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> Magic, Its visual and audio effects...
cenrae
post Jan 24 2010, 08:05 PM
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I'm pretty sure I read about the audio/visual effects of magic some where but can not seem to find it off hand. I was wondering how everyone else handles this as well?
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kzt
post Jan 25 2010, 03:29 AM
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You can't find it because there are none. The visual effect of a manabolt is that someone collapses like a puppet with his strings cut.

There is the vague "you can feel it" and "mask" bit, but that's what darkened windows are for.
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KCKitsune
post Jan 25 2010, 03:40 AM
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QUOTE (kzt @ Jan 24 2010, 10:29 PM) *
You can't find it because there are none. The visual effect of a manabolt is that someone collapses like a puppet with his strings cut.

There is the vague "you can feel it" and "mask" bit, but that's what darkened windows are for.


And the "mask" bit only comes from those who are "shamans"... which I think now includes everyone who has a mentor spirit.
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hahnsoo
post Jan 25 2010, 03:41 AM
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Actually, there can be visual and audio effects with spells (for the most part, there aren't, but it's possible), but these are determined by the GM and your magician's tradition/style. See "Noticing Magic" in SR4A p 179. For most magic spells, you just have the magician's intense look of concentration, but some traditions have a "Shamanic Mask". Regardless of tradition, you have a Perception Test to notice spellcasting with a threshold equal to 6 minus the Force.
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Rystefn
post Jan 25 2010, 03:58 AM
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We let the Perception threshold give us a general sense of scale and fill in special effects pretty much however the caster wants... Of course, we had a mage who liked to forget about this and cast really high Force spells (negative perception thresholds), and resorted to describing his spells as raising a mountain of skulls and blotting out the sun for three days to get him to understand why people always knew he was casting.
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SleepIncarnate
post Jan 25 2010, 04:39 AM
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QUOTE (hahnsoo @ Jan 24 2010, 11:41 PM) *
Actually, there can be visual and audio effects with spells (for the most part, there aren't, but it's possible), but these are determined by the GM and your magician's tradition/style. See "Noticing Magic" in SR4A p 179. For most magic spells, you just have the magician's intense look of concentration, but some traditions have a "Shamanic Mask". Regardless of tradition, you have a Perception Test to notice spellcasting with a threshold equal to 6 minus the Force.


The page is 168 for SR4 (for those who don't have SR4A) with the added note that most spells and spirits have little, if any, visible effect in the physical world unless the magician prefers flashy effects (so it is partly choice) or her tradition calls for it. There's rules to notice the mage's look of concentration, hand gestures, etc. but there is no requirement for the spell itself to have a visible effect (i.e. a manabolt may only be noticeable when someone drops from it) so the group getting on their mage for not describing his spells is bad.
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Jaid
post Jan 25 2010, 06:25 AM
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QUOTE (SleepIncarnate @ Jan 24 2010, 11:39 PM) *
The page is 168 for SR4 (for those who don't have SR4A) with the added note that most spells and spirits have little, if any, visible effect in the physical world unless the magician prefers flashy effects (so it is partly choice) or her tradition calls for it. There's rules to notice the mage's look of concentration, hand gestures, etc. but there is no requirement for the spell itself to have a visible effect (i.e. a manabolt may only be noticeable when someone drops from it) so the group getting on their mage for not describing his spells is bad.


i disagree. a -6 threshold to perceive something is more obvious than a 40 foot tall color-changing neon sign which is strapped to your eyeball and has live wires hanging off it that brush against your skin every few seconds.
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Muspellsheimr
post Jan 25 2010, 06:56 AM
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QUOTE (Jaid @ Jan 24 2010, 11:25 PM) *
i disagree. a -6 threshold to perceive something is more obvious than a 40 foot tall color-changing neon sign which is strapped to your eyeball and has live wires hanging off it that brush against your skin every few seconds.

Except, you know, that is not a -6 visual Perception Threshold.

