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Yerameyahu
I assume people ignored it because it's not a solution. If everyone needs a Quality, it's not a Quality any more. biggrin.gif
LurkerOutThere
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ May 20 2010, 04:25 PM) *
I'm not the one whining and crying about a core concept of the game. Technology vs. Magic has been a major theme of Shadowrun from the very beginning. It's called "Essence" for a reason and affects both aspects of a character simultaneously and intentionally; it improves your access to technology at the cost of lowering your ability with magic. That's the whole point of the mechanic. You're the one constantly bitching about that, not me. If you can't stand it, it's your fault for still playing the damn game.


Just for you. Sorry for editing it out of my signature. I got tired of disabling it when I posted IC elsewhere on the forum. As for your question, I guess it's because people like you get to continue bitching and complaining about individual posters all the time, too. At least mine's aimed at discussions about the game and opinions thereof far more often than not.



Just because your house rule is shit, further re-enforcing the no cost/low cost magic of SR4, doesn't mean I need to find a different game. Magic vs Tech is a core concept of the game and a choice has to be made your system basically takes an already imbalanced system and further skews it towards high essence/magic users. There are a number of other viable stats, edge, intuition, double willpower, heck even giving strength of all things some love however despite how you feel your being picked on (and that's what all your passive aggressive bullshit comes down to) it doesn't invalidate my views.

Again, just because your work around is flawed doesn't mean I need to find another game, if my posts annoy you so much I fully invite you to take your own advice and put me on ignore, I can handle your asinine behavior without resorting to childish rhetoric why can't you do the same.

Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ May 20 2010, 09:22 PM) *
Just because your house rule is shit, further re-enforcing the no cost/low cost magic of SR4, doesn't mean I need to find a different game. Magic vs Tech is a core concept of the game and a choice has to be made your system basically takes an already imbalanced system and further skews it towards high essence/magic users.

That's not what you were ranting about, nor what I was replying to. Nice try, though.

QUOTE
There are a number of other viable stats, edge, intuition, double willpower, heck even giving strength of all things some love however despite how you feel your being picked on (and that's what all your passive aggressive bullshit comes down to) it doesn't invalidate my views.

What's even more pathetic on your part is that I said the same damn thing in my posts. Once again: Essence was just an example and a suggestion. I even included Edge in the examples. Since you're either unwilling or unable to actually read the text, here's a summary: My suggestion was to get rid of counterspelling as a passive ability and using two attributes for resistance tests.

QUOTE
Again, just because your work around is flawed doesn't mean I need to find another game, if my posts annoy you so much I fully invite you to take your own advice and put me on ignore, I can handle your asinine behavior without resorting to childish rhetoric why can't you do the same.

That wasn't aimed at you. Your inability to identify your own quotes, let alone mistake someone else's name as your own, is an issue you need to work out. Not me.
LurkerOutThere
Funk did you ever consider if multiple folks have a problem making sense of your position the problem might be you? Did that thought ever cross your mind?

QUOTE
Sooooooo tired of the cyberware eats your soul meme.

Then go play another fucking game.


This is where it all starts, you being a dick everything else was you drawing your own conclusions. You took a difference of opinion into a borderline personal attack. Again this notion that high essence should be rewarded (further) then it already is is bull and is further skewing the game world. The game cannot be about the conflict of magic vs technology if magic (which higher essence is to the benefit of) is the clearly superior choice.



Whipstitch
ITT: a passive aggressive post inspires an aggressive post which then leads to one of the passive aggressive guys calling the aggressive guy out for being passive aggressive. lolwut?

I mean, if we really want to start keeping score, people may want to stop leading off posts with swearing, rhetorical questions and telling each other that we don't know what we're talking about.
Saint Sithney
QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ May 20 2010, 07:22 PM) *
Just because your house rule is shit, further re-enforcing the no cost/low cost magic of SR4, doesn't mean I need to find a different game. Magic vs Tech is a core concept of the game and a choice has to be made your system basically takes an already imbalanced system and further skews it towards high essence/magic users. There are a number of other viable stats, edge, intuition, double willpower, heck even giving strength of all things some love however despite how you feel your being picked on (and that's what all your passive aggressive bullshit comes down to) it doesn't invalidate my views.


So nerfing magic double hard against magic users skews things towards magic?

You're still nerfing magic here. Magic was never magebane. That's what bullets and robits are for.
Whipstitch
I just want to say that robit is my favorite intentional misspelling.
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ May 20 2010, 11:00 PM) *
Funk did you ever consider if multiple folks have a problem making sense of your position the problem might be you? Did that thought ever cross your mind?

QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein)
If you really want to try to balance magicians out a little more, start by making Spell Defense less passive and more active, and then granting all characters a two-stat defense against magic.

Yeah, I can see why you'd have trouble understanding that. Especially since in my very next post of the thread, I even expounded upon what I meant regarding the Spell Defense part.

QUOTE
The game cannot be about the conflict of magic vs technology if magic (which higher essence is to the benefit of) is the clearly superior choice.

