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I was sitting 'round the ol' SR group bong. We were talking about what the group's shaman, and the group's mage should do on thier initations.

My friend Chris said why don't you guys evolve your magic like a pokemon.
(I slapped him for saying Pokemon) but it was an interesting idea. Well alot of things are interesting when you're baked, but that's not the point.

Well anyways back on track.

So lets take the group's Wolf shaman. My friend said when he initiates why can't he grow a closer bond to his totem and have it affect him more or differently.

+1 more dice to combat spells, and + to whatever else forest spirits I think, but his wolf rage thing is alot harder to resist, becomes tn 6 to avoid. And on his sheet he would put 'Timber Wolf' He would be better with forest spirits -1 TN for dealing with them, and -1 for dealing with wolves. But would have +1 tn for other aspects of his magic.

we thought hey that's pretty cool.

Then for our mage. Standard hermetic when he initiates he could change/evolve his magic to become better with a certain element or field of magic.

Standard mage, becomes a Mage of Flames, +2 for fire manipulation/elemental spells. -1 for water ones. +1 dice for fire elementals, -1 TN for summoning fire elementals, +1 tn for water elementals, -1 dice for water elemtnal spells.

and so on, and more he initiates the further he can become aspected to the point where he can't do anything for water, but can pop out fire like he was born in it.

Oh and this would be a subsitutuion to learning a metamagic. So you would gain magic rating, and your signature alters slightly but not learn a metamagic for that initiation.

I guess it could work for adepts too, but I don't know how.
Or you could make it a system like Seiken Densetsu 3, where you have two levels of evolution that go either dark or light. So your rogue becomes an assassin and gets the split-image slice attack.

~J, currently crashing from prescription amphetamines
I think it's a good idea.

Oh I guess you can do stuff like 'Combat Mage'
+dice for combat magic - tn but you give up dice and ability in other fields. -dice in health detection whatever else +tn for those spells. and so on.

I dunno. I was pretty baked when we talked about this.
Yep, good idea.
Well thanks if it's a good idea smile.gif

But the question was(that I forgot to ask), is this allowable? Would it go too far against the rules? Would it be in the rules but abusable? Too twinky? Unfair to the rest of the group?

We're still thinking it's cool but can't see too many blatant problems with it. so I'm looking to you guys for ideas on how to impliment this fairly and stuff.

I am going to take this oppurtunity to point something out. This are the "bylaws" of an RPG according to the TriStat system(Dx and BESM and other games) Called the Role Playing Manefesto:

1.These rules are written on paper, not etched in stone.
2.Rules are suggested guidelines, not required edicts.
3.If the rules don't say you can't do something, you can.
4.There are no official answers, only official opinions.
5.When dice conflict with the story, the story always wins.
6.Min/Maxing and munchkinism aren't problems with the game; they're problems with the player.
7.The GM has full discretionary power over the game.
8.The GM always works with, not against, the players.
9.A game that is not fun is no longer a game - it's a chore.
10.This books contains the answers to all things.
11.When the above does not apply, make it up.

Short of about Cthulu and Hackmaster even No 8 applies to everything. AS for 10 and 11 well, sub that for whatever book you need to apply it to.

No 1 is the big one I wanted to point out. CoalHeart, if you wanna do it. Do it and adapt it for your game, there is NO reason you can't. Canon is all well and good, but they are guidelines, not edicts. Use the game as you wish to.
+1 dice in specific spells per Initiation instead of a metatechnique is not unbalancing at all. He could just as easily have spent that karma in SpellCasting increase anyhows, getting a +1 to all spells. And considering how hard it is to initiate, and thus losing chances at metatechniques, it more than balances out. I'd go so far as to say they're actually hindering themselves by going this route, but I like it because it really helps build a theme for the character.

i would make it a metatechnique. personally, however, i wouldn't give it a 'down' side, as that sorta negates the whole point of shelling out massive amounts of karma.

call it something like Totem/Elemental Affinity. if the initiate is a shaman, hegains an extra die on his positive totem modifiers; if a hermetic, he must pick one element. in this element, he gains +1 die to the related spells and elementals. this metatechnique can be taken multiple times; mages can choose a new element each time, if they choose.
I like mfb's way of doing it. I wouldn't let the hermetics change the element each time though.

Ol' Scratch
That doesn't seem to be as yummy as many of the other metamagic techniques. If I were to do it, I'd start off a little more interestingly. Like, allowing the magician to gain a new pool of dice equal to his Grade that can only be used when dealing with spells and spirits within the specialization (elemental/totemic bonuses; totems that don't have a specific bonus cannot select it).
mine is directed more towards the 'evolution' idea, in that you can take it several times and gain more power each time--but looking at them as a player, i'd take funk's over mine any day.
When I played first edition Shadowrun, we used a house rule that your Initiate Grade added to your Totem advantages. At Initiate 0 it was no bonus, but later it became more and more useful.

