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xicidis
How long does a sustaining foci stay active? If you go to sleep? If you get knocked out? If you die? The way it seems to work from the book its just as good as a quickened spell, but no meta magic required and you can recast if its disrupted.

Am I missing something?
masterofm
You turn it off when you want to, or you start getting addicted. If you have your sustaining spell foci on 24 hours a day the GM can decide that you have a sever addiction and remove a point of essence off of your character sheet.
Cain
As long as you like; but if it's disrupted by walking through a ward or attacked in astral combat, the focus is broken and cannot be repaired. You can re-enchant it from scratch, though.

A quickened spell is much harder to dispel.
Eugene
I've got another focus question - a lot of people say that one of the problems with using a lot of foci is that "it lights you up" in the Astral. I've yet to find any 4e rules that support this IMHO common notion, though...
Cain
QUOTE (Eugene @ Jan 6 2009, 02:23 PM) *
I've got another focus question - a lot of people say that one of the problems with using a lot of foci is that "it lights you up" in the Astral. I've yet to find any 4e rules that support this IMHO common notion, though...

Well, "Lights up" is a bit of descriptive license, but here's how it works. Each focus you use has an astral presence, and the more astral presences you have, the more noticeable you are on the astral plane. If you're running with 6 active foci, that's 7 astral presences for someone else to spot. Getting away with one or two is possible, but with 7 chances to notice you, you are pretty well "lit up".
Stahlseele
does that mean, that an enemy mage does only get one chance to spot you, or your aura or whatever on the astral, if you have nothing else magically active?
and if you have 6 foci around you and they are active, then the mage gets to try 7 times to notice anything being there? O.o
ye gods, that could end up one hell of a lot of ice rolls, if there's more than one mage with foci on either side x.x . .
masterofm
To make it so you don't have to roll tons of dice I would give bonus dice to spot the mage on the astral. Simple and cuts down on a game that already has quite a bit too much dice rolling.
vollmond
QUOTE (Cain @ Jan 6 2009, 03:34 PM) *
As long as you like; but if it's disrupted by walking through a ward or attacked in astral combat, the focus is broken and cannot be repaired.


Are you sure abut this?

SR4 pg. 186
QUOTE
For example, a character who unknow-
ingly walks through a mana barrier carrying an active focus, or
a dual being in an elevator that passes through a ward on its
way up. In this case, make the same Opposed Test described
above (using Force x 2 for spells, spirits, foci, etc). If the bar-
rier wins, however, the item or entity still breaks through but is
automatically disrupted. Disrupted spells immediately end and
disrupted foci deactivate.


A deactivated focus can be immediately reactivated, but I do have to recast whatever spell it was sustaining (if it was a sustaining focus), but I don't think it is permanently damaged in any way.
pbangarth
I concur with vollmond.

Peter
RedeemerofOgar
Correct, Vollmond. The SPELL is broken, but not the focus itself.
xicidis
Ah, I see. Because I have a character that has a bunch of sustaining foci, and wants to have Improved invisibility and levitate on all the time. I kind of thought that was a bit much compared to like a quickened spell. The sustaining foci can be used on many kinds of spells and can be changed whenever, making it was more useful, and not much more expensive.
i101
So this means, that a foci cant just be turned off and on? Cause everytime the magican turns the foci off, he or she would have to spend new karma to bind the spell, right?
pbangarth
QUOTE (i101 @ Jan 6 2009, 06:21 PM) *
So this means, that a foci cant just be turned off and on? Cause everytime the magican turns the foci off, he or she would have to spend new karma to bind the spell, right?


No, you don't spend karma to bind the spell. You spend the karma, once, to bind the focus. A deactivated focus would have to have another spell cast into it, as per normal spellcasting.

Peter
RedeemerofOgar
QUOTE (xicidis @ Jan 6 2009, 07:10 PM) *
Ah, I see. Because I have a character that has a bunch of sustaining foci, and wants to have Improved invisibility and levitate on all the time. I kind of thought that was a bit much compared to like a quickened spell. The sustaining foci can be used on many kinds of spells and can be changed whenever, making it was more useful, and not much more expensive.


