IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

5 Pages V   1 2 3 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Make astral combat ranged?, For the dual-natured = sitting-duck problem
Aerospider
post Jan 12 2011, 01:33 PM
Post #1


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,150
Joined: 15-December 09
Member No.: 17,968



Has anyone investigated the notion of making astral combat a ranged affair as opposed to melee? On the face of it, it would solve the problem of dual-natured creatures being completely owned by spirits and projectionists* but would it create more issues instead?

If it seems viable, could it work according to current RAW but over distances?
Should there be a range limit? What kind of limit?
Should it be more analogous to physical ranged combat than physical melee combat?

Discuss.

* I suppose the made-up word should be 'projectors', but the cinema-theatre-worker homonym did make me smile.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Glyph
post Jan 12 2011, 02:03 PM
Post #2


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 7,116
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,449



It all depends on whether you consider it a "problem", or a weakness that dual-natured beings are intended to have. I have the second view.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Brazilian_Shinob...
post Jan 12 2011, 02:49 PM
Post #3


Shooting Target
****

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 1,989
Joined: 28-July 09
From: Somewhere along the brazilian coast
Member No.: 17,437



Considering that every dual-natured creature has the possibility for being a magician, mystical adept or adept, I don't see that as a problem, just pick the Magician or Mystical Adept Quality and you are good to go.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
sabs
post Jan 12 2011, 02:52 PM
Post #4


Prime Runner
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,996
Joined: 1-June 10
Member No.: 18,649



QUOTE (Glyph @ Jan 12 2011, 03:03 PM) *
It all depends on whether you consider it a "problem", or a weakness that dual-natured beings are intended to have. I have the second view.


The problem is that it's a weakness that would render them genocided within a generation.

Dual-natured as it's written is stupid. Mostly because things that live on the astral plane have freedom of thought. And you dont.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dakka Dakka
post Jan 12 2011, 03:35 PM
Post #5


Prime Runner
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,507
Joined: 11-November 08
Member No.: 16,582



QUOTE (sabs @ Jan 12 2011, 03:52 PM) *
The problem is that it's a weakness that would render them genocided within a generation.
Well something has to prevent Ghoulpocalypse, given the disease's RAW growth rate. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)

QUOTE (sabs @ Jan 12 2011, 03:52 PM) *
Dual-natured as it's written is stupid. Mostly because things that live on the astral plane have freedom of thought. And you dont.
It's not a problem with the dual-naturted interaction it is a problem that almost all paracritters are dual-natured. Ghouls for example wouldn't need to be dual-natured if they got some sort of other sense like echolocation to combat their blindness. Or even easier, remove the blindness.
What do you mean by freedom of thought?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
pbangarth
post Jan 12 2011, 03:43 PM
Post #6


Old Man of the North
**********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 9,116
Joined: 14-August 03
From: Just north of the Centre of the Universe
Member No.: 5,463



QUOTE (sabs @ Jan 12 2011, 09:52 AM) *
The problem is that it's a weakness that would render them genocided within a generation.

Dual-natured as it's written is stupid. Mostly because things that live on the astral plane have freedom of thought. And you dont.

This opinion appears to be based on some assumptions.

1) All or most things on the astral will attack you and try to kill you if you are dual-natured.
2) Those astral entities that attack you will be powerful and impervious to your defenses, as well as faster than you.
3) It is not possible to hide from astral entities that bear you ill will.

A set of potential responses to these assumptions:

1) All or most astral entities don't care about you one way or the other.
2) Dual-natured things are slower have fewer initiative passes than purely astral things, but they can make such an attack costly enough to lead the attacker to reconsider attacking
3) One has the option to run away, into a building or a forest jamb-packed with other living things.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mardrax
post Jan 12 2011, 03:52 PM
Post #7


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,083
Joined: 13-December 10
From: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Member No.: 19,228



Unarmed combat makes one a sitting duck as well, with all the mages out there, not to mention guns.
I vote we make all metahumans have ranged unarmed attacks as well.

In all seriousness, I don't think it's as much of a problem as you make it out to be. Sure, you can pump a Naga full of Stunbolt while projecting. Just remember that a lot will repay in kind.
Being dual natured is very much a double edged swords, which indeed tends to hurt more than it helps. Most dual natured critters are very well compensated for that though.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
sabs
post Jan 12 2011, 04:02 PM
Post #8


Prime Runner
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,996
Joined: 1-June 10
Member No.: 18,649



A non magician dual-natured critter.

1) is slower, both initiative pass wise, and purely movement rate.
2) can only retaliate with unarmed combat.
3) Yes, if he's in a tunnel with many twists and turns, or a cave system, then it's hard for a spirit or magician to get los without being in some danger. But only some.
4) A forest? Even in the Jungles of the Congo and Amazon it would be possible to get LOS and be, oh I dunno, 40-50 feet in the air and untouchable.
5) There are many Astral entities that would want to wipe out.. Ghouls, Vampires, Banshees, Pixies, Shifters, and many others.


