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> Making a combat mage
scarius
post Mar 19 2011, 12:07 PM
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hey guys, this will be my first time ever running a combat mage (as a PC) i was just wondering if i could get some help from people.

i understand that i want to have my willpower and logic as high as i can get them, but apart from magic 6, spellcasting 5 and counterspelling 5, is their anything else that i need.

any help would be awesome

oh also we are useing shadowrun 4a, my street magic book is still on its way (hopefully here before the first game) and the GM running this will be using my books (runners companion, aresenal, augmentation, unwired, shadowrun 4A (street magic 2nd printing (i think) when it gets here)) we are also using 420/450 BP, i cant remember at the moment.

cheers
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Makki
post Mar 19 2011, 01:08 PM
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well. you will be, where the action is, so you need all the standard stuff, every runner needs. Stealth to not be seen and surprise the enemies. Perception to not be surprised. Body and Armor to withstand a hit. Dodge to not get hit. If you are a Logic guy, maybe a rank in Hardware, to hack Maglocks, in case nobody else can do it.
You don't really need Magic 6. it's very expensive with 25 BP. it's "just" 30 Karma later. And Force 6 spell are really not necessary for a long while. you can just overcast the direct combat spells.
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Mäx
post Mar 19 2011, 01:31 PM
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QUOTE (scarius @ Mar 19 2011, 02:07 PM) *
i understand that i want to have my willpower and logic as high as i can get them, but apart from magic 6, spellcasting 5 and counterspelling 5, is their anything else that i need.

As a combat mage you want to consider making an intuition tradition mage(when your street magic arrives) instead of logic tradition, as then your second drain stat also gives you higher iniative.
You should also consider taking restricted gear quality and investing 100k (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) on a force 4 power focus(or 75k (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) for a combat spellcasting focus if you only care about casting combat spells).
And ofcource get a mentor spirit that gives +2 dice to combat spells.
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Whipstitch
post Mar 19 2011, 01:52 PM
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There's plenty of good ways to build a combat mage, especially with 450 build points available to help pad out your other skills. 6 Magic is an OK option in a 450 point game, but if it comes down to picking between Magic 6 or having Summoning and a good Power or Combat Spell Focus I would definitely choose the latter. A good Power focus can easily make up for the die you lose from dropping to magic 5 in most situations while Summoning gives quite a bit of versatility for its point cost given that you're already paying for a good Magic attribute regardless. Spirits are quite good combat aids thanks to their durability, elemental attacks and Fear while powers like Concealment, Guard, Movement and Divining can help you contribute in situations where blowing everyone up isn't the best option. Generally I'd always take summoning unless the character background has a specific reason for not taking them.
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Dakka Dakka
post Mar 19 2011, 02:09 PM
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Levitate, Improved invisibility and Detect enemies can make up for lack of Stealth and Perception and o other things besides.

I second that you should use spirits as well as spells.

You may want to consider taking some 'ware. Synaptic Boosters are good so that you a) needn't sustain increase reflexes and b) no amount of background count can take away those extra IPs. Depending on Metatype Cybereyes may be a good investment as well. Later on maybe trauma dampeners and/or platelet factories. For a LOG-based tradition the Cerebral booster is one of the few implants that raises LOG.
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Medicineman
post Mar 19 2011, 04:00 PM
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If you allready have the Runners Compendium...you may consider Surge with improved metagenetic Ability WIL to raise it to 7
If your Drainpool is high enough you could cast simultaneous Spells with a Split Pool....
also Surge makes interesting Chars something more beside the ...standard Combat Mage
Maybe a surged Menehune (...Surfer,Combat Mage, Dwarf.... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) levitate on Surfboard,Wind blowing in the Hair and Beard, and blasting off severall Mooks with a single Spell (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) )

with a synergist Dance
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Shaikujin
post Mar 19 2011, 04:43 PM
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I'll add that conjuring is very useful as well. You can use spirits as meat shields, tanks, distractions, scouts, spotters, surveillance etc. Task spirits can be very useful for certain tasks as well.

