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5th Edition Rules
Basics Combat Magic Matrix Driving Character Creation
Spellcasting Preparations Adepts Spirits Traditions Initiation Dark Magic
Spell List Ritual List Spirit List Adept Powers List Mentor Spirits List Metamagics List Traditions List


Over the past few decades, adepts have expanded their knowledge of how their mojo works. Just like magicians, today’s adepts are significantly more powerful than their predecessors. Just a few years ago, some adepts began experiencing a surge in their overall abilities. The exact reason for this is still being debated, but some say the The idea of a Path isn’t just metaphorical fluff: it has real applications when building an adept character. In the Creating a Shadowrunner chapter of the Shadowrun, Fifth Edition core rulebook (p. 62), Step One is “Choose a Concept.” This step is critical because beginning adept characters have a limited amount of Magic to purchase powers from. It’s fine to say “I want to build a combat adept,” for example, but what kind of combat adept? A gunslinger? A marksman? A hand-to-hand specialist? Players should consider these questions during character creation, and gamemasters should be ready to advise the player if need be.

Once the player chooses a Path, he will need to keep this in mind during the rest of character creation. A gunslinger adept, for example, is going to need decent Agility and Reaction attributes


while a brawler adept needs good Strength and/or Body. Certain Positive qualities also help. Players will want to make sure they have enough skill points to pull it all together. For a player building a mystic adept, the number crunch during character creation is even more important because she has to consider Power Points and a Magic Rating.

This does not mean that players have to nitpick over every detail. Rather, these general considerations help new (and even veteran) Shadowrun players streamline the character creation process. Not every character is expected (or encouraged) to be one hundred percent optimal. If a player wants to create a utilitarian or support adept with a loose focus and a wide range of powers because that’s what the team needs, go for it. The main goal of Shadowrun (or any game) is to have fun above all else.mana spike caused by the return of Halley’s Comet back in 2061 was to blame. Others claim more refined training techniques helped adepts optimize their abilities. Regardless of the reason, a curious phenomenon has gained prominence within the adept community: the adoption of Ways. While the exact details of a Way vary from adept to adept (some include codes of conduct or spiritual trappings), dedication to a particular Way helps adepts further develop a chosen group of abilities based on their chosen Path. For example, an athletic adept may choose to focus her efforts into playing a particular sport and develop abilities to best play that sport rather than focus on general athleticism.

While some dismiss Ways as pseudo-mystical, psycho-semantic junk, researchers have confirmed that Ways do work and began cataloging them. To date, ten Ways have been identified.


Often confused with and thought of as nothing more than magical traditions for adepts, Ways are less a rigid structure system or set of beliefs and more a personal philosophy or code of conduct that physical and mystic adepts adopt or identify with while developing their abilities. The path the adept takes while following a particular Way may differ, but for all adepts there are three basic fundamentals. An adept cannot follow two Ways simultaneously.

While there are many paths an adept can take while following her Way, doing so requires a certain amount of focus and commitment necessary to gain the bonuses a Way grants. Therefore, only one Way can be followed at a time. The bonuses granted by Ways to purchase adept powers all follow the same rules. For every 2 points in an adept’s Magic Rating, that adept may reduce the cost of one level of one power from that Way’s list by half. For example, let’s say that a player chooses an adept power that costs 1 Power Point. If that power is covered by a specific Way and all prerequisites are met, the cost for that power is reduced to 0.5 Power Points. Likewise, a 0.5 PP power costs 0.25 PP. Adept powers that cost 0.25 Power Points cannot be discounted further. This cost reduction cannot be used multiple times if the power has multiple levels: the reduction applies to only one level, but can be used for different aspects of the same power, such as a different Increased Attribute. The adept then can use the saved Power Points to buy a new power or new levels in an existing power at full cost. If an adept follows a Way and increases his Magic Rating through Initiation, he may use this discount every time he adds two points to his Magic Rating.

Players can amend previously created characters and retroactively purchase a Way. This is per the gamemaster’s discretion. See p. 103, SR5, for more information about purchasing and paying off qualities.


The Artisan’s Way is the most recent Way to be identified and recognized as such. Most current practitioners were once considered followers of the Artist’s Way. With an unusual affinity towards modern technological devices, followers of the Artisan’s Way are master technicians and fabricators. They use magic to design, build, repair, and maintain technological devices. What separates them from Artists is they value function over form. With a focus that borders on obsessiveness, Artisans work to get every milligram of performance out of any chosen device. They see technology as an addition to talent (both magical and otherwise), not a replacement. In addition to their technological acumen, Artisans also show a superior level of hand-eye coordination when using certain technology, such as vehicles.


