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What happens if teleportation is added to Shadowrun?

 
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:36 am    Post subject: What happens if teleportation is added to Shadowrun? Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I've read that there's no space or time warping spells, the closest you can get to that is 'haste' on stuff. But what happens to the setting if you add in teleportation magic at low, mid, or exclusive high levels?

Or is there anything like using astral travel as a shortcut via hyperspace/warp travel?

Also does the Shadowrun setting already take into account how magic would affect mundane society/economy, or is are there still things not considered? I recall that magic enhanced cargo planes are something SR didn't account for.
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DrPraetor
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Frank's Shadowrunology exceeds mine own, but:
  • The setting included magical industries with special magic that was explicitly outside the scope of the rules, but did not include logical extensions of the magic the players actually got: the Movement power being the most glaring, but different editions had spells that would break the economy in ways they ignored, as well.

  • The setting at various points included the ability to schlep matter into the Astral Plane and then basically teleport with it; I don't remember if this was accessible to players (as metamagic? As a Free Spirit or Ally power?) in different editions but they did a decent job of keeping this power rare enough that it wouldn't impact the economy. For some reason, I think it was included so that dragons could shapeshift into human form, with which goal I sympathize.

    Of course, teleportation would have all kinds of effects on the economy which would be very difficult to predict.

    I think making travel unimportant wastes a lot of interesting challenges as a GM; and, you don't need high literary pretensions to have a group of players for whom "going somewhere exotic" is a compelling plot point for their shared adventure. So, I'm not a fan of teleportation.
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    angelfromanotherpin
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    PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    The ramifications are going to depend on what the parameters on teleportation are: how far they can go, do they need to have seen the place, etc. The big issue is going to be security; locations intended to be secure will include anti-teleport measures, whether that's astral wards or being built as disorienting labyrinths like in The Stars My Destination.
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    Orca
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    PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    The obvious change that players would notice is that very fast response security can include goons rather than just spirits or deckers.
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    Longes
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    PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    DrPraetor wrote:
    The setting at various points included the ability to schlep matter into the Astral Plane and then basically teleport with it; I don't remember if this was accessible to players (as metamagic? As a Free Spirit or Ally power?) in different editions but they did a decent job of keeping this power rare enough that it wouldn't impact the economy. For some reason, I think it was included so that dragons could shapeshift into human form, with which goal I sympathize.


    You need a spirit with an Astral Gateway power. You can get that one of two ways:
    1. Be an initiated magician with an Invoking metamagic
    2. Find a Free Spirit who has it

    Both would require a pair of gate openers at start and end points. Free Spirits with Astral Gateway are incredibly rare. Mages strong enough to summon a great form spirit with Astral Gateway are also incredibly rare and require a ton of education and training. On top of this, Astral Travel is dangerous, more dangerous than mundane travel is.
    At the end of the day it's just not worth it to do organized Astral Gateway travel.
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    Stahlseele
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    PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Yeah, Astral Gateway is one of the most stupid things in magic.
    Exactly because it goes completely against the core tenets of the magic rules.
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    Nath
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    PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    It's difficult to give an answer without first settling if teleportation would be a spell, a metamagic technique, a free spirit powers, what is the range, how many people and/or volume it can affect, does it require line of sight and/or a mental image of the origin or destination...

    It's like asking how much introducing aircrafts in a medieval setting would change things; the answer may widely differs, depending on you thinking about hot-air balloons, Wright Brothers-era airplanes, airships, helicopters, Spitfire, B-52 Stratofortress, Airbus airliner, or sci-fi flying cars when saying "aircrafts," with all the implications regarding cost, capacity, landing strip, etc.

    The transport industry would obviously be disrupted by the introduction of teleportation. Companies would run out of business. The economy of cities like Rotterdam or Singapore may be completely devastated (and, to a lesser extent, Atlanta as an airline hub for instance). If teleportation is really widespread, it may even have an effect on daily commute, if taking the subway from Grand Station to Wallstreet is equivalent to teleporting to Tokyo or London. However, such disruption would have little effect beyond commuting, because the Matrix and Virtual Reality already allow people to work over long distance.

