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Heath Robinson
Cain whines a lot, but sometimes he's got a good point. Mundanes really lack enough ways to handle magical stuff. Meanwhile, Mages can compete in the real world and the Matrix. Sure, they're not particularly impressive in the Matrix, but they can do some good backing up the actual Hacker.

Is there anything massively wrong with letting the 'wared add their Essence loss to their DP when targeted by Magic? Does it really horribly break anything beyond the Mages' sense of superiority?
Jaid
well, it makes cyberzombies even more scary. probably won't break anything horribly though. you could even make the flavor fit (it's kinda like object resistance, as the person becomes less and less meat and more and more chrome they are more like an object).

mind you, i'm not sure the flavour fits for essence lost to essence drain, bioware, or drug abuse/other.

and i'm not sure it's particularly needed.
Ancient History
One of the big building blocks of Shadowrun is that magic is restricted to magicians. That's fluctuated a bit through the editions, but it is essentially true.
Cochise
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Jun 13 2009, 07:59 PM) *
One of the big building blocks of Shadowrun is that magic is restricted to magicians. That's fluctuated a bit through the editions, but it is essentially true.


I didn't get the impression that the question was if magic should no longer be restricted to magicians, but rather if - going by the theme of "magic and technology don't go along too good" - mundanes should get stronger ways of resisting manipulation via magic (both good and bad). Just like certain health spells simply had lessened chances of healing highly cybered persons due to the TN increase. So what if mundanes got their lost Essence (rounded up) as pool modifier for their spell resistance tests in general?
Dakka Dakka
I don't think additional rules are needed. Every mundane can take the magic resistance quality. All the GM has to do is award a few of the NPCs with this quality. PCs can take it at character generation, or IMHO afterwards if they take a particular interest in overcoming magical effects.
Glyph
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Jun 13 2009, 09:08 AM) *
Cain whines a lot, but sometimes he's got a good point. Mundanes really lack enough ways to handle magical stuff. Meanwhile, Mages can compete in the real world and the Matrix. Sure, they're not particularly impressive in the Matrix, but they can do some good backing up the actual Hacker.

Is there anything massively wrong with letting the 'wared add their Essence loss to their DP when targeted by Magic? Does it really horribly break anything beyond the Mages' sense of superiority?

Yes. There is. I can tell that you have an extreme bias against mages, but letting the street sammie add 5 dice to his resistance test would make magic completely useless. Not in a "now mages don't auto-win" way, but a "Why bother playing a mage, ever?" way. Mundanes already have several qualities (magic resistance, arcane arrestor, astral hazing), counterspelling from the mage on their team, and the option to have a high Willpower and Edge. Despite the refrain from some people about how "broken" magic is in SR4, it is far weaker than it was in SR3, where a 6D manabolt was more or less instant death.
Kerenshara
You know, I hadn't considered it in any particular sense... I mean, the mechanic already exists for healing, right? Now, I would say it only applied to mana based spells, because those are grounding in through their essence as opposed to coming from outside. I don't see where lost essence would help against a fireball. Now against a stun bolt? That's another thing entirely. Then there's the (very old) issue about how magic should really affect things like cyber eyes and their ilk. I'm game for a legitimate discussion on the issue.

Mind you, there's no question this will fall under the umbrella of "yeah, seriously" house rules, as opposed to even "optional" from a sidebar. But as long as the discussion were to stay on the basic ideas and not turn into a flame war on interpretations of wording(s) in the RAW, it could be interesting if nothing else.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Glyph @ Jun 13 2009, 02:33 PM) *
Yes. There is. I can tell that you have an extreme bias against mages, but letting the street sammie add 5 dice to his resistance test would make magic completely useless. Not in a "now mages don't auto-win" way, but a "Why bother playing a mage, ever?" way. Mundanes already have several qualities (magic resistance, arcane arrestor, astral hazing), counterspelling from the mage on their team, and the option to have a high Willpower and Edge. Despite the refrain from some people about how "broken" magic is in SR4, it is far weaker than it was in SR3, where a 6D manabolt was more or less instant death.

Sure, if applied in a general way. But I was thinking more selectively. And not as a simple OR threshold or a general dice pool mod. And before anybody jumps in, I prefer playing spell-slingers, so I am approaching this from a fluff and consistency perspective as opposed to the crunchy game-balance perspective.
Larme
QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Jun 13 2009, 01:34 PM) *
You know, I hadn't considered it in any particular sense... I mean, the mechanic already exists for healing, right? Now, I would say it only applied to mana based spells, because those are grounding in through their essence as opposed to coming from outside. I don't see where lost essence would help against a fireball. Now against a stun bolt? That's another thing entirely. Then there's the (very old) issue about how magic should really affect things like cyber eyes and their ilk. I'm game for a legitimate discussion on the issue.

Mind you, there's no question this will fall under the umbrella of "yeah, seriously" house rules, as opposed to even "optional" from a sidebar. But as long as the discussion were to stay on the basic ideas and not turn into a flame war on interpretations of wording(s) in the RAW, it could be interesting if nothing else.


That's an interesting idea for a house rule, but it would really only help players. Most NPCs have little if any cyberware, even your elite grunts still have plenty of essence.

It's not really a problem that's solvable by house rules, IMO -- either magic works against mundanes, or it doesn't. Either mages or useful, or they aren't.

The one idea I could think of would be a Full Defense option for resisting magic. That's where you roll Willpower + Edge or something (and are still allowed to add edge or use it for rerolls as normal), but it eats up your next complex action just like full defense. The explanation being that you have to focus all your willpower on resisting the magic and can't do anything else.

Then again, while that gives mundos a better fighting chance, it still doesn't mean much. Someone who's forced to go on full defense is pretty much dead anyway, unless they have the ability to take cover and be safe for a round. Full defense is nice for players because it lets them dodge to live another day, but for NPCs it's pretty meaningless because they'll probably just die anyway.

Also, such a rule wouldn't just give mundos a fighting chance, it would be nerfilicious if mages were faced with any of the normal modifiers that mess them up -- background counts and visibility modifiers can already screw up casting, especially when a mundane resists with Edge.

