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Demerzel
post Aug 25 2006, 05:02 PM
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Why is it counterspelling works against spells you are not even aware of being cast, but not against spells when you are surprised?

Isn't being surprised essentially equivalent to not being aware they are being cast?

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Aaron
post Aug 25 2006, 05:15 PM
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Counterspelling is a form of astral jamming (see page 176 of your hymnal). As such, it is a passive defense.
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Demerzel
post Aug 25 2006, 05:20 PM
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Yet it specifically states that a magician may always use counterspelling on herself, unless surprised.
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LilithTaveril
post Aug 25 2006, 05:22 PM
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Give me a MGL. I'll show you counterspelling then.

Well, here's my interpretation: You have to aim it. Can't block what you don't know about.
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Brahm
post Aug 25 2006, 05:29 PM
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QUOTE (LilithTaveril @ Aug 25 2006, 12:22 PM)
Give me a MGL. I'll show you counterspelling then.

Well, here's my interpretation: You have to aim it. Can't block what you don't know about.

Yeah, but exactly how do you know about the spell normally? Oh, and you also don't even spend a Free Action for the defense.

No, the rule doesn't make a whole lot of sense. In my experience usually the "surprise" rule part gets forgotten. *shrug*
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Demerzel
post Aug 25 2006, 05:31 PM
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Yet it specifically states that in order to use counterspelling you don't necessarily have to know it is working. You are actively jamming magic in the area.

I don't have the book with me, for specific page references. But there are two places where in one it says that you don't have to be aware of a spell to counterspell it, but it also states that you can't counter spell if surprised...

Is this a contradiction?
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Butterblume
post Aug 25 2006, 05:31 PM
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Counterspelling should also work in a surprise situation, if declared beforehand.
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Demerzel
post Aug 25 2006, 05:45 PM
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Hummn, yea that's a good interpretation. The only place that it specifically states that counterspelling can't be used in surprise is also where it states that a magician can always use it on himself, even if he has not declared it.

But I suppose the question is how often do I have to declare the use of counterspelling. Can I take a free action at birth and declare fresh out of the womb that I'm always counterspelling on myself?

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mintcar
post Aug 25 2006, 05:45 PM
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You don't have to aim it, you just have to use it. If you are surprised you were not ready for the attack and were not using it, otherwise you are assumed to use it.

I'd say that you can't use it even if you declared it, should you be surprised. According to the surprise rule, you can be surprised even if you are aware of an ambush, for example. Being surprised is being caught off guard, and that can happen even if your guard is up. It just means the guard slipped for a moment. There's allready modifiers for being warned, and declaring you are using counterspelling going into a situation propably means you were warned of it's danger some way. If you're surprised anyway, you shouldn't get the bennefit of it.
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James McMurray
post Aug 25 2006, 06:07 PM
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I think of it like this: Counterspelling requires an action to initiate, but that action is instinctual when you're in danger (via an almost, but not quite nonaction). Since it requires effort to maintain (albeit not much) it is not always active. If you're surprised you don't realize you're in danger and so cannot raise it. Using counterspelling on others is not instinctual, and so requires more concentration to start (via a free action)
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Brahm
post Aug 25 2006, 06:44 PM
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QUOTE (Demerzel @ Aug 25 2006, 12:45 PM)
Hummn, yea that's a good interpretation.  The only place that it specifically states that counterspelling can't be used in surprise is also where it states that a magician can always use it on himself, even if he has not declared it.

I too think Butterblume's got it. It does take a Free Action to declare who you are protecting. So as long as you declare some time before then the protection is in place during the Surprise. But if you haven't declared beforehand then nobody is protected during the Surprise.
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Butterblume
post Aug 25 2006, 07:03 PM
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QUOTE (Brahm)
I too think Butterblume's got it. It does take a Free Action to declare who you are protecting. So as long as you declare some time before then the protection is in place during the Surprise. But if you haven't declared beforehand then nobody is protected during the Surprise.

I am not so sure anymore. Nudged by some of the comments I re-read the section, and it explicitly states that counterspelling can't be used when surprised.
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LilithTaveril
post Aug 25 2006, 07:08 PM
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I'm agreeing with McMurray on this one. Just seems to be more in tune with the wording.
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Aaron
post Aug 25 2006, 07:12 PM
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QUOTE (Demerzel)
Yet it specifically states that a magician may always use counterspelling on herself, unless surprised.

My search-fu is failing me; I can't find that reference anywhere. Could I bother you for a page number?
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Butterblume
post Aug 25 2006, 07:15 PM
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Page 175
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Slithery D
post Aug 25 2006, 07:45 PM
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If a rule said "you can always hold a glass in your hand without dropping it, unless surprised" would you be confused? Surprise is not simple paralysis, but can include a mental flinch or shutting down of usual reflexive actions.

That said, I can certainly understand people wanting to ignore this rule.
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Aaron
post Aug 25 2006, 07:54 PM
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I think page 162 of Street Magic goes a long way toward addressing the questions in this topic.
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Demerzel
post Aug 25 2006, 08:48 PM
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Heh, how about a preview, or a sum up for those of us who have 3.5 hours before we can go home and check your reference? :vegm:
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Shrike30
post Aug 25 2006, 10:05 PM
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Or those of us who don't have the book yet? :P

QUOTE (Aaron)
Counterspelling is a form of astral jamming (see page 176 of your hymnal). As such, it is a passive defense.


Can this "jamming" be detected? If active Counterspelling defenses make a lot of astral noise, that could be one reason you don't flip it on the minute you wake up...
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Demerzel
post Aug 26 2006, 02:17 AM
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The surprise rules don't work like that either. Being surprised is not an all or notthing thing. You are surprised by other characters on an individual basis.

Say 3 runners are laying in wait for two corp sec walking by on their guard route.

They all roll dice, the three runners get +6 for laying in wait and the two corp sec just roll regularly. (Reaction + intuition I think). Say the runners get 5, 4, and 2 hits. Then corp sec guards get a 1 and a 3. Then the corp sec who rolled 1 hit got surprised by everyone, the corp sec who rolled a 3 noticed the runner who rolled a 2 and can take action against him, but not against the others. So he's still up and shooting and acting as per normal. But he cannot react or take any actions that affect the two runners that rolled a 5 and a 4. Basically, if he was counterspelling nothing makes him glitch by being surprised, or kills that defense.

P. 162 SM elaborates on the part about counterspelling sometihng you are completely unaware of. I'm not sure I like the interpretation that a Magician must actively declare it on himself in order to avoid this issue, because that seems to cause Metagaming issues.

Essentially as players we don't think like runners no matter how homicidally sociopathic we may be. A 6th world mage must "declare" his counterspelling? Which takes no effort to maintain, and can work without his even noticing? Why would he not? Now I'm trying to get some people new to SR into the game, and I'm going to penalize them for not knowing this rule by stuffing manabolts down their throats and calling it surprise? No not really, I'm going to say, you are a mage, you have counterspelling, you are using it on yourself, even if you didn't say you were covering your buddies, you are protected. Or do you suggest I periodically ask my magicians, "Are you actively counterspelling?" Do I only ask in situations I think they should use it? What if I forget? When does that give away too much information...

Bah, now I'm just rambling and venting.

But I'm concerned with this contradiction, and I do believe it is a contradiction. . . I guess I'm not going to penalized surprised magicians counterspelling.
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