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Rayzorblades
I was just thinking about that whole "1 in 1000 people are magically active" thing. It's FREAKING MAGIC PEOPLE! The ability to conjure the forces of bullshit from nothing! And only 1 in 1000 people get to do it. It's not like how 1 in 1000 people are smart enough to get their PhD or 1 in 1000 people are good enough to make money playing sports, it's MAGIC. Nature slapping, spell-slinging, I can do the shit from the Matrix, MAGIC.

Magically active people would be set for life, I'd not be surprised if it became law that if you awaken, you HAVE to go to Hogwarts and serve in the military. Also for some reason "Hogwarts" didn't set off my spellchecker O_o...

Anyway, the point is they'd never ever have to resort to crime of any kind, they'd be movie stars. The fact that the government would get'em (oh sure, "get'em" sets it off) while they're young and would indoctrinate them in all things fanatically patriotic would further help prevent magical crime. Then bribes and "campaign funding" would make sure that the government granted the corps commercial access to their magical army. So there you have it, wage mages and government agents would be the only people with magic.

I also imagine the punishments for magical crime would be attempted rehabilitation (read: re-brainwashing into corp/gov service) and failing that, execution. Remember kids, there's always someone bigger and meaner than you who's fanatically loyal to the current regime, whether it's a corp or the man.
raggedhalo
Isn't it one in a hundred, as it's about 1%?

And the whole point about the SINless is that they don't get got by the government/corps. Or you could be a former wage mage who decided he hated his job warding the CEO's bathroom
Ryu
"Stupid laws are for normal people. Raven says: We take what we can get." Cedric, Fomori Druid
Degausser
Okay, three things.

1) Shadowrun is a game. Some things are bound not to make sense

2) Mages are MORE likely to be shadowrunners than the average Joe. Think about it, you fall on hard times, or you are in a position where you won't be hired (for whatever reason, stigma, racism, past actions) or you just can't bring yourself to run a 'legal' life. A normal dude would turn destitute if he didn't have the connections to be a runner. But any mage in that position could walk into any shadowrunner, and they would hire him, without question. Street shaman with no money and rats in the hair? No prob! Come right in!

3) Some Shaman are just not cut out to be corp guys. Weather eco-conscious, or they just have personality quirks (like flying into a rage while fighting), they might just be more cut out for running than conforming to corp laws and regulations.

Uli
Well 1% of the world population are latents or already awakened. I'd say the 1% it splits equally between these two groups. Then counting out the groggies (who simply enjoy spell or spirit knack or plain astral sight or are aspected magicians) I's say that 1%o of the world population are full magicians. Still a lot of people. But being awakened does not need to mean that you have any kind of talent for it. Average or below average key abilities and willpower, people who hide their gift from their peers and superiors, elderly awakened who cannot cope with the change, and any other imaginable quirks and drawbacks that hinder a person to become a famous primerunner or even a mediocre one.
Awakened who fulfill the requirements to become elite theorists, experimenters, conjurors, enchanters, casters, and conflict oriented jacks-of-all-trades (i.e. high class runners and corp mages) are rare. Maybe 1%oo or even less.
Synner667
Psi Corp from B5 is good for this.

Or Psi World, if you fund a copy.
Blade
I'm not 100% sure, but there is maybe about 1 doctor in 1000 people. Freaking Doctors! The ability to save people's life!

First of all, the ratio isn't the same everywhere:
Patients per doctors in the world.
You can expect it to be the same for magically active characters in Shadowrun: most magically active people will go (or be sent) to places where they can get the most out of their magic abilities so you can expect to have more magically active people in rich areas.

Second, I know a few doctors, I can easily find one and there are still some who do illegal work for one reason (lost/didn't get license) or another (more money). So even if they're probably a minority, it's not impossible to see shadowrunning mages.

Third, how many people in 1000 have 0.01 essence? How many of them have a rating 5 commlink with rating 5 hacking programs and all the necessary skills? How many are Shadowrunners? Shadowrunners (at least PC shadowrunners) are the elite of the Shadows. They aren't your typical criminals so it's not surprising if they're out of a small minority.

Fourth: if you consider that there is 1 magically active in 1000 people and that only 1 in 1000 magically active people is a Shadowrunner you'll get one chance in a million that someone is a mage runner. Which means that it happens 9 times out of ten.
Degausser
Least we forget that Shadowrunning isn't a major business. Sure there are a lot of runners out there, but it is hardly something you can fill out on your 'career aptitude test.' I mean, it isn't likely that your average Joe will become a face or a Street Sam. According to Runner Haven, Seattle has 4 MILLION people. out of that, let's say about 500 are active runners, that's one in every 800 people. And Seattle is supposedly the shadowrunning capitol of the world.

Just sayin', that shadowrunning is rare, not just the mages, but also the facemen, the street sams, the infiltrators, they are all rare.
Roy Fokker
personally, i think the ability to alter the laws of spacetime and physics with just your mind would generate a fair amount of people who would abuse that power and break the law. and, frankly, shadowrunning is just that: breaking the law. i have no problem with 1/100 people in the world being awakened but 1/6 (the average SR pc group) runners being awakened.
Kagetenshi
There are what, ~250 Shadowrunners active in Seattle at a time? It's a highly skilled profession; the argument you state works just as well for Riggers, Deckers (or their later-edition equivalents), Faces, Gunbunnies of the various sorts, the only common role I can think of that isn't highly valuable outside of criminal enterprises is variations on a theme of Melee Master. The number of Shadowrunners is sufficiently small that a small number of individuals with exceptional circumstances is sufficient to supply it.

