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yukongil
Hello all, short time lurker, first time poster

anywho, my group has recently started a SR4 campaign and there is a little confusion as to the rules on Direct Combat Spells (Power this that and the other and Mana this that and the other, etc...) I've looked in the Search function and couldn't find anything so...

As best we can tell they work thusly;

Cast spell: Spellcasting vs. Opponent's Body (or Will) + Counterspelling if available

Count Hits + Force of spell = damage taken.

now our confusion comes in whether that damage is then soaked by the opponent, or if the net success + Force go right on through.

It came up in game like this;
we were on a simple retrival run, looking for some fool streetmage that got herself taken in the Barrens, when after grabbing her, we ran afoul a Vamp Phys Ad Merc responsible for said mageknapping. The two scouts are getting handily beaten about the face by the vamp, so I being the Mage juice up a Power Bolt to blast her off the Face she has just downed.

We're a little experienced (or higher BP; 550 in my case) so I throw a Force 8 and take her down, which mechanically worked out like;

Magic 6 +2 from Power Focus + Spellcasting 4 (12 Dice) vs. Vamp's 5 Body (poor little lady had no magical backup)

I Net 4 successes, thus equaling 12P.

As I said our confusion comes from whether or not that is then resisted by her Body (again, which is why it is confusing to me)

So are we doing this right?
Muspellsheimr
    Indirect Combat Spell:
  • Spellcasting + Magic vs. Reaction (+ Dodge)
  • [if successful] Target takes Force + Net Hits Damage, resisted with Body + (half) Impact (+ Counterspelling)

    Firearm:
  • Skill + Agility vs. Reaction (+ Dodge)
  • [if successful] Target takes Base DV + Net Hits damage, resisted with Body + (modified) Ballistics.

    Direct Combat Spell:
  • Spellcasting + Magic vs. Willpower or Body (+ Counterspelling)
  • [if successful] Target takes Force + Net Hits Damage
The Pat
The RAW has some inconsitencies when it comes to direct and indirect attack spells. (See post above - direct spells can not be "dodged", while indirect can - the target basically has 2 chances to avoid/soak indirect spell. In order to balance things out we have come up with our internal house rules:

Attack:
Direct Spells Magic+Spellcasting vs. Intuition
Indirect Spells Magic+Spellcasting vs. Reaction (Full Dodge possible)

Damage Value: Force + Net Hits

Soak:
Direct Mana Spells Willpower (+ Counterspelling)
Direct Physical Spells Body (+ Counterspelling)
Indirect Spells Body + ½ Impact Armor (+ Counterspelling)

Drain
Touch (Force/2)-1
Single Target (Force/2)+1
Area (Force/2)+3
Elemental Effect additional+2

Please note that drain is the same no matter if the spell generates physical or stun damage.

We also changed counterspelling: The mage can split his counterspelling dice among allies (and himself).

Hope this helps
The Pat

PS: This is a house rule - maybe the official errata has already fixed the inconsitencies mentioned above and our solution is not up to date any mor. But it works well in our games
Starmage21
QUOTE (The Pat @ Jan 29 2009, 01:09 PM) *
The RAW has some inconsitencies when it comes to direct and indirect attack spells. (See post above - direct spells can not be "dodged", while indirect can - the target basically has 2 chances to avoid/soak indirect spell. In order to balance things out we have come up with our internal house rules:

Attack:
Direct Spells Magic+Spellcasting vs. Intuition
Indirect Spells Magic+Spellcasting vs. Reaction (Full Dodge possible)

Damage Value: Force + Net Hits

Soak:
Direct Mana Spells Willpower (+ Counterspelling)
Direct Physical Spells Body (+ Counterspelling)
Indirect Spells Body + ½ Impact Armor (+ Counterspelling)

Drain
Touch (Force/2)-1
Single Target (Force/2)+1
Area (Force/2)+3
Elemental Effect additional+2

Please note that drain is the same no matter if the spell generates physical or stun damage.

We also changed counterspelling: The mage can split his counterspelling dice among allies (and himself).

Hope this helps
The Pat

PS: This is a house rule - maybe the official errata has already fixed the inconsitencies mentioned above and our solution is not up to date any mor. But it works well in our games


Some balance. I would never, ever play a mage in a game under those house rules. You'd always be better off as something else.
Muspellsheimr
The Drain & Counterspelling changes are, put simply, retarded. The Resistance change, however, is exactly what I have suggested before, & will likely be using in my next campaign.
Speed Wraith
This had actually just come up recently, strangely, you do not get to resist damage from direct combat spells beyond the opposed test from the spellcasting test itself. I don't know why every other form of damage from a punch to cybercombat allows for a damage resistance test, but DC spells do not. It seems to work itself out though since there are still tons of ways to lessen their effectiveness (vision being the key here). The end result though seems to be that a mage using DC spells damned well better have a decent set of cybereyes and a high perception skill nyahnyah.gif
Ryu
Doesn´t that houserule make direct combat spells even better? What with removing any relevant chance of a competent mage not having at least one net hit? And even more deadly since counterspelling dice are now split amongst the protected, instead of fully available to all?
The Pat
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 29 2009, 06:40 PM) *
The Drain & Counterspelling changes are, put simply, retarded. The Resistance change, however, is exactly what I have suggested before, & will likely be using in my next campaign.

