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> Quick Question about Force, Do I really need much?
JaronK
post May 13 2004, 09:32 AM
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I'm quite new to Shadowrun, especially the magic system, and I had a question. I can't seem to figure out what force does when casting... I know it effects resistance tests, but what about spells like heal that no one would be trying to resist? Is there any point in having it at a force greater than 1? Also, with invisibility, does everybody who might possibly see the invisible person get a chance to resist the spell and thereby see?

JaronK
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Slamm-O
post May 13 2004, 09:54 AM
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i know (or think :))for heal it is the maximum number of boxes you can heal. Many spells will tell their specific uses of force in the description. Some spells do only use it for disspelling purposes though.
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RedmondLarry
post May 13 2004, 10:00 AM
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Biggest use of Force is that's the target number for the opponent to resist your damaging spell, as you know.

For beneficial spells (healing, increase strength, levitate, gecko crawl, etc.) Force is in some way a limit on how beneficial the spell is. For example, with Treat and Heal, it's the maximum number of boxes that can be healed. Once you've done a successful Treat or Heal on a set of wounds, you can't do any more magical healing on those wounds.

About the only spell where Force doesn't really come into play is Increase Reflexes. The game designers didn't find a good way to make Force important for that spell. Many people that use these boards have house rules that make Force important for Increase Reflexes (a common one is that the caster needs 2 successes for each additional D6 for Increase Reflexes, up to 1/2 the force of the spell). But anyway, that's just a common house rule.

Yes, every viewer of an invisible person gets to roll their Intelligence to resist the affects, and if they match or exceed the caster's successes then they are aware of the illusion. (Before printing 13 of the main book, the viewer had to exceed the caster's successes, which made illusion spells violate one of the standard spell rules, so the 13th Printing has a correction regarding what to do when the viewer matches the successes of the caster. See SR3 Errata (page 195) for details.

As you know, it costs more Karma (or starting Spell Points) to have a higher force spell, and also the drain is harder for the caster to resist with high-force spells.
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Kagetenshi
post May 13 2004, 10:42 AM
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With exceptions like Improved Reflexes, Force determines in part how well a spell does what it does: either how effective it can be, like Heal or Treat, or how hard it is to resist, like Invis, Control Manipulations, and combat spells. With Invis, everyone in range who doesn't specifically know about the spell and choose not to resist it gets a roll to resist; since it's trivial for a decently-specialized Mage to get more successes than most people have Intelligence, Force ain't too much of a factor for this one either.

~J
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JaronK
post May 13 2004, 10:48 AM
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Hmm, somehow missed that heal could only heal an amount equal to its force or less. So Increased Reflexes, according to the book rules anyway, is the only one where force doesn't really matter? What about healthy glow (thinking about playing a cat shaman, it just seems necessary to have that spell)?

And with a sorcery of 6, is that enough not to need to put much force into spells like invisibility? I'm trying to get a wide variety of spells but I just don't seem to have enough points to go around, especially since this character is very non min-maxed and therefor has been burning his points on a fancy apartment, a nice car, and some fresh fish.

JaronK
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Nemo
post May 13 2004, 11:16 AM
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Every Success at Increased Reflexes adds +1 to the Reaction, up to the Force of the Spell (I'm at work, so no access to the books)
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Austere Emancipa...
post May 13 2004, 11:19 AM
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You're thinking about Increase Reaction, which is Force-dependant: +1 Reaction per 2 successes, max bonus = Force. Increase Reflexes has no such Force limitation to bonus, the +3 version of the spell gives +3d6 to Initiative if you manage even 1 success at the time of casting.

Thus some have houseruled it, for example to give +1d6 to Initiative per 2 successes, max number of successes = Force.
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TinkerGnome
post May 13 2004, 12:49 PM
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If you're going to houserule it, you should also drasticly drop the drain on it ;) +3D is nothing to sneeze at.
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Austere Emancipa...
post May 13 2004, 01:23 PM
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Neither is +3d6 Init.
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TinkerGnome
post May 13 2004, 01:32 PM
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If the argument for making the spell require more successess and force is to bring it more into line with other spells, what reasoning doesn't lead you to following that up by bringing other parts of the spell into line with other spells?

The houserule version most consistant with other spells would be:

Type: M * Target: Reaction * Duration: S * Drain: +1(S)

This spell increases the Initiative dice of a volunary target. Every two successes add 1 die to the target's initiative, up to a maximum of the spell's force. There is no cyberware version of this spells, so characters that have cybernetic enhancements that add Reaction or Initiative dice cannot be boosted by this spell.
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Austere Emancipa...
post May 13 2004, 01:35 PM
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Absolutely no reasoning whatsoever. I just want to keep it like I said, with max boost = +3d6. You do whatever you feel is best for your game.

More seriously, the more pressing issue with the spell is not keeping it in line with other spells, but more to keep it in line with other ways to boost Initiative. Some people think becoming a mage is sacrifice enough for getting the +3d6 Init. I happen to think a nice, extremely high Drain Code is good. I don't think any GM should ever feel restricted by the Spell Design rules in MitS, not every attribute changing spell has to start from M drain just because the table in MitS says so.
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Moonstone Spider
post May 13 2004, 01:38 PM
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The majority of spells have an effect of +1 (something) per two successes, up to the force of the spell.

