Building a psych hospital for magicians?

  • 3 Replies


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 1
« on: <03-10-21/1109:41> »
So, the run I'm writing up involves an extraction of an individual who is involuntarily committed to a secure psychiatric facility. The catch being, it's a specialty hospital catering to patients who are magically gifted, adepts and magicians alike.

What would be different in this place compared to a normal psychiatric hospital of the 2070s (on a related note, I'd also appreciate input on 'normal' psych facilities of the 2070s). Beyond the obvious answers like more wards, more spirit presence, etc. How would they keep their patients safe (many of them have been deemed dangerous to themselves and others) without resorting to intrusive and traumatic measures like magehoods or magecuffs, solitary confinement in a warded room, etc unless absolutely necessary? This is, after all, a treatment center at the end of the day, not a correctional facility. What kinds of unique therapy could one provide a Talented patient?

I should specify this is a high-end private/corp facility, not quite for the global elite but for their direct subordinates. Cost isn't necessarily an object here. In addition, security is heightened just as much to protect patients from foul play as much as it is for anything else.

This is going to be 4th edition, but I figure that shouldn't make too much impact on the answers. So, what do you guys think?


  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
« Reply #1 on: <03-10-21/1131:54> »
I replied on your reddit thread that I use an invented drug for this.  I don't think there are canon solutions that are humane other than wards and guards.  Background counts are a possibility, but they vary by edition.  In 5th edition, magic users get acclimated to background count after a few weeks of exposure and it doesn't affect them anymore.  In 6th edition, ebbs and flows are always aspected to or against a particular tradition, making them impractical for your purposes.  I like the drug solution because it's humane, low fuss, and hits the "evil mental health" tropes in fiction - which are bad, don't get me wrong, but fit with Shadowrun's genre.


  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 852
« Reply #2 on: <03-10-21/1822:56> »
A location I made for my last campaign: a mental hospital for criminally insane Awakened individuals called The Brownfield Research Institute for Paranormal Psychiatry (or just "The Brownfield Institute" for short) was built in a mana void on a reclaimed toxic waste site. See Street Grimoire (p.32) for mana void rules. Note: "brownfield" is a term used in urban planning for previously developed land that may be polluted. The players never made the connection until their magic went away. I love dropping little hints like that. 

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Coordinator
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 4398
« Reply #3 on: <03-10-21/2019:31> »
Background Counts and powerful Wards are virtually mandatory to keep magic types held prisoner against their will.

Most secure of all, however, would just be putting your holding facility in space.  Ain't no magic going on outside the gaiasphere, chummer.

If you don't have a "money is no object" budget though, a couple of factors to help secure magical prisoners:

Put the structure underground. Let the earth contain projecting auras, and it minimizes the volume of what you have to ward down to the size of the elevator shaft that reaches your underground facility.

Make copious use of things like Blight Toxin and mage hoods.  Your prisoners will be miserable, but that'll help generate a background count that will be so useful to inhibiting magic if they do slip your mundane anti-magic control options.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.