Though I'm partial to using elves (+2 char) and a charisma based tradition. Do not waste the extra BP to max out the last point of any stats or skills. Use it to improve other stats/skills instead.
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Doc Byte
post Mar 19 2011, 05:41 PM
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QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Mar 19 2011, 03:09 PM) *
You may want to consider taking some 'ware. Synaptic Boosters are good so that you a) needn't sustain increase reflexes and b) no amount of background count can take away those extra IPs. Depending on Metatype Cybereyes may be a good investment as well. Later on maybe trauma dampeners and/or platelet factories. For a LOG-based tradition the Cerebral booster is one of the few implants that raises LOG.


Signed. For me 'Combat Mage' implies 'ware since the SR1 archetype.
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TheOOB
post Mar 19 2011, 07:04 PM
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First choice is of course deciding what you mean by combat mage. There are mages who focus on direct combat spells, and mages who focus on killing things with guns and grenades...and can also summon fire spirits.

In any case, here are my 2 nuyen.

Hard capping any attribute in the BP system is a trap. There are so many other things that extra BP could be spend on. The price for that one point of magic could pay for all your gear you need and then some. Remember that magic 6 costs 30 karma, and a BP is worth about 2 karma.

From a BP to Karma conversion rate, having one skill at 6 is better than two at 5, but even so, unless your GM has assured you magical opponents will be common you don't need counterspelling above 4. It's a good skill, but in most games enemy magicians are fairly uncommon.

Unless you have a good reason not to, every runner should have the pistols, infiltration, perception, and etiquette skills with at least 1 or two ranks. These are all core bread-and-butter skills that are kinda necessary for your profession. Make sure you take summoning and binding as well, 4+ points each. Conjuring spirits is perhaps the most powerful thing magicians can do, and the 32 BP you spend to be a string conjurer will be some of the most valuable BP you'll spend bar none. Also, since you are a magician, take at least one rank of assessing, more if you can, but the skill is amazing. Only take astral combat if you really want a weapon foci. Stunbolt and/or Manabolt are just fine for fighting in the astral plane. They do more damage, and don't require you to go into melee with the ghoul or that adept. A large 2 handed weapon foci can make astral combat viable, but I generally save that for the adepts. Also to note, you should either have the dodge skill, or gymnastics and a melee combat skill, whichever option floats your boat.

If your going a gun mage, longarms or automatics will help, and you should get some 'ware. Muscle toner is always a win, and if you can afford it an synaptic booster(alternatly, you can save up for a health sustaining foci to use magic for passes. Bonus to traditions who have spirits of man, you can have the spirit cast and sustain the spell). In that case you should take only 1 or 2 direct combat spells to start(stunbolt), and use the rest of your spells for other purposes(levitate, physical barrier, critter form, ball lightning, ect).

If you are planning on using spells to kill people, pistols should be fine(but don't neglect the skill), and get spells focused around killing people fast(stunbolt and ball, powerbolt, ect). To note, spells, even direct combat spells, are a fairly inefficient way to defeat foes when compared to guns. On average a runner with an Ares Predator and a little 'ware will exceed or at least match your stopping power, and even overcasting you'll never kill as effectively as your street samurai with his Ares Alpha, and neither of them risk drain. As such, if your role on the team is damage dealer, playing a gun mage will be more effective, though maybe not what you are looking for.
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Sengir
post Mar 19 2011, 08:03 PM
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Remember that security guards also know to geek the mage first. Or rather, a good GM knows that his security goons have little chance against a mage (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
Anyway, don't neglect the various barrier and armour spells, and if possible pick a tradition which does not require wizard hats or feather crowns. Depending on your Initiative, the Adrenalin [something] quality from RC might also be a good idea, it lets you get the first shot or a barrier up regardless of Initiative.
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TheOOB
post Mar 20 2011, 03:44 AM
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QUOTE (Sengir @ Mar 19 2011, 03:03 PM) *
Remember that security guards also know to geek the mage first. Or rather, a good GM knows that his security goons have little chance against a mage (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
Anyway, don't neglect the various barrier and armour spells, and if possible pick a tradition which does not require wizard hats or feather crowns. Depending on your Initiative, the Adrenalin [something] quality from RC might also be a good idea, it lets you get the first shot or a barrier up regardless of Initiative.


