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Kerenshara
Dual natured beings can perceive astrally without penalty, and are treated as being in both planes at once. It clearly states (somewhere, I don't feel like digging out a cite) that astrally perceiving entities can NOT perceive physical objects with information on them like printed paper or a computer screen, as they simply show up as a vague shadowy form.

Can somebody PLEASE give me a solid answer on this (and provide the cite to back it up): Can a dual-natured creature (say, a manifesting spirit or one of the dual-natured infected) read a computer screen or a sign on the wall? Or does the "astrally perceiving" part overrule? I would THINK that they could, but I want somebody to actually show it to me in black and white, because I have given up looking myself.

Oh, and if you're just planning to post something Trollish or sarcastic, please skip to another thread. I am trying to get some honest help from the people here, and I know the question is going to sound stupid to many of you.

Thanks in advance for your help!
Athenor
I assume it is like a toggle, where the player can switch it on or off like the visors in Metroid Prime. In gameplay terms, it isn't worth worrying about unless the creature is projecting, in which case things are either colorful or gray. Same works for creatues that are dual natured all the time -- It's like looking in a different spectrum.
Traul
Is this what you want?
QUOTE
Astral perception is a psychic sense that is not linked to the character’s physical sight.

These are different senses. Calling it astral "sight" instead of astral perception mislead you. You cannot hear that piece of paper either, but that does not prevent you from reading it. All your senses are effective at the same time, then the brain merges the information to build the big picture. Yes, it sounds pretty much like a TacNet cyber.gif
crizh
Dual Natured beings can see and assense simultaneously. Only spirits and purely astral forms have ever had any restriction on being able to read and see computer screens, books etc.

SR4 was consciously altered to remove this anomaly. Later on when Synner became the line developer he was actively hostile to this position and endeavoured to move things back the other way until Rob asked him to stop it.

Nonetheless a ridiculous restriction on Free Spirits reading 'electronic projections' appeared in Runner's Companion.

If you check the FAQ you will see that spirits are explicitly permitted to access the Matrix using AR provided no DNI is used. Goggles with image link and AR gloves and you're good to go.

Athenor
Okay, I like those responses and logic better, actually.

Edit: You know, it makes a lot more sense that dual natured beings can still read and all that. I mean.. Otherwise, wouldn't Buttercup or Perriwyn be kind of screwed over, to say nothing of Lowfyr? And then there's historical dragons... Yeah. Definitely going to go down this route. Low force spirits maybe not so much (low logic values), but definitely stronger spirits and dual natured creatures will be able to read in my games.

Kerenshara
QUOTE (crizh @ Jul 6 2009, 08:11 PM) *
Dual Natured beings can see and assense simultaneously. Only spirits and purely astral forms have ever had any restriction on being able to read and see computer screens, books etc.

SR4 was consciously altered to remove this anomaly. Later on when Synner became the line developer he was actively hostile to this position and endeavoured to move things back the other way until Rob asked him to stop it.

Nonetheless a ridiculous restriction on Free Spirits reading 'electronic projections' appeared in Runner's Companion.

If you check the FAQ you will see that spirits are explicitly permitted to access the Matrix using AR provided no DNI is used. Goggles with image link and AR gloves and you're good to go.

OK, that explains both why I was confused to start with (having read the passage in Runner's Companion) and how it really IS. It's what I thought it ought to be in the first place. If it's in the FAQ it's probably somewhere in SR4A, but I will wait till the blasted thing shows up (finally) in my mail box in dead-tree format.

Thank you for the responses. I wanted to make sure I was on the right track, because I want to work up a Free/Wild Spirit and being able to read a book is kind of key to the idea.
toturi
QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Jul 7 2009, 08:33 AM) *
Dual natured beings can perceive astrally without penalty, and are treated as being in both planes at once. It clearly states (somewhere, I don't feel like digging out a cite) that astrally perceiving entities can NOT perceive physical objects with information on them like printed paper or a computer screen, as they simply show up as a vague shadowy form.

Can you back this up in the first place? I think that this is the crux of the matter. If you can post the relevant quote, I think we can clear this up quickly.
Generico
From Runner's Companion page 92

"Free Spirit Perception
Free Spirits on the physical plane are dual-natured beings. As
with other dual-natured entities, a spirit’s ethereal senses are able
to sense both worlds without incurring modifers for acting on
both planes at the same time. Note, however, that spirits are un-
able to see or interpret simsense, electronic projections on screens,
or AR displays. "

That's where that stupidity originates, and the faq fixes it.
Athenor
So here's a concept...


What is hearing like on the astral plane?


From SR4A, p.191:

QUOTE
Astral perception is a psychic sense that is not linked to the character’s physical sight. A blind magician can still magically perceive the astral plane and the creatures and auras within. Likewise, deaf magicians can “hear? in astral space.
Straight Razor
hear is an interesting question?
can duel-natured creatures whom are awakened astral project?

my group has always gone with no. but i can't really think where we got that idea.
Summerstorm
Sure they can. They just cannot "turn it off" when they are in their body. Why wouldn't they be able to project? (Of course they have to be magicians)
Falconer
The answer is very simple Karenshara. And it's already RAW and right in the free spirit construction section!

Take "low-light vision" as an optional power for your spirit (it's only on the task spirit optional power list IIRC, so your tradition would have to include them). Now you can both *see* and *assense* at the same time while manifesting. It's utterly pointless to have 'low-light vision' and 'thermographic vision' as optional powers for a task spirit, unless that's how they work.

