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So I'm a goddamn newbie when it comes to SR magic and it's showing in my GMing. Now that my mage isn't beating my plots into submission I'm having some difficulty thinking of interesting non:
-Fireball throwing (combat casting)

What are some fun RP to run for magic users?
Magical oddities are always fun, and have the added benefit of allowing the DM to break the rules however he wants.
What kind of oddities? I've thrown him some non-canon critters but they may or may not reappear in this game. What I'd like to do for him is some slice of life stuff. You're magically active so you experience X and everyone else just doesn't get it.
In fluff, Awakenings iirc, mages would get weird vibes off of some people or places. Kind of like they can feel an area or person with strong emotional baggage without astrally percieving. They also could sense how pure or corrupt a place was.

If all else fails, astral lava.
Wow, I can just see that exchange:

Player: "Okay, things are weird here. I project so I can look around faster."
GM: "Awesome. Roll soak."
Player: "Huh? It doesn't hurt to astrally project!"
GM: "Right now it does?"
Player: "How do you figure?"
GM: "Two words: 'Astral. Lava.'"
Player: ?!?!?!?!
If you're looking for just a pure fun RP kind of thing, you could have the team meet a contact/johnson/whatever who insists on an Astral meet at an Awakened club rather than an encounter in the meat. This could either push the Mage into a sort of a Face kind of role, which could be out of his normal comfort zone if he's not a Charisma tradition, or else could require an intermediary supplying the team with some Shade and Deepweed so the Adepts and Mundanes can Project/Perceive. If it's their first astral experience and they're decent RPers you could get some mileage out of it even without introducing combat or anything, especially if they decide to wander around a bit before the effect wears off. It really depends on the group though; for some groups it's likely to be treated as a perfunctory detail that's meaningless compared to the wheeling and dealing no matter what you do.
Expanding on some of the above (and a few new things)...

  • The team's new Mr. Johnson happens to be a Free Spirit who will only talk with magical folks because it is, well, a bigot toward mundanes. Beneath its notice and all that.
  • The runners have to retrive and item or talk to someone at an ultra-exclusive club, one where only magicians are allowed in.
  • The magician is witness to the (extremely) violent awakening of a young mage.
  • The runners encounter a substance with magical properties, but no idea exactly what it does.
  • Team has to cover a mage while he magically seals a summoning gate, or ruins a hermetic summoning circle.
  • Magical archeology in Azlan; an awakened ziggurat is unearthed, and the team must learn it's secrets.
  • Target of a wetwork / extraction job is a very talented, aspected illusion mage. Team must track him across the globe, and find ritual magic samples to keep the chase going.

These are more plot-points then anything else, but hey.. it's what I've got.
Kanada Ten
A private pet collector hires the team to track down his priceless Toreador Terrier, which he acquired in less than legal ways. The hacker and face could canvass the neighborhood, one looking for sensors the thief might have missed; the other chats up the local kids (discretely probing for clues, or perhaps pretending to be a Star detective). The razor goes off to squeeze his informant, while the mage takes poor Lil Tiger's favorite chew toy and begins to cautiously invoke ritual tracking. I suppose that's recon, eh? Though a Toreador Terrier needs a little extra attention due to his bull like strength and horns, perhaps he escaped his captures and is on the run...

There was an adventure (in Survival of the Fittest, IIRC) where runners were hired to subtly rearrange furniture, thus funking the feng shui of the executive. And bodyguard missions involve a lot of warding and spirit patrolling.

[edit] The mage's talismonger arranges to meet the team at an arboretum where he's scavenging for material. When they arrive, the plants have taken the talismonger hostage along with everyone else. The computer system is randomly spraying people with pesticide and has either locked the runners in, or locked them out in addition to shuttering the dome. No, it's not Dues gone wild or a TerraFirst! cell, but a wizzer gang trying to steal ingredients. (I like this one because it reminds me of something that would come out of Sprawl Sites).
I´ve used a gang with spellcaster as opposition (BTL ring). The spellcaster was a chaos mage with hair dryer as focus for combat spells (used Blast to good effect).

