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Game Masters:
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce

Shadowrun-type Magic in the RPG:

(Be careful - this strays dangerously close to hippy territory )

Full Magic users are generally split into two categories: Hermetic Mages and Shamans, but both can do the following:

Casting Spells:
Spells are cast using the Sorcery skill. When a spell (for example, a powerball) is cast, the magician chooses what force it will be cast at, up to and inclusing his maximum force for that spell (decided at character generation).
Also, casting a spell incurs Drain: Stun damage - basically casting spells knackers you out for a while. Stun is resisted by Willpower.

Astral Space:
Everything in the physical world has a counterpart in Astral Space.
The Earth on the astral plane is a shifting patchwork of magical energy (mana), flowing over the land. Everything living gives off a bright signature, indicating its state of health and emotions - this includes all organic material.
Conversely, everything 'dead' - Heavily manufactured goods, cars, new buildings - appear grey and lifeless on the astral.
So, it is possible to look at, say, a human, and notice what his emotions are, and if he has cyberware (patches of 'deadness' within him).

Magic users can view the astral plane by shifting their vision to astral perception - they see everything that is visible on the astral (which btw is definitely not visible in the physical world).
They can also leave their bodies for a while (up to around six hours) and move around astrally - they basically become spirits for a while.
While on the astral plane, you cannot directly effect anything on the physical plane, unless it has a link to the astral - ie. a magic item, or it is using astral perception.
However, you have the ability to move at around 5,000km per hour and move through (non-living) physical objects. But anything you see while there is only an astral representation - when you see words on a page, or a picture, you only see the emotions that went into it.
The more technology is involved, the less you see - so if those words were typed into a computer, or tghe opicture is on a screen, you see almost nothing.

Hermetic Mages
Mages are scientific types. They see magic as just another scientific force to be used at will for any purpose they want.
This generally makes Mages and Shamans come to loggerheads.
Mages cast most spells equally well, and they can summon elementals to do their bidding.
Summoning incurs drain, like a spell, but more dangerous.
The elemental summoned can be either a Fire, Earth, Air or Water elemental of a force of 1-6, and it uses its individual power in combat.
Once summoned, an elemental must be brought to heel by the mage - if he manages this, it is his to command for one night and one day. It can be commanded to perform simple actions - search, attack, defend, etc, on either physical or astral space.

Shamans, in the North American indian tradition are chosen by their totem animal. Their totem becomes their spirit guide. from him they learn their spells and powers, but they must also follow his rules. Each totem has an individual personality, which to some extent rubs off on the shaman. For example: a Dog shaman is lyal to man - he must try to protect the needy when he can and not unnecessarily harm people, etc. Whereas a Cat shaman is more individualistic and prides self-preservation and playing games. Raccoon shamans like playing tricks, and Rat shamans are unhealthy buggers.
Because shamans get their powers from nature, they summon nature spirits instead of elementals.
The spirit conjured depends on where he is at the time - Field, Sea, Forest, River. Also bear in mind that even the harshest sprawl of a city is considered 'nature' too - spirits from here - city spirits, hearth spirits (from homes) are generated by the mana given off by people and their struggle to live their lives day by day.
Nature spirits generally do the same as elementals, bending their environment to their will - Sky spirits call storms, Earth spirits shape mounds of mud, city spirits make the city actually attack you, etc.

There are other types of magicians - Druids can be either Hermetic Mages or Shamans (But they have Druid- related totems, and make good use of ley-lines and the stone circles around the British countryside for extra magic zap).
Voodoo Hoogans are like Shamans, but they summon Loa to aid their magic casting (don't know too much about this, the only Loa I know of is Baron Samedi...anyone care to elaborate?).

Paranormal Animals:
Basically, at the same time magic is considered to have returned to the world, at the same time that Dwarves and Elves started to appear, so did Cockatrices, Barghests, HellHounds, Cerberii, Kraken etc., basically every mythical creature you ever heard of. And that includes Vampires, Ghouls, Ghosts and the Loch Ness monster.

The return of these creatures means that living in any kind of wilderness area is now extremely hazardous - North America, I'm looking at you - and these creatures often foray into the slum parts of even the biggest cities too. Devil rats - Huge carnivorous rats with latent magical abilities - are a major problem in most cities, eating homeless people and spreading disease.

As magical astral beings, spirits/elementals cannot directly affect people/objects on the physical plane unless they manifest themselves on the physical plane. This is possible for them, but difficult, think of it like a human going underwater.
A spirit can manifest anywhere on the physical plane that it can reach on the astral. A spirit could therefore 'appear' right next to you and disappear in moments.

As mentioned before, different spirits do different things. Most use their environment / element to attack their foes, but more powerful spirits may have more spells/powers and more control over their domains. A high-level water spirit could make tidal waves, a city spirit could make a huge junk monster come after you, etc.

Spirits in Combat
Spirits are lightning-quick. But not being physical, they can't directly do physical damage to you (unless through their element/environment etc.)
Similarly, they cannot be affected by physical weapons - it only serves as alink between the charcter and the spirit. Spirits can only be hurt by the force of will of the attacker - The more aggression and will put into the attack, the more damage will be done.

Melee weapons - Swords, Clubs and even fists allow the most damage. Also applies to thrown objects.
Guns (including lasers) allow a small amount of damage, as the technology 'dilutes' the will of the attack.
Explosives Do nothing. It is the explosive that does the attack, and as a souless inanimate object it has no 'willpower' to attack with.

The only exception is buclear weapons - Which transcend magical and physical space to really screw things up.
Everyone on the physical might be killed in a few miles' radius, but on the astral it might have more like a 20-mile effect. Spirits, Astrally-projecting magicians and paranormal animals (which are present on both the physical and astral planes at once - Includes Dragons, Vamps, Zombies, hellhounds etc) will be affected.

Maelstrom magic.
This kind of magic is not magic in itself, but uses the same resources as it. It is rather an anti-magic energy that can dispel easily astral energies and even make them flow chaotically in order to harm the casters. Maelstrom is far more difficult to master and use, and the knockback of its anti-spells can even kill weak foes. There is no records of its use in the Magic University.

Spell locks
Spell locks are items (like a small magic fetish and the like) with a spell permanently attached to them - maybe something like 'Bulletbarrier' or 'ManaBarrier' (blocks magic).
They can be activated or deactivated by magicians. While activated, they can be used by beings in astral space to 'ground' a spell through to the physical plane though. So be careful.
Btw the barriers aren't invincible either, the bullet barrier offers about as much protection as a good all- enclosing kevlar suit.

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