Edit: ok, the details do work out differently (no one is a Rigger from the day they're born, etc.), but that just increases the possibility of criminal mages; no actual hard work is required to be one, you just are. Add that early detection is, last time I checked, still an open problem.

~J
Kanada Ten
Old Man Wilkes doesn't bother anybody who doesn't bother him or his moonshine. Sure, he might harass the old ladies when they hog the garbage piles, flashing his black tooth smile and making obscene jokes, but that ain't no thing. He's nice to have around when a swarm of devils shows up, even if he is dead drunk. He just takes a swig and spits fire at the little fucks. Gets 'em scatterin so the boys can come in with their bats and have some charred rat for dinner. I asked him once why he never got a job, says he inherited that bottle from his father, and he likes it better than a paycheck. I know what he means, Coyote calls and I gotta run: the wind on my face, the heat in my blood. Worth more than any paycheck with a collar attached.
Synner667
QUOTE (Roy Fokker @ Feb 18 2009, 03:52 PM) *
personally, i think the ability to alter the laws of spacetime and physics with just your mind would generate a fair amount of people who would abuse that power and break the law. and, frankly, shadowrunning is just that: breaking the law. i have no problem with 1/100 people in the world being awakened but 1/6 (the average SR pc group) runners being awakened.

Many people, who are very respectable, commit crimes...
...So just because people have such gifts doesn't mean they would be good people.

In fact, having such gifts could end in automatic discrimination - who would trust a Mage diplomat ?? Who would allow a running adept to compete against non-adepts ?? Etc

Shadowrunners are not all criminals - a shadowrun is also a semi-legal op.
Covert ops sanctioned by military or national forces are also considered shadowruns (as per 15+ years of SR)
it also covers private detectives, etc (also as per 15+ years of SR)
It also covers people doing something away from their normal role (policeman doing something outside his normal job)

So take that into account, and it's easy to have many people treated as shadowrunners...
... but only a small % of them would be competent.
...and only a small % of them would be premier grade.

Really, are adepts and mages meant to be mor common than professional soldiers ??
Because there are many of them in society, yet society does not re-arrange itself to cope with them.
paws2sky
Back in the SR1/SR2 days I was part of a gaming club of about 20 regular players. The 3 or 4 GMs had a shared world, mega-plotlines, etc. It was quite cool. [/nostalgia]

Anyway...

They estimated the runner population of Seattle at about 100 at any given time. That was just the "real" runners, mind you, the people that the serious, in-the-know Johnsons and fixers tapped for the big deal jobs.

Add in the wannabes (expendable fodder) to that and you could get up to 250, maybe even 300, depending on how many of these jokers had been killed in the past month or so.

The number of magicians in both groups was about 1 in 10, many of them shamans, as it turned out (there were hermetics, but they tended to gravitate toward corporate life). Not only could heavy magic teams pull in more cash, but magicians always had a shadow job if they wanted to work.

-paws
InfinityzeN
Even though one out of a hundred (1%) are latents or awakened, a very large chunk. Here's a lil breakdown that I use in my game. As always, its your game so use what works for you.

................Active....Magic....World....1 Per
Mundane.....N/A.......N/A.......99%.....1.01
Latent.........N/A.......60%.....0.6%.....166.6~
Minor..........60%......24%....0.24%....416.6~
Adept.........30%......12%.....0.12%....833.3~
Mage..........10%.......4%.....0.04%....2500

Minor = Spell Knack, Spirit knack, Astral Sight, etc
Adept = Adept (~75%) and Mystic Adept (~25%)
Mage = Aspected Magician (~60%) and Mage (~40%)

And now we come to the fun part. The Active types that actually have a variable Magic. Figuring 1 is the base, so who has over that? I use a square sliding scale.
1 in 4 have a Magic: 2
1 in 9 have a Magic: 3
1 in 16 have a Magic: 4
1 in 25 have a Magic: 5
1 in 36 have a Magic: 6

To get higher than Magic: 6, you gotta initiate. From there, the numbers get really wonky.
counterveil
Yeah, I always found a slight disjoint between the numbers reported as "official" and the numbers of PCs and NPCs that appear to be magically active (I'm not talking about prime runner / named NPCs, but just your average squad of ne'er do wells that seem to always have a combat mage in their ranks).

Since I'm running mostly canon sourcebooks and adventures right now, I just typically remove the magic types from the throngs of unnamed NPCs that get thrown the PC's way.

I had originally intended to have a very magic-rare PC group, but I'm always wont to restrict players from making what they want to, so somehow I ended up with 2 mundanes and 4 magically-active (2 mages, 2 phys ads). Oh well I can always kill people off and make them reroll nyahnyah.gif
Hagga
QUOTE (Synner667 @ Feb 18 2009, 03:24 PM) *
Psi Corp from B5 is good for this.

Or Psi World, if you fund a copy.

..eh?

QUOTE (InfinityzeN @ Feb 18 2009, 04:33 PM) *
Even though one out of a hundred (1%) are latents or awakened, a very large chunk. Here's a lil breakdown that I use in my game. As always, its your game so use what works for you.

