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Mardrax
Ah. We've actually pulled someone out of lurking. Welcome Epicedion. smile.gif
QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 3 2011, 06:38 AM) *
The rules don't say anything to support that everything within the radius of the spell is affected. They do state that every "valid" target in the area is affected, but do not specifically define what constitutes a valid target for an area spell. They state that indirect area spells "may" affect everyone in the full radius, but do not agree with you that they "must" be affected.

Agreed. There is no absolute clarity on specifying these.
However, normal spellcasting rules dictate that in order for a target to be valid, it must be a) seen or touched b) exist in the dimension (physical or astral) that the spell is cast on and c) can't be an object if the spell is classified as M. I don't see any RAW reason to add more criteria to this, or use an entirely different set. Do note that the first condition here only applies to the initial targetting, as it is explicitly waived for the actual manifesting of the spell.
Also, the "may affect"!="will affect" problem casts some doubt, but is most simply answered by taking this to refer to the chance to 'dodge'. After all, anything a character tries to accomplish that's within the rules may happen, since chance includes a chance of failure.
There is also the fact that "may be affected" means the chance to affect the target is never negated altogether, as in that case it "may not be affected". Save explicit exceptions, of course.

These are of course partly assumptions we've made. We have indicated we have made these, and given our arguments as to why. We find these arguments grounded in either RAW, or a lack of RAW to provide the contrary, without sufficient reason to believe this contrary has been omited since it is implied.

QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 3 2011, 06:38 AM) *
The first way it implies this is by not explicitly stating the contrary. Filling the spaces behind barriers without breaching the barrier is both powerful and useful enough to suggest that some explicit attention be given to that scenario.

This entire discussion has basically been a big "this should have received attention", while it's of course unlikely to.
Given the assumption that any game designer worth his salt, assisted by some playtesters, should have seen this and given it the attention it was due. Since arguing on bases of RAW requires the correctness of RAW over everything, we are to assume it has.
There are however precedents for this kind of results in the rules on vehicle combat: If you fire one FA narrow burst at any vehicle, there's a good chance you'll kill any and all passengers. Yes, even a tank with 6 inch of steel plating. Yes, even a cruise liner with 2000 passengers. Yes, even yourself if you're on it. Therefore, I don't think effects on such a level resulting from simple actions could be used as an argument anywhere. 'Silly' rules exist. We can just accept them at face value, or houserule over them. A RAW discussion requires the first.
QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 3 2011, 06:38 AM) *
The second way it implies this is by conformity to conventional RPG wisdom.

I could refute that argument in multiple ways, let's pick a few:
Shadowrun 4A is a stand-alone rules system.
It needs no other books to understand all rules, nor does it need any prior knowledge other than a working knowledge of English and how to read it. The system acts on this. It provides all information necessary to adjucate any situation that arises. Any prior knowledge pertaining to similar experiences should be ignored while doing so. This holds especially true when comparing different editions of the same game, since they can overlap so much the differences won't stand out as much to scream "I'm different."
This is the premise of a stand-alone system.
If I go playing MAD with a lifetime of Monopoly behind me, without disregarding that and following every letter of its rules, I will not be playing MAD, and I will be losing.
Next, as long as a rule has been given for a situation, this rule should be implemented to its fullest extent, unless an exceptional case is specifically indicated. Since the rule that everything within F meters may be affected has been laid down, any exceptions to this would have to be explicitly named, not the other way around.
Also, general fantasy-rpg experience says magic can do strange things. If a spell says it creates a perfectly spherical globe of fire, without mentioning any regard for whatever's in that sphere, it's accepted to be so, because its magic, and it says so. If a spell says however that it creates an explosion, a rapidly expanding, physical damaging effect or something similar, general rpg experience still says that since it's magic, physics can be waived in the face of magic, but will still make it seem weird, and will often result in houserules. Tell me though: when is the last time you saw someone blasted out of a spell's area by a fireball in any game? Physics would say a powerful force that collides with obstacles rather than passing through them should do this. Yet it's almost always handwaved.
QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 3 2011, 06:38 AM) *
The third way it implies is this by conformity to previous editions of the game.

Yes, it does. See the first leg of my answer to your second way though. If anything holds true in 3rd edition, that should still hold true in 4th edition, it should be fully included in the 4th edition book. If it's not, no ammount of pointing to older books will make it so, especially since SR4 has rebuilt the rules from the ground up. And yes, this is a strange step away from established ways. Hence my answering Yerameyahu earlier in this thread that while we know that spell effects shouldn't pass barriers, the current RAW doesn't.

QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 3 2011, 06:38 AM) *
While you may decide that you will read the rules-as-written in such a way as to support the idea that AOE spells affect areas outside of a traditional view of line of effect, you are definitely in error to argue that the game mechanics as written support that view.

Likewise, you may decide that you want to use the rules in that same way, but you would be in error to argue that the game mechanics intend for you to do so.

I still see the RAW supporting the view me and Irion have proponed as the only possible answer. For all reasons used to back it up.
I actually see the RAW explicitly forbidding a complete negation of the possibility to cause an effect on valid targets inside the spell range.

That this is not something the game intends for me to see, I understand. For the same reasons you understand them. I have never said I didn't, and have in fact said I normally houserule it much as most people in this thread would. I mostly don't like the break from continuity.
However, wether or not I or anyone else likes what RAW says. It says what it says. And no disliking it will change that. Since this agreement on what RAI should probably be has been established from the start, and multiple times along the way, what RAI is bears little to no meaning in this discussion.
Mardrax
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 3 2011, 06:37 AM) *
So if it forms inside the hollow concrete cube, then it forms inside a person's lungs.

Q.E.D.

Why did you want to demonstrate this? As I have said within the spoiler tags of the post you responded to, this is just a descriptor. It changes nothing. It's still an external (the inside of the lungs is outside of the body, as is the entire inside of the digestive tract), damaging effect. It still allows you a 'dodge' roll with all applicable modifiers. It still does (F + spellcasting hits - 'dodging' hits) damage of a suitable type. It still allows you to resist this with Body + Half Impact and other applicable modifiers.