Unless the spell is clearly an exception (Fireball, Lightning Bolt, most Illusion spells), the spell itself has no visual effects whatsoever unless the caster desires them.

Even if the caster does use visual effects for their spells, camera's will not "see" them unless the spell is Physical.




Oh, and on a side note - spellcasting does not require the 'gestures & chants' described under Noticing Magic, unless the caster has the appropriate Geas. Such techniques are commonly used to center focus for spellcasting (regardless of if the caster has Centering or not), but again are in no way required. The Perception Test to notice spellcasting, because spells do not require visual or audio effects (during casting or otherwise), is best described as sensing the influx of mana being channeled by the magician - described in any number of ways (gut feeling, spinal shiver, etc - suggest you let the player determine what precisely their spells feel like).
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The Jopp
post Jan 25 2010, 10:17 AM
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QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 25 2010, 07:56 AM) *
Except, you know, that is not a -6 visual Perception Threshold.


As Muspellsheimr said, it can be anything.

It can be a severe case of goosebumps or a sense of impending dread..or a extreme case of the giggles (if trickster shamans are around).

It can be that someone walks across your grave kinda feeling.

Personally I usually go with the flashy effects if it fits the spell.
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DireRadiant
post Jan 25 2010, 02:34 PM
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All magic is pink.
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The Jopp
post Jan 25 2010, 02:54 PM
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QUOTE (DireRadiant @ Jan 25 2010, 03:34 PM) *
All magic is pink.


Or Pies...

Bozo The Clown Trickster Shaman

Powerbolt: 10 Ton Weight (Falls down from the sky)
Stunbolt: Throws a pie
Acid Wave: Water Squirting flower
Stunball: Giant Pie falls from the sky
Powerball: Whistling sound...pause...giant bomb falls from the sky
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Surukai
post Jan 25 2010, 03:04 PM
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Additionally, the Flexible Signature metamagic can further reduce how easy the magic is to notice. (At least I assume it can also make it harder to notice on the physical plane, not just astral)
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WalksWithWiFi
post Jan 25 2010, 04:08 PM
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And to think i have been making all PC mages say "bippidy boppidy boo"...
like others have said though, it's really up to the casting magician and maybe the mask effect when it
comes to physical display of casting.
Personally, i like magical effects-
but i wouldn't knock a character who was playing a stealth mage or similar character concept who didn't want his
spells to appear.
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Dakka Dakka
post Jan 25 2010, 04:20 PM
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QUOTE (Surukai @ Jan 25 2010, 04:04 PM) *
Additionally, the Flexible Signature metamagic can further reduce how easy the magic is to notice. (At least I assume it can also make it harder to notice on the physical plane, not just astral)

Nope, Flexible Signature only alters the signature that magical effects leave on the objects they have touched. It cannot alter the clues left by casting.

As an addon, SR4A has unfortunately introduced sparkles to every spell there is. so even if the spell does not have a visible effect and the magician does nothing obvious, the pooling mana will be visible (IMG:style_emoticons/default/silly.gif)
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Rystefn
post Jan 25 2010, 04:50 PM
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QUOTE (WalksWithWiFi @ Jan 25 2010, 04:08 PM) *
Personally, i like magical effects-
but i wouldn't knock a character who was playing a stealth mage or similar character concept who didn't want his
spells to appear.


They don't have to be visible, but they DO have to be noticeable. When you dual-cast the Force 14 Suicide Bomb, people will notice. It's not your look of concentration or some goosebumps. People up the street, around the corner, sleeping in their beds will notice this happening. If you don't like a mountain of skulls and blotting out the sun, Demons howling into the world through a rent in the universe or rippling waved of thunder sucking existence into a whirling vortex of power are equally viable. The point wasn't forcing a certain special effect, it was to remind him that this shit is not subtle.

