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bwdemon
I've been working with SR3 for so long now that I forgot some of the things that set me off when I first looked at the revision. Among those was the switch from a single Firearms skill to the former concentrations thereof. While that alone didn't bother me (I approved of it wholeheartedly), the fact that they did not do this to Sorcery was wrong.

Someone who has the Sorcery skill, absent modifiers for totems or whatnot, can cast each and every single type of spell equally well. Illusions, combat, manipulations, etc... the caster can throw them all around with no difference between them. There should be variation. Magicians should be allowed to learn only what they want to and to gain some real benefit for choosing to focus. Magicians who want to do everything should have to commit the appropriate amount of skill points toward doing so.

Now, I understand that spare skill points are difficult to come by for the starting magician. They've either got limited open priority slots or limited build points. Going to a system that divided up sorcery into its component concentrations would mean that the purse strings get a little tighter for the magically inclined. To that I say... so?

Magic is worth far more than the priority or the build points required for it. The stealth aspect alone makes magic the "best" possible thing to go with in the game. By this, I mean that it carries the least amount of strings and offers the greatest benefits for the cost. It doesn't make any character more of a "character" than another, but it surely makes them more effective for the same cost. That's a key imbalance that I think could have been addressed with a simple change that was already in place for Firearms.

Was this was even considered during the revision process for SR3 and, if so, why wasn't it used? If SR4 ever appears, is this the sort of change that might be made? Anyone out there use this as a house rule?
Fortune
I think that there are a lot more irritating 'general' skills than Sorcery, like Computers, Athletics, Etiquette, or even Biotech.

I have no problem with the Sorcery skill as it stands. Casting a spell is casting a spell. It doesn't really matter which category they are from. Next you'll be wanting to split up Conjuring into Spirit types.
Diesel
I think firearms are actually a little better off at the moment. They don't leave your "aura" around, other people can't help you versus them (spell pool), you can SL, all that. The mage has a lot going for him too, but he has enough karma sinks that he doesn't need a bunch of skills too.
bwdemon
I actually wouldn't mind splitting up conjuring into spirit types. I had thought about posting it, but it wasn't anywhere near as offensive to me as the Sorcery thing.
Fortune
As Diesel stated, Spellcasters are already Karma drains. That is one of their biggest penalties. I don't see the need to make it any worse.
Kagetenshi
Stealth aspect? What stealth aspect? About half of all spellslingers (shamans) get blatantly obvious shamanic masks whenever they use spells. Hermetics have stealth aspects, but that's balanced by the fact that they require expensive libraries and a fair amount of forethought for effective elemental use.

~J
Moonstone Spider
I suspect he was talking about invisibility spells and whatnot when he meant stealth.

However an invisibility spell isn't really a huge step up over a ruthenium polymer cloak with extra cameras. Everything magic can do can generally be done in some other way. Maybe not as well in some things but in other's it's easier. Don't underestimate the edge good cyberware and equipment can give a street sam.
Arethusa
Even so, it is worth noting that a mage can see on the astral and adapt accordingly. A soldier that's chromed up and wearing a ruth bodysuit is still a shining beacon on the astral (not to mention fairly visible on thermal and the like). Magic does create some disturbingly one sided dynamics. Whether they're balanced is debatable. Whether such one-sided elements are desirable thematic aspects in a game is another matter entirely, and, personally, this is one of my absolute biggest problems with Shadowrun.
Diesel
The soldier, however, does not need to hit himself in the head with a hammer every time he throws a grenade or fires his weapon. biggrin.gif
Moonstone Spider
True dat, about an hour ago I was playing a game and knocked out 5 guards in a hallway with a single (Very good roll) concussion minigrenade. Trying to get the same effect with a stunball would probably leave the mage little better off than the guards from drain. Possibly worse off from physical drain if the mage wanted a power as high as an average grenade.

Plus I was rigging a drone that fired the grenade at the time and there's no way in hell the mage could be safe and sound 5 floors above the guards at the time. . .

