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> Direct Combat Spells help, a simple question?
yukongil
post Jan 29 2009, 04:30 PM
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Hello all, short time lurker, first time poster

anywho, my group has recently started a SR4 campaign and there is a little confusion as to the rules on Direct Combat Spells (Power this that and the other and Mana this that and the other, etc...) I've looked in the Search function and couldn't find anything so...

As best we can tell they work thusly;

Cast spell: Spellcasting vs. Opponent's Body (or Will) + Counterspelling if available

Count Hits + Force of spell = damage taken.

now our confusion comes in whether that damage is then soaked by the opponent, or if the net success + Force go right on through.

It came up in game like this;
we were on a simple retrival run, looking for some fool streetmage that got herself taken in the Barrens, when after grabbing her, we ran afoul a Vamp Phys Ad Merc responsible for said mageknapping. The two scouts are getting handily beaten about the face by the vamp, so I being the Mage juice up a Power Bolt to blast her off the Face she has just downed.

We're a little experienced (or higher BP; 550 in my case) so I throw a Force 8 and take her down, which mechanically worked out like;

Magic 6 +2 from Power Focus + Spellcasting 4 (12 Dice) vs. Vamp's 5 Body (poor little lady had no magical backup)

I Net 4 successes, thus equaling 12P.

As I said our confusion comes from whether or not that is then resisted by her Body (again, which is why it is confusing to me)

So are we doing this right?
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Muspellsheimr
post Jan 29 2009, 05:05 PM
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    Indirect Combat Spell:
  • Spellcasting + Magic vs. Reaction (+ Dodge)
  • [if successful] Target takes Force + Net Hits Damage, resisted with Body + (half) Impact (+ Counterspelling)

    Firearm:
  • Skill + Agility vs. Reaction (+ Dodge)
  • [if successful] Target takes Base DV + Net Hits damage, resisted with Body + (modified) Ballistics.

    Direct Combat Spell:
  • Spellcasting + Magic vs. Willpower or Body (+ Counterspelling)
  • [if successful] Target takes Force + Net Hits Damage
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The Pat
post Jan 29 2009, 05:09 PM
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The RAW has some inconsitencies when it comes to direct and indirect attack spells. (See post above - direct spells can not be "dodged", while indirect can - the target basically has 2 chances to avoid/soak indirect spell. In order to balance things out we have come up with our internal house rules:

Attack:
Direct Spells Magic+Spellcasting vs. Intuition
Indirect Spells Magic+Spellcasting vs. Reaction (Full Dodge possible)

Damage Value: Force + Net Hits

Soak:
Direct Mana Spells Willpower (+ Counterspelling)
Direct Physical Spells Body (+ Counterspelling)
Indirect Spells Body + ½ Impact Armor (+ Counterspelling)

Drain
Touch (Force/2)-1
Single Target (Force/2)+1
Area (Force/2)+3
Elemental Effect additional+2

Please note that drain is the same no matter if the spell generates physical or stun damage.

We also changed counterspelling: The mage can split his counterspelling dice among allies (and himself).

Hope this helps
The Pat

PS: This is a house rule - maybe the official errata has already fixed the inconsitencies mentioned above and our solution is not up to date any mor. But it works well in our games
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Starmage21
post Jan 29 2009, 05:36 PM
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QUOTE (The Pat @ Jan 29 2009, 01:09 PM) *
The RAW has some inconsitencies when it comes to direct and indirect attack spells. (See post above - direct spells can not be "dodged", while indirect can - the target basically has 2 chances to avoid/soak indirect spell. In order to balance things out we have come up with our internal house rules:

Attack:
Direct Spells Magic+Spellcasting vs. Intuition
Indirect Spells Magic+Spellcasting vs. Reaction (Full Dodge possible)

Damage Value: Force + Net Hits

Soak:
Direct Mana Spells Willpower (+ Counterspelling)
Direct Physical Spells Body (+ Counterspelling)
Indirect Spells Body + ½ Impact Armor (+ Counterspelling)

Drain
Touch (Force/2)-1
Single Target (Force/2)+1
Area (Force/2)+3
Elemental Effect additional+2

Please note that drain is the same no matter if the spell generates physical or stun damage.

