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> Projectile Lynchpins, or Guns Shooting Bullets Shooting Fire
Umidori
post Aug 13 2013, 10:16 AM
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So with the new Alchemy system in SR5, a character concept I've long wanted to try out becomes much easier, thanks to Alchemical Preparations operating very similarly to the old Anchoring Metamagics, but without being unavailable at chargen, and without being impeded by Object Resistance. Consequently, I'm currently working on building an Aspected Magician who uses pistol rounds as the lynchpins for his preparations, and I've got a few questions.

First, is this legal?

I can't find anything in the rules restricting what things can become lynchpins, other than the fact that they cannot have living auras. So if I want to, can I use a Heavy Pistol round as a Lynchpin for, say, a Contact Trigger "Shatter" Preparation? Would this work how I imagine it must, namely that upon successfully striking an opponent with the round (specifically a living opponent because of how a contact trigger works), it deals damage as normal, and then activates the preparation it contains to deal further damage?

Second, what happens if I prepare an Indirect Combat Spell but give it a Contact Trigger?

Say, a "Flamethrower" preparation? Does the bullet hit, deal damage, and then immediately after shoot a blast of fire at the struck foe? According to RAW, they would be able to attempt to dodge the flame jet emanating from the bullet lodged in their shoulder, which sounds hilarious. On the topic of a more practical concern, does this second "attack" impose or increment the standard "Defender has defended against previous attack" negative modifier?

Third, how would you handle Manipulation Spells that require a caster's input?

Do you, as the preparation creator, default to the spell "controller"? Do the effects of these preparations entirely rely upon the creator's input at the time of their activation, or can you maybe preprogram "commands" into the preparation? For example, if you tag someone with a "Levitation" preparation that they fail to resist, can it just automatically lift them straight upwards for as long as the effect is sustained, regardless of your own personal commands, or even line of sight? After all, it's the preparation creating the spell effect, not you. The rules already make it clear that the preparation is the thing sustaining an effect like this (becoming dual-natured while doing so), so why shouldn't it also be the thing controlling the effect, and the thing with which line of sight needs to be maintained?

It'd be hilarious to shoot someone with a holdout pistol and have them just start soaring upward into the sky for a few combat turns while you turn your attention to other matters, and then when the preparation's effect wears off they fall the same distance and go splat. The downside would be that, being preprogrammed, the effect can't be changed to suit a situation. So levitating someone straight up indoors would be only mildly troublesome for them, compared to maybe levitating them out a window first which a mage can normally do with the actual spell. Additionally, if line of sight between the target of the effect and the initial point of "casting" was broken, the effect would end. So if the guy your preparation is levitating flies upward into a clothes line and gets wrapped in a blanket because you weren't able to levitate him around it manually, the line of sight between him and the "casting point" would be broken and the effect would end prematurely.

How about a "Control Actions" preparation that the target fails to resist? Can it simply automatically force them to drop whatever they're holding, squat down, flap their arms, and cluck like a chicken? You could even require the preparation to "spend a Complex Action" to effectively "command" the victim to perform this action, forcing it to wait until the next Action Phase to actually activate the power, as a Mage would have to do. Sure, it saves you from having to take an Action commanding it yourself, but at the cost of not being able to adapt the command being made to the situation at hand, and at the cost of the considerable difficulty of creating such a preparation compared to casting an equivalent spell.

~Umi
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Vicar
post Aug 13 2013, 01:23 PM
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Love this idea, and I might have to try it out on a character.

The only two concerns I have are:

1) how effective it would actually be in-combat. There really isn't any way to see this short of just playing.

2) The abysmally short amount of time preparations are effective. Potency x2 hours should be enough for a run, I guess, but it also puts a hard limit (other than the drain you've potentially inflicted on yourself before ever going on the run) on how many bullets you can prepare. I guess you'd just have to not miss. Ever.
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Lobo0705
post Aug 13 2013, 01:48 PM
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Umidori,

I read somewhere (so take it for what it is worth) that they were going to have an errata that made bullets (and anything else that would be destroyed upon use) unable to be used as lynchpins.

Of course, I cannot find it anywhere now (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif) We will see if that actually happens.

This of course doesn't help with your other questions, which are still applicable if you use a throwing knife as your lynchpin.
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Vicar
post Aug 13 2013, 01:52 PM
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QUOTE (Lobo0705 @ Aug 13 2013, 07:48 AM) *
I read somewhere (so take it for what it is worth) that they were going to have an errata that made bullets (and anything else that would be destroyed upon use) unable to be used as lynchpins.


