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Branmac
OK, dumb question, but what is the limit on initiation? How many levels can you theoretically get? Equal to your magic rating or is the sky the limit?
apple
Over 9000!!!

No, really, its unlimited. Only time, karma and the GM can stop you.

SYL
_Pax._
Actually.

In SR4, you cannot have more grades of Initiation, than you have Magic Rating.

That is to say, if your Magic is still only 6, you can't initiate that 7th time. You'll have to raise your Magic rating a point, first.

Of course, each Initiation also raises yoru Maximum Magic by +1, so effectively it's unlimited. But only if you're spending Karma to keep your Magic Rating up, too.
Dolanar
this is accurate, there is no predetermined limit on initiation which means that Magic is the only stat not limited by a hard cap unlike the others since since Magic is limited by your Max Essence Value + Initiation Grade.
SpellBinder
As a comparison, the highest Initiation level of a non-dragon cannon character I've seen is Harlequin, at 24. Not accounting for any discounts for group and/or ordeals for any initiation levels, that's a sum of 1,140 karma at the most. Raising his Magic to the maximum of 30, roughly twice as much more.

Oh, by the way, for technomancers, their Resonance attribute is similarly unlimited with their equivalent Submersions.

Added: For clarification, this is using SR4a rules exclusively.
Hagga
The only real way to stop it is having a sub-1 essence with grades of initiation. Then you've got magic, sure, but you can't raise your magic enough to initiate again. A power foci, depending on how lenient your GM is feeling with the wording, might let you get away with an initiation, but if you take it off before you manage to raise your magic, poof goes the karma!

Makki
our group also limited initiation to once every fracture of 100 karma.
Shortstraw
24+ for Harlequin it could be up to 30.
SpellBinder
And his Magic is 30 in all prints I've seen him statted out in.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Hagga @ Jan 28 2013, 12:54 AM) *
The only real way to stop it is having a sub-1 essence with grades of initiation. Then you've got magic, sure, but you can't raise your magic enough to initiate again.


There've been hypothetical supermagicalcyber characters that way.
darthmord
The key limits given the rules as written...

Max Magic = Essence (round down to nearest whole number) + # of Initiations
Max # Initiations = Current Magic score

If your Essence never drops below 1, then you can keep raising Magic and Initiating so long as you have the Karma to do so.

Examples:
Essence 4 & Initiation 4 = 8 Max Magic

Under that same example, you have to have at least a 4 in Magic because you cannot have more Initiations than you have Magic.

Have fun!
Tiralee
As a dinosaur, I'm curious.

In SR3, you had to roll to achieve the next rating (2 x successes, I think) to achieve your next godlike magic hit - I take it in 4th you can simply whack in the necessary karma and bamm?

Getting those successes tended to limit our mega-ultra-power gaming:)

-Tir
Dolanar
theoretically yes, although you can lower the Karma needed by doing an initiation ordeal some of which can be rolls to complete the task such as meditation or crafting an item.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Dolanar @ Jan 28 2013, 05:39 PM) *
theoretically yes, although you can lower the Karma needed by doing an initiation ordeal some of which can be rolls to complete the task such as meditation or crafting an item.


Or cutting off your own hand. nyahnyah.gif
SpellBinder
And don't forget that in SR4, an Initiation doesn't automatically increase your Magic. IIRC that was the case for an older edition.
_Pax._
Spellbinder raises a good point.

In SR3 and earlier, Initiation immediately raised your Magic rating.

In SR4, Initiation only gives you permission to raise it - by spending yet more Karma.

So, let's say you have Magic 6, and initiate twice, winding up with Magic 8.
  • In SR3, you spend the Karma to initiate (13 and 16, assuming no Ordeal), and have to make some die rolls. Assuming the rolls succeed? 29 Karma later, and you're done.
  • In SR4, you spend the Karma to initiate (13 and 16), then spend the karma to raise your Magic (35 and 40). Total cost, 104 Karma.


If a little die-rolling gamble could save me 75 Karma (the difference between SR3 and SR4) ...? SIGN ME THE F&#K UP. Seriously, that is some mad, PHAT mojo there.

If all die rolls succeed, an SR3 character could initiate three more times, and still have 7 Karma left over, compared to the SR4 character's two initiations and 2 magic points. The SR3 character would be Initiate Grade 5, and Magic 11, at that point.
Draco18s
QUOTE (_Pax._ @ Jan 28 2013, 05:59 PM) *
(13 and 16, assuming no Ordeal)


An ordeal will save you a measly 5 in either case. And group initiation breaks even at your second, anyway.
SpellBinder
Dug up a copy from SR3 for Initiation. The base cost of initiation was your new grade +5, modified as follows (rounding down):

Self Initiation: 3
Self Initiation with Ordeal: 2.5
Group Initiation: 2
Group Initiation with Ordeal: 1.5

Puts your first Initiation at a karma cost of 18, second at 21, etc., and all with an automatic increase of your Magic attribute to boot. Note I didn't dive into looking for the dice rolls for ordeals and such.
_Pax._
Okay. So for a solo, no-ordeal initiation and concurrent increase to magic, starting from Magic 6:

