In Shadowrun lore, as well as in Running Wild, Street Grimoire, and other places, spirits, dragons, and other things can have the abilities of a mage (though spirits can't conjure most of the time).

Is there any lore reason why a spirit, dragon, etc would not be able to be an adept gaining adept powers?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Note: Running Wild is a 2009 sourcebook for SR4. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 12:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am aware. But Shadowrun tends to retain fluff from previous editions unless it's been contradicted, and I am looking for any lore supporting or negating the option. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 2:53

2 Answers 2


Drakes, Free Spirits, and Shapeshifters are inherently magic. They get a magic attribute just to be what they are and stop being that if the Magic attribute ever falls to 0. And nothing in the rules forbids the more physical of them from getting the magic-wielder abilities Adept, Mystic Adept, or Magician. Spirits are a little different: they are all Magicians and may not possess the spirit-interaction skills of summoning/binding/banishing. But for the rest, they may gain the two adept types and gain adept powers as they see fit.

Drakes and Shapeshifters

While not every of these is an Adept or Magician in lore, many are. All Drakes and Shapeshifters had a dual nature in 3rd and 4th editions (no longer forced upon one in the 5th) and with that could learn assessing.

Some examples of the few Shadowtalkers or very prominent characters who belong are at least Adepts:

  • Drake is a Drake and Adept. He elaborated on his journey in Dragons of the 6th World
  • Saif Alhazred is a Drake and Magician (Datapuls ADL)
  • Branwen is a Drake and Magician (Dragons of the 6th World/Survival of the Fittest)
  • Ryan Mercury, leader of the Draco Foundation, is a Drake and Adept (Threats, Threats 2, Loose Alliances, Dragons of the 6th World, Street Legends)
  • Monika Stüeler-Waffenschmidt, CEO of the Frankfurter Bankenverein, is an Elf, Drake and Magician (Schockwellen, Corporate Enclaves (german))
  • Kitsune was a Fox-shapeshifter and Adept (Corporate Enclaves, Attitude, the SNES games)
  • Robert Paulsen is a Seal-shapeshifter and Magician following an eco-shaman path (Megakons 2078)

On the other hand, not all shapeshifters and drakes are such adept at wielding magic, or their status is unknown:

  • Romulus is just a Wolf-shapeshifter and Dual-natured, but explicitly not an Adept (The Forever Drug)
  • MacDougal was, up to the point he turned into a Drake during Year of the Comet, a totally mundane man. It is however unknown if he trained later as the name was never reused.
  • Azadeh is known to be a Drake and the partner of Ryan Mercury - but it is unknown if or what kind of magic she wields (Street Legends)

Free Spirits

These are different. All Free Spirits are always (considered to be) Magicians (and don't pay for that!), and none is an Adept or Mystic Adept (emphasis mine):

Every free spirit gains the Banishing Resistance power (p. 194) and is considered a full Magician (p. 69, SR5) with the exception that they may never have skills in the Conjuring group and may not astrally project from an inhabited vessel unless it has the Astral Projection power (p. 204). 1

This rule was there since 3rd edition, and in no edition was any Free Spirit given with any Adept powers. Instead, they would get Spirit powers, which arguably are better than most Adept powers, even if some are functionally identical. It doesn't make them Adepts though.

1 - Street Grimoire (2014) p. 203



There is no explicit lore reason as to why a spirit or dragon could not gain adept powers (or some other form of metacritter or awakened critter).

Shadowrun is a confusing mishmash of contradictory fluff, though. It was written by different authors with different ideas of what Shadowrun entails, and to some degree embraced these fluff discrepancies with 'everything is misinformation or just someone's point of view, man' writeups.

Ultimately it is up to the GM of any specific shadowrun game as to what is possible or impossible in their version of shadowrun, as trying to find definitive answers on these kinds of questions turns up 5 answers, all of them complicated and buried deep, and none of them agreeing with any of the others.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There is one for Spirits: they are automatically magicans \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ that is only true if mystic adepts don't exist \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ no, you can't have mythic adept if you already count as magican: you can only have Adept, Mythic Adept or Magician; Spirit is automatically counted as Magician => can't take any of those other merits. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 18:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This question is about lore, not the RAW of character creation. Also, it's mystic adept, at least, in english. Mythic <whatever> is a pathfinder term. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 20:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is not a single Free Spirit with adept powers in Shadowrun lore. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 22:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .