Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Spirit bolt
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
wind_in_the_stones
The spell Spirit Bolt seems to have been deleted, in favor of Slay (species). Would you say Slay (Spirit) is correct, or would we have to pick a spirit type?
Kerenshara
QUOTE (wind_in_the_stones @ Jun 14 2009, 06:01 PM) *
The spell Spirit Bolt seems to have been deleted, in favor of Slay (species). Would you say Slay (Spirit) is correct, or would we have to pick a spirit type?

Well, Ancient History is the one to actually point that one at, but from a game balance perspective, if I was the one behind the GM screen, I would make you do it by type, because that's a really FUGLY way to deal with a spirit. EYuck! I am seeing the scene from the end of Ghostbusters (the original) with "the destroyer" splattered all over Manhattan.
Ancient History
Not it! ...ah, damn.

Okay, long story short: you should pick a type of spirit. You don't have to get crazy about it, Slay (Insect Spirit) works as well as Slay (Beast Spirit).
BishopMcQ
Kerenshara--Why do you think it's a fugly way to deal with spirits? The Slay series is really just a limited target Manabolt. (Like Wreck is a limited target Powerbolt)
Kerenshara
QUOTE (BishopMcQ @ Jun 14 2009, 07:15 PM) *
Kerenshara--Why do you think it's a fugly way to deal with spirits? The Slay series is really just a limited target Manabolt. (Like Wreck is a limited target Powerbolt)

One word: Drain.

Sure, it's limited, but if you allowed it as "Slay: Spirit", and could rip that one off at will, AND since spirits only have one damage track AND the spell is only LOS limited...

It's not that the actual spell itself is "fugly", but just what it would mean for spirits in the game. Then every combat mage takes it, forgets about banishing, and just nukes whatever spirit comes along.

If you at least make it so they need to take it eleven or more times over, then it's not QUITE so nasty, and would even make SENSE for a Bug Hunter mage or somebody taking the one kind of spirit antithetical to their totem-er, mentor spirit.

See the difference?
BishopMcQ
Keren--Got it, you were listing it as fugly, if a broad target was taken instead of a specific target. Slay (Spirit of Man) is okay, but Slay (Spirit) is bad.

Personally, I think Slay (Ally Spirit) would be the best way to piss off mages.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (BishopMcQ @ Jun 14 2009, 06:34 PM) *
Keren--Got it, you were listing it as fugly, if a broad target was taken instead of a specific target. Slay (Spirit of Man) is okay, but Slay (Spirit) is bad.

Personally, I think Slay (Ally Spirit) would be the best way to piss off mages.

Um... I need to go back and check the rules again on the creation of Ally Spirits... I need to see if they start with a base template (and thus a home metaplane, which would be the relevant issue for the effects of the spell).
The Jake
I allowed Slay Spirit in my game because it seemed that the absence of Spirit Bolt was too readily felt.

In retrospect it was a huge mistake as nearly all my PC spellflingers (3 in my group) have picked it up and are wasting shedim, insect spirits, elementals at whim with it. I may have to see if I can retroactively fix it.... frown.gif

- J.
HappyDaze
QUOTE
Okay, long story short: you should pick a type of spirit. You don't have to get crazy about it, Slay (Insect Spirit) works as well as Slay (Beast Spirit).

I would disagree here. 'Insect' is a tradition, not a spirit type - allowing Slay (Insect Spirit) would be the same as allowing Slay (Hermetic Spirit). If a seperate spell is needed for each type of spirit summoned by a hermetic magician (such as Slay [Fire Spirit] and Slay [Water Spirit]) then the same should apply to the spirits of an insect magician (so Slay [Warrior Spirit] and Slay [Worker Spirit] would be the parallel).
Ancient History
That's reasonable; I should have been more clear. What I meant is that you don't need to differentiate by insect spirit species. No need for separate Slay (Ant Nymph) and Slay (Roach Nymph) spells, that kind of thing.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
Wouldn't it be Slay (Roach Spirits), Slay (Wasp Spirits), and/or Slay (Shedim)?
The Jake
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Jun 15 2009, 03:37 AM) *
Wouldn't it be Slay (Roach Spirits), Slay (Wasp Spirits), and/or Slay (Shedim)?