Basically correct. Note that a sustaining focus is specific to a magic type - thus, you cannot take the same Illusion Sustaining Focus that was holding your Invisibility, and use it to hold Levitate. Levitate would have to go into a Manipulation Sustaining Focus instead. You could, on the other hand, drop your Invisibility spell and use its focus to sustain a Mask or Chaotic World spell (as those are both also Illusions).
masterofm
Foci in a nutshell

- 1 sustained spell for a foci.

- Each sustaining foci has a specific type of spell you can put into it (health, manipulation, illusion, ect.)

- Spells force is capped at the foci's rank. You can get around this by using edge.

- The only way to damage or break the foci is to specifically target the foci. There is no real rules on how to do this though.

- Foci is affected by background count and if it reaches a force of 0 the spell fizzles.

- The spell in a Foci can be dispelled.

- You can turn it on or off whenever you want but when you want to turn it on you must recast a spell into it.

- If the character never turns it off the foci they start to suffer from addiction.... which if your GM really wants to be a punk and pwn you can strip a point of essence off of your sheet.

- When foci are active they can set off wards as they act as duel natured items.

- If you have a foci activated and are not on the astral a mage can target the foci, but not you as you are not duel natured when you have it activated (just the foci.)

- If the mage disrupts your spell on the astral the foci will turn off and you will lose any of the benefits it gave you.
Glyph
Where are you getting this spell type limitation? I don't see it anywhere in the rules. SR3 was even more limited (the sustaining focus could only be used for one specific spell), but I don't see anything in the SR4 description limiting the spells that can be cast into a sustaining focus. Of course, I'm looking at the focus description itself, so with the way SR4 rules are laid out, it could be buried in another paragraph somewhere.

Focus addiction is a negative quality, and inflicting it on a player for keeping his foci active for too long is pathetic and lame. It's like giving the sammie augmentation addiction for keeping his wired reflexes on too often. Honestly, one of the improvements in SR4 is how mages don't lose Magic every time they sneeze any longer. Keeping foci active too often has enough other negative drawbacks - you don't need heavy-handed GM dickery to demonstrate that it's a bad idea.
masterofm
"If your GM wants to be a punk"

A GM can assign any flaw that they feel they want to give to a character. The book talks about leaving foci on for too long creates an addiction. If the GM wants to be a punk they can give you the flaw eventually. I would consider moving it from minor, to moderate, and up and warn the player if you even wanted to do this much bean counting.
pbangarth
QUOTE (Glyph @ Jan 10 2009, 05:10 PM) *
Where are you getting this spell type limitation? I don't see it anywhere in the rules.


SR4, p. 191, under Spell foci, "Each spell focus must be attuned to a specific category of spells." Three type of spell foci are then discussed, one of which is sustaining foci.

Peter
Glyph
Ah. I guess I'm not used to sustaining foci being lumped in with spellcasting foci and counterspelling foci. Still more versatile than they were in SR3.
Mx
QUOTE (Glyph @ Jan 11 2009, 02:10 AM) *
Focus addiction is a negative quality, and inflicting it on a player for keeping his foci active for too long is pathetic and lame. It's like giving the sammie augmentation addiction for keeping his wired reflexes on too often.

No it's not, it's much more like the gm giving the character addiction to a drug for popping drugs all the time. Augmentation addiction is more about wanting more and more augmentations then about using those augmentations.
RedeemerofOgar
QUOTE (Mäx @ Jan 11 2009, 06:11 PM) *
No it's not, it's much more like the gm giving the character addiction to a drug for popping drugs all the time. Augmentation addiction is more about wanting more and more augmentations then about using those augmentations.


No, I really agree with Glyph here. A combat mage keeping a sustained Increase Reflexes is 100% identical to a street sam having Wired Reflexes implanted. The same mage using a Power Focus is roughly equivalent to the street sam using Muscle Replacement.

