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Neraph
QUOTE (Irion @ Apr 11 2012, 04:38 AM) *
Because countering in game inbalance with GM-Fiat is as bad as it gets..

Whole-heartedly agree.
Yerameyahu
No. *Having* game imbalance is worse. smile.gif
Cheops
Physical adept gang drags Dumpshock into an alley by its collective ass and kicks it in the nards for 1000P damage while screaming "Why do you hate us so much!!!! Mages are the problem not us!" Street Sam laughs at the futility the Adepts experience until he gets chain Feared for the entire session and confused until his dice pools are 0. Rigger proceeds to lose 10x the amount of nuyen the team was getting paid desparately trying to pull their hoops out of the drone/spirit hell the GM created just to deal with the 1 overpowered mage.

Mage survives and intiates off the Karma while everyone else rolls new characters. Bwahahahahaha!
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (D2F @ Apr 10 2012, 11:49 PM) *
Sorry, but that's hardly a balancing argument. Self-regulation turned out to work so well in all areas we tried it in, especially economics... (pardon the sarcasm; sore subject). If a system needs self-regulation by players, it's broken. Plain and simple.


I am not talking about Self Regulation, though. Spells get expensive. How many mages can cover EVERYTHING? None. There is always another spell to cover that unforseen situation that you just do not have access to. Yes, a mage can be very versatile, but it takes a LOT of Karma to get there. Case in point. I have a Mage Character, Magic 5 (Sorcery 3/Adept 2), 3 Initiations (GM Adjudicated that the Chareacter's Sorcery magic caps his Ability, per the FAQ; so only a 3 Magic for relevant Casting/Summoning/Caps on Force, etc). He has 37 Spells on his sheet, he has a list of another 50 spells he wants. He has just about 250 Karma currently. Those additional 50 Spells (To cover areas he is weak in) will cost him an additional 250 Karma to acquire. He STILL has no Combat Spells, though he does have some on his to-buy list. You may call this self-regulation, I just call it applying my concept to the character. He is forbidden from using Magic to Kill his opponents (Through the interaction of Tradition/Mentor Combination). Killing is not the point of the character, it is manipulating his opponents to garner power that he cares about. You do not have to go for the overwhelmingly efficient build, allowing a character that is going to dominate everything around him. There are other players, after all.

QUOTE
"Just as" would imply equal opportunity. That is not the case. While APDS and S'n'S even the playing field a little, there is still a HUGE difference between a stunbolt and an AK when it comes to killing a spirit. Especially, if the Force starts exceeding that level 7 Threshold


Why? They are both very efficient at killing spirits. Takes the Mage 1 Spell (Complex Action) and the Street Sam 1-2 Shots (1-2 Simple Actions). As for Spirits above Force 7, they should be so rare as to be a non-statistic. Can a mage summon a Spirit that high at Creation? Sure. Should He? Probably not. We have rules, at our table, to limit such Shennanigans. Spirits spend Edge if summoned at Force 4+. Period. Believe me, it really cuts down on the desire to summon something with power and intellect greater than your own. Now, summoning a spirit over Force 6 is only attempted when it is absolutely a must, and only after heavy consideration. I have seen a Force 5 Spirit inflict 20 Boxes of damage. Really sucks to be the Mage at that point.

QUOTE
While others can be "powerful as well", Mages still overshadow their teams on a regular basis. The OPs question was how to limit them, if they do. "Others can be powerful as well" is hardly an argument, when they apparently aren't. That said, I can stop non-magical intrusion attemps relatively cheap. When I need to add magical security, the bill starts to skyrocket and as many other posters before me pinted out, what geeks the mage, ususally geeks everyone else in the team as well.


It is a potential issue, I will admit, but one I have not seen all that often at our table. Yes, you can build the Power Mage, with the basic 6 Spells (Stun Bolt, Power Bolt, Mind Probe, Improved Invisibility, Levitate, Improved Reflexes) and make a very good showing, often stealing the spotlight. That Gets real boring (at least for our players at our table) after the 2nd or 3rd such character. There is a lot more to playing a Mage character than that. Good Magical Security is really no more expensive than good Matrix Security or good Physical Security (ie. It does not Skyrocket, as you claim). As others have pointed out, the Mega's know how to do this and have been doing it for the last 50 years. They have gotten very good at it, in fact. And it does not take a whole lot of effort to geek a mage. Most of my characters use a Pistol for such things, usually.

Another anecdotal example. While our Prime Runners are fairly well established in Hong Kong (6 Characters, each with 300+ Karma) the mage is not the most versatile or powerful character in the group. He has great one-shot potential, power-wise, but is incapable of doing many of the things that the rest of the team is capable of (Low/Non-existant Skills and Minimal Dice Pools). The Face, the Hacker, the 2 Street Sams, and the Technomancer all have far more potential as far as versatility and scope of game go. There is a reason for that. While the Mage has initiated (6 Times, IIRC) and raised his Magic, purchased an Ally Spirit, and bought a few more spells since play started (Though he is still primarily a Combat mage), the others have covered their weaknesses far better than he has. Where the mage has a pittance of skills, and MUST rely upon his magic (which does not always work in his favor), the others have greater depth and breadth to their skill sets (The Face has 50+ Skills, The Hacker has 85+ Skills and the Two Street Sams are in the 30+ Skill set Range, though the Technomancer is a bit thin, skill wise, compared to the rest with only about 25+ Skills IIRC, but he has similar issues like the Mage).

Interestingly, It is the MAGE who triggers those physical alarms, almost invariably. Why? Because he cannot perform anything outside of his magic, and when his magic fails him, he is pretty useless except as a Hammer, which we do not really need all the time. And then you get to social situations. The face has about 40 Contacts (and about 150 points of combined Connection/Loyalty ratings) and the Hacker has over 50 Contacts with a combined C/L rating of almost 300. The Mage cannot even come close to the social power that the others are capable of. Even the Street Sams outshine him in this regard. Again, it is because of his dedicated pursuit of Magic (which is NOT a bad thing, but such pursuit is Karma Intensive). It really does not let him do much outside of that realm. He is a hell of a Mage, but not very useful outside of combat.

I guess my point is that, though a Mage has the potential to absolutely dominate the game, I have not seen it in practice. There are just way too many situations that crop up for the mage Character to cover them all effectively. They may hit one or two, or even three areas, but will fall short in all others, unless the game has gone on for so long that it is likely irrelevant anyways. Can a mage Dominate in Combat? Most Definitely. But then, I would expect that from a Mage Character. It is usually their bread and butter (and in fact, MOST mages I have seen are some variation of a Combat Mage, for that very reason. How many general Support Mages (non-Combat) do you see, after all). Can a Street Sam or Physical Adept do the same thing? Again, Most definitely. If they could not, I would not want them on my team. Same goes for a Face or a Hacker. I would expect them to be competent.
rlor
QUOTE (Irion @ Apr 11 2012, 05:38 AM) *
The point is, everyhting to throw at the mage (espect BC and Wards) will fuck up the mundane and adept part even harder.


I don't believe that's always true, take a body 3 armor 3 drone and stick on a BF capable gun. No full auto, no rigger commanding it. That should be easier to deal with as the street sam than the mage in a straight up fight. Is it optimal, no, but it should be cheap to buy and maintain and if you have 5 or 6 of them they can be a reasonable threat. Not every combat drone needs to be a mini-tank.

As a note I agree with the general sentiment in your post, I just think there are some reasonable things you can do that will make mundane options superior to spellcasting options. Of course a mage may have access to a bunch of spirits which he could send in to deal with the drones so its not perfect, at least then the mage is competing with the rigger.
D2F
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 04:31 PM) *
I am not talking about Self Regulation, though. Spells get expensive. How many mages can cover EVERYTHING? None. There is always another spell to cover that unforseen situation that you just do not have access to. Yes, a mage can be very versatile, but it takes a LOT of Karma to get there. Case in point. I have a Mage Character, Magic 5 (Sorcery 3/Adept 2), 3 Initiations (GM Adjudicated that the Chareacter's Sorcery magic caps his Ability, per the FAQ; so only a 3 Magic for relevant Casting/Summoning/Caps on Force, etc). He has 37 Spells on his sheet, he has a list of another 50 spells he wants. He has just about 250 Karma currently. Those additional 50 Spells (To cover areas he is weak in) will cost him an additional 250 Karma to acquire. He STILL has no Combat Spells, though he does have some on his to-buy list. You may call this self-regulation, I just call it applying my concept to the character. He is forbidden from using Magic to Kill his opponents (Through the interaction of Tradition/Mentor Combination). Killing is not the point of the character, it is manipulating his opponents to garner power that he cares about. You do not have to go for the overwhelmingly efficient build, allowing a character that is going to dominate everything around him. There are other players, after all.


