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> Defending against a mage., Without being one yourself.
Karoline
post Oct 15 2009, 03:26 AM
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So, the title is fairly self explanatory I hope.

I'm curious what sort of ways there are for an individual character to protect themselves from a mage besides being one themselves or having one on overwatch for them. And no, I don't mean 'geek the mage' either. I mean actual protection.

I know that SR is a game of glass characters running around with hammers, but mages always seem to have the biggest hammer. Well, it isn't even that they have the biggest hammer, it is that there is nothing a character can really do (That I can think of) to protect themselves from magic without being born resistant or a mage.

To stop a bullet/blade you can learn to dodge to be less likely to be hit/be hit less hard. You can throw on a bunch of armor to reduce the P damage to stun, and help you soak up more of the damage.

So, my question is basically is there a magic equivalent to picking up the dodge skill (Besides counterspelling) or throwing on some armor? If not, what are some tips and tricks you've picked up to stop a mage blasting you into little bits. I believe there is some magic equivalent of the smoke grenade which blinds astral perception, but that is about the only one I can think of off hand.
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Glyph
post Oct 15 2009, 03:39 AM
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Willpower of 5 (6 if a dwarf), Edge of 5 (6 if a human), SURGE with either magic resistance or arcane arrester (or be a gnome or fomorian and get it free), along with astral hazing. You'll laugh contemptuously at most spells.

Tactics-wise, smoke grenades, plain old stealth, ruthenium, and cover. Remember that wards are fairly common, and simply darting into a building might be giving you protection from spells and spirits (a good way to ditch things like watchers if you suspect you might be magically tailed).
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Orcus Blackweath...
post Oct 15 2009, 04:48 AM
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Mages can only hit what they can see. Anything that blocks line of sight, or make you less noticeable will keep them from targeting you. Obviously everyone will geek the mage when he has been identified, but if he can't see you he has to throw that first spell at someone else. As posted by glyph, the only dice you roll to resist spells are willpower for mana spells, or body for physical spells. Magic resistance is a quality you can take, 1 die of resist for 5 BP up to 4 points, and of course edge. You could also hire an npc mage to send a spirit along to help protect you. Have them summon a spirit with the counterspelling ability (not sure if that works just a thought). You can also at character creation take a burnt out mage. Give him 1 point of magic and counterspelling.
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Marwynn
post Oct 15 2009, 05:02 AM
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Mages need Visibility to cast spells. Even with Cybereyes you can still inflict penalties on them and their spellcasting.

Think about getting advanced safeties on your guns. Those Mental Manipulation spells are killer, but at least you and your friends won't shoot each other in the face at the Mage's whims.

Thermal Smoke, since the Mage is probably cybered. Nonconductive, Fire resistant armour is also a good idea if your GM's fond of combat spells. There's also the rather expensive route of FAB III... but that'll get your Awakened teammates extremely pissed.
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Mordinvan
post Oct 15 2009, 05:21 AM
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QUOTE (Marwynn @ Oct 14 2009, 10:02 PM) *
There's also the rather expensive route of FAB III... but that'll get your Awakened teammates extremely pissed.

And doesn't do much in the time span of a fight unless its really been changed.
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Marwynn
post Oct 15 2009, 05:55 AM
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Six hours still from my copy of Street Magic. And all you have to do is stop being Astrally Active for it to be a problem.

Also, the Esprit Blume grenade doesn't do much either. An 'astral mist'... Well it may help, it slightly obscures perception and assensing. It has a diameter of 10m... You can use it to slow down astral pursuit.
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Blade
post Oct 15 2009, 08:18 AM
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There's also the magic resistance positive quality which, combined with a high willpower give a good dice pool to resist spells.
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Thanee
post Oct 15 2009, 08:42 AM
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It's a design feature of SR, that only magic can truely defend against magic. Hence, Counterspelling (the Dodge equivalent against magic) being only available to mages.

But there are options to make it harder for a mage, especially stealth and line of sight disruption, as mentioned above already.