So here my whole thing: Shadowrun is a game of shoot first. If the mage shoots the sammy first (with a spell, obviously), it's good night, assuming normal conditions. If the sammy shoots the mage first, it's also good night. That's just how this game works. Everyone has broken abilities, because everyone who's twinked out can one-shot their opponents if their tactics work out as they want to. One-shotting just happens in a quasi-real world game. I don't see what the big deal is if that one-shotting happens by a spell, or by a grenade. Sure, you can argue that grenades are too loud, but what about a neruo-stun grenade? Odorless, colorless, just a little hiss, lasts in the area for a whole minute, 10S damage... That's even better than a stunbolt because it is unaffected by background count and doesn't cost drain, not to mention that you can bounce it around a corner, or set it up as a booby trap. The game is full of ways to take people out like nothing, magic is just one of them. It's harder to resist against magic, but magic also has the potential to kill or knock out the person using it. That's the tradeoff that's existed in Shadowrun for generations, it's a part of the game, and you can't really fix it and still be playing Shadowrun.
Heath Robinson
If we instead put this into the context of a court of law and a weird social system - there are Lords and Commoners, and both accuse each other of entirely spurious charges on a regular basis. The word of a Lord can be countered by the word of another Lord, but the word of the Commoner can be countered by possession of a charm that both Lords and Commoners can possess. In order to be safe from being convicted of a spurious crime you need the active protection of a Lord, but the Lord can just buy a charm and be reasonably safe of a Commoner's attempts to get them convicted. People come along and claim that this is all balanced and idyllic because you just have to bow and curtsy to your Lord and they will defend you from other Lords.

Is that fair? Because that's basically analogous to how I see the system currently. This is cutting away a lot of complexity like Spirits, mind. Even Lords can't save a person from the Priests, though they can certainly control a few Priests.
Synner667
Something similar got mentioned recently [sorry, i can't remember where or when], but my personal view is that in an ideal way, essence rating should have an effect on how someone is affected - high essence makes magic more effective, low essence makes magic less effective.

Practically, it does change the way magic is used, and what it means to be mundane.
Maybe mundanes should have a magic value of 1, to indicate their connection to the manasphere/gaia/astral space - with appropriate "defence" or resistance based on that ??

In effect, essence 6 is the default - modifier +/-0, the standard value to which magic is practice and the base value for results, etc.

Except, as some people have noted, sometimes the essence value does make a difference to how magic affects someone [healing, for instance], SR isn't very consistent about this.
Stahlseele
Mundanes without the correct edges/flaws get shafted by magic one way or the other.
deal with it.
kzt
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Jun 13 2009, 03:04 PM) *
Mundanes without the correct edges/flaws get shafted by magic one way or the other.
deal with it.

It's easy to fix as a player. Everyone takes a mage, everyone gets counterspelling.
Stahlseele
Yeah . . wait, no . . i frigging hate magic, no matter if it's on my char-sheet or on someone elses . .
Closest would be a Magic 1 Adept with 1 point in Magical Talent so i can get Counter-Spelling.
And then load up on Ware. As long as i don't go under 1 point of Essence it should work.
Or, in SR4, play Fomori, with Astral Hazing and Magic resistance. Only problem being, that SOMEONE in the Group wants to be a Magician.
And the GM will most likely make it so that we will have to do things like letting the mage levitate or heal or make us invisible . .
kzt
If everyone took hazing that would be cool too.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Jun 13 2009, 06:14 PM) *
Closest would be a Magic 1 Adept with 1 point in Magical Talent so i can get Counter-Spelling.
And then load up on Ware. As long as i don't go under 1 point of Essence it should work.


Uh...any 'ware and his Magic drops to 0, which I believe negates the whole point of having gotten it...
Larme
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Jun 13 2009, 04:03 PM) *
If we instead put this into the context of a court of law and a weird social system - there are Lords and Commoners, and both accuse each other of entirely spurious charges on a regular basis. The word of a Lord can be countered by the word of another Lord, but the word of the Commoner can be countered by possession of a charm that both Lords and Commoners can possess. In order to be safe from being convicted of a spurious crime you need the active protection of a Lord, but the Lord can just buy a charm and be reasonably safe of a Commoner's attempts to get them convicted. People come along and claim that this is all balanced and idyllic because you just have to bow and curtsy to your Lord and they will defend you from other Lords.

Is that fair? Because that's basically analogous to how I see the system currently. This is cutting away a lot of complexity like Spirits, mind. Even Lords can't save a person from the Priests, though they can certainly control a few Priests.


Ok, that is a really hard analogy to follow. Are you saying that mages are the only thing that can protect mundanes from other mages? Because for the most part, the streetsam will go before the mage, shoot him in the face, and win. It's not so much that the streetsam needs the mage's protection, it's that they both need each other. Mages will get geeked without someone fast on the draw to defend them, and streetsams need mages to defend them from spells.

Now, you're free to dislike the way the game is set up, but that's the way Shadowrun has pretty much always worked. Shadowrunners are glass cannons, dealing death left and right, but the one time they don't act first against a powerful threat and it's curtains. To the fastest gun goes the victory, and that's for both mages and mundanes. Of course, SR4A is more forgiving with the Full Defense option, but it's not like that really saves you, it just delays your execution. Once you start going on full defense, you're screwed as it is. Against magic, you don't have that same ability to delay the inevitable, but that's really the primary difference. I mean, who can really, with a straight face, say that an airbursting neurostun minigrenade isn't as good as, or even better than a stunball?
LynGrey
Something i've always had to scratch my head about is the fact that Magic is Directly tied to Essence.. the more 'ware the less connected you are with the astral realm. In earlier editions it was incredibly hard to heal low essence samis, but attacking them with combat spells was the same. Let alone in the fluff of the book it states that mages attack your astral self not your physical body and thats why magic is "invisible".. but if 'ware takes away from your astral self... so wouldn't it in theory make it harder for magic to target you?

either way, i have no idea how to model this because providing mages with more DP or more resisitance wouldn't model it correctly i would have to say as a minus to the mage casting the spell.. but how much? and this would make the Sami that loads up on body and willpower enhancement reallllllly unstoppable.
Draco18s
QUOTE (LynGrey @ Jun 14 2009, 12:21 AM) *
Something i've always had to scratch my head about is the fact that Magic is Directly tied to Essence.. the more 'ware the less connected you are with the astral realm. In earlier editions it was incredibly hard to heal low essence samis, but attacking them with combat spells was the same. Let alone in the fluff of the book it states that mages attack your astral self not your physical body and thats why magic is "invisible".. but if 'ware takes away from your astral self... so wouldn't it in theory make it harder for magic to target you?


Because when you're throwing raw magic at someone to hurt them you don't care if they're part machine: hurt the flesh, hurt the metal, all the same. Not to mention that the flesh is already so fucked up with all that metal in there that is not that hard to hurt the flesh even more.