QUOTE (Dahrken @ Mar 3 2011, 06:43 AM) *
Now for something a bit different, what happens if there is an astral barrier between the target and the impact point of the spell ?

If you ask me: RAW says 2, which is weird. So I'd definitely houserule 3.
Like I'd houserule the heck out of AoE indirect spells anyway.
phlapjack77
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Mar 3 2011, 03:10 PM) *
I still see the RAW supporting the view me and Irion have proponed as the only possible answer. For all reasons used to back it up.
I actually see the RAW explicitly forbidding a complete negation of the possibility to cause an effect on valid targets inside the spell range.

Cool. I might not agree with it, but I fully support your right to interpret the rules any way you want.

QUOTE (Mardrax @ Mar 3 2011, 03:10 PM) *
However, wether or not I or anyone else likes what RAW says. It says what it says. And no disliking it will change that.

Not cool. You're trying to pretend you're the sacred keeper of RAW knowledge. Everyone else is wrong if they don't agree with you.

I notice you haven't given me a RAW quote explicitly stating that area spells affect everyone evenly in F meters radius. Until you do, all you have is an interpretation, just like everyone else. And that means no one is right or wrong.
Lansdren
QUOTE
Area Spells: Some spells target areas or points in space; in this
case the caster must be able to see the center of the area affected. All
visible targets within the area are affected; area spells can affect more
than one target at a time. The base radius for all area spells is the Force
in meters. Area spells affect all valid targets within the radius of effect,
friend and foe alike (including the caster). For this reason, spellcasters
often choose to vary the radius of area spells. This is done by withholding
dice from the Spellcasting Test. The caster can reduce or expand
the base radius by 1 meter for every die withheld from the Spellcasting
Test. Dice expended to change the radius of effect cannot be used in
any related test, such as resisting Drain for that spell.


PG183 SR4A

The rules for area spells does not specifically state if the spell effect appears uniformly over the effected area of expands out from the targeted point of area. As far as RAW goes there is no answer one way or another without some additional references to draw from.

Any decisions made by a GM as to if the spells are a flash fry effect over the whole circle or a emanating effect from a single point are RAI at best House Rule at worst.

Given that in theory a possible target within the spells area of effect can dodge it implies that you can either get out of the area of effect or put something between yourself and the spell making the expanding point option more logical.
Mardrax
QUOTE (phlapjack77 @ Mar 3 2011, 08:44 AM) *
Not cool. You're trying to pretend you're the sacred keeper of RAW knowledge. Everyone else is wrong if they don't agree with you.

I wouldn't dare propose such a thing. I was just saying that wether or not you like what RAW says has no place in a RAW discussion.

I have most recently explained what I'm basing my statement on in my reply to Epicedion, first parapgraph, top of this page.

While raw does not directly state indirect AoE spells affect everyone an in F meter radius, it does state two lines, complimenting eachother:
QUOTE (SR4a pg 183)
Area spells affect all valid targets within the radius of effect, friend and foe alike (including the caster).

We know the conditions to make someone a valid target for a spell. LoS is waived for purposes of indirect AoE spells. No additional conditions or exceptions applying specifically for this purpose are mentioned, thus, standard conditions apply.
If those conditions are met, there is no further restriction, and it simply states "all targets ... are affected".
This is RAW.

Next, there is:
QUOTE (SR4a pg 204)
Note that unlike other spells, Indirect Combat spells may affect other targets that the caster cannot see if they are caught within the spellís area of effect."

In which the "may" causes people to say "may" != "do". While this is true, I have expounded on some of my reasons for saying this does not change anything in the post I just referred to. Most of it is RAI, but one thing is RAW:
This line explicitly says indirect area spells have the possibility to affect targets outside of the caster's LoS, (nothing about line of effect from the spell's "center") as long as they're within the spell's AoE, which is defined as a radius of F meters.
Saying "but it can't hit the guy behind the wall" is making a statement that invalidates this, as it says it doesn't ever have the ability to affect a certain target, outside of the caster's LoS, while within the spell's AoE.

Again, if exceptions apply, they have to be explicitly stated.
Since none are, and having a barrier between you and the spell's "center" does not prevent you from being outside of the caster's LoS, while inside the spell's AoE. You "may be affected" as per the quote, meaning there is a possibility for you to be affected. Taking away this possibility altogether goes against RAW.
Mardrax
QUOTE (Lansdren @ Mar 3 2011, 09:12 AM) *
The rules for area spells does not specifically state if the spell effect appears uniformly over the effected area of expands out from the targeted point of area. As far as RAW goes there is no answer one way or another without some additional references to draw from.

The description does not matter in the slightest.
The mechanics that make magic work do.
Wether or not you interpret a fireball as an expanding effect, a uniformly spread effect or as a bunch of flaming smurfs appearing out of thin air to bite their subjects does not matter one bit.
As long as all valid targets get to make a 'dodge' roll, against the spellcasting roll of the caster, and get to resist F+net hits fire damage with a Body + Half Impact roll, there is no difference.
When a ruling adds assumptions to this, and uses rules from other, similar effects, to adjust how these mechanics work, because the assumptions support it, it starts to matter.
When this happens, the ruling is no longer RAW.

Any applicable modifiers to rolls might imply a lot, but as long as these implifications aren't explicified, they generally aren't RAW.
Since winning your 'dodge' roll does not move you out of the spell's AoE though, the implication that you can get out of the AoE is wrong. 'Dodging' just makes you unaffected in some unexplained way.
Epicedion
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Mar 3 2011, 02:10 AM) *
Ah. We've actually pulled someone out of lurking. Welcome Epicedion. smile.gif


Thanks. It wasn't this thread explicitly, but I started back with running SR games recently and this seems to be the dedicated forum with the biggest presence and wanted to get in on the fun of re-figuring-out some of the rules. This thread was just catchy and rules-lawyery.

SR has always been a bear of a system.

