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Lord Ben
Other than building the character differently (4 willpower and 5 edge without special edges) what types of options are available to me when going against mages? The group mage/mages are already providing spell defense for me but assuming I go by myself once or twice and get into a battle.

Is there any sort of SR4 equipment I'm missing.

Any stuff in SR3 I can expect to be ported over? Living fungus shields, etc.
Kesslan
Well if your not awakened yourself there is the spell resistance trait. Other than that far as I know your best followup defences would be a friendly mage counterspelling and shoving your team mate out into the mages LOS and sacrificing him 'for the greater good' so while the mage is frying your friend you can take him out.
Lord Ben
Just to be clear on my thinking I should make sure I have the rules right.

Mage casts Force 12 Manaball, spends edge, gets 5 successes.

I resist with my 4 willpower and 5 edge (9 dice) for 3 successes.

I take 14P with no further soak roll? There is no "dodge" phase and a 2nd "soak" phase?

With a fireball do you get one roll to avoid and one to soak?
Jack Kain
Thats why they are direct combat spells, they hit you directly,

The problem with direct combat spells is in overcasting. Forbid a mage from overcasting direct combat spells and the problem largly goes away.

Frankly I think because a low essence makes health mana spells less effective. (including negative health spells) it should apply to manaball as well for constancy.
De Badd Ass
QUOTE (Jack Kain)
Thats why they are direct combat spells, they hit you directly,

The problem with direct combat spells is in overcasting. Forbid a mage from overcasting direct combat spells and the problem largly goes away.

I read stuff like this in the forum all the time, and can only think, "HUH?"

This is Shadowrun, not some MMORPG with PvP. The mage you are talking about is an NPC run by the GM. How do you forbid the GM from overcasting? Is there some players bill of rights similar in function to the GMs house rules? I gotta get me one of those.
Lord Ben
Yeah, no kidding. But I was mostly not looking for house rules, etc. Just canon tactics and equip I missed.

The game is lethal and quick usually, and I like it. Most of my problems is in going up against other party memebers in the rare times they need to be taken down. I trust the DM to limit his own actions. But I know that if I have to kill my own parties mage he won't limit his manabolt/ball to force 4 or anything... smile.gif
Kesslan
QUOTE (De Badd Ass)
QUOTE (Jack Kain @ Dec 9 2006, 01:39 AM)
Thats why they are direct combat spells, they hit you directly,

The problem with direct combat spells is in overcasting. Forbid a mage from overcasting direct combat spells and the problem largly goes away.

I read stuff like this in the forum all the time, and can only think, "HUH?"

This is Shadowrun, not some MMORPG with PvP. The mage you are talking about is an NPC run by the GM. How do you forbid the GM from overcasting? Is there some players bill of rights similar in function to the GMs house rules? I gotta get me one of those.

What if it isnt an NPC? What if the party mage for what ever reason decides to murder another one of the PCs? Dont think it could happen? Think again I say. I've seen plenty of PCs murder each other in SR and in other RPGs. Hell I once had one D&D group murder each other over a measly +1 dagger. The things people will kill each other for in RPG games is some times rather astounding.
Lord Ben
Is there a spell that adds to the resist roll? One I could get sustained on me by an NPC mage?
Jack Kain
QUOTE (De Badd Ass @ Dec 8 2006, 11:48 PM)
QUOTE (Jack Kain @ Dec 9 2006, 01:39 AM)
Thats why they are direct combat spells, they hit you directly,

The problem with direct combat spells is in overcasting. Forbid a mage from overcasting direct combat spells and the problem largly goes away.

I read stuff like this in the forum all the time, and can only think, "HUH?"

This is Shadowrun, not some MMORPG with PvP. The mage you are talking about is an NPC run by the GM. How do you forbid the GM from overcasting? Is there some players bill of rights similar in function to the GMs house rules? I gotta get me one of those.

How often do you run into enemy mages with a magic rating of 6? which would be required to overcast up to 12. IF the DM can't limit your challanges short of whole sale slaughter of the PC's your screwed. DM's have ulitmate power anyway.
Lord Ben
QUOTE (Kesslan)
The things people will kill each other for in RPG games is some times rather astounding.

I had to shoot a party member for putting the moves on me once. I was a female gunslinger in deadlands and he had the "Randy" flaw. I got knocked out and he tried to apply bandages and bring be back and he got a little "touchy". So when I was revived with my blouse open he needed some lead medicine.
Kesslan
I think part of what Jack is getting at is that if your GM isnt out to muder you whole sale anyway the GM would abide by such a ruling that would apply to the PCs not being able to do so and equally not allow his NPCs to do so either. As that would be blatantly unfair to the PCs.

