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Ol' Scratch
Shh, don't bring it to his attention. It's more humorous that way.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Mäx @ May 21 2010, 05:06 PM) *
That drone has most likely somethink like 2-6 dice to dodge, i easily have 9 dice even when casting 2 lightning bolts, so most of them should hit.
And that doesnt much differ from trying to shoot the drone either, it can dodge that too.So i dont really see what you where trying to say with that post, other then the obvius fact that drones too can dodge attacks.


Drones with a Pilot 6 and an Autosoft could have as many as 10 dice... and if it is piloted by a rigger, it may have significantly more than that...

You are right that they get to avoid gunfinre as well, but I was pointing out that the Indirect Spells (That ignore Object Resistance) are no better than any other non-magical option, that's all...

Just sayin'

Keep the Faith
Mx
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ May 22 2010, 05:05 PM) *
Drones with a Pilot 6 and an Autosoft could have as many as 10 dice... and if it is piloted by a rigger, it may have significantly more than that...

You are right that they get to avoid gunfinre as well, but I was pointing out that the Indirect Spells (That ignore Object Resistance) are no better than any other non-magical option, that's all...

Just sayin'

Keep the Faith

Yeah, i never said they are, just that mages are not powerless against drones.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Mäx @ May 22 2010, 08:20 AM) *
Yeah, i never said they are, just that mages are not powerless against drones.


Gotcha...

Sorry for the confusion then...

Keep the Faith
Draco18s
QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ May 22 2010, 06:14 AM) *
ROCK DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!


In my defense I was at work and clearly not thinking.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Synner @ May 20 2010, 05:27 PM) *
The magician nerf rule playtested and favored at my table is as simple as removing the "/2" from all Drain equations (Sorcery and Conjuring). No further changes to Dice Pools, foci or resistance tests were needed (though as some of you may know I rigorously employ visibility and cover modifiers to all Spellcasting). The change makes Dice Pools for casting/conjuring and Drain resistance more important and reinforces the use of foci and fetishes, but generally just pushes Force down since DPs for non-maxed magicians tend to be in the 10-16 range anyway.


Sounds like a great idea, if you add 'drain' to firing guns too. I can hardly wait to see your sammy's knock themselves out after a full auto burst.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ May 21 2010, 12:16 AM) *
Interesting idea. I do something similar already to streamline magical resistance into a (mostly) single rules set for combat defense tests, which also underwent a similar revision for multiple reasons. Counterspelling is considered an Active Defense, adding the Counterspelling dice to the subject's Defense. Full Counterspelling is considered to be a Full Defense, adding the Counterspelling dice to the subject's Defense.

Active Defense must be declared on each of the character's Initiative Passes, consuming a Free Action, and applies until their next Initiative Pass.
Full Defense is an Interrupt Action, meaning it takes a Complex Action, but does not need to be declared in advance. If declared in response to an attack, it consumes the characters next Complex Action as normal.

Active & Full Defense essentially have the same effect, but different times they can be used and have cumulative effects.
Melee & Ranged defense (in my House Rules) both use this system; Reaction for passive defense : Reaction + Skill for active or full defense : Reaction + Skill + Skill for active and full defense.


I have to say I think after a quick read, I really like your idea for active and full defense, it makes a lot of sense to me mechanically, and from a 'physics' stand point. If you are 'ready' to dodge, you'll do better at it, and if you are not only ready to before the attack is apparent, but actively doing it once you know you're in trouble, you should have a reasonable chance of not going splat.


QUOTE
Something I never actually thought of, but do like & think I will be using. Mundanes can learn any active magical skill without restriction. They cannot, however, use any application of those skills that requires a Magic attribute (a mundane can use Banishing for an Attack of Will, but not banishing a spirit; a mundane can use Counterspelling for spell defense, but not for dispelling an active spell). They of course must meet all other prerequisites of using a skill as well - one cannot use Assensing if they are not astrally perceiving (something a mundane cannot do barring specific exceptions - usually drugs).

Giving the magical equivalent of a dodge skill. I kinda like it, the only problem is if you have a mundane with this, on 'active' defense, with a mage overwatching on 'active and full' defense, then they effectively become untouchable.





QUOTE
An actually usable variant of the "Overcasting Drain is equal to the Force of the spell, instead of half Force" I commonly seen thrown around. Again, not something I had thought of myself, but I might actually end up using it. The rule that I was using, but never really ever came up in my game, was requiring a Composure Test to overcast, with a Threshold based on one-half the Drain Value. Failure indicates casting at maximum "normal" Force instead of the intended Overcasting.


I think having the portion of the drain which is below their overcast limit remain stun, but the part above be physical, with a composure test to equal to the amount of physical drain to even pull it off would be fair. Most people don't like the idea of microwaving themselves.

QUOTE
The problem with this is, Rules as Commonly Interpreted, Thresholds & Opposed Tests are mutually exclusive. This is false, as described below, but essentially makes it so Mental Manipulation effects under this rule would actually become more powerful overall.

