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> A few questions.., Still relatively new, few GM questions..
ruvidan
post Mar 6 2006, 02:17 PM
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Hey all.. Ever since I read the book, I've been very excited about GMing for this system (I was d&d since I can remember). Anyways, we've played a few games, and I've had some questions come up that I am unsure about so I was wondering suggestions..

I'm sure this has come up before, but I haven't found any conclusion to this. A mage that plays with X spirits binded almost seems imbalancing (just spend the bps at the beginning of the game). Have you guys had any problems with this? Say, a mage with 5 binded spirits. How would lonestars deal with a team of shadowrun mages each with a handful of bound spirits? What is the smartest ways for mundanes to fight spirits? How have you all been able to introduce opposition to be able to take on these spirits but not make it immensely difficult for others who aren't playing mages?

Also, a question about watcher spirits. Wouldn't watcher spirits be able to see everything that comes their way, effectively making them much more secure than any security camera? What I mean is that they can sound alarms, but since they exist in the astral plane they can see anyone sneaking since they're a bright aura. So then is there no way to sneak past a watcher spirit?

Lastly about the matrix, this just might be my misunderstanding..with regards to a black IC, can a computer dispatch multiple black ICs, or by having the black IC program does that mean it can only be dispatched once? I suppose I am wondering when you are spotted in the matrix and they dispatch black IC (or whatever else), can more than one be dispatched or does the program rating count as the overall maximum amount of power it can deal?

Thanks for your help all! Oya, anyone have an idea when that street magic book is coming out?
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TinkerGnome
post Mar 6 2006, 02:37 PM
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Well, binding useful spirits is really quite hard. Starting with bound spirits tends to be a so-so choice, because your end up spending a lot of bp for something you could get in game for much less later on. The best way to deal with spirits is mana spells or other spirits. Mundanes can try shooting them, and will be quite successful up to force 4 where the average gun starts to lose its ability to damage them. At force 6 or so, mundanes can't do much except geek the mage controlling it. In general, that's the best way to deal with mages, anyway. Many GMs limit the number of mages on shadowrunning teams for this reason.

I wouldn't let watcher's be that bright, personally. Give watchers a perception roll, just like any other guard. They're not subject to modifiers which are strictly visual (camo, ruthenium, darkness) but they're still foolable.

No clue on the IC.
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Dashifen
post Mar 6 2006, 03:44 PM
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For the bound spirits, don't forget that you as the GM can enforce the -2 to dice pools per bound spirit on "active duty," for lack of a better term, as per the side bar on page 178.

As for Lone Star's response, I'd say that the second a team of bound spirits are sent to fight the Star, the star would call for major backup. Astrally projected Lone Star mages could get to the scene of the battle very quickly and use Astral Combat skills to fight the spirits while the mundane cops deal with the runners.

Mundanes fighting spirits is a bad thing. Any type of armor piercing rounds will help you do damage, as will calling shots to increase the DV of your attack. Throw Edge, too, if you can, as the more hits the higher the DV and the better chance you have of hurting the spirits. Burst fire and Full Automatic should help, too, if you can control the attack as the concentration of rounds increases the DV as well. Drones are pretty awesome against spirits, too, since they can unload into them with full auto and not worry about as much recoil as a normal person would have to. Plus, one rigger could have a number of drones just like one mage can have a number of spirits. Kind of balances out a little at that point.

Lastly, if the mundanes have a mage for backup, you can always try to use Mana Barrier to surround the mundane forces. The spirits would then have to contend with the barrier first and the mundanes second. Might be enough for the magical support to arrive.

As for watcher spirits, the easiest way to slip by them is to deal with them in some way. Surround them with a mana barrier and they probably won't be able to do their job very well since they more than likely won't be able to go anywhere and you haven't destroyed them so the summoner wouldn't be aware of anything. Also, consider what the watchers are instructed to do. If someone tells a watcher to "watch this hallway and tell me if anyone comes into it" the watcher will report back EVERY time that someone comes into it, even friendly people. Or, the watcher might confuse what "this hallway" means and watch down one corridor and not the other. These are weaknesses that make cameras potentially better than watchers. Add to that a watcher's limited time span and cameras look like a nice feature instead of watchers.

