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Drunken Review: Shadowrun 5
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Trill
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Joined: 26 May 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The only metatypes with green skin are Hobgoblins (Ork Metavariant, have a greenish tint to their skin and black eyes) and that one elf Metavariant with green patches on their skin that can photosynthesize. If you are a normal Ork or Troll you have normal human skin colours (from almost white to 23:59pm dark)
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Nath
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's one of those messes it is impossible to make sense of. For the reference, here are the actual quotes from each editions:
Quote:
Shadowrun, 1st edition, page 25-29
DWARF: Their life span if unverified, but predictions based on metabolic rates run to over a hundred years.
ELF: The Elven life expectancy is unverified; claims that there were Elves already adult when the UGE syndrome became widespread indicate possible life spans of several hundred years, but metabolic studies are inconclusive.
HUMAN: Human life span is 75 years.
ORK: The typical life span appears to be between 35 and 40 years.
TROLL: Metabolic studies and direct observation indicate a life expectancy of about 50 years.

Shadowrun, 2nd edition, page 36-38
DWARF: Their life span if unverified, but predictions based on metabolic rates run to over a hundred years.
ELF: The elf life-expectancy is unverified, with possible life spans of several hundred years, but metabolic studies are inconclusive.
HUMAN: The worldwide average human life span is 55 years.
ORK: The typical life span appears to be between 35 and 40 years.
TROLL: Metabolic studies and direct observation indicate a life expectancy of about 50 years.

Shadowrun, 3rd edition, page 47
Lifespan
Dwarf: More than 100 years
Elf: Several hundred years
Human: 55 years (worldwide)
Ork: 35-40 years
Troll: 50 years

Shadowrun, 4th edition, page 65
Average lifespan
Dwarf: More than 100 years
Elf: Several hundred years
Human: 65 years (worldwide)
Ork: 35-45 years
Troll: 55 years

Shadowrun, 5th edition, page 380
AVERAGE LIFESPAN (WORLDWIDE)
Dwarf: More than 100 years (projected)
Elf: Two hundred years or more (estimated)
Human: 55-65 years
Ork: 35-45 years
Troll: 45-55 years

First, in real life, there is no such thing as reliable "metabolic studies". We have no precise ideas of how long humans can live. There are way too many environmental factors. The only thing we know (almost) for sure is how old a handful of people with documented background were when they died.

Shadowrun is giving numbers for elves and dwarves that we currently have no way of calculating for humans, and do so without even having a sample of people remotely approaching said ages. Remember at the time of the first edition (2049), the oldest elves and dwarves were 38 years old. You wouldn't even have significant numbers to study cancers and a number of other conditions. Really, they just made up an explanation for asserting elves and dwarves were living longer.

I can't even begin to guess how the combination of "metabolic studies and direct observation" can be used to put out numbers for troll life expectancy - though at least those had goblinized people of all ages to study. On the other hand, ork gets a "typical" life span, whatever that means.

You'd notice the human life expectancy was retconed hard between the 1st and 2nd editions. For a comparison, the world life expectancy in real life has been rising slowly in the vicinity of 65 years old in the world (75 years in developed countries) between 1989 and now.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Worldwide human life expectancy over the last five years is 71. The 55 reported for 2nd edition is the current life expectancy in Somalia. The 75 reported by 1st edition is the normal life expectancy in Brasil. Current life expectancy in Japan is 83 years.

So even if we take the Orkish life expectancy of 40 years as a true fact, based on the numbers they are using for Humans there's no reason to believe that's the age that Orks of dying of old age - that certainly isn't the age Humans are dying of old age. Indeed, even by 5th edition not a single Ork would have died of old age.

It's all very weird. But of all the different people who have written various random incompatible jank about Orkish life expectancy, I don't thing any of them actually understood how life expectancy numbers worked or what they meant.