Muspellsheimer - In your posts I always wonder wheter there is any content feedbakc instad of trolling ...

Or let me put it this way:
What is so bad in keeping a mage from shielding large groups with his counterspelling dice?

Why minor drain changes (to avoid the sensless drain difference between stun and physical spells) "retarded"?

Would like some CONTENT from you, since you seem to be the GOD of the net
pbangarth
I knew it. I knew it would happen. I saw it coming. Couldn't do anything about it but point it out. And here it is, once again.

Bride of the Son of Flamewar III.

Coming to a thread near you really soon.
The Pat
Don't worry, if got enough dice to soak and Flamewar drain ...

Muspellsheimr
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jan 29 2009, 11:44 AM) *
Doesn´t that houserule make direct combat spells even better? What with removing any relevant chance of a competent mage not having at least one net hit?

Yes & no. It increases the likelyhood of a character being "hit", but decreases the damage of a successful hit. It's main purpose is to create consistency in the rules; every other form of attack in the game follows that layout. The only thing missing is a Full Defense option, which I do believe should be included, but I am not yet sure how.
QUOTE (The Pat @ Jan 29 2009, 11:51 AM) *
Muspellsheimer - In your posts I always wonder wheter there is any content feedbakc instad of trolling ...

Or let me put it this way:
What is so bad in keeping a mage from shielding large groups with his counterspelling dice?

Why minor drain changes (to avoid the sensless drain difference between stun and physical spells) "retarded"?

Would like some CONTENT from you, since you seem to be the GOD of the net

I do not troll, I am simply very blunt with my opinions. I also have never claimed to being divinity; I am not omniscient & am willing to admit when I make mistakes. On occasion I even follow through with that willingness.

The problem with the Counterspelling change is that it significantly increases the power of magic in the setting, being the only real defensive measure against it. Requiring it to be split among those being protected generally says only the character with the skill will ever be protected; everyone else is SOL if they face magical opposition.

While I understand why you would equal the Drain of Physical Damage & Stun Damage spells, I do not agree with it. The problem comes in with Physical vs. Mana spells. With your change, they have the same Drain value, while Physical spells are generally more powerful & useful than Mana (sure Mana can hit Astral creatures, but Physical can take out objects, which tends to come up far more often & be of greater importance).


Edit: I would also like to point out that your last post is at least as close to trolling as mine was.
The Pat
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 29 2009, 07:04 PM) *
Yes & no. It increases the likelyhood of a character being "hit", but decreases the damage of a successful hit. It's main purpose is to create consistency in the rules; every other form of attack in the game follows that layout. The only thing missing is a Full Defense option, which I do believe should be included, but I am not yet sure how.

I do not troll, I am simply very blunt with my opinions. I also have never claimed to being divinity; I am not omniscient & am willing to admit when I make mistakes. On occasion I even follow through with that willingness.

The problem with the Counterspelling change is that it significantly increases the power of magic in the setting, being the only real defensive measure against it. Requiring it to be split among those being protected generally says only the character with the skill will ever be protected; everyone else is SOL if they face magical opposition.

While I understand why you would equal the Drain of Physical Damage & Stun Damage spells, I do not agree with it. The problem comes in with Physical vs. Mana spells. With your change, they have the same Drain value, while Physical spells are generally more powerful & useful than Mana (sure Mana can hit Astral creatures, but Physical can take out objects, which tends to come up far more often & be of greater importance).


Edit: I would also like to point out that your last post is at least as close to trolling as mine was.


Thanks for the reasons behind your opinion. While I do not agree (since stun/physical damage inconsistency IMO is more significant than the object/astral creature topic) this helps me to understand your point.

Now that we agree to disagree we can go sip a soy beer until we end up on opposing sindes of a run gone bad again cyber.gif

-- The Pat

PS: Sorry to the crowd - no blood bath to happen
Speed Wraith
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 29 2009, 01:04 PM) *
The only thing missing is a Full Defense option, which I do believe should be included, but I am not yet sure how.


I've been struggling with that as well, if you find a decent and balanced solution post it in big bright letters nyahnyah.gif
yukongil
ah, okay so we were doing it RAW legal. Thanks everybody.
Muspellsheimr
QUOTE (The Pat @ Jan 29 2009, 12:11 PM) *
Now that we agree to disagree

Compromise

ork.gif
Wiggles Von Beerchuggin'
QUOTE (Speed Wraith @ Jan 29 2009, 06:42 PM) *
This had actually just come up recently, strangely, you do not get to resist damage from direct combat spells beyond the opposed test from the spellcasting test itself. I don't know why every other form of damage from a punch to cybercombat allows for a damage resistance test, but DC spells do not. It seems to work itself out though since there are still tons of ways to lessen their effectiveness (vision being the key here). The end result though seems to be that a mage using DC spells damned well better have a decent set of cybereyes and a high perception skill nyahnyah.gif

