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> Spell Force Rating Question, A high force necessary for some spells?
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post Nov 5 2004, 01:28 AM
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I'm learning the ropes of Magic in Shadowrun 3rd Edition and there's one thing that doesn't sit well with me...

I'll give a specific example: The Increase Reflexes Spell. If I only need one success to cast this spell, and it's not resisted because I'm a willing subject, what's to keep me from buying the spell at a Force rating of 1 so I can enjoy the benefits of all those extra dice to my Initiative and avoid drain at the same time?

It's not just that spell, but there are several more I have noticed that have me wondering why it's worth it to buy it at a Force greater than 1.

I'm almost CERTAIN I'm interpreting it wrongly, though, otherwise what WOULD be the point of buying those spells in at a higher Force? Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
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Kanada Ten
post Nov 5 2004, 01:31 AM
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QUOTE
OurTeam
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.


This post has been edited by Kanada Ten: Nov 5 2004, 01:35 AM
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Necro Tech
post Nov 5 2004, 01:36 AM
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Actually there are almost no other spells that work like that one. 99% of spells are directly related to force. Number of successes can't exceed, speed limit, distance limit, damage limit, object resistance table. The previously mentioned thread also hits the high notes about enemies screwing with you. Read the spell vary carefully as well as the short paragraph under spell catagory. Force maters in almost every case. Some times, just within acceptable limits.
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 5 2004, 02:47 AM
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No, you were interpretting it correctly. It's one of the few spells you can take at a low Force that's fully effective. Easy to dispel and destroy any foci bonded with it, but still fully effective.

The standard house rule to fix the problem (if you perceive it as a problem -- I don't) is to eliminate all three spells and create a new one in its place.

Increase Reflexes
Type: P Target: Reaction Duration: S Drain: +1(S)

This spell grants a +1D6 bonus to the target's Initiative score for every two successes (to a maximum of half the spell's Force or +3D6, whichever is [lesser]). This spell is not compatible with any other spell, implant, or effect that improves the target's Initiative score.

This post has been edited by Doctor Funkenstein: Nov 5 2004, 04:26 AM
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Fortune
post Nov 5 2004, 04:02 AM
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QUOTE
Increase Reflexes
Type: P Target: Reaction Duration: S Drain: +1(S)

This spell grants a +1D6 bonus to the target's Initiative score for every two successes (to a maximum of half the spell's Force or +3D6, whichever is greater). This spell is not compatible with any other spell, implant, or effect that improves the target's Initiative score.


With the above example from the Doc, a character could still take Increased Reflexes at a Force of 1 and get +3d6, as long as they got 6 successes. I, personally would remove the phrase 'or +3d6, whichever is greater', but that's just me. :)
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TheScamp
post Nov 5 2004, 04:13 AM
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Or simply replace 'greater' with 'lower'.
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Gilthanis
post Nov 5 2004, 04:24 AM
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Well...to also further explain the question you are asking. The point to learning the spell at a higher force is to discourage other mages (especially security mages who will most likely notice this spell and be very suspicious) from dispelling it. A force one isn't too tough to do, but it would be pretty tough to dispell a force 6. Don't forget that a lot of people use this cheesey technique and combine it with the Quickening metamagic. That way they can use karma to strengthen it against dispelling.
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GrinderTheTroll
post Nov 5 2004, 06:34 AM
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QUOTE (Gilthanis)
Well...to also further explain the question you are asking. The point to learning the spell at a higher force is to discourage other mages (especially security mages who will most likely notice this spell and be very suspicious) from dispelling it. A force one isn't too tough to do, but it would be pretty tough to dispell a force 6. Don't forget that a lot of people use this cheesey technique and combine it with the Quickening metamagic. That way they can use karma to strengthen it against dispelling.

Excellent point. Soon as my runners take any spell under a Force 3, I tend to make enemy mages dispell them. Keeps'em on the up and up as well as over the legal spell rating... :D
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toturi
post Nov 5 2004, 06:48 AM
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The problem is the Force 1 spell is just as easy to recast. So the 2 mages are playing the "he dispels me/he dispels me not" game.
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TheScamp
post Nov 5 2004, 06:56 AM
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QUOTE
So the 2 mages are playing the "he dispels me/he dispels me not" game.

Well, except that the dispelling mage could very well have a reflex spell up of his own, and therefore has a couple more actions than the other guy.
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Glyph
post Nov 5 2004, 07:14 AM
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There's nothing wrong with using dispelling from enemy mages, but it should be done realistically. Dispelling an increase reflexes spell generally means that the dispeller must resist some pretty bad Drain, so enemies will tend to be judicious in this tactic. And why simply take out someone's reflex increase, but otherwise leave them unharmed, when you could cast a Deadly damaging manipulation spell at them for about the same, or less, Drain?

