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So I've been playing some SR II with some friends, and we've been doing pretty well, but after 5 modules an issue has come up.

The players are using invisibility, and I'm wondering if I'm adjudicating it correctly.

My understanding is that you cannot cast a spell at something you cannot see. Astral perception allows you to sense the target if they're invis, but not "see" them. In SR II (I don't know about later editions) they talk about the physical/physical or astral/astral symmetry required in order to "sync up" and hit a target with a spell. Depending upon how it actually works I've got two possible interpretations of how invis works:

1: If your eyes cannot see a target, they are not a valid target. Period. Astral perception gives no advantage other than locating the target for you. This means that blind mages cannot give any form of spell defense or cast any spells that require a range greater than "touch."


2: If you cannot see a target, but can perceive them they then become a valid target for a spell PROVIDED that you have the appropriate physical/physical or astral/astral symmetry (or astral/physical if there's a bridge).

Also, if option 1 is correct, do dual natured critters have any special advantages in this department? I'm about to run Bottled Demon, and I'm trying to plan out Geyswain's tactics. He'll probably just melee them down, but if they're all invis could he not cast a sleep spell on them?

Finally, if 1 is correct, and I choose to house rule that option 2 is correct, what horrible unforeseen consequences await me? I don't see anything going awry provided I keep the symmetry requirement.

Thanks for the help guys.
You can cast mana based spells on a target you can see with Astral Perception (eg. Mana Bolt), but not physical spells (eg. Slay Human).
The rules on astral perception and their relation to sight have in fact been rather nebulous for a long time.

The general rule of thumb is that astral perception is equivalent to sight (even though the book says it's a new sense, all the rules make it equivalent to sight, even permitting you to see through glass).

Therefore, assuming you are on the same plane as the target, anything you can see with astral perception you can target normally, as though you could see it visually. This is why blindfolding a mage is completely ineffective.

So the correct answer is:
QUOTE (Frieza_Prexus @ Feb 2 2010, 02:46 PM) *
2: If you cannot see a target, but can perceive them they then become a valid target for a spell PROVIDED that you have the appropriate physical/physical or astral/astral symmetry (or astral/physical if there's a bridge).[/b]

Additionally, if the attacking mage is astrally projecting while the targets are not at all aware of the astral, but their invisibility is sustained with a spell lock, the spell lock is dual-natured, and can serve as a point for grounding a spell from the astral into the physical, hitting them. (And on the flip side, if the party has astral overwatch, if your mage guard shifts to astral perception to see the invisible intruders, he too is now a valid target for astral nuking).

Really? Hmm, what page is that on? Does this apply for spell defense as well? Could a blind mage who is perceiving give out spell defense dice willy nilly? Just no power bolts.

(Following up with a page quote - I don't believe this has changed from 2nd to 3rd edition, and 3rd edition says specifically:
"An astrally perceiving spellcasters can cast a spell at anything physical or astral he can see with his normal vision or astral percetion... Such a spellcaster could cast a spell at someone hidden by an invisibility spell, using astral perception to target their physical body, since both the spellcaster and target are on the same plane." This is p.182 in the SR3 manual.

If I'm wrong, and this is one of the 2nd to 3rd edition changes (and there were a few!), then the answer to your last question is 'no, if you change this, it won't break anything.'

Yes, this also applies to spell defense. Because all magical spells have an astral signature, the blind mage can see any spell and, if he's in the same plane, can block it with spell defense. The downside is the blind mage is very vulnerable to astral attack *ALL THE TIME*. He also won't be dodging any bullets.
Thanks guys that makes a lot more sense now.

I was thinking that invis was essentially a "you can't nuke me" spell. I knew that was just too borked, but I wasn't sure if I was missing something.

While I'm on the topic, what is the most appropriate way to handle long distance sustained spells in SR II? For example, by the rules as I understand them, a mage can cast a spell and then sustain it at home while his buddy runs around 50 miles away with the spell on.

While there are some severe risks involved in this for the guy relying on long distance spells, it looks a bit weird to me that a mage could hold a spell on a target at such a distance (ritual sorcery notwithstanding).

I've personally ruled that spells can be sustained at a distance of # of successes X Magic rating. This allows the first invis to be kept at a decent distance from the mage, but the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th castings litterally leash the receipients to the mage.
QUOTE (Frieza_Prexus @ Feb 2 2010, 03:28 PM) *
While I'm on the topic, what is the most appropriate way to handle long distance sustained spells in SR II?

