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> Defense against manaball?, Pointers?
Lord Ben
post Dec 9 2006, 05:32 AM
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Other than building the character differently (4 willpower and 5 edge without special edges) what types of options are available to me when going against mages? The group mage/mages are already providing spell defense for me but assuming I go by myself once or twice and get into a battle.

Is there any sort of SR4 equipment I'm missing.

Any stuff in SR3 I can expect to be ported over? Living fungus shields, etc.
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Kesslan
post Dec 9 2006, 05:37 AM
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Well if your not awakened yourself there is the spell resistance trait. Other than that far as I know your best followup defences would be a friendly mage counterspelling and shoving your team mate out into the mages LOS and sacrificing him 'for the greater good' so while the mage is frying your friend you can take him out.
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Lord Ben
post Dec 9 2006, 05:37 AM
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Just to be clear on my thinking I should make sure I have the rules right.

Mage casts Force 12 Manaball, spends edge, gets 5 successes.

I resist with my 4 willpower and 5 edge (9 dice) for 3 successes.

I take 14P with no further soak roll? There is no "dodge" phase and a 2nd "soak" phase?

With a fireball do you get one roll to avoid and one to soak?
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Jack Kain
post Dec 9 2006, 05:39 AM
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Thats why they are direct combat spells, they hit you directly,

The problem with direct combat spells is in overcasting. Forbid a mage from overcasting direct combat spells and the problem largly goes away.

Frankly I think because a low essence makes health mana spells less effective. (including negative health spells) it should apply to manaball as well for constancy.
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De Badd Ass
post Dec 9 2006, 05:48 AM
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QUOTE (Jack Kain)
Thats why they are direct combat spells, they hit you directly,

The problem with direct combat spells is in overcasting. Forbid a mage from overcasting direct combat spells and the problem largly goes away.

I read stuff like this in the forum all the time, and can only think, "HUH?"

This is Shadowrun, not some MMORPG with PvP. The mage you are talking about is an NPC run by the GM. How do you forbid the GM from overcasting? Is there some players bill of rights similar in function to the GMs house rules? I gotta get me one of those.
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Lord Ben
post Dec 9 2006, 05:49 AM
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Yeah, no kidding. But I was mostly not looking for house rules, etc. Just canon tactics and equip I missed.

The game is lethal and quick usually, and I like it. Most of my problems is in going up against other party memebers in the rare times they need to be taken down. I trust the DM to limit his own actions. But I know that if I have to kill my own parties mage he won't limit his manabolt/ball to force 4 or anything... :)
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Kesslan
post Dec 9 2006, 05:50 AM
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QUOTE (De Badd Ass)
QUOTE (Jack Kain @ Dec 9 2006, 01:39 AM)
Thats why they are direct combat spells, they hit you directly,

The problem with direct combat spells is in overcasting. Forbid a mage from overcasting direct combat spells and the problem largly goes away.

I read stuff like this in the forum all the time, and can only think, "HUH?"

This is Shadowrun, not some MMORPG with PvP. The mage you are talking about is an NPC run by the GM. How do you forbid the GM from overcasting? Is there some players bill of rights similar in function to the GMs house rules? I gotta get me one of those.

What if it isnt an NPC? What if the party mage for what ever reason decides to murder another one of the PCs? Dont think it could happen? Think again I say. I've seen plenty of PCs murder each other in SR and in other RPGs. Hell I once had one D&D group murder each other over a measly +1 dagger. The things people will kill each other for in RPG games is some times rather astounding.
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Lord Ben
post Dec 9 2006, 05:52 AM
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Is there a spell that adds to the resist roll? One I could get sustained on me by an NPC mage?
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Jack Kain
post Dec 9 2006, 05:52 AM
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QUOTE (De Badd Ass @ Dec 8 2006, 11:48 PM)
QUOTE (Jack Kain @ Dec 9 2006, 01:39 AM)
Thats why they are direct combat spells, they hit you directly,

The problem with direct combat spells is in overcasting. Forbid a mage from overcasting direct combat spells and the problem largly goes away.

I read stuff like this in the forum all the time, and can only think, "HUH?"

This is Shadowrun, not some MMORPG with PvP. The mage you are talking about is an NPC run by the GM. How do you forbid the GM from overcasting? Is there some players bill of rights similar in function to the GMs house rules? I gotta get me one of those.

How often do you run into enemy mages with a magic rating of 6? which would be required to overcast up to 12. IF the DM can't limit your challanges short of whole sale slaughter of the PC's your screwed. DM's have ulitmate power anyway.
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Lord Ben
post Dec 9 2006, 05:55 AM
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QUOTE (Kesslan)
The things people will kill each other for in RPG games is some times rather astounding.

I had to shoot a party member for putting the moves on me once. I was a female gunslinger in deadlands and he had the "Randy" flaw. I got knocked out and he tried to apply bandages and bring be back and he got a little "touchy". So when I was revived with my blouse open he needed some lead medicine.
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Kesslan
post Dec 9 2006, 05:57 AM
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I think part of what Jack is getting at is that if your GM isnt out to muder you whole sale anyway the GM would abide by such a ruling that would apply to the PCs not being able to do so and equally not allow his NPCs to do so either. As that would be blatantly unfair to the PCs.

