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Shadowrun Overhaul: New Focus Types and Enchanting Equipment


Enchanter’s Equipment:

An Enchanter’s Lab is usually part of an Enchanter’s Magical Lodge and allows a Mage to create Enchantments with ease and style. The original Labs were very basic and for Hermetics were often little better than a chemistry lab but as time has gone on there have been many advances in Enchanting allowing feats impossible or difficult just a decade ago to be achieved today. 4th Generation Enchanting equipment was the norm in 2075 but in the wake of the Dragon Civil War and the loss of so many Talismongers and Enchanters who dealt with Draconic reagents and telesma created an huge lack of supply at the same time that demand increased via new Enchanting abilities. This spurred an aggressive burst of pure research and new manatech allowing yesterday’s apprentices to try and compete with yesterday’s lost masters.

5th Gen Lab provides a bonus situational die to all Enchanting Tests including Drain. Additional bonuses can be gained with the Forge artifact component of a Magical Lodge if the lab is within such a location.

The Lab cuts down the time to refine reagents to a mere 8 hour workday and will often speed up other Enchanting processes as if the calculated Force was 1 less. For example an Enchanting process that normally takes Force days with a Force of 4 would only take 3 days instead.

The key enhancement of the Fifth Generation Laboratory is that Alchemists with the Fixation Metamagic are able to bypass the need to learn the Advanced Alchemy Metamagic and are able to create Magical Compounds, Charms, Potions, Scrolls and other advanced alchemical preparations.

4th Gen Lab is the standard Lab as described in the rules. It takes a 10 hour workday to refine reagents. These have been basically the same for the past decade barring a few minor improvements.

3rd Gen Lab doesn’t usually have any penalties as anything really backward was probably updated but they can make certain Enchanting processes take longer to do especially refining reagents which takes a full 12 hour workday. Most shamans haven’t updated from these as the new 4th and 5th gen Labs really focus more on Hermetics and Wuxing Traditions. Most are twenty to thirty years old.

Microlabs allow the Enchanter to take their lab with them when they travel. They don’t provide a bonus die for all Enchanting Tests. A microlab cannot make a batch greater than one when brewing potions, alcohol, and other magical compounds because of space constraints. A 5th gen microlab gives the same access to Advanced Alchemy and Magical Compounds, Charms, Potions, and Scrolls. Microlabs weren’t produced during the time period of 3rd Generation Enchanting manatechnology.

Alchemy kits: are very portable tools for Alchemists and help with harvesting reagents, preserving, and focusing discovered reagents into a smaller more portable raw form. An Alchemist might take a vial and some rare herbs and powders and take a little blood from a slain paracritter and weave the mana from the corpse into the blood mixing into the vial or use a ritual athame to cut a wand from a lightning damaged tree and have the dozen “raw reagents” channeled into just the wand or takes a bucket of awakened berries and weaves the mana into an handful saving space and providing ease of use as no mage wants to carry a bucket of reagents while on a run. A fifth gen kit increases the Astral Limit by 1 and cuts harvesting time in half as well as concentrating the reagents into portable objects. A 4th gen is standard also concentrates reagents and a 3rd gen doubles the normal time. Includes Tool Cleansers and other items that allow for quality reagent harvesting.

Alchemy Kit Enhancements: Adding extra features like the Ghostbusters Enhancement that lets Talismongers salvage reagents from materialized Spirits or a kit tailored to a specific Tradition which raises Harvesting Test Limits by 1 if the Talismonger is of that Tradition. Think of a good enhancement and there is probably some doodads the alchemist can buy that will enable that aid.

Ties in with this post about Talismongering.

Astral Signatures and Foci:

If a sentient being is slain with any test directly aided by the use of a Focus than an Astral Signature is created that lasts Force hours.

When a Charm Focus is used for over a minute it creates an Astral Signature. The duration of the signature has a limit of the Focus’s Force and grows by 1 per minute of use of the Focus. This astral signature would look similar to an influence spell when assensed astrally. Thus, a Charm with a Force of 4 used for 3 minutes would create a Force 3 Astral Signature. If used for 5 minutes would create a Force 4 Astral Signature.

Any time a Focus contributes to a magical test then it adds its Force to the strength of the Astral Signature. A focus that provides four dice to a manabolt of Force 4 would have a total strength of 8.

Focus Addiction House Rule

Foci:

There are three major categories of Foci and they are Grand, Major, and Minor. Any Artifacts or other magical creations of Artificing fit into these three categories. So, if you invent something new for your game like using Artificing to create Legendary Critters or Chimera for the purpose of making a physical familiar or more powerful homunculi such as a Golem you can use these categories as a guide.

Grand Foci are Power, Shield, Battle, Charm, Genius, Muse, Stalwart, and Sublime Weapon. Karma to bond equal to F x 8.

Major Foci are Weapon, Combat, Detection, Health, Illusion, Manipulation, Invocation, and Initiate. Karma to bond equal to F x 4.

Minor Foci are Qi, Enchanting (helps with Alchemy and Disenchanting), Metamagic, Spell and Spirit Foci as described on SR5 p 320. Karma to bond equal to F x 2.

Descriptions of New Foci:

A Shield Focus provides equal to its Force a number of dice that can be used to help with passive defense, active defense, Counterspelling, defense against Critter and Spirit Powers, and defense against Alchemical Preparations. It provides half its Force rounded up as a bonus dice for surprise tests as well. Often has design that brings to mind shields, pentacles, pentagrams, defense runes, and the seal of solomon and usually takes the form of badges, amulets, decorative pins, earrings, and belt buckles.

Developed in Tir Tairngire to protect the Princes from rebels this Focus is a popular one for those in positions of power under threat of assassination. Organized crime has very much taken to producing and using this Focus.

A Battle Focus provides a dice pool up to its Force that can be used with any personal Combat Skill Test including using a personal sized weapon and has at least a Skill Rating equal to twice the Force of the Focus. Often has martial designs and takes many different forms like a gauntlet, ring, crown, armband, or torque.

Developed by an open source metamagical project by magicians involved with the Desert Wars to enhance Adepts without using Qi Foci. Afterall a Qi Foci can’t be used by a second adept. This way mercenary companies could boost their adepts without losing the benefits later when the adept dies or retires. The focus refines what is already there and is not a replacement for skill.