Except my example of the suggestions I had didn't do anything of the sort (since the end example was Stat + Edge + Essence vs. Magic + Spellcasting + Focus/Mentor), other than give characters with a high Essence an additional boost, which is in line with how spell defense works right now in regards to magicians. And, frankly, magicians should be better at resisting spells since, you know, that's their whole gig. In case math is a bit hard for you, that's giving non-magicians a much better chance at resisting spells all on their own, without having a mage around. It just also adds a repercussion for lowering your Essence -- something 4th Edition is all but missing -- while still boosting their overall resistance to magic. It's not like you're not gaining a ton more benefit out of the deal, either.

So, yeah, my example makes going down to an Essence of 0.01 a harder choice. Oh no. Unfortunately, they'd still get to roll Stat + Edge against spells, which is more than they do now. I can see how you'd think that somehow makes them more vulnerable or something. sarcastic.gif
DireRadiant
Keep it cool folks.
Muspellsheimr
QUOTE (Glyph @ May 20 2010, 08:28 PM) *
1. Give mundanes the option of actively resisting a spell. They have to expend a complex action to do so, but it lets them double their Willpower to resist a spell.

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.

See below for mundane resistance.

QUOTE (Glyph @ May 20 2010, 08:28 PM) *
2. They used to have rules for mundane uses of magical skills - I think mundanes should be allowed to take banishing, for the sole purpose of attacks of will against spirits.

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).

QUOTE (Glyph @ May 20 2010, 08:28 PM) *
3. Overcasting should be dangerous and comparatively rare, not a use-all-the-time tactic. I would increase the Drain for an overcast spell by one per point of Force (rather than per two points of Force) once it goes over the normal maximum.

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 I might actually prefer yours.

QUOTE (Glyph @ May 20 2010, 08:28 PM) *
4. Mental manipulations should have (Willpower/2) thresholds to work like they did in SR3.

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.

QUOTE (Glyph @ May 20 2010, 08:28 PM) *
5. If you are going to have hard caps for everything else, have them for Magic. For example - Magic can not be raised higher than twice your Essense rating, and you can only get up to 6 levels of initiation.

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.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ May 20 2010, 06:16 PM) *
How does that really solve anything? All it does is let players pick it up for about 5 BP less, if they were really interested in getting it to begin with. And even then it's just a patchwork solution to a much larger problem. Players would still have to buy it, even if it's not appropriate to their concepts, and counterspelling becomes a lot more powerful than it should be in any group that has multiple such characters.

Dr. Funk, you and the others in this thread are trying so hard to come up with rules that might or might not work in reducing the effects of magic. My solution is something that would give the Street Sam a chance of resisting magic, but it comes with a price. It's the old "You can't have your cake and eat it to." dilemma. With what you are suggesting, everyone gets a freebie without having to pay for it.
Ol' Scratch
But it's not a solution. You just put a 5 BP discount on Arcane Arrester (by not having to buy the Changeling quality), and removed any flavor from it that comes from having to take at least one negative SURGE trait. That's not really doing anything at all. Especially considering that they already had access to Magic Resistance as a trait anyway. How exactly is your change going to actually tame magic? How is it going to guarantee that everyone on the planet has this quality? Why are you being so brutal about it (since, by the rules, it also means such a character can only ever get 5-10 BPs worth of positive qualities if they take it courtesy of the 35 BP limit)?

I'd rather work on an actual solution than slap a patch over it. Especially when the patch doesn't really do much of anything that doesn't already exist.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ May 21 2010, 03:34 AM) *
But it's not a solution. You just put a 5 BP discount on Arcane Arrester (by not having to buy the Changeling quality), and removed any flavor from it that comes from having to take at least one negative SURGE trait. That's not really doing anything at all. Especially considering that they already had access to Magic Resistance as a trait anyway. How exactly is your change going to actually tame magic? How is it going to guarantee that everyone on the planet has this quality? Why are you being so brutal about it (since, by the rules, it also means such a character can only ever get 5-10 BPs worth of positive qualities if they take it courtesy of the 35 BP limit)?

I'd rather work on an actual solution than slap a patch over it. Especially when the patch doesn't really do much of anything that doesn't already exist.

Are you going to nerf drones and guns as well? If you are going to nerf one aspect of the game, then you should balance it out by nerfing other parts of the game.
Lansdren
To be honest I cant see what all the fuss is about. Mages are very BP and Karma costly and almost every spell has the possibility (or probability) in some cases of causing damage to the caster. Drones (which by fluff are very common in security situations) will cause trouble for most mages if not all of them, line of sight can be broken easily and then with the GM playing fair to everyone modifiers can lower what might be a good dice pool down to something average at best pretty quickly.

