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Dun Fe'Ran
What spells are overused/abused in your campaigns? I find myself guilty of using improved invisibility far more than any other spell I have. The other mage in my group uses physical mask with a vengeance. Some people go overboard with mindprobe. what's it in your campaign?
Digital Heroin
Control Thoughts... I got sick of it when one of my players kept trying to use it on his fellow runners... every session... at least once per runner...
Yup Control Thoughts is the deal breaker.

You need one lone security guard and control thought and you have more or less completed the run.

That is not totally true, but I often find my job as a GM is to find ways that control thought can not be used like that.
Clairvoyance, TN: (6 +Force) of Ward and you can Clairvoyance your way right past the ward/barrier to see whatever you want. No alarms, no defense.

Magic Fingers, 6 successes and the invisible hands can do all sorts of mean things (that don't require skill rolls).

Levitate, it's ok that the target seems invulnerable to both bullets and magic.

Spirit Blast, Watcher Pack what?

Anyhows, those are the most 'overused', though I'd not call it abuse really. They are just some of the more interesting ways players got around 'standard' defenses.


Bob the Ninja
Control thoughts. I had a chracter's mind changed into giving a fellow PC all my share of the loot after almost every run. I made one save, and introduced the aforementioned PC mage to a full belt of EX-Explosive HMG rounds (Hey I was pissed!).
Standard operational procedure Bob - Geek the damn mage first! biggrin.gif

Its been sometime since I ran a campaign (well, for Sr at any rate), but I think that the Improve (Attribue)+3 or Increase Cybered Reflexes +4 were the aforementioned abused spells. Every sammie in our group tried to get it locked/quickened onto their Wired III characters.

As for the illusion side of things, well OK Improved Invisibility and Physical Mask were ideal as was Trid Spectacle for the creative mage runner. Not really so much abused as commonly used to get out of the shit the gun-bunnies got them into.

Nobody actually explored all of the nasty things you could do with a ritual sending of those interesting Control manipulations though. Especially when you bond your elementals to them. The only character who did experience it on the bad side was a female human ex-MCT wage mage who took exception to her Yakuza boss contact being a troll. He got one of his flunkies to use the riual sending method and Turn To Tree spell and then quickened it. She now has pride of place on his desk as a bonsai tree to whom he talks too whilst doing the pruning...
Stunbolt, Heal and Mind Probe. And to some extent (Imp.) Invisibility.
QUOTE (Bob the Ninja)
Control thoughts. I had a chracter's mind changed into giving a fellow PC all my share of the loot after almost every run. I made one save, and introduced the aforementioned PC mage to a full belt of EX-Explosive HMG rounds (Hey I was pissed!).

Hmm seems like lots of you have this problem.

Well i GM it that the target is very much aware of the effect of a spell, both mindprobe and control thoughts - and will often seek revenge after being 'mind raped'.
I play it so that the thoughts actually enter their mind, but the instant the spell wears off they realize that they were acting totally out of character for themselves. This could lead to confusion for some of the stupider types, but most everyone should realize that they were being magically controlled, especially if they had direct dealings with the controller. Not quite as obvious with Influence.
Hummmmm.... Improved Invisibility and Magic Finger
Auto Fellatio.

You can't believe the drain of that sucker!

That works on so many different levels...
if a mage casts control thoughts on some guard and order him toopen a door for him then go for the willpower routine, sooner or later the mage will come up short (no properly trained guard will submit do opening doors like that, if they do theyre life is "over")...
Talia Invierno
biggrin.gif @ BIG BAD BEESTE. I think I'm about to steal the bonsai idea.

Improved Invisibility [+ spirit concealment] for me, definitely, as well as Physical Mask. (The right spell for the right context.) I tend to prefer Control Emotion over Control Thought, although that might be a factor of also working with high CH PCs: use as enhancement of existing social skills rather than domination. (I've finally learned not to overuse Mind Probe per a GM ruling parallelling yours, Lorka.)

Others in the group have some very effective - and usually situation-unique - uses for Magic Fingers.

Barrier spells and some type of damaging manipulation are generally popular, but I wouldn't say these are overused.

