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emo samurai
Do mages actually get anything out of them? Can they learn spells or decrease the cost of initiation if they read it to get another viewpoint on the nature of the universe, or does it only really benefit only the person who writes it?
fistandantilus4.0
well, in 3rd, there were ways to decrease initiation cost. We'll see if that comes up in Street Magic. As for the usefulness, think of it this way. Divination, filtering, centering, cleansing, severing, shielding. Sound familiar? They're all metamagics, and they didn't exist in 2012 . They were discovered, researched, published, and learned by the magical community. Same thing with spells. Same thing with summoning tecchniques (especially ally formulae for hermetics). So yes, the matter , just not as much out-of-character. It's not going to change your karma cost for anything, or what dice you roll. More like it adds to the 'realism' and depth of the game world.
hyzmarca
The ordeal from SR3 was called Thesis. In this, the magician had to write a paper detailing the entire sum of his magical knowledge. This paper and any copy of it then acted as a permemant ritual link to the magician that wrote it and, if all copies were destroyed, the magician would lose a point of magic.

Magicians don't publish their theses. They keep their theses in a deathtraped fireproof safe.
fistandantilus4.0
with a copy in a safe at the bottom of the deepest ocean trench engraved on lamenated titanium, warded with a masking ward and a force 20 water elemental bound to guard it, after making a deal with merrow to kill anyone that comes near in exchange for fresh meet, after of course setting undersea mines around the area, as well as a few "point towards enemy" surprises in side the safe (pointed towards enemies of course), hopefully somewhere near where a kraken, that is of course wholelly uninterested in safes, has decided to nest (with a friggin laser on it's head!!!!!). because if the only copy is destroyed , they eat it big time.
Ancient History
Yes, magicians do publish papers and (non-initiation) theses. The theory behind metamagic techniques, for example, are covered in such a way.

In general, keeping up with the latest in magical academia through publications should be part of the in-character cost of the SOTA. While it's highly unlikely a player could directly learn a spell or metamagic technique from such a source, it is possible that they could reverse engineer the principles from such a text.

Check out a few things here and here. You might find them a good basis for introducing such things in your campaign.
emo samurai
Maybe the mage could pay for access to the MIT&M databases to allow for lowered karma costs. Databases are REALLY expensive. Also, if a mage published his thesis, would he have to sever EVERY copy of it, or could he just sever the original and assume all copies are also severed?
Grinder
Every copy iirc.

@ fistandantilus3.0: what? Where are the Drop Bear commandos? wink.gif
emo samurai
What if it's electronic? Do you just sever the server, or do you hunt down everyone who downloads a copy?
Grinder
Why allow someone to download a copy?
hyzmarca
Allowing people to download coppies ensures that you won't lose a magic point due to the thesis' destruction. Unfortunatly, it also ensures that you will be the target of ritual atomic wedgie spells from Trickster followers the world over.
emo samurai
So I'd need some really nice bank safe deposit boxes or something that are severed? What if they made a copy of a severed copy? Would that new copy be a ritual link? That doesn't make sense.
hyzmarca
I don't believe that you can sever a copy of a thesis, only destroy it. If you can sever it then severing all copies will cause a magic rating drop.

Currently, I'm of the opinion that the link has more to do with the information contained within than the material itself. If that is the case then severing would be impossible short of self-brainwashing to change your magical paradigm.
emo samurai
So how does Mitsuhama keep its magicians from getting destroyed over the internet?
Dissonance
By not making their theses available to the public? In my mind, at least, a thesis has to be a physical thing, and not just a text file somewhere. I remember that shamans can do a thesis too in, like, the form of a work of art or something. My memory is a little rusty.

But, yeah. I'd think that the big fat 3-ring-binder of magical knowledge would be a thesis, wheras the text file wouldn't be. Plus, in My Super Happy World, I'd rule that the actual writer of the thesis has to come in physical contact with the thing at least once for it to be linked and active.
Dissonance
Plus, I'm pretty sure some mages just write a thesis to, y'know. WRITE one. And not for the initiation benefits. I'm sure that there's all sorts of BS'd papers in your various magical colleges.
emo samurai
Oh, well, I'm the GM, and I'll rule it however I damn well please. And I'll keep the whole "has to come in contact with the paper." That'll really help things.
hyzmarca
Generaly, an ordeal thesis will not be seen by anyone outside of the magician's group. For some groups, a thesis is a perfered form of ritual sample and they require one from all members. So that they can powerbolt you if your late with your dues, or something like that.

However, acedimic magicans publish all they time. These publications have academic value and could be the basis for learning new techniques but they are a far cry from the all-encompasing ordeal thesis which is nothing less than the sum total of a magician's life's work.
emo samurai
Can they read academic research papers to gain power and stuff? And does it benefit people if they read those ordeal papers?
Dissonance
IMO, the only kind of benefit you could get from those kind of papers would either be points in Magic Background or, say, realizing that a certain metamagic even exists. Offering karma reductions for reading somebody else's ordeal? No way.
hyzmarca
In SR3, such papers would be considered part of a hermetic library. The number and quality of such papers would be a function of the library's rating. In SR4, they would be considered part of a Lodge. Personally, I wish that they kept the Lodge/Library distinction. It would make these things less confusing.