-Frank
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phlapjackage
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

This is one of those things (like counting ammo), it seems better just to remove entirely or not use actual numbers. Who cares about the fine details of lifespan? What does it add to the game, other than a false-sense of "reality"? I would bet lots of money that this has never, ever come up in this (or any) game, whether your character being 39 or 40 makes a difference.

Something like "Generally, it's reported that elves and dwarves have a longer average lifespan than base humans, while orks and trolls have a reported shorter average lifespan. It's unverified what the reason for these differences are." Good fluff, possible adventure hooks, no wrong numbers to make the author look stupid...
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

And with the fuck hueg Kama-Cost they are actually aggravating the Problem that you can not properly portray playing an old geezer, because you simply do not get enough Karma to actually make a believeable character like that.

Yes, your 200 year old Elf has just about as much skills as the 20 year old Ork. Either Your Elf is retarded/slow or too fucking lazy to actually survive for that long.
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Longes
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Stahlseele wrote:
And with the fuck hueg Kama-Cost they are actually aggravating the Problem that you can not properly portray playing an old geezer, because you simply do not get enough Karma to actually make a believeable character like that.

Yes, your 200 year old Elf has just about as much skills as the 20 year old Ork. Either Your Elf is retarded/slow or too fucking lazy to actually survive for that long.


Bull explicitly said that 10 karma is a rarity tax. Because those are a good idea.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Point still stands, even with a Bulldrek justification like that.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

For some reason, I'm actually surprised that "trolls" were somehow envisioned as living shorter than humans. Fantasy sources are more likely to describe trolls as either ageless, or "old as stone/mountains"; than "dying really young."

As for Orcs, seeing how contemporary Orcs are "bigger goblins from Tolkien's Middle-Earth", and not "an old English word for 'foreign' human"; those I could see as living 'shorter' lives, for fairly boring reasons (i.e. plagarizing Tolkien's descriptions of orcs as "corrupted" elves, with limited lives).

The notion of lifespans being able to be projected at all within less time than average human lifespans feels like mispent effort. Wouldn't it be more interesting to make all metatypes "mysterious" in terms of potential lifespan? Potentially, making it suspected that all of them projected to live much longer than humans couldn't really hurt the idea that the metatype humans are more supernatural than purestrain humans. I could also see such a narrative giving anti-metatype factions like the Humanis Poligroup lots of potential fuel for their "human race extinction" retreading of contemporary "white race extinction" racist dogma due to the fact that metatypes that changed in the original goblinization event could exist (and procreate) centuries afterwards the original goblinzation event.
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Aryxbez
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

For Trolls not living long, I'm guessing they're basing it in part on reality where some of tallest humans in the world die of heart failure. Least the movies about them anyway, so it's the idea Humans are not meant to be big like a Troll is, therefore stretching beyond what is possible, destroying the original genome quicker, their existence spending more energy than it handle.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Trolls and Orks are supposed to live lives that are nasty, brutish, and short because they are supposed to be both commentary about how the lives of minorities are cheap and disposable and act as literal D&D humanoid hordde monsters.

The most glaring problem with all of this is that the time frame between when the game is set and the start of the awakening is so short that no meaningful demographic data could be gleaned. No one knows if Elves get normal-onset Parkinsons because none of them are old enough to have it.

But there's another thing which I think is a little bit more damning: the game mechanics don't support long lived Elves. Most people die of disease. Even in the violent hellscape that is the United States, only 7% of people die by violence (and most of them die from traffic collissions or falls). In most of Western Europe, that number is only 6%. If you get to the worst, most violent Mad Maxian terror fields of the world (Ukraine and Saudi Arabia, apparently), death by violence accounts for a bit over one death in five. Even in the land of dust storms and no seat belts, a majority of people still die in bed due to complications of diabetes or some shit. The only meta race that has a specific disease resistance is of course Dwarfs. Elves don't have any special resistance to Influenza or Heart Disease, so they should pop off at roughly the rate of anyone else. Most editions have Disease resisted with Body, which of course means that Orks should be living longer lives.

