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> Sustaining without LOS
ZorbaTHut
post Oct 5 2007, 11:37 PM
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I've been running games such that sustaining spells require line-of-sight to sustain. However, one of my players has just run across a Shadowrun FAQ that seems to indicate sustaining spells doesn't require LOS. (Search for "maintain line of sight" to find it.) I'm having trouble finding any information in the book - suggestions?

I've been using the LOS rules to great effect, allowing myself to break enchantments with smoke grenades, which has been extremely handy. If I can't, it's going to be really annoying to kill their enchantments - counterspelling on sustained spells is rather weak. Obviously I could house-rule it, but before I do I'd really like to know what the official word is, and I got the smoke-grenade idea from this very forum, so I'm a bit confused.
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Aku
post Oct 5 2007, 11:47 PM
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im pretty sure it doesnt, because i beleive you can have a spirit sustain a spell and then flit off to the metaplanes.
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DTFarstar
post Oct 6 2007, 12:06 AM
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Sustaining does not require LOS, you are free to have it do so, of course, but even so it shouldn't matter. Smoke/thermal smoke doesn't have any effect on astral sight so... not exactly a big deal unless your mage can't use astral perception for some reason. Banishing

I also fail to see how counterspelling is weak unless your PCs are wandering around with Force 6+ spells sustained on them all the time, if they are then yeah, unless you have a high powered mage on the opposition, they are going to be hard to hurt, but if it is just a normal Force 4 or so spell then it is Counterspelling + Magic vs. Magic + 4 and every net hit for your side reduces the effectiveness of the spell till it is gone.

Hmm, I guess at higher power levels that would be kind of weak, new alternate rule give the magician whose spell is being dispelled a choice, he can spend his next action to reinforce the spell or he can just attempt to sustain it's normal pattern. So, Counterspelling + Magic vs. Force of spell or he can effectively take full defense and add his magic rating to it.

Chris
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ZorbaTHut
post Oct 6 2007, 01:18 AM
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QUOTE (DTFarstar)
I also fail to see how counterspelling is weak unless your PCs are wandering around with Force 6+ spells sustained on them all the time, if they are then yeah, unless you have a high powered mage on the opposition, they are going to be hard to hurt, but if it is just a normal Force 4 or so spell then it is Counterspelling + Magic vs. Magic + 4 and every net hit for your side reduces the effectiveness of the spell till it is gone.

The problem with counterspelling is that, in combat, it's almost never the right thing to do. If you have equivalent skills, counterspelling a single sustained spells takes several tries and several times the drain of the original spell - and doesn't even gain you much since it can just be re-cast. If you have even slightly inferior skills it borders on the impossible. Getting rid of existing spells ends up being nearly, if not entirely, useless, unless you can do something clever like break LOS or just force the mage away via combat, which is what I'm going to end up having to do.

I'll probably be introducing the "persistent spells can be knocked away by shooting the mage and making him lose concentration" rule, but I honestly don't like that one much, especially since our resident mage has a tendency to go invisible and just watch from a distance.
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Fortune
post Oct 6 2007, 01:19 AM
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QUOTE (DTFarstar)
Smoke/thermal smoke doesn't have any effect on astral sight so... not exactly a big deal unless your mage can't use astral perception for some reason.

Actually, it does. Pretty much everything that affects visibility on the physical has an astral 'shadow' that creates a similar effect there.
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GryMor
post Oct 6 2007, 01:48 AM
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Sustaining doesn't need line of sight. Disrupting sustained spells via counter spelling can be very difficult (presuming the normal force for such things is M*2 or M*2 -1), with things scaling on the order of X*2 to dispell vs a target of X*3 with a needed threshold on the order of X*2/3.

This is actually more of a problem for runners than it is for corp-sec. Corp sec usually has the advantage of defending a fixed location, allowing them to preposition defenses. For magic, those defenses should include wards. Relatively light wards around the perimeter for warning, but HEAVY wards internally, force 12 is not unreasonable.

Punching through wards (and having your spells survive) is Magic + Willpower vs Force x2, and you need enough hits to cover all your spells. Just walking through means your spells individually make Force x2 vs Force x2 checks, meaning even for force 12 sustained spells, you're looking at a 50% disruption rate.

Ex: High end Corp mage, Body 4(9), TradStat 4(9), Willpower 4(9), Magic 6, Initiate 1, Trauma Dampener, Platelet Factory. Ally sustained force 5 amps to body and the drain relevant mental stats. 15 dice for ward duration, 18 dice to resist 12 drain. Buys 4 hits, dampener converts 1 to stun, platelets drop damage by 1, takes a 6 levels. Firstaid from his assistant in a mobile medical shop has 20+ dice (after the -2 for awakened target, easily achieved via magical amplification and specialization, even with low base attributes) buys 3 hits above threshold. Damage is down to 3 boxs within a minute of the ritual ending. Amplified body has the mage healed by the end of the next day.

This scales up to force 15 without issue presuming you have the initiation grade and magic rating to even contemplate it. With heroic efforts, a maxed out Troll mage could expect to survive erecting a force 41 ward, but firstaid wouldn't even come close to bringing him out of damage overflow. Thats the winner, unless possession channeling amps your racial maximums, in which case, arbitrarily high ward strengths are possible.
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FrankTrollman
post Oct 6 2007, 08:59 AM
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QUOTE
This is actually more of a problem for runners than it is for corp-sec. Corp sec usually has the advantage of defending a fixed location, allowing them to preposition defenses. For magic, those defenses should include wards. Relatively light wards around the perimeter for warning, but HEAVY wards internally, force 12 is not unreasonable.


Difficult but not impossible to do that. Wards can't be nested, so you would need to create volumes which topologically cut off but did not contain the larger wards. That means that for what it is worth, there is a seam in your external ward - though that seam may seriously be facing the naked Earth somewhere at the bottom of a 20m basement that noone is going to survive projecting down to.

-Frank
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Tarantula
post Oct 6 2007, 09:13 AM
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Except, frank, its easy enough to have a spirit of man with shape earth materialize down underground, and move all the dirt out of your way except for a small 1M covering on top. or something similar to that, to get down to that astral hole.
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FrankTrollman
post Oct 6 2007, 10:18 AM
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Wait... your plan is to cast shape earth over and over again to move dozens of tonnes of earth out of the way right next to a heavily defended office building in order to avoid setting off alarms?

-Frank
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Tarantula
post Oct 6 2007, 08:32 PM
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No, have it do so, and underground, from however far away you feel like. Once. The area of it can be moved as long as its sustained. So, the spirit of man materializes a mile away, and casts the spell, tunnels down, you follow it, it seals over the top, and tunnels along.
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hyzmarca
post Oct 6 2007, 08:49 PM
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My plan is to have a spirit of Earth use Quake on a heavily defended office building to break all the wards by moving their material anchors and while alarms will be set of security will be in earthquake survival mode rather than intruder killing mode.

Of course, this only works if the building isn't Earthquake proof, with is easily accomplished by building it on a foundation of giant springs.
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