    Tourism may enjoy a surge, especially in very remote locations and all kind of short holidays. Places that only have one or two monuments of note would receive more visits than they do actually since people wouldn't have to bother to occupy the rest of their staying.

    Mining and manufacturing would actually be pretty unaffected. The cost of shipping things is a practical zero even nowadays. It does take time, but corporations deal with it and organize appropriately. In Shadowrun, they're supposed to be even more efficient and well organized thanks to the Matrix and expert systems. A growing number of products get most of their value from software, which already moves almost instantly around the world. Skillsofts also reduce the need for moving workforce. Teleportation would greatly reduce the risk of oil or chemical spills, which is certainly a good news, but not something that bothered companies in the first place. Teleportation would allow to build factories farther from the coast and main roads, but there are little incentive to bother doing so. Less security threats, possibly lower wages on one hand, but you'd likely still need a connection to a power grid, which for an industrial site cannot be done on a whim.
    However, if teleportation work through space, or even just between Earth and low-orbit and back, Moon, Mars and space mining may quickly dominate the market for a number of resources.

    Agriculture may have interesting opportunities, although for the most part it's just cutting cost on freezing and transport. Fresh fruits on fishes everywhere on Earth is appealing for the demanding customers. On the other hand, if teleportation allows to move very large tanks of water or blocks of ice with little effort, it may be a game-changer in a number of region.

    Health may have greatly benefited from teleportation... if it wasn't for spells like Heal, Stabilize and the likes, and cloned organs, that are much more of game-changers than teleportation would ever managed to be. As it is, a magician that astrally project on-site and summon a Spirit of Man with the Heal or Stabilize spell than can materialize to cast it already put existing emergency medical team to shame in most situations. Teleportation would just come on top of that. Still, teleportation may allow a greater concentration and the closing of a number of hospital and clinics.

    Defense and security is obviously going to be transfigured by teleportation. You could get emergency response team of any size in position mere minutes after an alert. On the military front, intervention would also be fastened up. Save for nuclear strikes, which most countries that have this capability can perform under an hour, only the US are nowadays capable of performing a conventional missile strike really anywhere in the world under 24 hours, with B-52 taking off US mainland when no other units is within range of the target. Sending a special forces unit abroad can take up 24 to 48 hours in the best cases (though getting a political decision may be much longer than that). The build-up of an armored force is at least weeks if not months in the making. If teleportation allows to move in armored vehicles, ammunition, fuel and spare parts, that certainly would be a revolution in military affairs. You could even rotate soldiers in and out to sleep and eat in secure compound. There would be no such thing as an isolated position, so you could surround enemies whenever you want by just teleporting the components for a fortified outpost right where you want to overnight (that is, unless there's a way for astrally patrolling mages and spirits to prevent teleportation).
    On the other hand, your opponents may also get access to teleportation. So chances are wars would have each side teleporting troops to besiege each other magical operations center, or carry out terrorist or quasi-terrorist attacks on political institutions or civilian population, likely moving fast across urban core and out to avoid response team teleporting on them.


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    Wiseman
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    PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Maybe I've been playing too much FF12 recently, but the ideaof magic and technology being separate feels like a missed opportunity. There's very little magitech from what I've seen.

    Not necessarily teleportation, but if for example anyone could use magic weapons or slap runes on an item to improve it's capabilities, that would seem better.
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    Ancient History
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    PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Wiseman wrote:

    Not necessarily teleportation, but if for example anyone could use magic weapons or slap runes on an item to improve it's capabilities, that would seem better.

    This is something which Shadowrun has explicitly resisted, and is one of the hallmarks of the setting - partially out of munchkin concerns, but also because of the specific setting metaphysics about how magic works.