In fact, it's really easy for you to see this on the spirit page. Chart p92 Runner's companion.
.25magic. Enhanced Senses (Hearing, Low-light, smell, thermographic).

Now you have full senses while materialized.


So for .75 points, you can hear, see, and smell like a normal character.

Though you might only want hearing and sight, so you don't have to smell the troll.


I don't see the inability to read paper or computer screens while purely astral as a problem, as it eliminates a lot of silliness which can result from astral recon. Now you actually have to break into someplace to find something rather than just watching the mage play astral peeping tom.

My reading of the rules is quite simple... if you just make a free spirit w/o buying those powers. You CANNOT interact w/ AR at all. The paragraph on p92 is clearly rules and quite explicit. You're for most purposes little different than a ghoul who also can't interact w/ AR. Until he buys off his blindness (in your case, buying the CHEAP vision power, in his case buying cybereyes).
Traul
I think there is a problem with the very definition of "dual-natured". The astral perception paragraph states any astrally perceiving character becomes dual-natured AND that he cannot perceive physically and astraly at the same time. Then you have this paragraph in the runner's companion.

Seems the devs should clean it up and make a difference between permanent dual beings and temporary dual beings. Or definitely wipe out the exclusion between between physical and astral perception for metahumans.
Athenor
QUOTE (Falconer @ Jul 6 2009, 09:13 PM) *
I don't see the inability to read paper or computer screens while purely astral as a problem, as it eliminates a lot of silliness which can result from astral recon. Now you actually have to break into someplace to find something rather than just watching the mage play astral peeping tom.


Don't confuse astral perception with astral projection. With perception, you are just putting out a 6th sense. With projection, you are only using that sense. Spirits follow different rules because they are used to existing as dual natured innately.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Traul @ Jul 6 2009, 09:21 PM) *
I think there is a problem with the very definition of "dual-natured". The astral perception paragraph states any astrally perceiving character becomes dual-natured AND that he cannot perceive physically and astraly at the same time. Then you have this paragraph in the runner's companion.

Seems the devs should clean it up and make a difference between permanent dual beings and temporary dual beings. Or definitely wipe out the exclusion between between physical and astral perception for metahumans.

That is EXACTLY what was causing my ... dithering on the matter.
Falconer
Athenor, by definition a mage who is projecting is using 'astral perception'. Even if he manifests (and is visible to normal people) he can't see normally. He's limited to astral perception. Which means he can hear and see normally on the astral.

The entirety of confusion w/ the term 'dual-natured' comes from this.

The shadowrun authors have a BAD habit of using the same word or phrase for two different things (critter vs PC normally... which complicates things in RC as it gives 'critter' options to PC's). I'd really appreciate it if the devs would actually make an attempt to use unique vocabulary when describing different things. For shame, they're *WRITERS* if they can't think of a few synonyms and creative wording they should turn in their pens and thesauri. Look at 'Mystic Armor' for adepts and again as a critter power. If an adept, it gives 1 point of impact, ballistic, & astral armor. If it's a critter power, it only gives 1 point of astral armor.


Dual natured is similar... critters WHICH CAN"T TURN OFF THEIR DUAL-NATURED being, take no penalty for assensing & percieving at the same time. If you're a normal PC though, you can only use either your mundane senses, or your psychic senses. Not being able to turn off your dual natured abilities is a drawback keep in mind.


The entire question comes down to this. What senses does a spirit come equipped with?! If they only have astral perception to boot... then they need to pick up extra senses. We're used to taking sight,sound,touch,taste,smell for granted. But in shadowrun... there are more senses & the real world there are more senses than this (such as sharks w/ electrosense) and better or worse 'grades' (bloodhounds nose vs. a cat's nose).

Quite frankly... if spirits are equipped w/ normal senses... then reconning an office could be as simple as going in astrally. Materializing a spirit, then have it open the cabinets and read the contents to you. The restriction on AR and such is very real, as it keeps a lot of runs more complicated when it comes to obtaining paydata as you actually have to break and enter somehow. (even wards aren't that scary if you can mask your way through them and imitate their creator).


If we look at the "Materialization" power for a spirit... we see it gets no additional senses for taking on an astral form. Hence, you need to go elsewhere to pick them up somehow.
Athenor
SR4A:

QUOTE
It takes a Simple Action to shift one€™s perception from the astral to the physical, and another to shift it back again (it is not possible to see both at the same time, though almost everything in physical space is reflected on the astral, albeit without detail).


This implies it is focus and conscious attention. Again, in pure game terms it really doesn't matter as a simple action is at worst 1.5 seconds of concentration, so in roleplaying terms you just take a glance around at the auras and then block them out and stop being dual natured. For projecting it matters a bit more.

Yeah, this could be cleaned up a bit, but I'm still operating on 3rd edition descriptions: The astral has everything in it that is somewhat permanent as a gray opaque object, and living things showing up vibrant (hell, last night someone made out the interior layout of a base because of the FAB showing up!). We've never had issues of focus as the perception checks are quick glimpses rather than extended affairs.

Edit: Quick note, as I understand where the above poster is coming from. AR wouldn't work when astrally projecting because quite frankly the body isn't exactly in a position where the wireless and ARO's would be interacting with the meat body. Well.. usually. You know what I mean.
Falconer
Athenor:
Now look at p294, under the critter power.