................Active....Magic....World....1 Per
Mundane.....N/A.......N/A.......99%.....1.01
Latent.........N/A.......60%.....0.6%.....166.6~
Minor..........60%......24%....0.24%....416.6~
Adept.........30%......12%.....0.12%....833.3~
Mage..........10%.......4%.....0.04%....2500

Minor = Spell Knack, Spirit knack, Astral Sight, etc
Adept = Adept (~75%) and Mystic Adept (~25%)
Mage = Aspected Magician (~60%) and Mage (~40%)

And now we come to the fun part. The Active types that actually have a variable Magic. Figuring 1 is the base, so who has over that? I use a square sliding scale.
1 in 4 have a Magic: 2
1 in 9 have a Magic: 3
1 in 16 have a Magic: 4
1 in 25 have a Magic: 5
1 in 36 have a Magic: 6

To get higher than Magic: 6, you gotta initiate. From there, the numbers get really wonky.


Personally, I've always been curious about the *high* grade initiates. Not the Immortals (aina 4 lyfe, yo, yes, you may shoot me.), but people who make the Lord Protector look like a sickly little girl with grades of 20 and 25. How the world would react to them, in particular. Thoughts? I know there might be one, two particularly talent shaman/mages running around out there with that sort of ability, but regardless.
Method
I think some of you are forgetting selection bias. If you wanted to look at the demographics of the US by sampling NBA players you'd think everyone was a ridiculously-wealthy athletic black male. But that isn't accurate. Saying that the number of magically active runners should reflect 1% of the greater population fails to take into account that shadowrunning attracts a higher percentage of people with certain skill sets and abilities. By the same token, just because you are unlikely to find 1 wageslave out of 100 with a firearms skill of 4 doesn't mean that a firearms skill of 4 is rare in the shadows.

Also, the vast majority of magicians in the great wide world will have spells like catalogue, fix, heal, healthy glow, detect water and fashion. But if you went through military training and are discharged with spells like combat sense, detect enemies, crank, agony, armor and hellblast its not like you are going to go get a job at the Stuffer Shack...
Falconer
I think the bigger problem in SR is quite simply, any mage has lucrative carreer options. I disagree strongly that they're the 'stars'. Wage mage isn't all that glamorous but it does pay well. Even if you're not corporate, there's independant routes... talislegging, independant contract warding, bodyguard, medical practice (for the healers)....


Anyone playing such a char really needs a good backstory or rationale for why they are in the shadows. Were they forced? Maybe you have a high rating contact who just needs help w/ something shady. (a 6/6 contact swings both ways... you can ask him, but he can also ask you IMO).
Does he have a cause he advances above all others? (EG: a humanis sympathizing human mage... take that karmagen! *sigh*)
Xirces
'tis a very good point made by Method. Every 'runner is going to be "out of the ordinary" in some way so looking at any aspect and finding them not match the norms is no surprise. Check the proportions of race then compare that to your group (heck there are enough threads asking what the point of being human is, yet that's supposed to be "normal"), never mind attributes, cyber, gear and all the rest. Most runners could comfortably do better elsewhere in life - most likely as professional athletes, yet they don't.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Falconer @ Feb 18 2009, 07:09 PM) *
I think the bigger problem in SR is quite simply, any mage has lucrative carreer options.

Like I said above, and a highly-skilled Rigger doesn't?

~J
Method
QUOTE (Falconer @ Feb 18 2009, 04:09 PM) *
I think the bigger problem in SR is quite simply, any mage has lucrative carreer options.


This just goes back to the whole argument that the most basic run needs to pay more than fencing a stolen Americar or no one would be a runner. I agree that no mage should be living as a squatter without the requisite pitiful life story. But I would argue that making enough yen to finance a month of high lifestyle in one night's work is pretty "lucrative". Plus it might be the only option for some mages (like those I mentioned above without skills one might consider marketable in civilian society, or any number of SINless or criminal mages). Remember that corporations function on a day-to-day basis by using people up and discarding them. Just because the guy once had a cush job with a corp doesn't mean they wouldn't screw him over to maintain their bottom line. Then you have any number of corporations or governments that are collapsing or being gobbled up by competition or whatever.

The point is you can take just about any runner designed to function above "street-thug" level and argue that they should be a corporate lapdog because their 'ware is too hot, or their weapons are too trick or their skills are too honed or whatever. But that makes the game pretty damn boring IMHO and kinda misses the whole point.
lordnth
A very intresting article I found. I'll skip the Real World and Deckers, Riggers and copy the section that only applies to Mages/Shamans

..............................
Wage Mages
Another aspect of magic that FASA neglects is the effect it should have on the economy. Magically active people are 1% of the population. Full mages are 10% of that group; I estimate another 40% are Adepts of some sort. (I'm assuming that somehow 50% are unaware of their talent or just don't use it— perhaps ludicrous, given how much money mages can make, but I'm trying to see what would be in FASA's universe.)
From inspecting the AMA web site, it looks like there are 650,000 practicing physicians in the US right now. If magic were working right now, we'd have about 250,000 full magicians and a million Adepts. So it looks like magicians are a little less than half as common as doctors, just for comparison purposes.