You're talking about an Adept of the Mystic's Way, though. Apples and Oranges. AotMWs can't hold a candle to Mages, when it comes to game breaking power. Their Magic attribute is too low, their inability to summon spirits throws them into a different ballpark alltogether and their inability to astrally project cuts down on their scouting ability.
Aside from the usual suspects (invisibility spells and silence zones), I have no issues with AotMWs, whatsoever. They are a completely seperate topic.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 04:31 PM) *
Why? They are both very efficient at killing spirits. Takes the Mage 1 Spell (Complex Action) and the Street Sam 1-2 Shots (1-2 Simple Actions). As for Spirits above Force 7, they should be so rare as to be a non-statistic. Can a mage summon a Spirit that high at Creation? Sure. Should He? Probably not. We have rules, at our table, to limit such Shennanigans. Spirits spend Edge if summoned at Force 4+. Period. Believe me, it really cuts down on the desire to summon something with power and intellect greater than your own. Now, summoning a spirit over Force 6 is only attempted when it is absolutely a must, and only after heavy consideration. I have seen a Force 5 Spirit inflict 20 Boxes of damage. Really sucks to be the Mage at that point.


Let me break this down a bit:
A stunbolt is A) a lot more effective against any spirit and B) basically free (the drain is so minimal, it's negligible). The gun needs ammo and as such incurs expenses.
Your house rules on limiting spirits are just that: house rules. Whether they "should" be rare or not is a moot point, as they are easy as hell to summon.
How could a Force 6 Spirit possibly achieve 10 successes with only 6 dice?
Last but not least, summoning Foci are cheap as drek and help with the drain a LOT. One of my mage concepts once had a total summoning drain resistance pool of 20.

Now, since this thread actually IS about house rules, I welcome your addition. At the same time, I doubt it will stop a determined player from consistently summoning force 8+ spirits.

And even then, the Mage can simply raise his Magic attribute to 8 (a 104 Karma investment well worth the cost), use a pain editor and summon force 8 Spirits until his throat gets dry.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 04:31 PM) *
It is a potential issue, I will admit, but one I have not seen all that often at our table. Yes, you can build the Power Mage, with the basic 6 Spells (Stun Bolt, Power Bolt, Mind Probe, Improved Invisibility, Levitate, Improved Reflexes) and make a very good showing, often stealing the spotlight. That Gets real boring (at least for our players at our table) after the 2nd or 3rd such character.


You nailed the problem here! The thread is about exactly those mages. Ignore what you typed afterward and read just that bit I quoted here. That is the problem. And your excemple isn't even the worst of the possible designs.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 04:31 PM) *
Good Magical Security is really no more expensive than good Matrix Security or good Physical Security (ie. It does not Skyrocket, as you claim).

Well, you can opt to not have any Matrix systems at your facility (especially if it's a storage facility). That costs absolutely nothing. You can't get "no magic" for free.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 04:31 PM) *
Another anecdotal example.


My apologies for cutting that quote short, I am trying to save some space here. Anecdotal evidence is irrelevant. Your excemple simply shows a mage who doesn't utilize his potential. The mere fact that he's the one triggering alarms shows me that he vastly underutilizes his character. His mentioned skill list shows me that he advanced his character in an inefficient manner. And why the hell contacts have anything to do with karma in your group is beyond me.
"A mage built for birthday parties is not overpowered" is hardly a valid argument.
Don't get me wrong here. I am not saying that he or your group is not having fun and if you do, great. What I am saying is that he is an inadequate excemple to illustrate the problem.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 04:31 PM) *
I guess my point is that, though a Mage has the potential to absolutely dominate the game, I have not seen it in practice. There are just way too many situations that crop up for the mage Character to cover them all effectively. They may hit one or two, or even three areas, but will fall short in all others, unless the game has gone on for so long that it is likely irrelevant anyways. Can a mage Dominate in Combat? Most Definitely. But then, I would expect that from a Mage Character. It is usually their bread and butter (and in fact, MOST mages I have seen are some variation of a Combat Mage, for that very reason. How many general Support Mages (non-Combat) do you see, after all). Can a Street Sam or Physical Adept do the same thing? Again, Most definitely. If they could not, I would not want them on my team. Same goes for a Face or a Hacker. I would expect them to be competent.

The mere fact that this thread exists should show you, that this "potential problem" does exist at some tables and it exists because of a lack of game balance. Just because you are lucky enough to have players that are sensible enough not to go overboard in their min-maxing, doesn't mean you can deny the problem's existence or its severity.
And forget those "combat mages". They are just flashy street sams and hardly worth the bother. The problem are summoners. Especially those from possession traditions, but the rest are bad enough.
You don't need long skill lists, if your spirits can do whetever is needed at any particular moment. And nothing prevents a mage from picking up a gun and learning to shoot with it. Hell, skills around 4 with specialization is more than enough in most cases and only a rather meager investment.
Assuming your mage hasn't taken infiltration and automatics during creation, he can easily get those at 4(+2) for 48 Karma.
The problem is not that mages can do something others can't. It's that others can't do anything a mage can't do, either.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (D2F @ Apr 11 2012, 10:31 AM) *
You're talking about an Adept of the Mystic's Way, though. Apples and Oranges. AotMWs can't hold a candle to Mages, when it comes to game breaking power. Their Magic attribute is too low, their inability to summon spirits throws them into a different ballpark alltogether and their inability to astrally project cuts down on their scouting ability.
Aside from the usual suspects (invisibility spells and silence zones), I have no issues with AotMWs, whatsoever. They are a completely seperate topic.


No I am not. Use a Mage with a Magic of 3. You get the same results. No Change at all.


QUOTE
Let me break this down a bit:
A stunbolt is A) a lot more effective against any spirit and B) basically free (the drain is so minimal, it's negligible). The gun needs ammo and as such incurs expenses.
Your house rules on limiting spirits are just that: house rules. Whether they "should" be rare or not is a moot point, as they are easy as hell to summon.
How could a Force 6 Spirit possibly achieve 10 successes with only 6 dice?
Last but not least, summoning Foci are cheap as drek and help with the drain a LOT. One of my mage concepts once had a total summoning drain resistance pool of 20.


There are always costs. I have seen a mage completely blow a DV 2 Drain Roll AND TAKE 2DV. It happens. So it is NOT free, it just has a low cost. Ammunition is also a Low cost for the Street Sam. it is the cost of doing business...

I agree, Our Spirit Control Rules are House Rules. Was that not what the OP was looking for? A way to control a Mage?

Force 5. It spent Edge, so rolled 10 Dice witrh Exploding 6's. Got 10 Hits. Viola, 20 Damage. What is hard to understand about that one? Oh, and you miught want to check out Summoning Foci again. They DO NOT help with Drain. Only Centering Foci do that.

QUOTE
Now, since this thread actually IS about house rules, I welcome your addition. At the same time, I doubt it will stop a determined player from consistently summoning force 8+ spirits.


Trust me, it will. Few Players/Characters are willing to risk a potential 10-16 damage (Generally Physical on top of that) to summon a Spirit.

QUOTE
You nailed the problem here! The thread is about exactly those mages. Ignore what you typed afterward and read just that bit I quoted here. That is the problem. And your example isn't even the worst of the possible designs.


Not sure what your point is. Can a mage Dominate Combat? Sure. So can a Street Samurai, or an Adept, or a Rigger (who can get 5 passes). What is the problem here?

QUOTE
Well, you can opt to not have any Matrix systems at your facility (especially if it's a storage facility). That costs absolutely nothing. You can't get "no magic" for free.


Sure you can, just don't implement Magical Security. Note, however, that that is likely to not be the case, even for your Matrix Sexurity.

QUOTE
My apologies for cutting that quote short, I am trying to save some space here. Anecdotal evidence is irrelevant. Your excemple simply shows a mage who doesn't utilize his potential. The mere fact that he's the one triggering alarms shows me that he vastly underutilizes his character. His mentioned skill list shows me that he advanced his character in an inefficient manner. And why the hell contacts have anything to do with karma in your group is beyond me.


He utilizes his power quite effeciently. He is a great COMBAT Mage, not so much at anything else. His build is solid (even including 3 points of Very Nice to have Cyber/Bioware). The problem is that he cannot cover everything with his Magic, as was claimed. You CANNOT do so as a Mage without having a stupid amount of Karma.

Contacts have absolutley NO bearing on karma Advancement whatsoever. It was a point that he chose NOT to care about the social side so as to concentrate on the magical side of the character. Can't tell you how many times I have seen this too.

QUOTE
"A mage built for birthday parties is not overpowered" is hardly a valid argument.
Don't get me wrong here. I am not saying that he or your group is not having fun and if you do, great. What I am saying is that he is an inadequate excemple to illustrate the problem.


