Shadowrun 4E House Rules

  • 13 Replies


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • If you're not Awakened, you're just another NPC.
« on: <02-20-24/1640:36> »
I've worked on these on and off for many years, and now they’re finally done (or at least done enough for now).  Please enjoy and comment.

Character Creation
Magic and the Metaplanes - Part 1
Magic and the Metaplanes - Part 2
The Matrix
Additional Rules
The Sixth World - Part 1
The Sixth World - Part 2
Optional Rules
Still Working On

« Last Edit: <02-20-24/1651:09> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • If you're not Awakened, you're just another NPC.
« Reply #1 on: <02-20-24/1641:03> »
Character Creation

Character Points

Most of the time we play at a higher level of power as we don’t typically do long campaigns and so characters won’t have the long time necessary to slowly advance to higher levels of power.  However, once in a while we do run lower-level games.  So these are Build Points (BP) allowed by play level.

Play Levels
Street Punks: 200 BP
Competent Criminals: 300 BP
Typical Runners: 400 BP
Experienced Runners: 500 BP
Prime Runners: 600 BP

Even these are general guidelines – if you go over a bit, ask for GM approval.  All characters must be GM approved anyway, and any character builds deemed disruptive or overpowered will be rejected, even if built strictly by RAW and within BP limits.


Approved Metatypes
•   Human:  0 BP
Attributes:  Humans no longer get +1 Edge for free.
Qualities:  None
•   Elf:  30 BP
Attributes:  Agility +1, Charisma +2
Qualities:  Low-Light Vision (5 BP), Racial Profile +1 (+5 BP)
•   Dwarf:  60 BP
Attributes:  Body +1, Strength +2, Willpower +1
Qualities:  Low-Light Vision (5 BP), Racial Profile +1 (+5 BP), Resistance to Pathogens and Toxins +2 (20 BP)
•   Ork:  45 BP
Attributes:  Body +3, Strength +2
Qualities:  Low-Light Vision (5 BP), Racial Profile +2 (+10 BP)
•   Troll:  85 BP
Attributes:  Body +4, Strength +4
Qualities:  Low-Light Vision (5 BP), Natural Armor +1 (10 BP), Racial Profile +3 (+15 BP), Reach +1 (5 BP)
•   T’skrang:  55 BP
Attributes:  Agility +1, Body +1, Charisma +1, Strength +1
Qualities:  Gills (5 BP), Low-Light Vision (5 BP), Prehensile Tail (10 BP), Racial Profile +3 (+15 BP), Underwater Vision (5 BP), Water Sprite (5 BP)
•   Windling:  25 BP
Attributes:  Agility +1, Charisma +1
Qualities:  Flight (10 BP), Low-Light Vision (5 BP), Racial Profile +2 (+10 BP)
•   Obsidiman:  125 BP
Attributes:  Body +4, Strength +4
Qualities:  Iron Lungs +2 (10 BP), Low-Light Vision (5 BP), Natural Armor +2 (10 BP), Ogre Stomach (5 BP), Racial Profile +3 (+15 BP), Reach +1 (5 BP), Resistance to Pathogens and Toxins +2 (20 BP), Sustenance (5 BP)

Banned Metatypes
•   AIs:  The “mini-AIs” introduced in SR4 Emergence do not exist in our version of the Sixth World.
•   Infected:  Any PC infected and transformed by either magical virus immediately becomes an NPC under GM control.
•   Unique Changelings:  Any who are of sufficiently bizarre appearance as to be disruptive everywhere they go are not allowed.

•   All metatypes other than human are officially classified as changelings – Changeling (Elf), Changeling (Dwarf), etc.  If you have metagenes (“recessive magical genes”), then you’re a changeling.  If not, you’re a human.  It’s that simple.
•   The costs of each metatype have been adjusted to more accurately reflect actual benefits gained.  Humans are the baseline – anything beyond that costs points (BP).  Our version of the Sixth World is also incorporating races from the Earthdawn setting; the costs for these metatypes are our best current approximations, and subject to updating upon further research efforts.
•   Yes, in some cases, canon lists Thermographic Vision instead of Low-Light Vision for some metatypes, but let’s keep this simple.  See in the dark versus see like the Predator (from the films)?  Option 1, please.
•   There are no stupid “Night Ones” elves, as actual Drow exist as an elven sub-race, but the differences are purely cosmetic (they have black skin and white hair) for a metatype cost of 30 BP (the same as for standard elves).


Revisions to All Attributes
•   There’s no extra cost for Rating 6+ attributes; the whole “pay over double cost for the last point,” as per SR4A, p.  82, is hereby struck from the rules.
•   The maximum augmented value for any attribute is 12 (or 13 if you have the Exceptional Attribute quality for one particular attribute).

Revisions to Essence
•   Essence is only something that applies to the Awakened.  So, if you’re mundane, just record a “–” for your Essence score; you don’t need worry about it and can purchase all the cyberware you want.
•   Essence 0 just means Magic 0, not death.  Losing a point of Essence means losing a point of Magic as well.  If you have a Magic attribute higher than 6, a proportional loss of Magic is calculated.  As a result, there are plenty of people who are really just brains in a braincase unit, able to effectively change into different fully-robotic bodies at will.  Magically speaking, their robot bodies count as Highly-Processed Objects for Resistance Tests (unless they take the “Terminator Option” of being a robotic endoskeleton encased in cloned flesh, in which case they count as Manufactured High-Tech Objects for Resistance Tests).
•   If the only piece of cyberware you have installed is a Deltaware commlink (or datajack), you can have that for free, Essence-wise.  But, you can’t have any more cyberware installed, or you’ll retroactively be charged the typical 0.1 Essence for it.
•   Replacement body parts cloned from your own DNA do not cost Essence.  These will, in fact, restore any Essence lost due to having lost a limb, etc.
•   Essence Loss is based on body parts, as per the following chart:
Revised Essence Costs:
Code: [Select]
Body Part % of Body Essence Cost
Head 7.3% 0.44
Trunk (chest,back,abdomen) 50.8% 3.05
Thigh (each) 9.88% 0.59
Lower Leg (each) 4.65% 0.28
Foot (each) 1.45% 0.09
Upper Arm (each) 2.7% 0.16
Forearm (each) 1.6% 0.10
Hand (each) 0.66% 0.04
So, ignore the stated Essence costs in the source books and approximate them according the above chart.  A set of cybereyes (or cyberears) costs 0.1 Essence.

Revisions to Magic
•   The maximum Magic attribute is Essence x2 (though you can extend this by one point if you purchase the Exceptional Attribute quality for your Magic attribute).  This rule applies even to dragons.  For spirits, their Magic attribute is their Force Rating, which maxes out at the Great Dragon level.

New Attributes
•   Size (SIZ):  Imported from Call of Cthulhu, this is a measure of how tall/wide your PC is.  For reference, Size 4 is a 6’ tall human male.  Also, your un-augmented Strength can’t exceed SIZ+1.  This attribute doesn’t cost BP and is more of an informational stat for the GM.


There is no limit to the number of Negative qualities you can purchase, but all Negative qualities require GM approval.

Revised Qualities
•   Adept (10 BP):  5 BP was a bit too cheap for this quality.
•   Addiction (+10 BP):  Nicotine counts as a Moderate Addiction (SR4A, p. 93).
•   Aptitude (10 BP):  This can be taken more than once (each time for a different Skill).
•   Astral Chameleon (5 BP to 30 BP):  This quality can be taken up to 5 times (for a -12 penalty to any Assensing tests and your astral signatures last only 1/64th as long).
•   Exceptional Attribute (20 BP):  This can be taken more than once (each time for a different attribute).
•   Investments (Variable BP):  This takes the place of both the Trust Fund quality and purchasing a permanent lifestyle.  Under the SR4 rules, you can purchase a permanent lifestyle by paying for 100 months of it.  However, this doesn’t seem tie out to reality.  Based on research into real-life investments, I’ll assume a 5% APR return on investment.  (As a shortcut, just multiply the monthly total by 240 to find the investment needed.)  This yields the following:
  • Low (5 BP):  This pays out 2,000¥ per month.  Investment needed is 480,000¥.
  • Middle (10 BP):   This pays out 5,000¥ per month.  Investment needed is 1.2 million ¥.
  • High (20 BP):  This pays out 10,000¥ per month.  Investment needed is 2.4 million ¥.
  • High+ (40 BP):  This pays out 20,000¥ per month.  Investment needed is 4.8 million ¥.
  • High+ (80 BP):  This pays out 40,000¥ per month.  Investment needed is 9.6 million ¥.
  • High+ (100 BP):  This pays out 50,000¥ per month.  Investment needed is 12 million ¥.
  • Luxury (200 BP):  This pays out 100,000¥ per month.  Investment needed is 24 million ¥.
  • Luxury+ (500 BP):  This pays out 250,000¥ per month.  Investment needed is 60 million ¥.
  • Luxury+ (1,000 BP):  This pays out 500,000¥ per month.  Investment needed is 120 million ¥.
  • Luxury+ (2,000 BP):  This pays out 1,000,000¥ per month.  Investment needed is 240 million ¥.
•   Magician (15 BP):  For your tradition, pick 5 types of spirits that you can summon.  Additional spirit types you can summon cost 5 BP each.
•   Mentor Spirit (5 BP):  These provide information, and impose only some minor behavior restrictions on their “students.”  See the Magic page for more details.
•   Murky Link (10 BP to 40 BP):  This quality can be taken up to 4 times (for a -12 penalty to any ritual sorcery directed against you).
•   Mystic Adept (25 BP):  You must effectively purchase both the Magician and Adept qualities at full price, which eliminates any “free lunch” arguments over this quality.
•   Patron Spirit (10 BP):  These both information and skill bonuses, but impose more stringent behavior restrictions on their followers.  See the Magic page for more details.
•   Quick Healer (10 BP to 30 BP):  This quality can be taken up to 3 times (for a +6 bonus to Healing Tests made on/for/by you, including magical healing).
•   Resistance to Pathogens (5 BP to 30 BP):  This quality can be taken up to 6 times (for a +6 bonus to Resistance Tests against Pathogens).
•   Resistance to Toxins (5 BP to 30 BP):  This quality can be taken up to 6 times (for a +6 bonus to Resistance Tests against Toxins).
•   Spirit Pact (Variable BP):  This is always unique to each spirit and its cost is the GM’s call, based on both the type of pact and the Force rating of the spirit.

Banned Qualities
•   The Technomancer quality no longer exists, nor do any Emerged critters.  So ignore all references to Technomancers in canon and assume that they’re all just gifted deckers instead.

New Positive Qualities
•   Appearance (5 BP / 10 BP / 20 BP):  Imported from GURPS, this is a measure of how physically attractive your PC is.
[indent]?   Level 0 (Average):  Without this quality, your appearance is just…average.  Your appearance gives you no social skill test modifiers either way; you can blend easily into a crowd.  A viewer’s impression of your looks depends on your behavior.  If you smile and act friendly, you will be remembered as pleasant-looking; if you frown and mutter, you will be remembered as unattractive.
  • Level 1 (Attractive):  You don’t enter beauty contests, but are definitely good-looking.  This gives you a +1 bonus to social skill tests.
  • Level 2 (Beautiful/Handsome):  You could enter beauty contests.  This gives you a +4 bonus to social skill tests made against those attracted to members of your sex, +2 for everyone else.
  • Level 3 (Very Beautiful / Very Handsome):  You could win beauty contests – regularly.  This gives you a +6 bonus to social skill tests made against those attracted to members of your sex, +2 for everyone else.  Exception: Members of the same sex with reason to dislike you (more than -4 in social modifiers, regardless of bonuses) resent your good looks, and react at -2 instead.  As well, talent scouts, friendly drunks, slave traders, and other nuisances are liable to become a problem for you.
•   Cyberware and Nanoware Rejection (0 BP):  This is a SURGE trait.  Any cyberware or nanoware implanted in you will soon be – slowly but surely – forcibly ejected from your body.  The benefits and drawbacks of this trait cancel each other out, hence it costs no points.
•   Immunity to HMHGV (5 BP):  This is a SURGE trait, and makes you immune to becoming a ghoul.
•   Immunity to HMHVV (5 BP):  This is a SURGE trait, and makes you immune to becoming a vampire.
•   Initiation (30 BP):  This is a one-time cost.  See the Magic page for further details.
•   Metamagic Technique (15 BP):  For any metamagic technique (prerequisites still apply).
•   Parlor Trick (1 BP):  Imported from Mage: the Ascension.  If you’re a mage, you can cast one particular Force 1 spell at will, with no Skill roll or Drain.  This can’t be a Combat spell and requires GM approval.  It’s meant to give you a neat little trick your mage can show off at will, like conjuring a little ball of flame in your hand instead of flicking a cigarette lighter.
•   The Resilient Path (10 BP):  Followers of this Adept Path get a 25% discount for any damage resistance or magic resistance powers.
•   The Scholar’s Path (10 BP):  Followers of this Adept Path get a 25% discount for any powers related to learning or acquiring information.

