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The Jopp
We all know what mainstream spells EVERYONE use in combat, the most classical ones are Stunbolt/ball, powerbolt/ball and those that NORMALLY would be effective in combat.

But what about using ones imagination? What OTHER spells could be useful in a combat situation. Ok, some spells might need some slight modification but that's what we hae MITS for.

Here are some of my ideas.

Fashion (LOS)
This is a LOS version of a fashion spell. Does the big bad troll annoy you? Well, can you SEE his formfitting armour? Well, yes, something IS sticking out of that sleeve. Good, give him a straightjacket, or even better, just make a large sack of it for him to find his way out from.

Catwalk (Fashion, LOS, Area)
Target more than one? Give all those pesky LS cops teletubby suits?

A classical spell, levitate your enemy FAR away, and drop him.

Might be troublesome due to treshold but just transform someone into something else. Remember, a Troll would be in the same weightclass as a pony or perhaps a horse, his armour, weapons and clothes will NOT. Drop the spell a moment later.


Magic fingers + opponent's grenade/magazine release/sidearm trigger.
Dim Sum
One of my former players used the Shape Earth spell with awesome efficiency! smile.gif

Wanna stop a truck in order to hijack it? Make a hole appear in front of it.

Hellhounds running towards you? *Poof* Let them smack into the wall of earth that suddenly appeared from the ground!

Need extra cover in an ambush or firefight? No problem - hey, presto!

The Jopp
QUOTE (Diesel)
Magic fingers + opponent's grenade/magazine release/sidearm trigger.

Doh! How could i forget that one.

Add "Poke them in the eyes" as well. or "Tie their shoelaces together"

Herald of Verjigorm
Mob Mood: for some reason they just started crying.
Wreck pants: just might be enough distraction
Compel truth, ask about phobias, and trid phantasm
Glue on the guy clutching the grenade (might want to delay an action for this one)
I wouldn't call Magic Fingers, not Levitate 'unusual spells in combat'. They're both more commonly used than any combat spell in my experience, purely for the fact that they lack the insane drain of Elemental Manipulations or Illusionary spells, and against any target with even 2 dice allocated towards Shielding, you need a helluva handful of dice to be effective with Combat Spells.

My favorite to see used is Ice Sheet. Under-rated and killer-useful.


The Jopp
Ice sheet is highly useful against fast moving opponents, especially cars. Say, what about a version of ice sheet against flying vehicles? Something like making their engines freeze or rudders being locked by heavy amounts of ice on the wings (cant remember the official term for the actual condition)
I still miss an old 2nd edition rule (I'm not sure if its a spell or not)... You could make a barrier against living things only, then set up your wall in the middle of the highway and watch the motorcyclists get blown off their bikes.

sir fwank
good old mana barrier. yeah a lot of 2nd ed spells were stripped out for their brokenness.
Animate is my best friend.

Guns that refuse to fire, flashpacks that go off by themselves, armored jackets that try to throttle their wearer, animate a glove and watch the sam wrestle with his trigger finger! You wearing boots with laces? Hold that thought a moment dearest, I have something for you!

Course I didn't mention the obvious self detonating grenade but us monkey types, we're not big on the wanton killing, I'd rather make you look like a dufus and get you out the way, pride heals easier than gunshots.

phelious fogg
Trid Phantasm of Self, replicated a dozen times..... Coupled with Invis so that they dont know which is you or not.

Allergy is a good one too, Intoxication another.

Forboding or Hot Potato are miraculous
QUOTE (Herald of Verjigorm @ Nov 5 2003, 12:29 AM)
Wreck pants: just might be enough distraction

That's the finest spell since Turn to Goo.

And of course there's always the Reduce (Cybered) Attribute series; most combat bunnies have a low Charisma to begin with, and if you pull it to 0 they're out.
Spell: Somebody Else's Problem

Hmm, Illusion or Control Manipulation?
Mental control manipulation. Illusion needs to affect one or more of the senses.

