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Milo Simpkin
Please forgive me if I have missed a post to this effect in another thread, I do my best to keep up to date and fully remember what has been discussed, but ain't nobody perfect!

Right this starts with taking two points from the FAQs for SR4.

1) 6 is the maximum natural rating for attributes (before racial modifiers are applied). (FAQ 3)

2) Magic must be bought up just like any other attribute. (FAQ4)

Therefore from what is suggested Magic should work just like any other attribute, as it is one. That is one of the points about it right? Now I have no problem with loss of Magic points from deadly wounds, after all mundanes can lose stat points from major wounds too so you can argue the same system there....if such stat degeneration exists.

However, surely these statements mean that either

a) Initiation no longer exists
b) Inititation still exists but you no longer gain a Magic point from it as at that point it would break the rule that 6 is the maximum.
c) Magic will be an exeception to the 'all stats work the same' idea when the magic sourcebook is released opening up the whole idea of add on different rules in specific sourcebooks which is apparently FP's whole problem with the system at the moment.

And no I do not expect any definitive answer to this at all. Ovbiously we can't get one.
I hope all the systems are different. One of the reasons I have been playing SR3 for so long is that a decker, a rigger, a street-sam, and a mage are all pretty solidly different games. If every class starts playing kinda the same I am gonna either GM, or stick with 3rd.
Ol' Scratch
They stated that Magic is bought like other attributes (at character generation at the very least), not that it necessarily functions the same way. Edge is in the same boat, for example.

I'm also confused about why you think initiation wouldn't exist. Even assuming it works just like now, it wouldn't be a violation of the core rule; your "natural" Magic score would be limited to 6. In no way does that limit how high attributes can go due to augmentation such as by racial modifications, cyberware, or initation.
Milo Simpkin
Yeah Doctor, that's almost what I figured. I was just looking at those two things. 'Bought up like any other attribute' means it is an attribute and with six being the natural limit for all attributes which, by the way they have said it, Magic is seemed to mean that Magic can't go above six without racial modifiers or implants.

That was the reason I thought that it might mean initiation no longer existed (not likely) or that it wouldn't provide to Magic. If Initiation is the one way that you can get a boost to a stat above the 6+RM that does differ to what they have said. Probably just trying to keep it simple.

Have the said that Edge can go above 6? I was actually thinking that it probably would be limited to 6....or to keep with theme 6+RM with the balancing factors in races not being a point cost, but rather an Edge Racial Modifier, similar to the way in Earthdawn different races have different karma dice. Humans are lucky, orcs and dwarves less so and elves and trolls have to rely more on they natural bonuses.

Hehe. But maybe that should all be on another thread. And I am pretty sure that won't be what they do. Just something that has been niggling the back of my mind.
Ol' Scratch
I'm just confused by your logic. I don't know why you're assuming that the only way to augment an attribute is through racial modifications or implants. The only thing they've said is that 6 is the natural limit for attributes, of which both Magic and Edge are. All that means is that at character creation or through conventional attribute-raising Karma expedentures, you won't be able to raise them above 6 before applying modifiers from other sources such as racial or implant ones. That's all.

I'm going to be surprised if Initiation works the same way as it does now, but even if it doesn't, it won't violate that rule.
Milo Simpkin
True, true. Not exactly logic maybe. Just the feel of it. My bad probably. Well if nothing else it does suggest that 6 is the limit for Edge. Unless there is some way to up it that isn't karma expenditure like the other stats.

I know why I feel Magic being upped through initiation doesn't feel core. All the other stats seem to me that they would have a finite top out. 6+RM+all the 'ware that boosts it. Magic though could end up being as high as you are willing to pump karma into it. Obviously through initiation rather than through normal karma expenditure. It's just they are trying to emphasise that things work the same and this seems like it's most likely not going to.

Interested to see what they do do with it though wink.gif
I have taken the all attributes work the same to be limited to the core mechanic.

Magic edge and essence at least will have some differences.

I will be very surprised if attributes are actually limited to 6+race. That would be lie limit for natural attributes but I can not believe that the main book will not include cyber wear, bio wear, adept powers and spells that increase attributes.

Although I cant see an implant that would increase magic but I think initiation will, if t doesnít I donít know what it would do,

In any case we probably wonít find out until street magic comes out, in the past initiation rules where not in the main book.

Hell Hound
Magic as an attribute does present at least one interesting conundrum, the balance of power in magic.

Imagine character A who starts with a Magic score of 1 and character B who starts with a Magic score of 6, character A goes through initiation twice, character B does not bother with initiation. If initiation still increases magic then character A now has a magic score of 3 and character B has a magic score of 6, yet character A is the initiate. Now this situation can arise in the current rules via magic loss, but magic loss is a negative effect on a character that starts at "full power" rather than being the result of characters putting different emphasis on attributes in character generation.

The question is, will it make a huge difference and should it? Should a character who starts with a magic score of 6 be in some way better at magic than a character with a starting magic score of 1 who has gone through two grades of initiation?
Ol' Scratch
That's exactly the same thing as, say, Street Samurai A who starts the game with Strength 1 and Street Samurai B who starts with Strength 6. Sammy A gets Muscle Augmentation 2 but B doesn't bother. A is now the augmented character with Strength 3, but the unaugmented B has Strength 6.

Big deal. A made his choice to effectively play a relatively crippled character from the beginning (just like anyone else who puts a low score in any other attribute or character aspect), and even after extensive augmentation/initiation/karma expenditures is still left behind by those who didn't make such a poor decision in the beginning.

There's no balance problem there at all. Just poor character design if anything, assuming A didn't have an in-character reason to choose the low score to begin with (and thus it's still not a problem at all -- just good roleplaying).
I agree with the dock.