Rules as Written, Opposed Tests & Thresholds are not actually mutually exclusive, but their are no rules explaining how they interact with each other if they are combined - with multiple entirely viable interpretations of how it works. I suggest the following:

On an Opposed Threshold Test, you determine the Opposed Test as normal. Any Hits in excess of that of the defender (Net Hits) are applied towards the Threshold. If the Threshold is then met, any additional hits are treated as Net Hits as normal.

Under my suggested ruling, your idea of a Mental Manipulation threshold is actually a viable way of limiting those spells - one that I am unsure if I would use, but do kind of like.

Side Note: Using my suggested ruling on Opposed Thresholds, you can do away with the Anniversary bullshit of how Counterspelling works with Object Resistance.


I have a significant issue with this, in that it effectively gives people a bonus equal effectively granting them 3/2 more will power then they had before. If combined with your active/full defense idea makes mental manipulations spells nearly meaningless. If you have a 4 will power, and 4 counter spelling skill, and know you're going into combat against a mage, it would mean then when you feel the manipulation starting and go for full defense, you're dropping and equivalent to 18 dice to avoid the attack, which for a 4 stat, and 4 skill with no ware, or anything else, is ridiculous, considering the bp/karma needed to get the mage edge, the magic, and the skill needed to get 18 dice to attack with.

QUOTE
I have said it many times on the forums, & I guess I'm saying it again.

House Rule:
A character's natural maximum for the Magic/Resonance attribute is equal to their Essence + Initiate/Submersion Grade, rounded down, with an absolute maximum of 7.
A character's maximum Initiate/Submersion Grade is equal to their Magic/Resonance attribute, with an absolute maximum of 5.

This rule almost never actually affects a character, but in my experience has greatly improved gameplay overall as well as adding consistency to the system. It does not, however, entirely fix some of the issues of RAW "unlimited advancement". As such, I have been toying with an idea of changing the maximum Magic/Resonance to Essence, rounded down (removing Initiation/Submersion influence entirely), and adding another "Lucky" quality that applies to Magic or Resonance.


I'm again not a fan of this even conceptually, as mages may be called upon to deal with force 8+ spirits, or dragons with a magic of 8+, and thus they are left out in the cold against such creatures.

(Heavily edited)
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Draco18s @ May 21 2010, 02:00 PM) *
Someone is forgetting Rock Paper Scissors here.

Rock (drones) beat Paper (mages).


Forget no, but with everyone bitching about how tough mages are, and yet forgetting that against drones, they border on almost completely useless.

This seems to be overlooked by nearly everyone involved.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Mäx @ May 21 2010, 02:15 PM) *
What do you mean powerless, lightning bolt works wonders against most drones. for example something like 9P+nethits AP-half is pretty nasty, or maybe 2-3 times 5P+nethits AP-half, for 0-2 points of P-damage.
Those have a chance of taking out a medium or smaller drones out with one shot and to severly damge even the biggest drones.
You could possibly evven convince your GM to allow you to get a version of lightning bolt that resricted to Drones as target for -1 to drain, making it either safer or allowing you to up the force by 2 points for even more damage.


If you could show me where in the BBB it says direct spells get to ignore OR, I've like to read it.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Possession Mage @ May 21 2010, 05:17 PM) *
Corrode/Melt/Sludge spell, street magic. Take "melt electronics" version of it.


Which last I checked all had to overcome OR, which means needing to beat the OR5 most drones have, combined with a decent body, you're likely going to hurt them in the slightest.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 22 2010, 01:03 PM) *
Forget no, but with everyone bitching about how tough mages are, and yet forgetting that against drones, they border on almost completely useless.

This seems to be overlooked by nearly everyone involved.


I would not classify Mages as almost completely useless against Drones... do they have difficulty on occassion? Sure... but so does a Gunbunny against some drones... An Object Resistance Threshold of 5 for an effect against the drone is not really all that hard to accomplish, and I routinely see Mages beating this threshold... yes, sometimes they will indeed fail, but by no means will they fail every time. Of course, that does mean that the average Mage has to overcast (Average Magic of 3-4) to actually hurt the drone, and this has its own drawbacks... But with Spellcasting Dicepools in the 14-16 Range, as commonly cited here on Dumpshock, this is an almost guaranteed success at average rolls, each and every time... More "Average Dice Pools still result in Pools in the 12 DP Range (3 Skill + 3 Stat + Spec + R2 PF + Possible Mentor Bonus = 12)

Sounds about right, as your Gun Bunnies can gear up with weapons capable of fighting the drones, and can routinely obtain enough hits against a drone to cause actual damage against the drone...

Yes, sometimes they will not hurt the drone, but oftentimes they will, assuming that they knew before going in that they might run up against such things, and equipped themselves accordingly...

The biggest benefit of the Combat Mage, is that he will almost always have his Drone Killing Spells available, while the Gunbunny may or may not have access to his Drone Killing Weaponry when he needs it the most...

