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hyzmarca
You know, most Sixth World parents look upon the possibility of having a magically active child as a wondrous thing. The kid is almost guaranteed any lifestyle he wants, scholarships abound, the sky's the limit. Such a child is a perfect meal ticket.

But, really, is it going to be like that at all? There is a huge downside that most people overlook. I imagine that some of the parents here have had that experience where a child, determined to get his or her way, throws a temper tantrum and if that doesn't work goes all passive-aggressive. Now imagine that that same child who he crying and screaming and possibly even hitting because you won't but that $80 toy that he'll play with for five minutes and then forget about can kill you with his mind.

Just think about this for a moment. Your kid, whose grasp of morality does not extend beyond "I want it" and who thinks that a week is a very long time has the power to kill you with his mind. And if that isn't enough he can summon ephemeral creatures from beyond to enforce his will. Is he getting that overpriced toy right now? Damned right he is. Will he be spanked if he doesn't calm down and straighten up? Of course not. You'll be spanked - by an Earth Spirit. It doesn't matter if the kid is just learning though trial and error because once your child gets a single skill point in conjuring you're totally fucked. You no longer have any authority as parents. Sure, you can say that he can't have ice cream for breakfast but he can retort that the angry flaming man he just summoned up disagrees. He wins. It's just that simple. Unless you're rich enough to hire an ass-kicking magical nanny who is a cross between Marry Poppins and the T-800 John Constantine (or, alternately, between Maria von Trap and Elric of Melniboné ) there is nothing that you can do to stop him short of killing him or sending him to prison. He wins.

But wait, you say, magical talent manifests at puberty. I say yes, it usually does. I'd imagine that it might be able to manifest earlier in some cases, but that would be extremely rare. I'd also point out that the lower age limit for when puberty can start is somewhere slightly below 0. Cases of sexually mature 2-year-olds are rare, but t does happen. I'd hope that none of the parents on this forum have has to experience the compound problems of adolescent rebellion and The Terrible Twos at the same time, imagine if they occurred simultaneously and were accompanied by the ability to kill things with one's mind. That isn't good. That is not good at all.

But it isn't just the freakishly early maturation that leads to promiscuous preschool prestidigitators which one has to worry about. Nay. One also must consider the consequences of having a teenage magician in the family. Imagine, if you will, your young teenage child comes home from the expensive corporate boarding school to which he or she has received a scholarship. After the obligatory exchange of pleasant hellos your child asks for some money to buy illegal recreational drugs. You are shocked, so shocked that you can speak for a moment. You're about to say "hell no" but then you start to think about it more and realize that teenagers need to experiment with this sort of stuff and if you don't support him he'll just do it behind your back. Glad that you didn't fly off the handle and damage your relationship with your child, you happily hand over the money and give some advice about which drugs to take. Congratulations, you are the proud parent of a child received an A+ in Mental Manipulation 304 (which, being an honors class, is worth 5 grade points).

When he wrecks your car, you are very angry at first, but when you see him you're just glad that he's safe. You couldn't be angry at him for stealing and wrecking your vehicle after he almost died in a horrible accident (which wasn't really life-threatening at all). You're totally fucked, chummer. You aren't as totally fucked as you would be if your three-year-old's Teddy Bear shot lightening bolts at you every time you hesitated to comply with the toddler's demands, but you are totally fucked. You're child controls you completely and you don't know it. Even if you did know it you wouldn't care because he can control your emotions about the subject. It is, once again, a total inversion of parental authority. If you don't want to just kill or imprison your kid, the only may to have any control over the magically active youngster is with a more powerful magician. Any mundane who is not rich is screwed in this kind of situation.
Stahlseele
i was wondering about that myself from time to time . . evr since i saw that episode of the dinos where baby sinclair gets sick and goes all demon possessed like in the excorzist . . or was that some other episode dealing with the terrible twos? @.@
Malicant
tl;dr

Nah, I'm kidding.

Just because awakening happens around puberty, doesn't meen it's tied to it. See latent awakening. I rather think it happens when the person's mind develops to a certain degree so he can conciously access the astral plain and start to harness it with the help of some paradigm. So if it really happens to someone really freakish young it's rather abnormal and I don't expect such a kid to survive long since it will toast all around it and himself if it is not stopped by an angry mob or law enforcement.

There is such a thing as magical threats and SR is a paranoid place. Some people are aware and watching, so the situation you describe will most likely not get out of hand. It has good chances to end in a laboratory though. The wizheads always want to know why someone awakens and having subjects that so blatantly ignore the usual rules must be interesting.
Snow_Fox
also spells need to be taught. maybe a proto shaman could summon a spirit but without control the spirit would probably sod off or even look after the kid. A prootmage couldn't summon an elemental without the ritual tools
hyzmarca
Spells must be learned. A young magician can learn spell design through trial and error and use it to successfully create a functional spell formula which can then be learned. In SR4, the only real limitation is that the kid must go on some sort of adventure between learning Arcana and learning the spell. The conjuring issue also does not exist in SR4, a child who learns summoning through trial and error will be able to do so no matter what his tradition is.
Malicant
I'm not sure a kid can learn something you go to collage for by itself.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Malicant @ Feb 10 2008, 06:31 PM) *
I'm not sure a kid can learn something you go to collage for by itself.


