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rathmun
If a character takes Arcane Arrester and Astral Hazing, and they have willpower 4, is this enough to be effectively immune to most mages?


Force 8 incoming spell hits astral hazing, turns into force 4 spell.
Force 4 spell hits Arcane Arrester, gets resisted as a force 2 spell.

You can get both of these for 15 BP as a changling. Is this broken?
BlueMax
On your first force drop, are you sure it would work like that?

I thought it was an Background Count. Thus, the force may be whatever the mage can throw after losing 4 magic.

Meh, you can become immune to the other two realms (guns and matrix) and so I see no harm in being magic proof. However, I would haunt the heck out of a character with astral hazing.

BlueMax
/who should bring his books to work...
rathmun
QUOTE (BlueMax @ Jul 23 2009, 10:42 AM) *
On your first force drop, are you sure it would work like that?

I thought it was an Background Count. Thus, the force may be whatever the mage can throw after losing 4 magic.



Checks book...


You're right, that's even more potent than I thought.
mmmkay
BlueMax how do you become immune to guns and matrix?
Zaranthan
100 armor and cut your wireless signal to 1.
rathmun
QUOTE (Zaranthan @ Jul 23 2009, 11:10 AM) *
...and cut your wireless signal to 1.


Actually, this doesn't make you immune to the matrix, sprites and submersion grade 1+ technomancers can still mess your shit up.
Draco18s
QUOTE (BlueMax @ Jul 23 2009, 12:42 PM) *
I thought it was an Background Count. Thus, the force may be whatever the mage can throw after losing 4 magic.


ONLY if the mage is standing in the background count at the time of casting.

I believe that the force of the spell gets reduced if casting from outside the area of effect, but not if cast within it (as magic is reduced, lowering the ability to cast).
BlueMax
QUOTE (mmmkay @ Jul 23 2009, 09:00 AM) *
BlueMax how do you become immune to guns and matrix?

Don't use Wireless. Don't use Gizmos. Losing smartgun is an OK cost to be haxxor proof.
Armor, reflexes and so on.

BlueMax
BlueMax
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jul 23 2009, 09:26 AM) *
ONLY if the mage is standing in the background count at the time of casting.

I believe that the force of the spell gets reduced if casting from outside the area of effect, but not if cast within it (as magic is reduced, lowering the ability to cast).


Hmm,
I don't mean to fork this thread but the topic of Background is important.
So the bad buy Toxy is standing in his pile of muck (background count 6) and your saying that if your outside the area casting into the background count, it won't drop your magic?
I have always applied background count at both ends of casting, caster and target area. But now I need to re-read.


BlueMax
RedeemerofOgar
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jul 23 2009, 12:26 PM) *
ONLY if the mage is standing in the background count at the time of casting.

I believe that the force of the spell gets reduced if casting from outside the area of effect, but not if cast within it (as magic is reduced, lowering the ability to cast).


This is something we've been trying to wrap our heads around, as one of the jokers in our group took Hazing, and the rules for background count all universally assume you are standing in it, not casting into it from outside. frown.gif Does anyone have a definitive answer for how casting into BG count from outside of it works?
Stahlseele
Wasn't it
When Casting into/Through Background, Force of Spell and Drain affected, but not actual magic attribute
When Casting INSIDE or out of Background Force, Drain AND Magic Attribute ALL are affected?
Prime Mover
I remember having similar discussion about cyberzombie background count and IRC the count affected both outgoing and incoming spells.
Machiavelli
I agree with stahlseele. The text says that magical force is lowered at the force of the background-count. The only thing that differs, is that you are MORE fucked up when standing inside the zone. But i DON`T think, that drain is affected while standing outside the BC. It wouldn┬┤t make sense this way, because you are not hindered while casting in any way. It┤s just like shooting into water.
RedeemerofOgar
QUOTE (Machiavelli @ Jul 23 2009, 01:42 PM) *
I agree with stahlseele. The text says that magical force is lowered at the force of the background-count. The only thing that differs, is that you are MORE fucked up when standing inside the zone. But i DON`T think, that drain is affected while standing outside the BC. It wouldn┬┤t make sense this way, because you are not hindered while casting in any way. It´┐Żs just like shooting into water.


The drain is where we got hung up, as well as the question of max net hits - if you are casting a F5 manabolt into hazing (r4), it becomes a F1 manabolt, but are you allowed to use up to 5 net hits since you were outside the hazing casting F5, or limited to 1 net hit because you impacted your target with a F1?

We ended up going with drain unaffected, net hit cap reduced. I'm still not even close to sure if that is the right way to do it. nyahnyah.gif
Sma
Basically only two cases are explicitly covered by the rules, for everything else you are on your own.

