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Ancient History
Absorption
Most people can pick out the problem with this metamagic right away: it depends on you getting attacked first. Talk about your passive-aggressive mentalities. As should come to no surprise, most of the characters that make best use of Absorption are champion trash-talkers, bluffers, and plain ol' assholes trying to get the other side to take the magical equivalent of the first swing and then breaking out the mystic judo.

Now, let me pick out the problem most people don't get: Absorption requires you to get hit by a spell. If the other magician calls on a spirit or decides to use her adept abilities to kick your butt, you're hosed! This is one of the reasons Absorption is popular in the magical dueling circuit; the comfortable knowledge that the other guy really is going to aim a spell at you instead of using his projectile spur or something.

Totally aside, if you do ever get a cyberspur enchanted as a weapon focus and get it implanted - don't make it a projectile spur. You'll just have to go retrieve the damn thing, which defeats the entire purpose of the exercise in getting it implanted in the first place.

Channeling
Channeling is like going to a time-share to find out there's been a mix up and some other family is there too, but both of your are too polite to insist the other leave so you just have this awkward crowded time. The nice thing about channeling is that when you're not turning on the energy aura or anything, it can be very discreet, with many handy spirit powers occuring with little if any evidence of use - as opposed to spells which are a touch more obvious in this edition than before.

Cleansing
Understand, the shadowrunner magician with Cleansing is not an astral janitor - they're a cleaner. If I had a choice of trying to wipe away all the astral signatures after even a short combat session one at a time or en masse, believe me when I say I'll get out the Cleansing mop and go-to.

Flexible Signature
I still think this is unbelievably cool. It's the mystical equivalent of being able to sign somebody else's checks. The possibilities are many, but they rely on two things: 1) not being caught doing it, and 2) having a fair number of astral signatures available. The canny magician might keep an "autograph book" of flexible signatures using an astral camera, but I honestly don't expect most players to go through that much hassle. I should like to remind players and gamemasters to keep their lies consistent. As with most skills based on duplicity, one slip not only reveals your ability, it reveals you're not who you're pretending to be. Sloppy, sloppy.

Masking
If you're playing a mundane, act stupid but don't act stupid. In other words, feign ignorance to magic and keep your foci off unless you have Extended Masking and can cover them up too.

Psychometry
The best habit to develop with psychometry is easily-discarded clothing, the reason being that you want very quick access to anything you want to scan, but if you're using Psychometry at all routinely you'll have realized that not everything is good to touch. I've lost count of the contact-poison-for-psychometrists-traps I've set and watched players blunder into.

Anyway, gloves are good - very Bester from Bablyon 5, but workable - but secretly I like flip-flops. Given that most people will hold your gaze if you look them in the eye while talking to them, a skilled psychometrist/face can slip out of their flip-flops and scan the floor of the scene very easily. Also works a treat for places where tradition demands you take your shoes off.

Quickening
If I was a player character, I wouldn't advertise this ability, but then I'm the kind of player that hides their character sheet so other people won't know what I really can and cannot do. The reason I mention this is purely practical however: it keeps the demand down. You see this a lot in Other Games, but as soon as the magician gets the ability to lay on a permanent spell effect all the other players start begging them for it...and the other players even get insulted when you want to charge them! Karma doesn't grow on trees, y'all.

Sensing
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Sensing is as much a GM tool as a PC power. It's the magical equivalent of Spiderman's Spidey-Sense going off to some cosmic whatsit downtown and forcing him to investigate. If anyone really had this power, they'd calmly note that the astral equivalent of a volcano was erupting downtown and head in the exact opposite direction as fast as their feet or in-line skates could carry them.
KCKitsune
OK, very quick stupid question (just wanting to verify): If a mage has a cyberhand he's immune from contact poison correct?

The reason I ask this is because I have a mage with a obvious cyber left hand and I assume, that because I paid Essence for it, that I can use it for Psychometry.
DTFarstar
I love threads like this. You should do this for all the metamagics, AH.

Chris
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Sep 13 2008, 09:11 PM) *
Quickening
If I was a player character, I wouldn't advertise this ability, but then I'm the kind of player that hides their character sheet so other people won't know what I really can and cannot do. The reason I mention this is purely practical however: it keeps the demand down. You see this a lot in Other Games, but as soon as the magician gets the ability to lay on a permanent spell effect all the other players start begging them for it...and the other players even get insulted when you want to charge them! Karma doesn't grow on trees, y'all.

I'd do it and just laugh at them when it finally dawns on them how useless they are for a runner. Every ward they come across (which they won't see at all until it's too late) is now an obstacle and alarm waiting to go off. They have no way of hiding it from astral security or defend it from any astral enemy who feels like destroying it. In fact the only characters -- Awakened or not -- who'll be able to function even remotely normal with a quickened spell are those with the proper Masking metamagics.

