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SinN
Ive been playing for a year, and sort of developed my own oppinions about certain types of charactors. One of which, being that I beleive that awakened charactors have a bigger advantage over mundayne charactors. Anyone agree?
I've always followed one rule in SR combat, "Kill the mage first."

fistandantilus3.0 - Edit:Title Spelling Corrected. smile.gif
Ranneko
Mundane, the word you are looking for is mundane.

Mages are one of the first things to go for, but in a sustained fight, they can damage themselves trying to take out opponents, whereas a street sam needs to use grenades and the like to do that.
De Badd Ass
QUOTE (SinN @ Dec 25 2006, 04:03 AM)
I've always followed one rule in SR combat, "Kill the mage first."

You mean, "Spot the mage first; kill the mage second".
SinN
No, i mean kill the mage first. Its worked out for me since the beggining. But i like your way of putting it.
Konsaki
I like how everyone always thinks that the mage stands out like Gandalf in a firefight. Come on, people. You really expect it to be that easy to see a mage?

1 - A mage doesnt have to gesture to cast a spell
2 - A mage doesnt have to speak to cast a spell
3 - A mage wears normal cloths just like your standard mundane
4 - He can use a pistol or other weapons just like any other meta-human
5 - Unless you yourself are awakened, odds are, you wont recognise someone as a mage.

It's not like D&D where you can just do the quick checks for Robes, Staff and Pointy hat...
mfb
doesn't SR4 have rules similar to SR3 for noticing a spell being cast? if not, spotting a mage isn't too hard; your mage will have to spot them astrally, then mark them in VR. if so, spotting mage will be easy--he'll be the guy you notice casting a spell.

as for advantages... well, i've heard lots of people complain that mages and adepts are too powerful in SR3. i haven't encountered that problem myself; i find both character types to have strengths and weaknesses that make them different from, but not better than, other character types. the arguments i hear about mages and adepts being overpowered in SR4 are very similar to the ones i hear about relating to SR3, so i'm not inclined to give them much credence.
De Badd Ass
I agree with Konsaki about mage spotting. The only thing that gives the mage away is the lack of obvious cyber, or a katana. A runner is either a sammi or a mage, right?

Another possibility, you are meta-gaming, and recognize the mage because the GM is using DnD miniatures. spin.gif Or maybe you just announce, "I shoot the mage", and your GM doesn't ask you, "which figure is the mage?".

OR!!! maybe your game is like the one I am playing in. The last few runs, ALL the opponents were either mages or spirits; bug shamans and bug spirits, blood mages and blood spirits; etc. You say, "I shoot the mage", and the GM responds, "Which one?" biggrin.gif
psykotisk_overlegen
My upcoming campaign will have half or so of the players awakened, I think they'll see a lot of magical opposition. Geek the mages first indeed.

Actually for combat alone, is magic really that much better than mundane? It seems to me that if you can carry a few big guns to the fight you get bigger bangs than with most spells, of course spells are easier to sneak past security with than big guns.
SinN
Thats the point I was trying to make. Also, if you had the choice, would you take really big guns that go bang? Or spells?
dog_xinu
it is all personal opinion. In my campaign, there is not one "mage" in the bunch. We have street sammies, TM and adepts (physical/gun/charisma). So what is better? it all just depends. mages are better at countering other mages. Mages vs Sammies? it just depends.

I normally play non-mages. Either cybered sammie or adept (physical/gun). But I do on the occasion play the mage type.

so the question is "what" do you want to do? "how" do you want to accomplish it?


there are sooo many options...

dog
SinN
And the award for most dramatic speach goes to....
ElFenrir
QUOTE
as for advantages... well, i've heard lots of people complain that mages and adepts are too powerful in SR3. i haven't encountered that problem myself; i find both character types to have strengths and weaknesses that make them different from, but not better than, other character types. the arguments i hear about mages and adepts being overpowered in SR4 are very similar to the ones i hear about relating to SR3, so i'm not inclined to give them much credence.



