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FrankTrollman
If humans are any indication, the awakening rate is about 2% as far as actually having any magical powers. But if you include all the things which have metagenetic expression, that number goes up by 30%. Presumably, the expression of other critters is about the same.

So while relatively few crows become Storm Crows and relatively few dogs become Hell Hounds, nearly a third of those animals express as something that didn't exist in 2010. In 2007, there are 55 million dogs in the area of the United States - a number which is probably much unchanged in the fallout-like future that awaits the Shadowrun Northwest. That works out to over five hundred thousand dogs that are dual natured and breathe fire or have a fear causing howl - but that's 18 million dogs in the American successor region that are their equivalent of dwarves or trolls.

Think of it: Ingentis Mastiffs. Sure it doesn't have any magical powers, but it's a 300 kg dog. This area of metagenetic expression is, I think, highly underutilized. There's a lot of "non-magical" metaspecies available that are much smaller, much larger, or just much different from the normal critters available in the world we know.

-Frank
Ancient History
You're assuming that all species and breeds express equally, which is not the case-in many instances, the entire species might express a metatrait starting with the first post-Awakening generation, while other related species will not.

Then again, there is the paranormal dachshunds in Awakenings.
mfb
and the century ferret. as i recall, Patterson's Guide was selectively edited for its shadow releases (PANA/PAE), leaving in only the entries that showed strong paranormal abilities.
Jack Kain
Hmm I wonder what kind of fearsome creature a Chiwawa could metamorph into.


The Chiwawa hellhound, it has no fear aura, its fire breath can barley light cigars, but its bark can drive a man insane.

sunnyside
Actually one of the books that mentioned the trimming referenced to metacows I believe. Something else too.


Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (Jack Kain)
The Chiwawa hellhound, it has no fear aura, its fire breath can barley light cigars, but its bark can drive a man insane.

...as long as they don't go around talking about Taco Inferno...
kzt
QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)
QUOTE (Jack Kain)
The Chiwawa hellhound, it has no fear aura, its fire breath can barley light cigars, but its bark can drive a man insane.

...as long as they don't go around talking about Taco Inferno...

No. They are the icon for Taco Hell.
Kyoto Kid
...same thing.
Jack Kain
Of course the Taco Hell uses a dog for the mascot. There meat is about the same quality as dog food.
The Jopp
QUOTE (sunnyside)
Actually one of the books that mentioned the trimming referenced to metacows I believe. Something else too.

Metacows…

Bovine Bombardment suddenly got a lot scarier…
Kyoto Kid
...tell me more, I have at least one empty magazine in the orbital drop platform biggrin.gif
The Jopp
QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)
...tell me more, I have at least one empty magazine in the orbital drop platform biggrin.gif

Well, a bovine bombardment with a mystic adept cow possessing killing hands and physical barrier spell might be…problematic.

It deals magical damage with killing hands (against those pesky self-possessed über munchkin magicians who like their F12 spirits to possess them…) and it has area effect as their physical form is protected by a F? area barrier – dodging that might be… problematic.
The Jopp
Not to mention that it might survive the fall thanks to the barrier.

And it might be packing an uzi.
Kyoto Kid
...mmmm...cowz with gunz....ahhhhhhhhh...
FrankTrollman
Welcome to Taco Temple.
Prepare to sacrifice your tastebuds on the altar of flavor.
I am your high priest [Fill In Name].

---

The advent of Hell Cows underlines the inherent instability of animal husbandry in the Sixth World. One in hundred of [fill in blank] have access to some sort of real magical power. Once one percent of your chickens turn into cockatrices, you really can't have a Tyson style factory farm. And that's why everyone eats food made out of Krill, Mycoprotein, or Textured Soy. It's not that mankind is no longer wasteful enough to set aside many square kilometers to raising small amounts of animal food - they totally are. It's just really hard to make an economic success out of raising animals for food when a sizable portion have potentially deadly magical powers.

