Magic Rules for Shadowrun/SilCORE

Full magicians, aspected magicians, and adepts have the same abilities stated in the base Shadowrun rules; in fact, most roleplaying material in the Shadowrun rules can be assumed to cross over with little change. However, there are some alterations to be made with the specific numbers on bonuses and penalties for totemic magicians.

For totemic magicians, assume that any bonuses or penalties from their advantages/disadvantages are limited to one die. For instance, a Mouse shaman receives only +1 die for detection and health spells, +1 die for hearth and field spirits, and -1 die for combat spells. A Buffalo shaman would receive +1 die for health spells, +1 die for prairie spirits, and -1 die for illusion spells. For more detailed totemic advantages/disadvantages, a list is provided below; assume any part of the description given in the Shadowrun rulebook that is not restated below can be used unchanged in SilCORE:

Shamanic Lodges

For most of the details of the shamanic lodge, the text from the appropriate section of the Shadowrun rules can be imported with little changes. However, the cost should be increased from 500Y per Force point to 1000Y per Force point; the time to create the lodge should also be modified to twice the lodge's Force.

Hermetic Libraries

As with shamanic lodges, most of the rules for hermetic libraries can be ported over directly. However, the cost and size should be based on the rating plus one, not the rating. For instance, a rating 3 library would cost 16,000Y, and would take up either 1600 Mp of memory or 4 cubic meters of space.

Hermetic Circles

Again, these are almost exactly the same as stated in the Shadowrun text. For a normal, temporary circle, the double the costs and time to create (for instance, a rating 3 circle would take 6 hours to draw and cost 18Y). For a permanent circle, the cost is one plus the rating, squared, times 100Y, and the time to create the circle is doubled (a permanent rating 3 circle would cost 1,600Y and take 6 days to create).

Character Creation

Full magicians must pay 14 CP out of their attribute pool; aspected magicians and physical adepts must pay 9 CP. Magicians buy spells according to the rules below under Learning Spells, and physical adepts purchase powers as specified under the Physical Adept Powers section.

The Astral Plane

The astral plane functions in the same way as stated in the base rules for Shadowrun; any background information given here can be brought over with little trouble. Shifting perception into the astral plane is a simple action, as stated in the SilCORE rules.

Astral Perception


Assensing functions slightly differently in SilCORE; to assense an object or astral form, the character needs to spend an action and make a Psychometry skill test using the PER attribute against a Threshold of 4. Additional tests can be made if the first fails; however, each assensing test gives a -1 penalty to all subsequent assensing tests by the same person. Compare the MoS of the test to the table below for results.

MoS Information Gained
  • The general state of the subject's health (healthy, injured, ill, etc) along with the presence or absence of cyberware implants.
  • The subject's general emotional state or impression (happy, sad, angry).
  • The class of a magical object (fire elemental, health spell, sustaining focus, etc).
  • Whether the subject is mundane or Awakened.
  • If you have seen the subject's aura before, you will recognize it, regardless of physical disguises or alterations.
2 All of the above plus:
  • Whether the subject's PSY is higher, lower, or equal to your own.
  • The general location of any implants.
  • A general diagnosis for any maladies (diseases or toxins) the subject suffers from.
  • The subject's exact emotional state or impression.
  • The general strength of the object's Force (low, medium, high, beyond anything man has seen before, etc).
  • Any astral signatures present on the object.
3+ All of the above plus:
  • The exact PSY and Force of the subject.
  • The exact location of any implants.
  • An accurate diagnosis of any disease or toxin the subject suffers from.
  • The general cause of any emotional impression (a murder, a riot, a religious ceremony, etc).
  • The general cause of any astral signature (combat spell, hearth spirit, etc).

Astral Signatures

Astral signatures last twice as long specified in the Shadowrun rules (twice the Force in hours). The signatures can be assensed as stated in the Shadowrun rules; instead of needing 3 or 5 successes, a MoS of 2 or 3 is necessary.

