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Street Mage Archetype

Magic is a tool.

A hermetic mage understands magic as a force that can be measured and controlled through academic principles.

Game Play

Make sure you activate your power focus!

Make sure you cast your armor and increase body spells! You have sustaining foci that have been bonded to support those spells. Any sustained spells that aren't supported by your sustaining foci or by your elementals will cause penalties to any actions you take.

Stunbolt is your standard attack spell, but only works against living opponents. With your trauma damper, if you have 9 total dice to resist drain (set your spell pool to 3 drain, plus your 6 willpower), you have a 95% chance to take no damage from spell drain when casting stunbolt at force 6 and deadly damage level.

Waterbolt provides a physical damage option for non-living opponents (e.g., turrets).

Your Levitation spell lets you auto-succeed at any climbing or swimming test.

Improved Invisibility can be seen through by ultrasound, which many corporate guards will have. However, your Stealth spell will block ultrasound even at force 1, so the combination can allow you to enter many places while avoiding combat. But magically active types can always see you with astral perception, and any guard that spots somebody using invisibility will assume that they are up to no good and react appropriately. That said, improved invisibility is also an excellent combat buff, since all opponents will suffer TN penalties when attempting to fight you (except for the rare dual-natured opponent).

Your taser provides you with a ranged option and can be used against opposing spellcasters while your own spell pool is fully allocated to spell defense. It can also be used to destroy locked doors (essentially by frying the maglock).

NOTE: you can TOGGLE PASSIVE to avoid automatically drawing and attacking after casting a spell, but note that this also prevents you from initiating combat with commands like KILL until you toggle it again. You can also TOGGLE AUTOKILL, so that you don't auto-attack enemies that you've successfully knocked unconscious with stunbolt, though you will still draw your weapon (assuming you have a readied sheath/holster).

Key Features

Sorcery is by far the most flexible skill in Shadowrun. While many spells are NERP, sorcery can be used to attack enemies, to buff yourself (and allies), and to otherwise adjust non-technological TNs to your benefit. While hermetics often end up being weaker spellcasters than shamans, due to a lack of totem bonuses and limited available library ratings, the ability to use elementals to sustain spells up to force 8 turn them into by far the most survivable character in the game.

In direct comparison with the pre-generated shaman, this archetype has 2 less casting dice for combat/detection spells and one less willpower for drain resistance, but has one more spell pool die from a power focus in addition to having a trauma damper to directly offset drain.

The taser is probably the strongest weapon available in chargen (10S stun that is only reduced by half of your target's impact armor), made even stronger with the addition of a smartlink. Its effectiveness does fall off a bit as you progress since it doesn't have any real upgrades over the course of the game, but its early strength ensures that you can handle the shadows while you're not yet able to make use of your elementals.


Materials for elementals, libraries, foci, and any 'ware you might consider do get fairly expensive, so one of your early priorities should be to look for an instructor to raise your negotiation skill. Training up your charisma first will reduce the karma needed to increase negotiation and etiquette skills and will also let you keep a larger stable of elementals.

Keep in mind that implanting 'ware will also cost you magic, and lower essence in particular can make some magic (most notably the heal spell) more difficult to cast on yourself. You can make up for lost magic through (expensive) initiations, but there's no way to recover essence. That said, 'ware can be worth paying that cost.

A rating 3 conjuring library is enough to let you re-task your armor sustaining focus to an increase attribute spell (ideally increase willpower), which can't be sustained by any elemental. But it may be worth delaying for a rating 5 library (or higher) instead, since sustaining force 5 armor and combat sense is enough to match the armor and body bonuses from the full cyborg replacement of a late-game street samurai. Higher ratings are fine, though note that going from force 5 to force 6 elementals is a significant drop in nuyen efficiency, since on average that'll reduce your number of services per summon by half. You should probably delay using force 8 elementals until your income is firmly established.

A rating 6 (or higher) sorcery library is worth picking up even if you're only going to design lower force spells, since every 2 rating points above spell force will give you an extra die on your design roll. For higher force spells, you also want to pick up the spell design skill and increase your real magic rating through initiations, as these will reduce the TN you're rolling against.


The pre-built archetypes were designed using the standard custom character creation rules, with the intent of providing generalist builds that are fully functional immediately out of character generation. There is a trade off in that such builds are less efficient in the use of their chargen points and resources. For this reason, as well as to improve the new player experience, they have been permitted up to 20k additional nuyen in their build, plus a free electronics kit, pocket secretary, phone, subsidy card, ammunition, and 2 points of brawling skill (not listed below). The street mage and shaman also have their foci already bonded.

The Street Mage archetype was built using the priority system:

A magic (mage)
B resources (400k nuyen)
C attributes (24)
D skills (30)
E metatype (human)


Body          4
Quickness     6
Strength      2
Charisma      2
Intelligence  4(6)
Willpower     6


Clubs               3
Tasers              5
Electronics         3
Negotiation         3
Conjuring           6
Sorcery             6
Corporate Etiquette 3
Driving Cars        1


Stunbolt              6
Increase Body         3
Improved Invisibility 6
Stealth               1
Armor                 3
Levitate              1
Waterbolt             5


a smartlink-2 system - alpha


a trauma damper - cultured
a cerebral booster II - cultured


Neck:       an orichalcum necklace (r1 power focus)
About:      a London Fog 'Merlin' cloak (2b/2i)
Body:       a plated armor vest (4b/3i)
Underneath: form-fitting body armor III (4b/1i)
Arms:       a pair of forearm guards (+0b/+1i)
Wrist:      an orichalcum bracelet (r3 sustaining focus, armor)
Wrist:      an orichalcum bracelet (r3 sustaining focus, increase attr)
Waist:      a black leather duty belt
Thigh:      a thigh holster
Legs:       a pair of black slacks
Ankle:      an ash leaf anklet (r1 sustaining focus, stealth)
Feet:       a pair of black dress shoes


a Defiance Super Shock (taser)
  top: a top-mounted smartlink-2 accessory


a DocWagon gold modulator
The Title to a Ford Americar
streetmagearch.txt · Last modified: 2024/05/21 15:57 by