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gtjormungand
I think a better way to approach this is to let the mage's exploits get out to the more criminal areas. Have some other, less runner-minded mages out there start copying him to the extent that the heat on unregistered magical activity greatly increases. This should mean that magical security in the area will increase, too.

For even more fun, make sure that another character learns of this and see how (if at all) they pass the information onto the mage.
kzt
QUOTE (Tarantula @ Aug 6 2008, 08:12 AM) *
I fully believe that OR should factor into this, as drones are the mage killers.

I'm not necessarily opposed to that, but traditional interpretations of the rules are that OR only has an impact on direct spells. Otherwise you have a very limited chance to have any impact on a drone with an indirect without overcasting like mad. You'd need a minimum of 4 (or 5) NET hits to have any effect on the drone. Like I said, this is a decision that has significant effects on the game.
Rasumichin
QUOTE (gtjormungand @ Aug 6 2008, 05:15 PM) *
I think a better way to approach this is to let the mage's exploits get out to the more criminal areas. Have some other, less runner-minded mages out there start copying him to the extent that the heat on unregistered magical activity greatly increases. This should mean that magical security in the area will increase, too.

For even more fun, make sure that another character learns of this and see how (if at all) they pass the information onto the mage.


In addition to this, consider that a team including a character who has built up a reputation as a magical powerhouse is likely to be the Johnson's first choice for runs against targets with top-notch magical security.
Well-paying runs, of course.
Nuking stupid gangsters in the barrens is something a team of highly qualified specialists shouldn't worry about after a couple of successful runs against high-sec targets - unless they're top-notch gangsters (which will include magical security on the gangster's part).

To make this go down easier for your players, and out of consideration for plausibility as well as to provide a reward for clever players, these runs of course should pay better than the previous jobs.
They'll also be more risky, but the increased profit should be worth it.
And earning more nuyen.gif runs down to the team's sams and riggers getting shiny new toys, further evening the odds for them.


This way, you provide a more challenging and more balanced game for the group and make them feel rewarded at the same time.
Yeah, it's tougher to think up well-trained corpsec tactics and equipment, but with the help from this thread, it's not that difficult.

And it's really worth the effort.
Tarantula
QUOTE (masterofm @ Aug 6 2008, 08:59 AM) *
Yeah you want to have overwatch, but it is a point counter point. You should have a sniper hiding out in the trees far far away, but if he is spotted expect the other side to want them to come out, or they have made preparations to kill said sniper. It is also easy to send... gee a force 3 spirit on the astral to check out the person in the vehicle, and suddenly it becomes obvious that the person is a mage.

Whats not to say just because the smuggling party is out on the sand w/o cover that they also do not have any tricks themselves? Is there a guy hidden behind deck with a rocket launcher? What kind of weapons does the boat have? Did the smuggling team cast a physical and mana based illusion to make it seem like those people on the sand are actually real? If it didn't get cut all you would see is a spell effect in the area surrounding the smuggling party. There are a lot of tricks and spells and things you can throw at a party, but having the other team want to show themselves is not an uncommon crazy thing to want for both sides. Having a mage in a box where you can't strike back at him would make me walk away from the unknown party right then and there. If you put yourself in the smuggling teams shoes would you like to have a force six mage do that? You know that you would be hamburger if the opposing party wished it in that situation. Sorry if I don't know you and if the mage is unwilling to get out of his box-o-kill us all I would say the deals off. Maybe it's ok in your setting, but in mine that wouldn't fly.


You realize any spell based illusions wouldn't work once the mage scouted astrally right? Again, in this scenario, the guys there with the package are other people the J has paid, to give you the package. Thats their run. They won't want to fail it anymore than you do. Likely, the J should've setup handoff procedures, and not to be cliche, but something like you show up, say the chicken lost his head, or whatever, and he hands you the box, the end. Everyone keeps their nice happy ambushing guys ready to ambush, in case you flub it up, then you get sniped.
psychophipps
I'm just trying to figure out why the Johnson, of all people, is always the problem. The Johnson is just a go-between, after all.

The employer anonymously calls the Johnson and tells them what they need done. The Johnson then anonymously starts asking around for individuals or teams that have the skill-set(s) necessary for the job. The Johnson may or may not meet face-to-face depending on the individual or crew's reputation and handles the funds transaction via certified cred-stick for deniability. The Johnson shouldn't have access to the cash at all except for disbursement to the team, if even that. The Johnson shouldn't know who hired him. The Johnson should have no reason to turn on anyone because he's already been paid for the job.

Add the fact that if this Johnson gets a rep for being a two-timing asshat, they're done. No more contracts. No more connections. No more anything as everyone turns their backs on them because working with such an individual is bad for business.
Tarantula
Definitely agree with you psychophipps.
garner_adam
I've noticed there's been a lot of attention towards how the player got the foci. It's fairly simple unfortunately. The foci costs nuyen.gif 60,000 and has an availability of 24R. Which if it weren't for how terribly useless the availability rules were for controlling power (with a decent face he can get the focus himself in just a few weeks down time) he might not have it. But the availability rules are some thing I should complain about in a different thread. Or rather I should probably house rule them from the ground up. nyahnyah.gif

To make matters worse in order to get a sustaining foci that will give a mage four initiative passes doesn't even require more than a force four sustaining focus. To add to the confusion the spell doesn't make clear that you need a certain level of force in order to make the higher thresholds. (A painful debate at the table)