Astral signatures can be erased by making a test using the appropriate skill (Sorcery for spells and Conjuring for spirits) against a Threshold equal to the Force. Each MoS reduces the length of the signatures duration by an hour. After making the test, the character must resist Drain against a Threshold equal to 2 plus the Force of the signature (if this is greater than the character's appropriate skill's Complexity, it is physical damage). Erasing an astral signature takes a number of combat rounds equal to the Force, and astral perception is required throughout the process.

Astral Interaction

Astral interaction is much the same as stated in the Shadowrun rules; the only difference is that the penalty for performing mundane actions while astrally perceiving is a -1 modifier to all tests.

Astral Projection

Astral projection is, for the most part, the same as in the base Shadowrun rules. Leaving the body and returning the body are exclusive standard actions; in addition, no other exclusive actions can be taken while astrally projecting.

Astral Attributes

Physical attributes are irrelevant in astral space; in astral space, the projecting character's physical attributes are represented by her mental attributes in the following fashion:

Secondary attributes are recomputed from these new attributes. Other guidelines with regard to these attributes can be assumed from those given in the Shadowrun text.

Astral Movement

Slow astral speed in SilCORE is equal to 15 + 5 x PSY meters per round. Fast movement in astral space is equal to PSY + 5 kilometers per round. Other astral movement details can be taken from the appropriate section of the Shadowrun text.

Astral Detection

To detect an astral form if the one passes through or extremely near the character, the character may make a Notice test (with the PSY attribute) with a Threshold of 9; Awakened characters get a +1 bonus, and characters capable of astral perception get an additional +1 bonus to this test. A success means that the character feels a chill or a tingling sensation as the astral form passes through him.

While You Were Out....

This is considerably different from the original Shadowrun rules. An astrally projecting character can survive for PSY + 5 hours. As time goes on, the physical body weakens and after the time expires, it goes into shock. The character is immediately stricken as if he had suffered enough wounds to exceed his system shock rating with trauma; unfortunately, there is no way to resuscitate him, short of his astral form returning to his body. If he returns to his body after the safe limit (but before his body dies), he must roll a HEA test against a Threshold of 6; if he fails, he suffers a MoF x8 physical wound, but survives without permanent harm (assuming he does not die from the wound).

Tracking down your body in astral space functions similarly to the way it is described in the Shadowrun rules. The base time to find the character's body is 6 hours; the character makes a PSY test against a Threshold of 4 and divides the base time by the MoS.

Astral Barriers

Spells cast through a barrier at a target on the other side of the barrier use the Force of the barrier as a penalty on both the physical and astral planes; for instance, a mage trying to cast a Powerbolt spell on a character inside a Force 2 hermetic circle would apply a -2 penalty to his roll.


The maximum area that can be warded by a character is equal to 250 cubic meters, plus 50 x PSY cubic meters (if the character's PSY is negative, this is a penalty). A number of characters can work together to create a ward with a maximum size equal to the combined sizes of the wards they could all create separately. In other words, this would be 250 x [# of casters] plus 50 x [sum of all casters' PSY attributes] in cubic meters.

The warding ritual takes a number of hours equal to the square of the ward's Force. At the end of the ritual, the caster makes a PSY test against a Threshold equal to 2 plus the ward's Force. If there are multiple casters, each one makes a separate test against the same Threshold. Total the MoS of the test; this is the number of weeks the ward will remain in place. If the caster(s) wish to make the ward permanent, the caster(s) may pay a number of XP equal to twice the ward's Force.

The drain test for creating a ward is equal to 2 plus the ward's Force. This drain is never physical; the maximum Force of ward a character can create is equal to 3 plus his PSY attribute. If multiple casters are used, the maximum Force of the ward they can create is equal to 3 plus the sum of all their PSY attributes.

A warding ritual can be used to extend the duration of an existing ward; this is done in the same manner as the warding ritual to erect a ward in the first place; the sum of the MoS is added in weeks to the duration of the existing ward. If the test fails, the ward is intact, unless every caster involved in the new ritual fumbles the test, in which case the ward dissolves immediately.

Astral Combat

For the most part, astral combat is the same as melee combat. The only ranged weapons allowed are spells due to the properties of astral space.

