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Message no. 1
From: Todd Montgomery <tmont@****.WVU.WVNET.EDU>
Subject: Nega-Magician Article
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 93 08:23:07 CET
I've had a couple of inquiries about the Nega-Magician Article in the
lastest Challenge, No. 67. Below is the article in it's entirety. I am
still reserving judgement on this idea. Any Comments?

-- Quiktek

The following article appears in Challenge Magazine No. 67.

Nega Magicians

An optional rules supplement by David Perry

Professor Matthew Hawkins first put forward his now-famous
Intelligence-Generated Reality Inversion Field theory (IGRIF) in the
spring of 2047 at the Chicago Thaumaturgical Research institute. Put
simply, the theory went something like this: The fact that magic and
certain meta-human races feature so prominently and so frequently in
folklore shows that these legends are undoubtedly based on a previous
Awakening, or possibly Awakenings. Given that these legends are true,
how could stories have come about of, for example, humans destroying
dragons, when anybody attacking a dragon with a sword would be fried
by a spell before he could do any damage? Hawkins' colleagues replied
that these stories were obviously fiction created around distorted
memories of the Awakening . Hawkins disagreed and argued that the
stories were true. And for them to be true, there must have been
certain people immune to magic. And if they existed then, they must
exist now. Despite the scorn poured on this theory by his colleagues,
Hawkins embarked on a worldwide search for the magically immune people
he was sure existed. His colleagues dismissed him as a crank and so
were more than a little embarrassed when two years later he reappeared
with Miles Freeman, the world's first nega-magician.


Research has shown that the nega-magician's powers are manifested in a
field that the nega-magician unconsciously maintains around himself,
even when he is asleep or unconscious. The width of the field varies
but never reaches out beyond two centimeters from the nega-magician's
body. Within this field, no form of magic can exist. Theories as to
why this is are mixed but generally fall into two schools of thought.
One, the minority school, believes that the nega-magician's field is a
form of magical talent which absorbs all magic within its area to
maintain its power, a sort of magical vampirism. The second, more
popular, theory maintains that the nega-magician's mind maintains the
field around him. Within this field, some claim, the physical laws of
the planet are changed to laws wherein magic cannot exist. In effect,
the nega-magician maintains his own personal reality. Both these
theories are just theories, and no one really knows how a
nega-magician's powers work.


Nega-magicians are completely immune to all forms of magic. They
cannot be harmed by combat spells, fooled by illusion spells, affected
by manipulation spells or detected by detection spells. Magic cannot
affect them at all. Similarly, the powers of paranormal animals cannot
affect a nega-magician. A nega-magician's immunity to magic includes
the powers of physical adepts and magical weapons. If a nega-magician
is hit by a physical adept doing a Killing Hands attack, he takes
damage as from a normal punch. If hit by magical weapon, he takes
damage as if hit by a normal weapon. In addition, every time a
nega-magician is hit by a magical weapon, there is a one in six chance
that the weapon will lose its magical properties forever.

Nega-magicians can never cast spells of their own, or have spell locks
cast on them, or have beneficial spells such as healing or disguise
spells cast on them. Area spells cast at a nega-magician will not work
within the area of the spell as normal. Magicians still take the drain
for spells canceled by nega-magicians as they have still cast the
spell. It is possible to indirectly harm nega-magicians through magic.
For example, if a mage throws an area fireball spell at a
nega-magician standing by a car, the fireball won't affect the
nega-magician. But it may have an effect on the car ( igniting the gas
tank and causing an explosion), which in turn could have a nonmagical
but nonetheless harmful effect on the nega-magician.


Nega-magicians quite simply don't register in astral space. An
astrally projecting mage could be standing next to a nega-magician and
never realize it. Naturally, this makes nega-magicians very popular as
spies and corporate intrusion agents. They are usually too rare to
waste on guard duty, although they may be used for especially
important or magically dangerous projects.


One of the first things the Chicago Thaumaturgical Research Institute
decided to test was how purely magical creatures such as Elementals
would react to a nega-magician's power. To this end, they summoned an
air elemental and ordered it to attack Freeman. The air elemental
replied, "Who?" The mage in charge pointed to Freeman and explained
that he was the one the Elemental was to attack. The Elemental said,
"Who?" After a half-hour of unsuccessful wrangling, the mage asked
Freeman to stand in front of the air elemental, then ordered the air
elemental to advance five paces, reasoning that this would take it
through Freeman's field. The air elemental took one step foward, then
stepped two paces to the right of Freeman, walked past him, then took
two paces lift and walked two paces forward - taking it to exactly
where it would be if it had taken five straight paces forward. When
asked why it had stepped by Freeman, the air elemental vigorously
denied ever having stepped aside. Repeated experiments with other
Elementals and Spirits produced exactly the same results.
Nega-magicians appear to be totally invisible to purely magical
creatures, but some subconscious instinct prevents them from
accidentally coming into contact with a nega-magician's field. For
this reason, a Spirit or Elemental can never detect or affect a
nega-magician. (Some mages suggest that the Elementals can see
nega-magicians but wisely refuse to have anything to do with them.)


Even with regard to cyberware, nega-magicians follow none of the usual
rules concerning magic. While cyberware usually causes a steady and
measurable decline in a magician's powers, nega-magic seems to operate
on an all-or-nothing principle. While some nega-magicians have lost
their powers after minor surgery (such as implanting a datajack),
others have retained theirs despite major cybernetic alteration. The
power loss is never gradual - either it completely stays or it
completely goes after cybernetic enhancement. In game terms, for every
piece of cyberware implanted, the GM should roll 1D6. If the roll is
less than or equal to the number of points of Essence lost, then the
nega-magician has lost his powers forever. A roll of a 1
automatically means the roll has failed.


"You never heard of a nega-magician!? What am l? Untouchable, that's
what I am. Your enemies can throw spells at me all day, and all
they'll get is a headache."
"Face it, chummer, for magical shadowrun, you can't do without me. For
that matter, for any shadowrun, you can't do without me."

The nega-magician's immunity to magic tends to make him overconfident
- something that can be a fatal mistake for someone with an
all-too-human vulnerability to bullets.

Firearms: 6
Armed Combat: 5
Etiquette (Street): 3
Electronics: 4
Magical Theory: 4

Body: 5
Quickness: 6
Strength: 5
Charisma: 3
Intelligence: 6
Willpower: 3
Reactions: 6
Essence: 5.4

Smartgun link
(As the nega-magician has taken two pieces of cyberware, he has to
make two rolls to see if he's kept his power. Even though he hasn't
lost a point of Essence yet, if he rolls a 1, he will lose his power.)

Street samurai

Armor jacket, Browning Max-power, H&K S variant, Flash grenades, Combat
axe, IR goggles

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading about Nega-Magician Article, 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.