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> Blind mage, Casting a spell without using your eyes
Juggernaut125
post Aug 6 2005, 03:50 AM
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A question has come up for discussion with my friends on a mage that can't see. This is just for discussion, not for actual in game use.

Can a spell caster cast a spell at a target using sound? If the mage knows the target by sound, and hears it with his eyes closed, does this establish a link to the target without line of sight?

Thoughts? Arguments?
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FrostyNSO
post Aug 6 2005, 03:54 AM
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I don't think so, but he can still astrally perceive despite being blind and cast a spell that way.
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hyzmarca
post Aug 6 2005, 03:59 AM
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The correct answer to this question is Frag No!

However, mages have something better than sound, they have Astral Perception. Everything that is exists in the physical world has is reflected in Astral. An Astraly Percieving mage can cast a spell at anything it can sense with its Astral Perception.

This is why Blindness is only a two point flaw for mages.

This applies to every spellcaster except magician's way adepts who didn't buy Astral Sight. Blind magician adepts without astral sight should stick to conjuring.


Here is a good question, is LOS required for touch range spells? If I put my hand in hole in a box and grab something squirmy can I then cast Death Touch on the squirmy thing?
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FrostyNSO
post Aug 6 2005, 04:14 AM
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QUOTE
Here is a good question, is LOS required for touch range spells? If I put my hand in hole in a box and grab something squirmy can I then cast Death Touch on the squirmy thing?


Yes you can, because the link is provided through you're being in contact with that object. It doesn't say LOS is the only way to establsh a link, but it is the most common (and/or easiest).
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Juggernaut125
post Aug 6 2005, 05:09 AM
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That is a good question. Concensus between my self and my friends is Yes. You can cast Death Touch on an item you can't see, as long as you are touching it. Because you have created a link to the target as is determined by the spell's outline.

This is the crux of the discussion. Why are sight and touch the only predominant senses to connect the caster to the target? In our discussion some members keep refering to needing to know the location of the target. But by LOS rules knowing the location is not a requirement of spellcasting - the requirement for casting the spell is a link to the target.

The best example is casting spells using mirrors. Using LOS I can hit a target 2 rooms away if I can see his reflection. With a combat spell (for example) the spell will travel directly from the caster to the target because they have visually aquired a link to the target - it does not bounce off of the mirrors to reach the target.
Could it not be said that hearing the target might also create a link to the target which might be used to cast the spell? Granted, the target number to hit them would be modified by extraneous noises.

What about the idea of a metamagic ability of "blind casting"?
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Shrapnel
post Aug 6 2005, 05:20 AM
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One simple question should easily put this topic to rest.

Can you hear your target's aura?
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ShadowGhost
post Aug 6 2005, 05:52 AM
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QUOTE (Shrapnel)
One simple question should easily put this topic to rest.

Can you hear your target's aura?

If you're not astrally perceiving, then you can't see the aura anyway. And since inanimate objects have no aura, you could never target them with ANY spell *if* auras had anything at all to do with spellcasting in SR3.

As it is, seeing an aura has bugger-all to do with spellcasting.... unless you're perceiving astrally. And even then you can target an inanimate object that has no aura with spells.
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FrostyNSO
post Aug 6 2005, 08:46 AM
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If you hear a person by tem brushing up against the wall, you are not actually hearing them, as much as you are hearing the friction between their clothes and the wall itself. Same if you hear them knock over a lamp or something.

In all honesty, as a GM, if the target was talking or yelling, or otherwise vocalizing as you cast the spell thus creating a direct link to the person, I'd let it roll.
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hyzmarca
post Aug 6 2005, 09:17 AM
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QUOTE (FrostyNSO)
In all honesty, as a GM, if the target was talking or yelling, or otherwise vocalizing as you cast the spell thus creating a direct link to the person, I'd let it roll.

I think that that is the crux of the problem. Casting a spell is a complex action. Saying a word is a free action. People pause between words. If there is a pause then the link is broken.
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FrostyNSO
post Aug 6 2005, 10:17 AM
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True, and if that was the case, that's what I'd rule as well.
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Velocity
post Aug 6 2005, 01:33 PM
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Personally, I rule it using the HERO idea of "targeting senses" and "non-targeting senses." In the HERO system, any sense (from the 'real' five senses to any sort of fantastical sense you can invent) can be classified as one or the other and the cost to the character varies accordingly: targeting senses cost more because the character can use them to target an attack.

For the average person, there are three non-targeting senses (smell, taste, hearing) and two targeting senses (sight, touch); the rationale is that if I get into a dust-up down at the local pub and the lights suddenly go out, I can't reliably land a punch on anyone via hearing. If I grope around and feel someone, then I can hit them.

In my game, I ruled that it works the same for spells. If the mage wanted to shoot someone, she'd need to be able to see or touch them--so the same goes for spells unless some specific magic-related circumstance suggests otherwise (i.e. mirrors).
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toturi
post Aug 6 2005, 02:39 PM
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Alright unless someone else can find something else to suggest otherwise,
QUOTE (p181 SR3)
With spellcasting, the caster must be able to see the targetand must be present on the same plane(physical or astral) as the target.

So I would say that the only way for a blind mage to cast any spell (even one with a touch range) is to astrally perceive. The range of the spell does not factor into the manner of targeting, which is sight (normal or astral).
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Foreigner
post Aug 6 2005, 03:35 PM
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I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a GM, but would a technological solution be feasible?

Not Cyberware per se, but rather a visual substitute--cybershades with Ultrasound and Thermographic capabilities, for example.

Of course, if you want to go the Adept/magical route, the same tricks as were suggested for the SR equivalent to Daredevil would work--namely magically-improved senses of hearing, touch, taste, and smell--as well as Combat Sense or something similar to warn of nearby threats--at least if the character didn't want to use Astral Perception.

