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An Aspected Magician

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Kireek

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« on: (01:19:14/03-14-18) »
Good Afternoon, Here at the Shadowrun Errata team*, we've been hard at work providing you official Errata for many of the problems that exist in Shadowrun. The following is our official* fix provided for you the player to use in your gave one of the most unloved and underappreciated groups, the aspected mage!

Turn to page 69
Add the following paragraph under the aspected magicians and page 48 of Forbidden Arcana under Enchanter:

At the end of character generation, after all nuyen and skill points have been assigned, Aspected mages gain 1 spell or preparation equal to their current magic rating. The first free spell must be chosen from the tradition's favored spell list. This applies to Standard and Prime Level Runners only.



Yet we felt that this wasn't quite enough to push aspected mages to being fully viable as a character archetype, it made them workable, for certain, but there still remained at least one significant hurdle to their growth and development as full fledged shadowrunners out the gate, so, we decided to add a second addition,

Again, page 69 and 48 add the following paragraph to aspected magicians section enchanter sections.
An aspected magician may elect during character generation to spend individual skill points on raising skills in their chosen magic field. However, at the end of assigning skills, said skills must remain grouped together before Karma is spent. This means an aspected magician cannot specialize in their chosen field with skill points, but may do so with karma, or break the group with Karma afterwards as well.


So let's create some examples,

Harry is making a character name Killgore, the Street Samurai, hoping to create a super awesome street samurai who can use magic on the side. Taking magic D, and spellcasting, Killgore is soon kitted out to be a really cool street samurai. During the assigning skills stage, Killgore's group starts at 0, unfortunately, though the new rules give him a free spell, he still has to invest his skill points evenly. Harry raises killgore's entire sorcery group to 3, costing him 9 total skill points. As each skill is now at three, the group is considered still grouped. At the end of cgen, after chroming out, Harry raises Killgore's magic rating to 1, and is allowed to pick theoretically one spell. Yet Killgores tradition is a cosmic mage, requiring that his first spell be either Analyze Magic, Analyze Truth, Comet, Detect, Gravity, Shape or Sunbeam. Harry decides he wants to spend another 5 karma to select a more useful spell, to go ontop of Killgore's awesome and cool first choice of Comet.

Julia is working on her character Maverick, the aspected magician/face. She decides to take aspected magician B, and chooses spellcasting as her preference. When she arrives at skill selection, her sorcery group starts at 4. Though she doesn't care for ritual spellcasting, she has to raise it with the rest of the group equally. Thus after Julia elects to spend her limited skill groups in other areas, she uses 9 skill points to raise her sorcery group to 6 total, again, not allowing the group to be broken by the end of skill portion of character generation. She wants aspected magery to be an important part of her Maverick's focus, but realizes she'll need to spend karma to buy a specialization to further improve her character. At the end of creation, due to some choice priority selection and investment of special attributes, Julia gets 6 free spells due to the fact her magic rating is 6. As she is a Shaman, with no spell preferences, she can chose from any spells she wants for all 6, though if she had chosen a different tradition with favored spells, she'd need to take at least one spell from the preferred list.

FAQ:

1.So why did Catalyst Game Labs* and you decide to make this decision to push Aspected Magicians a bit up in terms of viability?
 A. So the biggest problem with Aspected Magicians we here felt was that while they represented the world at large pretty well, they didn't really fit in with the scope or theme of general Shadowrun Character Generation. The average character that comes out of shadowrun character generation is an experienced professional, and yet, often times the possibility exists for an aspected magician to come out of shadowrun character creation not knowing any spells or preparations with a magic rating of six and with a relevant skill group of 6. Furthermore, for those interested in exploring playing an aspected magician, the problem always became that they should really just actually play a magician. If the solution to play the type of character you want is just to play a different type of character and pretend to be the original character, then a change was frankly needed.



