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> Magic in 4th Edition
Grayson7
post Oct 27 2006, 10:49 AM
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I was thinking about picking up Shadowrun 4th Edition but I was curious about something. How different is the magic system from 3rd Edition? Is magic stronger? Weaker? About the same? Also, are there very many new spells between Shadowrun 4th Edition and the new magic book?
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Backgammon
post Oct 27 2006, 12:32 PM
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Eryk the Red
post Oct 27 2006, 12:40 PM
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A more useful answer would tell you that that's a pretty major argument in these parts, but a common assessment (and, incidentally, my own, though not necessarily the majority's) is that it is indeed stronger at some times, but there's a lot of risks to balance that out. As for the spells, as far as I can tell, there's a lot of similar spells to what has come before, but, not being very familiar with the old spell lists, I can't really make a direct comparison. I can tell you that the standardization of elemental effects, in addition to the large number of new elemental effects added in Street Magic, has made elemental combat spells a little more interesting and given them a more solid rules base with their side effects, without putting a straitjacket on the GM with regards to the possible consequences of elemental damage.

Of course, my answer might not be useful, because I notice I used a few run-on sentences there and I'm far too lazy to go back and edit it to make it understandable.
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Mistwalker
post Oct 27 2006, 12:53 PM
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There are quite a few changes.

Rules have been streamlined, to bring magic in line with the rest of SR4.

Spells are mostly the same, with a few tweaks. But do damage in the SR4 manner.

Spirits have changed a fair bit, as shamen and mages now summon the same spirits (but use different names : air elemental, sky spirit). Each tradition can summon 5 types of spirits out of a possible 10 types. There are multiple traditions.
Shamen and mages can summon and bind spirits, as well as summon one unbound spirit. Binding is similar to what mages used to do, while unbound is similar to what shamen used to do.

Initiation has had at least one major change. When you initiate, your magic attribute is not automatically increased. Magic attribute has to be raised seperately from initiation.

That off the top of my head.
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knasser
post Oct 27 2006, 01:13 PM
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Inline with much of Shadowrun, what the numbers mean has been recalibrated. So whereas in previous editions, all mages started off with Magic 6, the SR4 equivalent would be to start at Magic 4. That doesn't mean that magic is weaker because everything has been adjusted. But you need to be aware of it if you bring preconceptions with you from SR3.

Magic is possibly slightly more powerful, but is countered by a little more risk and cost. It balances very well with firearms.

In terms of new spells and toys, not so much in SR4 itself, but if you add in Street Magic then you do have more options. Street Magic covers most of the previous stuff, from Insect Spirits to Anchoring. etc. But because of the more mix and match approach, it opens up new possibilities quite easily. The obvious examples I can think of are elemental effects, so that it's very easy to switch a fireball for a sonic ball and know what it does and if you want to learn that instead, and magical traditions or which there are oodles, some of which are possession traditions, and all of which have good flavour and play slightly differently due to the mix and match of spirits.

So in short, you wont see so much that leaps out at you and says "I'm totally new, I am!" But it plays a little more elegantly and there's more flexibility in there than you realise at first glance.
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Grayson7
post Oct 27 2006, 01:25 PM
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First of all, thank you all for taking the time to reply to my post. I appreciate it. Your answers have been helpful. Eryk the Red, what do you mean by "the standardization of elemental effects?" Backgammon, for the record, before I joined this board to create this post, I did a search using "Street Magic." After two hours of reading, I did not come up any answers that specifically addressed my question. Once again, thank you all.
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Eryk the Red
post Oct 27 2006, 01:48 PM
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I was referring to the solid rules for each different type of elemental damage. So there's one set of rules for fire damage that is used whenever there's fire, whether you're hit by a fireball or a flamethrower or you fall into a bonfire. In the past, you'd get specific rules for elemental damage within spell descriptions (from what I've seen), rather than solid, unified rules. Also, all elemental effects are roughly equal in power, making it, as knasser pointed out, easy to pick and choose which elemental effects you want your spells to have, since lightning bolt, fireball, sonic burst, etc. would all be the same rules-wise (and thus have the same drain), except that each is tagged with a different elemental effect.
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rangda
post Oct 27 2006, 02:04 PM
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QUOTE (Eryk the Red)
Also, all elemental effects are roughly equal in power, making it, as knasser pointed out, easy to pick and choose which elemental effects you want your spells to have

IMO Electricity damage is significantly more powerful than every other elemental effect due to the stunning mechanic. But amongst all the others you are pretty much correct.
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Eleazar
post Oct 27 2006, 03:27 PM
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QUOTE (Grayson7)
First of all, thank you all for taking the time to reply to my post. I appreciate it. Your answers have been helpful. Eryk the Red, what do you mean by "the standardization of elemental effects?" Backgammon, for the record, before I joined this board to create this post, I did a search using "Street Magic." After two hours of reading, I did not come up any answers that specifically addressed my question. Once again, thank you all.

Don't mind Backgammon he just doesn't know how to greet new forum members in an appropriate manner. Welcome to the forums and it good to see a new face. I would highly recommend picking up Street Magic if you intend playing a magician. It clears up some rules and adds a lot of content. Also a rule confusion you probably haven't come across yet, but most certainly will is the sending a spirit on a remote task. The devs on the forums have stated that you can only have one spirit on a remote task and it counts as your unbound spirit. The way the books reads, it makes it sound like you can summon 20 unbound spirits as long as 19 of them are on remote tasks.

As far as differences. They have standardized and streamlined everything. One big one is that mages and shamans are now exactly alike except for flavor and the drain attribute they use. Before shamans and mages had many differences as far as rules go. Here is a good thread showing some of the major differences. It has a fair share of them listed. It was originally a post about Hermetics costing too much and turned into a "Shaman's suck" "No, Hermetics suck" argument. They also talk a bit about Psionics which actually really did suck in SR3. I don't know a whole lot about SR3 myself, so maybe some of those more knowledgeable will be able to tell more.

http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?show...wtopic=8037&hl=

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