But over and above that, the Awakening did more than just let a single digit percentage of the world's animal population actively manipulate mana. It also caused flat out meta expression. Elves don't do anything magical, they just don't happen in the absence of magic. Similarly, there's nothing overtly magical about the flat cat or the quill mouse or the harpoon leech - they just didn't exist in the fifth world.

That's something I'd like to see more of. Really go deeper into the fact that fully one out of three animals you run into in Shadowrun are animals that do not exist in 2007. They breed true with animals that do, but the phenotypes expressed simply are not there.

-Frank
The Jopp
That would make for some interesting adventures. Simply finding hundreds of new meta-species. There could be missions from Zoological gardens to hunt down new rare species of insects or other creatures that aren’t yet in the “Animals of ……? simply because there are too many species to encounter.
nezumi
QUOTE (sunnyside)
Actually one of the books that mentioned the trimming referenced to metacows I believe. Something else too.

You mean Brahmen? The two-headed cows?
Ancient History
QUOTE (nezumi)
QUOTE (sunnyside @ Jun 26 2007, 09:55 PM)
Actually one of the books that mentioned the trimming referenced to metacows I believe.  Something else too.

You mean Brahmen? The two-headed cows?

No, hellcows. Not a Fallout reference.
fistandantilus4.0
Now I'm waiting for the appearance of flying, blue faced monkeys that enjoy wearing clothes and following the orders of the magically active.
lunchbox311
QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)
...mmmm...cowz with gunz....ahhhhhhhhh...

And chickens with choppers?

smile.gif
Demon_Bob
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
Now I'm waiting for the appearance of flying, blue faced monkeys that enjoy wearing clothes and following the orders of the magically active.

rotfl.gif I could do that biggrin.gif
And my players could pelt me with dice.
Lagomorph
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
And that's why everyone eats food made out of Krill, Mycoprotein, or Textured Soy. It's not that mankind is no longer wasteful enough to set aside many square kilometers to raising small amounts of animal food - they totally are. It's just really hard to make an economic success out of raising animals for food when a sizable portion have potentially deadly magical powers.

Frank,

Wouldn't it be just as likely that 1-2% of Krill, Mycoproteins and Soy Beans are of a potentially dangerous Meta-Variety as well?

Becareful what you eat, it might just powerbolt you from the inside!
Magus
Drop Bear adepts!!
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (Lagomorph)
Wouldn't it be just as likely that 1-2% of Krill, Mycoproteins and Soy Beans are of a potentially dangerous Meta-Variety as well?

It's a lot simpler to get a genetically pure population of stuff like this in a lot less time than it is to breed all the metagenes out of something that has a life cycle on the scale of months and years.
Kyoto Kid
...Drop Bear Ninja Adepts.
FrankTrollman
Also remember that while actual Sorcery requires sapience to use, even normal magical powers require sentience to acivate. If fungal protein mix happens to have the ability to shoot powerbolts you'll never know, because it can't choose to use that ability as it lacks the ability to make choices.

There is a whole crap tonne of magical abilities present on algae and soy beans that are presently not detectable because those creatures are incapable of making decisions and thus incapable of using those powers.

Also of course, the chances of a designed organism actually having any metagenic potential is more like 1:1000,000,000 than 1:3, so genetically engineered plant and fungal lines are safe relative to the crap that has actually evolved in the face of rising and falling mana levels over the last 2 billion years.

We don't just eat genetically homogenized peas because it's cheap (although it is). We eat them because the genetically engineered peas never defend themselves by putting out clouds of soporific gas.

-Frank
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
Also remember that while actual Sorcery requires sapience to use, even normal magical powers require sentience to acivate. If fungal protein mix happens to have the ability to shoot powerbolts you'll never know, because it can't choose to use that ability as it lacks the ability to make choices.