Keep the Faith
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 22 2010, 01:06 PM) *
If you could show me where in the BBB it says direct spells get to ignore OR, I've like to read it.


Indirect Elemental Spells get to Ignore OR, as they have an actual physical component that can damage targets, and as such, ignore Object Resistance... Direct Damage Spells MUST defeat the OR to have an effect...

SR4A, Page 204, Left Side of Page, Section Titled: Indirect Combat Spells

That should do it...

Keep the Faith
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 22 2010, 01:08 PM) *
Which last I checked all had to overcome OR, which means needing to beat the OR5 most drones have, combined with a decent body, you're likely going to hurt them in the slightest.


If you look at the description of the Spell, they are variations of Toxic Wave and Acid Stream, except task limited to a specific target... the parent spells are Opposed Tests (Reaction). The Restricted versions of these Indirect Spells are, oddly enough, Success Tests (OR)... in my opnion, they should not be so... If you need an in game rationale for such stats, then I would say that it is because the Corrode/Melt/Slude Spells actually only impact the restricted aspect of the spell itself (its target), at which point, the weapon gets to resist the damage...

If it was me, I would apply any damage, past the OR, directly to the weapon/object/etc. (as it is using Targeted OR Rules, much like the Direct Damage Spells do) and not allow the item to apply its Body as a means to resist some of the damage (as a Normal Opposed Indirect Spell would normally get) inflicted...

Or, just ignore the S (OR) portion, and treat it as an Opposed test with the target resisting with its body, like a normal Indirect Spell would resolve...

Just me though...

Keep the Faith
Mx
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 22 2010, 10:06 PM) *
If you could show me where in the BBB it says direct spells get to ignore OR, I've like to read it.


You do know that a lightning bolt is an indirect elemental spell and those damm sure get to ingnore OR.
OR definedly doesn't come in to equation when i shoot an actual lighting at a drone or do you allow drones to resist bullets with OR.
Muspellsheimr
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ May 22 2010, 02:18 PM) *
Indirect Elemental Spells get to Ignore OR, as they have an actual physical component that can damage targets, and as such, ignore Object Resistance... Direct Damage Spells MUST defeat the OR to have an effect...

QUOTE (Mäx @ May 22 2010, 02:51 PM) *
You do know that a lightning bolt is an indirect elemental spell and those damm sure get to ingnore OR.
OR definedly doesn't come in to equation when i shoot an actual lighting at a drone or do you allow drones to resist bullets with OR.

Actually, Rules as Written, no. Indirect Combat Spells are subject to Object Resistance, just like every other spell in the book.

If you disagree, provide a rules quote to the contrary (yes, I am aware an example contradicts this, just as I am aware an example is not actually a rule).

QUOTE (Shadowrun 4 Anniversary p.183)
A spell cast on a non-living, non-magic target is not resisted, as the
object has no life force and thus no connection to mana with which to
oppose the casting of the spell (note that only Physical spells will affect
non-living objects; mana spells have no effect). Highly processed and
artificial items are more difficult to affect than natural, organic objects.
Spells cast on non-living objects require a Success Test with a threshold
based on the type of object affected (see the Object Resistance Table).

Note that objects targeted by Indirect Combat spells get to resist the
damage as they would any ranged attack; use their Armor rating x 2 (or
just Armor against spells with elemental effects) to resist the damage
(Barriers, p. 166).

The rules do say that some spells may be subject to Object Resistance (& thus, that some spells may not). It does not provide any more information on which spells are which. It does provide a fixed rule that spells are subject to Object Resistance, as quoted above. Some spells (Physical Manipulations) specifically say they are subject to object resistance - this is a redundant statement - we already know they are, because they are not listed as an exception to the OR rule.

No spell or category of spell is listed as an exception to this rule that governs all spells. Thus, even Indirect Combat Spells are indeed subject to OR.




I have gone over this multiple times before.
It is (probably) not Rules as Intended.
It does not function this way in my games.
It is Rules as Written.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ May 22 2010, 02:37 PM) *
Actually, Rules as Written, no. Indirect Combat Spells are subject to Object Resistance, just like every other spell in the book.

If you disagree, provide a rules quote to the contrary (yes, I am aware an example contradicts this, just as I am aware an example is not actually a rule).


The rules do say that some spells may be subject to Object Resistance (& thus, that some spells may not). It does not provide any more information on which spells are which. It does provide a fixed rule that spells are subject to Object Resistance, as quoted above. Some spells (Physical Manipulations) specifically say they are subject to object resistance - this is a redundant statement - we already know they are, because they are not listed as an exception to the OR rule.

No spell or category of spell is listed as an exception to this rule that governs all spells. Thus, even Indirect Combat Spells are indeed subject to OR.

I have gone over this multiple times before.
It is (probably) not Rules as Intended.
It does not function this way in my games.
It is Rules as Written.


And you can go over it until your hearts content... the following Quote, from SR4A clearly indicates that you are wrong... as has been stated many many times over the last year...