We also changed counterspelling: The mage can split his counterspelling dice among allies (and himself).

Hope this helps
The Pat

PS: This is a house rule - maybe the official errata has already fixed the inconsitencies mentioned above and our solution is not up to date any mor. But it works well in our games


Some balance. I would never, ever play a mage in a game under those house rules. You'd always be better off as something else.
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Muspellsheimr
post Jan 29 2009, 05:40 PM
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The Drain & Counterspelling changes are, put simply, retarded. The Resistance change, however, is exactly what I have suggested before, & will likely be using in my next campaign.
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Speed Wraith
post Jan 29 2009, 05:42 PM
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This had actually just come up recently, strangely, you do not get to resist damage from direct combat spells beyond the opposed test from the spellcasting test itself. I don't know why every other form of damage from a punch to cybercombat allows for a damage resistance test, but DC spells do not. It seems to work itself out though since there are still tons of ways to lessen their effectiveness (vision being the key here). The end result though seems to be that a mage using DC spells damned well better have a decent set of cybereyes and a high perception skill (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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Ryu
post Jan 29 2009, 05:44 PM
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Doesn´t that houserule make direct combat spells even better? What with removing any relevant chance of a competent mage not having at least one net hit? And even more deadly since counterspelling dice are now split amongst the protected, instead of fully available to all?
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The Pat
post Jan 29 2009, 05:51 PM
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QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 29 2009, 06:40 PM) *
The Drain & Counterspelling changes are, put simply, retarded. The Resistance change, however, is exactly what I have suggested before, & will likely be using in my next campaign.

Muspellsheimer - In your posts I always wonder wheter there is any content feedbakc instad of trolling ...

Or let me put it this way:
What is so bad in keeping a mage from shielding large groups with his counterspelling dice?

Why minor drain changes (to avoid the sensless drain difference between stun and physical spells) "retarded"?

Would like some CONTENT from you, since you seem to be the GOD of the net
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pbangarth
post Jan 29 2009, 06:02 PM
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I knew it. I knew it would happen. I saw it coming. Couldn't do anything about it but point it out. And here it is, once again.

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Coming to a thread near you really soon.
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The Pat
post Jan 29 2009, 06:04 PM
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Don't worry, if got enough dice to soak and Flamewar drain ...

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Muspellsheimr
post Jan 29 2009, 06:04 PM
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QUOTE (Ryu @ Jan 29 2009, 11:44 AM) *
Doesn´t that houserule make direct combat spells even better? What with removing any relevant chance of a competent mage not having at least one net hit?

Yes & no. It increases the likelyhood of a character being "hit", but decreases the damage of a successful hit. It's main purpose is to create consistency in the rules; every other form of attack in the game follows that layout. The only thing missing is a Full Defense option, which I do believe should be included, but I am not yet sure how.
QUOTE (The Pat @ Jan 29 2009, 11:51 AM) *
Muspellsheimer - In your posts I always wonder wheter there is any content feedbakc instad of trolling ...

Or let me put it this way:
What is so bad in keeping a mage from shielding large groups with his counterspelling dice?

Why minor drain changes (to avoid the sensless drain difference between stun and physical spells) "retarded"?

Would like some CONTENT from you, since you seem to be the GOD of the net

I do not troll, I am simply very blunt with my opinions. I also have never claimed to being divinity; I am not omniscient & am willing to admit when I make mistakes. On occasion I even follow through with that willingness.

The problem with the Counterspelling change is that it significantly increases the power of magic in the setting, being the only real defensive measure against it. Requiring it to be split among those being protected generally says only the character with the skill will ever be protected; everyone else is SOL if they face magical opposition.

While I understand why you would equal the Drain of Physical Damage & Stun Damage spells, I do not agree with it. The problem comes in with Physical vs. Mana spells. With your change, they have the same Drain value, while Physical spells are generally more powerful & useful than Mana (sure Mana can hit Astral creatures, but Physical can take out objects, which tends to come up far more often & be of greater importance).