And personally I have my NPCs do what ever a PC could do. Though I dont usually give NPCs Edge unless their a 'major' NPC. So if a PC can overcast, why shouldnt my NPC wage mage security guard? On the flipside though if I say ok you guys cant overcast spell X becuase of reason X or what ever. I'm hardly about to turn around and suddenly start letting my NPC wage mages do it.
Kesslan
QUOTE (Lord Ben)
QUOTE (Kesslan @ Dec 9 2006, 12:50 AM)
The things people will kill each other for in RPG games is some times rather astounding.

I had to shoot a party member for putting the moves on me once. I was a female gunslinger in deadlands and he had the "Randy" flaw. I got knocked out and he tried to apply bandages and bring be back and he got a little "touchy". So when I was revived with my blouse open he needed some lead medicine.

Well I dont think that would be a 'requirement' to shoot him, but certainly an incentive. God knows I once got stuck with a female adept (who oddly enough specialized in two weapon fighting with stun batons) in a convention TT game. One of the other PCs kept hitting on mine so I eventually took to simply whacking him in the crotch with both stun battons every time he did it.
Lord Ben
Our group mage likes to finish up a battle (or start AND finish it) with a force 8-12 manaball. He only does it if he thinks the battle can be quickly ended.

If I was the DM I'd pick that exact moment for a surprise fight against a foe in the next room or whatever.
De Badd Ass
My Bad! It is PvP. I recommend you learn the Know alignment spell, and don't let Chaotic Evil players join your party. Since you have a DM, I assume we are talking DnD rotfl.gif
De Badd Ass
QUOTE (Lord Ben @ Dec 9 2006, 01:52 AM)
Is there a spell that adds to the resist roll?  One I could get sustained on me by an NPC mage?

There is counterspelling, and shielding (plus foci). Course, they won't help you when you turn on your party's mage. And don't think the mage union won't hear about this.
Jack Kain

One house rule I thought up for overcasting was the extra force is added directly onto the drain.

So in the case of manaball it has a drain of (F 2) + 2

Should you over cast the spell by 4 points of force the drain would be
DV: (F 2) + 6

The other was to swap the drain values of elemental spells with direct combat.


So fireball (and the other elemental balls) would have a drain value of (F 2) + 2
While the manaball,powerball, stunball would have a drain of (F 2) + 5.


As direct spells are overall far more powerful then elemental.
Kesslan
QUOTE (De Badd Ass)
My Bad! It is PvP. I recommend you learn the Know alignment spell, and don't let Chaotic Evil players join your party. Since you have a DM, I assume we are talking DnD rotfl.gif

There wasnt a single chaotic evil character in the group. And I was the GM actually. They were on a dungeon crawl, I gave em a +1 dagger as loot. The party thief was something like Chaotic Neutral, and the Neutral good mage or what ever were fighting over who got it. Eventually they got into a fight, the theif murders the mage at one point. Then the PALADIN of all people murders the entire party.

And alignments are only that they dont actually stop a character from doing something counter to their alignment, it just causes a change in said alignment.

And to Jack: at first glance that actually seems like a good all round solution. There have allways been spells mages could use in SR that I've allways found... broken compared to what every other character type could do, even if you paid more to be a mage. I'll have to try to keep that one in mind.
Jack Kain
The way I see overcasting on spells is really only a problem on direct combat spells. And in almost all situations a direct combat spell is better then elemental, especially with how cheep armor modifications are to protect from the elements.

And here's how I explain why elemental spells would have a lower drain.
Direct Combat spells channel pure mana for destructive purposes. The act of channeling this raw magic takes a great toll on the mage.
When the mage uses mana to create elemental effects he instead uses the mana to create a destructive element of nature. This indirect use of mana is far less stressful on a magican.

Glyph
I don't think overcasting is a problem even for direct combat spells. A mage who has the drop on someone, has a maxed-out starting Magic rating, has a high Edge, overcasts the spell as high as it can go (needing to soak 6 points of physical Drain), and then spends Edge on top of that, should kill most mundane opponents. Just as the sammie in question should kill the mage if he opens up with full auto from his Ingram LMG.


