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> Path Magic And It's Origins
Connor
post Aug 18 2003, 06:50 AM
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Lately I've been brushing up on magic in Shadowrun and I was wondering about the Path Magic stuff. It seems to use a lot of Celtic imagery, but it doesn't really seem to tie in with Celtic belief, as far as I'm aware. Also, it seems to be presented as the "elven" style of magic and the elves in Tir Na Nog seem to dig it quite a bit. So, in the big metaplot sort of way I was just wondering if there were any explanations/theories of where Path magic came from and what not.

The comment that got me really curious about it lately was a shadow comment by Harlequin in a sourcebook I can't recall at the moment along the lines of Path Magic being a load of 'bulldrek' as one would say, but with the kind of bonuses that Path Magicians get, their descriptions in the TNN book, etc. it seems to be pretty useful bulldrek and at the very least is an effective world view for the practicing magician.

Any comments would be appreciated, thanks!
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Cain
post Aug 18 2003, 07:09 AM
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Harlequin is a poor example of anything to do with mortal magic. In Worlds Without End, he indicates at one point that all traditions are merely in the mage's head-- just crutches. Whether or not that's just his opinion, or if that's the way magic really works, I can't answer. However, I will suggest that the Path of the Righ seems to be built just to explain characters like Harlequin, who bend every rule in the book by existing.
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sapphire_wyvern
post Aug 18 2003, 10:01 AM
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I'm glad you reminded me of that Cain. It's interesting that dragons also seem to lack the "traditions" that limit human mages, though apparently even they can't summon certain human-linked spirits such as ancestor spirits.

Could it be that Harlequin has somehow learned to practice magic from the Draconic point of view?
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Reth
post Aug 18 2003, 11:44 AM
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As for path magic, it would seem to originate in the fourth world ( Earthdawn ), where the elves also praticed something very very similar.

Harley doesn't nescessarily need to have learned dragon magic, remember he comes from the fourth world, where people praticed disciplines, but you are not slaved to your discipline in earthdawn as you are to your tradition in SR, and you can, and most actually do, have more diciplines. So a magician from Earthdawn could fx. be a Wizard/Illusionist/Nethermancer without a problem and on top of that he/she could be a questor for one of the passions, as is hinted in Harleys case in " Voices from the past ".
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Ancient History
post Aug 18 2003, 01:44 PM
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Let's be a tad more specific: the religious aspects of the Tir na nOg paths can be traced back to Earthdawn-era elven beliefs. The new magical traditions incorporate those and celtic myths to harness the inherent magic of Tir na nOg: think of it as another layer of control.

[/edit] Some IE's, such as Alachia, apparently have access to draconic spell methods (either some techniques or natural spellcasting, dunnaknow). Harlequin, at least back in ED, was a Wizard (specialize in dealing with magic) though he's obviously transcended the limitations of said Discipline.
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JongWK
post Aug 18 2003, 02:35 PM
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QUOTE (Cain)
Harlequin is a poor example of anything to do with mortal magic.  In Worlds Without End, he indicates at one point that all traditions are merely in the mage's head-- just crutches.  Whether or not that's just his opinion, or if that's the way magic really works, I can't answer.  However, I will suggest that the Path of the Righ seems to be built just to explain characters like Harlequin, who bend every rule in the book by existing.

The All New Path of the IE!

Path of the IE

Advatages: You may ignore any SR rule at will. Switch your threat rating to Ultimate.
Disadvantages: You get an insane amount of ancient enemies due to ridiculous issues like losing the tip of your ear or stealing a rose.
:silly:

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Ancient History
post Aug 18 2003, 03:48 PM
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Heh
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Senchae
post Aug 18 2003, 05:59 PM
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QUOTE (Cain)
Harlequin is a poor example of anything to do with mortal magic.  In Worlds Without End, he indicates at one point that all traditions are merely in the mage's head-- just crutches.  Whether or not that's just his opinion, or if that's the way magic really works, I can't answer. 