One reasoning for this, i think, is defense. Ok, take combat situation. Anyone can wear good armor, and have a good Dodging skill and can defend against gunshots. A pistol shot fired off by the same guy vs. a mundane wearing an armored jacket with a say, 4 body, is no more or less effective vs. a mage wearing an armored jacket and a 4 body, if say average successes were rolled(of course, glitches happen, as do critical successes.)

Now, a force 5 Manaball vs. a group of mages with a 4 willpower can hurt. A force 5 manaball vs. a group of mundanes with a 4 willpower can drop the whole lot of them. Simply put, while anyone can defend against firearms or melee weapons, only mages have that extra defense versus magic, and that can make a world of difference.(getting more technical, mages also have spells that can increase their firearm and melee defense.) Combat spells aside, the same can go for controlling spells and the like.

In the case of Adepts, i can see why some folks have the issue, their mundane Face is going to have a lot of problems being as good as what they do as the adept Face. A cybered gunman will have an edge...and Adept gunman can get a bigger edge. Same with melee. Unarmed is almost cornered by the Adept...when it comes to doing physical damage...an adept with the killing hands/critical strike combo outmatches the sammie with muscle augmentation and bone lacing...since critical strike has a limit equal to magic rating. Ive used this and its ugly. Not to mention the adept's ability to get extra skill dice. (Tho i have to say the difference between cyber/adept gunman/melee is much less than the cyber vs. adept face. It's pretty much been proven..if you want a hardcore face, go adept.)

Now, of course as a counterpoint, you can argue that the adept or mage has to pay for their abilities in other ways...having to purchase magical ability, an extra stat to worry about and in case of a mage, extra skills to worry about limits what else they can do. Ive also found you can easily make a very effective combat mage, with the limited resources.

Another reasoning behind the 'magical ability is better' is the Karma bit thats been discussed....while magically active people do sink alot of karma...if a GM doesnt use a karma for cash system the wired fellow is at the mercy of payment, not to mention finding docs to implant his things. The skills only go so high, so the mundane will no doubt have a wide array of skills...thus outdoing the magically active person in a kind of variety in a way. (though ive seen plenty of effective mages with a lot of skills.)

Funny thing is, in the case of the Tech Awakened(Resonance) vs. Mundane computer freaks, the mundanes are argued to have the edge ive noticed. Not having played an SR4 Technomancer or hacker yet(ive done deckers), im wondering about this.

Ok, after the long-ass discussion i managed to type...I really dont know if i can finger one as blatantly 'better' even if in a lot of what i said seems to lean toward the magically active. I agree with the quoted statement above, i think, that each type has a sort of advantage over the other in ways. (The big mage difference, IMO, is the 'if you cast spells all day, your luck will run out and you will eventually drop from drain'. Not to mention even a couple Drains will knock you back alot with decreased die pools.)

Konsaki
You are correct ElFenrir, TMs are on the low end of combat prowess compared to everyone else. Though they can be gods in the matrix given enough time, and can perform combat through a drone or through drone hoards. Of course, if a TM were to sacrafice 1 point of resonance for Synaptic Boosters II, discounting how the TM got 160,000 cred, their combat ability goes up drasticly, but that can be said of any PC.
ElFenrir
Yeah, it's kind of strange in a way. Ok, speaking straight defense ability...you can make a hacker, mage, or face with the ability to defend themselves if necessary(ie, they dont suffer from that classic 'gotta stay in the center of the party' syndrome of varied fantasy systems. wink.gif) But technos seem to need a lil extra protection. I guess this can simply go toward the number of BP that must be spend on a techno to make them really effective. While hackers can get Electronics and Cracking Group and call it a day(and some resources...thankfully no longer needing gobs and gobs of nuyen like deckers did), Technos need the above plus Tasking, and the big BP sink are the complex forms...technically speaking, a hacker can spend 80 BP for groups to max his skills and have a ton left over, if a techno wants to max the skills(groups), its 120 BP and at least 40 for the complex forms...thats coming dangerously close to half.

Ive also heard that even IN the matrix Technos have a little bit of a harder time against straight hackers...but i suppose after karma and submersion happened they'd catch up. I'd like to see a technomancer with grades of submursion under his belt...talk about nightmare to anyone with assets. grinbig.gif I actually like technos alot.