1st ... SR3, 18 Karma and dice; SR4, (13+35) 48 karma
2nd ... SR3, 21 Karma and dice; SR4, (16+40) 56 karma
3rd ... SR3, 24 Karma and dice; SR4, (19+45) 64 karma

As you can see, SR4 may be a "just pay karma and you're done" setup, but it's also hugely more expensive: 10, plus 3x grade, to initiate; then 5x new rating, to increase Magic. The three initiations above, all pretty likely to succeed even with the dicing of SR3, would come to 63 Karma for SR3, and 168 Karma for SR4. Just over 2.5x as much for SR4, due to the 5xnew cost of raising Magic.
Halinn
QUOTE (_Pax._ @ Jan 29 2013, 12:47 AM) *
Okay. So for a solo, no-ordeal initiation and concurrent increase to magic, starting from Magic 6:

1st ... SR3, 18 Karma and dice; SR4, (13+35) 48 karma
2nd ... SR3, 21 Karma and dice; SR4, (16+40) 56 karma
3rd ... SR3, 24 Karma and dice; SR4, (19+45) 64 karma

As you can see, SR4 may be a "just pay karma and you're done" setup, but it's also hugely more expensive: 10, plus 3x grade, to initiate; then 5x new rating, to increase Magic. The three initiations above, all pretty likely to succeed even with the dicing of SR3, would come to 63 Karma for SR3, and 168 Karma for SR4. Just over 2.5x as much for SR4, due to the 5xnew cost of raising Magic.

Assuming that group initiations are as easy to get in SR3 as they are in SR4, it becomes even more lopsided. 2/3rd price, vs. still paying full for magic (42 vs 160). Ordeal on top of that, and it's even *worse* (32 vs 150)
Glyph
QUOTE (Hagga @ Jan 27 2013, 09:54 PM) *
The only real way to stop it is having a sub-1 essence with grades of initiation. Then you've got magic, sure, but you can't raise your magic enough to initiate again. A power foci, depending on how lenient your GM is feeling with the wording, might let you get away with an initiation, but if you take it off before you manage to raise your magic, poof goes the karma!

Power foci don't add to the Magic Attribute in SR4.

Initiation may be more expensive in SR4, but on the other hand, awakened characters and technomancers are the only ones who have that theoretically uncapped advancement. Everyone else has comparatively low hard caps, which can often be reached during character creation.
Epicedion
Magic is much more useful an attribute in SR4, since you don't buy your spells at a Force rating. In SR3 you might have 12 Magic and 6 Initiation grades (and a nice Spell Pool to boot) but your Stunbolt 5 is still Stunbolt 5.
Glyph
Yeah - you got the point of Magic free with initiation, but it usually didn't do much of anything, unlike SR4 where it adds directly to your dice pools (including Drain, since I imagine most initiates take centering).

On the flip side, Magic loss was less of a drawback in SR3. Spells could be taken with fetish or exclusive limitations to lower their effective Force for purposes of calculating Drain, Magic loss could be offset with a geas, and power foci added directly to the Magic Attribute.
Makki
quick question: do you let your awakened PCs off with just paying the karma or do you expect them to undergo some tradition-related ritual which will take a considerable amount of time? if the latter is the case, what time?
Cain
QUOTE (Makki @ Jan 29 2013, 07:02 AM) *
quick question: do you let your awakened PCs off with just paying the karma or do you expect them to undergo some tradition-related ritual which will take a considerable amount of time? if the latter is the case, what time?

In SR4.5? Usually that ritual is covered under an ordeal of some sort, roleplayed out in accordance with their tradition/way.
Makki
QUOTE (Cain @ Jan 29 2013, 05:19 PM) *
In SR4.5? Usually that ritual is covered under an ordeal of some sort, roleplayed out in accordance with their tradition/way.

I know ordeals have time requirements usually extended tests. But what about initiation without ordeal?
_Pax._
QUOTE (Makki @ Jan 29 2013, 10:02 AM) *
quick question: do you let your awakened PCs off with just paying the karma or do you expect them to undergo some tradition-related ritual which will take a considerable amount of time? if the latter is the case, what time?

Haven't GMed such a thing myself, but ... generally, the ritual is a couple days. If i had to come up with a rule, I'd say "2 days, plus target initiation grade", for the initiation itself.

Raising magic would take time like any other (non-physical) attribute.
Cain
QUOTE (Makki @ Jan 29 2013, 07:23 AM) *
I know ordeals have time requirements usually extended tests. But what about initiation without ordeal?

I let it happen, because that's what you "get" for paying the extra karma. Instead of doing some roleplay and taking some time, you pay more and get it right away. It really doesn't matter much, because I don't let players initiate in the middle of a game (without advance planning, of course. Deeds and certain ordeals aren't the same), so seldom are initiations time-sensitive.
Glyph
QUOTE (Makki @ Jan 29 2013, 07:23 AM) *
I know ordeals have time requirements usually extended tests. But what about initiation without ordeal?

My opinion is that it should be consistent with how training and advancement is normally handled. If people just pay the karma, take the time, and improve their skills, then initiation shouldn't get singled out. On the other hand, if the adept has to prove himself worthy of the wise old sensei before he can buy another level of the martial arts quality for kung fu, and the street samurai has to go to similar lengths to raise his long arms skill from 5 to 6, then initiation should be similarly fleshed out.
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