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shadowbod
According to Street Magic non-living objects are opaque - water is not alive (although can be full of living organisms) so should be opaque. Does the sea effectively 'blind' a mage astrally perceiving there? Do you prefer to class the sea as part of the earth and therefore use the rules for pushing through? Do you just treat it the same as air?

What do you think water would look like on the astral plane?

Cold-Dragon
I forget if glass was considered opaque or not on the astral, but if it is, then that would suggest that water would also be opaque. However, I would say the water is transparent insofar as living things inside it go, All the tiny life matter in the water could be considered a 'light me up' effect making it not so hard to see through.

Course, it might also be a 'opaque until you get underneath it' sort of thing. If you push into the water, you can thus see into it, but not back onto land or whatever.

It would depend on the glass question, methinks.
shadowbod
Glass is opaque according to Street Magic.

(edited for typo).
Demerzel
Nitrogen is not alive and it represents the significant part of our atmosphere, likewise for the other large contributions to the atmosphere.

Where do you draw the line?

Blending Magic with Science highlights the most difficult part of creating a consistant game world such as SR.

Where do you think the line shoudl be drawn?

We say gasses (not alive) are not opaque because that would ruin the game. Is the boundry at the liquid/gas boundary? Then water is opaque. Is the boundary at the liquid/solid boundary? Then water would be clear, but so would mercury...

Do smoke grenades block LOS in astral?

There's fluff (maybe older than SR4) that indicates that magical things tend to share properties with their mundane counterparts. Like insect spirits are allergic to pesticides. But if glass is opaque then that does not work either. It's a difficult question, one you probably have to decide how you want it to work and go with that.

As far as pushing through water is like pushing through the earth however I'd say that since you could swim through water fairly easily then you should be able to astrally project through water. But that's just me.
ronin3338
If a mage is looking at the ocean astrally, he would see a bright mass of liquid light because of all the life (except in blighted areas, and I would have it look like a pool of ink)
If he were in it, he wouldn't be able to see much at all.

I would use the same rules as Earth for pushing through (non-living matter full of living organisms)

The material doesn't matter as much in Astral space as the living content. Even though water is transparent, when it's teeming with life, it would be nearly impossible to see through.
MK Ultra
In SR3, MITS p.82, it says, deep water usually imposes no visibility modifire, while shallow water with lots of life should be regarded as 'crowded biomass' area, giving a mod of +2 (likewise pollutet water, though lifeless should give some mod).
shadowbod
QUOTE (Demerzel)
Nitrogen is not alive and it represents the significant part of our atmosphere, likewise for the other large contributions to the atmosphere.

Where do you draw the line?

Sorry, my previous post was supposed to, and now does, read 'glass' rather than 'gass' (apologies if you interpreted it as gas - I wasn't trying to bring science in, I was clarify that glass is opaque on the astral.) - oops! smile.gif
knasser

Surely one criteria for something to exist / be opaque on the astral is persistence. Gas isn't present on the astral because it's a continuous displacing swarm of particles. There's never any chance of it acquiring an astral presence. Buildings, obviously can. The Earth? Been there forever and you can barely move through it, let alone see into it.

At least I think that's a viable bit of fluff to support the RAW. If you applied it to water, then I'd say water doesn't block you and isn't opaque, but you could bend it the other way if you wanted.
Ranneko
No, glass is not opaque on the astral.

If you can see through something normally, you can still see through it on the astral plane.

Mundane objects tend to be dull and colourless, but you can still see them or through them for that matter. They are sharper and more distinct if emotionally charged.
lachattenoire
QUOTE
Nitrogen is not alive and it represents the significant part of our atmosphere, likewise for the other large contributions to the atmosphere.

Where do you draw the line?


As gases are 22.4 liters per mole at STP and water is 18 ml per mole at the same STP, I imagine air to be pretty transparent even if the gases themselves were opaque to the astral plane. Still, I imagine air would be increasing opaque the longer your LOS. Kind of like the air in LA.
shadowbod
QUOTE (Ranneko)
No, glass is not opaque on the astral.

If you can see through something normally, you can still see through it on the astral plane.

Mundane objects tend to be dull and colourless, but you can still see them or through them for that matter. They are sharper and more distinct if emotionally charged.

These are your house rules, but Street Magic (p114) specifically states that glass is opaque on the astral. All mundane objects have astral shadows which are described as opaque (NOT transparent). This was what prompted me to ask my original question about water (including the oceans etc) in the first place.
Demerzel
Which is where my question comes in because gas is a mundane object, and we can see through it not because of the density but rather it transmits light much the same way as glass does. In fact variations in things like temperature cause effects not unlike lensing in glass.

But it is safe to assume that gas is transparent, because astral space would be immensely useless if you couldn't see through air. So what makes it different. The method light uses to transmit through gas and glass are basically the same, so what creates the difference?

