Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Some Mage Action
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
K M Faust
I would like to start a discussion thread for those mage's out there who would like to share there best spells you've used so far, best practices, and stories about the action you have received as this important (usually not packing the heat of other characters) player in the SR4 game. Combat Mages, Occult Investigator, Shaman, or anyone else I've not mentioned who uses magic in the game. You can be from any tradition, even adepts can post here. Come brothers and sisters of the magic realm - post your best and worst. (If by chance there is another posting for magical use in shadowrun, I apologize for the repeat thread.)
Blade
I remember a rather strange use of an illusion spell during an infiltration.
The runners are deep inside a very secure corp facility and hear guards coming their way. As they look for a place to hide, they ask the mage to use some illusion spell to distract the guards. As the mage player was taking a lot of time to decide what to do, the GM started to count down the time before the guards arrived. Panicked, the mage finally went for... a panda. A big panda eating bamboo deep inside a very secure corp facility. It took a few seconds for the guards to understand that it was probably an illusion and it was enough for the runners to hide.
hobgoblin
but even then it should tip the guard of that a illusion rarely happens on its own. so they would at least call in some magical backup to start looking for who or what it was that cast that spell...
Tarantula
Turn to goo + bucket + ghouls = you get free passage. Just stop sustaining it when they open the lid.
DTFarstar
Made some fairly spectacular perception tests to see a car tailing us with motorcycle back-up behind it in case it loses us in traffic and needs the maneuverability. Used movement from a spirit to divide the leading cars speed by 5 reducing from approximately 95 kmph to approximately 19 kmph and forcing the motorcycle guy to make a threshold 4 driving test not to ram his friend. He failed and after some amusing rolling by the GM ended up unconscious from ramming damage. Also, the other person in the van that was negative movemented couldn't follow us at speed anymore, so we lost her.

Two birds with one stone, as it were.

Chris
stonehands
I'm still pretty new to the game, but I've enjoyed using my spells in creative ways. Here are a few:

Levitate:

We were running an abduction mission, so we busted our armored van into the fancy restaurant our target was dining at. My mage levitated our target into the back of the van while my team dished out some suppressing fire.

Another time our team was being pinned down by a sniper on top of a roof. I levitated the target, moved him about 10 yards off the side of the building, and dropped the spell. Splat.

Invisibility:

I actually do this technique quite a bit now. My mage gets behind some nice cover (car, dumpster, wall etc) and casts invisibility on it. This results in an invisible cover which my mage can see through and still maintain line of sight on all targets, yet still receives the defense bonuses of being behind cover.
hobgoblin
QUOTE (stonehands @ Sep 4 2008, 07:52 PM) *
Invisibility:

I actually do this technique quite a bit now. My mage gets behind some nice cover (car, dumpster, wall etc) and casts invisibility on it. This results in an invisible cover which my mage can see through and still maintain line of sight on all targets, yet still receives the defense bonuses of being behind cover.


ugh, the headache that is invisibility silly.gif
Tarantula
Spells never grant LOS.
stonehands
QUOTE (Tarantula @ Sep 4 2008, 06:08 PM) *
Spells never grant LOS.



Not the spell itself, no, but if I'm hiding behind cover that I make invisible, can I not see through it and therefore keep line of sight? Furthermore, if my target hides behind a car, can I not make the car invisible and then target him with more spells? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I'm breaking any rules.
Ravor
I wouldn't allow it.
Kurious
QUOTE
Not the spell itself, no, but if I'm hiding behind cover that I make invisible, can I not see through it and therefore keep line of sight? Furthermore, if my target hides behind a car, can I not make the car invisible and then target him with more spells? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I'm breaking any rules.


Invisible or not, how does one cast through a dumpster?
Ol' Scratch
The same way you cast through a window.
Kurious
I guess that is an interesting gray area... I always took the spirit of LOS to be an 'unbroken line' between caster and victim. A line that cannot have barriers (even transparent ones) between them.

Windows by that definition would in fact block spells.

***
But, I am de-railing the thread. Sorry.

On topic:
Our caster once used levitate to make a 'hover bike'... not very impressive, but we haven't been playing very long either.
Delta56
QUOTE (Kurious @ Sep 4 2008, 08:03 PM) *
Invisible or not, how does one cast through a dumpster?



Can spells be cast through glass? (while not on the astral)
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (Kurious @ Sep 4 2008, 09:27 PM) *
I guess that is an interesting gray area... I always took the spirit of LOS to be an 'unbroken line' between caster and victim. A line that cannot have barriers (even transparent ones) between them.

Windows by that definition would in fact block spells.