Of course he can. I mean, kids learn to walk by themselves. Compared to that, college is kid's stuff (so to speak). What takes an adult years of intense training to learn a baby can learn in a relatively short time. The only reason we need primary school is to lay the knowledge base that serves as the foundation for everything later.


But given the flexibility of traditions it is very likely that a young awakened kid would just instinctually develop his own as he practices and for such an invented tradition this crappy drawing of a head exploding in a shower of blood should be a sufficient formula for an effective powerbolt or slay person.
nathanross
This is truly a great topic!

While there are many different cases and ways for these things to happen, I can see in some rare situations a child who is very powerful, very intelligent, and who awakens early terrorizing and ruling his parents. I can also see some crazy shit like the kid killing his parents and getting spirits to posses them and act like the parents he needs. Total run material there.

I believe for problem magic children, the corps would definitely provide boarding schools and such. Who would ever pass up that talent? Special children need discipline that only certain adults can give. If they feel like they are superior too soon, they get arrogant. I can see some very good mages being put in charge of the kids. Of course, there are always those that slip through the cracks, but for slum kids, things are different, and I leave it up to everyones individual imagination as to what happens there.
Rasumichin
As far as the necessary training is concerned, one should not generalize the fact that many magical traditions have turned into universitarian disciplines.
Forming the potential has to start much earlier.

Just think of all the wizzer gangs, the people who are taught in their tradition by a grumpy old neighborhood mage, the tribe's medicine man or their santera grandmother.
Studying magic at college merely expands on your potential.
Given the extreme amount of skill points a full-fledged, well-rounded caster needs, 10-15 years of overall training sound reasonable, but it might very well be possible that a talented teenager is able to summon a force 3 spirit (powerful enough to be life-threatening for Joe Blow on the street), even if she doesn't know a damn about high-brow stuff like arcana, binding or ritual magic.

There are also -rare- cases where awakened receive their knowledge from their mentor spirit.
Depending on the spirit, this can make the abovementioned situations much, much worse, of course.

This aproach would also explain how a kid manages to learn mindbending spells that should be flat-out illegal in most jurisdictions...even though in Henan, this stuff might be taught at school...
Fortune
QUOTE (Malicant @ Feb 11 2008, 10:31 AM) *
I'm not sure a kid can learn something you go to collage for by itself.


Not every person capable of spellcasting, summoning, or even arcana use in the Sixth World attended college.
Malicant
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Feb 11 2008, 12:48 AM) *
Of course he can. I mean, kids learn to walk by themselves. Compared to that, college is kid's stuff (so to speak).

That's actually a crappy comparison. Arcana is in line with nuclear physics, and I don't know how many households disappear in a nuclear blast in your neighbourhood, but here where I live that only happens like never.

Oh, and the only creature known in SR to learn magic like we learn walking is the dragon. Even drakes need paradigms.

So, while any idiot can be thaught magic, only a few really smart/devoted people learn and develop new stuff. That kid that learns all by himself without any knowledge of magic, paradigms, spells, metamagics etc, would have to be some seriuos magical genius. And it sure as hell would not be metahuman.

The kid would be a wild talent with random spontaneous manifestations in high stress situations at best.

QUOTE (Fortune @ Feb 11 2008, 01:48 AM) *
Not every person capable of spellcasting, summoning, or even arcana use in the Sixth World attended college.

That's right. But those who develop new stuff without assitence from people who already know how to do it most likely did attend college (i.e. higher education of some kind, form, color or flavor).
Fortune
I wonder how all those aberrant awakened traditions all manage to exist then. You know? The ones with Toaster or Elvis for a Mentor, or even Psionicists.
Malicant
First, they are called abbarant with a reason. Second, most of those people are loones, and loones don't follow the rules. Third psionics is a paradigm that has been pretty much worked out even before awakening. Elvis, too. spin.gif
Fortune
So, let me get this straight.

First you argue that it would not be possible for anyone to learn Arcana without College (later changed to 'higher education').

Then you concede that aberrant traditions do in fact exist, and that little Peter Poptart could in fact manifest his power as an aspect of Toaster, and therefore develop Arcana all by himself.

So, what is your argument again?
Sir_Psycho

I made a shaman once. She was a scary bitch. Not because she had mind-frying combat spells. Not because she was a homicidal maniac. She was a young pantheist witch , torn between three very similar idols. The Lover, Seductress, and Siren. Basically she had a magically induced schizofrenia. At the best of times, she was the Lover, beautiful and vain, taking her vengeance on those who reject her, she is irrational and jealous with lovers, and inspires the same in men. And with a +2 dice to control manipulation spells, she could really make a man obsessive and jealous. Completely enraptured. And her only "disadvantage" was a minimum charisma of six. Then, according to perhaps a cycle of the moon, a mana surge etc. her Idol would change to the Seductress. Fairly similar, but far more wild and indulgent, with difficult willpower tests to be made any time an indulgence would appear. Narcotics, BTL's, alcohol, sex, whatever. "She avoids confrontation but gains pleasure when others fight for her attention or on her behalf. She exists to exploit weaknesses and will not hesitate to sacrifice those who get in her way" So basically, the lover is a bit of a loose cannon in relationships, but who isn't. The seductress is a scary, magical powered manipulative bitch. Then she becomes the Siren. She enraptures anyone she chooses and then uses all the means at her disposal to manipulate them to destroy themselves.