QUOTE
Agreed. There is no absolute clarity on specifying these.
However, normal spellcasting rules dictate that in order for a target to be valid, it must be a) seen or touched b) exist in the dimension (physical or astral) that the spell is cast on and c) can't be an object if the spell is classified as M. I don't see any RAW reason to add more criteria to this, or use an entirely different set. Do note that the first condition here only applies to the initial targetting, as it is explicitly waived for the actual manifesting of the spell.


Also, indirect spells (single target) are impeded by cover and barriers. I don't see any RAW reason to take this away from the AOE itself as it discharges. It helps that certain indirect spells like Fireball and Toxic Wave refer to "explosion" and "spray" in their descriptions. That raises the question, directly, "from where?" The descriptions imply the effect emanating from the targeted point as opposed to the effect spontaneously occupying every empty space in a bubble around the target.

Not to mention that this raises practical absurdities, such as immediately causing all bullets and grenades in the affected area to suddenly contain a little tiny piece of fireball and thus explode. Given the ambiguity of the RAW, the only practical response is to side with the mechanic that isn't impossibly complex to figure.

QUOTE
Also, the "may affect"!="will affect" problem casts some doubt, but is most simply answered by taking this to refer to the chance to 'dodge'. After all, anything a character tries to accomplish that's within the rules may happen, since chance includes a chance of failure.
There is also the fact that "may be affected" means the chance to affect the target is never negated altogether, as in that case it "may not be affected". Save explicit exceptions, of course.


Since the RAW do not indicate what constitutes a valid target, there's no inherent bias toward "may affect" referring to the chance to avoid damage. It may instead mean that only a valid target is required to defend against the spell, thus being "affected" by it.

QUOTE
This entire discussion has basically been a big "this should have received attention", while it's of course unlikely to.
Given the assumption that any game designer worth his salt, assisted by some playtesters, should have seen this and given it the attention it was due. Since arguing on bases of RAW requires the correctness of RAW over everything, we are to assume it has.
There are however precedents for this kind of results in the rules on vehicle combat: If you fire one FA narrow burst at any vehicle, there's a good chance you'll kill any and all passengers. Yes, even a tank with 6 inch of steel plating. Yes, even a cruise liner with 2000 passengers. Yes, even yourself if you're on it. Therefore, I don't think effects on such a level resulting from simple actions could be used as an argument anywhere. 'Silly' rules exist. We can just accept them at face value, or houserule over them. A RAW discussion requires the first.


Attention may be deserved for completeness, though you would also expect that any player worth his salt would never actual interpret the rules in such an overpowered way. This is the kind of mistake that only a very green player would actually make.

As to the other "silly" rules, every conceivable scenario is not something for game designers to consider. It's impossible to do so. Games that can be run completely true to RAW don't exist. In the example of firing a narrow burst at a cruise ship to kill the passengers, it is simply unreasonable to even suggest.

QUOTE
I could refute that argument in multiple ways, let's pick a few:
Shadowrun 4A is a stand-alone rules system.
It needs no other books to understand all rules, nor does it need any prior knowledge other than a working knowledge of English and how to read it. The system acts on this. It provides all information necessary to adjucate any situation that arises. Any prior knowledge pertaining to similar experiences should be ignored while doing so. This holds especially true when comparing different editions of the same game, since they can overlap so much the differences won't stand out as much to scream "I'm different."
This is the premise of a stand-alone system.


Nothing exists in a vacuum (except for the occasional dust bunny). SR4 wasn't developed by people who had no knowledge of any other games, and it's generally not played by people who have no knowledge of any other games. Including previous editions. It's not a good idea to pretend otherwise. RPGs are extremely complex and RPG designers try to fit in all of the necessary information, but when the game rules span 350 pages, it's pretty easy to imagine something being left vague, like this, because a developer thought "everyone will get the idea that fireballs work like D&D."

QUOTE
Next, as long as a rule has been given for a situation, this rule should be implemented to its fullest extent, unless an exceptional case is specifically indicated. Since the rule that everything within F meters may be affected has been laid down, any exceptions to this would have to be explicitly named, not the other way around.


Likewise, an ambiguous rule should not be interpreted in the most unlikely way possible.

QUOTE
Also, general fantasy-rpg experience says magic can do strange things. If a spell says it creates a perfectly spherical globe of fire, without mentioning any regard for whatever's in that sphere, it's accepted to be so, because its magic, and it says so. If a spell says however that it creates an explosion, a rapidly expanding, physical damaging effect or something similar, general rpg experience still says that since it's magic, physics can be waived in the face of magic, but will still make it seem weird, and will often result in houserules. Tell me though: when is the last time you saw someone blasted out of a spell's area by a fireball in any game? Physics would say a powerful force that collides with obstacles rather than passing through them should do this. Yet it's almost always handwaved.


Even in the SR4 spell descriptions for the indirect spells, they're described as involving "explosions" and "waves" and whatnot. They do not say "fills the target's eyes, ears, nose, and throat with fire while it scorches their outsides." General fantasy RPG magic can be weird, yes, but that does not mean that you should assume that it's more weird than necessary whenever the rules are a little vague. If something isn't explicit, you're probably best to fall back on conventional experience.

QUOTE
Yes, it does. See the first leg of my answer to your second way though. If anything holds true in 3rd edition, that should still hold true in 4th edition, it should be fully included in the 4th edition book. If it's not, no ammount of pointing to older books will make it so, especially since SR4 has rebuilt the rules from the ground up. And yes, this is a strange step away from established ways. Hence my answering Yerameyahu earlier in this thread that while we know that spell effects shouldn't pass barriers, the current RAW doesn't.


SR4 not only exists as a game, it also exists in a detailed continuity. Just as decking turned into hacking, requiring all sorts of explained changes, a serious and devastating change to the basic way indirect combat spells work would have required similar explanation. None exists, so the safest interpretation is that no such change happened.

QUOTE
I still see the RAW supporting the view me and Irion have proponed as the only possible answer. For all reasons used to back it up.
I actually see the RAW explicitly forbidding a complete negation of the possibility to cause an effect on valid targets inside the spell range.


