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> Astral Signature, how scary is it?
Dr. Dodge
post Jun 11 2009, 07:07 PM
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I was thinking about astral signatures today and was trying to figure out how useful they would be in court/law proceedings. Basically my problem is since you can't really replicate a signature for everyone to see, how can it be used directly against you? The jury/judge would just have to take the word of the forensic magician i would imagine. Like "expert testimony." I am no law expert, but it seems kind of flimsy to me. Maybe it can only be used as supporting evidence?

i like question marks?
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Ancient History
post Jun 11 2009, 07:16 PM
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It's not permissible in every legal system, and in general it does require expert testimony. Unless you can take an astral photograph of it.
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BlackJaw
post Jun 11 2009, 07:17 PM
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Well the average person has no way to examine genetic evidence either, so for many modern court cases that use it, you have to bring in experts that claim to have done a genetic test and compared a few samples.

They would then provide nice big pictures of the compared DNA markers to show off how they are similar or the same.

Something similar could be done with the "Quicksilver Mana Sensitive Film Camera" in Arsenal (page 67).

"Laddies and gentleman of the jury, you've heard testimony that the assailant had a blue hazy astral signature? Well we had our Manatech experts take an astral photo of the accused, and as you can clearly see, it is a blue hazy aura."

Not exactly the same as genetic data, but if magic is proven and accepted in a court of law, then this would work towards making it more visible to normal jury members.
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Dr. Dodge
post Jun 11 2009, 07:21 PM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Jun 11 2009, 03:16 PM) *
It's not permissible in every legal system, and in general it does require expert testimony. Unless you can take an astral photograph of it.


yeah i was kind of ignoring the astral photography angle, it's new so i havent decided if i like it yet (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Dr. Dodge
post Jun 11 2009, 07:24 PM
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QUOTE (BlackJaw @ Jun 11 2009, 03:17 PM) *
Well the average person has no way to examine genetic evidence either, so for many modern court cases that use it, you have to bring in experts that claim to have done a genetic test and compared a few samples.


I think this analogy helps. I would say it's a little different (not really a repeatable test) but gets me thinking on the right track.
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Draco18s
post Jun 11 2009, 07:56 PM
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QUOTE (Dr. Dodge @ Jun 11 2009, 03:21 PM) *
yeah i was kind of ignoring the astral photography angle, it's new so i havent decided if i like it yet (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)


It is in theory possible to create an "astral" camera, as all of the basic chemicals for film are natural chemicals (acids and whatnot). You'd at least be able to make an "old style" (that is, old for us, pre-Kodak) camera that is dual natured. Dual natured glass would be harder, but I don't see an issue with hand-making every lens from dual natured silica (sand). I could see melting as a valid refining method for some materials--certainly metals!

Whether or not the photographed astral signature is visible to the mundane eye is a whole other beast. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Octopiii
post Jun 11 2009, 08:02 PM
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To be honest, an Astral Sig is no really a big deal, unless your GM invents an Astral SIg camera that mundanes can see. You can't use an Astral Sig, by RAW, for anything other than the original assensor recognizing the sig.
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Draco18s
post Jun 11 2009, 08:13 PM
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QUOTE (Octopiii @ Jun 11 2009, 04:02 PM) *
unless your GM invents an Astral SIg camera that mundanes can see.


Which breaks canon. Hard.
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Chibu
post Jun 11 2009, 08:16 PM
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Hey... What about a simrig in a mage? Would that work?
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Stahlseele
post Jun 11 2009, 08:18 PM
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QUOTE (Chibu @ Jun 11 2009, 10:16 PM) *
Hey... What about a simrig in a mage? Would that work?

Nope.
No reason given.
Just no.
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Chibu
post Jun 11 2009, 08:23 PM
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QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Jun 11 2009, 04:18 PM) *
Nope.
No reason given.
Just no.


A fair answer really (actually not sarcasm).
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BlackJaw
post Jun 11 2009, 08:25 PM
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Your GM won't need to invent an Astral Camera. Quicksilver Mana Sensitive Film Camera is in the ManaTech section of Arsenal. It is a still camera, and you need to use Assessing skill checks with it, but it's there, and mundanes can see the images they take. They even note that police often use it to keep records of magic.
QUOTE
Arsenal, Page 67: Mundanes may use astral photography, but in every case they are “shooting blind.� Many police corporations and intelligence agencies create high-definition duplicates of astral photographs for archival purposes.


