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> Spells are strong ..., ... did I miss something.
IKerensky
post Jun 23 2010, 06:42 AM
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First spell cast in SR4A last week end.

It was a massive FOR 8 Powerball(?) (Type P, Damage P, Direct, Area)

Caster roll 3 aditionnal success.

Everyone take 11P resisting only with body (and one spell-lunger with counterspell 4).

Caster took a large drain hit, physical. Opposition lie in wreck.


--------

That feel really, really strong to me.

Especially as I could have dual cast the spell and be nearly assured to have them all dead even without using Edge.

Am I missing something or is Direct magic really that strong ?
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Emy
post Jun 23 2010, 06:48 AM
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Yes, magic is strong.

Which is why you always geek the mage first.

Actually, you did miss something, though your conclusion (spells are strong) is correct.

QUOTE (IKerensky @ Jun 23 2010, 12:42 AM) *
It was a massive FOR 8 Powerball(?) (Type P, Damage P, Direct, Area)

Caster roll 3 aditionnal success.

Everyone take 11P resisting only with body (and one spell-lunger with counterspell 4).


They don't resist the damage. They resist the casting itself. The opposed test is Spellcasting + Magic vs Body + Counterspelling. So if any of them got 3 hits on the resistance test, they should have been unaffected (with the way you were playing, they would have still taken 8P).
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MikeKozar
post Jun 23 2010, 07:11 AM
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I just had a beautiful dream... I was playing Shadowrun, and every PC was non-magical. They had automatic weapons, cyberware, Trolls, Orks, drones, and crazy vehicles. The enemy corp facility had cold, professional mercs with a sweet security net, and when the opposition finally noticed the heroes, the fight was epic. Just as the team is dusting itself off, there is ... silence. No helicopter HTR teams, no Citymasters full of Cyberzombies...the night is quiet. They look around, suspicious. The cybersam's augmented hearing picks up a scraping sound, and his onboard systems ID it as a stick match being ignited. He whirls around to see a small, elderly man, lighting a pipe. The man smiles, benignly, and the Samurai hesitates. The man drops the match, and the grass below erupts into a column of flame...which HOWLS. The samurai empties his magazine into the raging Elemental as he screams "Fall back! Get to the truck!" The team's Troll turns to help him, but the Samurai curses at him. "RUN, Rodriguez! That's a fragging order." The samurai slams a new mag into his assault rifle and charges at the mage and his monster.

The dwarf swallows the rest of his brew as the young razorboy nods, eyes wide. "What did you do?"

"We ran."

The razorboy is shaken. Shadowruns aren't supposed to end like that. "Why...why are you telling me this?"

The dwarf dropped a credstick on the bar and stood up. "We're putting a team together. Gonna get some payback." He slid his thick AR shades on and lit a cigar, watching the match burn ruefully. "Mages gotta die."
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Ragewind
post Jun 23 2010, 07:17 AM
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QUOTE (MikeKozar @ Jun 23 2010, 02:11 AM) *
I just had a beautiful dream... I was playing Shadowrun, and every PC was non-magical. They had automatic weapons, cyberware, Trolls, Orks, drones, and crazy vehicles. The enemy corp facility had cold, professional mercs with a sweet security net, and when the opposition finally noticed the heroes, the fight was epic. Just as the team is dusting itself off, there is ... silence. No helicopter HTR teams, no Citymasters full of Cyberzombies...the night is quiet. They look around, suspicious. The cybersam's augmented hearing picks up a scraping sound, and his onboard systems ID it as a stick match being ignited. He whirls around to see a small, elderly man, lighting a pipe. The man smiles, benignly, and the Samurai hesitates. The man drops the match, and the grass below erupts into a column of flame...which HOWLS. The samurai empties his magazine into the raging Elemental as he screams "Fall back! Get to the truck!" The team's Troll turns to help him, but the Samurai curses at him. "RUN, Rodriguez! That's a fragging order." The samurai slams a new mag into his assault rifle and charges at the mage and his monster.

The dwarf swallows the rest of his brew as the young razorboy nods, eyes wide. "What did you do?"

"We ran."

The razorboy is shaken. Shadowruns aren't supposed to end like that. "Why...why are you telling me this?"

The dwarf dropped a credstick on the bar and stood up. "We're putting a team together. Gonna get some payback." He slid his thick AR shades on and lit a cigar, watching the match burn ruefully. "Mages gotta die."