Actually, RAW explicitly supports neither case, as it fails to provide the necessary basic definitions. There are hints in the text that suggest you're wrong. For example, black box text on p172 (SR4) states "Spell energy may be channeled directly into the target, damaging it from within, or it may generate external energy to damage the target from the outside." And then later something about creating an "externally damaging medium." This does not neatly answer the question, but it certainly goes a long way to contradict your notion that the effect spontaneously appears inside open space in a person's body, which casts extra doubt on the notion that it would likewise appear on the other side of any barrier.

This also reduces to absurdity, as there's no satisfactory definition of "target" that should exclude atomic or subatomic particles. If the spell truly manifests at full strength in all empty spaces in its radius, it should attack all of the constituent pieces of all matter at once. This would pretty well destroy anything utterly at any strength. In your interpretation, there's nothing to explicitly prevent this as a logical consequence. This lends quite a bit of strength to the alternate interpretation that the effect radiates outward from its central point, as the other interpretation is obviously not represented by the damage mechanics.

QUOTE
That this is not something the game intends for me to see I understand. For the same reasons you understand them. I have never said I didn't, and have in fact said I normally houserule it much as most people in this thread would. I mostly don't like the break from continuity.
However, wether or not I or anyone else likes what RAW says. It says what it says. And no disliking it will change that. Since this agreement on what RAI should probably be has been established from the start, and multiple times along the way, what RAI is bears little to no meaning in this discussion.


It's not that I expect you actually would use this rule -- partly for a lack of finding players that would go along with it, and partly for the bookkeeping nightmare that would ensue. The rules indeed say what they say, and what they say is not clear. As with any RPG, you can only try not to do anything too ridiculous.
phlapjack77
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Mar 3 2011, 04:32 PM) *
I wouldn't dare propose such a thing. I was just saying that wether or not you like what RAW says has no place in a RAW discussion.

I think Epicedion said everything I would like to say, and much more eloquently.

I would add, that no one is saying that they don't like what RAW says - they're (we're ?) saying they don't like what you're saying RAW says. See the difference? Don't pretend that what you're saying == the truth about RAW.

Since you couldn't give an exact quote, and had to use two different quotes to extrapolate a conclusion, I'm going to conclude you really don't have the explicit RAW quote stating what you say it states.
Irion
@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE
You are told that Elemental attacks cause a real, physical force to originate at a point in space (the center of the area of the spell), and that it is a physical effect. Cover applies (They only mention Parital and Good cover, because by the rules, any cover greater than good results in someone not being directly targetable). We know how a barrier reacts to damage, regardless of whether it is a Bullet, explosives, grenades, lightning, or even fire. These are already covered in other areas of the book.

No, you are not. It is told, that you have to SEE the center of the area. For all that is told the fire could come form the Sky, the left upper corner or northeast.
You assume it originates from the center. This is an assumption, which is not allowed, since it is an unnecessary one.

It is getting a bit annoying. I am told to make a logical evaluation of the text and I do. Next step, I have to defend why I did it.

Like I said, all you say is true for RAI. But I was ask to bring in a logical conclusion of RAW.
There are certain rules for doing something like that. And one is, you are not allowed to bring assumptions on the fly.
Of course you start with some. Like the rules are written in Englisch, German, French etc. The rules are valid. etc etc.
But like I said just the basic.

QUOTE
Otherwise you get completely stupid results like a Fireball on one side of a Vault Door and all the cash on the other side being vaporized in a ball of flame. Which is completely Ludicrous

Yes, but it is RAW. Look at the example for damage for the passangers in vehicles. There it is written whiteon black, that the passangers get toasted.
QUOTE ("SR4A")
In the case of ramming, full-auto and area-effect attacks, both passengers
and vehicles resist the damage equally.

So your assumption, that RAW can not be stupid is just false. But this would not be the problem with it.
The problem is, that you can not make an interpretation of RAW if you assume, that RAW is sometimes wrong.

And again: The point I try to make for three pages is, that if you apply logic to the SR rules as written, it mostly turns out bad.
This is a general statement for any rules but with Shadowrun it is even a bit worse. This has something to to with all the abstractions in the rulebook.



@phlapjack77
If you post stuff from other threads you should read the threads. Of course I do disagree with me. Because I was wrong there. Pixies do have a rate of movement (flight), so well I guess they are allowed to fly by RAW. My bad.
So the pixies are able to fly is not an assumption. So my argument about flying cows is dull, because you did not have to assume anything.
The one with the Nage is still valid and does not contradict anything I have said here.

See, now why I dislike to engage into logical discussion. I have tried to explain it to you for three days, and still you do not get it.
And I have no Idea how to explain it anymore.
A simple way might be to compare it to read the rules as a script. You get general commands. Like the rules for max. aug. Attributes. The rules for encoumbrance caused by armor etc.
These you have always to consider. Then you get the special rules you interpretade. Here you are only allowed to jump to sections the text sends you to.
You do not get to wonder. If something works without addition, you do not get to add anything.
So if a spell affects all valid targets in the area I have to look up, what valid means.
Valid (in this case) means "on the same plane as the caster".
Now, we look at a guy standing behind the wall?

Is he affected by the spell?
->Is he in a Force m radius?
->Yes
Is he a valid target?
->is he on the same plane of existance?
-yes
So the anwser to the question is (RAW): YES.
How a fireball works and what the fireball looks like or what the wall is made of does not matter for RAW. Because RAW does not raise these questions.

So now you might think: The rules for barriers are general rules, so they need to apply. This is a very good idea.
So fetch the statement from the barrier rules for what happens in such an instant! (The problem is, there isn't any)





And now to RAI and why I think the rules are how they are:
How often is cover really an issue?
If a fireball explodes mid air, (seen from the fireball) you get good LOS to everyone. And if somebody is covered a bit, it is mostly more than made up for leaving out the reflection rules from the explosives.
Everyone gets to dodge and resist damage. Easy.
How often do you get to shoot people inside of concrete?
How many people would think about hitting the people inside the tank, if they are firing at the tank? (Yes, a fireball should heat up the tank etc. etc. but this would fall under the secondary effects, which are to the GM)
How often do you see a tank?

