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Witness
So my players want to do a HALO jump to get into an area quickly and quietly.
None of them have parachuting skills, but have an opportunity to learn them now. They've got the gear. There's talk of using an air spirit to help out, to both stabilise and conceal the drop. That's all good.

Now one of them, a young mage, is talking about using his Levitation spell, hoping that he won't have to spend precious karma on the parachuting skill. I suspect he's even thinking of doing it without a chute.

I will of course point out to him the obvious things, like, what if the spell fails or glitches? With his skills, though, I must concede that that isn't very likely.

But I can't help feeling that the parachuting skill would still be well worth having, since it's not just about landing but about steering the drop, judging the distances etc.

What do you folks think?
TBRMInsanity
I think you are on the right track with needing a skill. You may want to point out to your characters one of the biggest strengths of the SR system (cover each other's buts). Let the mage use the levatation spell but remind him that it is always good to have a backup. The whole idea is worth a Karma point if they pull it off though.
Juca Bala
Well, if I was the GM I probably would let the mage try this but I would simply let him make the Parachuting test without the parachutes biggrin.gif And, if I was feeling really kind in the moment, I could add a +2-3 dice bonus to his test. So it would be really good to his health if he actually knows how to do land
Witness
I've opted for pointing out the potential dangers but then saying 'do it if you still want to'. I agree that Levitation and air spirit are two cunning and stylish ways to augment a stealth HALO drop for the Sixth World. But I don't think they can necessarily be enough on their own. Jumping without a chute is foolish and jumping without some parachute training is going to make it very difficult for him to land stealthily and with his team mates.
Crusher Bob
Depends on what he wants to do. A fully powered descent would work just fine as long as he can levitate fast enough to keep up the the rest of the team. They'd be free falling at 80 to 100 miles an hour, if he can levitate that fast, no problem. If he plans to just use levitate as a chute, and make most of the descent unpowered, then he'd need some skill to stick together with the rest of the team. However, you'd have to be very good at parachuting (in SR4 maybe skill lvl 4?) to stick together during a HALO jump. The high altitude winds are going to give you plenty of scatter at it is.

In general though, there should be no problem with scattering from the team, you just bury your chute and them mate up with them.

Dropping without the chute might be a good idea since it will really increase the amount of weight that the mage can drop with, as he won't need to carry the chute. Of course, if you are dropping with drone cargo carriers, then the amount of gear you can personally carry might not matter too much.

Depending on the deployment, it might be better for the mage to sink his karma into stuff like 'purify water' and 'nutrition' so that the amont fo food and water the team needs to carry is cut down.
Zen Shooter01
Levitate makes Parachuting skill totally unecessary.

Any danger of spell failure is matched by the danger of Parachute skill failure, and obviously in either case the PC will spend Edge like a madman to correct the failure.

But there isn't any danger from spell failure, because you don't jump out of the plane and then cast Levitate. You cast Levitate, and then step out of the plane. If Levitate fails, you do not step out of the plane.

Levitate is the single most useful spell in the 6th World, and any spell caster without it is a chump. It amounts to flight when used for travel, for the caster or his friends. It can also be used to deliver everything from notes to bombs, not to mention fling your enemies out windows, or just hold them in the air - especially if they're melee fighters, like adepts or shapechangers - while your friend the Street Samurai shoots them to pieces.

It can also be used to pick up things like refrigerators or couches and slap them down where they'll be handy as barricades, and/or for squashing enemies.
Witness
The impression I got was that he only wanted to levitate himself. He was basically just trying to avoid getting the parachuting skill. Everyone else was going to buy it, and do things the normal way.
Agree with you about the difficulty of staying together, but that, I think, is where the air spirit is a cunning idea, so I'm going to let that pass.
The job is very quick in and out, so not much supplies to carry, and stuff could be droned in anyway.
Zen Shooter01
Crusher Bob makes a good point that the spellcaster will be traveling slower than the rest of the team. So he'll arrive a minute or two behind them, but that's not a big deal, especially if they're not dropping into a hot LZ.
Witness
And to Zen Shooter, I rather think the point here is for a very quick entry (with element of surprise). Levitate, while great for lots of things, shouldn't be making anybody swoop around like superman. It could slow and cushion your fall yes, but if you sustain it all the way down you're going to drift down like a leaf more than swoop down like an eagle.
Crusher Bob
Hmm, looks like they' reduced the speed you used to be able to get with levitate.

