>>>>>[ I found this article in Scientific Magician. Though it’s full of mumbo-jumbo info for the masses I still decided to bring it on line to spread some information about Nega magic. Remember: it’s easy buying a bigger gun, but fragging hard fighting something you don’t know anything about. So hack away and cut through the veil.]<<<<<
- Gatekeeper < / >
This article brings a whole new kind of magical adept to the public. The inspiration to do the research for this article came from a small passage in Robert N. Charette’s biography on of one of the urban legends, Samuel Verner, that was published a couple of years back. Another person that I must thank from the bottom of my heart is Torch (no other name necessary), whom I met in Seattle during my research. She has given me much of the practical knowledge of what a Nega mage is and it’s practical applications. I especially want to thank her for putting up with my sometimes embarrassingly stupid questions and perhaps for compromising her position in the shadows. I would also like to thank Arthur Garret at the thaumaturgical institution of UCLA who have contributed with much of the theoretical knowledge contained herein.
>>>>[Yehh, I heard that Torch had to go elsewhere to seek employment, who’d want to hire a ‘runner that’s been in a scream sheet like this? Hey, Sparkle you must have had a real soft-spot for this suit-character.]<<<<<
- Jezzuit Jake </>
When the magic returned to the world and awakened many strange beasts and secrets long forgotten, it also created abilities that humanity so far has only begun to explore. For example, it’s only half a decade since Paul R. Hume’s immortal work, “The grimoire of practical Thaumaturgy”, was published in it’s first edition, and the current 2de edition is wearing old by the minute. The Grimoire, as it’s affectionately referred to by contemporary magicians, shed some light on the long discussed phenomena of extended use of magic by experienced magicians and it also minted the term initiation to describe it.
So where does the name “Nega mage” come from? If you look it up in Encyclopedia Britannia it just says, “negative mage”. Which goes to show the poor understanding and documentation of this phenomena. A negative mage could as easily be an ordinary magician that didn’t get his cup of Soyegas or selected the wrong speed on his toothbrush this morning. A more correct definition would be “anti-magician” or “canceling magician”.
>>>>>[ Yahh’ this pinkie-man not be knowing what he be talking about. Gimme a string of APDS bees to be put in me Walking stick and a keg of Jamacian rum. And me be jamming, showing real anti-magician firework]<<<<<
- Firepower < / >
>>>>>[ You bozo, haven’t you understood anything yet? A Nega mage cancels the magical effects, not the magician! But then again you’re troll, right?? And where on earth did you pick up that accent?]<<<<<
- Jezzuit Jake < / >
How does it work?
According to one of the existing theories on the workings of Nega magic the astral presence of the Nega mage would be weaker and that way less susceptible to magical effects. Contrary to the knowledge that people with high natural resistance to magic have strong auras, it might seem strange that scholars would support this theory, but they have some esotheric explanation that I don’t care to discuss here. On top of that, I don’t find that explanation plausible as it’d make them “less alive” then the rest of us, as all living things have an astral aura. I, for one, know at least one Nega mage who is anything but “less alive”. We therefore have to find a better explanation, what better to start with then the opposite! It could be reasoned that the Nega mages have a stronger astral presence than normal and that their aura, with them consciously knowing, does a form of astral battle with the magical spells. Certain phenomena has been observed that could support such an approach. Unfortunately no observation by other magicians in astral space has been able to confirm the theory. An idea that I recently was introduced to during my interview with Arthur Garret, dean at the thaumaturgical institution of UCLA, sounds promising.
>>>>>[I heard that the thaumaturgical institution at UCLA was deep in bed with a Nippon outfit developing some military magic, especially attuned to Elves. I just couldn’t imagine why??!! Hey, Tir dandelion eaters, better watch out! Pity about Garret though, I’d always thought he was straight]<<<<<
- Scholastic shoal < / >
>>>>>[Ridiculous! Machinations of Children! There’s now such thing as racially aligned magic! But sure we’ll look into it and take appropriate action.]<<<<<
- Joanna Starblossom < / >
Theories in abundance Garret argued strongly for a new theory the possibility that a Nega mage’s aura was neither stronger or weaker but out of sync with ordinary magic. On a different frequency if you will. This would account for the difficulties to effect them with magic, because even at the freshman courses in thaumaturgy you’re taught that a mage must synchronize his aura with whatever he wants to affect. Now if Nega mages had an aura out of sync it would be difficult for mages to get the astral plane to “conduct” and channel the magical energies, as the connection between magician and victim is so weak. Garett showed me some preliminary test data from experiments and he was convinced this was the solution. He was also being really enthusiastic as, if the data held up, it would be a whole new aspect of magic to explore. I’m not a magical theorist, but I’d put my that he’s right, besides who wouldn’t trust the man who discovered and described the phenomena of Elemental magic and adepts?