Not sure where you got this impllication from, becuase it is so far from the truth as to be laughable. The mage is just not the Overpowering Monger that others are making mages out to be. Mages can be easily controlled, usually by implementing the rules that are right there in the book, or by adding a few simple house-rules to the mix.

QUOTE
The mere fact that this thread exists should show you, that this "potential problem" does exist at some tables and it exists because of a lack of game balance. Just because you are lucky enough to have players that are sensible enough not to go overboard in their min-maxing, doesn't mean you can deny the problem's existence or its severity.


I disagree with the claimed Severity, is all.

QUOTE
And forget those "combat mages". They are just flashy street sams and hardly worth the bother. The problem are summoners. Especially those from possession traditions, but the rest are bad enough.


Fixed by allowing Spirits to Spend Edge to resist Summoning and Binding. Done. Summoners will be FAR less of a probelm with that houserule in place

QUOTE
You don't need long skill lists, if your spirits can do whetever is needed at any particular moment. And nothing prevents a mage from picking up a gun and learning to shoot with it. Hell, skills around 4 with specialization is more than enough in most cases and only a rather meager investment. Assuming your mage hasn't taken infiltration and automatics during creation, he can easily get those at 4(+2) for 48 Karma. The problem is not that mages can do something others can't. It's that others can't do anything a mage can't do, either.


The problem with a mage is that they CANNOT cover every instance with Magic, so they MUST get skills to back that up. In my experience, most mage players totally ignore that aspect, because they believe that their magic is the answer to everything. Yes, they need some skills or they suck. The problem is that they tend to focus on magical boosts. More Magic, More Foci. An Ally Spirit. More Spells. Initiations. The others are focusing on More Skills. Better Skills. When you have 300 Karma under your belt, it shows. The mage we have is Very Powerful. Is not a bad summoner, and has an Invoked Force 5 Ally Spirit to boot. All that cost Karma. Karma that others were using to improve their stats and skills. So now, IF MAGIC IS the Solution, he rocks. However, magic is not always the solution. In fact, his combat effectiveness is no where near as good as the Street Sam's Effectiveness. Yes, he can one shot a group. But the group has to be grouped for that to work. Our opponents (and our GM) is smarter than that. smile.gif
Irion
QUOTE (rlor @ Apr 11 2012, 04:19 PM) *
I don't believe that's always true, take a body 3 armor 3 drone and stick on a BF capable gun. No full auto, no rigger commanding it. That should be easier to deal with as the street sam than the mage in a straight up fight. Is it optimal, no, but it should be cheap to buy and maintain and if you have 5 or 6 of them they can be a reasonable threat. Not every combat drone needs to be a mini-tank.

As a note I agree with the general sentiment in your post, I just think there are some reasonable things you can do that will make mundane options superior to spellcasting options. Of course a mage may have access to a bunch of spirits which he could send in to deal with the drones so its not perfect, at least then the mage is competing with the rigger.

Well, so the mage is using concealment and the drones will just not notice him.
Or if it does not matter if the get into a fight, he sends a force 8 spirit to fuck the drones up, while getting the job done.

While 6 drones will do damage to the sam, the mage will maybe suffer one or two points of drain, the most...

The sam will waste ammo, get his armor damaged.... The mage? Nothing.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 12:55 PM) *
QUOTE
Their Magic attribute is too low

No I am not. Use a Mage with a Magic of 3. You get the same results. No Change at all.


Read:

"I'm not [one edge case] I'm [similar, but different edge case], and those are two completely different things! [Not an edge case] isn't broken."
ikarinokami
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 12:55 PM) *
No I am not. Use a Mage with a Magic of 3. You get the same results. No Change at all.




There are always costs. I have seen a mage completely blow a DV 2 Drain Roll AND TAKE 2DV. It happens. So it is NOT free, it just has a low cost. Ammunition is also a Low cost for the Street Sam. it is the cost of doing business...

I agree, Our Spirit Control Rules are House Rules. Was that not what the OP was looking for? A way to control a Mage?

Force 5. It spent Edge, so rolled 10 Dice witrh Exploding 6's. Got 10 Hits. Viola, 20 Damage. What is hard to understand about that one? Oh, and you miught want to check out Summoning Foci again. They DO NOT help with Drain. Only Centering Foci do that.



Trust me, it will. Few Players/Characters are willing to risk a potential 10-16 damage (Generally Physical on top of that) to summon a Spirit.



Not sure what your point is. Can a mage Dominate Combat? Sure. So can a Street Samurai, or an Adept, or a Rigger (who can get 5 passes). What is the problem here?



Sure you can, just don't implement Magical Security. Note, however, that that is likely to not be the case, even for your Matrix Sexurity.



He utilizes his power quite effeciently. He is a great COMBAT Mage, not so much at anything else. His build is solid (even including 3 points of Very Nice to have Cyber/Bioware). The problem is that he cannot cover everything with his Magic, as was claimed. You CANNOT do so as a Mage without having a stupid amount of Karma.

Contacts have absolutley NO bearing on karma Advancement whatsoever. It was a point that he chose NOT to care about the social side so as to concentrate on the magical side of the character. Can't tell you how many times I have seen this too.



Not sure where you got this impllication from, becuase it is so far from the truth as to be laughable. The mage is just not the Overpowering Monger that others are making mages out to be. Mages can be easily controlled, usually by implementing the rules that are right there in the book, or by adding a few simple house-rules to the mix.



I disagree with the claimed Severity, is all.



Fixed by allowing Spirits to Spend Edge to resist Summoning and Binding. Done. Summoners will be FAR less of a probelm with that houserule in place



The problem with a mage is that they CANNOT cover every instance with Magic, so they MUST get skills to back that up. In my experience, most mage players totally ignore that aspect, because they believe that their magic is the answer to everything. Yes, they need some skills or they suck. The problem is that they tend to focus on magical boosts. More Magic, More Foci. An Ally Spirit. More Spells. Initiations. The others are focusing on More Skills. Better Skills. When you have 300 Karma under your belt, it shows. The mage we have is Very Powerful. Is not a bad summoner, and has an Invoked Force 5 Ally Spirit to boot. All that cost Karma. Karma that others were using to improve their stats and skills. So now, IF MAGIC IS the Solution, he rocks. However, magic is not always the solution. In fact, his combat effectiveness is no where near as good as the Street Sam's Effectiveness. Yes, he can one shot a group. But the group has to be grouped for that to work. Our opponents (and our GM) is smarter than that. smile.gif



this whole post is wrong. a mage can easily cover every situtation, quite easily if he chooses. I suggest a peek at frank trollmans top ten spell list. those 10 spells alone allows a mage if he so chooses to dominate a game, very easily, and at very little cost and needing very little skill. I agree with the other poster, the mage character you sighted, is incredibly inefficently built. Ultimately players have to regulate themselves. You cannot stop a mage that is properly built from dominating a game, without screwing non mage players. As such you should really only let inexperience players or players that will share the spotlight with others play mages.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Apr 11 2012, 12:23 PM) *
No I am not. Use a Mage with a Magic of 3. You get the same results. No Change at all.


Read:

"I'm not [one edge case] I'm [similar, but different edge case], and those are two completely different things! [Not an edge case] isn't broken."


Entertaining, but you have also proven my point. If the game is only broken for Edge cases, it is not really broken, because you can always produce an edge case, regardless of game. smile.gif
Draco18s
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 01:46 PM) *
Entertaining, but you have also proven my point. If the game is only broken for Edge cases, it is not really broken, because you can always produce an edge case, regardless of game. smile.gif


Ah, but that's YOUR point and MINE is that you're being fallacious.

I.e. My opinion is that edges cases are fine and that not edge cases are broken.
Warlordtheft
Dealing with mages is one of the three areas a sec team will have covered, the other two being matrix and physical. If the resources dedicated to magic security are low and the mage has a cake walk, well so what? It was designed that way- as in all likelihood the location is deemed to be low security. Now if it is worth protecting, in order of effectiveness: glow mosss and other magic tech, wards, watchers, spirits, astral mages, on-site mages, dragons/or other paracritters.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (ikarinokami @ Apr 11 2012, 12:32 PM) *
this whole post is wrong. a mage can easily cover every situtation, quite easily if he chooses. I suggest a peek at frank trollmans top ten spell list. those 10 spells alone allows a mage if he so chooses to dominate a game, very easily, and at very little cost and needing very little skill. I agree with the other poster, the mage character you sighted, is incredibly inefficently built. Ultimately players have to regulate themselves. You cannot stop a mage that is properly built from dominating a game, without screwing non mage players. As such you should really only let inexperience players or players that will share the spotlight with others play mages.


And yet, I disagree since I have had different experiences. I have read Frank's stuff. I disagree with many of his points, on most of his subjects Shadowrun.