This particular girl had such (SR3) characteristics as the vindictive flaw, 7 charisma, high social skills, and even the psychology complementary knowledge skill. As if she needed it, with such spells as Physical Mask (Why be yourself today?), Foreboding, Confusion, Mass Confusion, Control Emotion (Force 6 with 8 Dice on that one), Influence, Mind Probe, and when she really doesn't get her way... Agony.

She has many of those teenager characteristics you suggested, but in a nasty magician/face character. It was really fun creating the conflicts between her and her idols, and her idol's with eachother.

It's a fun argument, but I wouldn't see it happening in all but a few isolated cases. It seems silly to me that when awakening, a child begins with a magic rating of more than one. Also, even if an abnormal child figured out how to cast a spell with a deadly potential, it does not mean he would fry his parents. Hell, with the violence in the media, I learned pretty early that you can stab some-one with a knife. However, as a child, despite having access to kitchen knives, I never attempted to stab my parents in their sleep, not even if they didn't let me have that new toy.

But then again, my parents were always very firm about that kind of thing, so I wasn't particularly spoiled. I did know a guy who's parents had spoiled him as a young one and as a teenager had learned to extort pretty much anything from them. Large amounts of money, computers, consoles, lifts, nothing could be said no to, and if they did, he would shout and swear at them, and they would give him what he wanted. I would be watching at the time, and it just made no sense to me.
Malicant
QUOTE (Fortune @ Feb 11 2008, 02:37 AM) *
So, let me get this straight.

First you argue that it would not be possible for anyone to learn Arcana without College (later changed to 'higher education').

That's not what I meant, but it might indeed be what I said. Poor language skills and all.

You don't learn arcana by yourself from nothing. You need a teacher, or advanced magical knowledge. Or you need to be a Dragon or similar creature. Or plain mad
A toddler will not spontaniously develop the ability to formulate complex spell/spirit formula on pure instict alone. He might manifest spontanously minor stuff, but that will be rare, unpredictable and he will not terrorize his parents with it. He might try to do so, and the parent will hesitate to spank him for a moment. But after they got some advice on the topic he will just be a kid that one day might be a great mage. Or a lab rat.

That's more or less what I tried to say.
kanislatrans
as I see it ,Magic in the shadowrun sense needs to meet three criteria; ability to wield magic, will to focus the manipulation of mana, and the imagination to mold that mana into usable shape. I think if a toddler had the first, the other two are already naturally in place.
Using my daughter who is three as an example, she definitely has the imagination for the job. she makes up her own songs(spell formula?), has conversations with inanimate objects( no different than your mage buddy always talking to things only he can see), and most importantly, has very few preconceived ideas about what can or cannot happen in "the real world".
As for Will to work magic, When she is trying to write her letters or numbers, she focuses on the task completely. There is no mommy or daddy, only the pen and the paper. of course, with a 15 minute attention span it doesn't last, but how long does it take to conjure an "imaginary friend"?
I definitely wouldn't want to deal with a fully awakened toddler. The lack of understanding of consequences would definitely shake the house up( or burn it down ) twirl.gif
Magic, as I see it , is a natural expression of certain genetics traits. those traits will manifest weather the person has training or not. (IMHO)

Malicant
Only thing is, metahumans don't do Magic naturally. So, while a kid might make up it's own songs, it's could not make up it's own spell without someone telling him how to do it in the first place.

Also, note that the first mages, those not instructed by IEs that is, used paradigms of old times, like hermetic magic, or shamanism, so they didn't come up with new stuff. They used other peoples stuff and then expanded.

And, I have not streched that enough, the books about dragons told us, how they wield magic the same way we learn to walk and how they pity metahumans for needing so much effort to achieve so little.

So, no, a 3 year old spell slinger that does anything conciously but still is metahuman is a no go with the magical theories of SR so far. It would be an anomaly, borderline a magical threat. Not something more then few people per century have to worry about.


Maybe, think of magic as crafting a sword. Anyone can pour hot metal in a form and the product would look like a sword, but it would be decoration at best. Folding metal on the other hand and forging a usefull weapon out of it requires discipline, knowledge and experience you don't gather by yourself in a couple of weeks. As does real magic. Especially arcana.

On second though, that metaphor sucks. sarcastic.gif Whatever, still might help to understand my thoughts on this.
apollo124
But there you kind of get back to the chicken or the egg question. Howling Coyote wasn't (as far as we know) an IE, so who taught him magic? His mentor spirit. If you look waaaay back in the Secrets of Power trilogy, someone asked Sam when he cast his first spell. He thought that it was as an adult when he protected himself from a fireball, but was shown that as a child he either cast an invisibility spell over himself and his sister on the Night of Rage or conjured a spirit which hid them. So I think that maybe a mentor spirit could, if it wished teach a child to conjure a spirit or cast a spell.

This isn't even counting that Matrix access is overwhelmingly available. How many open source spells could someone find online in 2070? Online magic classes would be a dim second choice to finding a real teacher, but you could probably get some basics easily enough. Does the Dunkelzahn Institute do pro-bono classes for young mojo-slingers? Weird Jack down the street slings magic and he might teach you some for booze money.