Full magicians can get nearly any sort of magical work below.
*Sorcery Adepts will be very popular for spellcasting jobs, which can include work in engineering, healing, entertainment, fashion, you name it.
*Conjuring Adepts will be a bit more limited. A Hermetic Conjuring Adept could end up summoning elementals for security work and then going off to twiddle his thumbs; a shamanic Conjuring Adept could do similar work. (Nature spirits might be very popular to hire for their Guard work for sensitive tasks.) In their capacity as banishers, they could end up in security work.
*Enchanting Adepts can make huge amounts of money refining orichalcum. The job is horrible drudgery, of course, but I expect a good deal of research has gone into figuring out a way to have three enchanters spell each other while refining the stuff. The orichalcum gets used to reduce the first bonding cost of items they enchant to 1 karma, supplied by the person who commissions the item. (Karma is very expensive, so the secondhand magical item trade should be impressive.)
*Fire Adepts and Shamanic Adepts who have access to combat spells could be popular in mining, demolitions, and firefighting work. (Water-aspected combat spells can put out fires, and fire spells can create firebreaks.)
*Air Adepts and Shamanic Adepts who have access to detection spells could be popular in investigatory work. There are almost certainly going to be accredited truthsayers who will go to business meetings and cast Detect Lie for pay. (Their professional reputation depends on never lying about what they discover, and people can bring multiple ones to the same meeting.) Inspection boards will have inspectors with spells to detect termites inside houses, strain on bridges, and similar such things that are difficult to ascertain without extensive analysis.
*Water Adepts and Shamanic Adepts who have access to illusion spells would be most popular in the entertainment industry, but could also find work as anaesthesiologists. (Rather than risking the effects of chemical anaesthesia, why not just cause someone to feel no pain or even no sensation? All you have to do is have a magical Adept sitting there sustaining the spell for the whole operation.)
*Earth Adepts and Shamanic Adepts who have access to manipulation spells could end up in demolitions, firefighting, and mining like Fire Adepts, but they'd also be very popular in the engineering disciplines, where they could churn out a prototype far faster than it could be manufactured.
*Astral Adepts could find work as investigators as well, but due to the fact that they're just an elemental adept who can't cast spells or summon spirits, they're not as valuable. Still, having someone who can just assense is worth money.
*Physical Adepts often wind up as artists and athletes.
There'll be a strong pull of magical types toward the cities where they can find work, but you wouldn't be at all surprised to see a small town where the sheriff is a Fire Adept who can sling stun bolts into criminals and pitch in with water-effect Combat spells when there's a fire, or where the fire department is mostly one Earth Adept who has spells for putting out fires, holding up buildings that are about to collapse, and similar rescue work.
I would expect most healing mages to have a lot of spells with the exclusive and expendable fetish modifiers boosting their Force. (Healing fetishes are expensive, but healing mages are rare.) To a degree, this would go for most professional mages, since Drain reduces their effectiveness per unit time. I also think that there's a large trade in the appropriate sort of spell foci to equip these mages. Since karma is so rare, I would also expect that it's very common to have foci enchanted especially for a particular mage, with enough orichalcum that it reduces the bonding cost to something extremely minimal. (After all, orichalcum is expensive, but karma is even more expensive.) The high cost of karma means that as mages give up foci, there's a brisk trade in the secondhand stuff where you can't get the cheap first bonding cost.

A notion that came up recently (when helping a friend move, of course) was Mystic Movers. A mage specializing in telekinesis can do things that would require heavy lifting equipment or would be flat-out impossible in getting objects from one place to another. It should be possible to create TK spells that lift an object by applying force to the whole object, rather than to it surfaces; similarly, it should be possible to create one that anchors an object to a surface so that when the surface moves, the object accelerates uniformly. This means you could move thoroughly laden bookshelves and dressers without ever needing to actually pack things, and then transport them on a flatbed truck without worrying about anything falling out. This would definitely be a luxury service, but certainly effective. (Imagine spending, say, 500¥ to have your entire apartment's contents of stuff moved without having to go through the trouble of packing it up and unpacking it later; one mage should be able to take care of a whole apartment in a single day, unless it needs to be shipped a long way, in which case there may be some investment in a flatbed truck with a quickened spell for uniform acceleration on its contents. Doing that five days a week pays for a High lifestyle in a month.)

Another interesting health spell would be one that convinces your body that it's time to start burning fat for energy now. I suspect this would not require sustaining for very long (though the biochemical effect it would create wouldn't last for more than a few hours), but it could drastically increase the efficacy of exercise for losing weight in a very healthy way. Would all the hordes of folks ready to pay to go to a gym to work out pay, perhaps, 20¥ extra per visit to have each visit count for triple? Casting this spell (on average) on one customer every ten minutes at a gym could still pull in 960¥ a day.
.............................
Read the whole thing at http://www.gods-inc.de/macavity/IsleOfShad...king-world.html
Kanada Ten
"Mundanes are a puzzle. What is money or luxury compared to the Great Mystery? Perhaps if you looked upon the world with Awakened eyes, you would see what a waste these trappings are, shackles on the path to real Power. I seek the secrets these corporations would hide, I heal those the government discards."

"I have no use for money, for whose face is upon these coins? Do none know the covanent: take no payment for your Gift, for it is a sin? Do none of you fight against this corruption? If I granted my powers upon you, would you spin wheat into gold for your masters? And I am the fool for keeping my freedom..."
Method
QUOTE (lordnth @ Feb 18 2009, 07:08 PM) *
From inspecting the AMA web site, it looks like there are 650,000 practicing physicians in the US right now. If magic were working right now, we'd have about 250,000 full magicians and a million Adepts. So it looks like magicians are a little less than half as common as doctors, just for comparison purposes.