And for the record, it is not ineffecient (it is quite efficient, actually). However, It is not Hyper-Optimal because It is a Concept. For the concept, it is very efficient. Though I might have gone a few different ways, myself. Why does it always come down to an argument that adherence to a concept is inefficient?

Now, in my opinion, a Hyper-Optimal mage build, with the same 10 spells all the time, is very boring, and has absolutley no substance. It does not shine as a character to me. If you enjoy that, then bully for you... glad you are having fun.

In my experience, those Hyper-Optimal Mages ARE the edge cases that everyone continues to complain about. Interestingly enough, it is the same Hyper-Optimal Builds for Hackers, Streret Sams, and Riggers that get the same complaints. Imagine that. I have rarely seen such a build (whether Mage, Sam, Face or Hacker) at our table (or others I have gamed at over the years) because they are so very unrealistic for the world they live in. *Shrug*

As some would say. "The Theory is sound, so it MUST be a problem". My Response to that is always this: Just because you CAN does not meat that you SHOULD.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Apr 11 2012, 01:53 PM) *
Dealing with mages is one of the three areas a sec team will have covered, the other two being matrix and physical. If the resources dedicated to magic security are low and the mage has a cake walk, well so what? It was designed that way- as in all likelihood the location is deemed to be low security. Now if it is worth protecting, in order of effectiveness: glow mosss and other magic tech, wards, watchers, spirits, astral mages, on-site mages, dragons/or other paracritters.


It's not that the anti-magical security isn't up to snuff, but that if it is, that same security is also anti-physical security and roflstomps the street sam.
Warlordtheft
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Apr 11 2012, 03:26 PM) *
It's not that the anti-magical security isn't up to snuff, but that if it is, that same security is also anti-physical security and roflstomps the street sam.


Okay, and that gets to another point. The run should (barring the PC's doing something stupid like deciding they can take a great down grinbig.gif) should be a challenge not a death sentence. The magic sec guys should be occupied long enough by the PC mages that the street sam can take care of the physical security. Likewise the hacker should be able to handle the matrix.

If the mage is having a cakewalk, you should challenge the mage more not the rest of the party.
VykosDarkSoul
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 01:56 PM) *
And for the record, it is not ineffecient (it is quite efficient, actually). However, It is not Hyper-Optimal because It is a Concept. For the concept, it is very efficient. Though I might have gone a few different ways, myself. Why does it always come down to an argument that adherence to a concept is inefficient?



Efficient does not always mean Fun for you and your group.

So I say screw efficiency, give your runner a soul.

but thats just my humble lil opinion biggrin.gif
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (VykosDarkSoul @ Apr 11 2012, 01:39 PM) *
Efficient does not always mean Fun for you and your group.

So I say screw efficiency, give your runner a soul.

but thats just my humble lil opinion biggrin.gif


Agreed... My Sentiments exactly. smile.gif

QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Apr 11 2012, 01:35 PM) *
Okay, and that gets to another point. The run should (barring the PC's doing something stupid like deciding they can take a great down grinbig.gif) should be a challenge not a death sentence. The magic sec guys should be occupied long enough by the PC mages that the street sam can take care of the physical security. Likewise the hacker should be able to handle the matrix.

If the mage is having a cakewalk, you should challenge the mage more not the rest of the party.


Exactly. smile.gif
thorya
Back to the original topic, mraston, I think spells can usually be handled with appropriate applications of technology and remembering all the rules (especially repeated willpower rolls for mind control spells). I've never had a problem with levitate, since flying drones exist and I've always assumed that security in the future is built in 3D. (then again, when I actually got a chance to play, I was the mage, so I probably had a better idea what the mage is capable of) You're probably going to have problems in the future with spirit shenanigans from this mage as well. My players came up with a solution to spirits by themselves, after they had one manifest in the armored van with them.

My players made spirit whackers boards that they carry with them. They made them out of sections of biofiber boards Force 5 (it's all I would let them track down) put into a pipe with nutrients for safe keeping, for less than the cost of one of their guns and ammo. Even against force 6 spirits, if they get close enough they have a 30% chance of disrupting it with a single attack. Against force 8's they still have a 15% chance of disrupting it (provided you can hit it with a melee attack or a thrown pipe). Their spirit whacker clubs are pretty much useless for anything else, but security with similar nightclubs is a nice way to outfit your opposition in an intelligent way that the mage can't whine about (he still will). And it doesn't really impact any other player. Again this is sort of house rules, since you can rule that biofiber can only come in the large flat sheets that it's grown in and the fluff indicates that biofiber is "sensitive" but it says this about a number of things without numbers to back it up. You might want to rule that the biofiber dies if the pipe is used as a club. You can also mount them on drones for instant anti-spirit capabilities.
Eratosthenes
Wards: doesn't affect street sams.
Watchers: doesn't affect street sams.
Glowmoss: doesn't affect street sams.
Spirits: Potentially, but if relegated to astral patrol, then no, doesn't affect street sams.

Yes, spirits have sentience. Yes, you can tell them to alert the powers-that-be for any hostile entities. But that would involve the spirit assensing everyone, and judging the nature of their auras. Can you tell hostility via their aura? Enough to tell the difference between someone who's 'hostile' and someone who's just mad that their team lost the championship because of a bad call?

Spirits can be smart, especially force 4 and up. But they're alien. They view the world very differently. The idea of using them for physical defenses seems to be more trouble than it'd be worth, considering there are already a number of options for physical security that work for that problem. Yes, this is fluff. It's just my interpretation, and a means to using spirits to defend against mages, and only mages who actively use spells.

Spells have distinct auras/effects on the astral. It's easy to tell a spirit to be actively keep a lookout for spell auras, or astral creatures/projections/beings. Involving physical space, things get complicated with spirits with complicated orders, even with their intelligence.

Regarding adepts: IIRC, their powers don't show up as separate auras, as do spells, no?

I could see situations where spirits, and spirits alone, are used to handle both magical and physical security (i.e. magical groups' HQ's, etc.). But most sites will likely use a blend of physical answers to physical security (drones, guards, sensors), magical answers to magical threats (wards, watchers, spirits), and matrix solutions to matrix threats (compartmentalization, IC, spyders).
VykosDarkSoul
Well, how hard would it be for a Corp to say "you all have to carry your badge on you at all times" (yes, i have to deal with this all the time at work).

Then all they have to do is spend a lil time and nuyen.gif on making the badges give off a faint signature in astral. Cant be that much more expensive then making a keycard.

The spirit could be told to look for those lacking that signature.

Granted, there is a way around it, but then, there should always be a way around the security measures, otherwise whats the point of playing? smile.gif
Yerameyahu
How do you do that?
binarywraith
QUOTE (Eratosthenes @ Apr 11 2012, 02:06 PM) *
Wards: doesn't affect street sams.
Watchers: doesn't affect street sams.
Glowmoss: doesn't affect street sams.
Spirits: Potentially, but if relegated to astral patrol, then no, doesn't affect street sams.

Yes, spirits have sentience. Yes, you can tell them to alert the powers-that-be for any hostile entities. But that would involve the spirit assensing everyone, and judging the nature of their auras. Can you tell hostility via their aura? Enough to tell the difference between someone who's 'hostile' and someone who's just mad that their team lost the championship because of a bad call?

Spirits can be smart, especially force 4 and up. But they're alien. They view the world very differently. The idea of using them for physical defenses seems to be more trouble than it'd be worth, considering there are already a number of options for physical security that work for that problem. Yes, this is fluff. It's just my interpretation, and a means to using spirits to defend against mages, and only mages who actively use spells.

Spells have distinct auras/effects on the astral. It's easy to tell a spirit to be actively keep a lookout for spell auras, or astral creatures/projections/beings. Involving physical space, things get complicated with spirits with complicated orders, even with their intelligence.

Regarding adepts: IIRC, their powers don't show up as separate auras, as do spells, no?

I could see situations where spirits, and spirits alone, are used to handle both magical and physical security (i.e. magical groups' HQ's, etc.). But most sites will likely use a blend of physical answers to physical security (drones, guards, sensors), magical answers to magical threats (wards, watchers, spirits), and matrix solutions to matrix threats (compartmentalization, IC, spyders).


Hostility? Not really. But they can sure tell that guy with .75 essence from the crowd, or anyone magically active who isn't wearing, say, a corp-issue focus.
D2F
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 06:55 PM) *
No I am not. Use a Mage with a Magic of 3. You get the same results. No Change at all.

Your caracter cannot astrally project. It cannot summon spirits. It cannot Astrally Perceive, without spending one of its adept power points for the astral perception power (further reducing its actual magic rating).
Your character is not a mage.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 06:55 PM) *
Sure you can, just don't implement Magical Security. Note, however, that that is likely to not be the case, even for your Matrix Sexurity.

I have no matrix, no hacker can harm me. I have no magic defenses (as you proposed), I am wide open for magic intrusion. Where is that the same again?

