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Initiation

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kla060365

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« on: (14:58:31/11-12-16) »
So I've been thinking about Initiation in Shadowrun Anarchy and come up with the following (apologies if it is a bit rough, this is a first draft). Anyone care to comment?

Initiation
Initiation is a path to higher understanding of the mysteries of magic and the metaplanes. Each Amp level is referred to as a Grade so, for example, a mage with Initiate Amp Level 3 is referred to as a Grade 3 Initiate. The upper limit for initiates is grade 7.

A character can only advance one initiate grade between contract briefs unless the GM and players decide otherwise.

Initiation (Amp Level 1): This is the “gateway” amp for initiation and must be taken before any higher levels. The character gains access to the Metaplanes when astrally projecting and can mask their magical appearance making themselves look weaker, more powerful or mundane (Masking).

Initiation (Amp Levels 2+): Each time a character increases his initiation he gains one of the following metamagics:
  • Centering (Amp Level +1): the character may ignore 1 penalty die when spell casting.
  • Quickening (Amp Level +1): may quicken one spell per contract brief for the cost of 1 Plot Point, the spell counts as sustained but does not count against the character’s limit.
  • Spell Shaping (Amp Level + 1): may exclude up to Willpower beings from the effect of an area effect spell e.g. a mage could drop a Fireball at his own feet and exclude himself and his runner companions from the effect.
  • Shielding (Amp Level +1 per level): each level of Shielding may be applied to up to Willpower beings who each gain +1 die to resist spells per level of shielding.

E.g. Rodice the ex-wage mage has a bunch of Karma to spend and wants to increase her magical skills and flexibility so decided to initiate. She initiates gaining access to the Metaplanes and Masking costing her 1 Karma. After her next run Rodice increases her initiate grade to 2 and gains Shielding (1) costing her 2 Karma. After a lot more contracts Rodice buys her final (7th) initiate grade giving her the following:

Grade   Total Karma   Ability
            Cost

1            1         Metaplane access, Masking
2            3         Shielding (1)
3            6         Quickening
4            10         Shielding (2)
5            16         Centering
6            21         Spell Shaping
7            28         Shielding (3)
 

Tecumseh

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« Reply #1 on: (01:14:21/11-16-16) »
I'm going to caveat this all by saying that I haven't personally played Anarchy yet. Overall I like the idea of Initiation being a shadow amp.

My primary concern is with the costs being too inexpensive at the low end. 1 karma for Masking is too good. I would probably have Grade 1 be access to the metaplanes but nothing else.

Even Grade 2 (total karma 3) is too inexpensive for a lot of these benefits, since it basically means that one contract brief = enough karma for your first initiation, which seems too easy and too fast for my tastes. I would be inclined not to have the mechanical benefits kick in until Grade 3, but I grant that I don't necessarily know how I would describe Grades 1 and 2 prior to that, or what their fluff benefits might be other than access to the metaplanes.

As for the individual metamagics:
  • Centering: I like this one a lot.
  • Quickening: Not having played myself, I don't know if 1 plot point is a sufficient cost to counterbalance the benefit. I worry that it is too inexpensive, especially with reflex enhancers that award plot points. (Why wouldn't the magician just quicken Increased Reflexes and pay for it with the plot point they just likely earned?)
  • Spell Shaping: If this were an SR5 game I'd say it's way too powerful, but since it's Anarchy and the Rule of Cool reigns then this might be just the thing for narrative gameplay.
  • Shielding: Anarchy has exactly two references to Counterspelling - enough to confirm that it actually exists but not nearly enough to determine how it mechanically works. Given that there aren't any rules for it, adding dice via Shielding is a benefit that's difficult to value precisely.
Separately, the rules mention "greater spirits" but with no clear indication of where they came from. Invocation might be a good metamagic to grant access to great-form spirits, which I imagine roll 12+ dice to resist summoning.

kla060365

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« Reply #2 on: (08:02:48/11-16-16) »
Re: cost - you may be right that the cost is too low, in fact as the first grade gives two magical effects (access to metaplanes and masking) the cost should probably be 2, which will obviously make all subsequent grades 1 point more expensive.

One thing  to bear in mind is Initiation not only costs karma it also takes up one of the mages 6 Shadow Amp "slots".

I see masking as more of a narrative device so personally don't consider it too powerful as a starting ability.

Aria

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« Reply #3 on: (08:40:45/11-21-16) »
I think this is a great idea!  Mind if I stick it on my excel file generator for the next issue?
Excel Cha Generators <<CG5.26>> & << CG6.01 DRAFT >>

kla060365

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« Reply #4 on: (10:47:50/11-21-16) »
I think this is a great idea!  Mind if I stick it on my excel file generator for the next issue?

Take this as permission to use anything I post in your generator or elsewhere. I'm just happy to be producing stuff that's useful.

kla060365

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« Reply #5 on: (14:53:11/11-21-16) »
I forgot to say the most up to date version of Initiation is in the file "Sins of the Father Appendix.pdf" in my shared Google Drive folder: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B-n6nKyxWfIPVkRqT3ZmV0FTSkk?usp=sharing