Edit: I would also like to point out that your last post is at least as close to trolling as mine was.
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The Pat
post Jan 29 2009, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 29 2009, 07:04 PM) *
Yes & no. It increases the likelyhood of a character being "hit", but decreases the damage of a successful hit. It's main purpose is to create consistency in the rules; every other form of attack in the game follows that layout. The only thing missing is a Full Defense option, which I do believe should be included, but I am not yet sure how.

I do not troll, I am simply very blunt with my opinions. I also have never claimed to being divinity; I am not omniscient & am willing to admit when I make mistakes. On occasion I even follow through with that willingness.

The problem with the Counterspelling change is that it significantly increases the power of magic in the setting, being the only real defensive measure against it. Requiring it to be split among those being protected generally says only the character with the skill will ever be protected; everyone else is SOL if they face magical opposition.

While I understand why you would equal the Drain of Physical Damage & Stun Damage spells, I do not agree with it. The problem comes in with Physical vs. Mana spells. With your change, they have the same Drain value, while Physical spells are generally more powerful & useful than Mana (sure Mana can hit Astral creatures, but Physical can take out objects, which tends to come up far more often & be of greater importance).


Edit: I would also like to point out that your last post is at least as close to trolling as mine was.


Thanks for the reasons behind your opinion. While I do not agree (since stun/physical damage inconsistency IMO is more significant than the object/astral creature topic) this helps me to understand your point.

Now that we agree to disagree we can go sip a soy beer until we end up on opposing sindes of a run gone bad again (IMG:style_emoticons/default/cyber.gif)

-- The Pat

PS: Sorry to the crowd - no blood bath to happen
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Speed Wraith
post Jan 29 2009, 06:17 PM
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QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 29 2009, 01:04 PM) *
The only thing missing is a Full Defense option, which I do believe should be included, but I am not yet sure how.


I've been struggling with that as well, if you find a decent and balanced solution post it in big bright letters (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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yukongil
post Jan 29 2009, 06:22 PM
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ah, okay so we were doing it RAW legal. Thanks everybody.
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Muspellsheimr
post Jan 29 2009, 06:23 PM
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QUOTE (The Pat @ Jan 29 2009, 12:11 PM) *
Now that we agree to disagree

Compromise

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/ork.gif)
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Wiggles Von Beer...
post Jan 29 2009, 06:44 PM
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QUOTE (Speed Wraith @ Jan 29 2009, 06:42 PM) *
This had actually just come up recently, strangely, you do not get to resist damage from direct combat spells beyond the opposed test from the spellcasting test itself. I don't know why every other form of damage from a punch to cybercombat allows for a damage resistance test, but DC spells do not. It seems to work itself out though since there are still tons of ways to lessen their effectiveness (vision being the key here). The end result though seems to be that a mage using DC spells damned well better have a decent set of cybereyes and a high perception skill (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

Won't the cyber-eyes have to use natural light only to stay in LOS? Otherwise, you would be able to cast spells through TV/Trid screens.
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Speed Wraith
post Jan 29 2009, 06:48 PM
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You can cast through cybereyes as if they were your own (though not an ocular drone IIRC). Once you've paid the essence cost, they're your eyes for all intents and purposes. I'm not expert though, maybe something was cleared up in the FAQ or errata that I overlooked...
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Malachi
post Jan 29 2009, 07:14 PM
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QUOTE (Speed Wraith @ Jan 29 2009, 01:42 PM) *
This had actually just come up recently, strangely, you do not get to resist damage from direct combat spells beyond the opposed test from the spellcasting test itself. I don't know why every other form of damage from a punch to cybercombat allows for a damage resistance test, but DC spells do not. It seems to work itself out though since there are still tons of ways to lessen their effectiveness (vision being the key here). The end result though seems to be that a mage using DC spells damned well better have a decent set of cybereyes and a high perception skill (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

It's not that DC spells have no Damage Resistance test, its that they have no "to hit" test. The test that the target is rolling is the Damage Resistance test. They were even more powerful in SR3 when the Magician's TN was the target's WIL (for Mana) and the Target's TN to oppose was the Force, using his WIL. Generally: 6 dice @ TN 3 vs. 3 dice @ TN 6. Combat Pool couldn't be used by the target on resistance, but the Magician could use Spell Pool. The defender could have Counterspelling dice, but a friendly Magician had to pre-allocate those dice from his Spell Pool, which most hardly ever did, plus those dice "went away" as they were used. Oh, and by the way, the Magician got to choose the base Damage Level of the spell when he cast it, so those 3 dice your rolling against TN 6? That's to downstage Deadly damage. Have fun. All kinds of nasty. I've seen the power of DC Spells go down dramatically in SR4.