Personally, I don't find the spell that broken. It gives the mage about the equivalent of wired reflexes: 2 or slightly less - not enough to keep up with the sammies and adepts, but enough to have at least more than one action pass.
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 5 2004, 07:31 AM
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QUOTE (Glyph)
Personally, I don't find the spell that broken. It gives the mage about the equivalent of wired reflexes: 2 or slightly less - not enough to keep up with the sammies and adepts, but enough to have at least more than one action pass.

Exactly. +3D6 is only adding 10 to your normal Initiative roll on average. It's not a game breaker either theoretically or after tons and tons of experience in playtesting.

Reaction is where all the power is. If it granted that on top of the Initative boost, then there'd probably be some valid issues with the spell. As it is now, it just lets magicians keep up with everyone else.
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Mr.Cato
post Nov 5 2004, 08:36 AM
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I run a mage with 30-something in karma pool, and if I didn't use this spell I would be seriously bored (edit: ..and dead) during battles. All relevant opposition have at least 2 xtra dice for initiative.
I have it quickened at force 12 with 12 karma. This makes it very hard and dangerous to dispell. There are some drawbacks though - concerning masking (only grade 7) and passing wards.

Come to think of it.. would a high force spell like that be illegal? because ..it's quite obvious :D
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DrJest
post Nov 5 2004, 11:01 AM
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The most valid reason for not casting a spell at a high Force rating is Masking. Using the canon spell, casting Increase Reflexes +3d6 at a Force of 1 means that a Grade 1 initiate can Mask it if he takes Masking as his first metamagic and uses a sustaining focus; or that a Grade 2 with Masking and Quickening can mask it quickened. Once you mask the spell it becomes immune from 90% of the spellworms you're going to encounter; therefore the Force rating is less of an issue. And even the other initated need to scan you to know you're masking, so you'll get a few actions off before they pierce your veil; and those few actions can be deeply important.

As a side note, a lot of magical types overlook the necessity of increased reflexes. God only knows why, personally I couldn't do without them. Although people go on about the killer Force 6 S Manabolt, which (let's face it) you couldn't cast over and over, I tend to find that a lower Force version whose Drain can be effectively resisted can be nearly as good (especially since most Supporting Artists in an adventure aren't going to be heavy on the Willpower, and those that are tend not to be heavy on the Body so an equivalent Powerbolt would work) and more so when combined with high reflexes.
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Gilthanis
post Nov 5 2004, 12:29 PM
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QUOTE (toturi)
The problem is the Force 1 spell is just as easy to recast. So the 2 mages are playing the "he dispels me/he dispels me not" game.

Hold up.....What?? Are you nuts. A deadly drain spell isn't something that is easily nothing especially with the security mages about. Common sense would say that after dispelling, they would give you spell defense to prevent you from recasting. Good luck on that one. Whatever dice you have, double that for the opposition. After all, they are security so they would know this tactic. Second of all, the effectiveness isn't broken on the spell...it's that there is no threshold or limited successes or nothing giving the reason to EVER learn it at a higher force would be to cheese it. Yes I see A LOT of mages using this spell. So, no it isn't a rarety in the game. As far as it not being karmasean cheese at a low force. I'd think that despite reaction being better, people quote the average of 10 as a result way too often. My results are usually better and lets face it...mages already have many advantages over street sams and this just puts them that much higher. As a GM, I would make sure that having a low force version of this spell on would trigger many annoying situations due to the fact that the drain alone would on average casue a light drain and to have a character going through the run always woozie would teach them something about cheesing the game.
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toturi
post Nov 5 2004, 12:47 PM
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QUOTE (Gilthanis)
Hold up.....What?? Are you nuts. A deadly drain spell isn't something that is easily nothing especially with the security mages about. Common sense would say that after dispelling, they would give you spell defense to prevent you from recasting. Good luck on that one. Whatever dice you have, double that for the opposition. After all, they are security so they would know this tactic. Second of all, the effectiveness isn't broken on the spell...it's that there is no threshold or limited successes or nothing giving the reason to EVER learn it at a higher force would be to cheese it. Yes I see A LOT of mages using this spell. So, no it isn't a rarety in the game. As far as it not being karmasean cheese at a low force. I'd think that despite reaction being better, people quote the average of 10 as a result way too often. My results are usually better and lets face it...mages already have many advantages over street sams and this just puts them that much higher. As a GM, I would make sure that having a low force version of this spell on would trigger many annoying situations due to the fact that the drain alone would on average casue a light drain and to have a character going through the run always woozie would teach them something about cheesing the game.

