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SR4, p.185 makes several references to dual-natured barriers. It doesn't really define that, though. A ward, for example, is a dual-natured barrier. Mana, by nature is not physical. So blocking mana on the physical plane doesn't really do anything. If you had a mana barrier that was purely on the physical plane, what would it do?

I may be missing something here (certainly wouldn't be the first time). Could someone please explain this?
i imagine a spirit that is materialized would bonk their head on the ward . . and elemental ball spells such as fireball would probably go splat on the ward too, if they are not strong enough to punch through . .
Pretty much. They provide an additional obstacle for those trying to cast from one side to the other, both astrally and in the meat.
it's an invisible magical anti magic see through/walk through wall!
But if it's a mana barrier, it wouldn't matter what plane the caster is on, the spell would (potentially) be blocked. And a materialized spirit is a dual being, so also would be blocked either way.

Are there any things that would be blocked by a mana barrier, that would only be blocked if that thing were on one plane or the other?
I assume you're still thinking in old edition lore. There is mana on the physical plane now, which gets used for sorcery on the physical. A non-projecting mage casting a spell never reaches into the astral plane at all, so his spells wouldn't be hindered by a purely astral barrier. A dual natured barrier thusly is a barrier that blocks spells cast by projecting mages (or spirits on the astral) as well as those cast by non-projecting mages (or manifested spirits on the physical).
Here's hoping that actually is the point you got confused by.
Now we're getting somewhere.

So... spells do not exist tangibly in either astral space, or whichever plane they're cast from? Even though they have auras? And since spells are made of mana, even in the case of physical spells, they can only be blocked by mana barriers? But the mana that makes up the spell might only exist on the physical plane, if that's where the caster is?

They need a smiley icon for *my brain hurts*
The distinction in mana spells and physical spells has nothing to do with which plane the spells exist in or what they're made of, it's more akin to a "damage type", that's unfortunately named rather ambigously. Mana spells only affect living things and auras, while physical spells affect nonliving material as well, but can't be casted on the astral plane (but mana spells can be cast on the physical plane!). A mana barrier spell blocks "magic" like spirits or spells (while a physical barrier blocks physical things like bullets or corpsec goons). A mana barrier cast on the physical plane blocks spells on the physical plane (and only on the physical plane) wether those are mana or physical spells. Likewise, a mana barrier cast on the astral plane blocks spells on the astral plane (and only on the astral plane).

Mana (as in the stuff magical effects are made of) exists on both planes independently. A spell cast on the physical plane uses mana flowing through the physical plane and only ever interacts with the physical plane. Just because it's magical doesn't mean it's astral.
Thanks Dragnar. Well-explained.

So an astral mana barrier blocks any astral forms, as well as spells cast on the astral plane. A mana barrier on the physical plane blocks any dual-natured entities, and spells that are cast there?

Just because it's magical doesn't mean it's astral.

Are there any other examples of magical entities that are not on the astral?

QUOTE (wind_in_the_stones @ Dec 29 2008, 07:30 PM) *
Even though they have auras?

Auras are entirely separate from Astral Forms (which, I suspect, is what you are thinking of). An astral form is something that exists on the Astral plane, such as spirits, dual-natured beings, & projecting magicians. An aura is nothing more than an astral reflection of something on the physical plane. This is also different from an astral signature, which is a residue of sorts, left behind from magical activity.

As for other examples, although it's probably not what you are looking for, most Adepts & Infected, among others, are magically active without a dual-nature, meaning that while magical, they do not exist on the astral plane. Ever.
What I meant was that something must exist on the physical plane to have an aura. Yes, a reflection. So if a spell has an aura, what is it an reflection of? Shouldn't whatever it is, exist somewhere?

What I was asking was, are there any entities besides spells (or dual beings) that are only on the physical, and are blocked by a mana barrier.

Btw, congratulations on becoming a running target.
Hmm. I didn't even notice that until you mentioned it.
Spell active in the physical plane have an aura while they are active, you can see that magic is active on the physical plane from the astral plane, but not after they have ended, then they have a signature, which is kinda like leaving behind a finger print. There isn't a hand there anymore, but the if you find the hand later you can match the print up to it. A spell active on the astral plane is an astral form, it is actually present on the plane, and once again, when it ends, it leaves behind a signature.

You actually rarely see non-dual natured mana barriers, as wards, the most common type of mana barrier, are dual natured, which effectively means they block out anything magic on the physical plane, and everything on the astral plane. That said, a physical mana barrier can be used as a quick solution to block magical threats. They do in fact block spells, so it is difficult to cast a manabolt or sneak invisible past a physical mana barrier, they would also block other things magically active in the physical plane, materialized spirits, active foci, and so on. Physical mana barriers do not, however, block passage of dual-natured beings. A dual natured being is active on both the physical and astral plane, so an astral mana barrier stops them just as much as a physical wall would, but there is nothing innately magical about their physical presence, their astral form is allowed to enter the physical mana barrier unimpeded because it isn't active on the physical plane. That said, any magic abilities the critter has will be blocked by the barrier. So your shapeshifter can walk into a physical mana barrier with no problem, but in order to use their regeneration or shift(human) powers they would have to overcome the barrier.
Decent explanation, except they do not need to overcome the barrier to retain Regeneration or similar abilities, as those are not "magically active". Further, you do not need to overcome the barrier to cast spells on the side you are on, regardless of if you have past through it or not, or if it is "sealed", such as a dome. You do not really need to "overcome" it at all, but casting spells through the barrier gives the defender a positive dice pool modifier equal to the barriers rating to resist the spell.
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