But when you're healing someone, you can only heal the fleshy bits and they need to heal back into their connections with the metal bits correctly. Tricky business.
Stahlseele
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jun 14 2009, 05:33 AM) *
Uh...any 'ware and his Magic drops to 0, which I believe negates the whole point of having gotten it...

Technically yes. But not if you rule that ware only affects the maximum, not the current rating of your magic, as long as your magic is below your maximum.
Yes, it's a House-Rule. So is most everything else at some point in time, sooner or later.
Cthulhudreams
IF you want to make mages less effective against people, you need to give them three dice pools to resist magic - two all the time, and a third when protected. Then it works like Franks Matrix rules.

Downside is that this won't do what you want. It will kill combat mages, but indirect magical actions are still powerful and not replaceable - so maybe a different solution.
Dakka Dakka
Use the same character concept with MAG 2 and it works without house rules. Now imagine an awakended character with Magic 6(1) and ware worth 5 points of essence, counterspelling 6 and a houserule that lets lost essence affect the spell defense pool. Combine this with a fomori and magic is pretty much useless.
Stahlseele
Yes, perfect for me. Only problems will be Spirits like that.
Which would not be the case with Astral Hazing. But every mage and their grandma would want me dead.
knasser
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Jun 13 2009, 06:59 PM) *
One of the big building blocks of Shadowrun is that magic is restricted to magicians. That's fluctuated a bit through the editions, but it is essentially true.


Which I have always liked. I'm a little nervous about "Dawn of the Artifacts" for that reason as I have worried it's going to break this with "magic items" in some way. I should have learnt to trust the 4th Ed. devs by now, but I still dread waking up one day and finding everything has been mucked up (TM's were bad enough for me and they would be mild in comparison to mundanes using magic).

EDIT: Back on topic, I think this could work in terms of flavour, but in terms of balance it's wrong. It would severely hamper magicians at precisely the moment they don't want to be hampered (when fighting a cybered-up BBEG). Also, one of nice things about Shadowrun is how everyone can kill everyone else. A prepared Samurai in the right circumstances is going to wipe the floor with a mage. In other circumstances, the mage will kill the Samurai without blinking. (Unless they have the spellcasting geas: Must Blink). Shadowrun is about planning, preparation and treachery. I see rules tweaks like this as moving away from the Rock, Paper, Scissors that I find so delightful, and more toward Rock, Rock, which is dull.

My thoughts, anyway.

K.
Chrysalis
First of all, all this balance stuff is bullshit. Shadowrun is not balanced, never has never will be. Against a possession mage, the well-rounded street sam will have to be using rockets as close combat weapons.

Personally, I like the idea that the less essence you have the less likelihood of being harmed by certain TYPES of magics, I fail to perceive how subtly altering someone's mind is any different from healing. Sure if you are throwing fireballs at the street sam you have the usual environmental effects to deal with, no more different than the mage with a flamethrower.

MYST1C
QUOTE (LynGrey @ Jun 14 2009, 07:21 AM) *
Something i've always had to scratch my head about is the fact that Magic is Directly tied to Essence.. the more 'ware the less connected you are with the astral realm. In earlier editions it was incredibly hard to heal low essence samis, but attacking them with combat spells was the same. Let alone in the fluff of the book it states that mages attack your astral self not your physical body and thats why magic is "invisible".. but if 'ware takes away from your astral self... so wouldn't it in theory make it harder for magic to target you?

Explanation attempt, in-game-wise: Essence measures your "life-force". Lowering your essence actually means surrendering part of this life-force. Now, positive/constructive magic, like healing, builds upon that life-force, enhancing and focusing it. If your essence and thus life-force is lower than normal the healing spell has less "substance" to work with and thus gets harder to cast and/or has less effect.
A destructive combat spell on the other hand is meant to extinquish your life-force and kill you. To such a spell it would actually be positive if the target has lower essence. This does not manifest in the game crunch as any essence-based boni to combat magic would make cyberware less attractive and setting/style-wise characters are supposed/encouraged to have 'ware.
Psikerlord
For me, the problem with mages is not spells vs mundanes, it is spirits vs mundanes. This is not a big problem when it is just the one spirit. The game comes into problems however when you have multiple, powerful bound spirits ready to kick hoop. I think SR should basically scrap bound spirits, or limit them more severely (maybe bymp the optional dice penalty rule to -3 dice per spirit instead of -2).
Dakka Dakka
What do you consider High Power Spirits? A force larger than 6? If a Mage puts that much of his Resources into being able to bind many spirits of that force and surviving the drain, he is damn well allowed to kick butt with them. This tactic is a lot more expensive than a grenade launcher with airburst link or a HMG and a high skill in heavy weapons.
Larme
QUOTE (Psikerlord @ Jun 14 2009, 06:26 AM) *
For me, the problem with mages is not spells vs mundanes, it is spirits vs mundanes. This is not a big problem when it is just the one spirit. The game comes into problems however when you have multiple, powerful bound spirits ready to kick hoop. I think SR should basically scrap bound spirits, or limit them more severely (maybe bymp the optional dice penalty rule to -3 dice per spirit instead of -2).


I think they're already limited by cost, they cost a lot of money. If a streetsam spends 30k on a superweapon, I'd expect it to kick butt. So too when a mage spends 30k to bind 5 force 6 spirits. And honestly, there are so many ways for mundanes to hurt spirits, whether it's stick-n-shock, white phosphorous, flamethrowers, lasers, elephant rifles, sniper rifles, assault cannons, rockets... And Stick-n-Shock is the only one you really need, 6s(e) means that one net hit breaks the Immunity of a force 6 spirit, 2 net hits breaks force 7, 3 net hits breaks force 8... And you can do it with a holdout pistol, if you want.
Shinobi Killfist
I always thought there should be more built in resistance to spells but maybe less add ons like hazing. For illusions I think you should be vs will or intuition + perception, for direct combat it should be a dodge stat and a soak the damage stat.