You'll see it's different, as the critter form means A. they can't turn it on and off. N. they always perceive in both at no penalty. There's a difference between a metahuman w/ 'astral perception' and something w/ the critter power 'dual natured'. Further confused because they then use 'dual natured' again to describe an astrally percieving mage or adept in the magic section.


A spirit is analogous to a projecting mage... it can materialize or possess to enter the physical realm, but it always has an active astral form.


BTW: the two spirit types w/ extra sensory options available are beast spirits and task spirits.
Athenor
Invoking GM fiat doesn't fly around here, does it?


I kid, I kid. This is actually pretty fascinating and I fully understand what you are getting at, and agree mostly. The post above about conflicting views on magic amongst the developers suggests a lot on the subject as well. My guess is that after 20 years things got muddy and hard to nail down, and no one was willing to go all the way on either 4th edition. But I'm pulling that out of my ass, so.
DireRadiant
Dual Natured = Someone with both astral perception and normal senses.

Astral Perception is used to perceive astral things
Normal Senses are used to perceive normal things.

Astral Perception is not used to perceive normal things.
Normals Senses are not used to perceive Astral things.

Normal things have astral shadows.

Astral Perception can be used to perceive the astral shadows.

Astral Shadow of a written page does not display the writing on the page.

A projecting mage is fully in the astral plane, and can only use their astral perception there. (While the also have a normal sense, it's in their body they left behind.)

An astrally perceiving mage, still in their body and not projecting, has both Astral Perception and Normal perception. (They aren't always like this so they get a penalty.)

Materializing spirits are creating a physical body, they may or may not have a normal sense, but they are Dual Natured while Manifesting.

Manifesting is a special case. An astral entity can Manifest, projecting a psychic image of themselves to someone who is purely physical. How does this work? Think of the fact that even non Dual Natured things have astral shadows. That is, they have an astral side. Manifesting is simply the Astral manipulating capable being imposing the ability on the non astral capable being the temporary ability to astral perceive their manifest form via psychic exertion. There are other examples of mundanes gaining access to astral perception temporarily. (Tempo anyone?)
Traul
QUOTE (DireRadiant @ Jul 7 2009, 05:40 AM) *
Dual Natured = Someone with both astral perception and normal senses.


That does not work. An astrally perceiving metahuman is dual natured while assensing but temporarily loses his physical senses.

Dual Natured = depends on who wrote the article and which book it fits in. Yes, it sucks.
Zaranthan
QUOTE (Traul @ Jul 7 2009, 07:59 AM) *
That does not work. An astrally perceiving metahuman is dual natured while assensing but temporarily loses his physical senses.

Can you cite a reference for this? I recall reading that seeing the real world while astrally perceiving carries a -2 distraction penalty, not that it's simply impossible.
Traul
QUOTE (Zaranthan @ Jul 7 2009, 04:49 PM) *
Can you cite a reference for this? I recall reading that seeing the real world while astrally perceiving carries a -2 distraction penalty, not that it's simply impossible.


It's in the Astral Perception paragraph in the base book (although it obviously only apply to metahumans, not to permanent dual natured beings frown.gif ).

QUOTE
It takes a Simple Action to shift one's perception from the astral to the physical, and another to shift it back again (it is not possible to see both at the same time, though almost everything in physical space is reflected on the astral, albeit without detail). A character using astral perception is considered dual-natured, active on both the physical and astral planes simultaneously.
crizh
The current FAQ and RC are in dispute. The FAQ was to be updated and presumably RC errata'd to gift Spirits all five normal human senses as Synner said here.

QUOTE (Synner @ Sep 2 2008, 02:36 PM) *
Regarding spirit senses. After much discussion among the devs, the next FAQ update will clarify that spirits on the physical plane (whether possession or materializing) replicate the five basic/metahuman/unaugmented senses (ie. essentially those that the magician who summoned them had). Free and Wild Spirits are up to the GM. However, as with all dual natured beings their astral sense is permanently integrated with their remaining senses. This is a result of the same process which shapes and imprints their material form (which in turn is an ectoplasmic metamorphic energy field of sorts). This ruling (which contradicts my earlier post on DSF) was ultimately taken so as not to generate a cascade of tweaks in multiple books.

That said, I will reiterate what I've said previously on the subject: were I developing the spirit rules today (or sometime in the future), as astral/non-human beings with no natural physical bodies, spirits would not possess "human" senses by default, just their innate astral sense. "Normal Senses" (defined as whatever unaugmented senses the original conjuring magician possessed or the GM cares to give the spirit if it is Free or Wild) would be an Optional Power some spirits might possess.
DireRadiant
QUOTE (Traul @ Jul 7 2009, 06:59 AM) *
That does not work. An astrally perceiving metahuman is dual natured while assensing but temporarily loses his physical senses.

Dual Natured = depends on who wrote the article and which book it fits in. Yes, it sucks.