Now that is out of the way I'd like to say that this has been a huge mine of help. I'd be typing for quite awhile if I were to respond to every post unfortunately. So thanks for all the help. So far what I'm gathering is:

Visibility Modifiers: I can really see where this is going!
Drones: Sounds like three hours of die rolling. nyahnyah.gif But if it does the trick so be it.
Wards: Some one mentioned warding vehicles (like attack helicopters?) but the ward sections says that the ward can't be moved from it's physical component. I can imagine the shenanigans if people started walking about with warded "tarps".
Magical Opposition: Less than 1% of the world's population wants to die instantly by an overcasted manabolt. (Happened in a game awhile back. Tried to throw a similar magician at him and it was like the wild west. Player used edge to go first and smoked the guy in one shot.)
Different Runs: Been through a variety of runs now. Some of the early runs he got off easy because I didn't realize that the ultrasound sensor defeated invisibility. Learn as you go, eh?
Gas: Gas might really do the trick. But it'd have to be contact gas or some thing. After one of my players got taken in by Lonestar a few sessions back all my guys religiously carry gas masks.
Stahlseele
1.)
1 focus
1 focus and another focus equals 2 foci.
had to be said
2.)
no, you usually don't, and that's the whole point of visibility modifiers really O.o
3.)
drons are not all that mcuh dice-rolling, if they are piloted by a pilot or agent or whatever they more or less act like any other character, but are much more hardy against most kinds of direct magic
4.)
wards has been covered, the warded area has to be at least so and so big and if the warding itself happens along the walls of, say, a conatainer and the anchor is inside the container you can move the container with the ward intact just fine, as long as the anchor ain't moved relatively to the ward itself . . if you take the anchor out of the container the ward collapses . .
5.)
if you try and duke it out with another and he'S faster no matter what kinda characters are sparring off, usually the winner of ini wins the fight and the other guy is toast . . glass-cannons, sledge-hammers and eggshells and all those comparsions . . use other mages effectively, use counter-spelling, sling mana-static at the player mage, have spirits attack him and his foci . .
6.) area effect stun-grenades and generally anything that just ramps up target numbers/reduces dice-pools without laying too much actual hurt on the characters is in most cases worst for the mage . . hit him with hyper and pepper-punch, see if he can cast then . .
kzt
QUOTE (garner_adam @ Aug 6 2008, 04:06 PM) *
To make matters worse in order to get a sustaining foci that will give a mage four initiative passes doesn't even require more than a force four sustaining focus. To add to the confusion the spell doesn't make clear that you need a certain level of force in order to make the higher thresholds. (A painful debate at the table)

The magic rules are written unclearly in a few places, but this isn't one of them.
Page 171 "A spell’s Force limits the number of hits (not net hits) that can be achieved on the Spellcasting Test. So if you cast a Force 3 spell and get 5 hits, only 3 of those hits count."

Second, consider the effects of a mana static spell if he's running with force 1

"Pre-existing wards, mana barriers, active foci, sustained spells, and quickened/anchored spells are similarly affected. Reduce their Force by the absolute value of the background count. If the Force is reduced to zero or less, wards and mana barriers will collapse, foci will deactivate, and spells will fizzle."
Rasumichin
Warding vehicles : yes, it actually works.
The anchor for the ward is the vehicle's frame.
The relative position of the anchor and the ward stay the same, so the ward stays in place.

If it wouldn't work that way, building wards would not be possible at all, as the turning of the earth would immediately disrupt the ward.

If you would anchor a ward to a building's walls and would somehow find a way to lift the whole thing up in one piece, you could move the ward together with the building.
Stahlseele's warded cargo container is a good example for this.

However, if you anchor a 50m³ ward on a small stone and someone kicks the stone, it collapses, as the relative positions of ward and anchor have been changed.


Therefore, it is best to build wards that are either anchored to an immovable object or whose volume equals that of the anchor (car, airplane, cargo container), to avoid a changing of the relative position of the two.

Yes, this means that the mage in your group can also ward his vehicle.
But, in fact, every security-conscious person should do that-and does in my game, if he has the money or someone capable of astral perception in the team.

That's another important thing about wards : everyone who can perceive astrally can build wards.
Even ghouls or cyberzombies.
Their wards would be tiny, as the ward's maximal size depends on the magic attribute, but they could do it.
You don't need a full-blown wizard for it, a half-assed adept with astral perception is enough.
Which makes them quite common.
sunnyside
By the way it isn't just creative interpritation of wards here that lets them work in vehicles. It's all spelled out in street magic, which also has the all important background counts. Walking into even a fairly common background count 1 will knock a level off of his sustained increased reflexes and combat sense.
Cthulhudreams
Oh yeah. I forgot manastatic. This pretty much wins. Note that if has magic 6 he is completely unable to cast spells in an R4 static.
DTFarstar
The thing about the 1% statistic, is that mages in the security field get paid an insane amount. Sure it is 1% of the world's population, but they will center in cities, because mages can always get jobs. Not only that, but you don't find a mage working at a Stuffer Shack or a McDonald's. They center in research, teaching, and security. Teachers don't factor in, but a lot of research is done by magicians for obvious reasons and so you could be completely justified with having them run against a research facility and have the exployees be capable of providing magical security and back-up for the sec teams. They might not be slinging spells, but if you are cowering in the corner while runners storm through and your only protection(sec guards) are getting mowed down by magic, then I'm betting you will at least extend your counterspelling to them.

