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bard4life
Hello to all

I’m new player to shadowrun, and I’m playing as a chaos mage. I heard that the spirits of the chaos magic are the spirits of man, is this true?

Does that mean I cant use any other spirits in the game? I'm still learning the rules of magic and spirits of this game.

Ps I have both books, The 4th Edition of ShadowRun and the book “Street Magic?

thanks
Fortune
Spirits for the Chaos Magician and their associated spell categories ...

QUOTE (Street Magic pg. 37)
Combat: Fire
Detection: Air
Health: Earth
Illusion: Man
Manipulation: Water
KCKitsune
Why does a Chaos Mage have to use exactly the same spirits as any other Chaos Mage? I mean they're suppose to be a free wheeling sort of group. Why not allow the player to decide how his spirits manifest? Nothing game breaking I would think.
Fortune
Shrug. Some Spirits, or combinations of Spirits are stronger than others. That's basically what I did with my Chaos Mage, but it's a house rule that I asked the GM about beforehand. I just posted what was listed as canon in Street Magic.
Dr Funfrock
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Jun 7 2008, 12:19 AM) *
Why does a Chaos Mage have to use exactly the same spirits as any other Chaos Mage? I mean they're suppose to be a free wheeling sort of group. Why not allow the player to decide how his spirits manifest? Nothing game breaking I would think.


Chaos Mages, as written, use the same spirit set as Hermetics (associations might be swapped, can't remember), because there are a lot of similarities between the two styles of magic. In fact Hermiticism basically is Chaos Magic, it just didn't get called that back in SR1. With SR4 they made traditions a much more open choice, by having a flexible system, and they did write ups on all of the major known modern magic systems (in vastly simplified forms, often missing or mangling vital points, yadda yadda yadda). Chaos Magic appears to have been included for the sake of completion, despite already being the principal form of magic practiced throughout the world of Shadowrun.

When you actually get down to it, most magical traditions are surprisingly flexible, with many different interpretations available, especially amongst contemporary practicioners. What is offered in Street Magic amounts to the "most common form" of that tradition. If you want to take an oddball approach, talk it through with your GM.
bard4life
I would ask my GM, but thing is that even through the GM has played shadowrun many times as a player and as a GM, he has all always skipped over the magic part of it. so The GM and I are bascily going over things as we get to them, making it up as go along.

I got everything else done,

Stats
Spells
Skills
Backround info
Mentor Spirit

its just this whole Spirits stuff that is confuisng

but thanks for all your guys imput.
KCKitsune
@ Fortune & Dr. Funfrock: Is there really a difference in a spirit summoned by a Hermetic and one summoned by a Shaman other that "free" will? Honestly, if there is then that's broken.
Fortune
Mechanical differences? No.

But there are indeed flavor differences.

I'm not sure what you mean with your comment about 'free will' though. Spirits summoned by Shamans are just as much inder the summoner's control as those conjured by Hermetics.
Caine Hazen
Some of us got all Illuminated and left the idea of "Chaos" magic behind.. since there wasn't anything the least bit chaotic about it.

The Discordians will get it
Dr Funfrock
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Jun 7 2008, 12:42 PM) *
@ Fortune & Dr. Funfrock: Is there really a difference in a spirit summoned by a Hermetic and one summoned by a Shaman other that "free" will? Honestly, if there is then that's broken.


The mechanical differences between the traditions in 4th ed are which spirits they have access to, which drain attribute they use (in addition to Willpower), and whether count as a possession tradition or not. Everything else is fluff.

Shamanic spirits are no more or less free willed than Hermetic, or Chaos, or Wiccan, or Druidic, or whatever. Everyone get's the same deal, it just comes in a variety of flavours.
WeaverMount
My 2 cents. There really isn't a bad spirit in the book. The only issue is that the elemental, beast spirits, and plant don't have anything especially unique (barring great form powers which is a whole other kettle of fish). IMO I'd approve any combination of those spirits plus one of the more specialized spirits. If you take 2 specialized spirits I'd want to see massive over lap on the powers of the other 3 spirits and a drain bad stat (by bad I mean a stat that character won't leverage into another area of expertise with DP sized like a primary focus). You would have to make me fall in love with your tradition and sell me on why it simple must have more specialized spirits.
Dr Funfrock
Just to check, your "specialised" spirits would be Guidance, Guardian, Task, and Man then?
I see your logic, I'm just checking I've listed all the right ones.

I can see your point as regards the balance issue of specialisation vs generalisation when you have multiple spirits to choose from (throw Water onto that list and you've got stealth covered, as well as combat, information, general purpose skill bunny, and mental manipulation, which is a pretty scary powerset now that I think about it).

