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So I have been exploring the alchemy rules. There is a bit of a question as to the intent behind the contact trigger for alchemical preparations. By strict reading a simple pair of gloves would prevent a contact preparation from triggering. I am sure this is not the intention. The question is what is the definition of contact? Is an item in a worn holster in contact? What about a bullet in a magazine?
While I am sure there are 50 different opinions on what the intent is, all valid of course, the only one who can really tell definitively is a developer. So if one is available I would appreciate any guidance your viewpoint could provide.
Damaging preparations with contact triggers and lynchpins of ammunition (bullets, shuriken, etc.) or melee weapons are definitely a fuzzy and dangerous area. Some clarification in the errata would be very helpful.

My inclination would be go with the same criteria as for delivering a touch spell: "Touching a target through clothing, armor, or a layer of paint is acceptable." That would make it unsafe to handle enchanted bullets and such with gloves. They might be okay in a magazine, but to make sure they don't accidentally go off you'd probably want to keep them several inches away from your flesh at all times.
In SR4, Anchored Spells could be triggered by Contact with auras. I assume the intention here is the same or similar. As a person's aura extends out from their meat body a bit and "pokes through" their armor and clothing, directly handling a Contact Preparation at all would trigger it, even through gloves and whatnot.

Going back to SR4 Anchored Spells, though, one important stipulation there was that you could choose which particular auras activated the spell - you could make it go off when touched by anyone other than certain specific auras, such that you could tell it that you and the people in your team were all "safe" targets that should not trigger it, and thus it would only trigger on strangers. In much the same vein, you could also make the spell only trigger on a specific person - every other person in the world could touch the anchor with no effect, but once Joe Blow came in contact, BAM!

I sincerely hope that Alchemical Preparations get retuned to more closely follow the SR4 Anchored Spell rules, even if weaker and more limited.

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