Yes, Unarmed combat makes you a sitting duck, BU, you can pick up a gun, you can wear heavy armor, you can run away. None of these option are available to a dual natured person dealing with an astral entity with mana or stun bolt.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Glyph
post Jan 12 2011, 04:08 PM
Post #9


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 7,116
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,449



Astrally projecting magicians don't have an instant "I win" button against dual-natured critters. In places such as many indoors areas (and some outdoor ones), visibility constraints will keep them from being able to continually stay out of close combat range, and astrally projecting beings also have a harder time getting to underground targets. And there is also the Drain of those spells to consider. They still have an edge, but astral projection has its own drawbacks (your meat body being helpless and catonic in the meantime). Overall, I think it is balanced for something that is usually a drawback for an option that has lots of other advantages.

If you do change it, though, I would require dual-natured critters to use their astral stats and the astral combat skill for any ranged attacks, only getting the advantage of using their physical stats and skills for actual melee combat on the astral. I would also revise the cost upwards for character options such as ghouls, since you are essentially turning a disadvantage into an advantage. Pixies can be left as is, because they have astral perception, which can be turned off with no problems.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
sabs
post Jan 12 2011, 04:14 PM
Post #10


Prime Runner
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,996
Joined: 1-June 10
Member No.: 18,649



Yes, Magicians have that problem.

Spirits do not.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
pbangarth
post Jan 12 2011, 04:49 PM
Post #11


Old Man of the North
**********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 9,116
Joined: 14-August 03
From: Just north of the Centre of the Universe
Member No.: 5,463



QUOTE (sabs @ Jan 12 2011, 11:02 AM) *
A non magician dual-natured critter.
1) is slower, both initiative pass wise, and purely movement rate.
2) can only retaliate with unarmed combat.
3) Yes, if he's in a tunnel with many twists and turns, or a cave system, then it's hard for a spirit or magician to get los without being in some danger. But only some.
4) A forest? Even in the Jungles of the Congo and Amazon it would be possible to get LOS and be, oh I dunno, 40-50 feet in the air and untouchable.
5) There are many Astral entities that would want to wipe out.. Ghouls, Vampires, Banshees, Pixies, Shifters, and many others.
Yes, Unarmed combat makes you a sitting duck, BU, you can pick up a gun, you can wear heavy armor, you can run away. None of these option are available to a dual natured person dealing with an astral entity with mana or stun bolt.

I don't argue the vulnerability of being dual-natured, I argue against the position that dual-natured entities would be eradicated in a generation. There are lots of examples of physically vulnerable species that survive despite there being other species that hunt them actively. Often that survival hinges on them maximizing their own advantages... hiding, running into cover, sheer numbers, traps, all kinds of things.

As far as LOS goes, I have been in many forests both tropical and temperate in which 40 or 50 feet up puts your LOS into real jeopardy. Even if you can see bits and pieces of the target, cover modifiers apply for spells as well as gunshots. How long will a projecting magician pursue such a hunt? 2 hours? 4 hours? Certainly not longer than her Magic Attribute allows. And a spirit? OK, longer lasting, but spells? Powers? What will it do?

Now, say I have a magician who summons a honking big spirit and tells it, "Go find a ghoul and kill it." If it does actually find a ghoul, that ghoul is in trouble. But the world is a big place, full of places to hide, and it is not coincidental that ghouls tend to be known for their reclusive nature. This microcosm has checks and balances built into it that make it unlikely that my magician, or a cabal of such magicians, will eradicate ghouls in one generation.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Doc Byte
post Jan 12 2011, 05:10 PM
Post #12


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 633
Joined: 16-March 05
From: 51 16' North 7 11' East
Member No.: 7,168



QUOTE (pbangarth @ Jan 12 2011, 04:43 PM) *
1) All or most things on the astral will attack you and try to kill you if you are dual-natured.


