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> Cheating with detection spells
Gorath
post Feb 10 2004, 05:29 PM
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I tried to build a mage who uses many detection spells. But i realised that its very hard to get any usefull informations with detection spells that are resisted...

Here is the cheat:

Why use "Detect Life" or "Detect Enemy" when you can get the same informations with the spells "Detect Weapon" and "Detect Underware"? Those spells are not resisted by the objects...

Any comments? :D
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BitBasher
post Feb 10 2004, 05:33 PM
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Well, because detect weapon is so ambiguous it can detect basically everything, and not everyone wears underwear. Case in point: me, right now. :D
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DigitalMage
post Feb 10 2004, 05:35 PM
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Well, Detect Weapon may not be too useful in a crowd where Joe Bloggs is carrying a hold out, and won't help you spot that mage about to sling a Manabolt at you, but yes it could help.

As to the Detect Underware :) Well I guess that would normally work.
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Velocity
post Feb 10 2004, 05:48 PM
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Underware? What is that, the next iteration after deltaware? 60% discount on Essence? Is Fruit-of-the-Loom getting into cybernetic design?

*ahem*

As others have noted, "Detect Underwear" is a useless substitute for Detect Life or Detect Enemy: just because someone's wearing briefs doesn't make them antagonistic or even alive. Besides, when you're sneaking through some exec's suite in the middle of the night and your samurai partner asks you how many hostiles are in the next room, do you really want to cast a spell that reveals the target's armoire as a veritable barracks?

"Holy shit, that drawer's got fifty guys in it!" :)
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spotlite
post Feb 10 2004, 06:00 PM
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I hate detect enemies. it hasbeen the bane of my life as a DM at times. People have in the past had the spell quickened to something they carry around, and don't remind me about it, then get all pissy in the ambush or whatever. I just discourage players from taking it, and in return don't use it myself with NPCs unless the players have it.

I take the same approach with things like fully automatic grenade launchers. If they players want them, they can have them, but sooner or later they'll run into bad guys that have them too...

As for your detection spells, Try 'Detect Ballistic armour' instead of underwear - It should be possible to design with the right skills and actual bad guys are far more likely to be armoured than bystanders. Won't detect your corp suits, but will at least give a good indication of a possible threat level, letting you know on most shadowruns both where the life is, AND where the enemies are. Still have the same problem as underwear if you cast it in a barracks room or armoury complex though, and you can therefore get exaggerated readings - but you'll be very unlikely to get LOWER readings, so at worst all you'll be doing is overestimating the enemy which is rarely a bad thing.

Its nearly better than detect enemies, because security guards in a different room aren't your direct enemies unless they already know you're there, in which case the run's probably hosed anyway and you should switch to barriers and offensive spells!

For your corp suits try Detect Armani! Ahem. Ok, maybe not, but find something they have in common. So, something that sararimen or other civilian extraction targets or non-combatants have in common... how about just learning clairvoyance and LOOKING for them?
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Kagetenshi
post Feb 10 2004, 07:53 PM
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Detect Necktie.

~J
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Spookymonster
post Feb 10 2004, 08:05 PM
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QUOTE (BitBasher)
Well, because detect weapon is so ambiguous it can detect basically everything, and not everyone wears underwear. Case in point: me, right now. :D

Thanks for the imagery, BB.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go and poke my mind's eye out. ;)
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BitBasher
post Feb 10 2004, 08:52 PM
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Also, detect enemy is subjective, they're likely not your enemy if they are unaware of you.

also: spooky, glad I could help! :D
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mfb
post Feb 11 2004, 01:16 AM
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as i recall, detect enemy detects anyone with specific hostile intent towards the subject of the spell. if i've got it into my head to kill you, and you're hiding from me, your detect enemy spell will pick up on me.

i'm thinking about making a detect attention spell--detects anyone paying attention to you, specifically. good for meets and such.
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Lilt
post Feb 11 2004, 11:45 AM
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QUOTE (mfb)
as i recall, detect enemy detects anyone with specific hostile intent towards the subject of the spell. if i've got it into my head to kill you, and you're hiding from me, your detect enemy spell will pick up on me.

i'm thinking about making a detect attention spell--detects anyone paying attention to you, specifically. good for meets and such.