Bye
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Medicineman
post Oct 15 2009, 09:03 AM
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A one-way-Mirror-Riot Shield (Being held a little further away so that the Aura doesn't shine through).
A Mage needs a Line of sight (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) .And this shield is also good vs Indirect Area Spells

with a shielded Dance
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Cheshyr
post Oct 15 2009, 09:14 AM
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QUOTE (Medicineman @ Oct 15 2009, 04:03 AM) *
A one-way-Mirror-Riot Shield (Being held a little further away so that the Aura doesn't shine through).
A Mage needs a Line of sight (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) .And this shield is also good vs Indirect Area Spells

with a shielded Dance
Medicineman


Is this also good against laser weapons?
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Medicineman
post Oct 15 2009, 09:40 AM
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It should give you quite a bonus to Dodge (and if angled right and polished) also a kind of Flash-Effect to blind the Enemy

with a polished Dance
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crizh
post Oct 15 2009, 10:36 AM
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How about a Doberman with uprated Armour, Gecko Tips, a Thermal Smoke Projector and some built in flash-paks?

It's tough, can go where you go and can apply a minimum -4 visibility mod.

An Evo Orderly with a Rigger Cocoon?

Can't target what you can't see.

Take a full length Riot Shield, put gel-packs on the back and then suck out the gel and replace it with Rating 10 FAB-II.

That last one is kinda cheesy 'cos of the stupid Military Armour rules.

Technically if you're carrying it you get no benefit, of course you could fit it with feet and fire around it with a smart gun or over it with a GL....
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Cthulhudreams
post Oct 15 2009, 11:01 AM
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Well, you can take the 10 point disadvantage that haves you astral hazing, which is awesome.

Or just blow smoke and break LOS. Duelling with mages is much like fighting with tanks. You both have weapons that insta kill each other (sniper rifle with APDS vs Mage stuff), so you need to ensure that you have the positional advantage, or you blow smoke and retreat such that you do.
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Karoline
post Oct 15 2009, 11:09 AM
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Thanks for the advice guys. Sounds like the only real defense after character creation is smoke grenades(and similar) and otherwise breaking LOS.
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W@geMage
post Oct 15 2009, 11:32 AM
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QUOTE (Cthulhudreams @ Oct 15 2009, 06:01 AM) *
Well, you can take the 10 point disadvantage that haves you astral hazing, which is awesome.
And also makes you a complete outcast.
Destroying wards everywhere you go kinda pisses people off and is not really stealthy.
Imagine never being able to enter a bar, mall, airport, railway station etc ... in your entire life without setting magical alarms off.
Having to pay for all the ward breaches you cause, Lone Star would have your records on file pretty quick.

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DuctShuiTengu
post Oct 15 2009, 12:23 PM
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Complete darkness + heavy thermal smoke renders everyone blind. Now, if you're not prepared for it, this is something of a wash (they can't see you to cast, you can't see them to shoot). However, ultrasound is still only at -3 and is pretty-much the only form of vision mod that's available in eyewear but not eyeware (pardon the pun). Radar or ultrasound systems that aren't vision based are also available in cyberware. Either way, the end result is that you can detect the mage to shoot them, but they need to actually see you to cast spells at you.

There's a few things here and there (arcane arrester, astral hazing, magic resistance, obnoxiously high willpower and edge) that can make it easier to resist spells, and a few items that were designed to screw mages (FAB springs to mind, as do magemasks or magecuffs) but in general, your best bet for not getting torn up when you find yourself facing offensive magic (and aren't being backed up by magic of your own) is to deny them LOS through one means or another.
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Blade
post Oct 15 2009, 01:01 PM
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I don't know if the Nimu Salamander (salamanders that eat mana) have made it into Running Wild and how efficient they are, but maybe that's another option.
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toturi
post Oct 15 2009, 01:06 PM
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QUOTE (Medicineman @ Oct 15 2009, 05:03 PM) *
A one-way-Mirror-Riot Shield (Being held a little further away so that the Aura doesn't shine through).
A Mage needs a Line of sight (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) .And this shield is also good vs Indirect Area Spells

with a shielded Dance
Medicineman

It doesn't work unless you are not holding onto the shield (then you won't be getting the shield bonus) or you are claiming that your hand isn't part of your body and doesn't have an aura.
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Medicineman
post Oct 15 2009, 01:20 PM
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You mean the Aura of your Arm "shining through"
Well if you have large Handles and some distance between your Arm and the Shield... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
Well it needs some Fumbling and your GMs approval but it can be done

HokaHey
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Cthulhudreams
post Oct 15 2009, 01:34 PM
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QUOTE (W@geMage @ Oct 15 2009, 10:32 PM) *
And also makes you a complete outcast.
Destroying wards everywhere you go kinda pisses people off and is not really stealthy.
Imagine never being able to enter a bar, mall, airport, railway station etc ... in your entire life without setting magical alarms off.
Having to pay for all the ward breaches you cause, Lone Star would have your records on file pretty quick.


