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> Direct vs Indirect spells
30+coyote
post May 3 2006, 04:55 PM
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I need clarification on these rules please. I have been rolling the dice and letting our GM tell us what happend however lately I've been trying to grasp the rules more clearly. I was reading over combat for mages and I was confused. What is the definition of a "direct" spell vs a "Indirect spell" is a direct spell one that targets just one person where as indirect are area of effect? The section wasn't very clear so I want to make sure I understand correctly.

Please and thank you :)


<Page 196 of SR4>
Direct Combat spells affect the target from the inside, so armor does not help with resistance. Direct Combat spells cast against nonliving objects are treated as Success Tests; the caster much achieve enough hits to beat the itemís Object Resistance (see p. 174). Net hits increase damage as normal (the object does not get a resistance test).

Indirect Combat Spells: Indirect Combat spells are treated like ranged combat attacks; the caster makes a Magic + Spellcasting Success Test versus the targetís Reaction. If the spell hits, the target resist with Body + half Impact armor (+ Counterspelling, if available), with each hit reducing the Damage Value.

If the modified spell DV does not exceed the modified Armor, Physical damage is converted to Stun. Note that nonliving objects resist damage from an Indirect Combat spell with their Armor rating x 2 (see Barriers, p. 157)
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Konsaki
post May 3 2006, 05:15 PM
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Direct single - I make you splode from the inside!
Indirect single - I make a flamethrower come out of my hand and it burns you.

Direct AoE - I make many people splode from the inside at once, whee.
Indirect AoE - I make a ball of fire and throw it near you and your buddy. It explodes causing burns on both of you.

If you read the spell groups themselves and pick one spell type (Direct, Stun) it will show around 3 different spells (Knockout [touch], Stunbolt [single] and Stunball [AoE]). the indirect spells have the same. The only difference is how the spell does the damage.
Direct = damages the inside bypassing armor and is illegal
Indirect = damages from the outside and has to tally in armor for damage. These spells are legal cause they can have peacefull uses.
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Dashifen
post May 3 2006, 05:22 PM
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Also, to expand on Konsaki's information, Indirect Combat Spells are treated as a Ranged Combat Test using Magic + Spellcasting as the magician's attack roll. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, be cause the spell isn't resisted as per normal, either, instead it's "resisted" using dodge and armor just as any other Ranged Combat test.

Lastly, the AOE Indirect Spells don't require line of sight, so your Force 6 fireball (12m diameter) can actually hit the guards around the corner while the same force Powerball could not.
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emo samurai
post May 3 2006, 05:24 PM
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Say I cast force 8 Powerbolt on a drone with an AR of 5. I get all 8 successes; does the drone take 16 damage or 11?
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Moon-Hawk
post May 3 2006, 05:27 PM
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11. Damage is force plus net hits. Net hits are those hits that exceed the threshold. In this case the threshold is 5. 8 hits exceeds the threshold of 5 by 3, so there are 3 net hits. Add 3 net hits to the force of 8 for 11 damage.
I know you understood me after the first sentence, but I figured I'd be explicit for the benefit of future readers, just in case.
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Dashifen
post May 3 2006, 05:27 PM
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Force 8 powerball + 8 successes. the Object Resistance of a drone is 4+ but we'll call it 4 for the moment. That leaves 4 net successes over the threshold. Thus the Force 8 Powerball +4 net successes = 12 DV. 12 DV is greater than the drone's armor of 5 which means that it takes damage.

Vehicular armor doesn't, unless I'm mistaken, subtract from the DV of an attack. Instead, if the DV doesn't exceed the armor, the attack does not damage.

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emo samurai
post May 3 2006, 05:29 PM
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Powerball sucks, then, for the sake of taking out objects.
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Moon-Hawk
post May 3 2006, 05:30 PM
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Yeah. In this case, an indirect probably would've worked better.
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Konsaki
post May 3 2006, 05:32 PM
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So you just need to fire a long burst from a LMG to do damage to anything...
6DV+9DV(+1 per bullet after the first)+Net hits... Its like all the bullets hit the exact same spot to bust through. :eek:
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James McMurray
post May 3 2006, 06:23 PM
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Extra bullets from burst and autofire do not help for determining whether an attack bypasses armor.
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blakkie
post May 3 2006, 07:14 PM
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QUOTE (James McMurray)
Extra bullets from burst and autofire do not help for determining whether an attack bypasses armor.

... unless it is a Wide burst. :wobble:
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James McMurray
post May 3 2006, 07:19 PM
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Unless I'm wildly misremembering something, wide bursts don't up your DV, so don't help you bypass armor.
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Apathy
post May 3 2006, 07:19 PM
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Similar conversation we had a few weeks ago:
QUOTE (Apathy)
I'm mostly saying this to see if I understand the rules correctly, so somebody correct me if my comparison is off.

