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> Grounding Spells through Foci, Where is it written?
Hoondatha
post Oct 3 2005, 10:28 PM
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Hi. I'm in the process of coming up with a sorcerer character and investigating all of my options for spells and foci (some nice topics on the subject in the archives, btw, thanks everyone), and I'm trying to find the rules for grounding spells through foci. It's something that happens fairly often in our games, but it's never been me doing it, so I don't know where the rules for it are, and I've searched SR3 and MITS and couldn't find it.

Where is the grounding of spells through foci covered? Is it somewhere obvious and I missed it? Or in some other book completely? Thanks in advance, I need to find the rules before I can start defending my foci.
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Aku
post Oct 3 2005, 10:37 PM
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i thought grounding spells was a relic from SR2?
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hyzmarca
post Oct 3 2005, 10:40 PM
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Right. There is no grounding in canon SR3. There is, however, in SR2. I don't know which rule book it was in.
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post Oct 3 2005, 11:26 PM
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Grimoire 2 has it, though it might be in others too.
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RunnerPaul
post Oct 3 2005, 11:41 PM
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Some GMs houseruled it back into 3rd Edition as a metamagical technique.
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Shrapnel
post Oct 4 2005, 12:33 AM
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So, what's the opinion on grounding spells through foci?

Good, bad, or no big deal?
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Aku
post Oct 4 2005, 12:39 AM
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well, My opinion is, i never played second, so i dont really know what it was used for, and it didnt exist in 3rd, and i dont think i've heard about it in 4th (although, i suppose, it could make a comeback in street magic)
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Catsnightmare
post Oct 4 2005, 01:04 AM
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Personally I wouldn't allow it. It violates the whole "one way glass" explanation of the Astral and Physical planes as explained in SR3 and I don't give a devil rat's hoop about what SR4 says.
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Nyxll
post Oct 4 2005, 01:11 AM
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I love that rule ... it really kept mages on thier toes... and was mainly introduced to balance out all of the 1 karma spell locks that a mage could have. It was not easy to do ... and an astral mage would be facing physical drain ... but man ... what a light show.

Then again ... I stuck with SR2...
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Hoondatha
post Oct 4 2005, 01:23 AM
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Something like that happened in our game. We were supposed to extract this thingy from the middle of a high-level meet of a bunch of real nasty groups inside a compound armed to the teeth. One of the several mages doing astral recon around the place had an active foci, and our party's mage (perceiving, not projecting), threw essentially everything he had into a fireball grounded through the foci.

The mage's meatbody, sitting in the study of the compound, literally exploded, killing the other mages, and making all the factions think one of the others was trying to extract the item.

Of course, trying to get the item out of the ensuing battle royale was another thing entirely. I lost a character in that battle. But watching one entire wing of the complex explode sure was fun.

And thanks for the info that it was a 2e thing. As I couldn't find it in my 3e stuff I was starting to suspect it. It's still around in my GM's 3e game, but I think it's something anyone can do (one of the reasons NO ONE uses those Force 1 sustaining foci for Increased Reflexes 3. Good way of getting yourself blown up.)
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hyzmarca
post Oct 4 2005, 01:52 AM
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QUOTE (Catsnightmare @ Oct 3 2005, 08:04 PM)
Personally I wouldn't allow it.  It violates the whole "one way glass" explanation of the Astral and Physical planes as explained in SR3 and I don't give a devil rat's hoop about what SR4 says.

It should be, at least, possible to ground a spell through an active focus and into the magician who owns it. A focus is a ritual link, after all. It wouldn't be much more difficult to go from grounding a single target spell into a magician to grounding area effect elemental manipulation into the magician. However, I wouldn't allow grounding any area combat spells into anyone other than the magician in question. I would also make grounding a form of ritual magic with special requirements and increased TNs.
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blakkie
post Oct 4 2005, 02:25 AM
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QUOTE
It should be, at least, possible to ground a spell through an active focus and into the magician who owns it.


That's how we played it in SR3, some in the group having started in SR2. I actually thought initially that was canon SR3 since the GM always said it was there from the time i started playing (before i knew all the rules).

