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> Improving Spells
Pariahpaladin
post Nov 29 2004, 11:00 AM
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Simple question. I think at least.

How much Karma would it cost to increase a spell's force?

Let's say I want to increase a manabolt from 3 to 6. What would it cost and how long would it take? Would I need a spell formula or teacher since I already know the spell?

I've been out of the loop for a while with SR and I've found I've forgotten a lot.

Thanks for any help.
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DrJest
post Nov 29 2004, 11:56 AM
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From my SR2 point of view, you don't improve it - you just learn a Force 6 variant. That may have changed, of course.
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Large Mike
post Nov 29 2004, 12:18 PM
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If I recall correctly, learning the new variant is still the case.
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DarkShade
post Nov 29 2004, 12:33 PM
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`by the book` you need to learn it again, at the new force.
it is easy to houserule this though.. just substract most or all the karma already paid for..

note you do need a new spell formula & teacher or whatever.

DS
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Nikoli
post Nov 29 2004, 02:50 PM
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I always felt the magic ruules were way too stiff when compared to the fluff text in the novels and the books. It's always described as a fluid thing, mutable and ever chaning, even for Hermetics. Yet the system is fairly riged. Less so in 3rd Ed with the variable damage codes on attack spells, but still rigid.

Personally, if they do a 4th edition I'd like to see a system resembling the Otaku take on the Matrix, wherer you have a set of "spells" that reduce your target numbers for tests but you use your Conjuring skill for the tests, and the spells are improved like any other skill.
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 29 2004, 05:45 PM
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Basically, they just like keeping mages as karma whores.

Considering that you can cast a spell at any Force up to the Force you learned it at, you gain *nothing* by learning a lower Force spell. Yet if you want to upgrade your spell, you have to pretend that you don't know the lower Force spell at all in order to do it, at which point all that Karma (Spell Points) you invested in the original spell are totally meaningless. You just flushed 'em down the toliet.

Needless to say that I house rule it so you can upgrade spells just like most any other item in the game -- pay the difference between the two and go from there. I even apply it to the tests for learning the spell; in essence, it lets you pay a ton of Karma and nuyen (for the different spell formula and teachers, as appropraite) in order to learn those really high Force spells.
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GrinderTheTroll
post Nov 29 2004, 06:58 PM
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QUOTE (Pariahpaladin)
Simple question. I think at least.

How much Karma would it cost to increase a spell's force?

Let's say I want to increase a manabolt from 3 to 6. What would it cost and how long would it take? Would I need a spell formula or teacher since I already know the spell?

I've been out of the loop for a while with SR and I've found I've forgotten a lot.

Thanks for any help.

As it's been said, you need to re-learn the spell at a new level. That also means a new spell formula, time, karma, just like you've never know it before.

It's an obvious game mechanic meant to keep mages from slowing incrementing their arsenal of magic at minimal costs. Astral quests help the Karma burn side of this equation a bit, but higher rating Astral Quests can get very deadly quickly.
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Pariahpaladin
post Nov 30 2004, 12:40 AM
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Ok that answers that. Thanks for all of the responses.

I think I may go with the abbility to upgrade the spell; just reduce the karma cost by what they already paid for. But I shall still make them find a spell formula or teacher (etc) to learn the higher force spell.

Now here is a second question that popped up in my head. I feel that it may have the same answer as before. But what if a magic user wants to turn her drek hot force 6 toxic wave spell into an exclusive one to lessen the drain?

Would she have to go about the same process of relearning the entire spell?




And a side question that came up while designing a character. Does bioware grant bonuses on the astral? The piece of ware in question is the cerebral booster. Would a magic user with that be really fast on the astral?
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Fortune
post Nov 30 2004, 01:01 AM
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In that case, yes. Adding (or subtracting) any limitations or options to a spell should require the mage to relearn it from scratch. A bonus to the learning TN is appropriate though, as he already knows the spell.
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BitBasher
post Nov 30 2004, 01:06 AM
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Relearn the spell and pay for it again from scratch. An exclusive or Fetish Required spell uses an entirely different formula to learn.
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Eyeless Blond
post Nov 30 2004, 03:58 AM
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QUOTE (Doctor Funkenstein)
Needless to say that I house rule it so you can upgrade spells just like most any other item in the game -- pay the difference between the two and go from there. I even apply it to the tests for learning the spell; in essence, it lets you pay a ton of Karma and nuyen (for the different spell formula and teachers, as appropraite) in order to learn those really high Force spells.

Hm. Do you find then your mages generally have higher-Force spells then Funk? Part of the reason that most mages aren't walking around casting Force 12 Manaballs (other than the horrendous Drain) is that the TN to learn it is 24, maybe 22 if you make it Exclusive. With your rule, though, you can learn a Force 8 spell first, bringing the TN down to a much more managable 14. Do you think this is a problem, or is magic really that weak in general that it needs the boost?
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 30 2004, 04:04 AM
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Not really, no. Most of the time, players would rather spread their abilities out than focus tons of karma into a single spell or two. Aside from Heal 9 and, every once in a blue moon, a force 11 or 13 Combat or Elemental Manipulation spell, it's extremely rare to see anything break the force 6 barrier even after they've initiated several times.

Magicians have a ton of things to waste karma on. They should at least get something for it when they do, rather than having past expendentures rendered completely moot.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 30 2004, 04:09 AM
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Although it makes little sense from an in-game perspective, one way to potentially balancing the whole replacing-old-spells thing is to allow a mage to voluntarily add a restriction later on, one that would be permanent. For instance, start game with Powerball 6. Later on, for some reason, learn Powerball 9, and be able to add either a Fetish or Exclusive limitation to the lower-Force spell, giving it versatility the higher-Force doesn't. Alternately, there's the possibility of leaving it unlimited if the higher-Force spell will be limited.

~J
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 30 2004, 04:17 AM
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I disagree. I think it makes quite a bit of sense since, in effect, you've already learned the basics of the spell. It's really not all that different from improving a skill. It costs a hell of a lot less Karma to go from a Skill of 5 to 6 than it does from a Skill of 1 to 6.
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Glyph
post Nov 30 2004, 04:27 AM
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On the bioware question, yes - it would improve the mage's astral abilities, since the Attribute is treated as natural. Bioware (post-FAQ) does cause Essense and Magic loss, so it's a bit of a tradeoff. If you can afford it, though, it is probably worth it.
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 30 2004, 04:28 AM
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Bioware doesn't cause Essence loss, and the Magic loss it causes is halved.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 30 2004, 04:31 AM
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QUOTE (Doctor Funkenstein)
I disagree. I think it makes quite a bit of sense since, in effect, you've already learned the basics of the spell. It's really not all that different from improving a skill. It costs a hell of a lot less Karma to go from a Skill of 5 to 6 than it does from a Skill of 1 to 6.

No no, I was saying that my proposed houserule (whereby the old learning of the spell without a limitation can optionally become limited when you learn a new spell of higher Force) makes little sense, not that improving spells incrementally rather than rebuying does.

~J
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 30 2004, 04:31 AM
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Oh, sorry, my mistake yet again.
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