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> Astral Perception and Binoculars
Shadow
post Feb 3 2004, 11:46 PM
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Can you gain any benefits from looking through binoculars while astrally perceiving? I don't see how. The astral isn't amplified through the optics like light are. So here is what I am asking, not opinions, but canon. Is there any canon reference to this?
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Kanada Ten
post Feb 4 2004, 02:15 AM
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Not exactly. However, according to a response from info@ about opacity of glass on the astral which paraphrased says "the genral rule is if you can see it on the physical, you can see it on the astral."

And my opinion is: yes, it works.
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Jason Farlander
post Feb 4 2004, 02:25 AM
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No, you cant. Astral perception is a purely psychic sense. Optical enhancements have no impact on it whatsoever. If anything, the binoculars would restrict what lies in your field of vision, hindering your ability to astrally percieve.

Note that, while the Official Shadowrun FAQ does indicate otherwise, there are no in-book canon references to the fact that you can see through glass on the astral (glass is a physical barrier, afterall, and such things are generally astrally opaque). Since the official FAQ consists of optional rules clarifications, you are free to ignore them (in which case the binoculars would block astral perception altogether)
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toturi
post Feb 4 2004, 02:58 AM
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QUOTE (Jason Farlander @ Feb 4 2004, 10:25 AM)
No, you cant.  Astral perception is a purely psychic sense.  Optical enhancements have no impact on it whatsoever.  If anything, the binoculars would restrict what lies in your field of vision, hindering your ability to astrally percieve.

Note that, while the Official Shadowrun FAQ does indicate otherwise, there are no in-book canon references to the fact that you can see through glass on the astral (glass is a physical barrier, afterall, and such things are generally astrally opaque). Since the official FAQ consists of optional rules clarifications, you are free to ignore them (in which case the binoculars would block astral perception altogether)

Since there are NO canon references that states the case either way, the definative "suggestion" by the Official FAQ should be the most "canon". Hence yes, the binos should enhance your astral perception. I'll simply rationalise it as the bino being some sort of scrying crystal ball.

As a GM you can conveniently ignore any and all rules(even if it is Canon) if it suit you. But you are going to have a hard time justifying it if the FAQ/Canon says otherwise. :)
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Zazen
post Feb 4 2004, 03:05 AM
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I also say it works.

If you really wanted to get nitpicky you could always point out that glass should be clear if water is clear since they're both transparent fluids. And I'm halfway sure it says somewhere that water is clear.
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Fortune
post Feb 4 2004, 03:35 AM
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I have no problem with someone looking through the binoculars with Astral Perception. Whether or not the binoculars actually improve their vision by amplifying what they see is anoter matter entirely.
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Snow_Fox
post Feb 4 2004, 03:43 AM
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The astral plane is seeing life energy. binoculars work by focusing light, but since that doesn't exist on the astral plane, there is nothing to focus.
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toturi
post Feb 4 2004, 03:46 AM
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QUOTE (Snow_Fox)
The astral plane is seeing life energy. binoculars work by focusing light, but since that doesn't exist on the astral plane, there is nothing to focus.

But the psychic intent of a pair of optical binos is to enhance the vision/perception of the user.

Look, you can rationalise it either way, but it still doesn't over write the fact that the FAQ say it can ok?
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Fortune
post Feb 4 2004, 03:51 AM
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QUOTE (toturi)
Look, you can rationalise it either way, but it still doesn't over write the fact that the FAQ say it can ok?

No, the FAQ states that glass is clear on the Astral, so can be seen through. It never states that binoculars amplify vision on the Astral in any way, shape, or form.
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danbot37
post Feb 4 2004, 03:54 AM
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If optics can be used for los for spells, then why not for astral perception? Related enough that I'd say technically, it would, but it just doesn't sound right... (thats the best arguement I could come up with against it)
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Jason Farlander
post Feb 4 2004, 03:59 AM
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I'm certainly not ignoring canon rules, and I, personally, do allow people to astrally percieve through glass. As Zazen points out, there is a specific canon reference to your ability to astrally percieve through water without problem (except for stuff living in the water or background count from pollution), and glass is technically a clear liquid, so it does make sense. Clear plastic, not being a liquid, is another issue altogether... but I'll even ignore that for the sake of simplicity.

However.