Correct.

- J.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (The Jake @ Jun 14 2009, 08:51 PM) *
Correct.

- J.



What I was thinking... thanks for providing the clarification
Ancient History
Either way is fair game based on the way the spell is worded; you just don't need two modifiers. Just like how Slay (Troll) works equally well on trolls, giants, fomori, fomoraig, and dzoo-noo-qua.
HappyDaze
QUOTE
Wouldn't it be Slay (Roach Spirits), Slay (Wasp Spirits), and/or Slay (Shedim)?

Unlike Fire/Air/Beast/etc. Spirits, there are multiple kinds of Wasp Spirits. The spell pertains to a specific type of Spirit, and I'd view that to be the differing base types (Warrior, Worker, Nymph, etc.) rather than the overlayed insect profile (Ant, Wasp, Beetle, etc.) but it's really whatever matters to your gamemaster that counts.
HappyDaze
QUOTE
Either way is fair game based on the way the spell is worded; you just don't need two modifiers. Just like how Slay (Troll) works equally well on trolls, giants, fomori, fomoraig, and dzoo-noo-qua.

And Slay Metahuman for those powergamers that'll try to tell you that not hurting the paracritters is enough to qualify as a restriction. And then there's Slay Biped, or... silly.gif
Kerenshara
QUOTE (HappyDaze @ Jun 15 2009, 12:07 AM) *
Unlike Fire/Air/Beast/etc. Spirits, there are multiple kinds of Wasp Spirits. The spell pertains to a specific type of Spirit, and I'd view that to be the differing base types (Warrior, Worker, Nymph, etc.) rather than the overlayed insect profile (Ant, Wasp, Beetle, etc.) but it's really whatever matters to your gamemaster that counts.

Well, from a simple balance perspective, it's much less game-breaking than the ability to splatter general PC-callable spirits or the average you'll see on a run. By definition, insect spirits of ALL kinds are THREATs. Every time we see Crunchy BitsTM for them, they are listed in EXACTLY the same category: THREATs. If you're doing a quest to cleanse Bug City, then the spell MIGHT be little powerful, but even then, they're nasty buggers. *snickers at the awful pun* But in every-day 'running? It's a waste of Karma and nuyen. It MIGHT come in handy if your GM decides to be nasty, but a "random" insect spirit doesn't just appear off an encounter table. I know I would have a lot more pressing requirements for my personal grimoire than "Slay Insect Spirit".

Also, I have to agree with Ancient History, Insect Spirit types seem to me more of a variation on a theme, like a metavariant. I would think of it like the fine diference between a Spirit of the Land, Earth Elemental, Soil Kami, or Rock Demon. All diferent manifestations of the same basic Porpose and energy, but with diferent powers and forms.
Larme
Isn't stunbolt already a spirit bolt? Spirits have no real defenses against it, and its drain is about as low as drain can possibly go.
wind_in_the_stones
Sounds fair.

Next question, are there any spirits which are not of a type? Is Slay Ally Spirit legal? Can you tell by looking that you're dealing with an ally OR does the magic know? You can't really do Slay Bound Spirit, right? Free spirits should always be of a specific type, shouldn't they?
Dumori
I'd let it work by tardition as well. Though salt hermatic spirt might be a tad powerful. And I would also let one go via they roll a sport play spell wise. Though for the latter two some knowledge test to know what traditin it is and such would be needed.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Larme @ Jun 14 2009, 11:53 PM) *
Isn't stunbolt already a spirit bolt? Spirits have no real defenses against it, and its drain is about as low as drain can possibly go.