A Charm Focus temporarily increases your effective Charisma rating for the purposes of any tests involving Charisma. For instance it would not effect a conjurer’s number of spirits they can bind as that is not a test even though it is limited by Charisma. The maximum Force of this Focus is three at the moment though millions of nuyen are being spent to improve this limit.

Charm Foci take the form of flashy jewelry, earrings, vests, hats, glasses, and even things like a platinum tooth or a tongue piercing. The telesma is always a noticeable and memorable item and has a distinctive style per the negative quality. If it is hidden from view it does nothing to aid the owner.

The invention of the Charm Focus was a factor behind the meteoric rise of Horizon to megacorporate AAA status. Already the Charm Focus has become a very popular sign of status among the extremely wealthy with magical talent especially those involved in politics be it corporate or government. Megastars and wannabe megastars with the bare minimum of magical talent required to bond with a focus from trid stars to news anchors are liquidating their fortunes to get themselves in the long line of buyers.

A Genius Focus temporarily increases your effective Logic rating for the purposes of any tests involving Logic. The maximum Force of this Focus is three. This focus overrides the benefits of Cerebral Boosters so whichever rating is higher is the only one that applies.

Invented by the Great Dragon Schwartzkopf at the Charles University of Prague. The research team compared before and after astral photographs of magicians before they received cultured bioware enhancements. By mimicking how the astral form changes to match the new physical form the team were able to make the physical form match the astral and achieve the same goal. At the moment because Cerebral Boosters are limited to just Rating 3 the researchers haven’t been able to surpass this as they don’t have any material to reverse engineer.

The focus often takes on draconic, air/winds, and lightning imagery whether it is a scarf, torque, or a headband and is normally worn near the head.

A Muse Focus temporarily increases your effective Intuition rating for the purposes of any tests involving Intuition. The maximum Force of this Focus is three. The focus overrides the benefits of Cerebellum Booster so whichever rating is higher is the only one that applies.

Invented by a professor of art history in her garage; Doctor Alkonis was searching for the nature or origin of creativity and may have found it via magical stimulation of the astral form’s cerebellum much like scientists discovered with boosting processing in the cerebellum via cultured bioware.

This focus often seems innocuous and could be a cameo locket necklace of a loved one which inspires or an armband with musical bells that hit the right tone with the right movement to put a dancer or a painter in the right frame of mind to create.

A Stalwart Focus temporarily increases your effective Body and Strength for the purposes of any tests involving those attributes. The maximum Force of this Focus is three. This focus is compatible with other means of enhancements and is of course limited to the +4 Augmentation maximum rule. As this just increases Body for the purposes of tests it doesn’t increase any derived component of body like additional boxes on the physical damage track.

Most often taking the form of gauntlets, belts, feather headdresses, armbands, and helmets this focus can take any form.

A popular focus for the elite Sioux special forces the “Wildcats” and even apocalyptic cults from Norway. Rumors say both groups ended up inventing this in parallel. Few are found outside of the two organizations though they are a sign of high status among the trolls of the Black Forest Kingdom.

A Sublime Weapon Focus provides its Force as a dice pool bonus with melee attack tests using the weapon. It also enhances Accuracy and AP by its Force/2 rounded up. There are currently three types of Sublime Weapon Foci. Whatever the type this focus when active is very noticeable in the physical and astral realms as it is wreathed in an aura appropriate for the type of focus.

An Elemental Weapon Focus adds to the Weapon an Elemental Effect (SR5 p 170).

There are two main types of Elemental Effects which are penetrative and impact. A Water or Blast effect may knockdown a target easier and cause additional stun damage. A penetrative effect increases physical damage by various methods like having a flaming sword or an electric trident.

Impact elemental effects like Water and Blast are put on blunt weapons and add twice their Force to the DV for the purpose of the Knock down called shot and add their Force to determine Knockdown on a normal attack in addition to having an Elemental Effect. The weapon adds its Force to the DV if the target is knocked down.

Penetrative elemental effects like Fire and Acid are put on slashing or piercing weapons. If the modified damage value of an attack causing physical damage is greater than AP modified armor rating then add the Force to the DV minus the appropriate specialized protection. (Ignore this if the DV is less than the specialized protection)

Depending on the elemental type the weapon may have secondary effects when penetrating armor or even just when hitting armor as in the case of Acid. The Artificer must know a spell of that Elemental type to create the Focus.

A Bane Weapon Focus adds to the Weapon a Slay/Slaughter Effect in addition to the standard Sublime Weapon bonuses. When used against the species or type targeted by the Bane Focus directly in combat add twice the Force of the Bane to the weapon’s DV.

Additionally add the Bane’s Force as additional situational bonus dice for any opposed Tests targeting the Bane category when the Focus is active. A Bane focus in the hands of an expert in Intimidation can be especially terrifying to the target.

The Artificer must know the specific Slay or Slaughter spell targeting a type for death.

Rumors are common with this type of rare focus. It is known that many megacorps and governments have Insect Spirit Bane Foci for their elite best of the best HTR teams and that developing this manatechnology was a major goal of Ares.

There is a tale about an artificer who crafted many of these Bane’s against Shedim after discovering a payload of naturally occurring orichalcum in his backyard. He had discovered his child had been possessed by a Master Shedim and wanted to make sure people had weapons to defend themselves. At least half a dozen artifacts were made before the Shedim found out and the artificer disappeared. These were mailed to different parts of the world with crafting instructions.

People who are initially neutral emotionally toward the Bane type tend to over time grow more and more inimical toward their Bane. For those already negatively charged against the Bane’s type the process towards antipathy is much quicker. The character wielding a Bane facing focus addiction can easily become irrational and quickly develop a Prejudice against the Bane type and receive no karma for the negative quality.

A Toxic Greater Weapon Focus adds to the Weapon an attack that corrupts the body and astral form of anyone who isn’t aligned with Toxic energies. The Artificer must be a toxic magician to craft this focus. Anyone who binds to this Focus will inevitably have their essence altered until their magic becomes as Toxic as the Focus. Taking a physical wound from a Toxic focus will require a Test resisting anaphylactic shock if it is a Pollutant or resist Radiation per rules on page 105 of the Street Grimoire.

