NEWS

Negativ Magic?

  • 28 Replies
  • 518 Views

Robert

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 21
« on: <01-07-21/1537:57> »
What happens if a character with a low magic attribute (e.g. picking priority D, thus magic 1) gets some bodyware and looses e.g. 3 points of essence, thus magic drops to -2.

Can he still do spells (e.g. sorcery 5 + magic -1 = pool of 4 dice)?
Can he not do any magic any more? Just track it as mundane and delete all skills that require magic from the skill list (sorcery, conjuring, alchemie, astral)?
Can he spend karma to raise magic? If yes, how much e.g. 10 to go from -2 to -1 then 5 to get to 0 then additional 5 to get to +1?
And to go really extreme... every time an adept increases magic, he gains a power point. Also when raising from -3 to -2?

Thanks for the clarification.
« Last Edit: <01-07-21/1603:22> by Robert »

Xenon

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 5967
« Reply #1 on: <01-07-21/1611:26> »
If you have magic 1 (and max magic of 6) and get 3 essence worth of augmentations then you will have magic 0 (and max magic of 3).

If your magic rating is zero then you will be unable to cast spells or summon spirits.

If you later spend 5 karma to raise your magic from zero to 1 (still max magic of 3) then you can once again cast spells etc.

At least this is how it worked in 5 th. I'll double check when I get to my books, but I think this also applies to SR6.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 4090
« Reply #2 on: <01-07-21/1635:00> »
My understanding is that:

1) It is no longer true that you permanently cease to be a magician if your Magic attribute hits 0.  This is not said in this edition, ergo it stands to reason you can recover it.

2) I'm not sure there even is any statement that says you cannot perform any magic if your attribute hits 0.  You just add Magic=0 dice, when relevant...

3) The rules regarding Magic loss when you lose Essence (pg. 38, SR6) do not mention that there is a basement value of 0 to your Magic attribute.

Ergo:

If you have Magic 1, and then lose 3 points of Magic, technically your Magic is -2. You will have to raise your Magic back up to 0 before you can then raise it to 1.

However.  The upside is that's somewhat of a corner case.  In chargen, you're gonna have to spend your SAPs before you spend any nuyen on essence-damaging augmentations.  So you don't have the question of "what happens if I implant THEN spend SAPs".  That's not the correct order of operations.

The can of worms is what if someone leaves their Magic at a low value and then after implants they want to re-build the attribute with Karma.  What's the karma cost to go from -2 to -1?  Frankly, I'd suggest just using the absolute values.  Going from -2 to -1 would cost the same as going from 1 to 2, and so on.  However that is certainly not explicitly correct.
« Last Edit: <01-07-21/1640:17> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
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.

Sphinx

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 819
« Reply #3 on: <01-07-21/1652:08> »
When something is not specifically addressed by the current edition, I look to previous editions for direction. In SR5 (p.278), when your current Magic attribute falls to zero, you cannot use any skill requiring the Magic attribute unless/until you raise it back up with Karma. If your maximum Magic attribute falls to zero, you lose all magical abilities and are mundane forever.

If SR6 doesn't say differently, I think the SR5 rules apply.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 4090
« Reply #4 on: <01-07-21/1657:24> »
When something is not specifically addressed by the current edition, I look to previous editions for direction. In SR5 (p.278), when your current Magic attribute falls to zero, you cannot use any skill requiring the Magic attribute unless/until you raise it back up with Karma. If your maximum Magic attribute falls to zero, you lose all magical abilities and are mundane forever.

If SR6 doesn't say differently, I think the SR5 rules apply.

Well, the point the OP is probably most concerned about is what happens if, when at 1 magic, you lose 3 magic.  Do you feel that one bottoms out at 0, or go to -2?  For the sake of the example, the maximum magic is still >0, so you haven't triggered the potential issue of permanent mundanehood.
« Last Edit: <01-07-21/1659:08> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
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.

Xenon

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 5967
« Reply #5 on: <01-07-21/1720:10> »
The intention here is likely that magic will simply floor to zero and you can raise it from zero with 5 karma (which I believe was also the general consensus for how to resolve it in SR5).

And if you are seriously afraid of hybrid magicians exploiting this as some sort of karma loop-hole then i would say a more elegant solution (than inventing some strange mechanic about negative attributes and absolut karma costs and whatnot) would probably be to instead rule that a magician with 0 magic actually burn out, become mundane and can't ever cast spells again (which how I belive it used to work in earlier editions).



The only important explicit rule change to note between SR5 and SR6 when it comes to essence loss that I could find was that Your maximum Magic rank is 6 + Initiate Grade (reduced by one for every full point of Essence lost). (SR6 feb errata p. 4).

If you have magic rating 6 (and max magic rating 6) and get 0.99 points worth of augmentations then it seem as if you would end up with magic rating 5 (but still max magic rating 6 - in previous edition your maximum magic rating would also been reduced by 1).


