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SR4 and Counter-Spelling. Can you always have it up?

Can a mage keep up his Counter-Spelling all the time? If you have a paranoid mage that always has Counter-Spelling going, will he have negatives in normal everyday task, i.e. driving a car or when he walking down the street, shadowing someone?
Not by RAW.
Magicians can always use Counterspelling on themselves with no penalty. No action required.

They can extend that protection to anyone within their line of sight by declaring at the beginning of each IP.

Therefore your paranoid mage is just following the normal rules.
2 follow up questions.
What is RAW?
If you have 2 mages on one team, and if they are both counter-spelling for the group, will this inter-fear when one of the mages try to cast a spell against there enemies?
RAW = Rules As Written

Counterspelling has no impact on your ability to cast a spell, and the Counterspelling magician has to declare who he's protecting, so it's unlikely either of your team's magicians would be Counterspelling the enemy.

Incidentally, if two magicians are offering Counterspelling to your team, I'd suggest running it as a Teamwork test, with the magician with a lower Counterspelling rating rolling _just_ their Counterspelling and allowing the other magician to add the number of hits to their effective Counterspelling rating.
I would not allow two magician's to use a teamwork test on counterspelling. It really overwhelms the DP and essentially nerfs any spells you throw at the group. I would just say that they only get one roll and whoever wants to can take it. At best I would give them each a chance to roll and take the best result in terms of hits, but even that is a bit rediculous.
QUOTE ('BBB @ page 176)
If more than one magician protects a target with Counterspelling, handle it as teamwork (see p. 59).

You're always free to houserule, but it's explicitly correct by RAW.
Missed that one. But we houserule it.
Wow, I missed that too. It makes spell casting pretty worthless, as you can't counter spell the critter powers of spirits. 24/7 Conjuration I guess.

You stop counter spelling people you can't see, and it takes a free action to add everone in your field of vision. I take that to mean that you just have to actively pay attention to keep the point around you counter spelled. You could counterspell everyone around you all the time, the same way you could read almost all of the text you encounter walking around down town. Totally possible, just so much work for so little it's basically never done.

At my table we ruled that other mages can tell if someone is counter spelled just by looking. Socially counter spelling is considered a semi offensive action, just like a martial artist taking a stance or a Sam exposing a holster. A martial artist slinking around down town in stance will get attention. On the flip side we don't make mages declare counterspelling. In situations it's assumed that guns are drawn, it's assumed counter spelling is up.
QUOTE (WeaverMount @ Jan 16 2009, 08:44 AM) *
At my table we ruled that other mages can tell if someone is counter spelled just by looking.

Curiously, do you rule, that all spell casting is obvious as well?
The fluff saying spell casting is not very noticeable has always contradicted the rules that indicate any spell of reasonable force is somewhere in the range of very noticeable to unmistakable. SR3: a target number of 10 - force, SR4: A threshold of 6 - force? You gotta be kidding me.
Considering the fact that about 90% of all spellcasting tends to be overcasting force 12 stunbolts, that should not be a big concern... wobble.gif
QUOTE (GrinderTheTroll @ Jan 16 2009, 02:33 PM) *
Curiously, do you rule, that all spell casting is obvious as well?

Almost We say that astrally preserving characters can feel the flows of mana like current in water or wind. If you are experienced with magic in general you get a feel for the disruptions of the norm caused by any given magical action. To be honest though most of our magical action happens at some pretty extreme range and it does come up much.
I think people monkeying around with magic should be obvious to anyone astrally perceiving, even going by RAW.

As far as it being obvious a mage is casting a spell, I'd have thought that would make all those folk complaining about magic being overpowered a little happier. If you can tell who the mage is, it makes it easier to geek them first.
QUOTE (Hagga @ Jan 16 2009, 03:03 PM) *
Not by RAW.

I feel the urge to qualify here - there is no penalty by raw.

So I don't look too dopey.
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