Astral Initiative

Astrally perceiving characters and other dual-natured beings use their normal Combat Sense to determine initiative (with PER as the attribute).

Astrally projecting characters and purely astral forms, such as non-manifesting spirits, use their Combat Sense to determine initiative (with PSY as their Astral PER attribute) and get an additional +2 bonus to their initiative rolls.

Astral Combat Tests

Use the Close Action rules for SilCORE (p. 56) for astral combat; characters may use Melee skill if they have a weapon focus, or Hand-to-Hand if they do not, or Sorcery in place of either. Spirits and other astral entities are considered to have a Sorcery skill with a rating equal to their Force and a Complexity equal to one less than their Force (with a minimum of 1).

Astral Damage

The damage for various astral attacks is listed below. Physical armor worn by characters does not affect astral damage.

Attack Type Damage Multiplier
Unarmed Attack x (3 + PSY + WIL + (Sorcery or HtH))
Armed Attack x (3 + PSY + WIL + (Sorcery or HtH) + Weapon Focus Damage Bonus)
Dual Being as natural attack
Spirit, Focus, or Barrier x (5 + Force)

The character inflicting the damage may decide whether the damage is bruise or physical damage. Astral forms which would become unconscious due to damage from astral combat are disrupted as described in the Shadowrun rules. A spirit disrupted in astral combat cannot return to astral space or the physical world for a number of weeks equal to 6 minus the spirit's Force (with a minimum of 1).

Astral Objects

Astral objects, such as foci and barriers, do not engage in astral combat in a normal way. Astral objects only attack when they are attacked. When an astral entity attacks an astral object, there is an opposed test. The entity makes an astral STR test, while the object rolls a number of dice equal to its Force in the normal SilCORE fashion. The higher roll succeeds in its attack, dealing damage in the normal manner.

If the object is targeted with a mana spell, the object rolls a number of dice equal to its Force as above to resist. It takes damage in the normal fashion as above.

Astral objects have a STA score equal to 15 times their Force; when an object suffers a light damage result, the object's Force is reduced by one; a heavy damage result reduces the Force by two. An instant kill result means the Force is instantly reduced to zero. This Force is regained in full if it goes at least one round without being attacked.

Once the object's Force is reduced to zero, it is overcome, but not destroyed. If the attacker wishes, he can simply spend an action every round to keep the object "suppressed"; a suppressed object is completely nonfunctional, but recovers if the suppression is lifted as above. If the attacker wishes to permanently destroy the object, he must make a PSY test against a Threshold equal to two plus double the Force of the object. If the attacker is successful, the object is destroyed.

Astral Evasion

When two combatants are astrally projecting, an opposed PSY test is used to resolve any attempt to break off combat or evade pursuit. If a character is trying to evade more than one combatant, the pursuer with the highest PSY makes the PSY test and receives one extra die to his roll for each additional pursuer. The combatant with the higher roll determines what happens; ties go to the pursuer(s). Options are generally limited to one combatant escaping, or his pursuers maintaining range.

Astral Tracking

As in normal Shadowrun, all magical things have a link to their owner. Following this link back to its source requires a Psychometry test, augmented by PSY, against a Threshold of 4. The base time to locate the owner is six hours, divided by the MoS. If this is longer than the tracker is able to continue astrally projecting, the search can be stopped while the tracker rests. When the tracker resumes the search, make a PSY test against a Threshold equal to the number of hours since the tracking was abandoned. A successful roll allows the tracker to begin tracking where he left off. If the test fails, the character can attempt to begin again, but receives a -1 to his roll.


Learning Spells

During character creation, characters pay a number of SP equal to the Force of the spell. For instance, if the player wants to give the character the Fireball spell at Force 3, he must pay 3 SP for the spell.

Once the game has begun, spells must be learned in a manner similar to skills. Characters can only learn spells from formulas or from teachers of the same tradition -- hermetics can only learn from other hermetics, shamans from other shamans, etc.

To determine the length of time the character takes to learn the spell, the character makes a Sorcery test with KNO as a modifier, against a Threshold equal to 4 plus the Force of the spell being learned. Depending on how the spell is being learned, there may be other modifiers to this roll.