There are problems with the blanket statements made in the FAQ, which is why I treat them as helpful suggestions rather than canon rules. For example, should you be able to astrally percieve through a piece of colored glass? Do different levels of tinted glass affect astral perception? Some darkened glass is impossible to see through physically... but why should physical alterations to glass that do not significantly affect its chemical makeup have any effect on astral perception?

Furthermore, optics and light bending have nothing to do whatsoever with astral perception. Blindness has no effect on astral perception. Should a blind person be able to look through binoculars and more clearly astrally percieve? If a person with 20/20 vision looks through binoculars in a large room with no light whatsoever, will they amplify what the astral aura of a person on the other end?

Having binoculars amplify astral perception is just silly, because astral perception is in no way based on physical vision. Since you can see through the binoculars, you can astrally percieve things on the other side, sure. But I'll say it again... astral perception has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the way light behaves, so the fact that the glass in binoculars is curved rather than straight should have no effect on your ability to astrally percieve something. Furthermore, the sides of the binoculars are not glass, and are neither physically nor astrally transparent, so sticking binoculars up to your eyes will restrict what you can see astrally in your immediate vicinity, just as they do when you arent astrally percieving.

Edit: woah... lots of posts in the interim there....

This post has been edited by Jason Farlander: Feb 4 2004, 04:04 AM
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toturi
post Feb 4 2004, 03:59 AM
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QUOTE (Fortune)
QUOTE (toturi @ Feb 4 2004, 02:46 PM)
Look, you can rationalise it either way, but it still doesn't over write the fact that the FAQ say it can ok?

No, the FAQ states that glass is clear on the Astral, so can be seen through. It never states that binoculars amplify vision on the Astral in any way, shape, or form.

OK, I meant casting through Binos while astral perceiving. IE the guy is astrally perceiving(he is not projecting), he spots the dual critter on the binos, he fires off a spell. His vision is still enhanced via the binos, he can still cast through the binos, so it "enhances" the vision of the caster.
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Fortune
post Feb 4 2004, 04:35 AM
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QUOTE (toturi)
OK, I meant casting through Binos while astral perceiving. IE the guy is astrally perceiving(he is not projecting), he spots the dual critter on the binos, he fires off a spell. His vision is still enhanced via the binos, he can still cast through the binos, so it "enhances" the vision of the caster.

That is assuming that the binoculars actually enhance Astral sight. I readily admit that binoculars can help with regular spellcasting, but have a problem with them enhancing vision while Astrally Perceiving. As Jason states, Astral Perception is not based on sight whatsoever, so by extension vision augmentation should not work. Does Thermographic Vision work while Perceiving? How about Ultrasound? Low Light? Vision Magnification? Microscopic Vision?
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Deep Blue
post Feb 4 2004, 04:37 AM
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QUOTE
If you really wanted to get nitpicky you could always point out that glass should be clear if water is clear since they're both transparent fluids. And I'm halfway sure it says somewhere that water is clear.


I suppose I should point out that glass is not really a liquid. At all. It's not even a supercooled liquid (a common misnomer).

check out http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Gene...lass/glass.html

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Jason Farlander
post Feb 4 2004, 04:57 AM
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Interesting... I guess I just *learned* that somewhere along the line from someone I percieved to be an authority on the subject, and I never had any real personal reason to question it. Heres an excerpt taken from the Wikipedia article on glass that is somewhat less technical in its explanation.

QUOTE

Does glass flow?
It is sometimes claimed that glass may show some of the properties of liquids that flow at room temperature, albeit very slowly. This has led to controversial statements such as the claim that "glass is a supercooled liquid". It is sometimes claimed that old windows are often thicker at the bottom than at the top, and that this might be due to flow. It is a bit unclear where this belief came from, or if there was ever any evidence to support it.

One possible source of this belief is that when panes of glass were commonly made by glassblowers, the technique that was used was to spin molten glass so as to create a round, mostly flat and even plate (the Crown glass process, described above). This plate was then cut to fit a window. The pieces were not, however, absolutely flat; the edges of the disk would be thicker due to centrifugal forces. When actually installed in a window frame, the glass would be placed thicker side down for the sake of stability. There is anecdotal evidence that occasionally such glass has been found thinner side down, as would be caused by carelessness at the time of installation.

The "glass flows" issue has been discussed at great length in the alt.folklore.urban newsgroup, and the consensus there (supported by citations from glass experts) is that glass does not flow at room temperature. Note, however, that glass can and does 'creep' , just like crystalline solids do, in response to a load. Furthermore, in some applications (such as some laboratory thermometers), glass gets heated above the transition temperature at which it actually does become a supercooled liquid. This can cause the calibration of thermometers to change slightly over the course of many years of use.