I generally avoid armor spells, -2 sustain penalty is usually not worth the armor bonus, and if your going to use a sustaining foci/man spirit you could go better with increase reaction. Just my 2c
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Epicedion
post Mar 20 2011, 03:59 AM
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If you want to make a kick-ass mage, sure, buy your Magic and Spellcasting up through the roof.

If you want to make a kick-ass combat mage, your points are probably better spent on some guns and gear. Any kick-ass mage is only one botched Drain roll or one partially-resisted gunshot away from being a useless mage (or, more likely, one-good-spell-away-from-being-unconscious mage).

What you don't want to do is maximize how effective your spells are. You want to balance out your spells with how much other firepower you can bring to bear. You're better off being a crack shot with a machine gun and grenade launcher than you are if you can just kick out a Force 6 stunball.

Think about the role of a mage in a combat team, and then remember these tips:

1) Counterspelling is more important than Spellcasting. If you're run-and-gun with the combat squad, one of your primary goals is to protect them all from having their day ruined by a wagemage with Force 4 manaball. Presumably your team can shoot things, and bullets work pretty well at neutralizing threats. After the wagemage blows you all up, he can take a week off to recuperate. You've still got more security teams to get past before you can go home.

2) Banishing can save your sorry ass from being pummeled to death by an Earth spirit faster than your combat spells.

3) No one has to roll up a new character when the Fire spirit dies.

4) The AK-97 doesn't have a Drain Value.

5) Some time when the crew is up against it, and the breaks are beating the boys, get out there and overcast the hell out of your best combat spell to save your team. And win just one for the Zipper. Be prepared for your team to have to haul you out of there afterwards.
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Dakka Dakka
post Mar 20 2011, 08:38 AM
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QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 20 2011, 04:59 AM) *
What you don't want to do is maximize how effective your spells are. You want to balance out your spells with how much other firepower you can bring to bear. You're better off being a crack shot with a machine gun and grenade launcher than you are if you can just kick out a Force 6 stunball.
Can you eleaborate, why you come to this conclusion? I get that you should not forget your defenses, but why do youn need expensive mundane fire power? Is it because of possible background count or not to be singled out as a mage so easily? The latter at least can still be achieved without investing in a lot of attack skills. Just get the equipment posibly even make some of it into fetishes or foci.

Think about the role of a mage in a combat team, and then remember these tips:

QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 20 2011, 04:59 AM) *
1) Counterspelling is more important than Spellcasting. If you're run-and-gun with the combat squad, one of your primary goals is to protect them all from having their day ruined by a wagemage with Force 4 manaball. Presumably your team can shoot things, and bullets work pretty well at neutralizing threats. After the wagemage blows you all up, he can take a week off to recuperate. You've still got more security teams to get past before you can go home.
True. But neutraliing the threat is better than just mitigating the mage's damage. If you can locate the enemy mage, it is good tactics to remove him from combat first. With counterspelling you can't do that.

QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 20 2011, 04:59 AM) *
2) Banishing can save your sorry ass from being pummeled to death by an Earth spirit faster than your combat spells.
A stun bolt does that quicker, and even if the spell does not disrupt the spirit, it at least gets penalties.

QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 20 2011, 04:59 AM) *
3) No one has to roll up a new character when the Fire spirit dies.
What are you talking about? Why would anyone have to die if the mage's or the opponents' spirit died?

QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 20 2011, 04:59 AM) *
4) The AK-97 doesn't have a Drain Value.
True, but Spells are (nearly) always available and some of them have so little drain that you can safely cast them at Force 9.

QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 20 2011, 04:59 AM) *
5) Some time when the crew is up against it, and the breaks are beating the boys, get out there and overcast the hell out of your best combat spell to save your team. And win just one for the Zipper. Be prepared for your team to have to haul you out of there afterwards.
Unless you go for a Fireball or even Napalm spell, you are much more likely to just get 1 or 2 boxes of P damage, which won't even give you a negative dice pool modifier.