My real problem with using the elemental spirits is the automatic classical elements association. I think they'd be easier to use in a range of different traditions if they weren't directly associated with an element, but more with a concept. There are plenty of traditions where the general feel of a water spirit might fit, but the specific water based elemental powers really don't. That being said, there's a lot of room to just swap in a different elemental effect from the many on offer in Street Magic. Change your Air spirits element to Metal, and you have a whirling cloud of blades. Change Fire to Sand and you have a desert spirit. It's still got an allergy to water because that turns it into mud. Of course we could always change the allergy to something just as common (use the guidelines in the Qualities section) if we wanted to play with the concept a bit further. I mean for one thing access to an allergy varies from place to place anyway; Water is useful against Fire spirits when you're at sea, but a bit too precious to waste in the desert.

Actually, another thought on the allergy thing; it probably wouldn't be unbalanced to drop one of the spirit's powers in return for losing the allergy, or add a common/severe allergy in return for one additional power. With the whole "elemental" effect being entirely undefined anyway, what that gives you is a bunch of archetype spirits, rather than strictly elemental spirits. So you could have a tradition where the Fire spirit is actually an Air spirit with an additional power and a severe allergy to water, plus all the elemental effects switched to fire (or sand, or whatever you fancy).

It's not so much a mechanical issue as it is one of definitions.
WeaverMount
(Correction: I forgot that plants had magical guard as well. That is one of the rarer and really good power's elementals don't get.)

That is a really solid idea! I really like custom traditions. I think the amount of though that you have to put into it really helps the characters. Extending that skinning spirits would be really cool. It would mean that the traditions could actually summon the type of spirits that would be used for that task. What do people think would be good guildlines for tweaking spirits? Off the cuff I'm inclined to say that you could switch out any optional power for any regular power accept ones with variables (ie. the :get a skill or spell" power on Guardian, Task, and Man). Also I'd let get another common power for a Sever/Common allergy, or an option power for Sever/uncommon. Any thoughts?

A possible Goetic Spread

Combat: AGARES(Earth spirit switch bind and engulf)
[ Spoiler ]

Detection GUSION(As guidance switch Influance for Magical Guard)
[ Spoiler ]

Health: MARBAS(As beast, switch Enhanced Senses and Fear, for Search and Noxious Breath)
[ Spoiler ]

Illusion:SHAN.(As water switch Accident for Engulf)
[ Spoiler ]

Manipulation: GLASYA(As Man, Drop Guard, Move Fear to regular power)
[ Spoiler ]


Possession, Logic
JBlades
QUOTE (Caine Hazen @ Jun 7 2008, 10:07 AM) *
Some of us got all Illuminated and left the idea of "Chaos" magic behind.. since there wasn't anything the least bit chaotic about it.

The Discordians will get it


That's pretty sweet, and makes good on toast. Hail Eris!
bard4life
its kinda ironic that you mention Eris, She is The Dark Godess to my character, he is a Discordian.
Dr Funfrock
@WeaverMount, I think the swapping powers thing is certainly viable, though I'd definitely want to encourage very careful GM consideration on every power-swap, as there is definite potential for abuse there.
Of course the same should be true for my suggestion of adding Allergies to add powers, I just hadn't actually thought that through.

Element swaps are the easy part, because all of the "elemental" powers are just a core power description plus the elemental effect anyway.

For everything else, I'd definitely suggest swapping to similar powers, which I'd say that you've certainly done with your example there. It looks like a very balanced customisation on the whole. The only part I, as a GM, would be leery about is the addition of Search, but I'll admit a personal bias there, in that I think it's a horrendously effective and often plot-breaking power. Sure, it's just as good, on the whole, as a lot of other powers, but I think I'd be uncomfortable with swapping it for Enhanced Senses (which is reasonably weak in comparison). Fear for Noxious Breath on the other hand is perfectly fair, and same for all the other swaps (I suppose if you look at it as Fear for Search and Enhanced Senses for Noxious Breath... hmm. Fear is pretty powerful. Doesn't look that bad actually).

My major warning to any GM considering this, though it's kind of obvious really, would be to be sure to never ever allow any Great Form powers, and to be very careful about any power that isn't already available to one of the standard spirit types. Anything listed as a Free Spirit power is also a definite no-no, as is stuff like Energy Drain. Kind of common sense really, but it bares mentioning.


Apologies to Bard4Life for massive thread hijack going on here, but hopefully these ideas might be of use to your prospective Chaos Mage in customising his tradition to suit his character a little more.