First, that f'ing sucks if true. Second, that also goes against the example in the book on p.305, where the example character makes a preparation out of a glass sphere (presumably to be thrown, like a grenade).
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Repulse
post Aug 13 2013, 02:11 PM
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If that is true, at least arrows, crossbow bolts, and gas grenades could still be used. How about a tear gas grenade with fireball effect triggered a second or two after the initial gas discharge, igniting the previously discharged gas...
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Vicar
post Aug 13 2013, 02:26 PM
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In thinking more about the possibility of this, I am increasingly bothered by it. If the idea is only "destroyed" items, then could I not prepare, specifically, the lead part of the bullet? I know that with caseless ammo it's difficult to separate the two (bullet and propellant) because the propellant is wrapped around the bullet, but that isn't true with cased ammo. Or, could I prepare the bullet, and then handload it into a cartridge? But then you'd be taking even more of the potencyx2 hours time limit.

Grr.
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Repulse
post Aug 13 2013, 02:56 PM
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Vicar,

Hand loading a bullet into a cartridge (assuming the cartridge is already setup with powder, charge, etc) only takes 5-10 seconds per bullet. You could use a full metal Jacket (AP) that would most likely not be destroyed upon impact. So, I don't see any time related problems with this (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Skynet
post Aug 13 2013, 03:15 PM
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Depends on how much damage the lynchpin can sustain before it ceases functioning (think rifle-threading).
Also I found the contact trigger somewhat...unstable: the next living being to touch the lynchpin activates it. What counts as touching and when is it considered to be 'armed'. Does clothing protect from triggering it or ist touching the aura enough (as with touch-range spells)? Loading your gun with a pair of tongs is going to slow things down a bit (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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HugeC
post Aug 13 2013, 03:20 PM
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QUOTE (Vicar @ Aug 13 2013, 08:52 AM) *
First, that f'ing sucks if true. Second, that also goes against the example in the book on p.305, where the example character makes a preparation out of a glass sphere (presumably to be thrown, like a grenade).

What I don't get is, how is he going to throw that sphere without touching it? Edit: Oh, maybe that's a command trigger?

For magic bullets, putting touch range combat spells on them seems to be the intent. Use a revolver and enchant the bullets in-chamber so you don't have to touch them afterwards.

As for the bullet being destroyed, that doesn't happen until after it makes contact, so the preparation will go off first, then then bullet would deal its damage and get all squished up. At least, that's what would make sense to me. I can see why they might not want that from a game balance perspective, though.

As for who controls a contact trigger effect in cases where it isn't obvious, the rules don't say. I'd say it's the toucher. Imagine drinking a potion of Levitate or Physical Mask; you'd expect to be the one controlling the effect. So a magic bullet of Levitate probably wouldn't work the way you want it to. You'd need to invent a Reverse Gravity spell and have it be Touch range.
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Vicar
post Aug 13 2013, 04:56 PM
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QUOTE (HugeC @ Aug 13 2013, 09:20 AM) *
I can see why they might not want that from a game balance perspective, though.

You might be right about this, but I'd think the possibility of going into a firefight with a bunch of stun damage already applied from drain would be enough to balance it. But then, I haven't actually played the concept, so I don't know if it actually balances or not.

I've definitely gotta play around with this though. I love the idea of a Combat Alchemist wielding a Ruger Super Warhawk, and his first load of 6 shots being magic bullets.
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HugeC
post Aug 13 2013, 05:36 PM
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QUOTE (Umidori @ Aug 13 2013, 05:16 AM) *
Second, what happens if I prepare an Indirect Combat Spell but give it a Contact Trigger?

I think I'd just use the same Reaction + Intuition roll used to defend against the attack as the resistance roll for the spell's effect. Less fiddly than rolling twice. Same thing for indirect combat spells with Touch range. I think RAW you're supposed to make another roll, though.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 13 2013, 06:28 PM
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QUOTE (Vicar @ Aug 13 2013, 07:52 AM) *
First, that f'ing sucks if true.


Why? The Problem is that a Contact trigger will set off when you load the round into its magazine, when the round is chambered, and when it is immediately fired and it contacts the barrel (all those have actual contact in them, and, if aura contact is mandatory, loading the round either into the gun or the magazine counts as aura contact). So, no, I do not see this as viable. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wobble.gif)
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Skynet
post Aug 13 2013, 06:45 PM
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QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 13 2013, 08:28 PM) *
Why? The Problem is that a Contact trigger will set off when you load the round into its magazine, when the round is chambered, and when it is immediately fired and it contacts the barrel (all those have actual contact in them, and, if aura contact is mandatory, loading the round either into the gun or the magazine counts as aura contact). So, no, I do not see this as viable. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wobble.gif)


QUOTE (CHOOSE PREPARATION TRIGGER, p. 305)
Contact: The next living being to touch the preparation activates the spell.


I wouldn't consider gun-parts as living beings (unless you have a really strange weapon).
(And objects don't have auras alltogether.)
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Umidori
post Aug 13 2013, 07:29 PM
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The thing about asuming that what matters is the aura (which is not actually stated in the rules) is that if it is, then you should be able to designate triggering auras in the way you used to be able to with Anchoring.

