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> Spell casting/skills, Opinions Wanted
Garwyn
post May 9 2005, 04:20 AM
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Personally, I really like the fact that reaction, edge (ie karma pool), and magic are being turned into actual attributes.

One thing that I haven't seen yet is any insight into just how spell casting will work in SR4, whether the core mechanics will change or remain relatively the same.

The following is a change that I would personally find attractive, but there is no basis for thinking it might happen in SR4, it is simply my own idea/desire.

Proposed spell casting mechanics

* The sorcery active skill ceases to exist.

* Each spell operates like a skill. After character generation, new spells start at a rating of 1 and all spells can be developed over time in much the same way as a other skills.

* Casting a spell involves rolling the <magic attribute> + <spell rating> +/- <mods> in dice, successes scored determine result.

Other proposed mechanics

* Conjuring remains as a skill where the successes scored by rolling <magic attribute> + <skill rating> +/- <mods> as dice determines services/binding time depending on what's being summoned.

* Astral Projection is a skill where the number of successess determined by <magic attribute> + <skill rating> +/- <mods> in dice determines the amount of time one can astrally project.

* Astral Perception is a skill where the number of successess determined by <magic attribute> + <skill rating> +/- <mods> in dice determines the result of assensing tests.

I'm just curious if anyone has either some insight into the actual SR4 mechanics or opinions on these as viable possibilities.
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Ellery
post May 9 2005, 07:12 AM
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How much karma is a magically active character supposed to earn, anyway? Skills always were more expensive than spells and it was still hard to get enough spells to even cover the basics in SR3. I don't think spells-as-skills works all that well.

Plus, does that mean that you can cast a spell at your magic rating even if you haven't learned it? I don't think that sounds like a good idea either.

If they were to make this change, summoning each type of spirit should be a skill also. (But, ugh.)

Astral projection running out the way it does now seems fine. Astral perception ought to be magic + skill given the normal formula, since magic is the relevant attribute and it's easy to have an astral perception (or aura reading) skill.
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Charon
post May 9 2005, 07:21 AM
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What tickles my curiosity is the fate of spell ratings in SR4.

If spells rating are rolled, as you suggested, they have a meaning. But if you roll a sorcery skill, I don't see where the spell rating would come into play.

So you roll sorcery against TN 5. Presumably the target rolls an appropriate attribute against a TN 5 to resist. Where does that leave the spell rating? Could spell now simply have a flat cost and no power level (their power essentially being the power of the mage)?

---

Presumably you roll an attribute + sorcery. It would be interesting if that attribute varied. Obviously, charisma would be used for conjuration, but it could also be used for emotion control spell for example. Logic or intuition could be used for various detection and illusion spell. Willpower would be used for spell of raw power such as any combat spell.

---

In fact, in a fixed TN (and so far as we know no pool) system, I'm not clear on the use of the magic rating? Would that be the attibute rolled in conjonction with sorcery?
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Ellery
post May 9 2005, 07:30 AM
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Magic is an attribute (see SR FAQ 4). So I expect it is the linked attribute for magical tests. So, if there is a sorcery skill, then magic + sorcery ought to be a test to do something sorcerous (such as cast a spell). This does make spell force less useful--I wouldn't be surprised if it disappeared completely, although I'm not sure how one would calculate drain then.

Added in edit: Drain for some spells could be a fixed value. But it's a little trickier for something like a combat spell which would presumably get cast at different damage levels.
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Edward
post May 9 2005, 08:08 AM
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The minimal change option would be caster roles magic + sorcery and force of the spell ether modifies the targets pool or threshold.

Presumably force will still be relevant for affecting vehicles and other objects as well as interactions with wards and dispelling

Edward
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audun
post May 9 2005, 01:32 PM
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QUOTE (Garwyn)
One thing that I haven't seen yet is any insight into just how spell casting will work in SR4, whether the core mechanics will change or remain relatively the same.

The following is a change that I would personally find attractive, but there is no basis for thinking it might happen in SR4, it is simply my own idea/desire. 

Proposed spell casting mechanics

* The sorcery active skill ceases to exist.

* Each spell operates like a skill.  After character generation, new spells start at a rating of 1 and all spells can be developed over time in much the same way as a other skills.

As pointed out, it would require way too much Karma to learn spells this way. Also, spells are not skills. A spell is a certain way to produce a magical effect, a skill is much broader. The current rules may not be perfect, but this solution doesn't solve anything.

QUOTE

Other proposed mechanics

* Astral Projection is a skill where the number of successess determined by <magic attribute> + <skill rating> +/- <mods> in dice determines the amount of time one can astrally project.

* Astral Perception is a skill where the number of successess determined by <magic attribute> + <skill rating> +/- <mods> in dice determines the result of assensing tests.

Having Astra Projection or Perception as skills is a huge change in how they work. With the current rules they are as natural to a magician as sight and hearing is. If they are skills it means that it's difficult to do it at all.
For Astral Projection this may make sense, but I'm not sure if it as an improvment over the current rules. It's a change in how it works.
For Astral Perception, what you really want is an Assensing skill. A test to determine whether you can see in the Astral at all doesn't make much sense, but since assensing already is determined by Intelligence it makes sense that you can learn to be better at it.
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Phantom Runner
post May 9 2005, 02:28 PM
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QUOTE (Edward)
The minimal change option would be caster roles magic + sorcery and force of the spell ether modifies the targets pool or threshold.

I would assume the same thing. The force of the spell could do any number of different things:

- Add dice to the casting roll.

- Subtract dice from the target's resistance roll.

- Subtract dice from the drain resistance roll.

- Determine the maximum number of "hits" that could (much like spell do now)
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GunnerJ
post May 9 2005, 05:29 PM
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One way or another, I personally think that some info on how magic works with the new system is long overdue.
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Phantom Runner
post May 9 2005, 05:49 PM
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QUOTE (GunnerJ)
One way or another, I personally think that some info on how magic works with the new system is long overdue.

Heh...any information is long over due as its been over three weeks since the late bit of spoilers... :please:
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