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> Sustaining spells and "other tests", What "other tests", esp. what is not included.
Surukai
post Mar 24 2012, 04:10 PM
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Sustaining a spell adds a stacking -2 penalty to "all other tests" in spellcasting on SR4A p. 182.

Drain resistance is a named exception for this.

But, damage resistance is a test too, right? and "Other tests" does that mean spellcasting is not included? I.e. it debuffs things like shooting and hacking and speaking to people but not spellcasting?

How about defending against attacks in combat?

I didn't really think much about it before and just assumed it was everything but damage/drain resistance since I thought mages were powerful enough anyway but it makes a LOT of spells obsolete unless you can max out them at ludicrous force (Who want +3 reaction when you only net 1 defense severely debuffs everything else)

I guess that is why most mages in my game have just spammed stunbolt/ball and maybe a heal but completely ignored everything you can't put in a sustaining focus... or?
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Yerameyahu
post Mar 24 2012, 04:14 PM
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Any *skill* test, AFAIK? It does seem a little sloppy, given the existence of non-skill tests. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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UmaroVI
post Mar 24 2012, 04:24 PM
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No, it applies to everything that isn't Drain.
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Surukai
post Mar 24 2012, 04:25 PM
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Y: I guess that makes sense. I assume it includes spellcasting future spells too, right?

Umaro: So, thinking about magic makes you take more damage? It sounds a bit strange, even if damage resistance tests is a test and it is "Other than" spellcasting but it is a bit strange.

The strangest is that it doesn't have any adverse affect on casting spells for free (drain resist) even though it would make sense that it is especially on drain resist you loose dice by sustaining spells. In sr3 I recall sustaining spells ONLY made drain harder but nothing else, or is my memory cloudy?
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UmaroVI
post Mar 24 2012, 04:26 PM
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Right. The one thing it doesn't apply to is the test to cast the spell itself, ie, you don't take the Sustaining penalty on Increase Reflexes on the test to cast the Increase Reflexes you are about to sustain.
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Surukai
post Mar 24 2012, 04:49 PM
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It sounds kind of strange that a mage with 2 spells running will constantly get sick (0 body left to resist disease), get worse effect of poisons (Drunk as hell from one sip of beer), take more damage from explosions (0 effective body for damage resist) in addition to the one that can make a little sense (Crappy defence due to no Reaction left).

Unless you of course just replace all crappy illusion "-net hits" debuffs with autokill F11 stun balls (only dwarves have will7 and 12 stunboxes) and have no adverse effects at all (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) It doesn't nerf mages much, it only makes the already less useful spells completely useless.
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Neraph
post Mar 24 2012, 04:52 PM
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QUOTE (UmaroVI @ Mar 24 2012, 11:24 AM) *
No, it applies to everything that isn't Drain.

I've always figured it excluded Damage Resistance Tests also, as those weren't a Test that you consciously attempt in which distraction would hamper your ability. I may also have gotten that impression from the FAQ, but I don't feel like scouring through a FAQ that has (ATM) a poor setup and that many people don't like to hear...
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UmaroVI
post Mar 24 2012, 05:08 PM
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I can't find any exceptions other than Drain, and while some places describe it as "a distraction" the rules make it clear that it applies to all other tests. If there's a clearly opposed statement somewhere I'd like to know.
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Yerameyahu
post Mar 24 2012, 05:48 PM
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Definitely spellcasting, Surakai.

That just seems wrong, Umaro. If it's true, then I feel like most people would instantly houserule it. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Damage resistance, etc. simply shouldn't be affect by penalties. It's like Wound penalties. (Are there other such precedents?)
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Neraph
post Mar 24 2012, 06:06 PM
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QUOTE (UmaroVI @ Mar 24 2012, 12:08 PM) *
I can't find any exceptions other than Drain, and while some places describe it as "a distraction" the rules make it clear that it applies to all other tests. If there's a clearly opposed statement somewhere I'd like to know.

QUOTE (SR4A, page 184)
Note that wound modifiers or sustained spells spells have no effect on the character's dice pool for Drain Resistance Tests.

While sustained spells do offer the opportunity to have an ongoing magical effect, they are also draining on the magician's magical abilities. For each sustained spell the magician maintains, she suffers a -2 dice penalty on all other tests.

If a magician's concentration is disrupted while sustaining a spell, she must make a Spellcasting + Willpower (2) Test to avoid dropping the sustained spell (note that the sustaining modifier does not apply to this test).

Depending on how you want to interpret that, sustaining penalties either only affect magical abilities except for Drain Resistance and Concentration Tests; or it affects all other tests in the game except Drain Resistance and Concentration Tests. If you really want to hardline interpret it, only female mages take sustaining penalties and have to make Concentration Tests.