Edit: Sparkly magic is stupid. It will never be included in any game I run.
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Machiavelli
post Jan 25 2010, 07:09 PM
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As long as these sparkles arenīt looking like girly-fireworks, i can live with it. ^^ But besides that, magic is not very secret (as long as you can see the mage) because most of the spells have to be cast at high-forces (between 5-6) to get a usefull effect, which leads to a noticing-treshold of 1 or 0. Not very stealthy in my view.
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Jaid
post Jan 25 2010, 08:57 PM
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QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 25 2010, 01:56 AM) *
Except, you know, that is not a -6 visual Perception Threshold.

Unless the spell is clearly an exception (Fireball, Lightning Bolt, most Illusion spells), the spell itself has no visual effects whatsoever unless the caster desires them.

Even if the caster does use visual effects for their spells, camera's will not "see" them unless the spell is Physical.




Oh, and on a side note - spellcasting does not require the 'gestures & chants' described under Noticing Magic, unless the caster has the appropriate Geas. Such techniques are commonly used to center focus for spellcasting (regardless of if the caster has Centering or not), but again are in no way required. The Perception Test to notice spellcasting, because spells do not require visual or audio effects (during casting or otherwise), is best described as sensing the influx of mana being channeled by the magician - described in any number of ways (gut feeling, spinal shiver, etc - suggest you let the player determine what precisely their spells feel like).

doesn't much matter if it's visual, my point was that if you've got a -6 threshold to perceive the effect, then it may as well be a gigantic neon sign attached to your eyeball that zaps you every few seconds. you're going to notice it, and precisely *how* you notice it is beside the point. it isn't the fact that it was specifically visual (although i would argue that having the kind of AC current required to power a large neon sign passed through your person is not particularly visual at all, that is also beside the point), the point was that a -6 threshold to perceive something means it's really really really really obvious. precisely what it manifests as is irrelevant, it still lets everyone in the area know that someone just cast a force 12 spell.

as such, making it emphatically clear to the player that everyone can notice the spellcasting (regardless of what it is, in this case visual) is absurd. the player may be able to have some degree of influence on what sort of indication there is, but enforcing that there is some sort of painfully obvious announcement that the spell is being cast is not unreasonable when you're discussing a -6 perception threshold. sure, it didn't have to be visual, but by making it visual (the sense which we as humans rely on most) you can really make it clear to the player just how obvious it is when a spell of that magnitude is cast.
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Dakka Dakka
post Jan 25 2010, 10:50 PM
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Only 3 of a human's 5 senses have range. so unless the observer is within the spells area of effect, the clue has to be visual, auditory or olfactory.

The other problem that there is no rule describing what happens if the threshold is 0 or smaller. If you stack the applicable modifiers, Joe Average may not even be allowed to roll at all even if the threshold is -6:
Perceiver is distracted –2 This is usually the case
Object/sound not in immediate vicinity –2 or Object/sound far away –3
Interfering sight/odor/sound –2 Since we don't know how the clue manifest this may be the case

Object/sound stands out in some way +2 Does not apply IMHO since magic is by definition not very noticeable.

So Joe Average is at -6/-7 dice to notice magic. With anything less than 8 dice he isn't allowed to roll in most cases.
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Rystefn
post Jan 26 2010, 12:47 AM
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I'd say it's pretty trivial to roll more than -6 successes on zero dice. Look: *rolls no dice* I beat the threshold by six. Critical success!
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Jaid
post Jan 26 2010, 04:03 AM
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QUOTE (Rystefn @ Jan 25 2010, 07:47 PM) *
I'd say it's pretty trivial to roll more than -6 successes on zero dice. Look: *rolls no dice* I beat the threshold by six. Critical success!

well, if you want to make it especially punishing to have all those negatives, you could have them roll their negative value and that's how many hits less than 0 they have. they'd still have really good odds for a critical success, but a small chance of not making the threshold. a really, really, really small chance. close to 1 in 45000 if they have 6 dice (if my math is right), presumably more likely if they're at -7 dice. plus, i suppose if they were to roll more than 50% ones it would be a critical glitch.
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Jaid
post Jan 26 2010, 04:03 AM
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QUOTE (Rystefn @ Jan 25 2010, 07:47 PM) *
I'd say it's pretty trivial to roll more than -6 successes on zero dice. Look: *rolls no dice* I beat the threshold by six. Critical success!