Granted mana bolt and mana ball can seem overpowered but then the cost to use them effectively hinders the mage in many other areas

My brief comparison below is based on a human one aimed at magic one aimed at pistols

Magician quality 15bp
Magic up to five 40bp
Spellcasting up to six 24bp
Specialised for combat 2bp
Mentor for combat 5bp (which if played right by the GM should be just as much of a hindrance as a benefit)
Mana bolt Spell 3bp

Total bp cost of 89bp to give a dice pool of 15
and assuming cast at force five a drain threshold of two every time it is cast which granted would be covered by a probable dice pool for drain of 10 (but this will also cost bp) but eventually the law of averages will catch up with you and your going to suffer

Now in some respects that scenario is a bit twinked but not to any great level

Taking a gunner into account we have

Agility to five 40bp
Pistols to six 24bp
Specialised to semi auto 2bp
Ares Pred plus glasses for smartlink plus ammo 1bp (ok being generous with that one I know)

Total bp cost of 67 for a dice pool of 15 which can be fired twice in the time the mage casts one bolt. Add in a minimal bit of recoil reduction in and we have twice the possible damage output (both attacks base of five plus net hits) for a cheaper build

Now we come to the application of the damage

Basic grunt security officer

Body 3 Reaction 4 Willpower 3 armour of B6

Assuming average rolls for the mage we have five hits and the grunt getting one hit bringing damage to 9stun using a complex action


First simple action for the gunbunny
Assuming the same for the gunbunny with have the gunbunny getting five hits and the grunt getting between one and two Ill be generous to him and give two for the first attack reducing the net hits to three and the damage to 8P (higher then armour). The grunt also gets to soak it with armour and body with a minimum minus one due to the AP of the gun (this could be much higher for little extra money) again lets be generous and say the grunt gets three hits bringing the damage down to 5P

This leaves the grunt on -1 to everything plus an additional - 1 to dodging in the second IP

Second simple action
Assuming worst case of averages Gunbunny gets four hits (Im assuming basic gun no recoil compensation) for his second shot with the grunt on two for his reaction test due to already defending plus damage it is unlikely that he will get any hits but again lets be generous and give him one hit bringing damage again down to 8P. Again we have soak rolls which for this scenario stays the same we again have three hits and a final damage of 5P


Overall damage mage 9S Gunbunny 10P

A basic gunbunny with no real cost (and cyber in this instance) can do equal damage to a similar build mage even with the law of averages slightly tipped against them. Add in the ability to throw more money (more easy to come by then karma) and the gunbunny can easily do serious damage even to the level of one shotting a grunt

Now the scenarios can be easily tipped in favour of either person the mage could get a focus to boost them the gunner could get better ammo or for similar spend get a higher power weapons. Visibility modifiers are more damaging for the mage over the gunner as a mage must use natural sight or spend on cyberware to get those benefits which again effects the costs of for magic where as for the gunner a cheap upgrade to their glasses costs almost nothing in real terms.

Now you could then move onto the mana ball issue with area effects but is a area spell that effects the mind really more dangerous then a couple of air burst grenades which could contain almost anything?

This has got abit long winded so Im going to stop here and have a breather
Whipstitch
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ May 21 2010, 04:22 AM) *
Are you going to nerf drones and guns as well? If you are going to nerf one aspect of the game, then you should balance it out by nerfing other parts of the game.



That's assuming the current paradigm is already balanced out and that what people are proposing is merely an attempt to lower overall power levels. A lot of people feel that drain and the other disadvantages of spellcasting aren't enough to compensate for the fact that the vast majority of characters in the SR4 world cannot ever acquire Counterspelling. That's a rough hand to be dealt when you consider that the Attribute+Skill opposed test is a central SR4 mechanic.


As for the above points, I think the karma/bp cost issue needs to be considered real carefully, since not everything you can get with karma or bp is created equal despite the often uniform costs present in the game. Buying up spellcasting and Magic is rather expensive, but I would argue that it's one of the most cost effective skill+attribute combinations in the game due to the diverse array of effects you can keep adding onto your character from that point forward. Let me put it this way: A samurai can't pay 5 karma for the ability to control minds with his Agility+Automatics pool, but a Magician can pay 5 karma to do so with his Magic+Spellcasting pool. Magical abilities are expensive, but I'd say you get more than you pay for in return; there's very few archetypes that can get away with running with as narrow a range of skills as a Magician can, and that's in large part because magic can emulate many skills when used properly.
KCKitsune
Whipstitch, I said that drones and guns would have be balanced out compared to spells. If it's shown that spells need to be nerfed more than guns then do so, but Dr. Funk and the others were trying to create a ton of new house rules to make magic "more balanced". I say allow more people to have access to Arcane Arrester and see how that works.
Yerameyahu
Actually, nerfing all aspects of the game at once is exactly what balancing isn't. The whole point is to tweak one thing relative to the rest.
Lansdren
QUOTE (Whipstitch @ May 21 2010, 10:43 AM) *
That's assuming the current paradigm is already balanced out and that what people are proposing is merely an attempt to lower overall power levels. A lot of people feel that drain and the other disadvantages of spellcasting aren't enough to compensate for the fact that the vast majority of characters in the SR4 world cannot ever acquire Counterspelling. That's a rough hand to be dealt when you consider that the Attribute+Skill opposed test is a central SR4 mechanic.