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 06:55 PM) *
He utilizes his power quite effeciently. He is a great COMBAT Mage, not so much at anything else. His build is solid (even including 3 points of Very Nice to have Cyber/Bioware). The problem is that he cannot cover everything with his Magic, as was claimed. You CANNOT do so as a Mage without having a stupid amount of Karma.

If by "combat mage" you mean a mage focused on combat spells, then yes, he is vastly underusing his potential.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 06:55 PM) *
Contacts have absolutley NO bearing on karma Advancement whatsoever. It was a point that he chose NOT to care about the social side so as to concentrate on the magical side of the character. Can't tell you how many times I have seen this too.

And this is relevant to the discussion of game balancing and mages, how?

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 06:55 PM) *
Not sure where you got this impllication from, becuase it is so far from the truth as to be laughable. The mage is just not the Overpowering Monger that others are making mages out to be. Mages can be easily controlled, usually by implementing the rules that are right there in the book, or by adding a few simple house-rules to the mix.

How did I get that implication? By your portraial of his focus and abilities. If he is indeed focussed on combat and support spells, he is not powerful and he never truly will be. What tips mages far over the top are the access to spirit powers and astral projection/ritual magic. The tradition plays a role as well, so Voodoo practitioners are vastly more powerful than any of the other traditions for excemple, but any mage tradition is horrifying in their own right.
So, he trips alarms? How? Ever heard of the concealment power? Ever heard of ruthenium polymer suits? ever heard of silence spells? Let's take a rather harmless Force 6 Spirit of Air. That alone is a -6 on perception tests for the entire team, ALSO against astral perception tests. Add to that -4 from the Chameleon Suit for a total of -10 against visual perception. Now add thermo smoke grenades, a silence spell and TacNet and you can brute force yourself through pretty much any security setup.

How your mage manages to trigger alarms, is beyond me.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 06:55 PM) *
Fixed by allowing Spirits to Spend Edge to resist Summoning and Binding. Done. Summoners will be FAR less of a probelm with that houserule in place

Pain editor + Magic 6 and even with your added house rule, Force 6 Spirits are a joke to summon.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 06:55 PM) *
The problem with a mage is that they CANNOT cover every instance with Magic, so they MUST get skills to back that up. In my experience, most mage players totally ignore that aspect, because they believe that their magic is the answer to everything. Yes, they need some skills or they suck. The problem is that they tend to focus on magical boosts. More Magic, More Foci. An Ally Spirit. More Spells. Initiations. The others are focusing on More Skills. Better Skills. When you have 300 Karma under your belt, it shows. The mage we have is Very Powerful. Is not a bad summoner, and has an Invoked Force 5 Ally Spirit to boot. All that cost Karma. Karma that others were using to improve their stats and skills. So now, IF MAGIC IS the Solution, he rocks. However, magic is not always the solution. In fact, his combat effectiveness is no where near as good as the Street Sam's Effectiveness. Yes, he can one shot a group. But the group has to be grouped for that to work. Our opponents (and our GM) is smarter than that. smile.gif


That's a false analogy and you know it. Ally spirits are a luxury itema nd not every mage will get one (hell I would even go as far as to say no sensible mage would get one, as they are a HUGE karma dump, with little return). And depending on Tradition, skills can be compensated for by critter powers.

Excemple - Voddoo Houngan:

Need a combat skill? -> Summon Guardian Spirit.
Need a technical Skill? -> Summon Task Spirit.
Need a physical skill? -> Summon Task Spirit.
Need to find something or someone? -> Search Critter Power.
Need extra defenses against magical threats? -> Magical Guard critter Power.
Need more Body and armor? -> Summon a spirit.
Need more strength? -> Summon a spirit.
Need better initiative? -> Summon a spirit.
Need to get in or out quickly? -> Movement Critter Power.
...

The list goes on. Now, what skills does he actually need? Summoning, Infiltration, Dodge. What attributes does he need? Cha, Willpower, Reaction.
What gear can he use to further go nuts? Pain Editor + Pain Compensator 7.

That excemple is aims to illustrate the underlying problem with an extreme case. While other traditions are less of a problem, the underlying problem stays the same.
VykosDarkSoul
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Apr 11 2012, 03:16 PM) *
How do you do that?


i have no clue, but thats what i intend to research when i get to my books smile.gif.

off the top of my head tho, no two mages leave the same astral trail right? So you could have them make a specialized type of foci or fetish that does nothing more than emit that signature for the spirit to recognize.

again, this is all speculation, as i dont have my books to look it up.
thorya
QUOTE (VykosDarkSoul @ Apr 11 2012, 03:12 PM) *
Well, how hard would it be for a Corp to say "you all have to carry your badge on you at all times" (yes, i have to deal with this all the time at work).

Then all they have to do is spend a lil time and nuyen.gif on making the badges give off a faint signature in astral. Cant be that much more expensive then making a keycard.

The spirit could be told to look for those lacking that signature.

Granted, there is a way around it, but then, there should always be a way around the security measures, otherwise whats the point of playing? smile.gif


You would do it with astral pigments. Arsenal p. 64. It shouldn't be hard for corporations to use something like that to create cheap identification cards. Possibly something that changes the pigments pattern based upon some preprogrammed pattern so they're harder to copy.
rlor
QUOTE (Irion @ Apr 11 2012, 01:16 PM) *
Well, so the mage is using concealment and the drones will just not notice him.
Or if it does not matter if the get into a fight, he sends a force 8 spirit to fuck the drones up, while getting the job done.

While 6 drones will do damage to the sam, the mage will maybe suffer one or two points of drain, the most...

The sam will waste ammo, get his armor damaged.... The mage? Nothing.


The example was for a firefight. Both characters could stealth past the drones or hack them or what not, they're not a tough threat. And if a mage is optimized enough to summon force 8 spirits without worry (assuming the GM has the spirits roll edge for being higher force than the mage's magic) then the street sam can easily dodge/soak all the incoming damage from that level of drones. Or speaking on the rest of the mundane category a rigger could just send in his own decked out steel lynx (or pick a better drone from one of the other books) that would laugh off that damage and blow them up in short order without worrying about any physical drain at all.

As for concealment, I didn't think it really helped out against things like motion sensors etc (as they don't use the perception system). Using things like pressure plates, door sensors, trip wires, drones, etc are about as difficult to deal with for both parties unless they're moonlighting as a hacker. Especially if you combine them with booby traps to each of those sensing methods.

Don't get me wrong, I think that spirits/mages are overpowered and towards the "bullshit" category of archetypes. I think that generally you need a mage to beat a mage (my conclusion to a thread I made as a first post here). I think that you can provide stumbling blocks though that a mage will have to work through at the same level as the rest of the party. A smart mage might breeze through them but I think in many cases a smart mundane could do much the same.

As a note we play under the interpretation that Full Auto adds its DV to piercing armor while BF does not. That probably changes the ease at which spirits can be destroyed in our game.
D2F
QUOTE (rlor @ Apr 11 2012, 10:21 PM) *
The example was for a firefight. Both characters could stealth past the drones or hack them or what not, they're not a tough threat. And if a mage is optimized enough to summon force 8 spirits without worry (assuming the GM has the spirits roll edge for being higher force than the mage's magic) then the street sam can easily dodge/soak all the incoming damage from that level of drones. Or speaking on the rest of the mundane category a rigger could just send in his own decked out steel lynx (or pick a better drone from one of the other books) that would laugh off that damage and blow them up in short order without worrying about any physical drain at all.

As for concealment, I didn't think it really helped out against things like motion sensors etc (as they don't use the perception system). Using things like pressure plates, door sensors, trip wires, drones, etc are about as difficult to deal with for both parties unless they're moonlighting as a hacker. Especially if you combine them with booby traps to each of those sensing methods.

Don't get me wrong, I think that spirits/mages are overpowered and towards the "bullshit" category of archetypes. I think that generally you need a mage to beat a mage (my conclusion to a thread I made as a first post here). I think that you can provide stumbling blocks though that a mage will have to work through at the same level as the rest of the party. A smart mage might breeze through them but I think in many cases a smart mundane could do much the same.

As a note we play under the interpretation that Full Auto adds its DV to piercing armor while BF does not. I think I remember that being a minority opinion? This greatly changes how force <9 spirits are dealt with (FA with APDS makes them fairly trivial in comparison to needing things like laser weapons, SnS, chunky salsa grenades effects, toxins, etc) in our games.


You need to hit the spirit to deal damage to it. Facing a F8 Spirit with concealment (especially a free one, but that's besides the point) will make that far from "trivial".
rlor
QUOTE (D2F @ Apr 11 2012, 04:26 PM) *
You need to hit the spirit to deal damage to it. Facing a F8 Spirit with concealment (especially a free one, but that's besides the point) will make that far from "trivial".