Having the sense but not using it doesn't mean you don't have the sense. I have sight even though I close my eyes.
Traul
Then you have a problem the other way: a metahuman that stops using his astral perception stops being dual natured, however he still has both senses according to your definition nyahnyah.gif

And anyway, the notion of dual nature has to be braoder than that since it also applies to inanimate objects, vegetals,...
Zaranthan
You're reading both too much and not enough into it. "Dual natured" means you exist on both the physical and astral planes simultaneously. The critter power grants an exception to the distraction penalty of using meat senses while assensing, because such creatures' brains are wired properly. A magician does not get this exception because the metahuman brain is not designed to handle astral perception. We can DO it, but it requires conscious effort.
DireRadiant
Whatever. Keep Trauling away, if that's the only nit pick you can find with my list and it makes you feel better, have fun.
Traul
QUOTE (Zaranthan @ Jul 7 2009, 08:03 PM) *
You're reading both too much and not enough into it. "Dual natured" means you exist on both the physical and astral planes simultaneously. The critter power grants an exception to the distraction penalty of using meat senses while assensing, because such creatures' brains are wired properly. A magician does not get this exception because the metahuman brain is not designed to handle astral perception. We can DO it, but it requires conscious effort.

I completely agree with everything you said, but that does not solve the the problem. The base book makes a difference between being dual-natured and having the Dual Natured Critter power :

Dual Natured Power = dual-natured being + simultaneous physical and astral perceptions

This distinction is used at least once for astrally perceiving metahumans that are dual-natured without having the power.

But it has been forgotten in the the Runner companion. Materialized free spirits do not have the Dual Natured power. They probably should have it, but it's not written. Instead, they have a special paragraph that says being dual-natured waives the penalty for physically acting while astrally perceiving. Here comes the contradiction: an astrally perceiving metahuman suffers a -2 penalty to physical actions, but as a dual-natured being he does not suffer it?! That's not a big deal yet: the part written for free spirts rules for free spirits, and the part written for metahumans rules for metahumans.

Unfortunately, shapeshifters are also noted as dual-natured beings without the power, and do not have any special explanation about their astral perception. So how does it work? Per RAW, it could be argued one way or the other since the rules contradict themselves. Of course "everybody" knows shapeshifters should have the Dual Natured power.

QUOTE (DireRadiant @ Jul 7 2009, 08:04 PM) *
Whatever. Keep Trauling away, if that's the only nit pick you can find with my list and it makes you feel better, have fun.

Why are you being so agressive? I'm not trolling, just trying to be accurate because it is a difficult point.
Falconer
Crizh:

Thanks for posting Synner's post. Though until they actually publish it, I'm sticking w/ his second paragraph, as frankly I very much agree w/ Synner on this issue. There's no good reason to give spirits all the senses... especially when it means you practically have a 'teleportation' option to breaking and entering and getting paydata. (you know there's a lot of missions like this).

What's kinda sad is it shouldn't be in a bloody faq, it should be in an errata. If they do it, the proper place is to place it as an errata under the Materialization/possession/whatever power.


Zaranthan:
You really need to actually read the rules there. You have the rules for percieving DEAD WRONG. The rule is that you can either ONLY astrally percieve, or ONLY visually percieve UNLESS you are a dual-natured critter (in which case you get the blessing and curse of always being dual natured but taking no penalty for dual perception at the same time; it's a curse because any mage can float 100' over your head out of reach in the astral and manabolt you to death at will).

The rules for the -2 penalty are for a mage USING ASTRAL SENSE to INTERACT w/ the real world. EG: if the mage uses his pistol... he has to aim using the 'astral shadow' of the iron sights of his pistol (no smartgun bonus for you... how do you see the AR overlay if you're astrally percieving!). The rule is specifically there for doing physical tasks which interact w/ the real world while using astral perception. There would be no penalty if you cast a physical spell on the other hand while astrally perceiving (say such as fireball on the physical, or stunball on the astral)
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Falconer @ Jul 7 2009, 04:31 PM) *
There's no good reason to give spirits all the senses... especially when it means you practically have a 'teleportation' option to breaking and entering and getting paydata. (you know there's a lot of missions like this).

Um, except the spirit has to be able to relate back to you what it saw. Last I checked, they mostly don't Grok things like accounting ledgers, shipping manifests, guard rotation schedules and other "recon" useful items. I know a LOT of GMs who would have merry fun bedeviling you with the spirit trying to get you to clarify what a "subtotal" is. But beyond that, you're right about how potentially powerful a spirit could be in that regard. But remember, to see in the Material, they have to manifest, and they're just as visible as you and me when they do that. They still trip motion detectors and pressure plates (unless they're flying). I think of that like a Decker who gets caught pre-'run scouting the target's nodes. When time comes to actually approach the facility, their security's already on the alert (not necessarily high alert, but the donut eaters are paying attention).

QUOTE
The rules for the -2 penalty are for a mage USING ASTRAL SENSE to INTERACT w/ the real world.

Thank you. that's an EXCEPTIONALLY clear way of describing that action, and it makes good sense.
Falconer
Karenshara:
To each their own... I just find I prefer things more difficult to less. (as a player... I like a challenge).


As far as senses... we know that assensing involves both psychic hearing and vision. And a psychic touch (since you can 'feel' a barrier or the earth)
"A blind magician can still magically perceive the astral plane and the creatures and auras within. Likewise, deaf magicians can €œhear€? in astral space."
So from that position... assensing provides the basics to interact w/ the real world through the astral shadows... and living auras. (I suspect anything which makes a noise makes a noise in the astral... otherwise how could a mundane control a spirit lent to him).


So my point there, is if spirits which MATERIALIZE (not manifest)... can see and interact normally w/ the world... there's no reason they couldn't convey information back to the mage he wouldn't have access to for an astral intrusion. (even if it involved just spitting back letter by letter). I raise that as a potential balance problem.


Though you have it slightly wrong on the last part.