And by the way, I keep seeing people say that Edge can get around the Force Cap on spellcasting successes. Is that an actual rule in a book somewhere (citation please), or is that just a popular house rule?
Stahlseele
if those spells were quickened, i would agree with you.
but for them to be sustained, he has to recast them every so often, while the samurai does not have to have his reflexes reimplanted every some hours/days . .
every time they cast, they are basically using their drug of choice.
the samurai gets one shot and stays high all the time, so it becomes the norm for him. and you could say the next fix would be faster reflexes some time . .
but judging by how it is now?
yes, mages would be able to obtain an addiction to certain spells . . especially, when they overcast . .
AllTheNothing
There are ways to keep the player in check without inflicting a negative quality.
For example some particulary heinous act of blood magic is committed somewhere near where the PC lives, and alot of DIPs and or toxic/shadow spirits are roaming about, explain him/her that abusing of foci brings misfortune, if he/she doesn't catch the wind have the PC catch a bullet, being ospitalized and his/her foci misplaced (it's not like they were legaly owned and the PC is going to sue anyone, is it?), if the PC behaves he/she might find his/hers stuff returned (well maybe something is missing); you could have him contract an astral diseas which makes the PC allergic to the foci for a while, or maybe having flying drones to collide with the PC while flying........ as a GM there are many ways to handle excesses.
Glyph
QUOTE (RedeemerofOgar @ Jan 11 2009, 04:32 PM) *
And by the way, I keep seeing people say that Edge can get around the Force Cap on spellcasting successes. Is that an actual rule in a book somewhere (citation please), or is that just a popular house rule?

Pg. 172: "This limitation does not apply to Edge dice that are used to boost a spell."

However, while not expressly forbidden, some GMs might frown on allowing Edge dice to get around a the Force limitation for a sustaining focus. (For example, using Edge to cast a Force: 1 Increase Reflexes spell and get 4 successes, letting you get 3 extra initiative passes from a spell used with a Force: 1 sustaining focus, rather than the single extra initiative pass that a Force: 1 spell/sustaining focus could normally do).

Keep in mind, though, that a Force: 1 sustaining focus is still just as vulnerable to a background count of 1, and that using Edge makes re-casting the spell every time you need to turn off the focus (for passing through wards) a more expensive proposition.

That's the best way to handle things, if a player is abusing something - use the by-the-rules weaknesses of the tactic, and let the logical consequences of the tactic ensue, rather than "punish" the character with GM fiat. And not every rules exploit is necessarily abusive - some are simply logical tactics, and are no more munchkinny than the sammie turning on his wired reflexes before a fight, or always using his smartlink.
AllTheNothing
QUOTE (Glyph @ Jan 12 2009, 02:30 AM) *
And not every rules exploit is necessarily abusive - some are simply logical tactics, and are no more munchkinny than the sammie turning on his wired reflexes before a fight, or always using his smartlink.

Except for an elven sammie with delta-grade Synaptic Booster 3, Suprathyroid Gland, Muscle Toner 4, Reflex Recorder (firearms skillgroup), Cyber Eyes 4 (flare compensation, low-light vision, smartlink, thermographic vision, vision enhacement 3 and vision magnification) and a Barret Model 121 loaded with Ex-Ex or APDS/AV rounds. 100% legal but also 100% munchkinnic/powerplayerish.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (AllTheNothing @ Jan 12 2009, 04:04 AM) *
Except for an elven sammie with delta-grade Synaptic Booster 3, Suprathyroid Gland, Muscle Toner 4, Reflex Recorder (firearms skillgroup), Cyber Eyes 4 (flare compensation, low-light vision, smartlink, thermographic vision, vision enhacement 3 and vision magnification) and a Barret Model 121 loaded with Ex-Ex or APDS/AV rounds. 100% legal but also 100% munchkinnic/powerplayerish.


If you have a character with all that Delta grade bioware, then why are you running the Shadows? You're talking about over nuyen.gif 2 million... with that kind of cash you can buy a permanent luxury lifestyle and retire. This kind of character runs the shadows for kicks.
Cain
QUOTE (AllTheNothing @ Jan 12 2009, 01:04 AM) *
Except for an elven sammie with delta-grade Synaptic Booster 3, Suprathyroid Gland, Muscle Toner 4, Reflex Recorder (firearms skillgroup), Cyber Eyes 4 (flare compensation, low-light vision, smartlink, thermographic vision, vision enhacement 3 and vision magnification) and a Barret Model 121 loaded with Ex-Ex or APDS/AV rounds. 100% legal but also 100% munchkinnic/powerplayerish.