Arguments against glass flow:
if medieval glass has flowed perceptibly, then ancient Roman and Egyptian objects should have flowed proportionately more - but this is not observed.
if glass flows at a rate that allows changes to be seen with the naked eye after centuries, then changes in optical telescope mirrors should be observable (by interferometry) in a matter of days - but this also is not observed.
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Zazen
post Feb 4 2004, 05:04 AM
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You'll note that I said fluid, not liquid, because there are a lot of different names for what glass is. Whether it flows or not is a different question.


Your link tries hard to dispel the notion of flowing glass, but is unable to do so with certainty. It admits that the phenomena is observed but claims that it is more easily explained with other theories. That is an opinion.

I'm certainly not saying that I'm definitely right, but that link isn't enough for me to consider myself definitely wrong.
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toturi
post Feb 4 2004, 05:16 AM
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QUOTE (Fortune)
QUOTE (toturi @ Feb 4 2004, 02:59 PM)
OK, I meant casting through Binos while astral perceiving. IE the guy is astrally perceiving(he is not projecting), he spots the dual critter on the binos, he fires off a spell. His vision is still enhanced via the binos, he can still cast through the binos, so it "enhances" the vision of the caster.

That is assuming that the binoculars actually enhance Astral sight. I readily admit that binoculars can help with regular spellcasting, but have a problem with them enhancing vision while Astrally Perceiving. As Jason states, Astral Perception is not based on sight whatsoever, so by extension vision augmentation should not work. Does Thermographic Vision work while Perceiving? How about Ultrasound? Low Light? Vision Magnification? Microscopic Vision?

Did you go blind when you astrally perceive?

If not, why not? You can see the target via vision enhancement. You can tell if it is astrally active via astral perception. QED.
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Jason Farlander
post Feb 4 2004, 05:53 AM
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QUOTE
Did you go blind when you astrally perceive?


In a manner of speaking, yes. At least, thats always been my assumption. You shift your vision into the astral plane, and no longer percieve the physical world with your eyes, except as shadows and auras on the astral plane. Hence the stuff about distraction and +2 TN mods to purely physical tests and so on. I've never heard anyone argue that you see the astral auras and things superimposed on what you physically see...

Note that shapeshifters, which are dual-natured, still have to use a simple action (not free) to astrally percieve. (SRC, pg 36). Since theyre always astrally active anyway, it would be silly to ever turn off astral perception if it overlapped with physical sight.

Looking through the books, I don't see any absolutely clear statements indicating one way or the other. The only thing that comes close is the statement that "astral perception does not rely on physical vision in any way; it is a psychic sense." (SR3 171), but even that doesn't mention whether the two are mutually exclusive. Perhaps this should be erratad or FAQed?
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Fortune
post Feb 4 2004, 05:53 AM
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QUOTE (toturi)
Did you go blind when you astrally perceive?

If not, why not? You can see the target via vision enhancement. You can tell if it is astrally active via astral perception. QED.

Alright! So my blind mage (who can still use Astral Perception just fine) can now use binoculars while Perceiving to better his LOS. Excellent!

This must be true, since Astral Perception is not based on vision, yet you claim that vision augmentation aids Astral Perception. QED. :)
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toturi
post Feb 4 2004, 06:10 AM
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QUOTE (Fortune @ Feb 4 2004, 01:53 PM)
QUOTE (toturi)
Did you go blind when you astrally perceive?

If not, why not? You can see the target via vision enhancement. You can tell if it is astrally active via astral perception. QED.

Alright! So my blind mage (who can still use Astral Perception just fine) can now use binoculars while Perceiving to better his LOS. Excellent!

This must be true, since Astral Perception is not based on vision, yet you claim that vision augmentation aids Astral Perception. QED. :)

Your Blind mage can't see normally in the first place. He can't even use binos.

QED. He can't use binos in conjunction with his Astral Perception.

It "aids" astral perception if you can use the binos in the first place.

Also about being effectively Blind if you use astral perception, shouldn't you impose a Blind modifier before applying the mods for astral in the first place? Wouldn't this have been covered in the examples in SR3 Magic or Combat sections if this was the case?

QED. Astral perception could be used in conjunction with natural sight.