Because selecting a "very restricted" target gives an additonal -2 drain code. You could design it as a modifiction of Stun Bolt, and that would give you a net damage code of (F÷2)-3, meaning a F6 spell would be 0 drain. Now, a GM could say that since it's meant to cause permanent harm, you have to use the Power Bolt spell as a template, but that's not how the rules are actually written.
Shinobi Killfist
QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Jun 15 2009, 01:30 AM) *
Because selecting a "very restricted" target gives an additonal -2 drain code. You could design it as a modifiction of Stun Bolt, and that would give you a net damage code of (F÷2)-3, meaning a F6 spell would be 0 drain. Now, a GM could say that since it's meant to cause permanent harm, you have to use the Power Bolt spell as a template, but that's not how the rules are actually written.


Well sure but a force 9 stun bolt is only 3 drain. knocking it down a couple drain doesn't seem worth the overly restrictive fire spirit designator. Heck even if it was a more general slay spirit I am not sure its worth it. spirits are kind of uncommon, i think that is a rare enough thing by itself. If I had to take slay spirit of man its just a waste of karma.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (wind_in_the_stones @ Jun 14 2009, 11:53 PM) *
Sounds fair.

Next question, are there any spirits which are not of a type? Is Slay Ally Spirit legal? Can you tell by looking that you're dealing with an ally OR does the magic know? You can't really do Slay Bound Spirit, right? Free spirits should always be of a specific type, shouldn't they?

You know, that's an excellent question, and I just re-read the Ally Spirit Formula design instructions again. There is NO mention of a "template" upon which to build the spirit. So an Ally Spirit is by definition somewhat unique. Given that their creation actually involves a HUGE amount of a (meta)human's Karma, it would not be unreasonable to say that they are each individual and unique unto themselves. That means you would essentially need to know the spirit's formula, and then it's a VERY selective spell that will ONLY Work on that spirit.
As to free spirits, they are still of the same core type, so Slay Fire Spirit works on summoned, bound OR free Fire Spirits. But Ally spirits would still be unique.
That's my call, anyhow, just trying to stick to the same basic logic troughout.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Shinobi Killfist @ Jun 15 2009, 12:37 AM) *
Well sure but a force 9 stun bolt is only 3 drain. knocking it down a couple drain doesn't seem worth the overly restrictive fire spirit designator. Heck even if it was a more general slay spirit I am not sure its worth it. spirits are kind of uncommon, i think that is a rare enough thing by itself. If I had to take slay spirit of man its just a waste of karma.

"Just" three drain, sure... but are you overcasting with that Force 9 Stun Bolt? That's PHYSICAL damage , omae. I don't want to get back into that argument again, but I know I would want any way I could find to minimize physical drain. And if you can toss Force 9 Stun Bolts without overcasting, as Mike Okuda said "If you could build a starship at the push of a button, you wouldn't need to". I am thinking of the vastly overwhelming majority of mages who aren't middle grade initiates, here. And even amongst existing spells, there are a pile of them I can't ever see one of my 'runners taking, but they're there for completeness sake. And from a Crunch & Munch perspective, you only need to "waste" the Karma on the spirit types most often attacking you - Fire and Guardian come easily to mind, to the point of being cliché. The ability to drop them without even (literally) breaking a sweat sounds mighty appealing. And if you're a LOW Magic sorcerer (think: Mystic Adept here) you can SAFELY overcast to Force 6 without ANY consequences. THAT sounds pretty valuable to ME. But that's just my two centinuyen.
The Jake
QUOTE (Shinobi Killfist @ Jun 15 2009, 06:37 AM) *
Well sure but a force 9 stun bolt is only 3 drain. knocking it down a couple drain doesn't seem worth the overly restrictive fire spirit designator. Heck even if it was a more general slay spirit I am not sure its worth it. spirits are kind of uncommon, i think that is a rare enough thing by itself. If I had to take slay spirit of man its just a waste of karma.