Couple of points

A) Got a single quote demonstrate that astral hazing makes you an outcast OR that those places are warded?

B) Sustaining spells isn't illegal either - but would trigger the same effects. As sustaining spells isn't illegal, clearly these negative effects do not apply.

C) 24x7 magical security is not economical for public places. Manning a 24x7 armed checkpoint requires expenditure of ~1.5 to 2 million a year in todays dollars. Today, bars push back against retaining a single security guard because it is too expensive.

Please note that if you're positing the bar is warded, but the mage is not onsite, that is a completely dysfunctional ward. How is the proprietor of the bar going to be informed about the breach unless the mage is on site, or on call. If the mage is not on site, but on call, how is he going to tell the proprietor? On call services offered today have a response time in hours outside of business hours.



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Kumo
post Oct 15 2009, 02:17 PM
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I prefer to think that aura shine only through WORN armor - about 0,2 - 0,5 cm, if we can use this kind of unit in astral space. Just to be visible, or it would also shine through thin walls, car's door or cheap furniture, and magic will become even more powerful.
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Ravor
post Oct 15 2009, 04:53 PM
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Cthulhudreams your kidding right? For slightly less than $100 a month the company that I'm currently contracted to uses a 24/7 alarm system that has a real person who calls me within minutes of an alarm, holidays included.

And no, I'm not even talking about a security system, just an equipment failure alarm.


Also as cheap as wards are, I don't have a problem with most places having them, along with wireless blocking paint...
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Adarael
post Oct 15 2009, 04:59 PM
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Don't forget the ol' Ruthenium Polymer Suit. Or I guess "Chameleon Suit" in 4th Edition. If you throw one on, the vision penalty to see you also applies to spellcasting, because it is explicitly a vision penalty. So suppose you're engaged in a firefight with Raoul the Aztechnology Mage. You're behind an overturned table, firing your pistol at him, in your chameleon suit. In order to see you, he's down... what is it, 4 dice? 6? We'll go with 4, because my memory is failing. But he knows you're there, cuz you're shooting. Let's suppose there's some minor smoke in the room, because his hellblast lit some of it on fire. Let's also suppose you've hit him with one shot already, doing 4 boxes of damage.

SR4 Example!
He casts stunbolt at you! Magic 8 (He's a bad-ass!) + 6 Sorcery + 2 "Combat Spells" Specialization = 16 dice! Well, the -2 from smoke and -4 from your suit reduces his die pool to 10, and his wound penalty reduces that to 9. He will reliably get 3 successes.

You roll your willpower 5 (You're a bad-ass, too!) plus Edge 5, because you realize you might get your ass handed to you. Look, it's statistically in your favor (because of exploding 6es!) and you don't get smoked by it. Rock. Then you shoot Raoul in the face again.

In SR4 Anniversary, cover bonuses are applied to the defender's roll as extra dice, rather than being penalties on the attacker. I don't know offhand if this applies to vision modifiers to a spellcaster, but either way it shouldn't change the statistics of the outcome much.
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crizh
post Oct 15 2009, 05:13 PM
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QUOTE (Adarael @ Oct 15 2009, 05:59 PM) *
Don't forget the ol' Ruthenium Polymer Suit. []because it is explicitly a vision penalty.


No, no it is not.

It is a penalty to Perception.

Massive difference.

@Ravor

I hear a lot of folks going on and on about the prevalence of Wards and anti-wifi measures.

The former has no listed price but it isn't difficult to infer that it is very expensive from the labour cost of maintaining them.

If you start doing the numbers on anti-wifi for any sort of real world office building you'll find the numbers sky-rocketing in a big hurry.
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Adarael
post Oct 15 2009, 05:23 PM
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Well, that is certainly an opinion. But logic dictates that if I have a -4 penalty to target something because I can barely see it because of glare, smoke, or underbrush, having a -4 because it is hard to see in another fashion is also highly likely.

Edit: Huh. Apparently in SR4A, cover bonuses also apply to Indirect Combat Spells. Or so the changes doc indicates. I had thought that was always the case.
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