It's a good idea though to either have a medic in the team or have First Aid yourself, for when you do suffer from drain or other injuries.
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TheOOB
post Mar 20 2011, 08:54 AM
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QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 19 2011, 11:59 PM) *
If you want to make a kick-ass mage, sure, buy your Magic and Spellcasting up through the roof.

If you want to make a kick-ass combat mage, your points are probably better spent on some guns and gear. Any kick-ass mage is only one botched Drain roll or one partially-resisted gunshot away from being a useless mage (or, more likely, one-good-spell-away-from-being-unconscious mage).

What you don't want to do is maximize how effective your spells are. You want to balance out your spells with how much other firepower you can bring to bear. You're better off being a crack shot with a machine gun and grenade launcher than you are if you can just kick out a Force 6 stunball.

Think about the role of a mage in a combat team, and then remember these tips:

1) Counterspelling is more important than Spellcasting. If you're run-and-gun with the combat squad, one of your primary goals is to protect them all from having their day ruined by a wagemage with Force 4 manaball. Presumably your team can shoot things, and bullets work pretty well at neutralizing threats. After the wagemage blows you all up, he can take a week off to recuperate. You've still got more security teams to get past before you can go home.

2) Banishing can save your sorry ass from being pummeled to death by an Earth spirit faster than your combat spells.

3) No one has to roll up a new character when the Fire spirit dies.

4) The AK-97 doesn't have a Drain Value.

5) Some time when the crew is up against it, and the breaks are beating the boys, get out there and overcast the hell out of your best combat spell to save your team. And win just one for the Zipper. Be prepared for your team to have to haul you out of there afterwards.


1) Unless your GM tells you magical opposition is common, 4 counterspelling is fine at creation. Spellcasting is always useful, counterspelling is only useful when you are facing an opposing spellcaster

2) Unless you want to resummon a spirit that another magician is using, banishing sucks. Spirits can have over a dozen services and the drain is insane. Use stunbolt and/or mana static to defeat spirits

3) Of course, conjuration is the best advantage of being a magician

4) Guns are statistically better than direct damage spells, so yeah

5) Or you could edge the drain resistance (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Mar 20 2011, 04:38 AM) *
True, but Spells are (nearly) always available and some of them have so little drain that you can safely cast them at Force 9.


Math disagrees with you. A force 9 stunbolt has 4 drain, which means you need 12 drain resistance to soak the drain 50% of the time, and you need 18 dice to soak it 90% of the time(actually 89.8%), which I think is a good barrier for safely casting the spell. Even at force 6 a drain resistance of 10(standard for starting characters) you will take damage approximately 10% of the time, and you'll do way less damage than you could with a pistol.

While there are certainly situations where direct combat spells are a better option, when it comes to pure damage dealing ability guns deal more damage, quickly, and with less risk to your personal well being.
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Dakka Dakka
post Mar 20 2011, 09:11 AM
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QUOTE (TheOOB @ Mar 20 2011, 09:54 AM) *
Math disagrees with you. A force 9 stunbolt has 4 drain, which means you need 12 drain resistance to soak the drain 50% of the time, and you need 18 dice to soak it 90% of the time(actually 89.8%), which I think is a good barrier for safely casting the spell. Even at force 6 a drain resistance of 10(standard for starting characters) you will take damage approximately 10% of the time, and you'll do way less damage than you could with a pistol.
Woops I was working with 3 drain, or Force 7 which has the same drain as Force 6. Are you sure that the net damage from a stun bolt is less than a pistol? Still that little nosebleed can be fixed easily with first aid.

QUOTE (TheOOB @ Mar 20 2011, 09:54 AM) *
While there are certainly situations where direct combat spells are a better option, when it comes to pure damage dealing ability guns deal more damage, quickly, and with less risk to your personal well being.
True, but with 400 BP you rarely have good magic skills (which is essential to a full time mage) and still have pints left for good agility, weapon skills and gear, especially if you want the Force 4 Power Focus (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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TheOOB
post Mar 20 2011, 09:37 AM
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Simple exercise. Take an Ares predator with 12 dice(4 skill, 4 agility, 2 specialization, 2 smartlink, easy pool to aquire even on a mage). Opponent with 3 reaction, 3 body, 3 willpower, and an armored vest. You average 3 net hits for 8 damage pre soak, and 5.3 damage post soak.

