Body: Your Essence now equals your Base Force. You gain Immunity to Normal Weapons, do not require air or nourishment, and are immune to age, pathogens, and toxins. All cyberware ceases to work.
  • Charisma: You may no longer use the Conjuration skill if you possessed it but gain a random spirit power.
  • Intelligence: All mind-enhancing cyberware ceases to work, including DNI-controlled devices. You no longer need spell formula to learn spells, although you must spend the usual time and effort.
  • Quickness: +10 to Physical Initiative. All reaction or initiative-enhancing cyberware ceases to work. Gain a random spirit power.
  • Strength: All strength-enhancing cyberware ceases to work, but you gain a random spirit power.
  • Willpower: You become Immune to Drain.
  • Any Three: You no longer gain karma normally, but may gain up to one point per session from bonuses. You also gain a new True Name, which can be used like any other free spirits true name – although you cannot be summoned using it until your body becomes purely astral.
  • All Six: You are now a purely astral entity, although you may materialize a physical form. You gain a random spirit power and can be disrupted, but not normally slain.

   Unification allows a group to more efficiently combine spellcasting, whether through simple ritual magic or by either chaining or merging spells. Further improvements along this line include expanding the size of ritual groups even further, making it easier to establish and maintain astral contact groups, and the ability to link mundanes into magical groups (to both grant and provide minor benefits).

3 Responses

  1. […] 1: Cyberbond (Advanced Metamagic metamorphosis path of mechanosynthesis), Attunement (+1 Magic Rating), Maintaining (may maintain a […]

  2. a question on circuiting: spells have a limit to the number of successes applied to them of their force. Is this paid for inside or outside of that limit?

    say I have a force 4 spell and I roll 6 successes. can I put 4 to the spell’s effect and 2 to circuiting?

  3. You can put the extra two to circuiting: the success limit puts a cap on most spell effects – but not on how long they can be kept going.

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