Uhm, no. Just no. Spells (Indirect Spells not included; special rules apply to them) do not travel from the caster to the target. The caster manipulates the mana around the target directly. They just have to be able to see the target in order to do so.
Kurious
Meh, I am sure you are right.

I was thinking on it from a different perspective though... the book does talk about how, when casting a direct spell, metaphorically (where the mana field is like airwaves), the caster ‘channels through herself (a radio) signal’ to which the target is the ‘receiver’…

Considering all magic is tied to the astral realm (and in most cases even leaving a residual astral signature): just because it ‘appears around (or rather ‘in’) a target’ and 'affects him in the same plane' may not necessarily mean the spell was not ‘sent and received’ via the astral plane.

To which, if that was the case… barriers such as glass would block the spells.

(Though, conversely, that would mean you cannot cast underground either… which would be rather interesting).

Just food for thought.
Platinum Dragon
Considering you can cast down fiber optics (see Mage-Sight Goggles), you can certainly cast through a window. Turning cover invisible (be it yours or your enemy's) so that you can then target them is quite a nice trick. Kudos.
Shrapnel
I've used the same trick before, and it worked quite well.

We had to get into the locked cockpit of a plane we were hijacking, so I just made the door invisible and threatened to zap the pilots if they didn't comply. I would have really liked to have had a mind control spell of some sort, but the threat of violence and a good intimidation roll can go a long way.

Just make sure you don't try to cast any elemental manipulation spells behind your invisible dumpster... eek.gif dead.gif
masterofm
The problem with using invisibility in that way is that it can be abused. I mean you need to kill a subject inside a building. You just make the wall invisible, and then make the next wall invisible until you see the target and either kill him or get another mage or a spirit to kill him. You could bore a hole into anything to kill whatever target you want through magical means, and that to me is just nuts. In this way you can create situations where magic becomes even more powerful/broken. You can create situations where mundanes or adepts just can't really fight back against the mage.

The way I really look at invisibility is that it gives you the illusion that you are looking through an object. You don't make the object invisible, since it is an -->illusion<-- so in the end you are just tricking the mind into thinking it is really not there. You can see through a window and target someone on the physical, but on the astral you couldn't since the window is no longer transparent, but opaque. Casting a mana based illusion should not make that window any less impossible to see through even though someone might think they can target you on the astral (or vice versa.) A spell that is not being cast on the astral would give LOS because you can actually see the target. Remember illusions are called illusions for a reason, or else it would be turning an object invisible instead of giving you the illusion of doing said action. You don't bend light around the object it is just tricking the mind, so I don't see why tricking your own mind into thinking the dumpster just isn't there anymore would let you target the people beyond it.

As a GM and the way I interpret what illusions are I would say that would never fly in any game I would run, and as a player I would staunchly oppose it if it came up at my table. It just doesn't make sense when you step back and think about it (or at least when I think about it.)
Platinum Dragon
Actually, if I recall correctly (don't have the books on me), the BBB states that there are two types of invisibility spell, one that causes people to ignore you as a sort of mental compulsion and 'true' invisibility that bends light around you. It also mentions that the latter does not allow a resistance roll, while the former does - the latter also makes you invisible to drones and surveillance cameras.

As to tunneling to your target, not only do you have to take -2dice per invisibility spell for sustaining them while you cast other spells, your target will have a chance to simply move behind another object, causing you to have to cast even more invis spells. It's not that powerful if there's more than one obstacle between you and them.
Blade Of The Rising Sun
Hi all,

Regarding the Invisibility trick, well when u read the description of Invisibility and Improved Invisibility, it looks to me like the spell has been designed to affect living things.
It always refer to a subject or character and its aura; inanimate (non living) items don't have an aura.
Furthermore, when u look at the Mask spell, likewise it is designed to affect living beings, BUT in Street Magic they've introduced a Mask spell for non living objects like vehicles and drones.
So i think that a magician could certainly design an Invisibility spell to work on non living objects, but the core book version is for living beings i reckon.
Krule
Well, there is another arguement you can make, that is, when you make something invisable, you can still see it, sense you know it's there, someone else can't. That's for regular invisablity, for improved, I'd say yes, you could make something like a car invisable, as it's a single thing, but for a wall, you'd need to be able to make the whole building invisable, and, if I was running, I'd let you try, but the threshold would be extremely high.. likly 8 to 10.
K M Faust
Being a mage myself, I like using improved invisibility on beings with a soul, which are alive as spelled out in Street Magic. I have used this spell on myself and some members of my team to 'get in the door' if other options aren't working out. I know I can't cast on walls or inanimate objects because the spell would not allow it. It's cool to walk right by cameras and give the illusion of being invisible. On our current mission, I cast myself as a cat to check out a sewer line which had possible access a high security cloning depository as specified as part of our mission. I used improved invisibility to be undetected until I reached the manhole, then transformed into a cat and our decker dropped me into the manhole. Our characters get along well, but he couldn't help but to taunt me by grabbing me by the scruff of the neck to pick me out when my mission was complete and complain about my stench while I tried to scratch him. Hey, someone's got to do it. Being a mage can be 'dirty' once in a while.