New Negative Qualities
•   Appearance (+5 BP / +10 BP / +20 BP / +25 BP / +30 BP):  Imported from GURPS, this is a measure of how physically unattractive your PC is.
  • Level 0 (Average):  Without this quality, your appearance is just…average.  Your appearance gives you no social skill test modifiers either way; you can blend easily into a crowd.  A viewer’s impression of your looks depends on your behavior.  If you smile and act friendly, you will be remembered as pleasant-looking; if you frown and mutter, you will be remembered as unattractive.
  • Level 1 (Unattractive):  You look vaguely unappealing, but it’s nothing anyone can put a finger on.  This gives you a -1 penalty to social skill tests.
  • Level 2 (Ugly):  As above, but not so bad – maybe only stringy hair and snaggle teeth.  This gives you a -2 penalty to social skill tests.
  • Level 3 (Hideous):  You have any sort of disgusting looks you can come up with: a severe skin disease, wall-eye…preferably several things at once.  This gives you a -4 penalty to social skill tests.
  • Level 4 (Monstrous):  You are hideous and clearly unnatural.  Most people react to you as a monster rather than a sapient being.  This gives you a -5 penalty to social skill tests.
  • Level 5 (Horrific):  You are indescribably monstrous or unspeakably foul, and cannot interact with normal mortals.  This gives you a -6 penalty to social skill tests.
•   Mind of a Monster (0 BP):  This attribute is intended for NPC use only, and applies to all victims of HMHGV or HMHVV.  It represents the toll the virus has taken on their psyche to date.  It’s taken from the Stages of Monster Grief page at TVTropes.
  • Stage 1 – Denial:  The victim pretends that they can go on with their old life.
  • Stage 2 – Defiance:  The victim realizes that’s not going to work and becomes enraged, taking out their anger on whatever targets seem most appropriate (or just close at hand).
  • Stage 3 – Acceptance:  The victim accepts that they’re now a blood-drinking / flesh-eating creature, and that this is their new normal.
  • Stage 4 – Betrayal:  The victim abandons any pretense of trying to co-exist with the creatures that are its food source, and henceforth views (meta)humans as nothing more than prey or toys for their amusement.
  • Notes:  A just-Infected ghoul or vampire starts off at Stage 1.  Every month, they must make a Willpower roll (Difficulty 3), to avoid slipping down to the next level.  Eventually, the virus will win, and they’ll be monsters in both mind and body.
•   Racial Profile (+5 BP / +10 BP / +15 BP):  Created by Dumpshock member KCKitsune (with my sincere thanks), this is a measure of how much of a “freak” society at large considers you because of your metatype.  For every level, you suffer a +1 penalty to any social rolls, and any social interaction shifts one step towards hostile.
  • Level 0 (Human)
  • Level 1 (Elves and Dwarves)
  • Level 2 (Orks and Windlings)
  • Level 3 (Trolls, T’skrang, and Obsidimen)
Elves:  You know those smug bastards think they’re better than everyone else.
Elves are rich!  They don’t get old and don’t retire!  Kick the pointy ear bastards to the curb so real humans can get a job!

Dwarves:  Short fat fraker!  You know those short bastards have all the money!
EW!  He’s eye level with my privates!  Must be a pervert!
My boss is a dwarf, and he’s such an ass!  Everything’s got to work like a well-oiled machine!

Orks:  Tuskers are just violent breeders!  Have one come into the neighborhood and soon you’ll have hundreds!
Those breeders are just so stupid!  I mean, I don’t know how they walk and chew gum at the same time.

Trolls:  My god, look at that ugly bastard!  I mean, just look at him!  You know he’s just looking for an excuse to kill someone!
Do trolls do anything other than commit crime?  I mean honestly, if I were a troll, I’d just kill myself!


Skill Ratings
Appropriated from SR5, skills are now rated 1 to 12 instead of 1 to 6.  You can increase this by an extra level if you have the Aptitude quality.

Revised Skills
•   No Skills are currently revised.

New Skills
•   Performance:  This is your ability to act, dance, or do some other performing art.

New Skill Groups
•   Esoterica:  This encompasses the Arcana, Assensing, and Enchanting skills.


You can purchase as many separate lifestyles as you wish.


Starting Cash
Disregard the rules in SR4A, pp. 88-89 regarding Starting Nuyen.  Keep any cash leftover after purchasing your starting gear (SR4A, p. 86, where 1 BP = 5,000¥ of gear) or even spend extra BP for extra cash at the same rate.


Adepts have been significantly revised.  To put their powers more in line with Magicians, they can now purchase all the Adept powers they want.  However, they can only purchase levels of a given power up to the level of their Magic attribute.  Costs for Adept powers are as follows:
•   1 PP = 12 BP
•   0.5 PP = 6 BP
•   0.25 PP = 3 BP

Revised Powers
•   Sustenance:  This now costs 0.5 PP and the Adept needs only 4 hours sleep per night and one solid meal per day.

Ally Spirits
An ally spirit’s base cost is 5 BP times its desired Force rating.
« Last Edit: <02-20-24/1652:00> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • If you're not Awakened, you're just another NPC.
« Reply #2 on: <02-20-24/1641:19> »
Magic and the Metaplanes - Part 1


Revised Powers
•   Boosting your Physical attributes through Attribute Boost or Improved Physical Attribute can’t exceed twice the normal rating of that Physical attribute.

New Powers
•   Animagus Form:  You can transform into a specific Ordinary Critter at will; the particular critter you can transform into requires GM approval.  It costs 1 PP per Body attribute of the critter in question.
•   Pressure Compensation:  SR4 lacks decompression rules for deep sea diving, so the rules from SR5 Run & Gun, pp. 155 – 159, are used for this.  Cost is 0.25 PP per level, and each level reduces the resurfacing effects by Missed Threshold on page 157 by one.  (So, at 5 levels you could dive in waters up to 50 meters deep and never have to worry about the bends.)
•   Recoil Compensation:  Cost is 0.10 PP per level, and each level cancels out one level of recoil penalties.
•   Private Mind:  Cost is 0.25 per level, and each level provides a +1 bonus to Opposed Tests of Spellcasting + Magic Test against your Willpower (+ Counterspelling, if available) to resist attempts to read or influence your mind.

Other Rules
•   Contrary to canon, the term “Path” is used instead of “Way” for Adepts.  Example: “What Path do you walk?”

Alchemy and Enchanting

Magical Metals

Basic Rules
•   1 Unit of a magical metal is 10 grams.  (This picture shows about how big that is.)
•   An enchanter doesn’t have to incorporate units of a magical metal directly into the item they’re enchanting in order to gain the bonus per unit.  However, if the enchanter elects to use this approach, the units are still completely expended during the process, becoming worthless for any further use.  This allows the creation of non-metallic magical items that still take advantage of the bonus during enchanting.

The Metals
•   Argentil:  Also known as “verum argentum” (true silver in Latin).  Tolkien fans call it Mithril and are fond of crafting elaborate pieces of jewelry out of it.  Each unit provides a +1 bonus to the Enchanting Test.
•   Auril:  Also known as “verum aurum” (true gold in Latin).  Each unit provides a +1 bonus to the Enchanting Test.
•   Cupril:  Also known as “verum cuprum” (true copper in Latin).  Each unit provides a +1 bonus to the Enchanting Test.
•   Orichalcum:  This famous magical metal exists in three grades of quality.  This picture gives an idea of its color.
  • Grade 1:  Natural Orichalcum – In areas of particularly high magic, veins of naturally occurring orichalcum can sometimes be found.  Each unit provides a +1 bonus to the Enchanting Test.
  • Grade 2:  Synthetic Orichalcum – This is created from at least one unit each of radical copper, radical gold, radical mercury, and radical silver.  Each unit provides a +2 bonus to the Enchanting Test.
  • Grade 3:  Superior Orichalcum – This is created from at least one unit each of argentil, auril, and cupril.  Each unit provides a +4 bonus to the Enchanting Test.

The Elixir of Youth
This is the magical community's answer to Leónization.  It costs 1 million ¥ in reagents and takes a year to make, so it usually retails for at least 2 million ¥ per dose.  It returns the drinker to their prime as a young adult.

Astral Cosmology and Travel

Astral Projection
•   Astrally projecting magicians are connected at all times to their physical body by a silvery cord, though this cord fades into seeming nonexistence a short distance from both their physical and astral bodies on the astral plane.  The magician can thus easily find their way back to their physical body by instinctively following this cord.  Very few things are capable of severing this cord, but if it is the magician’s body is immediately killed, after which the astral body continues to project on the astral plane for a number of hours equal to their Magic attribute x 2 before fading into nothingness.
•   An astral body’s Physical attributes are equal to those of their physical body, unless their silvery cord is cut, in which case they immediately assume the attribute conversions as per SR4A, p. 192.
•   Astrally projecting mages resist Spellcasting Drain as if they were still inside their bodies, as they are still linked to them by their silvery cord (above).  Thus, normal spellcasting is possible in astral space.  If the cord is severed, they immediately lose this ability (for their short remaining lifespan on the astral plane).
•   Astral movement speed isn’t a set value, it’s (Magic attribute * 1,000 km per hour).
•   Astral travel “rest time” is one-for-one.  That is to say, if you spend one hour out of your body, then you need to spend one hour back in it to fully “reset the clock” for leaving it again.
•   An astrally projecting magician who manifests on Earth can be seen and heard normally by anyone, as well as recorded on video, etc.

Metaplanar Travel
•   There is no “Dweller on the Threshold” acting as some of sort of Jiminy Cricket gatekeeper to the metaplanes, testing would-be astral travelers and making sure that they’ve all been good little boys and girls.  Obviously, some author was trying to interject their ideas about “spiritual growth” or some such nonsense into the game mechanics.  Instead, all astral travelers must pass a Magic + Intuition (3) test to gain access to the metaplanes.

Other Rules
•   The Earth is solid in astral space, though this solidity typically starts at least several feet down from the surface; “loose dirt” on the surface is penetrable to astral travelers.  Also, any hollow spaces within the Earth can access astral space as freely as above the surface, unless those spaces are warded against astral access.  This is one of the reasons kaers require such strong wards.


Instead of constantly initiating again and again, this now a one-time deal.  Initiating costs 100,000¥ for supplies and requires one week of preparation in your magical lodge.  It grants access to the metaplanes, the ability to learn metamagics, and the ability to raise your Magic attribute over 6.

Use your Magic attribute in lieu of your Initiate grade for metamagic techniques.

Magic Items


Basic Rules
•   The total Force for all of a magician’s bonded foci is capped at their (Magic * Spellcasting).
•   Focus Addiction does not exist.  This is just as stupid an idea as that of “magic is addictive,” which was probably ripped off from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
•   Astral links can be hidden in the metaplanes once per 3 levels of the owner’s Magic attribute.  The degree of hiding or discovering hidden links is quantified as a Threshold on an Extended Test; doing more work to hide them means more work for others to find them.
•   Advanced Foci can only be crafted by Initiates.

Revised Foci
•   Power Focus (Advanced):  These increase your effective Magic attribute (increasing Force).  They also aid in Counterspelling.
•   Sustaining Focus:  These work not by casting the spell “through them,” but by locking the spell into the focus after the spell is cast if the caster decides to let the focus “take over” sustaining the spell for them.