Hmmm, I'm not sure about this. In your powerbolt example, sure, but what about a plant that casts death touch when it's damaged? There's not necessarily any decision making there, it's a simple stimulus-response, which doesn't require sentience.
Or an awakened non-sentient mold that exudes a fear aura continuously? No decision making required.
Are you saying that those cases of magical powers aren't possible in SR?
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ Jun 28 2007, 10:39 AM)
Also remember that while actual Sorcery requires sapience to use, even normal magical powers require sentience to acivate. If fungal protein mix happens to have the ability to shoot powerbolts you'll never know, because it can't choose to use that ability as it lacks the ability to make choices.

Hmmm, I'm not sure about this. In your powerbolt example, sure, but what about a plant that casts death touch when it's damaged? There's not necessarily any decision making there, it's a simple stimulus-response, which doesn't require sentience.
Or an awakened non-sentient mold that exudes a fear aura continuously? No decision making required.
Are you saying that those cases of magical powers aren't possible in SR?

Those are not, no. A non-sentient entity cannot take actions, and thus cannot activate powers which require actions like Innate Spell or Fear.

Non-sentient living organisms could potentially have "always on" magical powers such as Energy Aura or Immunity to Normal Weapons, however.

-Frank
Lagomorph
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ Jun 28 2007, 05:46 PM)
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk @ Jun 28 2007, 10:44 AM)
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ Jun 28 2007, 10:39 AM)
Also remember that while actual Sorcery requires sapience to use, even normal magical powers require sentience to acivate. If fungal protein mix happens to have the ability to shoot powerbolts you'll never know, because it can't choose to use that ability as it lacks the ability to make choices.

Hmmm, I'm not sure about this. In your powerbolt example, sure, but what about a plant that casts death touch when it's damaged? There's not necessarily any decision making there, it's a simple stimulus-response, which doesn't require sentience.
Or an awakened non-sentient mold that exudes a fear aura continuously? No decision making required.
Are you saying that those cases of magical powers aren't possible in SR?

Those are not, no. A non-sentient entity cannot take actions, and thus cannot activate powers which require actions like Innate Spell or Fear.

Non-sentient living organisms could potentially have "always on" magical powers such as Energy Aura or Immunity to Normal Weapons, however.

-Frank

Is FAB's flourescence concidered an "always-on" power?

Or can sapience be added to things as a metavarient?
Moon-Hawk
Flourescence isn't necessarily a magical power. That can easily be achieved "naturally".
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (Lagomorph)
Is FAB's flourescence concidered an "always-on" power?

Yes. Hell, actually the Fluorescing is caused by the fact that the bacteria dies and releases an entirely non-magical chemical. Its only actual magical power is "dual nature", which is an always-on.

QUOTE
Can sapience be added to things as a metavarient?


Absolutely. Nagas and Shapeshifters are the obvious examples.

Even simple sentience can be added as a metagenetic expression, as evidenced by the Black Guardian Vines or the Fideal, which without expression of magical genes are creatures which have no impetus or sentience, and with magical expression are shape shifting monsters that actively seek out prey.

-Frank
Lagomorph
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
QUOTE (Lagomorph @ Jun 28 2007, 12:53 PM)
Is FAB's flourescence concidered an "always-on" power?

Yes. Hell, actually the Fluorescing is caused by the fact that the bacteria dies and releases an entirely non-magical chemical. Its only actual magical power is "dual nature", which is an always-on.

QUOTE
Can sapience be added to things as a metavarient?


Absolutely. Nagas and Shapeshifters are the obvious examples.

Even simple sentience can be added as a metagenetic expression, as evidenced by the Black Guardian Vines or the Fideal, which without expression of magical genes are creatures which have no impetus or sentience, and with magical expression are shape shifting monsters that actively seek out prey.

