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SaintHax
OK, if you are shooting two pistols, you split your pool for each pistol. If you have two targets, don't you have a -2 pool modifier? Is that before the split, or -2 to each hand (ouch!)?

How does this work w/ spells? I know the DV increases, but is it harder to multicast on two targets than one?


Thanks again.
Mr. Mage
I can't really help you with the melee/range weapon part....but I'm pretty sure it actually says explicitly what to do with spells...of course, I don't know off the top of my head, but I do remember that it seemed (to me atleast) as iff casting on two separate targets was the same as casting twice on the same target....I could be wrong though...
Generico
The multi-target penalty for ranged combat is usually one target at a time but if you did two simulatiusly I would apply it to both pools post split.
Example: You have a dicepool of 20, you split it to attack 2 targets, the first target you have 8 dice (half 20 minus 2 for multi-target), the second you have 6 dice (half 20 minus 2 for multi-target minus 2 for off-hand shooting)

I'm not really familiar with the melee rules (they rarely come up for us) but I suspect it would be the same.

Now for magic the example for multi-casting has a mage casting levitate on two different people, and it doesn't list any sort of "multi-target penalty".
I'm inclined to believe its just half dicepool on that.
DireRadiant
QUOTE (SaintHax @ Jul 6 2009, 03:23 PM) *
How does this work w/ spells? I know the DV increases, but is it harder to multicast on two targets than one?


You can find it, it's easy. Look for the Casting Multiple Spells section in the book!


"Casting Multiple Spells: In some circumstances, a magician
may seek to cast multiple spells simultaneously (including multiples
of the same spell—for example, targeting two different opponents
with a mana bolt in the same action). Multiple spells may be cast with
the same Complex Action, but to do so the magician must split her
Spellcasting + Magic dice pool between each target. Additionally, the
Drain Value for each of the spells is increased by +1 per additional
spell (Drain Resistance Tests are also handled separately). Multiple
spells are resolved in whatever order the caster desires. The maximum
number of spells a character can cast in a single Complex Action is
equal to her Spellcasting skill, and each spell must be allocated at least
one die."
McAllister
So if I had something awesome like 24 spellcasting dice and I was swinging at a mundane with 3 Willpower, I could cast three stunbolts at force 5, resist 1, 2 and 3 drain, and deal at least 15 stun damage? Whereas if I cast one big one at Force 10 and got 8 hits (and allocated them all to damage), I'd deal 17 damage but resist 12 drain, which is likely to be physical?

Whereas if I had a more reasonable 18 spellcasting dice and I was swinging at a mundane with 6 Willpower, I'd overcast two Force 7 stunbolts, with a good chance of doing 14 stun damage and resisting a mere 2 and 3 drain. I wouldn't be guaranteed to hit with both of them, but even if I only hit with one, I'd probably only be one damage in the hole, compared to his 7.

This is interesting. All the more reason to geek the mage (because doublecasting at a target who isn't defended by counterspelling could probably result in reasonably high DVs with much more manageable drain)

EDIT: Clarity
Generico
QUOTE (McAllister @ Jul 6 2009, 10:36 PM) *
So if I had something awesome like 24 spellcasting dice and I was swinging at a mundane with 3 Willpower, I could cast three stunbolts at force 5, resist 1, 2 and 3 drain, and deal at least 15 stun damage? Whereas if I cast one big one at Force 10 and got 8 hits (and allocated them all to damage), I'd deal 17 damage but resist 12 drain, which is likely to be physical?

Whereas if I had a more reasonable 18 spellcasting dice and I was swinging at a mundane with 6 Willpower, I'd overcast two Force 7 stunbolts, with a good chance of doing 14 stun damage and resisting a mere 2 and 3 drain. I wouldn't be guaranteed to hit with both of them, but even if I only hit with one, I'd probably only be one damage in the hole, compared to his 7.

Both of these are incorrect. The full drain penalty for multi-casting applies to ALL the spells you cast simultaneously.

