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I was thinking about this so I thought I would make the suggestion. There should be a rule where you can spend Karma to gain points in casting a specific spell. Like say you are a combat mage and you cast fireball all the time. You could buy a skill called Fireball which would give you additional dice to roll to try and get more hits to cast that spell. You still are limited by the force you cast the spell at to the number of overall successes you can count but it would just make more sense that mages would become better at casting their favorite spell than the spells they use less often. So you would have more dice to get more hits with the spells you know the best and use the most. All it costs you is Karma. This makes mages less static and inflexible. Also it opens up an avenue for the next part of the house rule….

Customizing your spells!
I think it would be cool if we had a rule where if you buy 3 or more points in a skill related to a spell you know that spell so well that you can make your own version of the spell. Like a fireball spell that has all the normal game mechanics of a regular fireball but when you cast it a little pair of flaming red lips that float across the room then make a smack sound before they explode into a fireball. Or perhaps you want a stun-ball that leaves sparkling fairy dust in the air for a moment after it goes off. Maybe a mana-bolt that appears as a white dove that flies towards your target and hurts them. Perhaps you want your darkness spell to creep out from under your cloak and envelop an area of effect. If you buy 3 or more points in knowledge of that spell you know it so well you can customize it to be a signature spell. Of course this also means you leave behind a very specific signature that other mages can recognize as well.
Hmm, I would allow mages to specialize in a category. SR3 had that.

As for adding soecial effects to your spells, you can already do that. SR never specifies how your spells actually look, it's up to each mage. There's nothing stopping you from doing what you describe right now.
Kanada Ten
So... Magic 6 + Spellcasting 6 + (Combat) 2 + Fireball 6 + Specific Focus 6 + Power Focus 6 + Mentor Spirit Bonus 2 + Aid Sorcery 6 = 40 Dice Pool? OK, I guess the difference between 34 and 40 is minimal, but it's still 6 more dice a munch can save for Drain (thus allowing a higher spell Force).

This makes mages less static and inflexible.

Er, doesn't it actually encourage static and inflexible? It seems to encourage low spell quantity set to maximum power.
Pretty sure you can only use one foci per Test. My understanding is that you can save the Spell Focus dice for the Drain Test while using the Power Focus dice for the Spellcasting Test, but you can't use them together (and you can't use the Power Focus dice for the Drain Test because that pool doesn't include Magic).

That said I'm not really up for the idea of adding even more potential Spell dice. Especially when you already can add those dice using karma through the open ended nature of the Magic attribute.

Fluff deviations, but no game mechanics differences, from the canon norms in how a spell appears each time you cast? I don't remember seeing it in the core book, but i'd be surprised if it isn't mentioned as just peachy keen in Street Magic under the larger umbrella of custom researched spells. Really, it's just some window dressing flair and that is rarely an issue. The identifying astral sig is already in place.

P.S. The word 'inflexible' isn't one that pops to mind when i think of mages. smile.gif
James McMurray
Pg. 168 under noticing magic says that the magician can have flashy effects. This indicates to me that if you want your fireballs to be little mouths made of fire that run around licking everything in the area you're well within the rules doing it. Just don't try to have those special effects give in in-game bonuses that a normal fireball wouldn't have and you're cool.

I wouldn't allow an extra skill for specific spells. You can specialize by spell type if you want extra dice. would you allow a street sam to have both long arms and AK-97 skill to add up to 6 more dice to his shooting?
James hit it right on the head. If you want a mage who can cast better fireballs, then specialize in combat spells. I'm not one of the people complaining that mages are overpowered, but they do tend to have a dice advantage against the people they sling spells at already - I wouldn't give them a means to get even more dice.
Kanada Ten
You know, I could see this working more indirectly. Say, if the Fireball skill was a knowledge skill, and, instead of granting bonus Spellcasting dice, it allows the character to better analyze using the spell in the targeting Perception test. Based on the roll, the GM will tell the player what will catch on fire, who is likely to survive the spell, and so on.
Kyoto Kid if we need to make magic any more nasty than it already is.

Ms Mundane says...


A better idea...

For mundanes and adepts (who do not take the magic resistance power or quality) the unmodified targeted attribute is a threshold against combat and influence manipulation spells.
After talking to my GM I too now realize how bad an idea this is. I was just thinking of a way to get one or two more successes per roll on a few of my spells. I don't have foci or fetishes or anything. But now I realize just how power gamy that house rule could become.

Now one thing I don't understand you guys are talking about saving your successes to resist drain? Can you do that in 4th edition? I thought Drain was just a straight roll with no modifications?
James McMurray
Noit saving successes, saving a focus. If you have two foci for the spell you're casting, one of which isn't a power focus, then you can use one for casting the spell and the other for resisting drain. This is all IIRC, as I don't have a book with me.
You can specialize spell casting into spell types (catagories), they are listed in specialization table.
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