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I was going to put this in response to the negative qualities/aspected magician post but I decided to put it as a new post instead.

I think that the way the traditions work and the negative and positive qualities work pigeonholes you too much. I would like more variation. With this in mind I came up with the idea of building your tradition point wise.

There are many possible traditions available to magic users. Instead of having all the traditions just mirrors of each other this will provide more versatility in constructing magic users. These rules apply for all kinds of magic users. These rules replace all magic related qualities.

Players and GMs can build the abilities of their magical characters in a modular format, instead of picking a premade tradition. You can even grow beyond the limitations of your tradition once you initiate. You pick a series of magicial abilities that you have access to. This includes astral perception and projection. You can choose what level of Sorcery and Conjuring you want as well. Characters gain magic points when they gain certain abilities. In this version you must have a point of magic for each ability. If you loose the point of magic you loose access to that ability.

Mystic Adepts are built now by picking physical adept quality and other magic. Physical Adepts can gain astral perception and/or astral projection by just taking those qualities. Effectively each magical ability (sorcery, conjuring, astral projection, etc) requires a magic point it is tied to that point just like an adept ability. This means that in constructing a Mystic Adept you can't spend those linked points.

A tradition can also have limitations on it. These reflect the paradigms of the people in the tradition. These negative qualities con only reduce the cost of the tradition by half. Any other negative qualities count against the character's limit of 35 negative qualities. These can be Geasa or even requirements on using Foci. Focus addiction is not used because I want to encourage it's use. Geasa are replaced by a ofter version. Failing to keep up with your Geasa just reduces your magic rating temporarily but will never casue magic point loss. Latent Awakening is not used. If you get Astral perception at character creation then you can choose a tradition later.

Magical Qualities
Astral Perception (5 BP/+1 Magic) - If you take no other abilities then you can't raise your Magic rating over 1.
Astral Projection (10 BP/+1 Magic) - Gives you access to Astral Projection, Perception, and Combat.
Physical Adept (10 BP/+1 Magic) - Gives access to Adept powers.
Dual Natured (5 BP) - requires Astral Projection
Astral Chameleon (5 BP)
Focused Concentration (10/20 BP) +1/+2 for drain tests
Astral Beacon (-5 BP)
Gremlins (-5 BP/lvl; Max 4) Some magicians don't combine well with technology
Sensitive System (-15 BP)
Total Rejection (-20 BP) no cyberware or bioware at all
Painful Conection (-10 BP) Your magic and cyberware don't get along. -2 pain penalty when using cyberware. Obviously must have cyberware to get this.
Burning Mana (-15 BP) Magic causes pain when it flows through your body. You feel pain in your arms when directing energy or pain in the eyes when using a detection spell. -2 pain penalty when using magic in the physical. No pain in the astral. For -10 BP it can be linked to a specific type of magic or energy.

Sorcery (+1 Magic)
This gives the magic user access to spellcasting and the Sorcery skill group. Casters can be limited to a few catagories or have access to them all. If they have limited access then they are at a -4 to cast other spells.
Choose one:
One catagory (5 BP)
Two catagories (10 BP)
All catagories (15 BP)

Beliefs about Magic
(-10 BP) Backlash occurs with all aggressive magic. Any 1s count as a hit from the same spell on the caster. Caster can resist with countermagic as normal.
(-10 BP) Magic is random and unpredictable. Any 1s cause strange sideeffects that are not directable by the caster but not necessarily harmfull.

Conjuring (+1 Magic)
The gives the magic user access to conjuring spirits and the Conjuring skill group. Summoners can call upon a few spirits or all. The limitation is that you must limit the spirits and how your tradition views them.
Choose one:
One spirit (8 BP)
Each spirit past the first +2 BP
All spirits (22 BP)

Spirit Affinity - you must have these in your conjuring list
Each spirit cost +5

Spirit Bane - you can't have these in your conjuring list
Each spirit gives -5

Mentor Spirit (10 BP)

