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> Possession and Attribute Maximums., Does the physical form limit the Spirit?
HappyDaze
post Jun 5 2007, 01:57 PM
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A human's pysical attributes are limited to 6 (9). If this human has all stats at 3 and a Force 6 Spirit uses Posssession, all of those will be enhanced to 9. No problem. However, what if we have a stronger body - say one with scores of 5 in all physical attributes - will the Spirit be able to increase these all to 11 or will the human limitation of 9 kick in?
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Kazum
post Jun 5 2007, 02:11 PM
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Good question, but i personaly think, that 9 is the limit, because as far as i remember 9 is also the limit for cyber-enhancements or bioware-enhancements. I believe, that physical attributes beyond this are just biological impossible ( you can't carry more weight, because you would break your bones, etc.)
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Demerzel
post Jun 5 2007, 02:29 PM
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No. There is no limit to the powers the spirit can enhance the form. Way back I asked about this and Synner gave me the answer. I'm just too lasy to look it up now... :P
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Demerzel
post Jun 5 2007, 02:58 PM
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This thread was about inhabitation, but the powers and limits discussion may be of value.
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Kyoto Kid
post Jun 5 2007, 03:10 PM
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...so once again, magic trumps tech.

Possession is one thing since the Spirit is in control of the character (which is technically in control of the GM) because the the mental attributes of the spirit (and skill set) are used. Channelling is another matter entirely since the character has control of his or her mental capabilities (and skills). Somehow I do not relish the thought of dealing with seriously ubermensch PCs.
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Synner
post Jun 5 2007, 03:58 PM
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Actually, after much discussion while preparing the Street Magic Errata and FAQ update, the developers collectively decided that the official ruling is that both Possession and Inhabitation can only enhance the (meta)human body so far - meaning the next FAQ will clarify that Possession and Inhabitation max out at the augmented attribute limits.
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Demerzel
post Jun 5 2007, 04:11 PM
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Good to hear official word, especially when it involves a change. Thank's for your prompt replies (in both threads) Synner.
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Kyoto Kid
post Jun 5 2007, 04:28 PM
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...yay :D
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FrankTrollman
post Jun 5 2007, 05:39 PM
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QUOTE (Synner)
Actually, after much discussion while preparing the Street Magic Errata and FAQ update, the developers collectively decided that the official ruling is that both Possession and Inhabitation can only enhance the (meta)human body so far - meaning the next FAQ will clarify that Possession and Inhabitation max out at the augmented attribute limits.

Oh fuck no. Peter don't do that please.

-Frank
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Aaron
post Jun 5 2007, 05:57 PM
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QUOTE (Synner)
Actually, after much discussion while preparing the Street Magic Errata and FAQ update, the developers collectively decided that the official ruling is that both Possession and Inhabitation can only enhance the (meta)human body so far - meaning the next FAQ will clarify that Possession and Inhabitation max out at the augmented attribute limits.

Can it pretty please fix the moving ward thing, too?
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Moon-Hawk
post Jun 5 2007, 06:02 PM
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QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
QUOTE (Synner @ Jun 5 2007, 10:58 AM)
Actually, after much discussion while preparing the Street Magic Errata and FAQ update, the developers collectively decided that the official ruling is that both Possession and Inhabitation can only enhance the (meta)human body so far - meaning the next FAQ will clarify that Possession and Inhabitation max out at the augmented attribute limits.

Oh fuck no. Peter don't do that please.

-Frank

I'd like to hear your argument, Frank.
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Synner
post Jun 5 2007, 06:04 PM
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QUOTE (Aaron)
QUOTE (Synner @ Jun 5 2007, 10:58 AM)
Actually, after much discussion while preparing the Street Magic Errata and FAQ update, the developers collectively decided that the official ruling is that both Possession and Inhabitation can only enhance the (meta)human body so far - meaning the next FAQ will clarify that Possession and Inhabitation max out at the augmented attribute limits.

Can it pretty please fix the moving ward thing, too?

Care to clarify what still needs fixing with the "moving ward thing" following the last errata and FAQ?
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Jack Kain
post Jun 5 2007, 06:37 PM
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I think he means that whole deal with how can you anchor a ward to a trunk.
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hyzmarca
post Jun 5 2007, 06:53 PM
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I like that you can ward a trunk. It makes for good flavor. You can put a ward on the trunk of your 1967 Chevrolet Impala so that spirits can't break in and steal your demon-hunting equipment.