It's probably the single most worthless metamagic for a runner ever. Well, unless you're playing in a game where the GM ignores them completely, then it rocks.
Ryu
Can we have another Book Club, what with the frequency of your current posting?


Absorption
While most of the plain magical supremacists would never even consider the idea, some have figured out that teamwork is the best way of using this metamagic. All you need is a friend that can cast spells, too. If you really messed up with a certain type of spirit, and said spirits just happen to be able to cast spells, said type is no longer a pure bane for your endeavours.

Channeling - rotfl.gif

Masking - Cite Calvin (Hobbes friend): "I´ve got loads of common sense, I just choose to ignore it".

Sensing
I love sensing, one of my players... Oh.
HappyDaze
QUOTE
The nice thing about channeling is that when you're not turning on the energy aura or anything, it can be very discreet, with many handy spirit powers occuring with little if any evidence of use - as opposed to spells which are a touch more obvious in this edition than before.

Uless the spirit has Realistic Form - which is unlikely for most summoned spirits - it's not too hard to tell when they are in possession of a body.
Cain
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Sep 13 2008, 11:58 PM) *
I'd do it and just laugh at them when it finally dawns on them how useless they are for a runner. Every ward they come across (which they won't see at all until it's too late) is now an obstacle and alarm waiting to go off. They have no way of hiding it from astral security or defend it from any astral enemy who feels like destroying it. In fact the only characters -- Awakened or not -- who'll be able to function even remotely normal with a quickened spell are those with the proper Masking metamagics.

It's probably the single most worthless metamagic for a runner ever. Well, unless you're playing in a game where the GM ignores them completely, then it rocks.

It's not quite that bad. If you have Masking (which is a necessity for any magical shadowrunner, IMO) you can mask the Quickened spells. With a high enough Force on your Quickened spells, you're unlikely to lose the spell to a low to moderate ward, and have a good chance against even high force wards.

You will have to spend a lot of time astrally perceiving, to make sure you're ready to schmooze any astral barriers yu come across. But it can be worth it, if only to be a mage with 4 IP's.
DTFarstar
I thought you needed extended masking to mask anything besides your own aura.

Chris
masterofm
On Absorption - can't you just have a spirit that you summon blast you with a spell until you are topped off? It does take a while for absorption to wear off, but it seems like zapping yourself, and then bringing the pain is pretty nuts.

On Cleansing - the problem with this is can it be used as an extended task? If someone casts a force 6 spell it takes 6 successes on counterspelling + magic. If someone in your party casts... oh lets say a force 12 spell and cleansing if you can't use as an extended test then there is no way you can clean that mess up. Ever. You also need to remove the highest force cast to remove everything else. Right?
HappyDaze
QUOTE
It's not quite that bad. If you have Masking (which is a necessity for any magical shadowrunner, IMO) you can mask the Quickened spells. With a high enough Force on your Quickened spells, you're unlikely to lose the spell to a low to moderate ward, and have a good chance against even high force wards.

Yes, you'll break the wards without losing the spells - but you'll also make a lot of magical 'noise' when doing so as the magician that created the ward is instantly aware that it has been dropped.

QUOTE
I thought you needed extended masking to mask anything besides your own aura.

That is correct.

Cain
QUOTE (HappyDaze @ Sep 14 2008, 09:22 AM) *
Yes, you'll break the wards without losing the spells - but you'll also make a lot of magical 'noise' when doing so as the magician that created the ward is instantly aware that it has been dropped.

Not if you have Masking... and as I said earlier, Masking should be something you pick up long before you consider Quickening. In fact, IMO Masking should be the first metamagic any awakened shadowrunner should pick up.
QUOTE
On Absorption - can't you just have a spirit that you summon blast you with a spell until you are topped off? It does take a while for absorption to wear off, but it seems like zapping yourself, and then bringing the pain is pretty nuts.

Not unless it's a Spirit of Man. Spirit powers might look like spells, and act like spells, but they don't count as spells unless specified as such (Innate Spell, for example).
Ryu
Shared first place goes to Flexible Signature. Shielding is also high on the wish list. As is Invoking. As is Advanced Masking. "Long before" indeed.
HappyDaze
QUOTE
Not if you have Masking... and as I said earlier, Masking should be something you pick up long before you consider Quickening.

Masking an astrally active Force (which requires Extended Masking) doesn't prevent it from breaking a ward - you're still flying the invisible jet through a wall and the guy on the wall can feel it breaking apart. In effect, you can mask your spell but not the disruption of the Ward.

QUOTE
In fact, IMO Masking should be the first metamagic any awakened shadowrunner should pick up.

Masking is great - and more useful with Extended Masking - but it doesn't cloak your effects on the local astral environment so it's not quite as useful as you seem to believe.
Cain
The thing about Masking is this: there is no other way to disguise the fact you are magically active. That means each SIN you have had better be registered as a magician, or you're going to end up in trouble when someone assenses you. And wherever you go, anyplace with the least amount of astral security will be able to look at you and immediately identify you as magically active-- even watchers can do it.