Maybe powerplay-ish, but I'd rather see that character in the hands of a good player, than a much weaker character in the hands of a problem player. If you have an extreme Rules Lawyer/Video Game Player/Drama Queen, you can h and them anything and they'll still cause a problem. Hand a monstrosity to a good player, and you might just end up having a blast.
AllTheNothing
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Jan 12 2009, 10:29 AM) *
If you have a character with all that Delta grade bioware, then why are you running the Shadows? You're talking about over nuyen.gif 2 million... with that kind of cash you can buy a permanent luxury lifestyle and retire. This kind of character runs the shadows for kicks.

One of my characters was a member of a very rich family (and a metahuman) who had been volutiered by Yakashima for some "cure". Almost died and was left amnesiac having to survive, she run the shadow untill she regained hers memory, than kept running because the shadows were part of her (running was a way to face hers fears), as a mage she shyed away from most augmentations except for one essence point worth deltaware which was more than worth enough to retire but she still kept running untill she had regained hers sanity (without ever telling to the team hers origins); than she retired without finding the courage to tell goodbye to hers teammates, later she couldn't accept not having them around so she had them extracted to be kept as hers personal pets, she ended to work as Ms. J for EVO untill she became a member of the director board. She returned in a later champain as a vengeasfull employer after someone attempted to kill her and caused the death of one of hers "pets".
Just to tell that survival isn't all in the shadows.
AllTheNothing
QUOTE (Cain @ Jan 12 2009, 12:42 PM) *
Maybe powerplay-ish, but I'd rather see that character in the hands of a good player, than a much weaker character in the hands of a problem player. If you have an extreme Rules Lawyer/Video Game Player/Drama Queen, you can h and them anything and they'll still cause a problem. Hand a monstrosity to a good player, and you might just end up having a blast.

True once I've seen an ex-red samurai (heavily augmented and highly skilled) who had a massive breakdown after his kids (who goblinized) were sent to Yomi and he went there to extract them just to see them to die. The trauma was so great that became a pacifist (not the quality) and went into the shadowstrying to take care of street kids. He was a monstruosity of a sammie but he always attempted to find a way to not kill people, and mourned dead friends and enemies alike (the exception had been a pedophile blood mage, he mourned to bastard's victims).
Stahlseele
and you call that regained her sanity?
masterofm
Cyber/bio delta ware costs essence, crap tons of nuyen, and even in some cases karma (to allow you go get the delta ware.) If you are playing a game where the GM gives out 5-10k nuyen per run and 3-4 karma respectively your mage is going to kick more ass faster then the sam ever will. Some GMs also do not give out delta ware to players. On the sliding power scale eventually the sam has a cap of effectiveness where the mage never really caps out.

I also fail to see how spending 8 karma and 40k w/o any loss of essence is anywhere close to having to spend a whole bunch more to get the same IPs. I mean sure the bio/cyber boosts your reaction, but you pay through the nose to get it. The bio ware version is even more tough nuyen wise since it saves you quite a bit o' essence.

In the end if the mage had a reaction of 4 or less they could spend 8 bps, 16 karma, and 80k for 4IPs and +4 to reaction thus giving the mage a huge edge against the sam and god help you if you have an overcasting possession mage with channeling as they can walk all over a sam for the 8 karma and 40k instead... or just possess the sam and make him/her the mages puppet.
AllTheNothing
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Jan 12 2009, 03:53 PM) *
and you call that regained her sanity?