Edit ....and since you can't get 6.0 points of essence worth of augmentations it seem as if you will always have at least maximum magic of 1 (even before you initiate). Which mean that you in this edition can't ever really burn out. Which is probably why they also didn't add any rules for burning out.
« Last Edit: <01-07-21/1723:44> by Xenon »

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 4090
« Reply #6 on: <01-07-21/1745:55> »
I don't think there's a fear of hybrids... there's an honest question of whether Magic bottoms out at 0, or if it can go below that.  An official answer would be nice, because maybe you're working on the software for a character generation and management program :)  Alas, we cannot give a truly official answer but we can potentially come to a "best" answer consensus.

And just because it's trivially easy to hit 6 MAG before implanting cyberware doesn't mean it always will be done.  As the OP pointed out, you can pick Priority D and just leave MAG at 1 rather than increasing it, because you know you're about to put in a bunch of cyberware anyway.  Load up with X.99 essence worth of cyberware, and then it kind of is a big deal whether you're at Magic 0 or Magic -X when it comes to spending some karma to raise your Magic again.  And it's a very fair question.  The "C'mon, man" factor is not going to be relevant in a computer's calculations :)
« Last Edit: <01-07-21/1753:37> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
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.

Banshee

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 971
« Reply #7 on: <01-07-21/1904:54> »
Personally for me I've never subscribed to the "modern" takes on this ... simply put if your Magic ever hits a value of zero in my games you permanently lose your ability to access to magic ... thus you burnout. Of course I also continue to use the rule that anytime to take a deadly wound (i.e. get knocked out via physical damage in newer editions) you also have to make a magic test or lose a point of magic.
Needless to say this keeps mages in check regarding overcasting, over summoning, and getting 'ware.
Robert "Banshee" Volbrecht
Freelancer & FAQ Committee member
Former RPG Lead Agent
Catalyst Demo Team

Reaver

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 6278
  • 60% alcohol 40% asshole...
« Reply #8 on: <01-07-21/2056:11> »
Personally for me I've never subscribed to the "modern" takes on this ... simply put if your Magic ever hits a value of zero in my games you permanently lose your ability to access to magic ... thus you burnout. Of course I also continue to use the rule that anytime to take a deadly wound (i.e. get knocked out via physical damage in newer editions) you also have to make a magic test or lose a point of magic.
Needless to say this keeps mages in check regarding overcasting, over summoning, and getting 'ware.

That was one of the great restriants on magic back in 3e... (that, and Spell level learning).... And removing it ib 4e+ is one of the reasons (IMHO) for why magic has gotten overpowered in later editions
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Finstersang

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 674
« Reply #9 on: <01-08-21/0936:11> »
First: I think we have to differentiate the "soft" burnout where you just reduce your magic rating to 0 from the "hard" burnout, where you lose more than 5.0 Essence points and thus reduce your max. magic to 0. Even in 6th Editions RAW, you canīt get your magic back in this case, so itīs practically permanent. Well, one caveat here - it is possible to initiate first and thus raise your max. magic to 7. This basically means that an Initiate canīt really suffer a "hard" burnout.   

But IMO, the real problem here is not so much that you can still "rediscover" your Magic after a burnout of either kind.

Itīs how cheap it is: Just 5 Karma to go back from 0 to 1. At least thatīs what people assume (is there some official statement? Probably. The worse the rule, the easier it is to get an confirmation by CGL  :P). And apparently, it doesnīt even matter what your "starting magic" was before the Essence loss occurs: You can start with Magic 1, load up with 5 points of Cyberware for an almost complete burnout and you still just need 5 Karma to bring back your magic abilities. Sure, you are stuck with a max. magic of 1, but a few Initiations and some Foki go a long way here; and if you go for an Adept build, you can just stick to powers that donīt care about your magic Attribute. In the end, you lost almost nothing besides 5 Karma and the nuyen for the Augmentations. 

It doesnīt have to be that way.
When I started playing SR back in 4th Edition (where you would suffer a "hard" burnout whenever your magic dropped to zero, BTW), we always assumed that the Essence loss doesnīt just reduce the Magic Attribute, but also imposes a kind of permanent debuff on it. To reflect this, we noted the effective Magic Rating in Parantheses on the Character sheet, like you would with augmented values as well. So, when you are at Magic 3 and lose 2 points of Essence, your Magic isnīt noted as 1, but 3[1]. Subsequently, buying back those 2 lost points doesnīt cost you the 10+15 Karma to go from Magic 1 to 3, but 20+25 to go from Magic 3[1] to Magic 3[5]. Thatīs arguably a much more significant investment. And the aformentioned "burn out & buy back" cheese would be immensely costly: Instead of buying back your lost Magic 1 for 5 Karma, you had to raise your Magic from 1[-4] (treated as Magic 0 for all purposes, the notation is just a reminder) all the way up to 6[1] for a whooping 10+15+20+25+30=100 Karma.