You caught me before I edited my post as I figured that would be a needless point of contention. If the spirit is doing anything other than hiding like attacking then that concealment doesn't mean much (-8 dice to a perception check is not hard at a threshold of 0-2).

*Edit - And as a note I was talking about our games. Our GM loved magic greatly and so from pretty much 400 BP 10 karma and onwards we as a completely mundane party had to deal with things like multiple force 6+ spirits stacking concealment with the invis suits (AFB so don't remember the name) and wading into combat and dealing with things like 8+ force free spirits with mundane means (some of the methods offered up here on dumpshock). So we were a bit more specialized to handle things like concealment, hardened armor, improved invis, etc.
Chainsaw Samurai
QUOTE (rlor @ Apr 11 2012, 02:29 PM) *
*Edit - And as a note I was talking about our games. Our GM loved magic greatly and so from pretty much 400 BP 10 karma and onwards we as a completely mundane party had to deal with things like multiple force 6+ spirits stacking concealment with the invis suits (AFB so don't remember the name) and wading into combat and dealing with things like crazy high force free spirits with mundane means (some of the methods offered up here on dumpshock). So we were a bit more specialized to handle things like concealment, hardened armor, improved invis, etc.



Your GM sounds like a dick.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (D2F @ Apr 11 2012, 02:21 PM) *
Your caracter cannot astrally project. It cannot summon spirits. It cannot Astrally Perceive, without spending one of its adept power points for the astral perception power (further reducing its actual magic rating).
Your character is not a mage.


Which is irrelevant for the discussion. He does have Astral Sight, so he can perceive when needed. And While Projection is nice, it is far from the "I Win" button that some presuppose. Just because he is not OPTIMAL to YOU does not mean that he is not OPTIMAL to ME. That character has FAR more utility than any other mage I have ever seen (though he does lack combat spells, currently... But that is what Firearms and other, heavier weapons/options are for anyways), and when he gets more karma, it will go up drastically (50 More spells, after all, provides a HUGE amount of Versatiliy). But I have a simple Question for you. Currently, the Mage I play is a Black Magician, following Adversary. Whould he have more utility (and thus more power... or better optimization...), in your eyes, if he were a Voodoo Houngon?

QUOTE
I have no matrix, no hacker can harm me. I have no magic defenses (as you proposed), I am wide open for magic intrusion. Where is that the same again?


The difference is when you need the security. If you need Matrix Security, it is often much more expensivce, infrastructure wise, than magical Security is. Some things may not actually need Magical Security, and then the mage can show how tough he is. So what. If it did not need magical security, why was a mage hired to breach it? Same for the Matrix Security. If there is none, you would never hire a Hacker to penetrate it, now would you?

QUOTE
If by "combat mage" you mean a mage focused on combat spells, then yes, he is vastly underusing his potential.


Why is his potential vastly underused? He is exceedingly valuable in his niche. Why must a Mage cover all Niches? Why is that a requirement? He is using his potential as a COMBAT MAGE (which does not necessaruily imply that all he has is combat spells, whcih he does not), with a few support spells. And again, to cover ALL the Niches requires a stupid amount of Karma.

QUOTE
And this is relevant to the discussion of game balancing and mages, how?


Because it IS a measure of Power. And usually one that Mage has a very hard time competing in due to his magical focus.

QUOTE
That's a false analogy and you know it. Ally spirits are a luxury itema nd not every mage will get one (hell I would even go as far as to say no sensible mage would get one, as they are a HUGE karma dump, with little return). And depending on Tradition, skills can be compensated for by critter powers.


Ally spirits are a way to gain power without the crutch of a Focus. Yes, they are their own crutch, of a sort, but they can be extremely versatile and useful to the mage. Far more so than any Focus (or even a combination of Foci) could ever be.

QUOTE
How did I get that implication? By your portraial of his focus and abilities. If he is indeed focussed on combat and support spells, he is not powerful and he never truly will be. What tips mages far over the top are the access to spirit powers and astral projection/ritual magic. The tradition plays a role as well, so Voodoo practitioners are vastly more powerful than any of the other traditions for excemple, but any mage tradition is horrifying in their own right. So, he trips alarms? How? Ever heard of the concealment power? Ever heard of ruthenium polymer suits? ever heard of silence spells? Let's take a rather harmless Force 6 Spirit of Air. That alone is a -6 on perception tests for the entire team, ALSO against astral perception tests. Add to that -4 from the Chameleon Suit for a total of -10 against visual perception. Now add thermo smoke grenades, a silence spell and TacNet and you can brute force yourself through pretty much any security setup.

How your mage manages to trigger alarms, is beyond me.


Pain editor + Magic 6 and even with your added house rule, Force 6 Spirits are a joke to summon.

Excemple - Voddoo Houngan:

Need a combat skill? -> Summon Guardian Spirit.
Need a technical Skill? -> Summon Task Spirit.
Need a physical skill? -> Summon Task Spirit.
Need to find something or someone? -> Search Critter Power.
Need extra defenses against magical threats? -> Magical Guard critter Power.
Need more Body and armor? -> Summon a spirit.
Need more strength? -> Summon a spirit.
Need better initiative? -> Summon a spirit.
Need to get in or out quickly? -> Movement Critter Power.
...

The list goes on. Now, what skills does he actually need? Summoning, Infiltration, Dodge. What attributes does he need? Cha, Willpower, Reaction.
What gear can he use to further go nuts? Pain Editor + Pain Compensator 7.

That excemple is aims to illustrate the underlying problem with an extreme case. While other traditions are less of a problem, the underlying problem stays the same.


All of your examples are predicated upon an Edge Case, though.

Take Voodoo. Yes, it can be very powerful. DO you Actually know anything about Voodoo though? Do you know how the relationship between the Loa and the Houngon functions? Tradition plays a HUGE role in controlling the Character. You can argue that it is all fluff and irrelevant, but I would heavily disagree with you. The tradition shapes the magician.

He trips alarms because concealment does not work on a pressure sensors. Oops, just stepped on one. Damn, how inconvenient. It is not so useful to the Observer who is rocking Radar and has a a decent Perception Pool. Ooops, Damn, how inconvenient. Does not work against the Watcher spirit told to watch the door and if it opens, tell someone. Ooops, Damn, how inconvenient. Does not work against Glowmoss that detects that heavy magic use and illuminates, thus alerting the sensor watching to notify someone. Ooops, Damn, how inconvenient. The point is obviously that there are no guaranteed magical solutions out there. They can all fail. And the Corps KNOW ALL THE TRICKS. Shadowrunners are not some special, unique snowflake.

Yes, the Other Characters have some of the same issues. Most wear Ruthenium. Even so, you still need a decent Stealth ability for it to work well. Threshold 1 is laughably easy to penetrate.

And even with the Pain Editor/DC 7 "Fix" (Which he must give up a Point of Magic/Essence to Acquire), he is STILL TAKING DAMAGE. and thus, he will eventually go down. The mage wants to take as little damage AS POSSIBLE. Just taking a piece of ware to negate that does not fix the issue. In a protracted encounter, the mage WILL go down if he is continually accumulating damage that the others do not worry about, because he has to contend not only with the damage of the encounter (Gunfire, toxins, etc) he must also contend with the results of Drain, which will be an issue over time.

As for your Voodoo Example. What happens if your Guy needs multiple skills from your list, or multiple effects simultaneously, and they are from different spirits? He has to summon them at some point. Again, potential Drain right there. You are predicating the existence of perfect circumstance for the magician, and that does not, nor will it ever, exist in game.

If your games are so lax on the Mage Player, well, damn, I want to play in one of those games. smile.gif
Hopefully I did not ramble too much. It has been a Hell of a Day here...
rlor
QUOTE (Chainsaw Samurai @ Apr 11 2012, 05:52 PM) *
Your GM sounds like a dick.


We were not exactly thrilled at what we had to oppose; over time an understanding was reached and the game is more in the mundane with a little bit of magic thrown in category.

On the plus side it helped show me how to deal with certain elements of magic without having to resort to magic. Would they all work against a really saavy player, no. Would they work against a mage player/character who relies on a limited number of tricks over and over again, I believe so.
Eratosthenes
QUOTE (VykosDarkSoul @ Apr 11 2012, 03:12 PM) *
Well, how hard would it be for a Corp to say "you all have to carry your badge on you at all times" (yes, i have to deal with this all the time at work).

Then all they have to do is spend a lil time and nuyen.gif on making the badges give off a faint signature in astral. Cant be that much more expensive then making a keycard.

The spirit could be told to look for those lacking that signature.

Granted, there is a way around it, but then, there should always be a way around the security measures, otherwise whats the point of playing? smile.gif


Yes, of course they can. But now we're moving away from the argument of how to make life tougher for mages, and specific magical-aligned security measures. The idea of spirits/watchers on the astral would be to identify anyone using magic in the facility, and reporting it. Therefore a mage would have to think about the consequences of magic use.