New Foci
•   Fake Focus (Advanced):  When Lone Star wants to shave a little sliver off your focus, make up a fake replica for them to examine and sample and then toss it in the fireplace when you get home.
PREREQUISITES:  Masking, Extended Masking
•   Potency Focus:  These add dice but don’t increase Force.  They also aid in Counterspelling.
•   Shapechanging Focus (Advanced):  These cost 5,000¥ * Force.  Each level allows 1 kilogram of the focus to change shape at its owner’s direction.  In its normal form, it’s presumably an innocuous-looking item (say, a wooden flute), but when the focus is activated, it transforms into another item (say, a wooden wand).  A full-size replica of what the item will transform into is required for use in the enchanting process.

Permanent Items

Basic Rules
•   These are “always on” magic items, as opposed to foci which can only be activated and used by a specific magician.  They definitely qualify as advanced magic items and so only Initiates can craft them.
•   The cost for any such items, both in money and reagents, is the GM’s call.  True Elements are frequently used in their construction.
•   The Recharge spell, in particular, would see more use in supplying power via permanent mana-to-electricity items save for the fact that fusion power is so widespread and cheap.  However, in isolated areas people with “off the grid” estates use it for free power.

Other Items

•   You can create a temporary magical lodge by spending reagents equal to (1,000¥ * the Force of the lodge).  The lodge takes one hour per point of Force to create and thereafter lasts until sunrise or sunset, whichever comes first.


Basic Rules
•   Magicians can learn any number of metamagic techniques.  It costs 50,000¥ for supplies and one week in their magical lodge to fully learn it.

Revised Metamagic Techniques
•   Great Ritual:  This technique enables a ritual leader to bypass the limits for Teamwork Tests (SR4A, p. 65), allowing all bonus dice contributed by other ritual participants to be used for the Magic + Ritual Spellcasting test.
•   Quickening:  Reagents are needed to Quicken spells.  This costs 5,000¥ of reagents per Force of the spell to be Quickened.

New Metamagic Techniques
•   Advanced Centering:  As per Centering (SR4A, p. 198), but now centering requires no rituals or ceremony for the bonus dice to resist Drain.
•   Advanced Wards:  This technique is needed to be able to learn the new advanced ward rituals (see below).  It’s also required for the advanced wards in the Wards With A Twist section in SR4 Street Magic, pp. 125 – 126.
•   Alchera Creation:  This technique is needed to be able to learn the new alchera construction rituals (see below).   Alchera are described in SR4 Street Magic, pp. 115 – 116.
•   Astral Invisibility:  This allows you to completely conceal yourself from astral perception.  Your success in doing so is determined the same as per Masking or Extended Masking.
PREREQUISITES:  Masking, Extended Masking
•   Astral Transition:  This technique is needed to be able to learn the portal construction rituals (see below).
•   Metaplanar Ally Spirit Formula:  Instead of inscribed or written down on some object on Earth, an ally sprit’s formula can be anchored onto a metaplane (which is how typical “wild” spirits function).  This requires an astral quest to the metaplane in question.
•   Portable Lodges:  For triple the normal cost, you can now construct portable magical lodges.  These can be taken down or put up in 1 hour per point of Force.
•   Usurp Spell:  This technique allows a magician to usurp control of another magician’s spell if they succeed in an Opposed Test of Magic + Spellcasting.

Spellcasting & Summoning

Basic Spellcasting Rules
•   Sustained Detection Spells can be used for spell targeting, the same as if the magician were visually perceiving the target.
•   Healing spells are not restricted to Touch range and work at line of sight like every other spell.  They can also be cast more than once on the same person.
•   Overcasting is disallowed.  If you’ve got Magic 6, you can cast up to Force 6 spells.

Basic Ritual Spellcasting Rules
•   The rules for Ritual Spellcasting are something of a mix of the SR4 version (SR4A, pp. 194 – 185) and the SR5 version (SR5 Core Rules, pp. 295 – 299):
  • Choose Ritual and Leader:  The ritual leader must know the ritual to be performed and be a member of the lodge it’s being performed at.
  • Choose Force:  This can’t be any higher than the leader’s Magic attribute.
  • Perform Ritual:  The ritual is performed, usually taking (Force * 1 hour) to complete.  For the leader, this is Magic + Ritual Spellcasting and can be either a Success Test or an Opposed Test, depending on the spell in question and whether the target can resist it (see Spells, SR4A, p. 87).  For the other participants, this is also Magic + Spellcasting, but their rolls are just to contribute bonus dice the leader’s test roll (the total bonus dice is capped at the leader’s Ritual Spellcasting skill rating).
  • Resist Drain:  At the end of the ritual, each member of the ritual team – including the spotter – must resist the Drain of the spell.  Individual magicians with foci or bound spirits not otherwise occupied may use them to help with Drain.  Reagents can also be spent to reduce Drain.  For every (Ritual Force * 100¥) of reagents spent, the Drain value is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 2.
•   Any friendly Pact Spirits count as Bound Spirits for purposes of using them as a spotter during Ritual Spellcasting.

Basic Summoning Rules
•   You can summon more than one unbound spirit at a time, but their total combined Force cannot exceed your Magic attribute, and they must all be summoned separately.
•   Over-Summoning is disallowed.  If you’ve got Magic 6, you can summon up to Force 6 spirits.

Regardless of tradition, the attributes used to resist drain are Body + Willpower.  You can’t outsmart drain with logical arguments or intuit your way around it, and you can’t dazzle it with your charisma, either.  It’s a strain on your body, resisted by your willpower.

Ally Spirits
Translate the Karma costs into (1 KP = 5,000¥).  See SR4 Street Magic, pp. 103 – 106 for more details.
« Last Edit: <02-22-24/2015:30> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • If you're not Awakened, you're just another NPC.
« Reply #3 on: <02-20-24/1641:37> »
Magic and the Metaplanes - Part 2

Spells and Rituals


Revised Spells – Detection
•   Mana/Astral Window (SR4 Street Magic, p. 168):  Wards resist these spells at Force x2, and if the ward wins then its creator is altered.

Revised Spells – Health
•   Heal (SR4A, p. 208):  This spell cannot replace lost body parts.  Use the Regenerate spell (below) for that.

New Spells – Combat
•   Force Wave (Indirect, Area | Stun, LOS(A), Instant | DV: (F ÷ 2) + 2):  A variant of the Blast spell (SR4A, p. 204), this produces an invisible psychokinetic wave sweeping targets away in the direction of your choice.
•   Razor Wind (Indirect, Elemental, Area | Physical, LOS(A), Instant | DV: (F ÷ 2) + 5):  This spell hardens air into a swarm of fast-moving invisible blades that slice into all targets in the area of effect.

New Spells – Detection
•   Astral Perception (Passive, Directional | Mana, LOS, Sustained | DV: (F ÷ 2) - 1):  Your mundane friends bugging you to describe what astral space looks like?  Well, just sustain this spell on them and let them look around all they want.
•   Safe Spots (Active, Extended Area | Mana, LOS, Sustained | DV: (F ÷ 2) + 3):  Have you suddenly found yourself in an area where lots of heavy objects are falling all around you?  You’d probably like to avoid getting squished any second now, which is where this spell comes in.  In something resembling an AR feed, you see clearly-highlighted patches of ground that are safe places to stand (for the moment).  But, as more objects fall they’ll likely shift about quite a lot, forcing you to play something of a quick game of hopscotch to stay in the safe areas.  This grants a bonus equal to your Magic + Spellcasting hits to avoid falling object damage.

New Spells – Health
•   Accelerate Plant Growth (Mana, LOS, Permanent | DV: (the Body attribute of the plant)):  This spell accelerates the growth of plant by a full month in the space of a few minutes.  Note that heavy soil fertilization is required to sustain multiple castings and avoid soil depletion.
•   Ameliorate Menstruation (Mana, LOS, Permanent | DV: (F ÷ 2)):  A popular spell among female magicians, this completely alleviates any discomfort during her menstrual cycle, and ensures that it finishes in a single day as well.
•   Concentrated Sleep (Physical, LOS, Sustained | DV: (F ÷ 2)):  An improved version of Crank (SR4 Street Magic, p. 169), each hit equals 1 less hour of sleep needed that night to be fully rested (minimum 2).  Obviously, the magician will need a Sustaining Focus to sustain the spell on themselves while they sleep, but it’s a much safer alternative to Crank.
•   Expel Parasites (Mana, LOS, Permanent | DV: (Parasite Power) - 2):  This works like the Cure Disease spell (SR4A, p. 207) but works on parasitic creatures infesting the target’s body.  If successful, all parasites are forcibly expelled from the target’s body.
•   Regenerate (Mana, LOS, Permanent | DV (equal to the Damage Value, see below)):  The Heal spell (SR4A, p. 208) cannot replace lost body parts, but this spell can.  The DV is 1 for eyes, ears, or a finger/toe; 2 for a hand or foot; 4 for an arm; 8 for a leg.  As magic cannot create matter (see The Limits of Sorcery below) “raw materials” in the form of fresh meat and bones are a necessary component for this spell.
•   Shape Plants (Mana, LOS, Permanent | DV: (the Body attribute of the plant):  Looking to craft the perfect garden, with all the trees and vines configured just the way you want them?  Have we got the spell for you!  This spell is making Awakened gardeners rich the world over as it allows them to rearrange plant and tree limbs into the client’s desired configuration.
•   Suspend Animation (Mana, LOS, Sustained | DV: (F ÷ 2)):  This is an improved version of the Hibernate spell (SR4A, p. 208).  If the caster can score hits equal to the subject’s Body attribute, the subject can kept in a state of completely suspended animation, requiring no air to survive in this state.

New Spells – Manipulation
•   Displacement (Realistic, Multi-Sense, Area | Physical, LOS, Sustained | DV: (F ÷ 2) + 5):  This is effectively a combined Improved Invisibility and Trid Phantasm.  The target is invisible and a real-time illusionary double of the target keeps up with them a short distance away.  Anyone shooting at the target will automatically miss (hitting the double instead) unless they can somehow discern the target’s real position.
•   Enlarge (Physical, LOS, Sustained | DV: (F ÷ 2) + 3):  This spell will enlarge an item as long as it’s sustained.  The largest device (by Body attribute) that it can affect is equal to (Force + hits).  An item can be enlarged up to twice its normal Body attribute.
•   Erase Tattoo (Physical, LOS, Permanent | DV: (F ÷ 2)):  Looking to get rid of that little…unwelcome memento of a drunken night back in college but really don’t want your flesh seared by a laser?  No problem!  See your friendly neighborhood magician and it will be gone in moments.
•   Fireflies (Environmental, Area | Physical, LOS(A), Sustained | DV: (F ÷ 2) + 1):  An enhanced version of the Light spell (SR4A, p. 211), this evokes a small swarm of little lights capable of illuminating an area equal to (Force * 10 meters) radius.
•   Fumation (Physical, LOS, Sustained | DV: (F ÷ 2) + 5):  This spell transforms the magician into a shapeless mist capable of rapid flight (hits * 10 mph).
•   Ink Tattoo (Physical, LOS, Permanent | DV: (F ÷ 2)):  Are you considering some body art, but aren’t fond of the idea of long sessions under the needle?  Your local Awakened tattoo parlor can apply any full-color tattoos you want, quickly and pain-free.
•   Shrink (Physical, LOS, Sustained | DV: (F ÷ 2) + 3):  This spell will shrink an item as long as it’s sustained.  The largest device (by Body attribute) that it can affect is equal to (Force + hits).  An item can be shrunken as much as the caster desires, down to Body 0 (which is small enough to allow it to be picked up and put in a pocket).
•   Suppress Electricity (Physical, LOS, Sustained | DV: (F ÷ 2) + 3):  This spell will completely shut down any electronic device as long as it’s sustained.  The largest device (by Body attribute) that it can affect is equal to (Force + hits).