A Combat, Detection, Health, Illusion, and Manipulation Focus grants bonus dice equal to its Force for any Tests involving its Category of Spells. Spellcasting, Ritual Spellcasting, and Counterspelling and also assists Conjuring Tests involving the type of Spirit related to that category of magic that their Tradition can summon. It can also sustain a spell of its type up to the Force of the Focus.

An Initiate Focus adds its Force to the mage’s Grade for the determining of effects for any Metamagics that she might know.

An Invocation Focus acts by increasing the character’s effective Magic Rating with most types of Conjuring tests and when using the Invocation Ritual to buff their Spirits to Great Form. For Banishing it raises the Limit by the Force of the Focus instead of adding dice.

Prices:

Add +1 Availability and 20% to the prices of Magical Compounds in published materials because of the heightened demand and low supply following the devastation to the Talismonger industry during the Dragon Civil War. Loss of all draconic reagents and telesma plus the loss of hundreds of top tier Enchanters, Talismongers, and Talisleggers who used or dealt with draconic reagents has had a staggering effect on the enchanting economy.

Item Retail Price Availability
Raw Grade 20¥ per dram
Refined Grade 450¥ per dram 6 + 1 per dram
Radical Grade 5000¥ per dram 8 +1 per dram
Flawless Grade 55,000¥ per dram 10 + 2 per dram
Orichalcum 175,000¥ per dram 14 +3 per dram
Prime Quality +100% Base Cost +2
Superior Quality +50% Base Cost +1
Subpar Quality -25% Base Cost -3
Inferior Quality -50% Base Cost -5
Enchanter’s Lab 5th Gen 75,000¥ 12
Enchanter’s Lab 4th Gen 40,000¥ 10
Enchanter’s Lab 3rd Gen 25,000¥ 10
Microlab 5th Gen 100,000¥ 12
Microlab 4th Gen 60,000¥ 10
Alchemy Kit 5th Gen 10,000¥ 12
Alchemy Kit 4th Gen 4000¥ 10
Alchemy Kit 3rd Gen 1000¥ 8
Alchemy Kit Enhancements 1000¥ each +1
Minor Foci (F x 900¥) + (F x OR x 250¥) (F x 2)
Major Foci (F x 10,000¥) + (F x OR x 250¥) (F x2) +4
Grand Foci (F x 110,000¥) + (F x OR x 250¥) (F x 3) + 3
Focus Tailoring (Days x 1000¥) + (3 x Reagent) +2
OR is Object Rating of Telesma Doesn’t include cost of Telesma

For example:

A minor Force 4 Focus with a telesma of a gold wedding ring with a sapphire setting an OR of 5 and a value of 1,400¥ might retail for 10,000¥ at a Talismonger’s shop.

From Sendaz on the dumpshock Forum:

“For the more bashful shapeshifter (one raised among humans perhaps?) tired of the ‘where’s my pants’ game, might we suggest the Wear & Wolf Line from Talbot & Chaney Fashions Ltd which features a new line of shapeshifter friendly apparel.

Using sustainably sourced shapechanger fur specially enchanted and woven into tasteful Apparel Foci designed to be bonded to it’s owner, these pieces transform along with the busy shapeshifter on the go (often taking the form of a collar or otherwise woven among their fur/feather/etc in their primal form…).

These outfits have no intrinsic armor value beyond normal clothing themselves (Armor 1-2 tops at GM discretion) and start at Force 3 rating so as to avoid embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions in some of the wilder areas like Chicago and similar.

Rumours abound of a projected ‘War Wolf’ Line, utilizing shifter bone and shells(presumably from a weretortoise or similar) to increase the armor potential of the range, however this still remains on the drawing boards at present as well as being very controversial due to sourcing issues.”

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New Prime Runner Qualities with Story Hooks


An human sized anthropomorphic rabbit was lounging in a small study tucked into an hidden region of the Jackpoint Matrix Host reading an article from the latest academic journal released by MIT&T on Nanotechnological Integrated Chip Manufacturing while his mentor putzed around with an old simulation program for 2d video games for some ancient console system from the 20th century.

“Uh, Fastjack?”

“Yes, Cereal?”

“Why did you want me to come to your study if you’re just going to play archaic video games while I’m here?”

“Well, hopefully I am teaching you. Pay attention to the game and watch how I interact with the code.”

Fruity stared for awhile at the complex interactions for about ten minutes before he noticed something weird…really weird.

“It’s almost as if your matrix manipulations have become partially invisible; if you weren’t paying attention then you wouldn’t pay attention if that makes sense?”

“You’re quick kid, most of the others can’t see it and of the rest only Slamm-o! picked it up faster.”

Fastjack paused the game and stretched causing his avatar to pop several times.

“Now you play and see if you can mimic me kid. This is super-cereal and if you can learn how you’ll have an huge advantage over the other script kiddies.”

“Hey, Fastjack you know I’m more than that. What will I learn from doing this?”

“Well, Frosted Flakes you’ll be able to with luck get one action off without attracting Overwatch attention and postpone convergence a little bit longer than normal.”

“Serious?”

“As cancer.”

“Who figured this out?”

“As far as I can tell it must have been the Dodger and from there it has spread like wildfire amongst the Elite of the Elite.”

“Are you saying?”

“Yeah, kid you’re graduating when you get this down. Full access to all Stage 3 protocols here at Jackpoint and you’ll be able to edit some threads.”

Cereal jumped up and hugged the old man and both were grinning ear to ear.

Game Mechanics:

Shadowrun tends to have a point were the characters hit a brick wall of growth in power as Karma trickles in and specialists find the costs to increase their key skills skyrocket. So, here are some Qualities that open up new avenues for character development or enable players to feel like their character is growing more powerful rather than standing still while also creating differentiation between powerful characters as there is a tendency for characters to become more similar to each other as they grow in power as the choices become somewhat obvious and characters fill up their weaknesses.

I think in most campaigns that these Qualities might not be available at character creation depending on what kind of campaign is wanted. They would be perfect for a Prime Runner campaign though!

Each character can only have one “Way” Quality. If a character already has a core Quality that is given to a follower of a Way than they can receive a discount on gaining the new Way Quality up to half the cost of the Way.

