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> Watchers & Search Power
Zen Shooter01
post Mar 10 2006, 02:45 PM
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So I was using watchers in play for the first time last night. First, is there a limit to how large an area a watcher can Search? Or how big an area any critter with the power can Search?

Second, has anyone else noticed that despite the book's claim that watchers "excel" at using Search, they suck? MAG + INT = 2 dice, on a Search (5, 10 minutes) test. I'm not very good at math, by I'm pretty sure that on the average, it will take the watcher about 80 minutes to complete a search, and with a dp of 2, the chances of glitching are pretty high.

And if you use the roll limit optional rule from pg. 58, the watcher becomes all but totally incapable of finding anything, because it gets to roll 2 dice twice trying to accumulate 5 successes.

And as far as I can tell, the size of the area to be searched doesn't matter at all to the time needed to complete the search. So never tell a watcher to search the house; tell it to search the Earth.
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Elve
post Mar 10 2006, 04:36 PM
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The size increases the threshold...

Situation Threshold Modifier
Target is more than a kilometer away + kilometers
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FrankTrollman
post Mar 10 2006, 04:42 PM
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Actually, with a dicepool of 2, they'll lose interest before it's even possible for them to complete the task. However, using the powers of Teamwork, it is possible for a cloud of say 4 watchers to complete a basic search task in 20 minutes, which is pretty good for free.

Admittedly, it takes 9 Watchers to do that on average, and chances are that's more than your charisma. But you can retry and Watchers don't cost anything.

-Frank
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BlackHat
post Mar 10 2006, 04:47 PM
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QUOTE (Elve)
Target is more than a kilometer away + kilometers

But you could still say "search the earth" and if the target happens to be only 2 kilometers away your threshhold is only raised by 2... even though he could have been anywhere on earth.

if you say "search the building" and he's in the next building over, you won't find him.
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Zen Shooter01
post Mar 10 2006, 05:08 PM
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Good point about teamwork, FrankT. Except I'm not thrilled about the way that complicates gameplay - the magician has to summon four watchers instead of 1.

And don't forget the more watchers you summon, the more drain you stand to suffer.
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FrankTrollman
post Mar 10 2006, 05:21 PM
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Most characters can just take 1/4 and get a Watcher for an hour or two with no drain - which is plenty enough for a Search check. So your cloud of watchers should appear with no drain without rolling dice unless you're doing it in combat. Just tell the gamemaster "I have my watchers up." and there they are.

-Frank
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Cheops
post Mar 10 2006, 05:56 PM
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This power is really brutal. Blackhat is right in his interpretations unless there's an errata I didn't notice. The situational modifier doesn't apply to the search area it applies to the target. So telling the watcher to search the earth for your coffee cup which is on the other side of the room has no modifier.

This power makes it really tough to hide from mages so make sure to always ask the team mage to ward your safehouse and vehicles.
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Dashifen
post Mar 10 2006, 06:27 PM
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QUOTE (Cheops)
This power is really brutal. Blackhat is right in his interpretations unless there's an errata I didn't notice. The situational modifier doesn't apply to the search area it applies to the target. So telling the watcher to search the earth for your coffee cup which is on the other side of the room has no modifier.

Consider it this way, if the Watchers spiral outwards in a search pattern centered on the conjurer, then the difficulty of the search is determined not by how big the search area is, but how far away from the conjurer the target is.
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Shrike30
post Mar 10 2006, 08:58 PM
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That's not the case. The search power doesn't say the watchers use any sort of coordinated search pattern (they're not that smart... they might all go off in the same direction at the same time) or even start searching at the caster... they might decide the best place to start searching the earth would be the north pole, and spiral down from there. Come on, folks. These things are about as smart as a jack russell terrier, and zipping about madly on the astral is what they do for kicks.