Masking needs to be a high priority for anyone who is magically active. Flexible signature is nice; but it only comes into play if you use magic. If your plan is to get in and out without casting a single spell, you won't need Flexible Signature...but you will still need Masking.
Ol' Scratch
I wouldn't say Masking is a necessity for a runner magician. Uninitiated runners get by all the time without Masking.

Sure, it's nice if you don't want anyone to know you're a magician, but it's hardly a necessity. People expect to see a magician from time to time. They're a normal part of the Sixth World. So just being identified as a magician doesn't really matter.

Now if you have illegal foci, sustained spells, Quickened spells, and all that sort of thing that you not only want but need to keep concealed, Extended Masking is useful. It's even more important than Masking, really.

The only real "necessity" that Masking provides is the ability to fool your way past a ward. (Nevermind that it's description is more appropriate for Flexible Signature and it looks like they all but cut-and-pasted these particular rules.) And even then it's pretty damn useless as all you have to do in order to slip past is deactivate all your magic... which you have to do anyway unless you have Extended Masking. But that's about it for the "necessities" of Masking.

My beef is that they split Masking up into three different metamagics. If it worked the way it originally did I'd agree, it'd be a must-have (still not a necessity) for any competent runner magician. But as it is now, it's just a stepping block to Extended Masking. And that is the necessity for a runner who wants to use Quickened spells.
Cain
QUOTE
I wouldn't say Masking is a necessity for a runner magician. Uninitiated runners get by all the time without Masking.

Sure, it's nice if you don't want anyone to know you're a magician, but it's hardly a necessity. People expect to see a magician from time to time. They're a normal part of the Sixth World. So just being identified as a magician doesn't really matter.

I disagree. If you're magically active, anyone with any astral senses at all knows it. If your (fake) SIN says "mundane", you're going to be pulled aside and asked some hard questions. True, a lot of places aren't going to have much astral security beyond a watcher or two, assensing everyone. But that's enough to expose you as a mage, or adept, or what-have-you.

I'll also add that Aura Masking is absolutely essential for PC free spirits. If you don't have that, someone will try to assense you, and they will discover your plane of origin. That's just one astral quest away from knowing your True Name.
Ol' Scratch
Why does your fake SIN have to say "mundane" again? And again, who cares if they know you're a mage? The only times it'll be an issue are when they're trying to decide who to kill first...

"Hey, Frank," the watcher says to his master, "dis 'ere guy's a mage! OMFG!" "Really? What's he doing?" "Just standing there." "... Is he casting a spell or anything?" "Nah, he's just sitting there." "..." "What?" "I hate you."
Cain
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Sep 14 2008, 09:19 PM) *
Why does your fake SIN have to say "mundane" again? And again, who cares if they know you're a mage? The only times it'll be an issue are when they're trying to decide who to kill first...

"Hey, Frank," the watcher says to his master, "dis 'ere guy's a mage! OMFG!" "Really? What's he doing?" "Just standing there." "... Is he casting a spell or anything?" "Nah, he's just sitting there." "..." "What?" "I hate you."

Well, only 1 out of every 100 is magical in any way; and even fewer are full mages. So, while it may not exactly be a red-letter day in his diary, it will be worth a bit of attention. It's a bit like being Arabic in an airport: we all *know* that they're not likely to be a danger, but that doesn't stop them from getting singled out.

But let's say your fake SIN reads "mundane". It becomes very obvious that you're lying, at the very least. IIRC, all mages have to register, so now they know you are an unregistered magician. That means your fake SIN is blown, and people are going to move in to question you. If you use magic to get away, in addition to leaving a signature, you've just committed premeditated assault against officers of the law. (Remember, all uses of magic in crimes are considered to be premeditated.)

On the other hand, if you have Masking, you are probably going to pass any casual assensing attempt, and you can stand up to detailed ones. The whole scenario won't happen to you.
masterofm
I was under the impression your SIN was just a number that said you were a person. Might not be likely to have a SIN attached to you that marks you as a mage, since there have been two matrix crashes, and magic only develops when you are older. Your not really born a mage you just become one at a certain point. Might happen, but then again might not.
Cain
QUOTE (masterofm @ Sep 14 2008, 09:38 PM) *
I was under the impression your SIN was just a number that said you were a person. Might not be likely to have a SIN attached to you that marks you as a mage, since there have been two matrix crashes, and magic only develops when you are older. Your not really born a mage you just become one at a certain point. Might happen, but then again might not.

Your SIN, like your Social Security number and driver's license number, is made up of a code to help identify who you are. If you don't believe me, check p 259 of the BBB:
QUOTE
The actual numbers that compose a SIN are generated by
a complex formula from several pieces of personal data. What
this means is that law enforcement officials can determine your
birthdate, state or country of origin, citizenship, and initials
from your SIN.

