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Talia Invierno
What I'm curious about here is how much contact and how familiar the (non-shadowrunning) public in your campaign(s) generally is with actually encountering living, breathing magical and dual-natured types. (If spirits can be said either to breathe or to live.) I suspect by far the most common will be spirits, with shapeshifters and the infected coming a somewhat distant second and third - use these as a template. Different (non-shadowrunning) populations within your campaigns may also have different degrees of familiarity with such creatures: if so, just average it, and specify as you feel relevant.

If this poll can apply to other particular types of magical or dual-natured creatures in your campaign (ie. if you use another kind of magical creature regularly), please specify?

Edit: Also, what's your reasoning behind the frequency? eg. if fully Awakened types are one in a hundred, would spirits be very common? or concealed from the public at large ("You can't handle the truth!")
Digital Heroin
Magic's not as common as it would seem... at least in public... I prefer to keep it secrative... those who flaunt it usually end up ground under the heel of Lone Star or other magical types...
It sort of depends. The universe I run my players in (and play in when I have the chance) has magic active in a variety of industries. As a result, many professionals, even of the non-awakened stripe- have some magical background.

It seems unlikely to me that most denizens of the shadowrun universe see "the big picture" when it comes to magic, however, niche knowledge must be fairly common. For example, sewer-dwelling folks know quite a bit about the habits and nature of awakened sewer threats (demon rats, shamblers, etc.)-- else they'd be 'et. On a more un-shadowy front, folks who live and work around magic research facilities (eg, support staff for large universities, etc.) would have some knowledge about various elementals, and magical effects on the physical plane.

Do most un-awakened people understand metaplanes, astral projection (astral space in general), mana flows, mana "tides," and the interconnetions between magic, metas, spirits, etc. in the same way we (with our source-book tomes of truth) do? Probably not.
Rare stuff. It's getting less comfy, but for Joe Mundane magic is a pretty small part of life.

The way I play things, magical creatures are rare in a city like Seattle for the same reason wild animals would be; almost all of them are dangerous, or at least considered heavily so. Joe Dataterm can always stop by the zoo to see the unicorn cage and the hellhound pit, but he'd be as likely to get closer to them as you would to the tiger enclosure. (So actually, magical creatures are fairly common and accessable, but still in a way that highlights their rarity; most of them are confined curiosities.)

Intelligent magical creatures tend to be rarer for one simple reason; they're most likely hunted and considered nonpersons wherever they're found. Your average working stiff has probably run into a vampire, shapeshifter, ghoul, or something like that at a bar at least once in their life, but when they're found and recognized, the best they can usually hope for is to be quarentined "for their own good". Not exactly something that causes them to advertise their presence.

And finally, spirits are fairly common (about as common as actual magicians in my game, and most people know at least one or two), they tend to go unnoticed because they stay astral most of the time, and mundanes only see them when the drek hits the fan. Sure, the occasional magician will send watcher-grams to his friends, but for the most part, using spirit services "frivolously" is considered either too expensive (for hermetics) or offensive to the spirits (for everyone else).
I run awakened folks as 1% of the population. A building with 50,000 employees and customers would have 500 different awakened people pass through its doors every day, unless the corporation worked at having more or fewer than the average on its premesis.

An archeology with 100,000 citizens would have 1000 magical folks. Among these will be conjuring adepts, those untrained or unwilling to use their powers, those on the path to burnout, and some highly skilled and motivated.

An average Joe who encounters 200 people every day in the course of his work and play will often encounter 1 or 2 magical people every day.
It depends on what kind. HMHVV victims (mainly ghouls) are common enough for people to know what they're seeing, even if they're usually gunned down the minute someone does see one. Any of them venturing outside of the barrens tends to draw attention from Lone Star (though the last one to do so was a Dzoo Noo Qua that LS couldn't even scratch - but I'm not telling why because players read the threads). Spirits are a rarity, and would get some stares, but it's nothing to drop everything for if they're minding their own business.
Not to mention that popular media would create a false sense of "awareness" because people are basing their knowledge of x subject on what they see on the trid.

Not unlike people and handguns today.

The effect being, a mage probably wouldn't raise eyebrows except maybe people wanting to watch the spectacle because of this false sense of awareness.

I voted the 'under the desk' option. nyahnyah.gif

It's not that the supernatural is uncommon in the world, it's uncommon in civilized parts of the world. But VERY common in the Wilds, and another reason to stop the parasitic attitude of men to remove all Wilds.

Talia Invierno
Just to clarify, Awakened (meta)humans aren't part of this question, unless they're HMHVV infected. Sasquatches might be.