Personally, it would make the most sense if the preparation creator was immune to setting off a Contact Trigger, because it is specifically stated that to prepare a lynchpin you have to be able to pick it up and handle it. If a Contact tTrigger goes off from your own aura, the preparation would go off in your hand the minute you completed the preparation.

~Umi
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 13 2013, 08:21 PM
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QUOTE (Skynet @ Aug 13 2013, 11:45 AM) *
I wouldn't consider gun-parts as living beings (unless you have a really strange weapon).
(And objects don't have auras alltogether.)


Ummm...Loading the weapon or clip requires a living being... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 13 2013, 08:21 PM
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QUOTE (Umidori @ Aug 13 2013, 12:29 PM) *
The thing about asuming that what matters is the aura (which is not actually stated in the rules) is that if it is, then you should be able to designate triggering auras in the way you used to be able to with Anchoring.

Personally, it would make the most sense if the preparation creator was immune to setting off a Contact Trigger, because it is specifically stated that to prepare a lynchpin you have to be able to pick it up and handle it. If a Contact tTrigger goes off from your own aura, the preparation would go off in your hand the minute you completed the preparation.

~Umi


Yes, indeed it would, but that is RAW, is it not?
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Sendaz
post Aug 13 2013, 08:22 PM
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QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 13 2013, 04:21 PM) *
Ummm...Loading the weapon or clip requires a living being... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

That's what the robo-butler is for. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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shinryu
post Aug 13 2013, 08:26 PM
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despite some asinine protests otherwise in other corners of the internet, i maintain bullets ain't rounds and arrowheads ain't arrows, so if you prepare the one part of the item you can touch the rest of the object just fine if you're careful. or, hey, contact preparations in old lightbulbs. if it turns out to be some bullshit "aura contact" official rule i'm officially going to be pissed off.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 13 2013, 08:55 PM
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QUOTE (Sendaz @ Aug 13 2013, 01:22 PM) *
That's what the robo-butler is for. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)


Assuming you have one... But then again, what self respecting Mage wouldn't... They have nothing else to spend their money on, right? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wobble.gif)
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Lobo0705
post Aug 13 2013, 08:56 PM
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I have some issues with this - mostly because of the multitude of questions that come up because of how many different ways this can be used.

Here is a concrete example of how this works:

I cast Punch at Force 7 with a Contact Trigger on a bullet. I have an Alchemy 6, which a specialization in Contact Triggers, and a Magic of 6, so I roll 14 dice opposed by 7. On average I am rolling 3 or so net hits. If I fail, no worries, because I am taking 2DV worth of drain (Force-6 +1 for trigger), and so unless I roll TERRIBLY I will take no damage. I spend 2 hours or so prepping, and now I have about 20 rounds of ammunition that will be good for about 6 hours.

When I shoot someone (Let's say I use gel rounds as the lynchpin) I roll to hit as normal, and then on top of whatever stun damage they take, I now roll Potency (3) + Force (7) vs their Willpower - which for most people is around a 3-4. That means I'm getting a couple extra successes, and therefore a couple extra points of damage on that hit.

Seems pretty straightforward - here come the questions:

What happens when I fire a burst? Does that mean that they get hit with 3 spells? How about Full Auto - would it be 10 spells?
Can I use narcojet rounds as a lynchpin? Does that mean they then take the stun from the toxin and then the spell?
How about a throwing knife coated in toxin, with a physical spell on it?
Can I load the bullets into someone else's gun, and they can use it?

That is just with basic touch combat spell. That doesn't count all the other ways this can be used.

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Umidori
post Aug 13 2013, 09:02 PM
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I can only answer one of those questions definitively!

No, you cannot load the bullets into someone else's gun. For some reason, only the person who creates a preparation can use it. (At least I think that's the case, I have to rush out the door and can't check my book!)

~Umi
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Sendaz
post Aug 13 2013, 09:09 PM
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QUOTE (Umidori @ Aug 13 2013, 05:02 PM) *
I can only answer one of those questions definitively!

No, you cannot load the bullets into someone else's gun. For some reason, only the person who creates a preparation can use it. (At least I think that's the case, I have to rush out the door and can't check my book!)

~Umi

Heh, makes for fun security. Someone else grabs your gun and the preps go off. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 13 2013, 10:54 PM
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QUOTE (Sendaz @ Aug 13 2013, 03:09 PM) *
Heh, makes for fun security. Someone else grabs your gun and the preps go off. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)


Which would definitely suck... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wobble.gif)
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Voran
post Aug 13 2013, 11:17 PM
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Gene Starwind approves.
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CanRay
post Aug 13 2013, 11:21 PM
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I want a gun that shoots swords, which explode. Into three more swords. That also explode. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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