Basic Rituals
•   Accelerate Alchemy:  Is 28 days just way too long to cook up that batch of Orichalcum?  No problem.  You can speed that up…for a price.  Using reagents costing half of what the finished product would be worth, the standard 28-day circulation is reduced to a mere 8 hours.
•   Destroy Spirit:  A captured spirit can be made the focus of this ritual, which will see it permanently destroyed by forming a link from the spirit’s manifested or inhabited form back to its home metaplane and destroying its true form/formula there.  If the ritual does damage to the spirit equal to its Force, it’s disrupted and will never re-form.
•   Remote Spell:  This ritual allows you to cast any spell at a distant target that is out of line of sight of your ritual team by means of using a spotter.  This spotter can either be a ritual participant or a spirit bound to one of them.
•   Sever Material Links:  This ritual severs the connection from the target (who must be both present and the focus of the ritual) to any material links to their body.  If you’re a magician worried about those blood samples you had to give to Lone Star or DocWagon, this ritual is the way to make them worthless as way to reach out to you via hostile ritual magic.
PREREQUISITE:  Sympathetic Linking

Basic Rituals – Wards
•   Basic Ward:  These are described in detail in SR4A, p. 194 and SR4 Street Magic, pp. 123 – 126.
  • The base size of wards is (the combined Magic of all ritual participants * 100 cubic meters).
  • Unless made permanent (by spending 5,000¥ * Force), the ward will last (Magic + Ritual Spellcasting) weeks.
  • The ward must be anchored to a sturdy solid object that must not be moved or the ward will collapse.
  • Wards can be crafted into nearly any shape, but any shapes beyond the basic ones (square, rectangle, sphere) requires a Spellcasting test (the threshold is GM’s call, depending on how complex the shape is).
  • At the ward’s creation, the creator can designate certain individuals as being “keyed” into it.  Any such persons can then freely pass through the ward without triggering any alarms or defensive measures.
  • Attempting to fool a ward (see SR4 Street Magic, p. 124) requires Flexible Signature, not Masking.
Advanced Rituals – Alchera Construction
•   Craft Manifest Alchera:  The maximum size is a sphere equal to the ritual’s Force in meters.  Unless made permanent (by spending 5,000¥ * Force), the alchera will last (Magic + Ritual Spellcasting) weeks.
PREREQUISITE:  Alchera Creation metamagic technique
•   Craft Materialized Alchera:  The maximum size is a sphere equal to the ritual’s Force in meters.  Unless made permanent (by spending 10,000¥ * Force), the alchera will last (Magic + Ritual Spellcasting) weeks.
PREREQUISITE:  Alchera Creation metamagic technique, Craft Manifest Alchera ritual
•   Craft Displacement Alchera:  The maximum size is a sphere equal to the ritual’s Force in meters.  Unless made permanent (by spending 20,000¥ * Force), the alchera will last (Magic + Ritual Spellcasting) weeks.
PREREQUISITE:  Alchera Creation metamagic technique, Craft Manifest Alchera and Craft Materialized Alchera rituals

Advanced Rituals – Portal Construction
•   Astral Portal:  This ritual opens a portal that people can physically step through into astral space.  An important note is that there is no air in astral space, so the Oxygenate spell (or scuba gear) are excellent suggestions for astral travelers who don’t want to die of asphyxiation.  The portal can be made up to (Force * meters) wide.  Unless made permanent (costing 100,000¥ * Force), the portal persists for (Magic + Spellcasting hits) hours.
PREREQUISITE:  Astral Transition metamagic technique
•   Metaplanar Portal:  This ritual opens a portal that people can physically step through into a specific metaplane.  A successful quest to the metaplane in question is necessary to secure the other end of the portal before this ritual begins.  The portal can be made up to (Force * meters) wide.  Unless made permanent (costing 1 million ¥ * Force), the portal persists for (Magic + Spellcasting hits) hours.
PREREQUSITES:  Astral Transition metamagic technique, Astral Portal ritual

Advanced Rituals – Wards
•   Usurp Ward Ownership:  If the ritual succeeds in an Opposed Test of (Magic + Spellcasting) versus the ward’s creator(s), they successfully wrest control of the ward from them.  Unless the ward is within sight of the attackers’ lodge, this will likely involve the use of a spotter to conduct the ritual from a distance.
PREREQUISITE:  Advanced Wards metamagic technique
•   Vigilant Ward:  Yours are harder to fool with Flexible Signature (as per above).  The Opposed Test to fool such a ward is made between the attacker’s Intuition + Magic and the ward’s Force x 3.
PREREQUISITES:  Advanced Wards metamagic technique, Assensing 6
•   Volumetric Ward:  Typical wards are just walls, and spirits can get frequently around them via metaplanar shortcuts if they can manage to see the other side.  However, this advanced ward can block all metaplanar travel within its bounded area.  These wards are “solid,” not “hollow,” and so it’s not a matter of “reaching the other side of the wall,” as the entire area inside the ward is “filled in” with the ward.
PREREQUISITES:  Advanced Wards metamagic technique, Magic 6

The Limits of Sorcery

The limits of magic are spelled out in SR4 Street Magic, pp. 159 – 160.  These are mostly as per canon, except as noted below.

Sorcery Cannot Affect Anything to Which the User Does Not Have a Magical Link

•   Magicians can use Detection spells as a link to target others with spells.

Sorcery Cannot Alter the Fabric of the Space/Time Continuum

•   Localized spatial manipulation is possible, such as making rooms that are “bigger on the inside” or warping space to link points together within the area of effect.  This can allow what is effectively short-range teleportation, but takes time to set up within a given area so a magician can’t just whip out a spatial manipulation spell to jump around a battlefield at will.

Sorcery Cannot Divine the Future with any Certainty

As per canon.

Sorcery Cannot Summon or Banish Spirits

As per canon.

Sorcery Cannot Raise the Dead

Not strictly true, but it is very difficult and even most master magicians believe it to be completely impossible.

Sorcery Cannot Create Magical Items

As per canon.

Sorcery Cannot Bridge the Gap Between the Astral and Physical Planes

Not true, but it is an advanced magical technique (see both the Metamagic and the Spells & Rituals sections above).

Sorcery Cannot Create Complex Things

Not strictly true, as there’s a huge loophole.  Magic can create simple items and tools, as long as the magician can clearly visualize them (this may require a skill check, at the GM’s discretion).  More complex items (like electronics) are beyond the ability of a magician to effectively visualize.  However, if an item is provided to serve as a template – and there are sufficient raw materials available – then fabrication magic can be used to create exact duplicates of it.

Sorcery Cannot Create Matter  [NEW RULE]

Spells cannot create permanent matter.  Many spells evoke “temporary matter” that only exists as long as the spell is sustained, but such materials cannot be transformed into normal matter.  There is a workaround, however.  Through advanced magical techniques, matter can be “imported” from the metaplanes.  This is how the Greater Spirit Power of Wealth (SR4 Street Magic, p. 110) functions.

Magic Is Not Intelligent

As per canon.


Basic Rules
•   Possession traditions are limited to using spirits to possess either the magician themselves or prepared vessels.
•   Magicians start off knowing 5 types of spirits that they can summon.  Additional spirit types they can summon cost 5 BP each.
•   Traditions are not limited to the one-type-of-spirit-per-spell-category restriction.  If you can summon a type of spirit, you can order it to do whatever.  Just be aware that some spirits are better for some things than others – asking the Fire spirit to weed your garden will likely see your garden burned to ashes.
•   It is possible to change traditions but you must have a good reason and backstory for such a major life change, and this is also subject to GM approval.  If approved, this costs 100,000¥ and a month of elaborate rituals in your magical lodge.

Mentor Spirits and Patron Spirits
The canon rules about Mentor Spirits have been subject to some considerable revision.
•   Mentor Spirits only provide information, but impose few behavior restrictions on their “students.”
BENEFITS:  The mentor will periodically meet with the magician to give them spell formulae or other arcane knowledge.
DRAWBACKS:  To be determined with the GM based on your character and the mentor you’ve chosen.
•   Patron Spirits provide both information and skill bonuses, but impose more stringent behavior restrictions on their followers.
COST:  10 BP
BENEFITS:  A +2 bonus each to two skills / skill groups / types of spells, along with the benefits of a Mentor Spirit.
DRAWBACKS:  To be determined with the GM based on your character and the patron you’ve chosen.

Other Rules

Background Count
This doesn’t occur quite as easily in canon.  Things like a drive-by shooting or a rock concert won’t produce any significant (or at least not long-lived) background count.  It takes sustained events or deliberate effort over an extended period of time to truly establish a zone with elevated background count.  See SR4 Street Magic, pp. 117 – 123 for more details on the basic rules for mana zones.

Mages with cybereyes cannot use them to target spells visually.  So, it’s a good idea to avoid cybereyes if you’re a magician.  If you’re Awakened and your eyes are damaged, get cloned replacements or make use of the Regenerate spell (see above in the Spells & Rituals section).
« Last Edit: <02-20-24/1652:54> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • If you're not Awakened, you're just another NPC.
« Reply #4 on: <02-20-24/1641:57> »
The Matrix

Commlinks vs. Cyberdecks

•   Due to realistic bandwidth issues, even in the 2070s, using reality filters for any serious VR hacking is the norm, not the exception.  Trying to download staggering amounts of graphical data for each and every node you visit would slow your progress to a crawl and greatly hamper your response times.  Also, wireless will never be anywhere near as fast as land lines – it’s just not happening.  If you want convenience, use the wireless Matrix with your commlink.  If you want high bandwidth, use your cyberdeck with land-line optical fiber.
•   IRL, one of my regular players is a senior network engineer for a major telecom.  According to him, optical fiber is about 20x faster than wireless signal bandwidth, and that’s due to limitations between radio waves and light waves.  In general, radio is analog (sort-of, it works by modulating within a narrow band of frequencies) while fiber is digital.  Not all radio frequencies are created equal, and radio broadcasts are akin to a big field where people can drive their cars all over in any direction they want, while a fiber optic line is like a dedicated racing lane where you’re the only driver on the road.
•   The maximum rating for a commlink is 4, while cyberdecks go up to rating 12.  Commlinks are essentially cell phones, not a real hacker’s tool.  Cyberdecks are equivalent to high-end PCs in terms of memory and power, and are built to handle the high bandwidths necessary for visiting highly sculpted nodes via optical cable connection.

Other Rules

•   You can only experience full VR through a cyberdeck, not a commlink.
•   Using a commlink grants no extra Initiative Passes.  Using a cyberdeck in cold sim grants an extra Initiative Pass (two total) while hot sim grants two extra Initiative Passes (three total).
•   Matrix Icons have become fairly standardized so that devices don’t have to download every bit of data in a node.  It only has to pull up an icon from its database.  That said, some of the larger companies do have big fancy sculpted systems, but those are predominantly meant to be used by their workforce, who will have been issued devices with the official company iconography pre-loaded.  Smaller companies will likely have only minimally sculpted systems that can be compensated for with a brief pre-download before interfacing with it.
« Last Edit: <02-20-24/1653:14> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • If you're not Awakened, you're just another NPC.
« Reply #5 on: <02-20-24/1642:15> »


Their contracts are revised to:
•   Bronze:  5,000¥ per year (equivalent to Basic in canon)
•   Silver:  25,000¥ per year (equivalent to Gold in canon)
•   Gold:  50,000¥ per year (equivalent to Platinum in canon)
•   Platinum:  100,000¥ per year (equivalent to Super-Platinum in canon)

These give a dice pool bonus of half their rating to all First Aid Tests.  In addition, the higher the rating the bigger the kit.  A rating 6 medkit is a full-size paramedic’s duffel bag.


Implant Grades
Alphaware is x2 cost, Betaware is x3 cost, and Deltaware is x4 cost.  The listed cost of Deltaware as ten times normal is just completely ridiculous.

These also require Bone Lacing to avoid damaging the user.  Otherwise, their body can’t take it – the limb might be made of steel, but the flesh and bone its attached to is not.
Free Tip:  If you’re going this far, just get a fully-cybernetic body.

•   Wireless Datajack:  This has same Essence cost as an Implant Commlink.  Signal 0 (3 meters).  Cost is 1,000¥.


The following should be considered the baseline prices for things like commlinks or nexi:

Device Rating | Cost / Notes
0:   100¥  (cheapo disposable commlink)
1:   300¥
2:   625¥
3:   1,250¥
4:   2,500¥  (max commlink rating)
5:   5,000¥
6:   10,000¥
7:   20,000¥
8:   40,000¥
9:   80,000¥
10:   160,000¥
11:   320,000¥
12:   640,000¥  (top-of-the-line cyberdeck)
UV:   1,000,000¥  (Rating 12, plus specialized software)  UV nodes are not inherently addictive, and can be accessed via cold sim.  They’re also not some big secret, and indeed are openly marketed.  Though at their price tag, they’re typically purchased only by corporations or the reasonably rich.