As far as one-shotting an opposing mage with a mana-bolt, unless your guy was hidden the other guy should have gotten counterspelling, hell if he was guarding something I would assume he has it active all the time. Also, NPCs get edge too, if you didn't know. So, Willpower(hopefully above 3, he's a mage) + Counterspelling + edge of whatever or to reroll failures has a pretty damn good chance of tying or beating Spellcasting+Magic+foci- visibility modifiers + edge. Also, what is his Drain resistance pool at? If he is slinging lightning bolts and destroying drones without drain it has to be huge. Maybe illegal huge. Make sure to double check his sheet, almost every magician my characters have played has had some kind of discrepency with their BP expenditure.

A couple of things about the Force 6 focus, use the "Street Costs" table on pg. 305. There is no good reason for a Force 6 foci of any kind without serious corp backing, so he is going to have to hit up a less than legal talismonger. For an item that powerful and rare, it would be completely within reason to apply the "Distribution monopolized" and "Market Dry" modifiers, seeing as very few people can/would make it and there aren't going to be many just sitting around. That knocks the price up to, I believe, 84,000. Also, I would think it would take more than a few weeks to get 24 successes unless he has something much better than a decent face. Keep in mind you would also be well within your rights to say the face found someone to make it, half now half later, and make him wait the additional time for focus to be made. You could also easily justify the "Law Enforcement Crackdown on Item" modifier as it is restricted so unless he has some rather good permit papers, the cops will definitely not want a possible combat enhancing focus of such a high force out on the streets. Also, he had to burn 12 Karma to bond that focus to himself.

Keep an eye on your characters contacts and whether they have the contacts to get such an item. Also, if they should even know those contacts. Just because your players writes 6/6 Loyalty and Connection with the head of the Northwest Division of Talismonger's R Us, doesn't mean he should actually be allowed that contact.

Anyway, random possible helpful stuff.

Chris
psychophipps
QUOTE (DTFarstar @ Aug 6 2008, 05:26 PM) *
A couple of things about the Force 6 focus, use the "Street Costs" table on pg. 305. There is no good reason for a Force 6 foci of any kind without serious corp backing, so he is going to have to hit up a less than legal talismonger. For an item that powerful and rare, it would be completely within reason to apply the "Distribution monopolized" and "Market Dry" modifiers, seeing as very few people can/would make it and there aren't going to be many just sitting around. That knocks the price up to, I believe, 84,000. Also, I would think it would take more than a few weeks to get 24 successes unless he has something much better than a decent face. Keep in mind you would also be well within your rights to say the face found someone to make it, half now half later, and make him wait the additional time for focus to be made. You could also easily justify the "Law Enforcement Crackdown on Item" modifier as it is restricted so unless he has some rather good permit papers, the cops will definitely not want a possible combat enhancing focus of such a high force out on the streets. Also, he had to burn 12 Karma to bond that focus to himself.

Keep an eye on your characters contacts and whether they have the contacts to get such an item. Also, if they should even know those contacts. Just because your players writes 6/6 Loyalty and Connection with the head of the Northwest Division of Talismonger's R Us, doesn't mean he should actually be allowed that contact.

Anyway, random possible helpful stuff.

Chris


Excellent post here!

I can't help but agree with the added me adding that this Force 6 foci is the Ferrari F430 of foci. You see someone rolling around in a "Fuck You, Pig!" Red sports car of that caliber and it certainly has your attention. Whipping out and using, or even getting assensed while carrying, such a thing should set off a chain reaction of "Holy shit! That's the coolest thing EVAR!" form every single mage within a two block radius. You just can't effectively hide a huge magic signature like that without a great deal of preparation and the astral signature every time it's used is going to shine like a holo-neon sign saying, "This very specific Shadowrunner done did this one, folks!"

A see the local SWAT team (not a SWAT team, THE SWAT team) paying him a visit in the near future...
Crusher Bob
Actually, large area wards shouldn't be that common unless you want to house rule wards as much simpler and cheaper. Here's the math for that. Wards should only really be erected over important rooms, and doorways and similar physical choke points.

If your astral security goes off, then you can call out an astral reaction team of, say, 4 magic 4 mages with plenty of bound spirits in support. If those guys get kacked, then expect some real heavy hitters to show up astrally a few minutes later. Remember that the force that can be eventually be brought to bear on the runner team by society (the corp security, the police, etc) is essentially infinite; your crew has to do things fast a quiet. The security stuff is there to both detect you early and slow you down, so that more force can be brought to bear on you; actually having enough highly trained guys on site to stop a SR team cold is very expensive. Having enough guys on site so that the SR team is slowed down enough that your centralized team of highly trained guys can be dispatched to the site and deal with the runners is much cheaper.
sunnyside
Ok part one of arguing ward costs is adressing the "shell" ward bit. The idea here is that you get to ward an area of say 200 cubic meters per person. Now, does that means you calculate the total volume of the buildings and use that. OR cast the ward on the walls. Massively reducing the required ward castings. Personally I feel the wall option is valid, though I'd say you should consider it to have to be a meter thick. The full enclosure option would be more for small or geometrically structures where you just want to cast one ward for the whole thing

Note that casting wards on the walls does have the disadvantage that, being tied to some anchor in the wall, it's easier to knock down a section of ward by opening up with the gatling gun. Also it doesn't make the internal walls warded at all. Whereas if you're doing volume I'd presume the building would be made up of ward cubes that the mage would keep running into (making it a real pain to move around if a corp paid for that).