Capping atributes makes possession significantly less powerful and raises some interesting issues. If the metahuman body can only be enhanced so much, then what is the attribute limit of a half-assed soft clay golem? How about a paper golem?

Theoretically, you could have a three-inch tall flat paper cut-out doll with stats superior to those of any metahuman host if you impose atribute limits on metahumans and only metahumans.
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FrankTrollman
post Jun 5 2007, 06:54 PM
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QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ Jun 5 2007, 12:39 PM)
QUOTE (Synner @ Jun 5 2007, 10:58 AM)
Actually, after much discussion while preparing the Street Magic Errata and FAQ update, the developers collectively decided that the official ruling is that both Possession and Inhabitation can only enhance the (meta)human body so far - meaning the next FAQ will clarify that Possession and Inhabitation max out at the augmented attribute limits.

Oh fuck no. Peter don't do that please.

-Frank

I'd like to hear your argument, Frank.

OK, the possession traditions were written and playtested with no caps. I know: I wrote and playtested them.

The primary reason that possession traditions have uncapped physical attributes is that materialization spirits have uncapped attributes. Spirits are very strong in 4th edition shadowrun, and possession traditions are supposed to be a match for the ones in the basic book. The most combat effective spirit you can summon for a materialization tradition is the Air Elemental. It is really good. It flies around super fast, it has an Agility of F+3 and a Reaction of F+4. And it has Elemental Attack, and that's as good as it gets.

Why is that as good as it gets? Because Spirits roll a crap tonne of attack dice and have huge defense pools, but are otherwise fairly offensively anemic. Even Elemental Attack takes a Complex Action to use and is thus substantively inferior to a Heavy Pistol with armor piercing rounds. A spirit is very hard to hit, but a high-endcharacter should have no problem blowing one away in a turn if she actually connects. A called shot from even a side-arm does a base 9P with an AP of -5, meaning that a hit of any sort bypasses the "immunity" of a Force 7 spirit, allowing the Force 7 spirit to roll ~16 dice to soak 10 or more boxes of damage - throw in a second shot and you've got a dead spirit. On the flip side, our Force 7 spirit throws deadly lightning bolts that do a base 7P at -1/2AP. That has got to hurt, a good hit is going a to do a pile of boxes to the victim - but there's no second shot so it's actually weak sauce as an attack. But of course, if he enemy doesn't hit, then your spirit doesn't take any damage at all. The Force 7 Air Spirit has a ranged defense of 11 dice, 18 dice on full defennse.

---

A street samurai gets 4 Initiative passes. A spirit only gets 2. A Street Sam really will run right over a Force 8 or 9 Spirit. She can match the spirit with a full defense action for each of the Spirit's attacks, and gets two more attacks besides. Quite appropriately, the street sam will win. But it's kind of scary. It's kind of scary because the spirit has crazy huge attributes. The spirit has a higher initiative and gets to act first. The spirit rolls more dice on the attack roll than the sammy does and has a bigger base defense pool. These are the things that the spirit uses to keep playing the same game against an advanced street sam who has Synaptic Booster 3, a smartlink, and a Synthacardium.

It's entirely appropriate of course that the spirit loses. The magician is out there doing other awesome stuff and the sammy isn't. But the standard really is that the high force air elemental gives the samurai a run for the money before being disrupted.

---

But back to the possession tradition. It is placed inside a world that already has this as a balance point. Only now you're talking about an advanced magician who channels a spirit into himself - in short a magician who doesn't have a character separate from the spirit. One would hope that the fight between the samurai and the possessed magician would be a little closer, right? And indeed it is - the spirit has higher attributes, starting with the magician's Reaction instead of 4.

But what Peter just said is that he's going back and capping the possession spirit's reaction at 9, and doing nothing to the Air Elemental. Suddenly the Force 8 or even Force 6 Air Elemental has a lower reaction, he's actually easier to hit than the Air Elemental is. He goes later in the round, he rolls less attack dice. He is, in short, in all ways inferior. And to add insult to injury, the possession magician is still removing himself from combat and spending a metamagic technique for the pleasure of having a spirit that is less mobile and has worse stats.

---

It looks to me like Peter and Rob haven't played high-end possession spirits at all, and are making a sweeping change that will have little effect on starting characters and totally invalidate houngans with a substantial amount of experience.

