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cetiah

From Garrowolf's web site:

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 canít 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 characterís 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 itís 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 canít raise your Magic rating over 1.
Astral Projection (10 BP/+1 Magic) - Gives you access to Astral Projection, Perception, and Combat.
Physical Adept (5 BP/+1 Magic) - Gives access to Adept powers.
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 donít combine well with technology
Sensitive System (-15 BP) Total Rejection (-20 BP)
Painful Conection (-10 BP) Your magic and cyberware donít 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 (10 BP)
Two catagories (15 BP)
All catagories (20 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 (10 BP)
Two spirits (15 BP)
Five spirits (20 BP)
All spirits (25 BP)

Spirit Affinity - you must have these in your conjuring list
One spirit (5 BP)
Two spirits (10 BP)
Five spirits (15 BP)
All spirits (20 BP)

Spirit Bane - you canít have these in your conjuring list
One spirit (-5 BP)
Two spirits (-10 BP)
All spirits but your list (-15 BP) - canít have the all spirits list

Mentor Spirit (5 BP)

Beliefs about spirits
(-5 BP) All spirits are creations of the mind (canít 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)

Visibility
Secret Caster (5 BP) no obvious actions needed
Secret Summoner (5 BP) no obvious actions needed
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)

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


1) There seem to be a lot of areas where you can take penalties that don't really do anything or don't hinder you - or worse - are completely character dependant and change from one character to another. I'm primarily talking about the stuff on cyberwear. But also the gremlins thing.

2) Given the huge emphasis on eco stuff in shadowrun, including an eco-shaman archetype, I'm surprised there are no specific rules covering this. Or at least recommendations.

3) The "Beliefs About Magic" stuff is cool. You need more of these options. Even if the rest went away, this parts pretty cool.

4) The Beliefs About Spirits stuff strike me as weird. I'll point that out in a bit.

5) Actually, everything spirit related in here gives me a headache.

6) It's a little unclear as to whether some of these options are still available for characters if their traditions do not have these qualities.
cetiah
QUOTE
(-5 BP) All spirits are creations of the mind (canít take spirit affinity, -1 dealing with spirits)

Huh? Why?
I thought 'mind spirits' was kind of cool idea, and this rule doesn't seem to reflect that idea at all.

QUOTE
(-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.)

Umm... okay. Cool. But this doesn't seem to have any effect if you actually take the evil spirits as spirit banes. What does this -3 apply to? Summoning? Binding? Banishing?

QUOTE
(-10 BP) The spirit you call upon is better then you and you should only make one request of them per summoning.

This is cool, but if completely destroys the idea of having a high Summoning skill. I mean, what would you use additional hits for? If the spirit is supposed to be "better", maybe you should be able to retroactively increase its force? That would be odd, and have weird side effects but the basic idea seems to make sense.

QUOTE
(-10 BP) Must have the aid of a spirit to cast spells (-3 to cast without a spirit aiding you)

Okay, this idea is really cool. I was looking for something like this last time I made a wolf shaman. I wanted the wolf mentor spirit to be the actual physical source of his power.
cetiah
QUOTE

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 (10 BP)
Two spirits (15 BP)
Five spirits (20 BP)
All spirits (25 BP)

Spirit Affinity - you must have these in your conjuring list
One spirit (5 BP)
Two spirits (10 BP)
Five spirits (15 BP)
All spirits (20 BP)

Spirit Bane - you canít have these in your conjuring list
One spirit (-5 BP)
Two spirits (-10 BP)
All spirits but your list (-15 BP) - canít have the all spirits list


This whole part gives me a headache.
If I wanted to make a tradition that used Spirits of Air for all "spell types" (detection, combat, etc) and then add Fire and Earth to combat, how would I do that? What would it cost?

Here's a quick and dirty alternative for you to consider/evaluate:
For each "spell type" on your list, determine which spirit types you could summon. For each spirit type you choose, it costs 2 BP. Do this for each spell type and go down the list. So the above example would cost 10 BP for get "Air Spirit" added to each spell category on the spirit list, and then another 4 BP to add Earth and Fire to the combat category, for a total of 14 BP.
cetiah
I don't like the idea of adding or taking away the mentor spirit option based on tradition. Mentor spirits are a way of "specializing" and seems like they should be an individual choice. I've noticed you purposefully avoid giving skill bonuses and penalties for stuff related to the tradition; so the mentor spirit would sort of fill this role.