And here's the broken logic.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dakka Dakka
post Jan 12 2011, 05:11 PM
Post #13


Prime Runner
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,507
Joined: 11-November 08
Member No.: 16,582



QUOTE (pbangarth @ Jan 12 2011, 05:49 PM) *
As far as LOS goes, I have been in many forests both tropical and temperate in which 40 or 50 feet up puts your LOS into real jeopardy. Even if you can see bits and pieces of the target, cover modifiers apply for spells as well as gunshots. How long will a projecting magician pursue such a hunt? 2 hours? 4 hours? Certainly not longer than her Magic Attribute allows. And a spirit? OK, longer lasting, but spells? Powers? What will it do?
Spells or Powers your pick. Spirit of Man: Mana/Stun Ball, Influence (Power)

QUOTE (pbangarth @ Jan 12 2011, 05:49 PM) *
Now, say I have a magician who summons a honking big spirit and tells it, "Go find a ghoul and kill it." If it does actually find a ghoul, that ghoul is in trouble. But the world is a big place, full of places to hide, and it is not coincidental that ghouls tend to be known for their reclusive nature. This microcosm has checks and balances built into it that make it unlikely that my magician, or a cabal of such magicians, will eradicate ghouls in one generation.
Take a Force 6+ Spirit of Man and give it two spells, Stun/Mana Ball and Detect [Life Form], Extended. With its speed it should be able to canvas a reasonable area fairly quickly. An initiated mage could even do this with an Ally Spirit, so it wouldn't consume lots of services or be gone at the next sunrise/sunset.

I only wonder if a ghoul is a separate life form or just a diseased human. Paracritters however could be easily eradicated that way.

For a combined approach on both planes , have a Spirit of Man cast Mana Static at Force 1. All otherwise non-awakened ghouls and those that haven't raised their Magic Attribute will be blind, those that still act normally will be dealt with first and the rest will receive friendly hugs from a Fire Spirit (Engulf).
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
SpellBinder
post Jan 12 2011, 06:12 PM
Post #14


Neophyte Runner
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 2,351
Joined: 19-September 09
From: Behind the shadows of the Resonance
Member No.: 17,653



QUOTE (Doc Byte @ Jan 12 2011, 10:10 AM) *
QUOTE (pbangarth @ Jan 12 2011, 08:43 AM) *

1) All or most things on the astral will attack you and try to kill you if you are dual-natured.

And here's the broken logic.

Agreed. It's like saying "Don't swim in the ocean or you will be eaten by a shark!"
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
sabs
post Jan 12 2011, 06:34 PM
Post #15


Prime Runner
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,996
Joined: 1-June 10
Member No.: 18,649



well there are 60+ shark attacks a year (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

And Sharks aren't collecting human bounties.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
pbangarth
post Jan 12 2011, 07:01 PM
Post #16


Old Man of the North
**********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 9,116
Joined: 14-August 03
From: Just north of the Centre of the Universe
Member No.: 5,463



QUOTE (sabs @ Jan 12 2011, 01:34 PM) *
well there are 60+ shark attacks a year (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Out of how many individual immersions in the sea by swimmers? A million? Ten million?

QUOTE
And Sharks aren't collecting human bounties.
It's taken humans centuries to bring whales to the brink of extinction, and whales have not caught on, or decided not to catch on, that they can kill whalers.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Adarael
post Jan 12 2011, 07:05 PM
Post #17


Deus Absconditus
******

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 2,742
Joined: 1-September 03
From: Downtown Seattle, UCAS
Member No.: 5,566



Before we get into this discussion, let me echo Doc Byte and pbangarth's observation that just because you CAN kill something doesn't mean you WILL, or would even want to. It is perfectly possible for me to kill every snail I see, or to uproot weeds all day, or whatnot, but I have no desire to, because there is *no reason for me to*. Similarly, Fire Elementals can probably lay waste to vast tracts of the world's ghouls, but why should they? It's not like the ghouls can particularly even inconvenience a free spirit. And so, this discussion will not address those points. Instead, it will simply serve to illustrate how dubious it is that spirits could, in fact, genocide the crap out of ghouls or other permanently dual-natured races/critters in one generation.

Disclaimer: I don't have my book here, but I'm making some assumptions with stats. Basically, if there's a typo or a retarded mistaken in the main book, like not giving Ghouls or a spirit the "Perception" or "Sneaking" skill, I'm assuming they have it. I'm trying to make this realistic for the game world, not beholden to a statblock that may or may not have mistakes in it. Much like the Sangre Del Diablo discussion in other threads, if a critter SHOULD have a skill but a typo doesn't give it to them, screw that. They have it. If anyone responds to this post by saying "Ghouls can't reasonably sneak, they don't have the skill" or something, I will kick you in the face, because you're being deliberately retarded, and I'll counter that the spirit doesn't have Parazoology as a skill, and doesn't actually know what a Ghoul is or looks like, so he can't find any.

Part 1.
For part 1, let's suppose there's some astral entity that doesn't have AOE attacks. Because, you know, we're talking about astral combat and not the astral eqivalent of "lololol I drop grenades on you!" Let's assume this thing is force 5, and ergo has 5 in all of its relevant skills and stats in astral space. Let's assume it *hates ghouls*, and gets its jollies off by attacking them. There are three ghouls. These ghouls aren't freshly turned, and have an astral combat diepool of 6 - they have a stat of 3 and a skill of 3 in unarmed combat, or whatevever breakdown you're comfortable with.