-Frank

RE fab: makes sense that way


So Moon-Hawks' examples would work if you simply tag 'Sapience' on to the critter in question?
Moon-Hawk
My examples work, I believe, if you give sentience. Sapience is only required for Sorcery. I think.
To further confound the matter, previous editions of SR have used the word "Sentient" when they actually meant "Sapient". SR4 has corrected this, but it remains a point of confusion for some people.
Kyoto Kid
....Drop Bear Ninja Mystic Adepts.
hyzmarca
This reminds me of my old idea for a sentient magical tapeworms that compel infested fast-food workers to wipe their poop on burgers in order to spread its sentient tape-worm eggs to other digestive tracts.

The problem with metaexpression in dogs is the nature of dog breeds vs the nature of metetype. Dog breeds are created through human selection and can vary wildly, but two dogs of different breeds will produce a half-breed. While metatypes can also vary wildly in the same ways that breeds vary (such as size), one cannot have a half-breed metatype and it is unclear exactly which features would be dominant, the metatype features or the breed features. What if you had a toy poodle goblinize into a creature that averages a ten foot shoulder height and a two metric ton weight?
Nerf'd
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
[...] What if you had a toy poodle goblinize into a creature that averages a ten foot shoulder height and a two metric ton weight?

I'd call him "Fluffy", and train him to chase APCs.
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
This reminds me of my old idea for a sentient magical tapeworms that compel infested fast-food workers to wipe their poop on burgers in order to spread its sentient tape-worm eggs to other digestive tracts.

Ew.
mfb
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
Those are not, no. A non-sentient entity cannot take actions, and thus cannot activate powers which require actions like Innate Spell or Fear.

eh? taking action only requires the ability to respond to stimuli, which even a fungus can do. target selection is simple: it targets the source of the stimuli. i don't see a reason why an awakened fungus couldn't be a biological anchoring focus. give it a sense of some sort, and then link that sense to whatever power you want your magic mushroom to have.
Rifleman
QUOTE (Nerf'd)
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Jun 28 2007, 06:45 PM)
[...] What if you had a toy poodle goblinize into a creature that averages a  ten foot shoulder height and a two metric ton weight?

I'd call him "Fluffy", and train him to chase APCs.

*GrumbleGrumbleGrumble* The CAT wasn't enough, was it.....
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (mfb)
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
Those are not, no. A non-sentient entity cannot take actions, and thus cannot activate powers which require actions like Innate Spell or Fear.

eh? taking action only requires the ability to respond to stimuli, which even a fungus can do. target selection is simple: it targets the source of the stimuli. i don't see a reason why an awakened fungus couldn't be a biological anchoring focus. give it a sense of some sort, and then link that sense to whatever power you want your magic mushroom to have.

It's one thing to grow towards or away from light, it is quite another to take a complex action. Fungus does not roll initiative, it does not have an initiative pass, and it never ever gets a chance to do anything that requires a complex action to do. So it can't activate powers like Fear or Energy Attack even if it has them.

-Frank
Nerf'd
QUOTE (Rifleman)
QUOTE (Nerf'd @ Jun 28 2007, 07:02 PM)
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Jun 28 2007, 06:45 PM)
[...] What if you had a toy poodle goblinize into a creature that averages a  ten foot shoulder height and a two metric ton weight?

I'd call him "Fluffy", and train him to chase APCs.

*GrumbleGrumbleGrumble* The CAT wasn't enough, was it.....

Ok, this takes a bit of explanation.

Rifleman (and several others) are currently in the middle of a run - purportedly a simple delivery job of a valuable (but not particularly sensitive) item. Item is 1x1x2 meters, but not very heavy. Item needs to be picked up at 9 AM, and delivered before noon to a location approx 20 miles from the origin. Item is also gift-wrapped (big pink bow and everything). Pay is about 800 nuyen.gif apiece, but this is a VERY low-stress job.

Or, at least, it was supposed to be.

Imagine, if you will, a Renraku Genetic Engineering lab tasked with providing a combat animal. The scientist in charge has a godawful fascination with big cats, and chooses a tiger as the basis for his project - which turns out to be a complete failure, as the (normal-looking, but dangerously intelligent and capable) tigers are more interested in playing with people than they are with killing them. They turn out to be playful, loyal, and social creatures who tend to bond strongly with a single person (and less strongly with the person's family).