The idea of astrally active corporate badges is an excellent idea. And one that would make a team forge or steal said badges (or somehow co-opt, sneak past, or blind the spirits?). Much like they'd like have to do with regular badges that are used in non-matrix connected locks, sealed behind blast-proof covers (i.e. can't be re-wired).

--

Regarding mages and pain editors...seriously? At 18F, they aren't available readily available at char gen. With Restricted Gear, sure. But between that, the essence loss (necessitating more BP spent on the magic attrib) and the 40,000 cost, you're going to be lacking in many other areas. From my experience, creating mage characters is a difficult balancing act without such munchkinistic tricks.

Many of the arguments against mages seem to pre-suppose an advanced power level (summoning Force 8 spirits? Seriously?) against fresh out of char gen characters.
Yerameyahu
Because they do that. It's very common to get those Force-8-summoning mages straight out of chargen. That's the issue.
Halinn
Basically, if you're not afraid of binding a force 4 spirit, you shouldn't be afraid of summoning a force 8 one.
It gets especially easy if you decide to spend a point of essence on platelet factories and a trauma dampener. Cybereyes are quite nice for mages to have anyhow, since the added modes of vision aids in targeting (especially magnification).
D2F
QUOTE (Chainsaw Samurai @ Apr 11 2012, 10:52 PM) *
Your GM sounds like a dick.

Agreed.
Irion
The angel summoner needs:
Powerfocus 4 (restricted gear), Summoning 6 and magic 5.
(in game get an spec. for your favorite kind of spirit. Do it ingame so you have some testing time)
Thats 15 dice to start with and will go up to 17 dice soon.
Thats more than enough to summon force 8 spirits. Hell even a force 10 spirit is possible.

For the drain issue ist would be best to take an elf and get charisma 7 willpower 5. Resulting in 13 dice to resist drain. (Or 4 points of damage on avarage)
A force 9 spirit costs 6 points of drain on avarage...
D2F
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 11:02 PM) *
Which is irrelevant for the discussion. He does have Astral Sight, so he can perceive when needed. And While Projection is nice, it is far from the "I Win" button that some presuppose. Just because he is not OPTIMAL to YOU does not mean that he is not OPTIMAL to ME. That character has FAR more utility than any other mage I have ever seen (though he does lack combat spells, currently... But that is what Firearms and other, heavier weapons/options are for anyways), and when he gets more karma, it will go up drastically (50 More spells, after all, provides a HUGE amount of Versatiliy). But I have a simple Question for you. Currently, the Mage I play is a Black Magician, following Adversary. Whould he have more utility (and thus more power... or better optimization...), in your eyes, if he were a Voodoo Houngon?


Astral Projection is the single best recon ability in the game. Saying that Astral Perception is somewhat comparable is ludicrous.
You are using the word "optimal". I am using the words "efficienttly built". Big difference. There is no "optimal build". Yours, however, while suiting your tastes and working for you, is not a full mage build and not even comparable in its abilities. You claim it is the most versatile "mage" you have ever seen, yet I dump you into the Ajengule Slums in Lagos and he is a mundane freak with no abilities in a war zone. Hell, I dump him in hells kitchen or Glow City in Seattle and he's about as helpful as a stage magician, in combat or infiltration. BGC kills your character faster than you can blink. And BGC isn't all that rare.
Not being able to summon spirits is yet another huge factor. I get it, your group doesn't use spirits a lot. That's fine. That's also missing out on a major power source for mages.
And not being able to utilize ritual Magic is yet another major drawback of your character. You need a spotter for ritual magic and while the caster itself can be the spotter, she'd need to astrally project, to do so. Or use a spirit. You lack both options.

So, let's sum this up:
  • You cannot summon spirits
  • You cannot astrally project
  • You cannot use ritual magic on your own
  • BCG flat out kills you, even while it's still a minor annoyance to other magic users.


And yet, you believe your character to be the most versatile "mage" you have ever seen. I am under the impression that mages at your table have been vastly underutilizing their potential, so far.
Again, don't get me wrong. If it works for you and your group, it's great and I don't want you to change anything. Hell, I don't want you to change anything, period. My point is that just because the mages at your table have been putting on the kiddy gloves out of a respect for fairness and balance, doesn't mean you can use your table as an adequate excemple to illustrate the problem.

And no, your character wouldn't be better off as a houngan, since you can't summon spirits, making the point of a houngan moot (other than for flavor)

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 11:02 PM) *
The difference is when you need the security. If you need Matrix Security, it is often much more expensivce, infrastructure wise, than magical Security is. Some things may not actually need Magical Security, and then the mage can show how tough he is. So what. If it did not need magical security, why was a mage hired to breach it? Same for the Matrix Security. If there is none, you would never hire a Hacker to penetrate it, now would you?

The difference you keep overlooking:
I don't always need matrix security <-> I always need magical security

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 11:02 PM) *
Why is his potential vastly underused?

Because combat spells aren't all that great. A simple heavy automatic, peppershot grenade or flashbang serves the same purpose without the need for a mage. What males mages powerfull is not their combat ability, but their resources, namely spirits, astral projection and ritual magic. Those three are MAJOR power aspects. Critter powers in general tend to be vasty more powerful than spells. And the recon value of astral projection and ritual magic, especially when paired with the search critter power, are ridiculous.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 11:02 PM) *
Because it IS a measure of Power. And usually one that Mage has a very hard time competing in due to his magical focus.

Being a mage prevents you in no way, shape or from from keeping your social contacs. Just because your mage chose to willfully ignore them doesn't constitute an argument for your case.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 11:02 PM) *
Ally spirits are a way to gain power without the crutch of a Focus. Yes, they are their own crutch, of a sort, but they can be extremely versatile and useful to the mage. Far more so than any Focus (or even a combination of Foci) could ever be.

Their cost to benefit ratio is horrible.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 11:02 PM) *
Take Voodoo. Yes, it can be very powerful. DO you Actually know anything about Voodoo though? Do you know how the relationship between the Loa and the Houngon functions? Tradition plays a HUGE role in controlling the Character. You can argue that it is all fluff and irrelevant, but I would heavily disagree with you. The tradition shapes the magician.

Yes, I know how voodoo works. Yes, I also know how Vodun works. I know the difference between a Loa, a Lwa and an Orisha. I know the difference between rada rites, petro rites and the nonexistence of both in Vodun and Santeria.
That all doesn't matter though, for a player can play a Voodoo houngan, without knowing alls these things and having a GM that also doesn't know all these things and still have the same Voodoo mechanis everyone else has in SR.
Try not to argue game balance on the basis of fluff.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 11:02 PM) *
He trips alarms because concealment does not work on a pressure sensors.


And he doesn't have an Infiltration skill? As a runner? What runner in their right mind would NOT have an Inflitration skill?

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 11:02 PM) *
As for your Voodoo Example. What happens if your Guy needs multiple skills from your list, or multiple effects simultaneously, and they are from different spirits? He has to summon them at some point. Again, potential Drain right there. You are predicating the existence of perfect circumstance for the magician, and that does not, nor will it ever, exist in game.

As I pointed our earlier: sumoning spirits is easy. Binding them is the tough one.

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 11 2012, 11:02 PM) *
If your games are so lax on the Mage Player, well, damn, I want to play in one of those games. smile.gif
Hopefully I did not ramble too much. It has been a Hell of a Day here...

Wouldn't make much of a difference for you, since you couldn't do any of the fun stuff. Besides, I already said that I banned PC mages from my group. Solves the mage problem right then, right there.
Elfenlied
QUOTE (D2F @ Apr 12 2012, 06:24 AM) *
Besides, I already said that I banned PC mages from my group. Solves the mage problem right then, right there.


That's like saying avoiding contact with attractive members of the opposite (or same if you swing that way) sex is the solution to rejection. You're not even trying, it's taking the easy way out. You lose out on so much that it hardly seems worth the effort.

Warlordtheft
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Apr 11 2012, 04:16 PM) *
How do you do that?


Each badge has a little tube of glow moss that spells out this persons name. When the spirit is present it glows.
D2F
QUOTE (Elfenlied @ Apr 12 2012, 02:12 PM) *
That's like saying avoiding contact with attractive members of the opposite (or same if you swing that way) sex is the solution to rejection. You're not even trying, it's taking the easy way out. You lose out on so much that it hardly seems worth the effort.


While the analogy holds true, the outcome does not. I didn't ban mages because I couldn't compensate for them. I banned them because they made stories boring, they cut down tremendously on the need for social negineering and legwork and they make anything but high security environments trivial.
I love the fluff about mages, but they make the game less interesting. Not just in SR, but in most other systems as well.
Can I design a completely mage-proof security system? Yes, I can. Is it fun to run against that every single time? Hell no!.
So many stories can not be told with mages on board.