All it's gonna take to actually threaten that astral creature with possible death is for the ghouls to attack that spirit once. Sure, he can zip in and be all like "Booyah, I unload my 10 die pool on you, hahaha!" and probably hurt one. But three on one with a die pool of 6 for each attacker isn't much to sneeze at, either. In a reasonable breakdown of events, the astral critter will do a level of damage or two to one of the ghouls, and then the ghouls will gang up on it before it can zip out of range - you don't get to fly in and fly out free of charge, remember. Those three ghouls will likely do 2 or 3 levels of damage right back to the spirit, owing to the fact they can knock his die pool and gang up on him. And immediately you begin to see that if he sticks around, this is gonna snowball into bad news for his face. Statistically, he's going to die.

Have you noticed that damn near every naturally dual-natured creature type is described as living/travelling in packs or is magically active? This is why. Gang up on your enemies, and you will own them.

Part 2
Now, let's talk about the reality of the situation: damn near anything that is fully astral has spells or spell-like effects they can bomb onto targets in the aforementioned "lololol I drop grenades" tactic. And they're gonna use them. So let's look at the reality of how this shit is gonna go down.
1) Realistically, anything engaging in genocide is going to be Force 6 or so. I'd even go up to 8. It's not going to get higher than that, because in practice, anything with Force over 8 that's free is going to be spending its time on more constructive endeavours, or is probably going to be dangerous enought to get it itself killed by something working at cross-purposes, because force 9+ free spirits are thin on the ground.
2) Anything being genocided is going to be living in dense terrain. This is because everything I can think of that's dual natured and doesn't have their own ranged effects is a city-dweller or forest-dweller. Specifically, the city dwellers are creatures that live in marginalized territories such as underground, abandoned building complexes, sewers, etc. So again, let's talk about Ghouls, because they're very convenient for our purposes. Other creatures have shit like Fear, Paralyzing Howl, Concealment, and other powers that skew this immediately away from the Spirit's favor, which is why we wanna talk about Ghouls.
3) We can assume that ghouls will live in hives, in packs, and won't be too terribly sharp upstairs, but will have decent hunting intuition. Let's not pull any punches here: Ghouls in their home warrens aren't rocket scientists, but they aren't idiots, either: they know how to hunt and protect themselves, in simple fashions. Ergo, they'll have set up traps for intruders, have cover, and generally know the terrain.

Let's assume the ghouls have generically 6 dice in "punching the spirit", and 7-8 dice in athletics/stealth, because that's about what I recall their RAW stat breakdown would give them. Let's pretend there haven't been any typos in the book, again, and they have the small selection of skills they should have, as ghouls: combat, sneaking, surviving, and runnin' around.

The location: An abandoned apartment block. It'll have a background count, aspected toward ghouls/death/nastiness of 1-2. Let's assume it's 1, cuz they MIGHT kill someone and be awful now and again, but mostly they eat corpses they find, not babies. This means our spirit - let's say it's a spirit of man, cuz they have innate spells - is down a force, giving him Force 5. Let's suppose this is a small ghoul pack, only 15 or so. Let's also assume the Spirit of Man is the one above, and he's rolling with Detect [Ghoul] and Manaball rather than Stunball; manaball means he doesn't have to manifest to finish the job.

The Spirit of Man is going to know where everyone is, sure, as long as he's got that detection spell up - but he's still gotta suck the sustaining penalty if he does. Additionally, while he knows where ghouls *are*, it doesn't mean he'll be able to target them with spells: he still needs LoS for that, and that means he still has to roll against their stealth to actually *get* LoS. He might get a bonus, or remove whatever bonuses THEY get from cover, but it's not a sure thing. We can also assume that if he hits them with the manaball, they're toast. The spirit definitely has the advantage in the "whomp" category.

But the first thing the ghouls will upon combat would likely be to scatter into groups: this is pretty standard for packs defending their home. There will be a couple of "easier" targets to get the spirit's attention while the rest jockey for position. Given the urban terrain, the spirit's not going to be able to get range on them of greater than 10 meters or so - somehting any ghoul can close in the blink of an eye. The spirit won't be able to get range even if it moves away, because the ghouls will be seeking enclosed spaces which are easily defended in hand-to-hand combat. They'll all be trying to outmanouver the spirit, like a wolf pack: lure him in somewhere with clustered targets just out of sight, and then pile on him with their hands while he blasts them with spells. At 6 dice for attack, with groups of ghouls doing the attacking, that spirit is gonna have to be mighty lucky not to start hurting real quick into the fight.