As for the above points, I think the karma/bp cost issue needs to be considered real carefully, since not everything you can get with karma or bp is created equal despite the often uniform costs present in the game. Buying up spellcasting and Magic is rather expensive, but I would argue that it's one of the most cost effective skill+attribute combinations in the game due to the diverse array of effects you can keep adding onto your character from that point forward. Let me put it this way: A samurai can't pay 5 karma for the ability to control minds with his Agility+Automatics pool, but a Magician can pay 5 karma to do so with his Magic+Spellcasting pool. Magical abilities are expensive, but I'd say you get more than you pay for in return; there's very few archetypes that can get away with running with as narrow a range of skills as a Magician can, and that's in large part because magic can emulate many skills when used properly.


Granted that magic does open up other avenues to work with, but this has to be taken into balance against the inherent damage it will
do over time to the mage even low drain spells will cause damage eventually. Drain soak rolls can get quite high with initiation but that will vary from game to game based on karma awarded and ordeals / groups being avaliable.

I find the proposed image of the utility mage who can do everything with the right spell unlikly in my comparison above without a focus a mage can cap out with a spellcasting pool of about 15 for a specialised area droping to 11 - 13 (depending on mentor) for everything else. This pool can go up if you want to spend all your karma on upping your magic stat (which would mean almost no chance of new spells past first creation) but its that or a expensive (Money and Karma) focus. In fact alot of the fun / useful spells that you can pick up only become viable in some respects if you use alot of focuses which again if the GM is playing things right have negatives of their own.




Apathy
In SR3 the TNs for healing spells were modified based on how low the target's essence was (TN = 10-ess? something like that). Don't know SR4A well enough to guess whether anything similar was created in the current system, but has anyone considered applying a rule like this across the board for all spell resistance? Maybe Spell Resistance = Will + Spell Defense (if any) + essence lost, meaning an average street sam (ess 2.0, essence lost 4, will 4) would have a spell resistance pool of 8 without backup?
Lansdren
QUOTE (Apathy @ May 21 2010, 03:30 PM) *
In SR3 the TNs for healing spells were modified based on how low the target's essence was (TN = 10-ess? something like that). Don't know SR4A well enough to guess whether anything similar was created in the current system, but has anyone considered applying a rule like this across the board for all spell resistance? Maybe Spell Resistance = Will + Spell Defense (if any) + essence lost, meaning an average street sam (ess 2.0, essence lost 4, will 4) would have a spell resistance pool of 8 without backup?



Whilst I'm not seeing much wrong with the current set up I can see that idea having some use. The fluff implies that with less of a aura your harder to heal, damage (direct not elemental) would be as difficult. It would also work well with the cybermancy where if you go past the point of 0 Ess you become something else something more negative to magic.

DireRadiant
QUOTE (Lansdren @ May 21 2010, 10:18 AM) *
Whilst I'm not seeing much wrong with the current set up I can see that idea having some use. The fluff implies that with less of a aura your harder to heal, damage (direct not elemental) would be as difficult. It would also work well with the cybermancy where if you go past the point of 0 Ess you become something else something more negative to magic.


Fluff? Doesn't the Healing Modifiers Table on P. 253 SR4A have an entry "Patient has Implants" with "-1 per 2 points of lost Essence"?

Edit: And on P. 207 SR4A, Under "Healing Characters with Implants" has "In game terms, this means a dice pool modifier applies to the Spellcasting Test equal to the subject’s lost Essence (rounded down)."
Lansdren
QUOTE (DireRadiant @ May 21 2010, 04:51 PM) *
Fluff? Doesn't the Healing Modifiers Table on P. 253 SR4A have an entry "Patient has Implants" with "-1 per 2 points of lost Essence"?

Edit: And on P. 207 SR4A, Under "Healing Characters with Implants" has "In game terms, this means a dice pool modifier applies to the Spellcasting Test equal to the subjects lost Essence (rounded down)."



See I was right, thanks for the quote,

Sometimes I hate being away from books

Draco18s
QUOTE (Lansdren @ May 21 2010, 05:37 AM) *
My brief comparison below is based on a human one aimed at magic one aimed at pistols


Manabolt is hardly an even comparison against a pistol. Sure, it does "almost the same thing" except that magic can be so much better.

How about Control Thoughts: "That guy behind you is a traitor! He's going to cap you!"

You've now turned one spell--with relatively moderate drain, considering all possible options--and taken out two guards (minimum) and redirected some bullets away from the party* while the gunbunny took out one in the same amount of time.

*Worst case scenario:
Control Thoughts Guard: shoots second guard, who dies (1 down, 1 thrall)
Third guard shoots CTG, who dies (2 down, 1 volley of ammo directed somewhere other than the PCs as it was used to take down the thrall)

Better scenario:
CTG shoots second guard (1 down)
Third guard shoots CTG (1 down, 1 injured, 1 redirect)
Fourth guard shoots CTG (2 down, 2 redirects)
Fifth guard--buddy of CTG--freaks out and shoots second guard (2 down, 1 injured, 3 redirects, 1 crazy)
Lansdren
QUOTE (Draco18s @ May 21 2010, 05:19 PM) *
Manabolt is hardly an even comparison against a pistol. Sure, it does "almost the same thing" except that magic can be so much better.