Their math is either a little dated (FASA?) or just plain wrong. If 1% of the population were Awakened then based on the current census we would have about 3 million magicians in the U.S. With 800,000 doctors (a conservative estimate) that would make magicians 3-4 times more common than doctors. As Blade has already eluded to, few would argue that doctors are rare or even knowing one was all that unusual. I happen to know many, but I'm in medical school (see my comments on selection bias above).


Otherwise some very interesting ideas there.
toturi
While I agree that magically talented people would not need worry about finding a job, regardless of having a SIN or not or the job is legal or otherwise, you might want to take a look at the Maslow's hierarchy of needs. What the corps can offer in a legal job often takes care of the safety and physiological needs. But as a shadowrunner, the magically talented person may find that his higher level needs are being fulfilled and his lower level needs are being satisfied anyway(since any runner team would leap to recruit any magically active PC).

To me, there are many reasons why the magically talented would run the shadows, but needing a job and putting food on the table is not a concern top most on their minds. In fact, for the higher end runners(0.1 Essense cyber sam, uber hacker, etc), I think this would apply as well. Sure, they may grumble and bitch about paying their bills, they may even be late in their payments, but being destitute isn't something top flight runners or even the middling levels of magicians worry about.
InfinityzeN
QUOTE (Method @ Feb 18 2009, 09:26 PM) *
Their math is either a little dated (FASA?) or just plain wrong. If 1% of the population were Awakened then based on the current census we would have about 3 million magicians in the U.S. With 800,000 doctors (a conservative estimate) that would make magicians 3-4 times more common than doctors. As Blade has already eluded to, few would argue that doctors are rare or even knowing one was all that unusual. I happen to know many, but I'm in medical school (see my comments on selection bias above).


Otherwise some very interesting ideas there.


Your doing it wrong. 10% of magically active are full mages is what the artical said. So 300k magicians compared to 800k doctors makes doctors x2.66~ more common.
Jaid
yes, well, we can all start pulling numbers out of our butts if we want to. where'd they get the 10% number? not to mention it completely ignores all the aspected magicians and such. i mean, if you want to be like that, we may as well remove all the specialist doctors from the pool if we're gonna compare. how many of those doctors are anesthesiologists? how many are are trauma surgeons? whoops, looks like none of them can do all of the various jobs that fall under the category of "doctor" so it looks like the comparison is actually some BS number of fictional mages as compared to my freshly made-up BS number of 0... obviously magicians in SR are more common than doctors would be in real life (there being zero doctors, according to my completely arbitrary, biased, and clearly BS method of determining who can qualify for the job of 'doctor').

not to mention these magicians aren't serving all of the public. probably more along the lines of 20-30% of the population of a given country are going to be able to go to a doctor, never mind a magician.

also, you think a magician is gonna stand there casting weight loss spells all day? BS. if i had the power to control people's minds, you can be bloody sure i wouldn't be using it to help people quit smoking. if i could summon beings from beyond the boundaries of this realm and those creatures are strong enough to take out a squad of soldiers, i might just be a little less inclined to take orders from some chump who can't even see them. can you imagine what it would be like if the guy ahead of you was a magician with road rage? simple version: magic is going to, for lack of a better word, corrupt it's casters. all kinds of power corrupts, and magic is a kind of power that just randomly falls into the laps of whoever. in fact, in SR at least, it's quite common for magic to affect the minds of it's users in all kinds of various ways, making many of them less suitable for corporate work. it's a bit of a problem when the magician who's supposed to be monitoring a surgery can't bloody stay inside for more than an hour or so without going ballistic, or if stubbing their toe might lead to them powerballing the ER, don't you think?

i can absolutely see why magicians would commonly run the shadows. the VP of finance expects results, and he expects them now, and he's going to be getting on your case constantly about why aren't you subjecting yourself to discomfort akin to getting punched in the guts hard repeatedly. a shadowrunning team wants you to help out maybe one day a week, if not less. pretty much the kind of magician (even aspected magicians) who can make it in the corporate world are going to be very self-disciplined. it's not talent, or ability, that keeps magicians from being able to work corporate. it's the fact that you can jedi mind trick your boss into thinking you've got another two weeks paid vacation. it's the fact that if they cancel your dental plan, you can respond by sending a spirit to their house to burn it to the ground from the other side of the world, and magicians are going to get into a habit of thinking they don't have to take any crap off of anybody. in point of fact, the people with spell knacks, or who only have astral sight, are probably *more* desireable from a corporate standpoint; they're less likely to go on a powertrip, they have fewer employment options... in short, they are people that the management can push around. if anything, if we wanted to pull that 10% number out of our butts and use that for the number of full magicians, it's the ones who *aren't* full magicians we should be looking at in terms of working in the corporate world.
Method
QUOTE (InfinityzeN @ Feb 18 2009, 07:15 PM) *
Your doing it wrong. 10% of magically active are full mages is what the artical said. So 300k magicians compared to 800k doctors makes doctors x2.66~ more common.

Well, please excuse my loose application of the term "magician". But my point stands. People with magical ability would be 3-4 times more common than doctors are today. Not that rare.

