Author Topic: Essence Loss: At what point do you burn out?  (Read 110 times)

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Essence Loss: At what point do you burn out?
« on: (08:39:43/02-12-18) »
Is burning out a thing that happens when your maximum magic hits 0, or your current rating? SR5 core indicates the former, but several of the rules from other books seem to have been written assuming otherwise. Specifically to something I'm interested in, at what point does a Dual-Natured entity lose that Power? Can a MAG 1 ghoul still get cybereyes and lose it?

Quote from: SR5 278, Magic
Anything that reduces your Essence also reduces your Magic rating. For every point (or fraction thereof) of Essence lost, both your current Magic Attribute and your maximum Magic Rating are reduced by one. If your Magic is reduced to zero, you can no longer use any skill requiring the Magic attribute, even if your maximum Rating is still greater than zero (but you can still raise the attribute with Karma and then get back to the spellslinging). If your maximum rating falls to zero, you’ve burned out, losing all magical abilities, including astral perception and projection. You are mundane forever. Burned out magicians retain all magical skills and knowledge, but they lack the ability to use them. All Magical active skills except for Arcana become Knowledge skills.
Quote from: RF 104, Metasapients
If a character’s Magic is reduced to 0 through Essence loss, they cannot use any abilities tied to Magic per the rules on p. 278, SR5.
Quote from: HS 163, Drakes
If a drake’s Magic rating ever drops to 0 due to augmentation or Essence Drain, they lose all drake abilities and may never regain them (or the Karma spent acquiring them).
Quote from: HS 190, Energy Drain
If a person’s Magic is drained to 0, they burn out and lose their ability. If a critter’s Magic is drained to 0, the critter dies. If anything’s Force is drained to 0, it is destroyed. If any being’s Essence is drained to 0, it dies.

Raven2049

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Re: Essence Loss: At what point do you burn out?
« Reply #1 on: (09:49:54/02-12-18) »
As there are many examples in the various books of Ghouls having cybereyes and other cyber-augmentations i would say "it depends"

on what? the GM for one, but for another if its a Feral Ghoul, ya it would probably die. A ghoul that retains most of its "metahumanity"? no, as they could possibly have had a higher magic rating before the change and could therefore still have a decent magic rating afterwards.

Another example, is that when becoming a Ghoul you are GIVEN a magic rating regardless if you had one before, and your essence starts at 5 instead of 6 (body rejects cyberwear as well... eeewww) and as it states in the quote you gave you would loose your magical abilities (which means they basically just lose their Astral Perception (dual natured) abilites. That is through NORMAL means. But it says nothing about dying because of this loss of magic rating as mages and metasapients that burn out still can initiate and raise their attribute again if they have the potential for magic as you quoted from RF

Another Quote from RF p141 specifically relating to Infected:
Quote
All Strain II and Strain III Infected begin play with an Essence of 5 and a Magic of 1, unless they were magically active before their Infection. In this case, they begin with a Magic rating one less than their original Magic; the Essence lost to the disease takes the same toll on Magic as it would at any other time. They can increase their Magic attribute with Karma, like any other attribute, to a maximum of 5 + their initiate grade
  It does go on to mention Strain I and the essence drain power and its ability to grant magical powers back that were lost because of their conversion to (in this case) vampires. but that may be beyond your question

Energy Drain, and its precursor in the CRB Essence Drain (both almost identical in wording) are a magical drain on your essence or magic or force etc. My interpretation would be that if you lose your above mentioned stats through these powers yes, you could potentially die.

As far as drakes go, (as you specifically called them out) the quote explicitly spells out what would happen, but yet it makes no reference to the drake dying. which again leads me to believe in my interpretation.

But to get back to your question, i think the answer goes along these lines:

Burning out occurs when your maximum magic reaches 0 and you no longer have the potential (even through initiation) to do anything magical at all anymore. All spells are gone, Adept powers, Critter Powers, etc. Until that point, you still have the potential for magic and have not "burnt the magic out of yourself", you are merely "locked out and cant find the key".

does that help?

Sphinx

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Re: Essence Loss: At what point do you burn out?
« Reply #2 on: (10:01:08/02-12-18) »
So, for example, a metahuman magician starts with Priority C in Magic, giving them a Magic attribute of 3 (maximum 6). They (perhaps foolishly) start with 1.5 essence worth of augmentations; now they have Magic 1 (maximum 4). Then, after an unfortunate incident with a grenade, the GM and player decide that the character needs a cyberarm -- now they're at Magic 0 (maximum 3). At that point, they can't use any of their magical abilities, but all is not lost -- they can claw their way back to power by spending karma to raise their Magic attribute back up (as high as 3 without initiating).

Awakened critters are different; they can't survive without magic. If their current Magic attribute reaches zero, they die. The description for metasapient critters (RF p.102) suggests that they CAN survive the loss of their Magic attribute; they just lose any abilities that require one (i.e., Magic Sense, Movement, Dual-Natured, Guard, Astral Perception, Concealment, Vanishing). As GM, I'd let the player buy them back by raising Magic with karma.

Drake powers are irretrievably lost if the current Magic reaches zero. If the character were also a magician or adept, they might still recover those magician/adept powers by spending karma, but the Drake abilities are gone.

ShadowcatX

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Re: Essence Loss: At what point do you burn out?
« Reply #3 on: (13:41:43/02-12-18) »
In older editions (I believe) when current magic = 0, the mage (or whatever) was permanently burned out. Fifth edition core has tried to change this to say only when maximum magic has bottomed out but that magical abilities are unable to be used while current magic = 0. (Core and Run Faster are in agreement here.)

Howling Shadows is an aberration. One can believe that the authors knew what they were doing when they wrote / printed it, and that it is intended to be stealth errata despite not issuing real errata or one can believe that the authors of Howling Shadows either didn't know how essence loss worked or they were familiar with it in older editions and did not know how it had been changed. Which you choose to believe is up to you.