It takes 30 minutes to take a photo, but it will show background count, astral signatures, astral entities (ghosting through if they don't sit still), objects, barriers, etc.
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Apathy
post Jun 11 2009, 08:47 PM
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Even if the mundane jury couldn't see the pictures, it shouldn't matter. Police rely on expert testimony all the time to give opinions on identification (matching tire tracks, fingerprints, DNA, etc). The jury just needs to believe that the expert can tell the difference, and is likely to tell the unbiased truth. So if recognizing astral signatures is widely understood to be reliable and consistent, then police should be able to submit it as evidence.
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Stahlseele
post Jun 11 2009, 09:12 PM
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QUOTE (Chibu @ Jun 11 2009, 10:23 PM) *
A fair answer really (actually not sarcasm).

Oh, believe me, it's been argued long and hard on this very board.
And in the end, that was the only answer. Every time actually *g*
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Kingboy
post Jun 11 2009, 09:52 PM
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Coulda swore I read in the books somewhere that the reason you can't sim-record a mage Astrally Perceiving had to do with the fact that it's like all (non-Manatech) technology and doesn't affect the Astral, as well as the fact that it'd have to be an Awakened person who can Astrally Perceive anyways in order to make sense of it even if you could record it. But I have no clear recollection of where this might have been, and no desire to drag the course off topic, so I'll merely shrug and move on with my assumptions of how the (madeup) world works...
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Writer
post Jun 11 2009, 10:28 PM
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I am assuming this issue involves a government court. I imagine with a megacorp court, there would be a simple discussion between an executive and a mage.

"Is this the one?"
"Yes, sir."
"Fry his brain."
"Yes, sir."

In government courts, the astral signature would be enough for search warrants, and once the police start pointing their experts with high tech at you for more evidence, life gets hard. I always saw the success of shadowrunners being built on anonymity. Once you are captured, it is easier to do full background checks, and that gets you hosed.
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TheOOB
post Jun 12 2009, 04:58 AM
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In the UCAS, calling the Lone Star Security Mage in to testify about an astral signature is about the same as calling in the bum across the street who saw the defendant enter the building before the crime. It can bend a jury in your favor, but it won't wind a case alone. Astral signatures are not evidence in UCAS courts, there is just the expert testimony of witnesses.
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Dr. Dodge
post Jun 12 2009, 02:15 PM
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QUOTE (TheOOB @ Jun 12 2009, 12:58 AM) *
In the UCAS, calling the Lone Star Security Mage in to testify about an astral signature is about the same as calling in the bum across the street who saw the defendant enter the building before the crime. It can bend a jury in your favor, but it won't wind a case alone. Astral signatures are not evidence in UCAS courts, there is just the expert testimony of witnesses.


this is why i was considering sigs to be "not that scary" or rather not completely damning evidence, but the astral camera throws this all out the window IMO (the scary window or into scary street).
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Kerenshara
post Jun 14 2009, 10:11 PM
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QUOTE (Chibu @ Jun 11 2009, 03:16 PM) *
Hey... What about a simrig in a mage? Would that work?

Well, not to re-start an old argument there Stahlseele, *grin* but the answer's actually quite simple given the fluff in SR4 as I see it.

An astrally perceiving mage can not "see" any technologically displayed information. No printed data, no pictures on a computer screen, no holograms. On the flip side, the technomancer can perceive the Matrix inately. In between the two "invisible" realities, there's us mundane types.

So let's look at what a SimRig actually records: the basic five senses, plus raw emotional content. There is no "thought" recording. Since visual sight CAN perceive AR and textual data, it MUST be incapable of recording astral information.

Or perhaps it's even easier: astral perception represents a 6th sense (no, not the movie), which isn't included in the SimRig's parameters. Mages describe it as "sight" but it's not, really. They are trying to describe color to a blind man, or music to the deaf. The best they can do is describe it in terms we all understand, and inevitably lose something in the translation.

But the most obvious answer would be this: Simsense is a DIGITALY RECORDED medium, which is antithetical to magic in every sense. A mage can not read a computer screen, and a computer can not record an astral signature.

Anyhow, that's my two centinuyen. Cool thread, by the way.
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Giant Catfish
post Jun 18 2009, 04:26 AM
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The camera isn't really all that useful in court. The image still needs to be assensed to learn anything useful from it, and there is a penalty, so its still expert testimony... But less accurate than the "on the spot" expert.
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