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> How Common Are Mages in the Military?, Kind of an off-shoot
Mercer
post Oct 22 2010, 03:35 PM
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The standard issue topic got me thinking, what sort of magical resources do the various militaries (UCAS, CAS, Sioux, and so on) bring to the table? It's one thing to have an entire line company outfitted in Milspec armor, but if one mage can drop them all with a Stunball and then you got 20-odd enemy combatants running around in brand new Milspec suits, that would be a problem.

I imagine that all of the militaries in SR have an asymetrical warfare strategy, and part of this would include how to engage smaller guerilla forces with greater magical resources than they (which is likely to include runner teams, so is perhaps an more apt area of speculation than strategies for force-on-force). How to SR military units avoid being ice cream for freaks against the magical (or paranormal) enemy?
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Yama King
post Oct 22 2010, 03:39 PM
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Mages in the military are probably rarer than in the corps. The average mage can earn much more in the corps than working for the government.

I can see them as a special "MageCorp" that loans individual mages to units where the magical threat is high.
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Karoline
post Oct 22 2010, 03:54 PM
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QUOTE (Yama King @ Oct 22 2010, 10:39 AM) *
Mages in the military are probably rarer than in the corps. The average mage can earn much more in the corps than working for the government.

I can see them as a special "MageCorp" that loans individual mages to units where the magical threat is high.

That sounds fairly reasonable to me. The military keeps a 'stable' of mages (All joined in the same magical group of course) that they send out to places as required as opposed to attaching one to every company/battalion/squad. Nice thing is that with astral projection they could get there for some stuff fairly quickly while their body is transported to a predetermined location via jet.

There would likely be several home bases for these people to try and keep them close to as many important locations as possible, so it isn't like you have 500 mages in DC, but more like 100 in Florida, 100 in NY, 100 in DC and so on.

I do agree though, military is likely to have a lower concentration than corps or shadows since those who aren't legal are in the shadows, and those who are legal would rather take a cushy job in a corp than risk their life in the military.
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Aku
post Oct 22 2010, 04:06 PM
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I would agree that mages would most likely be kept as a separate branch of the military, away from army/navy/marines. Training would be less physical, obviously.
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etherial
post Oct 22 2010, 04:12 PM
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QUOTE (Yama King @ Oct 22 2010, 11:39 AM) *
Mages in the military are probably rarer than in the corps. The average mage can earn much more in the corps than working for the government.


OTOH, Corps probably pay more for Security Mages with Military Training, since they'll integrate better into existing structures and pay attention to procedure.
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Halabis
post Oct 22 2010, 04:34 PM
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QUOTE (Aku @ Oct 22 2010, 11:06 AM) *
Training would be less physical, obviously.



Why would you say this? Magical potential is equaly likely to manifest in a physicaly fit person than in a bookish nerd. Also, the military would want all of its people to be in peak physcial condition, so I assume they would get the same physical conditioning as any other soldier. I would also expect the percentage of magicaly active peopel to be roughly the same as in the regular populace, around 1% of all soldiers.
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Doc Chase
post Oct 22 2010, 04:44 PM
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QUOTE (Halabis @ Oct 22 2010, 05:34 PM) *
Why would you say this? Magical potential is equaly likely to manifest in a physicaly fit person than in a bookish nerd. Also, the military would want all of its people to be in peak physcial condition, so I assume they would get the same physical conditioning as any other soldier. I would also expect the percentage of magicaly active peopel to be roughly the same as in the regular populace, around 1% of all soldiers.


And likely along the same scale as pilots - generally commissioned officers.
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Aku
post Oct 22 2010, 05:45 PM
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QUOTE (Doc Chase @ Oct 22 2010, 11:44 AM) *
And likely along the same scale as pilots - generally commissioned officers.



