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I was just wondering if anyone had come up with any house rules concerning chaos magic traditions or any other hermetic traditions worthy of note.

I was considering adding an NPC to my up coming campaign that would roll randomly for the force of his spells , ie. say the NPC would be trying to cast a mana ball at the charging troll. He has the ability to cast force 6 mana ball. so i roll something like 1D6 for the force (perhaps even 1D6+1 or 2 and then have him take physical damage from the overcharge). basically a way of showing his complete belief that all things are random (or something along those lines).

its late forgive me if that made no sense, ill clarify in the morning grinbig.gif
Crimson Jack
I haven't house ruled anything like that, because it hasn't come up. I believe that Chaos Mages are more about the trappings centered around their particular method of delivering their spells and less about the randomness of it all. However, if I'm wrong and assuming a GM would use some sort of rule like what you mentioned, it might be fairer to modify the intended Force by 1D3, then rolling another d6 to determine whether its higher or lower than intended (odds being low, even results being high for example).

After all, if said NPC is going to subscribe to the belief that "all things are random," then he should be prepared for as many wimpy as overpowered mana balls. Heh.
good call
Crimsondude 2.0
Um... Isn't Chaos Theory predicated on finding patterns in chaos? Kind of defeats the whole point, don't you think, to do that.
Crimson Jack
It might. It depends on what the approach is, I would think. One could say that mages who cast spells using an understanding of the chaos theory would understand it and its relationship to magic so that they could cast a mana ball, but maybe the part that's random is in how much Force is pumped into the spell.

Of course, you could also just say that a chaos mage would cast the spell he/she wants at the Force desired and the only thing that really separates him or her from a plain ole NPC-style mage is the backstory and trappings.


It's kinda neat to think about a random factor involved with a particular mage's spellcasting, but then again it would really suck to play that character. I wouldn't imagine that he'd be good for much more than a raised eyebrow and a possible chuckle at the novelty of it all.
Setting wise: Chaos magicians are so known for their peculiar approach to thaumaturgic methods and cosmology. While basically Hermetic (meaning they use recognizable hermetic rituals, paraphenalia, symbology and methodology), chaos magicians are apt to add elements from other hermetic schools (or "paradigms", see SOTA64) and even from non-hermetic traditions into their magical practices. For all intents and purposes Chaos magic is a tradition in itself, a hodge-podge of the systems and cosmologies of many others tailored to individual mages. In SR this mismatched approach has been studied and some scholars have realized Chaos mages happened on to a fundamental truth - that no "path" or "tradition" has the right or exclusive approach to magic -, and this has in turn developed into a much farther reaching Hermetic paradigm known as Unified Magical Theory (UMT).

Rules wise: Chaos mages are essentially hermetics who borrow tools, foci and formula from all the different schools and traditions. Many self-taught street mages are chaos mages by necessity.
For more ideas about how to play a Chaos mage, check out the RL Chaos traditions. Google or Wikipedia for Erisian magic, Church of Sub-Genius and Chaos Magazine. Though you might go for fantasy style Chaos mages which cast spells at random, but then your on your own. Miracles (in MitS) is probably the closest thing in Shadowrun.
thanks for the clarifications, and i know that the chaos tradition is only spoken about in canon as another understanding of magic I was just curious if anyone ran it alittle differently or perhaps if there was another reason I could use for the random force effect, i personally just thought the NPC with unrelaible magic ability was an amusing idea smile.gif . I have MiTS so the wild magic is there but thats more of an effect brought about by the environment. The miracle tables might help ill have to check that out.
Herald of Verjigorm
If you want more dischord, just make them a walking wild magic zone. All magic whose effects actually pass through a (magic rating) meter radius of the mage roll on the wild magic chart in MitS.

Adepts of the dischord select three points (or 6 at GM whim) of powers for each power point, and the active selection is determined daily. Specifically, the active power roll is done each time the adept completes a full REM cycle of sleep. Since most people sleep in one segment that lasts two cycles, the roll from the first cycle can usually be ignored. Due to the internal nature of adept magic, their dischordant state only applies directly to themselves. It only effects spells including the adept as a subject (not the viewer of illusions, the one the spell is cast at) except for elemental manipulations which are unable to change enough between entering the adepts aura and damaging the adept.
I like the idea of using the 2D6 method. However, to keep the spellcaster from remaining , you might want to do it like this:
Power Levels of 1-3: Roll 1D6, with a modifier of (power level-3).
Power Levels of 4-6: Roll 2D6, with a modifier of (power level-7)
Power Levels of 7-9: Roll 3D6, with a power modifier of (power level-10)
If the roll total is below 0, the spell has no effect; roll Drain as normal. As the levels inprove, the mean chance of a failiure actually decreases slightly, showing how the mage gains a greater level of control over the magic he wields; the amount that it increases after each increase in the number of dice represent how the mage must learn how to control an even more powerful level of magic. Although it is possible for a mage to cast some very powerful magic with a Power Level 1 spell (A mean Power Level of 1 2/3), the 1/3 chance of failiure (and therefore giving your opponents a chance to do something while you stand about) balance this out. At the GM's discretion, a roll with a total less than 0 may result in 1 roll from the Wild Magic table for each level below 0. This may result in some bizzare consequences from a mis-cast spell.
i like that idea , teapot i may have to play around with that and see how it turns out, ill post anything that comes from it. the idea about rolling from the wild magic table for negative results sounds good, that way even if the mage rolls really badly at least something happens (good or bad). my only question is that there are things that can happen in that table that are really not going to fit with my campaign such as undead breaking through the ground, so i may have to edit the wild magic table abit, possibly take a handful from the existing table and add in a few things here and there so they have roughly 50/50 odds of something horrible happing to the magic or something mildly beneficial happening. But I think this NPC should be entertaining to have in the campaign , given that my players don't geek him after the first time he goofs on his magic spin.gif
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