I wouldn't do it again, after having experienced it. In my experience, magicians get more and more overpowering in comparison to other characters with comparable (100+) earned Karma, and the GMs need to look for ways to reduce magician power instead of increase their power.

I like Sphynx's suggestion, to allow some spellcasting bonus as an alternative to a Metamagic technique upon initiation.
I do like the idea of "aspecting", however. It seems like it gives the character more flavor, and makes more sense for how Shadowrun magic works.

Maybe take "aspecting" for a higher bonus, say +2 dice? Or something.
Not to throw water on the idea, because it is pretty good, but you do know that you can start out as an aspected mage, right? smile.gif The main difference here, though, is that starting out as such would mean that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to "break out" of that in order to do anything with any other aspect of magic not normally allotted. Making it a metamagic for initiates would just mean a "specialization" of sorts, and not cripple him (as such).
I actually was thinking along those lines. I was saying, however, that the bonus for fire stuff would be higher, since it is a metamagical technique.
The evolution idea of magic sounds cool for Shamans.

The totemic mask would be more pronounced, more characteristics of the totem would appear in the pc's life. It might require some investigation into the animal itself to determine what the characteristics would be though.

Can you imagine a Bear shaman "evolving" into Kodiak?

As for mages the idea is so so. It would be cool, but the whole concept leans more toward the totemic side.

Just my 2 cents.
Ok hashing it out with my stoner buds over a bowl of buds... mmm good times...

Er.. Right Topic.

For full shamans (non aspected, sorcs or conjurers) You can evolve your connection with your totem. It counts as a metamagical technique Evolve (Totem)

Wolf can become Timberwolf
Bonuses: closer affinity to forest spirits (-1 TN +1 Dice), edge animal affinity (Wolves), +1 dice to combat and detection spells.
Penalties : Increases TN to resist rage to 6. Also Any other spirit summoning is at +1 TN -1 Dice, Any other spell casting is at -1 dice

Can then Evolve to be a Greater TimberWolf

Bonuses : Closer affinity to forest spirits (-2 TN +2 dice) Affinity to wolves grows (-2 tn to dealing with wolves) and you automatically gain a normal wolf ally animal. +2 dice to combat and detection spells.

Penalties: No resistance to Rage in combat except you can avoid attacking 'packmates' Any other spirit summoning is +2 tn -2 dice. Any other spell casting -2 dice

Further evolve again if you so choose to the Alpha Timber wolf
Bonuses : Forest spirits are your best friends (-3 TN +3 dice) Animal Affinity grows further (-3 tn for dealing with wolves) Gain 1d6/2 more wolf allies minimum 1 and rule of 6 applies. +3 combat and detection spells Also Gain Shapechange (Wolf) for Essence Hours Per week (can split up an hour here, 20 mins there)
Disadvantages : In any combat you fly into a rage no resistance if there are aggresors to your pack or partners. Any other spirit summonings +3 TN - 3 dice Any other spell +3 tn -3 dice.

I don't think you'd want to really go past 3 levels of it. But Hell you could keep going untill you are a wolf and so deeply devoted to your totem and your new 'pack'.
This was an example I'm sure you can adjust it for any totems you see fit.

For a Standard Hermetic Mage(non aspected) takes the metamagic Evolution (Elemental)

Mage of Flames (water earth air)

Bonuses : +2 dice for Elemental/Manipulation Fire based spells. Affinity to fire elementals -1 TN +1 dice. Fire school of spells (I think are Combat) +1 dice. +1 dice -1 TN to resisting damage from fire based magic
Disadvantages : -2 dice to Elemental/manipulation Water. Aversion to Water elementals (+1 TN -1 dice) for dealing with them, and resisting affects of water based magic

Mage of Burning Ember (Tranquil wave, Rolling Stone, Whirling Vortex)

Bonus: +4 dice Elemental/manipulation fire based spells. Strong Affinity to fire elementals (-2 tn +2 dice) Fire school of spells +2 dice. +2 dice -2 TN to resisting Fire based magic damage. Innate ability Flame aura at 1/2 essence power for Essence hours. Can be split up.
Disadvantages : -4 Dice to elemental manipulation water. Strong Aversion to water elementals +2 tn -2 dice, +2 tn -2 dice to resisting water based magical damage. Flaw : Allergy to water Nusance (prolonged exposure so no more swimming, but a little rain or a shower isn't bad)

Mage of The Raging Inferno (Deep, Eternal Stone, Tornado)

Bonus: +6 dice Elemental/manipulation Fire based spells, Friendship with Fire ellemental, Bonuses to fire schools of magic, full immunity to normal fire (less than 6 power) -3 tn +3 dice to resisting any othe fire. FlameAura at full essence power, for twice essence hours.

