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Person 404
So the new FAQ states that

QUOTE
Is glass/clear plastic see-through when astrally perceiving?
The basic rule of thumb is this: if you can see through it in the physical world, then you can see through it on the astral plane.


I can't make sense out of this at all. Aside from "dude, it's magic," is there any reason that astral 'light', which isn't even composed of photons, should be able to pass through physical objects depending on their state of physical transparency? What about materials that can change from transparent to opaque? Why didn't they just take the easy and consistent way and just say "no, they're opaque?"
Kanada Ten
Intent is the biggest point with magic.

Why is this an issue? If most windows in SR are tinted you can't see through them either way?

Why would it be otherwise?
Person 404
I don't buy the intent thing. A naturally occurring fire and one set intentionally look the same on the astral. If a craftsman honestly believes that transparent glass is opaque on the astral, and makes glass specifically for the purpose of blocking astral sight, should it be astrally opaque? The magic system needs to be internally consistant and not on a quantum-mechanics level of complexity to be usable.

Again, as to why it would be otherwise, there's no reason that astral sight should be connected to physical. There are no particles striking eyes made of atoms and molecules. Why is it that a material is transparent to a mage if it's transparent to visible light, but not if it's transparent to x-rays? Either way introduces a lot of inconsistencies, unfortunately, but I happen to think this is the less sensible alternative.
Zazen
QUOTE (Person 404)
Why didn't they just take the easy and consistent way and just say "no, they're opaque?"

It seems to me that they did the easiest and most consistent thing. Otherwise I have to ask all kind of questions about what's opaque and what isn't, which makes player/GM miscommunication likely.
Ancient History
There has been proof before that light exists on the astral.

In any case, I think the FAQ is in touch with the basics: air and water can both be seen through, yet both have a physical presence.
Person 404
I'd just say that everything is unless otherwise established in canon. Whatever works for you.
Lucyfersam
This has always been the way sight on the astral worked, and it was explicitly stated in SR2 IIRC. Why should light on the astral function so much differently from normal light? Astral space has always been described by intent, for example, you can not read in astral space, but if their is strong feeling associated with a writing, you can get the general idea. It doesn't seem very logical to me to have something that is clear on the physical block light on the astral, actually it seem extremely counter-intuitive. As for making something "with intent to be opaque on the astral," it just seems kind of silly. it is part of the nature of glass to be clear, thus its astral form is clear. No non-magical thing that I know of has a significantly different astral nature than physical nature (other than solidity, which no non-magical object has).
Person 404
QUOTE
Why should light on the astral function so much differently from normal light?


Because it's operating on completely different rules (physics-wise) from the mundane world? I'm assuming there aren't 'astral photons' or the like; maybe I'm wrong and that's an underlying assumption of the game. Air and water are as transparent on the astral as on the physical, so in retrospect this makes some amount of sense, but it's still a bit odd to me that all the normal rules of vision are supposed to apply when the underlying mechanisms that make them possible (i.e. physics) don't.
Ancient History
Physics has very little to do with vision, actually. Vision is actually a skill developed by the brain to process the range of electromagnetic information that the eyes can register. In other words, what you see may not be reality at all, but a thin slice of it that you can just about manage to comprehend and thus interact with.

[/edit] I shall add that Shadowrun's magic can be perceived as a psychoactive energy which passes from its dimension to our own by dint of the astral shadows within a magician's DNA, so that a magician can, by application of skill, cause the mana to intereact with out world in such a way as to act as a physical force; thereby following all the laws of physics we know today, since energy in not being created or destroyed, but merely translated from one dimension to another.

That, and there IS light on the astral plane
Zazen
They simply went the easiest and most consistent route nyahnyah.gif
Ancient History
Isn't that what I said?
Sunday_Gamer
Quoting from SR3.

Known as "The Sight" among the Awakened, astral perception does not rely on physical vision in any way; it is a psychic sense.

Sunday.
Ancient History
Minor detail, and not always the case.
The White Dwarf
Uh, that quote doesnt mean its not like normal vision, it just doesnt require it. Say hi to the blind guy perceiving you.

Astral vision is described as mimicing the normal world, only the lifeless is faded and mute while the living is colorful and vibrant. Light itself can be seen from life or magic, and while a building may be lighted, a lifeless corporate office building may seem dim.

Im not sure what your problem is other than saying "uh I dont like this". Fine, so change it in your games. But trying to claim that its illogical, when as several people pointed out it makes a lot of sense the way it is, isnt a good idea.

It is even written that not everything translates completley, for instance smell might not make it to the astral, but something like background count could manifest as an acidic tinge on the air. Its specifically mentioned that the astral *does* look like the real tho, including whats opaque or not. And that there is astral light. If you want to claim something dont base it off the stuff explicity mentioned.
Sunday_Gamer
Where does it say that btw? I'm looking everywhere for it.

Astral perception (which apparently is very different from astral senses one uses when projecting) is defined in SR3 p171 as a psychic sense which allows you to see anything present in astral space. It then goes on to list what these things are and promptly says NOTHING about mundane objects, but mundane objects do not HAVE an astral presence and so by the very definition, are not visible to someone using astral perception.