Won't the cyber-eyes have to use natural light only to stay in LOS? Otherwise, you would be able to cast spells through TV/Trid screens.
Speed Wraith
You can cast through cybereyes as if they were your own (though not an ocular drone IIRC). Once you've paid the essence cost, they're your eyes for all intents and purposes. I'm not expert though, maybe something was cleared up in the FAQ or errata that I overlooked...
Malachi
QUOTE (Speed Wraith @ Jan 29 2009, 01:42 PM) *
This had actually just come up recently, strangely, you do not get to resist damage from direct combat spells beyond the opposed test from the spellcasting test itself. I don't know why every other form of damage from a punch to cybercombat allows for a damage resistance test, but DC spells do not. It seems to work itself out though since there are still tons of ways to lessen their effectiveness (vision being the key here). The end result though seems to be that a mage using DC spells damned well better have a decent set of cybereyes and a high perception skill nyahnyah.gif

It's not that DC spells have no Damage Resistance test, its that they have no "to hit" test. The test that the target is rolling is the Damage Resistance test. They were even more powerful in SR3 when the Magician's TN was the target's WIL (for Mana) and the Target's TN to oppose was the Force, using his WIL. Generally: 6 dice @ TN 3 vs. 3 dice @ TN 6. Combat Pool couldn't be used by the target on resistance, but the Magician could use Spell Pool. The defender could have Counterspelling dice, but a friendly Magician had to pre-allocate those dice from his Spell Pool, which most hardly ever did, plus those dice "went away" as they were used. Oh, and by the way, the Magician got to choose the base Damage Level of the spell when he cast it, so those 3 dice your rolling against TN 6? That's to downstage Deadly damage. Have fun. All kinds of nasty. I've seen the power of DC Spells go down dramatically in SR4.


QUOTE (Speed Wraith @ Jan 29 2009, 02:48 PM) *
You can cast through cybereyes as if they were your own (though not an ocular drone IIRC). Once you've paid the essence cost, they're your eyes for all intents and purposes. I'm not expert though, maybe something was cleared up in the FAQ or errata that I overlooked...

This is correct.
QUOTE (BBB p. 173)
Physical cyber- or bio-enhancements paid for with Essence can be used to spot
targets, but any technological visual aids that substitute themselves
for the character€™s own visual senses€”cameras, electronic
binoculars, Matrix feeds, etc.€”cannot be used
Speed Wraith
I totally disagree nyahnyah.gif The 'attack' roll portion is just like everything else, excepting that there isn't a full-defense option. If the target scores more hits on the opposed roll then the spell doesn't in fact hit at all. If the caster scores more hits then the damage is automatic...DC spells therefore are not auto-hit and do not have a damage resistance test. I know I'm just arguing semantics, but it makes a huge difference to me wink.gif
Ryu
QUOTE (yukongil @ Jan 29 2009, 07:22 PM) *
ah, okay so we were doing it RAW legal. Thanks everybody.

Yeah, your first answer from Muspellsheimr was a perfect replication of RAW, and you handled it correctly. Your specific example had slightly more nethits than the average (4 vs. 2,33), but overall Direct Spells are as deadly as it seems. Overcasting magic 6 spellcasters are dangerous.
yukongil
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jan 29 2009, 02:29 PM) *
Yeah, your first answer from Muspellsheimr was a perfect replication of RAW, and you handled it correctly. Your specific example had slightly more nethits than the average (4 vs. 2,33), but overall Direct Spells are as deadly as it seems. Overcasting magic 6 spellcasters are dangerous.


well that was just how it went down. We did decide to use TN 4-6, and I have a feeling that is going to make a boatload of difference in things like balancing casters, is that a correct assumption?
Muspellsheimr
4-6 instead of RAW 5-6 is not simply a spellcaster balance issue. What it basically does is further exaggerate high dice pools (regardless of the character using them).

Compare RAW:
6 Dice vs. 18 Dice: 2 Hits vs. 6 Hits.

to 4-6 Success:
6 Dice vs. 18 Dice: 3 Hits vs. 9 Hits.

4 Hit Difference vs. 6 Hit Difference. This gets even more profound at lower & higher dice pools. It basically stays the same if dice pools are similar, but that is not often. It is a rule I would strongly suggest avoiding, & believe should not even be included as a suggestion in the BBB.
Mr. Unpronounceable
I don't see that anyone has mentioned that, unless the caster adds edge dice to his roll, net hits are limited to the force of the spell.

So if a caster throws a force 4 spell and gets 8 successes, his net hits is only 4, so his opponent really only needs 4 hits on his resistance test to take no damage whatsoever.

There's a bit of a twist there - since it means higher-force spells are usually harder to resist, and more likely to drop the opponent when thy do hit, yet almost always result in more drain hitting the mage too.
Muspellsheimr
Incorrect. Hits (not Net Hits) are limited to the spell's Force.
Mr. Unpronounceable
Total hits might have been clearer. Did I mix up net and gross again? sigh


Anyway, it goes rolled hits -> reduced to force(max) -> reduced by counterspelling(unlimited) and resistance hits(unlimited) --- if 0 hits or less, than no result for the spell.
Adarael
Let's try to keep this civil. I'm not a mod, but man... people have been snippy lately. So can we please discuss sans accusations of trolling or calling people retarded?
yukongil
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 29 2009, 02:53 PM) *
4-6 instead of RAW 5-6 is not simply a spellcaster balance issue. What it basically does is further exaggerate high dice pools (regardless of the character using them).

Compare RAW:
6 Dice vs. 18 Dice: 2 Hits vs. 6 Hits.

to 4-6 Success:
6 Dice vs. 18 Dice: 3 Hits vs. 9 Hits.