Also the advantages of astral perception can be overstated at times. Sure it's handy. . . but as soon as you go astral you run afoul of astral barriers and angry spirits on that plane that the mundane doesn't have to worry about. That's why Dual-natured is listed as a Flaw, not an edge.
John Campbell
QUOTE (bwdemon)
Someone who has the Sorcery skill, absent modifiers for totems or whatnot, can cast each and every single type of spell equally well.  Illusions, combat, manipulations, etc... the caster can throw them all around with no difference between them.  There should be variation.  Magicians should be allowed to learn only what they want to and to gain some real benefit for choosing to focus.  Magicians who want to do everything should have to commit the appropriate amount of skill points toward doing so.


Um... this is already the case. It's just not limited by Skill Points... it's limited by Spell Points. I've never had a mage - even a sorcerer, with the extra free points they get - start out with a broad enough spell selection to make me happy. My current character, even after dumping another 20 or so points of Karma into spells, above and beyond what he got at chargen, still has a "To Learn" list longer than his "Can Cast" list.

edit to add:
I wouldn't object, though, to eliminating the Sorcery (Spellcasting) specialization, and breaking it into Sorcery (Illusion Spells), Sorcery (Combat Spells), Sorcery (Manipulation Spells), etc., instead. That'd allow specialization without making mages' Skill Point/Karma situation even worse, and get rid of the Spellcasting specialization, which has always struck me as being pointlessly munchy.
Solidcobra
How to say this....
firearms vs. spellslinging....

Predator: Any geek can get one, most geeks can use one, in a well trained hand she does 9S damage
Powerbolt: Only a highly initiated mage can use a powerbolt of power 9, meaning that he's spent a lot of karma, AND the poor guy has to resist 5S stun (i think) if he uses it....

Grenade: Throw, booom, yay! 9S!
Powerball: Resist 5D stun damage magey! AND spend a load of karma to get it....

now, this is only a handgun and a grenade....

Let's go into overkill mode....

SMG with 10 Recoil Compensation: 16D!
Powerbolt: ....... honestly...... same effect, so much karma it ain't even funny AND you have to eat 8D stun, most likely leaving you worse off than the troll you used it on


hey, that's what makes SR cool, non-mages can deal damage! As can mages, they just have to grab a weapon...
thunderchild
QUOTE (Solidcobra)
How to say this....
firearms vs. spellslinging....

Predator: Any geek can get one, most geeks can use one, in a well trained hand she does 9S damage
Powerbolt: Only a highly initiated mage can use a powerbolt of power 9, meaning that he's spent a lot of karma, AND the poor guy has to resist 5S stun (i think) if he uses it....

Grenade: Throw, booom, yay! 9S!
Powerball: Resist 5D stun damage magey! AND spend a load of karma to get it....

now, this is only a handgun and a grenade....

Let's go into overkill mode....

SMG with 10 Recoil Compensation: 16D!
Powerbolt: ....... honestly...... same effect, so much karma it ain't even funny AND you have to eat 8D stun, most likely leaving you worse off than the troll you used it on


hey, that's what makes SR cool, non-mages can deal damage! As can mages, they just have to grab a weapon...

I think you mean 9M....
Frag-o Delux
QUOTE (Arethusa)
Even so, it is worth noting that a mage can see on the astral and adapt accordingly. A soldier that's chromed up and wearing a ruth bodysuit is still a shining beacon on the astral (not to mention fairly visible on thermal and the like). Magic does create some disturbingly one sided dynamics. Whether they're balanced is debatable. Whether such one-sided elements are desirable thematic aspects in a game is another matter entirely, and, personally, this is one of my absolute biggest problems with Shadowrun.

I believe it has been debated a million times on this board that a mundane and a mage show up on the astral plan about the same which to say you still have to look for them. They don't shine like the sun in a dark room. I believe that mundies would show up a little less.