I like it.
Control Actions is a good way to get the bad guys shooting each other

Barrier spells are good for advancing, or containing grenade blasts (throw grenade and have the mage cat a barrier around the baddies before they can throw grenade back - instant salsa!)

Trid Phantasm can be used for many effects - a favorite of my players is having a dragon appear from somewhere.

Physical Mask to look like the baddies - or why not stack them and 'trade places' with one of them?

One of my players came up with a slightly different use of Magic Fingers and grenades btw - simply use the spell to carry the grenade to the target, then pull the pin, but hold on to the grenade until it explodes - if need be, you can chase the baddies with it. grinbig.gif

Only problem with fashion (LOS) is the threshold rating of most armor that you'd be trying to overcome. Not to mention that if it did turn to a straight jacket, it wouldn't automatically pull their arms behind them and tie itself. But someday a combo spell will become available that does that ^_^ Our group mentioned that idea once before too.

Hot Potato is by far one of the sweetest spells I've ever seen. POW! -enemy screams in pain and drops his metallic guns, wrist watch and belt buckle-

Agony is a good one for the sick and saddistic people out there who enjoy inflicting pain, although it's more of a distraction than anything else.

Physical Manipulation ‘Ducktape’ is a great one. Much like fashion straightjacket, cast this and your opponent is wrapped and stuck up with ducktape. Kind of like a permanent Glue spell.

Wreck Gun is a nice one too, make it an area affect and you can cause some real havok.

Shadow is always a friendly team spell, doesn't affect you as long as your targets are outside its area of affect and makes you all the harder to hit.
I keep meaning to pick up acid spray or acid ball.
Why, you ask? That's an elemental manipulation, you say - that's standard for combat!

I also have lightning bolt. Spray a group down with water, duck behind someone and lightning bolt part of the soggy area - you don't even have to see the enemy.

Also, I stand by Influence, just for shouting, "Look out behind you!"
Enough successes, and they'll do so - thereby giving you an opportunity to be horrible.
"Hey, look, a distraction!" grinbig.gif
Our mage had a Vacuum spell. Essentially, it would create a spherical vaccum with its size depending on his successes.

He'd use it to silence whatever area we were working in. Plus, anyone trying a little melee attack would get a special surprise if they didn't have an air tank with them.
I also have a modified version of stink, does the same thing (+1 to all target numbers per success) but instead of making people disgusted and wretching, I designed this spell to do the same thing, but the modifiers to your target #'s come from the spell which makes it's target ticklish and then tickles them. Nothing like dropping +4-6 on all target numbers on a big troll who's starting to talk tough and having him wriggling like a little kid while giggling uncontronlably. More than once, it's "taken the edge off" a potentially bad situation. It's hard to be serious when someone starts getting tickled.

Picture this:
A Pingvin Shaman with Ice Sheet...
A Troll adept with two grenades...
The Shaman cast the Ice, and do what he always does: He glides on his belly towards the bad guys.
The Troll do what he always does: Trips on the ice and drops the grenades.
Chaos, utter chaos.
ANd this happened nearly every time.
Six steps to taking out your average Troll meatboy.
  • Take Female Elf with 11 Charisma (Explained later)
  • Take Male Troll with 1 Charisma
  • Elf approaches Troll seductively
  • Elf does seductive thing to Troll
  • Elf casts Overstimulate
  • Troll needs to go to bathroom
13 Charisma explination:
6 Points in generation, giving 8 total.
Exceptional Attribute and Bonus Attribute to Charisma.
Convincing the GM to let you get those Tailored Pheremones that work on every race.
And make them cultured, for 13 Charisma.
No need for the Overstimulate spell.

QUOTE (Sunday_Gamer)
Animate is my best friend.