QUOTE

...at a Movement rate
equal to the spellís Magic x net Spellcasting hits in meters
per turn.


Assuming a magic 5 mage, with 12 dice to cast levitate (4 hits)

This means 20 meters a turn, 20 turns a minute, 60 minutes and hours give, only 24 km/h.

IF the total HALO jump distance is 50 km, with the average speed being ~128 Km/h this means that the rest of the team would take around 24 minutes to be on the ground. The fully powered mage would take around aroudn 2 hours and 5 minutes to cover the same distance.

Of course, HALO jumps in the sixth world don't make too much sense. Any air defense system capable of getting a hit off a reduced signature aircraft can certainly get a hit off a meat body. Better to stick it out in the delivery aircraft for as long as possible, to take advantage of it's superior sealth abilities. Of course, using magic to conceal your delivery system is also a pretty good idea.

Another alternative to the HALO drop is a low altitude drop using night gliders or a similar system. You get the long range low signature approach and don't need as much special training. If necessary, your rigger or agents can fligh the night gliders the whole way, with you just along for the ride.
Zen Shooter01
Oops, my bad math. Do Air spirits have Movement? That'd help.





Witness
QUOTE (Crusher Bob)
Another alternative to the HALO drop is a low altitude drop using night gliders or a similar system. You get the long range low signature approach and don't need as much special training. If necessary, your rigger or agents can fligh the night gliders the whole way, with you just along for the ride.

Thanks for the maths. That's helpful, and I hadn't thought about it in those terms.

The gliders are a fair idea. But the drop is over a (very) secure neighbourhood in Bellevue, so part of the reason behind the HALO drop was to get to the target really quickly, with a signal jammer, before the bad guys have a chance to set off what is effectively a kink bomb in the extraction targets.

Getting in without being spotted would also be great for them, but they expect to be spotted pretty quickly once they're on the ground anyway, so that probably isn't their top priority. Nevertheless they're getting some good help here. The drop plane can do high altitude and stealthy. The jumpsuits will probably be cutting-edge HALO gear, with camo, flight wings under the arms, fast-retract parachutes (a bit Batman Begins in a way), that sort of thing. They'll have the spirit help on top of that (yes Air spirits have Movement, and Concealment). And Levitate as back-up, I guess.

Personally I think this could be a world-class cool entrance. I just hope their exit strategy will be as good!
mfb
i've been pondering doing HALO drops with nothing but an air spirit's Movement power. haven't done the math to see what force spirit you'd need, yet, but i guestimate it wouldn't have to be more than 4 or so. best part? for most of the drop, you can use the Movement power to increase your speed, only using it to slow you down at the very end.
Witness
Personally, I feel that relying purely on the air spirit and movement power to do something like this would be a bit... well... munchkinny, open to rampant abuse, and actually a little dull!
But if you're happy to allow it in your game then that's all that matters, so don't listen to me.
ronin3338
QUOTE (Zen Shooter01 @ Jun 2 2006, 10:45 AM)
Levitate makes Parachuting skill totally unecessary.


I have to disagree.

You're either going to have to levitate at terminal velocity to keep up with the other members, while maintaining the spell, and maneuver to stay with the group

or

You're going to freefall with them, and then try to use the spell to halt your plummet to Earth. Casting while plummeting and then trying to use the spell to brake your fall. And you still have the difficulty of maneuvering in the air, which isn't as easy as it looks.


Either way, I would apply modifiers, probably 4 to 6 dice, and any errors (especially on the 2nd scenario) are going to be painful and lead to broken bones.

Side Note: HALO drops require special equipment to breathe and keep you warm, and LALO drops are more dangerous because there's less time to make a correction. There's a reason that only the well-trained soldiers make these jumps.
Cheops
Why do they have to HALO jump? Can't they have a spirit conceal them and then levitate over the wall?
ronin3338
LOL biggrin.gif

I wish I'd thought of that! Sometimes the simple solutions are the best!
Witness
I guess there're two reasons for the HALO jump.