Thus you want to have your force no higher than half the total number of dice you will throw for it. Not all spells do this of course, as mentioned heal and all combat spells use different rules. However if you expect to rarely use more than six dice on, say, a manipulation spell, you don't need more than force 3.
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TinkerGnome
post May 13 2004, 01:40 PM
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Well, I never change it in my games, either, I was talking about if you insist on house ruling it ;)
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Kanada Ten
post May 13 2004, 02:34 PM
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QUOTE
I'm trying to get a wide variety of spells but I just don't seem to have enough points to go around, especially since this character is very non min-maxed and therefor has been burning his points on a fancy apartment, a nice car, and some fresh fish.

There are a few ways to keep the points down. S pells like Healthy Glow and many similar spells will almost never see use in combat. Therefore, taking a fetish or exclusive limitation for cost can reduce the points (-1 and -2 respectfully) doesn't hust their functionality. Only one may be chosen for cost. Fetish limitation is not very bad in many combat situations either. It is up to the GM to decide whether low force spells can be free with limitations.

This post has been edited by Kanada Ten: May 13 2004, 02:36 PM
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JaronK
post May 13 2004, 05:21 PM
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Since focii must be bought with kharma, I can't see how they could come with character creation... yet I've seen people here talk about starting with one. How is that done?

Thanks for the help so far, by the way.

JaronK
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Kanada Ten
post May 13 2004, 06:35 PM
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One spends spell points as karma to bond foci at creation. Note that a fetish is not a focus and thus requires no bonding (nor do expendable foci, IIRC).

[edit] :P Kagetenshi :P

This post has been edited by Kanada Ten: May 13 2004, 07:40 PM
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Kagetenshi
post May 13 2004, 06:52 PM
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As a matter of fact, nothing is a foci. Something may, however, be a focus. :)

You can also start with unbonded foci and spend karma later to bond them once you get it.

On another note, F1 Levitate is insanely useful.

~J
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JaronK
post May 13 2004, 08:45 PM
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I can't spend karma, though with the priority system, right? So no bonding foci while using the standard priority system?

A shame too, 'cause my lil' cat shaman would sure like a nice focus comb and mirror.

JaronK
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blakkie
post May 13 2004, 08:50 PM
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QUOTE (JaronK @ May 13 2004, 08:45 PM)
I can't spend karma, though with the priority system, right?  So no bonding foci while using the standard priority system?

A shame too, 'cause my lil' cat shaman would sure like a nice focus comb and mirror.

JaronK

Yes you can bond foci, just not using 'karma'. Instead you use the spell points allocated to you as an awakened type. You start with 25 for full mage and 35 for aspected. You can increase that to a total of 50 spell points at a cost of 25,000 per additional spell point.

So instead of giving your character a Force 6 spell you could spend those 6 spell points bonding to a Force 2 Spell Catagory focus.
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RedmondLarry
post May 13 2004, 08:53 PM
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/Edit: removed, 'cause I said same thing as blakkie, only not as well.

This post has been edited by OurTeam: May 13 2004, 08:55 PM
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Dweller on the T...
post May 13 2004, 08:59 PM
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QUOTE (Kanada Ten @ May 13 2004, 01:35 PM)
One spends spell points as karma to bond foci at creation. Note that a fetish is not a focus and thus requires no bonding (nor do expendable foci, IIRC).

That's not entirely correct. Fetishes require a bonding ritual, but it only costs time equal to one hour per Force of the spell its bound to. Expendable foci follow the same rule. No Karma or Spell Points are required for either of these, though, and it should be assumed characters have already gone through the ritual prior to the beginning of a new game.
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Glyph
post May 14 2004, 05:40 AM
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One thing to remember about spells is that you have to re-learn a spell to get it at a higher Force. So if you take a spell at Force: 3, and later on you want it at Force: 5, you still have to pay 5 Karma points for it, same as the guy learning it for the first time. So be sure you have your spells at the Force you want them the first time. Also remember that you can always choose to cast a high-Force spell at a lower Force.

The ones you want at the highest Force are the resisted spells, Combat spells most of all. One thing to remember is that, since the Force of the spell is used for resisting it, a Force: 6 spell is twice as hard to resist as a Force: 5 spell (one only gets resisted on a 6, the other gets resisted on a 5 or a 6, which is twice as much).

Illusion spells don't need as high a Force, but I don't quite agree that you can get away with Force: 1. This assumes that you will be getting 7 successes on your spellcasting test (14 dice will usually do it, but that's quite a bit since you have to split your dice between spell defense, spellcasting, and helping you resist Drain). It's better to hedge your bets by taking it at Force: 4 or 5, giving your opponents some problems resisting it.

The exclusive modifier for cost (-2 to cost) is a great point-saver for spells that you will rarely, if ever, cast during combat. Things like Detox, Healthy Glow, Trid Entertainment, and so on.
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Kagetenshi
post May 14 2004, 05:42 AM
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Unless your GM is sacrificing any sense of realism, most people won't have Intelligence 6.

~J
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Glyph
post May 14 2004, 06:24 AM
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No, 7 successes is just the number you need to be sure your invisibility works on nearly everyone (there are still going to be people with Intelligence even higher than 7, but they will be very rare). But if I'm going to be depending on my invisibility to infiltrate a corporate complex, where being detected would be a very bad thing, I don't just want to be pretty sure. I want to be as close to certain as I can be, that no one will be able to see me. I don't want to be like that guy in Erik the Viking, who had that cloak of invisibility that only worked on some people. :P
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Kagetenshi
post May 14 2004, 06:35 AM
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I've gotten too used to compromise being a Rigger. Why go for Perfect when Good Enough will do? ;)

Still, you only expect five successes on six dice against TN 2. If all else fails, a few recasts will do right by you.

~J
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