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Shinobi Killfist
In the main book it describes the modifiers for a moderate and serious damage spell as from the base damage. Which seems to me to be the damage chosen by the mage as they cast the spell before its stages.

In MiTS when describing elemental secondary effects for deadly and serious it just says something like the damage is deadly no modifier at serious a +2 to the object resistance, but then at moderate damage it says if the damage caused is moderate add +4 to the object resistance. This seems to imply that determining the TN for secondary effects is after staging.

I've always thought it was as described in the main book, which is the damage level chosen before staged. I had never really read the MiTS section closely enough to notice the difference. I haven't seen the answer in the errata, so anyone know which it is supposed to be.
It just means you add the appropriate number on to the object rating before you determien the seconedary effect when you cast the spell.
Shinobi Killfist
I guess I was unclear. MiTS and the main book seem to imply a different method for determining the appropriate number to apply to the object resistance test.

In the main book it uses the term base damage which implies that if I throw a fireball and set it at moderate I add 4 to the object resistance number; even if all the damage is resisted I roll 2d6 and add the 4 to the object resistance TN.

In MiTS it describes it as damage done, which seems to imply that I cast the spell set at doesn't matter after my sorcery successes and my opponents resistance test successes the damage done is moderate and then I add 4 to the object resistance number.

Now I'm fairly sure itís the main book way since it says something like in the beginning of both if anyone who is a target is still standing make these rolls. And if the damage done is deadly I therefore wouldn't roll at +0 mods because well they aint standing, where as if its base damage I could set it at deadly and still have people standing because the only ended up taking a moderate wound, and therefore there is a reason to make those rolls at the +0 mods to object resistance numbers.

This is just the first time I noticed that the main book and MiTS use different terminology to describe how secondary effects are determined.
Ol' Scratch
When in doubt, assume the book that was published the latest (in this case, Magic in the Shadows) is the correct rule.

I'm still not entirely sure what you're asking about, so I can't give you my take on the rule. Sorry. I'll try to read up on it when I get home to try and puzzle out what you mean.
Shinobi Killfist
Thanks, for any help you can give. I'll try to come up with a better way to explain what I mean.(I've never been good at explaining things in the writing) I guess my question boils down to when determining the modifier to apply for the secondary effects roll(+4 for moderate damage, +2 for serious, +0 for deadly) do I look at the damage of the spell before I cast it(the damage I set it at), or after I cast it and the target has made there resistance check.(the damage they have taken)

My reading of MiTS seems to give a different answer than the one I found in the main book.
The core book seems clear in that you're to consider the level without staging, whereas MITS seems inconsistent in its decision:

"If the spell had a Deadly Damage Level, the result must be greater than or equal to the Object Resistance Rating. If the spells Damage Level was Serious, add +2 to the Object Resistance. If the spell causes Moderate Damage, add +4 to the Object Resistance. An elemental spell with a Damage Level of Light does not cause secondary effects."

This seems to say that you use the base damage level that the spell was cast at only for Deadly, Serious, and Light, but use the level after staging for Moderate. Since Moderate seems to be the only exception here, I think it's reasonable to ignore it and just use the level before staging.

Note also that inanimate objects almost never get any spell resistance dice, so most of the time the successes used to stage up the damage will be totally uncontested. It's reasonable to give them the benefit here.
If you cast a Fireball at Moderate Damage, and stage it up to Deadly, then all objects in the area of effect get a +4 to their Object Resistant roll because the Base damage was set to Moderate.


[Edit] Zazen: All objects get to roll 2D6 vs 2ndary effects. [/Edit]
QUOTE (Sphynx)
[Edit] Zazen: All objects get to roll 2D6 vs 2ndary effects. [/Edit]

I know, but those aren't spell resistance dice. The point was that most of the time Elemental Manipulations will get staged up a lot because all of the spellcasters successes are uncontested, meaning that sticking to the base damage is a good idea.
Just Pete
Ok, I'm still a little confused, so I'd like to see this in action, using an example from my last run.

Dane the Ork Mage is defending his (woefully under-armed) team from a drone attack (drone is on autopilot, and is sporting an LMG).

Dane casts Lightning Bolt at the drone, starting at 6S, using 12 dice (only gonna get one chance!). Target number 6 (starts at 4, +2 for movement modifier).

Dane gets 1 success, re-rolls with karma, and gets 4 more, for a total of 5.