1) They need to get there really quickly with a signal jammer, as explained above.

2) They believe the neighborhood (which is a fairly large area) to be well defended and extraordinarily well monitored- proximity wires under the ground, hidden cameras everywhere, spirits, wards etc. Oh and it's very close to the Ares Seattle HQ. It's a very high class gated luxury residential area in Beaux Arts, patrolled by Knight Errant, but they have reason to believe that their enemies will have gone to extraordinary lengths to defend this particular family (which is the family of one of the PCs) and grab the PCs when they go in. Long story!
Shrike30
If the neighborhood is full of "spirits", "wards", and (in theory) astrally patrolling mages, wouldn't some dude dropping out of the sky maintaining a levitate spell on himself and being tailed by an air elemental show up like a flare on a dark night on the astral?
Geekkake
QUOTE (Shrike30)
If the neighborhood is full of "spirits", "wards", and (in theory) astrally patrolling mages, wouldn't some dude dropping out of the sky maintaining a levitate spell on himself and being tailed by an air elemental show up like a flare on a dark night on the astral?

I can't wait to see the mage fall through a ward while trying to maintain his Levitate spell.
fool
I actually did this once in SR 3. Jumped out of the plane and cast levitatea about 1/2 way down, with the air spirit it worked marvelously. But the GM is rather into gutsy moves like jumping out of a high altitude plane with no chute on, besides we had 2 mages in the group so we had the whole party covered.
As far as using just the air spirit's movment power, I opened a topic once about what constituted a physical service and never got a consensus (or even very many answers) about whether an air spirit can be used to fly someone around.... i.e. can you just order your spirit to fly you over the alley way from one building to another. It's written that way in some of the fiction, but there are no rules for it.
I still don't see how doing a HALO drop into bellvue is feasible. I mean aside from getting clearance to fly over the area, there's always the risk of hitting an air taxi, vtol shuttle etc. Besides hitting a gated community from 50 klicks up (someone else was using that as the altitude above) is going to be pretty difficult. A better approach might be something like from XXX where you have a LOW flying cargo plane come over the area and do the jump from NOE. Gliders another decent option.
As far as falling and levitation goes, when under a levitate spell, you're not falling, you can move any direction you want. tThough as a GM I'd make them do arcing turns when flying.
Witness
QUOTE (Shrike30 @ Jun 2 2006, 02:24 PM)
If the neighborhood is full of "spirits", "wards", and (in theory) astrally patrolling mages, wouldn't some dude dropping out of the sky maintaining a levitate spell on himself and being tailed by an air elemental show up like a flare on a dark night on the astral?

I'll say, once again, that the big issue does not appear to be getting in and out without being spotted, so much as getting in quickly with the signal jammer.

I must also stress that it's their plan, not mine! I'm not going to discuss the set-up in any more detail as they may possibly read this, and because anyway it'd take ages. But I'm satisfied that, given what they know, this is about as good a plan for getting in as any other, and I'm as into gutsy-but-stylish as fool is. A low altitude drop might work just as well; I'm not going to say.

*shrug* Who knows? Maybe after playing Shadowrun on and off for something like 15 years they're just thinking 'hey, you know what we haven't tried yet?' wink.gif
Shrike30
Fair enough. I was just thinking that it'd increase their target profile noticeably. Nothing quite like getting the local security mages antsy when you're a klick above them in plain sight.

Parachuting is a really handy skill every once in a while, kinda like Diving.

After this goes off, tell us more about it?
Witness
Happy to!
Voran
Heh, its kinda odd but my first thought when I saw the thread was, what does levitation have to do with grenades and warthogs?
Witness
uh..
What does levitation have to do with grenades and warthogs? The world must know!
Shrike30
Go looking for the "HALO Warthog jump" video. It's classy.
Witness
Yup. I like that! smile.gif
ornot
Hi there.
Tenuously related to the subject, but I recently started a SR4 game, and had several players insist that taking "incompetency - parachuting" was practically free points. The logic being that when were they ever likely to go parachuting? As a consequence, my version of Denver has an awful lot of very high rise buildings now!

