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(6e) Heading into Astral Space - Some questions

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Tnirb

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« on: <01-25-22/0230:07> »
Hello

I have googled alot and now turn to you guys for some updated answers.

Scenario: The PC's have entered a secure facility (or will enter in a upcomming run) and triggered some alarms by accident. The Security Mage on duty chooses to Astrally Project and search every room in the buliding (let's say 20 rooms in total). The SecMage body is secure in the guard room protected by the other secOfficers.


1: He can move very fast now. But gotta slow down to 100m per combat round to see what's going on. He can move through walls but can't see through them - so every room must be searched like normal?

2: On combat round 7 he enters the room where the PC's are working on a Maglocked door. PC's are a Shaman and a Mundane. Will the mage need to assens both PC's using a Major Action to get info on them?

3: Will he be able to ID them as someone he doesn't know? (Other people are working in the building)?

4: I guess the Awakend Shaman is "brighter" in color than the mundane (The Shaman even got a Spell Foci on him)?

5: What spells could the Shaman use the hide/help them for Astrall Perception/Projecting? I guesss a summoned spirit with a service like, "inform me about scrying eyes." Could work?

6:Astral perception: The Shaman is standing in a wood far away from any metroplex. He uses AP. Will all lifeforms around him"shine" up - every critter, bird, mouse, ambushing predator and so on?

7: Spirits: It seems to me that they got a slow movement (Beast 5/10/+3)- so Spirits are slow when Materialized? But the got a nice Sprint boost on +3 per hit.

8:  Our Shaman sends a Spirit after a Go-ganger moving away on his fast bike. Service order, "kill the ganger." 7 ours to sunrise. So the spirit got 7 hours to chase this ganger. If the ganger decided to visit his grandmother on the other side og the country (he missed her) and drove of at high speed - would the spirit just keep following him through the night even though it got a very slow movement rate? Or would it go to Astrall space and just Materialize in front of him?

9: I guess he can't change a "service" once it is given? In the above case the Shaman only got 1 net hit. So only one service.

10: Spirit of Kin: Is this the Same as "Spirit of Man"? Can it only do Stun damage (CRB p. 148, Seattle Edition)


- Thank you if you read this far and even can answers some of the questions ;)
« Last Edit: <01-25-22/0853:41> by Tnirb »

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #1 on: <01-25-22/0433:28> »
1: Yeah, the secmage has to still scan the rooms 1 by 1. If he were to just fly through, it'd be like you driving a car and trying to see both sides alleyways in detail.

2: So he'll see the auras, but to study an aura in detail he'd have to roll assensing. I personally think that for the detailed assensing result, you need to assense 1-on-1. For more generic 'oh wait that's spells!', a single roll might suffice. Difference beween 'I'm scanning the crowd' and 'I'm looking at this guy in detail', basically.

3: So that's where we go into astral signatures, and Auras in general. So every Awakened person has a unique feel to them, and it is left behind as signature in their magical activities. I'd argue that a mundane person also carries a form of 'signature' to them, that can be identified. So if the guard rolls 3 hits, which is what you need to detect astral signatures, he then gets to roll a Memory test to see if he realises he's never seen it before. If the guy is constantly seeing the same people and properly scanning them, that'd probably be a threshold 2.

4: You actually do need to roll at least 1 hit to identify Awakened, so no, Awakened auras aren't brighter persť. However, you ARE correct that the spell has its own signature, so unless it's properly Extended Masked, it shows as its own aura. So yes, it's easy to spot 'hey that person has a spell or something on them'.

5: Having a Spirit warn you about an astral entity looking at you, definitely would help. If you want to disguise your aura and foci, you need Masking. To hide spells, you need Extended Masking as well. Those are metamagics you can get with Initiation.

6: Not just the animals. The trees too. The grass. The very Earth itself.

7: Yup, Materialized Spirits move slower than people, unless they use the Movement power on themselves. So likely a Force 4 Beast Spirit would use Movement and make themselves go at 20/40/+12 instead.