It would be one thing if this was part of an overall plan to make summoning drain much less deadly and spirits in general less overtly terrifying at the high end. But it's not. It's just a statement that possession magicians can't even play the game once things have advanced to the point where Forces of 7-9 become standard.

-Frank
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HappyDaze
post Jun 5 2007, 07:11 PM
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I agree with Frank. If this change is done, it will almost force Possession Traditions to use Homonculi (Wicker Man, etc,) since they don't appear to have similar limitations. The downside is that such things are even more limiting in many cases.
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HappyDaze
post Jun 5 2007, 07:15 PM
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I do find it odd that Possession Tradition magicians seem to have much to gain from taking the Ork metatype (Troll too, but not if you want high Agility) and then NOT pushing the physical attributes. So comparitively 'puny' Orks and Trolls will be favored if this change is implemented.
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Moon-Hawk
post Jun 5 2007, 07:21 PM
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Thanks Frank. You've got some good points there. Some very good points indeed.
hmmmmmmmmm
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Whipstitch
post Jun 5 2007, 07:34 PM
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QUOTE (HappyDaze @ Jun 5 2007, 02:15 PM)
So comparitively 'puny' Orks and Trolls will be favored if this change is implemented.

Which is pretty bad, considering that orks and trolls, from a long term min-maxing perspective, are already pretty favored. The whole BP to KP ratio assures that much. I agree when you say there's no reason to aggravate that situation any further. It's already bad enough that I'm always sorely tempted to start out all my possession tradition orks with a single point of charisma since I can just bump it up to two after a couple of milkruns. Lord knows possession trads generally don't run with a boatload of bound spirits anyway.
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odinson
post Jun 5 2007, 07:57 PM
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QUOTE (HappyDaze)
I agree with Frank. If this change is done, it will almost force Possession Traditions to use Homonculi (Wicker Man, etc,) since they don't appear to have similar limitations. The downside is that such things are even more limiting in many cases.

Does that matter. Throw down a plasteel homonculi and it's way more powerful than any spirit. It does make sense that the metahuman maxes should be kept for a possesing spirit. Otherwise a guy could make a cybered up troll mage with a str of 15 and be possessed up to a str of 25 and he would do insane damage with unarmed. He could also throw people around like they were little rocks.
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Aaron
post Jun 5 2007, 07:58 PM
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QUOTE (Synner)
Care to clarify what still needs fixing with the "moving ward thing" following the last errata and FAQ?

So glad you asked.

The Question: Can a ward be placed inside a moving van?

The Official Answer: "A physical anchor cannot move more than a few centimeters relative to the ward enclosure when the ward was created." That's the key phrase and it can be pretty tricky. For instance, if you create a domed ward outdoors using a rock as the physical anchor, and then someone kicks that rock a few feet, the ward will collapse. It has moved more than few centimeters from its position relative to the domed ward at creation. But, if you ward a shipping container using the walls of that shipping container as the physical anchor, and the shipping container is shipped across the Pacific Ocean, the ward does not collapse. The entire warded enclosure is moving, so in the relationship between the ward and physical anchor, it hasn't moved at all from its relationship at the ward's creation.

As an aside, this is also why the spin of the Earth doesn't cause the domed ward around the rock to collapse. Because the entire enclosure is moving with the rotation of the Earth. Until someone kicks that rock, the relationship between the ward and stone remain the same.

My Response: This bugs me to no end. Here we describe a rock that moves and loses its ward, and a box that moves and doesn't. So why didn't the dome on the rock move when the rock did? It's not anchored to the ground, it's anchored to the rock. So if the ward moves with the box, it should also move with the rock, ne? I mean, if a ward can move at all, then why does its shape in relation to its anchor matter?

I'm fairly certain that wards were meant to be immobile. This way, nobody ever has to deal with hot ward-on-ward action. You can't set up a ward within a ward, and you can't overlap wards, but a moving ward can create all of the ugly complications that wards-within-wards and overlapping wards would create. What happens when a ward tries to move through a ward? There are no rules for this, I suspect because it wouldn't happen with immobile wards that cannot be created within one another.

The question here is frame of reference. The ward can't move, ergo if the anchor is moved, the ward collapses. But what is the frame of reference when it comes to moving? Obviously, the rock and the box from the FAQ's example are being treated from different frames of reference: the rock moves with respect to the earth, and therefore the ward collapses, but the box also moves with respect to the earth, and the ward does not collapse.