Regarding levitation, when I was playing a mage in SR3 I always found it very handy, although as has been pointed out the movement rate in SR4 would mean he landed a significant time after his team, unless he decided to activate it later, and in that situation I would, as GM, impose a dice pool modifier due to the distraction caused by plummeting to earth at terminal velocity. Of course once he'd got the spell off and resisted the drain he'd be pretty much free to land wherever quite safely. The description of Levitate suggests a pretty good level of gross movement control.

As for wards, that shouldn't be a problem, <quote p185> "a ward must be placed on a non-living thing (walls, rocks and so on)." So should he pass through one, he's already toast from hitting a roof! It occurs to me that wards mentioned in SR3, such as those used in binding rituals, had a circular component with the upper limits determined as a hemispherical dome. Although for the mage to fall through that it's have to be one hell of a big circle!
booklord
I see no problem with the magician doing this. Some magicians even specialize spells for this sort of thing with "Feather Fall" or "Free Fall" spells to reduce drain.

I also don't see any real need for any negative dice modifiers.

Heck if I was a mage I'd NEVER learn parachuting. Why learn such a mundane skill when there is a better way? ( Mages do tend to have this superiority attitude going )

Now you want to get nasty I had a player who concieved of a "homing grenade" spell. The mage casts the spell on a grenade. The grenade then flies directly at the target of the spell and then " presses itself up against the target until it blows up. Everything was going so well until he tried to take on a mage with reflecting metamagic.
Vaevictis
QUOTE (Witness)
I will of course point out to him the obvious things, like, what if the spell fails or glitches? With his skills, though, I must concede that that isn't very likely.


The same thing that happens if he fails or glitches with the parachute skill, I imagine. Based on the limited information I have, I think he's doing the right thing. He's a mage for goodness sake; do you think he's more likely to fail casting levitate with his 6 (or 4?) spellcasting skill, or with the level one or two parachuting skill he might have after dropping karma on it?

QUOTE (Witness)
But I can't help feeling that the parachuting skill would still be well worth having, since it's not just about landing but about steering the drop, judging the distances etc.


Well, it would be good to have the parachuting skill simply because it's one more option, in case something goes wrong.

Out of curiousity, why is the whole team having to individually learn parachuting? In training sitations, there are regularly two people to a chute. Why not just have a few mundanes in the group learn it, then have the mages drop with them?

(or is this impossible with HALO situations? I don't know enough about it to say.)
Witness
Well if it were me, I'd rather take my chances with the parachute and have the levitate as a back-up. That way at least you've got something else to fall back on (pardon the pun) if something goes wrong with option A.

Actually it's not clear to me if *all* the team will be going in this way. I know at this point that at least two are willing to give it a try (one of them the mage), but the others may be coming at the problem from other directions, so to speak, such as lining up the distractions and escape routes on the ground. I don't really know at the moment. The plan is still being worked on (we have a web forum for our games).

I'm open to them trying the two-people thing, if other people can tell me that it's feasible.

EDIT: and to booklord: yes I probably wouldn't object to a mage specializing in this particular magic, but this mage hasn't. Yet. IMO it'll take longer for him to learn / build a custom spell than it will for him to take a crash course (sorry again) in parachuting.

EDIT 2: by-the-way, I think there is a difference between failing on a Levitation spell and failing on a parachuting test. Depending on what part of the jump the parachuting test is addressing, then failing it might only result in drifting off course and losing sight of the others. Fail a Levitate spell, however, and you plummet. Glitching a parachuting test could, IMO, also lead to a grisly death. Glitching a Levitate spell might lead to a grisly death and massively alerting the bad guys to the rest of the jumpers, or something like that.
Crusher Bob
The two to a chute drops
1 are almost invariably done with civilian rather than military chutes, the typical military chutes are designed to get you on the group fast, without breaking anything. The civilian chutes are typically closer to hang gliders in their performance, and you can come in for a much softer landing.


2 the jumpers aren't loaded down with an additional 40 pounds of guns, armor, and ammo each.
ornot
Hehe. Designing a featherfall spell. Certainly easier than investing time, nuyen and karma in learning to parachute.