@KCKitsune: Just a thought on the whole "How his spirits manifest thing", it's worth noting that spirits are basically just templates. The actual look and style of a spirit, how they generally behave, personality and stuff is basically up to the player. If you want all your spirits to appear as medieval knights who will call you "my liege" that's your deal. I have a friend playing a priest who decided to take The Fire Bringer as a mentor spirit, interpreting it as the archangel Michael. He played around a lot with the look of the Angels he summons, and how the different choirs fit the different classes of spirit. For a while though we actually played with the idea that his fire spirits might just appear as a flaming sword floating in the air (see Genesis).
bard4life
no problem, I greatly appreciate everybody for adding their thoughts to this post
hobgoblin
from what i understand, the diff between hermetic and chaos is that chaos is more about coming up with ones own rituals while hermetic have codified theirs more in line with cause and effect...

also, the different kinds of spirits will appear different in form, interaction and how their powers are "visualized", but can be sorted into the groups found in the books after the classifications set out by the universal magic that was agreed upon between SR3 and SR4 times...
Samaels Ghost
QUOTE (Caine Hazen @ Jun 7 2008, 12:07 PM) *
Some of us got all Illuminated and left the idea of "Chaos" magic behind.. since there wasn't anything the least bit chaotic about it.

The Discordians will get it


I never understood why Chaos Magic was Logic based or used the elemental spirits. Chaos magic is all about what works for you and has an emphasis on playing/acting out archetypal roles. It does seem to lend itself to played out elementals but rather some of the specialized human-like spirits seen in Street Magic. I do see how you could stretch things to include elementals. For instance, Ogoun is a loa/orisha of fire, steel, warfare and other such stuff. Chaos Magic's main text, Liber Null, describes some processess (metamorphosis, invocation, evocation, etc.) that sound very much like possession summoning, so keep that in mind.

I like the Discordian Illuminated tradition, btw
JoelHalpern
I presume that it is deliberate that there appear to be no traditions which have task spirits and are not possession traditions?
And that there are no Mentors that provide extra dice for task spirits?

Thanks,
Joel
Kerris
QUOTE (bard4life @ Jun 6 2008, 08:21 PM) *
Hello to all

I’m new player to shadowrun, and I’m playing as a chaos mage. I heard that the spirits of the chaos magic are the spirits of man, is this true?

Does that mean I cant use any other spirits in the game? I'm still learning the rules of magic and spirits of this game.

Ps I have both books, The 4th Edition of ShadowRun and the book “Street Magic?

thanks


Welcome to Dumpshock. Sorry the thread got derailed. That happens a lot here.

To answer your question, you can use any of the spirits listed previously. The categories that are associated with particular spells determines what kind of spells those spirits can help you sustain, and, generally, how a mage in the Chaos tradition views those spirits. How the spirits appear is mostly a personal choice, but is usually influenced by the character's tradition.

As for the ongoing discussion:
I don't see Hermetics and Chaos Mages as the same tradition. Similar, maybe, but not the same. I think of Hermetics as old-style wizards. Like Merlin, but with an updated sense of style. They use arcane writings and runes (sometimes digitally).

Chaos Mages are more like the programmers and hackers of magic. I can see a spell formula for a Chaos Mage looking more like a C++ file than a collection of arcane writings. Whether a Chaos Mage believes in the Unified Theory or not, they're still not the same as a Hermetic.

Are Druids and Shamans the same? I don't think so. Similar, but not the same.
WeaverMount
QUOTE (Kerris @ Jun 9 2008, 02:48 PM) *
As for the ongoing discussion:
I don't see Hermetics and Chaos Mages as the same tradition. Similar, maybe, but not the same. I think of Hermetics as old-style wizards. Like Merlin, but with an updated sense of style. They use arcane writings and runes (sometimes digitally).

Chaos Mages are more like the programmers and hackers of magic. I can see a spell formula for a Chaos Mage looking more like a C++ file than a collection of arcane writings. Whether a Chaos Mage believes in the Unified Theory or not, they're still not the same as a Hermetic.