And as Jaid mentioned, I'm not too sure that 10% is a cannon figure. Reference?
raggedhalo
QUOTE (Method @ Feb 18 2009, 08:49 PM) *
This just goes back to the whole argument that the most basic run needs to pay more than fencing a stolen Americar or no one would be a runner.


This is only true if you believe that people make decisions on a purely rational economic basis. I think this isn't the case at all -- or at least very rarely.

For example, I could earn a lot more than I do now if I sold out and got some corporate job where I have to be a bastard for a living. But I haven't, despite the economic incentive.

If you're ex-Special Forces then you're not likely to decide to neglect your years of training in favour of jacking cars. Similarly, if you're street-level and started out stealing cars then shadowrunning is a step up the criminal status ladder and gives you a shot at the big time.

If your players are choosing to steal cars rather than go on runs then it means that you're making Grand Theft Auto more fun than shadowrunning, not that you should be paying more for shadowruns. I'd also query whether carjacking deserves karma awards.
Malicant
QUOTE (Roy Fokker @ Feb 18 2009, 04:52 PM) *
i have no problem with 1/100 people in the world being awakened but 1/6 (the average SR pc group) runners being awakened.
I think you're on to something. I found more impossibilities, and more sillyness in SR. Awakend bars, for exampel. Ridiculous. Chances are good that every person in there in awakend which is freakin' impossible. That simply cannot be, since we all know that only 1 in 100 people is awakend. Or, even sillier, magical schools and universities. Whole classes 100% sure to be awakend! That just so stupid, since again, that cannot be.
So, if a mage wants to hang out with another mage in a bar, both have to bring 99 friend, or otherwise it's impossible to be at the same place for them. Magic schools of course cannot even work that way, a class of 100 students is too noisy anyways.

Oh boy, it this time of the year again, isn't it?
ornot
One thing I always find funny (although perfectly understandable given the system) is that all PC mages you have are among the very best and brightest of their type, wth soft-maxed mental attributes and maxed out magical skills. It is worth considering that many of the wage mages you might find are likely to have only a 3 in spell-casting, and many more of the Awakened out there will have skills of 1 or 2, simply because they can't find a teacher.

Personally I restrict my players to one magical PC, and even then they must justify having maxed out skills; in the same way I require justification for a former go-ganger to have a pilot groundcraft or firearms skill of 6. I prefer to have smaller dicepools overall, and reward flexibility in my players.
Cadmus
Not to point out much, I mean many reasons for mages and adepts to be runners have been mentioned, But have you thought of the fact they might do it..well becouse they can? I mean, having gone to school and having pretty letters after your name and summoning rocks to move your beg when you move is neat and all but it dosn't prevent that same person from enjoying the sound of another human beings bones being broken.

Just to point out, Shadowrunners, Main, Kill,sell,buy,use a lot of stuff, guns,drugs,people,cars,small cockerspainals with explosive vests..Ok that last one might just be me, But Really in the end, Most shadowrunners even the noble ones are less then mentaly stable people. Between the mental scars of ..what ever, and the fact some just like to hurt people and hey, Running pays more then lone star.

Just you know. pointing it out, As well Don't forget in a few books they tend to put awaked in a grey area by including changeings and general meta's as so called awaked as well. Then you have the mage and magical wana be's who have no power but dress and live in teh trappings, awakened bars as mentioned above would be filled with these sorts.

But ya thats just it, I mean, people know lots of so called street sams/merc/thug what ever you want to call your cybered up gun bunny, but lots of people know these types that just like to shoot people in the face. Well who says the mage dosn't have the same impulse?

Magic is a tool, nothing more. So you pretty much have the same reasons as why your teams hoter then god hacker is running instead of working the stock market or programing for some random company, Or why your rigger isn't running for a privet secrity firm or a trucking company, or a dozen other jobs that would pay well.

What does shadowrunning give a person,

Freedome (in asorted flavors) a type of power certianly, money if there good, can you think of others? I bet you can smile.gif Ask that mafia hit man why he works for the mafia instead of a merc unit, ask that cop why he works for the star instead of the mafia?

Granted there is always the old stand by of, this is what I know. What does the secricty mage do when his company down sizes him? or he gets let go/fired/quits ect. He knows spells, He knows secrity set ups, Its his job, Maybe he's rather indiffrent to who uses his skills, as long as he gets to use them.

As for the numbers, eh. Its a moot point really, And remember as one poster stated (sorry to the guys I've used for examples I'm lazy) Most groups are playing Runners who have been doing the job for a bit of time, So since they are still alive they are not prime but in the minorty when it comes to there skills, well Unless your playing a low powered game..which can be fun too smile.gif

eh just my two cents. Back to my cubby hole I go.
Blade
QUOTE ("Method")
This just goes back to the whole argument that the most basic run needs to pay more than fencing a stolen Americar or no one would be a runner.


Which doesn't mean much since the difficulty of stealing Americar, the possibility of fencing them and the benefits are also up to the GM.
Method
Be that as it may, jacking an Americar is only one example. The point is that no-one in their right mind is going to take a job that requires them to bypass lethal security measures and face armed guards for a paltry 5,000 nuyen.gif when they could find an easy, unprotected target of opportunity and make just as much money. Or get a legit job. That whole macho "I'm a trained killer not a common thief" bit is entertaining, but the reality is that professionals don't just wander about risking their life for paltry rewards. I happen to know a few ex-special forces guys and they jokingly say that if they were going to turn to a life of crime they would knock off jewelry stores. Not very impressive is it?