Drone has body 3, armor 8 - rolls 7 dice against target six, gets 4 successes (lucky bastard), taking serious damage (drone doesn't get a dodge because it's not under direct rigger control).

Dane then rolls for secondary effects - 2D6 against target 10 (8 + 2 for serious damage) - gets an 8 - no secondary effect.

Is this correct? How would this change in the following cases:

1) Dane only gets 2 successes total - drone stages damage down to moderate.
2) Drone doesn't get lucky and rolls only 1 success (Deadly +1 damage - yeah, I know, bye-bye drone, but what about the secondary effects?)
3) Dane casts fireball instead of lightning bolt (lighting ignores metal armor, fire does not)

For 2ndary effects, none of those would apply Pete. Regardless of rolls, 2ndary effects are done as Base. Reason is that the object you targetted is not necessarily the target of the 2ndary effects. No matter how many successes you get as a person resisting a Serious Fireball, bringing that damage down to nothing at all, your clothing just got hit by a huge flame originally set at S damage giving that roll a +2.

Funny thing about Elemental Manips, you're not resisting the spell, but resisting the damage (or dodging). That's why you roll Combat Pool against them. If that Fireball hits you (not enough successes in dodging), you're rolling Body to resist the flames because they ARE all around you.

Elem Manips aren't made more powerful by casting, but like a gun, just hit more effectively. You're using your Sorcery as your 'combat skill' and using Combat Pool to hit with the spell.

Just Pete
Ok, so the target number modifiers for the secondary effects of the lightning bolt would be based on serious damage (in my example - based on the damage level of the spell as cast), regardless of the outcome of the sorcery test. Got that.

Do the secondary effects also affect the primary target? (In my scenario, the drone was a roto-drone, diving at the team. The only thing in the target area was the drone itself, so nothing else was checked)

If Dane had cast a fireball, instead, the drone would have escaped unscathed due to it's armor (8 pts of armor exceeds the force [or is it half force?] of the spell, so no effect). Would secondary effects have done anything in this case?

Also, how do you determine what the secondary effects actually do?
Shinobi Killfist
Thanks for the answers, I had thought it was that way, but when I read MiTS yesterday I noticed it was phrased differently and I wasn't sure if there had been some change or if I had been doing it wrong all the time.
Shinobi Killfist
I may be wrong but I remember a discussion a while back where some people were saying that yes elemental effects are checked for even if the spell bounces off the vehicle armor so no damage was possible. Seems funky, but at +1 drain level elemental effects should be fairly powerful.

To add a question, does lightning ignore even vehicle armor because its metal. Every time I had read that line I never thought of it, I guess I play too many fantasy games all I could think was yea right when I bump into some fool in plate mail I'll really nail him. Cause dang if it ignores vehicle armor I might have to pick up lightning bolt on my character.
No, no such thing as an Elem Manip ignoring Armour. A generous GM might increase the Power of the attack by 2 for resisting damage or something, but even then, not against vehicles. The only Vehicle vs Lightning Rules (found on page 52 of MitS) says that Vehicles may have to add +2 to their Object Resistant roll due to their chance to short out or ignite their fuel tank.

Random Voices
QUOTE (Shinobi Killfist)
I may be wrong but I remember a discussion a while back where some people were saying that yes elemental effects are checked for even if the spell bounces off the vehicle armor so no damage was possible. Seems funky, but at +1 drain level elemental effects should be fairly powerful.

The rules say "If the reduced Force of the spell <i.e., cut in half with the damage level staged down by one> does not exceed the vehicle's Armor Rating, the spell is ineffective against that vehicle. Unfortunately for the magician, this means that the spell may have no effect even before it leaves his or her hands." (SR3 p. 150).

Now that statement can be intrepreted in 2 ways, neither of which is addressed (or contradicted) directly by the rules anywhere else:
1. The spell is ineffective, but secondary effects still apply
2. The spell is ineffective, for both primary and secondary effects

However, if you choose to go with the first intrepretation then you really should increase the vehicle's OR to eliminate the cheesy "I cast a 1D spell, cause the vehicle's fuel tank to explode and don't take any drain at all!!" effect.

Yum Donuts
I'd go for it has no effect on the vehicle. but I'm sure something could be houseruled.
think of a tank, it's pretty good at standing up to pure heat.

I think one of our military/gun-nut friends should take a flamethrower to a buick and find out just how long you have to cover it in flames to make anything happen.
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