Hmm...got a little derailed with magic vs. mundane..maybe because i just cant help but consider Resonance as the 'Tech Magic'.

As for pure magic...its power balance i suppose will be relative. If a campaign takes place in a part of the Barrens with gangs that wouldn't know magic if it shot em in the ass, one mage in the party can really shift the balance. If a campaign takes place dealing with Austrailian Awakened Creatures, mages in the party won't make it that much more powerful. If anything, it'll make it survivable. biggrin.gif

mfb
even if a mage has high Dodge, they tend to lack the attributes to back it up. they can't wear as much armor as a street sam, because a) a street sam generally has higher Body, allowing more armor; and b) a street sam can have cyberware and bioware that increases their armor even further. not to mention that the lower Body of the mage means less soak--another place that enhancement can give the sam an edge.

and, yes, mages can sustain an armor spell--thus decreasing their effectiveness at other magical activities. that's the key to why mages aren't overpowered: just about everything they do draws from a single pool of resources, meaning that increasing their defense (physical or magical) detracts from their offense, and vice-versa. a street sam might have a lower maximum defense or offense, but he's got a higher average level of both than a mage can maintain. the amount of offense/defense a mage can maintain can be increased by sustaining foci and the like, but but by that point, a street sam can up his general level of effectiveness even further.
Zak
I really prefer playing magicians over mundanes. But mainly because I love spellcasting and interaction with spirits (that being powerful helps wink.gif).

However, looking at starting characters and maybe at the first 100-150 karma mundane runners might have the edge over a caster. After that, it goes downhill pretty fast. That wasnt different in SR3 and did not change much to SR4. Alot of good comparisons have been done in this threat and there isnt much too add without repeating myself, so i wont biggrin.gif
ShadowDragon
In my last group (before an unfortunate TPK), the sammy was by far the biggest threat in a gun fight. He rarely took any damage, and routinely had the most kills. Though it helped that he had 7 edge and well optimized cyber, and the group mage usually acted more as a buffer than spellslinger.

So I wouldn't say that magic characters are better than mundanes. They both can fill their roles well.
ElFenrir
QUOTE
even if a mage has high Dodge, they tend to lack the attributes to back it up. they can't wear as much armor as a street sam, because a) a street sam generally has higher Body, allowing more armor; and b) a street sam can have cyberware and bioware that increases their armor even further. not to mention that the lower Body of the mage means less soak--another place that enhancement can give the sam an edge.


Well, if i learned one thing in SR4...you dont need uber attributes to be effective. Well, looking at things a few ways, my adept had 4's in his physical attributes and in Intuition, since he was a fighter-type. But he had nothing higher than a 4 in attributes. However, he seriously did his job well, with the adept powers. a 4 body seems to be about the body stat for a combat oriented character(natural, and human im talking, of course orks naturally have more.) Most combat mages ive seen out of the box pack the 4 body...about the same as most sammies...the sammies have the advantage of cyber which can boost their damage resistance. Armored jackets seem to be the typical armor for the protective-concious. The sammie rolls a few more defense dice, sure. Of course, sustaining foci can help(not too many, or you get the walking christmas tree syndrome.)

But i do hold that both sides do their jobs well, when it comes to sammie vs. combat mage. (I will also hold that ork combat mages are some of the nastiest characters around in the magical sense. biggrin.gif)

However, i am willing to go out on a limb and say a social adept kicks the ass of about any other kind of face. Magical type face coming in second(lots of spells that help with that), with mundane faces a distant third. All they have are tailored pheremones to boost their abilities.

I'm also willing to say that when it comes to the stealthmonkeys...magical characters have an edge here as well.
Butterblume
The baddest magician out there is a strong mind controlling one. Luckily, my players don't exploit this because it's not fun.
(They might command the security guard on the other side of the door to open it, but they don't charm half the oppononents and command them to kill the other half).

That face adepts can be on the far side has been proven.