Also if you want to hide from thermo get your self a Form fitting full body suit. If I remember correctly it has a ballistic rating of 4, which means it can have 8 points of thermo dampening added to it, then wrap the suit in Ruthenium with 8 cameras. Visual observation 14 I believe, thermo 14. That is my standard issue sneak suit.

If my shaman really needs to hide, I whip up a force six Improved Invisibility and force six Stealth cocktail, then a force six spirit with conceal to top it off. biggrin.gif Then hope there aren't any mages initiated to high to spot my making. biggrin.gif I can also through in the Shadow spell, maybe Trid Phantasm or Control Thoughts. Yeah my GM hates my guts.

I like John's idea though I think I'll purpose it to my GM this weekend.

I also think magic is fine, I maybe seem bias, my current character is a shaman, but it is my first spell casting character, I have had a couple of physical adepts, but a sammie can be done just as well as an adept and I fell in love with SR becsuse of cyberware. I love magic now also but I will always go back to the machine.
moosegod
QUOTE (Moonstone Spider @ Dec 1 2003, 02:51 AM)
True dat, about an hour ago I was playing a game and knocked out 5 guards in a hallway with a single (Very good roll) concussion minigrenade.  Trying to get the same effect with a stunball would probably leave the mage little better off than the guards from drain.  Possibly worse off from physical drain if the mage wanted a power as high as an average grenade.

Plus I was rigging a drone that fired the grenade at the time and there's no way in hell the mage could be safe and sound 5 floors above the guards at the time. . .

Also the advantages of astral perception can be overstated at times.  Sure it's handy. . . but as soon as you go astral you run afoul of astral barriers and angry spirits on that plane that the mundane doesn't have to worry about.  That's why Dual-natured is listed as a Flaw, not an edge.

Of course, at this time the shaman was dragging tables in front of the door to the stairwell... And wishing he'd bought healing spells.
Backgammon
After quickly reading a few posts:

A) Spells go through armour, unlike physical weapons. They are also resisted by Will, which is generally somewhere between lower and MUCH lower then body.

B) Mages do not exist solely to be combat mages. If you're gonna compare a combat mage to a sammy, then consider elemental manipulation spells, elemental backup, foci use, etc., not just "standart manbolt vs Heavy pistol". Combat mages are very viable, if that's what you want. But you know, sometimes it's not about killing. You *can* taylor a mage to fit the role you want him to do.

C) There are specialised mages. They're called elementalists, and pretty much do exactly what you want here.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Moonstone Spider)
Trying to get the same effect with a stunball would probably leave the mage little better off than the guards from drain.

Well, not really. Even a rather average starting mage can easily toss 8 dice on a Force 6 Serious Stunball and expect to get no drain (Sorcery 6, Spell Pool 6, Willpower 6 -> 8 dice to cast,
10 dice to soak 2D Stun). Against a Willpower 4 secguard, that's almost certain Deadly Stun (average 4 successes for the mage, 0.83333 for the secguard, only need 2 net to get Deadly). Unless I've got something horribly wrong here.

I'm sure Sphynx can show you how you can get a mage with some 25+ dice for casting a Stunball with just a few dozen karma and a bit of cash.

Other combat spells are a lot worse off Drain-wise, however.

The balance is just fine -- for my tastes -- in my games since getting shot is more lethal in general. Once we start a "medieval" fantasy SR game I'll use full Force for Drain TN instead of Force/2 to maintain the adept-mage balance.
bwdemon
By "stealth", I meant that a magician can walk anywhere and look normal. Cyberware scanners won't pick up anything on them. A pat-down won't discover stunbolts or any other spells. Don't even get me started on the imbalances of astral projection...

The firearm/grenade comparison has neglected quite a few things so far. Yes, the wielder of a gun doesn't have to make a drain check. However, they do have to carry a firearm/grenade around with them, risking discovery and all sorts of other unpleasantness. Once they use up whatever ammo or grenades they have, they have to use something else. A magician never runs out of "ammo" for their spells. Also, firearms/grenades have to deal with armor, something that a magician never has to worry about with combat spells. Finally, spells can target attributes other than Body, allowing them to bypass the attribute that normally prevents damage (and is typically increased because of it) for lower attributes like Willpower.