SR4 doesn't have grounding in the rules, like SR3 you can only attack the focus since it is dual natured when activated.
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Cain
post Oct 4 2005, 05:35 AM
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I never liked grounding; it seemed to be far too much of a double-edged sword for my tastes. All it did was further rush PC's to initiate and start Quickening spells left and right. Also, I never liked the way you could turn low-force spirits into magical grenades, by having them materialize and then grounding a spell into them.
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Fortune
post Oct 4 2005, 06:48 AM
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The Grounding Rules in SR2 specify that a Physical Spell is required. Since SR3 canon states specifically that Physical Spells cannot be cast from the Astral, the rules are relatively incompatable.

Grounding just doesn't fit the flavor of SR3's version of the Astral, and how it interacts with the Physical.

I liked Grounding when it was canon, and when it fit the system, but didn't miss it when it was gone. SR4 does not show any indication that it will include Grounding, either now or in the future.
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hyzmarca
post Oct 4 2005, 07:23 AM
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Well, the caster would use ritual sorcery through an active focus as a substitute for grounding. It would only require several hourse to perform the linking test but it would work.
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Eyeless Blond
post Oct 4 2005, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE (Fortune)
I liked Grounding when it was canon, and when it fit the system, but didn't miss it when it was gone. SR4 does not show any indication that it will include Grounding, either now or in the future.

Well Grounding could be included in SR3 as a metamagic technique, sorta a quick-and-dirty version of ritual spellcasting using the focus as a ritual link, or somesuch. You'd roll Ritual Spellcasting instead of Spellcasting, and your physical body would need to be in a lodge/hermetic circle. There'd be no Linking or Sending tests needed, however (and thus no more time required than a normal casting) because you're using the foci's more "direct" link instead of forging your own. It'd be an interesting add-on, and certainly more useful than say Absorbing or Reflecting.

In SR4 that won't work, though, or at least not yet as there are no such thing as ritual links in SR4.
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Nyxll
post Oct 4 2005, 02:56 PM
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QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Oct 4 2005, 09:02 AM)
QUOTE (Fortune @ Oct 3 2005, 10:48 PM)
I liked Grounding when it was canon, and when it fit the system, but didn't miss it when it was gone. SR4 does not show any indication that it will include Grounding, either now or in the future.

Well Grounding could be included in SR3 as a metamagic technique, sorta a quick-and-dirty version of ritual spellcasting using the focus as a ritual link, or somesuch. You'd roll Ritual Spellcasting instead of Spellcasting, and your physical body would need to be in a lodge/hermetic circle. There'd be no Linking or Sending tests needed, however (and thus no more time required than a normal casting) because you're using the foci's more "direct" link instead of forging your own. It'd be an interesting add-on, and certainly more useful than say Absorbing or Reflecting.

In SR4 that won't work, though, or at least not yet as there are no such thing as ritual links in SR4.

What you are talking about is not grounding but ritual sorcery.

Grounding is when you are in astral space, and use a focus as a conduit to the physical plane. The spell then "grounds out" on the physical plane causing damage to the local area around the focus. This is why you need a physical spell and not a combat spell.

SR3 threw all this into the drekker when they decided to redefine how astral space works.
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Eyeless Blond
post Oct 4 2005, 03:29 PM
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QUOTE (Nyxll)
What you are talking about is not grounding but ritual sorcery.

Grounding is when you are in astral space, and use a focus as a conduit to the physical plane. The spell then "grounds out" on the physical plane causing damage to the local area around the focus. This is why you need a physical spell and not a combat spell.

SR3 threw all this into the drekker when they decided to redefine how astral space works.

Yes, which is why I was thinking of redefining grounding as a metamagic technique based on ritual sorcery, much like shielding is a metamagic technique based on spell defense or invoking as a metamagic technique based on summoning. In this case rather than using a ritual circle and the time and power involved in Sending the spell, the caster uses the focus to "ground" the spell straight into the person, without the need for mana buildup.
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Nyxll
post Oct 4 2005, 03:51 PM
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QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Oct 4 2005, 10:29 AM)
Yes, which is why I was thinking of redefining grounding as a metamagic technique based on ritual sorcery, much like shielding is a metamagic technique based on spell defense or invoking as a metamagic technique based on summoning. In this case rather than using a ritual circle and the time and power involved in Sending the spell, the caster uses the focus to "ground" the spell straight into the person, without the need for mana buildup.