4 Hit Difference vs. 6 Hit Difference. This gets even more profound at lower & higher dice pools. It basically stays the same if dice pools are similar, but that is not often. It is a rule I would strongly suggest avoiding, & believe should not even be included as a suggestion in the BBB.


good points, though I see the 4-6 favoring the mage on case of the drain tests. Right now the 5s Drain of the Force 8 Powre Bolt didn't really have me worried as on average (10 dice to resist Drain) I should be able to handle it, where as if I needed 5-6 I'd be a little more cautious. Whereas since everyone is rolling against the same numbers on opposed tests 4-6 doesn't really seem to bother me.
yukongil
QUOTE (Adarael @ Jan 29 2009, 03:39 PM) *
Let's try to keep this civil. I'm not a mod, but man... people have been snippy lately. So can we please discuss sans accusations of trolling or calling people retarded?


if the bicycle helmet fits grinbig.gif j/k

and if this is being uncivil, this place is pretty tame.
The Pat
QUOTE (Adarael @ Jan 29 2009, 09:39 PM) *
Let's try to keep this civil. I'm not a mod, but man... people have been snippy lately. So can we please discuss sans accusations of trolling or calling people retarded?


Just to make this clear: No one called me retarded - only my house rules (or portion of these).

I admit to the verdict of "accusation of trolling", but this has been sorted out.

We will meet offline and hit each other with direct combat spells until we find out what works best - and then start testing the grenade rules while we are at it.

--- The Pat
Speed Wraith
What is this drain people keep speaking of? nyahnyah.gif Does anyone actually see PCs take drain damage or even feel threatened by it except in over-cast situations?
Adarael
QUOTE (yukongil @ Jan 29 2009, 12:45 PM) *
if the bicycle helmet fits grinbig.gif j/k

and if this is being uncivil, this place is pretty tame.


Oh, that's very true. But I, at least, like it to stay tame.
Ryu
QUOTE (yukongil @ Jan 29 2009, 08:44 PM) *
well that was just how it went down. We did decide to use TN 4-6, and I have a feeling that is going to make a boatload of difference in things like balancing casters, is that a correct assumption?

That will lead to very random effects in the whole game system. All thresholds and fixed numbers are balanced for a 1:2 hit/miss ratio. Changing that ratio to 1:1 increases expected hits and the variance of results. Dramatic success and failure will happen often. Good roll against bad roll = 10+ net hits?
The Pat
QUOTE (Speed Wraith @ Jan 29 2009, 09:55 PM) *
What is this drain people keep speaking of? nyahnyah.gif Does anyone actually see PCs take drain damage or even feel threatened by it except in over-cast situations?


Actually our mage often experiences "minor" drain of 1-3 boxes. He casts a force 6 mana ball. ((Force/2)+3 Drain in our house rules, I don't know RAW drain without looking it up, but it should be similar). The drain is 6 boxes, which he reists with logic (5) + willpower (5) = 10 dice = 3.33 sucesses. This is not threatening, but a "pain in the ass" (excuse this pun).

The mage is very reluctant to overcast frown.gif

-- The Pat
Muspellsheimr
QUOTE (yukongil @ Jan 29 2009, 02:43 PM) *
good points, though I see the 4-6 favoring the mage on case of the drain tests.

Just to make sure it was clear, I was not talking about dice pools in general, but Opposed Tests. Using the 4-6 Success rule, you are significantly exaggerating success in favor of the one with the higher dice pool, & generally, the attacker has a much higher dice pool than the defender.

It basically changes "will probably hit" to "nearly guaranteed to hit". I would say this was offset by increased damage resistance, but the better attack pool also results in higher damage values.
Ryu
QUOTE (Speed Wraith @ Jan 29 2009, 09:55 PM) *
What is this drain people keep speaking of? nyahnyah.gif Does anyone actually see PCs take drain damage or even feel threatened by it except in over-cast situations?

Specialise on manipulation spells, they said. Those spells are useful, they said. With 9 drain-resistance dice, the Trauma Damper comes in handy damn often, I say. Only 1-2 boxes per casting, but it adds up.
Starmage21
I like how people tend to forget where the balance actually comes in. Sure you dont get to resist the damage from a direct spell, and thats freaking awesome. Still, they forget also that casting spells hurts the mage too, and while it is possible that the mage get enough dice to cast combat spells without suffering drain, he paid a buttload more points to get that way, versus the very minimal amount of points it takes to kill people with guns or melee weapons.
pbangarth
QUOTE (Starmage21 @ Jan 29 2009, 03:51 PM) *
I like how people tend to forget where the balance actually comes in. Sure you dont get to resist the damage from a direct spell, and thats freaking awesome. Still, they forget also that casting spells hurts the mage too, and while it is possible that the mage get enough dice to cast combat spells without suffering drain, he paid a buttload more points to get that way, versus the very minimal amount of points it takes to kill people with guns or melee weapons.


Good points, Starmage. People do tend to overlook drain and initial cost.
Aiolos Turin
Wouldnt this be entirely solved by just taking out Overcasting, or making Overcasting have a REAL consquence (let's face it... taking physical instead of stun damage is next to meaningless...)

