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apple
post Jun 17 2013, 10:28 PM
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http://forums.shadowrun4.com/index.php?topic=11303.0

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Direct combat spells now only do damage equal to net hits.

So no more "stunbolt/stunball for force eight, roll six hits, help yourself to a a nice 14 or so points of stun and call me in the morning when you wake up."

Drain is no longer first aid-able it has to heal naturally not even medkits can help.

Indirect Combat spells do force + net hits damage if they connect with AP equal to the force you cast at but can be dodged like bullets/guns..


So, lets take magic 10, spellcasting 12 and 8 bonus dices 8 (just for the theory, no idea if you can increase your magic attribute and receive any bonus dices):

30 dices by one of the worlds top non-immortal-elves mages. 10 hits (when used at force 10), 7-9 after non-antimagic spell resistance. The powerful (but not worldclass) mage would be in the 5-6 damage area. Compared to 16k grenades, 8k pistols and 11k rifles?

What exactly is the point of of direct combat spells now? Why do they even exist? Whatīs the selling point? Complete silence?

SYL
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Epicedion
post Jun 17 2013, 10:39 PM
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QUOTE (apple @ Jun 17 2013, 05:28 PM) *
http://forums.shadowrun4.com/index.php?topic=11303.0



So, lets take magic 10, spellcasting 12 and 8 bonus dices 8 (just for the theory, no idea if you can increase your magic attribute and receive any bonus dices):

30 dices by one of the worlds top non-immortal-elves mages. 10 hits (when used at force 10), 7-9 after non-antimagic spell resistance. The powerful (but not worldclass) mage would be in the 5-6 damage area. Compared to 16k grenades, 8k pistols and 11k rifles?

What exactly is the point of of direct combat spells now? Why do they even exist? Whatīs the selling point? Complete silence?

SYL


Without even looking at the book I can answer that one:

Direct Combat spells were too good. A Force 5 stunbolt could easily drop an average person instantly with virtually no chance of Drain on the caster. Willpower augmentation is very difficult in Shadowrun, so most average foes have 3 or 4, with 10 Stun boxes. A caster with 15 dice casting at Force 6 would generally ballpark 4-6 hits, and lose one to resistance, doing a good 9 to 11 damage, which is within good odds to immediately drop an average person. Too easy.

So easy, in fact, that in became much more effective to multicast 3 stunbolts rather than casting stunball. And about a zillion times easier and more effective than casting a fireball.

So now, with a split dice pool (and relying on net hits to deal damage), multicasting stunbolts is simply less effective than stunball (where you deal all your damage to the group instead of splitting it) unless your targets are far apart. And it's potentially more effective to hit that group with Ball Lightning, but Ball Lightning will probably hit you with hefty Drain.
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apple
post Jun 17 2013, 10:43 PM
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QUOTE (Epicedion @ Jun 17 2013, 05:39 PM) *
A Force 5 stunbolt could easily drop an average person instantly with virtually no chance of Drain on the caster.


Yes, maybe, but on the other side we are talking now 2-3 damage for the good/competent PC player. Compared to 8-15 damage for the normal gun (pistol to rifle). Wouldnīt it be the ... better way to improve indirect spells than in effect abolish direct spells (as indirect combat spells were not used in SR1234)? Raise one, destroy the other, because it was too powerful in the previous edition?

Why should now anyone take direct combat spells? Whatīs their selling point?

SYL
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Bigity
post Jun 17 2013, 10:47 PM
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Ugh. I agree they needed some toning down, but this seems too much (I don't have a copy yet).

Maybe a house rule of 2x hits or something.
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Moirdryd
post Jun 17 2013, 10:49 PM
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Sometimes it's better to just use a gun. It was often the way in the early career of many an SR3 Mage. Sure Mr average wage-cop could be dropped fairly easily back then and the run of the mill ganger too. But against a dedicated security team (WP3-4) in any area that had a BG count of a couple of points (that's alot of places) A bullet was the far better option. Magic sometimes is there to be used to do what technology can't.