The Way of the Nerd (Quality):  15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Nerd with the Quality for 30 karma. The Nerd knows all and replaces what in previous ages would have been known as the sage and today are often fixers or assistants to established fixers. The Nerd must have at least six Logic based Knowledges or Skills at or above a Rating of 4. She gains a +2 for Matrix searches for information, for all Academic, Computer, Sixth World, and Hobby Knowledge tests the Threshold is lowered by 1, +1 to Mental Limit, the First Impression Quality with fellow nerds, and the “You know a Guy” choice in the Home Ground Quality but instead of being people in your neighborhood it involves fellow nerds regardless of location.

Nerd Story Hooks: The team’s regular fixer seems to have gotten an assistant and is now in charge of setting up runs for the team. The team is hired to rescue a Nerd who is supposed to head an important panel at Comic-con but is missing and presumed extracted by a corporate rival. One of the runners has a Nerd contact that needs help with a project and is willing to hire the runners.

The Way of the Assassin (Quality):  15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Assassin with the Quality for 30 karma. Assassins must take a Code of Honor though not necessarily the Assassin’s Creed though that would be the most common and the Assassin must have a Stealth skill at 6 or higher. Assassins receive half penalty for called shots, +1 to all Stealth group skill tests, the Natural Immunity Quality to a Poison of choice (4), and +2 to all Surprise related tests from detecting ambushes to making them.

Assassin Story Hooks: Large amounts of a deadly poison have been used to kill an important person and should’ve killed any assassin present. One of the players climbs up the ranks in the Triads and gets handpicked to learn from the dying master of assassins who needs a replacement. An extraction goes wrong when someone Elite manages to kill the target during the extraction at the worst possible time without being seen or detected. An Assassin is given a job he can’t refuse without ramifications that involves contradicting his Code of Honor if he succeeds.

The Way of the Decker (Quality): 15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Decker with this Quality for 30 karma. The Decker must have a Cracking Skill at 6 or higher. Convergence doesn’t happen until it hits 50 and the decker doesn’t start adding to the Overwatch on their first Matrix action if they succeed with 3 or more net hits on the test. The second Matrix action that would trigger Overwatch does happen as normal.

Decker Story Hooks: A demigod somehow learns about the new Decker Quality and has a team of G-men on hand to find a Decker that is elite enough to know this Quality so he can learn how to undo the ability. Maybe it might take some torture or maybe even some vivisection to get recalcitrant hackers to turn on their own.

The Way of the Face (Quality): 15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Adept with the Quality for 30 karma or awakened through an initiation and taken in place of a Metamagic with a discounted price of 15 Karma. A Face must have a Charisma of at least 5 and at least four Charisma based Skills at four or better. An Adept with this quality can now choose Powers that amplify the Charisma Attribute as well as enhance social tasks and abilities, and have their Social Limit increased by their Initiate Grade. A single Social Power purchased with this Quality comes at half cost in Power Points. If a non-Adept takes this way they gain First Impression, Exceptional Charisma, their contacts have +1 Loyalty for free, and +1 to their Social Limit.

Face Story Hooks: After a negotiation with a particularly interesting opponent of suitable gender and type the Face realizes that he has somehow been duped and outwitted by her. Did she use some sort of new Social Power or was it Pheromones? Who will win the rematch?

The Way of the Master (Quality): 15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Master with the Quality for 30 karma. The Master must have the desired skill at 6 or higher. The Master delves so deeply into a skill that they are able to achieve the near impossible especially when attempting extremely complex and difficult extended tasks. The Master receives an automatic hit on every ‘roll’ involving the Skill and has no Limit involving that Skill.

Master Story Hooks: MCT needs the best robotics expert in the world to fix a key problem on their latest SOTA drone. A prideful specialist PC faces off against a rival or enemy who has suddenly become much more dangerous.

The Way of the Wizard (Quality):  15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Wizard with the Quality for 30 karma or awakened through an initiation and taken in place of a Metamagic with a discounted price of 15 Karma. The Wizard must have the desired Magic Skill at 6 or higher and a Magic Attribute at 6 or higher. The spellcaster chooses an area of focus on a specific Magic Skill and the acting Force of any use of the Skill is increased by the Grade of the Initiate. So a Summoner with a Grade of 3 would when summoning a Force 4 spirit would attempt all tests as if it was a Force 4 spirit but the actual spirit would be Force 7.

Wizard Story Hooks: The Black Lodge attempts to recruit a PC offering access to new and amazing Power! A riddle in one book leads the PC to a question in another esoteric book which leads to an author which leads to an hidden Master who might be willing to train an apprentice…after a lot of drudgework is done!

The Way of the Dilettante (Quality): 15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Dabbler with the Quality or can be self taught for 30 karma. The Dabbler or Dilettante is exceptional in that they tend to know a shallow amount about any test that the character could possibly have a chance of knowing. The Dilettante  acts as if they have a 2 in a Skill or Knowledge that they could possibly have been exposed to including Languages. A Dilettante from the UCAS could’ve learned German in high school but wouldn’t have learned an extinct ancient version of German only available to specialist linguists and anthropology.

Dilettante Story Hooks: The Dilettante tried out for a trivia show for kicks and gets a call back that they are filming nest week.

The Way of the Totem (Quality):  15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Adept with the Quality for 30 karma or awakened through an initiation and taken in place of a Metamagic with a discounted price of 15 Karma. The Adept must have the Quality: Mentor Spirit to purchase a Totem Power Pool equal to up to his Grade +1. This pool is versatile and with a complex action the character can change the Powers in the Pool as long as those powers match the theme of the Mentor Spirit and the situation at hand. The player and GM are encouraged to invent new Powers for the situation that are fair and balanced such as allowing a Bat Adept to shift his Totem Pool to Blindfighting and Light Body to mimic a bat’s ability to “see” in the dark and glide as Light Body helps with falls and in another situation use Animal Empathy to “talk” with bats but not any other animals.

Totem Story Hooks: A mentor spirit appears to a character in a dream warning about possible dangers to one of his “children” and asking for the PC to find and protect him. The current run violates the ‘spirit’ of a PC’s Mentor Spirit…does the PC continue with the run or abandon his team?

