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irdeggman
post Jul 8 2006, 04:25 PM
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Have I figured this out correctly or am I still not getting it?

I want my character to have a sustaining focus for Increase Reflexes.

If I read the rules right the character would have to have a Sustaining Focus (Health Spells) of Force 2 to get any benefit.

The applicable rules are:

Only a spell of the focus' force (or lower) can be cast through the focus.

The number of "hits" for a spell are limited to the force of the spell.

In order to get any benefit from Increase Reflexes a character has to have 2 successes (which grants a +1 initiative and +1 Initiative pass).

So the force of the focus has to be at least 2 by my calculations - I might have missed something though. So the cost is 20,000 and 2 BP (essentially 6 BP).

Also as I read it once the focus is made active its effects remain until the it is deactivated (or another spell replaces the one in the focus). So a character can have a persistent Increase Reflexes in effect at pretty much all times.
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Bryce963
post Jul 8 2006, 04:49 PM
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Yep, simple as that, I was thinking of doing this with a mage I'm making, but it just didn't work out budget wise. This lets you keep up with the sams and adepts, for a higher cost but you can do many, many things they cannot, they get to be fast and act a lot, but you can set that guy 100 yards away on fire, with a thought.
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irdeggman
post Jul 8 2006, 04:59 PM
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Yeah, character is a mystic adept and I didn't want to take pretty much use of the pp to get Improved Reflexes power. Since all of the other characters are running with multiple actions (due to cyberware) and my PC isn't going that route - not having more than 1 action per round is almost crippling.
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Abbandon
post Jul 10 2006, 11:30 AM
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Ahh. I was gonna argue with this but i understand now hehe.
Your max hits are limited by the force of the spell. Even though you could get 50 hits with a force 1 spell only one of them would count so you need at the very least a force 2 spell and a rating 2 focus. Not because the focus is generating hits or anything but because thats the force of the spell.


I have a question though. I should probably look this stuff up first but what the hey. Do you have to cast the spell each time before you activate your sustain spell foci?
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ornot
post Jul 10 2006, 11:33 AM
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@ abbandon: yes.
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Lilt
post Jul 10 2006, 02:32 PM
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Yes, but thankfully a force 2 or 3 spell isn't all that hard to take the drain for. (3S, can be bought-off with 12 dice which isn't unachieveable at character generation)

If you're willing to spend some edge then you can exceed the cap on hits for the spell according to page 172. This means that you can get +3 Initiative +3 IPs from a force 1 spell if you're willing to spend edge.
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Thanee
post Jul 10 2006, 02:43 PM
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QUOTE (Lilt)
Yes, but thankfully a force 2 or 3 spell isn't all that hard to take the drain for. (3S, can be bought-off with 12 dice which isn't unachieveable at character generation)

I wouldn't take it for granted, that the 4:1 buyoff works with Drain Resistance Tests. ;)

Bye
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irdeggman
post Jul 22 2006, 10:37 PM
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QUOTE (Lilt)
Yes, but thankfully a force 2 or 3 spell isn't all that hard to take the drain for. (3S, can be bought-off with 12 dice which isn't unachieveable at character generation)

If you're willing to spend some edge then you can exceed the cap on hits for the spell according to page 172. This means that you can get +3 Initiative +3 IPs from a force 1 spell if you're willing to spend edge.

As I read the text you are allowed to overcast at up to 2 x your magic rating. But since the focus restricts the force of the spell to the force of the focus (regardless of your magic rating) - I don't think this works.

I mean the limit is placed by a semi-mechanical stop and not a personal (i.e., physical limitation - which is the reason the damage taken is Physical instead of Stun).

I also don't see anything that requires a magician to spend edge to perform dangerous casting. It doesn't make sense anyway since the sdownside of dangerous casting is changing the drain from Stun to Physical - I would think that spending edge should allow a better exchange than that.
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James McMurray
post Jul 22 2006, 11:47 PM
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You can get more successes with edge dice, but it only counts for the edge dice. So even if you have an edge of 6 you'll probably only get 2 or 3 extra successes.
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Synner
post Jul 23 2006, 12:11 AM
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Keep in mind that Sustaining Foci are all good and well for keeping up with sams and adepts until you come across your first serious Ward or mana barrier, or the astrally projecting mage on the other team snipes it out of existence right at the beginning of a fight. Having a low force Sustaining Focus just makes it easier to take down.
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Wiseman
post Jul 23 2006, 01:06 AM
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Not to mention active foci can be tracked and contain signatures unique to the mage that bonded them.

This is as dangerous as leaving your pan on active and leaving a datatrail everywhere you go on a run.