Would detect enemy detect the presence of a corp guard patrolling within the range of the spell? He probably wouldn't be thinking "hostile" thoughts towards anyone while just walking the hallways.
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mfb
post Feb 11 2004, 11:55 AM
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i think the best way to divide it is, "if he knew you were there, would he be hostile". a secguard would be hostile toward you if you bumped into him on a 'run in the compound he works at, so yes--detect enemy would find him.
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Lilt
post Feb 11 2004, 12:32 PM
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By the spell's description. Detect enemies does not detect someone who is about to shoot into a crowd containing the subject as the hostility isn't directed at the subject. Within reason, you could replace the word "crowd" with "people breaking into this compound", implying that detect enemies isn't powerful enough to make such leaps of logic.
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Kagetenshi
post Feb 11 2004, 12:58 PM
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QUOTE (mfb)
i think the best way to divide it is, "if he knew you were there, would he be hostile". a secguard would be hostile toward you if you bumped into him on a 'run in the compound he works at, so yes--detect enemy would find him.

I would say just the opposite and say that it only detects those specifically hostile at that time, so it's only useful to check whether or not you have been spotted, not to prevent such.

~J
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Siege
post Feb 11 2004, 01:04 PM
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"Detect people intending to do me harm right fragging now."

Not necessary hostile thoughts, but someone thinking they want to hurt me. An indifferent professional or a sociopath may not be particularly hostile while they line my head in crosshairs, but they certainly intend to do me harm.

-Siege
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Sphynx
post Feb 11 2004, 01:21 PM
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One main thing to remember about Detection spells is that it's open to the GM more than any category. It goes to complete extremes. In our games we are ALOT more generous with detection spells (or, as you said, they're useless or Force 6). So, we only allow resistance to detection spells if the target is actually trying to be un-noticed. That's definitely not canon, but suddenly there are as many detection spells as combat, health and manipulation in our games (ok, maybe not as many as manipulation :P).

Key to remember, as a GM at least, is to make sure the game is fun. I can't imagine a single player feeling 'good' about finding out all those Force 3 and 4 detection spells he took to be a useful member of a team never ever work.... ;)

Sphynx
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spotlite
post Feb 11 2004, 04:50 PM
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I have to say (and did in my previous post, but I'm gonna say it more clearly now) that Detect Enemies will only detect the intent of someone specifically out to get you, specifically. So if the guard doesn't know you're there yet, he is NOT your enemy. If he ran into you, or spotted you while in range of the spell, he would suddenly appear on your 'radar', bing!

I think there was an old example in SR2 or maybe even SR1 of someone with DE up walking through a crowd. He steps on someone's sandalled toe with his big heavy runner boots without noticing but his detect enemies spell flares up! He turns round and pulls his gun on the poor pedestrian who was about to give the mage an earful about watching where he was going but had already restrained the urge to push or thump him back...

I think that is a good way of interpreting it and its certainly how we do it here. We're not usually that harsh - not everyone is that agressive when they get jostled in a crowd - but I know I am. I really hate crowds, and have to restrain myself from just shoving people who mill about aimlessly in front of me and stopping suddenly and generally getting in my ever-so-important way (I didn't say I was proud of myself). I would easily set off a DE spell in those circumstances! Its not designed as a catch all 'detect opposition' spell. Sorcery just isn't that clever. It has to detect something specific and measurable, and the only way to measure an enemy is intent toward the target of the spell specifically, surely?
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Moon-Hawk
post Feb 11 2004, 07:16 PM
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Exactly! If it worked exactly how you wanted it to, it'd be broken and we'd have to disallow it.
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Shanshu Freeman
post Feb 11 2004, 09:26 PM
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QUOTE (spotlite)
I hate detect enemies. it hasbeen the bane of my life as a DM at times. People have in the past had the spell quickened to something they carry around, and don't remind me about it, then get all pissy in the ambush or whatever.

Well, that's what spells like that are for. I'd be upset too if I went to the effort of taking those steps, and having them circumvented or ignored.