It's not a manner of 'manifest' it's a matter of 'materialize'. That's an important distinction (all spirits can manifest, even watchers and possession types). Important distinction there.

Manifested entities HAVE NO PHYSICAL FORM... they cannot be picked up by technological sensors and cannot interact w/ the material world. Only living beings can see them or interact w/ them as they're purely psychic constructs. It's a way to make the astral 'visible' to living things which couldn't normally see them. It's the closest thing to a 'ghost' you can get.


Now onto materialization:
Under the section regarding spirits... only spirits w/ 'flight' can fly... the rest only levitate just off the ground. They do not set off pressure plates or the like unless they want to. That's also right there in the rules.
(we also tend to let earth spirits swim through the earth... though I've never seen anything in the rules to allow that... that's more of a DnD'ism that's crept in).
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Falconer @ Jul 8 2009, 07:52 PM) *
Karenshara:
To each their own... I just find I prefer things more difficult to less. (as a player... I like a challenge).

*snip*

So my point there, is if spirits which MATERIALIZE (not manifest)... can see and interact normally w/ the world... there's no reason they couldn't convey information back to the mage he wouldn't have access to for an astral intrusion. (even if it involved just spitting back letter by letter). I raise that as a potential balance problem.


Though you have it slightly wrong on the last part.

It's not a manner of 'manifest' it's a matter of 'materialize'. That's an important distinction (all spirits can manifest, even watchers and possession types). Important distinction there.

Semantics, because in this case it's immaterial (no pun intended) to the question or the point I was making. If the spirit has no frame of reference, what is it going to tell you? I'm sorry, but I don't think spirits (other than "of Man" or possible Task) would know about how to read a guard roster or things of that nature and fundamentally be able to relate them to the mage at all. Like asking an aboriginal native to tell you what she saw when you snuck her into the library or a computer vault. I think THAT part happens to up the "challenge" level and keep it from being easily abused. *grin* You missed which part of the argument I was aiming for.

QUOTE
Manifested entities HAVE NO PHYSICAL FORM... they cannot be picked up by technological sensors and cannot interact w/ the material world. Only living beings can see them or interact w/ them as they're purely psychic constructs. It's a way to make the astral 'visible' to living things which couldn't normally see them. It's the closest thing to a 'ghost' you can get.

Now, it they manifest, I thought we just said that they can't interact (read) technological forms like printed paper or a computer screen? That's why I was thinking materialization, and per the (now often debated/disputed/repudiated) passage in Runner's Companion dealing with Free Spirits, despite having no genuine substance, when materialized on the Prime, the spirit's mana in all ways mimics the genuine matter it is pretending to be, having weight, apparent mass (not the same thing), warmth, texture and so forth. That means they still show up on a camera if they are going to be able to conduct that little bit of cheesey recon' we've been discussing. That was all I was trying to say.

QUOTE
Now onto materialization:
Under the section regarding spirits... only spirits w/ 'flight' can fly... the rest only levitate just off the ground. They do not set off pressure plates or the like unless they want to. That's also right there in the rules.
(we also tend to let earth spirits swim through the earth... though I've never seen anything in the rules to allow that... that's more of a DnD'ism that's crept in).

Help me out here a bit. Why do you say they hover above the ground? Just curious. Also, to support my above arguments about "popping in" during recon', I have the relevant snippet from Runner's Companion. All of this leaves aside the problem of getting the spirit past any mana barriers without tipping off the other side, as well.

Runner's Companion, P.91: Free Spirit Nature
A free spirit, in its materialized form, is made of energy in the form of a set of coherent forces. These forces effect the space around it, giving it the illusion of shape, mass, and appearance. The interaction of these forces with the physical world cause light to reflect at various wavelengths, making it possible for cameras, ultrasound, radar, and other physical detection methods to perceive the spirit. A free spirit has the “look and feel? of a physical being, based on the form it took before it became free, but it is not made of the materials that appear to make it up; “skin? will not tan or sunburn, “iron? will not be attracted to magnets. The spirit has no mass, but the forces in its form have all of the effects of a body with mass, according to its Physical attributes. A result of being comprised of energy is that the spirit needs no clothes, food, or shelter to survive, although, in many cases, the spirit can wear clothing, eat food (which it can later expel discreetly), and live in a home, as the social situation warrants. Free spirits may not have technological augmentations.

So a spirit has to materialize to read a computer screen, if I read the above thread correctly, as opposed to just manifest. Right?

Falconer
I'm not telling you how to play it... just reading and figuring out how it's played... and then taking an extra step and thinking what the ramifications of it are. Whether those ramifications are good or bad.


Anyhow... SR4a
"As a rule, spirit forms are metahuman sized or smaller and tend to have an obvious ethereal or otherworldy nature (there is no mistaking them for real people). Materialized physical forms are not subject to gravity, though most spirits (except air spirits) stay earthbound or close to it (perhaps floating or hovering)."

Obviously street magic added realistic form power... so some of that is slightly modded.

If a materialized form is not subject to gravity but needs to stick close to the ground... despite having mass... it will not exhibit weight... hence it won't set off a pressure plate unless it wants to. Not saying other technoligcal sensors won't see it.

I was just worried, as I kept seeing people say 'manifest' and that's a BIG difference... manifest is a very low bar to jump... materialize isn't too much higher, but has much bigger impact.


