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Well, tomorrow is game day (Woohoo!) and I have a new character - a Dog shamanist with lots of neat Detection spells. (Like, what other kind of spells would a Dog shamanist have?)

While discussing my new character in e-mail (we have a dedicated Yahoo group), I mentioned using the spell Analyze Truth to see if a Johnson was on the up and up. Specifically, I would cast it prior to the meet and sustain it. It's Force 5; call it seven dice for Sorcery and three from spell pool, with the other half of the spell pool held back for drain (2M - whee).

Now, one detail - the spell has been modified by the rules in MiTS to be an area spell instead of directional. Hence the 2M instead of 2L.

My theory was that my character would walk into the meet with the spell sustained, and the Johnson would come into the spell's range, make a Willpower test to resist, and compare successes with my original (recorded) rolls. Canon rules say that an unaware subject can always resist a spell, even if he doesn't know it's there.

My GM said that if the Johnson was unaffected by the spell, he would know someone had tried something. And I just don't see how.

So, using the rules (lots of respect for y'all's house rules and opinions, but . . .), can an unaware person detect or sense that he has been the target of a spell like Analyze Truth? The spell gives my character a new sense - the sense of whether he's hearing truth or falsehood. It doesn't even touch the target's mind. (We're not talking about Mind Probe here.) How would the target know one way or the other? The only rule that would remotely seem to apply is the one about shamanic masks, but that rule doesn't say if you exhibit a mask while sustaining a spell. (I would agree that logically you should, but it would be a minor mask for a minor spell, and it's not like the Johnson would know what I normally look like.)

Naturally, I want to be able to do this - I'm just trying to come up with an argument that is clear, concise, and won't bog the game down. I might not feel the need at all if the GM had EVER had a Johnson be straight with us . . . rotfl.gif

Yes, I know, sustaining will penalize all my Social Skills tests. I'll live with it - Focused Concentration and Friendly Face eliminate the penalty anyway. Not that I metagame or anything . . . embarrassed.gif

Thanks in advance for the help!
In a word, no! There is no canon way that I know of that a subject who is unaware of spellcasting would know of the presense of the Analyze Truth spell.

That being said, a lot of GMs house rule that the subject of unsuccessful spellcasting can tell something happened via a sort of spidey-sense/spine-tingling sort of feeling.
I second what Fortune says.

We run in our campaign that if you cast a spell ON the Johnson he'll be aware of it if he fully resists. But in this case you are not casting the spell ON the Johnson, and we rule that he remains blissfully unaware. This is just the way we play, and it works well for us.

While nothing on the physical plane will give you away, any magician, watcher, or spirit on the astral plane will be able to see you sustaining the spell. If the Johnson has dual-natured or has the ability and chooses to perceive the astral plane, he'll surely see it and might possibly identify it for what it is.

GMs in our campaign rarely invoke a spidey-sense, but it does happen. I've never seen it invoked for a detection spell, however.
You could use some form of Detect Spell spell. It'd probably get the 'on another plane' modifier but aside from that it'd probably work.

Hmm. I'm detecting some form of detection spell... wobble.gif
Ol' Scratch
That's why important Johnsons bring along a mage of their own, one specializing in Spell Defense and Aura Reading preferably. Smart employers send Johnsons in that don't know all the details, however, so even when an Analyze Truth spell is being used, it'll come up as truthful because the Johnson doesn't know any better.

Less important or dumber ones... they get what they deserve if they don't come prepared. Gotta give runners some use for spells like that.
I think that a person would just get a "feeling" if a spell was casted on them but might not know what that feeling means. I'm not saying that a mundane with no magical knowledge would scream out "someone casted a spell on me!!!", they would just maybe get a chill down their spine. Now someone with some knowledge might realize the feeling and be able to react accordingly.
They'll also be pretty good at evasive language. If a player started sporting that spell, I'd sit down and cook up some fancy misleading-but-not-lying answers for the experienced high-end Johnsons to use.