Disadvanages : -6 dice elemental manip water. Hatered of Water elementals (they attack on sight) Also +3 tn -3 dice. Water Based damage is harder to resist. Allergy to water becomes Severe if prolonged (more than 30 seconds)

And so on and so forth, but I think 3 in each sould be plenty to show what I mean and I hope eveyone enjoys it and tries it out in thier game. I wonder how well it'll go in ours! thanks for the response everyone. spin.gif
Talia Invierno
It's not unlike a shamanic geas, after all.
Ooooo - I love it! I am so gonna tweak this and introduce into my games...

More Metamagics to the Magicians!!! grinbig.gif
I think the penalties are way too high if you are making it a Metamagic. After all, the character has to spend a lot of Karma to acquire it.
All in all an interesting idea.

What would you say about finding an initiate group that swings that way. That is if you are keeping the old way as well as introducing this new one. You would have to say that not all Mages/Shamans would want to go that route. So you would have to find a different initiate group, perhaps harder to find one. Just a thought. Discuss or bash as you please.
Well: Before I say this next bit, I should probably say that I like the idea. But:

I don't think it's unreasonable to add a down-side. Noteing the fact that there are no metamagical techniques that really provide a direct boost to a character's power, I'd say certain versions could be imbalanced.

Look at centering: Although it provides a power bonus; You need to buy two skills up-to 4 or so to make it effective. Invoking has its advantages, but it is difficult in its own right with a hard drain resistance test.

Choosing to apply a permenant ability (such as +1 die for combat spells) should probably affect the character somehow (I'm thinking berserk in combat or something with TN depending on how many times the 'metamagic' has been taken). The 'penalty' could simply, however, just be a roleplaying effect meaning you play the character as being slightly angrier.

Using this to reduce penalties would also be reasonable as in-general penalties are worth less than bonuses.

But then again: I always try to avoid giving big bonuses in my house modified stuff. IMHO: The most important thing to avoid is adding something broken, that is to say something which is so much better than other options.
The Jopp
I can see several problems for shamans and hermetics so deep down into their element that they have a psychological problem with other elements.

I can really picture the Inferno-Of-The-Deepest-Fire Hermetic with a phobia against water. Or what about getting an automatic Spirit/Elemental Bane flaw when you reach the highest level of specialization?

So a Fire hermetic with 3 levels of specialization and +6/-6D6 or whatnot for Fire and Water would also have a direct distaste for water (rather using some spell of Earth to clean himself with) and risk getting attacked from elementals from the opposite element.

Shamans are a bit different but they would probably become more "one" with the totem. That could be quite easy with animal totem but what about icons like Mountain?

I can see a rivalry between totem animals like Cat and Dog becoming more and more hostile. Perhaps not "hostile" but rather a lack of respect.
People often attach emotional aspects to icons -- "Mountain" or "Earth" is commonly depicted as slow, strong and unchanging.

"Fire" is mercurial, tempermental and just a tad destructive.

in response to a few people. Yes there are downsides usually equal to the positives. And yes when you get the highest level of elemental affinity you do get spirit bane to the opposing element.

Also for the shamans those additional bonuses stack with thier normal bonuses. the Evolution bonuses don't stack on eachother for the most part, they replace eachother

As for Nature Totems, good question. I'd take aspects of thier totem and give them bonuses and flaws that fit. The really hard ones would be the ones that have no innate bonuses or flaws ,you would need to make them up completely.

Shaman with Mountain totem
Shaman of the Summit

+1 dice Manipulation spells + 1 dice - 1 TN mountain spirits. +1 dice against Mind control spells
-1 dice +1 tn to Illusion spells -1 dice to all other spells. Willpower 8 test to change course of action, -1 dice +1 tn to summon other spirits

Formerly Shaman of the Summit
Shaman of the Ancient Peak
Advantages +2 dice manipulation +2 dice -2 tn mountain spirits +2 dice Against mind control spells, Movement power while on mountains. Gain 1 aniamal that lives in mountains as an ally.
-2 dice +2 tn to illusion spells - 2 dice to all other spells. Willpower 10 test to change course of action. -2 dice +2 tn to summon other spirits.

Formerly Shaman of the Ancient Peak
Shaman of the Eternal Mountain

Advantages +3 dice manipulation spells, +3 dice -3 tn to mountain spirits. Immunity to mind control spells. +1 willpower. Movement power while on mountains. Accident power while on mountains Gain 2 more mountain animals.
Disadvantages : -3 dice +3 tn to illusion spells -3 dice to all other spells. Like the avalanche once you start a course you can never change. No chance to change course of action, -3 dice +3 tn to summon other spirits.