My mage (sadly not involved in a game at present) could certainly do with it. 4 levels of gremlins and unskilled HALO parachuting tests does not bode well.
hyzmarca
Remember, sustained spells are present on the astral plane. They can be attack in astral combat, dispelled, or forced into conflict with a ward.

Why should a mage choose parachutting? Well, these two scenarios spell it out quie clearly.

1) Mage: Okay, I levitate down between the communication antenna.
GM: Roll Force of your levetation spell x2.
Mage: Why?
GM: Because those aren't communication antenna, they're the physical components of a Force 12 ward. Your spell is destroyed and you fall to your death.

2)GM: [rolls dice]
Mage: What's that?
GM:You'll see.
Mage: Shouldn't I get a perception test?
GM: Not as you are now. [rolls more dice] Your spell fails and you fall to your death.
Mage: What?
GM: I was rolling for the spirits that were patrolling the area. They saw your spell and attacked it. You couldn't see them because you were not astrally perceiving.
Witness
It must be said that this particular mage benefits from astral chameleon and murky link, which I am prepared to say may make his spells harder to spot (would you guys?). Also they're not expecting wards over the entire neighbourhood, just over the house they're trying to get to quickly.
Vaevictis
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Jun 3 2006, 08:21 AM)
Why should a mage choose parachutting? Well, these two scenarios spell it out quie clearly.

There is one small issue with the scenarios as you describe: You don't instantly "fall to your death." The spell fails for some reason, and then a certain amount of time will necessarily elapse before impact. The mage will get a small window to recover in, probably at least one initiative passes' worth.

Further, to say that such issues are limited to mages is silly:

1) GM: A fire elemental materializes next to you.
PC: OMG! I shoot it.
GM: ... immunity to normal weapons. Nothing much happens.
GM: ... fire elemental engulfs your parachute. It catches on fire. You fall to your death.

Personally, I'll take the levitation cutting out on me as a mage over my parachute being torched as a mundane.

EDIT: And to be clear, I'll take having *both* over having only one. wink.gif But personally, doing any kind of parachuting would be my very last choice. Anyone who willingly jumps out of a perfectly functional airplane is just insane in my book.
Vaevictis
As far as I can tell, neither Astral Chameleon nor Murky Link suggest any benefit in the described scenario in the rules as written.

However, as the GM, it is of course, your call.

(as an aside, where does it say that an astral being can engage a spell in astral combat? AFAIK, spells show up as "auras" which are visible, but are not something you can "physically" interact with on the astral plane, with the exception of mana barriers which are explicitly said to do so)
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Crusher Bob)
2 the jumpers aren't loaded down with an additional 40 pounds of guns, armor, and ammo each.

40? Try 120lbs.
ornot
Whether the mage gets a chance to recover from the spell failing depends on how far above the ground he is when the spell fails. Equally, if he's already slowed himself in preparation for landing and his spell is disrupted he may not take so much falling damage.

A force 12 ward might well extend high enough that it would kill the spell at some considerable altitude, but creating and maintaining a force 12 ward would be extremely draining and/or expensive, not to mention blindingly obvious to anyone with The Sight from a long way away.

Besides that, a levitating mage is not being forced through the ward anyway. The force of his magic is propelling him downwards, and failing to pass the check to break through the ward would perhaps instead result in him bouncing off it. The example used in the book is intentionally walking through a barrier or being in a lift that passes through a ward, so on encountering the force 12 ward he could decide to not press through it and levitate himself off in some other direction.

As for spirits attacking the sustained spell, even if the mage wasn't astrally perceiving (and let's face it, astral overwatch is one of a mage's raison d'etre), he'd still be aware of a spirit attempting to disrupt his spell. p176 states "The caster of a sustained or quickened spell that is targeted by dispelling is automatically aware of the attempt".