    In a way, the limitations of Shadowrun's magic system - which explicitly prohibits teleportation, or mundanes bonding foci, etc. - are very important to the setting; it's the limitations of anything that define the operating parameters of the setting, which is why a lot of the magitech in games like D&D falls into stupid hacks that break the game pretty quickly. It's not that you can't use magic to break the game in Shadowrun, it just generally requires more effort (or actually crunching the math on the Movement power), and it means that the hacks that do work feel more like genuine accomplishments - and, as NMath pointed out, it helps define the existing limitations within the setting itself to a degree.

    In a world where golems exist, you basically have perpetual motion machines that can just turn mills to generate power all day; in Shadowrun that's not economical, so nobody does it, but in pretty much any D&D setting it's revolutionary, and is generally ignored because nobody wants to write a magical industrial revolution and try to think through the impact that would have on the setting. So if you go from a Shadowrun setting without teleportation to a Shadowrun with teleportation, you're looking at the same kind of revolution - and the limits on that revolution are going to be determined by the limits on the teleportation itself (cost, range, scale, etc.)
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    Dogbert
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    PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    The thing with dungeonpunk is that Punkpunk is a low-powered genre by definition (even post-cyberpunk is low-mid at best), and teleportation is a high-tiered ability.

    The closest I see to teleport in Shadowrun would be point-to-point telepads made only to communicate key facilities within megacorps (after all, the fact that a better way exists doesn't mean it's going to reach the masses anytime soon), and I see chump runners occasionally hijacking these telepads to reach otherwise unreachable facilities in the ocean floor, low orbit, etc.

    Could players build one? Of course (because fuck that "NPC only" noise), but considering you have to build telepads in both sides, players would have little use for it other than moving between safehouses.
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    FrankTrollman
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    PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    There isn't very much difference between teleportation and high speed travel on the scale that people have in Shadowrun. In Shadowrun you can put a shipping crate on a ship in Thailand and get it to Los Angelos the next day. Then youu fly from Los Angelos to Miami in an hour. Then you could get on a fucking space ship and fly to Mars over the weekend.

    If it takes eight hours to prepare spells like a D&D character before you can teleport to the far side of the world, that's actually slower than if you just got on a fast plane with cloud spirit backup and flew through all the intermediary space. Whether Teleportation would have any economic or industrial impact or not has everything to do with the costs and parameters of your teleportation.

    Now the espionage and military applications of teleportation are a whole other ball of wax entirely. Again, it depends on the parameters, but here we're concerned with what you can move and where you can move it to without other groups knowing about it or being able to respond. Actual costs are only somewhat meaningful, because when nations and corporations hang in the balance you can justify a lot of zeroes on checks.

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    Occluded Sun
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    PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Teleportation changes very little, if it's sufficiently useless - that is, if the costs and disadvantages grossly outweigh the benefits.

    Flexible, cheap, and easy teleportation would utterly change any setting. For example, take a good look at the society Alfred Bester postulates in The Stars My Destination.

    I'm currently in a nonstandard Shadowrun game, and the only form of teleportation we've come across is a gifted child who does it by accident when he has a panic attack - and has no way of controlling his destination. Given my GM's skill, I suspect there are excellent reasons it hasn't otherwise shown up.
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    hyzmarca
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    PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Dogbert wrote:
    The thing with dungeonpunk is that Punkpunk is a low-powered genre by definition (even post-cyberpunk is low-mid at best), and teleportation is a high-tiered ability.
    .


    Tiers are relative, and teleportation doesn't have to be high-tier. If it's common enough that most people have access to it, it is by definition low-tier.

    There are examples of cyberpunk shows that have easy teleportation, the one that comes to mind first is the early seasons of Earth: Final Conflict (not the last one, which is horrible.)

    First season, the Taelons give portal technology to humans, and this begins to replace airplanes for intercontinental and transcontentintal mass transit. It's faster, safer, and less expensive than flying.