But on the stealth monkey... I am pretty content with my mundane, she is imo on par with an adept, unless the adept is build exclusively for that role (For my char it's only one facet, alltough the biggest one). Mages ore mystical adepts are better, if they don't trip astral security.


Charon
It's not always about killing the mage first.

It's about getting the best ratio of effort expanded versus threat neutralized.

For exemple, even though a mage sniping at you safely from behind enemy line with great cover is a major nuisance and possibly the gravest threat you are facing, you're a full blown moron if you put all your effort into killing him at the expense of very dangerous and more readily accessible mundane threat firing at you with heavy ordinance at close range.

You are far better off containing the mage (Minimizing or breaking LOS by using the terrain and various technique to reduce visibility such as smoke grenade) and staying within LOS of your own mage to get counterspelling protection while eliminating the closest and most readily available targets as fast as possible and work your way to the mage.

Now if the mage does you the courtesy of starting the combat 10 meter away from you in the open, then by all means kill him in the first IP.

When you are in a fight, the objective isn't to kill the mage. It is to win the fight. Be efficient.

---

Spotting the mage : Damn easy if he is within LOS and using decent power spell.

If he's casting force 2 manaball at you it might be troublesome, but since the threshold for the perception test if 6 - force, you'll spot him readily enough if he's casting serious stuff at you within LOS. Even with -2 for being distracted most observant runner will see which member of the opposition cast a Force 4 or 5 spell.

If the mage is hidden like a sniper, life is a lot tougher and your team's mage will likely have to earn his pay.
Sren
As a general rules, the balance between awakened and mundane characters is kept by the GM. In games where karma is easier to come by, awakened characters have the advantage because they can improve their specialty, plus improve other magical abilities, and have a nearly unlimited range of abilities to choose from. In a game where tech toys (and cash) are more plentiful, cybered characters have the advantage, because the toys they use are directly related to their party role, and don't cost karma to start using.

There is no real way to perfectly balance availability of tech and karma that keeps the awakened perfectly balanced with the sleepers unless the players accept the GM awarding more karma to awakened characters and awarding expensive cyber with installation to non-awakened characters. No cash/karma trade ends up being perfectly fair, but GMs can attempt to create a story that gives each character a chance to shine both individually and a as group, so each player feels he belongs in the party and has an equally important part to play. (Something hard to do without a lot of cooperation with the players)
toturi
QUOTE (Charon @ Dec 26 2006, 07:57 AM)
If he's casting force 2 manaball at you it might be troublesome, but since the threshold for the perception test if 6 - force, you'll spot him readily enough if he's casting serious stuff at you within LOS.  Even with -2 for being distracted most observant runner will see which member of the opposition cast a Force 4 05 5 spell.

If the mage is hidden like a sniper, life is a lot tougher and your team's mage will likely have to earn his pay.

Doesn't need to be hidden like a sniper. Being in combat counts as a hectic situation - right(I am not going into that discussion again)? So mage tells spirit - dude, Conceal me and my buds, dude...

(-5) from concealment + (-2) from distracted = -7 I don't think you'd be noticing much.
Charon
QUOTE (toturi @ Dec 25 2006, 07:12 PM)
(-5) from concealment + (-2) from distracted = -7 I don't think you'd be noticing much.

Please. That's still just one success required (for a powerful spell) when most runners have 10+ dice pool for visual perception : Vision enhancement III and the visual specialisation give an easily accessible and powerful +5 dice to such pools. Most runner have these +5 dice to go with Intuition + Perception (at least within 7 or so runs).

A powerful spell will be spotted easy enough if the mage is in sight.

Beside, at worst you just suspect the mage is the one guy who hasn't shot at you during the pass where you got magic thrown at you.

It's really being dereasonable to insist the runner don't know who is the mage when they have them in sight. It's the one guy who doesn't seem too interested in firing burst after burst of bullets at the runners but somehow still want to keep LOS on them.
De Badd Ass
QUOTE (Charon @ Dec 25 2006, 08:38 PM)
QUOTE (toturi @ Dec 25 2006, 07:12 PM)
(-5) from concealment + (-2) from distracted = -7 I don't think you'd be noticing much.