I could make this stuff up all day smile.gif The imagination of a stoner is a wonderful thing. wobble.gif
I like that concept. Another idea, rather than just the idea of acquiring a spirit bane of the oposing element, perhaps the mage could actually end up with a vulnerability to the other element. For example: a third level Initiate of the Flames might be able to walk into burning buildings and not be hurt (application of control fire spell perhaps) but also if that person comes in contact with water they should suffer penalties -- perhaps like the allergy flaws. At level one they get a +1 to TNs while wet and so forth.

Also, what would these mages/shamans look like on the astral plane. Going with the Wolf shaman, they should probably begin to look lupine on the astral plane -- maybe almost like a werewolf? As for the Initiate of the Flames, they're astral form should appear to be burning. Could be interesting if people begin to thing that these high level initiates might be free spirits masquerading as "normal" metahumans.

-- Dashifen --
Dashifen I said that already!

if you read the other posts I said, that Mages of the Raging inferno are immune to normal fire up to power 6. And they get bonuses to resist any and all fire damage smile.gif Also they are weak to water based damaged.

but Hmm... I did mention that they look different on thier astral signature. I suppose by 3rd level they would seem to have a whole new signature.
"Bahl'al descended to the flooded, rusting halls of Si'anwon and under the sea there took no breath for nine days, searching the ruined palaces and temples of the Trow for the dream of unlife..."

Third+ Level Initiate of the Waters, mayhaps?

QUOTE (CoalHeart)
Dashifen I said that already!

if you read the other posts I said, that Mages of the Raging inferno are immune to normal fire up to power 6. And they get bonuses to resist any and all fire damage smile.gif Also they are weak to water based damaged.

but Hmm... I did mention that they look different on thier astral signature. I suppose by 3rd level they would seem to have a whole new signature.

Oh well. I we reading quickly since I was coming into the discussion late wink.gif
-- Dash --
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
"Bahl'al descended to the flooded, rusting halls of Si'anwon and under the sea there took no breath for nine days, searching the ruined palaces and temples of the Trow for the dream of unlife..."

Third+ Level Initiate of the Waters, mayhaps?


Sounds about right for the effects of a highgrade Mage of waters

Innate ability shape water, and water breathing. Also can walk on water all jesus like. Or movementpower in water.

I think our group will have lots of fun with this, and I hope all of you who take this idea up will too.

Mmmm. How awesome they are.
The Jopp
"Dave, how did you kill that high initiate Immolator Initiate? It was easy, I just used a Supersoaker filled with water, all his barriers, spells, elementals and whatnots just evaporised and he turned to steam when I hit him."

Now, I don't know about you but taking damage from water when you are a fire mage? Restrictions yes, but, taking damage from taking a SHOWER?

"Dave, how did you find the mage? Easy, I could smell the stinker from fifty feet."

Perhaps they should aquire something akin to "Magic Magnet" flaw but only to those spells regarding that element? A Fire Conjurer with with a lvl 3 initiation and gaining high bonuses with combat spells should also be more easily affected by such spells. since they are a magnet for that element.

Hmm, perhaps not? *ponders*
Moonstone Spider
I'd like to see this modified to have two or more branched options for this evolution, rather than a strict ladder.

For instance:

Wolf Evolves to:

Arctic Wolf:
Gains cold resistance edge, +1 die to elemental manipulation (cold) spells.


Timber Wolf:
Already discussed advantages.


Fenrir Wolf
Players body and strength racial modified limit increased by 3, wolf rage TN = 8


Player can summon Spirits of the Flame without losing ability to summon spirits of man.
Most definately Moonstone spider. I was just giving examples that way since our group wolf shaman is more affiliated with forests biggrin.gif Artic wolfs sound great, then you can go into Tundra Wolf, or snow then arctic.

There are lots of branches you can take, Each one stronger than before but also also exagerated disadvantages

And rereading part of the book a Serious allergy is too strong for previous discussions on Fire Mages. Perhaps moderate, or mild where it gives them +tn and potential damage over time.

P.S. Fenrir wolf is already a Totem so Wolf shamans can't evolve into them. And hellhounds would fall under Dog Totem At least in my opinon.

Oh man, can you imagine trying to make a sourcebook for this?

*reads up on fenrir and fears*

A 3rd grade Evolved Fenrir... would have +6 dice to combat spells, and most likely be enraged instantly at the first sign of confrontation.... I'd hate to be the person who screwed up his SoyBoy order.

Jeez. Now that would be really hard to have on your runner team. Hehehe. Very flavorful and colorful character but God help anyone who crosses thier path friend or foe.

P.S. I'd give them immunity to intimidation and fear powers as well.
The Cheshire Penguin
You should all go and check out the metamagic section for Hoosier Hacker House ( It has in-depth rules for stuff far beyond what you're discussing.
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