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> About mages using catalogue spell, And other magic related questions
Traks
post May 25 2004, 08:02 PM
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So, people jumped on MiTS as I thought and chose new spells.
Now their mage uses catalogue every time to see what is there to loot. I am too sleepy to think straight, so - does all your mages use that spell regularly too? Or there are some restrictions I haven't seen yet?

Which spells are usually used in defense against bullets? I checked - "armor" is decent, while that other spell in MiTS sucked. Deflection or what - too sleepy to find.

Can shaman choose another totem? (It sounds awful, but nearest comparison is AD&D clerics). I ruled that they can, because I want that particular shaman to give a chance going down in flames (he is lion shaman because of plusses, but have never behaved like one. He accepted Aztlan initiation and now is blood mage. So I decided that blood spirit is now his totem. Not that it is canon in any way, but still freaky and will give him proper death 1,000,000 nyens? Who said 1,300,000? Once, twice, sold :).)

Does mage pay full cost in karma when upgrading Manaball 6 to Manaball 8?
Like, difference is how much karma without fetishes?
Why mostly Lone Star uses Thunderbolt? It's stats are incredible so anyone would use it
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Kagetenshi
post May 25 2004, 08:09 PM
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Bullet barrier is a good anti-bullet spell.

Spells can't be upgraded. You pay the full cost to learn the higher-force spell.

By canon no, you can't change totems. All you can do is lose your original totem and become mundane. Well, that or go toxic (or potentially insect, I'm not sure).

Where did the Thunderbolt come from? ;)

~J
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Kagetenshi
post May 25 2004, 08:10 PM
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And a double-post will do everything anything you mention can.

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Nikoli
post May 25 2004, 08:12 PM
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The LS Thunderbolt isn't that great when you break it down. it's got a high availability, well past 8 so it's not normally allowable at char-gen. the BF fire mode is okay, but you get no choice for single shot, it'll ALWAYS be a burst shot. That's 4 shots per clip without topping off.

Lone Star will hassle anyone seen carrying one around that is not a fellow officer or a former officer.
It's really loud
And picking them up off of dead officers isn't that good of an option, since for a few hundred nuyen you can render that weapon almost useless for any non-'Star personnel (the personal safety mod and smart link is a great option, even for 'Star mages.) or at least make it so they won't be using it during the initial fire-fight.

did I mention it's only 4 shots?
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A Rodent of Unus...
post May 25 2004, 08:28 PM
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If players are using Catalogue enough to be annoying, smack them upside the head and remind them that they're not playing D&D or some equally lame video game. Looting every room or "monster" you defeat is just lame and wholly unbelievable on most runs. Their job is usually to get in, do something, and get out. If they're wasting time sitting around letting the mage use Catalogue and then loot the place, they're not doing their job very well.

Deflect is a cool spell. It's the only "armor" related spell that's completely undetectable on sight and Dodge Tests are typically much more desireable for a magician than trying to soak damage is. That aside, Bullet Barrier and Bullet Armor are the only other spells that directly stop bullets. One creates a glowing field, the other creates a glowing aura. Both suck for runners oriented around stealth.

By canon you can't do much of anything when it comes to your magical tradition, despite examples where it's obviously possible (such as the aforementioned toxic and insect shamans). 'Course, there is a possible way to do it if you read the rules for altering your astral signature carefully; it says you basically have to relearn how to cast magic, so one could argue that doing so lets you change your totem or even your tradition when doing so. Whether or not you wanna go with that weak argument, the rules involved with altering your astral signature fit in well with what I would use for house rules for changing traditions/totems; basically, you have to waste an initiation on it, gaining nothing but the new tradition/totem and +1 to your Grade.

The Thunderbolt sucks. Horrible recoil, limited shots, Lone Star shows up every time you use it, and you get hassled or worse if they even suspect you have one on your person (which isn't that hard to detect since its Concealability is only 4).
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Traks
post May 25 2004, 08:43 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Bullet barrier is a good anti-bullet spell.

Spells can't be upgraded. You pay the full cost to learn the higher-force spell.


Where from is bullet barrier?
Don't remember seeing in MiTS.

Ahh, now I see why mages are called mana sinks. All they can do is initiate and learn spells, while sammies get those new reflexes.

Latest gag from fun team -
They botched run a little and are on run from corporation team.
Troll decides to "protect the team" and goes buys C4 which uses in friend's hideout, "so they will not take us alive".
Having defaulted to Intelligence, he rolls wow! one success. This means he gets out of house and only then C4 goes "Boom". No hideout anymore and they must continue running away.
Later troll dies when tries to take the enemy break team alone with grenade in his hand.