SR4A page 183
As per the example:
"Zoe and Atom are on a bridge that is about to collapse. Zoe whips up a quick Levitate
spell to fy her and Atom both of the bridge to safety. Zoe has a dice pool of 8
(Spellcasting 4 + Magic 4), so she splits it to roll 4 dice on herself and 4 on Atom.
Whether or not she succeeds, she must still resist Drain for both spells, each increased
by +1 DV."
McAllister
Good catch, gentleman or gentlewoman (as the case may be). With Centering and a Centering Focus, a drain resistance pool of 12 is certainly achievable, but, as always with magicians, the bottom line is "magicians can do incredible things, just as soon as you sink a hundred Karma into them."
Dakka Dakka
The ridiculous drain for the Force 10 applies only if the GM decides to use the optional (and IMHO stupid) rule to increase the drain of direct combat spells by the hits allocated to extra damage. Normally it would be 4 Drain for 17 damage. Or with that unneccessary rule use Force 10 and only use 1 Hit for extra damage. Still drops most mooks and is a lot less drain

Back to the original topic.
You split the dice pool without any modifiers. Then you add all modifiers to the applicable hand.
So with 20 dice in AGI+Weapon Skill you have 10 for each hand. The -2 for additional targets only applies from the second target on. One hand also gets another -2 if the character does not have the ambidextrous quality. Unless there are other modifiers (wounds, lighting etc.) the pools could be 10/6 or 8/8 depending on which hand shoots the second target. For ambidextrous characters it's 10/8.
McAllister
I believe you're right about the drain-increase rule being optional (as well as it being stupid), except that in SR4A they decided to make it RAW. Which, of course, you're welcome to take with a grain of salt, but it's their intention.
Dakka Dakka
Only SR4A made it optional. Before it didn't even exist.

Look here:
QUOTE ('SR4A Changes Reference Document')
Direct combat spells have a new optional mechanic: for each Net Hit applied to damage, the Drain Value increases by +1. For Area of Effect spells, use only the highest Net Hits applied to damage
TheOOB
I just give direct combat spells +2 Drain, balance them a little with indirect spells. I don't like to encourage overcasting.
Ryu
As was quoted from SR4A:
"Zoe and Atom are on a bridge that is about to collapse. Zoe whips up a quick Levitate
spell to fy her and Atom both of the bridge to safety. Zoe has a dice pool of 8
(Spellcasting 4 + Magic 4), so she splits it to roll 4 dice on herself and 4 on Atom.
Whether or not she succeeds, she must still resist Drain for both spells, each increased
by +1 DV."


Now assume a mage with Spellcasting 5 (Manipulation spells +2), Magic 5, and a mentor bonus to Manipulation spells. Base dp 10 is 5 per spell, both modified by +4 is 9 dice per spell. Drain is +2 for both spells.


The interesting dp modifier is provided by a spell category focus. Do the above for combat spells, add a combat spell focus of force 5. If you don´t face counterspelling, cast 3 stunballs at once. It is only drain +2, so you should be able to use force 5 (not overcasting). 3* drain 5 might hurt - but so will the stunballs with 13/12/12 dice. Timid souls can go for the magic missile approach - 3 stunbolts of force 5 come with 3*drain 3.
Generico
Wouldn't that trick work with a power focus?

I may need to re-think the usefulness of area spells.
Ryu
The argument runs so that a power focus increases all pools based on magic, and that those dice are divided, too, while category foci provide extra dice in specific situations.
Dakka Dakka
Actually the trick either works with both types of foci, if dice pool modifiers are added after the split just like with two weapons, or both foci are added before. The rules however don't say when modifiers are added.

The point is both foci give a dicepool bonus only the conditions for this bonus are different. A power focus does not increase the magician's magic attribute it only provides a dice pool bonus to all tests involving the magic attribute.
Ryu
The question is what you understand the "magic + spellcasting" dicepool to be. Power foci add to all magic tests, domains provide extra dice for all spellcasters of the right tradition. The interpretation of "basic magic + basic spellcasting" is of course also possible.

Modifiers for specific spell types are different, as they are not sufficiently described by "spellcasting dice" without the "for spell type X" part.
McAllister
I'd say all modifiers are added before the split, with the stipulation that dice from source which specifies a spell type must be used for that spell type, and only one focus applies.

And Dakka, it's very interesting that the changes document words it that way, because I have the SR4a PDF, which says (on pg 204):

"Direct Combat spells involve channeling mana directly into a target as destructive and damaging energies rather than generating a damaging effect. Affecting the target’s being on this fundamental level with raw mana requires more focus and more power than producing basic effects; as a result every net hit used to increase the damage value of a Direct Combat spell also increases the Drain DV of the spell by +1. "

Doesn't sound optional. Weird inconsistency.
Dakka Dakka
I only looked into the Changes Reference Dcoument and though I cannot quote anything, I'm pretty sure that in the next errata for SR4A or in the printed version it will be marked optional and the OR thresholds will be reduced to 1,2,3,5 as opposed to 1,2,4,6. You might want to search through the threads on SR4A here on dumpshock, that's where i remember to have seen this.
RedeemerofOgar
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jul 7 2009, 05:04 AM) *
Actually the trick either works with both types of foci, if dice pool modifiers are added after the split just like with two weapons, or both foci are added before. The rules however don't say when modifiers are added.