First of all, you are assuming that there are more security mages at the location than there are PC mages. Common sense would dictate that the PC wouldn't be trying anything if there are more sec mages. Good luck if there are, because they needn't dispel your spell then, the PC mage would already be dead since to have more sec mages waiting, your cover would have been blown and they've been ready for you. In fact, if you do not have more mages than the opposition can field in that tight time window, I think the runners are being stupid. Since they have the initiative (no pun intended), they would have more dice than the opposition, instead of the other way around.

Secondly, the spell is as difficult to cast as it is to dispel depending on the various TNs. And any mage would have cast it with a high number of successes before going on a run, so he casts it, rests up and goes on his run. No Stun.
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post Nov 5 2004, 02:01 PM
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QUOTE (Mr.Cato)
I have it quickened at force 12 with 12 karma. This makes it very hard and dangerous to dispell. There are some drawbacks though - concerning masking (only grade 7) and passing wards.

Come to think of it.. would a high force spell like that be illegal? because ..it's quite obvious :D

:eek: Force 12 ???? :eek:

How you learned such a spell? Designing such a spell requires Spell Design skill at 12, so good luck finding a formula for it.
And even if you do *obtain* one, you have to *learn* the spell, and the TN to do so is 24!

And yes, you'll become Hunted the first time a Lone Star mage survives seeing you, and a *lot* of Lone Star mages will notice you if you ever enter downtown (or any other area with decent astral security) with a spell like this permanently ON. Heck, if I were a random guy capable of astral perception and ever noticed someone like this on the street I'd call Lone Star SWAT teams, CNN, Vatican, Dunkelzahn and my mommy so fast I'd have to try to Quickdraw my phone...
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Austere Emancipa...
post Nov 5 2004, 02:32 PM
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I'm guessing he meant he has a Force 6 spell Quickened with 12 Karma, so that the effective Force of 12.
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Fortune
post Nov 5 2004, 03:07 PM
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QUOTE (Austere Emancipator @ Nov 6 2004, 01:32 AM)
I'm guessing he meant he has a Force 6 spell Quickened with 12 Karma, so that the effective Force of 12.

I don't know about that, since he mentions that he has Masking at Grade 7 (I assume that's the Initiate grade). If the spell was only Force 6, there shouldn't be a problem Masking it at that level of Initiation.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Nov 5 2004, 03:21 PM
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In that case, he has obviously broken a few rules concerning learning spells, or is insanely lucky. Either way we shouldn't be surprised about anything else that happens to the character in the particular game.
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Mr.Cato
post Nov 5 2004, 04:00 PM
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We try not to break rules when we play. Obtaining the spell... the GM let me. Learning the spell : Sorcery 9, comp. background +3 (6/2) elemental aid 12: totals 24 dice. A success of 24 come up every 1296nd roll. Starting a few sessions by using half of my karma on this, I made it.

But admitly the GM haven't been into the magic rules alot, and maybe it should be more difficult to obtain force 12 spells. We also might have to review legality and comon reactions to high-force spells. Would souch a "relativly" harmless spells be illegal? ..and where do I read about spell legallity?

I wanted a force 12 spell to be sure that was not easlily dispelled. With force 12 the drain after dispelling is 9D physical dam !!.. if I had opted with the force 6, 12 karma it would only be 5D.
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Fortune
post Nov 5 2004, 04:09 PM
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According to canon, any spell above Force 2 is illegal without a permit.
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 5 2004, 04:15 PM
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A force 6 spell quickened with 12 Karma is practically immune to dispelling. If an opponent can snag 12 successes against a TN of 6, you're screwed in so many ways (especially since he was only toying with you by taking down the spell rather than hurling an offensive spell).
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Herald of Verjig...
post Nov 5 2004, 04:32 PM
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The dispeller still only needs to beat down the successes the spell was quickened with. However, his TN will be 12 in any standard quickening where you spend 12 karma on the spell.

A force 6 tattoo quickened spell with 12 karma and one success on casting only takes one dispelling success to break, but the TN is 24 for that test and it functions as a force 24 spell for purposes of dispellling drain.
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Nikoli
post Nov 5 2004, 04:34 PM
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What does a spell like that look like on the astral viewing? Since you get an idea of force of the spell, could that be used as a "trap" for enemy mages.
"Aw, ain't that cute a quickened force 4 bullet barrier, lemme just dispel that..."
"Sarge, the wiz just fell over..."
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