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The Increase Willpower spell was horribly broken in 3rd edition - so much so that my gaming group banned all increase mental attribute spells. With a sustaining focus, it could double the number of dice a mage rolled on their drain resistance test, letting the mage throw whatever spells they wanted without having to worry about drain.

In 4th edition it looks a little better. A force 6 increase attribute spell will counteract, on average, two points of drain value and requires a sustaining focus that has too high an availability for starting characters. On the other hand, since two attributes add to your drain resistance test, it's possible to start with +6 dice and get +12 dice once game is going. That's pretty broken. In fact, it makes the abuse of the trauma damper (or whatever gave -1 box to all stun wounds) by mages in SR3 downright fair.

I'm tempted to use underhanded tactics to fix this sort of thing. Since active foci have an astral form, spirits could just come by, grab them, and run off.

What do you think makes Sustaining focus: Increase Mental Attribute fair? Even the limit to (logic) foci active at once is asking for an "Increase Logic" spell to be used to get around it...
QUOTE (Chandon @ Oct 1 2005, 10:50 PM)
With a sustaining focus, it could double the number of dice a mage rolled on their drain resistance test

…If your Mage had a Willpower of 4 or less.

"Increase Willpower" spell? Where was that little gem hiding?

No real need to limit these spells. The game itself has built in limits that prevent (most) misuse. According to canon, (and unlike Sr3) the hard Attribute cap cannot be exceeded in any way, even by Magical means.
It was named generically, as Increase (Attribute).


I think that was one of the few times my GM flat out said no. Well, that and mind probe spells.

In Magic in the Shadows, Page 53, they imply that Mindprobe was originally intended to be a touch-range spell. It's vastly less broken (indeed, I would claim not broken) if you apply that.

Crusher Bob
In SR2 it was range touch and +2 or +3 D drain... In SR3 they really made it broken...
Until you get quickening then the increase attibute spells are that much of a problem. As you will soon run out of magic attribute to bond focuses to maintain the spells. Of course once you have quickening it all seems to go out of the window and the mage power house with all increased atts and iniative are back in the game as very scary.
…Until they meet a ward.

Oh, here's a little gem that helps with the game balance for these spells. The Force of the spell must equal or exceed the augmented value of the attribute affected by the spell (SR4, p200, 2nd column). Thus, for most Mages, you'd have to cast at a minimum of Force 6 or higher to get any benefit (depending on what the stat is), and you'd need the equivalent amount of Karma for Quickening or the equivalent Force for a Sustaining Focus. It would be very hard to mask, as well (if you are using a carry-over masking rule from SR3, as SR4 has nothing on masking foci/spells).
pretty sure it says when a spell becomes permanent, it becomes part of your aura. it could therefore be argued that, as part of your aura, quickened spells are auto-masked.

of course, you can argue anything you want... that doesn't mean you'll be right, or that your DM will allow it even if you are 'right' =P
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