I'm actually having trouble finding anywhere in the rules that states that modifiers are not simply part of the pool pre-split. Could someone point me towards the text that is generating this concept, please?

Thanks.
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE ('SR4 p. 141/SR4A p. 150')
Doing so, however, requires that the character split his dice pool between the attacks. If two separate skills are being used (Pistols and Automatics), use the smallest dice pool. Split the pool before applying modifiers.
Mx
QUOTE (McAllister @ Jul 7 2009, 08:09 PM) *
And Dakka, it's very interesting that the changes document words it that way, because I have the SR4a PDF, which says (on pg 204):

"Direct Combat spells involve channeling mana directly into a target as destructive and damaging energies rather than generating a damaging effect. Affecting the target’s being on this fundamental level with raw mana requires more focus and more power than producing basic effects; as a result every net hit used to increase the damage value of a Direct Combat spell also increases the Drain DV of the spell by +1. "

Doesn't sound optional. Weird inconsistency.

You should contact your PDF provider for an updated PDF.
McAllister
Updated, eh? I appreciate the heads-up.
Falconer
Umm... I'm reading this, I think it's been corrected by others.


20 dice pistols. Take out -2 for ambi, another -2 for first second target. Split the remaining 16 dice as you wish between the two attacks. (if you were to say drop both targets, then each ADDITIONAL target past the first in a single combat pass is an additional -2). So if you dropped 2 targets at -2 multitarget in the first simple action, the second simple action doing the same thing would be at -6 (plus double uncompensated recoil if you don't have RC1 on each gun).



As for spellcasting... if you were to cast two copies of a spell at the same force. Both copies would have the same drain code (+1 cumulative to ALL castings). The advantage is that each drain roll is rolled seperately using your normal drain pool. (so if you had 10 drain dice, you'd roll 10 dice twice). Downside is again, you need to split your spellcasting pool, but you don't take the multiple target penalty that firearms would get (good thing too... most spellcasting pools are half the size of firearms pools!).

EG: Mikey can't use his stunball as there's too many friendlies in the zone of effect, he has a combat pool of 13 dice. He instead casts two force5 stunbolts, putting 7 dice in one & 6 in the other. Both stunbolts would be cast w/ (5/2)-1 +1 == 2drain. He'd roll his full 9 drain dice against each.


There's other big risks in splitting dice pools as well... smaller dice pools are much more prone to glitching and critical glitching... so it's not without it's risks.
Dakka Dakka
As I wrote earlier all modifiers are added after the split. If you had a dicepool of 20 (e.g. AGI 7(10) + Automatics 7(10)), you can split the 20 dice anyway you like. The shot with the off hand gets -2 and any shot at an aditional target is at an additional -2
Mx
QUOTE (McAllister @ Jul 7 2009, 09:11 AM) *
With Centering and a Centering Focus, a drain resistance pool of 12 is certainly achievable, but, as always with magicians, the bottom line is "magicians can do incredible things, just as soon as you sink a hundred Karma into them."

There's no need for Centering to get that kind of drain resistance pool, pool of 16 dice for drain resistance can easily be had at chargen( Just take a Dwarf chaos mage with Willpower 6 + Logic 5 + Cerebral Booster 3 + Fetish for the spell) or if you willing to seriously min-max the character that pool can be raised to 20+ using a blood fetish and gettin even higher Wil&Log.
Mx
God dammned douplle post.
InfinityzeN
Also remember that specializations are modifiers. So if you have Agility at 5 (9) and Pistols [Semiautomatics] at 7 [9], your actual die pool is 16 with a +2 modifier. So you would roll 18 if shooting one pistol. However, if you were firing two, you would split the 16 (8 each) and add the +2 modifier to both, ending up with two pools of 10 dice before subtracting things like 'off-hand', 'second target', etc.
SaintHax
QUOTE (InfinityzeN @ Jul 14 2009, 08:43 AM) *
Also remember that specializations are modifiers. So if you have Agility at 5 (9) and Pistols [Semiautomatics] at 7 [9], your actual die pool is 16 with a +2 modifier. So you would roll 18 if shooting one pistol. However, if you were firing two, you would split the 16 (8 each) and add the +2 modifier to both, ending up with two pools of 10 dice before subtracting things like 'off-hand', 'second target', etc.