So the real question is this: which part of the syntax are you paying attention to?
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Yerameyahu
post Mar 24 2012, 06:19 PM
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HA. Jesus, Neraph, the female thing is an all-new high for you. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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UmaroVI
post Mar 24 2012, 08:29 PM
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I think the argument that it only applies to magical tests is extremely fishy. Note that page 182 also has the rule for sustained spells and it just says "-2 for all other tests" and makes no mention of magic. There's no reason to take one place that says all tests, and one place that says all tests and maybe implies that it means only all magical tests, and conclude that it's only magical tests. I'd also note that saying that sustained spells are draining on the magician's magical abilities doesn't preclude them being draining in general.
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Yerameyahu
post Mar 24 2012, 08:36 PM
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I agree. It should apply to almost everything (but not *quite*), which is I think how Wound penalties, Agony, Disorientation, Nausea, Orgasm, etc. all work? (Is that true? If not, it should be: these things should not affect Damage resistance, disease resistance, etc.)
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Neko Asakami
post Mar 24 2012, 08:50 PM
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Personally, I rule that it's anything the character has to do consciously, so things like damage tests and disease resistance don't get the penalty. However, I offer this in support of Umaro, from SR4A pg. 240, under the heading of "Threading," emphasis mine.

QUOTE
Threaded complex forms must be sustained (similar to how magicians sustain spells). Sustaining requires effort on the technomancer’s part, so he suffers a –2 dice pool modifier to all tests for each sustained complex form. This modifier does not apply to use of the threaded complex form, but it does apply to all other actions the technomancer makes.


Since there is no clarification here that says it applies only to Matrix/Sprite-related tests, I would indeed think that (in a rare display of consistency!) the sustaining penalty applies to everything outside of the threading/spell itself.
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Eratosthenes
post Mar 24 2012, 08:56 PM
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QUOTE (Neko Asakami @ Mar 24 2012, 03:50 PM) *
Threaded complex forms must be sustained (similar to how magicians sustain spells). Sustaining requires effort on the technomancer’s part, so he suffers a –2 dice pool modifier to all tests for each sustained complex form. This modifier does not apply to use of the threaded complex form, but it does apply to all other actions the technomancer makes.


So could you make the argument that by stating "all other actions", things like disease resistance and damage resistance (which are not actions) would not suffer the penalty?
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Neko Asakami
post Mar 24 2012, 09:00 PM
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Yeah, I should have said it a bit better.

Edit my statement to say "the sustaining penalty applies to all active tests outside of the threading/spell itself, not just Matrix/Magic related ones."
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UmaroVI
post Mar 24 2012, 09:19 PM
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I agree, actually. Threading applies a penalty to actions not tests - so not to damage resistance tests, defense tests, etc, but yes to, say, attack actions.

Sustaining, sadly, says tests, not actions, and similar != the same.

The ton of illusion spells that give penalties say "actions" as well.

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Yerameyahu
post Mar 24 2012, 09:34 PM
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As they should, because that's what makes sense for anything like this. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Like I said: if the rule is that sustaining affects Damage Resistance, etc., then the very first thing you do is houserule that.
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UmaroVI
post Mar 24 2012, 09:46 PM
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I'm not so sure that's a good idea. Mages aren't exactly underpowered.
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Neko Asakami
post Mar 24 2012, 09:49 PM
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Umaro, I was quoting that mostly to agree with you about it applying to more tests than just Magic/Matrix tests. Since my game takes more of a mystical view of TMs than most (e-Ghosts being the key link between Magic and the Resonance), I personally chose to make the rules consistent between the two. It's what I'd call a "common sense ruling," RAW be damned.

Admittedly though, I can see your POV as well. When a mage is sustaining a spell, they're not just concentrating, but using their body's energy to power that spell. That's less energy available to fight disease, heal yourself, etc.

Edit: Strangely, I think this is the first time Yerameyahu and I have agreed on a rules interpretation!
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Yerameyahu
post Mar 24 2012, 09:49 PM
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It just doesn't make sense. It's a distraction, not a general weakening of their body.

I'm all for hurting mages, but not using weird loopholes.
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HaxDBeheader
post Mar 24 2012, 09:52 PM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 24 2012, 10:34 PM) *
As they should, because that's what makes sense for anything like this. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Like I said: if the rule is that sustaining affects Damage Resistance, etc., then the very first thing you do is houserule that.


I agree. If a test is not effected by being unconscious then it shouldn't be effected by focusing yourself on something (ie damage resistance).
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Yerameyahu
post Mar 24 2012, 09:54 PM
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Now, if you *did* want to specifically make mages *physically* weaker from sustaining, then you could do worse than refluffing it as Neko suggests ('draining their life energies'). This is simply counter to what I understand the sustaining penalty to be (distraction). I'd have to check the books to see where I got this understanding from. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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UmaroVI
post Mar 25 2012, 12:06 AM
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There's one place where it says it is "distracting" and one place where it says it is "draining on the magician's magical abilities."

I think it's more likely that whoever wrote the magic system didn't realize that damage resistance was a test in 4th edition and it never got fixed.
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Yerameyahu
post Mar 25 2012, 02:29 AM
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Yeah. So, I'd either rule that it's actually 'actions', or that sustaining literally 'drains life force' temporarily (if you want to make mages more fragile). (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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