But more to the point of the thread- the whole issue here is that people think 1/100 is rare and its really not. Too rare to have special schools? You mean like medical schools? Or law schools? Or fighter pilot training schools? Or astronaut training programs? Too rare to have exclusive clubs? Like exclusive clubs for Hollywood celebu-tards? Or underground goth clubs? or black-hole S&M clubs? A recent survey in the UK showed that 1 in 100 people identify them selves as gay- no gay clubs in the UK then? 1 in 100 people in the US are incarcerated. Good things criminals are so rare or our prisons would be overflowing. 1 in 100 people have schizophrenia- its considered common. Only 0.36% of the US population are lawyers- I think we can all be glad that lawyers are so rare, otherwise they'd be screwing up our country. Any pattern here?
Maelstrome
method beat me to the punch. someone here said that the pop of seattle in sr4 is 4 mil right?
correct me if im wrong but isnt 1% of that 40k. one of my circle and i had this argument when i wanted my magic group to have 15 members.
ornot
I got the impression that the accepted number of magicians was 0.1%, so 4000 out of a population of adepts and groggies and others of 40k out of a total Seattle population of 4M. Of those only a minority are going to have 6 ranks of spellcasting... I don't have my book, but doesn't it suggest that a skill rank of 5 is exceptional, maybe 1 in 500 (although I could be getting that figure from another game). That would mean that in Seattle there would be perhaps 8 magicians with 5's or 6's.

What I'm suggesting is that sure, you will have clubs, and schools and so on, but most of those members will have rather less magical talent than the magician PCs that I keep seeing. I don't actually have a problem with highly skilled, if disfunctional, career criminals ganging together, but I'd rather not have it be a gang of the 6 most potent magic users in the city!
Dumori
remember that the running hot stops draw tallent in form other places so powerful running mages are more likley to be found in a city where it pays well and you get jobs often.
Maelstrome
where did you pick up that magicians were 0.1%? also is there any canon info that states the percent of full awakened instead of just general awakened?
Method
QUOTE (Street Magic page 8 )
Fact is, even in our modern times, real magicians are
rare. Everybody€™s heard the statistics that say approximately
one percent of people are magically active, but like most sta-
tistics, that€™s not really accurate. For one thing, that number
encompasses everybody who has a shred of magical talent,
from minor-league adepts all the way up to spellslingers with
enough mojo to give dragons a second thought about snack-
ing on them. Just because one percent of people are magical
doesn€™t meant that one in every hundred people you see on
the street is secretly reading your mind.


That pretty much covers it. Thats been fairly consistent across the various editions, but I don't recall any author specifically saying it's 0.01%. But my point is even at 1/100 Awakened with some fraction of that being full magicians they aren't so ultra-rare that none would be shadowrunners.

Now, magic 6 full magicians might be rare in the shadows, but then how many "ex-special forces" street sams have you seen?
Tiger Eyes
QUOTE (Maelstrome @ Feb 19 2009, 11:29 AM) *
method beat me to the punch. someone here said that the pop of seattle in sr4 is 4 mil right?


Seattle's population (per Ghost Cartels) is 3,000,000+ with a per capita income of 26,000 nuyen.gif, with 52% corporate affiliated and 32% below poverty level.

Just my fun fact for the day. smile.gif
Maelstrome
QUOTE (Tiger Eyes @ Feb 20 2009, 03:44 AM) *
Seattle's population (per Ghost Cartels) is 3,000,000+ with a per capita income of 26,000 nuyen.gif, with 52% corporate affiliated and 32% below poverty level.

Just my fun fact for the day. smile.gif


by my math that is still 30,000 awakened citizens. which i would say is plenty enough.

i wonder how much longer this thread will go on before collapsing into itself.
Falconer
Bit about mages having lots of good career options....
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Feb 18 2009, 08:42 PM) *
Like I said above, and a highly-skilled Rigger doesn't?

~J


Actually far less so for a rigger. Lets put it this way, ANYONE can have rigging implants installed. And can also have things like skillwires to have their driving skills chipped. Hell a magical who isn't all that interested in magic, could lose his magical ability by having the cyber inserted. So yes, I stand by my statement, and that riggers and such are a far more available 'commodity' than someone w/ something you MUST BE BORN WITH (wield magic).

Another way of putting this. If the cost of hiring a rigger goes over X... then it becomes cheaper to grab some slob off the street, cyber him up (potentially w/ 2nd hand ware & skillchips), and paying him limited wages. When he's no good anymore, rip out the ware and install it in another 'recruit' of course. I can develop more 'rigging labour' I cannot develop more magical labor short of a breeding program.


I still stand by my statement. I didn't say that mages and such wouldn't end up as runners. I only said that anyone playing such a char should really have thought out a good reason IC for why he is a shadowrunner, and not just a highly paid wage mage. Or similarly doing something legit w/ a bit more freedom and still raking in the nuyen.

As far as population goes... people forgot that not all people who start magical stay magical. Some of them lose it when they intentionally cyber... some of them burn out... some of them lose it when they get the wrong kind of medical treatment. (anyone notice that cosmetic surgery costs essence... now you're a young pup who doesn't realize you're magical... you get a breast augmentation or a penile enhancement...)