Not an issue. To be honest I like the idea that you can have a mage with limited natural talent and some exceptional training (your char A) and another character that was born to power but has not had an opportunity to study the finer mysteries (your character B)

Remember that your char A will have some advantages, he will have the ability to go on astral quests, defeat masking and probably have 2 meta magical tequniques (although I hope metamagics will be significantly decoupled from initiation).

Ol' Scratch
Note to mention that A also had all those extra points to put into some other aspect of his character, giving him a large boon in that regard over B.
Hell Hound
Strength doesn't determine how big a gun the Street Sam can safely use. Also, muscle replacement is not a measure of experience and training, or a form of greater insight into the art of being a combat monster.

Character A, the grade two initiate with a magic score of 3, could pop a blood vessel when casting a spell above force 3. Character B can cast up to force 6 spells with absolutely no chance of killing himself. That's a power difference in favour of character B when character A should, by rights, be the better magician. If magic is to be the attribute that magical skills are tied to in SR4 (for the attribute+skill tests) then the advantage of character B potentially becomes even greater.
Ol' Scratch
I think you completely missed the point.

Mage A started off crippled (and voluntarily so) in magic. Mage B did not, but in doing so Mage A gained some other advantage over Mage B. Mage A has a long road ahead of him if he wants to catch up to Mage B's magical abilities, but Mage B is also relatively crippled compared to Mage A in whatever Mage A chose to spend his points on instead of magic.

Clearly, Mage A never intended to start the game as a fully-competent magician, just like Sammy A never intended to start the game as a fully-competent melee-type. If Mage A wanted to be as competent as Mage B, he should/would have put more emphasis on his Magic attribute.

Again, that's not a game balance problem, it's a character design "problem" and its only a problem in that the player chose to cripple themselves that way.

And no, Mage A shouldn't be the "better magician" just because he initiated a couple times anymore than Sammy A should be a "better street samurai" because he had some implants installed. In their cases, those initations and implants are compensating for their lack of talent/ability, whereas the B examples are all ready far more competent to begin with.
Hell Hound
Initiation, at least under the current rules, isn't supposed to be a 'compensation' for anything. Its the move into the deeper arts of magic. It's purpose, again under the 3rd edition rules, was to represent greater magical power. Under 3rd edition initiation was the only way to increase one's magic attribute or recover magic points that have been lost, and thus it was very important and very powerfull, and it was portrayed that way in SR fiction.

From what we know of fourth edition you do not automatically start with a magic attribute of 6 and so characters can have different magic attributes at the beginning of the game. If a character starts initiating when their magic score is at 1 they can still have a lower magic attribute than a starting character after two initiations, they are still worse off in terms of magical ability when intiation is supposed to represent a significant leap in power and ability.

Either initiation ceases to be the uniform increase in power that it has been portrayed as in SR fiction or initiation works differently in SR4.
Ol' Scratch
It is representing greater magical power -- for the crippled Mage A. After two initiations, his Magic is three times more powerful than it was, and he has access to the deeper mysteries of magic. He just can't use it to its full advantage as well as Mage B could if he had also initiated. Again, much like Sammy A and B with regards to their Kung Fu skills. However, in regards to Mage A, he now has the ability to use, say, Shielding and Masking which Mage B can't even begin to try to do even though his natural talent is twice that of Mage A.

Initiation isn't intended to make you the most powerful magician of all time, especially if your natural Magic score is only a 1. It's just an "initation" into the deeper secrets of the craft, nothing more, nothing less.

In any case, I'll be highly surprised if Initiation works like it does now. If anything, it'll probably be more like how Submersion works for Otaku, where raising your Magic attribute is an option you can take instead of gaining a metamagic technique.
I don't know.
One of the thing that was really disproportionnate was Initiation. Not the fact that you get +1 in magic and one metamagic skill, but more the fact that you could find easily NPC with 8 or 10 grades. In my opinion, initiation is something rare, a kind of enlightement on your path...
So, it's really depending on the way you are playing SR... but they should limit initiation (not the benefit, but the periodicity).
It's only as rare as the karma/power level of your game, in much the same way a PC or NPC Sammie with 8+ in combat skills, etc, is.
I know that, but after 5 years of gaming, I am only grade 3, because we are considering that you can't just go through initiation like that, and that this is a true inner adventure...
But, as I said, I have the feeling that in a lot of sourcebooks, or in the way that a lot of people are playing (I don't say it's bad, but just to explain why in my opinion they should limit initiation), high grade initiated charachter are not that rare...
Ol' Scratch
Initiation being a rare thing seems to be largely a fan construct, especially since you can easily start the game as a Grade 3 initate (in a group with ordeals, using the optional rule in the Shadowrun Companion) as an aspected magician without buying a single Spell Point. Heck, you even only gain full access to metamagic techniques like Masking (namely in the form of masking foci and spells) and Invoking (for granting special abilities to your Great Form spirits) only after hitting higher grades.

In reality, initiation is only mildly more difficult than other forms of character improvement. The only real problem is that magicians tend to be karma sinks, but even that's not a problem as for every grade of initiation they buy, they're not gaining additional or higher-Force spells or improving other aspects of their character.

It's sort of like the whole street samurai vs. adept debate. Yes, adept's can use Karma to gain more adept abilties, but what way too many people ignore or forget is that the street samurai is gaining just as much karma and is using it to improve his skills and attributes or converting it to cash to upgrade his implants. One is no more powerful than the other; they're just different.
El Ojitos
Another thought on Magic: If it works basically like an attribute, it might be possible to raise it by spending Karma - just like STR etc - up to a maximum of 6 + RM, of course. So maybe Initiation comes into play only after you've become proficient enough a mage (i.e. have a Magic attribute of 6).
Or you want a metamagic technique.
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