QUOTE (SR4A)
Indirect Combat Spells: Indirect Combat spells are treated like ranged combat attacks; the caster makes a Spellcasting + Magic Success Test versus the targets Reaction. Indirect Combat spells generate a spell construct at the point of origin (the caster) which travels down the mystic link to the chosen target (see Choose a Target, p.183), whereupon it discharges and the efect defned in the spell description manifests. Te spell traverses the distance between the caster and the target near instantly, but travels over the physical or astral plane to do so only to take efect when it hits. Hence, Indirect Spells are handled as ranged attacks and require a physically solid target or astrally active target to hit. As they travel down the link to the chosen target such effects may be impeded by physical obstacles or mana barriers. They may impact transparent obstacles (such as glass) and do not bounce of refective surfaces used for line of sight. Instead the spell takes efect at the point of contact with an obstructing barrier. In the case of mana barriers, use the standard rules for casting through barriers, but if the spells Force is insufcient to beat the mana barrier it fizzles at the point of contact with the barrier.
If the spell reaches the chosen target and it fails to dodge with Reaction (+ Counterspelling, if available), the target then resists damage with Body + half Impact armor. Each hit reduces the Damage Value. If the modifed spell DV does not exceed the modifed Armor, Physical damage is converted to Stun. Note that nonliving objects resist damage from an Indirect Combat spell with their Armor rating x 2 (see Barriers, p. 166). Note that unlike other spells, Indirect Combat spells may affect other targets that the caster cannot see if they are caught within the spells area of efect.


As you can see... Indirect Combat Spells do not Suffer Object Resistance AT ALL... Note the Specific Lack thereof in the spell type's description...

You can go on and keep quoting, but the Specific (Indirect Spells) outweighs the General (Spellcasting)... Always has...

I think that that should cover it...

Keep the Faith
Possession Mage
Muspellsheimr does raise a good point, but then I would always consider that elemental spells aren't cast ON something. This is why fireball can ignore line of sight but mana/stun/power ball can't(which is likely why the clarification Tymeaus pointed out exists). To clarify as I read that back to myself...if you fireball a corner, the explosion goes round the corner out of sight if that makes sense wink.gif
Synner
FYI - As of SR4A Indirect Spells were intended to ignore OR - however, it's quite possible my successors may consider ruling otherwise so treat this unofficial until you see it in a FAQ or errata.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ May 22 2010, 01:18 PM) *
Indirect Elemental Spells get to Ignore OR, as they have an actual physical component that can damage targets, and as such, ignore Object Resistance... Direct Damage Spells MUST defeat the OR to have an effect...

SR4A, Page 204, Left Side of Page, Section Titled: Indirect Combat Spells

That should do it...

Keep the Faith


Ok, so its in SR4a as opposed to the BBB, cause I've been under the impression drones get OR + dodge + armor + body which was seeming a little retarded.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ May 22 2010, 01:28 PM) *
If you look at the description of the Spell, they are variations of Toxic Wave and Acid Stream, except task limited to a specific target... the parent spells are Opposed Tests (Reaction). The Restricted versions of these Indirect Spells are, oddly enough, Success Tests (OR)... in my opnion, they should not be so... If you need an in game rationale for such stats, then I would say that it is because the Corrode/Melt/Slude Spells actually only impact the restricted aspect of the spell itself (its target), at which point, the weapon gets to resist the damage...

If it was me, I would apply any damage, past the OR, directly to the weapon/object/etc. (as it is using Targeted OR Rules, much like the Direct Damage Spells do) and not allow the item to apply its Body as a means to resist some of the damage (as a Normal Opposed Indirect Spell would normally get) inflicted...

Or, just ignore the S (OR) portion, and treat it as an Opposed test with the target resisting with its body, like a normal Indirect Spell would resolve...

Just me though...

Keep the Faith


So its not just me, and there are indirect spells which have OR tests needed.... Right kinda what I thought.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ May 22 2010, 02:37 PM) *
I have gone over this multiple times before.
It is (probably) not Rules as Intended.
It does not function this way in my games.
It is Rules as Written.


Hence my complaints about mages and drones. I could not see how you could possibly attack something which is OR 5, and have 10+ dice to dodge with, and realistically expect to even hit let alone inflict damage.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Synner @ May 22 2010, 03:45 PM) *
FYI - As of SR4A Indirect Spells were intended to ignore OR - however, it's quite possible my successors may consider ruling otherwise so treat this unofficial until you see it in a FAQ or errata.



Which is what I always understood... But thanks for the "Un-Official" information there Synner

Keep the Faith
Muspellsheimr
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ May 22 2010, 04:12 PM) *
And you can go over it until your hearts content... the following Quote, from SR4A clearly indicates that you are wrong... as has been stated many many times over the last year...

As you can see... Indirect Combat Spells do not Suffer Object Resistance AT ALL... Note the Specific Lack thereof in the spell type's description...

And if you bothered to pay attention, that does not, in fact, declare Indirect spells as an exception to Object Resistance. All it does is say they are handled as an Opposed test to hit, vs. Reaction (+Dodge).