Stunbolt force 5 12 dice(5 magic, 5 skill, 2 specialty, I think combat is a bad spellcasting specialty, but whatever). Same opponent. Average 3 net hits, for 9 damage.

At first, the stunbolt seems to win, but remember, the predator shoots twice, so it wins on damage by 1.6. So a very un-optimized creation pistol user beats out a fairly optimized spellcaster in damage, and doesn't even risk drain. Imagine if the pistol user had better skills, or weapon mods, or special ammo, or 'ware, or was using an ares alpha.

When I play a mage(which is most the time), I use my gun to kill people, and save my spells for things like phantasm or invisibility(or tell my air spirit to fire an elemental bolt at them). When I can damage spells at people, it's usually because their very high armor(lightning bolt vs drones ftw!) or I need to clear a large amount of people with one action(overcast stunball, which usually hurts), or shooting them is difficult or impossible(guard on the other side of bulletproof glass).
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Epicedion
post Mar 20 2011, 10:21 AM
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TheOOB's got it. Guns do more damage. A 35 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) flashbang is about as good as a stunball.

Combat spells have got to be a last resort for a good combat mage. Unless you overcast everything and can soak tons of drain, everyone else with basic gear and decent skill is going to outclass you on damage. Combat spells are at a sustained combat disadvantage compared to guns. What mages can do that normal gun users can't is drop entire groups or single extremely tough targets.

Take TheOOB's example of guns vs magic, then turn that target into a troll ganger with 9 Body, 10 armor, and a +3 to damage resistance from titanium bone lacing. Your Predator will still probably pump out 8 damage, but there's a 40% chance that the troll isn't going to take any damage. End of the round and he's only got 2-3 damage on him. And then he punches you in the face for 12P. So the mage can go balls to the wall and overcast a stunbolt at Force 10. Even with only 8-9 dice, you've got 1 net hit over the troll. Troll takes 11 stun damage and goes for a nap. Then the mage probably takes a couple physical damage.

That's what the combat mage needs to save all his juice for -- the moments in the run where it's all or nothing. But until those moments arrive, he needs to be good at some other stuff, too.

And I disagree about most spirits having lots of services. If your GM is a dick and every corporate security mage uses expensive bound spirits with a dozen services instead of free unbound spirits with just a few services, then sure, he's made banishing useless. But not every corp should be shelling out 2000 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) so that one of their lackeys can have a semi-permanent Force 4 pet just to guard a warehouse, when he can easily just summon one for free when he goes on shift. If he takes any drain he'll be fine after a couple hours sitting on his butt in the security shack drinking coffee and watching Charles in Charge.
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Mäx
post Mar 20 2011, 10:42 AM
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QUOTE (TheOOB @ Mar 20 2011, 11:37 AM) *
Simple exercise. Take an Ares predator with 12 dice(4 skill, 4 agility, 2 specialization, 2 smartlink, easy pool to aquire even on a mage). Opponent with 3 reaction, 3 body, 3 willpower, and an armored vest. You average 3 net hits for 8 damage pre soak, and 5.3 damage post soak.

Stunbolt force 5 12 dice(5 magic, 5 skill, 2 specialty, I think combat is a bad spellcasting specialty, but whatever). Same opponent. Average 3 net hits, for 9 damage.

At first, the stunbolt seems to win, but remember, the predator shoots twice, so it wins on damage by 1.6. So a very un-optimized creation pistol user beats out a fairly optimized spellcaster in damage, and doesn't even risk drain. Imagine if the pistol user had better skills, or weapon mods, or special ammo, or 'ware, or was using an ares alpha.