How about Control Thoughts: "That guy behind you is a traitor! He's going to cap you!"

You've now turned one spell--with relatively moderate drain, considering all possible options--and taken out two guards (minimum) and redirected some bullets away from the party* while the gunbunny took out one in the same amount of time.

*Worst case scenario:
Control Thoughts Guard: shoots second guard, who dies (1 down, 1 thrall)
Third guard shoots CTG, who dies (2 down, 1 volley of ammo directed somewhere other than the PCs as it was used to take down the thrall)

Better scenario:
CTG shoots second guard (1 down)
Third guard shoots CTG (1 down, 1 injured, 1 redirect)
Fourth guard shoots CTG (2 down, 2 redirects)
Fifth guard--buddy of CTG--freaks out and shoots second guard (2 down, 1 injured, 3 redirects, 1 crazy)



To use control thoughts properly takes at least two IPs one to cast it and then the second to use it with a simple action. Plus the action by the grunt still comes on their IP round which might not be till the next round if your slow on the initiative. This also requires you to get the drop on the enemy as if you don't your still first in the firing line while your waiting for your next turn and odds are if you have a team with you the action is mostly finished within the first round if your only seeing off a couple of weak grunts.

If it was a big enough fight that the combat lasts a few rounds where the delay wouldn't matter and your pawn has a effect I would be surprised if there was no magical support or drones for that matter.

There's no way to say in the right situation its a very powerful spell in itself but again it has limits the drain isn't terrible but when you realise if you want to keep your puppet for more then 6 9 seconds your probably going to take some drain as the spell can be fought off pretty quickly even by grunts (three willpower gives on average one hit reduction in the spell every force rounds)

At the end of the day this again comes back to my point that a GM playing things fairly makes it hard for the Mage to get to silly.

Group edge is there to be used, if a mental manipulation spell like that doesn't call for a edge roll nothing will.
Mental spells like that are highly illegal, and very noticeable in hindsight cctv footage of a guard turning round and opening fire on his team might be noticed. If you use that kind of tactics regularly people will notice and not be amused. Depending on how your game is running I would expect some change in how people act around a Mage known to mess with peoples minds not even counting how the team might react.

At the end of the day one good gas grenade will take out the same people for less cost and less of the downsides.
tete
Lansdren, while I don't disagree with your BP cost my basic problem with all magic is there are less options for you to buy for defense where as against the gun you can always buy armor, raise your body, reaction, and etc. This means by spending a little extra BP or Karma you now have a edge against even the bad guy with 1000 Karma or 1,000,000,000 nuyen compared to the guy with the gun. As for Control Thoughts, what about when you use it outside of combat? Thats where the control spells are overpowered because the mage will win for a round or two most of the time before the NPC can get enough successes to break free.

[Edit] The way I usually see the Control Thoughts and similar spells abuses is "Tell me where this is" or "give me the passcode" or "open the door" and not in combat.
Mx
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ May 21 2010, 03:44 PM) *
Whipstitch, I said that drones and guns would have be balanced out compared to spells. If it's shown that spells need to be nerfed more than guns then do so, but Dr. Funk and the others were trying to create a ton of new house rules to make magic "more balanced". I say allow more people to have access to Arcane Arrester and see how that works.

And everyone else correctly stated that thet does jack shit.
Giving a 5BP discount for a quality does nothing for bringing mages power levels clocer to other archetypes.
Making resisting makes easier overall for everyone on the other hand does.

QUOTE (Lansdren @ May 21 2010, 11:37 AM) *
My brief comparison below is based on a human one aimed at magic one aimed at pistols

I would change the manabolt to a fetished stunbolt and have the mage cast 2 of them. with avarage rolls thats 7S per bolt
bringing mages damage in that one IP to 14S that should take out most targets and most likely no drain damage(two times 2S resisted with 12 dice)
Or maybe even make it 3 stunbolts for avarage compined damage of 18S(6S per bolt) and no drain damage (three time 3S resisted with 12 dice)
Ol' Scratch
Actually, looking back on it, I was wrong. It actually inflates the cost by 5 BP. Normally you could get it for 5 BP (to get SURGE 1), which effectively gives you 10 free BPs worth of SURGE qualities in exchange for a 5-point negative one. So the total works out to 20 BP (25 + 5 - 10) and a 5 BP flaw. His solution just makes it a flat 25 BP option with no flaw.
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Karoline @ May 19 2010, 09:05 PM) *
Agreed, that is 4 extra skills that need to be obtained to be a 'normal' caster, which is alot of BP that mages are already tight on.

