This is the magic rebalance section. In addition to the specific sections below, here’s a few generic notes:

Healing drain

  • A mage who takes drain for something cannot heal that drain while the something is still ongoing. So spell drain and summoning drain is permanent as long as the spell is sustained or the spirit not yet dismissed or disrupted. An exception is binding; once a spirit is bound, the summoner can heal drain as usual. Slap patches still mitigate the effects of drain in the usual way, however.


I believe that, per RAW, the enchanting rules are very weak and uninteresting. They need a ground-up rewrite if they are to be as useful as spellcasting or summoning.

Mystic adepts

Mystic adepts, like magical adepts, must choose one of the three magical skills to specialise in: spellcasting, summoning, enchanting. They cannot do the other two.

Even with this change in place, I suspect mysads are still over powered. This is a start though.

Prior art / acknowledgements

Large swathes of these rules owe debt to: Lormyr for this post and this post (see also this thread) (and this post) u/dezzmont for these (quite radical!) suggestions

Design goals

  • Eliminate the infinite power scaling possibility for mages. Although it’s theoretical in my campaign right now, it still troubles me.
  • Reduce the incentives for mages to game the system by casting spells or summoning spirits during downtime then healing up before stuff kicks off.
  • Make it more expensive for mages to get access to higher buffs (of the order of +3/+4 to attributes and +3/4d6 to init.)
  • Give mages something to spend nuyen on; elevate powerful foci to be as rare and exotic as deltaware mods.
  • Recalibrate foci boosts to fall into the rough envelope of “+1 to +4 dice” that Shadowrun generally applies to various kinds of buff, eg stat augmentations.
  • In return, give mages some greater tactical flexibility, eg. by making spell foci more general-purpose.

Something else I’d like to tackle but haven’t currently found a way: give physads a different mechanical feel to “samurai, but magic” and also give them more benefit from the (expensive) decision to increase their Magic attribute versus just initiating again and again and taking the Power Point metamagic. I am considering doing this by allowing them to take more powers than they have power points and swap them in and out in a ritual process that takes several hours. This would give them some role flexibility that cybernetic characters couldn’t match.

Foci rebalance

Nerf foci, but make them more flexible too

Initiation and metamagic houserules

Cap initiation, cap max number of quickened spells, but make quickened spells more durable

Reagents and trinkets

Change reagents to add a new option - trinkets

Summoning and spirit rebalance

Rebalance spirits to make them less overwhelming in combat