K M Faust
While using improved invisibility, if someone is in the car, you could make them invisible, but not the car because it doesn't have a soul or an aura. To make the car invisible would require using a different spell on objects sans aura.
darthmord
The problem with that car example comes when you cast on the car, the person's aura is subsumed by the vehicle's aura. Same reason why you can't target a vehicle's tires with a spell. You have to target the vehicle. It's a whole entity and the person is inside it.

It's the same as a jar head inside an anthroform drone. You can't cast at the jar head until you rip open the drone body/case. In the example, you can't cast at the person in the car until you have removed the car as an intervening obstruction.
Tarantula
QUOTE (darthmord @ Sep 5 2008, 07:49 AM) *
The problem with that car example comes when you cast on the car, the person's aura is subsumed by the vehicle's aura. Same reason why you can't target a vehicle's tires with a spell. You have to target the vehicle. It's a whole entity and the person is inside it.

It's the same as a jar head inside an anthroform drone. You can't cast at the jar head until you rip open the drone body/case. In the example, you can't cast at the person in the car until you have removed the car as an intervening obstruction.


Unless you can see through the window, in which case you can cast on the person just fine.

The reason you can't cast on a jarhead is that the only living part left (The brain) is in a completely enclosed case sealed away from everything.
Tarantula
QUOTE (masterofm @ Sep 5 2008, 12:46 AM) *
You can see through a window and target someone on the physical, but on the astral you couldn't since the window is no longer transparent, but opaque.


Actually, it is able to be cast through, albeit at a -1-3 penalty.
masterofm
On the -2 sustaining penalty the easiest way to cut that in half is taking psyche, the drug of awesome. Turning five things invisible might not be all that difficult with only a -1 to -4 (then casting at a -5.) Then even if you can't cast the spell anymore you can just have your spirit fling spells instead of you.

My argument is that breaking LOS is sometimes the only way mundanes can escape or challenge a mage. Removing this obstacle to mages means why roll up any character besides a mage. Why not just load your character up with turn to goo, invisibility, mana static, mass animate, mind control, power bolt/ball and a few other insane spells while summoning and then invoking spirits of man to pull out the extra insanity. If a mage has the mana version of invisibility and you apply it the same way you do on the astral as the physical it makes illusion spells insane. You can see through walls in the astral and then view anyone on the other side or cast at them is lame in my view, since if you can do why not the other? It also makes glass cannons even more glassy and cannon...y. On the reverse side of a runner doing that the enemy team hits your team with radar (and lets just say the facility in question does,) and poof the wall next to you vanishes and your entire team eats 6-7 power balls. Your GM isn't using fiat, but the opposing side using the same trick against you. It sucks as it is an escalation in the game runners can't afford to have.
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE
While using improved invisibility, if someone is in the car, you could make them invisible, but not the car because it doesn't have a soul or an aura. To make the car invisible would require using a different spell on objects sans aura.

No.

Invisibility is a Mana spell in that it only affects living beings observing the illusion. If you cast Invisibility on a car, technological devices like cameras and sensors will be unaffected but everyone else will be vulnerable to the spell. It's why similar spells, such as Hot Potato, work despite being Mana spells.


Edit: Sorry for the heavy edit. I had misquoted and confused the Hell out of myself with why it wasn't what I thought it was.
Da9iel
Improved invisibility is a physical spell, is it not?
Tarantula
Yes it is, though I do like the new view that its only usable on living creatures, since it references that the aura is still visible to astral perception, and the only things to have auras are alive, spirits, or spells.
hobgoblin
QUOTE (Tarantula @ Sep 6 2008, 06:21 AM) *
Yes it is, though I do like the new view that its only usable on living creatures, since it references that the aura is still visible to astral perception, and the only things to have auras are alive, spirits, or spells.


yes the description of the spell is written in the style of it being used on a person. but thats not the same as declaring specifically that it can only be used on living beings.
Tarantula
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Sep 6 2008, 12:53 AM) *
yes the description of the spell is written in the style of it being used on a person. but thats not the same as declaring specifically that it can only be used on living beings.