8: To track the guy, the Spirit needs to use the Search power. In case of a Beast Spirit, that's an optional one so you need to decide as summoner that the Spirit has that when summoning, can't change it afterwards. Then, every kilometre distance will raise the threshold with 1, so other side of the country is pretty much impossible for the Spirit to follow. However, if the Spirit initially got a bead on the guy, it could chase astrally. But even then it might fail to catch up: Coherent Astral Walk is 100m/CT, aka 120km/h. If the guy drives faster than that, the Spirit won't be able to keep up, at best it might switch to Astral Running, fly past, then wait ahead to try an ambush. And of course Materialization takes a Major Action, so the Spirit can't attack on the same turn that it materialized, and the guy can realise and try to escape.

9: Yeah, you can cancel an order (unless the Spirit hates you and doesn't want to), but no refunds/exchanges. Sorry, should have read the conditions on your receipt.

10: Kin/Kindred is the SR6 name of Man, yes. And yes, no Natural Weapon, no Energy Aura, so all it can do is cast spells, use powers, and punch people.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

Xenon

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« Reply #2 on: <01-25-22/0828:03> »
I think MC already answered your questions.

Just wanted to add that reason why you call in a magician or a spirit is primary to fight astral threats (like hostile spirits and projecting magicians). Actually not much they can do from the astral plane when it comes to or interacting with or identifying targets on the physical plane (the two options they have is to either manifest which let them communicate on the physical plane and they can summon a spirit and have it materialize to the physical plane). This is typically why you also have patrols, drones, alarms, cameras, sensors, maglocks, RFID-cards, keypads, weapon turrets, check points, high threat response teams, etc, etc.

But magicians on call can indeed move very fast towards the facility by using astral projection (in case they are projecting in from off-shore). They basically think about the facility and within no time at all they will "be" there (in astral space). The travel will just seem like a blur for them. Once at the site (or if they were already at the site when they started projecting) then they typically "slow down" to max 100 meters per turn. 100 meters per turn is still quite fast though.

Material objects (like walls, furniture and drones) are sensed as intangible distorted and muted gray and lifeless shadowy reflections for an entity that is using astral perception (where physical properties like color, light and contrast are typically lost in translation), but they are not transparent (even normal window-glass make it impossible for an astral observer to sense things on the other side).

People (like the janitor, the cleaning lady, patrols and the invading shadowrun team) are also sensed as intangible distorted and muted shadowy reflections on the astral plane (they can't be targeted with spells from the astral plane directly and at least on a quick glance it is not very easy at all to tell friend from foe), but unlike objects they all lit up with life and are colored by emotion.

Active magic (such as an activated focus, a sustained spell, a magician that is currently observing the astral plane, a spirit, dual natured critters like vampires, etc), is however vibrant and even have an actual tangible astral form for an astral observer (can be targeted in various ways from the astral plane and will typically also cause some form of astral intersection if being pushed through a ward).

In order to find out details about a specific aura an astral observer need to spend the time to Observe it in Detail (and take an Astral + Intuition test and consult the table to figure out how much they could read out of the aura). Things they can find out is if the subject is awakened (so this is not at all something that is immediately obvious by just glancing over their aura), strong emotions, presence or even exact location of cyberware, diseases, essence levels, magic levels, if the subject have any lingering astral signatures on them, etc.

Tnirb

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« Reply #3 on: <01-26-22/1314:42> »
Great! Nice answers - very helpfull, thanks :)

Quote
6:Astral perception: The Shaman is standing in a wood far away from any metroplex. He uses AP. Will all lifeforms around him"shine" up - every critter, bird, mouse, ambushing predator and so on?
Quote
6: Not just the animals. The trees too. The grass. The very Earth itself.

Just wondering if they "light up" like when using Thermographic Vision? But according to your answers it seems like it is more subtle - unless you have active magic going on.
Trying to get an idea of how usefull it is to spot ambushes and just see everything  alive around you.

