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Did you find that the option to select the damage level of a spell was too strong, or is it just me. Especially when strength 5 spells had a TN of 2 and could be set at Deadly.

Am I wrong? How did you rule that?
Remember that the Drain of the spell was based on the Damage Level that you set when you cast the spell. I also counter-balanced this with a long-standing House Rule that I have had: you must "survive" the Drain of a spell in order for it to take effect. If you fall unconscious from the Drain then the spell never happened. In additional to be a game balance factor, this always made more "sense" to me from a fluff perspective. I saw Drain as the mental effort/exertion required to "ground" the mana into your body and shape it into the spell. If you couldn't stay conscious through that exertion then the spell never happened.
Actually I found it better than the pevious edition's alternatives - IE: learning a spell for each Damage Level (Mana Dart, Mana Bolt, Mana Blast etc.). With the 3rd Edition version you take the same basic level of Damage as Drain so it kind of evens out. OK with a low enough TN and plenty of Sorcery dice to cast and resist you can pretty much cast powerful deadly spells without too much risk. However, 3rd Edition also limited the spell's Force and to increase the maximum potential Force you had to relearn it. That was a bit of a restriction that many of my players decided wasn't worth having - they either bought the spell at a high Force rating in game play or just carried a heavy pistol loaded with EX-EX ammo (high power, no drain).

Admittedly, I do prefer the way 4th Edition allows the player to learn a single spell and then cast it at whatever force they desire, limited only by a maximum value of twice their Magic Attribute. That's one thing that I have assimulated into my 3rd Edition games without a hitch and all starting spells now cost 5 Spell Points during character Creation or 5 Karma to learn.
I'm tempted to round up instead of down, to limit the power of such spells.

I'll switch to the 4th edition later on smile.gif
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