Even at Magic 6, you arent instant-one-hit lethal kill. At Magic 6 + Spellcasting 6 + Foci, you can still do 12P damage (instant-kill, as should be for a 6/6 anything)

With Magic + Spellcasting + Foci, and no overcasting, you're very often guaranteed max damage (Magic 3, and 3 SC + Foci = high chance of 3 hits, which is same as overcasting without net hits)

Basically what this does is...


1) Makes it just as easy to hit the enemy (which is pretty easy when it's Stat + Skill + Focus vs Stat)
2) Allows a very good chance of still hitting Overcast damage (Forcex2, as your Force = Damage, and Force = max Net hits, so if you achieve max net hits (good chance with so many dice from Magic/Foci/Casting pool) but without any extra damage (So instead of doing Magic 6, Force 12 Overcast spell + 4 hits = 16 damage, you only do 12 damage)


IMO the large dice pool and no damage resistance test with a net hit limit of Force value IS overcasting. It basically is like having a damage resistant test in the form of if you get no net hits, its like they resisted heavily.

Wow, I just invented an awesome thing. Allow access to high Spellcasting Skill, Powerful Foci, no/rare Counterspell Foci for mundane (Houserule- it's ludicrous to not allow magic items to affect Mundane. A magic sword is a magic sword. A protective necklace is a protective necklace. This also goes into the Lore, as Magic is Supernatural and Religious, and there have been hexes and protective superstitions in the world since the beginning of religion and thus magic) and banning Overcasting entirely. I added this to give EVERYONE counterspelling, but the items are rare and usually low value (the highest necklace for the starter campagin was a Foci of only 2 CS power. That's only +2 dice, not much.)

This means all Drain (which is almost always resisted anyways) is Stun, never physical. The average damage isnt insta-kill without a chance for defense, but still gives a powerful magic (Lets face it... a 6 magic 6 Spellcasting mage is gonna have a 6 Foci, he's a demi-god for sake!) enough dice to insta-kill anything short of a dragon.
Aiolos Turin
QUOTE (Starmage21 @ Jan 29 2009, 04:51 PM) *
I like how people tend to forget where the balance actually comes in. Sure you dont get to resist the damage from a direct spell, and thats freaking awesome. Still, they forget also that casting spells hurts the mage too, and while it is possible that the mage get enough dice to cast combat spells without suffering drain, he paid a buttload more points to get that way, versus the very minimal amount of points it takes to kill people with guns or melee weapons.


Regardless if you "payed the price" at character creation or not, overpowered is overpowered.
If for a 400BP game, I started out as a dragon for 300BP... the fact is...I'm still a dragon.

Also, I dont know what game you play. When it comes to Drain, it's very rare to actually be hurt by it. Characters that spend enough points in magic to cast overpowered spells, also spend the same points in being able to take the drain of those spells. And since Magic can be used for EVERYTHING (Social, Infiltration, Travel, and Combat) there is no absolute need for other skills. It would NOT be overpowered if you had to pay lots of BP per spell category. But since Combat, Infiltration, Social, Travel, and Buffs are all in the same skill, stat, and category- you can easily munchkin your way to success, even past many GM preventive measures. And to say the GM should "counter the high magic with [xxxxx]" is rather unfair. You dont see the GM going all-out on others to make sure there is anti-everything else on a very always-heavy level.

When the drain value of an overcasted Force 8 spell is only 4, and you have high Stats + powerful Foci, your damage is none to few. And even if you take 1-2 damage, it's nothing a First Aid Kit or High Pain Tolerance can't easily fix.

Also, it's totally illogical that indirect combat spells (which are worse, being able to have a DR test) actually cost MORE DRAIN than direct spells. The more powerful spell is less drain? Unless the GM throws in Drones and Robots as the primary enemy, the drain value is nothing short of a joke for any mage worth his karma.
Aiolos Turin
QUOTE (pbangarth @ Jan 29 2009, 05:16 PM) *
Good points, Starmage. People do tend to overlook drain and initial cost.


Let me run a test.

Mundane vs Mage, wanting the same power in versatility.

Magic 5 vs Agility 5 (Same)
Magician (15 bp) (Mage +15)
Spellcasting 5 vs Longarms 5 (Mage still +15)
Both have... First Aid- 5
Body is also important for both, as is Willpower, Reaction, Intuition.

Mage's Spells: Powerbolt (Combat), Mind Probe (Social, Information), Control Thoughts (Social, Influence), (IP) Increase Reflexes, Invisibility (Stealth) (5 spells, 15 bp)

Now the mage is at +30 bp in cost! Guess you were right. Oh wait... now here's where the "Mage costs more" myth is debunked.

Mundane's Version: (Combat) Gun and ammo, (Social, Information) Intimidation 5, (Social, Influence) Negotiate 5, (Required for Social Skills to match Mage's Magic) Charisma 5, (Stealth) Infiltration 5, (IP) Wired Reflexes 3- all for a total of (120+ bp required plus minus 5 essence for the mundane.)

Mundane costs 90 bp more.

Power Foci, Sustain Foci, Gear, Cyberware, etc. All the mage's stuff combined isnt as costly as Wired Reflexes (to counter Increase Reflexes with Sustained Foci) is in BP. Lets say it's balanced though. Somehow. Even without the 20 bp worth of money to get Wired Reflexes 3 (which is 20R, btw) the mundane is still 70 over. Okay, lets say the mage Needs higher willpower for drain, +3 more than the mundane. The mundane still cost 40 more BP.