Lets take an actually optimized starting combat mage and see if you can make a shooter that can easily match that damage, especially with out very obvious heavy weapons.
Magic 5
Spellcasting(combat) 5(+2)
Mentor spirit(+2 to combat spells)
Power focus 4
Drain pool of 12 dice for stunbollt

Cast 3 force 7 stunbolts (drain 4P each, on avarage resistance rolls = 0 drain damage), casting pool is 5+5=10/3 = 3,3,4 +2 +2 +4 = 11,11,12 that atleast 3 hits per spell redused to 2 nethit by the opponents resistance roll.
So thats 27S damage to one opponent or 18S to one and 9S to an other or 9S to 3 different opponent(okey the last one might only take 8S)
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Summerstorm
post Mar 20 2011, 11:03 AM
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Hm.. tripple casting? Eh... too unsure for me. I am going with good, old overcasting (also the +1 drain per nethit is often used. In my game is certainly is)

Magic 5, Spellcasting 5 (+2 spec). Casts a F10 Manabolt. Makes a few nethits. Enemy guaranteed to be stunned except: Has magical guard and rolls well, pain editor, Adept with high stun-monitor.

Drain:
Willpower 5, Intuition (or whatever) 5, Fetish +2 (or Bloodfetish +4), Spirit Pact (Drain) +4: 16 (or 18): guaranteed no drain ever for such spells.

And that is with just a easily and non-minmaxed starter character... (which is of course very much too good. I mean constand "5's" in all abilities across the board should be rare... but let's face it: somehow every player character has that.)

Throw in Foci, higher magic, enhanced attributes and metamagical techniques and you rolling 25 dice for drainresist... And that is without going NPC-bloodmage *g*.

My point is: You smuggle in a ring or some other small thing and have a perfectly working sniper-rifle with unlimited ammo in YOUR BRAIN. Only magecuffs can disarm you. (I am guessing every mage in his second or third initiation takes Cleansing as metamagic and as such CAN ignore BC at least for a little while in exchange for an action)

Same is with Air Spirits: They just CAN NOT (against reasonable resistance) fail to take someone out. They can just engulf someone and he is gone.
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Epicedion
post Mar 20 2011, 11:13 AM
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QUOTE (Mäx @ Mar 20 2011, 05:42 AM) *
Lets take an actually optimized starting combat mage and see if you can make a shooter that can easily match that damage, especially with out very obvious heavy weapons.
Magic 5
Spellcasting(combat) 5(+2)
Mentor spirit(+2 to combat spells)
Power focus 4
Drain pool of 12 dice for stunbollt

Cast 3 force 7 stunbolts (drain 4P each, on avarage resistance rolls = 0 drain damage), casting pool is 5+5=10/3 = 3,3,4 +2 +2 +4 = 11,11,12 that atleast 3 hits per spell redused to 2 nethit by the opponents resistance roll.
So thats 27S damage to one opponent or 18S to one and 9S to an other or 9S to 3 different opponent(okey the last one might only take 8S)


You can't make a starting character with a Force 4 power focus.

Also your math is way off. Any sane GM is going to use Specializations as a modifer to the skill rating and not as a dice pool modifier, so it's going to be applied pre-split. Likewise, any sane GM isn't going to let you get triple dice out of a single focus in one casting action. Proclaiming the effectiveness of certain things while ignoring other rules precedent and taking huge liberties with RAI is no way to go through life. That's just instigating rules lawyer-y fights at the game table. "No, no, as a starting character I TOTALLY get 12 dice on each of my 3 spells I multicast this action phase, it's TOTALLY in the rules!" is a good way to get smacked on the back of the head with the book.

With a chargen-legal Force 2 power focus, you're looking at 5+5+2+2 = 14, so 5, 5, 4. No "guaranteed" hits over the average resist. If you're very optimized, you might have 10 dice to resist 4P 4P 4P, but in all likelihood you'll be taking some damage. You're only 45% likely to resist all 4 drain with 10 dice. There's a significant chance that you'll drop your target if two of those stunbolts get through, but there's also a significant chance that, within a standard deviation or so worth of bad luck, your character will have to find a nice place to lie down, himself.
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Epicedion
post Mar 20 2011, 11:21 AM
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QUOTE (Summerstorm @ Mar 20 2011, 06:03 AM) *
Magic 5, Spellcasting 5 (+2 spec). Casts a F10 Manabolt. Makes a few nethits. Enemy guaranteed to be stunned except: Has magical guard and rolls well, pain editor, Adept with high stun-monitor.

