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> Area spells and non-living, non-magic targets
Jimson
post Jul 3 2007, 03:11 PM
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When casting a physical area spell, the rules state “Area spells affect all valid
targets within the radius of effect, friend and foe alike (including the caster).? Does this include also include non-living, non-magic targets?

If the answer is yes, how do you handle the shear volume of object resistant tests? For example, the runners walk into a board room where several (we’ll say 5) humans are discussing plans, with commlinks sitting out. They stand up and draw guns, as do the runnners. The magician in the group launches a force 10 fireball (overcastted to make sure he gets everyone). We’ll also say he rolled really well at got 8 net hits. You will need to roll resistant test for the 5 humans, but do you need to roll it for their guns, the table they were sitting at (and chairs), and commlinks?

Will you as a GM sit there and try to figure all this out, rolling armor for each non-living, non-magic targets?
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Moon-Hawk
post Jul 3 2007, 03:17 PM
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Good god, no.
If it's a direct combat spell or something that uses object resistance, then the object simply has a threshold, there's no test to be rolled. Everything with OR below X is potentially taking damage.
As for how much damage something takes, or in the case of indirect combat spells like fireball, I would assume all objects use the 4:1 tradein rule, essentially making it another threshold.

So the end result is, the mage rolls X successes with fragball, and you say: Okay, all the simple things like wooden chairs are destroyed, maybe the big table is still partially intact but weakened, guns are destroyed, commlinks are okay, blah, blah, just to give them a decent idea of what the level of devastation is and move on. The only way I'd roll for anything is if there's a plot-significant item in the AOE.
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Starmage21
post Jul 3 2007, 03:56 PM
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QUOTE (Jimson)
When casting a physical area spell, the rules state “Area spells affect all valid
targets within the radius of effect, friend and foe alike (including the caster).? Does this include also include non-living, non-magic targets?

If the answer is yes, how do you handle the shear volume of object resistant tests? For example, the runners walk into a board room where several (we’ll say 5) humans are discussing plans, with commlinks sitting out. They stand up and draw guns, as do the runnners. The magician in the group launches a force 10 fireball (overcastted to make sure he gets everyone). We’ll also say he rolled really well at got 8 net hits. You will need to roll resistant test for the 5 humans, but do you need to roll it for their guns, the table they were sitting at (and chairs), and commlinks?

Will you as a GM sit there and try to figure all this out, rolling armor for each non-living, non-magic targets?

Or you could just eyeball it.

18 damage from a fireball would definitely put the guys in the conference room way over what it takes to make them dead and looking like the guy from "We Were Soldiers" that got firebombed.

Judging from that, Id say you probobly flash burned the table all the way to the core(so that the table appears to be standing there, but its just ash holding shape momentarily), and cooked off any ammo within their guns.

The poor sod who casted this spell never gets to see the beauty of destruction he has caused, because he had a fatal anneurism as the spell went off =\
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Jimson
post Jul 3 2007, 07:59 PM
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Thanks for the help. Perhaps in my example I was too over the top. I understand the Direct Combat spells, but the Indirect still confuses me. Where I get hung up on is this, “Note that objects targeted by Indirect Combat spells do get to resist the damage as they would any ranged attack, use only their Armor rating x 2 (or just Armor against spells with elemental effects) to resist the damage caused (see Barriers, p. 157).? (SR4, p.174)

So, say the situation was toned down and the humans had a force 5 fireball dropped on them, while guns drawn. Would the guns not be able to resist using their Armor (do they have armor???), because it is an Indirect Combat spell? Also, how much damage can an object take, in which you do not know the structure rating or the body (or Armor in the case of vehicles and drones)? The Barriers section doesn’t seem to describe many objects.

I have a feeling I’m making this more complicated then it is. I am a new GM and have new players that like things by the rules. I am planning a run in which they will attempt to steal a power foci from a somewhat powerful magician, and I am trying to think of arguments they will have if something like this happens and I fry their weapons.
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DireRadiant
post Jul 3 2007, 08:15 PM
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Look at the object resistance table p. 174

Otherwise assume a rating 3 if you can't figure anything else out. (This is also the number for figuring out the damage track!)

Remember armor simply adds to the pool of dice you roll for resistance tests.
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Eryk the Red
post Jul 3 2007, 08:18 PM
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All inanimate objects have Armor and Structure. You'd just guess and wing it as to what they'd have, based on the Barrier ratings chart. Against the fireball, they'd roll their Armor, and if the remaining DV (after reducing by the number of Armor hits) exceeds the Structure, 1 cubic meter of mass is destroyed for each time the DV exceeds it. Meaning that if you say a gun has Armor 8, Structure 4, then you'd roll 6 dice (the armor rating) to resist the fireball. Subtract those hits from the DV, then compare it to the Structure. If it exceeds the Structure (which it likely will), the gun is toast.
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sunnyside
post Jul 3 2007, 09:31 PM
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Uh that isn't one cubic meter of stuff. It's a square meter over up to 10 cm thickness. I.E. .1 cubic meters. Which is still a lot.

The table however seems to take into account actual thicknesses. For example a metal beam is weaker than reinforced concrete and is equal to concrete. It isn't that the game desiners are stoned and thing that punching through 10cm of steel is as easy as punching 10cm of concrete it's that the beam is actually only half a centimeter or so thick in practice.

I'd put a gun around "structural material" for values. Note that this makes them much harder to destroy with a fireball than people, which makes total sense.

Also due to the "buying success" thing you know that if an spell doesn't at least do 14 points of damage it won't hurt the gun. If you get lots of AOE you might just want to make a table of what is destroyed at what threshold and refer to that.

Note that this may vex players because they are probably used to gradually doing damage to things with spells, like vehicles. It can be annoying to tell them that they totally nuked that car but the guns and other items are fine.

If this bugs you (and it bugs me). You can use the structure rating as the body and just deal with everything as normal. Maybe even give the standard -1 per three boxes.

In this case a gun would have 14 damage boxes and armor 12 body 11 and just handle things like if they were nuking a motorcycle per the vehicle rules.

Again buying things off is probably your best bet. But it's still going to be a pain.


In short the all or nothing barriers method is fast and requires no bookeeping, but the "treat stuff like vehicles" method may fit the system better.
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Starmage21
post Jul 4 2007, 04:43 AM
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A fireball has a much greater chance of cooking off the ammo rather than destroying the gun outright, especially if theyre packing any Ex ammo.
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kzt
post Jul 4 2007, 06:52 AM
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The ammo is inside a magazine, probably plastic. Which is a thermal insulator. So if the mag is mostly exposed you'd have to set the magazine on fire and probably wait for it to melt. As pistol mags are typically fully contained inside the pistol body, you'd have to first heat the gun red hot. This is probably bad for the smartlink.

Explosive bullets would be less stable, but they are conceptually silly anyhow.
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