Of course, the most fundamental issue is that as a doctor I can pretty much guaranty that if we had any metahuman variants appear suddenly, they'd all have really short life spans. If an Elf gets Pon Far or an Ork gets some sort of metabollic disturbance, I would have no idea how to cure it. I mean, if an Ork starts getting really low Potassium levels in her blood I could give them Potassium replacements, but if it's some Orky disease I wouldn't have any idea how to go about long term management of it. Orks and Elves and such would be dropping like flies of the kinds of regular diseases that used to kill humans on the regular because doctors wouldn't have hundreds of years of meticulous data collections about disease progressions and treatment attempts to fall back on.

"Sorry, you have Type V Troll Diabetes. Drink a rediculous amount of water until we figure out what the fuck causes that to happen."

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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Aryxbez wrote:
For Trolls not living long, I'm guessing they're basing it in part on reality where some of tallest humans in the world die of heart failure.


I understand that tack; except that a Troll could be shot into unconsiousness or literally stabbed in the heart, and might live to tell the tale due to supernatural toughness. Whereas a "tall human" isn't necessarily tougher than a shorter one, they just have a larger frame without corresponding increases in organ strength/resiliance.

FrankTrollman wrote:
Most editions have Disease resisted with Body, which of course means that Orks should be living longer lives.


Basically this. A Troll (in 2e SR) might be the first to fail their shock tests after being injured (compared w... an elf? It's been the 1990's since my SR gm explained it to me), but their body attribute will allow them to not care that they're bleeding out from gunshot wounds in an alley's gutter.

Something that most humans can't really afford to do if they want to continue living.

Quote:

Orks and Elves and such would be dropping like flies of the kinds of regular diseases that used to kill humans on the regular because doctors wouldn't have hundreds of years of meticulous data collections about disease progressions and treatment attempts to fall back on.

"Sorry, you have Type V Troll Diabetes. Drink a rediculous amount of water until we figure out what the fuck causes that to happen."

-Frank


Honestly, that level of realism would have made SR feel much more like the Gibsonian dystopias it was trying to ape.

I could see such a situation being the impetus for metatypes focusing hard on developing a magical healthcare system, which simply ignores the limits metatype physiology would impose upon centuries of human focused medical care.
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Coldstone
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

magical healthcare is sort of already there, but it suffers from the so-called rarity of Awakened types. Add in the fact that a spellcaster(or conjurer using spirits to do it) would have to learn several spells compared to the medical knowledge mundane healers get, and in a limited sense, they have to pay more to be on a similar level to the surgeon.

Granted, that involved me thinking of the likely numbers involved off the top of my head. A mundane doctor would have first aid and medicine skills, At least decent logic and/or intuition, probably agility too if they're going to use the knife on someone. Then there's the knowledge-based training they probably also took to help augment (if a person was being generous and let them roll that to get a test bonus for 1st aid or medicine). Throw in specializing on the skills....

If you consider knowledge skills as free for the most part, they basically train up two specific skills while assuming at least average on the attributes. So If we assume Two Rank 5, that's, what, 20 BP for First Aid and another 20 for Medicine, yes? then 4 more to specialize in something particular for each...

So if average attributes are 3, they have dicepools of 10. If they have at least R2 medkits and equipment, that's 12, which at least keeps their average work at 3 hits if they can buy it. BP wise, they spent 44 BP on being medical-sans.

Note I'm excluding attribute costs since we're assuming matching attributes.

A mage has the 3 point attributes, has to buy aspected, full mage, or go bonkers and go adept and be a pro-doc from above, augmented that further.

The quality cost varies from 5 to 15 depending on which one you get. That at least gives you magic 1, but if we assume a full mage for now, that's 15 BP for the quality and 20 more to bring Magic to 3 (so 35 spent so far).

If we assume spellcasting, they only need That one strictly speaking, so we'll go R6 with a health specialty, so 26 BP for that whole thing. With the earlier cost, that's now 51 BP....