Elementalists/shamanists don't accomplish what I'm looking for. A magician should be able to devote themselves to, for example, illusions and manipulations and not have to attach themselves to the limited scope of an elementalist. I just don't feel that any mage should be allowed free reign to be equally good at all types of spells.
Sphynx
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
I'm sure Sphynx can show you how you can get a mage with some 25+ dice for casting a Stunball with just a few dozen karma and a bit of cash.

??? Why is my name here? nyahnyah.gif

And FYI, I think a more standard starting Spell Pool if 5, not 6. wink.gif

And unless the target is a red-shirt (disposable goon), gun/spell, doesn't matter. Shielding and Background Counts are a GM's best friends, and the TN-2 you can get w/ a gun is enough to make it alot more successful in non-goon targetting. Sure, a Stunball is probably more effective than a gun against the disposables, but that's not when it counts.

FYI, 25+ dice is cake at char-gen, just get 2 Expendable Spell Foci at Force-6 to stack with that SpellPool of 6 and Sorcery/Spellcasting of 5/7, just don't expect it to be cheap to cast the spell, or go using it on any ole goon. nyahnyah.gif

Sphynx
TinkerGnome
Don't forget that a guy who's in the middle of a firefight without a gun out (that he's firing) might as well have a neon sign on their forhead that reads:

I'm the mage, geek me first!
Backgammon
QUOTE (bwdemon)
Elementalists/shamanists don't accomplish what I'm looking for. A magician should be able to devote themselves to, for example, illusions and manipulations and not have to attach themselves to the limited scope of an elementalist. I just don't feel that any mage should be allowed free reign to be equally good at all types of spells.

So, in other words, you want to have your cake and eat it too. You want to be better at a class of spell, without having drawbacks. THAT's an unfair advantage. Either you specialize, or you don't. You focus on one type of spell, then obviously you're gonna have problems with the rest.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Sphynx)
Why is my name here? nyahnyah.gif

I wonder...

QUOTE
Shielding and Background Counts are a GM's best friends [...]

Comes down to a difference in gaming power levels, I guess. My group hasn't ran into any group of secguards with Shielding yet, and I should think that such secguards would also have SLs, heavy weaponry, and at least 6 Ball armor to discourage engaging them in firefights as well. All that doesn't cost more than 10,000 nuyen/guard, which isn't that much considering that it's a one-time investment and the kind of salary multi-initiated secmages must get.

QUOTE
FYI, 25+ dice is cake at char-gen, just get 2 Expendable Spell Foci at Force-6 to stack with that SpellPool of 6 and Sorcery/Spellcasting of 5/7, just don't expect it to be cheap to cast the spell, or go using it on any ole goon. nyahnyah.gif

Yeah, I was thinking more along the lines of getting 25+ dice whenever you cast it, no matter how many times you cast it. And the real reason why your name came up is that I faintly recall a thread AGES ago where I think it was you who showed off with how many dice you could get for a Stunballer-mage for as cheap as possible. And I think the amount was more like 36 than 25, but I decided to go with a low figure at first so it wouldn't seem like I was exaggerating.

QUOTE (TinkerGnome)
Don't forget that a guy who's in the middle of a firefight without a gun out (that he's firing) might as well have a neon sign on their forhead that reads:

I'm the mage, geek me first!

I guess that's why the mage in my group carries the biggest damn handcannon available. biggrin.gif
Cheops
To be as effective as possible Sams, Deckers, and Riggers have to start with 1,000,000 nuyen which takes the same priorities as full magic. Plus, all three have to know way more skills than a mage--riggers need car and rotoraircraft at the bare minimum, deckers need computer, etiquette, and computer b/r at the bare minimum, and sams need a firearms skill, athletics, and stealth at the bare minimum. Even adepts are underpowered compared to mages. All a mage really needs is Sorcery, Conjuring, and a fake SIN. Anything else is a bonus.