    Within the next couple of years, portal technology also replaces ships for mass cargo transport. Giant shipping-container-sized portal systems are built at major seaports to take advantage of existing infrastructure.

    And because you need a receiving portal at your destination, someone comes up with a portal rocket that can be fired through a window to allow SWAT teams to teleport inside a building.

    And eventually they become sufficiently miniaturized that they can fit in spray cans, and rich people have them build into their cars.

    In setting, portals just become another part of every day life that people take for granted. And you can do some clever things with them if you try, but they aren't special.
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    RelentlessImp
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Ancient History wrote:
    Wiseman wrote:

    Not necessarily teleportation, but if for example anyone could use magic weapons or slap runes on an item to improve it's capabilities, that would seem better.

    This is something which Shadowrun has explicitly resisted, and is one of the hallmarks of the setting - partially out of munchkin concerns, but also because of the specific setting metaphysics about how magic works.

    In a way, the limitations of Shadowrun's magic system - which explicitly prohibits teleportation, or mundanes bonding foci, etc. - are very important to the setting;


    And then 5E goes and makes an alchemical preparation that makes no-shit magic bullets for mundanes to use.
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    Longes
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    RelentlessImp wrote:
    Ancient History wrote:
    Wiseman wrote:

    Not necessarily teleportation, but if for example anyone could use magic weapons or slap runes on an item to improve it's capabilities, that would seem better.

    This is something which Shadowrun has explicitly resisted, and is one of the hallmarks of the setting - partially out of munchkin concerns, but also because of the specific setting metaphysics about how magic works.

    In a way, the limitations of Shadowrun's magic system - which explicitly prohibits teleportation, or mundanes bonding foci, etc. - are very important to the setting;


    And then 5E goes and makes an alchemical preparation that makes no-shit magic bullets for mundanes to use.


    And then 5E devs write forum posts about magic bullets being badwrongfun.
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    virgil
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Longes wrote:
    RelentlessImp wrote:
    Ancient History wrote:
    Wiseman wrote:
    Not necessarily teleportation, but if for example anyone could use magic weapons or slap runes on an item to improve it's capabilities, that would seem better.
    This is something which Shadowrun has explicitly resisted, and is one of the hallmarks of the setting - partially out of munchkin concerns, but also because of the specific setting metaphysics about how magic works.

    In a way, the limitations of Shadowrun's magic system - which explicitly prohibits teleportation, or mundanes bonding foci, etc. - are very important to the setting;
    And then 5E goes and makes an alchemical preparation that makes no-shit magic bullets for mundanes to use.
    And then 5E devs write forum posts about magic bullets being badwrongfun.
    Which is a bit weird. There's already established means for a purely technological manufacturer to make things that interact with the spirit world; orichalcum filament light bulbs, various strains of FAB, etc. Those things alone permit an extrapolation of technological advancements to permit muggles to fight spirits.
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    RelentlessImp
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    PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Longes wrote:
    RelentlessImp wrote:
    Ancient History wrote:
    Wiseman wrote:

    Not necessarily teleportation, but if for example anyone could use magic weapons or slap runes on an item to improve it's capabilities, that would seem better.

    This is something which Shadowrun has explicitly resisted, and is one of the hallmarks of the setting - partially out of munchkin concerns, but also because of the specific setting metaphysics about how magic works.

    In a way, the limitations of Shadowrun's magic system - which explicitly prohibits teleportation, or mundanes bonding foci, etc. - are very important to the setting;


    And then 5E goes and makes an alchemical preparation that makes no-shit magic bullets for mundanes to use.


    And then 5E devs write forum posts about magic bullets being badwrongfun.


    Maybe they should stop writing stupid things (Auschwitz, Slow, Battle Rifles, Wireless Bonuses, the list goes on and on) if they don't want people to point out how stupid it is.
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