As for the IC question, I've always run it that each version of the black IC that a system wants to send out is a different program being run on the host. Thus, for more copies of the IC program, you may run into the Response limitations as detailed on page 212 under "Response." However, most security systems would have a system and response of at least 6 which means they could run a bunch of IC programs as necessary. Most systems I've been putting together run an attack IC, a track IC, and a defensive IC (attacking the Stealth program of intruders whenever possible) as well as some of the following: Analyze, Scan, Encrypt, Decrypt, and Data Bomb. That way the system can find the intruders (with analyze and scan) and dispatch a response (with the IC). The other programs are included as necessary but they're commonly used. I've even had a number of hosts reduce their system by one to run more programs if necessary. Remember: opposition hosts are not necessarily limited to the maximum of rating 6 that characters may be. Thus a host with a response of 8 could run all of those programs and not feel a thing yet.
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TinkerGnome
post Mar 6 2006, 03:53 PM
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QUOTE (Dashifen)
Burst fire and Full Automatic should help, too, if you can control the attack as the concentration of rounds increases the DV as well.

Actually, the damage boost from multiple shots doesn't apply to penetrating armor. That rule is in the burst fire section somewhere.
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Dashifen
post Mar 6 2006, 03:59 PM
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Damn ... note to self. You are correct sir. Now, the really rules-lawyer person would not that while that rule is included for burst fire, it's not for full automatic. Anyway, it's at the top of page 143 for the interested.
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mintcar
post Mar 6 2006, 04:57 PM
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QUOTE (TinkerGnome)
QUOTE (Dashifen @ Mar 6 2006, 10:44 AM)
Burst fire and Full Automatic should help, too, if you can control the attack as the concentration of rounds increases the DV as well.

Actually, the damage boost from multiple shots doesn't apply to penetrating armor. That rule is in the burst fire section somewhere.

I don't follow this rule for spirits. I think the mundane default response to spirits should simply be "shoot it as much as possible".

Getting getting a lot of binded spirits at char gen is a sign of bad intentions on part of the player. It damages the character's long term abilities to gain game-breaking power the first sessions. I wouldn't allow it.

IC programs run like any other program. There can be any number of them active at the same time, if there is enough copies and the system rating allows it.
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TinkerGnome
post Mar 6 2006, 05:01 PM
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QUOTE (mintcar)
I don't follow this rule for spirits. I think the mundane default response to spirits should simply be "shoot it as much as possible".

I allow it because it makes sense. If one bullet bounces off/passes through a spirit, then I don't see how ten bullets are going to do any better.
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mintcar
post Mar 6 2006, 05:15 PM
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I think it makes sense for regular armor. But with spirits I like the image of them being disrupted by a hale of bullets, rather than forcing players to focus on single, well placed shots.
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fool
post Mar 6 2006, 08:22 PM
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I may be wrong, but my understanding is that the power immunity wo weapons means that the critter has hardened armor at twice its force. Therefore anything that doesn't have a base dv higher bounces. That includes extra dv from rolling hits, bf/fa and called shots.[CODE] trolls make for great mages
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TinkerGnome
post Mar 6 2006, 08:47 PM
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QUOTE (fool)
Therefore anything that doesn't have a base dv higher bounces. That includes extra dv from rolling hits, bf/fa and called shots.

You're mostly right. Burst fire very specifically does not add to the DV when you are comparing it to armor. The way the rules for long and full bursts are written makes them look like add-ons to the short burst rules, so I believe that rule does carry through to all types of autofire.

Called shots (provided your GM allows them) and hits do count.
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Endgame50
post Mar 6 2006, 08:51 PM
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As do tasers! -1/2 impact armor drops their hardened armor down to their force, which is low enough for most taser weapons to do a *little* damage.
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Shrike30
post Mar 6 2006, 10:08 PM
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The mad amounts of autofire is mostly used to keep the high force (and therefore high stat) spirit from only taking a little damage should you make it through the armor.
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ruvidan
post Mar 6 2006, 10:15 PM
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hey, right on. Thanks for all the input and information. I didn't think about the idea that you could taser a spirit. I did see the -2 per spirit rule, but I thought that was only if you were abusing the spirits (abusing in a role playing fashion not in a gameplaying fashion). Haha, I didn't think about using mana barrier as a way to hold in watcher spirits, that's pretty clever! What about calling shots though, can you call shots on a spirit? I thought calling shots was only applicable to if you could hit something in a more vulnerable area.

Man, great information..many of these things I didn't consider. Appreciate all the comments. :)

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