Add to this the fact that many games I've seen played there isn't a very high Lone Star presence--even in AAA rated neighborhoods. It isn't illegal to be a mage and you can't spot one out of a crowd. Correct me if I'm wrong but Cleansing can get rid of your astral signature in seconds instead of hours, Masking makes other mages think you're mundane, and Filtering gets rid of many of the background count penalties. A mage can get a bonus to Magic, their most important stat, by spending only about 18 karma. None of the other "classes" have a single stat that can be raised and usually in fact have a ceiling for how much they can improve (Essence 6, Bio Index 9).

When I run a game sams can't walk around with their reflexes on or else they'll geek bums and children on occasion and they'll piss off anyone who doesn't qualify for Etiquette (Street). You can't walk around with a drawn pistol without sticking out like a sore thumb and pissing off Joe Sarariman so the average sam goes into combat with 7+1d6 initiative and no pistol drawn.

Mages on the other hand, don't suffer the "jumpy" penalty because it is "natural" and not "programmed." They can go around with 5+4d6 initiative all the time and wearing 6/6 armor without any penalties. The average mage can easily handle 3D drain unless they're sustaining lots of spells. Besides, if they take drain they can always take a stim patch (magic loss is no big deal with MiTS). Plus spells are a lot more effective than firearms because A) combat spells can't be dodged (except touch spells), B) they target stats that are usually weaker than body, and C) they cost next to nothing to cast and never run out.

Magic is the ultimate munchkin tactic depending on your GM. Try running a group that is all mages except for one sam and one decker. That's why I'll throw in lots of random magical encounters if the mage is getting out of hand. Ghoul packs attack him, free spirits happen to wander by, background counts, dragons, and a crazy AI implanting things in them. Bwahahaha!
Sphynx
Perhaps I was a bit confusing in my post Austere.

Shielding and Background are a factor in non-disposables (main villian or target type area), so unless you're dealing with the finale (so to speak), stunball will be more effective than a gun, but when push comes to shove, and the target is a bit more than a red-coat, stunball will probably fail to be as effective. Anyhows, moot point either way.

And the most dice I've seen for a stunball would be our 235 karma shaman who has a Force 5 Ally, Force 6 Power Focus, Sorcery skill of 10, and Spell Pool of 7 for 28 (though I'm sure he could squeeze a few more dice out somehow). That would definitely not qualify as 'few' since people like yourself never reach that level of karma.

Sphynx
Siege
QUOTE (Cheops)
To be as effective as possible Sams, Deckers, and Riggers have to start with 1,000,000 nuyen which takes the same priorities as full magic.

Uh.

Yeah.

-Siege
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Cheops)
To be as effective as possible Sams, Deckers, and Riggers have to start with 1,000,000 nuyen

Bullshit.

~J
Sphynx
It is true. He did say 'as effective as possible', not 'playable', so he's quite right. The more toys you have, the more effective you can be.

Sphynx
TinkerGnome
If you're playing a game with rigid controls on cyber and weapons and none on magic, I can see why you'd think they were unbalanced.
Kagetenshi
But for a streetsam, maxing out on toys to begin with is pointless because of the nonavailability of higher grades of cyberware, and if the optional surgery rules in Man and Machine are used, maxing out cyberware at chargen can downright cripple you. Same with riggers; there's a limit to what you can get that won't get supplanted in-game, and what you can get can easily fit into 650k.
Deckers he may be right about. Other than that, I still say no.