But back to Ben's original discussion:
Spells need line of sight, so things like smoke grenades, flash packs, cover, and concealment all help. Remember that having a smartlink means that you can fire your gun around corners. Remember that lots of buildings have wards as part of their security - get behind a ward, and a mage will have a harder time hitting you. Ultrasound will pick up an invisible mage, unless he is sustaining a sound-dampening spell as well.
Jack Kain
QUOTE (Glyph)
I don't think overcasting is a problem even for direct combat spells. A mage who has the drop on someone, has a maxed-out starting Magic rating, has a high Edge, overcasts the spell as high as it can go (needing to soak 6 points of physical Drain), and then spends Edge on top of that, should kill most mundane opponents. Just as the sammie in question should kill the mage if he opens up with full auto from his Ingram LMG.


But back to Ben's original discussion:
Spells need line of sight, so things like smoke grenades, flash packs, cover, and concealment all help. Remember that having a smartlink means that you can fire your gun around corners. Remember that lots of buildings have wards as part of their security - get behind a ward, and a mage will have a harder time hitting you. Ultrasound will pick up an invisible mage, unless he is sustaining a sound-dampening spell as well.

That a side I still think that because elemental spells get the following for defense
Reaction, body, half impact armor, elemental modifiactions and counterspelling.+edge
While direct combat spells get body or will, + counterspelling +edge


Direct combat spells should have a higher drain.
ShadowDragon
QUOTE (Kesslan)
What if it isnt an NPC? What if the party mage for what ever reason decides to murder another one of the PCs? Dont think it could happen? Think again I say. I've seen plenty of PCs murder each other in SR and in other RPGs. Hell I once had one D&D group murder each other over a measly +1 dagger. The things people will kill each other for in RPG games is some times rather astounding.

Well then you just have a maturity issue with the players. It has nothing to do with the RPG.
Thanee
QUOTE (Lord Ben @ Dec 9 2006, 06:49 AM)
Yeah, no kidding.  But I was mostly not looking for house rules, etc.  Just canon tactics and equip I missed.

Stealth is probably your best option. A stealth suit, ultrasound (very important against those pesky invisible mages), decent Infiltration and Perception skills. Then there is still Astral Perception, but it takes some time to assense and to figure out, what one is looking at (at least I suppose mages are not blindly overcast-mana-bolting anything in sight).

If you are not surprised, or even manage to surprise the mage, with the typically much better initiative you should go first and one full auto burst later, the mage should be in trouble. Edge is your friend here, too.

Bye
Thanee

P.S. And I agree, that in-party killing over silly things is not something I would call mature behaviour. wink.gif
Kesslan
QUOTE (ShadowDragon)
Well then you just have a maturity issue with the players. It has nothing to do with the RPG.

Well yes and obviously I didnt bother doing anything with that group again. It's really just a point though of even if it is a mostly mature group. You some times do have the odd party member out to kill another. Even if it's for a totaly valid reason. I dont encourage it, infact on the GM side of things I very much actively discourage it. All too often it doesnt end well to say the least.

You dont see PVP in SR too often on the tabletop side of things, it's a small group, rivalries rarely develop to the poitn of being lethal far as i know anyway. Keep in mind I come from a largely MUSHing side of RPGs where there isnt just a group of 4 people but onwards of 10-20 people a night. Every SR MUSH I've ever played on has PVP to some extent or other cause eventually some one wants to kill another player for reason X. And it can be damn good reasons too (it can also be equally poor).

But back ontop with the OP....

Gear wise. Nothing will really help you. There arnt some sort of special 'anti magic shields' you can carry aroun dthat are some other version of a ballistic shield or something.

Basically as has been stated before there are erlaly only a few things that can help you if your a mundane at least:
High Willpower and maybe the use of Edge
Resistance to Magic Trait
A friendly mage (Or arguably spirit etc) to counterspell/cast protective spells on you

And as others have pointed out a good offence is some times your best defence. High stealth skills so the mage is less likely to notice you, ruth suits for the optical camouflage (add in stealth coating to help against other detection methods), good gear overall and a high initative score etc.

Generally a sammie is going to be faster than a mage. Mages 'generally' tend to put more into spells, foci etc. Beyond that as far as I know there isnt a single thing more that will help protect your hoop from that manaball.

If your awakened obviously there are alot more options available but for the mundane it's big trouble. Its why its so much more expensive to build an awakened character in CG.
Synner
You'd be amazed by how many people ignore the obvious. Enforce cover and visibility modifiers on Spellcasting. Proper application of cover and visibility modifiers (for both the attacker and the target) will knock a magician's dice pool down -4 to -6 in typical situations.
Kesslan
True. Afterall LOS is implicit in the mages ability to even cast the spell in the first place. So certain modifiers (namely visual) would apply in every case. Lighting, cover... maybe. I mean you can see where a guy is because you can see the top of his head stickign over a wall. In such a situation would cover modifiers really apply?