She went into alot of metaplanar quests to get rid of negative qualities such as phobia, memory loss (houseruled before RC) and other things, also the meaning of the word sanity is a matter of interpretation; she was confused, fearfull and angry when she managed to escape, she didn't know who she was, what happened to her, what to do, the only thing she knew was pain, senseless pain that asked for vengeance, but vengeance implied contact with stranger and strangers hurted her before, also she hadn't awakened yet and most of interaction she had with other people was dodging rape attempts, pimps that wanted her to work for them and organleggers. With hers awakening syndacates got interested in her but she wanted nothing to do with them, and when some of them tried to force hers choise she did put up a good fight before running, as heat was raised on her she went into hiding untill the heat was pulled off, after that she was almost starved and had no other choise than accepting a job agreedment with an ork woman, hers first fixer. She proved viable as a shadowrunner so she was introduced by hers fixer to hers second (and last) fixer, who hooked her with the team.
When she entered in the group she had to live with them (the fixer wouldn't have given her any job otherwise) she was always with the nerves crawling under hers skin, she lost whole nights of sleep and before a run the team had the habit of forcing her to take tranquilizers so she would sleep and be rested for the run; eventualy she became confident of hers team and didn't need any drug to sleep anymore but there was still a wall betwen her and the team, also the fact that she didn't have past was driving her into depression, the team managed to bring down the wall and helped her to make herself a new life. When she regained hers memory things got interesting, she contacted hers family without telling them what she did just that she was allright and that she wasn't ready to come back yet, and asked the fixer to help her (for a fee) about keeping the whole thing secret.
Than somehow someone in the corporate world came to know that hers family had a doughter going around unprotected and started to do his/hers legwork eventualy discovering that she was a shadowrunner, so contacted the fixer to arrange hers capture offering him some serious nuyen.gif and promising that his involvment would be kept secret; the fixer however got greed and contacted my character family telling them that he was an information dealer and that he had some informations that could have interested them, called a runner team that owed him a few favors, asking them to dispose the fraggers to ensure his secret was kept and making him look like he had come to rescue my character's team (he hoped the family would have been a usefull contact). The dirt that the fixer had been able to dig out was that the would be captors were interested into gaining leverage on hers family in order to cripple an EVO's project that competed with one of their own (my character's family was high on EVO's foodchain), the truth was that they wanted to simulate an attempt of sabotage and industrial espionage of their project by EVO (in order to halt EVO's project and smear them) and needed the corpes to prove it (in particular corpes with linkable DNA, guess who?). The plans backfired for almost everyone as my character team was able to escape unnoticed and the family had acces to enough informations to know that if they wanted to see the girl again they had to extract her, the result was that they sent some of the best corporate security they had and hired several runner teams as support, this strike force stormed the place were my character had been held captvive at the same time that the fixers runners were doing the same, a three way fight broke out and (being the place not under extraterritorial jurisdiction) Lone Star fast response teams joined it few minutes after, when dust settled the Star had found the evidence of a the plan of the captors which resulted in the corporate court to intervene, the news was aired along to an intervist to my chica's family, whos members declared to be shocked by what had happened and that they didn't know who the captors had abduced but they had taken the wrong person as the "real" target had been safe the whole time (they even had someone take the place of my character to cover hers running the shadows).
As the team was laying down the family did some legwork and discovered the whole dealing of the fixer and informed my character of what has happened; when she informed the rest of the team of "hers" discovery they went berserker and were not for the troll sammie (who pointed that they needed the fixer alive to aquire new identities and destroy the old ones) the fragger would have been dead meat, in the end the team kept a dozen of different ritual samples as insurance, the fixer had always given reasons to keep him alive ever since. A week later my character's mother paid a visit and insisted for her returning home but she refused going to the point of pointing hers Predator to hers mother's head to convince her that no is no.
Hers team kept working in "peace" for a while than my character's family contacts her and askes for a confidential job, someone stole a magical formula from EVO and EVO wanted it back, wnted to know who stole it and who it was going to be sold to. It turned out that it was an EVO's employ (a racist-minded trow back from when EVO was still Yamatetsu and had its HQ in Japan) who had stolen the formula and was going to sell it to that ex-Yamatetsu board member that went to Yakashima after the crash, not being able to refrain herself she tooke a look to the formula, accidentaly summoning Buttercup, who was a bit pissed of. After having hers formula returned Buttercup became friendly and was added to the contact list, from this friendship came some odd runs an alchemical lab (which turned out a big source of income) and several tips on how my character should have invested hers money; from those tips, understanding of economy, insider knowledge gained on the field and the newly aquired Divining metamagic she had been able of putting together almost 75'000'000 nuyen.gif worth in shares of small unrated corps trough holding, shell companies and anonimous ownerships. When she retired she brought all hers shares together merging many unrated corps into few A-rated ones that had all the basics covered to compete into new markets that were opening at the time and entered with them in EVO providing the corp with the tools needed to exploit new markets (basicaly she kept hers corp divided to pass unnoticed by megas untill she was ready to enter in EVO by selling hers small army of corps for EVO's shares) allowing the megacorp to reap enormous profit profit and bringing hers family's influence in EVO at unprecedented levels.
As an ex citizen of the shadows she had the contacts and the knowledge required to play them so she chose to become a Ms J, putting hers knowledge at service of hers carriere; along the way she made alot of enemies and she made example of quite a few of them (to the point that some people have started to call her Lady D. for dragon) but no matter how much power she had she was a cog in the machine, she could control hers own desteny to some degree but she was still held into the corporate cage and those above her could have destroyed hers life anytime (it had happened before), the anly way to be free was to be on the top of the food chain. However the road to the top is an hard one especialy if alone, she had hers family but they were different from hers, she had seen and done things they couldn't even start to comprend, their minds were shaped to be memebers of the corp, they couldn't understand the life in the shadows, its freedom or those who called it home, they couldn't understand her, even though they loved her as she loved them; what she needed was hers other family, the one she fought, laughed and bleeded with, those that knew her as her alone and not in relation to the corp: hers team. She contacted the fixer and told him that he had to set up the team again (he wasn't willing to do it after the last time so she handed him a credstick with 50'000 nuyen.gif on it, telling him that it was the first half of his payment, he changed his mind), the team was hired and was given a mini-van with required permits to access the required areas and the equipment for the operation, after a few minuts of travel the minivan had been flooded by narcotic gas and when they woke up they found themself dressed in smocking and escorted by armed guards to a private plane (luxury class too), they were than chained to their seats with pink-fur-covered manacles and were introduced to their new mistress.
The chica eventualy became member of the director board and the team hers bodyguards/assistnts/enforcers(/second family/sometimes lovers) or as she jokingly called them "pets".