On the opposite front, no one in our group ever takes Detect Enemies. It's one of those spells that within our method of play, gives either too little or too much information. Detect Life I personally find preferable.

Finally, every Awakened type will have some variant of Heal and use it as early as possible on any damage, on the principle that it's easier to deal with fewer boxes of damage (fewer successes needed, possibly lower Force and thus less Drain) than wait until later when it's harder.
Youre more than welcome to use and abuse that one Talia - have fun now.
I abuse mindprobe hideously with the character I'm playing (when I get to playing biggrin.gif ), but then he's a compulsive assenser (with the flaw) and just HAS to know all the secrets.. and yes, he gets into trouble. we've ruled that if the target is conscious, the memories being rifled through all flash through their mind as well, so they can figure it out if they're smart. If they're unconscious then, well, they might dream it, but there's no reason they'd figure it out when they woke up except in unusual circumstances.

Improved invisibility isn't that abuse-able imho - the targets get to resist or take a +8 modifier to spot the character. That's if they don't have heat pits. If they do, then its a +4 vision mod because they can still sense the character. it doesn't stop people hearing either unless you're in the middle of a gunfight. There's no reason it would conceal muzzle flash, so there's no reason shots can't head their way with blind fire modifers, or just use suppressive fire. Then there's vehicles. The FAQ, unless its been updated, doesn't really cover it except to offer suggestions as to how to deal with it due to the varying nature of sensors. We just make a general ruling that against silence or imp-invisibility spells, vehicles take half the modifiers of the spell (but don't resist cos they can't) to represent radar, proximity sensors and all the other gubbins they come with. Works pretty well, specially since the team insist on using both spells on their T-Bird all the fraggin' time.

Barrier spells... for some reason a few years ago we decided to drop the general physical barrier spell from the game. No real reason for it, just a GM in one game said he wasn't allowing it, and would only let you have bullet barrier etc. We found it didn't cause too many problems for the characters, (more for the Gm and NPCs, actually), and it just sort of stuck. I can't even remember his reason! But I don't think they're unbalancing unless you've got a mage who can rack up those 6s and cast it at a high force to begin with. And then drain it at that force afterwards with any left over dice.

Nope, I'm gonna vote for Control Thoughts. its one that very few PCs take (god knows why), and the various GMs rarely due it to players because a: the mages WILL resist it, and the Sams, generally paranoid about mages, tend to have developed willpower ratings up at 5 or 6, with spell defense/sheilding from the mages so they have a good chance too. But if it WAS used I can see it being totally uncool at times (like PCs screwing over PCs, f'rinstance).

If you read the section in I think Threats 2, though, about someone getting controlled by a spirit, it could make her do stuff to which opening a door that you aren't supposed too is equivalent to getting them to just raise one hand on command. True, its a spirit power, so slightly different, but its the same principle completely. The person wanted to stop but couldn't, (failed the resistance check) so just did it, all the time knowing she didn't want to, but afterwards not really knowing why she'd done it - and this person was quite a pro shadowrunner generally by the way it reads. And she didn't really figure it out. So I'd say its not automatic you'd know you'd been magically controlled, though you'd know full well you had done stuff and couldn't explain why.

So yeah, very powerful and probably the most abuse-able spell in the system, but I don't think necessarily obvious to the target after the fact, just bloody suspicious!

And whatever happened to Disregard? Cos that would have been my top vote otherwise. That spell was VERY abuseable.
Darn, you're right about the muzzle flash there. How could I have forgotten that little oopsie? Remember Terms - always get a flash supressor if you're going to cloak yourselves and take a pot shot at several SMG-totting goons in an alley. Make sure you have a good Armour spell too - or a valid DocWagon just in case it all goes Wahooney shaped.
Austere Emancipator
A "flash suppressor", AFAIK, is the cage-like or pronged thingie on the end of the barrel (on real world weapons that is, since I'm not aware of SR rules for a flash suppressor). They certainly do not completely hide the muzzle flash, they just make it somewhat smaller.

On most weapons you can get rid of it completely by using a sound suppressor (sometimes "Silencer" in SR). On really big-ass weapons (like the Barret 121) not even the suppressor ("Silencer") would get rid of all the flash. I suppose it would be possible to make a complete "flash suppressor" that would be a container-construct like a sound suppressor is, but wouldn't actually work as a sounds suppressor, though I can't figure out why someone would bother.

