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I've got a PC that just started playing a Voodoun character, and has put a LOT of energy and time into researching it to play it all right (and getting bonus karma for it to!). She's getting ready to initiate, and everything she's put together has given me a lot of great ideas for initiation ordeals, and the things she actually does through the initiation process, role playing it all out.

My question is, does anyone else actually play it all out? What do you do? what are the steps you take? For a hermetic ordeal for example? do you have a similar pattern but different specifics for shamans (vision quests and such)? Or do you just roll the dice, pick an ordeal and go?
Since the majority of our in-game time is spent on actually shadowrunning (i.e. playing out the run) instead of downtime, normally we don't roleplay out downtime things (of which, initiation is one) during sessions. However, we encourage writing journal entries and short stories about our characters, and often initiation is a subject for these writings. I think it is important for establishing the identity and growth of a character... initiation is a major change that should be akin to marriage or graduation in terms of life events.
Crimson Jack
We don't normally spend too much time on the roleplaying aspect of initiation. It could be fun, I'll agree, but with our size group, we'd rather just have a short little talk (GM:Player) and discuss what happened. The player notates it and then we move on.
interesting way of doing it. I do have my players do a lot of write ups on their characters in a similar way (usually for a few karma points). Most of the games we do go the same way, but I'm trying one right now that's a lot more plot driven than action, and I'm trying to specifically fill in that downtime with character stuff. Made it a lot lower powered game than normal, more character driven. It will be their 4th or 5th run before she can even THINK about initiation, and they haven't spent any other karma yet. WE have a higher powered game,but I'm trying out what it's like with a slower progression into a higher powered game, and how it compares with it being more oriented to what the characters are and what they want todo as opposed to what Mr. Johnson hires them for.
Hell they haven't even worked for a Johnson yet. At this point, that's the big leagues to them, and I think that's the way it should be for starting.
Thanks for the post as well. These are some greate ideas for my campaign as well.
I don't mind dealing with initiation - but it's mostly Astral Quests that I roleplay. I just do it after the main run is completed and give the rest a chance to take off if they wish.
Crimson Jack
Right. Astral Quests require roleplaying attention.
Wounded Ronin
For Astral Quests, I'd just throw together a sequence of events and things like something out of a surreal fever dream. That's because I'm biased towards Jungian goodness by reading The Hero With A Thousand Faces back when I was in middle school.
Crimson Jack
Hmm. There's some shadow art that comes to mind to portray this. smile.gif
I have rp'ed some of the initiations for characters. It can be fun and a neat way to interact with the game world. Mainly like others have already said they are ususally astral quests. Other times are when the pc is joining a new initiate group. However, we keep things to a minimum usually so that other players won't get bored.

If they want to delve into their character's own story some more then they can send me an email or do a write up.

I always make my players roleplay initiations.

If they are writing a thesis, I expect a synopsis that makes sense (this generally requires some homework on the player's part that not only enriches his or her understanding of the legends and lore of magic, but also enriches my game when he or she is forced by yours truly to explain it to everyone involved in the campaign).

Ordeals are particularly entertaining, especially if the PC is involved with the Epicurean Order (a sex-magic Order I created back in High School when I was just a lowly SR1 player. Imagine my surprise when MitS allowed me to actually CREATE them! Nowadays they are a GM tool. Maybe one day I will write them up again and see if Adam likes 'em). PS: In my games, sex magic is akin to blood magic, being only slightly less potent, strictly ritual-based, and entirely legal... unlike lancing your buddy to keep from fainting. Here endeth ye olde shameless plug.

Astral Quests and favors from spirits are a MUST for roleplaying. I cannot stress the entertainment value. I put a lot of effort into giving every summoned spirit a mind of it's own... consultations for increased magical potency are no exception.

'Nuff sed.
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