And personally I have my NPCs do what ever a PC could do. Though I dont usually give NPCs Edge unless their a 'major' NPC. So if a PC can overcast, why shouldnt my NPC wage mage security guard? On the flipside though if I say ok you guys cant overcast spell X becuase of reason X or what ever. I'm hardly about to turn around and suddenly start letting my NPC wage mages do it.
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Kesslan
post Dec 9 2006, 05:58 AM
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QUOTE (Lord Ben)
QUOTE (Kesslan @ Dec 9 2006, 12:50 AM)
The things people will kill each other for in RPG games is some times rather astounding.

I had to shoot a party member for putting the moves on me once. I was a female gunslinger in deadlands and he had the "Randy" flaw. I got knocked out and he tried to apply bandages and bring be back and he got a little "touchy". So when I was revived with my blouse open he needed some lead medicine.

Well I dont think that would be a 'requirement' to shoot him, but certainly an incentive. God knows I once got stuck with a female adept (who oddly enough specialized in two weapon fighting with stun batons) in a convention TT game. One of the other PCs kept hitting on mine so I eventually took to simply whacking him in the crotch with both stun battons every time he did it.
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Lord Ben
post Dec 9 2006, 05:59 AM
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Our group mage likes to finish up a battle (or start AND finish it) with a force 8-12 manaball. He only does it if he thinks the battle can be quickly ended.

If I was the DM I'd pick that exact moment for a surprise fight against a foe in the next room or whatever.
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De Badd Ass
post Dec 9 2006, 06:00 AM
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My Bad! It is PvP. I recommend you learn the Know alignment spell, and don't let Chaotic Evil players join your party. Since you have a DM, I assume we are talking DnD :rotfl:
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De Badd Ass
post Dec 9 2006, 06:06 AM
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QUOTE (Lord Ben @ Dec 9 2006, 01:52 AM)
Is there a spell that adds to the resist roll?  One I could get sustained on me by an NPC mage?

There is counterspelling, and shielding (plus foci). Course, they won't help you when you turn on your party's mage. And don't think the mage union won't hear about this.
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Jack Kain
post Dec 9 2006, 06:06 AM
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One house rule I thought up for overcasting was the extra force is added directly onto the drain.

So in the case of manaball it has a drain of (F 2) + 2

Should you over cast the spell by 4 points of force the drain would be
DV: (F 2) + 6

The other was to swap the drain values of elemental spells with direct combat.


So fireball (and the other elemental balls) would have a drain value of (F 2) + 2
While the manaball,powerball, stunball would have a drain of (F 2) + 5.


As direct spells are overall far more powerful then elemental.
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Kesslan
post Dec 9 2006, 06:13 AM
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QUOTE (De Badd Ass)
My Bad! It is PvP. I recommend you learn the Know alignment spell, and don't let Chaotic Evil players join your party. Since you have a DM, I assume we are talking DnD :rotfl:

There wasnt a single chaotic evil character in the group. And I was the GM actually. They were on a dungeon crawl, I gave em a +1 dagger as loot. The party thief was something like Chaotic Neutral, and the Neutral good mage or what ever were fighting over who got it. Eventually they got into a fight, the theif murders the mage at one point. Then the PALADIN of all people murders the entire party.

And alignments are only that they dont actually stop a character from doing something counter to their alignment, it just causes a change in said alignment.

And to Jack: at first glance that actually seems like a good all round solution. There have allways been spells mages could use in SR that I've allways found... broken compared to what every other character type could do, even if you paid more to be a mage. I'll have to try to keep that one in mind.
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Jack Kain
post Dec 9 2006, 06:18 AM
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The way I see overcasting on spells is really only a problem on direct combat spells. And in almost all situations a direct combat spell is better then elemental, especially with how cheep armor modifications are to protect from the elements.

And here's how I explain why elemental spells would have a lower drain.
Direct Combat spells channel pure mana for destructive purposes. The act of channeling this raw magic takes a great toll on the mage.
When the mage uses mana to create elemental effects he instead uses the mana to create a destructive element of nature. This indirect use of mana is far less stressful on a magican.

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Glyph
post Dec 9 2006, 07:08 AM
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I don't think overcasting is a problem even for direct combat spells. A mage who has the drop on someone, has a maxed-out starting Magic rating, has a high Edge, overcasts the spell as high as it can go (needing to soak 6 points of physical Drain), and then spends Edge on top of that, should kill most mundane opponents. Just as the sammie in question should kill the mage if he opens up with full auto from his Ingram LMG.


But back to Ben's original discussion:
Spells need line of sight, so things like smoke grenades, flash packs, cover, and concealment all help. Remember that having a smartlink means that you can fire your gun around corners. Remember that lots of buildings have wards as part of their security - get behind a ward, and a mage will have a harder time hitting you. Ultrasound will pick up an invisible mage, unless he is sustaining a sound-dampening spell as well.
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Jack Kain
post Dec 9 2006, 07:12 AM
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QUOTE (Glyph)
I don't think overcasting is a problem even for direct combat spells. A mage who has the drop on someone, has a maxed-out starting Magic rating, has a high Edge, overcasts the spell as high as it can go (needing to soak 6 points of physical Drain), and then spends Edge on top of that, should kill most mundane opponents. Just as the sammie in question should kill the mage if he opens up with full auto from his Ingram LMG.