Insane? Maybe but in SR there is much worse and money make acceptable any kinck. Also consider that the girl at the beginning of hers life in the shadows had huge problems, at the end is just eccentric.
Stahlseele
sorry but:
tldr; wot;
can we get a cliff notes version here?
darthmord
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Jan 12 2009, 05:54 PM) *
sorry but:
tldr; wot;
can we get a cliff notes version here?


Don't forget paragraphs either. ohplease.gif
AllTheNothing
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Jan 12 2009, 11:54 PM) *
sorry but:
tldr; wot;
can we get a cliff notes version here?

question.gif What?
masterofm
That block of text just hurt my eyes. I don't even know why but I just couldn't read it. I don't even know why it all went down that way, but it did.

*edit* Ha ha ha I just scrolled up and hurt my eyes again.... I have to go lay down now. *edit*
Stahlseele
QUOTE (AllTheNothing @ Jan 15 2009, 10:34 PM) *
question.gif What?

sorry but:
too long didn't read; wall of text;
can we get the gist of it in one paragraph of about 5 lines of text?
RedeemerofOgar
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Jan 12 2009, 06:54 PM) *
can we get a cliff notes version here?


Cliff Notes:
Abuse caused memory loss and depression. Team helped stabilize her and became her new family.

Her high-corporate family discovered her shadowrunning life, tried to extract her, and failed.

She made a friend named Buttercup who made her very wealthy.

She bought up lots and lots of related stocks, changed her name to Mary Sue, became an AA corporation and rejoined her family.

She found that she missed her runner friends, so she had them extracted, chained, and turned into her personal slaves.
masterofm
Thanks. That was so much easier on the eyes.
Stahlseele
ok, that i can work with.
and i repeat:"you call THAT regained her sanity?"
ok, she is an exec, it's kindy what they do . . but still x.x
Dragnar
Cherish paragraphs. Keep them close and use them generously.

On topic: A mage being "better" than a sam initiative-wise is correct, but it's not a problem with the specific spell or the mechanics of sustaining foci. Magicians are better than mundanes in almost everything. Fixing this problem leaves a hundred more in its wake. Trying to balance all of those is a nightmare of epic proportions. Really, the magician quality should be costed closer to 50 BPs for what it's worth, so you either accept that there are things in which mundanes can't ever reach them (at least costeffectively) or raise the cost of being a magician.
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