DireRadiant
Hey, the person can do X, but they do Y. Why do they do Y when they could be doing X?

Being capable of something doesn't mean someone will do it.

The scarcity of the capability really doesn't change the individuals rate of choosing X over Y.
Backgammon
Being Awakened, being able to use magic, is like having a degree in something. It allows you to have a good job, which implies that you don't need to do crime to survive nor put yourself in peril.

However, plenty of smart people with degrees do crime. Plenty of smart educated people are in the armed forces (i.e. in perial when they don't strictly have to be).

Hence, being Awakened does not preclude a life of dangerous crime.

InfinityzeN
Correct. I have a BS, yet I am in the military and have been deployed to Iraq three times.
nylanfs
There's also the possibility that magically active people aren't quite right in the head. smile.gif
i101
I may be going a little bit offtopic with my post but what is going on with shadowrun these days? Ive been running thru the Shadows since 1993 and back in the days, at least in my opinion, the players had another feeling of the game then these days. By feeling I mean the common sence how players preciveived the overall shadowrun.. It has gone lost or better said, got replaced by a "i-want-realism-in-a-roleplaying-game" sense.
Way too much topics are about game mechanics, or stuff that is compared with actual technologies or human behaviour in 2009. The introduction of actual state-of-the-art technologie into the shadowrun universe of 2070+, has led a lot of players into comparing the fictive universe of shadowrun with our universe. Furthermore I think that such topics affect also the devs somehow.. They read such things and get the feeling that players want everykind of actual stuff got realized as realistic as possible, or at least got explained by game mechanics as good as possible. I dont like this.. Maybe I am too much into the Shadowrun 1 and 2 game mechanics, cause the game had to be played as the RAW had said. I am getting into the 30ies this year and I doubt that it is my difficulty to adapt new things rather then the complexity that Shadowrun has rushed into. After 16 years of shadowrun the game has changed way too much for my group and me. There is too much awarenes that everybody has to take care of.. AR/VR/Magic aso. I just wanna play and not calculate every single move..

Sorry for dropping this little sensitve bomb into the thread..
Whipstitch
I guess I just don't have a problem with this subject because the amount of magically active runners in my gameworld is something almost completely up to my discretion. Also, I'm sure life as a wage mage beats the hell out of other jobs, but I doubt it'd be all wine and roses either. The Awakened face a fair amount of prejudice, and even employees can be security risks, so a magician is likely to be very closely monitered even if they are a fairly high ranking employee and valable asset (frankly, it's probably even justifiable when you consider what a good one can do). Plus, just think about all the Awakened out there who have an odd mentor spirit or geas? How easily could a Coyote Shaman fit in with the suits? When you dabble regularly with a form of extra sensory perception, powerful spirits and are overworked by an employer that constantly monitors you, it's probably pretty easy to get sick of your job and maybe even a bit unhinged rather quickly.

Finally, remember that the corporations aren't exactly nice people. Not everyone is lining up to join them, and there's always going to be malcontents out there who won't sign up merely for a meal ticket. Hell, just look at the music and sports industries; there's no telling when a seemingly singular talent will undermine his own success by clinging a little harder to his roots or addictions than the suits would like.
KCKitsune
What about those mages who run the Shadows to get rare information or materials. I mean you can't go to your local Stuffer Shack and pick up a gallon of Royal Jelly. Yes, you CAN buy it, but it's expensive and it may not have been harvested in the EXACT way that you need it to be harvested (due to the Spell Formula). Hell... it may not even BE Royal Jelly! Now you can either hire someone to do it exactly how you want it to be harvested, or you can go out yourself.
TheForgotten
Why mages run.

1. The Money. The current 5,000 team/run norm goes back to Cannon Companion when everything got lowballed to standardize for the money for Karma system. Why on earth 4 or 5 highly trained individuals would risk, life and limb for 1,000 nuyen each (after expenses), I don't know. Especially as that's going to be one run or more a week just to make basic lifestyle. Back before Cannon Companion, I know a number of GM's thought that 30,000 nuyen/team member, was about the right number. UnNerf the money factor and a lot of things make more sense.

2. Mentor Spirits. If you have trickster as a mentor spirit, maybe running is the top of the desirable career ladder for ou.

3. This isn't 2009. Joining a AAA rated corp is more like joining the military in time of war then getting a job. Business is a full contact sport in 2070. If you're running a successful little talisman shop, Aztechnology can LEGALLY declare your premises extra territorial property, shoot you and take all of your belongings. Think of running a business in Seattle in 2070 like running a business in Baghdad, armed security guards are a mandatory capital outlay in many situations. If you see a small business chances are its a franchise of a corp with a corporate military large enough to protect it. If you work for a mega then try to open up on your own, your former employer will probably put out a hit on you as a matter of course.

4. It's not that great to be a mage. One word, Drain. Casting a spell is inviting a mental kick to the stomach. Sure you can call on the powers of the universe, just not twice before coffee, another three time before lunch and four time after, every day for months on end. What corps really want are mages who can cast "fabricate parts we can't produce any other way". Outside of shadow a security work their isn't much call for a mage who's spells consist of fireball, stunbolt, mindprobe, invisibility and physical mask. (And remember UCAS law isn't so hot on folks selling magical healing).
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