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OK, i am curious:
HOW does this work exactly?
I KNOW there are some Genes responsible for all kinds of Transformations.
These Genes get activated by . . Magic . . or something like that . .
Now for my Question:
HOW does Background-Count influence this?
Imagine someone with Astral Hazing and 6 Points of Essence moving in next door.
Suddenly, you turn into an Ork. Or a Troll. Or into Darkwing Duck(don't laugh, it's all in there with SURGE).
Same goes for Cyberzombies. And of course, our favourite, the Mana-Static-Spell. Overcast for Force 12 and you have created a background count of 12 somewhere.
Of course, this is in no way aspected, but it is basically, flooding the entire area with RAW Magical Power the likes not even Great Dragons get to see all that often.
But the Magic on Silvester and on Halleys passing wasn't aspected either, it was just raw power suddenly crossing the treshhold.
Reference here would be for example Ryan Mercury, who woke up to his wormling side after having been bombarded by lots and lots of mana.
So, what do you say folks?
Saint Sithney
I once ran a campaign around the idea of someone using Gene Infusers to temporarily change people's genetic structure to make it resonate in such a way that a high BC would cause specific genetic expression. So, genes + magic used to create squads of SURGEd out soldiers. In fact, it was Lowfyr's parting gift to Hestaby after he was forced out of Tir Tairngire politics. A secret program to create "lizard-man" soldiers out of kidnapped and brainwashed orks, then have the fallout of its eventual uncovering ruin what Hestaby cherishes most, her image.

edt: the BC was a specific aspected BC created by a massive great dragon's skull dug up from the isle on Crater Lake, (ya know, right before the BC there went from positive to negative and the place started swarming with angry spirits?) so it wouldn't have been able to be recreated anywhere else.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
It is an interesting idea... with far ranging consequences...

Keep the Faith
I think goblinization and SURGE has more to do with the ambient mana level on a more global scale, not a localized effect like a BG count or spell.
Knight Saber
QUOTE (Method @ Nov 1 2009, 09:12 PM) *
I think goblinization and SURGE has more to do with the ambient mana level on a more global scale, not a localized effect like a BG count or spell.

What about Spike Babies? High enough local mana caused elves to be born before the Awakening once in a while. Dodger is one of them. No reason the same thing couldn't happen with SURGE, if you find a place where the mana level goes up to Year of the Comet levels. In theory.
Good point, i had actually forgotten about them.
Maybe it better be left in the dark to avoid munchkinism: why pay for the Drake quality if you can take the latent one and trip into the first BC you find?

It is not the mana level but the awesomeness level that counts.
Saint Sithney
Well, latent drakes still need to pay the karma off, so that means months and months of running with no further advancement. Still, I don't think holmes is suggesting some sort of defined game mechanic, just thoughts about relationships between ambient mana and mana anomalies.

As always, a latent thing is meant to be an eventuality, but it's also supposed to be one agreed upon during creation and when it comes up in play.
IIRC, you have DNA and then ANA (an astral version of DNA). A genetic mutation on your ANA will case Goblinization and Surge, but not a mutation on your DNA (that will just turn you into a mutant). The best Corporate Scientists are still trying to figure out what ANA (or whatever it is called) is let alone how to manipulate it. All they know is that a clone will have drastically different ANA to their genetic double and this is why a clone may or may not be magically active. I would almost say that ANA is the DNA of your Essence (or Soul).

You can read more about it in Augmentation (the chapter on genetics, covering the "magic gene").
Presumably, anything which restricts magic, creating a magical vacuum (such as living in space or an airtight bubble or in those magic-free sections in Australia) would prevent you from goblinizing - as long as you never left that area. Since that's very unlikely, it's probably not an issue.

No amount of magic increase will make you goblinize if you don't have the genetics for it, and goblinization takes a while to happen (art non-withstanding) - usually months or years. So if you're in the pre-awakened world, and happen to live in a place which does in fact have a magic level, if you stayed there long enough, you would hypothetically goblinize. Again, not likely to happen.

Background count doesn't seem to have much influence. Background count refers, broadly, to any corruption, changing or absence of magic. It's only the absence that's a concern. People seem to goblinize just fine in locations with background counts.

I don't remember what caused the YOTC changes, if that was a rise in the magic levels or something else. For what it's worth, ED would lead us to believe that we probably have seen basically all of the metahuman races we're going to see. We could hypothetically see something new (i.e. Catalyst continues to trying to sell books and uses new races as a hook) and hypothetically a person living in a spot with an unusually high mana level might, if his genetics predispose him towards it, reflect those physiologocal changes before Catalyst comes out with the book to tell you what those changes would be, but there are clear barriers against those sorts of things happening.
This will sound a little outlandish, so bear with me. I am playing in a long running campain that has been an "interesting" roleplaying experiance. Throughout the campain, I have noticed that there are hints of things greater keeping an eye on the activities of the party. Led to some great paranoia. Along the way my charactor did an honest to god "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!" moment. It was a great bit of roleplay and the charactor "died".

I think.

A few days later, He woke up surged into a, yes, blood elf. That led to some interesting one on one play. Social interaction if becoming interesting for the "face" of the group, and he has just purchaced enough "pain tolerace" to be able to work without negatives.

The moral of the story is that it is the GM's moral obligation to screw with a player's/charactor's head. If, for some reason, a huge amount of mana is used by "forces unseen" to bitchslap a soul into not leaving a body. It may, in very specific circumstances, lead to the activation of any latent mana based traits.

No, this is not cannon. No, I don't want to hear the old moans and groans about ED/SR crossovers. Yes, after about a year of gameplay I found out the charactor also became an IE. Yes he is evil and will bring the downfall of all fluffy kittens and anything wholesome.

Yes, this is what this game is about. Charactors with enough life to step into them for a while. A story that is gritty and street level and epic at the same time. A storyteller that leaves you wanting more every time. It's not about rules or numbers or suppliments. This is primal. This is neanderthal sitting around a fire telling stories and drawing stuff in the dirt.

All you little rules nazi's out there, instead of arguing over +1's and cover modifiers, find someone who can tell a story. The only rule anyone need to know is the rule of plot. Does it help or harm the story? Shoot from the hip. Live a little.

Sorry, got on a roll. So, umm yea. If the magic level goes wonkey, surge the hell out of everybody, as long as it make a good story.

Ahem, the Blood-Elf thing has been in SR3 allready with Surge.
OK, it wasn't limited to Elves. Also, the IE thing is a bit over the top.

Also: Fuck plot. If plot says i can't kill someone who is acting liek a total idiot by removing his head with a grenade, then the plot is stupid and dumb and needs to be killed. with fire.
GM's should be able to improvise if the players are lucky/dumb enough to throw the plot train of the railroad tracks.

RULES are the only thing consistent in a Role-Playing-Game, they are IMPORTANT. The Big equalizer.

And please, do refrain from calling other people nazi, only if you don't understand how some people can play by the rules rather than:"because i said so". Thank you very much.
I kind of image the mana level as a logarithmic scale. Sure a spell effect or BG count might cause a fluctuation of 1 or 10 but the awakening was like rapid increase to 1000 and the YotC was a spike in the 100s. Spike babies were just the lucky individuals who's metagenes expressed as the mana level was on the rise like around 800 or whatever.

My point is that I think metagenes expression would involve major shifts in the mana level- things that mere metahumans cannot reproduce with spells or BG counts.

Plus BG counts have presumably been around since the Awakening and you don't see people SURGEing when they walk through a cemetary or visit a holy site.
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