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In the "today" of Shadowrun's modern world, how reasonable is it that a child could grow up ignorant (or at the very least, doubtful/suspicious) of magic? What circumstances would lead to that kind of background? The sheltered child of a sarariman? Or maybe a rough-and-tumble go-ganger in the Barrens?

Both examples are possible because magic is largely misunderstood. It's an esoteric pseudoscience, pseudoreligion that less than ~1% of the population has any real experience with. So out of one hundred people, 1 of them has the potential to be awakened. And they could be any flavor of awakened. Street Magic has some great examples in it's fluff sections about how magic is perceived. The mundane's view would most likely be completely ignorant or so extremely misinformed that either curiosity or abject terror would be appropriate responses, depending on their personality. People are told in the media about some of the best (in action SIMs) uses of magic or conversely of the worst (in the media) uses of magic. People don't here daily about the magician who helped rein in the rampaging spirit. They do hear about the spirit running around killing people though. They also hear about the child mage who mind controled his parents to shoot themselves in the face during a quiet dinner. Or the Wizgang that took 3 people hostage to conduct arcane and obscene rituals upon them. Or the adept catburglar that crept into the museum and stole a priceless artifact. Or...well, I think you get the idea. The average person in 2070 is not going to be exposed to magic, and so have to rely on public perception. This would in turn mean the media would color their understanding of magic. Couple that with a natural fear of the unknown and you have full blown hate and Magism. Mmmm...isn't Dystopia tasty biggrin.gif
Most people will be ignorant of magic, just like you are most likely ignorant of higher mathematics. That isn't to say you don't know it exists, but you might not understand how it all works or what it's used for. Doubt and suspicion of magic are very likely, especially by those who stand to lose something compared to magicians (which is actually just about everyone, including other magicians. I mean, control emotions? Mind probe? Come on!)

As for completely unaware of magic, well that's a bit different. How likely is anyone to be completely unaware of higher mathematics? In the Western World, pretty low. To be unaware of magic, you'd have to be REALLY sheltered, like raised by wolves sheltered, or hidden in the basement by psychotic father sheltered. Even stone-age tribes in Amazonia know what magic is.
read up on bavaria, that's a more or less sure fire way to not know about magic . . or at least think it's the devils work
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Jul 29 2008, 08:25 PM) *
read up on bavaria, that's a more or less sure fire way to not know about magic . . or at least think it's the devils work

I'd rather look to Westphalia where being a magician is at the same time regarded as both a crime and an illness that has to be "cured" by drugging you until you burn out...
Unless, of course, you are a proper Theurgist and devout Christian of the German Catholic Church, trained and indoctrinated to use your powers to fulfill God's (and your superiors') will - fully aware that your very existence is a sin you have to repent for every single minute of your life.
I explain that, unless people take the knowledge skill in Magic Theory, everything they know about Magic they learned by watching Karl Kombatmage.
There was a lot of fluff in 2nd edition about how much the trideo influenced the average mundane person's perspective of magic. You would probably have the occasional kid or adult who would not believe in magic (some people still believe the sun revolves around the earth), but more likely you would find a very wide-spread misunderstanding of magic.
Just like there are people out there that think they know how guns work from watching action movies.

And that cars blow up on impact. I shudder to think of the number of neck injuries that occur because "We gotta get them out before it blows!" when there isn't even any leaking fuel.

Cars brew up due to fuel, they burn, with the evaporated gas making the quick "Fireball" effect. Bad enough, admittedly, but... No, there's only three ways to blow your car up, and one of them is working for Hollywood/New York/Toronto/Vancouver.
While this is from Cyborg/Cyberzombie negative qualities I think it can apply to characters in general:

Assensing Rejection
Bonus: 10 BP
Not all minds are capable of processing astral information
even when it is thrust upon them. These characters are incapable
of consciously acknowledging what their astral senses tell them.
This means that the results of any Assensing Tests are not told to
the player. The character is still roughly aware of the presence of
spirits and other astral forms, but cannot explain why she knows
this information, even to herself.

I suppose you could also have

Magic Rejection
Bonus: 5 BP
These characters are incapable
of consciously acknowledging that magic exists.