As is without seriously tweaking a character to be anti-magic you just roll so many dice against just there willpower that you will drop the person if you set the force at 9. Heck add in cover and I still expect to drop them every time, add in cover and counterspelling and I'm probably near the 50/50 range. And if you are going with stun spells 9 force is kind of easy to resist drain for.(though stun ball i expect to take a small amount of damage unless I build for drain)
kzt
To effectively soak magic with CM you need a team design. If your team can generate >10 dice for a countermagic teamwork test direct combat spells are not nearly as scary.
Machiavelli
And again i´m using the "Crap"-word. Like Glyph said, magic is ways less powerful than in previous editions. In SR4A it even get nerfed a bit more. What do you all want magic to become? For the entertainment industry (doesn´t work anymore, because the cams are possibly floating drones and i don´t think that a mage in this industry is capable or willing to kill itself with overcasting for a Trid) or just for the flavour?Passivly dancing aroung, sometimes seen as an useless NPC in a bar but not as an active part of the game anymore? Sorry, but if you want to get rid of the magic, play another game. You cannot be serious complaining that the mage is too effective while playing a 20-dice street sam with a weapon that fires 3 times a phase, with APDS-ammo that negates nearly your complete armor and doing 3 times the damage a mage is capable of WITHOUT getting killed by drain. Thats crap...nothing more. Sorry.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (Larme @ Jun 14 2009, 05:50 AM) *
Ok, that is a really hard analogy to follow. Are you saying that mages are the only thing that can protect mundanes from other mages? Because for the most part, the streetsam will go before the mage, shoot him in the face, and win. It's not so much that the streetsam needs the mage's protection, it's that they both need each other. Mages will get geeked without someone fast on the draw to defend them, and streetsams need mages to defend them from spells.

Now, you're free to dislike the way the game is set up, but that's the way Shadowrun has pretty much always worked. Shadowrunners are glass cannons, dealing death left and right, but the one time they don't act first against a powerful threat and it's curtains. To the fastest gun goes the victory, and that's for both mages and mundanes. Of course, SR4A is more forgiving with the Full Defense option, but it's not like that really saves you, it just delays your execution. Once you start going on full defense, you're screwed as it is. Against magic, you don't have that same ability to delay the inevitable, but that's really the primary difference. I mean, who can really, with a straight face, say that an airbursting neurostun minigrenade isn't as good as, or even better than a stunball?

Assuming you get the accusation in first, the Lord says "oh, look, a token of Protection from Commoners". Then he turns around and accuses you, and you had best hope that your Lord is ready to protect you. Security Lords have more Commoners than you, and might look just like a Commoner until they begin accusing you. Assuming, of course, that you get the first accusation in. Because Lords also get Invisibility and Priests have Concealment.


Who even mentioned Stunball? Control Actions is F/2 and just plain negates the target. Painlessly (F4 = 2 DV). The Mob version is just F/2 + 2 (but you just need to cast it at F4 as opposed to the need to overcast Stunball for the same effect). Wait, why are we even looking at things that directly negate 'Runners when Magic is just superior in versatility to technology. Summon a Spirit of Man with Enhance Aim as an Innate Spell and get it to sustain it on your best shooters. They won't compare to the Sam, but there are three of them and one of the Sam.

Give your fellow Security Guards Combat Sense, or Deflection. Throw down Heal. Why always the refrain of "Direct Combat Spells are the be all and end all and must be forever"? That's more boring than the Sam who always just unloads his Machine Gun on things. It's the exact same thing, in fact.


QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jun 14 2009, 08:19 AM) *
Now imagine an awakended character with Magic 6(1) and ware worth 5 points of essence, counterspelling 6 and a houserule that lets lost essence affect the spell defense pool. Combine this with a fomori and magic is pretty much useless.


Yes. You spend over half your BP budget on being immune to Magic and, well, you damn well better be immune to Magic. Fomori is 45 BP. You spend 40 BP on Willpower. You buy Mystic Adept for 10 BP. You spend 24 BP on Counterspelling 6. You sink 20 BP in 'Ware. You sink 65 BP in Magic. Total Cost: 205 BP. Even without the houserule this build was immune to Magic. The houserule just made the build less counterproductive. You only roll 16 dice on Reistance rolls, you just take significantly less damage when it's a Combat spell. You still only have your Resistance roll when it comes to Mental Manipulations. You're also ineffective at other things thanks to sinking half your BP into being immune to Magic (with some side benefits).

Need I also remind you that you do not benefit from Magical healing, or buffs much. Sure, they can still summon Spirits to buff you, but that's only because the Critter power rules don't interact with the Spellcasting rules. At all.


QUOTE (Psikerlord @ Jun 14 2009, 12:26 PM) *
For me, the problem with mages is not spells vs mundanes, it is spirits vs mundanes. This is not a big problem when it is just the one spirit. The game comes into problems however when you have multiple, powerful bound spirits ready to kick hoop. I think SR should basically scrap bound spirits, or limit them more severely (maybe bymp the optional dice penalty rule to -3 dice per spirit instead of -2).


I never stated that this would be restricted to just being Spell Resistance. People just put words in my mouth. Spirits were where I really wanted to point this, because rolling 2 stats against one to just negate people for a few Combat Turns is no exactly balanced.


QUOTE (Machiavelli @ Jun 14 2009, 04:31 PM) *
And again im using the "Crap"-word. Like Glyph said, magic is ways less powerful than in previous editions. In SR4A it even get nerfed a bit more. What do you all want magic to become? For the entertainment industry (doesnt work anymore, because the cams are possibly floating drones and i dont think that a mage in this industry is capable or willing to kill itself with overcasting for a Trid) or just for the flavour?Passivly dancing aroung, sometimes seen as an useless NPC in a bar but not as an active part of the game anymore? Sorry, but if you want to get rid of the magic, play another game. You cannot be serious complaining that the mage is too effective while playing a 20-dice street sam with a weapon that fires 3 times a phase, with APDS-ammo that negates nearly your complete armor and doing 3 times the damage a mage is capable of WITHOUT getting killed by drain. Thats crap...nothing more. Sorry.


Direct Combat Spells are less powerful. Mental Manipulations still horribly rape Mundanes and Mages without Counterspelling. Mages get to give out buffs left right and centre. They get Invisibility. Making the Sam more resilient to being raped (quite literally) isn't going to break the game.

Your argument is crap. Sorry.
Machiavelli
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Jun 14 2009, 07:58 PM) *
Direct Combat Spells are less powerful. Mental Manipulations still horribly rape Mundanes and Mages without Counterspelling.

Your argument is crap. Sorry.

No it isn´t. Sorry

Wheres the problem with that? Is it all just about whining that there is something left you are vulnerable to? That part of the game chummer. Mental Manipulations are effective when you manage to cast them without trouble. But up to this point there is a lot of work to do. Mages need a complex action to cast anything, in the same time you can get killed 3 times by a sammie. Like we pointed out in another topic: who should you shoot first: the troll with the assault cannon or the mage? There are a lot of more terrible things than magic that can kill you easier. Nobodys whining up to now that APDS-ammo is too powerfull or that a character-creation sammie is capable to do 16D damage with an usual submachinegun, so why about magic? Is it fear that i smell? ^^
Larme
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Jun 14 2009, 02:58 PM) *
Assuming you get the accusation in first, the Lord says "oh, look, a token of Protection from Commoners". Then he turns around and accuses you, and you had best hope that your Lord is ready to protect you. Security Lords have more Commoners than you, and might look just like a Commoner until they begin accusing you. Assuming, of course, that you get the first accusation in. Because Lords also get Invisibility and Priests have Concealment.