~J
Sphynx
First up, do you honestly need more than 6 essence worth of alpha/basic to be effective? Beta and Delta, even if you get them in-game and get the huge TN and Threshold needed to implant them without problems, the difference in essence vs the cost in nuyen makes it dumb, IMHO, to get them in-game. Never ever ever go delta, even with a Wired-Reflexes 3 (5.0 as Basic, 4.0 as Alpha, 3.0 as Beta, 2.5 as Delta) the costs... (500,000 as Basic, 1,000,000 as Alpha, 3,000,000 as Beta and 12,000,000 as Delta), it's just not going to happen (unless you guys are racking in some super duper serious nuyen).

Anything less Essencewise just isn't worth it to go past Alpha.

Hell, let's assume you go with something cheap and lower essence, like Titanium Lacing.
Basic: 2.25, 75,000 nuyen.gif
Alpha: 1.80, 150,000 nuyen.gif
Beta: 1.35, 675,000 nuyen.gif
Delta: 1.125, 2,700,000 nuyen.gif

Definitely pointless to go Delta for that huge savings of 0.225 essence and only plauysably worth it for Beta to save that 0.45 essence.

No, 1mil, char-gen resources is truly the most effective way to do it.

As for Riggers, well, since they only need 1 or 2 (if you assume they need a datajack with their VCR) pieces of cyberware, then starting with more toys at char-gen is definitely ALOT more effective when you add in the fact that the same cash is earned either way so you're only adding, and street index makes it cheaper to buy at char-gen anyhows.

Sphynx
John Campbell
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Dec 1 2003, 03:05 PM)
Deckers he may be right about. Other than that, I still say no.

I made an effective C-resources decker once.

He'd spent about a year and a half pre-game hacking on the mainframe at the university he attended. His deck was entirely home-made. Applying bug rules to every component of the deck was extremely amusing... but he was a good enough programmer that his bug occurance rate was not crippling, and he had a whole mess of software that he would otherwise have had to cut Skills or Attributes (A and B, respectively) to afford.
Kagetenshi
Oh yes, you can be an effective C-resources decker. The argument, as Sphynx said, is what makes them "as effective as possible."

~J
Rattler
QUOTE
You can't walk around with a drawn pistol without sticking out like a sore thumb and pissing off Joe Sarariman so the average sam goes into combat with 7+1d6 initiative and no pistol drawn.


So the majority of the combat that your characters engage in involves getting jumped on the street on the way to the local Stuffer Shack?

QUOTE
Mages on the other hand, don't suffer the "jumpy" penalty because it is "natural" and not "programmed." They can go around with 5+4d6 initiative all the time and wearing 6/6 armor without any penalties.


I would call alerting Lonestar that you're sporting a bunch of illegal foci a pretty big penalty. Not to mention telling every less than scrupulous person that you're carrying some powerful and expensive foci, ripe for the picking. They don't even need to be magically active, seeing as how you're glowing like a lightbulb with that Armor spell.
John Campbell
Well, except for the bug issue, which really wasn't all that big a deal, his deck was as good as any starting deck, and he had higher Attributes and Skills than he would have if he'd gone A Resources, which contributed directly to his effectiveness.
Dende
But how much cyber combat did you do?
Did you do the canon approach to programs? if you did it takes 350k+ to get enough to do real combat and actually deck. Programs are by far the worst part of the SR system. They are so far off in use, size and everything else, I dont' even wanna get started. The whole size aspect of them alone is BS let alone the cost of them and and not to mention hardware...
Sphynx
So you started the game with a custom-built deck? Paying only for parts to build it, and a computer shop? And the GM let you make the rolls etc, pre-game to turn it into a deck?

Personally, I let people buy the gear, shop, etc at char-gen, but there's no way they'd get to build it pre-game and write the programs pre-game instead of paying for them. One of the ideas of resources isn't just how much you spent, but what you aquired in life. A person who spent the 1 mil on deck/program/cyber may ahve written all the programs and built the deck himself (depends on how he wrote his background), but he still pays full price because that's what he's gained in life.

Sphynx
Chodav
QUOTE (Sphynx)
As for Riggers, well, since they only need 1 or 2 (if you assume they need a datajack with their VCR) pieces of cyberware . . .