2. Aren't you afraid that this change will make magicians lose their unique flavor? Or make them somehow less valuable?

Not really, I mean Mystic adepts are a far bigger threat! On a more serious note, Magicians have access to three different kinds of magic, barring taking certain qualities that restrict their abilities. An aspected magician has limited developmental capabilities and tools when compared to a regular magician, and while an aspected shadowrunner could be just shy of equal in terms of their field of expertise, the magician still has access to things like spirits, rituals, potions or spells that an aspected magician can't realistically counter. A magician remains the ultimate toolkit, and the ultimate defense against magic. This hasn't really changed with the above changes.

3. Why the restrictions on both the changes?
So this is a multifaceted answer, the first response is that we want aspected mages to be part of a character design, and a major part of said design. The limitation on spell selections is there partly to prevent characters from just selecting increased reflexes, heal and other more powerful spells without at least comitting some resources in terms of Karma or Special attributes to developing their aspected magician past 2 spells/preparations if they decide to chose a tradition with very real and tangible benefits. For skills it is more of a feel thing, as we don't want aspected magicians to get an unfair advantage over regular mages in terms of starting skills necessarily.  Luckily, not all magic skills are created equal, yet Mages can pick an choose what skills they want to develop with skill points. Though Aspected can also spend skill points to raise a group, it often times is comparatively inefficient due to the requirement skill groups be unbroken at the end of the skill choice phase. Furthermore Full Mages can more easily specialize in certain kinds of spells or skills for no Karma cost, giving them a unique bonus over that of aspected.

4.Why no Street Level love?
Because unlike Standard Character Generation, Street Level characters are often just starting out, or are untrained. They haven't had a chance to develop their skills in high stress situations where knowing and using their magic rating would be important. As such, aspected magicians might just be professionally trained and only just starting to learn how to properly cast spells.

*I am not officially affiliated with Catalyst Game labs or the Errata team in anyway. Yet this change is still needed, go tweet this at some of the writers, or the publishers to get their support and approval for these changes. Let's hope they turn this into official errata! And seriously, everyone, let us all just treat this as the actual rule because come on.. Aspected magicians needed some love for the past few years, and Forbidden Arcana tried, got close.. But missed the big problem that made them nonviable. How many years has this problem endured for? Consider this the official ruling, I give everyone permission to treat it as so, let's just hope Catalyst labs can get behind it!


Edit - Title edited to remove reference to "Official" and "Errata" - SR Mod
« Last Edit: (08:38:49/03-18-18) by AJCarrington »

Marcus

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« Reply #1 on: (01:39:22/03-14-18) »
While I follow what you are saying adding the "official" errata to this overly confusing. Please consider changing the name to suggested errata.  Further with the release of FA I'm not convinced this necessary, we have a cheap quality to address this problem. I'm not sure if you are aware of that, but there ya go.

On completely different side note I think your first example burned out as soon as his magic droped below one.
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Kireek

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« Reply #2 on: (01:43:45/03-14-18) »
While I follow what you are saying adding the "official" errata to this overly confusing. Please consider changing the name to suggested errata.  Further with the release of FA I'm not convinced this necessary, we have a cheap quality to address this problem. I'm not sure if you are aware of that, but there ya go.

On completely different side note I think your first example burned out as soon as his magic droped below one.

Dedicated Spellslinger has some downsides, and there is no dedicated alchemist perk. The problem remains.

Marcus

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« Reply #3 on: (01:48:27/03-14-18) »
I never actually seen a GM say No to someone who wanted to called Dedicated Alchemist and go that rout, but I for the sake the RAW I follow your point. So just errata Dedicate Spellslinger to be ether or and your good to go.
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Kireek

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« Reply #4 on: (01:53:30/03-14-18) »
Also I didn't know how to respnd- but I just double checked, and my example is valid, if perhaps of questionable karma cost.. hrm

Page 278, " If your
Magic is reduced to zero, you can no longer use any skill
requiring the Magic attribute, even if your maximum
Rating is still greater than zero (but you can still raise the
attribute with Karma and then get back to the spellsling-
ing)."

firebug

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« Reply #5 on: (03:56:13/03-14-18) »
I understand it's just kind of a joke, but you shouldn't pretend to be on the errata team.  There is one, we're still trying to do what we can.  The fact that Enchanters still don't get preparations without spending Karma is known.