Though this may be a good lawyering of what's written, it breaks the spirit of the rules. By this ruling, your much cheaper specialization becomes better than the guy w/ Automatics 9 at firing two guns. There's a good game mechanics proverb regarding flaws that goes, "if it's not a disadvantage, you don't get points for it". That same logic would apply here.

The internet is why we see so many errata's, I think. I mean, one guy in a Magic turnament misinterpreted a card that said "Your opponent loses his next turn" to not mean that his opponent get skipped once, but that his "opponent loses the game his next turn" and they had to errata it *lol* Games are becoming much too similar to legal documents these days.
Mx
QUOTE (SaintHax @ Jul 14 2009, 06:45 PM) *
Though this may be a good lawyering of what's written, it breaks the spirit of the rules. By this ruling, your much cheaper specialization becomes better than the guy w/ Automatics 9 at firing two guns. There's a good game mechanics proverb regarding flaws that goes, "if it's not a disadvantage, you don't get points for it". That same logic would apply here.

Specialization isn't a flaw and nothing stops that guy with automatics 9 from taking a specialization too.
SaintHax
QUOTE (Mäx @ Jul 14 2009, 11:24 AM) *
Specialization isn't a flaw and nothing stops that guy with automatics 9 from taking a specialization too.


Yes... he has Automatics 9, but already spec'd in something else. You have avoided the whole "spirit of the game" issue too.
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (SaintHax @ Jul 14 2009, 06:31 PM) *
Yes... he has Automatics 9, but already spec'd in something else. You have avoided the whole "spirit of the game" issue too.
He can't have Automatics 9 that is not possible. What he can have is Automatics 6(9) or even 7(10) with aptitude. There is no rule forbidding specialization in SMGs at this point.
Specialization is a dicepool modifier, it does not increase the rating of a skill, and as such it is added after the split. To me this is the rules as well as their spirit.
RedeemerofOgar
QUOTE (SaintHax @ Jul 14 2009, 10:45 AM) *
The internet is why we see so many errata's, I think. I mean, one guy in a Magic turnament misinterpreted a card that said "Your opponent loses his next turn" to not mean that his opponent get skipped once, but that his "opponent loses the game his next turn" and they had to errata it


You're thinking of the playtest text of Time Walk, which was just "Opponent loses next turn." That one never made it to publication and thus did not require errata. I've seen some doozies that DID make it through, but nothing quite as bad as this would have been.
InfinityzeN
Please, if you are going to argue the point... read and understand the rules related to said point. Serious question, are you a SR3 player? Because specializations have completely changed from SR3 to SR4 and after rereading your posts a couple times I get the feeling you're thinking of SR3 type specialization.

In SR4, it is a 2BP or 2KP upgrade to a skill that gives you a +2 dice modifier while doing/using what the specialization is in. Since specialization is a skill modifier, it is applied to the pool after any splits. You are not limited in the total number of specializations you take other than a limit of one *PER* skill. If you have 50 skills, you can have a specialization in every one of them.

Also, lets make a guy with 5 Agility, 5 Pistols, specialization in Predators, ambidexterity, glasses with Smartgun, and a pair Predator IVs. Firing only one of them at a time, he would roll 14 dice. If he chooses to fire both of them, then he would split his Agility + Pistols (10/2 = 5), add his specializtation to each (5+2=7), and ignore the smartgun since you can't use it with two weapons at once. So he can fire two shots in a pass with 14 dice each, three shot with one at 14 dice and two at 7 dice, or four shots with 7 dice each. If he didn't have ambidexterity, then any shots with his off hand would suffer a -2 dice penalty.
SaintHax
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jul 14 2009, 12:38 PM) *
He can't have Automatics 9 that is not possible. What he can have is Automatics 6(9) or even 7(10) with aptitude. There is no rule forbidding specialization in SMGs at this point.
Specialization is a dicepool modifier, it does not increase the rating of a skill, and as such it is added after the split. To me this is the rules as well as their spirit.


Again, not germane to the point... change it to 4+2 spec and 6 base plus he's spec'd in SMG already. The point being contested, is that not splitting the dice for specialization, cirvumvents the mechanics that the rule was going for. The actual numbers are variables.