Build a wendigo into an otherwise normal sewers adventure (I gave a bounty of 25k for its head, is that right btw?).

Have security mages cast non-combat spells. Try gecko crawl (attacking from behind and UP, will giving a new visual). Try chaotic world. Basically anything that is not reduced to another way of getting damage, even if it includes getting damaged like the gecko crawl thing.
Wounded Ronin
Cthulu. Astral projection or perception = lose INT permanently.
Love for the Magic User? That's what the Orgasm spell is for, right? grinbig.gif

Seriously, though, a couple of other ideas:
  • The team is hired to retrieve an artifact of some mystical importance. The grab itself goes easily... but it turns out the thing is a magnet for hostile spirits.
  • Someone close to Mr. Johnson has been murdered, and it looks like they're not the only victim. The murderer? A toxic Spirit of Man that got away from its summoner and is skin-riding some poor sap.
  • Someone's been kidnapped while astrally projecting. You've found the body... but now you have to find the mage in astral space and guide him/her back. Time's running out...
QUOTE (DocTaotsu @ Feb 19 2008, 12:42 PM) *
What kind of oddities? I've thrown him some non-canon critters but they may or may not reappear in this game. What I'd like to do for him is some slice of life stuff. You're magically active so you experience X and everyone else just doesn't get it.

Well instead of getting the cyberware r us catalog, the mage probably gets the mana weekly. Perhaps he (she?) lives in a building with higher than average awakened people. Say 1,000 people in his building, instead of the average 10 being some kind of awakened there are 150 actual magic users (adepts, shaman, mages, etc). So Tuesday nights are his groups turn to ward the building. A neighbor comes over to borrow a cup of enchanting materials. Bob two floors up is going to the local university for his degree in thaumaturgy and stops by sometimes to ask for help with his homework. Perhaps a mundane resident asks him to a big party because she (he?) thinks it would be awesome to take a mage as their date. You could do a scene from "The Fifth Element" where one of the casters in his building has a similar address 216 vs 261 so people looking for the other guy are always knocking on your players door. "Weddings are two floors up, congratulations. *closes door*"

Just with making where he lives more alive could provide all kinds of little story tidbits. Perhaps he is the only mage at his place. People are always stopping by and asking for help. "My faucet is leaking, and building maintenance always takes so long. Could you come over and *waggles fingers* you know." Perhaps he can't eat at a certain place because the food always makes his powerbolts shoot sparkling stars. Maybe he learns the orgasm spell so when he gets behind on rent he can sweettalk the landlady (lord?).
Kanada Ten
Soothsayers can always make fun contacts, too, as they usually stoop extra deep in the trappings of religion and magic - in addition to the usual prophecies of love and/or doom, which seem to either never come true or always come true. There's just something creepy about huddling over some fleshy chicken bones in a rainwashed unlit backalley while a toothless shell of a toothpick old man rasps out the betrayal of your fellow teammates, his single yellow eye hungrily eyeing a devil rat which scurries out of the rain and out of sight.

Just don't rent a place above one, as Jago668 points out; people knocking at your door all night, usually drunk, always asking where she's at, when will she be in: "No I don't know, I'm not the psychic." *mumbles: she probably saw your brokeass coming and snuck out the back*
I have had a lot of fun with Chaos Mages basing their magic tradition off of classic(current and older) fantasy book characters.

For just slice of life stuff, if he has decent perception/assensing then when they aren't in combat and someone drives by down the street have them see an afterimage of the guys guardian spirits. If he assenses Random Joe, let Joe be dwelling on some horrible thing he did, or wonderful thing that happened to him, or my favorite let him be dwelling heavily on something that he thinks is major bas news, but is actually just everyday crap. Let the mage get a flash of his feelings and an image. Just neat little intuitive/astral stuff like that.

If they are out shopping, have him get feelings off of some of the merchandise from the way it was made. Ritzy restaurant? Have someone nearby- or a teammate if at all possible- order veal. Let him stew in his seat and be a little nauseous as someone wolfs down a pain steak.

