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Mailing List Logs for ShadowRN

Message no. 1
From: Doctor Doom <JCH8169@*****.TAMU.EDU>
Subject: Magic & the Matrix...*shudder*
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 93 06:40:46 CET
From Herr Brightlight:

>quest. I was a decker who was introduced to the power of magic by a conjurer.
>This changed my life. He explained a theory of his that said that the nergy we
>call the astral plane is really just the energy of all the dead. When someone
>dies whatever they were concentrating on is where their energy goes. Since
>many believe in another plane of spiritual existence people energy has been
>collecting into an astral space for centuries spirits were born there. Well as
>many of you know people die in the matrix all the time, and many of their last
>thoughts are of the matrix. I theorized that if enough of the "death
>were to be concentrated in one spot in the Matrix a matrix spirit might evolve.

Meine Kamaraden:

As loathe as I am to draw the old argument, "Magic & the Matrix, it may
not just for Astral Space Anymore?", I feel obligated to comment on this last
statement, as this theory has been put forth before, and neither I nor anyone
else responded to it [although, considering the week(s) before had been swamped
with questions regarding magical computers and other unpleasantness, I can
hardly blame them]

I see three problems in your argument...

1) Your entire justification of Matrix spirits stands on the rather shaky
foundation of your postulation that the Astral Plane, and hence Free Spirits,
elementals and other spirits draw their power, their existence, from the energy
of the dead. Not only have I been unable to find any text in the ShadowRun
books to support this theory, but I find it entirely subjective--if anything,
it is more associated with the energy of life...more associated with the
description of the Force: "It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the
Universe together." or "Life creates it, makes it grow."

2) You appear to be misled regarding technomancers in the Matrix. When a
technomancer enters Matrix Space, his spirit (essence, soul, or whatever) does
NOT leave his body. One cannot be TRAPPED in the Matrix as a Magician or
Shaman could become in the Astral Plane. One's consciousness never leaves
one's body. Were one to die there, one does NOT become a "ghost in the
machine", so to speak.

3) Another flaw resides in the nature of the Matrix itself...

The Matrix is not an parallel or alternate reality (as the Astral Plane
undoubtedly is), it is VIRTUAL reality: a computer-generated ASIST construct
(Artificial Sensory Induction Technology, the operative word being ARTIFICIAL)
It does not occupy any space. It is not REAL...

Thus, how can a spirit reside there, even if its former "host" expired whilst
in this un-reality? And from what shall one summon these spirits?

Will they inhabit the optical chips of a system, as they are, after all, the
only "real" aspect of the Matrix? I should think not.

The motivation behind my argument is this: If one is to allow for
Matrix spirits, soon people are going to start summoning these VIOLATIONS for
assistance in 'decking', say burn a spirit (or even, possibly, Matrix
elementals...*shudder*) for extra dice. Or even start using them in lieu of
programs, flygrams, and the utilities. Fairly soon, one is not 'decking' at
all...but has succeeded in completely re-working the Matrix as we presently
know it.

The game designers at FASA (such as The Dark Lord on High, Tom Dowd)
wanted to avoid this, naturally. As a result, they penned a phrase that is
much-repeated, but nevertheless quite valid:



page 52

"Many questions have been raised concerning whether magic can interface
with the Matrix. Right now, the answer is that it cannot. Period.
Why? Remember, the Matrix does not exist. It is an artificial reality
of computer-generated simsense impressions. It offers nothing to do with which
magic, inherently associated with LIVING things, can interface."

Further, as all the magic users in my group are fond of saying:

"Magic does not work IN the Matrix, but it works ON the Matrix." *ZAP*

Colonel Count von Hohenzollern und von Doom, DMSc, DSc, PhD.

Thaumaturgical Advisor:

Darkwatch, Doctor of Metaphysics

Doom Technologies & Weapon Systems -- Dark Thought Publications
>>> Working on solutions best left in the dark.
[ Doctor Doom : jch8169@******** ]
Message no. 2
From: "Kenders are the epitomy of annoying and like it that way---the
Subject: Re: Magic & the Matrix...*shudder*
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 93 01:11:00 EDT
ok ok i presented the idea that mein herr is talking about in shadowtalk. I
presented it ther erather poorly with the idea that if when a person does
something very strenuous and then tries to explain it, it usually comes out
kinda poorly. Thus the poor explanation. anyway.....

part of what i was trying to say is that the astral plane was created not by
the energy of the dead, but by a belief in this form of alternate reality for
spirits, and so evolved the astral plane. this point may be debated, but my
gm and i hashed it out. going on. how would one summon one and with what
it is summoned in part with a physical ceremont invloving mpcp chips and
a program run in the Matrix (that my gm and i worked out). my gm and i
never really evolved a concept of what a matrix spirit would look like, but
we agreed that if enough of a powerful event occured in the matrix it might
be the catalyst for the formation of a Matrix spirit. as for what the
creators said, i have two responses. 1) it says emphatically that the gm has
sole discretion for what rules he/she applies, and since my gm and i hashed
it out he allowed it. 2) it also says in the area quoted something to the
wait the exact quote is "right now, the answer is that it cannot". they
said right now. it has been a while since that has been printed, and what
with the events happening in the Matrix I think that it might qualify as a bit
of a change. eh? ah well, if ye don't agree or like it fine. if you do,fine.
it really doesn't mattert a whole lot in the cosmic scheme o things.

until we meet, sha'lom

ps--you can respond privately to "fmcgaffey@******.bitnet"

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading about Magic & the Matrix...*shudder*, you may also be interested in:


These messages were posted a long time ago on a mailing list far, far away. The copyright to their contents probably lies with the original authors of the individual messages, but since they were published in an electronic forum that anyone could subscribe to, and the logs were available to subscribers and most likely non-subscribers as well, it's felt that re-publishing them here is a kind of public service.