Ok, dude? Drop the analogy. Lords? Priests? Commoners? Tokens of Protection? Please say what you mean.

QUOTE
The problem with "the fastest gun" is that you have to spend a Simple Action peiodically to remain situationally aware. Do your 'runners? They probably shoot things with that action. Even so, they're probably taking a -3 penalty even if they spend that Simple Action, because a Force 3 Air Spirit isn't all that difficult to summon and bind.


You do not have to spend actions to remain aware of the situation. Obvious things are observed with no action at all. Stealth is an Opposed Test, it is resisted as soon as you have a chance to perceive someone, it does not take up an action.

Anyway, you're tilting the situation to where the mage has had a chance to prepare, and the sammy hasn't. Sure, a mage who's got a spirit summoned up, and a clear approach to sneak up on the sammy will win. But a sammy could be equipped with motion sensors, could set up laser triplines, could have drones watching his back, whatever. Of course the mage wins if you slant all the odds in his favor. But in straight face off, the sammy wins. What you're saying should be obvious -- the person who's prepared and has the plan is the one more likely to succeed. That's not a flaw, that's a feature.

QUOTE
Who even mentioned Stunball? Control Actions is F/2 and just plain negates the target. Painlessly (F4 = 2 DV). The Mob version is just F/2 + 2 (but you just need to cast it at F4 as opposed to the need to overcast Stunball for the same effect). Wait, why are we even looking at things that directly negate 'Runners when Magic is just superior in versatility to technology. Summon a Spirit of Man with Enhance Aim as an Innate Spell and get it to sustain it on your best shooters. They won't compare to the Sam, but there are three of them and one of the Sam.


Magic is not superior in all situations. For instance, where there is a background count, it loses out. Guns are consistently effective while magic is not. Guns also do not injure their user, while spells can. Especially spirits. Ever seen a force 5 spirit roll 5 hits when it's summoned? It's not pretty.

QUOTE
Give your fellow Security Guards Combat Sense, or Deflection. Throw down Heal. Why always the refrain of "Direct Combat Spells are the be all and end all and must be forever"? That's more boring than the Sam who always just unloads his Machine Gun on things. It's the exact same thing, in fact.


I agree there, mages can do a lot more than direct combat. The thing is, this thread was an offshoot of one where people were pointing at direct combat being the be all and end all. I think you're right -- it's better than guns in some ways (silent, doesn't take ammo), and worse in other ways (subject to background count, drain). Mages are super useful. It's better to have one than not. But the question is, do they always automatically win? That would be a clear no.

And mental manipulations? Not as good as people say. You cast control thoughts with a complex action. Now you must let everyone else act out their init passes, which might include killing you, especially because you've got to sustain a spell. It takes a complex to cast and then a simple to command. That's two init passes to remove one guy from the combat. By contrast, a gun can remove two people every pass. And Mob Mind is absolute murder for drain, if you cast it at a high force it will hurt like hell, and if you cast it at low force it will be shrugged off by those with good willpower before you can give them a command.

QUOTE
It's not even true, so I have no idea why you're treating it like fundamentalist Christians treat the Bible.


Not sure what you're referring to here... Everything I say is my original thought though, I am not adhering to a dogma, I'm making it up as I go. A bit different from someone quoting a holy text as if the fact of the words on the page made them true.
Shinobi Killfist
QUOTE (Larme @ Jun 14 2009, 03:27 PM) *
Anyway, you're tilting the situation to where the mage has had a chance to prepare, and the sammy hasn't. Sure, a mage who's got a spirit summoned up, and a clear approach to sneak up on the sammy will win. But a sammy could be equipped with motion sensors, could set up laser triplines, could have drones watching his back, whatever. Of course the mage wins if you slant all the odds in his favor. But in straight face off, the sammy wins. What you're saying should be obvious -- the person who's prepared and has the plan is the one more likely to succeed. That's not a flaw, that's a feature.


A mage could set up tripwires, have drones watching his back etc as well. One of the key problems with magic is the mage loses virtually nothing in the mundane arena but gets the whole magic package. If I had my way some of the flaws that make it harder to work with tech like sensitive system(Which should apply to bioware as well IMO) and simsense vertigo would be built in flaws for all mages.

A mage wont be as good at mundane stuff assuming equal points spent, but having drones with hard to hack system running on there pilot isn't a high skill task, its just a little bit of money.
Larme
QUOTE (Shinobi Killfist @ Jun 14 2009, 02:37 PM) *
A mage wont be as good at mundane stuff assuming equal points spent, but having drones with hard to hack system running on there pilot isn't a high skill task, its just a little bit of money.


You're right that mages can use tech. But we're not arguing about mages vs. samurai so much as we're arguing about magic vs. technology. Will one or the other always win? That was the question that I was trying to answer. The mage, using only magic, will not always defeat the samurai, using only technology, assuming that each character has equal time to plan and set up.

And the point that mages can use tech doesn't mean a whole lot, IMO. Mages tend to have 0% build points left over if they want to be good mages, and they need to spend 100% of their karma and cash on magical resources if they want to stay competitive. Mages are not jack of all trade builds, they will not come complete with drones and technical skills and such, not unless they want to be really bad at magic. The theoretical possibility for them to use technology in all the same ways as a samurai ignores the limited nature of resources. The samurai, being as how he's got nothing but tech and skills to buy with money and karma, is always going to have the technological edge in an actual game. I mean, look -- every riposte so far has been, "Yeah, but what if the mage had some new advantage I just added?" The response is, of course, that the scenario is no longer balanced if you give the mage arbitrary advantages without letting the sammy have anything. We want to know, all things being equal, will mages always win? We do not care if the mage, with the odds slanted in his favor, would win. Of course he would! That's what happens when you slant the odds.