I could see many believing that being a mage involves looking like a Gandalf extra and that spells are cast like they are done in D&D.
the first i can understand as being a real liability to any magical inclined character . . i just don't see how:"i reject your reality and substitute my own" would be any problem for example to street samurai O.o
The Space Shuttle Challenger did not, in fact, explode on live televison and in front of hundreds of witnesses. While there was an explosion, the shuttle survived and made it into space with damaged guidence and communication systems, resulting in it being stuck on a collision course with the moon with no way to contact anyone.
The survivors were able to eek out a life of sorts by extracting water, oxygen, and edible microorganisms from lunar ice and started having kids. A megacorp (Ares is good) space expedition eventually finds them and brings them back to Earth.

That is the most plausible way to have a character who is totally ignorant of magic.

Okay, it isn't the most plausible.

The most plausible is that during the late 1950s or early 1960s, when it was in vogue to have nuclear bomb shelters installed in your back yard because the Russians were treacherous bastards, some paranoid scientists lock themselves and their children into a nice spacious suburban atomic war survival unit. The need to keep the human race going overcame the Westermark effect and none of them Awakened or experienced UGE. After a century or so they assume that the fallout has probably cleared and venture to the surface with vintage Geiger counters in hand.

Unless you've been living in a cave or in outer space with no outside contact since before December 2012 you're going to know that magic is real and that it works. Even if you were living in a cave all this time humans tend towards magical thinking. Most kids already know that magic works and have to be taught that it doesn't. Thus, they'd have to be educated by someone with a strong scientific background (or a modern stage magician who knows all the tricks). Isolation, a population so small that it can plausibly avoid both UGE and magical Awakening, and strong rationalism are all required to be ignorant of magic. And all that's out the window the second a giant eagle starts shooting lightning at you so it is also best to be isolated in such a way that they can plausibly avoid awakened critters and spirits. It might be possible to rationalize UGE or a critter with non-obvious powers, but there is no way in hell you can rationalize a spirit.

Gangers, hell no. Gangers who don't believe in magic get killed by gangers who do real quick. There is a sufficient number of magically active gangers and even wizgangs that you better know how to defend against it if you don't know how to use it.

Sararikid, also hell no. Aside from the fact that he sees magic every day on the trid (and probably uses a reasonable facsimile of it in sims), it is also very likely certain that his parents work with magically active beings, perhaps not closely or in the same department, but close enough that magic matters. Particularly when one considers how important magic is to some aspects of the Sixth World economy. It's really hard to deny that magic exists when the 2200-year-old Chinese Terracotta Warrior who works in Accounting is your dad's designated driver when they go out to the popular karaoke bar to celebrate a job well done.

And yeah, there are some people who think magic is evil and some who think that it works like on Karl Kombatmage, but they certainly know it exists.
My suggestion is one of the NAN anglo reservations with anti magic cultists, that raise their children not to know the horror of the truth.
Actually people can deny anything. There are deniers of everything from the Holocost, to the earth being round, to the moon landing. If you are so set in your ways that you just chose that whatever is going on does not exist then guess what? You are absolutely right, in your own little dream world. People can say things do not exist even when you shove the proof in their face and show them they are wrong.

People are people and it is amazing what they can do (both good and bad.)
Technically, I have no reason to comment in this thread as I read it at work during lunch but I can't pass this up.

Outside of the fringe groups - who really prove the rule - I would say that it is nigh impossible to not know something about magic. Understand it, really know what it is capable of? No, not so much. Fear it? Absolutely.

To answer the OP:

How reasonable is it that a child could grow up ignorant of magic?
> Less than 1/10 of 1% could reasonably deny magic.

How reasonable is it that a child could grow up doubtful/suspicious of magic?
> Very. In fact, I would argue that this would indeed be the norm.
There are probably as many magically active people as lawyers (the 1% number doesn't even work in the context of the setting particularly that it was 2% before and then increased to 1%?!?!). Or cardic surgeons. Or nuclear engineers. Or quantum physicists.

So chances are you know about it, and have probably met some magically active people.
You can deny anything. Unlike with a technological device you can't take apart magic. It's you know... magic. And magic as it is written in Shadowrun does not play nice with the rest of the world.

IT'S MAGIC! Sorry just had to say that. People can believe anything is a bunch of hogwash. As technology progresses there might be some who believe magic is nothing more then high tech pyrotechnics, combined with all sorts of tom foolery. Pifft in 2070 that's not real magic that is just a high tech magic trick. See? There is a big difference. I mean I don't know why everyone keeps calling it magic when it is just flashy effects. Fire balls? Pifft I mean has anyone heard of a flame thrower?

Kind of reminds me of a Venture Bros. episode
I know it was in 1st ed, but Sam Verner aka Twist was raised to believe that magic was just an illusion by his father. He had a hard time even believing in Magic least of all that he had it.
There's two degrees of ignorance I can see, both have different levels of plausibility.