Hell, I'd probably post here asking for help with that smile.gif
QUOTE (Azryl)
I think that a person would just get a "feeling" if a spell was casted on them but might not know what that feeling means.

In this case the spell is being cast on the PC, not the Johnson. The Johnson shouldn't get a tingly feeling from a roll to see how easy it is to magically detect his lies.

It'd be like a character getting a "feeling" that someone is hiding because they had to make an OOC perception roll. It's just bad form.
If the person who waked into the radius of the detection spell was a mage with spell defense on himself, would he get to add that to his Willpower roll?

If so, would he notice the spell when some of his spell defense dice were used? (Especially since they don't refresh until his next action).
I would definitely agree with fortune, not because its necessarily canon, but because it seems more balanced and sensical. I can imagine casting a detect enemies spell and walking through a crowded street with everyone suddenly looking nervous and having chills (be great for the ominous entrance of bad guys) : P It doesn't seem very realistic or there'd be a mention SOMEWHERE. Magic isn't that uncommon.

But even more importantly, there are very few spells which are either exceptionally strong as it is, or have any use at all if you can tell its on. Detect enemies when the enemy knows they've been detected? Whatever, they'll increase their range and wait. Conversely, the directed ones like mind probe are pretty overpowering if you don't let the subject know they're targeted. Then I'd just run around and mindprobe every Johnson and bad guy forever : )

But its your GM and his decision. Doc also makes a good point which your GM would be wise to note.
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (Game2BHappy)
If the person who waked into the radius of the detection spell was a mage with spell defense on himself, would he get to add that to his Willpower roll?

If so, would he notice the spell when some of his spell defense dice were used? (Especially since they don't refresh until his next action).

Yes he would, which is why I said competent and important Johnsons would bring a mage along for that purpose.
According to SR3, P. 162 - Noticing Magic, a Perception test vs (4 + caster's Magic Attribute - Force of spell) means the Johnson at least has a chance of detecting the spell. Assuming a full (Magic-6) mage, the Johnson in your example would have to roll at least a single 5 to know that some sort of witchcraft was afoot.
Spookymonster, I use that test when someone is casting their spell, not simply sustaining it. So, for example, I use it when someone casts a Detect or Invisibility or Mask spell, but not when the person with the spell sustained on them walks by. I believe the way I play this is the way the books intend for it to be played.
Luke Hardison
I agree with OT. So long as it wasn't cast directly on the Johnson, I think it's okay for him to be oblivious.
ed- nevermind nyahnyah.gif
Ol' Scratch
No, a strict reading of the rules says the exact opposite. Spell Defense allows a magician to sense a spell and protect against it anytime anyone under its protection is the target of a spell. Detection spells (as detailed in Magic in the Shadows, page 54) are clearly seperated by "subject" (the person who receives the benefit of the spell) and "target" (those the spell is detecting/influencing).
Too late, I beat you nyahnyah.gif
QUOTE (Spookymonster)
According to SR3, P. 162 - Noticing Magic...

I also interpret that as noticing actual spellcasting, and not merely sustained spells.
Ol' Scratch
Actually, the text includes comments referring to the concentration required to manually sustain a spell. However if cast into a focus or elemental, or if the spell is sustained in any other way, I wouldn't let anyone notice it.
Those were some great responses (including the one from my GM) - thanks! He eventually decided to allow the Johnson to remain blissfully unaware, but as a new GM myself, the bit about a competent Johnson bringing along a good mage or at least a watcher will be taken to heart . . .

We both also agreed that a spell like Mind Probe would unquestionably be noticed by the target if it failed, though ignorance might keep them from drawing the proper conclusion.

Ironically, during yesterday's game, I cast the spell only to encounter a perfectly honest Johnson. (Turns out he was slightly misinformed, but he was honest. Damned Vindicator gun traps . . .)
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