Is water more like gas or glass?
nezumi
QUOTE (shadowbod)
Glass is opaque according to Street Magic.

(edited for typo).

Awesome, finally! I hated the old rule. I houseruled that forever ago.

I just rule water has lower (or higher) visibility based on the amount of life in it. Swimming in the ocean probably adds a cover modifier to targets beyond short. Swimming in a tank of sterile water has no effect whatsoever.
Ranneko
QUOTE (Demerzel @ Nov 13 2006, 04:27 AM)
Which is where my question comes in because gas is a mundane object, and we can see through it not because of the density but rather it transmits light much the same way as glass does. In fact variations in things like temperature cause effects not unlike lensing in glass.

But it is safe to assume that gas is transparent, because astral space would be immensely useless if you couldn't see through air. So what makes it different. The method light uses to transmit through gas and glass are basically the same, so what creates the difference?

Is water more like gas or glass?

Hey you are right, I missed that, despite rereading it before my comment.

Ah well. Personally I prefer transparent things to remain transparent (since that is what I am used to from starting to play SR late 3rd ed), but that now appears to be a houserule in SR4.

EDIT: Upon rereading it
QUOTE (Street Magic pg 114)
Determining cover works the same way on the astral plane as it does in the physical world (see pp. 140141, SR4). Shadows of physical objects in the astral plane may be drab and insubstantial, but they are still opaque and can prevent target-ing. Items that are transparent or mirrored in the real world (like a car window) simply impair visibility as astral shadows.

impair means damages or weakens, not blocks.
So it would help to mute a living aura, but not prevent you from seeing through it. (i.e. increases the "Astral Clutter" visibility penalty)

I think I shall submit the question to the FAQ however.
shadowbod
QUOTE (Ranneko)
impair means damages or weakens, not blocks.
So it would help to mute a living aura, but not prevent you from seeing through it. (i.e. increases the "Astral Clutter" visibility penalty)

Totally agree with you on the meaning of impair, but the paragraph that you quoted first describes astral shadows as opaque, and then goes on to say that transparent and mirrored objects impair as astral shadows.

I quite like the idea of transparent objects just getting an astral clutter modifier. It would work for glass, mirrors and water.
Fortune
Yeah, I was going to argue the point with a quote too, but upon additional re-reading the passage still didn't become clearer.
Ranneko
QUOTE (shadowbod @ Nov 13 2006, 08:33 AM)
QUOTE (Ranneko)
impair means damages or weakens, not blocks.
So it would help to mute a living aura, but not prevent you from seeing through it. (i.e. increases the "Astral Clutter" visibility penalty)

Totally agree with you on the meaning of impair, but the paragraph that you quoted first describes astral shadows as opaque, and then goes on to say that transparent and mirrored objects impair as astral shadows.

I quite like the idea of transparent objects just getting an astral clutter modifier. It would work for glass, mirrors and water.

Yeah, this is where poor wording strikes again.

"as astral shadows" could be taken to mean "block vision like the other astral shadows" or "rather than being completely clear like they are in the real world"

EDIT: Perhaps a better way of saying it is: "they block vision like non-transparent astral shadows" or "this is how they work when they are astral shadows"
hyzmarca
There is an advantage to vague wording with confusing adverbs and improperly placed dependent clauses.
If doesn't matter how you rule it, everybody is right. Its all a part of SR4's flexibility. grinbig.gif
Cold-Dragon
Heh, but it drives people nuts when they want to share a specific 'ruling' for it.

From the way it's worded (reading one of the various quotes) It sounds like shadows on the real world and astral world are essentially the same. The catch is that since objects in the astral world are either bright and colorful (if alive) or else dark and drab (if not) it's usually not an issue.

That said, with the exception of anything obviously alive in the water, it would be transparent, but otherwise dark wherever light isn't going.

So if you somehow find a spot in the water without something sizeable enough to give you a good glow (besides yourself), you may as well be blind.

Well, it's a theory anyways.
Zeitgeist
But aren't we forgetting that oceans and such are part of Earth? And seeing as how it's all part of the Earth, couldn't it carry over similar properties as its mundane counterpart? I can't imagine water being opaque in the Astral. I mean, wouldn't life be pretty hard for Awakened/Dual Natured fish, bacteria, cephalopods, and all the other tasty things in the sea? I'd say that the entire sea would be glowing with both the Earth's aura and all them little fishies, requiring Astral sunglasses as not to go blind. Beyond that, treat water as water.
Ranneko
On the water issue, water itself would be blurry but transparent.

However, water with life in it, especially seawater would glow slightly, with bigger fish being far more visible in it than you would see normally.