Really this is a (very reasonable) houserule of yours, which I'm sure a lot of people share, or at least something similar.

Personally I'd just allow them equivalent to what a full magician gets in spells/preparations/rituals, and 3 at Priority D.  I've built a decent number of Aspected Magicians, and I don't think the need anything extra with their skills.  Especially because it's usually smart to have a higher Skills resources with the points you save from MAG/RES, and using those skill group points on your only magical skillgroup is just good character building.  More for Sorcerers than Enchanters, granted, but still.
« Last Edit: (05:55:06/03-14-18) by firebug »
I'm Madpath Moth on reddit (and other sites).  Feel free to PM me errata questions!
Jeeze.  It would almost sound stupid until you realize we're talking about an immortal elf clown sword fighting a dragon ghost in a mall.

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #6 on: (04:18:31/03-14-18) »
I do want to start off with a "welcome to the forums" I'm happy to see new people coming on and joining the discussion.

But this does seem like an odd way to introduce yourself. It seems a little presumptuous to be presenting these house-rules (and these are definitely house-rules, not errata) as in any way official. What makes these suggestions for ways to improve the power-level of aspected magicians better than a fix that other people have suggested before you? And, as has been mentioned, there is already an actual official errata team. Playing yourself off as speaking for them or Catalyst (even with the "*" and footnote countermanding that assertion) is misleading and potentially confusing to others that come here for actual official rulings.


As far as your suggested rules, I'm not seeing how the first suggestion is balanced for Aspected Conjurers. What do they get? Additionally, you want your wording to be "...gain 1 spell or preparation per point of Magic..." or "...gain a number of spells or preparations equal to their current Magic rating."  You can't get "1 spell equal to their current magic rating" that doesn't make sense.

For your second suggestion, I feel like your wording could have been more concise and less confusing. Something like "Aspected magicians may opt to spend skill points gained from their Skill Priority to improve their Magical skill group gained from their Magic Priority. While doing so, they must improve all skills in the group equally, and the skills remain as a skill group." or perhaps be more direct about it "Aspected magicians may spend 3 skill points gained from their Skill Priority to increase the rating of their magical skill group by 1. The skill group can be raised in this way up to a maximum of Rating 6."


Personally, I don't think either of these suggestions are strictly necessary. Yes, Aspected Magicians are somewhat under-powered as they stand. But I don't think complicating the rules for how they are created is really the answer. I view them more as an NPC option, or a way to make a focused Magical character without needing to spend a high priority on it (I almost always select Magic priority D if I'm considering Aspected Magician). Not all character options are optimal, and that can be fine too.

PiXeL01

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« Reply #7 on: (05:16:29/03-14-18) »
Anyone marked as troubleshooters are on the official errata team, such as myself and firebug. However as neither of us is the leader anything we write cannot and should not be taken as the word or ruling of the team. All decisions made by the team can be found in the errata posts for each product within the errata sub folder.
Anything else is simply an expression of private opinion.

Iím well aware that the errata team does not appear to be active but we are. 

Kireek

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« Reply #8 on: (13:18:57/03-14-18) »
I'd think the numerous asterisks next to any mention of being affiliated with any sort of official team, and the final paragraph explaining that I am not affiliated with said groups would be indication enough of what is going on. Unfortunately the current layout of the forums makes it had for me to understand how to bold something here, or increase font size, or I would do so to further emphasis that part of the post. There are Air quotes too, so if someone actually thinks its official even after I said it isn't, even after saying it is 6 times and then making obvious indications such a statement might be suspect.. eh... (There is no obvious means to bold, add footnotes, or do anything with the current format.)


As I said, from just a general design stand-point, the possibility exists that a player can drop down a priority B into an aspected magician and start with no spells. This is an absurd, and yet a possibility. The inclusion of dedicated spell-slinger was, by the authors own admissions a sot of stop gap solution to at least make them workable, but not necessarily viable or usable by themselves. For Dedicated Conjuroers, the skill system will allow them to raise their skills without wasting valuable skill groups, so that is a buff for them as well. I'm not yet certain on a fix for dedicated conjurers spiritual interactions, summoning and binding yet, but that is honestly a far more difficult beast to figure out.

