Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Astral Quests
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
I think the option to do astral quests to learn spells, as it is, is a bit unbalanced. There is no reason that an initiate would not do it for every spell that they want to learn. I like the idea of them having the ability to do such things (I think it is one of the things that makes them stand out from aspected magicians). I am thinking about house ruling it, so that the max number of astral quests that you can make in a month is equal to your initiation grade. I was wondering what everyone thought of this, or if they have another suggestion?
Kanada Ten
Consider that if the magician fails the Astral Quest he or she is Disrupted and must make a test for Magic Loss if we consider that Disruption to be the same as from Astral Combat. This alone is good reason to be careful with the number and power of such quests.
I will have to check my book ,but I didn't think disruption applied, but either way, for a decent mage a F2-F3 quest is a gimme.
Kanada Ten
Force 2 or 3 Astral Quests don't do much to aid learning a significant spell either. Really, I'm not sure why this is bad as full magicians start with less spell points to begin with.
Herald of Verjigorm
Rampant force 3 or 4 quests to round out your spell selection with some nice 4 or 5 force spells: expected
Rampant force 11 quests to try to get that force 12 spell: suicide

Considering everything full mages sink karma into, and that spells must be repurchased instead of incrimented, letting initiates get moderate force spells cheap isn't overly hideous.
At the very least it means you don’t need to wast time writing or obtaining a formula. If I want a force 12 spell for a run next week where else would I get the formula. Force 3 astral quest save a few points of karma and have the spell in a day.

Edward, some people think it takes Years to Learn a Spell whose Force is 12.

Brazila, our team decided the Karma benefits from Astral Quests to learn spells was too high. Our house rule now is that the Karma benefit is one-half the Astral Quest rating. One or two Karma savings is fine, but we felt that getting 20 Force 5 spells for 20 Karma wasn't right. Or that getting an Exclusive Force 7 spell for 1 Karma wasn't right.
Glad to see that you see where I am coming from on this OurTeam. A lot of people I talk to about this, think I am talking about the option to do an astral quest to get a formula. Most people don't even realize that you can do a quest to learn the spell. By the book you get extra dice to learn the spell equal to the quest rating and a reduction in the karmic cost to learn the spell also equal to the spell rating. I am going with the idea, that the reduction can never take the karma cost below 1 and that your number of astral quests/month is limited by inttiation grade.
Considering that spell rating for Combat type spells only bumps up the Power of the attack (very similar to a gun), Force 12 aint that bad, coupled with the possibility of Physical Drain it's limiting on a few levels.

I try and keep the analogy of mages spells vs. samurai weapons in mind. Yeah it does seem overbalancing at first glance, but with the amount of Karma options for mages, they fall behind the power curve compared to some other PCs IMO. Plus, I tend to extend similar powered enemies against my PCs, they use APDS, the NPCs use APDS. You toss a Rate 12, I toss a Rate 12. Keeps 'em honest. biggrin.gif
I'm with Herald for this one. Mages EAT karma. Getting medium force spells (say force 4-5) dirt cheap shouldn't be that hard for an initiated mage.

Surely if nothing else they'd learn to channel their energies more efficiently anyway.

And a rating 4 quest is itself no easy task even doing a pure dice roll quest, which does limit those spells to force 5 and lower unless the mage wants to pay more of their own karma toward it.

Personally we house ruled that any quest over a rating 3 had to be roleplayed, just on general principle, not just related to spell learning/design. This cuts down on the number of quests because they're usually a bit harder and need to be thought about by both GM and player, and a player who spends an entire game session doing metaplane quests for spells at the expense of the other players is as popular as a decker who tries to do all his random paydata runs in similar circumstances. It means either the player arranges to come round on another night to do quests (having to save their karma pool to split over the quests, natch biggrin.gif ), or they only do quests when they need them. Its settled into a pattern where the mages will happily spend their portion of the legwork learning any job specific spells they think they might need, and buy and learn the spells they actually want, generally, after the run when they get karma. Works quite nicely, actually.
I would not let the fact that I had to role play the qust stop me taking them. that would be bad role playing. When I was playing a mage that was doing that kind of think we only role-played 1 of the 8 or so quests I went threw in the game (due to lack of time and most where very low rating (<=4))

If I was going to limit the die role only I would say 4 can be rolled. You do have a 50% chance one each dice there.

Any quests that do need to be role played fully and are not part of the run should be done in a short solo session representing down time. For the really high rating quests role-playing is probably safer. A rating 12 tests means each dice only has a 1 in 36 chance of success. Your better off pitting your mind against that of the GM.

I tried altering the rule so that the rating of the quest reduced the traget number to learn the spell -- as if the magic user were questing for knowledge about how their system of magic (shamanism vs. hermeticism) would use that spell. Then, it can still cost a lot of karma to learn the spell, but you have a better chance at learning it. Most of my players didn't seem to mind, and I think I've had on player in three years actually spend the time and effort in game to learn a new spell and it was for a specific reason. Not something I've seen very often. Course, we retire characters about once a year -- never seen a character go much beyond 50 karma so that's a limiting factor in it's own right.
By 50 karma I would have learned at least one new spell.

Spells and initiation sorcery and conjuring are about the only things worth spending karma on as a full magician.

This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012