Of course it would still be nice to be able to drop people with those spells too, but that's the problem the "Game Balance" on mechanics
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apple
post Jun 17 2013, 10:54 PM
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Yes, thatīs all ok and such ... but we are talking not about a "medium" power reduction of direct combat spells, we are talking that only NET HITS counts as damage - which in the end for normal mages (I am not talking about 800 karma monsters) will lead to direct combat spells doing something like 3-4 damage. Compared to the other options that seems a little bit low, and it could end with direct combat spells are no longer used (just as indirect combat spells were not/hardly used in previous editions)

In there anything in the SR5 rules which changes that? Or shed some different light on it? Something overlooked?

SYL
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Epicedion
post Jun 17 2013, 10:55 PM
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QUOTE (apple @ Jun 17 2013, 05:43 PM) *
Yes, maybe, but on the other side we are talking now 2-3 damage for the good/competent PC player. Compared to 8-15 damage for the normal gun (pistol to rifle)

SYL


It might be an overcorrection, but I'd really need to see the rules to tell.

As sheer speculation, I'd say that it's the tradeoff for dealing relatively few nearly-guaranteed damage, since about no time ever would your average mundane threat be able to fully resist the direct spell.

I'll further speculate that the (new?) Enchantment stuff, fetishes, and foci might work for you here. One-time foci, or other magical gear bonuses, might really help gain the advantage on those Direct spells, but with a price tag attached.

Meanwhile, a classic Force 5 Fireball spell might tucker you out, but could do upwards of 10 damage to a whole squad of guards, and set them on fire.
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Moirdryd
post Jun 17 2013, 10:56 PM
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Good question, well posed, looking forwards to an answer (Is a player who is looking at SR5 from SR3 and never ever touched 4)
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apple
post Jun 17 2013, 10:59 PM
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QUOTE (Epicedion @ Jun 17 2013, 05:55 PM) *
As sheer speculation, I'd say that it's the tradeoff for dealing relatively few nearly-guaranteed damage, since about no time ever would your average mundane threat be able to fully resist the direct spell.


Compared to gun damage (or god beware, grenade damage). I do not feel that you can soak gun damage as well (arond 20 dices against 9-16 base damage at minimum to resist).

QUOTE
Meanwhile, a classic Force 5 Fireball spell might tucker you out, but could do upwards of 10 damage to a whole squad of guards, and set them on fire.


What drain?

SYL
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Epicedion
post Jun 17 2013, 11:09 PM
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QUOTE (Bigity @ Jun 17 2013, 05:47 PM) *
Ugh. I agree they needed some toning down, but this seems too much (I don't have a copy yet).

Maybe a house rule of 2x hits or something.


Well I'd imagine that a fairly maximized chargen character will have about 12 dice at his disposal without getting into gear. So that's about 4 hits. Assume that the target is Joe Security WP3, and gets 1 hit.

So right off the bat you're talking about doing 3 stun damage per action phase, with Stunbolt.

Let's say you get your hands on a rating 3 Direct Combat spell focus, you're up to 4 damage.

Without actually doing the math on this, what it really means is that you're probably ~75% or higher likely to get between 2 and 6 damage. Which means you're at fairly decent odds to drop Joe Security on Initiative Pass 2 (remember that most characters have a decent chance of getting more than one IP even without extra gear or magic). And on IP2, Joe Security is probably below odds to even resist at all, with his fancy new stun penalties. So IP2 you likely do an extra point of damage, meaning you're probably at fairly reasonable odds to drop him, but the most likely result is he'll just be really close to unconscious.

Aha, but then there's always Lightning Bolt.

Let's take the same caster, 12 dice, who drops a Force 6 lightning bolt on Joe Security. 4 hits again, Joe gets his R+I (6) and gets 2 hits back. So the bolt does 8 physical. Joe's 12 armor and 3 body help, but the bolt cuts 6 out of the armor. His modified 9 dice grant him 3 hits, and he takes 5 damage.

Okay, so we're in about the same territory. The stunbolt's Drain is cheaper, though.