I'd imagine that the fact you're a magician would also make it into your SIN. Mages have to be registered, after all, so I'd think that'd be part of the info. Besides which, a criminal SIN lists what crimes you've committed, on top of your personal info. If they can put that much into a SIN, then putting "magically active" would be trivial.
masterofm
A Social Security number is given to you at your birth. You are not born awakened. If a SIN functions in this way unless a SIN is an ongoing process and they actively track you down and assence you, and then put a tag on your SIN saying so I don't think it would show up is all I'm saying.
Cain
There's debate as to rather or not you're "born awakened", but that's for another topic. The fact is, as a mage, you are obliged to register yourself. That would go onto your SIN record, as well as any other information that they feel is pertinent. If you want to get super-pedantic about it, it'd definitely show up in the first Data Search they run on your SIN.

To get back on topic, if you are recognized as a mage, and your SIN says "mundane", you will draw all kinds of negative attention at any security checkpoint. Masking bypasses all that. You no longer have to advertise the fact you're a mage, either via SIN or astrally.
Ol' Scratch
For niche characters like Free Spirits or Infected NPCs, I'd go so far as to say that (Aura) Masking is a necessity. But for typical runners? I still disagree on the must-have nature of it. Your main agrument seems to revolve around fake SINs insisting that they're mundane even though there's no real reason not to say you're a magician. At worse it'll cost you a handful of nuyen for a fake magic license -- but considering how cheap licenses are, it's a complete and total non-issue.

I mean, what's worse? Pretending not to be a magician and having someone find out on a lucky roll, or being one and not worrying about it at all?
Sir_Psycho
Well depending on rules interpretation, a "Magic licence" isn't so cheap. Just like you need different licenses for different guns, you're spending money per spell and bound spirit.
Cain
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Sep 14 2008, 10:11 PM) *
For niche characters like Free Spirits or Infected NPCs, I'd go so far as to say that (Aura) Masking is a necessity. But for typical runners? I still disagree on the must-have nature of it. Your main agrument seems to revolve around fake SINs insisting that they're mundane even though there's no real reason not to say you're a magician. At worse it'll cost you a handful of nuyen for a fake magic license -- but considering how cheap licenses are, it's a complete and total non-issue.

I mean, what's worse? Pretending not to be a magician and having someone find out on a lucky roll, or being one and not worrying about it at all?

If you're a magician, even a registered one, you're just inviting trouble. Because of the rarity factor alone, a full mage showing up is like I said-- being Arabic at the airport.

But there's more to it than that. Showing up as a mage will blow almost any disguise you might try to use: "Hey, boss? That's guy's a mage." "What, the one in the janitor's uniform?" They're also more likely to have a watcher follow you and report back if you do anything suspicious.

I'll also add that Masking is one of the few metamagics available to *all* Awakened types. While different characters may have different priorities, Centering and Masking are useful for just about everyone. I think that you'd agree that Invoking is pretty useless for a straight adept. If you're going to talk about metamagics that are useful to "all awakened runners", you can't forget the adepts as well.
hyzmarca
But 99 out of 100 individual will have no way of knowing that you're a mage and most people with Astral Perception won't turn it on to assense a random janitor because of the danger inherent to doing so (nothing quite so annoying as being clotheslined).


However, even in areas where astral scrutiny is highly likely, your forgetting two things. You don't have to register as a magician and your magical status is not a part of your SIN.

Magicians do not have to register in any country in North America. They do in Great Britain, and possibly some European and Asian nanny states that the sourcebooks haven't covered well, but not in any standard campaign setting other than Britain.

Mx
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Sep 15 2008, 05:40 PM) *
Magicians do not have to register in any country in North America. They do in Great Britain, and possibly some European and Asian nanny states that the sourcebooks haven't covered well, but not in any standard campaign setting other than Britain.


No but if you don't want to be hasseled by Lone Star you should get a licence from them.
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho @ Sep 15 2008, 04:04 AM) *
Well depending on rules interpretation, a "Magic licence" isn't so cheap. Just like you need different licenses for different guns, you're spending money per spell and bound spirit.

I'm not sure if bound spirits require a license (don't have my books handy at the moment), but spells? Most spells are perfectly legal and the ones that aren't shouldn't be an issue unless you're a complete and total moron. For example, blowing up a megacorp CEO's limo with Powerbolt outside a AAA hotel in broad daylight. Do you really think it would matter if he had a license or not? It's like worrying about having a license for your AK-97; practically any situation in which you'd be toting it around let alone using it is going to be illegal anyway, so what's the point?
Halabis
QUOTE (Cain @ Sep 15 2008, 08:37 AM) *
If you're a magician, even a registered one, you're just inviting trouble. Because of the rarity factor alone, a full mage showing up is like I said-- being Arabic at the airport.