I'd rule that the size of the area you're setting to be searched determines the penalty, regardless of the location of the object you're looking for. If your watchers roll well, they happen to blunder onto your coffee cup on their way to the basement, and go "Oo, boss, looky here!"
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Dashifen
post Mar 10 2006, 09:37 PM
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I suppose I find nothing to weak in your argument Shrike30, but it doesn't work well to explain the RAW. A search pattern moving out from the conjurer does explain why it's harder to find people who are further away from that conjurer. Unintelligence does not necessarily imply randomness. The watchers you describe seem to be more schizophrenic than unintelligent.
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Zen Shooter01
post Mar 10 2006, 10:29 PM
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I do want to mention RE "search the earth" that if you told a watcher to do that - or to search any big chunk of real estate, like Seattle - it would inevitably run into a spirit on guard duty somewhere, that would automatically swat it as an astral intruder.
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Nhamgar
post Mar 10 2006, 10:32 PM
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I noticed this problem too....

And created a house rule. All Watchers roll 4 dice on search tasks.
This at least make them useful but not overly powerful.

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Thyme Lost
post Mar 10 2006, 10:44 PM
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QUOTE (Nhamgar)
I noticed this problem too....

And created a house rule. All Watchers roll 4 dice on search tasks.
This at least make them useful but not overly powerful.

I thought about giving them 3 dice, but have it be open ended.

Watcher Spirits don't get Edge. Watch Spirits need to be able to search.
So I thought about giving them 3 dices with the 6 again quality.


Thyme...

Keep in mind I said thought about, I haven't mind any changes yet...
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hyzmarca
post Mar 10 2006, 11:03 PM
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QUOTE (Shrike30)
Come on, folks. These things are about as smart as a jack russell terrier, and zipping about madly on the astral is what they do for kicks.


Two words: Lassie.
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Brahm
post Mar 10 2006, 11:05 PM
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QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Mar 10 2006, 06:03 PM)
QUOTE (Shrike30 @ Mar 10 2006, 03:58 PM)
Come on, folks.  These things are about as smart as a jack russell terrier, and zipping about madly on the astral is what they do for kicks.


Two words: Lassie.

One word: Cocker Spaniel
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Ranneko
post Mar 11 2006, 01:29 AM
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QUOTE (Brahm)
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Mar 10 2006, 06:03 PM)
QUOTE (Shrike30 @ Mar 10 2006, 03:58 PM)
Come on, folks.  These things are about as smart as a jack russell terrier, and zipping about madly on the astral is what they do for kicks.


Two words: Lassie.

One word: Cocker Spaniel

But that is two words, or at least that is how you typed it.
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Thyme Lost
post Mar 11 2006, 01:46 AM
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QUOTE (Ranneko)
QUOTE (Brahm @ Mar 11 2006, 10:05 AM)
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Mar 10 2006, 06:03 PM)
QUOTE (Shrike30 @ Mar 10 2006, 03:58 PM)
Come on, folks.  These things are about as smart as a jack russell terrier, and zipping about madly on the astral is what they do for kicks.


Two words: Lassie.

One word: Cocker Spaniel

But that is two words, or at least that is how you typed it.

And Lassie is only one word.


Thyme
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Brahm
post Mar 11 2006, 02:14 AM
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QUOTE (Thyme Lost)
QUOTE (Ranneko @ Mar 10 2006, 05:29 PM)
QUOTE (Brahm @ Mar 11 2006, 10:05 AM)
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Mar 10 2006, 06:03 PM)
QUOTE (Shrike30 @ Mar 10 2006, 03:58 PM)
Come on, folks.  These things are about as smart as a jack russell terrier, and zipping about madly on the astral is what they do for kicks.


Two words: Lassie.

One word: Cocker Spaniel

But that is two words, or at least that is how you typed it.

And Lassie is only one word.


Thyme

...and Bingo was his name-O! :)
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Shrike30
post Mar 11 2006, 02:15 AM
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*cough*COCKERSPANIEL*cough*
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