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> Question about sustaining spells
FenrisWolf
post Jan 11 2011, 06:26 PM
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I'm not sure I understand the rules regarding sustaining spells. As I read it, if a mage casts a spell with a sustained duration, he suffers a -2 dice pool modifier for all tests. I believe that this may stack with each additional sustained spell.

Here's what I don't understand. The spell Combat Sense is a sustained spell. It provides a positive dice pool modifier to reactions. However, due to it being a sustained spell, the caster would have to have three successes to give a single net success to reactions (+3 from hits during casting, -2 from sustaining the spell, providing a net +1). Is that correct?
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merashin
post Jan 11 2011, 06:27 PM
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yes, that's where the sustaining focus comes in as it allows you to negate that penalty.
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Adarael
post Jan 11 2011, 06:28 PM
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That's correct. The best way around the die penalty for sustaining spells is to have a Sustaining Focus or a bound spirit take over the duties for you. Once you do that, you no longer suffer the penalty.
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Makki
post Jan 11 2011, 06:55 PM
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we houseruled the penalty does not apply to tests made which the spell is for. that accords with the technomancer threading penalty which does not apply to the threaded complex form

but that's a minor fix and hasn't even come up yet
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FenrisWolf
post Jan 11 2011, 06:58 PM
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Got it. A player can purchase a sustaining focus during character creation with a maximum force of 3 (availability 12). How exactly do they work? If a player had magic of 5 and spell casting of 6, do they need to reduce the force to 3 during the casting to use the foci? If so, would they then roll magic of 3 and spell casting of 6 to determine the net hits?
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pbangarth
post Jan 11 2011, 07:02 PM
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QUOTE (FenrisWolf @ Jan 11 2011, 01:58 PM) *
Got it. A player can purchase a sustaining focus during character creation with a maximum force of 3 (availability 12). How exactly do they work? If a player had magic of 5 and spell casting of 6, do they need to reduce the force to 3 during the casting to use the foci? If so, would they then roll magic of 3 and spell casting of 6 to determine the net hits?

Yes, the spell would have to be cast at Force 3 to be sustained by a Force 3 Sustaining Focus. The caster still gets full Magic and Skill to cast the spell, though. In your example, he would get 5 + 6 = 11 dice, and the spell being cast at Force 3 would limit the total (not net) hits to 3.

This last limitation can be circumvented by the use of Edge. The Edge dice are not limited by the Force limit. So, in the case of an Increase Reflexes spell, one could use Edge along with a Force 3 spell and get more than 3 hits, thereby allowing an increase in reflexes that has a threshold of 4, yet still be able to sustain it with a Force 3 Sustaining Focus.
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 11 2011, 07:07 PM
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Yeah, I'd avoid giving mages the Technomancer privilege. They can already get foci, are already godly, etc. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

I feel like the rating of the focus should cap the hits, but the RAW doesn't specifically do that. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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pbangarth
post Jan 11 2011, 08:11 PM
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It's not the Technomancer thing. I'm taking it from SR4A, page 182, under Force:
QUOTE
A spellís Force limits the number of hits (not net hits) that can be
achieved on the Spellcasting Test. So if you cast a Force 3 spell and get
5 hits, only 3 of those hits count. In other words, Force has a limiting
effect on spellsóthe more oomph you put into the spell, the better
you can succeed with it. This limitation does not apply to Edge dice
that are used to boost a spell.
(emphasis mine)
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 11 2011, 08:15 PM
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Er, the Technomancer thing is what Makki was talking about. That's a different sentence. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

The sentence responding to *you* was my own opinion, explicitly not a statement of RAW. And, to be specific, I said that *sustaining foci* shouldn't hold hits above their rating, not that Edge shouldn't let a mage *cast* with hits above the spell's Force.

In other news, why does everyone have to always note their underlines or bolds or italics? Surely we all know. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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FenrisWolf
post Jan 11 2011, 08:26 PM
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QUOTE (pbangarth @ Jan 11 2011, 02:02 PM) *
Yes, the spell would have to be cast at Force 3 to be sustained by a Force 3 Sustaining Focus. The caster still gets full Magic and Skill to cast the spell, though. In your example, he would get 5 + 6 = 11 dice, and the spell being cast at Force 3 would limit the total (not net) hits to 3.

This last limitation can be circumvented by the use of Edge. The Edge dice are not limited by the Force limit. So, in the case of an Increase Reflexes spell, one could use Edge along with a Force 3 spell and get more than 3 hits, thereby allowing an increase in reflexes that has a threshold of 4, yet still be able to sustain it with a Force 3 Sustaining Focus.


Yeah, that was another spell I was thinking of too. I'm currently creating a shaman and was trying to wrap my head around sustained spells. I should be able to buy a force 3 sustained spell foci for health spells and have it handle the sustaining requirement for Increased Reflexes. If I understand this correctly, I roll Magic 5 and Spellcasting 6. If I use the sustained foci I just limit the number of hits to 3 and I'm good to go. That would give me a max +2 initiative pass.
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pbangarth
post Jan 11 2011, 10:56 PM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jan 11 2011, 03:15 PM) *
Er, the Technomancer thing is what Makki was talking about. That's a different sentence. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
Ah. Got it.