Drain:
Willpower 5, Intuition (or whatever) 5, Fetish +2 (or Bloodfetish +4), Spirit Pact (Drain) +4: 16 (or 18): guaranteed no drain ever for such spells.


I wouldn't say guaranteed. Drain on that is 5P. On your 18 dice there's still almost a 1/4 (23.11%) chance that you'll take at least 1P off of that. Not so bad, but there's still more than a 10% chance that you'll take at least 2P. And somewhat over a 3% chance you'll take at least 3P.

It would be unlucky to take serious damage, but not that unlucky.
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Summerstorm
post Mar 20 2011, 11:35 AM
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Ah, sorry i meant stunbolt, not manabolt. But yeah, with some extra hits it is 5 physical drain. And even if you take some damage, and use no edge to avoid it: Just use a drug providing some pain tolerance. and get first aid later. (First aid is ridiculous overpowered too). As long as you don't get over 3 damage or such you are having virtually no problems.

Just to explain it: I am gming a group where i took over for someone else and have a Pixie in my group, who is insanely min-maxed to hell and back. I think in over one year of gaming i have yet to see her fail any spell and have seen her take VERY low drain maybe twice. The Force 6 Spirits she limited herself to (God knows she could summon maybe eights) are nearly unstoppable. This mixed in with the insane power of some spirit powers available makes a magician the most hard to crack, most dangerous, most elusive and most versatile character on the field. Except from social encounters and prolonged infiltration and of course matrix and electrical security (where a pixie is REALLY bad for) i would say the other characters are just along for the ride.
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Mäx
post Mar 20 2011, 12:26 PM
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QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 20 2011, 01:13 PM) *
You can't make a starting character with a Force 4 power focus.

Ever heard of a quality called Restricted Gear?
QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 20 2011, 01:13 PM) *
Also your math is way off.

No its not, thats how dicepool splitting in this game works.
QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 20 2011, 01:13 PM) *
If you're very optimized, you might have 10 dice to resist 4P 4P 4P, but in all likelihood you'll be taking some damage.

Thats why you go for at least 12 dice to resist that drain(as my post very clearly said)
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Dakka Dakka
post Mar 20 2011, 01:04 PM
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QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 20 2011, 12:13 PM) *
You can't make a starting character with a Force 4 power focus.
Actually you can with the Restricted Gear Quality from the Runner's Companion

QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 20 2011, 12:13 PM) *
Also your math is way off. Any sane GM is going to use Specializations as a modifer to the skill rating and not as a dice pool modifier, so it's going to be applied pre-split. Likewise, any sane GM isn't going to let you get triple dice out of a single focus in one casting action. Proclaiming the effectiveness of certain things while ignoring other rules precedent and taking huge liberties with RAI is no way to go through life. That's just instigating rules lawyer-y fights at the game table. "No, no, as a starting character I TOTALLY get 12 dice on each of my 3 spells I multicast this action phase, it's TOTALLY in the rules!" is a good way to get smacked on the back of the head with the book.
First of all you do not need to question the sanity of people the interpret the rulebooks differently than you.

Secondly the rules for multicasting do not say that dice pool modifiers are added after the split. So this goes both ways. If you don't get the bonus dice form the Power Focus for every roll, the modifiers for darkness, wounds, cover etc are also only subtracted once.

Thirdly here is no rule forbidding you to use the same focus more than once per Action Phase. You are only restricted to only one focus per roll.
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toturi
post Mar 20 2011, 01:42 PM
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QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 20 2011, 07:13 PM) *
Any sane GM is going to use Specializations as a modifer to the skill rating and not as a dice pool modifier, so it's going to be applied pre-split. Likewise, any sane GM isn't going to let you get triple dice out of a single focus in one casting action. Proclaiming the effectiveness of certain things while ignoring other rules precedent and taking huge liberties with RAI is no way to go through life.

I am admittedly insane. But I am interested to see which rules precedent you are refering to. Can you give me a rules quote from the books please?
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