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> spell formulae, and other questions
Raptor1033
post Feb 4 2004, 12:01 AM
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say i buy a force 6 formula but only have 4 karma. can i spend that 4 karma to get that spell at force 4 until i get another 2 then upgrade it to force 6? for trid phantasm, must i have personally seen an object to make an image of it? or can i make the most freaktastic thing from my mind as long as i can imagine it? if i can make a good guess at what something might look like but never have seen it could i make it? can i cast it on objects, say could i make a tank of oxygen look like a stack of papers? ::gasp gasp:: time to run off to the library, study time! thanks for any responses!
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Guest_Artemis_*
post Feb 4 2004, 12:12 AM
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I believe that once you've spent karma and learned a spell, you will permanently have the spell and be able to cast it at that force rating or less. The only way to learn it at a higher force is to learn an entirely new versio of it at the desired force rating... from scratch basically.

I think you have to buy a specific formula for a specific force of spell. Hence a Force 6 Trid Phantasm spell will not allow a character to learn a Force 4 Trid Phantasm spell. But a character can wait until they have enough karma and time in order to learn the spell that they have the appropriate formula for.

As for using Trid Phantasm spell to conjure up horrors from your worst nightmares, I don't beleive it's possible. Otherwise it would be less realistic and people would react to it more as if it were a Trid Entertainment spell. I think that Trid Phantasm spell is geared to be a very realistic illusionary spell that requires the caster to have personally witnessed a dragon or fell hound before they can recreate it. Correct, this doesn't count watching the old movie aliens on the vid in order to allow you the ability to create the image of a pet alien.

Granted... if you had an ally spirit and chose a physical form for it that resembled a cartoon characte, alien, predator, or fell hound... I imagine you would have to be allowed to create a Trid Phantasm of it since it's something that you took the time to shape and create and have now actually seen. Physical art like the statues that you see in a museum should be replicatable also.
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Herald of Verjig...
post Feb 4 2004, 01:00 AM
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Trid phantasm can be used to make illusions of anything you want. The believability is the number of successes and the force, no matter how obsurd an image is, enough successes and that is what people will think is actually there. Some people may doubt their eyes when faced by something completely absurd, but their senses will be just as fooled by it.

If a viewer succeeds on the resistance test, they can see right through the illusion. The test is to see if the spell decieves the target's senses. A victim may choose to doubt his senses when faced with certain illusions, and may conclude that a magical threat is nearby.
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Fortune
post Feb 4 2004, 01:05 AM
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QUOTE (Artemis)
I believe that once you've spent karma and learned a spell, you will permanently have the spell and be able to cast it at that force rating or less. The only way to learn it at a higher force is to learn an entirely new versio of it at the desired force rating... from scratch basically.

That was one of the first things I house-ruled, way back in SR1. I see no reason why a mage cannot upgrade the Force of his known spells, as long as the parameters stay the same (I.E. Personal/Exclusive/etc.).
QUOTE
I think you have to buy a specific formula for a specific force of spell. Hence a Force 6 Trid Phantasm spell will not allow a character to learn a Force 4 Trid Phantasm spell.

Sure it can! Otherwise, a mage wouldn't be able to cast the spell at any Force lower than what he learned it at. If you have a Force 405 Fireball spell formula, but only want to learn it at a Force of 5, then I see no problem with that whatsoever.
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Raptor1033
post Feb 4 2004, 02:07 AM
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let's say i want to make the illusion of a blown out section in a set of stairs, but i've never personally seen a compromised set of stairs, only in movies and on the news. i can't imagine it'd be too hard to craft the illusion of broken concrete and twisted rebar... and hell, if a sam can upgrade his ware with the difference between prices then why can't my mage upgrade his spells that way with karma? if you can't then it just promotes more munchkinny mages at char creation. why spend a full 12 karma to upgrade two force 3 spells to force 6 when you can start with one at force 6 then spend 6 karma to get the other at force 6? i think being able to upgrade allows for more balanced characters ::shrugs::
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Guest_Artemis_*
post Feb 4 2004, 02:22 AM
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:chuckle: Perhaps I was incorrect about the formulae, but I pieced together from the rules that it was important to have the correct astral chemistry for the correct spell. But under your house rules, your statement makes a great deal of sense since you consider spells to be exponentially complex. (The next force higher is just a bigger version of the same painting with a little more detail painted along the edges, so to speak.)

Being able to upgrade a spell would be a lot cheeper and much less time consuming in game, but it's not canon. It depends on the tastes of your group and how difficult you want to make gameplay. Mages are already some of the most potential-filled characters in the game, making spells upgradeable only makes mages that much more powerful in a shorter amount of time.

The same could apply to formulae for that matter. If your group wants to make nuyen spendature an issue during gameplay, attention to lifestyle payments, instructors, libraries, and formulae become a lot more specific.

By all rights a force 4 Fireball formula should be very different from a force 10 Fireball formula when a Shaman compares the paintings of the two side by side. The force 4 Fireball is not just a picture of a smaller fireball than the force 10 Fireball, but instead is a very different style of artistry and emotion from the other painting. The fact that both paintings may incorporate yellow, orange, and red paint in them would be one of the few similarities.

But it's all a matter of perception and how specific one gets in-game. If, as a GM you wish to make life easier on the mages of your team, then it certainly is a good idea to do as you described. But magic is a difficult thing to regulate and challenge once it developes well enough in the hands of a good player.

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As for making a Trid Phantasm of anything you want to... I would say that the situation can be argued either way. The main book is not specific enough either way, other than saying on pg. 195 of SR3: “illusions of any object or creature the caster desires.” And in the very next sentence, “illusion of anything the caster has seen before,” ...clearly a little confusion results. Leaving it up to house rules and personal preference I would say.

A GM who appreciates making life challenging for the characters would make it be something the character has seen in the past. Where as a GM who enjoys watching how far a player can stretch a situation (for better or worse) could opt for the free reign of the character/player's imagination.
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Herald of Verjig...
post Feb 4 2004, 02:47 AM
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As a note, page 48 of MitS states that you can learn a spell up to the force of a formula. Redesigning a spell for a higher force has a -2 (and half the time) on the design test for having any lower force spell design to extrapolate.
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Raptor1033
post Feb 4 2004, 03:07 AM
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well that's cool :smokin:
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Guest_Artemis_*
post Feb 4 2004, 03:43 AM
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Interesting ...Apparently that part is canon then
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Fortune
post Feb 4 2004, 03:49 AM
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QUOTE (Artemis)
:chuckle: Perhaps I was incorrect about the formulae, but I pieced together from the rules that it was important to have the correct astral chemistry for the correct spell. But under your house rules, your statement makes a great deal of sense since you consider spells to be exponentially complex. (The next force higher is just a bigger version of the same painting with a little more detail painted along the edges, so to speak.)

Um, it isn't my house rule about spell formula, as Herald pointed out. :)
QUOTE
Being able to upgrade a spell would be a lot cheeper and much less time consuming in game, but it's not canon.

I know it isn't canon. I freely admitted right off the bat that I made a house rule about this though.
QUOTE
Mages are already some of the most potential-filled characters in the game, making spells upgradeable only makes mages that much more powerful in a shorter amount of time.

Mages are also already a major Karma sink. I just don't feel they need even more piled on top. :)
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