I'm writing a backstory for my character in SR4. One of the characters in my backstory is a little girl who would have been considered an Otaku (though not in any of the crazy cults) and would have eventually grown up to be a Technomancer had tragic circumstances not befallen her. Anyway, her parents are old 2nd/3rd ed. Shadowrunners. Mom's an Elven Mage, and Dad's a Human Decker. Long story short, little girl starts exhibiting strange behavior (influenced by her connection to the matrix). Would Mom be able to see her daughter's resonance using assensing?

From everything I've read, Resonance, and Essense work nearly the same. Implants and Cybernetics reduce both equally. Your ability to summon, or compile a sprite are very similar. You can attempt to increase the rating of a complex form, much the same way as attempting to raise the force of one of your spells. In all ways, it appears as though Technomancers are the matrix's Mage. (please correct me if I'm incorrect on any of this)

That being said, I haven't seen a version of assensing for Technomancers. Two Technomancers crossing path's don't seem to have a way of identifying each other, unless they introduce themselves, or strip search each other looking for comlinks. So, question stands: Can a Mage, tell the difference between a normal metahuman, and a Technomancer using Assensing?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Not exactly an answer, but I had a whole spectrum of Assensing-like abilities that would let you get increasingly sophisticated views of the properties of living creatures. In that framework, no, Assensing itself would be too crude (but a more advanced ability would do the trick). But maybe someone has canonical information? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ichoran
    Oct 29, 2012 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


Yes, they can.

If you look at the Assensing table, on p191 of the book (20th anniversary edition), 5 hits on an Assensing test can tell you that the subject is a Technomancer.

But just to correct something: Technomancers have similar mechanisms to mages, but they are not the matrix mages. They work on two different planes, which can not interact with each other. Which is the reason why a mage detecting a Technomancer is so difficult (5 successes being a lot).


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