  • Caster outside BC Target outside BC - Covered by SR4 spellcasting rules.
  • Caster outside BC Target inside BC
  • Caster inside BC Target outside BC
  • Caster inside BC Target inside BC - Covered by Streetmagic

This is before you get into aspected domains and casting from one type of BC into a different one (think ritual magic).

Now there are several ways to proceed into house rule territory from here:

  • Only check BC at the casters location: while having the benefit of being pretty simple it would seriously weaken the defensive uses of BC. Goes against the implied canon of Spacestations being safe from mages
  • Only check BC at the targets location: also pretty simple but allows you to cast spells in space unimpeded as long as your target is on earth. Also goes against the canon of magic being nearly impossible in space.
  • Throw the existing Streetmagic rules out and base a new set of rules on them that separates the effects of BC on magical effects (spells, wards...) from the one on items and being with a force or magic attribute. Decide whether drain modifiers should be based on target locations BC or caster locations BC. Bonus points if the results for the case covered in Streetmagic stay unchanged.
  • Do something else.
InfinityzeN
You cast a Force whatever spell, so that is what the Drain is. Does not matter if the hazing lowered the effective force. As for net hits, your limited by the modified Force rating of the spell. That is for both hazing and arcane arrester.

*Edit*
It is covered in the SM book somewhere. You lower the effective force that gets through of a spell cast into or through a BC by the BC's rating. Drain is based on the force level you cast it at.
Fastball
Standing inside BC affects magic in the following ways:

1. Reduces the magic rating of awakened characters
2. Reduces the force of spirits
3. Reduces the force of
QUOTE
Pre-existing wards, mana barriers, active foci, sustained spells, and quickened/anchored spells...
SM, page 118.

The list in Street Magic appears to be exclusive. Thus, normally, a caster outside of a BC can target characters inside a BC without ill effect. This is supported by the description of background counts as interfering with the ability to draw upon mana. Sustained spells, active foci, etc..., constantly need to draw upon mana, but an instant spell cast from outside the BC doesn't need to draw upon new mana, so would be unaffected by the BC.

The astral hazing, ability, however, specifically states that it affects magic cast on, at, or in the vicinity of the character. Thus, it appears the astral hazing ability is a unique form of BC, that would reduce the magic attribute of anyone casting into the BC. Since the ability doesn't specifically state how it affects the magic, it wouldn't be an unreasonable interpretation to reduce the force of spells cast into the BC rather than reducing the magic of the caster outside. The uniqueness of the astral hazing BC is also demonstrated in its ability to overwrite any existing BC. Astral hazing does not add a rating 4 to the existing BC, it is always rating 4.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Fastball @ Jul 23 2009, 01:10 PM) *
Standing inside BC affects magic in the following ways:

1. Reduces the magic rating of awakened characters
2. Reduces the force of spirits
3. Reduces the force of SM, page 118.

The list in Street Magic appears to be exclusive. Thus, normally, a caster outside of a BC can target characters inside a BC without ill effect. This is supported by the description of background counts as interfering with the ability to draw upon mana. Sustained spells, active foci, etc..., constantly need to draw upon mana, but an instant spell cast from outside the BC doesn't need to draw upon new mana, so would be unaffected by the BC.

The astral hazing, ability, however, specifically states that it affects magic cast on, at, or in the vicinity of the character. Thus, it appears the astral hazing ability is a unique form of BC, that would reduce the magic attribute of anyone casting into the BC. Since the ability doesn't specifically state how it affects the magic, it wouldn't be an unreasonable interpretation to reduce the force of spells cast into the BC rather than reducing the magic of the caster outside. The uniqueness of the astral hazing BC is also demonstrated in its ability to overwrite any existing BC. Astral hazing does not add a rating 4 to the existing BC, it is always rating 4.



However, when taken as a whole (the entire section on Background Count and Magic, Page 118 SM), Magical ability is affected by Background Count... BC affects the force of the spell if cast from outside to inside in our games... the BC always has an effect...
Fastball
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Jul 23 2009, 08:17 PM) *
However, when taken as a whole (the entire section on Background Count and Magic, Page 118 SM), Magical ability is affected by Background Count... BC affects the force of the spell if cast from outside to inside in our games... the BC always has an effect...


When taken as a whole, negative background counts represent mana scarcity, making it more difficult to draw mana. Postive background counts represent focused mana, making it more difficult to isolate the mana that is needed. Thus, characters in either positive or negative background counts have extra difficulty working mana and suffer a loss of magic ability.

