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Pendaric
For plot hooks and general thoughs of you the dumpshocker.....

Forming

Dr Louise Mckellen is a troll full mage living and working as a talismonger and enchanter in the University district of Seattle. Born a human he expressed as a troll in the first waves of goblination, his magical talent and position as an combat mage in the Ares mega Corporation saved him from the round ups and victimisation of metahumans at the time.
This tumultuous past shape his magical perspective, as originally taught in the Renewed Hermetism, he threw himself into researching Classical Hermetism when he could not find a cure for his transformation. This dual tradition stance and his personal research and soul searching lead to the evolution of his acceptance of the United Magical Theory.
After his retirement on health grounds to his lore store in Seattle, he devoted himself to work and his scholastic exploration. He delved into a pet project of astral phenomena, specifically astral objects.
This series of research, principally in the spirit of theoretical not practical advancement of magic, has lasted just under a decade and has lead to two discoveries, the creation of a pseudo focus bridging the gap of fetish and foci. The other is the metamagical discipline of Forming.
Forming is the advanced art of conjuring astral objects, inanimate things with a purely astral nature. The ritual involves much taken from the free form style of Watcher creation, anchoring knowledge and hermetic summoning rituals. The fundamental hermetic law of Conservancy demands something of the mage to form the object, the very emotional resonance that maintains the object in astral space. The magicianís astral signature thus becomes part of the all objects he creates, as they are in part extensions of that magician.
To date Dr Mckellen has created the objects as small as a needle and as large as a troll-sized armchair. The latter he uses in his cramped workshop to save on space.
An anomaly of the formed objects is that a mage touching the object can cause it to manifest through an act of will, much as an astral projecting magician can.
Currently there are ritual formulas and research notes in English and Latin, Dr Mckellen is currently translating his research in to Magi to better illustrate it to other traditions and foster greater inter tradition debate.

Dr Mckellen theoretical interest has not blinded him to the nature of his fellow metahumans and as a concerned scholar and man of power feels keenly the responsibility of knowledge.
He has occasional contact with the shadow community via past associates under the handle of Attradies and knows only too well the darker side of his discovery.
He intends to spend several of his remaining twilight years considering the implications that publishing his findings may cause. For now he is happy to teach his pupils and sell his wares till he comes to a decision.

Game rules.
Forming is a conjuring ritual similar to that of elemental binding, requiring a small hermetic circle, simply large enough to hold the intended object.
At the end of the ritual the magician must expend karma to infuse the object with astral presence and lock it into being.
Objects created by forming last for one year and one day. The barrier rating of an item is the magic rating of the magician at the time of creation

Target number 6 for the conjuring test.
Drain is a flat 6 serious stun on charisma as per normal rules.
Karma cost is 1 for a tiny item (needle, marble, coin)
2 for a small item (Deck of cards, letter, dagger)
4 for a medium item (less than one cubic meter, sword, bow, street sign)
6 for a large item (as big as the caster).

Ref notes
The first thing any self-respecting shadow running combat magician is going to do is make a weapon, shield and armour. Thatís fine, steep karma price and now how are they going to cart this stuff around? Remain dual natured or astral project all the time?
These objects can be turned on their previous owners as weapons can be disarmed. They can be used to astraly track there owners. They can be broken easily in combat with other astral features, mana spells, mages etc
There is no such thing as astral gunpowder. There is no such thing as astral petrol.
Dikote and monofilament do not exist in astral space.
Now what else forming can do, astral works of art, astral signs, astral booby traps, astral letters, what every else you can image.
It may be possible to hide the astral signature via metaplaner quest is you decide so.


Watcher Orbs
An earlier discovery from this research was a method of prolonging watcher spirits life span. By binding the watcher at creation to a special fetish via a special ritual, its life span could be lengthened to a year and one day similar to a bound elementalís term of service.
The down side how ever was the watcher could not stray far from its sustaining lodestone.
In form they are a brass radical ball measuring one inch to three inches in diameter, inset with a radical gem to symbolise an eye and engraved with Latin incantation. A bound watcher can then be given over to the control of the owner of the orb to act as an astral sentry.
Currently Dr Mckellen is enjoying sole market share for his creation to several executives and bodyguards.

Game info
The summoning ritual requires karma or ritual components equal to twice the force of the watcher spirit and of course a watcher orb.
The Watcher spirit can only travel 100m per force point from the Watcher Orb.
A Watcher orb costs 4000 nuyen.gif to make.
Dr Mckellen only sells rating three Watcher Orbs for quality, at a price of 15000 nuyen.gif each.
Disrupting the watcher destroys the enchantment and a new watcher must be summoned, the orb may be reused.


Credits
Magi is a fictional language designed to allow easier translation from Shaman symbolic texts or hermetic languages. This was created by Ancient History and can be found on his site.
Watcher orbs where inspired by a device with the same name on Path of the Arcane web
BookWyrm
Interesting concept, Pendaric. I'll look at AH's file on the Magi 'language', but I'll need a link.
Pendaric
link to the relvent section on AH's site.
Ivanhoe
Maybe I am a missing something or maybe it is something for 4th ed only, but can a "manifesting" object interact with physical objects ? I believe not, that would make the armchair or the possible edged weapon ineffective against magis not astrally projecting or not astrally perceiving.
Of course it could be used by mages against mages. Does something prevents a mage (or an adept) from using such an astral bow with the characteristics of a ranger X ?
Herald of Verjigorm
Manifest: psychic audio-visual sensory information

Materialize: "Ow, that hurts."
BookWyrm
Thanks, Pendaric. biggrin.gif
Pendaric
QUOTE (Ivanhoe)
Maybe I am a missing something or maybe it is something for 4th ed only, but can a "manifesting" object interact with physical objects ? I believe not, that would make the armchair or the possible edged weapon ineffective against magis not astrally projecting or not astrally perceiving.
Of course it could be used by mages against mages. Does something prevents a mage (or an adept) from using such an astral bow with the characteristics of a ranger X ?