>>>>>[Discovered my ass! I’d been an elemental adept years before the good ‘ol professor Garret even thought of examining the “phenomena”, which was common knowledge in some circles!]<<<<<
- Live fire < / >
Effects of Nega magic
Now this is all fine and good, but what’s the bottom line and what does Nega magic do? To put things simple, it’s very hard, not to say impossible, to affect a Nega mage with magic. Besides their more arcane resistance they normally also have a high natural resistance to magic. A Nega mage is not believed to have any access to the astral plane as non of the studied subjects has shown any signs of ability either to astrally project or perceive. The same magic decreasing effects have been observed with Nega mages as with other magically active people upon invasive surgery or serious physical damage (torch, your shouldn’t have installed that smartgun link!). A Nega mage’s aura is visibly quite different from normal auras in astral space when examined closely (or so I’m told), but only very few know what they see most would probably consider it an anomaly or perhaps a person with latent magical abilities.
A question that naturally pops up is whether there is such a thing as a initiated Nega mage? As it doesn’t exist that many Nega mages to begin with and even fewer know of their own abilities, it’s hard to say if they do exist or not. Certain phenomena has been observed that would indicate that there at least are Nega mages with extended abilities. Such being observations where the magic has not only been stopped but turned back at the source. Others would indicate the ability to protect, not only himself, but also others in their surroundings (thanks Torch!).
>>>>>50 Mp deleted<<<<<
>>>>>[Yeah, I cut the article short. He just went on and on in circles. Better we get the runner community’s experiences on the subject, it’s bound to be much more useful.]<<<<<
- Gatekeeper < / >
Despite the name a Nega mage is actually an adept power and is treated as such when it comes to character creation and such. The Nega mage doesn’t have use for any locks or foci what so ever. The Nega mage’s special ability is simulated in the game with a magic pool, following the same rules as normal mages. The difference is that the Nega mage doesn’t have to have any sorcery skill, instead the dice is twice the current magic attribute and that it can only be used for personal spell defense. How about initiation? Initiation costs the same as for a normal magician (i.e. 6 + initiation grad as base cost). Unfortunately there are no groups for Nega mages to reduce the cost, at least none currently known though they might exist at gamemaster discretion. Ordeals are allowed to reduce to cost of initiation though not all ordeals are appropriate. Asceticism, Deed, Geas and Meditation can be used with out trouble, others may be available at gamemaster’s discretion. When a Geas is broken a Nega mage’s magic pool is reduced to 1 x magic attribute. For example a Nega mage that have a special affinity for night time activity might accept a Geas(night), and get the full benefit (2 x magic attribute) of his magic pool during night but only half if he gets slammed with a spell during the day.
The metamagic available to the Nega mage initiate is: Dispelling, Shielding and Masking. Shielding works just like normal, i.e. on all characters in sight that the mage chooses to protect. Nega mages also get a “feeling” for what is magical, manifested in different ways: an electric tingle on the fingertips, a weak scent, a dark aura, a low buzzing etcetera. In game terms it works like the spell Detect magic (no magic pool!) with a force equal to their grad of initiation. They suffer drain just like normal mages do (concentration can be tiresome). They also have the new metamagic of Reflection, see below for description. If you think that it makes the Nega mage too powerful you can modify it or simple disallow it.
If you use the optional rule of gradual initiation from NERPS, which I recommend as it makes the initiation system of Shadowrun much better (thanks to Jason Carter <[C--rt--r] at [UPS.EDU]>), you might want to make this metamagic available at later grades of initiation.
This is a metamagic ability available to Nega mages. If the Nega mage isn’t surprised the ability functions (i.e. he doesn’t have to have had an action). Roll a success test between the Nega mage’s magic attribute with a target number equal to the force of the spell and then consult the following table.
Successes Result 0 No luck chummer, you’re in for the big boom 1 The spell takes full effect but also reflects at half effect 2 The spell reflects at half effect but also takes half effect where intended 3 The spell reflects at full effect but also takes half effect where intended 4+ The spell reflects at full effect no effect where intended
Reflected effects take effect the following combat phase, normal effects will take place immediately. For example if the spell was cast in combat phase 14 the reflection will take effect in combat phase 13. Half effect means half force and half number of successes.