The scientists figure this out, chalk the prototype up as a failure and are about to destroy it, when an executive stops them and simply re-purposes the product. Instead of a biological weapon, they've just created a personal guard and companion for the children of executives, who need a last line of defense.

More details if people want...but I think you can see how this is going to go
mfb
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
It's one thing to grow towards or away from light, it is quite another to take a complex action.

i would argue that growing towards or away from light is simply an extended action, like repairing a car. even if it's decided otherwise, however, there's still the matter of plants like the venus flytrap, which clap shut around prey in less than a second--and have sensory apparati sophisticated enough to differentiate between prey landing on them and raindrops falling on them.
Lagomorph
QUOTE (mfb)
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
Those are not, no. A non-sentient entity cannot take actions, and thus cannot activate powers which require actions like Innate Spell or Fear.

eh? taking action only requires the ability to respond to stimuli, which even a fungus can do. target selection is simple: it targets the source of the stimuli. i don't see a reason why an awakened fungus couldn't be a biological anchoring focus. give it a sense of some sort, and then link that sense to whatever power you want your magic mushroom to have.

Only if the magic mushroom makes you grow twice your size, and allows you to jump on gigantic flying turtles..
marghos
QUOTE (Nerf'd)
Rifleman (and several others) are currently in the middle of a run - purportedly a simple delivery job of a valuable (but not particularly sensitive) item.  Item is 1x1x2 meters, but not very heavy.  Item needs to be picked up at 9 AM, and delivered before noon to a location approx 20 miles from the origin.  Item is also gift-wrapped (big pink bow and everything).  Pay is about 800  nuyen.gif apiece, but this is a VERY low-stress job.

Or, at least, it was supposed to be.

Imagine, if you will, a Renraku Genetic Engineering lab tasked with providing a combat animal.  The scientist in charge has a godawful fascination with big cats, and chooses a tiger as the basis for his project - which turns out to be a complete failure, as the (normal-looking, but dangerously intelligent and capable) tigers are more interested in playing with people than they are with killing them.  They turn out to be playful, loyal, and social creatures who tend to bond strongly with a single person (and less strongly with the person's family).

The scientists figure this out, chalk the prototype up as a failure and are about to destroy it, when an executive stops them and simply re-purposes the product.  Instead of a biological weapon, they've just created a personal guard and companion for the children of executives, who need a last line of defense.

More details if people want...but I think you can see how this is going to go


This sounds really interesting plot and I think to use something similar idea when my players are on the run next time. This run will be short and easy ... not.
But what if this something, whatever is in the box runs away. What it was, what it can do, what it will do and the most important thing. What will these big boys (companies) do?
This would make some lovely feel of paranoia.
Rifleman
QUOTE (marghos)
QUOTE (Nerf'd)
Rifleman (and several others) are currently in the middle of a run - purportedly a simple delivery job of a valuable (but not particularly sensitive) item.  Item is 1x1x2 meters, but not very heavy.  Item needs to be picked up at 9 AM, and delivered before noon to a location approx 20 miles from the origin.  Item is also gift-wrapped (big pink bow and everything).  Pay is about 800  nuyen.gif apiece, but this is a VERY low-stress job.

Or, at least, it was supposed to be.

Imagine, if you will, a Renraku Genetic Engineering lab tasked with providing a combat animal.  The scientist in charge has a godawful fascination with big cats, and chooses a tiger as the basis for his project - which turns out to be a complete failure, as the (normal-looking, but dangerously intelligent and capable) tigers are more interested in playing with people than they are with killing them.  They turn out to be playful, loyal, and social creatures who tend to bond strongly with a single person (and less strongly with the person's family).

The scientists figure this out, chalk the prototype up as a failure and are about to destroy it, when an executive stops them and simply re-purposes the product.  Instead of a biological weapon, they've just created a personal guard and companion for the children of executives, who need a last line of defense.