Also remember mages can ward along with their spirit budies, who, if cast at force 3 or 4, they should be able to get at least an extra 3 force 4 wards a day out of them, plus 2 from the caster. So that means a single mage can do a largish hotel building in 6 days and it should last 3 weeks.

Though I suppose giving the mage a decent wage for the summoned spirit that still results in it costing something like 150,000 nuyen to ward up the building annually. On the other hand for a hotel I don't know if that's considered such a significant cost. I mean I'm considering a 200 room hotel here to get that kinda surface area. So that comes to two nuyen a day per room to have the shell ward. Huh. That's not bad at all. Realistically I think most rooms would settle for that. However the more expensive rooms might have indavidual wards.


Hmmm lets do one of the world trade center towers (i'm sure I can find their dimensions.)
208 ft x 208 ft x 1368
so a shell of 127,000 cubic meters of shell needed. so that 127 mage+spirit days required every 3 weeks at 1,400 a day for the pair comes to about 3 million nuyen a year. Pricey. But I wouldn't be surprised if a structure like that spends that much having the toilets cleaned annually.

In short wards do make sense.

masterofm
Mages cost money, bound spirits cost money. In the end warding a huge building is just not cost efficient enough. In the end why not just ward the most important parts and save yourself millions and millions of nuyen.gif and time using your mages?

Also I believe they gave measurements in cubic meters, because the ward is a sphere or square and that determines the area (which is measured in cubic meters.) I don't think by RAW you can expand a force six ward to cover an entire warehouse, because you ward just the walls.
Shiloh
QUOTE (masterofm @ Aug 6 2008, 04:59 PM) *
Yeah you want to have overwatch, but it is a point counter point. You should have a sniper hiding out in the trees far far away, but if he is spotted expect the other side to want them to come out, or they have made preparations to kill said sniper. It is also easy to send... gee a force 3 spirit on the astral to check out the person in the vehicle, and suddenly it becomes obvious that the person is a mage.


How obvious is a non-projecting mage on the astral? You'd need a decent Assensing check, IIRC. But in the end it doesn't matter...

QUOTE
Whats not to say just because the smuggling party is out on the sand w/o cover that they also do not have any tricks themselves?


Absolutely nothing which is my entire point. They make preparations. You make preparations. You are both ready if the other side throw down, but you both respect the others' point of view.

QUOTE
Having a mage in a box where you can't strike back at him would make me walk away from the unknown party right then and there.


Well, that's your problem for not being able to strike bacK at them. You should have at leas one AV rocket on that boat. You don't know what ass-kicking hardware there might be on that van either, and if there's a rigger hooked into it, that can hand you your ass faster than a mage can if you don't have AV weaponry...

QUOTE
Sorry if I don't know you and if the mage is unwilling to get out of his box-o-kill us all I would say the deals off.


The converse of your "solution" is that if you demanded my mage step out where you can geek them to start the doublecross, I'd be the one extracting myself from the situation without comment. How do I know this isn't a setup designed to get me? Trust goes both ways. Paranoia goes both ways. Or are only the NPCs allowed to be paranoid?

And the fact of the matter is, that if the recognition codes work out (which should have been ascertained by some form of 1-on-1 contact, you do know me, by reputation at least, as the trusted agent of the guy I'm working for, who you trust enough to deal with. So, yeah, be cautious, be prepared if I start something, but don't dick me around; you'll look like an insecure twat in front of your men, and to my employer.

QUOTE
Maybe it's ok in your setting, but in mine that wouldn't fly.


What the situation as you present it teaches is that the PCs always have to do what the NPCs want or you, the GM will hose them. Sounds like a great atmosphere to be playing in.

Shiloh
QUOTE (masterofm @ Aug 7 2008, 08:55 AM) *
...warding materials cost money...

No they don't. Or if they do, I missed it when I was looking for that exact thing. Lodges cost money for materials.
masterofm
Sorry was thinking of lodges for some reason... woopsie.

In response to your comments. Sometimes I feel like a situation calls for the PCs to comply with an NPCs demans, sometimes it is the other way around, and sometimes it is on neutral ground. How often do or should the PCs set the terms of a meeting in a game? I also feel like the fact that once and a while if an NPC can call the shots that this comment seems to be taken completely out of proportion. Then let me take your statement and blow it completely out of proportion by saying that it's nice that you run a game where you let the PCs do whatever they want and don't provide them a challenge. Neither stands, but if you throw them a curveball every once and a while I don't think it's demanding the sky and the moon out of the players.

As for the rest of your comments I don't really feel like responding to them. It's obvious what side of the fence you stand on, and what side I stand on. The rules and the setting are always up for interpretation, so since the GM was asking for help I proposed a run where you slap the mages hand w/o straight up killing the mage. Although I would like to hear your suggestion of a run that might be able to help the GM's mage predicament if mine sucks so hard.
toturi
QUOTE (masterofm @ Aug 6 2008, 11:30 PM) *
Not every single meet is or should be on the Shadowrunners terms. When a Johnson hires a team for the first time no one has any idea what will happen, and yes the smugglers might not detect the mage. There is a very good chance they will though if they have radar vision. If they do more then one sweep (which would make sense) then chances are they will find the mage.