"An invisible character may still be detected by non-visual means, such as hearing or smell." So, would you rule that a car can't be heard or smelt then? Since it specified character only there?
hobgoblin
wacko.gif
masterofm
check and mate. Thank you Tarantula.
Hound
what it really comes down to, in my opinion is the fact that there is a mask spell and a vehicle mask spell. The fact that they bothered to put two spells in should make it fairly obvious that the BBB is assuming that an illusion spell like invisibility is to be used on a living subject, unless it specifically states otherwise.

Also, casting a direct spell requires only that you see the person, objects in the way do not matter at all. As has been mentioned there is core material talking about mages being able to assist security teams through fiber-optic wire cameras, as long as they are within the range of their magic, it is legal.
Ryu
Vehicle mask is a restricted-target version of physical mask.
Tarantula
QUOTE (Ryu @ Sep 6 2008, 05:19 PM) *
Vehicle mask is a restricted-target version of physical mask.


"This alters the subject€™s voice, scent, and other physical characteristics as well." Interesting, I didn't know vehicles had a voice...

Also, normal physical mask won't do anything to the signature of the vehicle, while vehicle mask is able to modify that. I'd say its sufficiently different that they're not related.
Kurious
This use/abuse of improved invisibility has got me thinking…

And I have drawn some conclusions that I would like to share:

In the example of, turning a dumpster (or car) invisible:

Improved invisibility can do that: it is a physical spell and there is space available around the item to bend light- allowing the illusion to work as normal. Granted, if you are hiding behind said dumpster, the guy shooting at you can also see through it and no longer suffers a -6 penalty to hit you, as well as is once again able to use his agility instead of intuition to the roll.

~Use at your own risk.~

In the example of turning walls, or even most doors (especially well sealed doors like on a cockpit):

I do not believe improved invisibility would work. Reason: there is no space for the spell to ‘bend light around’ said door or wall.

Logically, there must be space available for the light to ‘bend around’ in order for the spell to work. Ideally, a minimum of two areas on opposite sides of said object should be needed and required- though the actual space could be very small.

Thoughts?
masterofm
Invisibility was meant to be a defensive spell, not an offensive spell. The bigger problem is can a mage just decide to arbitrarily fail the test against their own spell? It's your spell so can you just say yeah that spell totally works on me 100% of the time so I can shoot the caster behind those barrels? Can a mage just shrug off a powerball that they cast and happen to be inside the blast radius or what about an indirect spell? Also if you are casting on an inanimate object you have to beat the OR rating of said object in question so if you can do that then do the net hits determine the hits needed to beat the invisibility? There are too many questions this spell could bring up and too many potential problems if used in this way. It is so much easier to draw the line with no, then having to sit down and debate all the little fine points of what can and cannot be done. Look at the spells intention. It was meant to be a defensive spell, and the spell itself suggests that its intention was to be used on auras.
Kurious
You know, truly, I agree with you Masterofm.

Magic is already the stronger aspect of the game, since mechanically you have two stats against one (unless there is a counterspelling mage on ‘your side’) and there is no secondary defense rolls (with indirect combat spells being the only exception).

Part of the reason I tossed out the ‘food for thought’ on page one, making a case against mages even casting through windows. Even without using ‘creative interpretation’ magic users are scary deadly... with better range, better damage potential and less defense against their spells then bullets. At least there is a universal balance that everyone, including mages, says: Geek the mage first.
Tarantula
The worst problem is if the mage argues he can choose not to resist the spell. Then he casts force 1 invis on a dumpster, doesn't resist, and sees through it, everyone else easily makes the 1 hit required to resist, and doesn't. Now, the mage can cast through his dumpster, and no ones any the wiser.
Machiavelli
Sorry for interrupting this discussion. But my preferred way of acting with my constition 3 combat mage, is to conjure a ghost and giving him spell-defense from the astral or from far, far away. So he can fight for me without forcing me to stand in the fire. I like this a lot^^

Otherwise a simple fireball can be a weapon of choice, if the circumstances are really good (e.g. enemy´s in confined area, all on one spot and hoping for the secondary effects to blow their ammo). If this doesn´t work, you shouldn´t throw this thing. But this is one thing, every mage around the world learns as no.1 lesson i think smile.gif
masterofm
The problem with that is there is a certain radius that your spirit can travel before it gets put on a remote service and looses all of it's additional tasks.

Well isn't the hits capped at the force of the spell unless edge is used? You would have to cast at force 4-5 to be able to get enough hits to beat the OR. That or use edge right? Anyways it's lame if done this way and all the math and things that should or should not be ignored are just one big ass ache.
Tarantula
QUOTE (masterofm @ Sep 7 2008, 04:27 PM) *
The problem with that is there is a certain radius that your spirit can travel before it gets put on a remote service and looses all of it's additional tasks.

