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I'm looking for help to a strong build for defense magic. I have a feeling that my DM is going to run us through a hell hole and I'm looking for a way to, well, not die. I know that there are some good spell lists/builds out there that are beefed up for defense magic...I am fairly new to the whole Shadowrun world, so would you help a girl out?
Mana barrier.
Magical Guard from spirits.
Arcane Arrester.
Mana static.
tarantula has given you some excellent tools for defending against magic... did you mean defense against magic, or magic that is defensive in nature?
Ol' Scratch
Yeah, are you going for a character who's simply good against magic, or a magician who specializes in counter-magic?

For the former, nothing beats a metavarient or Class III Changeling with Arcane Arrester, Astral Hazing, and an Essence of 0.01-0.99. With their Essence at that rating, their Astral Hazing won't affect anyone but themselves (unless they mill around the same place for two to three hours (and even then it's purely at the GM's fiat). Those metagenic traits combined make you all but impervious to magic. Even a Force 12 spell is being treated as a Force 2 or Force 4 (depending on how your GM applies the effects) spell by you. Give yourself a high Body and Willpower score and you're set. Doubly so if you have a magician on your team who puts a few dice of counterspelling on you.

For the latter, Arcane Arrester is still great as long as you're planning on being a purely defensive magician. If you plan on buffing yourself at all, it's crap. Gnomes and Fomori are the easiest way to get it without too many negatives, but if you prefer being another race just use the Changeling rules. Pick up the Magician quality, get your Counterspelling and Banishing skills up high, grab Summoning and maybe Binding, and keep a few spirits around to use the Teamwork rules for counterspelling, use services to throw up Guard and Magicial Guard, and so on and so forth. My first priority with such a character would be to initiate (and pick up Ally Conjuring and Invoking) then start work on a custom ally spirit with all the bells and whistles. After that I'd start working towards the metamagics like Shielding and maybe even Absorbing if you decide to pick up a few offensively defensive spells along the way.
I guess I'm looking for magician who specializes in counter-magic. WOW! These are wonderful!! Thank you for the help. If there are any other replies, please don't hesitate. I really am pretty green with this game.
The right way to do heavy countermagic is to have at least one person with 6+ dice and several other people who can use teamwork to add 1-2 dice per. You need a team of mages to do this, but they are hell on wheels against other magicians. A 6 man team can soak average 5-6 successes (without edge) direct magic, plus their body/will roll.
There is only two magicians and a mystical adept on my team that are magically inclined. The other magician is more Offensive spells with the flashes and the bangs and the adept took things that would help with his "sneekiness".

So I know that you can counter-spell a counter-spell...How would I prevent such an action from happening to me?
Ol' Scratch
Conjuring is your best bet, really. Spirits have a lot of defensive abilities and can even fulfill the "the best defense is a strong offense" mentalty when you need to. Especially ally spirits (and there's no rule that says you can only have one ally spirit as far as I'm aware). They can bolster your counterspelling via the teamwork rules, keep powers like Guard and Magical Guard up 24/7, attack astral constructs, and so on and so forth. Gives you a lot of versatility as well.
QUOTE (ClearlyPixelated @ Oct 3 2008, 01:19 PM) *
So I know that you can counter-spell a counter-spell...How would I prevent such an action from happening to me?

Huh? No, you can't. Mage A casts on Enemy B. Enemy mage is counterspelling. Enemy B gets enemy mage's counterspelling against the spell Mage A cast.

There is no way to prevent that, without making Enemy B be out of line of sight from enemy mage.
Ol' Scratch
Well, ritual sorcery is kind-of sort-of but-not-really a means of doing that. Simply because it lets you throw more dice at the situation. But that has its drawbacks in countless other ways to the point of not even really being worth mentioning. So, naturally I mention it.
Uh, they still get their counterspelling. And unless you're using a stupidly powerful ritual team that has a magic of 11+ with the leader, the target will most likely be aware its incoming, and then can take appropriate measures to negate it. Such as, hiding inside a mana static, inside a mana barrier, inside a ward, with multiple casters/spirits counterspelling for them.

Or, you know, just kill the spotter.
Ol' Scratch
Yes, but you're getting more dice to throw at them. All counterspelling really does is grant bonus resistance dice. Thus counter-counterspelling = more spellcasting dice.
More dice to throw at them, at the expense of alerting them to the fact, and giving them ample time to get defending against it. Also, it isn't an effective counter, since you can add up to 7 (assuming they all have aptitude for it). And they can use foci.

For counterspelling, you can have as many people as you can get together helping out and if he has aptitude he can get up to 7 dice bonus. They could all use foci also.

Its easier for counterspelling to have more bonus dice than ritual casting, as you can get an infinite number of counterspellers to help out the main guy with a 7 in it. To ensure he gets his +7 bonus.

You are limited in ritual casting by the force of the lodge, or the lowest skill around, so you can have at most, 7 ritual casters together, and they are also limited at giving the leader a +7 bonus.

Both can use foci, so the end result, is the same dice bonus (assuming they both got max bonuses), but the counterspelling one is much easier to get together. (Ritual teams also have to be of the same tradition etc..)
Wow, I didn't know that this topic was going to get this amount of information! Thank you for all of the help!
Ol' Scratch
I'm aware of how ritual casting works. Read my reply on the subject. Most notably the "not even worth mentioning" part.
You point boiled down to the benefits of it are "it lets you throw more dice". My counterpoint was, "counterspelling can throw equally as many dice."
Some good suggestions here, and you'd do well following some of this advice. But just to add something more, the best defense you'll ever have is using a bit of imagination in the game. Electrical Manipulation spells can be useful shorting out maglocks to close an avenue of attack, or Fire to create diversions or cover . Enemy incoming? Lie down, cast mask to look like a fallen comrade of theirs and they'll pass you right by. Invisibility, gecko gloves and passable Stealth skill can get you out of no end of trouble as well. All things I've seen used to great effect in a game.

Don't underestimate doing things by proxy, either. The spells Armour and Deflection can be useful for turning the troll samurai into even more of an unstoppable force that you can use to batter through the enemy whilst everyone else snipes. One odd option would be to go with a Possession based mage. When possessed, you can become very tough indeed. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this though, as although possession looks fantastic at first, you're actually trading in a lot for it.

Finally, don't forget the grenades. What - you thought a magician had to use magic all the time? Grenades are cheap, get them, use them and if you have Magic Fingers, you can even place them precisely. (Got to love the expression on sec guards faces when a grenade is chasing them down a corridor. biggrin.gif ).

Good luck.

Basically everyone who has a magic attribute needs to have counterspelling. It's that useful.

I consider it useful enough to think it's worth building teams that are all mages so they can have soak silly numbers of successes. If the other side has to go to fireballs while you can effectively use stunballs the other side won't typically last long in a fight. And it's hell on spirits, even silly powerful ones, when everyone can zap them with magic.
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