But back to Ben's original discussion:
Spells need line of sight, so things like smoke grenades, flash packs, cover, and concealment all help. Remember that having a smartlink means that you can fire your gun around corners. Remember that lots of buildings have wards as part of their security - get behind a ward, and a mage will have a harder time hitting you. Ultrasound will pick up an invisible mage, unless he is sustaining a sound-dampening spell as well.

That a side I still think that because elemental spells get the following for defense
Reaction, body, half impact armor, elemental modifiactions and counterspelling.+edge
While direct combat spells get body or will, + counterspelling +edge


Direct combat spells should have a higher drain.
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ShadowDragon
post Dec 9 2006, 08:23 AM
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QUOTE (Kesslan)
What if it isnt an NPC? What if the party mage for what ever reason decides to murder another one of the PCs? Dont think it could happen? Think again I say. I've seen plenty of PCs murder each other in SR and in other RPGs. Hell I once had one D&D group murder each other over a measly +1 dagger. The things people will kill each other for in RPG games is some times rather astounding.

Well then you just have a maturity issue with the players. It has nothing to do with the RPG.
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Thanee
post Dec 9 2006, 08:38 AM
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QUOTE (Lord Ben @ Dec 9 2006, 06:49 AM)
Yeah, no kidding.  But I was mostly not looking for house rules, etc.  Just canon tactics and equip I missed.

Stealth is probably your best option. A stealth suit, ultrasound (very important against those pesky invisible mages), decent Infiltration and Perception skills. Then there is still Astral Perception, but it takes some time to assense and to figure out, what one is looking at (at least I suppose mages are not blindly overcast-mana-bolting anything in sight).

If you are not surprised, or even manage to surprise the mage, with the typically much better initiative you should go first and one full auto burst later, the mage should be in trouble. Edge is your friend here, too.

Bye
Thanee

P.S. And I agree, that in-party killing over silly things is not something I would call mature behaviour. ;)
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Kesslan
post Dec 9 2006, 09:41 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon)
Well then you just have a maturity issue with the players. It has nothing to do with the RPG.

Well yes and obviously I didnt bother doing anything with that group again. It's really just a point though of even if it is a mostly mature group. You some times do have the odd party member out to kill another. Even if it's for a totaly valid reason. I dont encourage it, infact on the GM side of things I very much actively discourage it. All too often it doesnt end well to say the least.

You dont see PVP in SR too often on the tabletop side of things, it's a small group, rivalries rarely develop to the poitn of being lethal far as i know anyway. Keep in mind I come from a largely MUSHing side of RPGs where there isnt just a group of 4 people but onwards of 10-20 people a night. Every SR MUSH I've ever played on has PVP to some extent or other cause eventually some one wants to kill another player for reason X. And it can be damn good reasons too (it can also be equally poor).

But back ontop with the OP....

Gear wise. Nothing will really help you. There arnt some sort of special 'anti magic shields' you can carry aroun dthat are some other version of a ballistic shield or something.

Basically as has been stated before there are erlaly only a few things that can help you if your a mundane at least:
High Willpower and maybe the use of Edge
Resistance to Magic Trait
A friendly mage (Or arguably spirit etc) to counterspell/cast protective spells on you

And as others have pointed out a good offence is some times your best defence. High stealth skills so the mage is less likely to notice you, ruth suits for the optical camouflage (add in stealth coating to help against other detection methods), good gear overall and a high initative score etc.

Generally a sammie is going to be faster than a mage. Mages 'generally' tend to put more into spells, foci etc. Beyond that as far as I know there isnt a single thing more that will help protect your hoop from that manaball.

If your awakened obviously there are alot more options available but for the mundane it's big trouble. Its why its so much more expensive to build an awakened character in CG.
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Synner
post Dec 9 2006, 11:36 AM
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You'd be amazed by how many people ignore the obvious. Enforce cover and visibility modifiers on Spellcasting. Proper application of cover and visibility modifiers (for both the attacker and the target) will knock a magician's dice pool down -4 to -6 in typical situations.
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Kesslan
post Dec 9 2006, 11:42 AM
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True. Afterall LOS is implicit in the mages ability to even cast the spell in the first place. So certain modifiers (namely visual) would apply in every case. Lighting, cover... maybe. I mean you can see where a guy is because you can see the top of his head stickign over a wall. In such a situation would cover modifiers really apply?

I mean technically no. You can see him. Just not all of him, you dont have to really so much 'aim' the spell as simply see what your casting at is what my understanding is. Afterall otherwise wouldnt range modifiers apply as well since as he's farther away you can see alot less of the target? (And feel free to debate it. I'm hardly a specialist on this particular kinda thing. And I've only been on the GM side of the fence of a mage on two occasions in SR. And both times relied on player input to help make a ruling if there was an issue)
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