Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Nature of being Awakened?
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
emo samurai
Why are some people mages, and others aren't? I'm not sure it's hereditary; if it was, people would notice that certain families having a high incident of awakened people, and this has never been mentioned in the fluff. That discounts the X gene theory.

Then there's the theory that people have to believe very strongly in a concept; the existence of perfect forms for hermetic magic, the belief in knowing things for Dark King shamans, etc. But then, why would anyone learn from anybody? And there isn't any in-game fluff for magicians automatically having more willpower and charisma than other people, which having hyper-sincere belief would presumably give people.

So why do some people have magic, and others don't?
It's genetic -- SOTA 2063 goes in to some detail about it.

Essentially, it's a function of DNA higher level organization rather than just traditional sequence. Because of that, the heredity is sufficiently complex that while their might be familial trends, it's entirely possible for two awakened parents to have a mundane child. (Or, conversely, for two mundane parents to have an awakened child.)
QUOTE (emo samurai @ Jul 23 2006, 10:59 PM)
Why are some people mages, and others aren't? I'm not sure it's hereditary; if it was, people would notice that certain families having a high incident of awakened people, and this has never been mentioned in the fluff. That discounts the X gene theory.

This may come as a surprise, but genetic traits have been known to skip a generation (or several). Magic has only been back for 60 years. And there is evidence that it is hereditary to some extent, given the uncommon incidence of magicians among the Danaan families of TNO for instance.

Note - according to canon there's more at work than traditional genetics though. There's the whole "astral shadows" issue connected to both the magus gene, metahuman genes and SURGEd genes (more on that in SOTA63 IIRC). So while the gene may be present its astral trigger may not.
Frag-o Delux
I seem to remember in one of the books, Ill have to dig hard to find it, that polynesian shamans do pass it down to their kids. In some of the fluff, the shamas are whale shamans or something, I think they were called whale surfers, they lived and swam with the whales. In the fluff its been noticed that there is a high rate of the children of these shamans being shamans. In fact I think they said there are families of these guys. Maybe someone knows what Im talking about and posts it before I can find it.
Sounds like Awakened Lands, if memory serves.

SOTA '63 does say that magic is genetic. It's right before the Genetech, right after the metahumanity stuff. Condensed version, "We know it's genetic, we haven't been able to isolate all the various stuff because it requires environmental triggers that are just too complicated to come up with in the lab"

As for the hyper-belief.. eh. That doesn't make sense -- you could then have the mundane 4-essence face finally go to school and discover some belief system, go absolutely wild, be more dedicated then most mages.. and awaken. Except that doesn't happen. Magic can't be gained late -- it's always at character creation. If it's possible for it to be anything BUT genetic, then it would have to be possible to awaken in game.
Note that SotA'63 says it in the IC portion of the text—as such, it could be wrong.

Ancient History
It's not belief per se. Let me, there is too much. Let me sum up:

Some people claim that magic is inherited genetically, positing some combination(s) of genes called the Magus Factor. No one has actually found this magical gene combo yet, and theories about it have been steadily advancing, but it is at least plausible because, as noted, larger percentages of magicians occur in some places than others. Of course, detractors from this theory note that in places where children are tested more diligently for magical talent, it is more likely to be recognized, which would occur for the greater number of magicians. Detractors of the detractors counter that the average precentage of Awakened are increasing faster than the Awakened breeders could possibly breed...and so on and so forth.

ANywho. Another arguement, often put forth by shamans (and others, but notably shamans) is that they did not choose to become magicians, their totems (or mentor spirit, idol, mait tete, etc.) chose them. Modern science hasn't been able to prove them right or wrong, because they haven't identified the Magus Factor. If it exists.

In either case, there are plenty of cases of individuals not expressing (or acknowleding, in some cases) their magical abilities. That is, the person might Awaken and not realize it. A prime example of this is Samuel "Twist" Verner, our beloved-yet-confused Dog-shaman-that-believes-he-is-a-Hermetic-mage from the Secrets of Power trilogy.

Then again, it has been alluded to that maybe, just maybe, everyone has the potential to use magic, but very few have sufficient ability to actually do so even subconsciously. But they lock those cats in the same room with the psychics and and the miraclemen.
I remember that the Tir Na N'Og sourcebook says that there was an unusually high percentage of elves born in Ireland during the Awakening, and that about 7-8% of the Tir's elves are Awakened. However, the percentage for all the other metatypes is 1%, same as the rest of the world.
Genetics can be a real mix of stuff. It doesn't have to be as straight as XX female, XY male.

To give an example of genetics in RL, my brother and I are both left handed, but neither of our parents or any grand parents were left handed. clearly it's something in the mix but it is a combination of different factors that didn't come up in any of the generation beofre us.
QUOTE (Snow_Fox @ Jul 23 2006, 08:43 PM)
Genetics can be a real mix of stuff. It doesn't have to be as straight as XX female, XY male.

Yeah, it could be like XX male and XY female.


XXX female

XXY male and XXXY male

X female

XYY male

5-ARD XY male with something extra

Androgen Insensitive XY sort of female

PMDS XY male with something extra

CAH XX sort of male

XXYY male

XX/XY mosaic hermaphrodites

And that doesn't even include alternate sex determination systems like X0, ZW, and Haplodiploidy or hermaphroditic tetragametic chimera.

Really, if the genetics of something as simple as sex determination are so complex imagine what magic must be like with its 'astral shadows' and whatnot.
I was offering that as an example you cretin.
If you've got enough midi-chlorians you can use magic. Oh, wait, wrong setting biggrin.gif
Thinking there is a Magus gene on one of the human chromosomes that correlates with the potential for an individual to experience magical awakening is using a very simplistic approach to genetics. Hair colour, for example, relies on several loci not just one. Sure - every protein in our body is coded for by one or more genes in our chromosome... but only 2% of our chromosome codes for proteins. The other 98% codes for switching routines, introns, packaging and all sorts of other stuff. On top of that, acetylation, methylation and ubiquitylation of sections of the chromosome also affect the behaviour of that DNA.

First of all we worked out how the bases match codons and we had the alphabet. Then we worked out that genes code for proteins that make or do stuff in the body, so we had the index page. Now we're onto epigenetics which tells the actual story of why your body turns out the way it does.
Hooray for the BBC
More stuff
No reason why awakability couldn't be contingent on a pattern of epigenetics.
emo samurai
Scientific proof of background counts?
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012