QUOTE (Speed Wraith @ Jan 29 2009, 02:48 PM) *
You can cast through cybereyes as if they were your own (though not an ocular drone IIRC). Once you've paid the essence cost, they're your eyes for all intents and purposes. I'm not expert though, maybe something was cleared up in the FAQ or errata that I overlooked...

This is correct.
QUOTE (BBB p. 173)
Physical cyber- or bio-enhancements paid for with Essence can be used to spot
targets, but any technological visual aids that substitute themselves
for the character€™s own visual senses€”cameras, electronic
binoculars, Matrix feeds, etc.€”cannot be used
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Speed Wraith
post Jan 29 2009, 07:24 PM
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I totally disagree (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) The 'attack' roll portion is just like everything else, excepting that there isn't a full-defense option. If the target scores more hits on the opposed roll then the spell doesn't in fact hit at all. If the caster scores more hits then the damage is automatic...DC spells therefore are not auto-hit and do not have a damage resistance test. I know I'm just arguing semantics, but it makes a huge difference to me (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Ryu
post Jan 29 2009, 07:29 PM
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QUOTE (yukongil @ Jan 29 2009, 07:22 PM) *
ah, okay so we were doing it RAW legal. Thanks everybody.

Yeah, your first answer from Muspellsheimr was a perfect replication of RAW, and you handled it correctly. Your specific example had slightly more nethits than the average (4 vs. 2,33), but overall Direct Spells are as deadly as it seems. Overcasting magic 6 spellcasters are dangerous.
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yukongil
post Jan 29 2009, 07:44 PM
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QUOTE (Ryu @ Jan 29 2009, 02:29 PM) *
Yeah, your first answer from Muspellsheimr was a perfect replication of RAW, and you handled it correctly. Your specific example had slightly more nethits than the average (4 vs. 2,33), but overall Direct Spells are as deadly as it seems. Overcasting magic 6 spellcasters are dangerous.


well that was just how it went down. We did decide to use TN 4-6, and I have a feeling that is going to make a boatload of difference in things like balancing casters, is that a correct assumption?
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Muspellsheimr
post Jan 29 2009, 07:53 PM
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4-6 instead of RAW 5-6 is not simply a spellcaster balance issue. What it basically does is further exaggerate high dice pools (regardless of the character using them).

Compare RAW:
6 Dice vs. 18 Dice: 2 Hits vs. 6 Hits.

to 4-6 Success:
6 Dice vs. 18 Dice: 3 Hits vs. 9 Hits.

4 Hit Difference vs. 6 Hit Difference. This gets even more profound at lower & higher dice pools. It basically stays the same if dice pools are similar, but that is not often. It is a rule I would strongly suggest avoiding, & believe should not even be included as a suggestion in the BBB.
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Mr. Unpronouncea...
post Jan 29 2009, 08:14 PM
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I don't see that anyone has mentioned that, unless the caster adds edge dice to his roll, net hits are limited to the force of the spell.

So if a caster throws a force 4 spell and gets 8 successes, his net hits is only 4, so his opponent really only needs 4 hits on his resistance test to take no damage whatsoever.

There's a bit of a twist there - since it means higher-force spells are usually harder to resist, and more likely to drop the opponent when thy do hit, yet almost always result in more drain hitting the mage too.
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Muspellsheimr
post Jan 29 2009, 08:19 PM
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Incorrect. Hits (not Net Hits) are limited to the spell's Force.
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Mr. Unpronouncea...
post Jan 29 2009, 08:32 PM
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Total hits might have been clearer. Did I mix up net and gross again? sigh


Anyway, it goes rolled hits -> reduced to force(max) -> reduced by counterspelling(unlimited) and resistance hits(unlimited) --- if 0 hits or less, than no result for the spell.
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