And that's where part of the problem becomes more apparent. Just from having the To do magic, more than half the basic tools needed to just be a doctor has already been spent. With a spellcasting 6 with spec, adding on the 3 magic, that dice pool is only 11. One point higher than the person who can mend wounds and do surgery, diagnose you have a cold, etc, etc. yet the spellcaster has already spent more BP, and I didn't even stat them out with the spells that would give them the bare minimum ability to help treat the seriously injured. If we assume stabilize and healing spell alone, that's 6 more BP for being able to help keep people from dying, but otherwise almost nothing else.

And this is using chargen for making shadowrunners - ordinary NPC's will have less skill, but if you follow a similar pattern, the awakened versions still spend more than the npc-doctors.

magical healthcare would, theoretically, need a way to help influence health care that minimizes need of magical healers to make a practical impact in the same way ordinary doctors do. They do have some advantages over the mundane doctors built in, thank goodness, but when you consider the fact only 1% or so of the world is supposedly magically awakened or whatnot, and only a portion of them may go into healing in the first place...

Basically, magical healthcare isn't practical to do on its own. It would work best/be stronger supplementing a non-magical healthcare... Or at least that's what looking at the basic skills and requirements make me think.


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Longes
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you guys think ork lifespans are bad, check out this gem:

Quote:
> I knew Knorr’s mentor, Grand Master Duvall. Duvall wasn’t Awakened, but when he saw Knorr was, he adapted his training and guided Knorr into developing the art. But you are right, Axis, that was a long, long time ago. There’s no way Knorr is human.
> Red

> Well, he isn’t an elf or a dwarf, either. Perhaps some form of magical longevity?
> Axis Mundi


Context: this Knorr fella developed an awakened martial art. And apparently Knorr can't possibly be alive at a venerable age of 60-90. The current year is 2077. The awakening happened in 2011.
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virgil
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Maybe Knorr was an adult before the awakening?
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saithorthepyro
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:
Maybe Knorr was an adult before the awakening?


I think there are several jackpointers/NPCs still around who are human and were adults during the awakening, which kind of ruins the argument.

If anything, with high magic and tech availability, if you have enough money and aren't constantly putting yourself in life-threatening situations, life expectancy should go up. I don't know if it does, by Magic might even bypass the genetic issues with increasing the human lifespan that we currently have.

Maybe if Red's statement referred to surviving way too many encounters that he should not have with no evidence as to how, but that doesn't seem to be what the statement is referring to.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:
Maybe Knorr was an adult before the awakening?


Trump's Razor: Ascertain the stupidest possible explanation that fits with the available facts, and that is the most likely to be the truth.

Obviously the book's author forgot how very little time has actually passed in Shadowrun and wanted to throw shade about vampire ninjas or something. Basically forgetting that:
    1. The Shadowrun future isn't actually that far in the future.
    2. They already introduced expensive medical treatments in Shadowtech that will increase the lifespan of anyone with enough money by more years than the Shadowrun future history has progressed since first edition.


It absolutely cannot be a big mystery how anyone is "still alive" within the context of Shadowrun. It's exactly like being mystified that people are still alive who were doing stuff during the first Bush Administration. Only more ridiculous than that, because life extending medical treatments have specifically advanced considerably.

-Frank
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souran
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

All of this discussion about lifespans (and the relationship of Orcs and Trolls to real world minorities) both make me wonder if Shadowrun should have either an "older" alternate history or if the setting shouldn't try and be earth at all.


An alternate history that says that the various types of humanoids have always been around is easy but clearly problematic Although I think you can imagine montage (set to Dylan's "times are a chagin") for the game that would show an elven plato, the founding fathers with Jefferson as a troll. A dwarven Napoleon, and an orcish Lenin (or perhaps lennon?)

However, honestly, I have never really understood what shadowrun gains by being in a near future "earth" versus being a near future world of its own design.

