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I've got ideas for a new type of metamagic, one that allows an astrally projecting character to materialize, like a spirit does.

I just need to work some things out.

A) when materialized, would he use his physical attributes normally, or use the astral attributes, since it is merely a materialization of his astral body. Similarly, would he use his physical or astral initiative?

B) Would the character need to resist some sort of drain, in order to prevent the power from being over used. Maybe every time he materializes, the maximum attribute he materializes with is the force, and he must resist force/2 + 2. A character can materialize with an attribute lower than his actual attribute in order to lower the drain.

C) I'm assuming Weapon Foci will be able to materialize with the character, as they go where the astral body goes. Will the materialized character be able to use other weapons that he picks up after materializing?

D) When materialized, the character is considered dual-natured, and thus is still vulnerable to attacks from the astral plane.

E) Materializing and de-materializing requires a complex action.

F) When spirits materialize, they are immune to normal attacks. Would a materializing mage be the same?

G) What would a materializing mage look like? His normal physical body, or something more like a spirit, since it is his astral body materializing.

What do you guys think?
I see potential for game balance problems. Mage goes astral, inside a building, materializes behind a guard, kills him. Unlocks the door form the inside.

Be like allowing a free spirit character.
Are you going to allow them to take things back in to the astral with them that aren't bonded foci?

As for immunity to normal weapons , I'm recalling 3rd edition channeling here. That was a nightmare, at least for me, and it had massive drain. This doesn't. You could do it, but be very careul about the potential imbalances.
I'm going to ignore for a moment whether I think this is overpowered and try to just answer these "logically"
A) Astral attributes. Basically treat him like a spirit. Same with initiative.
B) This sounds like a good balancing factor. I'm not sure it's perfect, but this is probably the place where you can do most of your balancing.
C) I don't see why not.
D) Absolutely.
E) Yes.
F) I would think so. Probably base force on initiate grade.
G) More like a spirit. Like his astral form, which is generally a somewhat idealized self-image.

As for what I think, this is potentially broken and overpowered, but it could work. The two big concerns that I see are:
1) It lets an astral mage target the physical, by materializing.
2) He gets uber stats, like a spirit.
I like the idea of drain, but basing it on his materialized stats seems a little....I don't know...weird, for some reason. You might consider making him roll drain every initiate grade turns, to maintain the manifested form.
I'd say "force" is equal to initiate grade. Their physical attributes are equal to their astral attributes or force, whichever is lesser.
This whole thing still seems overpowered, but the idea is interesting.
A good way to balance it would be to strictly limit the time , like the limited astral projection power, and make all drain physical.
The reason behind basing it upon his materialzed stats is to make it so that it is more taxing on the character to create a stronger physical form.

I just don't like that spirits can do it, but mages can never figure it out. When a spirit does it, why is it not overpowered, but when a mage does it, it is?
For one, spirits don't have a bunch of spells they can cast. Two spirits have service limites. Three, direct control as opposed to following orders.

Like I said, there's no reason you couldn't do it. Just be careful of game balance. smile.gif
QUOTE (IvanTank)
When a spirit does it, why is it not overpowered, but when a mage does it, it is?

Because the mage has already walked past all the wards while not projecting or perceiving, but the spirit had to deal with them.
True, the mage could walk past the wards and then summon the spirit, but then he's paying a heavy toll in drain, and it's counting against his unbound spirit limit. Also, the spirit can be banished, and if he's leaving the mage to do all these door tricks, he's not getting counterspelling from the mage, either.
I really don't think it's necessarily overpowered, but it is dangerous ground, in that respect. Just make sure the drain mechanic is simple, logical, and a good balancer.
Maybe you could make it so that you could "banish" a materializing mage, throwing him back to his physical body, or just to the astral plane, with a big headache.
not a bad idea that
Are you planning on making it so that the mage dies, if his materialzed form is killed?

Are you planning on allowing the mage to "astral hop" thru barriers?
QUOTE (Mistwalker)
Are you planning on making it so that the mage dies, if his materialzed form is killed?

Are you planning on allowing the mage to "astral hop" thru barriers?

Yes to the first question. No to the second. When he is materializing, he is dual natured, so he cannot easily pass through astral barriers. Think of materializing as astral perception, only the other way around.
James McMurray
What about if instead of materializing the mage drew his body to him? So basically it would be:

1) Mage gpes astral, body falls limp.

2) Mage draws body to him, it leaves where it is and appears where he is, traveling through the metaplanes.

3) Mage enters body

You avoid the issues of immunity to natural weapons, and add in a few vulnerabilities as well, since if he wants to astrally travel away again he has to leave his body at least for alittle while, in enemy territory.