The problem really isn't the mage itself, but the lack of defenses against a mage. Only a mage can do anything at all about another mage in astral. Only with the help of a mage can you hope to defend against anything higher than F1 spells. Only with a mage (or SnS ammo) can you take down a spirit. Only with a mage can you drop buff spells. It's like Rock (Rigger) beats Scissors (Sammy) beats Paper (Hacker), but they all lose to dynamite (Mage), so why would you ever pick one of the other three?

Things like 'anti-magic' armor would go a long way towards making mages less powerful.


How about anti drone magic, making riggers less powerful. As it sits mages are next to powerless against them.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 21 2010, 03:53 PM) *
How about anti drone magic, making riggers less powerful. As it sits mages are next to powerless against them.


Someone is forgetting Rock Paper Scissors here.

Rock (drones) beat Paper (mages).
Mx
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 21 2010, 09:53 PM) *
How about anti drone magic, making riggers less powerful. As it sits mages are next to powerless against them.

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.
Whipstitch
QUOTE (Lansdren @ May 21 2010, 09:17 AM) *
I find the proposed image of the utility mage who can do everything with the right spell unlikly in my comparison above without a focus a mage can cap out with a spellcasting pool of about 15 for a specialised area droping to 11 - 13 (depending on mentor) for everything else. This pool can go up if you want to spend all your karma on upping your magic stat (which would mean almost no chance of new spells past first creation) but its that or a expensive (Money and Karma) focus. In fact alot of the fun / useful spells that you can pick up only become viable in some respects if you use alot of focuses which again if the GM is playing things right have negatives of their own.


How true that is largely depends on your spell selection; many spells have pretty low thresholds or do not rely on opposed tests to work well. Levitation, Awaken, Heal, Detect Life/Enemy, and the Clairvoyance/Window line of spells are all good examples of how a competent but not unusual magician can bring a variety of useful (if admittedly not overwhelming) effects to the table without much need for foci, particularly since the drug Psyche is remarkably free of negative side effects-- it's quite possible to run two detection spells at once for a fairly mild -2 penalty and then drop them once you detect danger or have a good notion of where to find your target. Likewise many spells are permanent or immediate effects and require minimal sustaining by definition. I'll grant you that you won't be a high end combat mage without a bag full of foci and a big ol' brick of Spellcasting dice, but I tend to be of the opinion that combat mages are the relatively weak sibling of the utility mage anyway, since I find it more useful to let the samurai do his thing and bring my 10 dice and a hard to duplicate bag of tricks to the group instead.

But really, the thing that truly tips the scales in terms of cost effectiveness is Summoning and access to the Astral, imo. Even a force 3 spirit can bring a useful mix of utilitarian powers to the group, and you don't need much talent to whip them up (and that's not even touching upon Guardian and Task Spirits...). Likewise Astral Projection can sometimes really let you snoop around rather well and you don't need much but an assensing pool and some decent mental stats to do well in that area.


QUOTE (Draco18s @ May 21 2010, 03:00 PM) *
Someone is forgetting Rock Paper Scissors here.

Rock (drones) beat Paper (mages).



I would agree here right up until the point that the Magician's spirit cuts into the dance with its elemental damage. Drones are definitely a thorn in the side of magicians everywhere, but summoning prevents them from being hard counter even before you factor in indirect magic.
FriendoftheDork
Hmm how bout having increasing direct damage drain by net hits? Wait...

Whatever it's inherent weakness, it does manage either scale down the damage from these spells OR forces the caster to get more drain on average. Seems to work well so far in my game, and the mage still is casting at [Magic] force to be safe.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
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.



But you still have to hit the Drone, and It can attempt to dodge the Lightning Bolt/Ball...

That Lightning bolt just may miss...

Just Sayin'

Keep the Faith
Draco18s
QUOTE (Whipstitch @ May 21 2010, 06:17 PM) *
I would agree here right up until the point that the Magician's spirit cuts into the dance with its elemental damage. Drones are definitely a thorn in the side of magicians everywhere, but summoning prevents them from being hard counter even before you factor in indirect magic.


While true, I am of the opinion that Spirits are the "shotgun" in "rock paper scissors."
Possession Mage
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ May 21 2010, 08:53 PM) *
How about anti drone magic, making riggers less powerful. As it sits mages are next to powerless against them.


Corrode/Melt/Sludge spell, street magic. Take "melt electronics" version of it.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Possession Mage @ May 21 2010, 05:17 PM) *
Corrode/Melt/Sludge spell, street magic. Take "melt electronics" version of it.


Can't really target Electronics that you cannot see though... the damaging element would still have to bypass the Armor to get to the insides where the electronics lived...

Keep the Faith
Yerameyahu
Melt Drone, then. smile.gif
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ May 21 2010, 05:25 PM) *
Melt Drone, then. smile.gif


Melt Drone is Good... Yep... Pretty Good Indeed...

My Necromancer's version of Powerbolt/Powerball was called "Decay," It was a fun spell...

Keep the Faith
Mx
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ May 22 2010, 01:02 AM) *
But you still have to hit the Drone, and It can attempt to dodge the Lightning Bolt/Ball...

That Lightning bolt just may miss...