Please. That's still just one success required (for a powerful spell) when most runners have 10+ dice pool for visual perception : Vision enhancement III and the visual specialisation give an easily accessible and powerful +5 dice to such pools. Most runner have these +5 dice to go with Intuition + Perception (at least within 7 or so runs).

A powerful spell will be spotted easy enough if the mage is in sight.

Beside, at worst you just suspect the mage is the one guy who hasn't shot at you during the pass where you got magic thrown at you.

It's really being dereasonable to insist the runner don't know who is the mage when they have them in sight. It's the one guy who doesn't seem too interested in firing burst after burst of bullets at the runners but somehow still want to keep LOS on them.

So we are back to spot the mage first, kill the mage second. Except you are giving the opponents a free round to kill you while you all observe in detail as to who is the mage. Course if the mage is shooting at you with his Ingram while his Spirits engulf you, you will be more than a little distracted.

Note: Magic doesn't require the mage to be in your line of sight. He can be behind you.

EDIT: There is a big difference between perceiving magic, and perceiving a mage. You can use all the tricks you mentioned to perceive the mage. Magic is another matter. The effects are not always visible, so visual enhancements don't always help. What does a mana spell look like?
Jaid
if the mage casts a force 6 or higher spell, the threshold to notice it is 0. even with a dice pool of 0, it is highly probable (to say the least) to achieve a threshold of 0. therefore, the mage is probably either handicapping himself pretty heavily, or is likely to be spotted, because i don't think it's too unreasonable to suppose that, out of a group of, say, 4 runners, at least one will have a 12+ dicepool for perception...
Fortune
QUOTE (Jaid)
if the mage casts a force 6 or higher spell, the threshold to notice it is 0.

Do you really rule it that way in your games? I would think it only reasonable that the absolute minimum threshold be set at 1.
Konsaki
Somewhere in the barrens, a mage casts a Force 10 stunbolt. (4P drain, you cant say your mage hasnt done it at least once) Due to the mechanics, the TN is negative 4 to notice it being cast.

All of a sudden, half of Seattle turns towards Redmond and says 'Wow, someone just cast a force 10 Stunbolt in Redmond...'

Yeah... not likely...
Jaid
QUOTE (Fortune)
QUOTE (Jaid @ Dec 26 2006, 12:25 PM)
if the mage casts a force 6 or higher spell, the threshold to notice it is 0.

Do you really rule it that way in your games? I would think it only reasonable that the absolute minimum threshold be set at 1.

yes, i would.

it's not as if magic needs a boost, after all.

of course, i would apply common sense to this (you requre line of sight to be able to make perception tests, for example), but i see no real problem with people having an easy time noticing powerful magic, personally.
Charon
QUOTE (De Badd Ass @ Dec 25 2006, 07:50 PM)
So we are back to spot the mage first, kill the mage second. Except you are giving the opponents a free round to kill you while you all observe in detail as to who is the mage.

No.

Perception test is only a simple action if you take the "Observe in detail" simple action (p.117 "Using Perception").

The GM should make the perception test on behalf of the player (at least whenever the player didn't call for it as a simple action) whenever something worthy of notice occurs within his sensory range, though it specifically state that a -2 is warranted in all such occasions.

And again, if my team and I are attacked in hour base of operation by four commandos, and we suffer a spell while three of the commandos shoot at us but an other one takes cover without breaking LOS... I shoot him. No matter what the dice are telling me, I shoot that guy. Only a demented GM would argue that in fact that guy is a nobody while the real mage is invisible (What a raging waste of ressource it would be! If you outnumber the runner that bad, just have everybody shoot at them and cut them down in the first pass!)
Konsaki
Cause that would be meta gaming and thats bad, M'kay? nyahnyah.gif
Charon
QUOTE (Konsaki @ Dec 25 2006, 10:07 PM)
Cause that would be meta gaming and thats bad, M'kay? nyahnyah.gif

That's non sense.

It's not metagaming : all the information are available to the character. He knows there's almost certainly a mage in the room. He knows 3 guys are shooting at him and one isn't. The guy who isn't shooting has a high likelyhood of being the mage. Kill him.