But the real trouble would come when most kids awaken magically, during the teen years. What is on a teenager's mind 90% of the time? SEX! What if you lived in a world where it actually was possible to turn yourself invisible and sneak into the girls' locker room? How about just astral projecting there during study hall? Or if you tick off your girlfriend, who has a locket of your hair, and she sends some nasty mojo down on you?
Malicant
I kind of said that the first mages used old paradigms like hermetic magic and shamanism. Also, Coyote used some sick blood magic, so it is fair to assume he had advisors. Espacially since some of the native supporters turned out to be frickin Ehran and who ever else was pulling strings.

Seriously though, that's too much IEs for me.

Back to Sam and his spell. Wups, I did mention spontaneous manifestations, yap, got that covered. He did not conciously cast the spell, nor did he learn it or anything. He got lucky, something that tends to happen. Anomaly. That spontaneous potential is lost the moment someone explain to you how to work magic. But as long as no one explain it to you, it's just that, spontaneous.

Back to the Matrix. 3 year old. Who understand he's a mage. And can access the matrix good enough to acces open source magical theories. Sure. Double genius.

I never said it's impossible. I only say it's a non factor, not something happing often enough to get any attention.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (apollo124 @ Feb 10 2008, 11:34 PM) *
But there you kind of get back to the chicken or the egg question. Howling Coyote wasn't (as far as we know) an IE, so who taught him magic?


Wovoka was taught the GGD by an Immortal Half-Elf (don't ask what the other half is), actually. Presumably, Howling Coyote learned it from Wovoka's successor or directly from the aforementioned half-elf. Twist is a substantially better example.

QUOTE (Malicant @ Feb 10 2008, 11:49 PM) *
Back to the Matrix. 3 year old. Who understand he's a mage. And can access the matrix good enough to access open source magical theories. Sure. Double genius.


Three might be a little young. Anthony was a whole six years old when he began terrorizing his town, after all.

The fact that ancient traditions were common sources of inspiration doesn't matter because, as the dragons have said, they're all wrong. Anybody can create his own tradition.
Malicant
The immortal Half-Elf. Right. Totally forgot that he tried that one before. Thanks for the refreshment.
apollo124
QUOTE (Malicant @ Feb 10 2008, 11:49 PM) *
Back to Sam and his spell. Wups, I did mention spontaneous manifestations, yap, got that covered. He did not conciously cast the spell, nor did he learn it or anything. He got lucky, something that tends to happen. Anomaly. That spontaneous potential is lost the moment someone explain to you how to work magic. But as long as no one explain it to you, it's just that, spontaneous.


I did forget to mention, near the end of "Never Deal With A Dragon", Sam has a vision/conversation with Dog, who teaches him a spell on the spot. This is after the guy realizes he is a shaman and is old enough to have at least some grasp on what that means. So his mentor spirit taught him the spell, thus it can happen like that to others.

The spontaneous outburst is kind of what we're talking about with the young ones awakening. Would they be uncontrolled little hellions? devil.gif Bear in mind, this doesn't happen in a vacuum here. Kids would still remember growing up and the lessons they learned from childhood. Discipline and responsibility are things most good parents teach their kids starting at a very young age. So, on a case by case basis, I think maybe some would be bad and some good. Just like adults. vegm.gif
Malicant
QUOTE
I did forget to mention, near the end of "Never Deal With A Dragon", Sam has a vision/conversation with Dog, who teaches him a spell on the spot. This is after the guy realizes he is a shaman and is old enough to have at least some grasp on what that means. So his mentor spirit taught him the spell, thus it can happen like that to others.

Then again, that was like SR1 and SR4 has a diffrent take on this. Still, he can be a magical oddity. OR, the whole vision is just his mental construct to explain to himself how he learnd a spell. Basically his interpretation of using arcana.

QUOTE
The spontaneous outburst is kind of what we're talking about with the young ones awakening. Would they be uncontrolled little hellions? devil.gif Bear in mind, this doesn't happen in a vacuum here. Kids would still remember growing up and the lessons they learned from childhood. Discipline and responsibility are things most good parents teach their kids starting at a very young age. So, on a case by case basis, I think maybe some would be bad and some good. Just like adults. vegm.gif

This discussion does not seem to deal with kids old enough to have developed discipline or a moral compass. That's at least the impression I got.
Cthulhudreams
I've always figured that awakening is pretty much something that happens later in life (late teens), because you have to have a grasp of ritual symbolism and abstract concepts that just isn't within the established cognitive reach of a 3 year old.

You could get in trouble with an 8 year old though. Someone who awakens at 8 might be the guy who ends up doing the toaster thing. You need to be able to formulate the concept of a tradition, or have the discipline to learn spells. Both of those are probably possible at 8, but not at 3.
Riley37
Tim Zahn wrote a novel with the bizarre premise that on a colony planet, every human develops telekinesis in late childhood, gets peak TK ability in late adolescence, then loses the ability entirely in adulthood. The colony barely survived the second generation, then developed a social structure using older children to control younger children. Faginy is one of the most dangerous crimes.

So yeah, if you're a parent and little Timmy can kill you, then it's time to call for help. And having volunteered with teenagers for years, I'd say that "parents should call in help more than they usually do" is already all too true.