That was my rationale at the time I allowed Slay Spirit. Now I'm not so certain...

- J.
Dragnar
I allow "Slay (any) spirit" as well, still the spell has never been taken, because it's still a bad spell.
Every mage has stunbolt anyway, because it's the best single-target combat spell in the whole game and it does the very same amount of damage to spirits for the very same amount of drain and knocks dudes out.
If, for some reason, doing physical damage to the spirit really is that important to you, a manabolt is only a single point of drain more, which you usually don't even take anyway, because the amount of drain is still so low that you resist it all.
And even if you take the one point of drain every now and then, and even if that drain happens to be physical (which it will, thanks to the rules making overcasting the norm), that point will in at least 2 times out of 3 not raise your wound DP-modifier and is gone after first aid anyway.

If you need it for your concept, be my guest, but mechanically the spell (like most restricted target spells) is just too bad to buy.
Jhaiisiin
So instead of the Slay (whatever) series applying to spirits as a whole, take the same spell modified with just the "Restricted Target" modifier instead of Very Restricted.

So, Mana spell, LOS, Restricted Target, Instant, Physical Damage, and it's a F/2-1 Drain code. F/2-2 if you make it stun (which is silly if you're slaying things.
Mx
QUOTE (wind_in_the_stones @ Jun 15 2009, 02:01 AM) *
The spell Spirit Bolt seems to have been deleted, in favor of Slay (species). Would you say Slay (Spirit) is correct, or would we have to pick a spirit type?

I would when making a character excpect Slay Spirit to be a valid spell as Slaughter Spirit is an exmaple spell in the book.
Screaming Eagle
For "very specific target" -2 modifier drain (as opposed to the -1 for specific/ species) I think I personally would require it be one of the following:

Slay "Name of mage summoner"'s Spirit

and / or

Slay "Specificly named Free/ wild etc." Spirit

Yes that means once a spirit has gone free form a mage the same spell won't hurt it but that feels about right for the way they pitch free spirits.

That extra -1 doesn't mean much untill you are in an extened fire fight or grudge match with a Primerunner or better class foe. Then it could easily be the difference between scraping by with your life and slow painful death.

Is it worth the karma if you have ticked off a dragon (Great or otherwise) who sicks spirits on you periodically to take (for example) "Slay Spirits summoned by Ghostwalker"? (Yes this is the extreme example, but go big or go home.)
Kerenshara
I think something got missed along the way (at least from the argument I was trying to make):

Some people are talking about a "Physical Damage" mana spell, but if your target is spirits, it has no need to be physical, bringing the drain of your Slay (spirit by type) spell down to (F÷2)-3 instead of (F÷2)-1 for the conventional stun bolt. Even if you said "spirits generally" it's still going to be (F÷2)-2, which is still less drain to contend with. I have been on a number of runs over the year where the only thing that got our team out was my mage "draining" themselves to the very dregs, and anything that lets me get off that one more spell has some merrit, especially in a game where spirits are a legitimate threat to your team.

But isn't this the same forum where I hear "mundanes" going on about how they need SnS rounds or APDS to stand a chance? If spirits are powerful and prevalent, this spell makes sense. If they're rare, then it won't do much. If it's somewhere in the middle, then it's a toss-up.

Oh, and while we're on the subject, how about Slaughter (Spirit) for when the Logic 10 Magician sends his whole stable after your team? *grin* NOW that extra drain-resistance is going to add up un a serious hurry.
Dreadlord
[quote ...spirits only have one damage track AND the spell is only LOS limited...[/quote]

Where does it say a spirit has only one track? My Search Fu is failing me.

In astral space with melee attacks the attacker can choose either Physical Damage or Stun Damage (SR4A p.193), which implies there are both trakcs in astral space, and in the Meat World we all know most living beings have both tracks.
Mr. Unpronounceable
It doesn't say spirits have only one track anywhere.