If the character is learning from a teacher, the teacher may make a Teaching test (with the INF attribute as a modifier) against a Threshold equal to 4, minus the student's KNO attribute. For every two MoS, the student receives one extra die on his Sorcery test.

If the character is learning from a spell formula, there are no special bonuses to improve his chances of learning the spell -- that is the downside to doing work on his own. However, there are two other possible modifiers to the test. For shamans, all totem modifiers apply to the final Sorcery test. For mages, an elemental of the appropriate type may be used to assist with the test (see the rules on Spirit Services).

Regardless of how the magician is learning the spell, a shaman will need a shamanic lodge of minimum Force equal to the Force of the spell being learned; mages need a Sorcery library of a rating at least equal to the Force of the spell being learned.

The base time to learn the spell is a number of weeks equal to the spell's Force; divide this time by the MoS of the Sorcery test. If the test fails, the character still learns the spell but it takes twice the base time. Once this time has elapsed, he must pay a number of XP equal to 2 to the power of the spell's Force (for example, a Force 3 spell is 8 XP, a Force 4 spell is 16 XP). As a note, there is no requirement that the character have a spell at a lower Force before learning it at a higher Force; for instance, a character can learn the Clairvoyance spell at Force 3 without first learning it at Force 1 or 2. However, if the character relearns a spell with a higher Force, the XP cost is only reduced by half the price paid to learn the lower Force spell. For instance, if a mage already knew the Fireball spell at Force 2, and wanted to learn it at Force 3, it would cost 6 XP (4/2 = 2, 8-2 = 6).


Casting a spell is a standard action; the casting process is divided into six parts; preparation, spell targeting, Sorcery test, spell resistance test, spell effect, and drain resistance test. In most ways, this is similar to the standard rules in Shadowrun; for non-rules related information, refer to the Magic section of the Shadowrun rules.


Choose the spell to be cast and the desired Force to be cast at, and determine the radius of effect for area of effect spells. Note that unlike Shadowrun, you cannot cast two spells with the same action; instead, a character can simply take to actions as is normally provided in the SilCORE system.

The base radius for any area of effect spell is equal to the caster's WIL plus PSY plus 4 in meters (minimum 1 meter); all targets within the radius are affected, friend and foe alike. The radius can be adjusted by the caster, however; for each meter the caster adjusts the radius up or down, the caster applies a -1 modifier to the Sorcery test.

Spell Targeting

Spell targeting is exactly as stated in the Shadowrun magic section, including the exceptions for elemental manipulation spells and astral spellcasting.

Sorcery Test

To cast a spell, a character makes a Sorcery test using WIL as the appropriate Attribute. In addition, the caster adds the Force of the spell to the Sorcery test as a bonus. For area effect spells, roll only once; this roll is used to compare to all of the targets' Resistance Tests. As stated in the Shadowrun rules, in the case of a Detection spell, the gamemaster should roll the Sorcery test for the caster.

For spells cast against unwilling targets, the target will usually need to make a WIL Resistance Test (for mana spells) or a BLD Resistance Test (for physical spells) and compare the results to the caster's Sorcery test; if the caster's roll was higher, the spell succeeds; otherwise, the spell fails to affect the target (but the caster must still resist the Drain of the spell). The Threshold for spells cast against inanimate objects is based on the material they are made from; consult the Object Resistance Table below for examples. Other spells have specific Thresholds listed with their descriptions.

Object Resistance Table

Natural Objects
(Trees, Soil, Unprocessed Water)
Manufactured Low-Tech Objects and Materials
(Brick, Leather, Simple Plastics)
Manufactured High-Tech Objects and Materials
(Advanced Plastics, Alloys, Electronics Equipment)
Highly Processed Objects
(Computers, Complex Toxic Wastes)

Visibility modifiers affect the Sorcery test, as do injury modifiers or sustaining additional spells. Multiple action penalties affect the Sorcery test as well.

If an astral barrier lies between the caster and the target, the Force of the barrier is subtracted as a penalty from the caster's Sorcery test; the creator of the barrier does not suffer this penalty to his spells.