I'd say man/guidance, task (technical), & guardian(combat related) would be able to tell certain things... w/in their context. Task being the biggest potential problem.

force 6 task... w/ data search & technical skill... no doubt has the skills to find and interpret the data provided by a unguarded console. Though if you have to add 'low-light vision' power just to see the display now it's reasonably more limited (and pushing the force up to 9). (and if you only go by book traditions, even more so, as you couldn't materialize a task spirit... only have it possess a valid vessel... have the inert vessel snuck into the facility somehow I guess :)).


Here's another potential abuse I just thought of...

The Mindnet spell in street magic. Using it, I can now 'see' through the materialized spirit, and it doesn't matter if the spirit understands the context or not.
The manifested form of the mage could easily see and point out to the materialized spirit what to press and what to do.

Similarly, any spirit could be the recipient of a 'night vision' or 'thermographic vision' spell... and granted mundane vision.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Falconer @ Jul 8 2009, 08:39 PM) *
I'd say man/guidance, task (technical), & guardian(combat related) would be able to tell certain things... w/in their context. Task being the biggest potential problem.

force 6 task... w/ data search & technical skill... no doubt has the skills to find and interpret the data provided by a unguarded console. Though if you have to add 'low-light vision' power just to see the display now it's reasonably more limited (and pushing the force up to 9). (and if you only go by book traditions, even more so, as you couldn't materialize a task spirit... only have it possess a valid vessel... have the inert vessel snuck into the facility somehow I guess smile.gif).

OK with those skills, I think it could get by, but that's base user access. Even on the internal terminals you'd need hacking to get past the "welcome" screen. If they left it up on-screen, sure. And Guardian and Guidance BOTH come from traditions that aren't posession. *shrug* Still there's the question of how well they can actually understand what they find. The guardian could probably relate guards and defenses, Man layout and so forth, guidance Awakened defenses and so forth. But that data... that's rough, and I can't think of any of the GMs I have played with (including me) letting that one slip by that easily. A lenient GM might however. That just means you need to build a better SKIFF.

QUOTE
Here's another potential abuse I just thought of...

The Mindnet spell in street magic. Using it, I can now 'see' through the materialized spirit, and it doesn't matter if the spirit understands the context or not.
The manifested form of the mage could easily see and point out to the materialized spirit what to press and what to do.

Similarly, any spirit could be the recipient of a 'night vision' or 'thermographic vision' spell... and granted mundane vision.

OK, NOW you're getting somewhere. But we're back to what I said about hacking in. Now, if the mage was also a skilled HACKER (hey, it could happen), now you have a SERIOUS security problem, but the saving grace is the spirit can't bring in a 'link with attack software and would have to try to do everything from the command line... still very tough.
darthmord
The way I've always interpreted it...

Dual Nature = a state of being that allows the entity to perceive without penalty both the Physical & Astral.

Dual Natured = a status inflicted upon activating Astral Perception (or similar power) that grants the ability to astrally perceive while assigning a -2 dice penalty toward physical plane actions.

Having the power of 'Dual Nature' gives you all the benefits of Astral Perception with NONE of the drawbacks. You don't get the penalty toward physical tasks while using Astral Perception.

Thus a Dragon (or any other creature that possesses the Power of 'Dual Nature') can see the Physical and the Astral, can act freely between the two all while not suffering from the -2 dice penalty.

But Dual Nature comes with its own drawbacks in that if you cannot reach the Astral entity attacking you, you will have a hard time fighting back. (Again, the dragon *will* be able to fight back. Joe the Adept with Astral Perception would be boned unless he could somehow reach the astral entity.)
Falconer
Incorrect mord...

Under magic actions:
"SHIFT PERCEPTION" (not activate... it's shift... if you activate it, you become dual natured and can no longer percieve using your physical senses).

Under Astral Perception:
"Whenever you have to perform a physical, non-magical task (shooting a gun, driving a car, and so forth) while astrally perceiving, you suffer a €“2 dice pool penalty."


So you're blind to your normal physical sight while astrally percieving (you shift your perception to it, or shift it away from it). The reason physical actions are hard is because you're not seeing the items.. you're seeing and interacting with their astral shadows.


You're confusing the rules for full VR. Where there's a -6 perception penalty to notice what's going on around you while in VR.
RedeemerofOgar
QUOTE (Falconer @ Jul 13 2009, 06:48 PM) *
Incorrect mord...

Under magic actions:
"SHIFT PERCEPTION" (not activate... it's shift... if you activate it, you become dual natured and can no longer percieve using your physical senses).


More importantly and specifically, SR4p182: "It takes a Simple Action to shift one’s perception from the astral to the physical, and another to shift it back again (it is not possible to see both at the same time, though almost everything in physical space is reflected on the astral, albeit without detail). A character using astral perception is considered dual natured, active on both the physical and astral planes simultaneously."

darthmord
Falconer / Redeemer,

You are both incorrect.

Here's my cite proving it:

From SR4A, Page 294...

Dual Natured
Type: P • Action: Auto • Range: Self • Duration: Always
A critter that is dual natured is active in the astral plane and can
affect astral beings as well as physical ones. Dual natured creatures have
the ability to perceive and interact with the astral plane similar to characters
using astral perception (see Astral Perception, p. 191). However,
innate dual nature is different from astral perception in that dual natured
critters can always sense both the physical and astral worlds without
having to shift back and forth.
Their minds process a composite
of astral impressions and normal physical senses; consequently, dual
natured critters do not suffer the –2 dice pool modifier for interacting
with the physical world while astrally perceiving.

