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I was just curious, from what I understand the reason why the astral plane doesn't extend into orbit is because its a vacuum and thus no life force. Do vacuums Earth-side have any effects upon the astral plane, or does the lifeforce of the Earth itself permeate through it thus allowing astral space to exist there?
Kanada Ten
All sterile areas, not just vacuums, twist astral space towards mana warp. There is actually a toxic shaman based on the "sterile" domain.

It goes beyond that, though. Background counts can be caused by a lack of hope, repressive environments, and sterile emotions. Target: Wastelands has a big breakdown of the various causes. [e] Basically, in any area where the natural order is perverted, astral space begins to twist; manifesting first as background count, until the natural order is completely subverted leaving only a mana warp...

Imagine walking into a crystal dome, where flowers grow in perfect rows, the air is unnaturally clean and smells almost painfully sweet. Birds sing in harmony and in time to music of your childhood. Sunlight, filtered to a golden sheen, warms your skin; clear pools of water glisten and bubble in the same rhythm the birds sing and the bees buzz. Your host is dressed in perfect white robes and his beautiful servants move with grace and frozen smiles. He gestures you to take a seat upon the plump mushrooms, but as you sit, you foot crushes a jeweled ladybug... The man suddenly snarls and screams at you - Blackness hits you heart, squeezing it to stillness - You reach out to the astral, desperate to channel some mana and save yourself, but even as it flows into you, you feel its poison. Its corruption burns deep as you slice at the spell the shaman attacked you with...
whoa dude
that's some heavy shite.
It's an interesting thought. But it is less that it's a sterile vaccuum that can't support life, than there isn't much out there. The manaphere is generated by life. There isn't much in space.

On earth Small scale spaces, like a decompression chamber shouldn't be a problem, they have life all around them but as you get further away from the planet surface there is less life about anyway so you have less to "cushion" the effect of the greater space. Like how a balloon at sea level is fine and pretty but at 30,000 feet it is going to expand and burst.

A neat thought here might be the clouds of Jupiter. a gas giant might have bazillions of microbes in htose clouds creating a manasphere further out inot space around the planet that you'd get on earth.
Fascinating idea about other worlds with manaspheres, Snow Fox.

Just to kind of echo what SF said, I don't recall seeing anything equating vacuum with mana lows. It's more proximity to the living earth (which, by some accounts, is regarded as an organism itself.)
Kanada Ten
Mits page 83, "Background Counts can be generated by any of the following... ...Lack of or destruction of nature, whether intentional or by circumstance..."

I can find T:W if you need more.
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
Mits page 83, "Background Counts can be generated by any of the following... ...Lack of or destruction of nature, whether intentional or by circumstance..."

I can find T:W if you need more.

Of course, that's based on a sort of vague defintion of "nature", and just one of the pitfalls of basing the way your world works on touchy-feely beads-and-sandals New Age crap. wink.gif

Vacuum is perfectly natural... in fact, the vast majority of it is completely unpolluted by humanity, unlike the majority of "natural" places on Earth.

Kanada Ten
In previous editions they talked about vacuums as being "dark" on the astral plane, as life is the source of light that permeates that plane - making it bright regardless. Whether that counts for causing a background count, I think depends on the rest of the environment. A vacuum chamber where people are tossed in as a death penalty might reach +5, while a sealed vacuum containing a totally machine run factory might only reach a count of 1.

As for my example, T:W page 115-116.
QUOTE (Dog @ Apr 29 2006, 04:20 PM)
Fascinating idea about other worlds with manaspheres, Snow Fox.

Luna's background count is already lower (8 ) than the average of space (10), and Luna doesn't even have native life. Large space stations also have reduced background counts (8-9), so there's a definite benefit to having any life in space. I'd be fascinated to see a few examples of background counts for places in space with life like Europa's oceans or the clouds of Jupiter.
Of course, a manasphere populated by totaly alien life may be just as much as a manawarp to us as space is.
Kanada Ten
I'd like to think a thriving alien ecosystem would only behave as a 4 or 5 background count, aspected to the native species. It may require some kind of filtering metamagic - like a mana spacesuit or such - to survive, or perhaps just understand. I wonder what astral space is like around the ocean floor or the volcano vents and if it is aspected in someway.
I'm not sure it's completely cut-and-dried fact that the manasphere is generated by life and that there is no mana in space because there is no life. That might be what a lot of the magical theoreticians claim, but I think the sourcebooks have left enough room for doubt. Things might not be so simple:
Foveae have life, but no 'manasphere'.
There is mana in space. You're quite capable of casting spells in space. You just have to deal with high mana warp conditions.

As proof in the direction of "life = mana," per Target: Wastelands, space stations with larger populations have reduced mana warps.

might be what a lot of the magical theoreticians claim,

Magical theoreticians in SR can travel into space to test their theories. Target:Wastelands takes time to discuss magical experimentation in space.
Ah. Haven't read that one, but it sounds like it supports what I've been thinking.

Maybe there is mana (and astral) in space- it's just a bad kind of mana and astral. Mana and astral on Earth is 'tamed' by life (by the Great Pattern?), not created by it.

EDIT: and for my money, the Great Pattern was artificially created (for that exact purpose) rather than being something that arises naturally wherever life emerges.
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