According to the FAQ, the frame of reference seems to be the largest physical object that the ward (which is in astral space, mind you) encompasses. I dislike this precedent, because my magician could just spend a few days putting wards around my buddy's Samurai's bullets, and then he can go about disrupting spirits and astrally projecting magicians to his heart's content, whether they are materialized or not.

If all wards act with the same frame of reference, what could it be? An inertial frame of reference is silly, since the world is traveling far too fast for a ward to ever be stationary. I think the most obviously appropriate frame of reference is the Earth herself, the Gaiasphere that generates the astral field in the first place.

Of course, it would be a lot easier to point out that while the FAQ's quote from page 123 of Street Magic is to the point, it fails to also point out other passages from that page, including "A ward must also extend at least one meter in every direction from the physical anchor that it is attached to [sic]" (therefore it is impossible to anchor a ward to the walls of a shipping container) and "Wards are not portable astral objects" (therefore wards do not move through astral space). This rather neatly smooshes the FAQ's argument.

This is not even mentioning magical lodges, which are a more permanent form of mana barrier and may also not be moved (SR p. 168).
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FrankTrollman
post Jun 5 2007, 08:13 PM
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QUOTE (odinson)
Otherwise a guy could make a cybered up troll mage with a str of 15 and be possessed up to a str of 25 and he would do insane damage with unarmed. He could also throw people around like they were little rocks.

So what? Seriously, you're talking about a guy with a Force 10 Spirit. He does 12P unarmed damage. What's the problem?

For perspectively, let's assume that the character put the same average drain (DV 7 for summoning a Force 10 spirit) into casting a Clout spell - that would be a Force 15 spell, which in turn would inflict a base of 15 stun at range instead of only a 12 stun in melee.

Getting really high strength in Shadowrun is simply unimpressive. Not just because the rules for lifting things are non-funcitonal (seriously, the lifting maximums are linear so work horses and work elephants are about 1/3 of the strength that they measurably have in the real world). It's that Shadowrun has cranes, bulldozers, motorcycles, and forklifts. Anything you can do with super strength you can just do with normal equipment.

In the classic critter lists, an elephant was listed as having a srength of 40, and a steam shovel can demonstrably pick up an elephant while that elephant is carrying its own limit of materials. Having a strength of 25 isn't even a big deal. It puts you off the human scale, but it doesn't put you off the scale of things that people in Ayuthaya experience every day. There are real things in human society that are still stronger, faster, and more super than you are.

So honestly, is that the best you can come up with? If a powerful cybernetically augmented troll magician lord conjures a powerful spirit they can pull a John Henry and lose to the Steam Drill anyway?

Is that supposed to be a problem? Because from here it looks like the big problem is that someone just invested probably hundreds of thousands of :nuyen: and called upon the services of a world strattling spirit and achieved such powrs of strength that a starting rigger could beat by walking onto a construction site and triangle buttoning anything there.

-Frank
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Moon-Hawk
post Jun 5 2007, 08:24 PM
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QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
Because from here it looks like the big problem is that someone just invested probably hundreds of thousands of :nuyen: and called upon the services of a world strattling spirit and achieved such powrs of strength that a starting rigger could beat by walking onto a construction site and triangle buttoning anything there.

Behold the power of the triangle button! :D

Oh, and the troll would have an unarmed DV of 13, not 12. Str/2 round up. Not that it changes a damn thing about your point, but this is probably the only chance I'll ever have to correct you on anything. :P
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HappyDaze
post Jun 5 2007, 09:04 PM
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Also consider that (AFAICT) the Spirit using Possession ALWAYS has 2 IPs - even if it's in the body of a samurai with Synaptic Booster 3 that would normally get 4 IPs.

The big problem is that Possession can seem overpowered in the early game when even the average human body gives it F + 3 in all physical Attributes. Later, if the attribute maximums are implemented, it becomes impossible to get full effectiveness out of a Possession-based Spirit beyond Force 6 (or so) while the Materialized Spirits just keep getting stronger.

One possible fix might be to allow a Magician with Channeling to add his Initiate Grade to his Augmented Maximums for Spirits he summons that use Possession on his own body. This allows one way for the Possession Tradition Spirits to scale, but it limits them further to just the magician's body (or homonculi) if the Force is going to be very high.
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Demon_Bob
post Jun 5 2007, 09:09 PM
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I must have missed something. Isn't a spirit in possession of a body in control?
So said possessed person would become an NPC. Who is to say that the spirit has the 'hosts' best interests at heart and is not just using him as a means to an end.
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