So, if you're going to take a pot shot at several SMG-toting goons in an alley while invisible and you don't have a sound suppressor, it's IS going to go all wahooney shaped.

And you can of course aim at where the flying brass originates from, if some bugger decides to keep shooting cased ammo while invis.
Spotlite... Snake Shaman? biggrin.gif
Talia Invierno
The use of Disregard - does it still exist in SR3? - would depend, I think, on the type of PC being played. (Only one of my PCs ever had it - the extremely gifted, near-paranoid, hunted, definitely min-maxed to within a millimetre of her life Night One infiltrator - although one more might be developing it.) It's a very subtle thing, and there are some games, and PCs, and circumstances, which have no use for subtle - and there are also times when subtle itself lacks value.
Disregard is not in SR3. It is, however, very nasty.

*Disgregarded PC hacks Guard A in half. Guard A goes "Ack!" and fails to notice PC. Guard B goes "Eh." and continues guarding.*

Love that...
@ Austere Emancipator

You're probably right there Term. But hey I was using a Remmington Roomsweeper with reactive trigger and a Firepower rebore for its shot rounds. (We're talking a loooooooooooooooooooong time ago here waaaaaaaaaaay back in the first Ed Term.) Not a lot you can do to maks a shotgun going off really. When my character finally healed up he went out and bought one of those nice and quiet Beretta Model 70 SMGs. Darn have you got to think ahead of those devious GMs who'll jump on any situation. Err, I mean to say -boy am i grateful for them showing me the ropes. biggrin.gif
At one point in time it was: Mind probe, Influence and Alter memory used together. You can do so much with those three it's unbelievable. My players were driving me crazy.
I used to have a lot of Improved Invis/Physical Mask and Control Thoughts/Mind Probe abuse in my campaigns.
power bolt... frown.gif

oh, what destruction you can cause with this when you have a hack-and-slash idiot in your group. sleepy.gif

never let a tired, stupid player in your group have a magic weilding charicter.

he just blew up people until he passed out from using his magic so often, and then decided (when he woke up) to piss off a cybered corp bruiser, which led to more damage, and then being dumped outside lone star with enough evidence to convict him thirty times over.
Crazy Elf
Trid Entertainment and Trid Spectacle have ended more chases than any other spell you care to mention. They've also had police, thugs and guards screaming with fear as the solitary mage takes out ten trolls with his bare hands, rolls a severed head along the ground to say hello to the guard, and the head says, "He's keeping me alive... the paaaaaaain!"

With some imagination those spells are completely fucking insane.

Other than that, Stunbolt/Stunball, and Heal in conjunction with Biotech.
Ol' Scratch
You realize that Trid Entertainment requires voluntary subjects, right? Meaning anyone who hasn't given permission to the caster cannot be affected by it whatsoever, right?

I think you're trying to talk about Trid Phantasm. The Deadly-drain one.
Though I'd never label it as "abuse," the shaman in my playing group has gotten a lot of (creative) mileage out of Trid Phantasm. Whole scenarios have been abruptly derailed by a clever, convoluted plan which hinged on the judicious use of a well-cast illusion. In the hands of a mischievous and creative PC, this spell opens up infinite possibilities for (non-lethal) mayhem.

As a GM, I hate this spell with the white-hot loathing of a thousand suns. smile.gif
thats a lot of loathing...

I've become a little irritated with Improved Invisibility, and silance.
those to spells were used so often in one of my campaigns I'm suprised the shamenist who was using it wasn't constantly passing out.

also not technically a spell, the adept power killing hands at Deadly is more than a little annoying.

as a GM I get pretty pissed about having to constantly cross off NPCs, because a player thought he was going to be real original and spend all his freaking points on becoming a huminoid shaped bludgeoning device!
Crazy Elf
Yep, wrong spell, I stand corrected.

Deadly killing hands is easy to combat. Shoot them. Can't punch someone in the head when they're a mile away with a rifle.
Improved Invisibility, combined with Control Thoughts, a terrible combination if used properly.
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