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OK before some one asks the always popular did you use the search function, I did it returned far too much to be useful in answering this specific question.

Does the -1 die per full point of lost essence of the target apply to all Health Spells or just to the Heal spell.

This debate came up last night in our group while I was GMing. A player wanted to cast Increase Initiative on a low essence character (less than 1) and I told him there would be a -5 dice penalty for that. He said that only applied to the Heal spell, based on the fact that that spell was cited in the example. I told him no the penalty applies to all health spells, my reasoning being that if the rule is detaild in the spell category heading it applies to all spells of that category, otherwise it would have been in the indvidual spell description.
It dose explicitly say they are more difficult to heal. I would rule no penalty to Increase Initiative but yes to a penalty on Stablize. Probably Cure Disease (even though it says it doesn't heal some diseases would require tissue repair as part of the cure, while some such as infections do not). No to Detox (read the spell description, it is just a substance removal) and everything else in the current grimore.

EDIT: But that isn't to say you don't have a decent point. I just think that, beyond even just the written word, that given some other non-Health spells, particularly manipulation spells, it seems inconsistant to give the penalty to Health spells outside of those specific few healing type spells.
Here's a question that I searched for and found nothing on:

What is the drain for Heal, anyway? The number of boxes to be healed is limited by the force it's cast at; I dig that. But the drain value says "(Damage Value) - 2" in the BBB. Is that the Damage Value that was actually healed, the DV attempted (the force), or the DV that the target has before the spell is cast?

My Intuition + Logic says it's the last one, but has there been an official word or a consensus (or a part of the book I missed)?
It seems that it is generally played as the later, which i too think is the intention. You have 10 Boxes of damage? Buddy is resisting 10-2=8 boxes of drain. They can still protect themselves by casting at a lower Force to make it S drain.

Likewise if you only have 3 boxes of damage but the caster wants a chance to have more than 3 hits so they can reduce the sustain time they could increase the Force to 4. But they still are resisting the 3-2=1 box of damage with the Force just determining whether that is P or S.

It is a bit odd in that it is the only spell that doesn't use Force to calculate drain, but that is the way it is written.
QUOTE (blakkie)
It is a bit odd in that it is the only spell that doesn't use Force to calculate drain, but that is the way it is written.

Actually, there are a couple of spells like that, but they specify what DV they're talking about.
I play it that the Essence penalty applies to all Health-related spells. If you are cybered, then you are more difficult to affect with Health spells, positive or negative.
i presume they made it all health spells for a reason.

personally, i suppose that the reason would be the fact that you no longer need a separate spell to affect cybered attributes. but that would be just a guess.
QUOTE (Jaid @ May 11 2006, 09:29 PM)
i presume they made it all health spells for a reason.

They don't actually say all health spells, the just talk about when you "try heal" (but not capitalized), which is very different wording from the paragraph above it when they talk about all health spells requiring Touch range.

In fact the first sentence of the Health Spells breaks down the group separating out heal. So really when stevebugge talks about a reason for putting it in the overall text, there it is; it applies not just to the Heal spell but also to other spells that heal physical injury.
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