Before you continue, go read how the various types of tests work. There is nothing that forbids a test from being both Opposed and having a Threshold. This is something that I have already covered multiple times before - including in this thread.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ May 22 2010, 05:19 PM) *
And if you bothered to pay attention, that does not, in fact, declare Indirect spells as an exception to Object Resistance. All it does is say they are handled as an Opposed test to hit, vs. Reaction (+Dodge).

Before you continue, go read how the various types of tests work. There is nothing that forbids a test from being both Opposed and having a Threshold. This is something that I have already covered multiple times before - including in this thread.


And According to the Quote... IF you hit, then you go straight to damage resolution, or did you miss that part?

Again, the Specific trumps the General... Seems pretty obvious, and I even have the backing, though it may be "Un-Official" as far as you are concerned, of those who put the book together... So, as far as I am concerned, the debate is really over... you may feel free to pursue the methods you like (which, ironically, is the exact same method that the Designers clarified, in that Indirect Spells do not worry about OR)... I now which interpretation I am going to follow...

Keep the Faith
Mx
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ May 22 2010, 11:37 PM) *
Actually, Rules as Written, no. Indirect Combat Spells are subject to Object Resistance, just like every other spell in the book.

If you disagree, provide a rules quote to the contrary (yes, I am aware an example contradicts this, just as I am aware an example is not actually a rule).


Maybe you should read how the fucking indirec combat spells work.
Targets get to try to dodge the spell and then gets to resist damage, nowhere during this does OR come in to the equation.
Rules how Indirec combat spell work a pretty fucking simple man, learn to read.
Synner
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 22 2010, 08:16 PM) *
Sounds like a great idea, if you add 'drain' to firing guns too. I can hardly wait to see your sammy's knock themselves out after a full auto burst.

You seem to be implying that this somehow unbalances play in favor of sammys because they still get to shoot without Drain?

If that's the case you really should be comparing the dice pools and modifiers (Ranged Combat has more basic modifiers such as recoil and movement than Spellcasting even when GMs remember to impose Visibility and Cover modifiers to the latter) as well as the relevant dodge/damage resistance tests if you're trying to make the argument that it penalizes one over the other.

That's disregarding that the street sam still can't levitate stuff, make people invisible, cast a magical barrier to protect an entire team, tell spirits to off enemies hiding behind bulletproof obstacles, nor can he go all out and overcast his Ares Alpha long burst.

All the Drain modification does is make overcasting less appealing and favors reducing base Force of spells and spirits to a more easily resistable Force 3-4 than the default Force 5-6 and upwards (though you can still go to that range if you want to risk it). With non-maxed dice pools of 9-12 that still pretty dangerous and applies equally to area and single target spells. As a bonus it also favors summoning lower Force spirits whilst not making high Force entirely prohibitive (just making Drain and its consequences much more likely).

I honestly suggest you playtest the suggested house rule before commenting on potential metagame balance issues.
Whipstitch
QUOTE
That's disregarding that the street sam still can't levitate stuff, make people invisible, cast a magical barrier to protect an entire team, tell spirits to off enemies hiding behind bulletproof obstacles, nor can he go all out and overcast his Ares Alpha long burst.


And with the same Attribute, no less. You can't just judge a skill or attribute based only on one facet of what it does. Even if combat spells were across the board always less effective at raw damage output than firearms, spell casting would still be useful because it can do so many things you simply cannot do with firearms-- I mean, really, let's be serious: firearm skills are likely the most narrow in the game. Even close combat skills can double as a source of defense pool dice.

I also don't think Direct Mana spells would be in any real danger of being rendered totally obsolete, either. They still bypass damage resistance sources like weapon immunity and armor and they can still be cast on the astral-- it's awful hard to argue that they really would have no niche. And at the very least, such spells would still have value on the physical plane for casters who cannot afford the physical stats and skills needed to be a competent marksman as well as a utility mage. A Force 3 Stun Bolt isn't very impressive, but neither is a heavy pistol in the hands of the average mage either.
Falconer
It's still too much synner, even for NON-overcasting....

Force 3-4 on a lot of the bigger spells is STILL 6-8 drain. Which means the mage is taking 2-4 drain on pretty much EVERYTHING they do. Against a normal drain pool of 9-12, 3-4 means generally 0-2 drain per use. 5-6, pretty much assured at least 1-3, 7+ feel the pain.


I'm all for liberally applying visibility mods, and responsible use of background counts.

In a game like SR... generally people should be rewarded for playing smart and taking cover.

Also, lets not forget that SR4a changed cover mods (which I also strongly agree w/ using w/ spell defense the mage can't see your aura very well... whatever). Now they're bonuses to the defender's pool and not penalties to the casting pool. (which I actually like a bit more...). IE: the mage can't see the defenders aura very well. Also admittedly a lot of the time I use a handheld mirror to cast around corners for a further -2.