The Way of the Mentat (Quality): 15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Adept with the Quality for 30 karma or awakened through an initiation and taken in place of a Metamagic with a discounted price of 15 Karma. The Mentat must have a Logic of 6. The Mentat has heightened cognitive ability and can now increase Logic along with Skills and Knowledges based on Logic by purchasing Adept Powers. The Initiate with this Quality has their Mental Limit increased by their Grade and gains the Analytical Mind Quality. A single Mentat Power purchased with this Quality is at half cost in Power Points. If a non-Adept takes this Way they gain the Exceptional Logic Quality, the Analytical Mind Quality, Photographic Memory, and +1 to their Mental Limit.

Mentat Story Hooks: An AI interested in humans and their form of intelligence finally discovers that Mentats exist and absolutely must have one. Is one of the PC’s going to be extracted or will the runners extract a mentat from his accounting job at Saeder Krupp?

The Way of the Warrior (Quality):  15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Adept with the Quality for 30 karma or awakened through an initiation and taken in place of a Metamagic with a discounted price of 15 Karma. The Warrior must have a ‘Code of Honor’ not necessarily the Warrior’s Code as presented in SR5 though that would be the most common and a Combat Skill of 6 or higher. The Adept with this Quality has heightened combat ability by having their Physical Limit increase by 1 and the Enhanced Accuracy Power in one combat skill equal to their Grade. The other major benefit is that the Power Point cost for Combat Sense, Mystic Armor, and Improved Ability (combat) is discounted by half.

Warrior Story Hooks: A particular brutal murderer is out killing the Warrior’s protected group and it is being splayed all over the news day in and day out. The Warrior must stop this monster. Will the rest of the team help with a pro bono run to catch a killer?

The Way of the Athlete (Quality): 15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Adept with the Quality for 30 karma or awakened through an initiation and taken in place of a Metamagic with a discounted price of 15 Karma. The Athlete must have an Athletics Skill of 6 or higher. When purchasing the Attribute Boost power the Athlete doesn’t have to pick a specific Attribute as it applies to all physical Attributes and the Adept can choose at will which Attribute to boost. The Athlete also gains the “Natural Athlete Quality” but instead of just +2 bonus the Initiate gets to add their Grade to the +2.

Athlete Story Hooks: A physical adept from an urban brawl team has just recently went from obscurity to star status and Mr Johnson wants to know why and how it can be duplicated.

The Way of the Ronin (Quality): 15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Street Samurai with the Quality for 30 karma. May have one piece of normal cyberware that is so integrated into his body/mind system that it acts as if it was deltaware for all purposes from Essence Cost to difficulty in Assensing it. The Ronin must have a Combat Skill of 6 or higher and a Physical Limit of 8 or higher. The Ronin also has a +1 to their Physical Limit and a +1 to their Accuracy/Physical Limit when using any of their cyberweapons as long as their Street Cred is higher than their Notoriety.

Ronin Story Hooks: The Ronin must make a decision between their Honor as a Street Samurai and their family when during a run they find out that something terrible has happened to a dependent.

The Way of the Merc (Quality): 15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Mercenary with the Quality for 30 karma. The Merc must have experience as a Mercenary and at least two Knowledges relating to Military or Combat subjects at 3 or better and a Physical Limit of 6. Availability of Milspec Gear acts as if it was 2 lower, +2 on Negotiation involving Milspec gear “exchanges”, +2 on Knowledge tests involving Armed Forces and combat related subjects from weapons lore to military history to who is in command of Fort Briggs, +1 to Physical Limit, and +1 to all Defensive Totals in combat.

Merc Story Hooks: Fixer calls up the Merc needing his expertise to look over some rare, expensive or dangerous military gear that just fell off the back of a truck that the fixer doesn’t know what it is or does…Old Desert Wars teammate leaves a cryptic message about one of their tours and is later found dead in an highly suspicious manner.

The Way of the Bodyguard (Quality): 15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Bodyguard with the Quality for 30 karma. The bodyguard must have at least a Perception of 4, a combat skill of 4 and a Physical Limit of 6. The bodyguard gains +2 to Perception totals, can ready a weapon as a free action, +1 to Reaction (treat as augmented), and gains a +2 bonus to resist being taken by surprise.

Bodyguard Story Hooks: The team’s extraction is foiled by the same Bodyguard again. An old contact of a runner is getting old and needs some help and will pay in pointers and nuyen.

The Way of the Gunslinger (Quality):  15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Gunslinger with the Quality for 30 karma. The gunslinger must have a firearm skill at 6 or higher and a Reaction of 6 or higher. The gunslinger gains a +1 to DV for any firearm, automatically succeeds on quick draws, and gains a +1d6 bonus to Initiative that is compatible with other forms of Initiative increases as long as the first action taken involves shooting a firearm.

Gunslinger Story Hooks: The gunslinger is challenged to a duel in the middle of a run at a really bad time. Does the gunslinger fight it out or turn yellow and back away to help his team?

The Way of the Sharpshooter (Quality):  15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Sharpshooter with the Quality for 30 karma. The Sharpshooter must have a ranged weapon skill of 6 or higher. The Sharpshooter may “Take Aim” as a free action as well as a simple action and can have as many cumulative actions as their Willpower. They also receive a +1 to DV with any firearm or Bow.

Sharpshooter Story Hooks: A fixer approaches the Sharpshooter with a fantastic offer of a new prototype sniper rifle from Ares for gratis but the Sharpshooter must record at least five instances of its use against live targets on a run. Does the Sharpshooter tell the team that part of the run is going to be recorded? A sharpshooter PC is given a job of shooting a politician from a grassy knoll. Is there more to this then a simple assassination?

The Way of the Rogue (Quality):  15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Rogue with the Quality for 30 karma. A Rogue must have at least three Skills in Stealth, Influence or Acting of at least 4 and at least three Knowledges at 4 that would be helpful to a Rogue. The Rogue has many faces from the cat burglar to the pick pocket to the fencer of stolen goods. The Rogue has a +2 to Negotiations involving stolen goods either buying or selling, the Lucky Quality, +2 to Knowledge tests involving stolen goods and appraisals, and +1 to Stealth skill group tests.