Followers of the Artist’s Way are creators of wondrous things or master showmen. Their goal and purpose in life is to use their magic and share the beauty they perceive in the world around them (or share the chaos and pain they see, if that’s their particular bent). Some do it with a classical artistic medium, such as painting or sculpture. Some tirelessly compose poetry, songs, and stories to capture and inspire the imagination. Others stand before the crowd, feel the ebb and flow of their emotions, and use their magic to play just the right note or sing just the right word for maximum effect. Through their chosen medium, Artists seek to connect with their audiences in a way few know how.


The drive to be the best is what sets the Athlete apart from others. Since the first Olympic games millennia ago, there have always been competitors who wish nothing more than to test the inherent limitations of their bodies in the pursuit of glory. To an Athlete, the challenge is what matters the most. Whether he is an MMA fighter going for the championship, a sprinter going for the gold in the Olympics, or a baseball player going for the home run record, the Athlete uses his magic to enhance his athletic skills and abilities to push himself past his limitations, all for the sake of going one more round, crossing one more kilometer, or gaining one more second.


Some say the person does not choose the totem, but rather the totem chooses the person. This is true for those who follow the Beast’s Way. Like their shaman brethren, followers of this Way have heard and answered the call of an animal spirit, for they have been found worthy of the totem spirit’s guidance, wisdom, and power. For these adepts, simply following this Way is not enough because their patrons can be demanding or fickle. The adept must adhere to strict ideas of conduct, less she offend her patron totem and risk having her abilities taken from her. This is usually not a problem, for those who answer this call usually give of themselves freely and embrace their new life.


Considered more of a corruption and aberration than an actual Way, the Burnout’s Way represents adepts that have lost or forsaken their magical abilities for technological augmentations. These adepts are often held in contempt or pitied by other magic users. The reasons adepts find themselves on this Way are myriad. Some may have lost Magic due to injury or Essence drain and are desperate to replace it. Others may not have the discipline to properly develop their powers and seek to find shortcuts to personal power, only to find they can’t stop. Some may have been driven insane by their talent and wish to excise it like a cancer. Followers of this Way often become mere shells of what they once were.


Stealth, silence, and secrecy: these are the objectives of the Invisible Way’s followers. Favored by adept assassins, infiltrators, and spies, this Way allows adepts to perfect their ability to go unseen or unnoticed when going about their work. These adepts could be anywhere, at any time. If they have truly perfected their craft, no one will ever know what happened until after the adept is long gone. While this Way is associated with criminal pursuits, not all those who follow the Invisible Way have this intent. Sometimes, remaining unseen is simply the most expedient way to deal with a problem.


This Way is almost exclusively composed of mystic adepts, and those who follow the Magician’s Way strive to develop both their magician and adept abilities. Because of the tremendous amounts of effort required to fully develop both talents at the same time, most mystic adepts often favor either their adept or magical powers, depending on which Path they have chosen. Followers of this Way also tend to be somewhat more focused or obsessive than other mystic adepts when it comes to training and power development, which is understandable when considering the unique challenges they face.


Sometimes, the Speaker is the nice person you just had an easy conversation with who convinced you of something you normally wouldn’t agree with or talked you into doing something you normally wouldn’t do. Other times, she stands at the front of the crowd, and her fiery, impassioned, or compelling speech moves the onlookers to direct action. And when it’s all over, if she’s done her job right, you’ll have no idea you’ve been influenced by magic at all. This is how the Speaker operates. Her voice is her weapon of choice, and her influencing magic is her ammunition. Of all the Ways, these adepts are the most subtle (and in some ways, the most dangerous), because how many of us can remember every conversation we’ve ever had? How often may we have been subtly influenced without being the least bit aware.


Similar in many respects to the followers of the Beast’s Way, those who follow the Spiritual Way have been blessed (or maybe cursed?) with the patronage of a mentor spirit. Spiritual Way adepts seek to follow their path with the guidance of their mentor spirit. Some mentors are very demanding, but the adept’s rewards for diligence are significant. Those who follow this Way are said to be more spiritual than most adepts.


As the Athlete pushes her body past its limits for glory, Warriors do the same for victory. The most prolific physical magicians in the Sixth World, Warriors are the ones most associated with the term “adept.” From professional soldiers to street fighters and everything in between, Warriors come from countless backgrounds and fight for any number of reasons. In combat the Warrior is truly in her element. Despite what many may think, not all Warriors are bloodthirsty killing machines. In truth some are lured by the bloodlust of battle, but Warriors also count the most honorable metahumans in existence among their number. When the Warrior fights, she fights to win.