According to my math and logic... the mage is CHEAPER than the Mundane. And this is without adding an incredibly powerful ability to Counterspell (which is not required to match the Mundane's power, and something the Mundane can't get) or the future improvement of being able to call and bind Spirits (which mundanes are helpless against)

So a Mage has all the exact same power as the Mundane, for at minimum 40 cheaper BP, with the potential to have EVEN MORE power (Counterspelling, Spirits, Foci, etc.) with all the exact same gear, 5 more essence, 40 more starting BP- all for maybe 1-3 drain damage that MIGHT occur if he gets a (very unlikely) bad roll against the drain IF he casts at his max overcasting force- all which can be healed via First Aid very very easily? (6 rating kit + 5 first aid + 4 logic is almost a guaranteed 3 box heal) throw in High Pain Tolerance and it doesn't even affect the Mage's game.



How does LOW [initial cost] of a mage factor in to balancing its overpowered versatility? Even at 40 cheaper BP (and thats being generous to the Mage, as the actual BP might be closer to 50+ bp for the mage to have over the mundane matching his power)
With the extra points, he could take Take High Pain Tolerance 3, Focused Concentration (+2 for drain) and a Mentor Spirit and be the same cost as a Mundane trying to match his power and versatility. This means that he gets a bajillion dice for drain, AND wont suffer modifiers until he overcasts and casts A LOT.


Also unless I'm wrong, it's actually EASIER for the mage to gather information, walk right past the guard, or do the legwork (Magic + Spellcasting + Foci vs One Stat) than the Mundane (Skill + Stat vs Skill + Stat)
Starmage21
QUOTE (Aiolos Turin @ Jan 29 2009, 11:22 PM) *
Let me run a test.

Mundane vs Mage, wanting the same power in versatility.

Magic 5 vs Agility 5 (Same)
Magician (15 bp) (Mage +15)
Spellcasting 5 vs Longarms 5 (Mage still +15)
Both have... First Aid- 5
Body is also important for both, as is Willpower, Reaction, Intuition.

Mage's Spells: Powerbolt (Combat), Mind Probe (Social, Information), Control Thoughts (Social, Influence), (IP) Increase Reflexes, Invisibility (Stealth) (5 spells, 15 bp)

Now the mage is at +30 bp in cost! Guess you were right. Oh wait... now here's where the "Mage costs more" myth is debunked.

Mundane's Version: (Combat) Gun and ammo, (Social, Information) Intimidation 5, (Social, Influence) Negotiate 5, (Required for Social Skills to match Mage's Magic) Charisma 5, (Stealth) Infiltration 5, (IP) Wired Reflexes 3- all for a total of (120+ bp required plus minus 5 essence for the mundane.)

Mundane costs 90 bp more.

Power Foci, Sustain Foci, Gear, Cyberware, etc. All the mage's stuff combined isnt as costly as Wired Reflexes (to counter Increase Reflexes with Sustained Foci) is in BP. Lets say it's balanced though. Somehow. Even without the 20 bp worth of money to get Wired Reflexes 3 (which is 20R, btw) the mundane is still 70 over. Okay, lets say the mage Needs higher willpower for drain, +3 more than the mundane. The mundane still cost 40 more BP.

According to my math and logic... the mage is CHEAPER than the Mundane. And this is without adding an incredibly powerful ability to Counterspell (which is not required to match the Mundane's power, and something the Mundane can't get) or the future improvement of being able to call and bind Spirits (which mundanes are helpless against)

So a Mage has all the exact same power as the Mundane, for at minimum 40 cheaper BP, with the potential to have EVEN MORE power (Counterspelling, Spirits, Foci, etc.) with all the exact same gear, 5 more essence, 40 more starting BP- all for maybe 1-3 drain damage that MIGHT occur if he gets a (very unlikely) bad roll against the drain IF he casts at his max overcasting force- all which can be healed via First Aid very very easily? (6 rating kit + 5 first aid + 4 logic is almost a guaranteed 3 box heal) throw in High Pain Tolerance and it doesn't even affect the Mage's game.



How does LOW [initial cost] of a mage factor in to balancing its overpowered versatility? Even at 40 cheaper BP (and thats being generous to the Mage, as the actual BP might be closer to 50+ bp for the mage to have over the mundane matching his power)
With the extra points, he could take Take High Pain Tolerance 3, Focused Concentration (+2 for drain) and a Mentor Spirit and be the same cost as a Mundane trying to match his power and versatility. This means that he gets a bajillion dice for drain, AND wont suffer modifiers until he overcasts and casts A LOT


The things that they can both get cancel each other out. A gun bunny doesnt NEED a high intuition, willpower, or stats other than Agility to shoot his gun the best. a mage NEEDs his magic rating, and high drain stats to do the SAME thing a gun bunny does with far less points.

Now, we have gun bunny who at the very least is doing 4P with a pistol out the gate, for a mage to get that he needs at least a magic rating of 2, the Manabolt spell(which doesnt count, since it's basically the same thing as buying a gun you cant lose), and a combination of 8 dice to resist drain from casting that F4 Manabolt spell(which could come from positive qualities or stats, but costs the same either way). These are the things the mage needs above and beyond ANYONE ELSE to do the exact same thing(shoot people with guns), except with magic.