Rogue Story Hooks: Someone just stole the very expensive, rare, or cool ‘thing’ that one of the PC’s loves and they want it back and whomever stole it. That Rogueish fixer always seems to luck out when it comes to finding the best runs and has another one for the team. Track down where a missing art item for a local museum that a cat burglar recently burglarized. No one else will look out

The Way of the City (Quality): 15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another city dweller with the Quality for 30 karma. The character flows through and into a city or metro environment and has no requirement other than an urban background. Pick three categories in the “Home Ground” Quality and enjoy those bonuses for your home metroplex and also receive half the bonus they provide in any metroplex/urban environment. Contact maintenance is at half cost for any contacts related to the Quality. All critical glitches dealing with this Quality are downgraded to just glitches and regular glitches are ignored as you know the city like the back of your hand and aren’t going to make too big of a mistake.

City Story Hooks: Some new player in town is executing a small group of NPC’s who all have immense knowledge about what is going on in the city and that are influential almost like they want to keep something in the dark…

The Way of the Rigger (Quality): 15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Rigger with the Quality for 30 karma or developed on the character’s own after years of messing around with technology. The Rigger needs at least five Electronics, Engineering, Pilot, or Cracking Skills at 4 or better. The character gets the Gearhead and Juryrigger Qualities but when the Rigger tries to coax more using both Qualities the device doesn’t become a paperweight and if the Juryrigging succeeds by three or more past the threshold it becomes semi-permanent (lasts until a glitch is rolled then begins to unravel with a critical glitch causing instant destruction) rather than just a temporary fix.

Rigger Story Hooks: A fixer approaches the Rigger with an offer of a job to juryrig a prototype that someone somehow damaged so that it will work during a presentation for corporate big whigs.

The Way of the Tank (Quality): 15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Tank with the Quality for 30 karma or discovered on the character’s own after developing an insane exercise regimen for years. The Tank needs a Body of 6 or higher. The Tank receives the Qualities Toughness, Quick Healer, 3 levels of Will to live, and his Armor acts as if its Rating was 2 points higher when calculating for armor penetration.

Tank Story Hook: The team’s tank was taken down hard on the last run. After a long recovery he vows to never be beaten down again and begins a search for the toughest guys in history and how they got there…maybe he’ll even have to ask the team’s aggravating decker for help!

The Way of the Bard (Quality):  15 points at character creation and in game play can be learned from another Bard with the Quality for 30 karma or awakened through an initiation and taken in place of a Metamagic with a discounted price of 15 Karma. The Bard needs a Performance or Artisan skill at 6 or higher. The Bard gains the “critter” power of Influence and if not previously awakened becomes so with a Magic Rating of 1 after accounting for cyberware and other Essence penalties but if their Essence is below 3 they cannot take this Quality. The Bard can use their Performance skill or Artisan skill to add to their Influence total if the art or music evokes a feeling similar in vein to the goal of the Influence attempt or explicitly tells the listener to perform the action. Performing an happy go lucky drinking song makes it easy to use Influence to encourage people to drink for example or in between verses say “Hey, everyone I want you on the dance floor!” thus those susceptible would head to the dance floor though the less explicit the instructions the more difficult it is to Influence people. Those following the Way of the Bard often learn the Bardic Metamagic to enhance their abilities.

Bardic Metamagic:  Magicians who learn this Metamagic are able to merge their magic and their passion for Art into a seamless whole. New Metamagical Spells, Rituals and Preparations become open to the character. The Bardic Performance Artist gains the powerful ability to have their bandmates aid in teamwork tests for Ritual Sorcery even if they are not Awakened using their Performance in place of Ritual Sorcery as long as the band performs the full length of the Ritual and the art is judged appropriate for the type of Ritual. Death Metal works well for a Prodigal Spell Ritual while gentle folk music would be okay for an Healing Circle. The Bardic Artisan Artist  gains the ability to use a new Trigger “Discerning Attention” in which the Preparation releases its magic upon discerning observation or study of the Art object as long as it would make logical sense. A painting designed to make people recycle more with an Influence Spell or Power Preparation works while it would fail as an anchor for a Fireball. The Bard makes an Artisan + Intuition roll after creating the art/alchemy piece with the net hits limiting the Force of the Preparation.

Objet D’art Metamagic: The advanced Bard can go beyond the rules and weave their Art and Magic into an almost inseparable structure that is very difficult for most magicians to detect requiring a threshold of 6 for Assensing Tests. This Metamagic allows the Bard to invest his Art with magic and Influence even when he is not performing or in the presence of the art piece. The bard makes an Performance/Artisan + Charisma/Intuition + Magic [Social] (24, Y) Extended Test with the Objet d’art’s Force of the Influence Spell or Power being equal to the Bard’s Initiate Grade with a duration of the Influence Power being equal to Grade times Y in time units (If (24, day) with a Grade of 3 the duration of the Artistic Preparation is 3 days after which it begins to decay following the rules of Alchemical Preparations with Y times). Karma equal to the Initiate’s Grade can be spent to extend the duration by one step on the “Extended Test Intervals” with the step after “Mammoth” being a year so with the example above karma expenditure would extend the duration to 3 weeks.  The created item is threaded with almost indetectable magic that can evoke an emotion or influence an action amongst those who view or listen to the Art even if it is a recording or simulacrum though depending on the quality of the duplication suffers penalties to the rolls. Even after the Artistic Preparation has faded an echo remains that the sensitive soul can feel.

Bard Story Hook: Rumors of a new marketing graphic artist wiz at Horizon hits the shadows and it seems that everyone has taken a big interest in her and are looking for an extraction including Novatech, Aztechnology, and no less than three dragons. Who will the Runners work for and how many other Shadowrunning teams will be looking to do the same? Someone in the Matrix is going around deleting a really awesome song called ‘Pride and Power’ that a trog rock band made celebrating strength and pride in who you are and what you might become that seems to have started a movement and is a rallying point for the Ork Underground in Seattle now that they are a city district. That someone erased the song off of the team Decker’s cyberdeck!

The Way of the Righ (Quality):  15 points at character creation and in game play must be awakened through an initiation and taken in place of a Metamagic with a price of 15 Karma. There are several requirements to following this Way which include the character must be an elf, have a Magic and Charisma of 6 or higher, a Sorcery Skill of 6 or higher, cannot take geasa, and cannot have cyberware or bioware as the body must be pure. The Righ gains +2 to all social tests with other Elves, has the Exceptional Magic and Charisma Qualities, and a +1 to Sorcery Skill Group tests.