Ok, I am to bed, gonna read all the things tomorrow morning.
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Kagetenshi
post May 25 2004, 08:58 PM
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I think it's in SR3 proper. Physical Barrier also works, but is less than practical in many cases.

~J
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A Rodent of Unus...
post May 25 2004, 09:11 PM
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Bullet Barrier and Armor are both in Magic in the Shadows. See the entries for "Limited Physical Barrier" and "Limited Armor" for details.
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Apathy
post May 25 2004, 09:19 PM
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QUOTE
[do] all your mages use that spell regularly too?

yes, my guys use catalog every time they're searching for clues, people, etc.

If I remember right, after casting the spell the mage lists off all the items in the room 'rapid fire', but doesn't actually know what's there. So somebody else better be there taking notes. Also, the list is probably vague ('papers', not 'top secret cyberware plans')

You can make the spell as annoyingly useful or useless as you want. Player: "I cast catalog on the file cabinet." GM: "It contains 35,398 pieces of paper."

QUOTE
Can shaman choose another totem?

A player could choose to give up his/her current totem (or, more likely, rejected by the totem for 'bad behavior'), but he doesn't get to choose another totem.

That being said, if you're a much more benevolent GM than I am you might decide that another totem chose to contact and bond with the player (I'd make him/her at least pay lots of karma into activities wooing the new avatar.

As a side note, I don't think he'd have to change totems just to learn blood magic. (although I don't think it'd be a good choice for the dove shaman...)
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Eyeless Blond
post May 25 2004, 09:33 PM
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(emphasis mine)
QUOTE (A Rodent of Unusual Size @ May 25 2004, 03:28 PM)
If players are using Catalogue enough to be annoying, smack them upside the head and remind them that they're not playing D&D or some equally lame video game.  Looting every room or "monster" you defeat is just lame and wholly unbelievable on most runs.  Their job is usually to get in, do something, and get out.  If they're wasting time sitting around letting the mage use Catalogue and then loot the place, they're not doing their job very well.

Here's where you can "get them," if that's really what you want to do. No doubt you're sitting in front of a desk right now, yes? Okay, now write down a list of every single thing on that desk. Remember to look through the drawers, writing down each individual pencil, eraser, piece of paper, thumbtack, etc. in that desk. Now, that probably took you about five minutes. Now multiply that times about fifteen. That's how much stuff is within a mage's Catalog range at Force 1; Force 4 is sixteen times *that*. Your mage can't shorten this time by ignoring unimportant items like pencils and individual sheets of paper either; it's "automatic writing" and not something you have any conscious control over.

If you want to play the "hot and cold" game to find out exactly where the stuff he wrote down actually *is*, you're taking even longer, because you'll have to write a list, move a bit, then write another list, and so on and so on. It could easily take hours to catalog where everything is in even a small cubicle farm, hours that a runner team should never have.
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kevyn668
post May 26 2004, 01:35 PM
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Security Guard: "Excuse me, sir. Would you mind telling me what you're doing?"
Runner Mage: "Ummm, Of course. I'm, er...working on my memoirs...yeah, that's the ticket."
Security Guard: "At 03:00hrs?"
Runner Mage: "I'm a night person...?"
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Nikoli
post May 26 2004, 02:24 PM
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This is where the 'trode rig and external transducer come in handy
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Lantzer
post May 26 2004, 02:32 PM
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I would think that the spell would only catalogue those item that the mage can see. And the spell organises and labels them according to the Mage's knowledge.

So the mage looks at the desk and sees:
5 closed drawers
1 desk organizer
1 calendar blotter
14 paperclips
1 red pen
1 blue pen
1 clicky pen of unknown color
1 manila folder labeled "projects" with 197 pages inside
1 holo of middle aged woman and two children
1 datajack port with retractable cable
1 personal organizer
1 small glass-like object with little wires hanging off it
1 clicky-ball desk thing
2 tickets to Saturday's concert for the 'Nuclear Colostomy Weevils"
1 child's drawing with:
5 yellow circles
4 black birds
3 fat round brown birds
2 white birds
1 some kind of bird in some kind of fruit-bearing tree.
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Frag-o Delux
post May 26 2004, 02:48 PM
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It is an "extra" sense, a detection spell anything in the area effect of th espeel is detected. That is why they say Customs Mages use it, they can instantly get a read on containers and compare it to a shipping document to see if something the spell picked up is not on the list, contraband. Alsoit will only tell you things you can identify if you see it. Say you have never sense a VCR (rigger head ware) if you use the spell on a case of them then you only get a reading that says something along the lines of "unidentifible object."