  • SR3 Combat spells are equivalent to SR4 Combat spells that are directly targeted (Powerbolt, Manaball, Stunbolt, etc.). These spells manifest directly on/in the target(s) so the target has no chance to dodge and can't use armor to resist. However, since these spells have to manifest directly into the target's aura, it requires that the mage be able to 'connect' with the target's aura, so if you can't see it, it's not hit.
  • SR3 Damaging Manipulation spells are equivalent to SR4 Combat spells that are indirectly targeted (Lightning Bolt, Fireball, etc.). These spells travel to the target, so the target gets to try and dodge. Additionally, since the spells hits him from the outside, the target gets to use his armor to help him resist the effects. Since these spells do not have to manifest directly into the target's aura, you'd be able to hit targets in the area of effect even if they can't be seen. I'd guess that with a suitable reaction test a bodyguard might be able to throw himself in the path of the bullet, so to speak, and interupt the spells trip to the target (although it would then smack the intervening bodyguard instead).
  • So if you want to shoot around corners, you've got to use an indirect spell,
  • but if you can see the target, a direct spell is probably more efficient.
Is this right? Did I miss something?

At the time, everybody seemed to agree on this.
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James McMurray
post May 3 2006, 07:20 PM
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Looks good to me.
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blakkie
post May 3 2006, 07:37 PM
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QUOTE (James McMurray @ May 3 2006, 01:19 PM)
Unless I'm wildly misremembering something, wide bursts don't up your DV, so don't help you bypass armor.

They give extra dice, net extra dice assuming some sort of RC, and hits scored by those extra dice do count towards penetrating the armor. Someone here has pointed out this wierd anomally before.
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James McMurray
post May 3 2006, 07:50 PM
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They increase your odds of hitting, which increases your odds of hitting a vulnerable spot, which increases your odds of getting past armor.

Sure, it's got some holes in it, but it works for me. :)
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hobgoblin
post May 3 2006, 08:38 PM
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QUOTE (blakkie)
QUOTE (James McMurray @ May 3 2006, 01:19 PM)
Unless I'm wildly misremembering something, wide bursts don't up your DV, so don't help you bypass armor.

They give extra dice, net extra dice assuming some sort of RC, and hits scored by those extra dice do count towards penetrating the armor. Someone here has pointed out this wierd anomally before.

err, in my book they decrease the defenders dice pool. sadly they dont say what dice pool, but im guessing its the "dodge" pool, not the "soak" pool (this seems supported by the example).
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Hunga
post May 3 2006, 09:38 PM
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I agree with hobgoblin. Wide burst decreases the defender's defense pool, which is just plain reaction (+dodge if full dodge).

I'm confused about the part where people say that extra bullets from burst fire don't help bypass armor though. Firing in full auto narrow mode gives the attack +9 DV on a successful hit, how does that not help bypass armor?
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Moon-Hawk
post May 3 2006, 09:41 PM
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It doesn't help when comparing the DV to the armor rating to determine whether it does stun or physical damage.
Take base damage, add successes. Compare this DV to the armor rating to determine if it's physical or stun. Then add DV from autofire. This is the final DV that they have to resist.
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blakkie
post May 3 2006, 10:17 PM
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QUOTE (hobgoblin)
QUOTE (blakkie @ May 3 2006, 09:37 PM)
QUOTE (James McMurray @ May 3 2006, 01:19 PM)
Unless I'm wildly misremembering something, wide bursts don't up your DV, so don't help you bypass armor.

They give extra dice, net extra dice assuming some sort of RC, and hits scored by those extra dice do count towards penetrating the armor. Someone here has pointed out this wierd anomally before.

err, in my book they decrease the defenders dice pool. sadly they dont say what dice pool, but im guessing its the "dodge" pool, not the "soak" pool (this seems supported by the example).

Sorry, i mean they increase the net hits (not net dice) by decreasing the defender's dice used to avoid getting hit. Either way the extra net hits means better penetration.

James' rationalization for it is...quirky, but that had occured to me too and i'm sort of ok with that. But that the Wide gets increases penetration, and Called Shot does too (assuming that the GM allows that the Called Shot), but Narrow burst doesn't i find very wack. From a game point of view why the hell not? Hell Wide burst gets a chance at better penetration even when Called Shot can even be denied by the GM. Silliness given this special situation that Narrow is the only one denied being able to help penetration.

But you know, just pointing it out.
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hobgoblin
post May 3 2006, 10:56 PM
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please, do not use the word penetration, thats what the AP stat is for.
a called shot to avoid armor, or a wide burst is something diffrent, atleast in concept...
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Dashifen
post May 4 2006, 07:12 PM
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QUOTE (Hunga)
I'm confused about the part where people say that extra bullets from burst fire don't help bypass armor though. Firing in full auto narrow mode gives the attack +9 DV on a successful hit, how does that not help bypass armor?

QUOTE ("SR4 p. 144 under Narrow Bursts")
Note that this DV modifier does not apply when comparing DV to the amror rating.


Now it should be noted that under Full Auto weapons, this phrase is not repeated, but since the FA weapon information refers to Narrow Bursts in the text, it's the consensus that the DV modification for BF and FA shots doesn't help you beat armor, just causes more damage if you do beat the armor.
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