12sp vs 8wil is better than 8 vs 4... especially if you get edge involved. That dice relationship makes things work a lot better for both guns and spell defense. Unless someone pulls out a +5 drain code area spell like fireball which would ignore cover... but then they're taking a good bit of pain to inflict it. (force 5 fireball, 10 drain by your example. good luck soaking a lot of that drain). Really at that point, you're better off w/ a contact fused, or command detonated grenade. (toss it w/ one simple action, if you like where it is... command detonate it w/ a simple or free action).
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Synner @ May 23 2010, 04:22 AM) *
You seem to be implying that this somehow unbalances play in favor of sammys because they still get to shoot without Drain?

That would be my basic complaint.

QUOTE
If that's the case you really should be comparing the dice pools and modifiers (Ranged Combat has more basic modifiers such as recoil and movement than Spellcasting even when GMs remember to impose Visibility and Cover modifiers to the latter) as well as the relevant dodge/damage resistance tests if you're trying to make the argument that it penalizes one over the other.

I tend to use recoil suppressed weapons as a sammy. This means if I'm firing short bursts each pass I don't have recoil. As for movement, unless laying down cover fire, I tend to fire from cover when I'm not moving. As for visibility modifiers, I use that radar sensor, ultrasound, and passive thermal. which means not even walls block my LOS. Given the way SR4 works avoiding firearms, its basically a 1 stat avoidance test anyway, and if you're worried about damage resistance stick and shocks, or AP rounds work great.


QUOTE
That's disregarding that the street sam still can't levitate stuff, make people invisible, cast a magical barrier to protect an entire team, tell spirits to off enemies hiding behind bulletproof obstacles, nor can he go all out and overcast his Ares Alpha long burst.

They can however have grappling hooks, or Vtol drones which can support their mass, ruthenium armor and smoke grenades, freeze foam, regular high explosive grenades or rockets, and do a long burst with their ares alpha. There are all equivalent.

QUOTE
All the Drain modification does is make overcasting less appealing and favors reducing base Force of spells and spirits to a more easily resistable Force 3-4 than the default Force 5-6 and upwards (though you can still go to that range if you want to risk it). With non-maxed dice pools of 9-12 that still pretty dangerous and applies equally to area and single target spells. As a bonus it also favors summoning lower Force spirits whilst not making high Force entirely prohibitive (just making Drain and its consequences much more likely).

And a sammy suffer no lasting penalty whether firing a holdout pistol or a panther assault cannon. So you are placing added limits on one, without touching what the other can do.
LurkerOutThere
errrrr except there is no law that a mage cannot have a panther assault cannon or assault rifle, your logic is flawed.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ May 23 2010, 12:05 PM) *
errrrr except there is no law that a mage cannot have a panther assault cannon or assault rifle, your logic is flawed.


I'm not sure that came out quite the way you intended.
Whipstitch
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 23 2010, 01:58 PM) *
They can however have grappling hooks, or Vtol drones which can support their mass, ruthenium armor and smoke grenades, freeze foam, regular high explosive grenades or rockets, and do a long burst with their ares alpha. There are all equivalent.



Except for the part where they're not. Grapple guns are indeed nice if there's anything to actually winch yourself onto, but there's concealment and legality issues with weapons and the cheapest VTOL that's actually designed for metahuman transportation will set you back around 75 grand. The other drones are all small and purpose built enough where it's a bit of a crap shoot whether a GM will actually let one fly you anywhere, even at reduced speeds. I suppose there's that jetpack which can serve as a pretty good stand in for Levitate, but beyond that I'm still waiting to see the technological equivalent to mental manipulations and mana spells that can can nuke things in astral space or be used in Ritual Magic. And lastly, rockets and grenades don't fall under the same skill category as an Ares Alpha does-- if you want area of effect capability AND direct fire, you either need to pay for a couple of skills (Which is usually at least equivalent to buying a few spells) or start trying to sneak LMGs with you everywhere you go. That's not always viable even in Pink Mohawk games.
Glyph
Raising drain is still the wrong solution. It makes SR magicians like lameass low-level D&D magicians who fire off their sleep spell, then they're all done. There are ways to give mundanes more of a break against magic without crippling mages in one of their main functions. Spellcasting already has drain codes, where a mage risks fatigue every time they cast a spell. Raising it to the point where drain is unavoidable makes mages all but unplayable. And it gives a huge break to the NPC mages, who only have to worry about that one encounter.

If you honestly think mages are too versatile, you fix it by making spells cost more. I don't agree with that, but if I did, that's how I would fix it.

I also find the argument of "The mage can always use a gun, too," to be fatally flawed. The mage won't have even close to the dice pool of a sammie.

Spellcasting shouldn't be the "I win" button it is in some games, but a standard mage should be able to use combat spells as a viable offensive option.
Whipstitch
For the record, I'm not a big fan of the Drain=Force idea either. I just disagree with the idea that combat spells must be a pound-for-pound match for firearms when fighting meatside or else things are unbalanced. After all, magic and spell casting is rather good even without all the firepower. Further, direct spells have their own unique properties that make them quite useful vs. targets with immunity to normal weapons, regeneration or heavy armor even before you factor in their raw damage potential-- I'd bet that Mana Bolt and Slay spells would still see some use as niche items even if their damage code were effectively lowered a point or two.