Similar situation; I had amped hearing/ dampner combo, one reason was specifically so I could hear if we were ever being snuck up on. Our team was on a golf course coming up to a country club, when a huge 'toon of security pops up behind us... I ask the GM "So wait, these guys all closed that distance and open space behind us, and not one of them made a sound" He looks stunned for a second and then shrugs. Later he admitted he had forgot entirely about it. That's fine, we're all only human, but don't mess me over because he dropped the ball.


QUOTE

I take the same approach with things like fully automatic grenade launchers. If they players want them, they can have them, but sooner or later they'll run into bad guys that have them too...

I couldn't agree more. That's why I cringe when the more brute force guys in our team loot miniguns and shit off'a downed security. I know they're gonna keep it and try to use it, which means *I'm* going to have to face someone with it too.
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Zazen
post Feb 11 2004, 09:56 PM
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QUOTE (Shanshu Freeman)
I ask the GM "So wait, these guys all closed that distance and open space behind us, and not one of them made a sound" He looks stunned for a second and then shrugs. Later he admitted he had forgot entirely about it. That's fine, we're all only human, but don't mess me over because he dropped the ball.

This kind of stuff just happens, though. See, I'd have told you that I rolled your perception test behind the screen and it failed miserably, later kicking myself for not checking my player-sheet for your senseware. Be happy that he's more honest than I :P
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Shanshu Freeman
post Feb 11 2004, 10:01 PM
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QUOTE (Zazen)
QUOTE (Shanshu Freeman @ Feb 11 2004, 04:26 PM)
I ask the GM "So wait, these guys all closed that distance and open space behind us, and not one of them made a sound"  He looks stunned for a second and then shrugs.  Later he admitted he had forgot entirely about it.  That's fine, we're all only human, but don't mess me over because he dropped the ball.

This kind of stuff just happens, though. See, I'd have told you that I rolled your perception test behind the screen and it failed miserably, later kicking myself for not checking my player-sheet for your senseware. Be happy that he's more honest than I :P

:D I almost would prefer he lie like you describe. At least I wouldn't feel frustrated like my effort was in vain.
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lodestar
post Feb 12 2004, 03:45 AM
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Just as a note I notice a lot of NPC Mages and Shamans as presented in a lot of published adventures usually have "detect bullet". Useful in several ways - to keep tabs on who's packing heat and when they have to reload. Not to mention if you detect a bunch of bullets in the next room moving around you could probably assume someone has them in a gun.
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Fortune
post Feb 12 2004, 04:03 AM
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QUOTE (lodestar)
Just as a note I notice a lot of NPC Mages and Shamans as presented in a lot of published adventures usually have "detect bullet".

One of the reasons for this was that, in previous editions, the Anchored combination of Detect Bullet/Bullet Barrier was actually effective without being debilitating to the caster.
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Siege
post Feb 12 2004, 05:22 AM
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I'm all for looting miniguns -- the resale value can be a lot of fun. At the very least, trade it in for product you can use.

It's when they make arguments for hauling one down mainstreet I start to get nervous...

-Siege
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Gorath
post Feb 12 2004, 07:00 AM
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QUOTE (spotlite @ Feb 10 2004, 06:00 PM)
... how about just learning clairvoyance and LOOKING for them?

I love the Clair-x spells, but those are resisted too. You can use this spells to see the room, but it is hard to see any living persons with Clairvoyance. Caster has to roll TN6, so in most cases only 2 successes. The targets resist with WIL vs. Force. So for WIL3 you need Force 5 (3*2/6=1) to get one net success that allows you to get general knowledge with no details.* For high WIL targets this spell is useless, because you must pump your Spellpool dice for successes and hope they don't roll lucky. You will face drain too, so better go into astral space to check those things....
Sphynx's group say, targets must willingly resist those spells, but in the end, wouldn't Runners and Guards be trained to think: "I will not be seen by a spell."?
I think those spells would be better with a TN4, but MiTS gives a TN6 for a new special sense :(

*
What informations would you give a mage looking with clairvoyance into the next room with 1,2,3,4 successes?
What informations with a Detect Weapon and 1,2,3,4 successes?
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