A Hermetic will you that the Emerald Tablet is Truth. A Chaos magician will tell you that the Emerald Tablet has it going on. IMO Chaos magicians are just Hermetics that realized that hermetic practices and understanding aren't important, practice and understanding are important. This didn't let them do whatever the hell they wanted. This understanding just lets them adopt anything that's in vogue in with the old understanding no matter if it's from Dee and Kelly or Ali ibn Abi Talib, or . I think the question is similar to asking if Hasidic Jews in Jerusalem practice the same religion as polyamorous generbend self identified pervert reformed Jews in San Fransisco.
Dr Funfrock
QUOTE (Kerris @ Jun 9 2008, 02:48 PM) *
I don't see Hermetics and Chaos Mages as the same tradition. Similar, maybe, but not the same. I think of Hermetics as old-style wizards. Like Merlin, but with an updated sense of style. They use arcane writings and runes (sometimes digitally).

Chaos Mages are more like the programmers and hackers of magic. I can see a spell formula for a Chaos Mage looking more like a C++ file than a collection of arcane writings. Whether a Chaos Mage believes in the Unified Theory or not, they're still not the same as a Hermetic.


See, I always pictured Hermetics as the C++ guys. They're the ones trying to boil magic down to something they can understand in a rational and scientific way. This is why I see Hermeticism as basically a codified form of Chaos Magic. That for me would be the difference; Hermetics try to come to a common agreement, a kind of shared set of standards, whilst Chaos Magic just bodge together whatever works for them. Shadowrun Chaos Mages are the dropout Hermetics who liked the ideas but just can't hang with the stuffy old academics.

QUOTE (Kerris @ Jun 9 2008, 02:48 PM) *
Are Druids and Shamans the same? I don't think so. Similar, but not the same.


Completely different magical traditions from completely different parts of the world. They share the same things in common that almost all primitive tribal holy man traditions share. Then we have the problem that the New Druidic Order is actually a modified version of Hermeticism in canon, further complicating matters.


Also, random sidetrack, but...

QUOTE (JBlades @ Jun 7 2008, 04:27 PM) *
15 rounds of EX-EX... 150Y
Silencer... 250Y


Dude, WTF is with that sig JBlades? Why buy a silencer if you're going to use EX-EX? That just don't make no sense.
HentaiZonga
I've had a lot of fun lately playing with the following spread idea:

Combat - Beast
Detection - Guidance
Health - Man
Illusion - Guardian
Manipulation - Task
Fortune
No shit! Seems pretty optimized to me. What Tradition is that? Assuming it is your own, what rationale do you use for that collection of Spirits? Is it a Materialization or Possession Tradition? If it is Materialization, how do you explain your access to Task Spirits, unlike all other Materialization Traditions?

QUOTE (Dr Funfrock)
Why buy a silencer if you're going to use EX-EX? That just don't make no sense

There is no rule about these being in any way incompatible.

But even if you assume that the bullet 'explodes loudly' on impact, that doesn't mean it makes any more actual noise during the firing process. A silencer would still aid in preventing people from pinpointing the shooter's location.
bard4life
its a new tradition that we are tooling around with, its called Discordian Illuminated, a new verison of Chaos Magic, or Chaos Magic 2.0. its bascliy bring chaos back to chaos magic.

so far I liking the idea.
JoelHalpern
QUOTE (HentaiZonga @ Jun 10 2008, 04:18 AM) *
I've had a lot of fun lately playing with the following spread idea:

Combat - Beast
Detection - Guidance
Health - Man
Illusion - Guardian
Manipulation - Task


If that were a possession tradition, it would presumably be a legitimate mix (similar to Voodoo.)
Although, almost all Guardian traditions assign Guardian to Combat, rather than Illusion.
And which drain attribute would this go with?

If it were not a possession tradition, it would be really amazing, but taking Task outside of possession seems to be against the unwritten rules.

Joel
Caine Hazen
I used Task outside of the possession for my Illuminated magic. Pretty close to my view there brad4, I'm thinking with Man in place these Discordians are a bit more Humanist than mine wink.gif Of course I felt water and Dolphins were proper for this whole thing, but it may be the books I was reading when I was designing it... I tossed about both Fire and Air in the mix, as they can be chaotic elements.
Kerris
QUOTE (Dr Funfrock @ Jun 10 2008, 03:05 AM) *
See, I always pictured Hermetics as the C++ guys. They're the ones trying to boil magic down to something they can understand in a rational and scientific way. This is why I see Hermeticism as basically a codified form of Chaos Magic. That for me would be the difference; Hermetics try to come to a common agreement, a kind of shared set of standards, whilst Chaos Magic just bodge together whatever works for them. Shadowrun Chaos Mages are the dropout Hermetics who liked the ideas but just can't hang with the stuffy old academics.


That does kind of make sense to me. I guess it's the difference between a corporate programmer (Hermetic) and a hacker (Chaos).
WeaverMount
QUOTE (JoelHalpern @ Jun 10 2008, 08:39 AM) *
If that were a possession tradition, it would presumably be a legitimate mix (similar to Voodoo.)


