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Message no. 1
From: Ron Clark <rclark@****.NET>
Subject: Bioware and magic, should they go together?
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 17:10:58 -0500
I think one of the major questions we should ask ourselves is do we want
mages to be able to have bioware without any penalties?

Let us assume we have a mage with a body of 3, quickness of 3, strength of
2, charisma of 3, intelligence of 5, and willpower of 5.

1) Do you think it is balanced to allow a mage to have:
a) a synaptic accelerator level 2 with +2d6 initative,
b) paid editor that gives a +1 willpower and a -1 int., and
c) a cerebral booster level 1 (giving a +1 int.) (for a total body cost
under 3)
or just a synaptic accelerator level 2 with a Adrenal pump (still staying
under a body of 3 assuming that is the average body a mage would have) and
still be able to learn spells with a magic rating of 6? To attempt to make
my point better, lets also assume this mage has a sustaining foci of
increase attribute (quickness). This is when the magic rating is
important. If you say that bioware decreases magic, then the mage will
have a base force form increase attribute of 3. However, if there is not
penalty for bioware, then the base focus is 6. I think I can get more
successes rolling six dice (averaging 4 successes) than three dice
(averaging 2 successes). Those two extra successes matter changing a
reaction from a 4 to a 5 just on unmodified stats. Add in the Adrenal pump
to the magic rating six gives him a reaction of 7. So, with all things
considering a mage with a synaptic accelerator level two and an adrenal
pump level 1 could have an initiative of 3d6+7.
If that were the only way for a mage to have an initative that high, I
would be more incline to accept that bioware doesn't effect magic. But
magic does give that ability.

Second of all, let us not forget that non mages do not have a magic pool
to defend against spells with. So that street sam (who has ballistic armor
and a high body) will only have (starting out) an average willpower of 4.
Again, theres a big difference between a base 3 manabolt and a base 6
manabolt. (I say base excuding foci and such). Now with the new
adjustable damage level for spells, that street sam must resist a force 6
deadly manabolt with 4 dice. Through bioware, if the magic rating is
uneffected, then the mage will have on the average two shots at this guy,
probably three, with higher attributes to resist anything street sam does,
using his combat pool entirly on the defense, and with ballistic armor on
his own.
Again, if the mage had no other way of increasing himself such, then I
would have less of a problem with the "no magic loss to bioware" idea. A
mage can increase his attribute, reaction, and resist pain through magical
means. Now, assuming that a character can have multiple sustaining foci
running at one time, A mage can, assuming he has the reasourses, make
himself better magically than anyone could have possibly hoped for through
I bring this up because if a mage can attain high abilities through
bioware, then the mage is going to spend his spell points on other spells,
many of which can not be mimiced by scientific means. Also many of which
can really screw a "mundane's" world all to hell. Imagin him with
sustained invisibility, stealth, or a really powerful combat spell that non
mages cannot fully defend against.
Physical adepts are of the same nature. By allowing a magical character
to have full range of bionetics without any penalties, what do you think a
phys Ad will be? I would make a phys ad with attributes first what with
being able to get enough relevant stills with skills third. Adepts already
get access to attribute and reflexe increase powers. By taking those out
and accomplishing similar effects with bioware, then that adept has more
points to spend on other abilities, killing hands, combat sense, or even
magic resistance. The effect would, in all reality, double the potential
of these charcters allowing them to have "the best of both worlds".
Personally, I like playing a pure humanist with no bio, uncybered, and
totally mundane. As the way things are now this character has a hard time
competing in the shadowrun world. Add "no magic penalty from bioware",
then he's a walking tombstone waiting to be carved.
Limiting a character from getting both cybernetic and bio impants is one
thing, but to allow a character to have magic with bioware without any
magic rating penalties is to allow a naturally powerful character to become
even more dominant. What Frankenstein would you be creating?


#include disclamer.h

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