Magic In The World

The Sixth World and Magic

We're going with the traditional magic themes for Shadowrun. Goes like this for the basic premises.

1 out of 10,000 people show some kind of magical talent.
1 out of 5 of those are properly identified and trained to use that talent.
1 out of 4 of those are actually full magicians or shamans.
The Shadowrun community is not a statistical sample.

1 out of 200,000 people, in other words, is a full mage. 1 out of 50,000 are adepts, enchanters, specialists, or one-spell-wonders. Quite a few people can make wards. Not very many are also full magicians.

An additional comment to the swarms of Magical Adepts we have roaming the grid. You're supposed to be even rarer than full mages, so please keep that in mind when you're writing your background and people treat you with totally blase expressions. 'Oh, you're a magical adept. Yawn.'

So, why are there so many mages in Shadowrun? Simply put - the corps can't pay them enough money to work for them. In the shadows, they can make a thousand times what your typical corporate mage makes in a year. Some of them also have ideological differences that prevents them from working effectively in a corporate environment (try telling Coyote he only has an hour for lunch).

In addition, Denver itself has more magical types than the statistics might show. This is because most mages don't stay in the boonies. There isn't much money to be made in a city with a population of 1000 people. For Denver, the numbers are probably more like 1:20,000 are adepts and so forth, and 1:100,000 are full mages.

This still means that mages are rare! Your average corp worker has never seen a magical person up close and personal. He doesn't understand what magic is, what magic does, how to protect himself, or what it's limits are. All he knows is what he's seen on the Trid shows, what with spells whizzing about and exploding cars and exploding buildings and exploding heads (everything explodes on the Trids) and spirits possessing people and so forth.

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