Please read the bolded section above. It also quite clearly states they do NOT suffer the -2 dice pool modifier from astrally perceiving due to their innate dual nature.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (darthmord @ Jul 16 2009, 09:46 AM) *
From SR4A, Page 294...

Dual Natured
Type: P • Action: Auto • Range: Self • Duration: Always
A critter that is dual natured is active in the astral plane and can
affect astral beings as well as physical ones. Dual natured creatures have
the ability to perceive and interact with the astral plane similar to characters
using astral perception (see Astral Perception, p. 191). However,
innate dual nature is different from astral perception in that dual natured
critters can always sense both the physical and astral worlds without
having to shift back and forth.
Their minds process a composite
of astral impressions and normal physical senses; consequently, dual
natured critters do not suffer the …quot;2 dice pool modifier for interacting
with the physical world while astrally perceiving.

Please read the bolded section above. It also quite clearly states they do NOT suffer the -2 dice pool modifier from astrally perceiving due to their innate dual nature.

OK, in my own words, to make sure I have this EXACTLY:

A spirit is able to perceive AR, hollography, printed text and the images displayed on a computer screen while materialized, but is unable to take advantage of any form of VR.

Is that statement, in its entirety, correct as written?
Falconer
Mord:
I suspect you editted your original post... you originally stated about perceiving astrally while taking a -2 penalty to your normal senses on a player mage. (not just physical physical actions). And IIRC referenced a house rule. My memory is normally pretty good on these things. If you had written then, what you have there now I never would have posted a correction.

If you're saying what you're saying now, then we're both in agreement on dual natured critters.

Also this is important... Spirits do not have the "Dual Natured" power. They are considered dual natured... but they do not have the critter power. Materialization does not grant them it either (it grants ItNW, which in turn grants hardened armor). P292, only states that a materialized spirit can affect things on the material plane LIKE A DUAL NATURED CRITTER, not that it has the same senses or bonuses as a dual natured critter.

Translation: a spirit would use the 'shift perception' action akin to magicians unless they gain that power.


Karenshara:
Here's the problem... does a spirit have normal mundane senses at all! That's the point of contention. According to the post.. in an errata/faq that's in limbo supposedly may get both. But the lead line developer says he is against it and that spirits should only be able to interact w/ things astrally unless they have an improved mundane senses power. I'm inclined to agree w/ the lead developer due to abuse issues. (I tend to take the view, if something can be abused it will be abused).

If we have say a barghest, there's no questioning that it has physical sensess (and maybe scent to boot)... and it adds astral perception.

The safest course is just take a tradition with either beast, man, guidance or task spirits (since they have improved senses as available powers, no clue how I missed spirits of man & guidance before). Then spend a mere .25 spirit power point on 'low light vision'. Now there is no issue... you have an improved mundane normal sense and no one can argue it. (also it's a big help for spell targetting since you will be casting spells... as astral in background counts is a double penalty... it's an astral visibility penalty and a hit on your magic score and force).


IF spirits have mundane senses... then your statement is accurate. If they don't, then it is patently false as none of that shows up to astral perception.

(FYI: just today I tried handing an AR to my guardian spirit... my GM hasn't seen this thread and he ruled the spirit couldn't see the laser sight as that isn't visible to the astral when another player brought it up. Didn't matter to me as I hadn't added in that +1. He's firmly in the astral perception only camp).
crizh
QUOTE (Falconer @ Jul 19 2009, 06:57 AM) *
Here's the problem... does a spirit have normal mundane senses at all! That's the point of contention. According to the post.. in an errata/faq that's in limbo supposedly may get both. But the lead line developer says he is against it and that spirits should only be able to interact w/ things astrally unless they have an improved mundane senses power. I'm inclined to agree w/ the lead developer due to abuse issues. (I tend to take the view, if something can be abused it will be abused).


Ex
-lead developer.

Spirits always had normal senses in SR4 until Synner got involved and started pushing his personal agenda of removing them.

The decision I quoted previously was taken after RC was finalized but before it's release. It introduced the first, and only, text suggesting Spirits did not get normal senses after Peter had been forced to back down on the subject but only because it was 'locked' when that happened but nobody knew what text it was going to contain because it hadn't been released and so there was no opportunity to have it redacted.

The FAQ still says what it has always said. Materialized Spirits may use AR so long as they don't use DNI.

Endof.

Peter was very open about the fact that there were fundamental things about SR4 that he didn't like and wanted changed. He as good as said he wanted to see an edition refresh, an SR4.5 or SR5 even. The slew of changes that he slipped into the Anniversary edition very nearly amounted to an SR4.5.

And in the middle of the shit-storm that caused he bailed. Leaving us with a bunch of unnecessary mechanical alterations to systems that didn't really need them and many of the problem mechanics unaltered.

I suppose we can at least consider ourselves fortunate that he didn't slip in the blanket Immunity to Health Spells for Spirits while he was at it.
BishopMcQ
Running Wild will clear this up a bit, I hope.
QUOTE (Clearing the Fog @ p. 205, Running Wild)
Dual-Natured
Dual-natured beings are able to focus on either plane and shift their perceptions as a Free Action. An example of this would be a hell hound which is watching astral space and
shifts its perception back to the physical plane to sniff the air. Shifting back and forth at will allows dual-natured creatures to identify threats in either plane much more
readily. Also, if a sense is damaged in the physical plane, a creature's ability to perceive in the astral is unhindered.
QUOTE (p.210 @ Running Wild)
Dual Natured (Paranormal)
Type: P • Action: Auto • Range: Self • Duration: Always
A critter that is dual-natured is active in the astral plane andcan affect astral beings as well as physical ones. Dual-natured creatures have the ability to perceive and interact with the astral
plane in the same way as characters using astral per ception (Astral Perception, p. 191, SR4A.) Characters and critters with this power do not suffer the usual –2 dice pool modifier for interacting with
the physical world while astrally perceiving.


Re: Hearing via Astral Perception--If a spirit does not Materialize, there is no way for a normal person to hear it speak. A dual-natured dog, could hear it if it was focused on the Astral, even if the dog's mundane hearing had been deafened. Same with sight, a ghoul does not suffer the Blindness penalties when looking in the Astral.
crizh
To some extent that makes a lot more sense. I've been trying to visualize being dual-natured for the Shape-shifter I'm playing and it makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

There is however a huge gulf between Free Action and At Will.

The later is something you can do whenever you want to. The former can only be achieved once per initiative pass.

A lot can happen before your next pass....

edited - must get more sleep...
BishopMcQ
Crizh--From a fluff standpoint, I can understand what you mean. Mechanically, the options for any Action (p. 65, SR4A) are: Complex, Simple, Free. (Yes, there is one notable exception to that rule, but I'm trying to keep it straight-forward.) Given those options, Free was the best in my opinion. Outside of combat, a Free Action is pretty much at-will, no test needed. In Combat, because we have to structure and lock down the instants between seconds, it becomes slightly more noticeable. I think it falls into the same gray area as movement.

Example: In the Real World, people move and act simultaneously, you would draw a gun and start firing at the same time that I began to dive for cover. Within the game mechanics, your initiative score is higher, so you shoot first, then I am allowed to take cover and pray for backup.
Falconer
Crizh:
I have zero idea of any politics behind the scene. I'm just making the case for what I believe is the best GAME MECHANIC. I've never seen any arguments for the other side ever presented. So I don't understand what positive is gained by the change.

Quite frankly... I always found the the fact that they stuff things in the FAQ which should be in errata quite annoying (as they're not clarifications, they're rules changes in some cases), and the faq is somewhat out of date as well.


As far as the running wild bits... does that mean that If I physically blind a paracritter. It now can't shift that sense at will and would take the 'astral shadow' physical interaction penalty.
I'd say probably not (since IIRC, ghouls don't get hit with the penalty).. but just pointing out the change from an absolute mechanic to an at-will shift offers the penalty of having all physical senses blinded and sensewise rendered functionally no different than an astrally projecting mage.
BishopMcQ
Falconer--If a critter was blinded physically, it could use a Free Action (presuming it had one) to switch to Astral Perception. Dual-Natured critters do not suffer the -2 penalty for interacting physically while using Astral Perception. It would mean that they would suffer some of the drawbacks--not able to read AR while focused on the Astral, or discerning a red shirt from a blue shirt. If the critter did not have a Free Action, I would rule that they took the blindness penalties until such time as they had a Free Action to spend.
Falconer
So exactly as I thought... it does offer the opportunity to temporarily blind a critter.

I figured they still had no penalty on astral since that's how ghouls are handled w/ the power. I just wanted to make sure running wild doesn't change that.

It changes one thing I had always thought... I had always figured critters w/ the dual natured power basically had an 'astral overlay' they didn't switch perception so much as they just saw both at all times (similar to someone wearing AR glasses). Now they switch back and forth, just a lot faster than normal.

It also gives me a silly idea... we have mana static... why not an astral spell which does mana statics background count effects on visibility, but doesn't actually hose the background count. Astral obscurement or the like. (basically throwing an astral smoke grenade)
BishopMcQ
Astral Chaff? Mass Confusion cast on the Astral should do something along those lines. The spell is mana-based so it should be doable, though the caster would need to be on the Astral when casting and sustaining. (Either through Astral Perception or Projection)
Falconer
Actually no... confusion is a targetted spell (either singly, or multiple targets in an AOE at time of casting). Mana static is just cast on an area and causes havoc on both planes disrupting the background count (and hence the visibility). Mana barrier has a lot of secondary effects but is cast on an area.

Quite frankly, I don't understand why a mana barrier would matter if it's cast on the physical or astral plane. Really, it's a purely astral construct, why does the astral visibility penalty only come into play if you're astrally perceiving when you cast it?! Granted it gives other bonuses when cast so it's far from harmless. Even cast on the physical plane it takes it's form as an astral barrier on the astral plane (blocking astral movement and spell effects), then proceeds to break the normal barrier rules and doesn't obscure line of sight if you cast it while not astrally perceiving?


Since all spells have an astral form, I don't see why you couldn't create a harmless spell whose only purpose was to create an astral form to obscure things within the area it's cast upon (much like a player throwing smoke). This is just basically, intentionally creating an area w/ lots of 'life' and other distractions as per the astral visibility chart in street magic.


I guess in the end, i'm trying to understand the logic behind complicating mana barrier w/ a special case?

Also makes me wonder if the offensive version added in street magic is effecitvely invisible to astral forms. Since it doesn't interfere w/ visibility at all. (you'd think if it had an astral form and it was between you and the target it'd interfere w/ visibility... but if it is truly transparent... then... zap zap zap).
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