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> Spirits using the Engulf power, Is it as powerful as it looks on paper?
kerbarian
post Dec 25 2006, 09:35 PM
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I was just looking at the Engulf spirit power, and it seems extremely nasty. It's as or more effective than a spirit's normal attack (even with Energy Aura), plus it takes a character entirely out of action with one hit.

Even if you can break out, you're spending your actions breaking out while the spirit is spending its actions engulfing (and dealing damage). One question, though: Is it a complex action to try to break free? It's not explicitly stated.

Also, can a spirit engulf multiple targets (over the course of multiple actions)? Spirits can sustain a number of powers equal to their magic, but can they sustain multiple copies of the same power?

Is Engulf really as powerful as it looks on paper, or is there some reason it's not that big a deal in actual combat?

I suppose one way to deal with it would be to say that spirits don't like to use the Engulf power and won't normally use it in combat despite its effectiveness. You could explicitly order a spirit to use Engulf, but that would use up a service each time.
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FrankTrollman
post Dec 26 2006, 12:30 AM
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Howdy kerbarian, happy holidays.

QUOTE
I was just looking at the Engulf spirit power, and it seems extremely nasty. It's as or more effective than a spirit's normal attack (even with Energy Aura),


Generally speaking yes, although I would point out that this is a power, and if it wasn't more effective than the spirit's normal attack they wouldn't use it.

QUOTE
plus it takes a character entirely out of action with one hit.


Again, enerally speaking yes. Although, that is the entire point. There are a number of other attacks which likewise remove an opponent (petrification comes to mind), but Engulf isn't bad at that.

QUOTE
One question, though: Is it a complex action to try to break free?

Beaking free is a melee attack, and melee attacks are a complex action, so yes.

QUOTE
Also, can a spirit engulf multiple targets (over the course of multiple actions)? Spirits can sustain a number of powers equal to their magic, but can they sustain multiple copies of the same power?

Yes. In fact, Greatform spirits can often engulf multiple opponents with the same action. And that's quality.

QUOTE
Is Engulf really as powerful as it looks on paper, or is there some reason it's not that big a deal in actual combat?


Yes and yes. Engulf is really deadly and it's not a huge deal in combat. Combat in Shadowrun is a really dangerous place to be, melee combat especially. Opponents can fire ranged weapons twice for every one time a melee attack can be thrown and opponents get an extra pile of dice to defend themselves in melee that they don't get on their ranged defense pools.

So if you're throwing a melee attack and it doesn't take down an opponent altogether it's probably a waste of your time. A complex action that drops an enemy really is the expected base line for what an attack can do.

After all: people can and do get dropped straight off when shot with bursts from assault rifles, and that's a simple action.

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Sure, there's all kinds of stuff about how spirits can get taken out before a victim smothers in an engulf and the victim gets free, or where players can go full defensive and roll Attribute + Skill + Skill to avoid the Force x 2 dicepool of the Engulf and possibly escape and stuff - but the point is that even if it works perfectly it's generally no more impressive than a hail of bullets and is often more expensive and time consuming to execute.

-Frank
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Kesslan
post Dec 26 2006, 04:51 AM
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Yeah if engulf under SR4 is anything like it is under SR3 I can testify to it being a nasty experience. Being engulfed by a force 8 fire elemental was not a fun experience. Oddly it was unable to hurt me, but by the same token I was completely unable to break free or do anythign else. I'd have been hosed if the team's shaman hadn't trashed the thing in time.
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