•   AR Trodes Glasses:  These AR glasses incorporate a limited form of trodes in the frames.  It’s not enough to experience full VR, but they do allow the user to effectively have a hands-free mouse.  They also incorporate mini-earbuds for sound.  Signal 0 (3 meters), Rating 4.  Cost is 1,000¥.

The idea that all 3D printer feedstock is secretly infused with stealth tags is an urban legend.  People look for that kind of thing and any company selling feedstock that was caught doing this would find itself in the crosshairs of a huge scandal and people would stop buying their feedstock.  Individual batches given to specific people or groups might have some stealth tags mixed in, but certainly not every retail box of feedstock.

Items Retconned Out of Existence
•   Holoprojectors / Trideo:  Holograms don’t work like this in real life.  If you want 3D imagery, AR and VR are both readily available.  Otherwise, super-thin (and very affordable) flat screen displays are the norm.
•   Nanopaste Trodes:  Nanotechnology is not yet this advanced.

Firearms and Ammunition

•   Stick-n-Stock rounds do exist and are allowed as gear, but players should keep in mind that the rest of the world isn’t stupid, and non-conductive body armor is now the norm, not the exception.

ID and Credsticks

Fake SINs and Licenses
•   Fake SIN:  Rating x 2,000¥
•   Fake License:  Rating x 500¥

These are revised to:
•   Standard:  5,000¥ (these are typically plain black plastic)
•   Copper:  20,000¥
•   Silver:  50,000¥
•   Gold:  100,000¥


Largely as per the tables in SR4A, p. 348, but may change due to market availability (GM’s call).

•   Quickened Spells:  These typically cost 6,000¥ per point of Force.  This is also the cost for permanent wards.
•   Wards:  The warding ritual takes a number of hours equal to the Force of the ward and requires no special materials.  Magical security companies charge 100¥ an hour (per magician).

Nuclear Technology

Nuclear weapons are becoming less and less reliable in the age of magic.  As the mana level rises, nuclear fission becomes less functional.  The larger yield weapons already won’t produce a fission explosion and those remaining fission power plants slowly ceased to work.  Fortunately, practical fusion power has been developed and eventually replaced the older nuclear power plants.
REASON:  The Shadowrun world is already crowded with craziness and adding a possible nuclear war on top of all that is just too much.  So, leaning into how this was depicted in canon (depending on the writer), it’s a good way to “ban the bomb.”  See SR4 War!, p. 159.
« Last Edit: <03-03-24/2126:40> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • If you're not Awakened, you're just another NPC.
« Reply #6 on: <02-20-24/1642:37> »


•   Typical dragons have 12 Essence, while Great Dragons have 24 Essence.  This gives them maximum Magic attributes of 24 and 48, respectively.  Dragons are also smaller than they are in canon.  A typical adult dragon is 50’ from snout to tail (roughly the size of a Spinosaurus) and weighs 10 tons.  Great Dragons are twice that size.
REASON:  If all dragons really were “Super Genius Godzillas,” they’d already be ruling the world without opposition, and their “devious Machiavellian plotting” would be completely unnecessary.  (If you’re a kaiju that can casually wipe cities off the map with a snap of your fingers, you just walk in and take over because no one can stop you.)  This at least bumps their power levels down a little.
•   The Leviathans were nearly extinct by the end of the Fourth Age, due both to infighting and conflicts with other dragons and metahuman empires.  The last remaining one, known simply as “The Sea Dragon” in canon Shadowrun books, did go into hibernation with a large clutch of eggs, which would have allowed her to restore the race of Leviathans in the Sixth World.  Fortunately for everyone else, she and all of her eggs were destroyed in an accidental act of down cycle dragon hunting due to her unfortunate choice of hibernation location – a remote island in the South Pacific that would later be known as Bikini Atoll.
REASON:  The Sea Dragon is an incredibly disruptive element to the campaign setting.  She hates everyone, effectively controls 71% of the planet, and tries to kill everyone who dares to trespass in “her” domain.  Worse, she’s breeding more of her kind.  This effectively makes her something of an “Honorary Horror,” with the Scourge getting an early start, at least in the oceans.  She simply had to go.
•   There are no drakes.  Ignore all references to them in canon and assume that any of them that played a big part in historical events (like Ryan Mercury) were really just Adepts or Magicians with some special training or spells gifted to them by their draconic masters.  (Perhaps being trained in the Draconic magical tradition and then being gifted with a dragon scale amulet that allowed them access to a custom Shapechange spell would let them fake being a “weredragon” when they needed to.  That’s the kind of thing a dragon might give a trusted servant.)
REASON:  You can’t play a dragon.  Get over it.

Immortal Elves

These elves have an Essence of 12, just like dragons.  (Which is appropriate, because they are part dragon.)  This means that their maximum Magic attribute is 24.


Critter Template
•   Physical Attributes:  Body +4, Reaction +2, Strength +3
•   Mental Attributes:  Charisma -2, Logic -1, Willpower +2
•   Powers:  Armor +1 (cumulative with natural dermal armor), Dual Natured, Enhanced Senses (Hearing, Smell), Immunity (Pathogens, Toxins), Infection, Natural Weapon (Bite: DV (STR+1)P, AP -1, -1 Reach), Natural Weapon (Claws: DV (STR+1)P, AP -1), Sapience
•   Weaknesses:  Allergy (Sunlight, Moderate), Dietary Requirement (Metahuman Flesh, 1 lb. per night), Reduced Senses (Blind; -6 dice modifier to all tests involving purely physical sight)
•   Notes:  The victim’s skin becomes rough and takes on a grayish tone, while all body and facial hair soon falls out.  The fingers elongate, and the fingernails become claws.  The teeth become sharper and more prominent.  Their eyes film over with thick white cataracts as they lose their sight, but their senses of hearing and smell become hyperactive.  Ghoul characters can overcome their Reduced Senses by taking cybereyes (though they will lose their Astral Sight by doing so).  Ghouls can only easily digest raw meat; cooked meat makes them sick and causes nausea (see p. 254, SR4A) within an hour when they consume most other foods, especially cooked foods.

HMHGV Taxonomy
•   Group:  Group VIII (Magically Active Viruses)
•   Order:  none
•   Family:  Nachzehriviridae
•   Genus:  Draugarivirus
•   Species:  Human-Metahuman Ghoul Virus

Viral Infection Mechanics
•   Vector:  Injection
•   Penetration:  -3
•   Power:  5

Etymology Notes
Krieger is clearly a German name, so I chose German terminology/folklore for this virus (assuming that this is what he would have chosen/suggested).  The Nachzehrer is a German vampire / mostly ghoul which feasts upon the dead.  The Draugr is a Nordic/German predatory revenant, which also served as the inspiration for Tolkien’s Barrow Wights.

Critter Design Notes
To avoid a “Ghoul Apocalypse” scenario that would make George Romero envious, ghouls have been made less infectious.  This is otherwise a mix of SR4 and SR5 specs for ghouls.


•   The Horrors can’t cross over to Earth this early in the mana cycle, except in zones of very high mana, which they would then be unable to leave.  They could try, but it would be like a human leaving a space station without a pressure suit; the result is a rather messy death.
REASON:  This maintains compatibility with the Earthdawn setting.  If Horrors can exist just fine in a world not even a century past the Awakening, then they wouldn’t have been forced back home due to lack of mana just past the peak of the mana cycle, which is what happened in the Earthdawn setting.  Accordingly, they really can’t come to Earth when the mana level is this low.
•   Horrors can’t just Mark people from the astral plane, they must materialize within LOS of the target to use their Marking power.  This is treated as a Mana spell attack, and the victim resists with Willpower + Countermagic (if any) or Charisma (if they don’t have Counterspelling).  Raw magic is still a flare to them on the astral plane, and is very likely to immediately attract their attention, but they have to exit the astral plane and materialize on Earth to actually attack the magician who made it.
REASON:  Attacking targets on the material plane while you’re on the astral plane is called Grounding, and that’s disallowed.
EXCEPTION:  An astrally perceiving (or otherwise dual-natured) magician is fair game for being marked by a Horror in astral space.
•   The “Horror Invasion Cycle” starts with the “little guys” who can exist on Earth at comparatively lower mana levels, then the greater Horrors start appearing as the mana levels reaches the peak of the curve.  These greater spirits are also the first to be forced home as it starts to fall and the “little guys” are the last to go.  So actually, it’s the lesser Horrors that have the most time on Earth during the Scourge.

Imports from Other RPGs

These creatures from other RPGs seem appropriate to add to the Sixth World.

From D&D
•   Phantoms (AD&D Monstrous Manual, p. 287)

From GURPS Creatures of the Night
•   Darklings, pp. 27 – 29.
•   Dread Blossoms, pp. 33 – 34.
•   Gallows Trees, pp. 44 – 45.
•   Greendreads, pp. 47 – 48.
•   Lodgers, pp. 61 – 63.
•   Lune Fish, pp. 66 – 67.
•   Mazeworms, pp. 72 – 73.

Invae  (Insect Spirits)

•   While the Horrors (above) can’t cross over to Earth this early in the mana cycle, the Invae can exist on Earth this early in the mana cycle if they can find a way to get to Earth.
REASON:  The Insect Spirits are arguably too integral to the Shadowrun setting to get rid of.
•   Ignore the canon species of Invae.  There are ones that make hives like bees or wasps and those that make burrows like ants, but they only superficially resemble those insects.
REASON:  The Invae are aliens.  Any resemblance to bugs native to Earth should be coincidental.  This also means that Insect totems are available for PCs, as those aren’t inherently toxic/evil.

Ordinary Critters

•   No Ordinary Critters are currently revised.


•   Immunity to Normal Weapons does not exist.  Any Critter with this power in canon has some combination of Armor / Hardened Armor / Mystic Armor / Hardened Mystic Armor instead.
•   All paracritters are dual-natured.
•   For creatures that are harmed by sunlight, reflected light works perfectly fine for this.  Though it’s the GM’s call if this effectiveness is reduced due to using a poorly-reflective surface.


•   An important addition to the Baltimore Classification is “Group VIII: Magically Active Viruses,” which is used for all Awakened viruses.
•   All Awakened viruses to date have been proven to be mutually exclusive.  If you’ve contracted one of them you can’t catch or be a carrier for the others.
•   HMHVV and HMHGV are similar, but distinct, Awakened viruses.  The Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus transforms its victims into vampires, while the Human-Metahuman Ghoul Virus transforms its victims into ghouls.  See the “Ghouls” entry above, and the “Vampires” entry below for more details.
REASON:  The official taxonomy for HMHVV badly needed correction to actual medical standards, and the increasing number of weird HMHVV creatures has gotten completely out of hand in canon.  Also, making all of them dual-natured makes it easier to keep the filthy creatures out by setting up astral wards.
•   VITAS is also caused by an Awakened virus.  This is one of the reasons it’s so nasty, but its weakness is that it’s especially vulnerable to magical healing spells.  Its designation is HMHAV.
Group:  Group VIII (Magically Active Viruses)
Order:  none
Family:  Allergiviridae
Genus:  Histamivirus
Species:  Human-Metahuman Anaphylaxis Virus
Infection Mechanics:  Vector Inhalation, Penetration 0, Power 10
NOTES:  This deadly virus wiped out a good chunk of the world’s population, exhibiting paranormal infectious ability and lethality on par with Ebola.  The symptoms it inflicts are codified as VITAS (Virally-Induced Toxic Allergy Syndrome).  Magical healing is the most effective treatment (a +4 bonus to the Disease Resistance Test).


There are no shifters.  Ignore all references to them in canon and assume that any of them that appeared in canon were either magicians with shapeshifting spells or paracritters with some sort of illusion powers.
REASON:  They’re just one more complication in a setting already awash in exotic creatures.  If you want to play the Wolfman or something like that you can configure a Unique Changeling build (with the GM’s approval).


