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I wonder, just what is the cost of a permit for a spell? My house rule is 10% of the price of the appropriate spell formula based on the spell's Drain Code.
In my group, we don't hand out permits for specific spells. All freelance licensed mages pay monthly/yearly fee based on the type of their license, licensed mages employed by the corps or government have this taken care of by their employer. We take the view that knowledge of an illegal spell is not an offense, like you can't be fined/jailed for e.g. your kung-fu skill or decking skill (both of which are potentially lethal and are freely available to general public); proving in court that a mage knows a spell if he never used it (or you can't prove such use) is a pointless effort anyway, even if one created a law that expressly forbids certain scientific knowledge (in 6th world, much of magic *is* a branch of science, they even teach it at universities). It is illegal to posses a F6 Manabolt formula unless you have a license that permits it, but you are free to know the spell (if you use it and break a law, they'll also investigate how you *learned* the spell, which might lead to another charge, but you're free to know it without any permit; after all, should all the pensioned ex-police and ex-security mages undergo a memory wipe, receive a lifelong permit for their spells, or simply be left alone?).

E.g. a license of Emergency Magical Healer (EMH) costs you 100Y a year (to pay for bureaucratic procedures) and let's you use healing magic in a limited number of situations. For 1000Y a year you can have a basic license as a magic security consultant (and put up wards), or a magic teacher's license, or a spell designer's license (which lets you posses and carry a limited number of higher-force spell formulas)... 5000Y a year let you work as a freelance bodyguard (you have *no* law enforcement powers, you have *no* license to kill/maim/stun indiscriminately, just like a mundane bodyguard - but you're legally allowed to cast the F6 Armor on your client, or the F6 Manabolt on the guys who fire on you, or to summon a F4 city spirit to Guard the car you are in).

All licensed mages are required to follow the limitations set by their licenses, and all licenses require respective proofs of qualification and other prerequisites (e.g. a prospective EMH must pass a test overviewed by a certified board, prospective magic teacher must meet the requirements set on such teachers by local law etc.). Even licensed magic users must follow the laws the same way like mundanes, i.e. the EMH can cast a Force6 Heal on a victim of a car crash, but he's not allowed to Mindprobe him, he can't walk the streets Transformed into a tiger...
I thought it was force 4 and up of anything magical was illegal.
Force 3 and up is illegal. I think the book says "over 2" actually.
As far as I remember reading it, it was Force 3 spells and Foci were legal. Anything over that required special permits. I'll go find where I read that. *zip!*

*Edit: BBB Pg 305. "All spells, foci, and spirits of Force 3 or higher are considered illegal, with a Legality Code of (8-Force)P-T."

So actually, the only "legal" spells are ones of Force 2 or lower. Bummer, huh?*
Hahaha, I just realized I did absolutely zip to answer the original question spin.gif. Oops!

BBB, Page 274. "The price of a permit to possess is usually 5 percent of the item's price, 10 percent for a permit to possess and transport."

Leaves the actual price open though. I would say 10% is fair for spells...being they are the ultimate concealable weapon and can do a variety of nasty things.
Eyeless Blond
Yup, Tyron's got the canon rule.

That said, though, I really don't like the canon rules for permits, particularly having a permit cost a percentage of the tiem's purchase price. If it's related to anything, the permit price should be based on the Legality code, both the number and the letter if possible. Something like (10-#)*2.5 for things with smaller fines, to (10-#)*10 for things with larger fines. The price should be pretty low; what you're paying for is a processing fee (background check) and maybe a short permit test or something.

The balance for having a permit for something is that any time that particular type of item is used, you're at the top of the list of suspects. For instance, a Force 6 manaball is cast in a crowded street. When looking for people to question, the guy with a permit for a Force 6 Manabolt is going to be a much more likely suspect than the random guy walking down the street with no magic permits. This also means you need to be careful using permit-based weapons on a run; the ensuing investigation will likely turn you up as a possible suspect, especially if there is other evidence against you already.
Here's another thing to consider for PCs who wish to pursue legal permits: existence or non-existence of Reciprocity laws between the nations/corporations.

Consider this: given the extraterritorial status of megacorporations, your permit doesn't extend across AAA boundaries.

While this is fine and dandy if you're only crossing AAA megacorporate lines for purposes of Shadowruns, any property owned by a AAA legally counts as their legal territory, and they can choose to honor other nations/corporations or permits or not. Nobody can force them to, 'cept the Corporate Council.

So a further question to ask yourself: WHERE are your permits registered?
Think about this for a minute. I belive under UCAS law nothing astrally perceived can be used in a court of law. So the only way they can even tell your a mage is by genetic testing. You would have to be under suspicion through other evidence. Example your a mage walking down the street. A Lone Star mage perceives you and sees that your magically active. He asks to see your registration (remember that all known mages must be registered). This is illegal search. He must have a reason to ask for your registration.

So back to the licences. How could they even issue them? 1st off they have to prove that you even know the spell and then that you cast it. Now proving you know the spell might not be so hard depending on how you go about it but prove that you cast it? How can they do that as only someone who is astral or perceiving would know and that testimony would be unadmissible in court.

I'm sure I got some of it wrong but I bet I'm pretty close.

Umm... I'd like to see a canon quote before I'll believe that astral perception is inadmissable in a court of law in the UCAS. Seems to me that it would almost have to be if there were any hope of keeping rogue mages in check.
Person 404
QUOTE (Thanos007)
Think about this for a minute. I belive under UCAS law nothing astrally perceived can be used in a court of law.

This is false. MITS, pg. 11:

When testimony on magic is presented as admissable evidence, it is always subject to scrutiny by a duly sworn forensic magician. This includes evidence obtainable only in astral space.

(Emphasis mine)

(Edit: added a period)
Misfit Toy
MitS p. 11, "The Law."

Aura reading is lobbed in with mind probes as inadmissible. However, that refers to reading the aura as someone is testifying (ie, using it as a lie detector). The use of astral signatures, however, is fully admissible and is on the same level as fingerprints.
'Cept unlike fingerprints, Lone Star can't exactly keep a database of astral the onus of knowing a given signature is associated with a particular perp is on the shoulders of Lone Star mages....who can make mistakes.
Also, there is no genetic testing for magical activity. IIRC the genes, if there is one, for magical activity has never been isolated.
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