Righ Story Hook: The Righ by his nature will draw the attention of other elves and eventually ‘Elves’ who will likely seek to use him or her as a pawn in their games. If a PC the Righ may get preferential treatment from a Mr. Johnson or another Runner team may be hired to “extract” him. If an NPC the players may be hired to kill, extract, or influence the Righ or maybe the Righ is one of the characters new love interest or even a relative in need of help and over their head.

DV House Rules


Dodge Value

Dodging is the act of moving your ENTIRE body out of harm’s way. This is the most energy intensive and difficult defensive act to perform as it requires the most effort. On the flip side however, as long as your speed allows you to relocate far enough to avoid the damage area, you are able to dodge the attack. If the attack’s area of effect is greater than the Move of the defender the defender needs to use a stunt to explain how they are dodging. With Perception the attacker is predicting where the dodging defender is going to be while the defender is noticing the best spots to be or watching for telegraphed movements in the case of dodging a brawl or melee attack.

Calculation: (Dexterity + Athletics + Legend)/2  + Epic Dexterity bonus – (Perception differential)**

Block Value

Blocking is the act of imposing a tough body part, weapon, a shield, or an improvised item to intercept an incoming attack and brace against it. Depending on the attack and type of defense it may be effective against some area attacks. It requires more exertion than a parry, but less than a dodge. Block is a cruder attempt but very effective at defense than Parry based on toughness or strength rather than finesse. A stronger attacker can punch through a block while a stronger defender can stop an attack cold giving a huge defensive advantage.

Calculation: (Stamina + Brawl/Melee + Legend)/2 + Shield Bonus + Weapon Bonus* + Epic Stamina bonus – (Strength differential)**

Note: Without special equipment such as a weapon, shield, armor, or active knacks such as Body Armor, no lethal or aggravated attack may be blocked without a stunt.

For example, an applicable stunt would be blocking the arm holding the lethal weapon or grabbing a chair and interposing it between your opponent’s sword and your body. A block with a weapon is a solid imposition of your weapon in the path of your opponent’s weapon relying on Strength, Stamina and position in order to thwart your opponent versus footwork for Dodging or subtle handwork for parrying.

The Shield bonus is in addition to the blanket bonus to DV that Shields provide via cover. The bonus is equal to the normal Shield bonus. So, a Kite Shield that provides + 2 DV from cover would also provide another +2 DV to Blocks against a single attacker. Shields do have a drawback in that they block visibility which is most commonly taken advantage of by the use of stunts.

Parry Value

Parrying is the act of using hand and footwork to subtly manipulate your opponent’s weapon away as a form of defense. On the flip side however, if the incoming attack is an area effect, like steam the parry cannot deflect the attack. Rather than directly resisting an attacking power it would be more appropriate to think of Parrying as channeling or redirecting an attack which gives the advantage to the fighter who can think on his feet the best in order to maneuver for advantage.

During duels threshold successes from parrying defenses can be stored allowing for ripostes against a single enemy. If the character changes target than all saved threshold successes are lost. A riposte is simply a parry that is successful enough to have placed the defender with bad footing or blade position allowing for an easier attack for the defender. The defender can apply the full threshold successes on his next attack after a successful parry.

Calculation: (Dexterity + Brawl/Melee + Legend)/2 + Weapon Bonus* + Epic Dexterity bonus – (Wits differential)**

*Weapon Bonus is different for Blocks and Parries. Usually large well constructed weapons have great blocks while more precision based weapons have good parry bonuses. A mace has an excellent block while only an okay parry while a rapier has a great parry but is only good for blocks by the hilt. For most weapons this should be fairly obvious and the total bonus listed in the book should be the total bonus if you were to add together the Parry and Block bonus and divide by two. So for example a Rapier has a +1 defense in Scion:Hero so it would have a +2 Parry and +0 Block as it is a light and maneuverable weapon.

**When dueling (important one on one battles or Holmgangs) the differentials allow for a new challenge and more in depth combat making defensive choices important and allowing for different builds to have advantages. The differentials only apply to one enemy.

Attribute differential Equation: (Attacker’s Attribute + Epic successes) – (Defender’s Attribute + Epic successes +1)

Rituals


Rituals are larger and time consuming spells that take at least five minutes to cast (rumors talk of titanspawn witches with rituals taking decades to cast) and a lot more props to focus the Scion’s power than a boon, cantrip, spell, or supernatural stunt.

Often Rituals are often required to activate ancient devices, open portals to other worlds, scry far off locations, open paths into terrae incognitae, enable magical mcguffins or counter magical mcguffins or other such one shot uses that push forward the story. As a rule it is far more effective to make use of a Magical Path’s Spells or a Purview’s Boons.

In order to cast rituals the Scion must have at least one dot in Magical Talent and any Purviews used in the Ritual.

A typical Ritual might be creating a field of Darkness around the caster to gain a bonus to intimidation or stealth, illuminate a room, stop a wound from bleeding or cause sickness.

Rituals have a duration of an hour without expending extra effort.

Higher power rituals could create storms or modify storms or shroud an entire building in darkness. They can do damage to individuals connected by fate or a sympathetic connection like blood or hair. A powerful ritual might create a Golem with Earth Magic or give a bonus to an entire army’s campaign or next battle.

To research about a ritual or Boon: Intelligence + Academics.

To find an ancient hidden or forgotten ritual: Intelligence + Investigation

To invent a new ritual or Boon: Intelligence + Science.

Formula design time: Rituals can take minutes to design on the fly or weeks of tweaking for the perfect equation. The advantage to belonging to an ancient tradition is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and most mages have a library with typical rituals that they can learn in five minutes for low complexity rituals to an hour or two while most Permanent constructions can take days to learn and longer to cast.

Optimized Rituals can be treasured Birthrights for lucky Scions.

Sometimes a Tradition’s style and foci can require a longer casting time such as meditation but since meditation doesn’t require material, verbal, or somatic components it tends to balance out.

If the Ritual is especially complicated it might have Secondary Purviews which the character also needs to have in order to cast the Ritual.