•   Spirits get one Critter Power per point of Force (in addition to their free powers of Astral Form, Sapience, Materialization/Possession, and Hardened Armor when Materialized).
•   A spirit’s Force rating is used as the default value for all of their attributes.
•   Spirits can’t receive cyberware implants, but they can perceive AR just fine and are capable of using any non-cyberware modern electronics.
•   A spirit in astral space who manifests on Earth can be seen and heard normally by anyone, as well as recorded on video, etc.
•   Materialized spirits have the typical full five senses that a human/animal does.
•   Materialized spirits can eat food, and it just vanishes when they dematerialize.
•   During the peak of the mana cycle (the Scourge), spirits with Evanescence (this includes the Horrors) have it nullified for the duration.
•   Spirits of various types have the following innate powers:
  • Air Spirits:  Accident, Astral Form, Concealment, Confusion, Engulf, Materialization, Movement, Sapience, Search.
  • Beast Spirits:  Animal Control, Astral Form, Enhanced Senses (Hearing, Low-Light Vision, Smell), Fear, Materialization, Movement, Sapience.
  • Earth Spirits:  Astral Form, Binding, Guard, Materialization, Movement, Sapience, Search.
  • Fire Spirits:  Accident, Astral Form, Confusion, Elemental Attack, Energy Aura, Engulf, Materialization, Sapience.
  • Guardian Spirits:  Astral Form, Fear, Guard, Magical Guard, Materialization, Movement, Sapience.
  • Guidance Spirits:  Astral Form, Confusion, Divining, Guard, Magical Guard, Materialization, Sapience, Search, Shadow Cloak.
  • Plant Spirits:  Astral Form, Concealment, Engulf, Fear, Guard, Magical Guard, Materialization, Sapience, Silence.
  • Spirits of Man:  Accident, Astral Form, Concealment, Confusion, Enhanced Senses (Low-Light, Thermographic Vision), Guard, Influence, Materialization, Sapience, Search.
  • Task Spirits:  Accident, Astral Form, Binding, Materialization, Movement, Sapience, Search.
  • Water Spirits:  Astral Form, Concealment, Confusion, Engulf, Materialization, Movement, Sapience, Search.
  • Watchers:  Astral Form, Search.  SPECIAL NOTE:  Watchers are not subject to the diminishing dice pool rule for Extended Tests (SR4, pp. 64-65); “a cumulative -1 dice modifier to each test after the first.”
  • Tulpa:  These are referred to as “Thought Forms” in SR4 Digital Grimoire, pp. 4-5.  They’re unique among summonable spirits in that they can be custom-designed by the Psionicist (subject to GM’s approval).  They’re also Materialization spirits, not Possession spirits.
  • Ghosts:  These have powers that are highly-customized due to who they were in life and the circumstances of their death (GM’s call).
•   Spirits have 2x formulas:
  • True Formula:  This is their true name, and knowing it grants a summoner the means to enforce their will on the spirit.
  • Calling Formula:  This formula can be used in summoning rituals for the spirit, but grants no power over it to the summoner.  It’s essentially the spirit’s astral commcode, and like any commcode they can (with a bit of effort and spending 1 KP) change it to a new one if they’re getting too many unwanted calls.

Synthetic Intelligences

•   True AIs are huge data constructs, and only three have been confirmed to exist – Deus, Megaera, and Mirage.  The “little AIs” introduced in SR4 Emergence do not exist.
REASON:  Yet another exotic creature.  There’s no way that a true AI isn’t going to be a huge data construct, and probably one requiring specialized hardware as well.  So, you can’t play one of these.


Critter Template
•   Attributes:  +2 to all Physical and Mental attributes
•   Powers:  Compulsion, Dual Natured, Enhanced Senses (Hearing, Low-light Vision, Smell, Thermographic Vision), Fear, Immunity (Age, Pathogens, Toxins), Infection, Influence, Magician, Mist Form, Natural Weapon (Bite: (STR+1)P, AP -1, -1 Reach), Regeneration, Sapience, Other (+1 initiative die, +1 to all movement rates)
•   Weaknesses:  Allergy (Sunlight, Severe), Dietary Requirement (Metahuman Blood, 1 pint per night), Induced Dormancy (Lack of Air, (Body) Minutes), Vulnerability (Wood)
•   Notes:  The victim’s skin becomes paler and their lateral incisors become more pronounced.  If not Awakened as a Magician before their infection, they become one afterwards.  Vampires are exclusively hemovores and can consume only blood.  Any other food makes them sick and causes nausea (see p. 245, SR4) within an hour when they consume most other foods; this is especially true if they consume alcohol, in which case the nausea kicks in within 15 minutes.  Damage taken from sunlight is not healed by their Regeneration power, nor is damage from wooden weapons.

HMHVV Taxonomy
•   Group:  Group VIII (Magically Active Viruses)
•   Order:  none
•   Family:  Vryolakiviridae
•   Genus:  Strigoivirus
•   Species:  Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus

Viral Infection Mechanics
•   Vector:  Special
•   Penetration:  Special
•   Power:  Special
•   Notes:  If the vampire drains a victim of all boxes of Physical Damage, it might infect them with HMHVV.  Make an Opposed Test, rolling the vampire’s Magic + Charisma versus the victim’s Body + Willpower.  If the vampire wins, its victim becomes infected.  If the victim wins, they die.  An infected victim enters into a near-death state for 24 hours, then awakens with an overwhelming hunger to drain blood from the first metahuman unlucky enough to encounter them.

Etymology Notes
Based on their names, the researchers who isolated this virus aren’t themselves Greek or Eastern European, so I assume that they were just by people with a Classical education.  At any rate, I tried to try to stay close to Greek terminology/folklore for this virus.  The Greek vampire, the Vyrolakas, is the classic corporeal vampire of Greek and Eastern European folklore.  The Strigoi is a Roman/Romanian vampire.

Critter Design Notes
This is a mix of SR4 and SR5 specs for both vampires and nosferatu.  Also, having vampires being allergic to wood was just really, really stupid.  A vampire’s attacking you?  No worries, just poke him with a stick and it’ll burn him like acid.  That was changed to a Vulnerability instead (see SR4 Running Wild, p. 219).
« Last Edit: <02-20-24/1654:01> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • If you're not Awakened, you're just another NPC.
« Reply #7 on: <02-20-24/1642:56> »
Additional Rules


The Combat Sequence
I found this method of fast-paced combat without initiative rolls that was pioneered by Professor Dungeon Master.  This overrides part of the canon combat rules. Weapons, armor, damage tracks, etc. remain unchanged. But the process of combat now works as follows.

•   Step 1:  Everyone states what they’re going to do.  And once you’ve stated it you can’t change it.  You are locked into that move.  You have 60 seconds to decide.
•   Step 2:  Everyone rolls the dice.  Runners and enemies all at once.  This includes both their attack dice and their fist/weapon/spell damage dice as well.
•   Step 3:  The GM looks at the dice results and narrates what happens.

Some caveats:
•   Ranged Attacks:  These always go first, and if the attack kills the target it cancels their attack.  Spells count as ranged attacks (unless they’re touch spells).
•   Sneak Attacks:  If you manage to sneak up behind someone, that’s a free attack.  They can’t see you to attack you back.
•   Contested Actions:  Say that a runner is about to wade into combat but notices a group of enemies trying to sneak up on them from behind.  The enemies are about to come through a door in the back of the room and he’s the closest to them.  The runner and the lead enemy make attack rolls.  The runner’s roll is better, so he can reach the door before they do and then slam it shut and lock it as his action for that combat round.  If the lead enemy had won, they would barrel through the door and join in the combat as of the next round.
•   Surprise Attacks:  Say that the runners are stealthily creeping around a corp’s warehouse and come across a group of guards playing cards in their break room.  If the runners decide to attack, then they get a +3 bonus to their attack rolls and the guards get a -3 penalty to their attack rolls.  This only applies to the first round of combat.
•   Extra Attacks:  If anyone has enhanced reflexes then they get multiple attacks/actions while everyone else is doing their one attack/action.

After all that, is one side dead, surrendered, or run away?  If not then we do it all over again – you have 60 seconds to decide your actions for the next round of combat.  Rinse and repeat until the fight is over.


Instead of Connections, Contacts can be rated by their overall skill level.  For instance, if your contact is a skilled technician, note them as “Skill Levels 5” instead of “Connections 5.”  The costs are otherwise the same.

Hiring Experts

If they desire, the PCs can hire NPCs for certain tasks.

Magicians (Daily Rate)
The minimum is 500¥, if the work is fairly easy and routine.  If it’s more labor-intensive and might involve some drain, then at least 1,000¥.  If the magician is going to be flat with drain at the end of a long, hard day, or if the tasks are highly specialized so that few magicians could competently perform them, then it’s at least 2,000¥.


•   Monthly profit from running a business is at a ratio of 100-to-1.  So, if you invest 1 million ¥ in the business, and it pays out 10,000¥ per month in profit.


The Advanced Lifestyle rules from SR4 Runner’s Companion, pp. 149-165, are being used by default for all Lifestyles.  There are additional Lifestyle rules in SR4 Safehouses and SR4 Running Wild, pp. 39-40.  I’ll also allow converted edges/flaws from SR3 Sprawl Survival Guide, pp. 127-144, as well as converted perks/options from SR5 Run Faster, pp. 212-227.

Adjusted Costs
Regarding the Lifestyle Point/Cost Table in SR4 Runner’s Companion, p. 153, there are these adjustments:
•   At level 31+ just keep extending by the cost upwards in 10,000¥ increments.
•   The cost for qualities/perks is a flat cost based on the Lifestyle level without counting those qualities/perks:
[indent]?   Squatter:  100¥ per +1
?   Low:  300¥ per +1
?   Middle:  600¥ per +1
?   High:  1,000¥ per +1
?   Luxury:  10,000¥ per +1[/indent]
The Lifestyle Roll
Suggested by Reddit user clarionx here, each PC needs to make a monthly roll to see how well their Lifestyle is working out for them.  Based on their Lifestyle level, they roll these many dice:
•   Squatter:  2
•   Low:  4
•   Middle:  8
•   High:  16
•   Luxury:  32

You need 2 hits to continue living “comfortably.”  Any less than that and you start encountering problems this month (the specifics are the GM’s call).  Conversely, 5+ hits means that life is great this month (also the GM’s call).

New Lifestyle Qualities
•   Large Country Property
[indent]?   Prerequisites:  The Rural Home quality at minimum, and also the No Neighbors quality if your property is at least 100 acres in size.
?   Cost:  +2 per increment increase
?   Description:  The Rural Home quality notes that “lot sizes are at least ten acres or larger,” so we’ll take 10 acres as the baseline for a Middle Lifestyle.  High Lifestyle is 100 acres and Luxury Lifestyle is 1,000 acres.  Each level of this quality increases your land size by a factor of 10, up to a maximum of 10,000 acres.  So you could have a Middle Lifestyle cabin on a very large estate if you pay enough for it.[/indent]

Run Payoffs

The base pay for a single run is 1 months’ worth of expenses; this will vary from campaign to campaign.  If the PCs are Low Lifestyle, that’s at least 2,000¥ per run.  If they’re Middle, it’s 5,000¥, and if they’re High, it’s 10,000¥.  So this assumes they’ll be out risking life and limb at least once a month.

•   Milk Run:  quarter Base Pay
•   Easy Run:  half Base Pay
•   Average Run:  Base Pay
•   Tough Run:  double Base Pay
•   Super-Difficult Run:  quadruple Base Pay

But they need to make more than just monthly expenses.  “Where do they get those wonderful toys?”  Well, typically they need to buy them.  Going by this guide, they need to do at least do two runs a month if they want more toys beyond keeping up with their basic expenses.