A caster standing outside a BC forming a powerbolt has no difficulty drawing upon the mana necessary to cast the spell. When that bolt is then sent into the BC, with one exception, there is nothing in the Background Count section of SM that suggests the spell will be absorbed in a negative BC, or collide with the existing mana in a positive BC, or be dispersed in any way. Since it is an instant cast spell, there is also no reason the spell would need to draw upon the ambient mana inside the BC. Thus, the powerbolt, already formed, would be unaffected by the BC.

Now let's look at the specific types of BCs.

Mana Voids (the exception) explicitly state that mana that enters the void loses cohesion and diffuses.

Mana Ebbs explicitly state that there is enough mana to keep astral forms from losing cohesion but attempting to shape mana from within a mana ebb will be dampened. This suggests an already formed powerbolt would not lose cohesion and could enter the mana ebb at full force.

The Mana Domains section doesn't give extra hints either way, so we go with the default that only attempts to draw upon mana is affected and already formed mana is unaffected.

Finally, mana warps state it can be dangerous to travel through them and astral forms are buffeted by mana. On the other hand, it is only when a magician attempts to work magic in the area that it affects characters according to the rules on page 118. When we reference back to page 118, we see the spirit of the BC only affects the attempt to formulate mana, and the letter of the rules affect casters within the zone, pre-existing wards, mana barries, active foci, sustained spells, quickened/anchored spells, and spirits.

In conclusion, there is a colorable argument that under the spirit of the rules (but not the letter), mana voids should reduce the force of any spell that enters the BC, but all other BCs should not affect instant spells cast from outside the BC.

Rasumichin
QUOTE (rathmun @ Jul 23 2009, 05:39 PM) *
If a character takes Arcane Arrester and Astral Hazing, and they have willpower 4, is this enough to be effectively immune to most mages?


Force 8 incoming spell hits astral hazing, turns into force 4 spell.
Force 4 spell hits Arcane Arrester, gets resisted as a force 2 spell.

You can get both of these for 15 BP as a changling. Is this broken?


Effectively immune?
Yes, against average security mages, you stand a damn good chance.
In fact, if you build a close quartes combat specialist, you'll be excellent at ruining the day of enemy casters.
Choose fomori as metatype and you get an excellent basis for a tank/magekiller build.
Enjoy ruining the day of vampires, paracritters and other assorted nasties as well.
Suppress low-force spirits by just running up to them and waving your portable background count in their faces.

The downside?
Good luck with magical healing and buff spells. No, wait, better forget about those.
Also, forget about being the unstoppable vessel tank posessed by your teammates Guardian Spirit (what's more broken than a troll who's immune to magic? A troll with completely insane physical attributes, cool spirit powers and awesome mental stats who's relatively well protected against magic).
Enjoy accidentally wasting your fellow mages' bound spirits or screw him up by standing next to him when he's casting a spell.
Or randomly setting off alarms because you break wards wherever you go.
Marvel at the terrified faces of whoever assenses the writhing, pitchblack horror that your aura must look like (remember, the hazing is fueled by all your negative emotions leaking into the astral- guess how that might look to bystanding mages?).
Congratulations, you're a walking manahazard.

So, is it an effective combination?
Yes, certainly.
But the negative aspects are strong enough not to make it a no-brainer or completely broken.


On the other hand, fomori are brokenly good compared to baseline trolls, of course.
But in itself, Arcane Arrester is a relatively well-balanced Quality.
Astral Hazing may be more of a positive than a negative Quality, but it's not quite as broken as it sounds at first glance.
Cthulhudreams
Background count reduces your mage's magic attribute if and only if he is standing in it.

Background count reduces the force of a spell if and only if it is cast through or into the background count.

You can think of it like this as well

Background count applies a continious effect to any creature with a magic or force attribute that enters it, reducing its magic attribute (or force) by the rating of the background. This means a mage shows up at a lower magic rating if assessed for example. The continous effect also effects sustained spells.

Additionally, when a spell is casting a one time check is applied to determine if the spell is cast into, out from or through a background count. If so, the spell's force is reduced by the background counts rating.

This means:

Mage outside, target outside = No effect

Mage inside, target outside = Magic attribute reduced by BC rating, as the mage is standing inside the BC. The spell's effective force is reduced by the BC, as the spell passes through the BC on its way out.

Mage outside, target inside = Magic attribute NOT reduced as the mage is not subject to the background counts continious effect. The spell's force IS reduced as the one time check.

Both inside = Mage's magic reduced by continuous effect, spell reduced due to one time check.

Yes that does mean a R6 mage in space cannot cast spells. Which is a big effect.

Fastball
QUOTE (Cthulhudreams @ Jul 24 2009, 12:35 AM) *
Background count reduces the force of a spell if and only if it is cast through or into the background count.


