Question about Magic

  • 2 Replies


  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 2
« on: (07:53:26/01-22-17) »
The book has rules for combat magic, but the other stuff, like illusions, are a bit vague. If it affects a group, the illusion, does everyone looking at it have to roll? what do they roll for the contest? Or invisibility for that matter, how does that work exactly? Can you see an invisible person with astral perception?

Also, is there ritual magic in shadowrun? I haven't played the original in like 20 years.

I am LOVING Anarchy. I can't wait to give it a go.



  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Omae
  • ****
  • Posts: 356
« Reply #1 on: (20:50:28/01-25-17) »
There are a couple of ways you can play this and not every way is appropriate for every table and every situation.

1) A spell is a spell: The caster checks their Sorcery + Willpower against a set opposed dice pool, perhaps 8 dice?  If they succeed, the spell goes off regardless of the who is affected.  An illusion is cast successfully, anyone who interacts with it is affected by it.  Upside: Fast, simple. Downside: Affects everyone the same regardless of their relative Willpower or Logic, etc.

2) Everyone is an Individual: The caster checks their Sorcery + Willpower and each affected target resists using their own dice pool, perhaps Willpower + Logic?  If the spell succeeds only those that failed the opposed dice roll are affected.  Upside: Bosses don't get fooled by the same spell that fools their mooks; this works well when NPCs target the PC group too. Downside: Time consuming with dice rolls and figuring dice pools.

3) Mixed Bag: The caster checks their Sorcery + Willpower and each Boss, group of similar NPCs, or PCs resist separately.  You might calculate the boss and PC dice pools and you might average or set a dice pool for the groups, like 6 or 8 or 10.  Upside: less granular than option 2, but keeps large groups manageable.  Downside: the boss is easily spotted by the PCs; this option might seem inconsistant for some players.

I use all 3 options at different times in different scenes.  I use whichever one feels right but I notice that my players prefer option 2 and 3. Just remember that any method you use for NPCs should probably be used for players too.  Remember that dice pools are smaller so that a -1 or a reroll of 1 is big.

Ritual magic exists in the Shadowrun world so it exists in Anarchy too.  How you do it is up to you and your group.

The same goes for all the aspects of the Astral and and Magic, so how a spell like invisibility is used depends on the spell.  Just be clear up front on how a spell works before the game: can you see it in Astral? Can it fool drones? Can it be seen on the trid? Work with your table and create something reasonable. For a spell like invisibility, it might be better, story-wise, to have those who have no business seeing through the spell not to roll at all.
« Last Edit: (20:59:28/01-25-17) by Gingivitis »
Shadowrun: Anarchy Resources (GM Screens, Character Sheets, New NPCs, House Rules) at:


  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 3739
« Reply #2 on: (17:27:53/01-26-17) »
Gingivitis' suggestions are good. I'll also point out some hints that the book offers. Let's look at a few of the spells listed:

Target Self / Willing Target
Physical Mask - reroll 2 Disguise dice
Improved Invisibility - reroll 2 failed Stealth dice

To me, it seems like spells directed at willing targets should not be resisted, since their mechanical effect is to boost the target's skill rolls. Should the player succeed with those rolls, the narration can give credit to the spells. If the character fails with those rolls, the narration can either say that the opposition was not fooled or that some other element (e.g. footsteps, or the wrong behavior) gave the character away.

That begs the question of what the spells should be resisted by. I don't know the answer. Since there's not a lot of consequences to failing a casting (no drain or any other downside), it may not make sense to have any roll unless you're looking for things to inform the narration. ("Oops, failed, that was embarrassing," etc.)

Unwilling Target
Chaotic World - targets must reroll 1 successful die per roll
Confusion - target suffers -1 penalty to rolls
Illusion - same as Confusion (from Razzle Dazzle's shadow amps)

These spells, since they have third-party targets, seem like they should follow the guidelines for Combat spells and be resisted by the opposition. (The players would want rolls to resist if they were targeted by these spells, presumably.) For these, I would follow Gingivitis' suggestions. I would probably opt for #3 myself, since the dice rolling inherent in #2 is unpalatable to me and is at odds with the goals of Anarchy. It requires the GM to track who was affected and who was not, then have each individual respond accordingly. That's a lot of work and not at all conducive to keeping things moving forward.