This argument doesnt realy hold much water. People constantly underestimate just how many mages thier are. 1 in 100 is down right common. The local airport has over 250,000 people fly out of it in a single day. Thats 2,500 magicly active people just going into it. Not counting all the people landing from incoming flights. If you think even a quarter of those people are stopped and questioned, then you greatly overestimate the capabiliteis of airport screeners.

Also, I and my family are Arabic, and none of us have ever been stopped, questioned, or even looked at funny going thorugh the airport.
Cain
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Sep 15 2008, 07:40 AM) *
But 99 out of 100 individual will have no way of knowing that you're a mage and most people with Astral Perception won't turn it on to assense a random janitor because of the danger inherent to doing so (nothing quite so annoying as being clotheslined).


However, even in areas where astral scrutiny is highly likely, your forgetting two things. You don't have to register as a magician and your magical status is not a part of your SIN.

Magicians do not have to register in any country in North America. They do in Great Britain, and possibly some European and Asian nanny states that the sourcebooks haven't covered well, but not in any standard campaign setting other than Britain.

You forgot about the staple of all magical security: Watcher spirits. They're dumb as a post, but you can summon a lot of them with no drain worth worrying about. And they can follow simple commands, like: "Watch this line, and tell this guy here is any of them look different in astral space." They're not going to willfully misinterpret a command, since they're not bright enough for that. And a lowly watcher is all it takes ot identify you as a mage.

If the watcher reports you as a mage, your ID had better match. I don't know about "any country in North America", because Saito and TT both registered mages. You also cannot be in possession of *any* focus or spirit greater than Force 2. So, unless your ID says you are a mage, you are screwed without masking.

QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Sep 15 2008, 11:14 AM) *
I'm not sure if bound spirits require a license (don't have my books handy at the moment), but spells? Most spells are perfectly legal and the ones that aren't shouldn't be an issue unless you're a complete and total moron. For example, blowing up a megacorp CEO's limo with Powerbolt outside a AAA hotel in broad daylight. Do you really think it would matter if he had a license or not? It's like worrying about having a license for your AK-97; practically any situation in which you'd be toting it around let alone using it is going to be illegal anyway, so what's the point?


It used to be that any spell over force 2 was illegal without a license. In SR4, spells are cast at whatever force you want; so you can't prove that someone learned a spell illegally.

QUOTE (Halabis @ Sep 15 2008, 11:28 AM) *
This argument doesnt realy hold much water. People constantly underestimate just how many mages thier are. 1 in 100 is down right common. The local airport has over 250,000 people fly out of it in a single day. Thats 2,500 magicly active people just going into it. Not counting all the people landing from incoming flights. If you think even a quarter of those people are stopped and questioned, then you greatly overestimate the capabiliteis of airport screeners.

Also, I and my family are Arabic, and none of us have ever been stopped, questioned, or even looked at funny going thorugh the airport.

I've also been through airport security several times over the past year. I congratulate you, on three different occasions, I was "randomly" pulled aside for extra security checks. I wasn't the only minority in the slow line, either. In fact, when I got there, there was only one white guy in the line. More came later.

But that's now. In 2070, you need to go through a full ID check when you reach the airport. Your Fake SIN is not only examined, it's run and information is checked against you. If their security watcher says "Dur, he's a mage, boss!" and your SIN says something different, you will be pulled aside for a "random" check.
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE
But that's now. In 2070, you need to go through a full ID check when you reach the airport. Your Fake SIN is not only examined, it's run and information is checked against you. If their security watcher says "Dur, he's a mage, boss!" and your SIN says something different, you will be pulled aside for a "random" check.

You really need to drop this from your argument. It relies solely on the runner being a complete and utter moron who gets a fake SIN that doesn't include his magical status, which is especially stupid if he doesn't have Masking -- which is the entire point. You might as well have his fake SIN saying he's black even though he's the whitest white boy the world has ever seen.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Cain @ Sep 15 2008, 03:36 PM) *
You forgot about the staple of all magical security: Watcher spirits. They're dumb as a post, but you can summon a lot of them with no drain worth worrying about. And they can follow simple commands, like: "Watch this line, and tell this guy here is any of them look different in astral space." They're not going to willfully misinterpret a command, since they're not bright enough for that. And a lowly watcher is all it takes ot identify you as a mage.

If the watcher reports you as a mage, your ID had better match. I don't know about "any country in North America", because Saito and TT both registered mages. You also cannot be in possession of *any* focus or spirit greater than Force 2. So, unless your ID says you are a mage, you are screwed without masking.


Saito is gone and TT is under new management (apparently). The UCAS, CAS, NAN, Aztlan, and CFS never registered magicians. According to Street Magic, nobody in NA does anymore. And it is kind of silly to do so. Canon SINs, likewise, don't have any place for magical status.
Cain
QUOTE
Saito is gone and TT is under new management (apparently). The UCAS, CAS, NAN, Aztlan, and CFS never registered magicians. According to Street Magic, nobody in NA does anymore. And it is kind of silly to do so. Canon SINs, likewise, don't have any place for magical status.