If a team is going into a warehouse to pickup some drugs or is doing something illegal and this is the first time they have done it why would they not be searched? Why would the other side not be totally suspicious and want everything to be on their terms? How come this does not make sense? What do people do in RL during these types of situations? I would play it that way, because during most of these situations the smugglers want the mage sitting in the van... oh no wait they don't. They want to know what is going on and if the person in that van is a plant. Also no one on the other side of the situation who wants a mage sitting in a heavily armored van unless they have the ability to nail it with multiple rockets? There is no way of knowing if the team wasn't eliminated and replaced by a different Shadowrun team who is actually going to try and attack them. It gets done (and makes for an interesting run.) Yet having a mage stay in a van in a situation like that I think would make anyone edgy and/or pissed off. Your mage is on the sand during the meet why isn't theirs? It all smacks of suspicion.
It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if they want the person in the van to come out. Why should the runner team allow the other side to have everything on their terms? If the team is going to a warehouse to pickup some drugs or something illegal and this is the first time they have done it, why should the runners trust the other side not to be undercover cops? Or even their johnson for that matter? Afterall, the smugglers were there first and could have set up an ambush first. It doesn't matter who or what or how powerful the mage is. Whatever reason you may raise, there is an equally valid counterpoint for the runner team. You want my mage to come out? Afterall, you already know who my mage is and I don't even know if that guy you say is your mage can even pull enough mojo to put a baby to sleep. That makes of betrayal, how do I know you haven't got a sniper ready to put a bullet in my mage's brain pan the moment he steps out? Especially since you have demonstrated such knowledge about my team, I'd be suspicious why you went to the trouble of profiling my guys. You have more guys than me, you are worried we are going to double cross you? So we are here to do business or do I walk?
masterofm
Uuuugh! I just don't care anymore... Fine the idea sucks. Maybe try to help him out with a suggestion for a run? Everything about how to help him deal with a mage has already pretty much been said. I guess thats what I get for just trying to suggest something...
sunnyside
QUOTE (masterofm @ Aug 7 2008, 03:55 AM) *
Mages cost money, bound spirits cost money. In the end warding a huge building is just not cost efficient enough. In the end why not just ward the most important parts and save yourself millions and millions of nuyen.gif and time using your mages?

Also I believe they gave measurements in cubic meters, because the ward is a sphere or square and that determines the area (which is measured in cubic meters.) I don't think by RAW you can expand a force six ward to cover an entire warehouse, because you ward just the walls.


They mention using wards to do a wall. Though I'd require a different ward for each wall, otherwise it's just free space and I'm not down for that.

Note that while bound spirits require money, spirits that are not bound do not.


Anyway for many buildings (hotels) it's just cost effective to ward the whole thing. I.e. warding a shell costs something like 2 nuyen a room in a 200 room hotel. I'd pay that. Warding each room indavidually would cost more like 15 a day. Which, it must be granted, might be worth it in ritzier places.

On that note lets contemplate warding up somebodies townhouse. Lets say(for convenience) that it has 4 floors counting the basement, each 200 cubic meters. So each floor gets it's own ward.

Now lets say the mage and his spirit charge a bit under 1,200 for each three week extension so that's 20 grand a year. Not so cheap but for a lot of people that isn't so bad either considering the added safety.

Also there is a cool effect I hadn't thought about with warding each floor. At the staircases there are two wards back to back. So if a spirit comes after you if you run down a staircase when it manifests it suddenly has to punch two wards to get at you.
Shiloh
QUOTE (masterofm @ Aug 7 2008, 10:28 AM) *
Uuuugh! I just don't care anymore... Fine the idea sucks. Maybe try to help him out with a suggestion for a run? Everything about how to help him deal with a mage has already pretty much been said. I guess thats what I get for just trying to suggest something...


Setting an "educational" run for the mage that isn't going to flat out kill 'em (and thier teammates) isn't going to be easy given what the Mage already expects, i.e. that overwhelming magical force is always going to carry the day at no risk. I think that first the ref has to explain that the group has been doing certain things wrong, and that those things are going to be set straight over the next few sessions. Introduce the various elements that have been mentioned a bit at a time.

Move the situations that the players are encountering away from "open field" mook-shredding and into more confined quarters with more organised resistance. There are only so many gangs that will even attempt to deal with the players after they've wiped out the first 2 or 3, and even if they become gang busters, the Karma rewards are going to dry up and the market for second hand looted low end firearms will rapidly become saturated and unprofitable. Maybe have the survivors of the gangs they've trounced get together and make a plan (half-assed as you like, but make it at least a threat) to take the 'Runners down individually, starting with the mage.

If all the meets the players come to turn into blood baths, pretty soon they'll have no one willing to meet them, so no work except what they scare up for themselves, and even that will start to dry up if they just murdelise everyone. Introduce situations that can't be satisfactorily resolved by force of arms/mana. Apply the consequences of what they do; there should be plenty of material for educational runs there.
Rasumichin
A note on multiple wards :
You cannot have one ward within another (this also applies to lodges and wards).
They require free access to astral space to keep functioning.
Keep that in mind when designing a security layout with multiple wards.


If you want to make a really complex astral barrier layout, combine warding with FAB walls.
sunnyside
QUOTE (Rasumichin @ Aug 7 2008, 09:17 AM) *
A note on multiple wards :
You cannot have one ward within another (this also applies to lodges and wards).
They require free access to astral space to keep functioning.
Keep that in mind when designing a security layout with multiple wards.