It does say spirits have two tracks in Street Magic. A lot of people overlook that though.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (Mr. Unpronounceable @ Jun 17 2009, 12:07 PM) *
It doesn't say spirits have only one track anywhere.

It does say spirits have two tracks in Street Magic. A lot of people overlook that though.

I will go back and re-read/double-check, but aren't they disrupted if you max their stun track anyhow?
Draco18s
QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Jun 17 2009, 02:53 PM) *
I will go back and re-read/double-check, but aren't they disrupted if you max their stun track anyhow?


Yes, but 5 stun and 5 physical wouldn't. wink.gif

Also, no stun track would mean that they wouldn't take stun damage. Meaning that SnS wouldn't work at all on them.
Warlordtheft
I would go by specific type of spirit. I think the key word is target restricted. It is up to the GM to decide when reviewing the spell if it is restricted enough. I would think that slay insect spirits would be enough of a restriction.
Slay spirits is too general, but any level below that would be restricted enough.
Larme
Lacking a stun track doesn't automatically mean you don't take stun damage. Specifically, grunts have only one track, but they take both physical and stun on the same one (see Running the Shadows section in SR4A).

But yeah, the rules on spirits are very cursory. They have both tracks because it never says they don't. And technically, they are fully affected by toxins -- they can be made nauseous with nausea gas, paralyzed with gamma-scopolamine, put to sleep with neuro-stun... Even though they lack internal organs or nervous systems. And that's all because nothing (that I can find, anyway,) says they're immune, or even special in any way when materialized, other than ItNW. We can infer it from their ethereal nature, but the rules don't flat out say it.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Larme @ Jun 17 2009, 01:32 PM) *
Lacking a stun track doesn't automatically mean you don't take stun damage. Specifically, grunts have only one track, but they take both physical and stun on the same one (see Running the Shadows section in SR4A).

But yeah, the rules on spirits are very cursory. They have both tracks because it never says they don't. And technically, they are fully affected by toxins -- they can be made nauseous with nausea gas, paralyzed with gamma-scopolamine, put to sleep with neuro-stun... Even though they lack internal organs or nervous systems. And that's all because nothing (that I can find, anyway,) says they're immune, or even special in any way when materialized, other than ItNW. We can infer it from their ethereal nature, but the rules don't flat out say it.



Not to start an argument, but would you not count toxins as a "Normal Weapon"... ie non-magical, and as such their ITNW would work against them as normal...
Larme
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Jun 17 2009, 05:08 PM) *
Not to start an argument, but would you not count toxins as a "Normal Weapon"... ie non-magical, and as such their ITNW would work against them as normal...


Of course, toxins are indeed normal weapons. Inhalation and injection toxins, however, ignore armor. So if you could fire a dart gun that got one net hit, you'd be considered to pierce the armor and the toxin would have full effect. Inhalation, of course, isn't affected by anything except respirator type gear.

To be sure, I'd think that a spirit has immunity to normal weapons through and through. They're immune on the inside and the outside, so injection shouldn't matter. And obviously, I don't think they inhale. The good news, is if this is what you decide, then any spirit of a reasonable force is practically immune to all toxins because they don't have enough Power and they don't stage up.

The issue is, it doesn't say one way or the other. The books don't even hint at spirits having special resistances other than ItNW, at least not as far as I can find. So per RAW, every kind of damage works normally against them, which means as long as it bypasses ItNW, it works. It's no big thing to add house rules for fluff's sake, it's just weird how silent the books are on the subject. This is one topic I wish Frank would come talk about, because I think he was actually involved with Street Magic back in the day. I'm curious if this was ever discussed, or if FanPro just dropped the ball on it.
EnlitenedDespot
Just to weigh in, a F9 Stunbolt is not unreasonable for a beginning character Mage to cast. 3 Drain if you have a 9-dice resist drain pool or higher on average will be fully resisted (yes, there are times you might not get enough hits, resulting in 1-2 drain, and I guess physical drain is a bit more of a concern than stun drain, but yeah).