Xenon

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« Reply #4 on: <01-26-22/1502:34> »
Astral Perception is not sight. Even a person without working eyes, a person wearing a blindfold or a subject in a pitch black room can use astral perception without issues. It is a psychic 6th sense different from your physical 5 senses.

While switching your perception to the astral plane the physical plane (walls, cars, drones, plants, people, etc) will be "sensed" as intangible shadows (and if you are projecting then you are not restricted by you physical body and can also simply pass though them). From the astral plane physical properties such as color and light is lost (which is why you typically can't read physical signs or documents from the astral plane) and instead replaced by things like strong emotions and life. Strong emotions can even "rub off" on non-living objects (like a loved teddy bear) or places (for example a place where people used to be violently executed). While you can't read the content of an emotional love letter you could for example perhaps instead sense the strong emotion of love as it was rubbed off the writer onto the document. While the actual words of a heated conversation between two parties might appear muffled and distant for an astral observer the strong emotional context of the conversation might be deafening (or as appear to have strong colors or a distinct texture -- different magicians experience this physic 6th sense in different ways).


Just wondering if they "light up" like when using Thermographic Vision?
On the astral plane the only thing that is solid is actual magic (Spirits, Magicians using Astral Perception or Projection, Activated Foci, Sustained Spells and Permanent Spells that are currently sustained and have not yet turned permanent, Preparations, Wards, Dual Natured Critters, etc etc). Active Magic is tangible. It have an actual form. Active Magic is immediately obvious and typically doesn't require a test to be sensed. In a crowd of people it would be immediately obvious which one of them is wielding an activated focus. Or that someone is sustaining a spell on one of them.

When it comes to living auras, let me put it this way; If you try to shoot someone and don't have access to low light vision, thermographic vision, ultrasound etc. then you typically get a negative dice pool modifier of 3 dice in partial light (Blinded I), a negative dice pool modifier of 6 dice in dim light (Blinded II) and in total darkness (Blinded III) your attack will typically automatically fail.

If you switch your perception to the astral plane then you can instead "sense" your target, no matter what the lightning level is on the physical plane. Having said that, trying to shoot at a target that you sense with your astral perception (rather than see with your physical eyesight) is a bit disorienting (unless perhaps you are a dual natured critter, like a Ghoul). Which is the main reason why you get a negative dice pool modifier of 2 dice (this modifier typically applies to all non-magic actions).

But -2 dice is better than -3 dice. Or -6 dice. Or not having the option to attack at all ;-)
« Last Edit: <01-26-22/1516:38> by Xenon »

MercilessMing

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« Reply #5 on: <01-26-22/1609:27> »
Quote
In a crowd of people it would be immediately obvious which one of them is wielding an activated focus. Or that someone is sustaining a spell on one of them.
Unless it's an illusion spell, in 6e.

Tnirb

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« Reply #6 on: <01-28-22/1315:10> »
another thing came to mind. Can a projection mage fly in astral space? If he stands at the foot of tall building do he need to "astral walk, run" all the way to the top, or can he just fly up and enter the top floor from the outside there by bypassing magical security inside the building?

Just read some thing about ivy and bacteria-walls blocking astral passage. Is this still relevant in 6th edition?

Xenon

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« Reply #7 on: <01-28-22/1345:58> »
You are not bound to physical laws when projecting. You can fly up to the roof through the building or outside the building. Physical floors, ceilings and walls are not even solid on the astral plane to begin with. They will not even slow you down as you pass through them. Even living entities are not solid on the astral plane. The only thing that is solid on the astral plane is active magic. Going full speed into a ward might knock you out before you realize that it was blocking your path.


... ivy and bacteria-walls blocking astral passage.
Anything that is magical active / have an actual astral form will typically cause issues for a projecting magician.
« Last Edit: <01-28-22/1350:04> by Xenon »