With memory being so cheap, I would doubt that. If not the SIN itself, then the associated database would hold a lot of information on you. It has every place you ever lived, every grade you got in every class, everything you've ever purchased... you think the fact that you're a mage would escape notice?
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Cain @ Sep 15 2008, 03:17 PM) *
With memory being so cheap, I would doubt that. If not the SIN itself, then the associated database would hold a lot of information on you. It has every place you ever lived, every grade you got in every class, everything you've ever purchased... you think the fact that you're a mage would escape notice?


Given that magical status is a genetic condition that cannot easily be tested for without magic, I presume that there are more than a few magicians out there who don't even know that they are magicians. But being in databases is different from being in the SIN. Checking those databases takes effort, and the more databases checked the more effort is required. Most ID verification systems wouldn't bother checking so deeply, and if they do then your fake SIN likely has bigger problems than a lack of references to your magical status.

But in the UCAS, your magical status is not in any government databases, unless you were employed by the government as a magician.
Mx
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Sep 15 2008, 11:27 PM) *
But in the UCAS, your magical status is not in any government databases, unless you were employed by the government as a magician.

Lone star handling the licencencing of mages is part of theyr contract for policing a city.
So they will have a databace of licenced magicians.
Tarantula
Your watcher arguement holds little weight too. They get 2 dice for assensing. TWO! The chances of the successfully determining that you are a mage are about equal to them critical glitching. (I'm not a statistician, so I don't know/care how to calculate this out, but its pretty close).
Mr. Unpronounceable
But having a magic rating != being a mage.

Every infected, every "sapient critter" introduced in RC, some changelings, and anyone with a magical knack has a magic rating...but that doesn't make them mages.

Astral perception, by itself, won't be able to determine who is a mage and who isn't - only the presence of a magic attribute or lack thereof, and relative rating compared to the perceiving mage (and that's ignoring masking completely.)

The only way a Lonestar check of your SIN would show anything is if: A) you're a registered mage or B) you're NOT a registered mage AND they witnessed you casting magic. How would they even be able to tell otherwise? It's not like they've got so many mages they send them out on street patrols.
Cain
QUOTE
Given that magical status is a genetic condition that cannot easily be tested for without magic, I presume that there are more than a few magicians out there who don't even know that they are magicians. But being in databases is different from being in the SIN. Checking those databases takes effort, and the more databases checked the more effort is required. Most ID verification systems wouldn't bother checking so deeply, and if they do then your fake SIN likely has bigger problems than a lack of references to your magical status.

Magical status isn't genetic, as far as anyone can tell. No one's quite sure what causes it. But on a good assensing roll, they can tell not only that you're a mage, but an initiate as well, and the exact level of your Magic. Someone with Latent Awakening has a Magic of 0, so he won't show up as being particularly magical. You might find out he's got magical potential, though.

At any event, the more suspicious they are, the more likely they are to dig into your database, which will definitely put your Fake SIN to the test. Sure, they won't do anything but casually examine most people-- but if you don't hide the fact you are a mage, you will get unwanted attention.
QUOTE
Your watcher arguement holds little weight too. They get 2 dice for assensing. TWO! The chances of the successfully determining that you are a mage are about equal to them critical glitching. (I'm not a statistician, so I don't know/care how to calculate this out, but its pretty close).

Actually, your numbers are off by a bit. I'm no mathemagician, but I believe the odds are roughly 1 in 9 of them succeding, and 1 in 15 for them rolling a critical botch. A non-critical botch is slightly more likely, but I don't feel like crunching the numbers right now.
Cain
QUOTE (Mr. Unpronounceable @ Sep 15 2008, 02:05 PM) *
But having a magic rating != being a mage.

Every infected, every "sapient critter" introduced in RC, some changelings, and anyone with a magical knack has a magic rating...but that doesn't make them mages.

Astral perception, by itself, won't be able to determine who is a mage and who isn't - only the presence of a magic attribute or lack thereof, and relative rating compared to the perceiving mage (and that's ignoring masking completely.)

The only way a Lonestar check of your SIN would show anything is if: A) you're a registered mage or B) you're NOT a registered mage AND they witnessed you casting magic. How would they even be able to tell otherwise? It's not like they've got so many mages they send them out on street patrols.

Astral perception, by itself, can differentiate between a Fire spirit with Realistic Form, and a human magician in disguise. Look at the assensing table on p183. Two successes is not only enough to tell what "class" or magic you have, but also enough to instantly recognize your aura. Your only defense is Masking.