Anyway, despite the above, I'm not actually in a big rush to nerf mages or even combat spells. I feel like I have a good enough handle on the rules that I can create situations where Magicians aren't always the best answer to everything, and that's really about all I care about, even if I do often suspect that Magicians may very well be the "best" archetype from a power gaming point of view. I think that's because when all is said and done, SR4 is a relatively small scale game, and so mechanics that allow you to push all your chips into the middle can become very powerful. Drain is dangerous, after all, but if taking some drain can prevent a few guys from shooting at you, I say sling some mojo and pop an aspirin. If you get enough of them in the first go it may not really matter how much you have left in the tank anyway.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Glyph @ May 23 2010, 04:56 PM) *
I also find the argument of "The mage can always use a gun, too," to be fatally flawed. The mage won't have even close to the dice pool of a sammie.


I would not go that far... our Mage, who is a fairly Balls to the Wall Combat Mage (Initiate Grade 5, Magic 6) is hell on wheels with his spellcasting, but when he does choose to use that Machine Pistol of his, he throws 21 Dice (Automatics Skill at 4, including the Rating 4 Tacnet Bonus)... that is more than our Street Sam (20 Dice, though he has all the weapon Skills at 3) or the Hacker (19 Dice, The Firearms Group at 2)... he rarely uses it, but he is pretty lethal when he does...

Just Sayin'

Keep the Faith
Mx
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ May 24 2010, 04:41 AM) *
I would not go that far... our Mage, who is a fairly Balls to the Wall Combat Mage (Initiate Grade 5, Magic 6) is hell on wheels with his spellcasting, but when he does choose to use that Machine Pistol of his, he throws 21 Dice (Automatics Skill at 4, including the Rating 4 Tacnet Bonus)... that is more than our Street Sam (20 Dice, though he has all the weapon Skills at 3) or the Hacker (18 Dice, The Firearms Group at 2)... he rarely uses it, but he is pretty lethal when he does...

Your teams mage has agility 13?
Whipstitch
Well, after smart link and a specialization it's cut down to 9 agility, which is actually surprisingly doable with the Restricted Gear quality or simply acquiring high rating Muscle Toners while in play, something that's certainly not outside the realm of possibility for a runner who's had enough experience to hit grade 5. If you're going to give up a point of essence to boost one stat through the roof Agility is a pretty good choice given how many tests it governs.
Lansdren
Ok,

Now while I dont think there is anything wrong with mages at the moment if and its a big if the GM isnt letting you get away with everything and then some (my GM wouldnt let me use mental manipulations without consequence). I do think maybe something would help the mundanes.

How about a biofiber modification for armour.

Biofiber armour modification

Capacity 5
Rating 1 - 2
Cost R x 1000
Avaliablity 10R

Biofiber implants weave small flexible pads of Biofiber contained within a triple walled containment system throught the clothing or armour. Maintenace costs are R x 100 per month.


I have two options for how this could work

1) As the biofiber implants effectivly mask small parts of the targets aura the rating should be used as a negative modifier to casting as per targeting rules for direct spells (indirect would be unaffected)

2) Biofiber implants add their rating to the dice pool for resisting spells directed at the wearer as they absorb some of the mana themselves.



What do you think?


Mordinvan
QUOTE (Lansdren @ May 24 2010, 12:40 AM) *
Ok,

Now while I dont think there is anything wrong with mages at the moment if and its a big if the GM isnt letting you get away with everything and then some (my GM wouldnt let me use mental manipulations without consequence). I do think maybe something would help the mundanes.

How about a biofiber modification for armour.

Biofiber armour modification

Capacity 5
Rating 1 - 2
Cost R x 1000
Avaliablity 10R

Biofiber implants weave small flexible pads of Biofiber contained within a triple walled containment system throught the clothing or armour. Maintenace costs are R x 100 per month.


I have two options for how this could work

1) As the biofiber implants effectivly mask small parts of the targets aura the rating should be used as a negative modifier to casting as per targeting rules for direct spells (indirect would be unaffected)

2) Biofiber implants add their rating to the dice pool for resisting spells directed at the wearer as they absorb some of the mana themselves.



What do you think?


I think you might be able to make an algal version of that lily that generates a background count and add that into a pack you put in armor. But I don't think what you're proposing would work at all. The aura wouldn't be enough to mask that of the person under it.
Lansdren
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 24 2010, 09:22 AM) *
I think you might be able to make an algal version of that lily that generates a background count and add that into a pack you put in armor. But I don't think what you're proposing would work at all. The aura wouldn't be enough to mask that of the person under it.