Yes, the spirit can lay waste, but its only real advantage is an area where it can stay out of reach, in LOS, and bomb them with spells. Any animal so threatened is going to retreat to an enclosed space when so threatened. It's bad for dual-natured creatures, but not as bad as it first seems.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dakka Dakka
post Jan 12 2011, 09:54 PM
Post #18


Prime Runner
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,507
Joined: 11-November 08
Member No.: 16,582



QUOTE (Adarael @ Jan 12 2011, 08:05 PM) *
Similarly, Fire Elementals can probably lay waste to vast tracts of the world's ghouls, but why should they? It's not like the ghouls can particularly even inconvenience a free spirit.
The easiest reason is their summoner told them to. Human mages have every reason to eradicate ghouls or everyone will be a ghoul sooner rather than later.

QUOTE (Adarael @ Jan 12 2011, 08:05 PM) *
All it's gonna take to actually threaten that astral creature with possible death is for the ghouls to attack that spirit once. Sure, he can zip in and be all like "Booyah, I unload my 10 die pool on you, hahaha!" and probably hurt one. But three on one with a die pool of 6 for each attacker isn't much to sneeze at, either. In a reasonable breakdown of events, the astral critter will do a level of damage or two to one of the ghouls, and then the ghouls will gang up on it before it can zip out of range - you don't get to fly in and fly out free of charge, remember. Those three ghouls will likely do 2 or 3 levels of damage right back to the spirit, owing to the fact they can knock his die pool and gang up on him. And immediately you begin to see that if he sticks around, this is gonna snowball into bad news for his face. Statistically, he's going to die.
This asumes that a) the ghouls are not surprised b) they have Initative or have delayed their actions c) the ghouls can keep up with the spirits speed of 33 m/IP (100m/turn 3 IPs). Anyone can walk, attack and walk again. So the only time the spirit can be hurt is at the moment it strikes one of the ghouls. I doubt they will manage that. so it's more like 1 on one or 1 on 2.
Additionally nobody said that the spirit needs to be alone.

QUOTE (Adarael @ Jan 12 2011, 08:05 PM) *
The location: An abandoned apartment block. It'll have a background count, aspected toward ghouls/death/nastiness of 1-2. Let's assume it's 1, cuz they MIGHT kill someone and be awful now and again, but mostly they eat corpses they find, not babies. This means our spirit - let's say it's a spirit of man, cuz they have innate spells - is down a force, giving him Force 5.
This has a side effects which make the whole scenario moot: Normal (as in not otherwise awakened) Ghouls will no longer be dual-natured as their MAG Attribute drops to 0. Without astral perception they are blind, and targets for the mundane cleanup crew.

QUOTE (Adarael @ Jan 12 2011, 08:05 PM) *
Yes, the spirit can lay waste, but its only real advantage is an area where it can stay out of reach, in LOS, and bomb them with spells. Any animal so threatened is going to retreat to an enclosed space when so threatened. It's bad for dual-natured creatures, but not as bad as it first seems.
You seem to forget that before and after each attack the spirit can hide behind a convenient wall and force a new surprise test, possibly without the +6 for an ambush. If it drops the sustained spell or has it sustained by someone else, a force 6 Spirit of Man still scores one more hit than the average ghoul. A successful ambush means 3 net hits on average. So the average ghoul can't react to the spirit.

Even if it goes wrong once in a while a magician can summon more spirits. All he has to cope with is some drain. If his Mag is great enough he'll only have to swallow some pain killers (Stun damage). Someone who plans this probably has some medtechs on call, if he can't do it himself.

BTW can ghouls eat ghoul flesh?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ascalaphus
post Jan 12 2011, 10:13 PM
Post #19


Runner
******

Group: Members
Posts: 2,899
Joined: 29-October 09
From: Leiden, the Netherlands
Member No.: 17,814



I think with most paracritters, being dual-natured was meant to be an advantage, perhaps even one that made them useful in security applications. However, in practice it does seem a lot like a liability.

I like giving ghouls Echolocation instead of Dual-Natured. It still fits the blindness theme, but makes them less sitting ducks. (I also seriously downgrade the infectiousness, since the author of that said it was a mistake.)

Generally, I'd give paracritters either
a) the ability to turn Dual-Natured off
b) some sort of astral ranged attack to defend itself with, even if that's only a Fear power
c) both of the above
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Adarael
post Jan 12 2011, 10:52 PM
Post #20


Deus Absconditus
******

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 2,742
Joined: 1-September 03
From: Downtown Seattle, UCAS
Member No.: 5,566



QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jan 12 2011, 01:54 PM) *
This asumes that a) the ghouls are not surprised b) they have Initative or have delayed their actions c) the ghouls can keep up with the spirits speed of 33 m/IP (100m/turn 3 IPs). Anyone can walk, attack and walk again. So the only time the spirit can be hurt is at the moment it strikes one of the ghouls. I doubt they will manage that. so it's more like 1 on one or 1 on 2.