VCR's come with a datajack. If you want to upgrade to an induction datajack (so as not to tell the whole world you're a rigger by virtue of your mid-brain 'jack), it takes an additional 0.1 Essence and 3,000 nuyen (for regular cyber) . . . or was it 2,000? M&M is upstairs and I'm feeling lazy.

I generally agree that beta- and delta- are both a waste of resources. My GM offered a cyber-warrior of mine a pass to a delta clinic as a run reward, and I said, "Thanks. Do they have regular?"

On the subject of magic, many posters sound as though they play in high-powered games.* I justed started a sorcerer last weekend. All 35 points went to Detection spells. If you want to be the end-all and be-all of combat, yes, a really good combat-mage is going to cost a fortune in karma. But why? That's what sammies and adepts are for. Do deckers and riggers worry about being combat-effective? Or does the decker worry about being the end-all and be-all of information-gathering and system-manipulating while a rigger worries about being the end-all and be-all of driving, flying, repairing, and maybe gunnery? To suggest that mages are out of balance because they are better than or worse than sammies and adepts is a horribly narrow position to take. Are your groups so hard-up for firepower that the mage has to fight all the time?

Note that I'm not really addressing the mage's need to be effective in astral combat or against spirits. Most of the posts seemed to be addressing physical world issues.

By the way, Mr. Detection Spells does one magical thing in combat. 12 dice to Spell Defense, every turn, free action. THAT'S being combat-effective . . .

(12 dice because he's brand new and hasn't earned much karma yet.)

* My comments should not be taken as a flame or a slam against other's gaming styles . . . even though I prefer low-power games . . . wink.gif
TinkerGnome
QUOTE (Chodav)
VCR's come with a datajack.

Third edition page reference? It's my understanding that they do not, though it is not explicitly stated (there is some circumstantial evidence in R3 that they don't, as well, and the templates have them purchased seperately).
Fortune
In my opinion, VCRs most definitely do not come with a Datajack included.
Kurukami
QUOTE (Sphynx @ Dec 1 2003, 08:24 PM)
Never ever ever go delta, even with a Wired-Reflexes 3 (5.0 as Basic, 4.0 as Alpha, 3.0 as Beta,  2.5 as Delta) the costs... (500,000 as Basic, 1,000,000 as Alpha, 3,000,000 as Beta and 12,000,000 as Delta), it's just not going to happen (unless you guys are racking in some super duper serious nuyen).

Anything less Essencewise just isn't worth it to go past Alpha.

Hell, let's assume you go with something cheap and lower essence, like Titanium Lacing.
Basic: 2.25, 75,000 nuyen.gif
Alpha: 1.80, 150,000 nuyen.gif
Beta: 1.35, 675,000 nuyen.gif
Delta: 1.125, 2,700,000 nuyen.gif

@ Sphynx:

Just out of curiosity, where are you pulling those numbers for nuyen costs from?

Basic cyberware costs the book listing.
Alpha-grade costs twice as much as basic.
Beta-grade costs four times as much as basic.
Delta-grade costs eight times as much as basic.

That, at least according to my copy of M&M, is canon. I've got to wonder where you're pulling the 6x cost for beta-grade and the 24x cost for delta-grade from in your first example, and the 9x and 36x costs respectively in your second. So, um, what's up with that?
Chodav
QUOTE (TinkerGnome)
QUOTE (Chodav @ Dec 1 2003, 07:32 PM)
VCR's come with a datajack.

Third edition page reference? It's my understanding that they do not, though it is not explicitly stated (there is some circumstantial evidence in R3 that they don't, as well, and the templates have them purchased seperately).

