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> Visibility Modifiers and SpellCasting
Sharkman
post May 21 2010, 03:05 PM
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Can someone help clarify and point out the rules reference regarding visiblity modifiers and spell casting?

This is for all spell casting types Direct Spells and Indirect ?
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MikeKozar
post May 21 2010, 03:26 PM
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My group couldn't find any. We're making do with Perception tests with range penalties, since Perception has several tables of modifiers. If you want to stick with RAW, I think that's your best bet.

I've noticed that suggesting house rules gets folk around here riled, so I'll just keep my opinions to myself. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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PatB
post May 21 2010, 03:32 PM
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We're using Visibility modifiers, and since mages can't have googles for low-light or thermal, that sometimes get the mage annoyed...
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DireRadiant
post May 21 2010, 03:43 PM
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p. 183 SR4A Choose the Target. Paragraph 2

"Under the
basic Shadowrun rules, such a link requires line of sight or touch. Line
of sight can even be established using reflective surfaces and through
transparent objects, and is subject to normal visibility and lighting
modifiers."
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Synner
post May 21 2010, 05:16 PM
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Okay, visibility and cover modifiers applicable to spellcasting are mentioned in the following sections:

p. 160 under the Partial and Good Cover headers in the Combat chapter.
p. 177 under the Spellcasting header.
p. 183 under the Spellcasting Step 4 and Step 5 headers.

(Note that the attacker's cover modifier should also be applicable.)
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Sharkman
post May 26 2010, 08:43 PM
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Thanks Synner!
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Lansdren
post May 27 2010, 08:16 AM
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Basically if to guys are standing either end of a well lit hallway and ones a mage my money is on the mage. But if this is in a semi dark room with both of you hiding behind stuff the mage might not be the safest bet as if you cant see it you cant effect it.

(although indirect area spells and grenades will sort out the hidden guy quite well either way)
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CeeJay
post May 27 2010, 02:30 PM
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QUOTE (Synner @ May 21 2010, 07:16 PM) *
Okay, visibility and cover modifiers applicable to spellcasting are mentioned in the following sections:

p. 160 under the Partial and Good Cover headers in the Combat chapter.
p. 177 under the Spellcasting header.
p. 183 under the Spellcasting Step 4 and Step 5 headers.

(Note that the attacker's cover modifier should also be applicable.)

Since the manner cover works changed from SR4 to SR4A, do you now give the cover modifier as a bonus to the spell resistance test? Or do you still use cover as a modifier for the spellcasting test?

Just curious...

-CJ
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Lansdren
post May 27 2010, 02:47 PM
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good question, I'm not sure myself but it would go a long way to changing the playing field for the mundanes
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Xahn Borealis
post May 27 2010, 03:06 PM
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I've always wondered if line of sight meant you had to be looking at the target, i.e., if there's some guy behind me, do I have to turn 'round to manabolt him?
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Lansdren
post May 27 2010, 03:54 PM
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QUOTE (Xahn Borealis @ May 27 2010, 04:06 PM) *
I've always wondered if line of sight meant you had to be looking at the target, i.e., if there's some guy behind me, do I have to turn 'round to manabolt him?



Not if you have a handy mirror no, Line of sight includes bouncing along mirrors and such hence the mage sight goggles from the arsenal book
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Synner
post May 27 2010, 06:55 PM
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QUOTE (CeeJay @ May 27 2010, 03:30 PM) *
Since the manner cover works changed from SR4 to SR4A, do you now give the cover modifier as a bonus to the spell resistance test? Or do you still use cover as a modifier for the spellcasting test?
Just curious...

The answer is yes. And it is one of the reasons for the change. Visibility and cover modifiers are one of the factors that balance spellcasting out and yet they are the most often overlooked element and hence one of the reasons many people feel spells (particularly Direct Combat Spells) are too powerful and too easy. So while the casting magician has no incentive to keep cover in mind because it is a negative modifier, the resisting character whether GM NPC or a PC has a strong incentive to keep it in mind since it adds to his resisting pool. (though technically both the attacker and defender should factor in their respective cover modifiers).
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Yerameyahu
post May 27 2010, 07:20 PM
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Er, so the answer is *yes*, you have to been looking at the target. You don't have to be *facing* it.
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Nefacio
post May 27 2010, 07:50 PM
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Just to see if I am getting it right.

