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I am playing a "chaos" mage in a game. He is a full hermetic mage aligned with fire. I have designed a unique MM techniqe I called Surging. The rules we have in place so far are as follows.

You make a magic test TN of the Force of your spell or spirit you are surging. The force of the spell or spirit is raised or lowered by the surge. Roll on the table for a mana surge, the maximum modifier, no matter if it is positive or negative, is limited by the number of sucesses on the original magic test. Then make your spellcasting and drain tests as normal. If the Force is raised above the mage's magic rating then the drain is physical as normal.

The mentality behind this is based on the character's ideal that chaos is at the core of all things, and that if you can see the method to it, you can control it, and thus control magic.

So far I have used it a few times and it seems to be pretty balanced, but what do you guys think?
Sounds like a solid idea, but I can see where you are playing with fire. Eventually you will get burned for sure.
Ol' Scratch
First, you should find another name for your technique. "Surge" and "surging" is already used quite a bit in the game and can be confusing.

Second, you might want to check the following references to mine for ideas: Magic in the Shadows p. 86 (Mana Surges), Target: Awakened Lands p. 100 (Mana Flares and Ebbs), and T:AL p. 111 (Mana Storms). These are just a few of the rules in the game that already deal with the chaotic nature of magic, and having a metamagic technique that allows you to create one of these effects or have a chance for having one of these effects crop up wherever you go might be a better application for a metamagic technique than what you described.

You might also want to check out T:AL p. 110 (Sensing) for a metamagic technique your opponents can use to detect your prescene and influence on the immediate astral plane. It might also inspire some better ideas on how to create your own technique and introduce it into the game in a more reasonable and balanced way.
Thanks for the feedback so far. I am using the MITS table for surging, and just capping the max force adjustment it can have with the magic test. As for the name of the technique: anyone got ideas?
Kanada Ten
Magic Rating 7 - Force 2 Spell - Average 6 Successes on "Surging" test.
Force 8 Casting for 2 Spell Points.

Magic Rating 7 - Force 6 Spell - Average 1 Success on "Surging" test.
Force 7 Casting for 6 Spell Points.

I don't even want to consider Conjuring Watchers and Elementals using this Metamagic. Try looking at the Absorbsion Metamagic in SotA63. You can do almost the same thing, only more balanced and just for Spells.
magic rating 7 Force 2 spell (assume 6 successes).

Then roll on Mana surge table may result in decrease, but if it is increase, the best you can get it double force so a force of 4.

The magic test is to limit it, so that you could not easily double a high force. (Like to double F6 you would need to make 6 successes on Magic 6 test, then get lucky enough to roll for force inc. and get double force.

It seems pretty balanced to me, by having the magic test in to limit use on high force stuff.

Kanada Ten
Ah, I see. What's the odd spread on the Mana Surge Table? If it's equal chance of high and low, then it's not so bad. What about using the Grade to limit the plus instead of requiring a test?

And how about Spiking as the name?
Spiking is pretty good... I will mabye use that instead....

The spread is even on the table

It is like 1-2 is Force increase

3-4 is Force Decr.

5-6 is Drain change

each of these then has 2nd 1-6 roll that is split 1/2 up 1/2 down.
Ol' Scratch
Here's a very, very rough draft of some ideas I had after reading your initial post. It's horribly written and needs a little work to make it more playable and consist with the existing rules, but I think it has more potential to reflect the chaotic nature you were seeking to introduce for your character.


This is a metamagic technique developed by either some very brave or very foolish initiates who wanted to develop a method for channeling an obscene amount of mana through their bodies when casting a spell. Insert more fluff text here.

Whenever the initiate attempts to cast a spell, roll three different colored dice just prior to the Spellcasting Test. Designate one of these dice as thh Mana Surge die, one as the Mana Surge Effect die, and one as the Unbridled die. If the Unbridled die is equal to or less than the Force of the spell being cast, a mana surge takes place along with the spell.

The initiate then has a number of points available equal to one-third his initiate grade (round down) with which to change the values of Mana Surge and Mana Surge Effect dice. For example, if he rolls a 3 and a 1 and is a Grade 6 initiate, he has 2 points with which to change those dice; he can make it a 5-1, 3-3, 4-2, or any other combo along those lines. Once decided, the GM consults the Mana Surge table on page 87 of Magic in the Shadows to determine the chaotic effect of the spell.

If all three Unbridling dice come up as 6 (ie, 666), the iniate has unleashed more magic than he could ever hope to control. The spell is considered botched (see the Rule of One) and the GM should create a Mana Storm (see T:AL p. 111) using the Force of the spell the initiate was trying to cast as the ambient Background Count for purposes of creating the storm. The storm only effects a radius equal to the initiate's Grade multiplied the force of the spell in meters, with the storm centered on the initiate. The initiate can burn a permanent point of Karma Pool to stop the mana storm from forming and then another Karma Pool point to keep the spell from botching (and instead just a normal failure) if desired.
Cool ideas, I really like the chance that a mana storm happens. I want to stay with the normal SR3 rules, so the colored dice thing may not work but I like the idea. I originally was going to go for something more along those lines, but given that my character is already one of the stronger PCs I wanted to work to keep balance. I figure just being able to "call" or "summon" a mana surge is pretty good in itself. I like the name, I may use that one......not sure.....
Ol' Scratch
The colored dice are just for convenience's sake (and so you can't decide which die to use for which effect after you've rolled them AND roll them all at the same time instead of one after the other... but if you prefer to do the latter, go for it). It's perfectly consistant within the normal rules. The only difference is that at lower grades you have as much a chance of the spell gaining a benefit as you do of it failing to perform as desired. As you increase in grade, your chances increase of always gaining either no change in effect or an improved effect in exchange for the chance of creating a mana storm centered on you.

Seems fairly well balanced in that regard as far as I'm concerned.
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