Out of curiosity, is there really a concern of stun drain vs. physical drain other than physical drain likely being on the same damage track as the one in which you're being smacked by bullets?
Jaid
QUOTE (EnlitenedDespot @ Jun 17 2009, 06:47 PM) *
Out of curiosity, is there really a concern of stun drain vs. physical drain other than physical drain likely being on the same damage track as the one in which you're being smacked by bullets?

stun damage heals a whole awful lot faster.
Kerenshara
QUOTE (EnlitenedDespot @ Jun 17 2009, 05:47 PM) *
Just to weigh in, a F9 Stunbolt is not unreasonable for a beginning character Mage to cast. 3 Drain if you have a 9-dice resist drain pool or higher on average will be fully resisted (yes, there are times you might not get enough hits, resulting in 1-2 drain, and I guess physical drain is a bit more of a concern than stun drain, but yeah).

Out of curiosity, is there really a concern of stun drain vs. physical drain other than physical drain likely being on the same damage track as the one in which you're being smacked by bullets?

Um, what Jaid said, for the most part.

But more important to me is the role-playing significance. In the older literature (because the modern fluff is pretty spare so far) overcasting itself HURTS. The excessive (to your "Skill" and "ability") burns like acid lightning fire and ice in your veins, across your skin and inside your skull, the further over the max, the worse. At maximum overcasting, it's a severe issue. There are no Crunchy BitsTM to support that, but it was a common theme. In game terms, it's the drain that counts, but it's a LOT more painful in the acquisition of Physical Drain than Stun Drain. A magician is going to try to avoid overcasting if at all possible. Low level spells, well within a mage's limit can be pleasurable to channel. Try thinking of it as warm water, where the temperature climbs higher and higher. Warm water can be pleasant and even envigorating. When you first get in a hot tub, it's a shock, but you adapt to it and eventually can relax into it. But if the water pases the scalding point (as opposed to the nice wrinkly pink lobster point), not only is it immediately painful, but damaging as well, and you can NOT grow accustomed to ongoing damage. Then at the top end, it can be as painful as boiling water, but your training and willpower helps you negate a lot of it.

Now, do you WANT to stick your body in boiling water, except to save your life or that of somebody dear to you? Of course not. And that doesn't even cover the ongoing pain of Physical Drain damage - which at 2 or 3 boxes is equivalent to being shot in the arm with a light pistol.

Now, that being said, I overcast on the run all the time, becase my (Spellcasting) Magic rating is relatively low (as a Mystic Adept) but it often make the difference. On a normal basis? Kerenshara will try everything she can think of to accomplish her aims with a little warm water, or a nice soak in a jacuzi. *grin*
Falconer
Actually... I can think of one big usage for restricted target spells. Area effects... especially at high magic... the AOE gets huge. But say an area version, lets call it 'bug bomb'... you can lay that down w/ zero issues about hitting other allies or allied spirits. Otherwise, I find that I need to use astral perception, then lay down the stunball and pray none of the adepts are stupid enough to switch on astral perception if they have it, or someone bring a friendly spirit into the AOE.

I agree w/ other posters... that making slay pick individual spirit types is going way too far for a mere -1 drain. For -1 more I expect slay(spirits). For -2 I'd expect picking individual specieas as opposed to types. (EG: slay magical beast, slay vermin/critters, slay metahuman would be -1... -2 would net individualized versions).

rathmun
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Jun 14 2009, 10:04 PM) *
Either way is fair game based on the way the spell is worded; you just don't need two modifiers. Just like how Slay (Troll) works equally well on trolls, giants, fomori, fomoraig, and dzoo-noo-qua.


Well, to be fair it doesn't work nearly as well on fomori, but then again, no spells work nearly as well on them anyway. grinbig.gif
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012