Astral projection mentions using normal sight and hearing as well as astral perception so I could clearly see how an object would impeded vision (i.e. an astrally projecting character cannot see the magical artifact inside the big black box, but according to the rules on astral perception (i.e. not projecting) you wouldn't see the box at all as it has no astral presence.

Can anyone clarify?

Sunday.
Zazen
QUOTE (Ancient History)
Isn't that what I said?

That was to Person 404. You managed to squeeze your post in before mine nyahnyah.gif
Zazen
Sunday, you don't have a great grasp of astral perception (which is perfectly understandable considering the great complexity of this game). Mundane objects ARE visible on the astral, and astral projection does NOT let you use normal sight. I am too drunk to go into detail or find book quotes, but I will tomorrow if noone else has.
motorfirebox
404 said that magic should have a level of complexity less than quantum physics. question: why should it? hell, physics are so complex in the real world that the only way some people can make sense of it is to just attribute everything to the workings of zen. with magic, we're talking about a realm in which physics is somehow related to things even more complex, like sentience, human emotion, and the imagination.

what, in all of that, leads you to believe that magic should be simple?
Sunday_Gamer
I know what the popular conception of astral perception is, I want to know where it says that mundane objects show up on astral perception. It's not that I don't believe you it's that I want to read it.

Astral projection uses "astral senses" which are defined as sight, hearing and astral perception. In the description of the astral senses it talks about mundane objects and your interaction with them.

But astral perception has a different description which makes NO mention of mundane objects, and I'd like to know where I can read the actual rules on this.

Sunday.
The White Dwarf
Man, havent you read the astral section at all? You want some quotes, fine, here are some choice lines from the section starting on p171 SR3, thru 173

"While beings in astral space can percive the physical world they cannot affect it"

"Some Awakend refer to the astral plane as the mirror world"

"You can see glowing auras surrounding living and magical things"

"Spells create a visible aura around the person they are cast upon"

"Your astral form has normal human senses of sight and hearing"

"The astral plane is lit by the glowing auras of living things"

At this point I could keep going but why. The number of people saying this is the case didnt just all get together and decide, its because its in the books. Try rereading the section, and possibly mits. Theres a wealth of other information that is pertinent ...
The White Dwarf
Oh, and furthermore, why are you thinking that astral perception is all wacky? Its the *same* vision you see when projecting. The point is that youre looking into the astral without going into it. If theres some kinda confusion over that dont quote one line from a paragraph explaining it, give an example or reread, because I think youve misread soemthing leading you to believe astral perception is some kinda magical see thru everything ability simply because there is no reference to mundane objects blocking it explicitly (only like 500 references where it says it by way of passing).

The best line I found that you seem to be missing is "To use astral perceptiuon, spend a simple action to extend your perceptions to the astral plane" ie. the same astral plane you project to, ie the only astral plane, ie the one that always works like the astral plane, ie mundane stuf is still there, etc etc etc
Zazen
Frankly, I don't think any of those quotes cut it. Here's the one you're looking for, Sunday:

SR3 page 161:
"Things that exist on the physical can be seen and heard from the astral, although any non-living objects appear as a grey, faded semblance of their physical appearance."
Sunday_Gamer
Thanks Zazen, that was EXACTLY what I was looking for!

White, you can rant about me not having read the thing, but when you immediately follow with a display of you quoting back to me the description from astral projection, then you demonstrate that you didn't read MY question.

Zazen on the other hand, hit the nail on the head.

Sunday.
The White Dwarf
Pfft whatever, its there if not explicity written. Saying you can see the physical and calling it a mirror world are two examples that imply what you asked. I didnt reread the entire section in detail to find the line you couldnt, I just opened the book and skimmed a few pages to grab some lines I thought were good. Please dont give me "you didnt read" crap when the whole point was that you didnt read the line he took the time to dig up either. Kudos to him for making the effort.
Sunday_Gamer
First of all you grumpy little bugger, the line HE quoted was from someplace OTHER than the descriptions of astral perception and astral senses. Second, I clearly stated that the description of the astral senses was clear but divergent from the explanation of astral perception and asked for clarification to which you proceeded to quote back to me a bunch of lines from astral senses, so pffft whatever you want, you didn't answer the question, but thanks for trying anyways, even if you are a grumpy bugger.

Sunday.
Cochise
QUOTE (Zazen)
SR3 page 161:
"Things that exist on the physical can be seen and heard from the astral, although any non-living objects appear as a grey, faded semblance of their physical appearance."

This very same sentence also being my personal hook for explaining why any object has the same transparency on both astral as well as physical plane.

While "grey" implies some sort of color change, the word "faded" automatically reminds me of the effects that a washing machine has on clothes: They loose coloring over the time and become greyish.
But objects that didn't have any "colors" (=light blocking elements in their structure) can hardly fade in this manner ...

Just my 0.02
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