I'm not saying they're LESS physically fit, only that the training is going to be less physically rigorous. I.E. that 10 mile run in the AM might be a 5 mile run, etc etc. You will likely want to keep the weapons training, and assuming that the military mages are doing research primarily, and defense/patrols secondary ala a corp mage, something needs to give for time.
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TommyTwoToes
post Oct 22 2010, 05:57 PM
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QUOTE (Karoline @ Oct 22 2010, 10:54 AM) *
I do agree though, military is likely to have a lower concentration than corps or shadows since those who aren't legal are in the shadows, and those who are legal would rather take a cushy job in a corp than risk their life in the military.


The motivation of people who join the military isn't generally running towards high pay and a cushy job. Folks join the military for many reasons but pay isn't generally a factor unless the peson is out of other options.
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Yama King
post Oct 22 2010, 05:59 PM
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QUOTE
OTOH, Corps probably pay more for Security Mages with Military Training, since they'll integrate better into existing structures and pay attention to procedure.


Would the military let a mage leave the magical group? I assume they would retain DNA samples and such on any mages leaving Govt service. Kinda like a CIA agent that knows too much.

I figure they are pressured into making their military/government jobs for life.
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Doc Chase
post Oct 22 2010, 06:00 PM
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QUOTE (Aku @ Oct 22 2010, 06:45 PM) *
I'm not saying they're LESS physically fit, only that the training is going to be less physically rigorous. I.E. that 10 mile run in the AM might be a 5 mile run, etc etc. You will likely want to keep the weapons training, and assuming that the military mages are doing research primarily, and defense/patrols secondary ala a corp mage, something needs to give for time.


No no - what I mean is that due to their rarity and skillset, they would be treated as pilots are - and most pilots are commissioned officers IIRC.
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WyldKnight
post Oct 22 2010, 06:04 PM
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Ninja'd heh.

I highly doubt they would force them to stay in. Once that gets around no one would want to join the military
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AppliedCheese
post Oct 22 2010, 06:14 PM
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I would envision it as its own aspect of warfare, and therefore, its own entire branch of the military. Think air force, but with magic. I would see them being used in their own specialized version of warfare (think what 500 coordinated mages could do at once), with supporting the other arms being one of their branch missions. So, 50 mages might be dedicated to gaining local magical superiority (meaning we crush all non-approved astral movement in the area), with those left over being parceled out in the magical equivalent of CAS.

For instance, in asymmetric warfare, Seattle might always have 12 mages "on patrol" in the astral, hunting down signs of activity that might threaten UCAS assets, and tasked with the astral destruction of anything that attempts to magic UCAS forces. I would see lots of spirits being used for this. Then, if the time and personnel permit, some mages might be assigned in sorties to directly support units.

A sub barnch of the Mage Force would deal in magical protection, and there would certainly be a Magical Assets Defeat Cell, which would focus on common soldier ways of beating the magebomb. I'm sure they'd come up with some crafty ways. or, when that fails, there's always FAB III.
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Knight Saber
post Oct 22 2010, 06:18 PM
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I'd imagine the military tests all its recruits for magical potential... lots of people have no idea they have it. That'd get the military a fair amount of mages who are interested in military service (that's why they joined).

They probably recruit mages the way they do doctors... both are highly educated positions where you can make a lot of money in the private sector, but they still do manage to recruit doctors. Not everyone is motivated strictly by money. Being a military mage would get you travel, adventure, authority... a lot of corp mage work is boring stuff, if you look at it. "Four years of service and we'll pay for your thaumaturgic education!"
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Mercer
post Oct 22 2010, 06:25 PM
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I agree they'd be commissioned officers (perhaps warrant officers at the minimum, for the physical adept with astral perception). Pilots are good example of the type of training, the difference being that while a pilot is responsible for a 22m (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) aircraft, the mage is a pilot the craft in one, pretty much.

I remember a line in a sourcebook-- or a fever dream after eating some bad guac-- about how magical types were treated differently in different armies. Aztlan (or maybe Sioux) tended to favor mages and phys ads in command positions, where the UCAS tended to treat them as a special weapons asset to be put into existing command structures.