Timmy doesn't have the LOG/CHA and WIL of an adult, so even if he can learn Spellcasting and/or Conjuring, his spellcasting, conjuring and drain-soaking DPs are low enough that you may have *time* to call for help.

Adolescence defined as sexual maturity, and adolescence defined as cognitive maturity, are two things that usually happen around the same time, but I'd guess it's the latter that matters more for Awakening, and I'm guessing that happens at age 2-10 less often than the former.

All that said... there are some possible Shadowrun stories that could take inspiration from Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, which was run by the equivalent of a Manipulation master. Also, there is a possible argument that Awakened adults have a call or even duty to remove Awakened children from the care of unAwakened parents, and to create a culture that properly directs young witches and wizards; cf. the Harry Potter books.
ElFenrir
I also think about things happening like, what if the kid is an Adept?

What if little Timmy, a 10 year old who keeps getting picked on by the bully, finally tries to fight back one day? And in his anger triggers and inate Strength Boost and/or Killing Hands, breaks the school bully's arms, turns him into a vegetable, or worse? Parents better get little Timmy under control soon, unless they want to see him turn into a dangerous teenager.
Sir_Psycho
I've just got to say, a stick figure drawing with a red scribble is NOT a fireball spell formula. If you're a mage, it's not about just putting down a vague idea of purpose onto a page or a computer. It's about structuring the threads of mana in an exact way, it's about understanding manasphere, that you, as an awakened being, 1% of the population, slowly begin to access. And even if you manage to thread and order these energies in a cohesive structure, you may have correctly ordered fire, but whoops, those mana patterns LOOKED the same, and now your arm is on fire. Try again, timmy.

So for a shaman it's different right? It's not an ordered and exact science? I'd say it's probably harder. A spell for a mage is perhaps like rattling off PI to five digits or something really quick from memory, for a shaman to learn and come to terms with his power, he has to come to terms with something incredibly abstract. I imagine it's akin to one of those horribly vague things like "getting in touch with your creative sub-conscious. Figuring out that that raven in your dreams wants you to create fire in your hands, and actually having to believe, against the laws of physics, that you can do it, and then to trust that raven when he says "It's ok little johnny shaman, you set your hand on fire this time, but you can try again, I believe in you, man!"
Stahlseele
wasn't there that example where a shaman was trying to teach a hermetic a spell by drawing a painting?
Particle_Beam
Yeah, page 156 in Street Magic. Although it's the other way around. The hermetic mage Winterhawk is trying to teach the shaman Silver Fox how to cast some kind of specialized combat spell, and Silver Fox is translating that to some kind of weird painted picture. So, yeah, totally abstract.
CrystalBlue
The whole definition of where and when a person can start to cast magic is kinda up to the player and storyteller. I'm sure no one is going to try and introduce a player as a 5 year old that can sling a mean Powerbolt (though I do know someone that desperately would want to). But think of it like this...

A child's mental and behavioral structure and outlook on life are very fluid and shapeable in the first few years. From age 0 to around 6, they learn some very basic, but ultimately amazing things. At that point, anything is possible. They learn to roll over, stand up, walk, run, form words, turn those words into sentences, create semi-cohesive thoughts and ideas, remember things. All of this is taught to them from their surroundings. They can see everything happening and try to imitate it the best they can. That, or they do it out of instinct.

Now take that child, who looks at everything around him, and wake him up. Now you've got children that can 'see ghosts'. Maybe that Boogyman isn't so much a boogyman as it is a Spirit of Man wandering around the closet. Maybe those imaginary friends aren't so imaginary. And maybe, just maybe, in his wildiest dreams and fantasies...that child is able to make his toys move by themselves.

Dragon's can pity us all they want...but when you look at how powerful human potential is...there's a reason dragon's and immortal elves try to keep us down and tied up with mundane things. And as the mana swing continues up, heralding in those wonderful Horrors, meta-humanity will get even more powerful.

"So how do you explain a child making magic like that, and adults needing to be taught?" Easy...as I said, children are shapable in the first few years of their lives. However, after that, it's almost hard-wired in. To be able to disbelieve the reality we live in and understand and grasp the concept of an entirely different reality around us takes a great deal of time, effort, and unlearning. A spell formula COULD be as simple as a stick figure drawing, so long as the kid got it right. Adult magic is different, because we have to shape our reality and thinking into the astral, mana fields, and meta-planes...which is significantly more work.
nathanross
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho @ Feb 11 2008, 08:15 AM) *
I've just got to say, a stick figure drawing with a red scribble is NOT a fireball spell formula. If you're a mage, it's not about just putting down a vague idea of purpose onto a page or a computer. It's about structuring the threads of mana in an exact way, it's about understanding manasphere, that you, as an awakened being, 1% of the population, slowly begin to access. And even if you manage to thread and order these energies in a cohesive structure, you may have correctly ordered fire, but whoops, those mana patterns LOOKED the same, and now your arm is on fire. Try again, timmy.

So for a shaman it's different right? It's not an ordered and exact science? I'd say it's probably harder. A spell for a mage is perhaps like rattling off PI to five digits or something really quick from memory, for a shaman to learn and come to terms with his power, he has to come to terms with something incredibly abstract. I imagine it's akin to one of those horribly vague things like "getting in touch with your creative sub-conscious. Figuring out that that raven in your dreams wants you to create fire in your hands, and actually having to believe, against the laws of physics, that you can do it, and then to trust that raven when he says "It's ok little johnny shaman, you set your hand on fire this time, but you can try again, I believe in you, man!"