Iīm not sure if this interpretation was correct back then, but it kept being our preferred houserule all the way down to 6th Edition. I really found this the best way to handle things from both a balancing and the "burning out is pretty bad, Mkay" lore perspective: Itīs not entirely impossible to regain your magic after a massive burnout due to augmentations, but it takes a lot of dedication. So much that it makes sense if most burnout Mages just give up on the way.

Hell, compared to paying 5 Karma to get your Magic back, that could even make for a great narrative arc  ;)
« Last Edit: <01-08-21/1159:20> by Finstersang »
"Firing Line adds a ton of Perks that modify Attack and Defense ratings"

"Cool, does this mean that the whole AR/DR comparison has a bigger impact now?"

"Haha No :D"

MercilessMing

  • *
  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 165
« Reply #10 on: <01-08-21/1131:31> »
Seeing as how there are no rules for raising a stat with a negative value (how much karma does it take to raise -4 mag to -3 mag? -3 x 5 = -15), and negative attributes other than Essence have never been a thing in Shadowrun, I think it's safe to conclude a floor of 0 is the intent.

Banshee

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 971
« Reply #11 on: <01-08-21/1138:53> »
Personally for me I've never subscribed to the "modern" takes on this ... simply put if your Magic ever hits a value of zero in my games you permanently lose your ability to access to magic ... thus you burnout. Of course I also continue to use the rule that anytime to take a deadly wound (i.e. get knocked out via physical damage in newer editions) you also have to make a magic test or lose a point of magic.
Needless to say this keeps mages in check regarding overcasting, over summoning, and getting 'ware.

That was one of the great restriants on magic back in 3e... (that, and Spell level learning).... And removing it ib 4e+ is one of the reasons (IMHO) for why magic has gotten overpowered in later editions

Absolutely..  that's why I still use it
Robert "Banshee" Volbrecht
Freelancer & FAQ Committee member
Former RPG Lead Agent
Catalyst Demo Team

MercilessMing

  • *
  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 165
« Reply #12 on: <01-08-21/1145:44> »
Of course I also continue to use the rule that anytime to take a deadly wound (i.e. get knocked out via physical damage in newer editions) you also have to make a magic test or lose a point of magic.
What test do you do, out of curiosity?  (and shouldn't this be an Essence test, as it's a trial of your connection, not your power?)

Finstersang

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 674
« Reply #13 on: <01-08-21/1205:05> »
Seeing as how there are no rules for raising a stat with a negative value (how much karma does it take to raise -4 mag to -3 mag? -3 x 5 = -15), and negative attributes other than Essence have never been a thing in Shadowrun, I think it's safe to conclude a floor of 0 is the intent.

Yup, and thatīs what creates the big balanging problem in the first place. RAW, you can start as complete noob mage/adept with Magic 1, get ware for 5.0 Points of Essence and then you still just need spare 5 Karma to get back to your pre-"burnout" situation. 
"Firing Line adds a ton of Perks that modify Attack and Defense ratings"

"Cool, does this mean that the whole AR/DR comparison has a bigger impact now?"

"Haha No :D"

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 4090
« Reply #14 on: <01-08-21/1208:34> »
Of course I also continue to use the rule that anytime to take a deadly wound (i.e. get knocked out via physical damage in newer editions) you also have to make a magic test or lose a point of magic.
What test do you do, out of curiosity?  (and shouldn't this be an Essence test, as it's a trial of your connection, not your power?)

In 1e-3e, taking a deadly wound (the concept of a deadly wound no longer exists in 4e-6e) triggered a test.  As did applying a slap-patch, or even applying first aid without taking a -2 dice penalty to account for a magician's sensitivity to modern medicine..  The exact mechanic of the test escapes my memory, but IIRC it was a Magic test.

Seeing as how there are no rules for raising a stat with a negative value (how much karma does it take to raise -4 mag to -3 mag? -3 x 5 = -15), and negative attributes other than Essence have never been a thing in Shadowrun, I think it's safe to conclude a floor of 0 is the intent.

Yup, and thatīs what creates the big balanging problem in the first place. RAW, you can start as complete noob mage/adept with Magic 1, get ware for 5.0 Points of Essence and then you still just need spare 5 Karma to get back to your pre-"burnout" situation. 

The bolded part isn't RAW.  There IS no RAW on whether you bottom out at 0, or can hit negative values for Magic.  And if so, what the karma costs are to increase said negative value.

It might be intent to bottom out at 0, but it certainly isn't the rule that you bottom out at 0.  Playing it so that you do bottom out at 0 does indeed have the problem you just mentioned: it can be abused if someone picks D, leaves magic at 1, and then goes full street sammie on cyberware, then expects to re-build Magic.
« Last Edit: <01-08-21/1215:01> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
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.