Rather than having the mentor spirit as a yes/no option, leave it as a generic quality not tied to your tradition, but for each tradition create 3 or 4 mentor spirits and say that the mentor spirit selected must be from this list. Or something like that. I don't think its a good idea to take away the quality altogether based on tradition.
Garrowolf
Wow! Thank Cetiah! I appreaciate this.

Okay, some of this is to reflect certain traditions. That is the point behind most of the beliefs stuff. A religious person who is calling upon an Archangel would feel that the Archangel is superior being that they should be in awe of. They may only call upon them in major times of need and only ask one question.

It was not so much that these were the only options either. I was trying to give some examples and some lists of costs.

I also wanted to bring back the differences in limits on spirits in a way that would work for anything. If you research each tradition you can come up with beliefs that one group has but another doesn't. There are probably more superstitions having to do with spirits then any other subject (except luck but most early cultures believed that luck was caused by spirits helping you).

The reason for the mind spirit thing is that mainstream hermetics believe in thought forms. They see all spirits as creations of the caster based on the energies they connected with through the seperoth. If the spirits have any independance then they are going to pick it up during the casting and your attitude towards them so it makes it harder for the hermetics to deal with them.

Some religions favor one spirit to cover everythingand all other spirits are evil. Mahi Kari believes that all spirits are evil and are out to get them. The Sumerians believed that there were some good spirits and some bad spirits. The bad spirits were usually spirits of the air and brought disease. I would say that could all be covered by spirit bane.

Some traditions say that one type of spirit will help you, say ancestor spirits, but other types will just guard you. What makes things more confusing is that some traditions are less defined and it is often your family's connections with a spirit that determine things.

The whole thing of connecting a spirit to a catagory is up to the person creating the tradition. I could see a spirit of magic (task spirit) being called for that. You could set it up based on the domains or by the stories surrounding that spirit type. Some spirits might like you and others may hate you. They will partially react to how they are treated and how they have been treated in the past.

I would like to connect all of this better with mentor spirits and totems. I just am not sure how. Some shamans were said to have 5 or 6 totems. Several pagan religions favor having multiple patron deities. Others favor dedicating yourself to one and asking them for help with everything no matter their domains. The Norse saw it both ways as a matter of choice. They also saw following Odin as a cosmic kick me sign and avoided those people.

I give alot more guidance from mentor spirits so I made them more expensive. I let them help with spells just like a summoned spirit. basically you summon a spirit of the closest type to your mentor and that is the amount of energy that mentor can give you. I need to work this out more though.

The -3 is for dealing with the spirit if they don't like you. They will not follow orders well and will resist more in banishing or any kind of negotiations. Sometimes I treat spirits as a form of contact. If you have spirit affinity then you can contact a spirit of the area and they will tell you what they are capable of noticing.

The cyberware idea partially came out of the first shadowrun novel with dodger and group. Sam Verner had headaches and pain from using cyberware. I thought that would be cool for characters who got cyberware before they discover they have magic. I was thinking about a character who had a cyberarm and whenever he cast magic his arm hurt badly as the magical energy hurt at the connections.

I was also thinking about a religious character that followed a religion that did not accept magic but he had it anyway. He believes that it comes from evil so it burns when he uses it but he has decided to use it to fight evil and sacrifice himself.

Some people believe that magic is channeling chaos energies. That is why they can break the laws of physics. The problem is that the energies are wild and dangerous to use. This is also the reason for the gremlins. You might believe that magic and tech don't get along at all so you subconsciously include damage to nearby electronics whenever you cast.

An advantage to this system is that through Initiation you can get rid of some of the limitations as you learn more or you can add abilities that you didn't take later on. You can't add a limit that you didn't have unless you have a good in game reason. I could see adding geasa based on a negotiation you made with a spirit but you wouldn't get points back for that (however I could see it as a trade for something else).

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