While it's true that the spirit could surprise them, it is unlikely the spirit has invested any skill points in any of the skills in the Stealth group unless it's a sneaky-themed spirit. Given the situation, it seems likely the ghouls would at least equal the spirit's stealth pool, and all it takes is one of the many ghouls to roll effectively and shriek to raise the alarm. Speed alone doesn't provide surprise - or rather, it cannot be the ONLY guarantor of surprise. The ghouls should have some kind of roll. The ghouls will cease being surprised the moment any of them die, at the very least.

On the subject of movement, the Spirit does have 33m per pass. That's physically a lot faster than a ghoul, yeah. But it's not an instant win button by any stretch. I'll explain why later.

QUOTE
Additionally nobody said that the spirit needs to be alone.

True. But once you get into spirit swarms, the issue becomes not "Why is astral combat so hard for dual-natured critters" and more "Why do things get stomped flat by a spirit swarm." And eventually, some more intelligent ghouls or critters are probably gonna hire a hitman to handle you. Say, the Ghoul magician in Eyewitness.

QUOTE
This has a side effects which make the whole scenario moot: Normal (as in not otherwise awakened) Ghouls will no longer be dual-natured as their MAG Attribute drops to 0. Without astral perception they are blind, and targets for the mundane cleanup crew.


This is a tricky interpretation, and one I don't agree with. I see no reason why they would be considered "blind", rather than simply suffer a penalty. This is because if you look strictly at the rules, if their magic is reduced to 0, they should die, right? And even if that's not true, they're no longer dual-natured in 90% of the areas they live in, given the background count they'd have. Except that's obviously not the case. Even if you do accept this as true, they're FAR from helpless: they have enhanced senses hearing and smell, and can almost certainly maul the crap out of most "mundane cleanup" crews. And they can also step out of the (magic) meters radius of the spell. It's not that far reaching, after all.

Regardless, this discussion is about astral combat between astral and dual-natured entities, so for the purposes of this discussion, casting astral static to render ghouls no longer dual-natured results in a net *loss* for the attacker: he can no longer accomplish his goal without manifesting, which is a weaker tactical position.

QUOTE
You seem to forget that before and after each attack the spirit can hide behind a convenient wall and force a new surprise test, possibly without the +6 for an ambush. If it drops the sustained spell or has it sustained by someone else, a force 6 Spirit of Man still scores one more hit than the average ghoul. A successful ambush means 3 net hits on average. So the average ghoul can't react to the spirit.


Hardly. I suspect, instead, that it has been forgotten that held actions don't disappear. I shall explain. This is the "later" section I was talking about. Let's assume the following: spirit busts into apartment block, manaballs 4 ghouls from surprise, and cackles. The remaining 12 ghouls are freaked out and scatter into four groups of 3. Initiative numbers are as follows:
Spirit: Eleventy billion, aka "first".
Ghoul Group 1: 9
Ghoul Group 2: 8
Ghoul Group 3: 7
Ghoul Group 4: 6

On Eleventy billion, the spirit pursues Ghoul Group 1, and blows them into chucky salsa with a manaball.
On 8, 7, and 6, the ghouls move into other rooms and hide. They are walking, and functionally holding their actions.
On eleventy billion, pass 2, the Spirit pursues Ghoul Group 2 into their room with the intent to turn them into salsa.
As an interrupt, ghoul Group 2 unholds its action and pre-emptively (or at the same time, depending on how you read the rules) attacks the spirit. One or more of these ghouls makes shieking noises (a free action) to alert the other ghouls.
Concurrently, the other ghouls decide to use their movement to head to the same room, rather than away from each other. This is not an action, just a different use of their pre-existing movement; their actual actions are held.
All ghouls roll to attack, getting 3 successes each (6 + 2 friends in melee, averaging 2.66 successes a piece at 8 dice). The spirit defends, rolling 11, 10, and 9 dice. It dodges all three attacks.
The spirit - concurrently or right after, depending - uses manaball. All ghouls in Group 2 die. It uses movement to head toward the other ghouls, but pulls up short so as to surprise them.
On Eleventy Billion, Pass three, the spirit pokes his head into the room to cast manaball.
As an interrupt, all six ghouls attack. We could intersperse some surprise rolls here, but I take a dim view of surprise working when all six defenders are in one room, waiting for something to come through a wall. It seems... unlikely.
All six ghouls roll 3 successes, with their die pools of 6 + max friends in melee bonus. The spirit rolls his defense: 11 (4 successes), 10 (3 successes), 9 (3), 8 (3), 7 (2), 6 (2). So he's hit twice. He'll roll his body of 5 vs the ghoul damage of 7P (Str 4, Natural Weapon +2, 1 success). Damage may be lower than that, I suppose: I'm working from memory on base ghoul stats, but it seems probable they'll have a strength of 4-5, and I think the natural weapon does +1 or +2 damage, *and* the natural weapon lets them use their str in damage in astral combat according to earlier discussions on Dumpshock. On average, the spirit reduces that 7p to 5p.
Spirit dies, owing to the background count having reduced its damage track to 10 boxes. Possibly all the ghouls die from the manaball, depending. Even if the spirit doesn't die, he came really close to dying.