As for your Lonestar point: if you do not have Masking, anyone assensing you will know, on just one success, that you are a mage. That's how they find out. And let's admit it, by the time Lone Star comes to check your ID at the station, you're long past the "screwed" point. It would have been better to not have been caught in the first place-- e.g., learned Masking.
Mr. Unpronounceable
If I'm doing the math right, approximately:

[strikethrough]a 19.5% chance of a critical glitch[/strikethrough]
a 44.4% chance of one hit
a 11.1% chance of two hits
[strikethrough]and a 25% chance of merely failing[/strikethrough]

A non-critical glitch is impossible with two dice - you can't get >50% ones and succeed.

ETA: I did screw up the math 1 one and a fail != critical glitch

so, a 2.8% chance of a critical glitch and a 41.7% chance of merely failing.
Athanatos
Would anyone really be that stupid? My elven magician follower of The Dark Goddess, immediately worked towards Masking and extended masking, then flexible signiature. I use physical masking and Masking/Extended masking to cover my identity almost all the time. Noone outside of a small circle has ever even seen what my mage really looks like, it's a running gag almost. I even payed attention to detail on multiple fake SIN's. You also forget that if they can sense that you're a mage, but don't notice your level of initiation, you can try bluffing.


"I'm awakened, really?!" "That is so cool, do we like go to clubs or something?" "Is there a secret magician handshake?" eek.gif
Mr. Unpronounceable
QUOTE (Cain @ Sep 15 2008, 09:24 PM) *
Astral perception, by itself, can differentiate between a Fire spirit with Realistic Form, and a human magician in disguise. Look at the assensing table on p183. Two successes is not only enough to tell what "class" or magic you have, but also enough to instantly recognize your aura. Your only defense is Masking.

Did I bring up a spirit? No - just (relatively) normal people. One success will tell you if they're awakened, but there's NO laws about being an unregistered awakened. If you didn't train as a mage or adept, you didn't need to register.

Class: "fire elemental, manipulation spell, power focus, and so on" Debateable if that includes hermetic vs. astral sight knack.

And it takes 3 net successes to tell if the target's magic is higher/lower than the perceiving mage's. Which would imply that two aren't enough to differentiate a non-raiseable magic of 1 (i.e. not-a-mage) from Mr. I've-raised-my-magic-to-14.
QUOTE (Cain @ Sep 15 2008, 09:24 PM) *
As for your Lonestar point: if you do not have Masking, anyone assensing you will know, on just one success, that you are a mage. That's how they find out. And let's admit it, by the time Lone Star comes to check your ID at the station, you're long past the "screwed" point. It would have been better to not have been caught in the first place-- e.g., learned Masking.

No - one hit says you're awakened. That is not the same as being a mage. There are plants that are awakened.

And once again, you've got a mage doing basic patrols, otherwise, why be arrested as an unlicenced mage? A LS patrol officer is somewhat less than 1% likely to be a mage. Their mages have better things to do, like provide astral overwatch on organized missions, or just be on-call for real emergencies. Patrol Officer O'Luckless isn't particularly likely to have the authority to call in a mage on anything less than an active magical threat, let alone some random stop.

Once you're in active LS custody, being spotted as a mage is probably the least of your worries.
Tarantula
QUOTE (Mr. Unpronounceable @ Sep 15 2008, 02:27 PM) *
If I'm doing the math right, approximately:

[strikethrough]a 19.5% chance of a critical glitch[/strikethrough]
a 44.4% chance of one hit
a 11.1% chance of two hits
[strikethrough]and a 25% chance of merely failing[/strikethrough]

A non-critical glitch is impossible with two dice - you can't get >50% ones and succeed.

ETA: I did screw up the math 1 one and a fail != critical glitch

so, a 2.8% chance of a critical glitch and a 41.7% chance of merely failing.


Hrm, did some googling on dice statistics and such...
Looking at this nice image here

I get:
Single Success: 12/36 or 33.33%
No Glitch, No success: 9/36
Critical Glitch: 7/36 or 19.44%
Glitch: 4/36 or 11,11%
2 Successes: 4/36 or 11.11%

So, then we can group this up a bit. Success + 2 successes + Glitches (They are still a success) = 55.55%
Failure + Critical Glitch = 44.44%

Its a very 50/50 shot, and if you put glitches off on their own, as they're kind of a mixed bag, you get
Failure + Crit Glitch: 44.44%
Success + 2 successes: 44.44%
Glitch: 11.11%

Not exactly odds I'd bet for when they're going to have issues almost half the time. Like I said, its a very 50/50, with glitches being the winning factor for getting 1 succses.
Cain
QUOTE
Did I bring up a spirit? No - just (relatively) normal people. One success will tell you if they're awakened, but there's NO laws about being an unregistered awakened. If you didn't train as a mage or adept, you didn't need to register.

Depends on where you are, and what you are. If you're a ghoul, you definitely don't want any attention at all.

Let's put this as the hypothetical situation. If you've played Missions, you'll recall the border checkpoints in Denver. You have to line up, wait your turn, and go through single file. You have a brand new fake SIN, which you bought at a slight discount. But you forgot to make sure it says you're a mage. It just saysyou're an Indonesian national.

