Magic in the Shadows Miscellany

The following are some bits and pieces that were thought up for Magic in the Shadows, but never included in the book. Feel free to use them in your own Shadowrun games, but keep in mind that these ideas were never playtested and should not be considered “official.”

Adept Powers

New adept powers.


Cost: See below

A knack is a magical power similar to an inhierent spell or critter power possessed by the physical adept. It is treated as a normal spell, known by the adept at a Force equal to the level of the Knack. No Knack can have a level above the adept’s Magic rating. The adept uses the Knack normally just the original spell with the sole exception that the adept does not suffer Drain for the use of the Knack; the grounding of the power into the adept’s physical body is more controlled and permanent, and so causes no Drain. Knacks based on Sustained spells may be sustained by the adept following the normal rules for sustaining spells (+2 to all target numbers for each Knack the adept is sustaining).

The cost of the knack is based on the Drain Code of the spell, as given on the table below. Note, for the purpose of this power the Personal modifier does not apply, although the Voluntary Subject modifier may. Spells usable on Voluntary Subjects may only be used on the adept himself. Spells not requiring a voluntary subject may be used on any viable target, subject to the normal Spellcasting rules and using the Knack’s level as its Force for the Spell Success Test.

 Spell Drain

Cost per level









Example: Wind-Walker wishes to buy the Invisibility spell as a Knack. Invisibility has a Drain Code of M, so the Knack costs .5 Power Points per level. Wind-Walker pays 2 points to have the Knack at level 4. When he wishes to do so, using a Complex Action, he may make a Spell Success Test with his 4 dice to make himself (but not anyone else) invisible. Twice the number of Wind-Walker’s successes become the base TN to detect him while invisible.

Example: Fenris wants a Critter Form Knack that allows him to assume the form of his totem animal, Wolf. Critter Form has a Drain Code of +2M, so the Knack costs .5 Power Points per level. Fenris pays 3 points to have the Knack at level 6. Like the spell, he increases the Physical Attributes of his wolf form by 1 for every two successes rolled on his Critter Form Test.

Mystic Blade

Cost: 1

This power works like Killing Hands, except it requires a bladed weapon. The weapon does its normal damage, but it is treated as a magical weapon for damaging spirits and other critters with Immunity to Normal Weapons or Regeneration. The adept can also use the weapon in astral combat.

Metamagical Techniques

New metamagical techniques for initiates.


Many magical theorists believe the metaplanes are tied to the minds of metahumanity via the Universal Unconscious or some similar medium. The metamagical technique of Dreaming seems to support this idea. It allows an initiate to use astral projection to enter the dreams of others, observing, influencing and even acting through them.

In order to use Dreaming on a particular subject, that person must be asleep and dreaming. The initiate must begin projecting onto the metaplanes within physical sight or the subject. Otherwise, the initiate must have a material link and make a Sorcery Test to establish a link to the subject. Use the normal Ritual Sorcery rules for this test.

The initiate astrally projects onto the metaplanes. Once past the Dweller on the Threshold, the initiate undergoes an Astral Quest with a rating equal to the subject’s Willpower or Magic, whichever is higher. This Quest takes no time in the physical world. Upon reaching the Citadel, the initiate can enter the subject’s dreams.

A dream-world is much like a Place on a metaplane. It can take any form, subject to the dreamer’s conscious and subconscious mind. The initiate can also take on any form or appearance in the dream, but usually has all normal Physical Attributes and abilities, just like in the real world. The gamemaster has complete control over the “ground rules” for a particular dream world. Literally anything that can be imagined is possible.

The only constant in a dream world is the dreamer, who is always present and possesses whatever abilities the dreamer has in the physical world. The initiate can communicate with the dreamer normally, and the dream will be lucid enough for the dreamer to recall it upon awakening, although they may still thing it was “just a dream.” The initiate can also engage the dreamer in combat, using whatever weapons or abilities the initiate normally has. Physical damage inflicted by the initiate can kill the dreamer if it reaches Deadly, otherwise all such damage vanishes when the dreamer wakes, leaving only faint aches and pains. Deadly Stun damage causes the dreamer to awaken immediately, as if from a nightmare.

Attacks from things in the dream cause normal damage (Physical or Stun) to the initiate. While the dreamer cannot be harmed by anything in the dream, the initiate can be! If the initiate is killed in the dream, he dies in the real world as well. If knocked out (Deadly Stun damage) the initiate’s astral form is distrupted.


This metamagical techique can be used only by initiates capable of astral projection. It allows the initiate to create a material form for the astral body in order to affect the material world in a manner very similar to the Materialization power of certain spirits. Assuming a material form or abandoning it to shift back into astral form requires a Complex Action. There is no Test needed, switching between forms is automatic.

The material body is formed from the stuff of the astral plane and looks like the initiate’s astral form. The material form has Physical Attributes equal to the initiate’s Astral Attributes along with the character’s normal Mental Attributes. Reaction is equal to the character’s Intelligence rating and material forms gain a +10 bonus to Initiative. Additionally, the material form has the power of Immunity to Normal Weapons at a level equal to the initiate’s Grade. This provides twice the Initiate’s Grade in Armor against ranged attacks. Opponents using melee combat roll their Willpower dice to attack a materialized astral form, just like combat against a spirit.

Materializing is extremely fatiging. Each combat turn the initiate maintains a material form, he must resist a Drain Code of (Number of Turns)D. The target number of the Drain Test increases with the number of combat turns the character has been materialized. This Drain is resisted normally using Willpower. If Drain (or anything else) knocks the initiate unconscious, the material form vanishes and the astral form is disrupted. If the materialized form is killed, the initiate’s physical body dies as well.

While in materialized form, the initiate is considered a dual being, like a materialized spirit, able to use Sorcery on any physical or astral target the character can assense. All spells cast in materialized form still cause Physical Drain, just like spells cast in astral space. The material form can be targeted normally by spells from both the physical and astral planes. Spells affect the initiates material form, not his normal physical body, but astral reprecussion causes any damage inflicted on the material form to affect the body as well.