Note, I would never allow either. This is just a random, not thought out for more than a minute, alternative that sprung to mind.
James, there are a few problems with your idea.

One, it would allow teleportation, which, to date is not possible
Two, it would make holding mages prisoner almost impossible, as it would probably be the first or second metamagic learned, with the other being masking, so that they don't look like mages, hence go to general lockup.
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
I see potential for game balance problems. Mage goes astral, inside a building, materializes behind a guard, kills him. Unlocks the door form the inside.

Isn't this already possible, with the mage going into the building astrally, calls/summons a spirit, has it materialize kill/incapacitate the guard, open the door?


I am still mulling it over, but I think that you can do a lot already if the mage can enter astrally (no wards/mana barriers) and summon spirits.
I will have to re-read watchers, but I think that you can get them to move things around for you, if you don't want to bother with full spirits.

Unless I am mistaken, when you are astral, and "appear" on the mundane plane, you can see the physical world, hence read the written word, but can be seen with mundane eyes and tech cameras. Invisibility does not work on appeared mage, cause it would affect his physical body, not astral body.
QUOTE (Mistwalker @ Nov 18 2006, 08:21 PM)
James, there are a few problems with your idea.

One, it would allow teleportation, which, to date is not possible

Sorcery can't be bend space and time.
Sorcery also can't summon or bind spirits.

Just because sorcery can't do it doesn't mean that it can't be done.

However, instead of having the metamagic teleport your body it might be better to have the metamagic move your entire physical body to the astral plane such that you use all of your physical stats instead of astral stats and you can shoot astral spirits with your gun.

Have it be something that that requires the magician to have Harlequin or Ehran as a 6/6 contact in order to learn.
Something a GM allowed for one of my mages in 3rd edition was for him to physically project into astral space. (A metamagic ability learned from a great dragon).

It required a willpower roll against twice the local background count.

While physically projecting, the astral character had to use his normal physical attributes instead of replacing his physical attributes with mental attributes.

While physically projecting, he could not go through any physical barrier that he could not normally pass through. (i.e. if a door was unlocked or he had the key, then he could go through it) The only physical limit I could overcome was movement speed. While physically projecting, I could still move at astral speed, and had full 3D movement (i.e. fly). My characteer was told that if he ever tried to project to the metaplanes while physically projecting, he'd be killed by the dragon who taught him the technique.

While physically projecting, he could only take things he was emothonally attached to or bonded too. (Foci, and any physical item that could also serve as a material link. In my case, the character had a shotgun from character creation to the end of the campaign that he couldn't use very well, rarely used, but always had it with him.)

It wasn't abusable in our campaign because the enemies we made were all at least magically aware. If they didn't have magically active security, they had fab in the walls. When the campaign ended, my character was captured, held in a fab-walled vehicle awaiting transport to a secret prison on a space station. He was kept from escaping from the van, and his first attempt to project resulted in one of his contacts getting killed (several of the charcter's aquantences were also in the vehicle, each with a gun to their head. One would be killed every time he tried to escape.)

If the characters had a source to learn secret techniques (if the game included dragons or IEs willing to teach the characters), they I wouldn't change much to adapt it to forth edition. It kind of fills the teleport role. Doesn't allow breaking into vaults and teleporting away with the contents. Doesn't let the character go anywhere he couldn't go already, just lets him go faster and in some cases without being seen. Magical characters can already move quickly and stealthily if they put some thought into it (quickened levitate, high force air spirits for movement and conceal power). This is just the next level up.
James McMurray
Like I said, I thought about it for only a minute. But "it isn't possible" doesn't hold much water as projecting mages materializing also isn't possible. If "you can't do that" is valid, then the entire thread is pointless.

Mages are already incredibly hard to hold prisoner unless you keep them around a high background count and/or a ward (preferably both). This just makes it harder still. Maybe add a initiate rank requirement or a bunch of other metamagic prereqs or something.
Lord Ben
Summon a spirit of man, then possess it briefly. The power would be to possess your own spirits of man and control them. Your astral form inhabits the body and could be attacked normally, but you could control the spirits physical body.

Balance factors:
Use your own skills and initiative passes, but it's physical body. Any init booster spells are on you, not the target so you'll likely have only 1 IP until you have time to cast the spell and sustain it.

Your astral form that is merged with the spirits can be harmed normally.

You can also be harmed if the spirit's physical body is harmed, dumpshock if you will...

You obviously look like a spirit.

The spirits instinctively resist by rolling their forcex2 vs your magic+whatever. If they win you suffer successesx2 drain and don't possess them.
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