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Dread Polack
Should I ignore the FAQ and say that firing off an indirect combat spell work just like shooting a gun or tossing a grenade. That is to say that you don't need to pick a person to anchor it at, and it simply hits everyone in the area, subject to normal defensive actions.

This might work better in my campaign where I allow characters to abort their next action to roll Reaction + Dodge and dive a meter away from the blast to reduce the damage they take. There is no standard defense roll. I'd allow the same action to be taken in defense of an area effect indirect combat spell.

Dread Polack
Should I ignore the FAQ and say that firing off an indirect combat spell work just like shooting a gun or tossing a grenade.

I do. It was a stupid call on their part. What are people supposed to do? Carry around a bag of rats? I handle defense the same way as you also. It's a necessity when you use a grid for combat.

I think FanPro is too stuck on non-grid combat. A pity too, because so many DnD players are used to grid-style combat, so it would be easier to convert DnD players to Shadowrun. And FanPro could've also capitalized on mini sales. I really think it would've been a better business decision to make it more grid-oriented.
I like non-grid play. Just me two cents.

btw, what was the FAQ ruling you disagreed with?
Sounds like the requirement that an indirect combat spell be cast against a specific visible target rather than a point in space . . .
QUOTE (cetiah)
I like non-grid play. Just me two cents.

btw, what was the FAQ ruling you disagreed with?

And I'm sure many others do too, but it's just not as popular now a days as grid play thanks to 3.x DnD.

Myself, I like the accuracy and strategy of grid combat. I think area effects are the perfect example of why.
Meh. I just use a point in space as my specific target (assuming it is within line of sight).
Here's how I handle it.

For grenades:
Yes, it is easier to target a point in space than a live target that can dodge. However, grenades also have rules for staging up the damage value of the effect once your successes have reduced scatter to zero. As far as I can tell, this increased damage only applies to the actual nominated target of the grenade shot, and that the radius of damage for other characters/objects caught in the area of effect is still measured from the base damage of the grenade.

Therefore, by targeting a point in space, you're gaining an easier throw by sacrificing any opportunity to increase the damage value against your target. Because there's already a built-in tradeoff/sacrifice in the mechanics, there's no need to introduce any mandatory targeting restrictions based off of nebulous concepts such as "is the thrower intending to damage opponents that are caught in the blast radius?"

For Indirect Area Effect Combat Spells:
Since spells work differently than grenades, I ended up developing a house rule for it. Spells, even indirect AoE spells, require the caster to synchronize their aura with some target object, living or inanimate. Theoretical "points in space" do not present an aura that allows for spellcasting, and gasses and vapors typically do not have the density to have an aura substantial enough to be synchronized to.

Indirect AoE spells do still benefit from the fact that the target doesn't have to be in the epicenter of the effect, just have some portion inside it, and the entire area is affected, even parts that can't be seen by the caster.

If an inanimate object is used for the target of an indirect AoE spell, then the object rolls vs. the ranged attack, substituting it's Object Resistance Threshold number for the Reaction rating (even though indirect spells are normally exempt from object resistance). If the spellcaster gets reduced to zero successes, then the spell fails to have any effect, otherwise it goes off as normal -- Living targets in the area of effect roll their own reactions vs. the spellcaster's original check, and inanimate objects, including the target object, merely resist damage using the appropriate armor rating.
Well done, Runner Paul. I like that, thank you. Especially the staging damage for grenades.
QUOTE (Dashifen)
Especially the staging damage for grenades.

The alternative of letting a grenade's staged up DV to apply to both the target of the throw, and the area of effect just makes no sense. A skilled throw just is not going to give a grenade a larger blast radius; that's solely dependent on the charge placed in to it by the manufacturer.

What a skilled throw can do, is bring the grenade closer to the center of mass or particularly vulnerable areas of the target. When the rules say you've reduced the scatter to 0 meters, that's just shorthand for saying "less than one meter away," -- There's still room for throws that land closer or farther away, but they're just not measurable in SR's default unit of measurement of distance for combats. For purposes of standing 3 meters away from the target of the throw, it doesn't mater too much if it landed 75cm from him, or if it bounced and detonated right against his chest, you're still going to feel a blast from about 3 meters away. But it sure as hell matters to the poor schlub who is the target.
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