Not nuclear physics.

Nowhere in the rules is it stated that a character is required to act like a moron if his perception test fail.

It's as if someone argued that if an alarm tripped (I know there is an intruder) but I fail my perception test while listening for noise in the next room, I should enter that room as if I believed there was no one in that room.

Like hell I will. I'll assume he's here and enter with gun drawn anyway.
Bryce963
Ok, I thought it was Magic vs Mudvayne.... and I was wondering how loud music was magical......
Mortax
Keep in mind I haven't played 4th edition, though I have played 1-3.

I think it is more about style and where you want to take your character. For speed, nothing beats a street sam. In terms of starting skills, phys-ads are better. In terms of someone who an cause massive distruction and sneak in anywhere? Mage. A sammy with incidiary bombs is going to get stopped by security. A mage who has a force 6 hellblast, on the other hand....

In the long term, magical characters seem to get more powerful whith much greater frequency. At that level, they can become tanks, if the right spells are taken.

The 3 balancing things that are huge for mages (one is an optional rule, and I think the other was dropped in 3rd edition, but we kept it.) are: drain, focus addiction, and grounding from astral.

drain can play hell on a mage. Yeah, hellblast can do a LOT of damage,most mages pass out after casting it.

Focus addiction: effectivly limits how many points of active foci one can carry. (There was a huge debate on this being a bad rule before, but without it a starting shamen can have a MR of about 100 in a year. I don't think creating a mana spike that big is a good idea.)

Grounding from astral: I always like this rule, it made it so mages had to worry about stealth in astral space.

All in all, I think they are balanced.
LynGrey
You know.. when my characters start running in the combat shooting and hitting stuff.. the last thing i think they are worried about it that guy with an assult rifle staring all mean like at them and thinking "I think he is a mage, let me geek him first"

Nah its always... Geek the guy closest to me.. then work down the list =)
Jaid
QUOTE (LynGrey)
You know.. when my characters start running in the combat shooting and hitting stuff.. the last thing i think they are worried about it that guy with an assult rifle staring all mean like at them and thinking "I think he is a mage, let me geek him first"

Nah its always... Geek the guy closest to me.. then work down the list =)

then clearly your character is insane.

let me put it this way: do you shoot the person with a pistol first, or the person with a HMG, grenade launcher, PAC, missile launcher, etc?

because, here's the thing: as soon as you *know* there's a mage around (ie, a spell has been cast on the group) you can either assume the mage can overcast manaball strong enough to oneshot the entire group, or you can bet your life on the hope that he's not a combat mage whatsoever. to me, the chance that the mage can kill the entire group with a single spell is just too much of a risk... ignoring a mage when you know there is one out there is roughly equivalent to ignoring the guy with the HMG and shooting the guy with the pistol.

except that the guy with the HMG can't take over your mind and make you grab onto a team member and wirelessly detonate all your grenades while they're still sitting in your gear harness.

or send a spirit to hunt you down while you're sleeping.

or kill you from across the globe just from having seen you.

mages, on the other hand, can do all of those things (in addition to firing HMG-like attacks off at you)
Lord Ben
I've always favored Street Sams, it's relatively easy to be survivable as a street sam and you have enough karma to double up with combat and other skills. I've always preferred social skills myself.

Mages are a karma sink and although they can be powerful with various spells I've found that a Street Sam with a wide variety of equipment and skills can do just as much.

Mages aren't as survivable and if you're using higher force spells the perception tests will display you as the mage anyway.

I can't remember a mage ever living long enough to receive my 2nd burst...
OneTrikPony
QUOTE
and, yes, mages can sustain an armor spell--thus decreasing their effectiveness at other magical activities. that's the key to why mages aren't overpowered


Sustaining focus (manipulations) #2, 20000
cast force 2 spell (7 die) ~ 2 hits = + 2 armor
Of course it will sustain any manipulation spell.

dermal plate #2, 10000 + 1 point of essence
+ 2 armor

Orthoskin #2, 60000 + .5 essence
+2 armor

QUOTE
and the group mage usually acted more as a buffer than spellslinger.