So the rule works for 99.9% of all cases and is much easier than thinking about in which angle the fireball is to the one it is hitting, and if the crate he is sitting behind is in the way or not. And how much of the damage the wall behind him would reflect back to him.

So I guess nobody would really apply the explosive rules for magic. Because in nearly every case the rules as RAW do work. (If you give everybody his dodge test)
For the one case in a million, where somebody is standing behind a thick wall, well you just accept, that the rules did not cover it and rule as it may seem fitting.

So if you just look at the rule it makes perfect sense to ignore cover in the first place. Because it does not matter really.
And how the fireball engulfs all the area does not matter either.
Lansdren
Ok here is a scenario I would like Mardrax to explain if he can using his opinion of the rules


Mage A casts a F10 Fireball spell at Grunt B who is standing with Squad Leader A and Grunt C 1m to the left and right of him.

Mage gets four hits on the spell due to visibilities modifiers and such reducing his DP

Squad Leader A gets five hits on his reaction test as he was in full defence and got very lucky with the roll
Grunts B and C got a couple of hits each and as such are engulfed by the flames.

Given this is effectively a dodge test how does Squad Leader A manage not to be hit and with no counter spelling in effect.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Irion @ Mar 3 2011, 05:25 AM) *
@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
Yes, but it is RAW. Look at the example for damage for the passangers in vehicles. There it is written whiteon black, that the passangers get toasted.


And yet, the passengers get the FULL ARMOR RATING of the vehicle they are in to resist said damage. AS WELL AS any Personal Armor they are wearing, and any Vehicle Personal Protection systems as well...

If you are using that argument, then your previous arguments for uniform damage past a barrier fail completely on the Indirect Damage Spells. Since, by your own admission above (Treat the damage like damage to passengers in vehicles), I should get the Barrier Rating of the Protective wall (or vault door, or whatever) as well, and since most barriers will completely stop said Fireball unless it is extermely powerful, it will not penetrate the Wall, and thus the character on the other side takes absolutely no damage. IF IT DOES penetrate the wall, then said character takes Damage... WHICH IS WHAT WE HAVE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG. The Spell MUST penetrate the barrier before it can harm the individual on the other side.

Just killed your own Argument there Irion.
Apathy
A slight change in subject:
One annoyance that I have with ID AOE rules is that, even though the AOE damage appears to apply to all valid targets (however you define valid) in the AOE, everybody gets a chance to dodge. If a fireball was sending streamers of fire out in all directions from the center of the blast this would make sense to me, as a target could try to dodge past the oncoming streamers of flame. This would also be a good reason for cover to apply. If instead the fireball causes a sphere of flame to appear instantly within every centimeter of space in the AOE (as some of the text seems to imply), neither dodging nor cover (or even armor, for that matter) would logically factor in.

Does this annoy anyone else, or is it just me?
Yerameyahu
Yeah, but that's just how things work. It's the same for explosions, AoE-vs.-passengers, etc. SR4 is erring on the side of 'marginally less deadly', I think? Interestingly, I think Suppression can apply a dodge-less hit, right?
Draco18s
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Mar 3 2011, 02:21 AM) *
Why did you want to demonstrate this? As I have said within the spoiler tags of the post you responded to, this is just a descriptor. It changes nothing. It's still an external (the inside of the lungs is outside of the body, as is the entire inside of the digestive tract), damaging effect. It still allows you a 'dodge' roll with all applicable modifiers. It still does (F + spellcasting hits - 'dodging' hits) damage of a suitable type. It still allows you to resist this with Body + Half Impact and other applicable modifiers.


Alright how about this scenario:

I hook a guy up to life support (oxygen) and put him in a coffin, fill the coffin with concrete, etc. such that I have a person encased in concrete, who cannot move. Oh, and he's wearing an impact vest for some armor.

Now I have a mage cast an indirect AoE spell at the concrete cube I've created.

1) Is the guy effected?
- By your logic, yes.
2) Can he dodge? Does he get good cover?
3) Why does the armor (outside his body with no airspace for "elemental effects" to take place in) still protect him?
Irion
@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE
If you are using that argument, then your previous arguments for uniform damage past a barrier fail completely on the Indirect Damage Spells. Since, by your own admission above (Treat the damage like damage to passengers in vehicles)

I have never said this. For heavans sake. I gave an example to state, that "the rules give always reasonable outcomes" is wrong.
Well, lets give a better one: Ramming damage. If big car hits a paper wall, what happens according to Raw and what should happen?

I do not need an argument for somthing not to happen, because to demand such a thing would be silly. If go with the assumption something should be stated in the rules to not happen, well I guess you would see where this would be heading.
Nothings say I can't resist the damage I get through drain(after resistant test) with Body or Willpower. (And as a matter of fact this really could be argueed as far as I know the rules)


So no, I did not kill my argument because I do not need an argument. Because my hole point is that it is not mentioned. Would something be mentioned we would not have this discussion, would we. You were the one, who wants to apply rules not from the magic section.
If somewhere in he books, there would be the rule: Standing behind a thick enough wall does protect you from any AOE effect in the game, we would not arguee at all.


@Apathy
This is not so easy. You could start an argument of how the spell interacts with the human aura. So may be it can not change things within this aura.
And if you get to dodge, is an other question to be asked. As I have shown, it is only clear, that the initial target gets to dodge the spell.
The rest (in the zone) is affected by the spell. One could arguee that if you dodge a spell you are not affected by it, and so the possibity to dodge the spell would contradict RAW.

This is what I and Mardrax are trying to point out. It is not very usefull to jump from RAW to physics and argue reason. Magic is against the laws of physics anyway. And to explain how exactly something magical works is up to everyones imagination. Thats why it is silly to value one interpretation over an other for mundane reasons.
By the way to dodge a fireball makes absolutly no sense at all. Imagine you are standing next to a fireball scorching everything in 10 m radius in the next 1/10 second. How do you dodge something like this? It becomes even more obvious, if you imagine yourselve in a closed room. The hole room would be filled with fire but somehow you dodge?
So if we are arguing reason no dodge test at all would be reasonable.

@Lansdren
Well, he can't and he does not have to. Because RAW does not to give you reasonable outcomes.