More details if people want...but I think you can see how this is going to go


This sounds really interesting plot and I think to use something similar idea when my players are on the run next time. This run will be short and easy ... not.
But what if this something, whatever is in the box runs away. What it was, what it can do, what it will do and the most important thing. What will these big boys (companies) do?
This would make some lovely feel of paranoia.

Imagine the Rifleman up in the front with a Troll Physad adept in the back, trying to wrangle a box that is rumbling like an earthquake, right up until the claw rips through the top.

Then it explodes through the back of the box and the back of the van.

And we're supposed to chase it through the back woods of a golf course in a corporate enclave....
PH3NOmenon
QUOTE (Nerf'd)


The scientists figure this out, chalk the prototype up as a failure and are about to destroy it, when an executive stops them and simply re-purposes the product. Instead of a biological weapon, they've just created a personal guard and companion for the children of executives, who need a last line of defense.

More details if people want...but I think you can see how this is going to go

I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
Nerf'd
QUOTE (Rifleman)
QUOTE (marghos @ Jun 29 2007, 12:43 PM)
QUOTE (Nerf'd)
Rifleman (and several others) are currently in the middle of a run - purportedly a simple delivery job of a valuable (but not particularly sensitive) item.  Item is 1x1x2 meters, but not very heavy.  Item needs to be picked up at 9 AM, and delivered before noon to a location approx 20 miles from the origin.  Item is also gift-wrapped (big pink bow and everything).  Pay is about 800  nuyen.gif apiece, but this is a VERY low-stress job.

Or, at least, it was supposed to be.

Imagine, if you will, a Renraku Genetic Engineering lab tasked with providing a combat animal.  The scientist in charge has a godawful fascination with big cats, and chooses a tiger as the basis for his project - which turns out to be a complete failure, as the (normal-looking, but dangerously intelligent and capable) tigers are more interested in playing with people than they are with killing them.  They turn out to be playful, loyal, and social creatures who tend to bond strongly with a single person (and less strongly with the person's family).

The scientists figure this out, chalk the prototype up as a failure and are about to destroy it, when an executive stops them and simply re-purposes the product.  Instead of a biological weapon, they've just created a personal guard and companion for the children of executives, who need a last line of defense.

More details if people want...but I think you can see how this is going to go


This sounds really interesting plot and I think to use something similar idea when my players are on the run next time. This run will be short and easy ... not.
But what if this something, whatever is in the box runs away. What it was, what it can do, what it will do and the most important thing. What will these big boys (companies) do?
This would make some lovely feel of paranoia.

Imagine the Rifleman up in the front with a Troll Physad adept in the back, trying to wrangle a box that is rumbling like an earthquake, right up until the claw rips through the top.

Then it explodes through the back of the box and the back of the van.

And we're supposed to chase it through the back woods of a golf course in a corporate enclave....

What Rifleman forgot to mention is that, in running off, the cat is changing directions constantly, almost as if it knows how to dodge gun fire...

...and the fact that it:
  • Ran into a nearby house, scaring the bejeezus out of the family inside
  • set off the house's intruder suppression systems (designed by someone from the Wile E. Coyote school of trap-making) with the runners who were chasing it INSIDE the house. (Set off as in tore the cover off the security panel and pushed the button for panic mode)
  • then escaped the house and headed into the woods

The next session (tomorrow) is going to be a riot
Kyoto Kid
...sounds like it's time to load the Catnip Punch Grenades in the Sammy's Alpha. grinbig.gif
Nerf'd
Heeeere kitty, kitty, kitty...

But that said, it is incredibly easy to put together a campaign using Meta- or modified creatures. All you have to do is use them properly, and really think about the background/terrain you use the creature in. Giant scorpions? Try a small ravine (easily defensible, shady, and an obvious choke point in the surrounding hills).

Now Drop Bears, those are interesting critters...
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