Is that because your spell slinger didn't have invisibility, Stun bolt, and Increase reflexes? and 40000 worth of sustaining foci?

QUOTE
the sammies have the advantage of cyber which can boost their damage resistance. Armored jackets seem to be the typical armor for the protective-concious. The sammie rolls a few more defense dice, sure. Of course, sustaining foci can help(not too many, or you get the walking christmas tree syndrome.)


Cyber isn't the way to go for damage resistance. Make your contacts and buy yourself Pain Editor Bio ASAP. (better yet spend the BP for a Con 4+ street doc at chargen.) Also isn't activation of a focus a free action which means that you can leave it off an turn it on in the same action phase that you cast the spell? (can't remember if the pain editor also applies to stunn damge from unresisted drain. This might be the game breaking cyber all mages have been waiting for.)

[edit]Just found that activation of a focus is a simple action not a free action. Its also good to find out that foci must be activated before the mage progects if he want's to use em.

QUOTE
The baddest magician out there is a strong mind controlling one.

This man knows whereof he speaks. It is the most powerful spell build and the least fun.

QUOTE
Mages aren't as survivable and if you're using higher force spells the perception tests will display you as the mage anyway.


I've never had a PC mage killed by a mundane. I've had my NPC's killed by mundanes occaisionaly, but more often it's the party mage (or one of his spirits) that finds the magic opposition and saves the parties ass.

Spirits, not spells, are the key. They're more powerful and have more utility then drones. They're not limited by published material.
Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (De Badd Ass @ Dec 25 2006, 05:36 AM)
I agree with Konsaki about mage spotting.

...hmm sounds like a movie I once saw.

Anyway, already exhausted my allotment of arguments on this topic for this year.
toturi
QUOTE (OneTrikPony)
They're not limited by published material.

Only if you are playing a non-canon game, and you could easily have a drone do everytthing including cook.
Mortax
QUOTE (Lord Ben)
Mages are a karma sink and although they can be powerful with various spells I've found that a Street Sam with a wide variety of equipment and skills can do just as much.

Mages aren't as survivable and if you're using higher force spells the perception tests will display you as the mage anyway.

Yes, they are sinkholes. But the augmentation of a mage is not something that shows up on an x-ray scanner. smile.gif

Mages aren't as survivable? I've never had a mage die on me. Street sam I'm at 2 or three. Mortax had over 300 karma and could take a dragon, then again, he was a vampire. Pyre Dancer was the only one to survive a fiasco in which a house collapsed and a professional assassin team waiting outside. The only ones that didn't go to D+ damage was Pyre dancer and the Azzy mage we were supposed to be guarding. (Ironically, Pyre was a Phoenix shaman...) My cat shaman likewise had a high survivability.

I think the survivability of mages and shamans is partially dependent on the spells you take. Heal or treat is a must. Most of the time, I don't take many combat spells, if any. Illusion and manipulation spells are my standbys. Barrier spells, improved invis, levitate item, levitate person, magic fingers, and overstim are all very good things to have.

Levitating a dumpster on top of gangers is just as effective as fireball, and a lot more amusing. wink.gif
Kesslan
I'm not sure though if their quite as survivable under SR4 as they were under SR3. I mean SR3 you could soak crazy ammounts of damage even with just body 5 and some decent KP (100 karma character or so, so KP would have been 10 or 11? Cant recall now)

I'm not sure how well that works under SR4 though. It seems to me it's generally alot harder to soak damage in SR4 than SR3. On the flipside, skimp on body and go all out agility and you can really dodge like crazy.

Add in sprits and a few of the right spells and I can easily see a mage being just as durable if not abit more so than the adept or sammie.

Then again I dont think I've ever seen a mage rush into the thick of battle where as I've very often seen adepts/sammies do that and promptly get shot to hell. I have however been on the recieving end of mage mind probes etc under SR3, under SR3 there just was no real comparison of power after a while.