I think that comparing what adults have to go through and train to manipulate mana is completely different from what a child has to do. While the developers have almost always told us that the ability to use magic comes about around puberty, I do see the possibility on very, very rare occurrences for children to do FAR more than expected possible. After all isnt magic everywhere? Doesn't it permeate all things? If so then arent we just being dumb and ignorant? Why should anyone need to teach us? Its right there!

The problem as we get older is that all those adult things fill our head. We have already been taught how things are and we dont want to listen anymore. For a child, he has not yet learned to block out everything, his mind is still open and accepting. Isnt part of enlightenment to be like a child again? To see things as they are, not as you want them to be. To feel emotion with complete sincerity, like a baby from the womb.

Very rarely do humans surpass what has been set out for them. We are very weak beings, but even then, only we can create miracles.

For my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. It's energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we...not this crude matter.
kanislatrans
I watched a friends 2 year old once walk up to a small boulder in the front yard. He took a look at it and reached down and tried to pick it up. It probably weighed about 90 lbs. The kid grabbed it, couldn't lift it , stepped back and went looking for another rock.
I think that the shamantic paths would be easier for a child for that reason. Their "reality" is already abstract. They have fewer preconceptions about what can and cannot happen.
I have had the honor of attending several sweat lodges over the years and one of the things the has always been mentioned is that for the power to work, you need to let go of the physical world( I.E. your old view of reality) so the spirits can guide you.

anyhoo, I think the Idea of an early awakening is cool and could definitely spice up a game. maybe a run on a pre- sdchool with the runners getting pelted with blocks and toy trucks(grin)
Daddy's Little Ninja
Speaking as an expert, my daughter, 11 months old, is enough of a handful without magical powers. Though her ability to crawl into small spaces,like behind couches, that should be too small to fit in, makes me think she has some adept abilities. She's walking a bit now and that has slowed her up but I suspect this is only a brief respite.

Between that and her ability to emmit an ear splitting scream when unhappy, maybe they all have magical powers when small, most of which fade.
mfb
QUOTE
Then again, that was like SR1 and SR4 has a diffrent take on this. Still, he can be a magical oddity. OR, the whole vision is just his mental construct to explain to himself how he learnd a spell. Basically his interpretation of using arcana.

i don't believe i've seen anything in SR4 that indicates a difference from any prior edition in how metahumans learn magic. in MitS (i don't feel like digging through my SR4 stuff), it states that some children Awaken spontaneously.

it also states that many Awakened kids are whisked away to special schools. one imagines that for any family at or above the poverty line, having an Awakened child will never be a problem--because if their child Awakens, s/he won't be their parents' child anymore.
Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (ElFenrir @ Feb 11 2008, 04:02 AM) *
I also think about things happening like, what if the kid is an Adept?

What if little Timmy, a 10 year old who keeps getting picked on by the bully, finally tries to fight back one day? And in his anger triggers and inate Strength Boost and/or Killing Hands, breaks the school bully's arms, turns him into a vegetable, or worse? Parents better get little Timmy under control soon, unless they want to see him turn into a dangerous teenager.

...ah, you hit upon the route I was going to go. Adolescent & teenage Adepts can in some senses be more dangerous as they can develop their powers in a totally mundane setting without the specialised academic training a spellcaster needs. Athletics and Martial Arts are two activities kids are often enrolled in which would be fertile grounds for the awakening of latent adept powers. In KK's backstory, at the age of eleven she seriously injures an older girl who picks a fight sending her opponent to the hospital (manifestation of the Kelly's Critical strike and Killing Hands powers). At the time, she was trying only to defend herself against a fairly malicious attack in which her opponent and several other girls ganged up on her while she was walking home from school. It was out of pure desperation and fear for her own safety she managed to tap into her latent abilities, much to the surprise of her opponent who until then had the upper hand.
Adarael
I think both sides of this argument are right, and not in that “equally correct? kind of way. You’re both describing aspects of the same thing, iny opinion. Despite the fact that the book says most mages get their power in late adolescence, nothing says they can’t get it earlier or later depending on environment, family, belief, desire, or if they habitually wear blue on Tuesdays. In fact, fluff suggests that early awakening is predictably more likely in high-mana areas, such as Tir Na nOg. So I don’t think it’s unlikely that some kids awaken to their power while still in grade school. I think 3 – 6 is a little young, though, simply because children at that level have difficulty exercising language skills at high levels, which they’re using every moment of every day – sorcery and conjuring are gonna take a bit longer. Let’s say 10-12 for the early end, with 8 being about as young as it’s ever gotten.

That said, there’s one very basic fact that needs to be considered:
Raw will is not enough to work magic.
If all you needed to work magic is to be awakened and want to do it, then all those hundreds of thousands – millions, even – of awakened people who don’t know it (following the stats that only about 25% of the awakened population knows it or can do anything sizable with it) would be able to practice magic of some kind any time the going gets tough. You need more than will – you need to have some kind of paradigm and some kind of modus to work your will within. I think this is the real reason most kids don’t awaken sooner, and mages are made later in childhood rather than sooner. Prior to a certain age, they don’t have enough experience to form a paradigm robust enough to let them work their with any real force or reliability. They might move a cup or give mom a nosebleed or get dad to not ground them, but generally they don’t have the kind of experience in life to really drive their abilities as a mana conduit.