Replacing Karma with Cash
PCs no longer earn Karma – their rewards are cash, and occasionally gear.  The following are the costs for things Karma was normally spent on:
•   Improve an Attribute by +1: 50,000¥  (this doesn’t include Magic or Resonance)
•   Improve an Active Skill by +1: 25,000¥
•   Improve an Active Skill Group by +1: 50,000¥
•   Improve a Knowledge Skill by +1: 10,000¥
•   Adept Powers: 25,000¥ for 0.25 PP worth of powers.
•   Spells: After purchasing the formula, it costs another 10,000¥ for supplies and then takes one week in your magical lodge to fully learn it.
•   Initiation: 100,000¥ for supplies and one week of preparation in your magical lodge.  This is a one-time expense, after which you gain access to the metaplanes and metamagic techniques.
•   Metamagic Techniques: 50,000¥ for supplies and one week in your magical lodge to fully learn it.
•   Focus Bonding: 10,000¥ * Force for all foci unless otherwise noted.  Power foci cost 30,000¥ * Force.
« Last Edit: <02-20-24/1654:27> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • If you're not Awakened, you're just another NPC.
« Reply #8 on: <02-20-24/1643:10> »
The Sixth World - Part 1

Awakened Demographics

1% of the population is Awakened, so out of 1 million people here is the approximate breakdown:

1% is 10,000 people, but only about 10% of those have any real, usable talent.

•   8,000 are either untrained (and not likely to get that training) or just don’t have the disposition to wield any real magic
•   1,000 are Aware (their sole talent is Astral Perception)
•   350 are Adepts
•   225 are Sorcery-Aspected Magicians
•   200 are Conjuring-Aspected Magicians
•   115 are Enchanting-Aspected Magicians
•   100 are Full Magicians
•   10 are Mystic Adepts (both Full Magicians and Adepts)

If you’re a Full Magician, you’re 1 in 10,000.
If you’re a Mystic Adept, you’re 1 in 100,000.

History and Geography

The current year is 2080.  Rather than try to re-hash the entire Shadowrun timeline, this is an outline of the big differences from canon.

North America

•   Confederation of American States:  All of Florida belongs to the CAS.  The Caribbean League does not encompass its southern tip.
•   Native American Nations:
  • There simply aren’t enough Native Americans to make up the population figures for the NAN in canon.  So, the founders of the NAN expanded their definition of “native”…at least on paper.
  • Large portions of the Latino population joined up with the Native Americans during the Indian Wars.  For social and economic reasons they became part of the NAN afterwards.
  • For similar reasons, the Mormon Church supported and joined with them as well, folding Utah into their territory.
•   Pueblo Corporate Council:
  • The PCC sells SINs along with the purchase of any shares of preferred stock, so these are easy to get for any SINless person who comes into some money.  (That being said, a lot of SINless people don’t have the money to purchase any PCC stock.)
  • Weapon laws are a bit looser than in canon.  While they still frown on you owning grenades or rocket launchers, heavy pistols and rifles are allowed (with the proper permits).
  • There’s no Deep Lacuna in Los Angeles.  The game’s developers clearly twisted themselves into knots trying to justify flooding Los Angeles when it sits on higher ground than the ocean so it’s just a ridiculous concept.
•   Tír Tairngire:  This nation never came into existence.  Separatist-inclined elves headed for Tír na nÓg instead, which ended up as something of a mix of those two countries.  Oregon and Washington ended up as Salish-Shidhe territory.

Major Events by Year

•   The Awakening

•   Nuclear fission plants start experiencing some minor quirks.

•   Nuclear fission plants are now experiencing a small but measurable drop in power.  It’s speculated that this is due to the return of magic to the world.

•   By this point, the loss of power from nuclear fission plants is well-documented, slowly accelerating, and can no longer be denied.  Funding for fusion power is greatly increased after the first net power process is achieved this year.

•   The major players of what would have become the Sinsearach Elf Tribe in Salish-Shidhe territory were instead persuaded to move to Ireland through some intense backroom negotiations.  Those that remained behind never managed to get all that organized.

•   Fusion power has finally been developed to the point where it’s nominally commercially viable, but will require some work to actually bring it to market.

•   HMHVV is isolated by Dr.  Emil Harz and Dr.  Carla Greenbaum; this magical virus transforms victims into vampires.
•   Lugh Surehand, who had previously joined forces with Liam O’Connor and Seamus O’Kennedy back in 2029, is instrumental in helping to transform Ireland into Tír na nÓg.  Instead of becoming the first High Prince of Tír Tairngire, he became of the head of one of the powerful Danaan Families who really run the country from behind the scenes.

•   The first fusion power plants start coming online in cities across the world.

•   The first practical neural interface is developed, but is expensive and soon mired in red tape.

•   The Crash Virus sweeps the world and is eventually countered by the cutting edge Echo Mirage team using the newly-developed neural interfaces.  This does also hastily clear out the red tape surrounding neural interfaces.

•   In the wake of the Crash Virus, the modern Matrix begins to develop.
•   The SINner system is implemented.

•   HMHGV is isolated by Dr.  Jeffrey Krieger; this magical virus transforms victims into ghouls.

•   The USA and Canada merge into UCAS.
•   The CAS and CalFree secede from the new country.

•   By this point, fusion power is fairly widespread and factory farming has replaced a good amount of traditional farming.  It’s also made large-scale desalination and arcologies practical.

•   The PCC marches across the CalFree border to annex Los Angeles and a good chunk of Southern CA as well.

•   Leónization is first marketed.  An extensive course of genetic medical treatments returns a patient to their prime as a young adult.  It takes months, costs several million nuyen, and the possible side effects are not fully understood (or publically acknowledged).

•   The last old fission reactors are finally phased out.

•   The PCC plays a major role in removing Keiji Saito from the California Protectorate.  They then promptly take the opportunity to absorb the rest of CalFree themselves.  CalFree ceases to exist and the PCC now has access to another major seaport and a lot of prime farmland.

•   The CAS took back southwest Texas from Aztlan, which later contributed to Aztlan being fought to a stalemate in the Amazonia war instead of nominally winning it.  [This happened in a previous campaign, and our PCs contributed to helping the CAS.]

•   Dr.  Morgana Weston, PhD, ThD, paravirologist, and Hermetic mage, successfully demonstrates the cure for both HMHGV and HMHVV.  Unfortunately, it’s both lengthy and very expensive, and thus sees little use outside of her test subjects, but this discovery throws gasoline onto the whole “Infected Rights” issue.

•   The Elixir of Youth, the magical community’s answer to Leónization, is discovered.  It costs 1 million ¥ in reagents and takes a year to make, so it usually retails for at least 2 million ¥ per dose.  It returns the drinker to their prime as a young adult.


The events of the novel Worlds Without End didn’t happen.

Imports from Other RPGs

From Cyberpunk 2020
•   Johnny Silverhand and Kerry Eurodyne are well-known rock superstars.
•   In the shadows, Morgan Blackhand and Nomad Santiago are fairly well-known street samurai.  In the Matrix, Rache Bartmoss and Spider Murphy are well-known (infamous) shadow deckers.
•   Mitsuhama Computer Technologies is retroactively re-named to Arasaka, and is ruled with an iron fist by its founder and still-largest shareholder, Saburo Arasaka, who is also effectively a Yakuza oyabun.

Metahuman Demographics

These are average figures, taking into account the global population, and will vary from region to region:
•   Human 72%
•   Elf 7%
•   Dwarf 6%
•   Ork 11%
•   Troll 3%
•   Other (T’skrang, Windlings, Obsidimen, Unique Changelings) 1%

Magic and the Law

Law Enforcement

The Early Years
The first patchwork of laws to regulate the Awakened was clumsy, ham-fisted, and partly nonsensical.  Things like unannounced home inspections, trying to regulate spells and foci by the Metzger-Typhus scale, licensing fees that cost more than most cars, and even trying to license individual spells per magician.  Naturally, all it really did was make a giant mess.

The unannounced home inspections led to what eventually became giant class-action lawsuits for tens of millions in nuyen for property damage and some wrongful death cases.  Trying to regulate magic by the Metzger-Typhus scale was essentially impossible to comply with as relatively few magicians could tell the difference between a spell that was Rating 3 or Rating 3.07436 on that scale (if they could get that close).  Even trying to learn what spells a magician knew was a non-starter, and was frequently compared to trying to license each application that all the Matrix programmers in the world created every day.  And many Awakened made less per year than the exorbitant licensing fee charged by Lone Star (for just a basic license, at that).

After many years, this giant mess eventually snowballed its way into public awareness due to the sheer number of lawsuits and horror stories, which Awakened civil rights groups had actively solicited and publicly posted in an attempt to shame the powers that be into some badly-needed reforms.  In the end, that arguably worked.

Current Era (2075-ish)
While laws vary between the UCAS, CAS, and CalFree, most of them have been streamlined into a basic licensing system which is something like getting your Driver’s License or CCL Permit as it involves classes, written tests, and practical tests to obtain.  Their costs have been reigned down to about 2,000¥ and the courses are typically a week to complete.  Foci are licensed rather like firearms and while there are no explicit Metzger-Typhus scale limits, all foci will be assessed to determine their Force Rating according to that scale, which also gives the legal authority an idea how powerful the creator of the focus was and how powerful the magician who bonded it is as well.  In addition, the registering officials shave a little sliver off of each focus and save them in a magical preservation vault to serve as magical links to both the focus and indirectly the bonding magician as well.

Lone Star
They did not take the magic law reforms gracefully, and largely regarded it as their right to push around the Awakened whenever and however they chose.  Their response was a massive escalation of the whole situation, in such a way that its effects would be felt around the world.  At the time, Black Guardian Vines were barely known as an obscure variant of Awakened Ivy that were only found in the deepest corners of the Amazonian Jungle.  But their Division of Paranormal Investigation’s Research Department prides itself on being well-informed and saw their potential in law enforcement.

At considerable expense and trouble, they carefully imported several specimens for testing purposes and the results were all that they could have hoped for.  Within 5 to 10 minutes of forcible exposure, any Awakened criminal could be rendered permanently mundane, greatly simplifying their treatment by the legal system.  The vines had to be carefully restrained into a “mat” of sorts and they typically had to slap a tranquilizer patch on the prisoners first, but they did the job.  One of their first acts was to immediately depower the entire populations of all the private mage prisons under their jurisdiction, resulting in massive cost savings going forward in dealing with the now perfectly normal criminals.  All Awakened criminals that have even been arrested (not necessarily on valid charges) are likewise subjected to this fate unless some corporation offers to take them off their hands instead (for a suitable discrete payment, of course).

Most legal systems are still reeling from this new tactic, as such an approach was not addressed at all in the most recent reforms.  Lone Star’s response was to note that their depowered prisoners are completely unharmed physically (as verified by medical examination), and that their new “Paranormal Containment Protocol” was entirely both ethical and legal.  So far, they’re continuing to get away with it.

However, this has completely burned any bridges they had with the Awakened community as a whole.  They now firmly regard Lone Star as Public Enemy Number 1 and are openly hostile towards them.  This has severely hampered the DPI’s ability to hire new magicians and there are persistent rumors in the shadow community that magicians are being captured on trumped-up charges and offered deals to either join up or be immediately depowered.

Knight Errant
They regard themselves more as soldiers than police, and view the Awakened as individuals possessing potent concealed weapons.  Accordingly, they insist on mandatory licensing as soon as they identify them and stress the penalties (getting shot dead) if they become a public nuisance with their abilities.  As Lone Star’s top competitors, they strive to differentiate themselves from them and have deliberately avoided using Black Guardian Vines save as an absolute last resort for powerful Awakened prisoners who would otherwise be very difficult to contain.  Note that this situation is mostly rare due to their “shoot first and ask questions later” policy towards Awakened criminals, so that’s of dubious benefit to the Awakened community as a whole.  Nevertheless, their “only as an absolute last resort” policy on Black Guardian Vines has won them some grudging support from the Awakened, if only because they want to spite Lone Star by lobbying for their main competitor instead.

At least in North America, these are arguably the best places to be a magician, as magic there is treated as an everyday part of life and regulated like any other profession.  This has caused a steadily-increasing “mage drain” as more and more Awakened try to immigrate to the NAN (typically the PCC) from the rest of North America.  It could be said that the UCAS and CAS are getting exactly what they said they wanted (less magic around), but it’s happening in a way that makes them weaker and their neighboring states stronger.  It’s a complicated issue and the UCAS and CAS find themselves arguing either side of it on any given day, but in the end it’s undeniable that the NAN (and again, mostly the PCC) are growing magically stronger every year at their expense.  The NAN are, of course, delighted at their neighbors’ short-sighted laws and gleefully take in nearly any Awakened that apply, as long as they don’t have a history of being violent criminals.  Black Guardian Vines are illegal all across the NAN (Availability 25F), where they’re regarded as a sacrilege to their spiritual beliefs.  Very quietly, various NAN governments run “underground railroad” networks to smuggle promising Awakened onto tribal lands out of the UCAS, CAS, CalFree, and Aztlan.