Long story short, such research materials are necessary but they don't provide any statistical in game benefit. They are simply fluff to go along with a Lodge.


At the moment, I'm wondering if it would be possible to use MIT&T's lodge over the matrix in the same way that you could rent access to online hermetic libraries in the past. With the similarities between the magic rules and the new martrix rules....
Grinder
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
Allowing people to download coppies ensures that you won't lose a magic point due to the thesis' destruction. Unfortunatly, it also ensures that you will be the target of ritual atomic wedgie spells from Trickster followers the world over.

That's the whole problem of it wink.gif

Ancient History
...
No one actually read my post, did they?
Dissonance
It totally got missed in all the clutter.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Ancient History)
...
No one actually read my post, did they?

Read? Yes, and still looking for an adept with a submissive personality.

Paid attention to? Maybe. But it always helps to rehash the same information over and over again from slightly different perspectives.
MK Ultra
Generally, most magical advances in SR will reach the awakened community via publications. I.e. all the changes since SR3 (hermetics summoning on the fly, shamanes binding spirits of natur for longer then one day, etc.) are to no litle part due to the advances, the academic magic community has made (and published) in the first half of the 60s (united magical theorie).

@Dissonance & hyzmarca

Id consider the SR4 lodge of a hermetic more like the SR3 hermetic circle, possibly with his personal grimoir and some of the key books of the library. The SR3 library would mainly be fluff and online-tuteledge in SR4. You still need such texts to advance your arcane skills, learn spells and techniques and initiate, only are they more readiely available and less expensive as in SR3 (now most of it would be covered by lifestyle or pirated copies). Also as stated above, the traditions are to some degree closer then before, so the hermetics dont need these huge, bulcy, old lybraries for everything anymore.

@Ancient History

I did and payed attention, but must admit, I didnt scan through the links (yet). Also Im not totaly on your line, Id say an academic mage will very likely publish his initiation thesis, without exposing himselfe to ritual casting (there are no rules for material links in SR4 yet, anyway wink.gif). Why I think so, Ill explain in a second.

@ publishing of an initiation thesis

Ive allways handled it in the way, that an academically orianted magician (regardless of tradition) would publish his thesis. Only would the pubblished version miss some key aspects, so it wont be usefull as a link, neither would it be a veritable copy for the purpos of not loosing magic. For this purpose the mage (and possibly the magical group or order) would keep an "original" hard-copy with personal annotations and which would be handsigned by the author.
If a mage would publish the compleat and anotated version (maybe by accident or prank) he would be wise, not to give signing sessions for this work devil.gif

@ emo samurai

Regarding reduced karma by previleged library access. You can handel this with Karma vs. Cash rules, if you apply them, in the end its nothing different, and Ive allways rationalized these rules in such a way. I.e. the pc spends 10k nuyen.gif for a silver access to Hermes Consultings online arcives per month, so he gets 2 Karma per monthe for pouring through the volumes of brand new and rediscovered arcane texts.
Frackula
I would think that there would be legit magical journals academics could subscibe to and publish in. Every thesis would be subject to intense peer review, so if the spells couldn't be duplicated, you'd lose credibility. Then again I have no idea how these things are supposed to work in Shadowrun.
emo samurai
Since you don't have to pay karma to learn higher force spells anymore, are theses useful at all?
SL James
Possibly for initiation.

It also helps in the off chance you might actually want to role-play.
emo samurai
Spending nuyen.gif 20000 on a grimoire for the sake of role-playing? Bah. Paying nuyen.gif 50 a month for access to SK's database, though, I can understand.
MK Ultra
QUOTE (Frackula)
I would think that there would be legit magical journals academics could subscibe to and publish in. Every thesis would be subject to intense peer review, so if the spells couldn't be duplicated, you'd lose credibility. Then again I have no idea how these things are supposed to work in Shadowrun.

See 1st/2nd Edition Grimoir p. 14

Manual of Practical Thaumaturgy
Most cited standart Textbook of Thaumaturgy (2070 its somewere betweem the 20th and 30th edition I belive)

Procedings of the AAAT
(American Association for the Advancement of Thaumaturgy)
Journal of the Business Association that sets legal standarts for "legitimate magical practices" in the UCAS and organizes conventions, where numerous scientifical papers of thaumaturgical research are presented.

Business Thaumaturgy Datanet
Mayor datanet dedicated to technically oriented thaumaturgical articles and allso serving as a clearinghouse for corps to hire mages.

Magicnet
Legitimate pay-Database, monthly access fee was 100 to 500 nuyen.gif IIRC (see Target:Matrix). Including (via trapdoores) the Infemous Magic Undernet Dataheavan, which deals in pirated spell formulae etc..

There are way more of cause, but these are the ones described in the the Grimoir.
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