Nothing else matters in that calculation because theyre all otherwise equal in terms of cost in BPs.

In return, the mage gets the chance to lob a few spells around that are slightly more dangerous than a firearm. After paying all those extra BPs into your shooting career, you'd probobly have a bigger gun too.
Da9iel
QUOTE (Aiolos Turin @ Jan 29 2009, 08:53 PM) *
Regardless if you "payed the price" at character creation or not, overpowered is overpowered.
If for a 400BP game, I started out as a dragon for 300BP... the fact is...I'm still a dragon.

You read OOTS?
kzt
QUOTE (Starmage21 @ Jan 29 2009, 08:40 PM) *
In return, the mage gets the chance to lob a few spells around that are slightly more dangerous than a firearm. After paying all those extra BPs into your shooting career, you'd probobly have a bigger gun too.

That mage is throwing force 10 powerbolts, with >11 points of physical damage. So any hit will likely kill anyone. Oh, and the mage can do it while invisible to pretty much any sense the sammie is likely to have. If he used manabolts it would just look like a massive heart attack to most observers.

What's worse is that as people gain karma and experience the lethality of the mage increases much faster than anyone else. It's pretty much immaterial how skilled your super 300 karma sammie is when he gets hit by a force 12 control thoughts.
pbangarth
Aiolos Turin, you argue that the five spells you selected are equivalent in power to the spread of skills and equipment the mundane has to purchase, but the mundane has to pay way more to get this level of power.

You are missing several key points in your test above. Here are -just- four of them.

*****
1) You ignore the fact that the set of purchases you list for the mundane have a much wider sphere of usefulness than the magic spells you list. The magician would be wise to have many of the skills you show for the mundane. Hence the equivalence is lessened.

You also ignore the fact that the mundane skills are all available all the time, without restrictions. Anyone with those skills can use them as often and in any circumstance they like. The spells must be cast, and most of the listed ones sustained. Sustaining even -one- spell costs all other actions a -2 dice penalty. Casting and or sustaining spells makes the magician stand out. Sustaining spells makes the magician less able to pass undetected. Sustained spells can be negated, whereas skills cannot. The equivalence is lessened more.

2) Drain is -not- automatically or nearly automatically successful. for the "instant-one-hit lethal kill" you mention in an earlier post, the drain will be on the order of 5 ( S or more likely P, depending on Magic attribute and Force). The non-combat spells, in order to be effective need the same level of Drain, or a bit higher. In order to absorb that much Drain, the two Drain stats on average must add up to 15 or 18. And even this number allows for a significant chance of failure. This is much higher than you suggest, and must be purchased at a level higher than the mundane needs. Using a skill never causes Drain. The equivalence is lessened even more.

3) Wired reflexes 3 costs 100,000 nuyen (20 BP). You say this costs more than the magician's entire equipment you list. Power foci are 6 BP per Force. Sustaining foci are 4 BP per Force. One of each of these at Force 2 and you have the equivalent of the WR 3. Then there is all the other gear including cyberware (which directly reduces the Magic attribute of the magician) you mention the magician can buy for the same price. A sustained Increase Reflexes spell needs to be cast at Force 4 to match the Wired Reflexes 3, and hence needs a Force 4 Sustaining Focus. The arithmetic doesn't work. The equivalence is lessened yet more.

4) The 'extra points' of Qualities you claim your arithmetic allows the magician would cost 40 BP on top of the 15 BP for the Magician Quality. Characters are only allowed a total of 35 BP worth of Positive Qualities. So, even if your argument for equivalence had been right, and if your arithmetic had been right, this claim is overstated.

*****

Your argument that magicians are overpowered and underpriced has not succeeded. Magical power is more expensive, obvious, vulnerable and damaging to the user than mundane skills and equipment are.
kzt
QUOTE (pbangarth @ Jan 29 2009, 10:55 PM) *
Your argument that magicians are overpowered and underpriced has not succeeded. Magical power is more expensive, obvious, vulnerable and damaging to the user than mundane skills and equipment are.

Obvious?

What is obvious about someone casting a force 12 manaball from a car 200 meters away at a bunch of ganagers? Suddenly everyone within 12 meters of the target falls down and lays very still. No loud sound, no bright flash, no nothing. Compare to a sammie doing this.
Aiolos Turin
QUOTE (Speed Wraith @ Jan 29 2009, 02:55 PM) *
What is this drain people keep speaking of? nyahnyah.gif Does anyone actually see PCs take drain damage or even feel threatened by it except in over-cast situations?


Even in over-cast situations, it's barely any drain (if any at all).
Aiolos Turin
QUOTE (pbangarth @ Jan 29 2009, 11:55 PM) *
Aiolos Turin, you argue that the five spells you selected are equivalent in power to the spread of skills and equipment the mundane has to purchase, but the mundane has to pay way more to get this level of power.

You are missing several key points in your test above. Here are -just- four of them.

*****
1) You ignore the fact that the set of purchases you list for the mundane have a much wider sphere of usefulness than the magic spells you list. The magician would be wise to have many of the skills you show for the mundane. Hence the equivalence is lessened.

