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In Shadowrun are there official rules as to when you would reduce your magic rating due to various -wares?

Point in case, if you decide to purchase say bioware at the beginning of the process, before you've purchased traits, does that make your effective magic score negative for the purposes of then increasing your magic score, or can it never drop below zero, until you take a trait which raises it to 1?

For example, which of the following scenerios is correct:

Joe soon-to-be-Mystic-Adept (a human) has decided that he really needs an embedded comlink in order to fit in with the group. He purchases this with money before he takes the Mystic Adept trait. This immediately drops his Essence to 5 and drops his Magic to -1 and gives him maximum Magic of 5. Joe then purchases Mystic Adept which gives him a Magic score of 1, regardless of his previous -ware habits.

OR

Joe has decided that he really needs an embedded comlink in order to fit in with the group. He purchases this with money before he takes the Mystic Adept trait. This immediately drops his Essence to 5 and drops his Magic to -1 and gives him maximum Magic of 5. Joe then purchases Mystic Adept which gives him a Magic score of 1 that immediately drops to 0, because of his previous negative. Joe then needs to spend 10 BP to raise that back to 1, or else he's a burn out.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It has to be the case that any penalties due to essence loss are applied after your Magic attribute is determined at chargen. Otherwise, by the rationale you gave above, you could purchase any amount of ware at character creation, and you would have no penalty. If you want to nitpick, gear-buying is the last leg of character creation; I don't think that matters, though. If you get ware, you will be at a penalty. There's no way around that. (Oh, unless you get the ware removed later... then there's a monstrously expensive genetech treatment to get back the lost Essence.)

As an aside, why not get a neural net for your commlink, instead of getting one implanted? That way you can use full-immersion VR, send text messages secretly, or whatever, without any augmentations.

Edit: It specifically says 1 full point of Magic or Resonance, AND the maximum for that attribute (SR4A p. 68).

Edit 2:

You must purchase awakened qualities at character creation, because magic is something that you're born with. In SM, you can purchase qualities that give you "latent" magic; but, nevertheless, your character has the potential from the time they're born, so it makes sense for them to take the loss, no matter what point in their life they get the 'ware installed

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