I mean technically no. You can see him. Just not all of him, you dont have to really so much 'aim' the spell as simply see what your casting at is what my understanding is. Afterall otherwise wouldnt range modifiers apply as well since as he's farther away you can see alot less of the target? (And feel free to debate it. I'm hardly a specialist on this particular kinda thing. And I've only been on the GM side of the fence of a mage on two occasions in SR. And both times relied on player input to help make a ruling if there was an issue)
knasser

Lord Ben: Yes - you are pretty much done for if you let the mage cast that at you. But then you'd be pretty much done for if a skilled samurai opened up with a Long Burst on a White Knight LMG. Your aim in both cases is to avoid getting attacked in the first place. You ain't in the Faerun now, boy!

Actual spells et al that can protect you are few and far between but you can look at Increase Willpower to be sustained. Also, the ideal would be to get a mage friend to send a guardian spirit along with you as these have the Magical Guard power, i.e. portable counterspelling on tap. If you get a Force 6, you're going to shrug off a great deal of trouble.

But my best advice is to look carefully at what power level you're playing at. A Force 12 manabolt means an enemy with Magic 6 and it's explicitly stated in the SR3 to SR4 conversion guide that this is equivalent to someone with Magic 9 in the old system. Remember that the average mage has a magic of around 3 now. Someone with Magic 6 is supposed to kill you with a single spell!
chazuli
Actually, I suspect that most mages have been overcasting (since the popular belief has been that they could heal physical damage from drain). However since the FAQ has clarified that you can not heal drain magically, those high power manaballs are likely to be toned down a bit.

Best,
Chazuli
Lagomorph
As Glyph and Synner said, get behind things, use smoke grenades, flash bangs, and stobe grenades. If you're using IR, get non IR grenades and hope they aren't as well equipped. If you've got ultrasound, use IR-Smoke grenades. Once you start stacking penalties on to their dice roll, that overcast force 12 spell doesn't look so good since they are going to be down several dice from their normal pool. So you have a much better chance to resist if they do manage to cast, and if they don't they may just fry their brains from the failed cast.
Butterblume
I was under the impression that most people houseruled magic drain as not healable anyway. That's at least true for people I know or like wink.gif.
hyzmarca
Physical drain is cannot be healed with magic but stabbing yourself can be and that, my friends, is just one initiation away.

Edit:The best manaball defense is something often overlooked but perfectly viable if your GM uses Street Magic, spend 5 BP on a Spirit Pact: Power Pact (Magical Guard) with an Edge 1 Spirit. It is going to cost you karma in the long term because it must be renewed daily; but you can easily have a .1 Essence street sam with 17 resistance dice (5 willpower, 4 magic resistance, 6 +2 Counterspelling (Combat)). No one ever expect a .1 Essence samurai to counterspell. The best part is that you can provide spell defense to your entire team.
laughingowl
QUOTE (Jack Kain)
Thats why they are direct combat spells, they hit you directly,

The problem with direct combat spells is in overcasting. Forbid a mage from overcasting direct combat spells and the problem largly goes away.

Frankly I think because a low essence makes health mana spells less effective. (including negative health spells) it should apply to manaball as well for constancy.

Or as a slightly less 'nerfing' option but still limiting.

Make overcasting 'Combat' spell not automatically added to the base damage.

Base damage for direct combat spells equals force (capped at magic+ net hits).

So Magic 5 mage.

Manaball 10.

Gets 1 net successes:
Base damage is 6 (force capped at magic+1) =6
Total Damage equals 7.

The above with 4 net hits.
Base damage is 9 (force capped at magic+4)=9
total damage = 13


overcasting is no longer 'automatic' damage, but the potentical for more damage. Caster has to get the net HITs to really hurt.

Overcasting is still 'useful' for direct combat spells, but doesnt get insane at the highest level.

All other spell catagory, 'force' (and thus overcasting) just increase the potential of the spell (net hits required for effect). Direct combat force directly increaseses effect making overcasting VERY effective. The above limits the extra effect to net hits. Making the potential for more pain, but not automatic death.
laughingowl
QUOTE (chazuli)
Actually, I suspect that most mages have been overcasting (since the popular belief has been that they could heal physical damage from drain). However since the FAQ has clarified that you can not heal drain magically, those high power manaballs are likely to be toned down a bit.