The better designed the Ritual the quicker it is to learn and to cast. It is also easier to cast if well designed for the caster’s Tradition or Style.

The higher the caster’s ability in the Primary (Purview or Magic) the quicker and less props the caster needs.

The Storyteller declares how many successes are needed to successfully cast the Ritual. Leftover successes are then used against a target or towards the effect wanted.

If the caster is lacking or surpassing the requirements in the Primary (Purview or Magic Talent) than the number of successes needed goes up or down per dot along with increasing or decreasing the Willpower cost of the Ritual by that number. So, if the Ritual requires Sun Purview at 5 than a Scion with Sun Purview at 3 would need two extra successes which would be subtracted from his Ritual roll and have to spend 2 additional Willpower. On the other hand a Scion with a Sun Purview at 7 would have his required successes be two less and the Willpower cost of the Ritual would be two less.

A powerful and complicated Ritual can be simply to difficult for a would be Ritualist in the case of Rituals with secondary Purviews or Talents. If the caster doesn’t meet the secondary requirements than he can’t cast the ritual. If he surpasses the requirements he doesn’t receive any additional benefits.

All Rituals cost at least 1 Willpower to cast.

Complexity:

Basic complexity effects (level 1) Cantrips with longer durations. (no cost)

Simple complexity effects (level 2) Creating or summoning animals. Sense a storm approaching. Bless a follower with enhanced combat bonuses. Influence a human being or charm an animal. Break a wall. (Legend cost:  1)

Intermediate Complexity effects (level 3) Creating Creatures with 1 Legend. Mimic Hero level boons. Move a storm front around a city. Bless a squad with bonuses in battle. Charm a human being. Cause a building’s foundations to crack. (Legend cost: 2, Willpower cost:1)

Advanced Complexity effects (level 4) hit multiple targets with subtle effects or have stronger effects like aggravated damage. Can mimic Demigod level boons. Can create/summon a Creature with legend from 2 to 4. Some effects require additional Willpower at this level and possibly even experience points. Stop a storm front from advancing towards a city or slowly weaken it. Create a tropical storm. Heal aggravated wounds. Bless an hundred men with bravery and hardened wills to withstand a titanspawn’s fear based magic. Ward a neighborhood from artillery bombardment. (Legend cost: 4, Willpower cost: 2)

Master Complexity effects (level 5) can mimic boons on the God level or create/summon a Creature with legend greater than 4. Dissolve an hurricane or create one out of thin air. Provide a morale boost to thousands after a terrible defeat returning faith in your leadership. Ward a city from a nuclear explosion. (Legend Cost: 8, Willpower cost: 3)

Scale:

Basic: (level 1) One person or target. A couple of meters of area effected. Range of a city block. (no cost)

Simple: (level 2) Group of under 10. 25 meters of area effected. Range of a couple of kilometers. (Legend cost: 1)

Intermediate: (level 3) Under a hundred. Area effect of an half kilometer. Range of 25 kilometers. (Legend cost: 2, Willpower cost: 1)

Advanced: (level 4) Thousands. Area effect of 25 kilometers. Range of 500 kilometers. (Legend cost: 4, Willpower cost: 2)

Master: (level 5) Millions. Area effect of 500 kilometers. Unlimited range in a world or into another world with a strong sympathetic link. (Legend cost 8, Willpower cost: 3)

Permanence:

Basic: An hour (no cost)

Simple: Until the next sunset or sunrise. (Legend cost: 1)

Intermediate: From a week to a season specified by the Ritual. (Legend cost: 2, Willpower cost: 1)

Advanced: A year and a day. (Legend cost:4, Willpower cost: 2)

Master: Permanent. (Legend cost: 8, Willpower cost: 3)

Some costs can be alleviated by using rare materials or by sacrificing as mentioned in Scion: Hero in the Magic Purview section. Other rituals may require rare materials regardless which can be a way for the Storyteller to control certain Rituals that might be game unbalancing.

Mechanics:

The Primary (the main Purview or Magic Talent) grants an automatic success per dot on Ritual success rolls. For Ritual DV’s the default Primary is the Ritual’s Primary (a Sun Ritual uses Sun for defense) but an opposing Purview can often defend just as well. Such as Moon or Darkness countering a Sun Ritual. Regardless of the chosen Primary the defender can add it (with Storyteller permission) as automatic successes per dot.

Typical Rituals: (Perception, Intelligence, or Stamina + Occult) + Epic Bonus – Required Successes

Some Traditions use Stamina especially those that demand sacrifice, asceticism or suffering from the Ritualist while the typical Ritualist focuses on everything being done in the right order in the right way. Those whose Traditions focus on Intelligence tend to be the more modern technologically based or those of neoplatonic Hermeticism. Once an attribute is picked based on the Scion’s Tradition it rarely changes but for some Rituals it might change if it would be logical to do so.

Direct Attack Rituals: To Hit: (Charisma + Occult) + Epic Bonus – Required Successes

Subtle Attack Rituals: To Hit: (Manipulation + Occult) + Epic Bonus – Required Successes

Occult Dodge DV: (Perception + Occult + Legend)/2 + Willpower + Epic bonus

Countermagic DV*: (Intelligence + Occult + Legend)/2 + Willpower + Epic bonus

Occult Resistance: (Stamina + Integrity + Legend)/2 + Willpower + Epic bonus

*Countermagic DV gets these bonuses: +1 if knowledgeable of Tradition, another +1 if trained in that Tradition, +1 if defender knows the same or similar ritual, spell, or boon, and +2 if using a defensive action. Also, receives an automatic success per dot that the defender has in the Primary be it a Purview or Magic Talent whichever is higher.

Countermagic also allows the Mage to attempt to unweave Rituals by creating a new Ritual designed to destroy the target effect.

A Mage may shield a number of allies equal to his Magic Talent dot with this defense if it is higher than their natural defense.

Some rituals might be additionally defended against by Armor such as most elemental medium spells.

For transformative Rituals such as being turned into a pig the character may choose to replace Stamina with Appearance when resisting as it represents a sense of self.

Result:

If the Ritual is successful and penetrates defenses it takes effect. Extra successes leftover can enhance the Ritual’s potency or damage.