That Sir, is awesome
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Neraph
post Jun 23 2010, 07:34 AM
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QUOTE (MikeKozar @ Jun 23 2010, 01:11 AM) *
I just had a beautiful dream... I was playing Shadowrun, and every PC was non-magical. They had automatic weapons, cyberware, Trolls, Orks, drones, and crazy vehicles. The enemy corp facility had cold, professional mercs with a sweet security net, and when the opposition finally noticed the heroes, the fight was epic. Just as the team is dusting itself off, there is ... silence. No helicopter HTR teams, no Citymasters full of Cyberzombies...the night is quiet. They look around, suspicious. The cybersam's augmented hearing picks up a scraping sound, and his onboard systems ID it as a stick match being ignited. He whirls around to see a small, elderly man, lighting a pipe. The man smiles, benignly, and the Samurai hesitates. The man drops the match, and the grass below erupts into a column of flame...which HOWLS. The samurai empties his magazine into the raging Elemental as he screams "Fall back! Get to the truck!" The team's Troll turns to help him, but the Samurai curses at him. "RUN, Rodriguez! That's a fragging order." The samurai slams a new mag into his assault rifle and charges at the mage and his monster.

The dwarf swallows the rest of his brew as the young razorboy nods, eyes wide. "What did you do?"

"We ran."

The razorboy is shaken. Shadowruns aren't supposed to end like that. "Why...why are you telling me this?"

The dwarf dropped a credstick on the bar and stood up. "We're putting a team together. Gonna get some payback." He slid his thick AR shades on and lit a cigar, watching the match burn ruefully. "Mages gotta die."

And that's why that second magazine should have been SnS ammo.
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IKerensky
post Jun 23 2010, 07:45 AM
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QUOTE (Emy @ Jun 23 2010, 06:48 AM) *
Yes, magic is strong.

Which is why you always geek the mage first.

Actually, you did miss something, though your conclusion (spells are strong) is correct.



They don't resist the damage. They resist the casting itself. The opposed test is Spellcasting + Magic vs Body + Counterspelling. So if any of them got 3 hits on the resistance test, they should have been unaffected (with the way you were playing, they would have still taken 8P).


Thanks for the clarification.

So if they score 3 hits they suffer nothing, if they score 2 hits they suffer 10P or 8P ?
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Makki
post Jun 23 2010, 07:50 AM
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that topic is wrong. it should say 'Direct Combat Spells are strong'. So we banned them (IMG:style_emoticons/default/sarcastic.gif)

9P i think. Force+net hits
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Cardul
post Jun 23 2010, 09:40 AM
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QUOTE (Makki @ Jun 23 2010, 02:50 AM) *
that topic is wrong. it should say 'Direct Combat Spells are strong'. So we banned them (IMG:style_emoticons/default/sarcastic.gif)

9P i think. Force+net hits


You could also use the SR4a optional +1 drain per net success....If you die casting that mighty spell,
then it really did not help that much...
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IKerensky
post Jun 23 2010, 11:54 AM
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QUOTE (Cardul @ Jun 23 2010, 09:40 AM) *
You could also use the SR4a optional +1 drain per net success....If you die casting that mighty spell,
then it really did not help that much...



Trouble is that sometimes you dont really care if you are going to die or not... especially if you are going to get screwed anyway. Perhaps adding a Willpower test in order to get the nerves to take the drain.

But I am thinking Direct Physical spell are in effect more too much efficient combat wise... make you wonder why to use indirect spells at all.
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Ol' Scratch
post Jun 23 2010, 12:16 PM
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Yes, magic is strong in general. That's the point of it, though. Shadowrun isn't a balanced, tactical game. It's a roleplaying game, and in the setting, magic is feared and respected for its power.

Fortunately, there are defenses. And your best one is to have a mage on your side. You know, the whole "fight fire with fire" mantra. Counterspelling, whether done by a mage or a conjured spirit with Magical Guard, is very effective against spells courtesy of the way they're defended against. As others have already said, you're not defeating the Damage Value of the attack; you're defeating the Spellcasting Test.

That said, if you still don't care for how powerful magic is, there's two easy solutions. First, don't allow overcasting. That's where most of the brokeness comes from in my experience. Nearly every example you see of people demonstrating how powerful magic is, it's from an overcast Direct Combat spell. Second, allow characters to use another attribute in the Resistance Test. For example, Body or Willpower + Edge (+ Counterspelling). If you do that, you should probably also change it so that casters don't suffer as much drain from spells that fail to work, since it makes the Spellcasting Test more of a 50-50 shot in a lot of cases.

But that's just my opinion. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Doc Byte
post Jun 23 2010, 12:26 PM
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QUOTE (IKerensky @ Jun 23 2010, 08:42 AM) *
First spell cast in SR4A last week end.

It was a massive FOR 8 Powerball(?) (Type P, Damage P, Direct, Area)

...

Am I missing something or is Direct magic really that strong ?