EDIT: Your childs drawing I think would be to detailed. I believe the spell would only say "A drwaing" other wise on that red pen you would get "Bic Paper mate, Ink Red" and any other crap written on the pen.
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The White Dwarf
post May 26 2004, 02:50 PM
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If your runners are that concerned with loot they must suck as runners.
Catalogue is useful but not like that... more like to inventory shipments or count guns (aka guards since they usually carry 1 or 2 each, and you can ID that before you go in). The above are all examples of how to defeat them abusing it if you feel they are, altho Id just smack them and throw soda cans.

Armor is about it. Be sure you read the correct version at the offical page if youve an older book. The spells above (limited armor, limited barrier, physical barrier, deflect) also work but are less effecient (if also less obvious).

Shamans cant change their totem. From your question you already stated you house ruled it, also allowing the player to obtain blood magic, both of which you yourself stated arent canon. Why are you asking since you know...

Mages must pay the full cost for new spells as previously stated.

The Thunderbolt sucks. Its like a handicap for the Star. If youre oogling over the damage code go re-read the combat section and the weapons section until you figure out why.

Mages arent any more or less karma sinks than anyone else, they just have a broader range of things they can spend it on. Which means they have to focus their development more. What does sams getting reflexes have to do with karma, its purchased with cash.

Grammatical correctness is useful.
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Eyeless Blond
post May 26 2004, 04:32 PM
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Something important to remember: the max range of a Detection spell is Force*Magic Attribute in meters, and that's the *only* limit on the "sense-type" Detection spells. The "sense" granted by Detection spells are limited by this range, not by line of sight. The "sense" is not a spell being cast on other people, so the people being detected do not get a Spell Resistence test.
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TinkerGnome
post May 26 2004, 04:59 PM
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QUOTE (Eyeless Blond)
The "sense" is not a spell being cast on other people, so the people being detected do not get a Spell Resistence test.

Depends on the spell. Most of the sense spells have an opposed component, I think.
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Nikoli
post May 26 2004, 05:01 PM
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Would items carried by a person with the spell shroud power go undetected?
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John Campbell
post May 26 2004, 05:02 PM
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QUOTE (Eyeless Blond)
Something important to remember: the max range of a Detection spell is Force*Magic Attribute in meters, and that's the *only* limit on the "sense-type" Detection spells. The "sense" granted by Detection spells are limited by this range, not by line of sight. The "sense" is not a spell being cast on other people, so the people being detected do not get a Spell Resistence test.

Actually, anyone who is not voluntarily being detected by a Detection spell does get a Resistance Test. It's explicitly described on SR3 p.192, in the last paragraph of the general spell category description.

Detection spells have separate subjects and targets. The subject is person who does the detecting, and upon whom the spell is cast (and who does not have to be the caster). The target is the person or thing being detected. The caster has to have LoS, minimum (almost all of the Detection spells are actually touch-range... I think Mindlink is the only exception) to the subject of the spell. The subject has to be willing, so Resistance Tests for the subject are irrelevant. The target gets a Resistance Test, though, if they are capable of making one (inanimate objects aren't and don't). And, as you correctly point out, neither the caster nor the subject has to have LoS to the target.
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ShadowGhost
post May 26 2004, 05:08 PM
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QUOTE (Eyeless Blond)
The "sense" is not a spell being cast on other people, so the people being detected do not get a Spell Resistence test.

SR3, pg 192 - "Anyone who is not voluntarily being detected by a detection spell (whether they are aware of the spell or not) may make a spell resistance test using willpower, reducing the casters successes normally."

All detection spells are resisted. The person you cast the spell on receives the new sense, but the people the new sense is used on are the targets of the spell.

Just as Improved invisibility is cast on yourself to make yourself invisible, others get the chance to resist it (rolling intelligence against the force of the spell), needing the same number of successes to see through the illusion.

This is why Enhance Aim is a piss-poor spell - it is resisted by each target.
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Eyeless Blond
post May 26 2004, 05:15 PM
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Ugh, you're right. It's worse than that, in fact; "Anyone who is not voluntarily being detected by a detection spell... may make a Spell Resistance Test." (p. 192) This means that it's entirely possible to use Clairvoyance, for example, and see every detail of a room, but see right through all of the dozens of people in it. This means that you are not in fact using any form of actual vision to see into the room, but using some sort of magical sight, and so being able to use all of those cybernetic enhancements makes no logical sense at all.