If you want to make a really complex astral barrier layout, combine warding with FAB walls.


Still, nothing wrong with giving each floor its own rectangular ward is there? Since floors often correspond to security clearance and provide clear demarcations for warders I could see this being popular.

Shiloh
QUOTE (sunnyside @ Aug 7 2008, 02:20 PM) *
Still, nothing wrong with giving each floor its own rectangular ward is there? Since floors often correspond to security clearance and provide clear demarcations for warders I could see this being popular.


'Tis a good layout. Rasumichin's point however does emphasise that you can't have interior divisions inside a "shell-warded" structure, for example the 200-room hotel or other tower block.

I'm not sure how much value I'd place on a room that was shielded from Astral travellers that start *outside* the building... they only need to get into the public areas (rent a different room) to breach that security. I'm sure people pay extra for one of the rooms/suites that has its own Ward though.
kzt
QUOTE (sunnyside @ Aug 6 2008, 06:11 PM) *
By the way it isn't just creative interpritation of wards here that lets them work in vehicles. It's all spelled out in street magic, which also has the all important background counts. Walking into even a fairly common background count 1 will knock a level off of his sustained increased reflexes and combat sense.

Actually, it's spelled out on the writers blog and in subsequent postings on dumpshock. SM rules were kind of odd....
kzt
QUOTE (Rasumichin @ Aug 7 2008, 06:17 AM) *
A note on multiple wards :
You cannot have one ward within another (this also applies to lodges and wards).

You can have multiple flat 1 meter thick wards that touch. They do not form a complete barrier to astral entities, but they will stop spells.

As much as any ward stops spells, as that is one area that RAW is terribly written.
Tarantula
Impair might be a better word.
kzt
QUOTE (Tarantula @ Aug 7 2008, 09:00 AM) *
Impair might be a better word.

Per RAW, wards and countermagic don't do anything to help inanimate objects. The writers cleverly have the ward providing a bonus for a test that inanimate objects DON'T GET TO MAKE! So any magic 1 character can destroy any building or vehicle in under a minute using powerball, no matter how much magical security it has.

My suggested solution is to change wards so what they do is remove hits of spells crossing the ward equal to the force of the ward. When have less than one net hit the spell fails. There are other approaches I've seen suggested that seemed reasonable.
psychophipps
QUOTE (kzt @ Aug 7 2008, 10:05 AM) *
Per RAW, wards and countermagic don't do anything to help inanimate objects. The writers cleverly have the ward providing a bonus for a test that inanimate objects DON'T GET TO MAKE! So any magic 1 character can destroy any building or vehicle in under a minute using powerball, no matter how much magical security it has.

My suggested solution is to change wards so what they do is remove hits of spells crossing the ward equal to the force of the ward. When have less than one net hit the spell fails. There are other approaches I've seen suggested that seemed reasonable.


Question: Umm...doesn't the material still resist the damage with it's Structure and/or Hardness ratings?

Answer: Not quite, but it's all in fairly easy to understand text in SR4 BB pg. 196.

So...no. Any Magic 1 mook can't blow up any building or vehicle in under a minute with Powerballs. At least not without probably taking some big-time (as in lethal) drain.
kzt
QUOTE (psychophipps @ Aug 7 2008, 10:18 AM) *
Question: Umm...doesn't the material still resist the damage with it's Structure and/or Hardness ratings?

Answer: Not quite, but it's all in fairly easy to understand text in SR4 BB pg. 196.

So...no. Any Magic 1 mook can't blow up any building or vehicle in under a minute with Powerballs. At least not without probably taking some big-time (as in lethal) drain.

Ok I exaggerate a bit, a magic 1 can't blow up a jet (can't make the OR threshold) but they can get most buildings. Magic 4 can do it easily.

And, no. Nothing gets to resist direct spell damage. It just happens. As to whether it happens, that's just a success test for the mage. I don't write these crazy rules....

"Direct Combat spells cast against nonliving objects are treated as Success Tests; the caster much achieve enough hits to beat the item’s Object Resistance (see p. 174). Net hits increase damage as normal (the object does not get a resistance test)."

That's why I want wards to peel away successes.
sunnyside
Or at least peel away dice as a modifier. I'm not sure if it's worth a house rule. Though regardless I suggest increasing the OR based on object size. That's sort of RAWish.

Anyway something else on wards. They aren't all high end. Recently awakened Timmy next door can ward as one of the first things they can do (doesn't require any skill). I isn't spelled out in the text, but I wouldn't pay some much for rating 1 wards. But at the least the mage is still warned if something punches through.
psychophipps
QUOTE (kzt @ Aug 7 2008, 09:32 AM) *
Ok I exaggerate a bit, a magic 1 can't blow up a jet (can't make the OR threshold) but they can get most buildings. Magic 4 can do it easily.

And, no. Nothing gets to resist direct spell damage. It just happens. As to whether it happens, that's just a success test for the mage. I don't write these crazy rules....

"Direct Combat spells cast against nonliving objects are treated as Success Tests; the caster much achieve enough hits to beat the item’s Object Resistance (see p. 174). Net hits increase damage as normal (the object does not get a resistance test)."

That's why I want wards to peel away successes.


And the spell still has to blow through the item's Structure (wound boxes) with Physical damage to destroy it as "causing damage normally" indicates.

Yes, I'm technically inferring here but it's not hard to understand without having to haul the devgrp front and center.