The worst case scenerio is that the corp the runners just hit uses the astral link to track down the runners to their current safehouse.

Its extremely dangerous to sustain a spell permanently, and seldom would there be a game session that you wouldn't be required to drop it at some point.

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ShadowDragon
post Jul 23 2006, 02:49 AM
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QUOTE (Wiseman)
Not to mention active foci can be tracked and contain signatures unique to the mage that bonded them.

This is as dangerous as leaving your pan on active and leaving a datatrail everywhere you go on a run.

The worst case scenerio is that the corp the runners just hit uses the astral link to track down the runners to their current safehouse.

Its extremely dangerous to sustain a spell permanently, and seldom would there be a game session that you wouldn't be required to drop it at some point.

Where is this covered in the book? It seems a little too bad to be true.
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Aaron
post Jul 23 2006, 04:37 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon)
QUOTE (Wiseman @ Jul 22 2006, 08:06 PM)
Not to mention active foci can be tracked and contain signatures unique to the mage that bonded them.

This is as dangerous as leaving your pan on active and leaving a datatrail everywhere you go on a run.

The worst case scenerio is that the corp the runners just hit uses the astral link to track down the runners to their current safehouse.

Its extremely dangerous to sustain a spell permanently, and seldom would there be a game session that you wouldn't be required to drop it at some point.

Where is this covered in the book? It seems a little too bad to be true.

Turn to page 182 of your hymnal and begin reading under the heading Astral Signatures.
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Dr. Dodge
post Jul 23 2006, 08:32 AM
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hmm i don't see how using a sustaining focus could help someone track you down (at least while you're carrying it around). according to RAW: "Magical skills and abilities produce an astral signature on anything affected by them, which is detectable using assensing."

So, if I use a sustaining focus and cast inc. reflexes, i'm the one being affected (or the focus itself perhaps) and the astral signature would be left on it/me. how could someone track me down then? As i'm reading the rules here, it doesn't seem like you leave a trail behind you with a focus on. If you left the focus somewhere they could use it to track you down or someone could assense the focus and later identify your signature, but i don't see how they could track you down by it if your holding on to it.
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Abbandon
post Jul 23 2006, 09:14 AM
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Your misunderstanding them. Its doesnt make you easier to find just by activating a foci. They are talking about if you dropped it, or if someone uses it to sustain a touch spell in which case they would duct tape the foci to the target(3rd edition trick, currently not possable in 4th RAW).

I think an example of what wiseman is saying is this:

You go into a stuffer shack and cast a stink bomb spell or whatever and sustain it through a foci. You run away and head back to your runner's hq. The cops show up with a mage to deal with the problem.

The mage can follow the trail from the spell back to your focus and then he has you.
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ShadowDragon
post Jul 23 2006, 04:16 PM
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QUOTE (Aaron)
QUOTE (ShadowDragon @ Jul 22 2006, 09:49 PM)
QUOTE (Wiseman @ Jul 22 2006, 08:06 PM)
Not to mention active foci can be tracked and contain signatures unique to the mage that bonded them.

This is as dangerous as leaving your pan on active and leaving a datatrail everywhere you go on a run.

The worst case scenerio is that the corp the runners just hit uses the astral link to track down the runners to their current safehouse.

Its extremely dangerous to sustain a spell permanently, and seldom would there be a game session that you wouldn't be required to drop it at some point.

Where is this covered in the book? It seems a little too bad to be true.

Turn to page 182 of your hymnal and begin reading under the heading Astral Signatures.

Right, the focus has a signiture, but it doesn't say that it leaves a trail. At least not on page 182/183.
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Dr. Dodge
post Jul 23 2006, 06:49 PM
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QUOTE (Abbandon @ Jul 23 2006, 04:14 AM)
Your misunderstanding them.  Its doesnt make you easier to find just by activating a foci.  They are talking about if you dropped it,  or if someone uses it to sustain a touch spell in which case they would duct tape the foci to the target(3rd edition trick, currently not possable in 4th RAW).

I think an example of what wiseman is saying is this:

You go into a stuffer shack and cast a stink bomb spell or whatever and sustain it through a foci.  You run away and head back to your runner's hq.  The cops show up with a mage to deal with the problem. 

The mage can follow the trail from the spell back to your focus and then he has you.

I don't think i misunderstood. My reply (though quoteless) was referring to

QUOTE
Not to mention active foci can be tracked and contain signatures unique to the mage that bonded them.
This is as dangerous as leaving your pan on active and leaving a datatrail everywhere you go on a run.
The worst case scenerio is that the corp the runners just hit uses the astral link to track down the runners to their current safehouse.