Just Sayin'

Keep the Faith

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.
Falconer
I call BS on the multi-casting. UNLESS you have a lot of dice mods AFTER the split. It doesn't work nearly as well as you claim. Double casting say 2 stunbolts is generally doable... Even then, great you've done exactly as well as an average skilled character w/ a gun. (knocked out one guy, or damaged two firing SnS)

Even then, lets just ignore the fact that we can just pull out two pistols and split, and still fire twice as fast!! (or pull out 2 SMG's and double-up on recoil comp... two wide bursts (preferably long) can pretty much gut all but the most extreme dodge pools).


And multi-casting lightning bolts or other indirect spells... are you bloody insane Maax?! At a +3 drain code... Say force4, Double casting is 6 drain each. Triple casting isn't even on the radar.


Quite frankly:
The only things I've seen in this thread so far I like... (and not necessarily all of them together)

One item I've suggested in other threads in the past... Add an extra .5 point of drain for each point of force overcast. (same Drain/2 for up to limit, then +full for overcast).

The idea of breaking up the spellcasting skill into 'subskills' so that spellcasters need to specialize a little more. (even then w/o changing the skill costs.. IE: George has 3 ranks in spellcasting, each point gets 3/5, he has 3 ranks in health spells (bear doctor), 2 in combat, 1 in manipulation, 3 in detection, none in illusion).

That mental manipulations are a little more problematic. (I disagree strongly that all other categories are broken in the least.) I believe the best way to do this, is to turn them into extended contests of wills, and extra penalties to anything and everything the mage tries to do while engaged in one. Also I believe mental and physical manipulations should be separated (6 categories of magic instead of 5).

Treating all spells like healing spells... heavily cybered individuals can get up to -3 dice penalty applied to spellcaster. (-1 for every 2 points or fraction thereof of essence lost).

The -2 'sustaining' penalty for having more than one spirit present at a time. (that paired with only one service at a time from a spirit... substantially limits the army of spirits).

Calling BS on anyone suggesting techniques to reduce or sustain spells w/o penalty. While a mage may have theoretical access to a spell for every occasion, whether they have the money and karma to learn it is another problem altogether. The best limiter on mages is making it painful to sustain a large number of spells. (and by extension limiting how many spirit services they can use at once... IE: no more than 1 per spirit... and a spirit engaged in combat isn't going to be sustaining concealment as combat is a new service).

Only giving spirits (Force/2) ranks in any skills. This gives them a few less dice.


Things I specifically don't like and why:
Full defense against spells: Okay lets say character rolls double willpower. The mage has a 50/50 shot but still takes drain. The mage can't just pound on the target constantly every pass until dead because drain limits heavily how much he can do. You now add counterspelling dice... and it's not even a contest (barring severe specialization in that particular school w/ specialization and mentor).

So long as drain exists... I'm with it in concept but only if the number of dice it can provide is limited. Maybe if instead of Willpower... they rolled 1.5X willpower it would be better.

As far as people saying only 2 attributes... mundanes have a lot more karma to buy up edge... and edging resist rolls shouldn't be nearly as much of a problem.


Giving full force in drain... yeah I'm using a force 5 manabolt... probably taking 1 or 2 points drain off that. Lets make indirect combat spells, or anything with a drain code of say +1 or +2 completely unusable!
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE
As far as people saying only 2 attributes... mundanes have a lot more karma to buy up edge... and edging resist rolls shouldn't be nearly as much of a problem.

But Edge also lowers itself as a run goes forward. They'd have to choose to either stay at full potential for resisting spells, or use their Edge for the myriad other uses it has. It's a fairly balanced trade-off, especially since the real threats tend to not show up until near the end of a run... meaning they either have a low Edge by that point, or they weren't as effective as they could have been along the way.
Mx
QUOTE (Falconer @ May 22 2010, 02:50 AM) *
And multi-casting lightning bolts or other indirect spells... are you bloody insane Maax?! At a +3 drain code... Say force4, Double casting is 6 drain each. Triple casting isn't even on the radar.

Two force 7 lighning bolts are 7P drain each, with 14 dice for drain resistance(not too hard to get whit a logic tradion and a fetish for the spell) and a platated factories its 1P damage on avarage per spell, not too bad. If no platetet factotories then cast only at force 5 for avarage 1S per spell.

And on general douple casting is quite a good move if you have both spec and mentor bonus for the spell catecory in question, even better if you have a foci too.
For example magic 5
Spelcasting (combat) 5
and a mentor bonus to combat spells
is 14 for one spell, 9 dice per spell for 2 and 7,7 and 8 for 3.
A force 3 power/spellcasting foci turns those dicepools to 17 for one, 12 per spell for 2 and 10,10,11 for 3 at this point i would seriously concider douple casting at lower force
A force 6 power/spellcasting foci turns those dicepools to 20 for one, 15 per spell for 2 and 13,13,14 for 3 at this point i would start to use mostly triple casting on lower force

ON other note its so annoying that the board f**k-up my nick, its supposed to be Mx, i cant even tell what that second to last character is supposed to be. frown.gif
Falconer
That depends if the GM applies the platelet factories BEFORE or AFTER drain is rolled. I've seen that one pulled before.