That said, I'm failing to see the issue here. You beat the threshold to reflect the difficulty of magically attacking a non-magical object, all successes past that threshold add damage normally to remove points from the objects Structure rating until it (or at least a section of it) is destroyed. cool.gif
kzt
I'm not quite sure how we got here either, but I think it's that by RAW warding your vehicle provides no protection against it getting it blowed up by magic.
Tarantula
QUOTE (kzt @ Aug 7 2008, 11:15 AM) *
I'm not quite sure how we got here either, but I think it's that by RAW warding your vehicle provides no protection against it getting it blowed up by magic.


No protection against being blown up by direct combat spells. Indirect objects get the damage resistance test, which counterspelling (and I'd argue wards too) add to. But, as was noted above, its pretty hard to blow chunks out of buildings with direct combat spells. Vehicles, its still hard, being that you get Force + Hits - OR Threshold. (5 hits on a Threshold 4 test, = 1 net hit).
sunnyside
QUOTE (Tarantula @ Aug 7 2008, 02:20 PM) *
Vehicles, its still hard, being that you get Force + Hits - OR Threshold. (5 hits on a Threshold 4 test, = 1 net hit).


Still it isn't very hard because body doens't scale anywhere remotely linarly with size. So the way they go a buildin might be 50 body. Not 50,000 So That's 33 boxes of damage. A single force 9 powerbolt will cause heavy damage and cause everybody to run for the exits.

Annoying.
Tarantula
QUOTE (sunnyside @ Aug 7 2008, 12:52 PM) *
Still it isn't very hard because body doens't scale anywhere remotely linarly with size. So the way they go a buildin might be 50 body. Not 50,000 So That's 33 boxes of damage. A single force 9 powerbolt will cause heavy damage and cause everybody to run for the exits.

Annoying.


Good luck trying to powerbolt that building down.

Interesting note, the barrier rules have their own special rules for barriers to resist damage, and it seems they would superceed the magic rules and grant barriers a damage resistance test (against even powerbolts) of armor x2.


Also, your force 9 powerbolt, with 1 net hit is 10 damage. Structural material has 12 armor, and 11 structure. 10 < 11, and as such, you don't do jack to the building.
kzt
QUOTE (Tarantula @ Aug 7 2008, 02:36 PM) *
Good luck trying to powerbolt that building down.

Interesting note, the barrier rules have their own special rules for barriers to resist damage, and it seems they would superceed the magic rules and grant barriers a damage resistance test (against even powerbolts) of armor x2.


Also, your force 9 powerbolt, with 1 net hit is 10 damage. Structural material has 12 armor, and 11 structure. 10 < 11, and as such, you don't do jack to the building.


Nope. When they say "Direct Combat spells channel damaging power directly into the target€™s inner being, affecting them from within, and so bypass armor" they mean it bypasses armor. When they say "A spell cast on a non-living, non-magic target is not resisted, as the object has no life force and thus no connection to mana with which to oppose the casting of the spell" they mean non-living objects don't get a resistance roll.

The way the rules work is the caster rolls a success test, and if he overcomes the OR the target takes the force of the spell plus any net hits. (Yes, it says in about 4 places that you need at least one net success to succeed at a success roll, but everyone but me wants to assume that the magic rules don't work that way.)

The example in the book: This is in many ways a terrible example, but it servers the purpose here.

"If Raze had targeted the bike instead of the ganger, his 4 hits would have been enough to reach the threshold of 4, as a motorbike counts as a highly-processed object. Since nonliving objects cannot resist against Directed Combat spells, the bike would have taken 5 DV from the spell (Raze didn€™t score any net hits over the threshold to raise the damage)."

You can change the rules in your game, but realize it's a change.
masterofm
When you shoot a building with a spell or a gun you don't take into account the entire buildings body, and armor. You deal with the wall and the material it is made out of at that specific point. Every time you destroy a piece of a wall by knocking it's structural track to 0 you blow a 1 meter square hole in the building. If a mage was using AOE spells on a building made out of drywall it would probably blow a large chunk out of the side of the building. A powerbolt would open a small hole. Also the problem with using a high force AOE spell is that you will most likely kill every single person on the street within quite a large number of meters of where the epicenter of the impact of the spell. Assuming the spell is cast at ground level, or even a few stories up. A building high rise? Probably no problem, but no one likes a mage destroying a very large chunk of a very tall building.
Tarantula
QUOTE (kzt @ Aug 7 2008, 02:57 PM) *
Nope. When they say "Direct Combat spells channel damaging power directly into the target�€™s inner being, affecting them from within, and so bypass armor" they mean it bypasses armor. When they say "A spell cast on a non-living, non-magic target is not resisted, as the object has no life force and thus no connection to mana with which to oppose the casting of the spell" they mean non-living objects don't get a resistance roll.

The way the rules work is the caster rolls a success test, and if he overcomes the OR the target takes the force of the spell plus any net hits. (Yes, it says in about 4 places that you need at least one net success to succeed at a success roll, but everyone but me wants to assume that the magic rules don't work that way.)

The example in the book: This is in many ways a terrible example, but it servers the purpose here.

"If Raze had targeted the bike instead of the ganger, his 4 hits would have been enough to reach the threshold of 4, as a motorbike counts as a highly-processed object. Since nonliving objects cannot resist against Directed Combat spells, the bike would have taken 5 DV from the spell (Raze didn�€™t score any net hits over the threshold to raise the damage)."