The Voodoo write up is RAW, but I'd flat ban it from my game. If I ever had a player that actually wanted to RP that tradition then they should also be eager to do a right up that reflects their take on it
Drogos
QUOTE (WeaverMount @ Jun 10 2008, 02:22 PM) *
The Voodoo write up is RAW, but I'd flat ban it from my game. If I ever had a player that actually wanted to RP that tradition then they should also be eager to do a right up that reflects their take on it

And see, I'd never play that tradition because my GM is an evil bastard and uses his understanding of the religion to taint all dealings with the spirit world to screw me. He's an evil bastard and I love him for it...hence why I'm playing a Wiccan in his upcoming game. What can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment as a PC.
WeaverMount
Hey giving your GM the opertunity to run things they are pumped about is a win for everyone.

on the voodoo note though, just keep a lot a rum on hand. That goes way farther than it should. That said loa are no joke. I was with my boyfriend and another friend of ours. the Friend was starting making fun a picture of boyfriend when he was channeling Papa Gedeh. Boyfriend tell the friend to knock it off he doesn't, goes home. Gets in a car accident on the way, and when he gets home the his refrigerated ketches on fire. I'm a stone cold materialist, stuff like that makes me pause though.
HentaiZonga
QUOTE (JoelHalpern @ Jun 10 2008, 06:39 AM) *
If that were a possession tradition, it would presumably be a legitimate mix (similar to Voodoo.)
Although, almost all Guardian traditions assign Guardian to Combat, rather than Illusion.
And which drain attribute would this go with?

If it were not a possession tradition, it would be really amazing, but taking Task outside of possession seems to be against the unwritten rules.

Joel


Charisma, definitely. The original concept is a Chinese/Korean 'ancestor cult' style concept.

Here's the idea:

Beast (Combat) - "Bear for Strength, Bull for Endurance, Tiger for Speed, Monkey for cunning - by nature red in tooth and claw I make my kill."
Detection (Guidance) - "Spirits of my ancestors, guide my hand, show me the face of my enemies, and bring me through safe passages to that which I seek."
Health (Man) - "May I live in harmony and balance with all things. May I walk the True Path of Righteousness, and may I be blessed in turn for my compassion and humility."
Illusion (Guardian) - "Spirits of my ancestors, hide me from those who wish to see me! Blind their eyes to the truth, and let their search turn to folly."
Manipulation (Task) - "O great John Henry Who Cleaved The Mountain, your humble descendant begs your succor! I must walk many miles, and the road is rough, and great obstacles stand in my way. Part this path that I may hurry to your great-granddaughter's rescue!"

It's basically what happens when a bunch of Chaos Magic dudes build their own "ancestor worship" cult.
HentaiZonga
Another concept that's useful for chaos (and some hermetic) traditions is doing away with the 'spirit type -> spell type' division altogether and just explaining per-spell whether the spirit can aid or not.

For example, a Fire spirit could aid an Ignite spell or a Fireball spell, while an Earth spirit could aid an Armor spell or a Power Bolt spell. Here's an idea I've been playing with, for 'more detailed hermetic spirits':

Fire Spirits - Fire Elemental Effects, Heat Elemental Effects, Light Elemental Effects, Smoke Elemental Effects, Blast Elemental Effects (when combined with Fire)
Water Spirits - Ice Elemental Effects, Cold Elemental Effects, Water Elemental Effects, Acid Elemental Effects
Air Spirits - Blast Elemental Effects, Smoke Elemental Effects, Sound Elemental Effects, Electricity Elemental Effects, Telekenetic Manipulations
Earth Spirits - Sand Elemental Effects, Metal Elemental Effects, Blast Elemental Effects (when combined with Sand or Metal), Direct Damage spells, Armor- and Barrier-based Manipulation Spells
Plant Spirits - Acid Elemental Effects, some Health Spells
Spirits of Man - Mental Manipulation and Mental Detection Spells
Beast Spirits - Shape-change Spells, Touch-range Combat Spells, some Health Spells

... and so on.
WeaverMount
Similar Idea say that all spirits can do anything, but give a -2 to +2 depending how appropriate it seems.
bard4life
I would bet the that the appearance of the spirit depends on the twisted mind of the chaos mage, and also if the chaos mage has knowledge of pop culture.

Spirits of Man would look like hood cloaked men with phantom masks, Plant spirits would look like swamp thing, Guidance spirits would like Gaimen's The sand man or Grandalf.
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