Guns that refuse to fire, flashpacks that go off by themselves, armored jackets that try to throttle their wearer, animate a glove and watch the sam wrestle with his trigger finger! You wearing boots with laces? Hold that thought a moment dearest, I have something for you!

Course I didn't mention the obvious self detonating grenade

Sorry to go a bit off topic here, but just wanted to clarify how Animate works a bit... You can only control the whole of an object, not parts. So you can't prevent guns from firing (though I'd give a +8 TN for trying to fire a wriggling gun with a huge chance of it backfiring or exploding), can't activate flashpacks (though you could turn them around and chase down their users once someone else activates them), do much with laces (though you could probably turn a person around by making the shoes walk away in the other direction), or have a self-detonating grenade (though having a grenade chase after the person who threw it is possible, but I don't think it could move fast enough).

Anyhows, Animate is a great spell, but a bit more restricted than was implied.

The Jopp
Odd idea...

Picture this in your mind.

Mage armed with a slingshot or bow. He casts "Barrier" spell on the arrowtip, not the whole arrow (might not make a difference). The mage sustains the spell and takes careful aim at a group of enemies. Wether he casts the spell as a dome/ball or a wall is SHOULD point towards the enemy. What would happen?

Would ALL the enemies be hit by the barrier (it IS an area effect spell) and take base damage from the bullet due to the fact that the entire barrier moves with the speed of the bullet and THEN an extra impact from the barrier or vice versa? Would the barrier rating be augmented by the force of the bullet?

Or, would the idea work at all?

Casting "flame aura" at an arrow and let it fly against an enemy?
Area effect sustained spells can be moved, but at a slow rate. Something like 1 meter per round or something (I'll have to look up the rules), so although you cast it on the arrow, it remains where it is when the arrow is shot.

FlameAura would work, if it hit the target.

Animate says you can only move the whole thing, but if you pick your target well that's not a problem. Instead of targeting the boot with animate and having it move its laces, you could simply animate the lace and have it tie itself to something. With a gun you could animate separate parts as well. IMagine a collapsible sniper rifle where you animate just the barrel. Similarly if you wanted to do the grenade trick with pulling the pin you would animate the pin, not the whole grenade. True, some of these parts can be harder to see for LOS, but they would get the job done. Another good one is to remember that most hair at the ends is dead so you can try to animate someones hair, easy considering the low OR, and have it attack people. Nothing like watching your GM describe the elf assassin with the long flowing hair shooting you, followed by the description of her try to stop her hair from strangling her. Animate is one of the most versatile spells, it just takes some creativity.
No you can't, read the description. It even states that you can't animate the gun on a drone. You can only animate the whole target. Also, hair is a part of a person, dead or not, you can't animate hair that is still part of a person.

Trid Phantasm: Brick Wall. Even if they don't believe it, make'em blind fire against you.

Also, if you duck behind a piece of cover (or create it, as per last sug), you run out one side while Trid Phanning a you running out the other. Or trid phan a grenade landing at their feet.
Sphynx is right about having to animate the entire object. Besides, I mean really, what's the OR on a pair of boots? Animated cover works well too, I've been in firefights in dark alleys where the bad guys were concentrating their fire on the large garbage bin that was slowly moving down the alley as they were convinced there was at least 1 person behind it pushing.

Trid Phantasm is the catch all, anything goes, hang on to your hats spell of choice.
Least it is for me, but I'm a crazy monkey.