The mage got really drunk for the first time and thought he was in a Chaotic World spell instead of just feeling the effects of alcohol so started running around trying to get out and spot his attacker. Ended up powerbolting the hell out of this maniacal dwarven attacker - AKA a trash can- before passing out.

I think my favorite was a new mage was appearing in their circles, not working, just going to a lot of the same bars and stuff and being enigmatic. When they get there to confront him he's just a nice enough who happened to hear about them and wanted to meet them as he had something that he thought they might be able to do for him. While they were talking the mage assensed him and it turned out that the guy was a spirit- specifically an ally spirit- and the actual mage was kitten he carried in the jacket pocket of his duster. They never did try and find out why, they just left the creepy pair alone. I think they thought the ally had turned on his master, but in all actuality the mage just got off on being petted and really prefered being a cat to being human.

Thought I would go ahead and add in with this. A mage lives in a completely different world than a mundane. Imagine having someone try to explain quantum physics to you, that probably hits the same level as most mundanes get when the mage starts waxing poetic about such and such new spell formulae. He probably has a membership to a magicians only club since occassionaly he will want to hang out with people that don't get the glazed, dumb, look when he says something. The bartender doesn't look at you funny when you order every drink with lemon in it because of your geasa. If the character has interest in a love life, then he really deep down probably wants an awakened partner. No need to explain why you are getting up at the crack of dawn to summon that spirit.

Perhaps occassionaly he has a random ghost show up wanting him to deliver a message to someone. Maybe he lives in a place that gets alot of astral traffic so he is constantly getter the shiver from having something astral slide across him. If he has a mentor spirit maybe he gets a mental visitation while having morning coffee, and he comes back to himelf and 3 hours have passed. Play up the weird stuff. If he is a possession based style, then maybe the neighbors dead cat is scratching at his door ridden by some spirit. Perhaps there is some weird astral warp thingy that automatically pulls peoples perception to the astral (doesn't pull them projecting, just shifts their vision over) as long as they are magically active. Be walking down the street, BAM, wtf is this.

I've had friends, and girlfriends that did not game. They may accept that you go hang out with a bunch of other weirdos and roll dice together, but they never really "understand" it. Having people in your life either as a friend or romantic interest that just "get" you. That you don't have to explain stuff to is a very big plus. Play that up for the character. It doesn't have to be done in game, just take 15 minutes at the end of game to run over non-run stuff. Maybe his character has a girlfriend, so after a run he goes over to her place and asks if they can just stay in. *comes in and flops face down on the couch/bed* "-muffled voice- Baby can we just stay in tonight, I had a hell of a day. Nothing went right I had to overcast a bunch and I'm just wiped out. Feel like I've been run over with a GMC Hauler." Maybe he has done this a bunch or he isn't a great boyfriend and gets the, hell no you promised to take me out tonight. Maybe he is a good boyfriend and gets the, aw I understand luv luvs bit.

You can also reverse that. Maybe his girlfriend is an eco-shaman and works as a contractor that does enviromental cleanups. (has the clean element spells) He shows up after either busting butt on a run to have time, or delays a run to have time. "OH, I'm so sorry. I got called in, there was a big chemical waste spill out on loop 37 and I have to go. I meant to let you know but was in such a rush I forgot to call."

Maybe his girlfriend is a mundane and he spends some of his money and karma learning the healthy glow spell for her. Mayhap he has the orgasm spell and she nevers wants him to do anything other than cast that on her. Maybe he has a SIN and a legitimate business and he doesn't tell friends and family what he does for real money. So when he can't show up for Thanksgiving or his brothers birthday he has to explain why.
Am I the only one who saw the title and assumed that it was about habitual use of Control Emotions and Alter Memory to create romance?

Just think of the fun a Cupid Shaman could have manipulating people's relationships.
Well, I for one was thinking "oh noes, someone considers mages underpowered. Lets help that hopeless soul". But all was good smile.gif
Maybe his girlfriend is a mundane and he spends some of his money and karma learning the healthy glow spell for her. Mayhap he has the orgasm spell and she nevers wants him to do anything other than cast that on her.

