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I'm gonna go out on a limb here and talk wierd, because I'm a wierd guy who thinks about wierd shit... But bear with me for a moment. Let's take the following assumptions and the following extensions of them.

Take none of this as suggestions or hard-line 'this is possible' - just take it as ruminations.

1) Magic can do the impossible. By impossible we mean both 'conventionally impossible without the use of extremely advanced tools' as well as 'unthinkable to those without the deep knowledge posessed by the initiated.' Magic can staunch bleeding, kill with a thought, conjure electricity from willpower. While this may be relatively common in 2070, such abilities are still surprising or unnerving (or at least 'rare and therefore cool') to most. Correllary: With sufficient monkey-wrenching about, the laws that govern magic can be shown to be less laws and more guidelines. Use of mana lines, power sites, sacrifices, rituals, et cetera all show a marked increase in power, range, duration and general 'oomph' that off-the-cuff magic lacks. Witness cybermancy, great ghost dance, the Veil, and other such huge projects. The upper limit of magic is only defined by the common belief that 'we cannot exceed point X unless we work together and have a common vision.' Hence it should be possible - but extremely difficult - to work magics beyond the common understanding of what the upper limit is.

Technology can do the impossible. I.E. 'There is more in heaven and earth than dreamed of in your philosophy.' Technological advances are not only approaching the level of the unimaginable (in Shadowrun), but are approaching the level where that which was impossible is now commonplace. This one takes a bit more faith. The information stored in the new Matrix is not only immense, but shows every sign of only increasing in density. Regardless of your opinions on the density of this information letting in the voices of Resonance and Dissonance (I'm not sure what *I* think), admit this much:
With Jack B. Nimble as the doorway, it is now possible to remove the nature of a human mind from their physical shell and turn it loose sans anchor. With drone technologies, cyberware and rigger technologies, these minds do not neccessarily have to be without bodies of some sort unless they choose to be.
[ Spoiler ]

I'll add more to this list later, but for now I must go.
Clerk: Occupation?
Comicus: Stand-up philosopher.
Clerk: What?
Comicus: Stand-up philosopher. I coalesce the vapors of human existence into a viable and meaningful comprehension.
Clerk: Oh, a *bullshit* artist!
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ Nov 18 2005, 04:26 PM)
A character who has exceeded this point isn't just 'medically' dead or 'legally' dead, he's the dead kind of dead that everyone here should understand the exact definition of.

Is he? From a medical standpoint, if your brain still functions, you are alive (except in Japan, where heart transplants are murder). And if your brain does not function, you're dead. And if you're dead long enough for decay to become irreversable, you're going to stay that way forever. You go from "mostly dead" to "all dead". And then your buddies look through your pockets for loose change.

Just to clarify, indeed brain death in Japan is a legally recognized standard. What Frank might be refering to is that about 35 years back the first Japanese heart transplant was performed and the Dr. was charged with murder of the donor because the brain death of the donor was called into question. The charges were dismissed.

About 8 years back Japan introduced law that formally defined brain death, making it possible to perform transplants of that type without having to worry about your lawyer showing it is legal after the fact. There were some twists to the law though. A person basically defines when -their- death occurs, brain or traditional. Read more here.

The core of the problem, both in Japan and everywhere else that i am aware of, was that past legal standards for death were such that they didn't allow medical intervention to shutdown organs in time to keep the heart in a usable state. The traditional standard was heart stops beating, lungs stop breathing. Of course there are some issues with that definition, such as people come back from these conditions on occation. But in times past very, very seldom. In fact it is suggested that manual CPR does not actually ever restart a heart, it only appears to because the heart was beating so faintly that it was thought stopped. But from a transplant POV it is important to stop the heart before it is damaged by the body chemistry of death.

P.S. There is also a good deal of debate as to exactly what level of brain function marks the point of death.
The Stainless Steel Rat
QUOTE (Gerald Fitzgerald)
But where does the character go when they die? Some astral plane?

Into the purple NPC folder, to be reincarnated by "God" (me) at such a time as I see fit, generally with a new name and appearance.
QUOTE (The Stainless Steel Rat)
QUOTE (Gerald Fitzgerald @ Nov 17 2005, 04:22 PM)
But where does the character go when they die?  Some astral plane?

Into the purple NPC folder, to be reincarnated by "God" (me) at such a time as I see fit, generally with a new name and appearance.

Best answer in the whole thread.
Wow, a molecule plays a clever trick on its neighbors 3.5 Billion years ago and we end up with this.

Ultimately, magic does things that violate our fundamental concepts of the universe. E=MC^2, conservation of matter, ect. (and yea, there are exotic exceptions to everything, I just don't feel like getting into THAT too!)