I don't know what you mean by a little bit of money, either. I guess that's true if you're talking about SR3 nuyen. But in SR4 nuyen, a pumped up drone is very expensive. 10,000 for a pilot 4, 6,000 for a Firewall 6, and then all you've got is an empty shell that takes some skill to hack but can't actually do anything. You'll need to spend a further 4,000 per autosoft, and then while you're at it you'll need an IC to defend your drone, which is 10,000 for a rating 4, plus a huge pile of money for all the programs, plus you'll need to buy some Agent autosofts from Unwired if you want that agent to be anything like a challenge for a hacker... Believe me, a drone that has souped up stats and a compliment of autosofts is NOT cheap, nor is a commlink that's actually hard to hack. No mage could have that kind of gear and still be worth a fart magically, not unless he spent a long time getting rich in-game.
kzt
QUOTE (Larme @ Jun 14 2009, 01:43 PM) *
The samurai, being as how he's got nothing but tech and skills to buy with money and karma, is always going to have the technological edge in an actual game.

For PCs this is true using the standard build rules. However NPCs don't pay pay points for gear, they get it from their employers. And as mages are expensive to replace, they WILL have all the cool stuff they need.
Larme
QUOTE (kzt @ Jun 14 2009, 03:49 PM) *
For PCs this is true using the standard build rules. However NPCs don't pay pay points for gear, they get it from their employers. And as mages are expensive to replace, they WILL have all the cool stuff they need.


Ok, you're saying that a mage who has all kind of extra resources for free might beat a PC streetsam? Your point? The question is, all things being equal, will the mage always beat the mundane? All things being equal should mean some rough equivalency, such as two 400 BP characters fresh from chargen facing off. If you take unequal power and resource levels, you're no longer asking whether magic or tech is better. Now you're asking, "what if a mage had all the odds in his favor, would he beat a streetsam?" Of course he would. Just like if the streetsam attacked the mage in an area with 6 background count, or if he was a cyberzombie and the mage was a 400 BP runner. You can't slant the odds in favor of either side to prove which one's better, all that proves is that odds are indeed odds, and slanting them does indeed work in favor of one side or the other.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (Larme @ Jun 14 2009, 08:27 PM) *
Ok, dude? Drop the analogy. Lords? Priests? Commoners? Tokens of Protection? Please say what you mean.


Very simple analogy. Commoners = Mundanes. Lords = Mages. Priests = Spirits/Paracritters. Token of Protection from Commoners = Armour. I was beginning to blur the analogy in that post, but it's basically true that you rely upon your Mage to defend you against Magic and this creates a power dynamic that's not particularly healthy.

QUOTE (Larme @ Jun 14 2009, 08:27 PM) *
You do not have to spend actions to remain aware of the situation. Obvious things are observed with no action at all. Stealth is an Opposed Test, it is resisted as soon as you have a chance to perceive someone, it does not take up an action.

Anyway, you're tilting the situation to where the mage has had a chance to prepare, and the sammy hasn't. Sure, a mage who's got a spirit summoned up, and a clear approach to sneak up on the sammy will win. But a sammy could be equipped with motion sensors, could set up laser triplines, could have drones watching his back, whatever. Of course the mage wins if you slant all the odds in his favor. But in straight face off, the sammy wins. What you're saying should be obvious -- the person who's prepared and has the plan is the one more likely to succeed. That's not a flaw, that's a feature.


That's the thing - Shadowrun is a game where you have 2 situations that turn up with any regularity, which are both asymmetric in favour of the other person. You have the "I'm intruding into a secured facility" situation, and the "I'm in my normal life" situation. In both of these you can have prepared opponents. The fact that you can have passive preparation against one attack vector (guns and gases) but nother another (magic) is bad. There's not even a decent portable active preparation against magic because it can negate you as an actor with one opposed test between Stat + Skill on the part of the aggressor, and Stat on the defender.

Now, when you're intruding into a facility you should be wary of all these things. However, the rules make a Security Mage with a small number of spells and access to Air Spirits extremely hard to deal with from a 'runner perspective. Giving Magic all the cool things it has renders the entire focus of the game pretty hard to pull off in a world that doesn't rigidly obey tropes or a code of honour.

That's not the game I expect to play - one where people don't do things that are effective during their jobs just because you're the hero. That's not the tone I get from SRs material. Yet, it has to be that way because Magic synergises with itself too much. This is exactly the same problem that D&D has - Wizards get Wallmancy and multi-target Save-or-Loses. Clerics get massive buffs that all stack.

QUOTE (Larme @ Jun 14 2009, 08:27 PM) *
Magic is not superior in all situations. For instance, where there is a background count, it loses out. Guns are consistently effective while magic is not. Guns also do not injure their user, while spells can. Especially spirits. Ever seen a force 5 spirit roll 5 hits when it's summoned? It's not pretty.

Summoning a F5 spirit that rolls 5 dice is DV 5. If you're a sensible Mage that won't be above your Magic, so it's Stun. That heals pretty quickly. You also get a Drain Resistance roll. Sure, it hurts, but you get that Spirit for a while and we can just assume that a decent Sec Mage has a few useful Spirits bound - even low Force Spirits are terribly useful.

In the case of Background Count, you are right. Why a Mage on the defensive would deal with operations in that environment instead of Mundane security is beyond me, though.

QUOTE (Larme @ Jun 14 2009, 08:27 PM) *
I agree there, mages can do a lot more than direct combat. The thing is, this thread was an offshoot of one where people were pointing at direct combat being the be all and end all. I think you're right -- it's better than guns in some ways (silent, doesn't take ammo), and worse in other ways (subject to background count, drain). Mages are super useful. It's better to have one than not. But the question is, do they always automatically win? That would be a clear no.

And mental manipulations? Not as good as people say. You cast control thoughts with a complex action. Now you must let everyone else act out their init passes, which might include killing you, especially because you've got to sustain a spell. It takes a complex to cast and then a simple to command. That's two init passes to remove one guy from the combat. By contrast, a gun can remove two people every pass. And Mob Mind is absolute murder for drain, if you cast it at a high force it will hurt like hell, and if you cast it at low force it will be shrugged off by those with good willpower before you can give them a command.


You're putting words in my mouth. This is extracting what I saw as a valid point from Cain's diatribe of SR4bashing and admitting that it's actually valid - then suggesting something to help defuse the claim.

Mental Manipulations synergise extremely well with other Spells (like Invisibility) and Critter Powers (like Concealment). If you can avoid being noticed for the time period between casting and sending the order "turn around and use supressive fire on the team" then it's all gravy. That's the thing - you should be extremely paranoid because Mental Manipulation spells don't even require a licence and are, rightfully, considered more humane for Security and Police forces to use on suspects than Stunball. You can cast Mob Control 4 for a few boxes of Stun and command sections of a rioting crowd to present themselves for arrest and nobody gets hurt.