Best,
Chazuli

AHh but you can smile.gif

You just need a little more time and a good medkit / medic smile.gif

Overcasting is still 'more' effective if you can get a few minutes of downtime between overcasts.
Lord Ben
Healing via medkit is good, but hard if the GM enforces all the different modifiers.
toturi
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
Physical drain is cannot be healed with magic but stabbing yourself can be and that, my friends, is just one initiation away.

Edit:The best manaball defense is something often overlooked but perfectly viable if your GM uses Street Magic, spend 5 BP on a Spirit Pact: Power Pact (Magical Guard) with an Edge 1 Spirit. It is going to cost you karma in the long term because it must be renewed daily; but you can easily have a .1 Essence street sam with 17 resistance dice (5 willpower, 4 magic resistance, 6 +2 Counterspelling (Combat)). No one ever expect a .1 Essence samurai to counterspell. The best part is that you can provide spell defense to your entire team.

And that is NPC-dom for those playing SR Missions.
Dancer
"A wizard can't put a spell on you if you shoot him first. Magical superiority through faster firepower."
Oracle
...unless you bullets bounce off his barrier and armor spells. wink.gif
Thanee
QUOTE (Butterblume)
I was under the impression that most people houseruled magic drain as not healable anyway. That's at least true for people I know or like wink.gif.

I have ruled it to be healable, despite the FAQ/errata detailing now, that it is not. wink.gif

Never liked the distinction, and the implied incentive of not overcasting, because the Drain cannot be removed. Drain should hurt, when overcasting, but damage is damage, and should work the same way for all damage sources.

I have also made Drain higher when overcasting and physical Drain will cause additional stun Drain at the same DV (and another Resistance Test with the same dice).

Bye
Thanee
Arz
QUOTE (Thanee)
Never liked the distinction, and the implied incentive of not overcasting, because the Drain cannot be removed. Drain should hurt, when overcasting, but damage is damage, and should work the same way for all damage sources.

Bye
Thanee

I agree with you but for different reasons. A FAQ is not an errata insofar as it should be clarifying rules and not creating them. There were many things the developers ass-umed would carry over from previous editions. This was wrong because the drastic overhaul meant the whole case needed restating.

Back to the defense now. If you have money to blow buy an anchored powerbolt that triggers when someone hits you with manabolt/ball. Share the love!

The offender does not need to overcast if he is spending edge. Rules state that success' from edge dice are not limited by force. Betrayal is one thing but dying during betrayal is just stupid. Also I'd fear the rigger with his ejector seat loaded w/ 20kg of C4 more. You draw a gun and the pilot program automatically launches you.
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (Arz)
A FAQ is not an errata insofar as it should be clarifying rules and not creating them.

However, an Errata is an Errata, and the v1.5 Errata does amend the drain rules on p.167 appropriately. The only reason they point it out in the FAQ is because they got the question so frequently.
KarmaInferno
Thermal Smoke Grenades. Getting behind objects. Sneak suits. Anything to break Line of Sight. DD spells literally can't hit you if they can't see you.

Additionally, interfere with the mage's ability to cast. Flashbangs. Splash Grenades with a Hyper/Cayenne Pepper combo. Chemical attacks are usually good because few folks run around with protective gear/magic for those.

Failing that, drop a building on them.

biggrin.gif


-karma
Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (Oracle)
...unless you bullets bounce off his barrier and armor spells. wink.gif

...so you & your chummers delay to coordnate your attacks and hit him (or her) first with an ares Alpha loaded with EXEX to blow the barrier down and next with with Stick & Shock which reduces the total armour pool by half & has nasty side effects. When he's down quivering from the electrical attack, you nail him again with the Alpha or let the Troll Adept punch his face into the pavement.

...gee, teamwork to geek the mage, what a concept.

Man, sometimes I really miss playing Champions.
Kesslan
Yeah, there's a very damn good reason standing policy with most military, security and law enforcement agencies is to geek/down the mage first.

I mean targets generally, probably, go along these lines:
Dragons
Powerful Spirts
Mages
Shaman
Lesser Spirits
Adepts
Trolls
Other

Of course thats largely dependant uppon who -appears- to pose the biggest threat at the time.
chazuli
One thing a lot of DMs neglect is to apply visibility and other targeting modifiers to mages. A few dice off of that spell can often make a big difference.

Best,
Chazuli
Synner
And remember it's not just the defender's cover modifiers that count, the attacker's modifiers also apply... in my experience combined cover and visibility modifiers will typically set the magician back 3 to 7 dice while Spellcasting.
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