I get the feeling under SR4 though their abit closer to equal. I mean in the end there's allways a tradeoff somewhere. The mage might be good at say.. mind control but he sure cant soak that direct hit from an assault cannon the way a Troll -might- manage to do.
Fortune
QUOTE (Kesslan)
... skimp on body and go all out agility and you can really dodge like crazy.

Reaction. Agility doesn't help you Dodge. wink.gif
Kesslan
Bleh, shows that I havent been playing enough SR4 to remember that without reference frown.gif
Kyoto Kid
..OK OK, one more comment on the topic.

With the Possession tradition, and Invoking, mages have just moved up by several degrees on the KK Rudeness scale.

Mundanes can only hope that Arsenal offers some appropriate countermeasures to even the playing field again.

...you gotta love the new arms race.

Kesslan
QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)
..OK OK, one more comment on the topic.

With the Possession tradition, and Invoking, mages have just moved up by several degrees on the KK Rudeness scale.

Mundanes can only hope that Arsenal offers some appropriate countermeasures to even the playing field again.

...you gotta love the new arms race.

What if the possessing spirit however decides that it doesnt want to let go of the mages body?

Either way I do very much look forward to the new toys that will be presented in Aresenal and Augmentation.
Mortax
QUOTE (Kesslan @ Dec 27 2006, 01:54 AM)
I'm not sure how well that works under SR4 though. It seems to me it's generally alot harder to soak damage in SR4 than SR3. On the flipside, skimp on body and go all out agility and you can really dodge like crazy.

Quite possibly. I've never actually played 4th edition. smile.gif So my coments will have to be taken in that light.

And the only mage I've every played or seen run into a fight, but that was Mortax and it doesn't really count. smile.gif That might be why my mages survived well. They were smart enough not to run in the middle of a firefight. I know they got rid of them (sortof) since 2nd edition, but spell locks with detect trap, detect gun ect. are invaluable.
Zak
QUOTE (Kesslan)
The mage might be good at say.. mind control but he sure cant soak that direct hit from an assault cannon the way a Troll -might- manage to do.



how about a Troll mage then nyahnyah.gif

And there really is no reason why a mage wont wear as much normal armor as a Sam (or a gun for all it matters)


QUOTE (Kesslan)
What if the possessing spirit however decides that it doesnt want to let go of the mages body?


well, that is either GM punishment, a screwed up conjuring test or another mage/spirit taking control over the spirit.


And possessed drones are just evil. (lets not even talk about possessed streetsams biggrin.gif)
lorechaser
QUOTE (Zak)
how about a Troll mage then nyahnyah.gif

And there really is no reason why a mage wont wear as much normal armor as a Sam (or a gun for all it matters)

Trolls have a max int and log of 7, and Cha of 6. So they won't be running with the high end mages, which is the realm people are talking about.

And there is a reason - body*2 limit on Armor. So to wear a standard armor jacket, you need body 4. Granted, Body 4 is nice. But for a mage, that's bp that didn't go to log/init/cha/will/agi/reac....

But again, we're doing the never ending dance. Some people are convinced Mages are better. Some know they aren't. And no amount of posting huge blocks will prove it.

If mages are too powerful in your games, come ask for help building mundanes, or create houserules. I think enough people fall on both sides that it indicates things are fine.

And saying that Sammies die, mages don't is sort of like saying "Officers are rarely killed in action, but grunts are dying all the time." Or even "Man, comparing the violent death rates between bodyguards and accountants sure shows me that accountants are much tougher than bodyguards...."
Kyoto Kid
...a physically maxxed out troll mage initiate voluntarily possessed by a force 8 spirit...

That would require at least a shoulder launched ATGM.

Or maybe "Atomic Annie".

..man, can I just hibernate till Arsenal comes out?
Fortune
QUOTE (lorechaser @ Dec 28 2006, 04:04 AM)
Trolls have a max int and log of 7, and Cha of 6.  So they won't be running with the high end mages, which is the realm people are talking about.

There is, however, no limits on their Willpower. There is no reason you should be discounting Trolls, or counting them as a seperate 'class' when discussing magic, as they can be on a par with (almost) every other race.
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