Level 1: Completely ignorant of magic. Never heard of it. Never seen it. No books, trid, rumormill experience with it.

This level is fairly improbable, but possible in certain settings. A specialized arcology for example might have an environment that never talks about magic and prevents the people living inside from talking about it. You live in a vault, and don't have contact with the outside world. After a generation or so, kids growing up in said setting would be really ignorant of the 'real world'. You could have an acro kid sprung from it and he'd be in awe of dragons and magic. Or go catatonic.

Level 2: THINKS they know magic, but is actually WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY off.

This level is pretty common. The whole runner wannabe culture. Corpbrats who grew up watching Flashy the ActionMAGE! thinking they know magic, but actually having no clue. This level is very unlikely to be the type that 'doesn't believe in it', but very likely to think they know what they're talking about.

This level would be similar to us in real life with our ideas of what magic, or the Force, or mutant powers, would be like. We have no real world knowledge of such, just stuff we've read/seen in fiction/imagined, whatever. We'd be completely unprepared if we actually met a Jedi with active Force powers.
"These aren't the Jedi you're looking for!" .... Yeah I can this happening. Especially if it was someone who is extremely ignorant and annoying.

The rather large Draconics present in the world would cause people to have at least some difficulty with disbelief in magic. How do you explain that using physics/biology?

Well you see.... Chernobyl .....

PS, No one has ever commented on my signature. Are there any questions? Such as "What is HMHDV?"
I've never been very fond of the way magic is portrayed in the Shadowrun universe. In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, it should be more like string-theory or quantum physics. Educated people might know about it, but only specialised individuals or particularly interested people would have an inkling. Let's say 1% of the population has the potential to really understand it and do work into the progress and development of the understanding of quantum physics, but how many of those people will actually figure out that they have that knack? Not many. So it's all a matter of how you look at things. In my game there's no such thing as MIT&M, just like there's no MIT&Q (quantum physics.) Not yet.
There's plenty of other threads on prevalence of magic.

I favor the idea that major airlines hire wagemages to conjure spirits with Movement power, and that anyone who sees the schedule of airplanes between Seattle and Tokyo has darn strong evidence that magic exists.

Weavermount suggested that the control interfaces for airplanes might even have a dial for telling the Pilot program whether to adjust for 2x, 3x, 4x or 5x movement rate.

Magical healing, too. If you've been to an Emergency Room, you may well have seen the Heal spell used.

Again, this all still leaves lots of room for misunderstanding and misinformation.

Of the 7 billion humans in RL, how many believe in magic, one way or another? A majority?
Daddy's Little Ninja
I think it would be impossible to know it happens but it is like flying a helocopter gunship. You know people do it, it looks cool, you see it on the news or movies but the odds of you doing it or even gettting a ride in one is pretty low.
I've always thought that most people believe that magic exists, but they really don't get it. Most magic in Shadowrun is subtle, even the violent stuff is mostly invisible to a mundane. The most obvious ones are the illusion-type ones that just look like the special effects people are used to seeing. The is especially true of magicians that do support and detect magic. They don't look like they are doing anything, except occasionally warning about an approaching enemy, but the mundanes don't really see anything "magic". A mage doesn't need to gesture or say anything, no pretty lights pop up around them for mudanes to see, so what exactly are mundanes to think about "seeing" actual magic? Nothing. They simply fail to recognize it for what it is.
DLN has a good line, another might be hand guns. You know they exist but how many people really see/own/understand them? It's something officials have and criminals and it gets on the news a lot but not something common in suburbia. "who has that? nah, don't believe it."

Suddenly being exposed to it owuld be much the same.
A couple of years ago I was in an art gallery in New Hope PA and had a legal gun on my hip, hidden by my jacket. The owner and I were chatting about what I was looking for, lighting in the room in question etc and decided what I wanted. It was on the wall and I helped him take it down. As I reached up, my jacket rose up, I think he got a flash of the gun then and his whole demenor changed from open and chatty to very business like and good day. I feel that's how most people feel when they see magic, 'crap it is real! All that stuff I've seen on the news is suddenly here."
People tend to be afraid of what they do not understand.

Be it firearms or magic.

And I think magic would have a harder time.
Sure i agree, I was just using that as an example of someone suddenly confrointed by an unpleasant reality that he knew happened outside the world but whne it was suddenly inhis was a nasty surprise
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