Also Astral perception doesn't actually have range modifiers, therefore you have no need for astral binos, they are free so to speak. As long as you have astral LOS, you can see it no matter how far. Therefore I don't understand this thing about needing binos to cast in the first place.
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John Campbell
post Feb 4 2004, 06:24 AM
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I know that you can use those fiberoptic security system thingies (I forget the name) for spell targetting... can you astrally perceive through them as well?
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Jason Farlander
post Feb 4 2004, 06:24 AM
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QUOTE
Also about being effectively Blind if you use astral perception, shouldn't you impose a Blind modifier before applying the mods for astral in the first place? Wouldn't this have been covered in the examples in SR3 Magic or Combat sections if this was the case?


Umm... no. Note that ghouls, which are effectively blind, suffer no such blind fire penalties. You can see both living and purely physical things when astrally percieving or astrally projecting, and so, while you are effectively blind insofar as you are not physically seeing anything, you can still sense (astrally see) the presence of things and how far away those things are. This is also why mundane characters get a -6 flaw for being blind, while awakened characters only get a -2. Astral perception replaces all visibility modifiers to combat with a flat +2 TN. Its a snazztastic ability. (It does, however, also preclude any vision modifications, making the base TN for any ranged attack 6)

Page 82, MITS: "the light level on the physical plane has no effect on astral visibility"

And no, SR3 is actually rather bad about failing to include examples of common occurrences, IMO.
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Fortune
post Feb 4 2004, 06:26 AM
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QUOTE (toturi)
It "aids" astral perception if you can use the binos in the first place.


How, being that Astral Perception is not based on sight?
QUOTE
Also about being effectively Blind if you use astral perception, shouldn't you impose a Blind modifier before applying the mods for astral in the first place? Wouldn't this have been covered in the examples in SR3 Magic or Combat sections if this was the case?

No because, as is stated in canon, Astral Perception is not based on sight.
QUOTE
Also Astral perception doesn't actually have range modifiers, therefore you have no need for astral binos, they are free so to speak. As long as you have astral LOS, you can see it no matter how far. Therefore I don't understand this thing about needing binos to cast in the first place.

The question didn't come about because of the need to cast a spell. It initially came about because a player wanted to Astrally Perceive while using binoculars for some (non-spellcasting) reason. Otherwise I agree with you that there is no real point. :)
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Jason Farlander
post Feb 4 2004, 06:29 AM
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QUOTE (John Campbell)
I know that you can use those fiberoptic security system thingies (I forget the name) for spell targetting... can you astrally perceive through them as well?

The answer to this question depends on whether you think you can astrally and physically percieve at the same time. The terminology used to describe astral perception is unclear in this regard (the combat section describes astral perception as a "shift" of vision into the astral, while the magic section describes it as an "extension" of senses into the astral).

toturi is arguing from the standpoint that astral perception is a modification to physical perception, whereas I (and, I presume, Fortune) are arguing from the standpoint that astral perception is completely seperate from physical perception.
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toturi
post Feb 4 2004, 07:51 AM
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QUOTE (Jason Farlander @ Feb 4 2004, 02:29 PM)
QUOTE (John Campbell @ Feb 4 2004, 12:24 AM)
I know that you can use those fiberoptic security system thingies (I forget the name) for spell targetting... can you astrally perceive through them as well?

The answer to this question depends on whether you think you can astrally and physically percieve at the same time. The terminology used to describe astral perception is unclear in this regard (the combat section describes astral perception as a "shift" of vision into the astral, while the magic section describes it as an "extension" of senses into the astral).

toturi is arguing from the standpoint that astral perception is a modification to physical perception, whereas I (and, I presume, Fortune) are arguing from the standpoint that astral perception is completely seperate from physical perception.

No. Actually I'm arguing that it doesn't matter what you use to enhance your physical sight, your astral perception doesn't have a range limit. As long as you have "astral LOS" to the target, you can cast/shoot/fire a cannon at it using astral perception.

With respect to the fibreoptic system, I think that while you have physical LOS(thus you can cast at a physical form) you do not have astral LOS hence no casting at astral.

The telescope/bino comes in when you have a sniper trying to shoot at someone. He might have only an SMG(but no scope for any reason, too many attachments maybe) and a pair of binos. He spots the unfortunate guy with the bino, astrally perceives to reduce the range TN, brings up his SMG and fires away.
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