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> Direct spell quandary, Do you get any resist?
Kurious
post Sep 5 2008, 01:34 AM
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Hello,

My SR4 game is having a debate that I have not seen clarified in any errata... I was hoping the board here may have an answer (especially as it seems there are people with direct links to Shadowrun that post here, $$).

The question is: when hit by a direct spell (assuming you do not resist it out right), do you get a body (or will in case of stun) roll to resist the damage.

Direct spells say out right that it bypasses armor... which I see has lead many to assume it has no resist. But, I find that to be off, and quite unbalancing (since all other forms of damage that I am aware of have at least some kind of damage mitigation factor involved).

If this has been asked and answered previously, I do apologize. I did a search but had no luck... my dice pool may simply be lacking 8P

Thank you,
Kurious
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Abschalten
post Sep 5 2008, 02:42 AM
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No, direct spells are as awesome as you think they are.

Example: Mage rolls a dice pool of 10 on a Manabolt, Force 4. He generates 3 hits. His target is a Street Sam, Willpower 3. The Street Sam when resisting that spell generates 1 hit. The Sam only reduced the net hits to 2. So he gets hit with Force + Net Hits. In this case, that would be 4 + 2 (3 - the sam's 1 success.) in Physical damage, for 6 Boxes.

Let's pretend the Sam instead lucked out and got 3 hits on the resistance test. 3 hits for the Mage - 3 hits by the Sam = 0 net hits, meaning the spell was totally resisted.

After you figure out the damage, there are no further damage resistance tests - they simply go past armor and go straight to the relevant damage track (physical for Manabolt/ball and Powerbolt/ball, and mental for Stunbolt/ball).

That's why good counterspelling protection is so awesome. If you have a magician protecting everybody, you can add his Counterspelling protection to your Willpower (or Body) resist on those direct combat spells. Even if you don't resist the spell totally, you can cut the damage down as close to the Force as possible, meaning you may even survive the spell.
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Muspellsheimr
post Sep 5 2008, 02:55 AM
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With Indirect Combat Spells, you 'dodge' with Reaction (+ Dodge/Gymnastics if Full Defense). If the defender wins, the spell has no effect. If the caster wins, the target takes Force + Net Hits damage, resisted with Body + (Impact) + Counterspelling.

With Direct Combat Spells, you 'dodge' with Body (Physical) or Willpower (Mana) + Counterspelling. If the defender wins, the spell has no effect. If the caster wins, the target takes Force + Net Hits damage.

Does that clear it up for you?
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Kurious
post Sep 5 2008, 02:56 AM
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QUOTE
After you figure out the damage, there are no further damage resistance tests - they simply go past armor and go straight to the relevant damage track (physical for Manabolt/ball and Powerbolt/ball, and mental for Stunbolt/ball).


[Emphasis mine]

When a bullet hits you, you roll armor + body to resist the damage. Armor and body being two separate stats added together for the roll.

The book says specifically that direct spells bypass armor, but it does not say there is no damage resist test.
Why shouldn't you still get your body (or will in case of stunball) to resist the damage? Body is, after all, independent of armor.
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Kurious
post Sep 5 2008, 03:00 AM
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I do understand the 'dodge' aspect of spells... but the damage mitigation portion of direct spells seems to be off.

I really am not trying to be a dick, it just seems to me that the sentence 'bypasses armor' is being misconstrued.

Hopefully the post above clarifies my point.
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Abschalten
post Sep 5 2008, 03:01 AM
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I wrote that, but it was more a response as to what you wrote. I'm at work right now so I don't have immediate access to my own books. However, I should have said more appropriately that direct combat spells bypass Damage Resistance tests. There is no roll to avoid the damage past the initial Willpower or Body roll. If you don't fully resist, you'll take some damage.

Also: If we're misconstruing that part of the rules, then it's likewise being done so by nearly everyone else on the boards, including all of the devs. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Muspellsheimr
post Sep 5 2008, 03:10 AM
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Indirect Spells: Dodge & Resistance are two separate tests.

Direct Spells: Dodge & Resistance are a single test.

This is RAW.
This is confirmed by the developers from the endless debates that come up regarding this.
This is not, however, necessarily balanced, considering the significantly increased Drain of Indirect spells for, in most cases, significantly less effectiveness (a debate for another time - years ago; go use the Search feature).

End of discussion.
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Ol' Scratch
post Sep 5 2008, 03:11 AM
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The Damage Resistance Tests is effectively being handled by the Opposed Test, which is why it uses Body or Willpower as appopropriate. It's also why you always want a mage around with Counterspelling dice up; they effectively bring the "spell armor" for you. Fight magic with magic and all that.

If you allowed a normal Damage Resistance Test on top of the Opposed Test, you'd basically be giving everyone two shots to resist the spell. Which, honestly, isn't very fair. Course it's not fair that magicians can get ridiculous dice pools without even trying, but that's another issue entirely.
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Muspellsheimr
post Sep 5 2008, 03:14 AM
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QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Sep 4 2008, 09:11 PM) *
If you allowed a normal Damage Resistance Test on top of the Opposed Test, you'd basically be giving everyone two shots to resist the spell. Which, honestly, isn't very fair.

Considering every other form of damage allows two shots to resist, yes, it is very fair. You get one chance to avoid it entirely. If you fail, you get a second chance to degrade the effects.

Fair or not, however, two resistance tests vs. Direct spells is not RAW, and that is what this thread is supposedly about.
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Kurious
post Sep 5 2008, 03:17 AM
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I should have put your name in the quote.. sorry, still getting the hang of the forum controls.

I guess the problem is, the 'dodge aspect' of direct spells is actually the 'resist' portion (there is no dodge). As the entry says 'Casters Magic + Spellcasting' is resisted by Body or Will + counterspelling.

They really should have made the drain higher (or at least equal to indirect spells) considering the how powerful they are.

Thanks for the help Abschalten and Muspellsheimr.
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Ravor
post Sep 5 2008, 04:44 AM
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I agree with the Drain Aspect not being "fair", but something to remember is that indirect spells are more effective against targets with counterspelling, possibly has access to the called shot rules, and at least with the AOE can fry people you don't have LOS to.
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