Okay, I stand corrected. I could swear that I saw something in R3r that said VCR's come with a datajack, but the only thing I can find now is the part where it says rigger adaptation includes a datajack port (p. 130). Damned game has too many rules . . . wink.gif
TinkerGnome
Don't know about Sphynx's numbers, but the surgical costs for a piece of Deltaware is in the 120k range, before you add in bribes, etc.
John Campbell
My understanding is that the VCR does not come with a datajack, but neither is a datajack required to use the VCR. As I interpret it, the VCR includes the jacks necessary to plug it into a vehicle or RCD (usually located on the rear of the skull, as opposed to the temple that's typical for datajacks), but these jacks are not general purpose datajacks and cannot be used as such... but they can be used for things that general purpose datajacks can't.

Basically, the datajack connects to the forebrain, the VCR connects to the hindbrain, and, while there's some overlap in what you can do with them (either will allow controlling drones through an RCD in Captain's Chair mode, for example), they're generally two different tools for two different jobs. You can't jump into a drone through a datajack, but you can't deck a host through a VCR.

Of course, I generally figure that most anyone who has any cyber at all will have a datajack. They're cheap and useful enough that pretty much the only reason not to get one is if you're going totally cyber-free.
TinkerGnome
Again, what's your source for that? The closest quote I can find of relevance is this:
QUOTE (Rigger 3 @ p25)
Datajack and vehicle control rig implants are essential to rigger characters.

Which seems to indicate that riggers need both.
RedmondLarry
I'm with TinkerGnome on this. I believe the Rigger needs both.
Fortune
Me too!
Sphynx
Kag, my numbers did not include Surgery, they were adding in StreetIndex since you have to wait til post char-gen to get Beta/Delta.

Sphynx
tisoz
QUOTE (bwdemon)
I've been working with SR3 for so long now that I forgot some of the things that set me off when I first looked at the revision. Among those was the switch from a single Firearms skill to the former concentrations thereof. While that alone didn't bother me (I approved of it wholeheartedly), the fact that they did not do this to Sorcery was wrong.

Maybe you need to remember all the other ways they toned down mages.

Remember how they used to get all metamagics upon first initiation? How about spell locks? How about being able to cast just fine with a sorcery skill of 1 because the number of dice rolled was the force of the spell? I don't remember any spells, not that there weren't any but I don't recall them right now, that successes were capped by force.

And remember, just because they can learn any spell, doesn't mean they know every spell. Same as firearms.
Lilt
QUOTE (John Campbell)
I made an effective C-resources decker once.

He'd spent about a year and a half pre-game hacking on the mainframe at the university he attended. His deck was entirely home-made. Applying bug rules to every component of the deck was extremely amusing... but he was a good enough programmer that his bug occurance rate was not crippling, and he had a whole mess of software that he would otherwise have had to cut Skills or Attributes (A and B, respectively) to afford.

A year and a half down-time pre game? *DROOL*
Consider what a mage with enchanting/talismongering 6 could do with that:

Char-gen: 6 units of raw gold (60K nuyen.gif)
Refining 6 units of raw gold: 3-4 days
Radical circulation on 3 of the above units: 28 days
Final product: 3*4 = 12 units of radical gold
Radical circulation on the 2nd 3 units: 28 days
Final product: 3*4 = 12 units of radical gold
Final worth: 960k nuyen.gif
Lather, rinse, repeat 8 times or so.

After 1 year the mage hands you a farlight excalibur.
Glyph
I want to point out that under the current rules, it is possible to specialize by spell category. This option is probably especially attractive to shamanists and elementalists.

I think requiring a separate skill for sorcery by spell category would be far too limiting, though, and does not make a lot of sense. Like someone else already pointed out, sorcery is limited by spell points, not skill. If you want variety to matter, have your mage buy specializations in a certain category after char-gen. Specializations are much cheaper than improving the entire base skill, so if you wanted, you could have someone with Sorcery: 6/Healing Spells: 12 after 57 Karma points (less if your Willpower if higher than 6). Between all of the possible sorcery and conjuring specializations, totem and hermetic modifiers, and aspected variants, there are a bewildering variety of magical specialties to choose from.

Balance-wise, I think the "classes" mesh together well. Most imbalances occur when the GM restricts one without similarly restricting the other.
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