Beliefs about spirits
(-5 BP) All spirits are creations of the mind (can't take spirit affinity, -1 dealing with spirits)
(-10 BP) Only one or two kinds of spirits are acceptable and all the others are enemies or evil (only have spirit affinity with those kinds of spirits, all others at -3. Likely to have spirit banes.)
(-10 BP) The spirit you call upon is better then you and you should only make one request of them per summoning.
(-10 BP) Must have the aid of a spirit to cast spells (-3 to cast without a spirit aiding you)

Secret Caster (5 BP) no obvious actions needed. -2 to notice
Secret Summoner (5 BP) no obvious actions needed. -2 to notice
Flashy Caster (-5 BP) Always a glow of energy when casting
Flashy Summoner (-5 BP) Obvious area effect glowing circles and energy

Tradition Qualities

Geasa on Tradition
One geas (-5 BP)
Two geasa (-10 BP)
Several geasa (-15 BP)

Requires fetishes (-5 BP)
Requires one foci (-10 BP)
Requires a foci per spell catagory/spirit type (-15 BP)

Ex: Faust (human combat mage) has:
Astral Projection (10 BP)
Sorcery (all catagories) (15 BP)
Conjuring (1 spirit - Guardian) (8 BP)
Belief: All spirits are creations of the mind (-5 BP)
Total 28BP for 3 pts of Magic
Then he bought up to Magic rating 5 for 20 BP
Total cost 48BP

What do you guys think?

Eryk the Red
I was thinking of something similar, actually, to distinguish each tradition a little more. (My original purpose was to make hermetics and shamans different from each other, more like previous editions of SR.) I never wrote anything up, though my intention was simply to design a number of tags of equal value. ('Tags' would be things like 'Possession tradition', a keyword that applies a number of special rules to the tradition.) Then, each tradition would simply have a certain number of tags. Negative tags allow more positive ones to be taken on a one for one basis.

I would go for this method so that magical traditions would still be equal in power. I would keep the aspecting qualities separate from traditions. (Though I can imagine there being certain traditions only available to aspected mages.)

In general, though, I like this idea, just as a way to make each tradition more unique.
Using your system one of the canned traditions would cost:

Astral Perception : 5
Astral Projection : 10
Sorcery, All : 15
Conjuring, 5 spirit types : 16

For a total of 46BP, for this 46BP you'd also get 4 points of magic. This means you've made casters cheaper compared to the 55BP this would cost you in the standard system.

Also (from a minimax perspective) it would make zero sense to not buy physical adept for 10 (giving you another point of magic, in effect making physical adept free) giving the character access to adept powers if they wished to ever puchase them (either at char gen or in the future).

Your system allows for more variation in magic, at the 'cost' of more powerful mages as they will either get more for their BP or use less BP being a mage. I would be leery of allowing 10BP qualities that also give you +1 magic as you've in effect made the quality free. Perhaps making the magic stat cost less BP at char gen and not giving you any points for any of the abilities would make more sense (you'd then have to rework the costs of the abilities).
I don't think you can buy both Astral Projection and Perception. So it's actually 41 points for 3 points of magic. Still a touch cheaper.

The example character only has Projection. I believe Perception is a subset of Projection in this case.

It does make mages a bit cheaper overall, though - a physad would spend 15 points to get 2 magic, and also get Astral Perception included, which is usually a 1 point adept power.
I;d say if you make it a bit harder to be a mage/adept that can astrally project (since I don't believe they're supposed to be able to , but can under your system) and make your point costs a little more in synch w/ regular mage BP, it'd be a pretty good system.

I also like your new qualities, especially the belief ones, and flashy/secret casters. good ideas all.
Well it costs 10 pts per magic point anyway and physads get that first magic point for 5 normally so that is more expensive.
The limiter is your GM. He would have to approve of the tradition that you have learned in the first place.
On the other hand I can see your points and maybe I should raise the base costs on a few things. Maybe raise the lowest level of sorcery and conjuring more. Maybe start them at 10 and go from there. That way at minimum you are paying for that point of magic.
What do you guys think?
That shounds more reasonable, since that way you're not getting points for free. I'd say give it a shot and see how it goes. Run it with a new character, and keep the karma and challenge low, so you get a good number of low power sessions so you can see how it really relates to other characters power level.
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