The example is given that if you animate the drone you can't fire the gun because it is part of the target. Their is a difference in what you set as the target though. If the target of the spell is a grenade then you can only move the whole grenade not a part of it. IF the target of the spell is the pin in the grenade then you can move the pin without moving the whole grenade since you have not animated the grenade. Similarly if you target the shoelaces you can move the whole shoelace, where if you target the boot you could not move the shoelaces separately. What you can move depends on what the person casting the spell decides is the target. There is no restriction on the spell that says what it can target besides inanimate objects. For example for a rifle that comes in pieces when it is disassembled I would hope you would say a person could animate each part without animating the other parts. IF you had animate cast on a part of the rifle and then someone assembled it if you could still see that part would it cease to be a valid target because it was attached to another part of the rifle? Similarly, if I want to animate a bar of metal I assume you would let me do that. IF someone then slid weights on the ends of the bar would you say that I couldn't move the bar independent of the weights because it was now all one unit, even though the parts can be recognized as separate? One of the book examples says if you animate a computer you can't make the keys type, however, if you animate a key on the keyboard you would be able to move it.
Definitely not boss. See, one of the great things about Magic is intent. Realization that the rifle is a single entity makes it so in Magic. No spell singles out parts of an object. You can 'Wreck Gun' (which may wreck the firing pin) but you can't 'Wreck Firing Pin' unless the Firing Pin is its own entity outside of another. If you moved the object out of the object, then you can interact with it magically, but not if it's a small part of a whole object.

As for the key example, the book says you can't target "computer keys", exact quote: "such as computer keys or vehicle weapons". So no, you can not animate "a key on the keyboard", the book clearly says that.

Where does the book say no magic can target computer keys? If I want to powerbolt a computer key I'm just out of luck? When I animate a computer do I also have to animate the fiberoptic cord coming out of it as well since that's connected to the computer? That computer is simply a part of the matrix, so can I even animate just a single computer or do I need to animate every other computer connected to it physically. Can I powerbolt the lights on the front of a car, even though they are part of a car? If they are a valid target for powerbolt, why are they not a valid target for animate? It seemed you didn't have a problem with levitate targeting the pin in a grenade, why can levitate target the pin, but animate cannot?
Because unlike Levitate, Animate clearly says you can't.

The full quote is, "The caster can only move the full object, not just part of it, such as computer keys or vehicle weapons." (MITs 145) IN this example the object being animated is the computer and the vehicle, and thus you cannot move the parts of those. IF the object being animated was the weapon then you could move the whole weapon, but not the parts of it. IF the player targeted the barrel of the weapon then they could move the barrel since that was the object being targeted. What the object is and what the parts are is based on what the target of the spell is which can be any inanimate object since the target is not restricted in any part of the description. Wreck also says it, "works only against a specific inanimate object" how does that translate to you couldn't use it to target a firing pin? Are you arguing that if I had wreck gun and there was a drone with a gun I couldn't cast it on the gun? Or if I had wreck computer key I would have to remove the key from the keyboard in order to target it?
Frag-o Delux
I like using Influence to make guards really need to use the bathroom. At first the GM was frustrated and had the guards run to the john, then I ran into a few highly dedicated guards, who held it, and a troll guarding is gang hang out who just relieved himself in the door way I was trying to get by, so I had to find another way through. One time I had to get into a building and didn't have my bag-o-tools, so I hit the guard at the door with it and when he went into the house to use the bathroom I followed behind him. When nature calls not many people question it.
There's confusion here regarding the spell and it's target versus the spells effect.

1) The ENTIRE target must be affected. This means you cannot animate a low OR component of a larger OR device.

2) The effect is complete animation and mental control by the caster with added "natural" flexibility (statues can walk, grab whatever)

When they say you have to affect the entire object they refer to 1, not 2. You wanna animate a keyboard (OR 8 let's say)? Well if the keyboard is sitting on a shelf unplugged, go for it, if however is it part of a computer, you need to animate the ENTIRE computer (OR 12 let's say).

Once I've got the entire computer animated, it'll move however the heck I want it to move. I could send a nice long email to my friends, essentially moving ONLY the keyboard, that's MY choice.

You can't animate laces and have them tie themselves together because they are considered part of the boots. Animate the boots and you can move JUST the laces and have them untie themselves and coil around each other like crazed snakes, again, my choice, my spell.

If I animate a grenade and drop it on the ground, I can have the grenade roll on over to the other corner of the room and spit out it's pin, no sweat.