But then, the caster could always drop a Force 12 lightning bolt on Joe. Same rolls.. 4 hits to 2 dodges, so we're at 14 damage. Joe's 12 armor does zip, Joe rolls his Body for 1 hit, Joe takes 13 damage and dies immediately.

Then the caster's head explodes.
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Epicedion
post Jun 17 2013, 11:12 PM
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QUOTE (apple @ Jun 17 2013, 05:59 PM) *
What drain?

SYL


I'm not sure. They've said Drain is amped up a bit. I'm assuming some formula like Drain = Force with a +/- modifier based on the spell, rather than half Force with a modifier.

Stunbolt could, for example, be Force - 4. Or Fireball could be Force + 2.

Or anything. But I'm guessing I'm at least in the ballpark.
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tasti man LH
post Jun 17 2013, 11:14 PM
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I'd assume that Direct spells still have the lovely benefit of bypassing armor, while Indirect spells are still treated like Ranged attacks, and as such are resisted against with Body + Armor.

And since we already know that armor is getting a bump up as well, Indirect spells still aren't necessarily more devastating for SR5 Direct spells.

Also remember that new to SR5 is Reckless Spellcasting, which would allow you to cast a spell in a Simple Action but with more Drain. So if you wanted to do the good 'ol Double-Tap while dealing with more Drain, there's that.

Of course, spells getting the nerf I'm not too sure how to feel about...
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apple
post Jun 17 2013, 11:20 PM
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But then again Joe Wageslave has a Pistol (8+1 base damage), a rifle (11+1 base damage) and a grenade (16 base damage, no dodge, almost auto hit).

I am a little bit astonished. Direct combat spells needed a little bit toned down (or better: overcasting needed to be reduced, because a force 5 stunbolt in SR4 was something totally different then a force 11 stunbolt) and indirect combat spells needed a little push to make them an interesting choice?

But now? Combat mages seem to be reduced to "use buff spells, and then assault rifles and grenade launchers". Which is not really the direction I want the SR5 Magic system to go. Spells should be viable as a choice and I am not quite sure if combat spells are a choice now (as indirect combat spells were not really a choice in previous editions).

Does anyone can give some drain examples?

What do I miss?

SYL
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Epicedion
post Jun 17 2013, 11:22 PM
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QUOTE (tasti man LH @ Jun 17 2013, 06:14 PM) *
I'd assume that Direct spells still have the lovely benefit of bypassing armor, while Indirect spells are still treated like Ranged attacks, and as such are resisted against with Body + Armor.

And since we already know that armor is getting a bump up as well, Indirect spells still aren't necessarily more devastating for SR5 Direct spells.

Of course, spells getting the nerf I'm not too sure how to feel about...



Looking at other numbers, it seems to me that a Heavy Pistol (DV 8 AP-1?) in the same instance would do about.. let's see.. similarly optimized character versus Joe Security...

14 dice (smartlinked?) versus 6 dice dodging.. about 2 net hits for 10 damage. Joe gets his 12 armor and 3 body.. 14 dice after AP.. or 4-5 hits.

So Joe is liable to take 5-6 damage from a heavy pistol.

But now Joe's dodging on close to half the dice pool of the shooter, rather than on a quarter of the dice pool as with resisting the mage. He's much more likely (still not super likely) to dodge the shot and take 0 damage, while he's virtually guaranteed to at least take one or two damage from the stun.