Does anyone else use sasquatches on anything like a regular basis in their games? For anyone who has ever used them, do you go the wilderness route (as somewhat suggested in SR2), or do your sasquatches go cyber (as in a few of the novels)?
QUOTE (Talia Invierno)
<snip> or do your sasquatches go cyber (as in a few of the novels)?

What novel had cyber-sasquatches? Maybe I didn't see what I was being told!

Considering magical guard animals, patrolling spirits, hawking watcher spirits, and trid shows about shadowrunners... errr, I mean Red Samurai and the Odd Coven, the public at large should be somewhat familiar with magic creatures.

My GM has a spirit guarding the entrance to the mall even!
Ol' Scratch
Let's see, we have dragons and sasquatches as High Princes of one of the most high-profile nations in the Sixth World, we had a dragon running for president (and winning) in the UCAS, we have another one who's the CEO of the world's largest megacorporation, a corporate-owned country (Aztlan) that freely grants citizenship to free spirits and other magical creatures, we have skills and college courses dealing with Parazoology, and we have numerous numerous texts readily available (and apparently quite popular) to the public such as the Paranormal Guides that feature such critters as Sprites, Centaurs, Vampiric Pawns, Nosferatu, and Banshees. Oh, and fully awakened magicians (Priority A) make up the majority of the 1% of the world's population (in a 3,000,000+ population such as Seattle, that means there's about 30,000+ full magicians roaming around).

So yes, naturally, the public at large would be wholly in the dark about such things. So what if magic, which is surely an extremely high-profile topic to begin with, is a field containing more magicians than, say, a less common field like medicine and doctors? Minor detail, that. smile.gif

Please. The public easily knows about ghouls, werewolves, and all the other fun stuff out there.
Kanada Ten
But, like medicine and doctors, not the whole truth of anything.
Ol' Scratch
Of course not. They don't know all the intimate details of every Awakened species. But they certainly know there's werewolves, ghouls, and vampires running around.
No one questioned that. I still say people'd do some desk-diving, though.

Talia Invierno
What novel had cyber-sasquatches?
- tisoz

Blanking on the actual novel - it might have been in the Secrets of Power trilogy, or Preying for Keeps. She served as the initial fielder ("receptionist") for someone high-powered: either Lofwyr or Sean Lafferty. She had black fur and was able to "speak", and she had a datajack on her temple. I just really remember it threw me when I read it, and then I went "okayyy ..." vegm.gif

Doctor Funkenstein, that's exactly where the apparent paradox seemed to me. Apart from trid images (and the very occasional politician or publicly-oriented board member), are these creatures familiar to the public or not? The sheer number of Awakened metahumans would seem to suggest yes: 1% of the population can potentially summon spirits? At the same time, there is a strong implication that these creatures should be rare and somewhat unfamiliar - in which case there's a lot of magician-types who would have to be considerably less than overt in their casting (or else the general public would have to be very much personally aware at least of spirits), and intelligent magical creatures would generally tend to be very circumspect in how much they reveal of themselves.

Also, I'd assume that most of those newly Awakened magicians wouldn't have IN and WL and CH of 6 - figure bell-curve average initially, shifting toward the top-levels as Darwinism weeds out the careless ... but not before those who are careless accidentally release some high-powered free spirits into the world. (Crossroads - even Talon did this once, and he hasn't been able to repair that yet.)
I believe it was Secrets of Power part II: Choose Your Enemies Carefully. I can get a quote in a bit more than a week, if desired.

Basically, I treat it as uncommon knowledge. People know of magical animals the way people now know of wild animals. Ask your average person about a hyena, and they'll tell you its a big dog in Africa that eats corpses. (Bzzt! Not canids, not total scavengers.) If they're lucky, they may have seen one in a zoo.

Ask a resident of 2063 about, say, harpies. Likely all they know is that they're bird-things that kill people, don't go wandering in the mountains!

Other people may be more experienced, either as biologists or explorers (or runners!). But your average citizen knows only what they've seen on the trid. On a related note, nature show hosts in 2063 probably get hazard pay. rotfl.gif
Ol' Scratch
Kesh pretty much has it, though I'm sure they know the most common ways of dealing with some of the more common types. Especially since most of the mythological and stereotyped vulnerabilities exist for a lot of these creatures. Silver works nicely on werewolves, while vampires have issues with sunlight and wooden stakes. Hell, most movies these days dismiss the old conventions of dealing with these critters; they love to show the dumb hick who tries to use a cross or garlic to hold a vampire at bay getting his throat ripped out.

And heaven forbid those creatures actually start showing up in the real world. The media would be all over it. I know I'd be watching the History Channel, TLC, Discovery, Travel, and all the other documentary channels ten times more than I do now (which is saying quite a bit), and I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't still hold true in 2068.
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