well, if you want to make it especially punishing to have all those negatives, you could have them roll their negative value and that's how many hits less than 0 they have. they'd still have really good odds for a critical success, but a small chance of not making the threshold. a really, really, really small chance. close to 1 in 45000 if they have 6 dice (if my math is right), presumably more likely if they're at -7 dice. plus, i suppose if they were to roll more than 50% ones it would be a critical glitch.
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Draco18s
post Jan 26 2010, 04:15 AM
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Here's an idea, for every point the threshold is below 1, give the perceiver +2 dice, but leave the actual threshold at 1.

So a -6 threshold would actually work out to +14 dice at a threshold of 1. Followed by the -7 and a base 4 (3 INT, Perception 1) leaves us at 11 dice, threshold 1.

Yeah. I think they have good odds to notice that. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Even at only +1 die per lower threshold, you're still talking 3 dice threshold 1. Someone is going to notice.
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Muspellsheimr
post Jan 26 2010, 04:03 PM
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QUOTE (Jaid @ Jan 25 2010, 01:57 PM) *
my point was that if you've got a -6 threshold to perceive the effect

Nitpick - -6 Threshold to perceive the casting.
QUOTE (Jaid @ Jan 25 2010, 01:57 PM) *
precisely what it manifests as is irrelevant, it still lets everyone in the area know that someone just cast a force 12 spell.

It lets everyone in the area know that something large & unnatural happened. A successful Perception Test allows someone to notice the casting, not identify it as magic. To recognize it requires previous experience/knowledge/etc - something Joe Average likely does not have (although Joe still might panic, or assume magic because of how unnatural it feels, despite not knowing).

QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jan 25 2010, 03:50 PM) *
Only 3 of a human's 5 senses have range. so unless the observer is within the spells area of effect, the clue has to be visual, auditory or olfactory.

No, it doesn't.
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jan 25 2010, 03:50 PM) *
The other problem that there is no rule describing what happens if the threshold is 0 or smaller. If you stack the applicable modifiers, Joe Average may not even be allowed to roll at all even if the threshold is -6:

If the Dice Pool is 0 or less, they cannot succeed, regardless of Threshold. Threshold 0 or less means it is blatantly obvious, meaning if they can roll, they automatically notice it. People miss neon signs all the time.

QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jan 25 2010, 09:15 PM) *
Here's an idea, for every point the threshold is below 1, give the perceiver +2 dice, but leave the actual threshold at 1.

So a -6 threshold would actually work out to +14 dice at a threshold of 1. Followed by the -7 and a base 4 (3 INT, Perception 1) leaves us at 11 dice, threshold 1.

Yeah. I think they have good odds to notice that. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Even at only +1 die per lower threshold, you're still talking 3 dice threshold 1. Someone is going to notice.

Interesting idea, but if you use it, I suggest the following modification:

Noticing magic use becomes a fixed Threshold (probably 5), and each point of Force provides a +2 Dice Pool Modifier to the Perception check. Joe Average buys Hits.
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Draco18s
post Jan 26 2010, 04:09 PM
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QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 26 2010, 11:03 AM) *
Interesting idea, but if you use it, I suggest the following modification:

Noticing magic use becomes a fixed Threshold (probably 5), and each point of Force provides a +2 Dice Pool Modifier to the Perception check. Joe Average buys Hits.


They wouldn't be able to succeed (by buying hits) until Force 14.

F14 -> +28 dice -> -7 for perception mods -> 21 -> 4:1 -> 5 hits.
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Dakka Dakka
post Jan 26 2010, 04:14 PM
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QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 26 2010, 05:03 PM) *
No, it doesn't.
Yes it does, unless you assume that the clue emanates from the caster for which the BBB gives no indication.
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