However, the extent and nature of magic are simply unknowns ( Harlequin and The GDs aren't talking), and obviously you can do whatever you want in your games. It just seems to me this would be hard to sustain if it got into the hands of the PCs, or any other major player, and all kinds of people were doing the Ibn Isla dance. Instead, as an a priori argument, since our mythology is supposed to be a refection of an ancient age of magic (and clearly myth inspired magic in this game), resurrection is rare, because its hard to do. If it happens, it should reasonably require more resources (Nuyen, time, ritual groups) than the PCs should ever muster, so it seems to be a moot point, But by all means, if it advances you game by having whispers of a Lazarus cult somewhere, do it.
QUOTE (Deamon_Knight @ Nov 21 2005, 08:15 PM)
E=MC^2, conservation of matter, ect.

You know, I always figured that was what drain was for. The energy for the spells has to come from somewhere, so it comes from the caster.

I also figured that was why there weren't creation spells in SR like in D&D: the amount of energy needed to create matter... well, like the formula says: mass times speed of light squared, which is 90,000,000,000,000,000. (This is why antimatter is bad, m'kay?) You'd have to set off a tacnuke to get the power to create a few grams.

How that effects attempts at bringing people back from the dead is unknown, except that you'd better have brought their weight in meat (or mass of some sort, preferably containing the elements in meat) because you're not going to be able to create their body out of thin air.
Herald of Verjigorm
There is a create food spell in SR, although some people oppose it for exactly the reason you state. More consistantly, drain is the backlash of controlling the interaction between astral energies and the physical world. Much more consistantly, drain is a game mechanic to avoid spell points but also provide some reasons not to cast that spell.
Create Food.

Dang. I hadn't realized there was a Create Food spell. Never mind.

Although, Herald has a point about the energy coming from the astral plane, not the mage. So I guess you could create matter if you channelled enough astral energy. The Drain'd probably kill you if it were anything big, tho.

This is what I get for chiming in on a magic question when I usually play riggers and sams. smile.gif

(Hmm... does Create Food literally create it, or does it bring it from a metaplane? 'Cause if just created the food by converting astral energy to matter, then somebody casting it would be controlling far more energy than someone casting a Force 12 Powerball or Fireball.... wouldn't it be funny if botching the casting of Create Food caused the equivalent of a nuclear detonation? biggrin.gif )
There's also a Wealth Power. And Fashion. And Shapechange can turn you into a 400 kg Tiger. All of them, however, have been explained as possibly summoning things from metaplanes rather than creating them in the traditional sense.

WHY is everyone assuming magic is the only way to go about this?

Particularly in SR4's timeline, the tech level is near-Diamond Age. Cellular degeneration can be fixed through the use of extorbitant amounts of nanotechnology. As for the mind...
The canon presence of artificial intelligence, direct neural interfaces, personafix chips, programmable ASSIST biofeedback units, and other technologies suggest that the capability to 'upload' a mind and 'download' it again into the restored body is not entirely out of the reach of 2070s tech.
QUOTE (Toptomcat)
As for the mind...
The canon presence of artificial intelligence, direct neural interfaces, personafix chips, programmable ASSIST biofeedback units, and other technologies suggest that the capability to 'upload' a mind and 'download' it again into the restored body is not entirely out of the reach of 2070s tech.

"You're looking at the future, Mr. Grossberg: people translated as data." -- Bryce Lynch.
And with a dedicated chipjack and excellent personafix, it seems as though this should be possible.
It'd have to be somewhere in the neighborhood of...what...tens of thousands of Mp? But it's certainly a valid application of the tech.
Yeah, technology is probably the way to go about this. With the cloning technology available in the 2060s, you can completely recreate someone's body. And brain downloads are probably well within the realm of possibility.

Just make sure you get their brain copied before the brain damage starts to set in. Wouldn't do for your clone to come out a drooling vegetable because lack of oxygen degraded the wetware. biggrin.gif
There are clear rules for ancestor spirits in the book. Of cause there stats are proportional to force not stats while alive so itís up for debate wether they are actually the spirit of the ancestor.

The closest you can come to bringing somebody back from the dead is summon there ancestor spirit (a procedure that requires a blood relative and an ancestor shaman) and setting it free.

If the spirit wants a body and has possessing you clone the body and feed it the awakened compound that makes it dual natured so the spirit can poses it, but spirit would probably be better of without body.

I think ancestor spirits are more than the summoners memories, you can summon an ancestor you didnít know (great great grandfather) and it will know thins the ancestor did but you did not.

This strategy would work, there is know way around it, it is there in canon. (and SR canon not ED)

I will leave it to others to decide wether it s really rasing the dead or not, but it would satisfy some people.

Having a player with a free spirit character is probably not a good idea, far to powerful in my mind (I considered doing it once but no).


On the issue of the golden houre I would point out that in SR it isnít so much like that. first aid, treat, and stabilize. May all have a one hour limit but if you have exceed your overflow boxes you are dead and those options wont work, if you lie on the dirt with overflow boxes remaining for 3 hours your still getting oxygen and sugar to the brain and are thus alive

And magic need not break the laws of thermodynamics or of convention of matter and energy. Some spells would require more energy than can be pulled from the caster (wall of fire sustained for a long time would release more energy than the caster could be shown to have in his body mass) my hypothesis would be that the energy comes from the astral or meta planes and the drain is t6he wear on the casters body of Channelling that energy

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