The reason why I felt that Aspected Magicians/Alchemists wee such an easy fix was.. because the Adept exists. The adept lays out a very clear format in my opinion at the rate at which someone should gain a magical ability related to raising their magic level. Latent adepts are a thing, people who don't realize they are a adepts and then pump out inadvertent abilities to support them. Yet you can't make a latent adept without power points.. Because Shadowrunners would more than likley not be latent adepts, they would of discovered their powers and used them, perfected them. How is this not the same case for Aspected Mages?

Shadowrun Cgen is not a naive newcomer off the street, it represents a talented individual able to do the very real job of shadowrunning. That they have some sort of latent untapped magic would be something better represented with  a negative quality, and not an omission of a very important part of making the character functional. The rules above are designed to help high priority picks make that a viable part of the character while penalizing taking the D rank somewhat by making it more difficult to get to 6 in any given skill, so players who pick D rank will feel like they are genuinely dabbling in magic, instead of picking rank D, taking spellcasting 6 and being the best thing on the planet with their force 2-4 spells. Higher ranks are more practical and usable now, even if the player has some weird builds in mind.

I'll fiddle around with the wording in the mean-time, as per suggested, Thanks.

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #9 on: (17:07:54/03-14-18) »
I'd think the numerous asterisks next to any mention of being affiliated with any sort of official team, and the final paragraph explaining that I am not affiliated with said groups would be indication enough of what is going on. Unfortunately the current layout of the forums makes it had for me to understand how to bold something here, or increase font size, or I would do so to further emphasis that part of the post. There are Air quotes too, so if someone actually thinks its official even after I said it isn't, even after saying it is 6 times and then making obvious indications such a statement might be suspect.. eh... (There is no obvious means to bold, add footnotes, or do anything with the current format.)

Even with all of the asterisks and quotes, you've gone through a lot of trouble to give this the appearance of being an official errata. That in and of it itself can be self-defeating. You are using the "Official" label as a way to draw people in and then adding a footnote taking it back at the end. That's by definition a bait-and-switch tactic, and is likely to cause controversy over the post without even taking the content itself into consideration. At the very least, I think you should move your disclaimer to the beginning of your post, but I think removing the 'official' tags is more appropriate.

Think of it this way: If you are a new player coming to these forums looking for actual, real errata, would you want to have to sort through the threads of 'Official', "Official", and 'Official'* posts to find the actual Official threads?

I'm not trying to attack you are belittle your idea. I am honestly concerned that the choice of presentation is counterproductive to your intent. If people are drawn in by the title and arrive to find that it isn't actually official errata, they might feel like they have been click-baited and view your post negatively without considering the actual content. And reciprocally, people might become jaded or skeptical and distrustful of the actual official errata.

If you want to make something bold, you use [ b ] and [ / b ] notations (without the spaces around the word: so [ b ] bold [ / b ] is bold
And the same thing for italic except with the letter "i" like so: [ i ] italic [ / i ] makes italic
"size=XXpt" and "/size" for changing size
"u" "/u" for underline
There are many more, but too many to go over quickly here...

AJCarrington

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« Reply #10 on: (08:35:34/03-18-18) »
Topic moved out of the Errata sub-forum.

@Kireek - please take more care in labeling your topics in the future to prevent any confusion.

SR Mod
« Last Edit: (06:55:16/03-19-18) by AJCarrington »

Marcus

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« Reply #11 on: (08:52:36/03-18-18) »
Well i guess that solves that.
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ShadowcatX

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« Reply #12 on: (09:36:49/03-18-18) »
So you are a liar. I'll pass on your errata.
« Last Edit: (09:42:23/03-18-18) by ShadowcatX »

Marcus

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« Reply #13 on: (14:08:34/03-18-18) »
So you are a liar. I'll pass on your errata.
What? I'm confused.
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