In a strictly mechanical sense, this means they haven’t been able to spend the xp on the skills needed or the magic stat needed. For really precocious kids they might have a sorcery skill, but it’s not going to be very high. Don’t forget that casting spells is a skill not a merit. Any kid can awaken to killing hands, power throw, shit like that – but a kid who wants to cast spells better be willing to learn how to do it well. Their magic attribute would probably be low, as well: think about how rare it is to be a true prodigy. Then compound that with how rare it is to be a functioning spellcaster. It’s going to be extremely rare for them to even have skills above 1-2 or attributes above 3, unless they actually are in high school,[/i] given that 2 is generally high school level. And then there’s the third question. Every now and again you will get a kid who can’t control his shit and unloads on the school bully with a powerball. In cases that like, the kid’s generally gonna give it all he’s got – I.E. he’ll overcast. How many kids who try to cast a spell at the bully *also* get put in the hospital because of that? And of those, how many just jump right back on the horse, as opposed to freaking out that they almost killed themselves?

I’m not saying it wouldn’t be a problem, I’m just saying I don’t think it would be a very widespread problem. Nowhere near as big a problem as 12 year olds doing BTLs and packing automatic weapons. I figure a kid who can control his magic, can work it at a decent level, and who awakens at an early age is literally a one in a billion kid. And for those 7-8 kids? Go watch the Twilight Zone movie. That’s what being around that kid is like.
nathanross
QUOTE (Adarael @ Feb 11 2008, 06:28 PM) *
That said, there’s one very basic fact that needs to be considered:
Raw will is not enough to work magic.

That alone is not true. A paradigm or symbolic way of thinking is like a bowl to catch and gather the water (water representing magic/mana of course wink.gif ). Without it you cannot efficiently move and do things with the water. A trained magician learns how to increase the size of this bowl and how to let the water out in certain ways. This does not mean that no one can use water without a bowl though, just that they lake finer control and have limited options of advancement.

What I am refering to is VERY rare cases in which those who are just plain gifted, where the way they already see (whether through a logic filter of not) somehow jives with magic. Kind of Akira (for all those Manga aficionados out there) situation. Im just trying to say that not everyone advances in the same way or at the same rate. This kid might loose all power/ability as he grows older (in fact he almost definitely will), and may have to start from the square one again once his mind and way of seeing things changes.

Still, I feel that if magic is truly the force of the universe (as I believe it is portrayed in Shadowrun), then kids will be more receptive to it, with or without formal training.
Adarael
QUOTE
That alone is not true. A paradigm or symbolic way of thinking is like a bowl to catch and gather the water (water representing magic/mana of course ). Without it you cannot efficiently move and do things with the water. A trained magician learns how to increase the size of this bowl and how to let the water out in certain ways. This does not mean that no one can use water without a bowl though, just that they lake finer control and have limited options of advancement.


I'm sorry, but you're wrong. Without the Sorcery skill, you cannot make a spellcasting attempt. Without Conjuring, you cannot conjure spirits. This is specifically different than almost any other skill in the game, because you can default on any other skill roll (almost), but these skills are specificially prohibited from defaulting.
So no, will alone isn't enough. Skill and practice are required.

He has to practice smoking Billy the Bully's head with Flamethrower before he can blowtorch it in a fit of anger. Or he has to learn the skill from something. But he can't just default on it if he hasn't made some attempt to learn the skill beforehand.
nathanross
QUOTE (Adarael @ Feb 11 2008, 08:19 PM) *
I'm sorry, but you're wrong. Without the Sorcery skill, you cannot make a spellcasting attempt. Without Conjuring, you cannot conjure spirits. This is specifically different than almost any other skill in the game, because you can default on any other skill roll (almost), but these skills are specificially prohibited from defaulting.
So no, will alone isn't enough. Skill and practice are required.

He has to practice smoking Billy the Bully's head with Flamethrower before he can blowtorch it in a fit of anger. Or he has to learn the skill from something. But he can't just default on it if he hasn't made some attempt to learn the skill beforehand.

You are using the rules given to model the abilities and advancement of a select set of professional criminals to extrapolate the way things operate in an imaginary world. While this is not necessarily wrong, it only limits imagination. Im not saying that people should be able to play 0-10 year old characters that do not need Sorcery of Conjuring skill to cast major F*cking mojo, Im saying that it would be interesting to have an NPC mage that is a kid without tradition, teaching or anything, but is strangely VERY powerful.

Its not like mage slaves also aspire to get Wired Reflexes and/or eventually save up enough karma to summon an Ally spirit, that would be silly. PC's all have different goals, as should NPC's. To make everyone special is to make everyone average.
Kalvan
QUOTE (nathanross @ Feb 11 2008, 07:30 PM) *
To make everyone special is to make everyone average.


I take it you didn't read House of M? wink.gif

Anyway, You would be surprised at the kinds of things that young children can dream up, and I'm not just talking in a personal retrospective.