It has always seemed to me that the only history that matters for the settings are the things that have happened since the great change. Although the game has some ancient elven characters that don't make any sense, the game cannot have vampires who are centuries old. Although obviously the corps have secrets that are worth stealing their secrets can't be ancient knowledge man was never meant to learn because before the point of divergence there were no ancient evil gods darkly influencing things.

The biggest thing that the game gets by being set on earth is that people "know" about its history and locations because they are real things. However, shadowrun undoes all of that because real history is pointless, the boundaries of nations and peoples are all drastically changed, and the technology is just enough more advanced that you need to learn about how things work even if you are tech savvy now.

So, if thats the case what advantage is there to being set on "earth?"
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Trill
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Double Post

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Trill
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
that will increase the lifespan of anyone with enough money by more years than the Shadowrun future history has progressed since first edition.


Oh BTW, they changed that as well.
From ESS 0 AVAIL 12R COST 400000n¥
to ESS 1 AVAIL 15 COST 2000000n¥


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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

@Souran
Shadowrun was built on the 80's outlook of the world, where Japan seemed to be the next super power dominating most anything. It was fully intended to be alternate Earth, from the very onset. With all the perceived and real problems this entails.

@Trill
But they also gave an even more expensive essence restoring treatment . . so they just moved the goalpost for how much money you need for it to be viable long term a bit further out of reach of anybody actually playing it . .
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

souran wrote:

The biggest thing that the game gets by being set on earth is that people "know" about its history and locations because they are real things. However, shadowrun undoes all of that because real history is pointless, the boundaries of nations and peoples are all drastically changed, and the technology is just enough more advanced that you need to learn about how things work even if you are tech savvy now.

So, if thats the case what advantage is there to being set on "earth?"


Because the shadowrun doesn't 'undo all that.' The changes have weight because people are familiar enough with the real things to understand what changed and why those changes are important. Granted SR overfetishizes Native Americans (and pulls a ridiculous population boom during/after major collapses, military conflicts and a disease outbreak). But the UCAS/CAS split is pretty meaningful (and sadly more relevant now than when it was written), in a way that the division of North Fantasia and South Fantasia wouldn't be. Both for lack of emotional impact, but also because they'd be introduced as split, which would suggest to readers that the split is the natural state.

As for tech, I have no idea what you mean. SR is very grounded in really basic cyberpunk tropes- if you watched Six Million Dollar Man, Robocop and Star Trek you've got the basics of cybertech and wireless communication*, without even diving into actual cyberpunk stuff at all. I'm not sure what learning even 'normal people' need to do to understand SR tech, let alone the gamers it's actually aimed at.

*wireless is kind of important, as SR has the same problem Trek has (particularly exacerbated in Trek prequels), for all the Trek help inspire cellphones and tablets, we can now do more with the modern equivalents than they ever could. SR tech, at least the everyday stuff (not combat cyberware), feels really backwards.
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Um,

Can anyone explain to me why the Necro Magic tradition needs new rules and can't just be a possession tradition with a darker flavor?

Anyone? Seriously, the tradition rules are stupid.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Because Possession Tradition would mean the mage now controls the character.
While this means the character returns. If a bit damaged. To his players hands.
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Longes
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

CapnTthePirateG wrote:
Um,

Can anyone explain to me why the Necro Magic tradition needs new rules and can't just be a possession tradition with a darker flavor?

Anyone? Seriously, the tradition rules are stupid.


I honestly don't know. Necro Magic rules are stupid and obtuse. For example, can non-necros learn the summoning rituals? RAW - yes. But necro mages can only learn one ritual with each initiation. What's up with that? You also can't really bind necro spirits because they are possession spirits with very specific vessels.

On the upside - necro mages don't need summoning and can summon stupidly big spirits. Necro summoning is actually ritual magic, which means it's limited by the lodge rating and not your magic, and can get stupid with groups. So a cabal of necro mages can get together and summon a Force 20 Palefire spirit and sick him on their enemies.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

As opposed to getting together, summoning a great form force 20 earth spirit/elemental and destryoing whole continents using the quake power . .
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