To Witness: I don't think those qualities really help much in making his spells harder to spot. Murky Link makes the character harder to target by ritual magic, can be bought by any character, so giving a spell caster special benefits above and beyond a mundane is somewhat unfair. Meanwhile, Astral Chameleon means his spells leave a less noticeable signature, doing nothing to change their appearance when active. I don't believe there is any method to limit the visibility of an aura or an astral form. The closest you might get is the metamagic technique of masking, but even that wouldn't hide the spell, or the auras of the plummeting running team.

p182 states "like physical perception, a character using astral perception should not need to make a test to see things that are immediately obvious" so the team had better hope that the spirits guarding the place are pretty unobservant!
Witness
OK fair enough on the RAW. In fact the mage has unusual properties (another long story- but so do the other players in different ways) which are, in a sense, being represented by the astral chameleon and murky link qualities mentioned, so I am content to have his magic be slightly harder to spot, but probably only slightly.
It is certainly possible that he will be spotted and targeted by spirits, if using magic. Not sure he's considered that, and perhaps he should have a spirit of his own ready to fend them off while he's landing. But I get the impression he has now decided to use a normal chute and keep Levitate ready if needed.
booklord
QUOTE
A force 12 ward might well extend high enough that it would kill the spell at some considerable altitude, but creating and maintaining a force 12 ward would be extremely draining and/or expensive, not to mention blindingly obvious to anyone with The Sight from a long way away.


I gotta agree with this. Failure to notice a Force 12 ward extended like a dome over the facility is the equivilent of not making sure the place isn't protected by multiple laser turrets. What it boils down to is that no matter what method they use, Shadowrunners who air drop into a high security facility without checking what sort of defenses it has are asking for an early death no matter what method they choose.

QUOTE
The force of his magic is propelling him downwards, and failing to pass the check to break through the ward would perhaps instead result in him bouncing off it. The example used in the book is intentionally walking through a barrier or being in a lift that passes through a ward


I think the example in the book involves accidentally walking through a ward you didn't know was there. In which case the spell is indeed disrupted. In any event the ward cannot provide any physical substance in the physical world. You cannot stand on a ward. In a case where your physical form in forced to pass through a barrier ( say by gravity ) you take all the nasty effects of passing through the barrier. ( Disrupting of spells, foci, and astral forms )

Now there were astral contructs described in SR3 which exist entirely exist on the astral plane that do act as physical barriers on the physical plane to al spells, foci, or astrally active entities. Stories even include entire buildings that exist solely in the astral plane. But if the facility you're invading coexists with an astral contruct I've got to ask... Which great dragon's lair are you trying to get into?
ornot
On checking the relevant text in the book, I noticed I was wrong about intentionally walking through a barrier. The exact text is (p186) "In some cases, a spell, focus, spirit or even a character may be unintentionally forced into a situation where either they or the barrier must give. For example a character who unknowingly walks through a mana barrier carrying an active focus, or a dual being in an elevator that passes through a ward on its way up."

However, I had always considered magical wards to have a sort of rubbery property, certainly to an astral form, such that attempting to push through would be like trying to force ones way through a latex membrane, with more powerful wards being thicker and more resistant to being stretched. That's were I got the mental image of a mage being bounced off a ward and developed the idea that a mage would have time to react to passing through the ward. Of course the mage's physical body would not be impeded, only the spell, so I guess the question is whether the mage has time to abort his passage through the ward and save the spell, or not.

We have drifted off the topic somewhat though, as Witness has confirmed that a big scintillating dome is not present on the astral plane over the runners' target. ^^
Edward
My biggest problem with the setup is where they are getting access to a plain, military halo shutes and training in time for the run.

I would have gone in on the ground in some form of disguise. Your jumping into a population center for gods sake, you will be seen and questions will be asked, also you will have very small available landing sights.

Witness
QUOTE (Edward)
My biggest problem with the setup is where they are getting access to a plain, military halo shutes and training in time for the run.

I would have gone in on the ground in some form of disguise. Your jumping into a population center for gods sake, you will be seen and questions will be asked, also you will have very small available landing sights.

I'm afraid they're getting access to so much more than that! This is a game that has built up to a fairly epic level. They're working for one AI (with access to a not-inconsequential megacorp), and going up against another (which has infiltrated a powerful secret cabal). *shrug*

I don't know how much more often I can bear to say this, but... yes. They will be seen. When they get to the target they know they'll be detected. The particular challenge here (explained ad nauseum above) is that they have to get to this family really quickly.