Go with Force * Magic in meters. SR4 detection spells use this range (such as Mind Link). Extended (+2 drain) makes it Force * Magic * 10 meters.
QUOTE (Frieza_Prexus @ Feb 2 2010, 03:28 PM) *
While I'm on the topic, what is the most appropriate way to handle long distance sustained spells in SR II?

Grounding smile.gif

I am not aware of any range limitations for what you describe (cast a spell on Joe, sustain it while Joe gets on a jet and flies away into the distance). However, there are some things to watch out for:
1) Research the rules on grounding. I don't remember well enough whether you can ground through a sustained spell like that or not. If so, while Joe is doing whatever, make sure your mage gets nuked at least once.
2) Your mage is suffering +2 modifiers to EVERYTHING he does. This means that mage isn't doing very much else until he drops that spell.
3) That spell is easily cancelled by a ward, and if the mage isn't there, you can't get that spell back.
4) It marks you quite brightly on the astral, attracting unwanted attention.
5) It can be tracked back to the caster. So if Joe is breaking into a facility, the mage on astral overwatch (who knows Joe isn't about to project) can follow the trail back to the mage and identify the mage for later, or call in support.
6) Research the rules on astral signatures. Walking through a room with a sustained spell may leave an astral trail which makes you vulnerable to tracking. If so, that means Max Mage is leaving evidence everywhere Joe goes.

I'm reasonably confident that you can't ground through a sustained spell, but I do plan on using wards and astral combat versus sustained spells a bit more liberally.
First of all, I am jealous beyond what you could imagine. I still play SR2 but few others do.

Spell Targeting page 130:

In choosing a target or targets. the magician can choose anything within sight. Sight is the key concept. Magicians cannot directly affect what they cannot see. Binoculars, glasses, telescopes, and other devices can enhance vision for spellcasting, as can any magic or technology that penetrates darkness. A magician cannot, however, cast spells directly at Invisible beings or beings in
astral space except by using enhanced vision or astral perception
, as appropriate.

From the Grimoire Page 86:
While astrally perceiving, the magician adds a +2 modifier to the target number for all tests that do not involve magic.

Astral Perception from page 145:
Any magician can perceive astral space (with the exception of certain adepts), but he or she must make a Simple Action to switch from normal senses to astral senses and back again.

+2 for Physical Actions. Magic is not a physical action.
When perceiving astrally, the magician's senses are focused on the astral plane. Purely physical things are visible only by their astral echo, making interaction with the physical world very difficult. If an astrally perceiving magician attempts a task based solely in the physical world, an additional +2 target modifier applies to any tests.

You can see invisible people. You just get a +2 to shoot them
When viewing within astral space. an astrally perceiving character can:
*assense anything that is actually there
*assense the magical energy surrounding an item
*assense a ritual sorcery sending
*assense a being's aura to determine Its true nature

The magician can assense all spirits, magical creatures. and so on, whether they are visible in the physical world or not. If the magician has a spell that affects astral space, it may be cast. See
Spells and Astral Space, p. 149. The magician Is also vulnerable to astral combat, p. 147.

Because the character is only perceiving astrally. he is still limited by the constraints of his body. The character can touch and be touched by other astrally active things, but he cannot reach
through a wall to touch an astral object. because the physical arm cannot penetrate the physical wall, even though the astral arm has no such restrictions.

***blah Snip blah Snip blah***

The act of astrally perceiving opens the magician's own aura to astral space, making It vulnerable to attack. As stated previously, astrally perceiving characters are vulnerable to astral combat. They
can also be directly affected by mana spells, and physical spells can be cast to ground-out through them. See Spells and Astral Space,p.149.

I surmise from this...
You can see anything that has a physical presence. Invisible or not. Living beings are even easier to see.
You can cast any type of spell on someone even if you are perceiving, mana and physical.

As for dual natured beings, check out grounding rules!!

You cannot ground through a sustained spell from astral space. You can however dispel it. Then wait for the mage to perceive or go astral.

For astral wards, initiates can atune their aruas and foci to the ward to try and penetrate it. Wards are under utilized. Especially monitored wards.
Thanks for all the help guys I really appreciate it.

Edit: I found my problem. I was reading my hardback book instead of the soft cover SR II book. In the hardback they omit the word "except" when talking about targeting with perception.
Professor Evil Overlord
Also - you can still cast using damaging manipulations (not combat spells) - they do not require LOS, unlike combat spells, hence invisible targets can be hit. It may not be unreasonable to apply the blind fire penalty for a single target spell. This was one of the few advantages of those spells under SR2 (other than totem bonuses/penalties and elemental damage).
Wounded Ronin
Invisibility is awesome until someone peeks on the astral.
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