Just my :nuyen: 0.02, mind you.

EDIT: Sorry, Juggernaut125. My bad. :( I should've been more specific.

--Foreigner

This post has been edited by Foreigner: Aug 6 2005, 05:00 PM
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Juggernaut125
post Aug 6 2005, 04:38 PM
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QUOTE (Foreigner)
Of course, if you want to go the Adept/magical route, the same tricks as were suggested for the SR equivalent to Daredevil would work--namely magically-improved senses of hearing and touch, as well as Combat Sense or something similar to warn of nearby threats--at least if the character didn't want to use Astral Perception.

Just my :nuyen: 0.02, mind you.

--Foreigner

And smell. Technically, given the Daredevil scenario, or a blind mage with more "accute" senses, if a person walks in the room and wreaks of bad cologne, that could also be argued as a "link to the target". Even more strongly than sound, because when you smell someone else in your vicinity, it could be argued that you are technically breathing in their DNA, which is a prime component for most Ritual Sorcery tests. The basis for the argument is that the magic user needs to target what he wants to hit. Even as a blind mage using Astral Perception, in a room full of people, he needs to have some idea that the target is present. I'd find it doubtful that he would be astrally perceiving ALL the time.

Given the blind mage scenario, this is how I would approach it as a rule. It starts as a "blind fire" situation with a +8 target modifier. Ambiant noises could increase that target # again as much as +1 to +5 depending upon how loud and/or how many different sound sources there are to overcome. Already, the target to hit someone in a crowded room would be REALLY difficult, but not necessarily impossible. Then, given the character's dependence upon using his/her other senses to compensate, a support skill of "attentive listening" or some other such drek may be employed to reduce that target to something more manageable.
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Wireknight
post Aug 6 2005, 11:36 PM
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Shadowrun spellcasting is strongly visual in nature.

I would disallow the use of all spells that have a LOS range save for ranged-combat-TN# manipulations, since you basically throw them about with abandon and just happen to hit targets you aim for. For them, I'd assess the standard +8 Blind Fire target number modifier. I'd also allow LOS casting versus dual-natured targets using astral perception.

Incidentally, that mage might want to employ quickening or a sustaining focus to center the Clairvoyance spell upon themselves on a semi-permanent basis. That would potentially restore their lost vision. If they happen to be a magician adept, they could likely pick up the Blind-Fighting power to halve the Blind Fire modifier to +4, though the former solution is more universally useful and elegant.
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nick012000
post Aug 7 2005, 03:48 AM
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Or just take area effect spells and lob them around randomly.

Or take anchoring, and set it to target anyone who attacks you.
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Shrapnel
post Aug 7 2005, 04:48 AM
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Even area effect spells require LOS.

Those people that you can see are valid targets, and those that you can't see aren't effected.

At least that's how I remember it. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
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toturi
post Aug 7 2005, 01:51 PM
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Area effect elemental spells work a little differently.
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frostPDP
post Aug 8 2005, 01:22 AM
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Its always appeared, to me, that you have to be able to get a clear shot at the opponent. If a person is behind tinted glass, they are harder to see if not impossible. I believe this is mentioned in some book, in fact, as a reason why most rich people have tinted glass on their cars.

So, going with that, if you have super-smell then you can make a perception test. Sight is the most clear of our senses other than touch and maybe taste, (echos can confuse sight, garbage can dust sound) so its the most "traditional."

Its also possible to say that Astral "sight" is a totally different sense than sight, and that perception is where the two blend. Astral itself is a spiritual thing, and the body senses with 5 senses, the spirit with one that encompasses them all, I would say.

So yeah, perception checks.

Follow-up question: Lets say someone is dual-natured (A ghoul.) If that person wants to cast a spell, he could do it while astrally percieving. Can you astrally percieve through a car? If so, is it a perfect sight or, as I would think, made hazy by the metal and pollution such things cause?
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hyzmarca
post Aug 8 2005, 01:25 AM
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QUOTE (frostPDP)
Its always appeared, to me, that you have to be able to get a clear shot at the opponent. If a person is behind tinted glass, they are harder to see if not impossible. I believe this is mentioned in some book, in fact, as a reason why most rich people have tinted glass on their cars.

So, going with that, if you have super-smell then you can make a perception test. Sight is the most clear of our senses other than touch and maybe taste, (echos can confuse sight, garbage can dust sound) so its the most "traditional."

Its also possible to say that Astral "sight" is a totally different sense than sight, and that perception is where the two blend. Astral itself is a spiritual thing, and the body senses with 5 senses, the spirit with one that encompasses them all, I would say.

So yeah, perception checks.

Follow-up question: Lets say someone is dual-natured (A ghoul.) If that person wants to cast a spell, he could do it while astrally percieving. Can you astrally percieve through a car? If so, is it a perfect sight or, as I would think, made hazy by the metal and pollution such things cause?

Solid objects are opaque on Astral. So you can't see through a car unless the window is open or the roof is down.
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frostPDP
post Aug 8 2005, 01:35 AM
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Interesting. I'd always pictured it more as a density sort of thing. Car metal is fairly dense and is made in a most unnatural process, whereas glass is not so "unnatural," though tinted glass would be moreso due to whatever chemicals they use...Keep in mind I'm not a glass blower.

Solid objects like were never, so far as I'd considered, unpassable. Unless it was chem-treated and whatnot. Astral, to me anyhow, has always been sort of a spiritual plane where anything natural is see-through to some extent, and passable as well. A cyberzombie, for example, would be a shillouette (And no, I do not care to use spellchecker.)
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