Fundamentalist religious communities, in particular, have eagerly embraced the use of Black Guardian Vines to “cleanse the demonic taint of magic” in their midst.  New Coming-of-Age rituals have been devised where every young person is required to lay upon a mat of writhing vines to drain away their magical potential.  Likewise, anyone in those communities found to be exhibiting sorcerous talents are liable to be kidnapped in the night by a local vigilante squad and forcibly depowered.  The slowly-healing divide between the Awakened and organized religion has now shattered into a vast gulf that will likely never be mended.  The Awakened have largely become far more militant on the subject of religion, and will routinely ostracize members that belong to any sects that do not loudly condemn this practice.

Newly-formed Awakened terrorist groups have started hunting down and destroying Black Guardian Vines wherever they can find them, and they have strong (if not always open) support from the rest of their Awakened brethren.

Regulatory Authorities

Regulations for Awakened citizens (and creatures) are determined by the Department of Magical Affairs (DMA).  This department was created by the UCAS Congress shortly after the nation’s founding.  But from that point it’s up to typically Lone Star or Knight Errant to actually enforce those laws, depending on specific jurisdictions.


Outside of a few nations such as the NAN, spirits are not recognized as citizens of any country and have no legal rights.  Legally, they’re considered the responsibility (and liability) of the magician who summoned them.  Free or wild spirits encountered by magical law enforcement are likely to just be banished without a second thought.  This attitude has not endeared them to any shamans (or spirits).

Tools of the Trade

In first world nations, at least, police use Quicksilver Mana Sensitive Film Cameras (Arsenal, pg.  67) to capture astral signatures and then digitize them, giving them a searchable database of magical signatures.  (Pro Tip:  Shadowrunners, clean up your astral signatures or the cops will take a photo and use it against you in the future.)

The Infected

Most nations do not offer legal rights to the Infected.  Asamando is a notable exception, but it’s a puppet state propped up by DeBeers-Omnitech for access to its mineral wealth.  There was some traction for a ghoul rights bill a few years ago in UCAS, but it died in committee after the latest ghouls-eat-innocent-people atrocity to hit the news.

The typical Ghoul Bounty is about 1,000¥ a head.  Vampires are worth 10,000¥ a head (if you live through trying to take one down).
« Last Edit: <02-20-24/1654:54> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • If you're not Awakened, you're just another NPC.
« Reply #9 on: <02-20-24/1643:31> »
The Sixth World - Part 2


Governments and Corporations
Shadowrunning exists as a profession because – as a general rule – governments are weak and corporations are strong.  If it were the other way around, corporations could never get away with hiring mercenaries to sabotage and attack each other.  If both were strong, it would result in a surveillance state dystopia where everyone was constantly tracked and regulated.  So, this actually contributes to something of a new status quo, as both corporations and the shadowrunners they employ are generally aware of this and thus aren’t exactly keen for governments to regain any real degree of power.

Jobs and Fixers
Contrary to canon, most shadowrunners do not meet directly with Mr.  Johnson.  Instead, they work for a (more or less) trusted fixer who vets and arranges jobs for them.  This is a safer approach for everyone involved.  When your work is very illegal, exactly what sense does it make to let the client know who you are by meeting them face to face?  Or, from their perspective, why on Earth would they let the “hired help” for an illegal enterprise actually know who they were?  The whole “traditional” method of actually meeting the Johnson makes no sense at all.  When the team works for the fixer, the fixer is the go-between and sole point of contact between the two parties, and that’s safer for everyone all around.  Neither side can betray the identity of the other, as they don’t know who they are.

(See the section “Deniable Assets” under Neo-Tokyo in SR4 Corporate Enclaves, p.  107, for a description of how this is SOP for Japanese runners in canon.)


Agriculture and Food
Thanks to readily-available fusion power (see below as well as the History section above) and biotechnology, most meat is grown in factories instead of on farms.  There are even “farm buildings” consisting of aeroponic gardens that are dozens of stories tall.  This approach has replaced many traditional farms and those that remain are largely those catering to the “natural and organic” consumers for premium prices.

Of special note is cloned human meat for ghouls.  This does satisfy their nutritional requirements but it’s a bit expensive and only a few biotech food companies are willing to be known as the ones growing humans as a food source.  So, this really only helps those ghouls who can afford this premium food supply.

Fusion Power
Practical fusion power was finally developed and eventually replaced the fission power plants that were slowly failing in the new age of magic.  This has provided cheap electrical power for the masses, made large-scale desalination practical, and fueled the growth of arcologies.

The SIN format is 12 alphanumeric digits in three blocks of four digits (e.g., 5T2G-8U6V-PK02).  All SINs are essentially high-tech Driver’s Licenses in a government-proprietary format mini-data-card form, and all commlinks will have an integrated slot reserved for just this mini-data-card.  The core pieces of a person’s identity will be permanently burned onto one of the chips on this card, unalterable, at whatever factory presses them out under government contract with high security.  Other areas of the card are open for controlled/authorized read/write access (new medical history entries, etc.).  If lost, you have visit the future equivalent of the DMV to pay to get a new one and the unique hardware ID of the old one would be flagged in the government’s central ID database as lost/stolen/invalid.
« Last Edit: <02-20-24/1655:33> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • If you're not Awakened, you're just another NPC.
« Reply #10 on: <02-20-24/1643:46> »
Optional Rules


Although we had a player who was a regular technomancer in the past, we’ve eventually reached the point where we came to regard the presence of technomancers in the Sixth World as more of a headache than they’re worth.  Accordingly, they were retconned out of existence, but these rules might be applicable if we’re running a one-shot that won’t affect the greater campaign world.

Technomancers Are Magical
Technomancers are essentially a different kind of magician and the Resonance Realms are explicitly metaplanes.  But the Resonance is fundamentally incompatible with mana as magicians and adepts know it and thus a person can only be one or the other.

Rules in Play
•   The SR4A Core Rules and SR4 Unwired are the primary source for technomancy rules.  Of special note is that the Optional Rules for “The Resonance Difference” in SR4 Unwired pp. 137-138 are being used.
•   Technomancers can take the Focused Concentration quality.

New Echoes
•   Compile Living Sprites:  Sprites occupy a gray area between mere tools and more conventional spirits.  With this Echo, the technomancer can choose to compile fully sapient sprites.
•   Compile Tool Sprites:  The opposite of the above Echo, the technomancer can choose to compile sprites that are decidedly non-sapient.  These sprites are merely “smart” tools and more akin to Agents (SR4A, pp. 234-235; SR4 Unwired, p. 87).
•   Faster Registration:  Registering sprites now only requires (30 minutes * the rating of the sprite).
•   Private Files:  You can create files that are marked as not to be archived in the Resonance Realms.
•   Speedy Registration:  Registering sprites now only requires (15 minutes * the rating of the sprite); Faster Registration is a prerequisite.
« Last Edit: <02-20-24/1655:52> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • If you're not Awakened, you're just another NPC.
« Reply #11 on: <02-20-24/1644:01> »
Still Working On

All-Ritual Spellcasting

The Basic Idea
Enforce greater game balance by not letting magicians dominate to quite the degree that they do.  This proposal would put them on the same level as deckers – that is to say, critical team support members, but not front-line combatants.  By increasing the casting time for spells and summoning, they can assist on run preparation, and even go along on runs to handle things like ward penetration and such, but won’t be expected (or able) to quickly sling spells in a firefight.

Is this even a good idea?  It will certainly change the feel of gameplay, but will it be for the better?

Dumpshock Thread(s)
All-Ritual Magic

Main Ideas
•   Increase spellcasting time to one minute per level of Force.
•   Increase summoning time to one minute per level of Force of the spirit.
•   To compensate, new spell research shouldn’t be arduous.

Some Possible Variations
•   Have one minute be the minimum casting time.  If you do well enough on the Spellcasting (or Summoning) roll, it's only a minute.  If you don't roll so well, it takes even longer (another minute or two).
•   Some sort of bonus for voluntarily spending more time than normal on the casting ritual?

Problem Issues
•   Having both Spellcasting and Summoning take one minute per level of Force can work, but if Counterspelling or Banishing take more than several seconds (tops), then they're nearly useless.  Using Counterspelling to unravel an existing spell can take some time, but if countering a spell headed for your face takes a full minute, you're screwed.  And good luck getting a spirit to stand still for a minutes-long Banishing ritual.

Survey Says…
The gang is a bit skeptical about this (but admit it has possibilities), and so they want to do a one-shot campaign with some throw-away characters to test this one weekend and see how it goes.

A Unified, Consistent Magic System

The Basic Idea
Spellcasting and Summoning are practically two different magic systems, running on two different sets of rules for what magic can and can’t do.  There needs to be a single set of rules for what magic can and can’t do in Shadowrun.  Also, shouldn’t a spirit’s formula be something that can be recorded in a grimoire and cast as a summoning ritual?

Dumpshock Thread(s)
Merging Spellcasting and Summoning

Main Ideas
•   Each type of spirit gets its own summoning spell (i.e., Summon Fire Elemental), which are part of a new category of spells – Summoning.  Spirits can’t cast spells from this category.
•   Bind Spirit and Banish Spirit would be spells as well.
•   This would mean that Aspected magicians basically cease to exist.  No big loss, as no one’s ever wanted to play one.
•   Possibly tighten the magical skills into “magic you can do right now” and “magic that takes hours (or days or weeks) back in your lodge.”
•   Possibly rule that all spirits suffer from some degree of Evanescence and can’t cross over from the metaplanes unless they’re summoned, or unless they arrive in (and then stay in) a Domain with a Background Count equal to their Force.  Summoning grants them a “work permit” to roam about more freely.  The only Free Spirits would then be former Ally Spirits, whose Karma/Cash/Reagents-expensive summoning ritual has effectively granted them “permanent residency” on the physical plane.  It would result in fewer free spirits roaming around all over the place, which actually isn’t a bad thing.

Problem Issues  (copied from Dumpshock posts)
•   Do you plan on sustaining a Summon X Sprit spell for the whole time it’s summoned?  That could get inconvenient real fast, especially if the sprit’s off on remote services.  One possible fix would be a new Spell Duration of “Special” (after the sustain-until-permanent period ends, they basically use the existing rules on summoning duration), but this isn’t the most elegant solution.  It also begs the question of how Free Spirits stick around if no one’s sustaining their summoning.  Watcher Spirits now just became a burden instead of a convenience.
•   Are we ok with Spellcasting being able to reach into the metaplanes and yank a spirit on the physical plane?  Well, actually, isn’t that what Summoning is doing right now?  So it’s not like that ability doesn’t currently exist in-game.  That said, it would seem to imply that Grounding is possible again, and that’s not a good idea.  The flipside is the possibility of Summoning spells from the metaplanes that reach into the physical plane and yank people into the metaplanes.  Actually not that far out of an idea, if the person is standing in a Mana Warp / Astral Rift that connects to some metaplane.  Still, have to deal with the concept of spells crossing planes.
•   How is Great Form Invoking supposed to work?  Perhaps a spell version of Summon X Spirit as Summon Great Form X Spirit, which costs more Drain.
•   Do we care about the possibility of casting Summon X Spirit on the astral plane?  If you’re using Astral Perception, you’re dual-natured for as long as you do so, so is anything stopping you from casting spells or summoning spirits right now on the astral plane according to canon rules?

Survey Says…
Not yet submitted to the “House Rules Committee” for consideration.  Need to spend quite some considerable time thinking/designing on this one.
« Last Edit: <02-20-24/1656:10> by JanessaVR »
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.


  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 6469
« Reply #12 on: <02-21-24/1257:57> »


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • If you're not Awakened, you're just another NPC.
« Reply #13 on: <02-21-24/1348:41> »
This is the sticky for SR4 house rules:,27.0.html
I've seen it, but these are my group's house rules and I wasn't going to just mix them into that thread.
Madness takes its toll - please have exact change.