It means you're pretty much forced to use a high-Force (5+) version of Clairvoyance if you want to see people even a significant fraction of the time, because your TN is always 6, but theirs is Force, which is usually significantly lower.

You can also use this to your advantage by metagaming a little: you can riffle through the inanimate objects in a crowded room by casting a low-Force version of Clairvoyance and just looking straight through all the people since most will no doubt make their Willpower tests easily.

Ugh. The more I figure out how SR's magic system works by canon, the more I dislike it.

(Edit): Wow, you people type fast. :P
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BitBasher
post May 26 2004, 06:02 PM
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QUOTE
Ugh. The more I figure out how SR's magic system works by canon, the more I dislike it.
I like it specificall for things like this, things should be not entirely reliable, there should be an air of falliability in everything, including magic.
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A Rodent of Unus...
post May 26 2004, 06:02 PM
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QUOTE
Ugh, you're right. It's worse than that, in fact; "Anyone who is not voluntarily being detected by a detection spell... may make a Spell Resistance Test." (p. 192) This means that it's entirely possible to use Clairvoyance, for example, and see every detail of a room, but see right through all of the dozens of people in it. This means that you are not in fact using any form of actual vision to see into the room, but using some sort of magical sight, and so being able to use all of those cybernetic enhancements makes no logical sense at all.

Sure it does. You just have to realize that it's almost like Invisibility in reverse. Regardless of the fact that this is a spell that allows the use of cybernetic enhancements, it's still a magical spell creating the effect. Sentient beings have the ability to resist spells, so those that do are effectively "invisible." And just like invisibility, your visual cybernetic enhancements don't help out, either. It's pretty much the same thing.
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Traks
post May 26 2004, 06:16 PM
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QUOTE

If your runners are that concerned with loot they must suck as runners.
Catalogue is useful but not like that... more like to inventory shipments or count guns (aka guards since they usually carry 1 or 2 each, and you can ID that before you go in).  The above are all examples of how to defeat them abusing it if you feel they are, altho Id just smack them and throw soda cans.


They have heavy AD&D background. Everyone GM's it, well, except me. And they have died few times because of looting (cavalry arrives and they fight for loot not run away).

QUOTE
Mages arent any more or less karma sinks than anyone else, they just have a broader range of things they can spend it on.  Which means they have to focus their development more.  What does sams getting reflexes have to do with karma, its purchased with cash.


I thought along lines of improving stats with karma while mages study.

QUOTE
Grammatical correctness is useful.


I hope so. Truth is, I rarely check with that built-in thing, but I hope my grammar is good enough to read.


Ok, another tricky question. Does any creature can have Intelligence 0 or Charisma 0? My player, metagaming troll tried to become a ghoul and died (twice) when willpower (6) came aboard. So I want both of those mindless ghouls lurking around, but is it canon? Or they just die?

Can ghoul be taken over by wasp spirit or fly spirit? Or it is exclusively for humans and meta?
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John Campbell
post May 26 2004, 06:22 PM
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QUOTE (Eyeless Blond)
Ugh, you're right. It's worse than that, in fact; "Anyone who is not voluntarily being detected by a detection spell... may make a Spell Resistance Test." (p. 192) This means that it's entirely possible to use Clairvoyance, for example, and see every detail of a room, but see right through all of the dozens of people in it. This means that you are not in fact using any form of actual vision to see into the room, but using some sort of magical sight, and so being able to use all of those cybernetic enhancements makes no logical sense at all.

Cyber vision enhancements (like anything else you've paid Essence for) are conceptually part of the person, as far as magic is concerned. That's the reason mana illusions still work on people with cybereyes, the reason that mages with cybereyes can still cast (even in the dark using their cyber therm vision), and so on. I'm not sure what the canon is on using cyber enhancements through Clairvoyance or the like, and I don't have time to look it up right now, but it'd be logically consistent to allow it.

QUOTE
It means you're pretty much forced to use a high-Force (5+) version of Clairvoyance if you want to see people even a significant fraction of the time, because your TN is always 6, but theirs is Force, which is usually significantly lower.

Most of the resisted Detection spells are fairly low-Drain, though, and they're not spells that you're going to be trying to use in the middle of a firefight or spell duel, so you can cast them high-Force and with lots of dice behind them. My sorcerer can soak 3M Drain (Force 6 Clairvoyance) pretty reliably with just Willpower dice, so he can throw all 14 dice of Sorcery + Pool at that TN 6. Your average secguard would be lucky to get even one success on the resistance test, and even high-Willpower types are unlikely to get more than one. Wards and spell defense complicate things, but that's always the case.

And inanimate objects don't get a resistance test at all.
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