The thing with ritual sorcery is that it takes time to establish the link, not that you are building up power.

I will concede that if you have something bonded you would have a tn of 2, but it still takes time.

Maybe grounding would send the spell along the link, you would have to sustain it till it grounds out but you would not have a link to trace back. If you would want to cast another spell, then you would have to start the grounding process over again. In that context, I would forgo the hermetic circle or lodge.

With metamagics, aren't there usually some kind of trade off for using that technique?

ie your magic pool is reduced by the number of dice you are using for shielding...

where is the trade off with grounding? just seems like an easy way to quickly throw spells at someone.
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blakkie
post Oct 4 2005, 05:09 PM
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QUOTE (Nyxll @ Oct 4 2005, 09:51 AM)
The thing with ritual sorcery is that it takes time to establish the link, not that you are building up power.

I think he is describing a new use for the Ritual Spellcasting skill, which means you aren't nessasarily tied to using the same durations. After all you can use other skills for different uses having different time intervals. Sometimes just having a different interval for the same type of use by a different scale of project.

QUOTE
With metamagics, aren't there usually some kind of trade off for using that technique?

ie your magic pool is reduced by the number of dice you are using for shielding...

where is the trade off with grounding? just seems like an easy way to quickly throw spells at someone.


Not really in SR4. So far the trade-off is getting the metamagic. The Magic Pool is gone. So Counterspelling just works, and the reactive protection version is limited to the skill dice (you don't use your Magic). The metamagic Shielding now simply adds extra dice for reactive Counterspelling, 1 for each Init Grade.

EDIT: BTW the trade-off for the grounding Eyeless is talking about would also include the cost of building up the second skill, and not being able to use the extra 2 dice of Specialization on Spellcasting, if it would normally be applicable for the spell in question.
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Nyxll
post Oct 4 2005, 05:35 PM
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Are you talking SR4 or SR3? From what I gather, they would operate differently.

I have no idea how magic in sr4 works, so I was trying to wrap this into an sr3 context.
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blakkie
post Oct 4 2005, 06:37 PM
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What is this 'SR3' you speak of? Some sort of anachronism? :grinbig:
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Fortune
post Oct 4 2005, 06:43 PM
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If you follow the canon guidelines and limitations for the Astral, as defined by SR3, the Grounding cannot be compatable, since one of the basics of the SR3 Astral is that Physical spells cannot be cast while Projecting (or affect Astral-only targets if Perceiving).

I'm pretty sure that SR4 follows the same relationship limitations as far as Physical spells and the Astral.
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blakkie
post Oct 4 2005, 06:49 PM
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QUOTE (Fortune)
I'm pretty sure that SR4 follows the same relationship limitations as far as Physical spells and the Astral.

That limitation is NOT in the SR4 RAW. That means that a ritual group could sit in astral (unless i missed it, the requirement is just that they be in a lodge with enough Force to account for them all) and have a spotter viewing a meat body target so that they could Fireball the target from astral.

Note that i'm not certain the spotter even needs to be on the same plane, so Ritual Spellcasting (the multiple hour version) may not even need a dual natured creature or object to perform the same effect as grounding.

Have to reread that section as this had not occured to me before.
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Fortune
post Oct 4 2005, 07:06 PM
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QUOTE (blakkie)
That means that a ritual group could sit in astral (unless i missed it, the requirement is just that they be in a lodge with enough Force to account for them all) and have a spotter viewing a meat body target so that they could Fireball the target from astral.


That's not what I meant. Ritual Sorcery could be performed using a Physical spell, and while all the participants are Perceiving just fine in SR4 (and SR3!), as long as the target is Physical. If the target of the Ritual Sorcery were a wholely Astral entity, then a Physical spell could not be used, Perceiving or not.
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