The wording is to stop people from "cheesing" because let's face it, I'm sure we can all find low OR parts of much larger objects that would have disastrous effects, specially in SR with the vehicles and drones and cyberware. The wording is there to disarm this behaviour, wanna animate the barrel of that drones weapons? Well sorry chummer, you'll have to nail the entire drone.

I, meaning me, am animated. I can move as much or as little as I desire, same thing for animated objects. An animated statue can extend an arm and make a fist, he doesn't need to move his fricken legs, I just need to have the entirety of the object animated and can't do JUST the arm.

So since let's say a computer is serving as a server on the matrix you would say you have to animate all of those computer? If you were inside Big Ben and you wanted to animate a gear could you do that or would you have to animate the whole clockwork mechanism, the whole tower? In your interpretation how do you decide what the whole object is? Can I animate a door even though its part of the house? Can I animate someone's suit jacket with out animating the pants that are also part of the suit? I interpret the rules to mean that you can target any inanimate object with animate. This gives the target limited mobility. The target object can then move by using this newly granted mobility, but not necessarily in ways it is moved under normal circumstances.
I'd have to say i agree with sunday_gamer here.

However, things move however seems most 'natural' to them.

So statues walk, rugs roll, and you could make a keyboard type, or maybe jitter across the desk.

Couldn't make a keyboard roll itself up, though (even though the spell does allow you to deform stone statues) as that isn't really natural.

On the other hand... i personally -would- allow a grenade to eject its pin. That happens to them rather a lot, after all.

And no, you wouldn't have to animate everything connected to a computer, as a computer with a net connection is 'a computer (usually thought of as screen, plus box, plus keyboard) with a connection'.

On the other hand, if you could conceptualise the box on its own... since it isn't physically -permanantly- linked, i would probably rule for a slightly higher tn for concentration or something. But its up the individual GM...
Okay so if the target has to be something that someone conceptualizes as a single entity then shouldn't the target be based on the character and thus in the book it should read that all objects are potential targets? A mage who has no idea how a computer works might think of the monitor as a separate entity, while a mage who deals with computers extensively might view the matrix as one single object that all the computers are simply parts of. Would you then rule that one of those mages can animate a monitor separately, but the other one cannot, or would you rule it is based on the GMs interpretation of what an "object" is?
QUOTE (darloth)
On the other hand... i personally -would- allow a grenade to eject its pin. That happens to them rather a lot, after all.

Technically, it usually only happens to the grenade just the once. smile.gif
That's the equivalent of the grenade comitting suicide wink.gif
Frag-o Delux
Would the grenade get a resistance roll for pulling the pin?
The Jopp
Only if the grenade has any Willpower grinbig.gif

*Remembers "Grunts" and the really smart ammunition spelling "Hell no we wont go" in the ammunition LED display.*
Frag-o Delux
Should you then Mind Probe your grenades to see if one has a death wish before you animate it. wobble.gif
QUOTE (Namer18)
Okay so if the target has to be something that someone conceptualizes as a single entity then shouldn't the target be based on the character and thus in the book it should read that all objects are potential targets? etc.. etc..

No. Conceptualization is a globalized concept. It's the beliefs of people that make magic work the way it does.

From the time you're a child, you personify objects to a worshipful degree. The favorite doll or hotwheel car. It carries into adult hood on a much more subconscious level, mumbling "c'mon" to your tennis or golf ball as you swing at it, almost praying for it to go where you want. Telling your car things to make it run despite the fact it could never hear, nor understand you. Talking about your computer in the 'she/he' tense with a bit of affection. Apologizing to one of your shirts because you saw another shirt you'd rather wear after already picking the first one up. Etc, Etc.

You don't treat the 'f' key on a keyboard as a personified entity, but you might give a headlight to your car a personification by taking care of it or complaining to it when it goes out.

