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Eyeless Blond
So, Watchers. Does anyone ever use them anymore? Does anyone even remember what they are? Should they be houseruled so they don't suck quite so much? I'm not thinking about bringing back the Watcher Attack Pack™, but it bothers me that the best a Watcher can do is throw a whopping 2 dice as Perception.
Yes, watchers. Just this week both mages in my group failed to get past a watcher. It was not a question of who is better, but who sucks less. Watcher won. biggrin.gif
Ancient History
If you're really bored, there's nothing funnier than splatting watchers against an offensive mana barrier.
Possession watchers can be really great if you're into zombies and stuff nyahnyah.gif
Kyoto Kid
...on an intellectual level, dealing with a watcher would be a real challenge for the Short One. Then again they may actually understand each other. grinbig.gif

On the serious side, don't watchers have that unerring ability to track someone?
Eyeless Blond
They used to; best as I can figure now they get 2 dice to search tests now.

But then maybe I'm wrong. The poll certainly suggest that watchers are useful for some things, which is how they're supposed to be. I'm just mystified as to how, by the rules, they actually can be.
I believe there was a great deal of discussion regarding the ability, or lack thereof, of mundanes, no matter how ninja they were, to sneak in any way relevant to the Astral... thus, while Watchers may have shit for perception dice, it doesn't matter against Mundanes since the Watchers don't see your cool camoflage anyway: THey just see your aura moving around.

How do you hide from someone you don't know is even there?
I don't even want to know how many times we've boned ourselves due purely to the fact that we forgot to look out for watchers. They are almost as good as, if not better than wards, when it comes to astral guard dog. They are also good at communicating between mages on the same team by acting as messengers. Since the drain is nothing, they are used often for simple tasks. I wouldn't count on them for much more mind you.
Kyoto Kid
...heh heh, yup. And in 3rd ed. they also had force levels so they weren't necessarily wusses when it came to perception tests and comprehension. grinbig.gif

Watchers could also be sent to aid in astral/spirit combat. True they'd be easily popped, but while present they also counted into the "friends in combat" modifier and sucked up IPs to deal with.
I like the little buggers cause they're cute and cuddly and smell like cinnamon! grinbig.gif

I find them handy to have around just because they are an extra set of eyes. sure they aren't the brightest candles on the cake, but it doesn't take much to handle" if anyone approaches this door come wake me up" and that couple of seconds to gather a bit of mana and have it ready when the drek hits the fan is definitely worth the effort.

honestly, I haven't really tried to come up with any new ways to use a watcher. they are, well, watchers. For the big stuff, I always have Chasey(force 6 air elemental) or Jenna(force 3 water elemental) around. Now those girls have a million and one uses. grinbig.gif

( Evan"Hugh" Jorgin is a tantric mage, what can I say?) grinbig.gif
True - the little friends were nerfed big time in SR4 (the theme of SR4 seems to be nerfing things).

Especially the Tracking thing - first listing under Watcher tasks says they "excel" at finding stuff - NOT borne out by the actual rules. Just one more thing that makes me wonder who they used for the "100+ playtesters" mentioned in the credits. Maybe they were sort of a gamer equivalent of watcher spirits?
Sorry - not very funny.

But here is an idea I have had for watchers recently - I'm almost certainly not the first person to think of this, but wondering what sort of response it got here -
Combining the Attack Dog and Irritant tasks - we all know the little guys are great support in astral combat, but what about the same thing in physical combat.
No, they absolutely cannot do damage (unless your opponent is dual). But they CAN manifest = visible = to some degree or another opaque. Firefight or melee, send your wee buddies in and tell them to go for the face - heck, they don't care they're not doing any damage - YOU try shooting accurately with a mini Wolf or Gator snapping viciously at your nose and eyes, partially blocking your LOS.
Most people can't help but flinch if someone darts a hand at their face, even if rationally they know the person is not going to hit them.
And then toss in that if fighting non-magically savvy folks, they may very well not know that they can't be hurt.

I think they could easily impose a -2 dice pool modifier on opponents' tests.

As Irritants, also useful to mark bad guys' locations for your whole team in any sort of cat & mouse combat. Not to mention the baddie being in a position where he absolutely knows everyone else know where he is!

Easy for the other guys' mage to zap? Better he be zapping them than you!
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