Peronally I'd rule that all physically derived benefits would not appear on the astral but cannon says astral objects work just like there real world counter parts. Review ref notes however. Ultimatly up to the ref in question.
nezumi
I'm a little confused here...

Does Forming create only astral-only forms? For instance, would the caster make a chair, a sword, a block of ice, etcetera, that only work on the astral? Or is he actually making a chair, sword and block of ice that he can then sit on, kill his enemies with and cool his drink with?

Is there anything preventing the caster from, with a single metamagic, creating an astral-only $500,000 power focus? I wouldn't complain if he could make an astral-only sword, which he can then use for astral combat, but a focus of any sort would be very overpowered.

The watcher orbs are very cool, however I'd increase their price. If this is experimental technology, it should be expensive, and if only three are made a year, the legal price should be extraordinary. $15,000 in materials and $150,000 on the market (since there's a very limited supply) would seem more reasonable to me. Regardless, I would expect that within a few years, this sort of technology would be everywhere, since it's cheaper than wards. Do you want to make watchers so prevalent in your Shadowrun world?

Related, do they still count against the caster's limit of summoned spirits? (I hope yes.) If they're destroyed, does the caster know? (I hope no.)


"requires karma or ritual components equal to twice the force"

So for a force 6 watcher, you can spend 6 karma or... how much money? Do you mean "requires 2 karma points and $1,000 per force of the watcher" or something along those lines?


I'd say both of these are neat ideas, but the wording is unclear. Remember, players will abuse these if you don't patch the holes.
Sphynx
Fascinating idea. Doesn't it seem a bit too expensive for what little it does though? What are some effective uses of this Metatechnique (other than the watcher orbs of course)?
Pendaric
Forming creates astral only objects. They work like normal objects but only exist in astral space. These are artifical creation though some occur in astral space naturally. (Carn't remember in which book the natural ones are in.)

I had though of the possibility of astral foci but I think enchanting should remain a physical art.

Yes by all means increase th watcher orbs retail cost. The base cost is for the radical brass and gem, taken from MITS. It is not three a year but force three watchers.

Er no the watcher is bound to the orb, similar to a guardian elemental, so does not count towards the summoners limit.
Yes the summoner has no idea if the watcher is disrupted.

Watchers only go to force three, so that would be 6 karma or 6 thousand summoning material cost for the best you can get.

Sphynx,
"Now what else forming can do, astral works of art, astral signs, astral booby traps, astral letters, what every else you can image."
Pendaric
O and you don't need the meta magic forming to make watcher orbs, just the orb formula and the special summoning ritual.
Herald of Verjigorm
QUOTE (Pendaric)
Watchers only go to force three,

Not quite, they go to half your magic rating rounded down. Fear the mage who sends a force 12 watcher at you.
nezumi
QUOTE (Pendaric)
Forming creates astral only objects. They work like normal objects but only exist in astral space.

Work like normal objects... on the astral. Just make sure when you write up the rules that you're absolutely clear that these items have no impact on the mundane world. Outside of that, I think it's an awesome idea. All in all, it has a lot of potential to add a lot of color to the game, and I don't see it as especially unbalancing. A few questions though...

What is the damage of an astral sword?
If you are astrally projecting with your astral sword and you're disrupted, where does the sword go?
What happens to the sword if you're carrying it through a ward?
Does astral armor count like, well, astral armor? At what rating?
If you are astrally perceiving and sit on an astral chair, what happens?


The watcher orb needs a maximum number of watchers it can support (probably based on their combined force).
Sphynx
Astral Art, Signs, Letters, I can see (though not useful to a Shadowrunner perse), but what sort of booby traps are we talking about? Action/Reaction is a physical law. You talking about some sort of barrier/booby trap?

Pendaric
QUOTE
What is the damage of an astral sword?


The same as a basic normal sword of its type, no dikote or mono filiment.

QUOTE
If you are astrally projecting with your astral sword and you're disrupted, where does the sword go?


Falls to the ground where you were dirupted.

QUOTE
What happens to the sword if you're carrying it through a ward?


If you where dual natured you would have to defeat the ward to pass through. If not how are you carrying the sword?

QUOTE
Does astral armor count like, well, astral armor? At what rating?

Yes. But you suffer astral quickness penilties dependant on what your wearing unlike the spell.

QUOTE
If you are astrally perceiving and sit on an astral chair, what happens?

It acts like a nomal chair for you.

There is only one watcher per orb, lasts for a year and a day. The orb can be reused to bind a new watcher after the last disipates/destroyed.

As to astral booby traps we stray into a rule clash, cannon says these items act like there real world counter parts. So acrossbow and tripwire trap would work like their real world counterparts, a sprung spike trap would spring and impale etc
Sphynx
Ah, so we're looking at alot more than a basic object, you're including the ability to make complex reactionary objects. At that point, OR (Object Resistance) should start to take effect in the Task roll. Anything that is a combination of workable/moving parts should receive an OR modifier I think, the other stuff, a sword, piece of art, orb, those are all singular objects. The booby trap is a very complex multi-part object.....
Pendaric
Have to make each piece individualy, one crossbow, one arrow, one piece of string then put it together.
Thought of another use, arming guardian spirits.
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