Although this is normally a globalized issue, it could be personalized, but not by the caster. A guy who's had alot of trouble with his car's headlights, gets them point in just the right direction and using the cool blue-white lights might personify his headlights enough that you can target them with a spell like Animate, but attempting to do it to a car that's new/rented/or just has an owner who never personifies the headlights would cause the spell to not work.

So, Yes. In a way, it is up to the GM. Love (or hate) your shoelaces enough, and I'd allow an Animate spell to effect just them instead of the shoe that most people would Love (hate). nyahnyah.gif

Anyhows, all this is just conjecture and trying to explain a non-canon theme behind my view of Shadowrun Magic. None of this really matters to the discussion despite what you may think. The ONLY thing that matters is that the Animate spell say you have to treat objects as a whole. Can't fire a gun on a drone, but can move the drone around as though it had joints/hinges. 'Animate' is a different spell than 'Use <skill>'.

Alright so almost all of that is something you just made up. You didn't answer the question though, which how did you decide the gun on a drone is not an acceptable target for the spell? Your argument seems to be that you can only target objects if you have not decided they are part of a larger whole. However, there is nothing that says that because you think of an object as part of a whole and not its own entity that the character thinks the same way. The insert key on my keyboard is constantly getting stuck and is irritating is your argument then that by your rules I could cast animate on it because I have developed a personal relationship with it based on hate, but by canon rules I cannot because it is impossible to consider the key as a separate object from the whole computer even though I can just pop it off?
I do feel compelled to agree with Sphynx. The rules do say you can't animate separate parts, and so we have to come to an agreement as to where 'whole' ends and 'part' begins. Sphynx has an excellent answer. A gun which is built into the drone so you only see the muzzle coming out we would see as part of the drone. Think about examples you've seen in the movies where you say "wow, that robot can shoot out of his hand!" I'd say that a gun put on a pintle mount would be seen as a separate part; there's a lot of disconnect there and the gun would work totally irrelevant of how well the drone is working. The connection is very weak. What makes Sphynx's answer interesting is he addresses psychology to a deeper level; sometimes integral parts 'stand out' because of unusual behavior. Which, honestly, is a pretty good way of looking at things since just about EVERYTHING is part of 'something greater' (I am 'part of the building' because I'm inside of it, which is part of the foundation which is part of the earth so on and so forth). When it gets tough to tell what's 'whole' and whats not, imagining what could have personality is a quick and easy way to break it down.

What makes one target okay and the other not? Well yes, it's pretty relatively arbitrary. You could say that the metal tube which makes up the muzzle of the gun is an independent entity. If you're the GM, that's fine, it's your perogative. Assumedly, one could train oneself to always see things for their individual components. However, I agree with Sphynx on a preference base, but I don't see much in the way of hard rules to confirm exactly what he said. The second thing to always consider is, of course, balance. If letting you animate individual parts causes a problem, don't let them do it. If it's not a problem, do whatever you like. Since I've never seen anyone actually use the animate spell yet, I have no opinion on whether one way is especially unbalancing or not.
The rules say you can animate any object. Once that object is animated you cannot move the parts of it. I'm still also waiting to hear why you couldn't have a wreck keyboard key spell.
spell wreck key? I don't see why you couldn't : P but that's not animate. I'm sorry, my previous answer was really off target and I edited it not five minutes later. It's not my fault you're so fast!

I think the problem arises that it's difficult to tell separate entities from each other because everything is connected somehow. Sometimes the connection is a lot stronger than others. Reading the rules, it seems like the connection is something which is meant to be taken off or separated (a gun in your hand, a grenade on your belt, not a lightbulb in a fixture or a key in a keyboard). Honestly, this is a weak definition. Sphynx says it's anything you can 'imagine' as a separate thing (the key you imagine laughing at you as it sticks is fine, however the lightbulbs which make the 'eyes' for the car are not). In some ways its a cleaner answer.
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