Thats why one suggestion was a modifier like a visibility modifer, it wont shroud you but patches of other stuff between you and the casting mage might just tip the balance if you use cover as well. Plus it fits in with the current modifiers so wouldnt be to much of a departure from the current rules set.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Lansdren @ May 24 2010, 01:29 AM) *
Thats why one suggestion was a modifier like a visibility modifer, it wont shroud you but patches of other stuff between you and the casting mage might just tip the balance if you use cover as well. Plus it fits in with the current modifiers so wouldnt be to much of a departure from the current rules set.

I just don't see it adding enough of a 'disturbance' to qualify as cover, or even to break up the outline of the targets aura
Mx
QUOTE (Whipstitch @ May 24 2010, 07:46 AM) *
Well, after smart link and a specialization it's cut down to 9 agility

well from the post i assumed no spec, but your right about the smartlink so its only 11 agility.
Lansdren
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 24 2010, 09:55 AM) *
I just don't see it adding enough of a 'disturbance' to qualify as cover, or even to break up the outline of the targets aura



I see your point, but a level of disbelief is required for the magic rules anyway, if holding up a sheet of biofiber shields you from astral vision (they can see the biofiber but not you behind it) then partial bits might partially shield you. No real difference then hiding behind a desk in my mind apart from this way you carry your shield with you. Its abit far fetched and could just end up with it being an everyone who can afford it has it kind of escalation of power. But on the other hand I can see it being useful / possible.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Whipstitch @ May 23 2010, 01:18 PM) *
I'm still waiting to see the technological equivalent to mental manipulations and mana spells that can can nuke things in astral space or be used in Ritual Magic.


They do have access to the mind manipulation machines which can add/alter/erase memories. If somethings in astral space it can't nuke you either, so I'm kinda good with that, and ritual magic can be replaced with cruse missiles as often as not.

QUOTE
And lastly, rockets and grenades don't fall under the same skill category as an Ares Alpha does-- if you want area of effect capability AND direct fire, you either need to pay for a couple of skills (Which is usually at least equivalent to buying a few spells) or start trying to sneak LMGs with you everywhere you go. That's not always viable even in Pink Mohawk games.

Ya, its almost like trying to sneak a mage past a ward without setting it off. And you're complaining the cost of being a sam? Mages have to buy a whole new attribute, in addition to all the skills they need. Plus people want to the use guns instead of cast spells they spent all their BP to be able to do in the first place. Its like telling a sam who spent all his points on using fire arms that you think bullets are too powerful, and you'd like him to throw rocks instead. Being a decent spell caster is expensive, and as such, you can't do IT can something else and seem competent in both.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 24 2010, 03:04 PM) *
Its like telling a sam who spent all his points on using fire arms that you think bullets are too powerful, and you'd like him to throw rocks instead. Being a decent spell caster is expensive, and as such, you can't do IT can something else and seem competent in both.


I think its more like telling the sam that all his bullets are now cheese balls and that if he really wants to do damage he needs to pick up a new skill (Hurl Insults) and stat (Charisma).

Throwing is still Agility which a sam will have in spades. Mages can use but have no direct need for Agility with regards to their primary ability.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Draco18s @ May 24 2010, 12:20 PM) *
I think its more like telling the sam that all his bullets are now cheese balls and that if he really wants to do damage he needs to pick up a new skill (Hurl Insults) and stat (Charisma).

Throwing is still Agility which a sam will have in spades. Mages can use but have no direct need for Agility with regards to their primary ability.

point being, its somewhat stupid to ask a mage to spend all his points on magic, and then bitch when he's actually good and useful with it.
Yerameyahu
I dunno if the question has *ever* been, 'is the mage actually good and useful with magic?'
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Mäx @ May 23 2010, 10:36 PM) *
Your teams mage has agility 13?


Nope... And to note, the team is pushing 300 Karma Each, with only One exception...

Mage: Agility 9 (Spell Augmented), Skill of 4, Smartlink +2, Specialization +2 and +4 Tacnet Bonus... That equals 21 Dice for Machine Pistols, And 19 for non-specialized Automatics Only...

Street Sam: Agility 9, Skill 3, Smartlink +2, Specialization +2, Tacnet +4... 20 Dice (But for All Firearms and Heavy Weapons/Launch Weapons that have a Specialty, and 18 for those without the Specialty)

Hacker: Agility 9: Skill 2, Specialization +2, Smartlink +2, Tacnet +4... 19 Dice (Just with the Firearms Group and the Specialized Weapons, and 17 without the Specialty)

Keep the Faith
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ May 24 2010, 05:08 PM) *
I dunno if the question has *ever* been, 'is the mage actually good and useful with magic?'


No its a question of making magic a non option however. By increasing the drain in the fashion people are proposing magic goes from being something reliable, to something you use once, then lay down and rest for a few hours between spells.
Yerameyahu
Nope, that's an answer, not the question. smile.gif The question is, 'is the mage overpowered?' For people who think so, a fix is in order, because the game exists to be *fun*. If that specific fix isn't fun for you, don't use it.
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