You also ignore the fact that the mundane skills are all available all the time, without restrictions. Anyone with those skills can use them as often and in any circumstance they like. The spells must be cast, and most of the listed ones sustained. Sustaining even -one- spell costs all other actions a -2 dice penalty. Casting and or sustaining spells makes the magician stand out. Sustaining spells makes the magician less able to pass undetected. Sustained spells can be negated, whereas skills cannot. The equivalence is lessened more.

2) Drain is -not- automatically or nearly automatically successful. for the "instant-one-hit lethal kill" you mention in an earlier post, the drain will be on the order of 5 ( S or more likely P, depending on Magic attribute and Force). The non-combat spells, in order to be effective need the same level of Drain, or a bit higher. In order to absorb that much Drain, the two Drain stats on average must add up to 15 or 18. And even this number allows for a significant chance of failure. This is much higher than you suggest, and must be purchased at a level higher than the mundane needs. Using a skill never causes Drain. The equivalence is lessened even more.

3) Wired reflexes 3 costs 100,000 nuyen (20 BP). You say this costs more than the magician's entire equipment you list. Power foci are 6 BP per Force. Sustaining foci are 4 BP per Force. One of each of these at Force 2 and you have the equivalent of the WR 3. Then there is all the other gear including cyberware (which directly reduces the Magic attribute of the magician) you mention the magician can buy for the same price. A sustained Increase Reflexes spell needs to be cast at Force 4 to match the Wired Reflexes 3, and hence needs a Force 4 Sustaining Focus. The arithmetic doesn't work. The equivalence is lessened yet more.

4) The 'extra points' of Qualities you claim your arithmetic allows the magician would cost 40 BP on top of the 15 BP for the Magician Quality. Characters are only allowed a total of 35 BP worth of Positive Qualities. So, even if your argument for equivalence had been right, and if your arithmetic had been right, this claim is overstated.

*****

Your argument that magicians are overpowered and underpriced has not succeeded. Magical power is more expensive, obvious, vulnerable and damaging to the user than mundane skills and equipment are.



Good points, but I still argue that with high First Aid and a high rating Kit, drain is only scary in combat. After a social situation, one need only make a First Aid kit test with a high first aid kit skill to easily void one's self of drain entirely. I didnt realize Foci costs so much, but still... extra spells are only 3bp, and I dont really see many situations where one's social skill can beat that of one's mind control, especially when one has 5 more slots for spells, which would only cost 15 more bp.

I have no actually played in a high 400-500BP game. My games have been 200bp and 300bp, and this makes Magicians incredibly powerful. Perhaps it *might* be true that there isnt so much a problem of balance once you get up to 400-500BP characters, but it is most certainly the case in a street level campaign. Even limitting one's magic to 3 simply doesnt do much since they can simply overcast to 6, and the drain value resistance isnt very different from a 400bp character, so it's like a Magic 6 character regular casting.
pbangarth
QUOTE (kzt @ Jan 29 2009, 11:08 PM) *
Obvious?

What is obvious about someone casting a force 12 manaball from a car 200 meters away at a bunch of ganagers? Suddenly everyone within 12 meters of the target falls down and lays very still. No loud sound, no bright flash, no nothing. Compare to a sammie doing this.


SR4, p. 168, under Noticing Magic ==> Perception Test with a threshold of 6 - Force of spell. A Force 12 spell would be noticed by vision-impaired gangers listening to Troll Thrasher rock. And everybody else within LOS. The particular manifestation of the noticeability is up to the GM to roleplay.

Any archetype can be considered overpowered if you fail to take into account limitations built into the game.
Aiolos Turin
QUOTE (kzt @ Jan 30 2009, 12:08 AM) *
Obvious?

What is obvious about someone casting a force 12 manaball from a car 200 meters away at a bunch of ganagers? Suddenly everyone within 12 meters of the target falls down and lays very still. No loud sound, no bright flash, no nothing. Compare to a sammie doing this.


Not to mention it would take a BP of about 1000 to have a character capable of throwing down smoke, running around infiltrating in that smoke, lopping off every head of the gangsters with swords without ever being seen.
Also that even the most professional of snipers wont be able to shoot more than a few people before they find cover or run. Perhaps if he shot through walls, but thats really cutting it. Not to mention LOUD.
A huge bomb- thats even louder.
It's only obvious to other magicians.

In a world where most people aren't Awakened, it is absolutely ludicrous IMO for the only counter to Magic, be Magic. Counterspelling spells, Banishing spirits, Detecting Astral Signature- all magic related.
Aiolos Turin
QUOTE (pbangarth @ Jan 30 2009, 01:07 AM) *
SR4, p. 168, under Noticing Magic ==> Perception Test with a threshold of 6 - Force of spell. A Force 12 spell would be noticed by vision-impaired gangers listening to Troll Thrasher rock. And everybody else within LOS. The particular manifestation of the noticeability is up to the GM to roleplay.

Any archetype can be considered overpowered if you fail to take into account limitations built into the game.


This is only noticing if the CHARACTER is using magic.
This means that if the gangsters arent looking at the magician, they cannot notice anything.

Quote from book. "An observer has to notice the magician's intense look of concentration, whispered incantations, and small gestures. [snip] Noticing if someone is using a magical skill requires a Perception test."

It states you notice the PERSON, not the actual magic.
This means that most people would be oblivious to a far away magician, and only those with binoculars would be able to even tell something is happening.
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