You can change the rules in your game, but realize it's a change.


Your example is dealing with vehicles, which use condition tracks. Mine is dealing with barriers, which use the barrier rules.

I'll conceed that barriers still don't get a damage resistance test, as direct combat spells still bypass that, and the barrier rules reference a damage resistance test.

QUOTE (masterofm)
When you shoot a building with a spell or a gun you don't take into account the entire buildings body, and armor. You deal with the wall and the material it is made out of at that specific point. Every time you destroy a piece of a wall by knocking it's structural track to 0 you blow a 1 meter square hole in the building. If a mage was using AOE spells on a building made out of drywall it would probably blow a large chunk out of the side of the building. A powerbolt would open a small hole. Also the problem with using a high force AOE spell is that you will most likely kill every single person on the street within quite a large number of meters of where the epicenter of the impact of the spell. Assuming the spell is cast at ground level, or even a few stories up. A building high rise? Probably no problem, but no one likes a mage destroying a very large chunk of a very tall building.


You're right, except that its very hard to do that. Structural material, such as brick/plascrete, which I would assume most buildings outer walls are made of, has a structure rating of 11. Thats for breaking through it. Doing 10 damage to the wall doesn't blow a chunk out of it. And it doesn't matter if you consistently do 10 damage to it. Until you hit 11, you don't break a hole in it, and it doesn't have a condition track, so previous damage doesn't carry over.

Buildings aren't made out of drywall (not the outsides anyway). Lets take a normal example, a security door (8/9). The hacker can't get it open, and so the mage decides to powerbolt/ball it out of the way. He rolls his mighty force 6 powerbolt, and gets 6 hits even. Its highly processed (being electrically locked and all that) so, he has 2 net hets. 6+2=8. 8 < 9 and thus he can never get through the door like that.
masterofm
Tarantula my post was saying if the side of a building was made out of something silly like drywall... although not entirely impossible with the way some buildings are made these days. I also thought direct combat spells went through armor though. Anyways it's kind of a foolish situation. Stuff let that gets tons of attention. It's just a dumb idea when a rocket would probably do it easy peazy and cause just as much attention at that point.
kzt
That's why I chose powerball. You need several attacks to peel away the non-structural elements so you can get line of sight to the structural elements. Then you collapse the entire building when you blow out a 12 meter section of structural steel with 30 stories above it. The advantage of powerball over rockets is that you can do it from several km away and your launch signature is a lot lower. Not to mention that rockets are pretty poor at blowing away 32 point armored blast bunkers, but three f6 powerballs will do it just fine.
sunnyside
Alright so there are differences between vehicles and barriers. So maybe very large vehicles would also switch over to barrier rules.

Though it sounds like magic slices through barriers pretty easily as well. And still get the annoying bit where it's hard to defend your carrier against magic.
Tarantula
QUOTE (kzt @ Aug 7 2008, 04:04 PM) *
That's why I chose powerball. You need several attacks to peel away the non-structural elements so you can get line of sight to the structural elements. Then you collapse the entire building when you blow out a 12 meter section of structural steel with 30 stories above it. The advantage of powerball over rockets is that you can do it from several km away and your launch signature is a lot lower. Not to mention that rockets are pretty poor at blowing away 32 point armored blast bunkers, but three f6 powerballs will do it just fine.


Structural steel eh? You mean that nice 16/13 rating barrier material? And how no matter how many F6 powerballs you use, it'll never take chunks out of it?

And blast bunkers? 32/17. You say a rocket is no good at it. AV Rocket, 16P, -6AP. Its AV, so it jumps from 16P to 48P for the barrier. Barrier gets 32x2 = 64 armor to resist with (perfect time for trade in rules). 64/4=16. 32P left. 32 > 17, making a 1 square meter hole. If the guy shooting is any good, and can get at least 2 hits, then he'll make a 2 meter hole.

Now, your example against the F6 powerballs. Force 6 powerball, threshold 4. 6 hits (cap out against force), 2 net hits. 6+2 = 8. 8 < 17, you never make a hole.
psychophipps
So we're basically pointing out that the writers never thought that some shit-bird mage would try tossing Force 6 Manaballs at a Blast Barrier or use the same to take an entire building down. Yes, it's a waste of time to try to do so and that mage most likely will have some...mildly upset...company before they finish either deed in full, but it sure is fun to poke holes in the ruleset with examples that will never really come up in play, huh? smile.gif
Tarantula
No, they did think about it. The spell isn't strong enough to break structural steel. Get over it.

If you want a chance, you'd need minimum Force 11. (With 10 hits, 4 count to threshold, so the other 6 carry over as net hits) making your base DV 17.
psychophipps
QUOTE (Tarantula @ Aug 8 2008, 06:49 AM) *
No, they did think about it. "The spell isn't strong enough to break structural steel. Get over it."

If you want a chance, you'd need minimum Force 11. (With 10 hits, 4 count to threshold, so the other 6 carry over as net hits) making your base DV 17.


I do so love the voice of Reason.

The quotes above is pretty much what I would tell my players if this situation ever came up. And you know what? They'd take this ruling like good little bitches and we would carry on without further argument with the rest of the session.

Such is the power of the GM to stop attempted rules exploitations...
kzt
That's actually a pretty clever interpretation. It's not totally logical for powerball, as the size of a structural member is a lot less than a meter in cross section, but clever. It also works for keeping them away from blowing up armored vehicles.
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