Well isn't the hits capped at the force of the spell unless edge is used? You would have to cast at force 4-5 to be able to get enough hits to beat the OR. That or use edge right? Anyways it's lame if done this way and all the math and things that should or should not be ignored are just one big ass ache.


I don't think a dumpster would be a threshold 4 for OR. Probably 2 or 3 (2 including simple plastics, or 3 for alloys). Even so, the mage could just declare counterspelling on the people he doesn't want to see through it before he casts the spell, then drop it after casting the spell.
SpasticTeapot
Stunball.

I love that spell.

Just knock 'em all out and sort through the bodies!
Kurious
QUOTE ("Tarantula")
the mage could just declare counterspelling on the people he doesn't want to see through it before he casts the spell, then drop it after casting the spell.


Counterspelling has the same caveat as casting, you have to see the ones you want to counterspell.

And if a caster can 'choose to be affected by a spell', I say the same should apply to other observers.
Platinum Dragon
QUOTE (Kurious @ Sep 7 2008, 03:51 PM) *
This use/abuse of improved invisibility has got me thinking…

And I have drawn some conclusions that I would like to share:

In the example of, turning a dumpster (or car) invisible:

Improved invisibility can do that: it is a physical spell and there is space available around the item to bend light- allowing the illusion to work as normal. Granted, if you are hiding behind said dumpster, the guy shooting at you can also see through it and no longer suffers a -6 penalty to hit you, as well as is once again able to use his agility instead of intuition to the roll.

~Use at your own risk.~

In the example of turning walls, or even most doors (especially well sealed doors like on a cockpit):

I do not believe improved invisibility would work. Reason: there is no space for the spell to ‘bend light around’ said door or wall.

Logically, there must be space available for the light to ‘bend around’ in order for the spell to work. Ideally, a minimum of two areas on opposite sides of said object should be needed and required- though the actual space could be very small.

Thoughts?


I like this. It makes a lot of sense according to how Imp. Invis works rules and fluff-wise.

QUOTE (masterofm @ Sep 7 2008, 04:20 PM) *
Invisibility was meant to be a defensive spell, not an offensive spell.


Please stay clear of arguments about what Invisibility was 'meant' to be. We don't know that and can't solidly deduce it from the (very short) description. Invisibility is a spell that turns things invisible. That is what Invisibility was 'meant' to be. Generally speaking, this is commonly used as a defensive measure, but if you can creatively apply it to allow an offensive use, go nuts.

I'm going to steer clear of the argument about a mage saving vs. his own spells or not - mostly because it's up for debate. Rather, I'm going to adress the 'balance' issues. For basic Invisibility, assuming it can be cast on objects, even making the dumpster invisible will not allow you to cast through it, because the dumpster's invisibility is only an illusion.

Improved invisibility, on the other hand, will let you cast through it, because it is a physical spell actually bending the light - however, Improved Invisibility cannot be resisted, so using this the mage cannot cause the dumpster to become a 'two-way mirror.'

So there is still no way for a mage to cast at his opponents while remaining out of LOS without using indirect area spells. Thus, creativity is awarded, but the mage is not made significantly more broken than it already was. Besides, while hiding behind an invisible dumpster might seem like a good idea, it tells your opposition exactly where to throw the grenades.
Platinum Dragon
Apologies for the double-post.

QUOTE (Kurious @ Sep 8 2008, 11:06 AM) *
Counterspelling has the same caveat as casting, you have to see the ones you want to counterspell.

And if a caster can 'choose to be affected by a spell', I say the same should apply to other observers.


The caveat being foreknowledge. If the mage's opposition are aware that the spell the mage is casting is Invisibility and the target is the dumpster, they might be able to voluntarily accept the illusion (or try and make some kind of test to willfully accept it). If they don't know this (which they almost certainly wont, unless they have LOS to the mage anyway and have some knowledge when it comes to magic so they can figure out what the spell & target are), they'll roll reflexive resistance wether they like it or not, because unless they've been conditioned on a subconcious level to always accept illusions, their mind will try to shake it off without them even realising they're doing it.
Eryk the Red
I've always assumed that resisting an illusion doesn't mean that you don't see it at all, but rather that you see it for what it is. The illusion is visible, but you notice its flaws and remain aware of the reality.

I'm tempted to assume that you can't get line of sight this way, anyway, since you don't really have line of sight. You have the illusion of line of sight, and that's not good enough. It's not a great argument, but it makes the most sense to me.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012