I don't however think it would have Earth's aura as part of it, because then you would need to follow the same rules for pushing through the water as you do on the ground.
Aaron
I'm rather surprised that nobody's brought up the fact that one doesn't actually see anything in astral space. One is more accurately perceiving things, or if you prefer, "feeling" it. The astral traveler is perceiving the auras of the ambient life in the area. The ability to "see" by this "light" is really just an expression of a metaphor. (SM p. 114)

The astral traveler can sense the existence of a physical object because it casts an "astral shadow." It is Not Alive, and the absence of that "light" emitting life allows him to see it the same way that we in the physical realm "see" a shadow or an area of darkness: we cannot perceive it except by the absence of light.

By this logic, a pane of glass is Not Alive, and therefore casts an opaque astral shadow.

Further extrapolation of this logic suggests that astral shadows are cast as a function of density, as gaseous forms of matter do not block astral perception, but solid ones do. By this line of reasoning, a liquid that is Not Alive would be semi-"transparent," and make the astral "hazy" within it. A liquid teeming with life, of course, would be full of auras.
nezumi
QUOTE (Aaron)
I'm rather surprised that nobody's brought up the fact that one doesn't actually see anything in astral space. One is more accurately perceiving things, or if you prefer, "feeling" it. The astral traveler is perceiving the auras of the ambient life in the area. The ability to "see" by this "light" is really just an expression of a metaphor. (SM p. 114)
...
By this logic, a pane of glass is Not Alive, and therefore casts an opaque astral shadow.

And there you kicked yourself in the nuts.

Yes, your premise is correct, and it was correct in 1-3rd editions, yet somehow, inexplicably, mages could always see through glass (and possibly use mirrors). For as long as Shadowrun has been around, astral perception has not followed its own rules. As long as SR4 goes with the silly idea that the transparency of a solid object has any sort of impact on its ability to sense astral forms through it (at least, without further explanation), we won't be able to conclusively say what the rules say about liquids.

However I fully agree with you. Glass is opaque, liquid is translucent, possibly transparent, and foggy depending on the amount of live stuff in it (as well as the amount of random sediment caught up in it - cloudy water is cloudy on the astral).
Demonseed Elite
Author's intent (not canon, just my way of seeing things), I'm with Aaron. Be careful about referencing anything from previous editions of Shadowrun, though. When we were writing Street Magic we were very aware that earlier editions were contradictory and so we basically started at scratch with what we wanted to do and didn't get caught up on what previous edition material had said.

My intent was that you can't see through glass on the Astral Plane, as real life transparency doesn't have anything to do with assensing through objects in the Astral. But yes, density does appear to play a factor in the Astral Plane, or else air would be a serious issue.

In my personal games, it's similar to how Aaron handles water. The ocean is dark and smokey, with small glowing auras drifting and moving through it.
Cold-Dragon
Well, going on that...it just occurred to me that being the earth is alive, you'll see the bottom of oceans from the glow of the planet (the water is sitting on it, after all) and the seaweed and so on and so on. So unless you're inside a sunken complex or something, you have a visual edge to the water...

...therefore, you're not 'swimming' blindly in water much at all.

I guess the only worry from there is bumping into something on your way up that isn't alive.
Demerzel
QUOTE (Cold-Dragon)
I guess the only worry from there is bumping into something on your way up that isn't alive.

Why? Passing through walls and things is easy in the Astral. Even passing through living auras is acceptable so long as they are not astrally active. They just may get a tingling that tells them that you've just seriously violated their personal space...
Cold-Dragon
Well, if water is dark and murky except for where anything living is...that means the sharp fragment skewers of jagged metal that might physically be in the way of some nut swimming wouldn't be so easy to notice against the background of the sky water above (unless the sky is alive now?)

Granted, that's if you're physical and just astrally perceiving. I guess it wouldn't matter if you're projecting. ^-^; Forgot we were ghostly for a minute there, lol.
Demerzel
Hah, and astral perception hadn't really occured to me...

That brings up an interesting issue with that water requiring the same rules as pushing through earth. If you are dual natured you would just pass through at the rate you could swim, hardly seems right to make a projecting astral form be slower, and more dangerous.

EDIT: That is if anyone is still considering requireing astral forms to use the push through earth rules to go through water...
Ranneko
QUOTE (nezumi)
Yes, your premise is correct, and it was correct in 1-3rd editions, yet somehow, inexplicably, mages could always see through glass (and possibly use mirrors). For as long as Shadowrun has been around, astral perception has not followed its own rules. As long as SR4 goes with the silly idea that the transparency of a solid object has any sort of impact on its ability to sense astral forms through it (at least, without further explanation), we won't be able to conclusively say what the rules say about liquids.

This is because, regardless of what the fluff said, astral perception has been in previous editions, basically sight with set of filters applied. Probably because it is easier to picture things this way.
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