Well, force 8 is a massive spell. I think I'ver never cast anything above 6 in all these years of playing magicians. If the Troll-Sam gets out his Panther, to do cry "firearms are way to strong"?
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PatB
post Jun 23 2010, 12:37 PM
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Couple of things were missing in that statement:

1- Like said before, the was badly resisted for 3 reasons:
a) The victims must resist the caster's hits (Body vs 3 hits in this case)
b) Use Edge
c) And most importantly, why did the opposing mage didn't use CounterSpell to protect his teammates ??

2- Situation: was this the last fight of the run ?? 'Cause after casting that spell, you're probably out for the rest of the run (or almost). First Aid could help you, but not Heal.

3- Multi-cast ?? I doubt it. One drain per spell, each increased by 1 per extra spell, not sure your mage could live that. All in all, see point 1.

4- Is magic strong ?? Oh, hell yes !!! But it's not invincible.

5- GMs must also learn how opposing forces would work against mages. Even if security forces don't have a mage with them, they surely had training in case they would face one (that's how I play it in my game). Use cover to protect yourself from bullets and spells. Spread the forces so that a grenade, or an area of effect spell, don't hit everyone. Etc.
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IKerensky
post Jun 23 2010, 02:07 PM
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1c - Well the Mage is a newbie as much as I am and she just forget to cover her friends. They also mistook the ennemy orc mage for a hacker (racial prejudice I suppose) so they weren't expecting him to start lunging spells.

2- It was a NPC that overcast.

3- The point is the Orc didn't expect to survive if not ressorting to extreme mesure, in the previous round they have dispatched his teammate with short burst of exploding bullets, even thoses lying on the ground or the one they petrificate. He was cornered so I supposed he had no choice but to ressort to maximum effect.

4- Didn't say so. I just wasn't expecting this kind of efficience.

5- How to protect from Area Direct spell? I understand the spreading comment but it need a lots of place to do so and so much spread they lessen their defence against mundane.
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Rand
post Jun 23 2010, 02:24 PM
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I have an idea about overcasting: how about you generate the drain normally and then add +1 DV per point of overcast. Example: Joe the mage is casting Powerbolt, he has a magic of 6, but is going to overcast at force 8. That means his DV is Force/2+1+2=6 (yes, it is physical also). This way the overcasting drain isn't divided like regular drain, enforcing the fact that it is more serious/dangerous.. How's that?
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Starmage21
post Jun 23 2010, 02:39 PM
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I fail to see how this is any worse thana grenade.

Except Mr mage had to resist hell's drain.
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Yerameyahu
post Jun 23 2010, 02:46 PM
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Duh, grenades are dangerous. On the other hand, they're F to carry around. Oh well. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Mäx
post Jun 23 2010, 03:30 PM
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QUOTE (IKerensky @ Jun 23 2010, 04:07 PM) *
5- How to protect from Area Direct spell? I understand the spreading comment but it need a lots of place to do so and so much spread they lessen their defence against mundane.

You only need to speard out so the mages can only get a LOS on a two or less of you simultaniously, Drect spells can only damage targets the caster can see.

QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jun 23 2010, 04:46 PM) *
Duh, grenades are dangerous. On the other hand, they're F to carry around. Oh well. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Pepper punch gas ones are actually completdly legal and still quite nasty unless the opposition is wearing gasmasks. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif) (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)
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Blade
post Jun 23 2010, 03:35 PM
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QUOTE (Mäx @ Jun 23 2010, 05:30 PM) *
Pepper punch gas ones are actually completdly legal and still quite nasty unless the opposition is wearing gasmasks. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif) (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)

And has no exposed skin. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)
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Yerameyahu
post Jun 23 2010, 03:52 PM
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Yes, but I meant the ones that act as a Force 8 Powerball (i.e., High Explosive). (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Malachi
post Jun 23 2010, 04:17 PM
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I like the "extra drain by the amount of overcasting" rule. The other one I thought of for Direct Combat Spells was:

The target's hits on the resistance test get added to the DV of the drain of the spell.

This is an identical mechanic to Summoning: where the Spirit's hits add to the Drain of the Summoning. The rule above would not affect Indirect Combat spells. The theory behind it is: Direct Combat spells work but "shunting" mana directly into a target's aura, when trying to that the aura "pushes back" along that mana link between caster and target thus causing a mana backlash that results in the extra drain.

For area spells I would go with the highest number of hits from a single target.