Spells with a range of touch are not subject to visibility modifiers; however, the caster must make a successful Hand-to-Hand attack (in the same action -- there is no multiple action penalty for this attack) in addition to casting the spell. A hit is all that is necessary; the target does not actually take damage as if it were an actual Hand-to-Hand attack.

Elemental Manipulation Spells

Elemental spells function slightly differently than other spells; treat them as a normal ranged attack, using Sorcery as the combat skill (and WIL as the attribute); the Force is used as a bonus to this attack; the target resists with the Dodge skill (see Spell Resistance Tests below). Visibility, cover, injury, and sustaining modifiers apply.

Spell Resistance Test

Living targets may always make a Spell Resistance Test against spells; they may choose to waive this (for instance, in the case of a Heal spell), however, it is not a conscious choice. The caster cannot mislead the target into thinking he is casting a beneficial spell and then attack with a harmful spell (or if he does, he still gets to resist the spell).

The Resistance Test is a normal Attribute test; the Threshold is the result of the caster's Sorcery test. If the roll is lower than the caster's Sorcery test, then the target is affected by the spell. For many spells, especially damaging spells, the caster's MoS in this comparison determines the extent of the effect. Consult the spell's description for specific effects.

Elemental Manipulation Spells

For elemental manipulations, even if the target manages to avoid the actual damage of the spell (by keeping the MoS low enough that it drops below the target's flesh wound or light damage threshold), the target may still suffer from the elemental effects of the spell; for instance, a Fireball spell may start fires or a Lightning Bolt spell may short out electronics.

Drain Resistance Test

Immediately after the spell is cast, the caster must make a Drain Resistance Test. The caster makes a PSY test; the Threshold for this test is 2 plus the Force of the spell, plus any Drain modifiers listed in the spell's description. The only modifiers to this test are injury modifiers or modifiers which are specifically noted to affect Drain Resistance Tests.

If the caster cannot match the Threshold of the test, he suffers a wound with a damage of MoF x8. If the spell's Force is higher than the Complexity of his Sorcery skill, or if the caster is astrally projecting, this damage is physical; otherwise, it is bruise damage.

Spell Defense

A magician can allocate Sorcery skill dice to Spell Defense, which allows him to aid in the resistance of spells. A magician may have a number of people equal to or less than the Complexity of his Sorcery skill under his protection, as long as they are all within a number of meters equal to 5 + the magician's PSY times 100 meters of the caster and on the same plane as the magician (physical or astral).

The magician allocates a number of his Sorcery dice to defense; these dice cannot be used for any other Sorcery tests while they are being held for defense. When a person under the magician's protection is targeted by a spell, the magician may allocate dice from this pool of defense dice for use in the target's spell resistance test. Once used, a die used for Spell Defense cannot be used again until the next combat round.


Dispelling takes a standard action; the magician must be able to see the target of the spell and be on the same plane. The magicians makes a Sorcery (PSY) test against a Threshold equal to twice the Force of the spell. Each MoS of the Dispelling rTst reduces the MoS of the spell by 1. If the MoS is reduced to 0, the spell vanishes -- otherwise, the effect of the spell is reduced to match the number of successes.

After the Dispelling Test, the magician must resist drain as if he had just cast the same spell at the same Force. If the spell's Force is higher than the magician's Sorcery complexity, this drain is physical. For this reason, magicians should assense the spell before attempting to dispel it.

Multiple attempts, by the same or different magicians, may be made against a single spell; the reduction in MoS of the spell is cumulative.


Nature Spirits

With regard to what types of spirits can be conjured by shamans and how domains work, there is nothing that needs to be changed from the base Shadowrun rules, as they are completely independent from the actual mechanics.

Summoning Nature Spirits

Summoning a nature spirit requires an exclusive standard action. The shaman decides how powerful a spirit he wishes to summon; the target for his Conjuring skill roll is the Force of the spirit plus 2, and is augmented by the conjurer's INF attribute; totem modifiers and spirit foci may be used to augment this roll. For each MoS, the spirit will perform a single service for the conjurer. If the MoS is 0 or the test fails, no spirit appears.