The key here is that held actions don't just disappear, until the turn is entirely over. Walking movement isn't an action, just regular old manouvering. If held actions disappeared after the pass they were on, anyone with less initiative would automatically lose; an attacker could take cover for pass 1, and then free-kill anything on passes 2, 3, 4, etc. That is explicitly not the case. The held actions likewise should be used as a concurrent interrupt for the same reasons, although the book is unclear by my recollection as to what the order of combat operations is, in this case.
You'll note that in the above example, if the ghouls HAD used stealth as their action, it would have been easier for him to kill them. And I didn't even factor the Detect Ghoul sustaining penalty in, in his defense rolls.

This was a small hive, and only had 16 ghouls. Larger hives - 30, 40 ghouls - are gonna just swarm the spirit like ants, and take cover if it retreats. If the spirit survives a volley of attacks and can't kill all of them with a manaball - likely, if his vision is restricted or they're all around him - then he'll take free attacks when he tries to break away from the pack.

Point being: this is how animals defend themselves. They live and hunt in packs and jump your ass because if they let you come after them one by one, they lose. They have to pile on you.

QUOTE
Even if it goes wrong once in a while a magician can summon more spirits. All he has to cope with is some drain. If his Mag is great enough he'll only have to swallow some pain killers (Stun damage). Someone who plans this probably has some medtechs on call, if he can't do it himself.


True, but here we begin breaking away from the thought experiment of "why is astral combat hard for dual-natured creatures" and return to "how do I kill ghouls".

QUOTE
BTW can ghouls eat ghoul flesh?

I suspect they *can*, but probably *don't*, either because it tastes bad or isn't as nutritious or whatever. Otherwise they'd be solitary creatures.

Edit:
I recognize my opinion is based on certain rules assumptions, but I don't think any of this is house rules territory, at least to the best of my memory. Certainly, a given GM could give surprise rolls to the spirit and ghouls, but I find that a little cheesy, and as a player would begin asking for surprise rolls every time I entered a room expecting to find an enemy, even if one wasn't there or I didn't concretely know where people were in it. But I admit, rules calls could go other ways here. It was simply to show that hey, spirits don't necessarily have carte blanche to maul ghouls in their home environs.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dakka Dakka
post Jan 12 2011, 11:14 PM
Post #21


Prime Runner
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,507
Joined: 11-November 08
Member No.: 16,582



You seem to use surprise differently than the book tells us. It can occur anytime something new happens even in the middle of combat.
QUOTE ('SR4A p. 165')
Surprise may also occur within combats that have already started. A security guard may, for example, walk in a room to find a shadowrunner trying to strangle his partner. Whenever new characters are unexpectedly introduced to a combat situation, the gamemaster should make a surprise test between the characters already involved and the ones just entering, and apply surprise effects as appropriate. The characters already involved in the combat do not have to check against each other for surprise.
Since the ghouls can't know when and from which angle the spirit will pop in, they should make a surprise test, which they will probably fail. So they do have their delayed action but can't use it to interact with the spirit.

QUOTE (Adarael @ Jan 12 2011, 11:52 PM) *
I suspect they *can*, but probably *don't*, either because it tastes bad or isn't as nutritious or whatever. Otherwise they'd be solitary creatures.
Do you have anything concrete on that? I imagine some sapient ghouls would see eating their feral brothers as the lesser of two evils. They are even more dangerous to humans since they lack the inhibitions of the saner ones. As such they are a liability for the saner ghouls. Feral dangerous creatures will be put down with a lot less moral qualms than blind sapient humans with a skin condition. Sorry for the derailment.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Adarael
post Jan 12 2011, 11:26 PM
Post #22


Deus Absconditus
******

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 2,742
Joined: 1-September 03
From: Downtown Seattle, UCAS
Member No.: 5,566



The key here is "unexpectedly introduced to combat." If I'm a ghoul and Bob screams "KREEEEEASARREEEEERREER!" which is ghoul for "MY FACE IT BURNS OH GOD" and I decide to step into an enclosed space and attack the next thing I see, a spirit popping his head in isn't exactly "unexpected".