I've tried it out in a couple sessions and it does work well for making a Mage think twice about pumping out those really high-force spells, especially overcasting. ("Wait, this is going to be base 9P drain... if they roll a lucky 4 hits I could be facing 13P in drain..."). I also have a house rule (since the beginning of 3rd edition days) that a magician must stay conscious from the drain in order for the spell to take effect. If they fall unconscious from the drain they can spend a point of Edge to have the spell activate anyways (kind of like a Dead Man's Trigger).
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Lanlaorn
post Jun 23 2010, 04:30 PM
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I just don't understand the irrational fear of magic here, is this some kind of meta-roleplay?

Two shots from a firearm are just as much, if not more, damage than any direct damage spell. Explosives again do as much as area spells. The tradeoff is in having to buy and carry the gear around vs. hurting yourself with drain. If you bother to properly equip yourself you can do just as much damage as a Mage with no risk to yourself.

I've only played a little Shadowrun so far but IMHO the only thing really crazy about magic is binding spirits. If you really want to min/max then an elf mage with a charisma based tradition who walks around with a full menagerie of spirits is the way to go. You can still cast all the spells you want with a nice and high drain resist dice pool, with a simple action you can summon a fucking zoo to decimate the opposition and as a bonus you're a great Face in any social situation.
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Starmage21
post Jun 23 2010, 04:45 PM
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QUOTE (Lanlaorn @ Jun 23 2010, 11:30 AM) *
I just don't understand the irrational fear of magic here, is this some kind of meta-roleplay?

Two shots from a firearm are just as much, if not more, damage than any direct damage spell. Explosives again do as much as area spells. The tradeoff is in having to buy and carry the gear around vs. hurting yourself with drain. If you bother to properly equip yourself you can do just as much damage as a Mage with no risk to yourself.

I've only played a little Shadowrun so far but IMHO the only thing really crazy about magic is binding spirits. If you really want to min/max then an elf mage with a charisma based tradition who walks around with a full menagerie of spirits is the way to go. You can still cast all the spells you want with a nice and high drain resist dice pool, with a simple action you can summon a fucking zoo to decimate the opposition and as a bonus you're a great Face in any social situation.


This is pretty much it. Any particular problems of magic by individual GMs are exactly as you said: irrational.
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Ol' Scratch
post Jun 23 2010, 04:51 PM
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The problem comes from the lack of a defense against it. There's lots of ways to protect yourself from a bullet or a grenade or a drone. The only way to protect yourself from a spell is to take out the mage first, which is totally dependent on initiative and awareness, and is no more of a defense than it is against anything else. Once the mage casts his spell, though, you're screwed unless you happen to have a capable mage on your own side and/or get really lucky on your resistance roll.

Say you're in a one-on-one duel against a mage. He gets lucky and goes first. He overcasts a Stunbolt at minimal risk to himself. You get to roll Willpower against his Magic + Sorcery + Foci + Specializations + Other Bonuses. You may as wel not even bother, you're as good as dead. If you had gone first instead, and your only viable attack is the use of your Agility + Pistols + Smartlink, he gets to make multiple rolls to defend against your relatively feeble attacks, using Body + Armor plus whatever else he has at his disposal (including sustained spells like Armor, Barrier, and/or Deflection). The mage actually has a chance to survive. You pretty much don't.
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Yerameyahu
post Jun 23 2010, 04:52 PM
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Meta-roleplay? If anything, it's *more* roleplay: magic is scary.
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Tanegar
post Jun 23 2010, 05:04 PM
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QUOTE (Ol' Scratch @ Jun 23 2010, 11:51 AM) *
The problem comes from the lack of a defense against it. There's lots of ways to protect yourself from a bullet or a grenade or a drone. The only way to protect yourself from a spell is to take out the mage first, which is totally dependent on initiative and awareness, and is no more of a defense than it is against anything else. Once the mage casts his spell, though, you're screwed unless you happen to have a capable mage on your own side and/or get really lucky on your resistance roll.

Say you're in a one-on-one duel against a mage. He gets lucky and goes first. He overcasts a Stunbolt at minimal risk to himself. You get to roll Willpower against his Magic + Sorcery + Foci + Specializations + Other Bonuses. You may as wel not even bother, you're as good as dead. If you had gone first instead, and your only viable attack is the use of your Agility + Pistols + Smartlink, he gets to make multiple rolls to defend against your relatively feeble attacks, using Body + Armor plus whatever else he has at his disposal (including sustained spells like Armor, Barrier, and/or Deflection). The mage actually has a chance to survive. You pretty much don't.

You're assuming the mage and the sam are both standing in the open in a well-lit (but not overlit) space. If there's cover available, the sam runs for cover. Break LOS, and the number of ways the mage can kill you goes way down. Pop smoke, dive for cover, circle around, shoot the mage in the back. Sure, if you're dumb enough to just stand there and let the other guy kill you, you're gonna die. Doesn't really prove anything.
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