Can you please cite a rule for this? From reading about background count in SM, force is reduced only for spirits, wards, barriers, sustained spells, activated foci, and quickened/anchored spells. Instant spells are not included in the rule. It would seem strange to specifically state all of the types of magic/spells affected by entering a BC if the intent was not to exclude those that are not listed.
Cthulhudreams
sorry don't have books infront of me. It defintely will auto disrupt your spirits, have to check spells but pretty confident. It might actually be in one of the earlier books - the relevant authors (frank trollman amonst others) have commented.
kzt
Cthulhudreams is almost always right about tricky magic stuff.
Cthulhudreams
Ha! I'm actually not so sure on this one. I thought I was right, but I may be wrong here - I'm questioning some assumptions and need to go back to SR4 and Street magic to check. I'm pretty sure I'm right because I'm pretty sure casting a spell into background count from outside it reduces the force of the spell, because people have discussed casting spells into space from earth and the devs have weighed in.

But does need to be checked!
Fastball
Here's the most relevant post I can find: http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?show...count&st=25

QUOTE
QUOTE
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
Background count is incredibly mean.
Casting a spell within a background count:
1) The caster's magic rating is reduced by the rating of the BC, and thus their max force for spells goes down.
2) Then when they do cast a spell as force X, they resist the drain as though it were force X+BC.
3) Finally, the spell functions, but spells have their force reduced by the rating of the background count so it only functions as force X-BC.
That's just too mean, I must be reading something wrong.


That is what it says. But I believe that it actually means that you calculate drain as if the spell wasn't reduced by the BC.

So the ordering should be:

1. The caster's magic rating is reduced by the rating of the BC, and thus their max force for spells goes down.
2. The spell functions, but spells have their force reduced by the rating of the background count so it only functions as force X-BC.
3. Then when they do cast a spell as (modified) force X, they resist the drain as though it were (modified) force X+BC (which would be the original Force).


Since you make your spell effect roll before you roll drain resistance, you can even legitimately interpret the rules as written to say exactly this.

-Frank


Frank Trollman's description contradicts the example on SM 120 of casting on the moon. Also, Doctor Funkenstein, Trollman, and Moon Hawk all end up with different interpretations/house rules.

Moon Hawk in the above thread, and Dragon in another thread (http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=23668&hl=casting++space), seem to arrive at the same conclusion as I have: that instant spells don't have their forced reduced so BCs only affect instant spells if the caster is standing in the BC.



HappyDaze
For me it's simple as I don't have spells 'travel' to the target - the magician's will causes the mana to form at the target's location provided there is a clear LOS and LOE (astral barriers, for example, block LOE). This means the magican's Magic is reduced if and only if he/she is in the BC. The spell's Force is reduced if and only if the target is in the BC. Obviously, if both are in the BC, then both apply.

Note that Indirect Combat Spells form the exception and the possible reduction in the spell's Force is based upon the location of the magician. This does make these spells ideal for shooting into BC as the magician will suffer nothing if he/she remains outside the BC. I consider this one of the few ways to compensate for the general inferiority of Indirect Combat Spells.
Fastball
QUOTE (HappyDaze @ Jul 24 2009, 06:58 AM) *
For me it's simple as I don't have spells 'travel' to the target - the magician's will causes the mana to form at the target's location provided there is a clear LOS and LOE (astral barriers, for example, block LOE).

Then why reduce the force of the spell at all? It's an instant cast spell. It doesn't travel through the BC and it doesn't exist for any sufficient length of time for it to be absorbed into a mana ebb/void or for it to collide with mana in a mana-rich zone. Under this theory, only indirect combat spells should have force reduced because they actually have travel time through the BC.

Finally, reducing the force of an instant cast spell is contradictory to the example (SM 120) of the caster with Magic 11 on the moon, a mana void with BC -9. In the example, the caster has Magic reduced to 2, so he can cast a force 4 spell and take drain as if it was force 13. In this example, the caster's target is almost certainly on the moon. Applying the reduce-force rule would make the force of the spell -5, and the example of casting on the moon wouldn't exist.
HappyDaze
All good points. Except the example - RPG examples, SR ones included, often botch the rules-fu so I rarely ever use them.

QUOTE
In this example, the caster's target is almost certainly on the moon.

LOS range means that he could easily be casting at the Earth. Pity that continents have such high Body...
Fastball
There is no rule anywhere in SR4A or SM that says you reduce the force of an instant cast spell. Thus, I think the example is the closest "official ruling" as to whether we should infer such a rule from the force reduction applied to spirits, sustaining spells, etc...

And as for casting at the Earth, that's why I said "almost certainly."
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