So I've been running a lot of 4th Edition Shadowrun recently, and I'm curious as to some adept abilities, but the one that's been bugging me a little is Mystic Armor (SR4 197); does anyone know if it affects magical attacks?

I know the following about it:

  • It blocks astral attacks.
  • It functions as proxy body armor in the physical world.

However, I'm unsure as to whether or not it would block something like a manabolt; does Mystic Armor function as a Mana Barrier (SR4 194)? I'm unsure, since the description of how things work for spell targeting is ambiguous (SR4 182)-while the rules do say that mana spells may be used for astral combat, when talking about whether or not they work on the same astral level irrevocably there is no such disambiguation; while physical spells are explicitly stated to not work on astral, mana spells are not explicitly listed as being astral in nature. Any thoughts?


1 Answer 1


In Sr4, Manabolt, Manaball, and Death Touch are all described as doing physical damage and are treated as Direct Combat Spells (magical attacks which affect the target from within). This physical damage will be resolved normally using the target's Willpower.

In the case of an indirect combat spell such as a fireball, any physical armour and/or Mystic Armour would apply, but using half the value of the target's total Impact armour value. Mystic Armour stacks with physical armour.

Mystic Armour for both 'Runners and Critters is described as you note in your question as being effective against physical and Astral attack vectors. Further, it is described as affecting the skin to provide both Impact and Ballistic damage protection.

In the case of targeting a 'Runner protected by Mystic Armour with a Manabolt or other Direct Spell, the Mystic Armour would not apply protection.

In the case of being targeted by an indirect combat spell, it would stack with other armour and the total would be counted at half its value. (p204 Indirect Combat Spells).


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