Episode 038 – Metaplanar Quests

freefall by Alice Popkorn
free fall by Alice Popkorn

In which Vox and Mr. Johnson discuss the why, what, and how of metaplanar quests, plus a new listener story!

Show Notes (Thanks as always to SpitDawg for the notetaking!)


0:00:00 Episode 038


0:00:30 JustMass informs reddit is looking for Runners & Johnsons for large on-line game


0:02:57 Counter’s Guide to Japan in the Sixth World

A Guide to Japan in the Sixth World 第六世界の日本案内

Konnichi wa, omae.

So, you’re planning a trip to the Imperial State of Japan, are you? Good luck, you’ll need it. Japanese culture is a huge part of North America in the Sixth world, barring the cultural drekhole that is Aztlan. You probably understood my opening line, despite it being in a language you don’t speak, but probably have the KnowSoft for.

If you don’t have it, GET IT.

Your average Japanese speaks more English than they did 50 years ago, but Japanese is still the go-to language, and that’s not going to change any time soon. Sure, they’re a lot less xenophobic than they used to be, but with the Awakening and re-affirmation of their Eight Thousand Kami, their high opinion of themselves has gotten even higher. Oh, and with the increased beef consumption, your average Japanese isn’t much shorter than your average UCAS SINner, so leave the short jokes out of your carry-on. Let’s start with the bits of Japanese culture that you probably have heard, but don’t know all that much about.


Even in North America, Japanese language has infiltrated to a sufficient degree that most people don’t even know it’s not English. Here are some words you’ve probably heard, and their origins. omae (御前) (Oh-MA-ay): Literally “The honored one in front [of me]” this second-person pronoun used to be a respectful term up until the early 1900s. Then it shifted to take on a sarcastic tone, and became the commonplace word we use today. That’s the thing about Japanese sarcasm: It tends to be misplaced use of respectful language, rather than the tonal sarcasm we’re used to in English. If your Japanese running mate tells you “That was a great idea!” after your botched breaching charges set off the alarm, he actually probably means it. But in the debriefing, if he says something along the lines of “Our honored demolitions expert…”, you might have a problem. Omae is commonly used as a friendly if somewhat provocative term for “you” in both modern Japanese and English.

0:03:48 Brian asks: What are the Benefits of Dual Fist Wielding, and can you attack the same target with Multi-attack?

A Word from our Sponsor

06:00 Hero-Lab & Realm-Works


Main Topic

0:06:20 Metaplanar Quests

0:08:34 Purposes of Metaplanar Quests


Hide an Astral Link (Track a Link)

Retrieve a Disrupted Spirit

Seek a Spirit’s Formula or True Name

Compel a Spirit Pact

Permanently Destroy a Spirit

Gain Magical Knowledge

Learn a Spell or Item Formula

Ritual of Atonement

0:15:05 Google Cat Yodeling


0:15:12 How do you get to the Metaplanes?

0:16:00 What is a Metaplanar Quest?

Dweller on the Threshold

The Trials (pg 130 – SR4 Street Magic)

Place of Charisma

Place of Destiny

Place of Fear

Place of Knowledge

Place of Magic

Place of Spirits

Ordeals – Nine Paths (pg 141 – SR5 Street Grimoire)









Mastery of Time and Space

0:21:30 Hidden Grid Metaplanar Quest Episodes



0:26:58 Consequences of Metaplanar Quests

0:32:32 Tips on Running Metaplanar Quests

0:35:55 Metaplanar Quest Movie Suggestions: MirrorMask


Story Time

0:37:35 Spitdawg the Ganger – In Soviet Russia…


0:40:20 Send Feedback


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0:41:06 Music by Prism Shard


0:41:12 Disclaimer

8 thoughts on “Episode 038 – Metaplanar Quests”

  1. In SR3, MITS encourages GM’s to roleplay out astral/metaplanar quests but if it’s a single member of the party, it can be logistically difficult hence why the quick resolution system was included – if a team’s solitary awakened character wanted to hide their link to a focus or use a quest for initiation, you didn’t have to have the whole party sit there for that (the whole 1st and 2nd Edition decking thing put them off that…) however if a free spirit or dragon granted access for the whole party then it was the adventure :o)

  2. The whole material links thing was so you could hide your links to your foci – that way if someone stole it they had to go on a quest to find it, the rating of the quest equal too the one you used to hide it. The rule was it was the same as the force of the focus, or higher if you preferred. Of course this was when you had to put a sustaining focus on the target of the spell, not keep it yourself (so to sustain Improved Invisibility on someone they had to have the focus on them – still masked by you though).

  3. I must admit, this is one of many chapters in Street Grimoire that I think Catalyst dropped the ball on. There’s been so much of Shadowrun already written and yet they want to reinvent the wheel in such as way as to be totally different to how the wheel was before, and this book is a prime example. Things which have been the same forever are now different (certain metamagics for example), and what’s with those ‘advanced’ initiation group things?!? Thankfully we’ve got an FAQ to look forward too (I’m expecting that to be a hefty document).

  4. Excellent show as always guys :o) Oh and Mr J, for a lot of stuff, SR4A wasn’t much different from SR3 except in how you resolved things. The ‘how this worked’ remained the same as all previous editions mostly :o)

  5. Great Podcast, just a little correction. There are actually ways around the Dweller, one being Astral Rifts, another is the Spiritpower Astral Gateway.

    1. Thanks! We probably should have been more specific with the absolute language – as I understand it, a character must absolutely confront the Dweller when on a quest. Getting to the metaplanes at all is a different matter.

  6. Thank you for the link to cat yodeling. If I got nothing else out of this podcast, at least I was able to get that!

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