I am totally open to hearing your alternate strategies though. But let me tell you Edward that the likely upshot of your approach is 'whether you realise it or not, they detect your presence. You get to your family, and watch them die in front of you; the kink bobs detonated remotely. More enemy forces swarm into the neighborhood.' That second part may be inavoidable, but the first part isn't.
Edward
First training will take at least days (probably a week) for the first point of skill. Days I doubt they want to waist.

This is my extraction plan.

I place this in spoiler tags. Players in this game should only read with the GMs permission.

[ Spoiler ]
Witness
QUOTE (Edward)
if the existence of the kink bombs becomes known then they can be jammed, not that there is no way for the kink bombs to be detected except buy GM feat (the family has been told). If you donít give them this information then it is imposable for the extraction to succeed.

Actually they already know about the kink bombs, which is why they want to get the signal jammer to the family (quickly). They know various other things too, because an ex-bad guy is now helping them out.

I agree that in ordinary circumstances, parachute training would probably take a little while. But these aren't ordinary circumstances, and there are various reasons I'm going to let them get away with it.
Edward
Your letting them get the training how fast, to what skill level, and how will they be training.

There is one way to get the skill fast, skill wires, and if you donít have the implant you can have it in an afternoon (with powerful magical healing replacing the 2-5 days recovery time) the question becomes do the characters have that much essence to burn (or implants they can take out) and dose the mage want to loose the magic

One other thing that is missing is an extraction plan. If the aria is such that you cant more easily get to the building buy car than buy parachute then positioning an extraction vehicle will be a serious problem

The key issue as I see it are these times.
Mission announcement to mission completion
Mission secrecy lost to jammer in range of family (oh for a signal 12 jammer)
Mission secrecy lost to mission completion.

I still think mine is faster on all counts, unless the secure aria is much bigger than I assumed (there in an arcology or a 3 block radius has been cordoned off) which still leaves the problem of the extraction

Edward
Witness
Agreed. Getting out is the hard bit, and they're working on that.

I appreciate your thoughts. There's actually a ton of stuff that you need to know and consider in order to better appreciate the situation, and I'm afraid I don't have the time to clue you in fully. But since you asked, I will say that it is a fairly large, highly gated luxury suburban community: big homes with big gardens, lots of trees. The target house is pretty much in the middle. It isn't possible for 'just anybody' to drive through the neighbourhood, and there are various gates and checkpoints that ground vehicles will have to pass. The whole place is patrolled and secured by Knight Errant (sections of which have been infiltrated by the Big Bad Enemy- which happens to be Deus's Network).

Yes, maybe going in on the ground, in disguise, would be an option for them. We shall see, I guess. But they like the parachuting idea, and sod it, so do I! I'm not going to let them get parachuting to a very high level, but with access to state of the art VR training (plus a little bit of retconning with regards to whether they might have done a bit of parachuting in their past), state of the art jump suit and chute technology, plus the fact that they're talking about using an air spirit (and levitation) to help out... well, I'm happy to give them a shot at it even if it's stretching reality a bit. We're at the end of this episode of the campaign, and they've already overcome so much, and frankly, this particular mission is something of an epilogue to the main proceedings anyway. So this time, I'm happy to let them cut loose a little bit with the fun and the cool. *shrug*.
duck1123
This really raises the question of does Levitation take relative motion or not? What is the movement rate listed in the rules relative to? Absolute Rest? Do the Sixth World scientists know something that Einstein didn't?

If a mage is traveling in a train going 120 kM/hr, and casts his spell, does he continue along with the train, or does he slam into the back of the train? (even if he's going at his maximum movement rate.)

If we consider that movement is relative to his velocity at the moment he casts the spell, then if he's falling at terminal velocity (88m/s or 266m/turn), casts his spell and tries to fly "up" at his maximum speed (F^2, assuming he gets the maximum hits possible), he would need to cast levitate at 16 to reduce himself to (nearly) a dead stop.

Now granted, I'm not sure if I like that way of ruling levitate, but I'm not sure I like the opposite. (never cast levitate in orbit)

As a side note, I would really like to create a variant of Levitate that is expressed in terms of rate of acceleration. (with the only maximum speed being the metahuman limits of the mage to withstand bugs in his teeth) Any ideas on the type of drain that would take?
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