QUOTE
The sentence responding to *you* was my own opinion, explicitly not a statement of RAW. And, to be specific, I said that *sustaining foci* shouldn't hold hits above their rating, not that Edge shouldn't let a mage *cast* with hits above the spell's Force.
Unfortunately for that view, sustaining foci are limited by Force, not hits. In practice, Force tends to equate the two by limiting hits, unless Edge is used.

QUOTE
In other news, why does everyone have to always note their underlines or bolds or italics? Surely we all know. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
I don't know about everybody, but anyone required to write academically has it hammered into them.
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pbangarth
post Jan 11 2011, 10:57 PM
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QUOTE (FenrisWolf @ Jan 11 2011, 03:26 PM) *
Yeah, that was another spell I was thinking of too. I'm currently creating a shaman and was trying to wrap my head around sustained spells. I should be able to buy a force 3 sustained spell foci for health spells and have it handle the sustaining requirement for Increased Reflexes. If I understand this correctly, I roll Magic 5 and Spellcasting 6. If I use the sustained foci I just limit the number of hits to 3 and I'm good to go. That would give me a max +2 initiative pass.

You limit the Force, which limits the hits.
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 11 2011, 11:01 PM
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(IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Again, it's not an interpretation at all, it's just my opinion of 'should'. Sustaining foci *should* be Rating=hits, not Rating=Spell Force.
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Adarael
post Jan 11 2011, 11:56 PM
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Personally, I use Rating = Hits or Force, whichever is less. Because I find it super-cheesy to have someone go and pick up tons of Force 1 spells and just blow edge when they lock the spell in.
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KarmaInferno
post Jan 11 2011, 11:57 PM
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Yah, the way it's worded, you COULD throw Edge with a spell into a Sustaining Focus to get extra hits, but most GMs I know houserule it so the Sustaining Focus limits hits AND Force.


-k
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pbangarth
post Jan 12 2011, 12:33 AM
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I see the sentiment behind what you say. It should be noted that most PCs don't have all that much Edge to throw around. I don't think this would be an SOP for most.
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Aerospider
post Jan 12 2011, 09:45 AM
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QUOTE (Adarael @ Jan 11 2011, 11:56 PM) *
Personally, I use Rating = Hits or Force, whichever is less. Because I find it super-cheesy to have someone go and pick up tons of Force 1 spells and just blow edge when they lock the spell in.

It's worth noting that only hits obtained with Edge dice can exceed the limit. For example, should the caster of a Force 1 spell achieve 4 hits with Magic+Spellcasting and then roll Edge for an extra 2 hits, he has a total of 3 hits not 6.

Is there any non-magic equivalent of this? It seems unreasonable to give magicians alone this bonus application of Edge.
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Bodak
post Jan 12 2011, 10:13 AM
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QUOTE (FenrisWolf @ Jan 12 2011, 06:26 AM) *
I should be able to buy a force 3 sustained spell foci
Just like cactus / cacti, magus / magi, radius / radii, the singular is focus and the plural is foci. It is strange (unprofessional?) that the authors of Street Magic fail to correctly use the right form at times.
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darthmord
post Jan 12 2011, 03:06 PM
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QUOTE (Bodak @ Jan 12 2011, 05:13 AM) *
Just like cactus / cacti, magus / magi, radius / radii, the singular is focus and the plural is foci. It is strange (unprofessional?) that the authors of Street Magic fail to correctly use the right form at times.


If the singular is goose and the multiple is geese, then shouldn't a group (herd) of moose be meese?

Odd things happen when you reach the esoteric edges of the English Language (whether American or British). Unfortunately, not everyone knows the rules at the edge.
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Dakka Dakka
post Jan 12 2011, 03:28 PM
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Another way to benefit from the first two hits of for instance Combat Sense would be to cast it on someone else. If the mage can stay hidden a couple of extra defence dice for the Street Sam could be a good idea.
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 12 2011, 03:39 PM
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For the record, 'focuses' is a perfectly good plural. It's just that 'foci' can't be singular. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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Dakka Dakka
post Jan 12 2011, 04:06 PM
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It is a plural that is in the dictionary, whether that's good is a different question.
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 12 2011, 04:11 PM
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One that I just answered. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) It is. Honestly, if the prescriptivists are going to start arguing with *dictionaries*, they'll be fighting themselves.
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Apathy
post Jan 12 2011, 06:40 PM
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Regarding the use of edge to get extra hits on a spell dumped into a focus...

In my games (back when I used to have games (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif) ) I used to use wards frequently in building security. This would highly discourage throwing edge into a specific casting, because the PC is likely to have to drop the spell in order to cross the ward undetected, thus wasting his point of edge. Wouldn't this be a sufficient balance against the 'edge for extra successes in a low-force foci' loophole?
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pbangarth
post Jan 12 2011, 06:57 PM
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QUOTE (Apathy @ Jan 12 2011, 01:40 PM) *
Regarding the use of edge to get extra hits on a spell dumped into a focus...

In my games (back when I used to have games (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif) ) I used to use wards frequently in building security. This would highly discourage throwing edge into a specific casting, because the PC is likely to have to drop the spell in order to cross the ward undetected, thus wasting his point of edge. Wouldn't this be a sufficient balance against the 'edge for extra successes in a low-force foci' loophole?

This among other reasons is why I don't think it would happen all too often. At least, not after a few runs of wasting Edge.
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