Part of it depends on how common you want mages to be. If they're rare, then there might be a mage at the battalion or regimental level, kind of like a chaplain (minus the counseling, plus the summoning 3 meter tall rock men). Ideally, at minimum, you'd have somebody who could fill the magical/astral role at the company level (for combat units), whether it was a mage, adept, or phys ad with some astral abilities-- just someone who wouldn't be ice cream for the first magical freak to walk by.

My immediate thoughts on magical groups would be that higher level membership would probably be dependent on the enlistment term, perhaps even offered as part of a reenlistment bonus. (Once somebody reups a second time, they're likely going career.) Ditto on military mages being highly sought after in the corporate world.

I would agree that Corp mages probably have it better than military mages, but that those that choose the military aren't going solely by the benefits package-- although it should be noted that as commissioned officers in a specialized MOS, the benefits would not be insignificant. If you think about it, a mage joins up at about 20, does 20 years in the military and retires probably at the rank of colonel (if not higher) with full benefits. Then, at the age of 40 has another 25 years of lucrative work in the private sector. That's not a bad gig.
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Makki
post Oct 22 2010, 06:44 PM
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dishonorable discharge for whatever reason and deserting, because you can't stand the dictatorial structures are 2 of the very few reason for the awakend to run the shadows.
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sabs
post Oct 22 2010, 06:49 PM
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There are other reasons. Perhaps you're a Rat Shaman whose personality is well suited to Rat, but not well suited to a Corp. Or you're an eco-terrorist. There are plenty of reasons for a Mage to run the shadows.
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Critias
post Oct 22 2010, 07:09 PM
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I'd say mages are a natural fit for Warrant Officer-type status.
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Summerstorm
post Oct 22 2010, 11:43 PM
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AND... don't forget the spirits. Especially if you have some mages with either some war-like tradition (or an "enlightened" one), they might be required to bind their maximum amount of Guardian (and Guidance, respectively) spirits and lend them to mundane units for magical protection.

So a single (good) mage could sit in camp and do astral survey/hunting missions, while his five guardian spirits (looking like some WW2 veteran with unearthly foggy glow) following different units and fight alongside them, following the order of the respective leaders while maintaining magical guard.

Hell, they even might provide speed-boost and concealment.

So ONE mage could provide these for about 5*6 people constantly. The one thing is that the forceful binding costs much karma and prevents him from getting better (and maybe psychologically burning him out with time)
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Mercer
post Oct 23 2010, 02:31 AM
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Unless the Military adopts the Kash for Karma rules, but that's a whole nother kettle of fish entirely. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

I could see the mage basically putting watchers out with every unit on a line and then responding astrally when one gets squashed, or in the event of multiple squashings, zipping along the line with his or her cadre of spirits, dispatching them as needed in trouble spots.
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Neurosis
post Oct 23 2010, 04:42 AM
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Desire to stat a UCAS Army Wagemage rising...rising...
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Neurosis
post Oct 23 2010, 04:42 AM
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-glitch-
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Redcrow
post Oct 23 2010, 05:09 AM
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While I could certainly envision a place for the combat mage within the military among the rank and file grunts on the battlefield, I can't help but think that a mage who specializes in Mental Manipulations would be of even greater value in the area of military intelligence.
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Shinobi Killfist
post Oct 23 2010, 06:28 AM
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I think fields of fire dealt with this issue, but I have misplaced my fields of fire so I can't look it up. Even at the 1% level they'd be fairly rare, sure maybe 20,000 in a big military but at the 1 in a 100 level you wont have them with every squad. They probably have more specialized duties as well with will draw their numbers away so they probably won't even be in every company. And depending on how you interpret that 1%, like how many of those 1% are mages of any worth while magical potential it will get worse. Maybe 1 in every Battalion, but with a certain percentage set aside for special duties. Like special forces, intelligence etc.
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Angelone
post Oct 23 2010, 10:18 AM
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In FoF it said mages were rarely used to blow the enemy up, they were used to summon spirits, and build hasty fortifications with spells and spirits. They were used mainly in defensive rolls except some such as SF mages.
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