As matter of fact my interpretation of the rules would here only lead to the only plausible outcome (You can't dodge AOE spells). Since how would squad leader A get to dodge the fireball in the first place? It does not matter if the fire is everywhere from the start or after 1/10 Sec. You do not get to do much in this little amount of time...
Mardrax
All right. Let me just pick out the scenario cases here before I fix up dinner.
QUOTE (Lansdren @ Mar 3 2011, 02:42 PM) *
Ok here is a scenario I would like Mardrax to explain if he can using his opinion of the rules

Mage A casts a F10 Fireball spell at Grunt B who is standing with Squad Leader A and Grunt C 1m to the left and right of him.

Mage gets four hits on the spell due to visibilities modifiers and such reducing his DP

Squad Leader A gets five hits on his reaction test as he was in full defence and got very lucky with the roll
Grunts B and C got a couple of hits each and as such are engulfed by the flames.

Given this is effectively a dodge test how does Squad Leader A manage not to be hit and with no counter spelling in effect.

As Irion has pointed out, it is not even clear wether or not every possible target or just the initial one gets a 'dodge' test to begin with. As I have said before in response to this, this lack of clarity leaves us with a nonfunctioning system, hence we need to make an assumption to make this work. To achieve this, I'm making the assumption that the 'dodge' roll is part of the spell's effect, hence giving everyone a test. It's not RAW, but seems to me the simplest solution providing the fairest options for everyone involved, and doesn't preclude the "cover applies" rule.
Looking at precedent, the other notable case where this confusion arose was projectile scatter, which has been fixed by removing the dodge roll altogether. Since that would necessitate a change in RAW, it can't be done within the scope of this discussion.

To actually provide a response to the question: as we have stated before, how or why something works the way is never a question in a RAW discussion. If RAW says it does, it does. RAW says a lot of things that would seem illogical. Why can't I inflict unarmed and electrical damage with shock gloves? Because RAW says so. Why can a flashbang turn insanely lethal really fast in enclosed places? Because RAW says it can.

QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 3 2011, 04:19 PM) *
Alright how about this scenario:

I hook a guy up to life support (oxygen) and put him in a coffin, fill the coffin with concrete, etc. such that I have a person encased in concrete, who cannot move. Oh, and he's wearing an impact vest for some armor.

Now I have a mage cast an indirect AoE spell at the concrete cube I've created.

1) Is the guy effected?
- By your logic, yes.
2) Can he dodge? Does he get good cover?
3) Why does the armor (outside his body with no airspace for "elemental effects" to take place in) still protect him?

1) Yes. He is a valid target within F meters. As long as he's not just an astral presence, he is by RAW affected.
2) See the above reply to Lansdren for the first part. The cover question is interesting and leads to a logical problem much the same as the "may" argument I've carried before.
RAW says cover can apply, so it should have a chance to apply in case of indirect area spells, as no exception has been stated.
I'd state that because of the lack of describing features of how the spell works, it's impossible to judge terrain as being intervening.
This leads to cover never being applicable. This leaves the system unfunctioning in paradox.

So an assumption needs to be made that will make it work. I can reach no gratifying generaised assumption. I'd leave it up to the GM. my personal opinion says you're 100% surrounded, so terrain is as intervening as it can be, so you get your +4. My personal opinion has no bearing here though. RAW here is just broken.
Since he's completely obscured from the caster's sight, you'd have to apply Blind Fire's -6 as well. How this works when targetting groups? RAW is unclear.
3) Because RAW says it does.

RAW says things that may seem strange, unreasonable or "silly" sometimes. This is why we houserule.
[ Spoiler ]
Epicedion
Actually, the Indirect Combat Spells section in the magic chapter sends you to the Barriers rules for adjudicating spell vs barrier. That's another strong implication that AOEs do not function by some additionally made up mechanic.
Mardrax
I'm not quite clear on what you mean.
However,
QUOTE (SR4a pg 204)
Note that nonliving objects resist damage from an Indirect Combat spell with their Armor rating x2 (see Barriers, p. 166).

I don't see how this implies anything beyond what it says: fireballs can break objects too, which have other rules than subjects for damage resistance.
Epicedion
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Mar 3 2011, 02:46 PM) *
All right. Let me just pick out the scenario cases here before I fix up dinner.

As Irion has pointed out, it is not even clear wether or not every possible target or just the initial one gets a 'dodge' test to begin with. As I have said before in response to this, this lack of clarity leaves us with a nonfunctioning system, hence we need to make an assumption to make this work. To achieve this, I'm making the assumption that the 'dodge' roll is part of the spell's effect, hence giving everyone a test. It's not RAW, but seems to me the simplest solution providing the fairest options for everyone involved, and doesn't preclude the "cover applies" rule.
Looking at precedent, the other notable case where this confusion arose was projectile scatter, which has been fixed by removing the dodge roll altogether. Since that would necessitate a change in RAW, it can't be done within the scope of this discussion.


And in making that assumption, you've gone off RAW, showing the whole discussion is pointless. When it's impossible to determine how the rule functions, it's up to you to make a judgment call on how to proceed.

It would actually be simpler to assume that your initial target gets a dodge roll, and since the indirect spell needs to strike a physical target to have an effect, the spell will keep sailing in a straight line until it strikes something or passes out of the mage's LOS.

QUOTE
To actually provide a response to the question: as we have stated before, how or why something works the way is never a question in a RAW discussion. If RAW says it does, it does. RAW says a lot of things that would seem illogical. Why can't I inflict unarmed and electrical damage with shock gloves? Because RAW says so. Why can a flashbang turn insanely lethal really fast in enclosed places? Because RAW says it can.


"Why" actually does have a place in RAW. Since rules can't cover every scenario, it's important to provide a somewhat consistent framework in which rules adjudication can be made simpler. Because RAW says you can't inflict unarmed and electrical damage with shock gloves, you can carry that forward to cover other sorts of similar situations, like someone using an electrified fence wire as a whip. The rules don't expressly forbid it, but because other physical/shock equipment works this way it sets precedent for future adjudications.