I also referred to the more Drain-efficient Control Actions and Mob Control instead of the other Mental Manipulations. They're F/2 and F/2 +2 respectively. Sure, you subtract the victim's Willpower from their DPs, but if you just want people to sit still or walk off somewhere? No tests. Street Sams are built to absorb pretty hefty penalties in the first place anyway.

QUOTE (Larme @ Jun 14 2009, 08:27 PM) *
Not sure what you're referring to here... Everything I say is my original thought though, I am not adhering to a dogma, I'm making it up as I go. A bit different from someone quoting a holy text as if the fact of the words on the page made them true.


My apologies. Was feeling pretty tired of so many people focussing on Direct Combat spells when I didn't see this as ever being about them. I was venting that.
Falconer
Heath, you don't know what you're talking about.

It's very hard to beat things when you get even one mage assisting counterspelling present. And you're pretty much not even using assistance tests to stack counterspelling. You're so focused on the one narrow case, where the guy is targetted w/o magical protection, that you've completely ignored the more common case of, mage or mages spirit present on run protecting him.

You also clearly don't know summoning and spirits. A force 5 spirits which rolls 5 hits is 10 drain, not 5. And I've been on the recieving end of fluke 14 or 16 physical drains. Instant way to render your mage unavailable for tonight.


You also completely ignore such basic things as not leaving behind materials which could be used to target you ritually and track you. Taking pains to be incognito so they don't know who to target. (assuming they are ameteurs and out for retribution, as opposed to, it's just business). There's a lot of things out there such as sculpting paste, ski masks, etc.


And really, given how badly things like illusions got mauled... what reason is there to nerf them even more?

You really don't have any perspective on how much magic has changed since SR1. SR2 was ugly (w/ grounding out and other abuses allowing a fully astral mage to pretty much screw you at will), SR3 got rid of that but still pretty damn potent (especially w/ the seperate spellcasting pool). Now you get to SR4 where mages have never been weaker.

You've pretty much ignored the tools the game puts forward for you to help resist magic, in favor of a broken mechanic which street sams (and to a lesser extent deckers/riggers) get for free.

Larme
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Jun 14 2009, 05:10 PM) *
That's the thing - Shadowrun is a game where you have 2 situations that turn up with any regularity, which are both asymmetric in favour of the other person. You have the "I'm intruding into a secured facility" situation, and the "I'm in my normal life" situation. In both of these you can have prepared opponents. The fact that you can have passive preparation against one attack vector (guns and gases) but nother another (magic) is bad. There's not even a decent portable active preparation against magic because it can negate you as an actor with one opposed test between Stat + Skill on the part of the aggressor, and Stat on the defender.


Ranged combat does the exact same thing, except for full defense. But you might notice that full defense is worth balls most of the time, it delays your execution but does not prevent it. When you're fighting Mr. Brutal Samurai with 22 ranged dice, your choice is between full defense and die later, or not and die now. Not all that different from a powerful mage who's got the drop on you, which means your only option is die now. Die now vs. die later, you still die, what's the big deal?

It's true that the only portable protection against magic is mages. So? Get a mage. That's how the game is set up. That's how it's always been set up. The debate in which you are engaging is as old as the game, and as Falconer says, the slide is tilted more in favor of mundanes now than it's ever been. There is a mechanical imbalance between defense against mundane and defense against magic, but it's a feature, not a flaw. It was designed that way, on purpose. But no matter how you slice it, magic does not make mundanity pointless in a game of limited resources. Mages take so much resources just to use their magic that it's all they'll ever do. You will need other people on your team, no matter how useful a mage is. In fact, mages don't so much as obviate mundanes as enhance them. Mr. Brutal Samurai is no longer vulnerable to magic with a mage friend on his side, and now his rapid fire death and destruction is truly unstoppable...

QUOTE
Now, when you're intruding into a facility you should be wary of all these things. However, the rules make a Security Mage with a small number of spells and access to Air Spirits extremely hard to deal with from a 'runner perspective. Giving Magic all the cool things it has renders the entire focus of the game pretty hard to pull off in a world that doesn't rigidly obey tropes or a code of honour.

That's not the game I expect to play - one where people don't do things that are effective during their jobs just because you're the hero. That's not the tone I get from SRs material. Yet, it has to be that way because Magic synergises with itself too much. This is exactly the same problem that D&D has - Wizards get Wallmancy and multi-target Save-or-Loses. Clerics get massive buffs that all stack.


They don't obey codes of honor. Any serious facility would have magical security. But magic is really expensive because it's incredibly rare. That's not a trope, that's supply and demand. Supply low, demand high, price big. Most facilities may have a middle-skilled mage with 3's or 4's, who will only be on call astrally, not physically present. Even though PCs tend to think of 5's and 6's as the baseline, a mage with 6's is not going to be a security guard except on very high level, essentially military security operations. They're just too rare and expensive to have guarding every warehouse. These are not tropes, these are scarcity mechanics. Just because something is super effective doesn't mean it's always available. You're right that they would use it 100% of the time if they could, but they most certainly can't.

QUOTE
Summoning a F5 spirit that rolls 5 dice is DV 5. If you're a sensible Mage that won't be above your Magic, so it's Stun. That heals pretty quickly. You also get a Drain Resistance roll. Sure, it hurts, but you get that Spirit for a while and we can just assume that a decent Sec Mage has a few useful Spirits bound - even low Force Spirits are terribly useful.


Yeah, as Falconer pointed out, that's DV10 drain, requiring 30 dice to resist, on average. And a force 5 isn't even that beastly. You need to talk force 8 before you can really make people soil themselves. And then, like Falconer said, you're looking at a possible DV 16P, which would be lethal to most casters. It's rare, but it's a risk that isn't present at all for samurai, their weapons never randomly blow up in their face and kill them. The worst that happens is on a critical glitch when the weapon just breaks most of the time (though I suppose a GM could rule that a critical glitch on plastic explosives blows you up; still doesn't compare to the danger inherent in summoning though).

QUOTE
You're putting words in my mouth. This is extracting what I saw as a valid point from Cain's diatribe of SR4bashing and admitting that it's actually valid - then suggesting something to help defuse the claim.

Mental Manipulations synergise extremely well with other Spells (like Invisibility) and Critter Powers (like Concealment). If you can avoid being noticed for the time period between casting and sending the order "turn around and use supressive fire on the team" then it's all gravy. That's the thing - you should be extremely paranoid because Mental Manipulation spells don't even require a licence and are, rightfully, considered more humane for Security and Police forces to use on suspects than Stunball. You can cast Mob Control 4 for a few boxes of Stun and command sections of a rioting crowd to present themselves for arrest and nobody gets hurt.