One author on FanFiction.net wrote a remakreable piece of Naruto fan fiction. If you didn't have one window open to it and another to Wikipedia at the same time, you'd swear he was nakedly plagarizing Kishimoto. Then you look at when it was posted and compare it to the publishing schedule Weekly Shonen Jump adhered to in putting out chapters, and you realise this guy came first, even compared to what came out in Japan. Next you compare it to the relavant chapters and realise that this guy's take was completely different, usually in ways that made better sense to the situation and characters (Though to be sure, the spelling is rather uneven, the sentance structure is Hemminwayesque, and the punctuation is rather awkward). Finally you read the guy's birthdate and find that at the time he posted this work he was at the ripe old age of 7!
Kalvan
Actually, it isn't the Awakened spoiled brats that really scare me. So long as they get what they want, (or what they know they can get that they want) they aren't a clear and present danger.

On the other hand, imagine a child growing up in an abusive household where the family head just knows the surest way to tell a child is spoiled rotten is how s/he hugs his/her parent and s/he hugs back. The kind who send his/her offspring to millitary school and then pulls them back out again after reading reports about how happy (t)he(y) are there (and if s/he is feelthy steenking reach, procedes to sue the school). To add a little spice to this pot, this family head is sxtremely religious, and when the child tells the Cleric (or even vaguely hints at it) said Cleric tells the parent and says "Honor thy Father and Mother," and "Thou Shalt not Bear False Witness." Now imagine that in the child's dreams, nightmares of remembered beatings and worse are interrupted by a shadowy being who wisks him away from those scenerios of pain, whispering hints of power and revenge...
mfb
QUOTE (Adarael)
I'm sorry, but you're wrong. Without the Sorcery skill, you cannot make a spellcasting attempt. Without Conjuring, you cannot conjure spirits. This is specifically different than almost any other skill in the game, because you can default on any other skill roll (almost), but these skills are specificially prohibited from defaulting.
So no, will alone isn't enough. Skill and practice are required.

well, the thing is, there's no canon process for learning magical skills. if you have enough karma (or build points) saved up, you can dump a bunch at once and go from 0 skill to 6 skill in literally no time at all, so long as the GM is willing and/or it fits the needs of the story. technically, you could do the same thing with any skill, but with non-magical skills, there's at least the realism aspect--it's simply not realistic to go from 0 to 6 in the firearms group without spending any time practicing and learning. magic is... well, magic. sudden, mysterious inspiration is a perfectly valid source of skill.
kanislatrans
Sandy,3year old awakened pre-schooler
build points: 251

stats:
body: 1
agility :2
reaction:2
strength:1
charisma:3
intuition:3
logic:1
willpower:3
edge:6
magic:4

skills:
climbing:2
spellcasting:1
summoning:1
percepton:4
escape:2
thrown:1
infiltration:2
dodge:3
artisan:1
shadowing:2

qualities:
mentor spirit
spirit affinity (beast spirits)
allergy,mild,common, broccoli

contacts:
mom 6/4
dad 6/4

Gear:
summoning foci force 1, stuffed unicorn named "Magic" who "Scares away all the monsters"

spells:
silence
invisability
wail of the banshee
increase attribute-charisma(used when she is caught doing something she knows she shouldn't be doing)
hyzmarca
If she has a Spell Knack then she can only cast that one spell, can't conjure, and can't have a magic higher than 1. (Spell knack rules are very bad).
kanislatrans
my bad nyahnyah.gif just playing with the chargen and tossing things in

and now that I know about spell knack,I have to agree. that has to be one of the worst Positive qualities ever. should be put in the negative section,IMHO frown.gif

ok,edited it out. tnks
Eyeless Blond
If you're feeling evil you can set up your own magemask-lite that only works on kids...

http://theteenrepellent.com/
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Feb 12 2008, 11:04 AM) *
If you're feeling evil you can set up your own magemask-lite that only works on kids...

http://theteenrepellent.com/

Dear god that's an annoying noise, and I'm 27. I must have good hearing. Lucky me. ohplease.gif
bibliophile20
Oh, I remember when they invented those damn things... so annoying.

Of course, some bright teen had the epiphany "hey, if the adults can't hear it..." and turned it into a "stealth" ringtone, suitable for use during class. The kids can hear it, but the teacher can't... I hear (no pun intended) that it's ideal for covert cheating in crowded classrooms.
nathanross
QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Feb 12 2008, 12:04 PM) *
If you're feeling evil you can set up your own magemask-lite that only works on kids...

http://theteenrepellent.com/

Man, Im only 21 and I cant hear it, T.T

QUOTE (bibliophile20 @ Feb 13 2008, 12:29 PM) *
Oh, I remember when they invented those damn things... so annoying.

Of course, some bright teen had the epiphany "hey, if the adults can't hear it..." and turned it into a "stealth" ringtone, suitable for use during class. The kids can hear it, but the teacher can't... I hear (no pun intended) that it's ideal for covert cheating in crowded classrooms.

Now Ive heard this is a problem but I really cant understand why. Its not like a person can hold a conversation with said caller even if the do know they're calling. Also, whats the issue with vibration? Anyways, any good teacher that is properly attentive to his/her class shouldn't be unable to know when teens are using their cell phones (I for one find it painfully obvious when they are looking at some place in between them and their desk.

I do love the idea of its use for crowd control purposes. Gotta wonder where all the kids go if they cant loiter around their usual places, though. After all, its not like they've given up.
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