"Baby, my shoes are old and scruffy. Can you magic them up to the latest style again?"
"What?! Didn't I just Fashion them last week?"
"Well... yea, but Sally's got an identical pair, and..."

The orgasm one is funny; I was about to say that he'd pass out from drain eventually but that just reminded me of my biggest gripe with that spell: It's sustained. I mean really... c'mon. That's just not possible. Still, it leads to some great mage-humor and hassle, like this:

*mage boyfriend limps in from a run, one arm still in a sling and bleeding*
"Hey honey, I'm... woa. When did you get that bit of lingerie? Black faux-dragon scales really suit you."
*smiles and starts to reach for her*
"HEY! No, don't touch me... just... you know... *waves hands about* ... maybe for a whole hour this time?"
"Ummm... seriously? *sigh* Okay, but afterwards, I get --"
"We'll talk about it then. Now shut up and get casting!"

I think one of the big RP elements of a mage should be all the misconceptions mundanes have impacting your life.

"Jim, I thought you were going to feed my cat while I was breaking in to Azt... er, on vacation?"
"Umm... yea, but the food was in the pantry, and I thought I heard a noise in there, and since you're.. a... you know... I was afraid to open it."
"Jim, my building has rats, same as yours! It's going to have more now that my cat's gone!"

If anything breaks for any mysterious reason, people are automatically going to suspect the mage. "I bet the thermostat isn't really broken. I bet it's that guy next door -- I knew his kind was trouble!"

There is also the effort of keeping up on skills. A mage has to practice sometime, just like everyone else. Being indoors can limit your spell choices, and annoy your neighbors. Being outdoors and practicing spells can draw a crowd and unwanted attention.
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Feb 20 2008, 09:02 AM) *
Am I the only one who saw the title and assumed that it was about habitual use of Control Emotions and Alter Memory to create romance?

You mean a Dikoted™ Ally Spirit wasn't the first thing that immediately sprang to mind? eek.gif

How about a pet? I think someone mentioned that you can train critters now.

The ork kid lay at Stick's feet. She couldn't have been more than 5 years old. He had watched in shock as she had panicked and darted into from the shadows and directly into the radius of his manaball spell. He screamed a warning but the mana demanded to be released. The spell took out the corp guards and threw her little body back at him, landing with a wet thud.

She moaned, and he ran to her side. kneeling beside her crumpled form, he looked into her eyes as she slipped away. With her last breath,she said"take care of fluffy."

"Yeah, kid, Ill take care of fluffy,?" Stick answered, but she was already gone.

From under the child's ragged jacket came a small helpless"squeak" Stick carefully pulled back the bloody polyester revealing a young devil rat. "Fluffy?" he called. the hairless critter jumped into his arms....

" This ain't ever gonna work ." he thought as Fluffy snuggled under his jacket.

Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
There was an adventure (in Survival of the Fittest, IIRC) where runners were hired to subtly rearrange furniture, thus funking the feng shui of the executive.

...and here is the dangerous and deadly Tomoe, who could kill you with one called shot fastball to the head (or a dual charge white phosphourus/IPE grenade in the face), playing interior decorator for a dragon.


...that was real fun. sleepy.gif
These are all great suggestions, thanks for the help guys. Keep em coming if you got em. I have an adept I need to torture er... "challenge" as well.

I particularly liked the idea of an awakened apartment complex and all the associated hilarity. I envision it like "Scrubs"

With mana balls.

The ideas I won't be using to torment my magic user will certainly be used to torment him indirectly by fleshing out my rather boring magical NPC's. Anyone got any cool quirks for a Bear shaman healer?
Kanada Ten
QUOTE (Kyoto Kid @ Feb 19 2008, 08:53 PM) *
...that was real fun. sleepy.gif

I thought the idea was hilarious, like "Good Omens" and the M5. Wanted to hire my PCs ouy to replace building schematics, alter roadway construction, redirect a demonstration to weave through the proper places at the proper time. Of course the J was a toxic shaman who was using them to feng shui himself a powersite, but they killed him before I got that far.