Actually, in the Harlequin adventure it makes some comment about Harly doing magic in a different way and actually says, as GM text, that yes, this means that how you think about magic affects how it works.
I'd look it up but my Harlequin set is on loan.
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Talia Invierno
post Aug 18 2003, 06:44 PM
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The version of Path magic in TNN is seriously overpowered. The MitS interpretation tones it down more than somewhat to make it a bit more reasonably playable, but still leaves the Righ as an NPC option only.

Within (real) history, the entire concept seems to pull strongly from Red Branch Irish mythology - and Celtic belief did allow for cyclic reincarnation (although the Wheel itself might pull more from Hindu cosmology). Within the SR/ED timeline, others have already mentioned the ED-existent Path belief. (Didn't one of the commentators in the ED sourcebook comment that he believed the entire thing was simply a way of keeping the populace under control?)

I don't know about the ED disciplines being "less" locked in: it certainly sounded as though some adept directions would have significant difficulty thinking within the structures of others ... and it was strongly suggested that some might be mutually incompatible. (Archer and Illusionist come quickly to mind.)

But if Harlequin has magic such that his Essence is to be considered higher for some purposes (healing), yes, what he has can't be considered typical in any way ... and the same might be true (albeit in different ways) for every one of the IEs.
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Reth
post Aug 18 2003, 09:02 PM
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Yeah and we all know Religion is just opium for the masses!!!!

All this talk about wether the path of the wheel is a social control instrument seems to be forgetting one very important fact - IT WORKS!!!!!! Followers of the paths get some very nice and quite tangible magical bonuses from this tradition, and why pray tell is not then EVERY single magical tradition is a means of control, they all have their do's and dont's, but OH NO this is elves we are talking about, so it must be a secret plot to control the world.

ARRgh those damned elves, FIRST they usurp a country, THEN they force people to follow a system that WORKS, DAMNED BASTARDS.
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Fygg Nuuton
post Aug 18 2003, 09:11 PM
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i think somebody just needs a hug! :love:
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Talia Invierno
post Aug 19 2003, 03:12 PM
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So long as you are Awakened, it would seem that any system works ... even Jedi and Toaster (and some rather less legal ones on the edge of madness). Nothing special about Path magic there. One might as well ask what is the one true Way?

Yet were one system to be made dominant, endorsed by the Court, and very nearly making it unacceptable and/or illegal to consider others ...? Especially a system which advocates maintenance of current strata against a future possibility of reward and/or advancement? Seems to me it makes for an elegant reinforcement of the existing status quo.
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Reth
post Aug 19 2003, 03:25 PM
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that argument can be made and has been made against almost every single religion that ever existed.

Many countries actually has state religions, and yes also democratic countries have state religions, often it is a question about culture and history. That doesn't mean you cannot follow competing religions though, they just don't have the same status of being linked to the countrys culture and history.
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Talia Invierno
post Aug 19 2003, 03:42 PM
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Context of Tir Na nOg is all. Bringing real world religion and politics into this is something I'll save for the Politics & Religion thread in the Lounge.
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Crazy Elf
post Aug 20 2003, 12:12 PM
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Halequin and the others would have followed many of the adept paths from Earthdawn as a rough guide. Remember that in Earthdawn magic was still being developed further, the spell matrix being a relatively new invention.

To try to quantify what Halequin and the other immortals are in Shadowrun is rather pointless. Their power level is more powerful than a character will ever get anywhere near achieving. Hell, if you just look at the workings of a simple spell matrix, you're already looking at being able to cast very powerful spells without suffering drain, and that's at first circle.

If you really want an idea, read the stats for the Blood Queen in the Earthdawn era, to get an idea of how powerful and what she was capable of back then, ten thousand years before Shadowrun.

As for path magic, it's probably comming from the elvin paths from Earthdawn, which were a little too complicated to run over here, but basically consisted of following certain mindsets and practices until you've learnt all that you can from them, before starting on another. It ended up with horrifically powerful characters when completed.

The Tir works a little differently, but seems to be working on the same concept.
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