RAW provides a consistent framework for magic that does not include indirect AOEs bypassing enclosures. They don't expressly forbid it, but the writing is on the wall.

QUOTE
1) Yes. He is a valid target within F meters. As long as he's not just an astral presence, he is by RAW affected.
2) See the above reply to Lansdren for the first part. The cover question is interesting and leads to a logical problem much the same as the "may" argument I've carried before.
RAW says cover can apply, so it should have a chance to apply in case of indirect area spells, as no exception has been stated.
I'd state that because of the lack of describing features of how the spell works, it's impossible to judge terrain as being intervening.
This leads to cover never being applicable. This leaves the system unfunctioning in paradox.


Actually it leads your interpretation to a logical contradiction, and while not an argument for the generally accepted case, it is a strong argument against your interpretation.

QUOTE
So an assumption needs to be made that will make it work. I can reach no gratifying generaised assumption. I'd leave it up to the GM. my personal opinion says you're 100% surrounded, so terrain is as intervening as it can be, so you get your +4. My personal opinion has no bearing here though. RAW here is just broken.
Since he's completely obscured from the caster's sight, you'd have to apply Blind Fire's -6 as well. How this works when targetting groups? RAW is unclear.
3) Because RAW says it does.


The simplest assumption which requires the least extra work is that AOEs function like explosions with a dodge roll. That works perfectly with all of the other game systems as written. Your interpretation requires further work on blind fire, which is irreconcilable.

QUOTE
RAW says things that may seem strange, unreasonable or "silly" sometimes. This is why we houserule.
[ Spoiler ]


I'm not seeing how that's an issue.
Sephiroth
In addition, it is explicitly stated that indirect combat spells are treated as ranged combat attacks. When we go to the AoE ranged combat attacks, i.e. missiles grenades etc, we find that those attacks do NOT suddenly manifest at every location in space within the area of effect, they are specifically treated as explosions and must break through barriers in order to damage anyone behind the barriers. Not to mention that the barrier adds its armor rating to the resistance test of anyone behind it.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Sephiroth @ Mar 3 2011, 03:14 PM) *
In addition, it is explicitly stated that indirect combat spells are treated as ranged combat attacks. When we go to the AoE ranged combat attacks, i.e. missiles grenades etc, we find that those attacks do NOT suddenly manifest at every location in space within the area of effect, they are specifically treated as explosions and must break through barriers in order to damage anyone behind the barriers. Not to mention that the barrier adds its armor rating to the resistance test of anyone behind it.


That reminds me:
A frag grenade in SR will blow a 1m x 1m (or larger) hole through 20 cm of brick, if it ends up nestled right next to the wall.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 3 2011, 01:41 PM) *
That reminds me:
A frag grenade in SR will blow a 1m x 1m (or larger) hole through 20 cm of brick, if it ends up nestled right next to the wall.


Does sound about right... Turning the wall into explosive shrapnel on the other side...
Irion
As a matter of fact an other question: How about sound elemental effect and barriers?
A Barrier only applys its rating as additional armor. Sound does ignore armor. So if we are talking about the sound ball, he would hit through any kind of Wall.
Brazilian_Shinobi
Then we must take refraction and the density of the material making the barrier into account.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Brazilian_Shinobi @ Mar 3 2011, 02:41 PM) *
Then we must take refraction and the density of the material making the barrier into account.


Which provides a Barrier Rating, and not Armor, per se. Concrete can probably resonate, but I am not sure exactly where resonance begins and Structure ends. Is a good question though...
Mardrax
QUOTE (Sephiroth @ Mar 3 2011, 09:14 PM) *
In addition, it is explicitly stated that indirect combat spells are treated as ranged combat attacks.

Interestingly, you state two completely valid, but completely separate facts.
Being treated as a ranged combat attack has nothing to do with any explosivey goodness.

QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 3 2011, 09:13 PM) *
And in making that assumption, you've gone off RAW, showing the whole discussion is pointless. When it's impossible to determine how the rule functions, it's up to you to make a judgment call on how to proceed.

It would actually be simpler to assume that your initial target gets a dodge roll, and since the indirect spell needs to strike a physical target to have an effect, the spell will keep sailing in a straight line until it strikes something or passes out of the mage's LOS.

I've never disputed this. As soon as RAW lacks ability to work on its own, assumptions need to be made, making whatever follows RAI or houserule.
This is why I've never bothered to argue about wether or not the assumption I'm making here is correct, or much of why I make it.
Who or what gets to make a 'dodge' roll is a problem (resistance as well, by the the way) that bears no relation to the discussion of who is a valid target for the spell, and should hence have at least a chance to be affected, if he finds himself within F meters of the spell's target.
I won't go into wether or not I agree with your simpler assumption because of this.

QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 3 2011, 09:13 PM) *
"Why" actually does have a place in RAW.

"Why" indeed has a place in RAW, to facilitate the creation of RAI where RAW lacks. I never said that it didn't.
What I did say was that it has no place in a discussion about RAW. In such a discussion, only arguments that derive from exactly what RAW says (interpretation needed to give language meaning required, as bound by norms of what language means) have any place whatsoever, and RAW should be taken as infallible. It says what it says. No matter how unreasonable or silly this sounds.

QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 3 2011, 09:13 PM) *
RAW provides a consistent framework for magic that does not include indirect AOEs bypassing enclosures. They don't expressly forbid it, but the writing is on the wall.

See the above. Writing is no good on a wall in a discussion about RAW, until it gets itself into a book. wink.gif
I have also provided a solid, purely logic driven argument for why RAW says it does. It is just arguing semantics, but semantics are all we have to give meaning to anything.

QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 3 2011, 09:13 PM) *
Actually it leads your interpretation to a logical contradiction, and while not an argument for the generally accepted case, it is a strong argument against your interpretation.

Which interpretation are you referring to? My interpretation about when cover should apply is indeed just an interpretation without any backing.
However, I'll assume you mean my interpretation of when targets are valid. I can only repeat what I said to answer my first quoting of you in this post: since the question of applying cover is completely separate from the question of affecting targets, the answer (or lack thereof) to one question can not logically answer the other.


QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 3 2011, 09:13 PM) *
The simplest assumption which requires the least extra work is that AOEs function like explosions with a dodge roll. That works perfectly with all of the other game systems as written. Your interpretation requires further work on blind fire, which is irreconcilable.

While I will again not go into what assumption should be used, seen as adding assumptions lies outside the realm of RAW - and hence outside the scope of this discussion - I will answer the last part. With RAW quotings, even.
QUOTE
Indirect Combat spells are treated like ranged combat attacks

QUOTE
The Blind Fire modifier applies when the attacker attempts to hit a target that is completely obscured by cover, total darkness, or undetectable by sight to the character, but whose location can be guessed or estimated.

What happens when the target's location can't be guesstimated is unspecified. When it can however, and the target is invisible to the attacking character, it should.


QUOTE ( @ Mar 3 2011, 09:13 PM) *
I'm not seeing how that's an issue.

The houseruling? It isn't.
A +2 modifier applying to "all Ranged Combat tests"? It's a decent example of poor wording, I'd say. wobble.gif
Mardrax
QUOTE (Irion @ Mar 3 2011, 10:25 PM) *
As a matter of fact an other question: How about sound elemental effect and barriers?
A Barrier only applys its rating as additional armor. Sound does ignore armor. So if we are talking about the sound ball, he would hit through any kind of Wall.

Interesting, yes.
What is for sure it won't be breaking any glasses, since Sound is S damage.
Apathy
(Thanks Epi for providing the quote on cover.)
QUOTE
Defender/Target has Partial Cover
When up to 50 percent of the defenderís form is obscured by intervening terrain or other forms of cover such as brush, foliage, or various obstacles (crates, windows, doorways, curtains and the like) he benefits from a +2 modifier to his Defense test.


@ Mardrax:
The verbiage above says that partial cover only applies to situations where the target has up to 50% cover. In other words, if it's greater than 50% cover, it's not partial cover any more, and the partial cover modifier no longer applies.

You previously suggested that Full Cover modifiers don't apply because they're not specifically mentioned in the AOE text. So if you really want to get pedantic about the RAW, wouldn't you have to conclude that people inside a sealed up tank have no cover modifiers? They're too covered to be partial cover, and the full cover they have doesn't apply!

This creates the absurd scenario where the tank commander (who is standing, with the top half of his body outside the tank and exposed - partial cover) has a significantly greater chance of surviving the nearby fireball than the gunner (who is completely inside the tank and therefore has complete cover, which you say doesn't apply.)
Mardrax
Hrm?
You're forgetting about Good Cover, which applies from 50% cover onwards, and grants you a +4 modifier to your Defense roll, while possiby also making the attacker use Blind Fire rules.

There's also no such thing as Full Cover.

What I said was it would be impossible to adjucate cover, when you don't know from what point of reference to judge terrain/cover to be intervening. And that this creates a problem, since cover potentially applies to the Defense roll against every type of spell.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Mar 3 2011, 08:06 PM) *
There's also no such thing as Full Cover.


Oh?

QUOTE (SR4 p140)
Target has partial cover –2
Target has good cover –4
Target hidden (blind fire) –6


QUOTE (SR4 p141)
Target Has Partial Cover
Attacks against targets obscured by intervening terrain
such as brush, foliage, or various obstacles (crates, windows,
doorways, curtains and the like) receive a –2 modifier if at least
25% of the target’s form is obscured. For obscurity due to environmental
conditions such as smoke or darkness, use the modifiers
given on the Visibility Table (p. 140).

Target Has Good Cover
If at least 50% of the target’s form is obscured by intervening
terrain. A –4 dice pool modifier applies. This modifier can
also apply to prone targets at least 20 meters away.

Target Hidden (Blind Fire)
A –6 modifier applies to attacks against targets that cannot
be seen. This modifier normally applies only to attacks
through opaque barriers or for indirect fire by grenade or missile
launchers against unseen targets. Attacks against normally
visible targets that are invisible at the time of the attack—for
example, a character protected by an invisibility spell—also suffer
this modifier.
Note that shooting via Blind Fire (including against hidden/
unseen targets) uses the firearms skill + Intuition (rather
than Agility).
Mardrax
*claps* You have aptly demonstrated the lack of "Full Cover" being mentioned anywhere in that passage wink.gif
I stand partially corrected though. Let me redirect you to p 162 of SR4 where it is referenced in the rules for damaging vehicle passengers. P 154 of SR4a mentions it as well in the rules for suppressive fire.

Also, Partial and Good Cover have been moved to being positive modifiers for the defender as of SR4a. Terminology has remained though. "Full Cover" does not exist, "full cover" does.

And yes, I am just being pedantic now. On invitation of Apathy. nyahnyah.gif
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Mar 3 2011, 07:14 PM) *
And yes, I am just being pedantic now. On invitation of Apathy. nyahnyah.gif


Which is truly a waste of everyone's time, in the end... wobble.gif
Epicedion
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Mar 3 2011, 05:21 PM) *
I've never disputed this. As soon as RAW lacks ability to work on its own, assumptions need to be made, making whatever follows RAI or houserule.
This is why I've never bothered to argue about wether or not the assumption I'm making here is correct, or much of why I make it.
Who or what gets to make a 'dodge' roll is a problem (resistance as well, by the the way) that bears no relation to the discussion of who is a valid target for the spell, and should hence have at least a chance to be affected, if he finds himself within F meters of the spell's target.
I won't go into wether or not I agree with your simpler assumption because of this.


Once you decide that you have to start making assumptions, you're no longer talking about the RAW. You can't say that the RAW support your interpretation over any other interpretation, because to do so you have to make assumptions that aren't stated in the rules.

All you can do is search the rules (additionally, the fluff) for support for the most likely assumptions you should make, which is where you go off script. Your position ends up being "the rules are unclear so any further assumption I make is valid," which is not true.

You're not actually starting with the rules (and associated history and fluff) and working forward to a solution. You've come up with an odd conclusion and you've worked backwards to see if it's contradicted. Classic rules-lawyer.
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