I think the real trick here will be if cover/etc interferes with Direct Combat spells the same way it interferes with Indirect and Shooting. If your option is to shoot at a guy with a decent dodge pool in heavy cover, or zap them for fewer (nearly) guaranteed damage with no dice pool modifiers, it might make Direct Combat spells tactically appealing sometimes, and tactically unappealing others.
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Not of this Worl...
post Jun 18 2013, 01:22 AM
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How are Traditions different from SR4?
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tasti man LH
post Jun 18 2013, 02:18 AM
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They haven't said anything explicit yet, but they did promise more mechanical differences between traditions besides Drain attributes and spirit loadouts.
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Shinobi Killfist
post Jun 18 2013, 02:28 AM
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Yeah I did the math on this a while back and 1 net hit on a pistol will net more damage than a direct damage spell from a pretty damn solid mage. A mage will probably be better off with that pistol until he is a ocuple hundred karma in. Given that you can take drain from these spellsit makes it even less likely you will cast direct damage spells. And with the drain on AoE spells wether its fireball or powerball I doubt anyone would cast them in favor of tossing a 50nuen grenade. On the other hand I think some of the debilitating spells might be much cooler if they target limits. .
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Aaron
post Jun 18 2013, 02:56 AM
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It's easier to cast at higher Force (yes, if you're willing to risk Drain) with less risk of overcasting than it was in SR4. That and elemental damage isn't an afterthought or a description, but actually has a concrete effect. In the games I ran at Origins, one magician bricked a Westwind, and another set her target on fire.
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Shinobi Killfist
post Jun 18 2013, 03:34 AM
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QUOTE (Aaron @ Jun 17 2013, 09:56 PM) *
It's easier to cast at higher Force (yes, if you're willing to risk Drain) with less risk of overcasting than it was in SR4. That and elemental damage isn't an afterthought or a description, but actually has a concrete effect. In the games I ran at Origins, one magician bricked a Westwind, and another set her target on fire.


While yes concrete elemental effects are awesome, I'm wondering about this easier to cast at higher force thing. Yes from another thread you mentioned you can;t overcast without going over hits in magic, but a force 6 manabolt costs more drain in SR5 than it did in SR4, if elemental effects and AoE are the same drain booster a fireball is now F+2 instead of f/2+5 which means past force 6 it will cost more drain.(now if its +1 and +1 boost so fireball is just F its for 9 that is the breaking point for it. And without being able to first aid drain away drain seems much, much more harsh to me.
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Bigity
post Jun 18 2013, 03:40 AM
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QUOTE (tasti man LH @ Jun 17 2013, 09:18 PM) *
They haven't said anything explicit yet, but they did promise more mechanical differences between traditions besides Drain attributes and spirit loadouts.


You realize he's probably asking someone who got the new book at Origins?
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Epicedion
post Jun 18 2013, 03:58 AM
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I guardedly enthusiastic about the spellcasting rules. I always felt Drain was out of whack (or at least too easily exploitable) and that the cooler spells were overblown drain-wise for their effectiveness, forcing most serious casters into pretty static spell lists.
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Shinobi Killfist
post Jun 18 2013, 04:29 AM
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QUOTE (Epicedion @ Jun 17 2013, 10:58 PM) *
I guardedly enthusiastic about the spellcasting rules. I always felt Drain was out of whack (or at least too easily exploitable) and that the cooler spells were overblown drain-wise for their effectiveness, forcing most serious casters into pretty static spell lists.


On the overall level I agree, but I think they may have hit the combat spells a bit too hard. I'm not sure if hold out from a mediocre shot with ex ammo should be deadlier than the best a 6 magic, 6 skill mage can throw at you. Add in things like called shots and power bolt starts to look even wrose, and the mage is going to suffer drain for the glory of doing worse than a hobo with a streelie special.
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Not of this Worl...
post Jun 18 2013, 04:33 AM
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QUOTE (Bigity @ Jun 17 2013, 08:40 PM) *
You realize he's probably asking someone who got the new book at Origins?


I"m trying to at least. I keep asking the question, but I've yet to see any answers.
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Makki
post Jun 18 2013, 05:02 AM
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4 damage unsoakable is fine compared to 12 damage reduceable by body and armor to 0
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Epicedion
post Jun 18 2013, 05:14 AM
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QUOTE (Makki @ Jun 18 2013, 01:02 AM) *
4 damage unsoakable is fine compared to 12 damage reduceable by body and armor to 0


One big point is that it's ~4 damage that's unsoakable by just about anyone but another mage. That means the giant wired and armored troll is just as susceptible to it as Joe Security. How many pistol shots do you need to bring down the troll?
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