Regardless of the success or failure of the test, the conjurer must make a Drain Resistance Test (see Conjuring Drain, below). If the Drain kills the shaman or knocks him unconscious, the spirit departs. Nature spirits vanish at sunrise and sunset, no matter what, regardless of whether the sun is visible or not. All services end at that time. Any services left unused or unspecified when the spirit departs are lost.

The section of Shadowrun rules describing the services of nature spirits can be brought over directly into the SilCORE rules set.



In order to conjure an elemental, a mage needs both a Conjuring library and a hermetic circle of the correct type, both with ratings at least equal to the Force of the elemental to be summoned. The summoning ritual also requires special ritual materials, available from a talismonger for a price equal to double the Force of the elemental times 1,000Y.

As in the normal Shadowrun rules, the conjurer also needs to have a source from which to materialize, some large source of the element (a large fire, a large pool of water, large amounts of buring incense, or a large quantity of open earth).

Summoning Elementals

The conjuring ritual takes a number of hours equal to double the elemental's Force and is an exclusive action. At the end of the ritual, the caster makes a Conjuring test, augmented by the conjurer's INF attribute, against a Threshold equal to the Force of the spirit plus 2. Spirit foci may be used to augment this test. If the ritual is interrupted, it fails and the conjurer must immediately resist Drain.

If the Conjuring test is successful, the elemental materializes before its summoner, outside the hermetic circle. The MoS is the number of services the spirit grants the summoner. If the MoS is 0 or the test fails, no elemental appears but the materials are used up and the conjurer must still resist Drain.

If the Drain kills or knocks out the summoner, the elemental becomes uncontrolled. The elemental makes a PSY test against a Threshold of 6; if the test succeeds, the elemental realizes its window of opportunity and departs, vanishing back to its home metaplane -- it is free of any service to the conjurer. If the spirit fails, it goes mad and goes on a rampage, attacking anything nearby, starting with the conjurer. This bezerk rage lasts until the spirit is destroyed, banished, or controlled by another mage.

Binding Elementals

An elemental that owes services to a mage is bound and treats the mage as its master. A character can bind a number of elementals equal to his INF attribute plus 3, with a minimum of 1. If a mage is at his limit, and wishes to summon another elemental, he can release one of his current stable from its obligations, allowing it to return its home metaplane.

A conjurer need not use all the services of an elemental at one time. At the time of its summoning an elemental is bound to respond to calls from its master. The elemental can then be dismissed, vanishing from the physical and astral plane until the conjurer calls it back.

It is an exclusive standard action to call an elemental back; more than one elemental can be called back in the same action, but they must all be of the same type. It is only a simple action to give an elemental a command to perform a service.

When called, an elemental must remain within a distance of its master equal to (master's PSY + master's WIL + master's INF + 10) x 10 in meters. An elemental will not leave this radius unless ordered to do so as a Remote Service (see Elemental Services, below) or placed on "stand by." If the elemental is somehow forced out of this radius, any remaining services it may owe are cancelled; it is still bound to fulfill its last command, however.

Elemental Services

Aid Sorcery

This service works exactly the same as in the base Shadowrun rules.

Aid Study

This service works exactle the same as in the base Shadowrun rules.

Physical Service

This service is just the same as it is in the base Shadowrun rules (and is rather self-explanatory anyway.

Spell Sustaining

This service works exactly the same as stated in the Shadowrun base rules, with the exception that for every two rounds (or, if being bound for a longer term sustaining, for every 48 hours or any part thereof), the spirit's Force is reduced by 1 (permanently, in the case of binding).

Remote Service

This service is exactly the same as in the Shadowrun base rules.

Conjuring Drain

Immediately after the spirit is conjured, the summoner must make a Drain Resistance Test. The caster makes an INF test; the Threshold for the test is 2 plus twice the Force of the spirit. If the summoner cannot meet the Threshold, he suffers a wound with a damage of MoF x8. If the spirit's Force is higher than the Complexity of his Conjuring skill, this damage is physical; otherwise, it is bruise damage.