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The Dread Polack
A magician can normally project for a number of hours equal to his Magic attribute. Does this apply to time spent in the metaplanes? Does this mean an initiate with a magic of 5 has to complete any quests in under 5 hours?

As a player, my whole party went on an astral quest to a series of planes over the course of what felt like a few days by way of an astral rift. When we returned to our bodies, no time had passed back in the physical world. This seems like a perfectly legit way to do it, but I can't find any official word on how it's supposed to work.

The reason I ask is that I had the idea of having an NPC magician (whom the party is trying to rescue) astrally project and get tied up on the metaplanes, at which point, his body will begin to starve and dehydrate. The PCs will have to both protect his body and try to sustain it until he can get back or they can find his spirit.

Alternately, I was thinking of having his spirit get trapped (most likely intentionally by some toxic shamans in a mana barrier) on the astral plane. Is there a way that his spirit can be preserved so that it can last longer than 5 hours outside of his body?

Thanks.

The Dread Polack
Mantis
As far as I know you can stay an infinite amount of time on the metaplanes. Time there is subjective so it's just as easy to do what you describe and say no time passes on the physical. I'm guessing your body is preserved by magic so you don't need to worry about things like dehydration or starvation. Call it a magical stasis.
Of course it could also work as you want for this NPC. It could be different for every tradition or purpose that someone goes to the metaplanes. I'd say just use what ever works for your story. There was a campaign called Harlequin's Back for 3rd ed I think, that was basically a big long metaplanar quest that took days or maybe weeks to complete subjectively to the characters but no real time passed for their bodies on the meat plane. Hey its magic, it can work however you want. smile.gif
Umidori
By RAW, I know that in Arsenal there is a Magic Compound called Shade which forces even mundanes to astrally project for Essence + 1D6 hours, and also grants access to the metaplanes, even to mundanes, if guided by a mentor spirit or initiate. It even specifically states it allows you to stay astral longer than you normally could.

You could maybe overdose on it? Not sure how that'd be handled, but it has a 10S crash anyways, which is nasty. Still, if you care to risk death from the physical overflow you'd get on the second dose crash, you could potentially be away up to 24 hours.

~Umidori

Addendum: The major problem is that your spirit can only manage to sustain itself away from your body for a certain amount of time. There are two possible explanations for this. 1) Your body dies off slowly because your spirit is away from it. This is akin to the way things die when they hit 0 essence. 2) Your spirit "dies off" slowly because it is away from its body. This would be more like your spirit loses the connection to your meatform and without that connection you can't get back into your body.
Valashar
While it doesn't specifically reference magicians on the metaplanes, Netcat's little resonance realm excursion in Runner's Companion shows her hooking up to a medical drone to keep her body seen to while she's out. And the chapter intro fiction in Street Magic with the Ares Firewatch mages about to go on astral jaunt to the Hive shows similar setups for them.

My understanding has always been that when you pass the Watcher's admittance test to gain access to the metaplanes, that it includes a kind of 'hold' on the time limit for astral projection. However long you were out before crossing counts, and it picks up again when you cross back into our own astral but while you're questing the clock isn't ticking. This was the only way I could see some of the extended jaunts/quests described in various adventures being possible (such as the quest that makes up the entire length of Harliquin's Back).
Dakka Dakka
IIRC time passes differently on the metaplanes and the counter is halted as long as the magician is there. This means that while the magician experiences several hours/days/months on the metaplanes only little time takes place on the physical or the other way around. The physical body is subject to the normal rules for nutrition or lack thereof. A full immersion lifestyle would be a good idea for journeys to the metaplanes.
Ol' Scratch
I couldn't find anything mentioning it expressly in 4th Edition, but I know in previous editions you could stay on the metaplanes indefinitely. Once you shifted into a metaplane, you were no longer technically "projecting" and exempt from that limitation. Since going to the metaplanes is intended to be an adventure in itself, and practically every example or run that has ever taken place there took days if not weeks to complete, I think that's a fine rule to carry over.

I mean, if you're not basing an adventure around it, you may as well just toss a couple dice to do what you need to do and be done with it. Otherwise, find a way to bring the whole group with the traveler. There's plenty of ways to do that legally in 4e. Shade (the aforementioned magical compound) and an invoked Great Form Guidance Spirit with the Astral Gateway power are two easy examples.
Dakka Dakka
In SR4 there is no "magical" time limit either.
QUOTE ('Street magic p. 129')
Unlike astral projection, a metaplanar visitor can maintain his metaplanar form indefinitely (unless he is in the deep metaplanes, see below); the travelerís body simply remains in a coma-like state until he returns.
However, depending how you interpret the body's coma-like state, the body may need nutrition and fluids after a couple of days real-time.

On the other hand whether this becomes an issue is totally up to the GM. The subjective time of the metaplanes need not correspond to the time on the physical plane.
QUOTE ('Street magic p. 129')
Time within a metaplane is subjective, however, so what may feel like weeks in a metaplane make only take a few minutes of real world time (and vice versa).
The Jake
WTF?

To the best of my knowledge, metaplanar travel uses the same rules as Astral Travel, which meant you were limited by (Essence) hours (or Magic - whichever it was) going from memory.

Nowhere did it ever say you could travel indefinitely. I think some people took the lack of a specific rule covering metaplanar travel and assumed the absence was an oversight and took the most permissive ruling, rather than obvious what was intended.

- J.
Demonseed Elite
Dakka is correct; metaplanar forms are not time limited like astral forms are. Though yes, since your body is comatose, if you plan to stay in a metaplane for long, you'd best set something up to take care of your physical body.
The Jake
QUOTE (Demonseed Elite @ Mar 27 2010, 02:15 PM) *
Dakka is correct; metaplanar forms are not time limited like astral forms are. Though yes, since your body is comatose, if you plan to stay in a metaplane for long, you'd best set something up to take care of your physical body.


No offense, I realise you're a writer and all - but I challenge that assertion.

- J.
Laughing One
QUOTE (Street Magic pg. 129)
Unlike astral projection, a metaplanar visitor can maintain
his metaplanar form indefinitely (unless he is in the deep
metaplanes, see below); the travelerís body simply remains in
a coma-like state until he returns.
Dakka Dakka
Look at my post above. There even is a quote from Street Magic. How much more official do you want it?
Demonseed Elite
QUOTE (The Jake @ Mar 27 2010, 10:29 AM) *
No offense, I realise you're a writer and all - but I challenge that assertion.

- J.


You're free to challenge it, but it's in Street Magic! And yeah, I wrote that section of Street Magic. But I'm not taking full credit for that decision, it was discussed among the writers and developers. Basically, no one wanted a situation where a metaplanar quest would take longer than the magician could survive the projection. That would add an extra level of book-keeping to metaplanar quests, and slashing the book-keeping of metaplanar quests was a big priority. Also, the change allowed for non-magicians to go to the metaplanes to assist in metaplanar quests, via Astral Rifts or a spirit's Astral Gateway power. An astral form requires a Magic attribute to maintain, so if we required the same for metaplanar forms, that would mean magicians only. That was not only non-ideal for what we were trying to accomplish, but it conflicted with past precedent (like the metaplanar quests in Harlequin's Back).
The Jake
Pass me the salt and pepper so I can eat my hat.

- J.
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