The spirit probably doesn't know exactly where in the area the ghouls are, either, only where *generally* they are, so the ghouls might get the bonus too. Unless the spirit rolls way fantastic on his detect ghouls, anyway:

Spirit: 11 dice, force 6 spell reduced to force 5 by the area's background count. Probably 4 hits. Sick.
Ghouls: Resist with 3 dice. Probably 1.

Threshold 3 is enough to know generally where, and generally how far the target is, but not where in specific. Like, "he's in the living room", but not "behind the door when you step in." (That's my recollection of the chart, anyway)

If we wanna pull out ambush rolls, this whole experiment gets way complicated way fast, but the spirit's gonna be hurting more, IMO. Why? He's entering a room, and any room he enters with ghouls in it, they're gonna be waiting to pounce, ergo +6 dice for an ambush situation. Just because they don't know what angle or when he's gonna pop in doesn't mean it's a surprise test, IMO. If I'm in some underbrush waiting for the bear I saw maul my partner, it's sure as fuck not gonna surprise me, because I'm looking every which way. Plus, there's always the question of "does angle actually matter for astral perception, since it's not sight."

If angle and method of attack are all it takes to make a surprise test necessary, then if I shoot through a wall at someone, they don't get to dodge, because they didn't know where through the wall I was going to fire from. While you CAN read the rules like that, it makes defense a bad proposition.

As to the second thing, no. But I think the Runner's Companion mentions something.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dakka Dakka
post Jan 12 2011, 11:56 PM
Post #23


Prime Runner
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,507
Joined: 11-November 08
Member No.: 16,582



It's not like the spirit can only enter through one or two openings in the room. It can enter from anywhere, the floor, the ceiling, any wall.Not sure if you can successfully plan an ambush in that situation.

While the ghoul can move 10m/turn without an action, it cannot do that in every direction. 3m straight up will be difficult for the ghoul. There probably won't be rooms like this in their warren, but they will have to leave their home one time or another to eat.

It may be an omission on the ghoul's and all other critters' entries, but by RAW they can't even attack the spirit:
QUOTE ('SR4A p. 165')
Astrally perceiving and dual-natured characters use their Physical attributes and skills to fight opponents with a physical body, and their Astral Combat + Willpower to fight wholly astral entities.
You cannot default on Astral Combat, and the claws should mean nothing in astral space. But then again they pierce ItNW by RAW.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Adarael
post Jan 13 2011, 12:07 AM
Post #24


Deus Absconditus
******

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 2,742
Joined: 1-September 03
From: Downtown Seattle, UCAS
Member No.: 5,566



True. But I think the potency of surprise, and the fact that it's "all or nothing" means that surprise should be used sparingly, especially in cases where the participants in combat are aware there are hostiles in the vicinity. Combat-ready troops who are expecting an attack don't focus on only one direction: they're constantly checking around themselves, turning, making sure nothing is flanking them. You can see it in troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the best example was in a mid-90s documentary on the IDF I saw, with a bunch of IDF soldiers in Nablus or somewhere. Basically I think giving surprise in a situation where people are in that state really runs the risk of turning everything into "surprise the enemy or die, because they'll surprise you."

Yes, they'll have to leave. But that's why they hunt in packs. Basically my entire thought experiment is to put to light that the oft-quoted opinion that dual-natured creatures are helpless is really quite false- they're at a disadvantage, yes, but they're not instantly dead. And, leaving aside for the moment the idea of a magician with a vendetta against ghouls, there's functionally no reason for astral entities to attack the ghouls sans provocation ANYWAY, any more than there is for your mage to be attacked by a roving Dragon simply because he's there.

And yeah. You can't default on astral combat, but it's the stated opinion of most of the writers and the FAQ that they should use their Unarmed Combat skill if they have a Natural Weapon. Yes, I know it's the FAQ, but really that's the only answer that makes logical sense. Even if we ignore that, we should grant them an Astral Combat skill and explain its lack as an oversight, because to do otherwise is ridiculous.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Draco18s
post Jan 13 2011, 12:27 AM
Post #25


Immortal Elf
**********

Group: Members
Posts: 10,289
Joined: 2-October 08
Member No.: 16,392



QUOTE (Adarael @ Jan 12 2011, 07:07 PM) *
Combat-ready troops who are expecting an attack don't focus on only one direction: they're constantly checking around themselves, turning, making sure nothing is flanking them.


You haven't seen Aliens, have you?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

5 Pages V   1 2 3 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 5th June 2023 - 12:55 AM

Topps, Inc has sole ownership of the names, logo, artwork, marks, photographs, sounds, audio, video and/or any proprietary material used in connection with the game Shadowrun. Topps, Inc has granted permission to the Dumpshock Forums to use such names, logos, artwork, marks and/or any proprietary materials for promotional and informational purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with the Dumpshock Forums in any official capacity whatsoever.