It's hard for platelet factories to 'resist' damage which wasn't inflicted because the drain was soaked down to 1 or 2 points and they didn't engage. The character doesn't suffer damage from either attacks nor damage til AFTER soak is rolled. "any time the user SUFFERS 2 or more points of damage..."



Maax: you illustrate my point perfectly. you NEEDED to twink out the mage full bore... While we're at it lets twink out the street sam full bore and look at his 20+ dice too. You're comparing apples to oranges. At the end of the pass, in either case, the twinked out combat mage, OR the twinked out street sam/gun adept/etc. offed one of the opposition.

For a much more 'normal' mage... he'll only have 10'ish dice... 12 maybe 14 in a specific school. (I like splitting up my mentor and specialization bonuses for example in different schools).

So you're looking at a fairly modest 10/2 +2 per spell. Then the typical drain pool is only 9 or 10 dice... give an extra 2 for a fetish. That's only 3 or 4 drain soaked on average... (ignroing probability distro which shows that a fair amount of the time some of that comes through).

And I repeat you min/maxed your example to the hilt... claiming it's possible doesn't mean it's anywhere near TYPICAL.
Falanin
QUOTE (Glyph @ May 20 2010, 08:28 PM)
2. They used to have rules for mundane uses of magical skills - I think mundanes should be allowed to take banishing, for the sole purpose of attacks of will against spirits.


QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ May 21 2010, 12:16 AM) *
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).


I find this solution to be quite compelling. I'd require a 5 point quality (like a knack or like the Martial Arts quality) in order for people to pull this off, but the quality would be available to anyone. You would probably need to make the spell defense self-only or limited to (essence?) meters.
Whipstitch
QUOTE (Draco18s @ May 21 2010, 06:10 PM) *
While true, I am of the opinion that Spirits are the "shotgun" in "rock paper scissors."


No argument here. biggrin.gif
Draco18s
QUOTE (Whipstitch @ May 21 2010, 11:40 PM) *
No argument here. biggrin.gif


There is actually one thing that beats spirits, we'll call it Dynamite in our little RPS analogy:

Stick and Shock. Works on spirits, mages, heavily armored folks, drones, lightly armored folks, and works best in small arms.

Spirits tear shit up, but Stick And Shock knocks them down to size (but also knocks everything else down to size too).
Whipstitch
Particularly amusing when you realize that there's not much stopping you from giving your Guardian Spirit a Steyr TMP loaded with the stuff and going to town.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Whipstitch @ May 22 2010, 12:04 AM) *
Particularly amusing when you realize that there's not much stopping you from giving your Guardian Spirit a Steyr TMP loaded with the stuff and going to town.


That's what we call a shotgun that shoots dynamite.
Mx
QUOTE (Falconer @ May 22 2010, 03:30 AM) *
That depends if the GM applies the platelet factories BEFORE or AFTER drain is rolled. I've seen that one pulled before.
It's hard for platelet factories to 'resist' damage which wasn't inflicted because the drain was soaked down to 1 or 2 points and they didn't engage. The character doesn't suffer damage from either attacks nor damage til AFTER soak is rolled. "any time the user SUFFERS 2 or more points of damage..."

The whole point there was that on avarage you take 2P damage from the drain and the platetet drops that to 1P.

QUOTE (Falconer @ May 22 2010, 03:30 AM) *
Maax: you illustrate my point perfectly. you NEEDED to twink out the mage full bore... While we're at it lets twink out the street sam full bore and look at his 20+ dice too. You're comparing apples to oranges. At the end of the pass, in either case, the twinked out combat mage, OR the twinked out street sam/gun adept/etc. offed one of the opposition.

For a much more 'normal' mage... he'll only have 10'ish dice... 12 maybe 14 in a specific school. (I like splitting up my mentor and specialization bonuses for example in different schools).

So you're looking at a fairly modest 10/2 +2 per spell. Then the typical drain pool is only 9 or 10 dice... give an extra 2 for a fetish. That's only 3 or 4 drain soaked on average... (ignroing probability distro which shows that a fair amount of the time some of that comes through).

And I repeat you min/maxed your example to the hilt... claiming it's possible doesn't mean it's anywhere near TYPICAL.

Considering the stats i was using to make the examples where the first set without any foci, i wouldn't really call my magic5, spellcasting 5 combat mage build min/maxed to the hilt.
I mostly calculated those pools with foci added becouse that build isn't finished yeat and i liked to see if it would be a good idea to get him one and really from what i have seen around here, every other mage has a power focus 3 and that makes using 2 spell at a little lower force a really attractive option over one high force spell, especially if that changes the possible drain damage to stun.

And the whole point of my original post was to say that mages arent powerless against drones, not to compare my combat mage bulid to a streetsam.
Saint Sithney
QUOTE (Draco18s @ May 21 2010, 12:00 PM) *
Rock (drones) beat Paper (mages).


ROCK DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!
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