Standard security layout for a place like this means they can't afford a mage to assense everyone. Instead, they have a typical layout: a bunch of watchers who report if they see anything unusual, and/or will find the big spirit assigned to patrol this area.

The watchers have a 55.5% chance of spotting you, each. One of them spots you, one succeeds but with a botch, one rolls a critical botch and gets distracted by a shiny penny. The two watchers go running to the human guards. "Hey, that guy over there has magic!" "Yeah, he's got magic and he's a dragon in disguise!" wavey.gif

The guard becomes interested in this report, even though that makes for the sixth dragon this week. He calls the on-shift mage to come astrally and assense you. This guy has a reasonable skill: 4, and 4 for Intuition, equaling 8 dice. That's an average of 2.66 successes, rounded up to 3. He not only knows that you're a metahuman magician, he knows your magic ability in relation to his own. He manifests and reports this to the guard.

Now, at this point, the guard has no reason to suspect you of anything. But then, you swipe your SIN, and he doesn't see "mage" written on it. Just to me sure, he runs it again, but still no mage. He comes back to you: "Er, Mr. Baht Man, right? Could you come this way? There's a slight irregularity on your SIN, and I'd like you to help me clear it up. Won't take a minute."

From here on in, you're basically screwed no matter what you do. You could run the border, but then you'd never be able to use this checkpoint again, or any other one to this territory. If you go with him, though, your fake SIN will eventually collapse. Maybe you can talk your way out of it, but then you'd still need to abandon that SIN as soon as possible.

Or, we could back up a bit, and pretend like we bought Masking instead of Invoking. Then, this whole thing would never have happened.
Tarantula
Crit glitch is not distracted by a penny, it'd be he comes over with the other two, one says "That guys magical!" One says" Yeah, and hes a dragon in hiding!" and the third goes, "NO HE ISN'T!"

Watchers are good for nothing.
Cain
QUOTE (Tarantula @ Sep 15 2008, 02:41 PM) *
Crit glitch is not distracted by a penny, it'd be he comes over with the other two, one says "That guys magical!" One says" Yeah, and hes a dragon in hiding!" and the third goes, "NO HE ISN'T!"

Watchers are good for nothing.

I can tell you have a low opinion of watchers, and you're right that they're severely limited in their use. But a watcher is too stupid to lie. When the other two went over, he'd still be trying to pick up the penny. Remember, a critical botch is supposed to be bad for him, not necessarily good for you.
Tarantula
Yes, bad for him on the assensing test. Not "i got distracted and tried to pick up a penny". Its not a logical thing on a botch. However, him thinking you are not awakened when you are not(completely false information) is a perfectly legitmate critical glitch. He isn't lieing, he actually thinks you are awakened, because of his critical glitch.

IF he had merely failed, he wouldn't be sure.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Mäx @ Sep 15 2008, 03:36 PM) *
Lone star handling the licencencing of mages is part of theyr contract for policing a city.
So they will have a databace of licenced magicians.


But you don't need a license to be a magician. You only need a license to use certain dangerous spells and to possess certain magical goods. The database check won't tell then that he an "unlicensed magician", though it will tell them that he never went to a magic college, (which is perfectly reasonable, there are plenty of Shamans, Mambos, and such who have no formal education), that he doesn't have any licenses for any restricted spells (also reasonable, not every magician knows every spell) and he doesn't have any licenses for any focuses (also reasonable, they're expensive).

This lack of any alarming information is more likely to put them at ease than it is to make them suspicious, as licenses for mental manipulations or combat spells would.
masterofm
Close Hyzmarca. You don't need a license for using spells you just need one for the items your carry. There is nothing in the spells that say Restricted or Forbidden unless you consider that carrying a spell that has a restricted or forbidden rating translates over to the spell you use. This is just something that you can never check ever. How do they know what spells you have in your mind? Carrying foci, or fetishes you might need a license, and it may or may not show up on your SIN that your a mage. Most likely not though. However the reason why Watcher spirits suck is because they are unreliable. Lie detectors are not 100% and in many cases if something is not close to 100% then it is useless. A spirit that fails that frequently will have to take a looooong hard look to see if a person is mundane or awakened. Then on top of that if they critical glitch then they might think a mundane is awakened or vice versa.

The reason why people throw up stats is that a watcher spirit trying to process hundreds of people all at once will considerably screw things up constantly. If they only get one glance at someone at a checkpoint and not 20 to 60 glances then they are useless. Even the information gained will be wildly varied to be able to gain useful information from the watcher spirit. Also the only one being able to make us of the wildly varied information is the mage who might not want to zip all over the place because their dump as a post watcher spirits constantly screw things up.
Tarantula
Even if they check 100 times, it'll be almost 50/50 that they screw up as much as succeed.
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