But feng shui could make a great trapping for a character in general.
Kyoto Kid
...well it did at least net a nice fat credstick (the GM rolled on the stock we received and it actually split, woo hoo!). Ahhhhhhh... Gene Tech...
QUOTE (DocTaotsu @ Feb 19 2008, 11:11 PM) *
Anyone got any cool quirks for a Bear shaman healer?

When I first read that I thought it said Beer shaman. I was like well hell, that is just begging for hilarity right there.

Maybe have him be so he wants the runners to balance their "karma" out. Like, "Well from assensing your aura I see you kicked a puppy on the way over here. You know before you show up next time maybe you ought to help fix up a shelter for some homeless people." Insert whatever you did bad thing here, so now you need to balance it out with doing a good thing over there. Maybe instead he makes them pay for their treatment with services. Fairly typical stuff, but better than just insert cred here and the heal spells pop out. Maybe he is a huge sports fanatic, and cuts big discounts for paying in memorabilia. So now you got runners stealing trophies, game balls, etc to pay their doctor off. (Can really use anything, old vinyl records, first edition books, etc)

Give him a place he is from. Is he from the CAS and has a thick accent? From Boston got his degree from harvard, but got his medical license revoked for something unethical? Perhaps he has a penchant for singing under his breath, "...the shin bone is connected to the knee bone, the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone..." Another one to set your players on edge. He can never find the exact tool he needs. "Where is that size 3 artery clamp, I know it was around here somewhere....Oh hell these needlenose pliers will do the trick."

Make him a mechanic. You come in to get patched up, and he's under the hood of a car. Pops his head up with grease up to his elbows, and in a pair of coveralls. Just tosses a surgical gown, facemask, and gloves on not even bothering to clean up. Gets you fixed up and goes right back to packing bearings. Or you can make him do procedures with one of those beer hats on. I mean he is a beer shaman after all.

It all depends on how you want the guy to be. Is he a real doctor that also is a shaman, or is it all magical healing and holistic medicine?

Not a full backstory unless you will be using him a good bit of the time. Just jot down some random facts about the guy, and then think how it would make a person act.
At one point I had a... I think it was a big human, but he might have been an ork or a troll...Bear Shaman who had a dwarven 'cub' apprentice he was teaching magic.


Yogi and Booboo.
Hm... she's been introduced as an ork Bear Shaman who works for a clinic in the Ork Underground out of the goodness of her heart.

But yeah... a beer shaman, good god.
"Sure I'll heal you up, but first one of your friends must defeat me in one on one... beer pong"
Would a beer shaman be like... a drunken master healer?
Do the mystical healing optional rule out of Augmentation (pg 123 I think), have it be the enchanting version. She is always looking for some random enchanting item to help with healing. Has a private herb garden, always has a bit of topsoil on the knees of her clothes, smells faintly of rosemary. Depending on charisma is either good looking or a bit homely, but her hair is always really shiny and nice (yay homemade herbal shampoo). Pratters away while working, and has a distracted air about her. Like either she has something else on her mind or is listening to something you can't hear. "*humming* You know you should really be more careful. I don't know what you get up to, but if this bullet had been a couple inches further over you wouldn't have made it here."

Perhaps make her always have some squirrel with a busted leg, bird with a broken wing, etc around that she is taking care of. Always asking the runners to drop this off at so and so's house because they are to sick to get out and about, or been too long since they had a home cooked meal. Things like that. "You should all come over on Thursday evening, we are having a pot luck dinner, should be enough for everyone and we could always use the extra dish."

Just what popped into my head when I was thinking of a probably young ork woman, bit on the innocent side. No real medical training, getting by with first aid, a heal spell, and some herbalism training.
Actually I'm probably going to use that for a bit of the Grandma Beasely feel. Older lady, tough as nails, maybe used to be a trauma nurse until she burned out and decided to do something less soul consuming.
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