This makes it sound like you walk around and leave an astral trail where ever you go when you have an active focus. And since the original question was about casting imp. relfexes, that's what I was talking about. In your example the "thing" affected is the area where you drop the stink bomb spell, so it make sense the LS mage can trace the astral signature back to you, while being tracked by casting a sustained spell on yourself does not make sense. In which case it certainly is not as dangerous as "leaving your PAN active and leaving a datatrail everywhere you go" In my experience sustaining foci are usually used for defensive purposes (casting beneficial spells on your self/friends) rather than offensively.
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Abbandon
post Jul 23 2006, 08:51 PM
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well in that case the foci isnt leaving a trail the spell it is sustaining is.

If the lonestar mage looked at the trail the most detail he could hope to get is the casters signature and the force and name of the spell. He wouldnt be like oh this was done with a power 3 sustain foci.

A mage or spirit can be told to actively erase astral trails.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
When you activate a foci it becomes dual natured so yeah i could see it leaving a slimy astral trail in astral space. The trail wouldnt say this is a rating 5 sustain spell foci it would just say im the trial of joe bob the street mage.
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ShadowDragon
post Jul 23 2006, 11:14 PM
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QUOTE (Abbandon @ Jul 23 2006, 03:51 PM)
well in that case the foci isnt leaving a trail the spell it is sustaining is. 

If the lonestar mage looked at the trail the most detail he could hope to get is the casters signature and the force and name of the spell.  He wouldnt be like oh this was done with a power 3 sustain foci.

A mage or spirit can be told to actively erase astral trails.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
When you activate a foci it becomes dual natured  so yeah i could see it leaving a slimy astral trail in astral space.  The trail wouldnt say this is a rating 5 sustain spell foci it would just say im the trial of joe bob the street mage.

Maybe you can see it doing that, but that's a houserule that makes the game infinately more difficult for mage PCs. With that houserule, you're basically telling the player that they can either not use foci, or they can be tracked where ever they go with a simple assensing test.

Not in my game.

Lets take a look at the first sentence (emphesis mine):

QUOTE (SR4 pg182)
Magical skills and abilities produce an astral signature on anything affected by them, which is detectable using assensing.


So a focus produces a signature on itself, and a buff spell such as Increase Reflexes produces a signature on the person. Signatures are mostly dangerous to leave around when you cast offensive spells, such as a powerbolt on the wall because it leaves the signature on the wall.

There is no mention of trails, or imprinting the air around where the spell is cast.
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Dr. Dodge
post Jul 24 2006, 04:01 AM
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QUOTE (Abbandon)
well in that case the foci isnt leaving a trail the spell it is sustaining is. 

If the lonestar mage looked at the trail the most detail he could hope to get is the casters signature and the force and name of the spell.  He wouldnt be like oh this was done with a power 3 sustain foci.

A mage or spirit can be told to actively erase astral trails.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
When you activate a foci it becomes dual natured  so yeah i could see it leaving a slimy astral trail in astral space.  The trail wouldnt say this is a rating 5 sustain spell foci it would just say im the trial of joe bob the street mage.

yeah i don't really see anything in the book supporting this.
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SCARed
post Jul 24 2006, 12:14 PM
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but still even a force 2 sustaining focus is easily wiped out by wards, spirits or astrally active (e.g. projecting) mages.

well, RAW doesn't state, what happens, when the focus itself is attacked, but IMHO it is "destroyed" and becomes mundane. so all of your precious nuyen and karma are down the drain. difficult, at least ...
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DireRadiant
post Jul 24 2006, 12:58 PM
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I see astral space full of little sparkly yellow trails left by sustained foci spells! How do I pick out the one I want to trail?
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Demerzel
post Jul 24 2006, 05:55 PM
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QUOTE (SCARed)
but still even a force 2 sustaining focus is easily wiped out by wards, spirits or astrally active (e.g. projecting) mages.

well, RAW doesn't state, what happens, when the focus itself is attacked, but IMHO it is "destroyed" and becomes mundane. so all of your precious nuyen and karma are down the drain. difficult, at least ...


I don't have my manual near me but I'm pretty sure it is disrupted when it is defearted. Disrupted means shut off and needs to be reactivated. In the case of a sustainer, that involves recasting and retaking drain. In the case of a Power Focus it's just a matter of a simple action. If you disagree I'll look for a reference when I get home.

I know for sure a ward just disrupts not destroys.
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Dr. Dodge
post Jul 24 2006, 09:56 PM
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make no mistake, there are definitely negatives to having active foci all over (astral beacon, wards/barriers, etc.) but leaving a trail everywhere you go just because it's on is not one of them.

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