I also referred to the more Drain-efficient Control Actions and Mob Control instead of the other Mental Manipulations. They're F/2 and F/2 +2 respectively. Sure, you subtract the victim's Willpower from their DPs, but if you just want people to sit still or walk off somewhere? No tests. Street Sams are built to absorb pretty hefty penalties in the first place anyway.


I'm not quite sure what your argument is here about mental manipulations. Are you saying they are too powerful, or just right?
Draco18s
QUOTE (Larme @ Jun 14 2009, 05:03 PM) *
It's true that the only portable protection against magic is mages. So? Get a mage. That's how the game is set up.


Am I mistaken here, or was the original post lamenting the inability of the GM to supply NPCs with ways to counter magic in a world where mages are 1 in 100?

That is, gogangers won't have mages/spirits.
Small corporations won't have mages/spirits on their dinky little warehouse.
Etc.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jun 14 2009, 06:38 PM) *
Am I mistaken here, or was the original post lamenting the inability of the GM to supply NPCs with ways to counter magic in a world where mages are 1 in 100?

That is, gogangers won't have mages/spirits.
Small corporations won't have mages/spirits on their dinky little warehouse.
Etc.

Um, Draco18s? Awakened (meta)humans are 1:100. Over half of those are adepts of some sort. Of the remaining ones, a significant portion are aspected, undertrained or untrained entirely. So let's call it 1:500. And if we're going by the RAW, MAGic is a stat, whose AVERAGE is 3 across those who have access to it in the first place. That's what the numbers are supposed to mean, right? In character generation, it is even treated in ALL respects as a normal stat (except being outside the standard caps). So if 50% of those 1:500 (now 1:1000) have an "average" magic statistic of 3, their TOP spell without taking PHYSICAL drain (and most mages, contrary to popular belief, will actually avoid that if in ANY way possible, if not at all costs) is going to be Force 3. That means the MOST hits they can get is 3. That means our commoner only needs three hits on their resistance to shrug the spell off entirely. But our "Average" magician also has only "average" sorcery, call it a 3 unless they are a seasoned professional, which they aren't in our example. That means on average they are only going to land 2 successes anyway, and there's a GOOD chance the commoner is going to roll up.
Now, how common are the "dangerous" mages? At LEAST 1:2000, if we define that as magic stat 4+. 1:3000 or higher of the Magic 5 and 6 runner types. And those would tend to cluster by their nature.

(I'm not disagreeing with you: I am trying to FURTHER emphasize your point!)
Cthulhudreams
They've actually changed the number of mages over the editions (decreasing it) orginally like 2% were mages, and adepts were extra to that.

Anyway, it is totally retarded that any mage doesn't work for the private sector. Big boats and planes are hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. Using the movement power on them for a living would warrant a luxury lifestyle no problem.

Given that mages do risk their life for a few bucks illegally, there are obviously more mages than 2%. smile.gif
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
The ratio in the books is the suggested allotment of mages to mundanes (1:100)....
However, in a almost any game I have played, across a multitude of states and gaming groups, it does seem like there are more than that...
knasser
QUOTE (Cthulhudreams @ Jun 15 2009, 01:44 AM) *
Anyway, it is totally retarded that any mage doesn't work for the private sector. Big boats and planes are hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. Using the movement power on them for a living would warrant a luxury lifestyle no problem.


I don't have time to reply properly to all the points in this thread and Larme is doing a great job anyway. So I'll just pick up on the above in passing and point out that the Movement power has been updated in the errata. It now starts reducing in effectiveness if if the Body of the target is greater than the Magic rating of the Spirit. Oil tankers zipping across the Atlantic are no longer a factor in Magiconomics. wink.gif

(We can probably thank FrankTrollman for that. Whether some of the devs like him or not, he's always been a wonderful crucible for them to refine out the kinks of the system in).

K.
knasser
QUOTE (Falconer @ Jun 14 2009, 10:36 PM) *
You also clearly don't know summoning and spirits. A force 5 spirits which rolls 5 hits is 10 drain, not 5. And I've been on the recieving end of fluke 14 or 16 physical drains. Instant way to render your mage unavailable for tonight.


Just to back Falconer up with some actual mathematics, regular summoning of Force 5's is risky. There's a tendency in arguments like this for people to use an average result as the basis for their argument. E.g. a Force 5 spirit being bound will most commonly get 3.3 hits. You get 2DV per hit (ouch) so lets call it 7DV to resist on average. Most PC mages could soak that down to a little bit of Stun which would clear up in a few hours. But the more often you do this the more likely you are to get outlying cases. Heath is arguing from the point of view of this being a common strategy. Lets say in the life of the PC mage, he does his summon Force 5 trick thirty times.

Out of those, you'll average 6 bindings with only 4DV drain - hooray! But you'll average 7 of those trials where the drain is 8DV and 3 of them where the drain is 10DV. That's not inconsiderable. You'll also see a couple of Binding attempts where the drain is 12DV. Beyond that the chance of a drain value occuring drops below an average of 1, but in your 30 attempts, you're looking at a 60% chance of hitting DV14+.

Incidentally, bump the Force to 6 and the drains you'll probably encounter jump markedly.

Additionally, I know it's been mentioned but its such a large point that it bears emphasizing, each of those Force 5 bindings is a 2,500¥ hit to the credstick. If the mage used up an entire F5 spirit per run, then he could be halving his cut of the profits each time. Our 30 bindings over the life of a PC totals, 75,000¥. The samurai's bullets and grenades aren't going to come close to that.

Of course, the team might chip in for the spirit, but in my experience, that's pretty uncommon as each player normally accounts for what capabilities they bring to the table themselves, and if other PCs do chip in, they'll certainly be rather conscious of how much the magician is costing them.
Blade
Mundanes have a hard time resisting magic just like everyone but prime runners have a hard time resisting the attacks of a street samurai, everyone but negotiators have a hard time not agreeing with a face and everyone but hackers have a hard time when a hacker have fun with everything around them.

Runners are dangerous.
Psikerlord
Just back on spirits for a moment, I'm not sure how stick&shock deals with them, so I'll check that out... But hmm yeah I agree multiple bound spirits cost a lot of money... but they are also pretty much game winners. They are better then grenades or white phosphorus and stuff. But, yeah, point taken, in comparison to those mundane things, they are mucho expensive. Right you are then! <tips hat>
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