In the above 4+2, the spec guy get's an extra die, and has paid less karma... arguable is less skilled, very least as skilled, as the base 6 guy.

QUOTE (InfinityzeN @ Jul 14 2009, 01:27 PM) *
Please, if you are going to argue the point... read and understand the rules related to said point. Serious question, are you a SR3 player? Because specializations have completely changed from SR3 to SR4 and after rereading your posts a couple times I get the feeling you're thinking of SR3 type specialization.


I understand the rules related. I've played a few SR 1st, all through 2nd and 3rd (several times over convention, Living Seattle, SRM 1.0, SRM 2.0 GM), and currently a 4th edition player. I'm familar w/ how spec works in 4th, and thought when I said he was spec'd in something else, it would be assumed in the Automatics skill, as anything else would be pointless.

To further explain the "same logic" of the adage I posted-- if you get +2 dice for only 2 karma, it's b/c it's worth less than having +2 in the skill. Normally, b/c it only works for a limited situation. This isn't a disadvantage, but a limited option.
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (SaintHax @ Jul 14 2009, 09:24 PM) *
Again, not germane to the point... change it to 4+2 spec and 6 base plus he's spec'd in SMG already. The point being contested, is that not splitting the dice for specialization, cirvumvents the mechanics that the rule was going for. The actual numbers are variables.
Can you in any way prove that it was the author's intention to only apply some modifiers after the split and others before? What do you do with the modifier for personalized grip in melee? What about weapon foci?

QUOTE
In the above 4+2, the spec guy get's an extra die, and has paid less karma... arguable is less skilled, very least as skilled, as the base 6 guy.
the specialized guy as taken extra time working with weapons that can be dual-wielded. As such he should have a bonus in this field. If he used only one SMG he is only as good as the character with skill 6. Using one or two machine pistols he is worse off than the generally trained guy.

QUOTE
To further explain the "same logic" of the adage I posted-- if you get +2 dice for only 2 karma, it's b/c it's worth less than having +2 in the skill. Normally, b/c it only works for a limited situation. This isn't a disadvantage, but a limited option.
You are right the specialization only works in a limited situation. That is if you use SMGs and not machine pistols or assault rifles. I have never read in an SR4 book that a specialized dicepool should be worth less than a pool only consisting of attribute and skill. In case of dual-wielding the specialized pool has a slight advantage, to me this fits well with the description of specialization:
QUOTE ('SR4A p. 121')
Specializing means that the character has allocated a large chunk of her study and practice time to mastering a specific aspect of a skill rather than the skill as a whole. By narrowing the focus this way, the character becomes much more proficient in the specialized application of that skill.

If you fear that shooting two weapons at once is to powerful if all modifers are added after the split, you should think about that the most efficient way of using a firearm in each hand is shooting only twice, but a long burst each. You get all boni including smartlink and you do not have the recoil transfer.

Falconer
Generally it doesn't matter if things are added before or after...

If after the split I want 8 dice in each gun... I just put enough dice each way to begin with.

Though the specialization bit to me sounds wrong... Put simply... if you use 2 different weapons... you take whichever has the smaller pool, then split the dice between them. (at least that's how dissimilar is handled). Leave it to the authors to use 2 different mechanics for the exact same situation. Oh well, that's one of my beefs w/ the SR writers... great fluff lousy rules... Then you get into just silly bits... (offhand -2, second target -2... doesn't mean I have to put -4 on the offhand... i can fire the offhand first, and then the second shot for -2/-2).


To put it this way... you could have someone using their pistols skills while having a pistol in one hand and a SMG in the other. And then seeing the player claim a specialization bonus for both the pistol and the SMG (despite using the split 'pistols' skill).


I remember looking at some of this stuff a while back while considering making a sword and sheath style fighter w/ a cane sword. (club w/ the sheath, attack w/ the blade). And realizing hos silly the rules got at some points.
Ryu
Excuse me, but wouldn´t said "mixed dual" shooter need two specialisations to gain the benefit of one, exactly because modifiers are added after the split, and each shot could only ever benefit from one specialisation?
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jul 15 2009, 10:04 AM) *
Excuse me, but wouldn´t said "mixed dual" shooter need two specialisations to gain the benefit of one, exactly because modifiers are added after the split, and each shot could only ever benefit from one specialisation?
With the pistol automatics combo he would need two specialization if he wanted to have the bonus on both hands. If only one skill is specialized the modifier is only added to the pool which actually uses the appropriate weapon, regardless how this pool is calculated.
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