Mage rolls: magic+spellcasting+foci
defender rolls: (body or Willpo)+ (magic res or cunterspelling)+"cover modifier" ?


QUOTE (Synner @ May 27 2010, 03:55 PM) *
The answer is yes. And it is one of the reasons for the change. Visibility and cover modifiers are one of the factors that balance spellcasting out and yet they are the most often overlooked element and hence one of the reasons many people feel spells (particularly Direct Combat Spells) are too powerful and too easy. So while the casting magician has no incentive to keep cover in mind because it is a negative modifier, the resisting character whether GM NPC or a PC has a strong incentive to keep it in mind since it adds to his resisting pool. (though technically both the attacker and defender should factor in their respective cover modifiers).
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jimbo
post May 27 2010, 09:02 PM
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QUOTE (Nefacio @ May 27 2010, 03:50 PM) *
Just to see if I am getting it right.

Mage rolls: magic+spellcasting+foci
defender rolls: (body or Willpo)+ (magic res or cunterspelling)+"cover modifier" ?


I think the mage also has a negative modifier for firing from cover just like a shooter...
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Yerameyahu
post May 27 2010, 09:43 PM
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Right, Synner mentioned that. Just like guns, mods for both attacker and defender.
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Synner
post May 27 2010, 09:44 PM
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Magician rolls Spellcasting + Magic + foci - visibility modifiers - his cover modifier if attacking from cover.
Target rolls Resisting Att (Bod or Will) + Counterspelling and /or Magic Resistance if any + Partial or Good cover modifiers.

Note that the only thing that changed in SR4A is that the target's cover modifier was changed from a (often-overlooked) negative modifier to the Spellcasting roll to a positive modifier to the target's Resistance roll.

Pre-SR4A the system was:
Magician rolls Spellcasting + Magic + foci - visibility modifiers - his own cover modifier if attacking from cover - target's cover modifiers
Defender rolls Resisting Att (Bod or Will) + Counterspelling and/or Magic Resistance (if any)

Unfortunately far too many GMs and players forgot or overlooked to factor one let alone both appropriate cover modifiers into the spellcasting roll which in turn leads to the perception that Direct Combat Spells in particular are more unbalanced than they actually are (though they are powerful). The small change in the way cover means that as a positive modifier to the defender it is less likely to be overlooked.
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Nefacio
post May 27 2010, 11:13 PM
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Thank you very much Synner

Completely agree with the forgotting part but I think in the way post SR4A, it is more likely to remember it for both.

Of course they are powerful, but my personal thoughts are that in most cases when ppl calls combat spells overpowered, they are playing w/o any negative mod. Long time ago I remember a post when this came out and the visibility modifiers were brought into the table and most admit not really taking em into consideration when playing. (smoke the mage and bb direct combat spells) With this not so new rule of adding as well on defender DP I think it is even better.

btw: SR4A stands por arsenal or augmentation ? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) Its just to check it up

QUOTE (Synner @ May 27 2010, 06:44 PM) *
Magician rolls Spellcasting + Magic + foci - visibility modifiers - his cover modifier if attacking from cover.
Target rolls Resisting Att (Bod or Will) + Counterspelling and /or Magic Resistance if any + Partial or Good cover modifiers.

Note that the only thing that changed in SR4A is that the target's cover modifier was changed from a (often-overlooked) negative modifier to the Spellcasting roll to a positive modifier to the target's Resistance roll.

Pre-SR4A the system was:
Magician rolls Spellcasting + Magic + foci - visibility modifiers - his own cover modifier if attacking from cover - target's cover modifiers
Defender rolls Resisting Att (Bod or Will) + Counterspelling and/or Magic Resistance (if any)

Unfortunately far too many GMs and players forgot or overlooked to factor one let alone both appropriate cover modifiers into the spellcasting roll which in turn leads to the perception that Direct Combat Spells in particular are more unbalanced than they actually are (though they are powerful). The small change in the way cover means that as a positive modifier to the defender it is less likely to be overlooked.

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Synner
post May 27 2010, 11:25 PM
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SR4A stands for the Shadowrun 4 Anniversary Edition (the errated and updated version of the current edition)
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