Detective stories -> solved in a second
Missing Child? -> solved in a second
Undercover infiltrator -> solved in a second
Attacked by a street gang -> solved in a second
Viral spread in an urban area -> solved in a second

Magic is the ultimate answer to everything you're to lazy to find a creative way to solve. It's nice to have as the occasional GM tool, but it's silly to have around constantly.
Plus: the number of magically active people in the world is around 1%. That includes adepts. Yet, nearly every runner team seems to have a 20-50% quota in them. It's just not good enough.

I understand why you see it differently and I am not trying to change the way you play or think about magic in SR, but trust me, I am not missing out on anything. Triesd SR with magic for 23 years now. It's better without. And yes, I still allow adepts. Even cannibalistic, Vodun practicing ones.
Neraph
QUOTE (D2F @ Apr 12 2012, 08:34 AM) *
While the analogy holds true, the outcome does not. I didn't ban mages because I couldn't compensate for them. I banned them because they made stories boring, they cut down tremendously on the need for social negineering and legwork and they make anything but high security environments trivial.
I love the fluff about mages, but they make the game less interesting. Not just in SR, but in most other systems as well.
Can I design a completely mage-proof security system? Yes, I can. Is it fun to run against that every single time? Hell no!.
So many stories can not be told with mages on board.

Detective stories -> solved in a second
Missing Child? -> solved in a second
Undercover infiltrator -> solved in a second
Attacked by a street gang -> solved in a second
Viral spread in an urban area -> solved in a second

Magic is the ultimate answer to everything you're to lazy to find a creative way to solve. It's nice to have as the occasional GM tool, but it's silly to have around constantly.
Plus: the number of magically active people in the world is around 1%. That includes adepts. Yet, nearly every runner team seems to have a 20-50% quota in them. It's just not good enough.

I understand why you see it differently and I am not trying to change the way you play or think about magic in SR, but trust me, I am not missing out on anything. Triesd SR with magic for 23 years now. It's better without. And yes, I still allow adepts. Even cannibalistic, Vodun practicing ones.

I disagree with your position. 1% of the SINner population is Awakened - there is no guarantee that that same percentage works for the SINless also. Another issue is that the mage in question would only solve those problems "in a second" (1 IP, really?[I know what you meant]) if they had the proper spell. There have been times my group has looked to me for Levitate or Improved Invisibility and got nothing because I did not have those spells. And lastly, just because the mage can do it doesn't mean the mundane can't do it better.
binarywraith
QUOTE (Neraph @ Apr 12 2012, 07:49 AM) *
I disagree with your position. 1% of the SINner population is Awakened - there is no guarantee that that same percentage works for the SINless also. Another issue is that the mage in question would only solve those problems "in a second" (1 IP, really?[I know what you meant]) if they had the proper spell. There have been times my group has looked to me for Levitate or Improved Invisibility and got nothing because I did not have those spells. And lastly, just because the mage can do it doesn't mean the mundane can't do it better.


If you did not have those spells, then it is because you made a conscious decision to make your character less powerful and versatile than it could have been.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Neraph @ Apr 12 2012, 08:49 AM) *
And lastly, just because the mage can do it doesn't mean the mundane can't do it better.


proof.gif
Garou
Well, as i see it, the problem is payment. I don't think mages walking over obstacles is doing something wrong. Maybe it's doing something right. That's what they are paid for, after all. And if that makes the runs too easy, then perhaps some karma awards are no longer necessary.

The solution as i see it, is not to cap mages, but pay your PCs more so the missions get more difficult to everyone. In those cases, Mages aren't a plus, they are a given. They are a group on a whole different operating level with a mage.

I will quote D2F's examples with more money in.

QUOTE (D2F @ Apr 12 2012, 01:34 PM) *
Detective stories -> solved in a second
Missing Child? -> solved in a second
Undercover infiltrator -> solved in a second
Attacked by a street gang -> solved in a second
Viral spread in an urban area -> solved in a second


Detective Stories solved in a second? Perhaps not. With more money involved, the challenges skyrocket. What if an A.I is your killer, and the murder was an empty car, remotely controled, that accidentaly haywired and killed a victim?
Missing Child solved in a second? Not if the mission child is taken into a home that has mana barriers. Or if the child is taken into a location with a HUGE bc count. Like, i don't know, the ritualistic cell where a dexter-like serial killer has been killing his victims for the last 20 years? That would probably send BC spiralling down the whole block. smile.gif Even if the killer was mundane (doesn't have to be, he can be just a nice, rich, serial killer with a kill room in a very secure area).
Undercover infiltration -> That was kinda ambiguous as a situation, because i couldn't know if the mage was undercover or if there was an undercover guy on the group/mission. And if you mean infiltration in physical sense, Even a mage would still need tech skills and hacking skills that most mage characters that i've seen on tables rarely have on runs that pay a lot of money. Life gets tougher when you don't have a specialist and your spirits can't just blow up a door on their hinges.
Attacked by a street gang -> You expect your PC to be well paid for THAT? Unless the gang is a powerhouse like the Ancients, in such a case they totally have mages on their own.
Viral Spread in an urban area -> Not in a second, unless the mage can be in 7 or 8 places at once. And that's easier if you have full group with many resources that are not magical. You will need everyone to stop those cannisters, as some are in areas were mages do not shine, but other characters do. And that is why THEY are well payed as well.

No need to beef up mage specific security in most examples. The mage have their places, and they are great on that. But high paying missions are hard without any specialists, and i think that's the way it should be. To answer the OP, just tweak your missions to be proposed by Wealthier Johnsons. smile.gif This way, any magic security you use may be justified if you have to. That's why you are paying 50k for the mage, after all!
Elfenlied
Use the Deep Cover quality for Undercover Infiltrators. It's specifically immune to magical probing.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (D2F @ Apr 12 2012, 12:24 AM) *
Astral Projection is the single best recon ability in the game. Saying that Astral Perception is somewhat comparable is ludicrous.
You are using the word "optimal". I am using the words "efficienttly built". Big difference. There is no "optimal build". Yours, however, while suiting your tastes and working for you, is not a full mage build and not even comparable in its abilities. You claim it is the most versatile "mage" you have ever seen, yet I dump you into the Ajengule Slums in Lagos and he is a mundane freak with no abilities in a war zone. Hell, I dump him in hells kitchen or Glow City in Seattle and he's about as helpful as a stage magician, in combat or infiltration. BGC kills your character faster than you can blink. And BGC isn't all that rare.
Not being able to summon spirits is yet another huge factor. I get it, your group doesn't use spirits a lot. That's fine. That's also missing out on a major power source for mages.
And not being able to utilize ritual Magic is yet another major drawback of your character. You need a spotter for ritual magic and while the caster itself can be the spotter, she'd need to astrally project, to do so. Or use a spirit. You lack both options.

So, let's sum this up:
  • You cannot summon spirits
  • You cannot astrally project
  • You cannot use ritual magic on your own
  • BCG flat out kills you, even while it's still a minor annoyance to other magic users.


And yet, you believe your character to be the most versatile "mage" you have ever seen. I am under the impression that mages at your table have been vastly underutilizing their potential, so far.
Again, don't get me wrong. If it works for you and your group, it's great and I don't want you to change anything. Hell, I don't want you to change anything, period. My point is that just because the mages at your table have been putting on the kiddy gloves out of a respect for fairness and balance, doesn't mean you can use your table as an adequate excemple to illustrate the problem.

And no, your character wouldn't be better off as a houngan, since you can't summon spirits, making the point of a houngan moot (other than for flavor)


Since when does an Effective Build have a Single Definition? You are saying that there is only one way to build a mage, and i am saying that you are wrong. Effective is in the eye of the beholder.

So the Ajengule Slums of Lagos have a BGC of 5 (I highly Doubt it)? And your Magician Character with the Magic Rating of 5 does any better? How? Yes, Background Count Sucks, which is WHY I built the character to be effective WITHOUT his magic, if need be. He is competant as a runner without the Mojo. Aren't your mages?

* Where do you get that the character cannot summon Spirits? You are so wildly wrong here that it is again laughable. Not once did I say that. What I said was that the GM enforces an Edge Expenditure for Spirits above Force 3 (so 4+).
* Projection is not all that and a bag of chips.
* I CAN use ritual Magic on my own, why couldn't I? If you have a material Component, or have Sympathetic Linking Metamagic, you do not need a SPotter. And, If I need a SPotter, I can use a Spirit. Case Closed.
* Character has a Magic of 5 (it is just split among Adept/Sorcery). Unless the BGC is 5, it does not KILL me. It removes some capabilities, that is all (Just like any other mage). And with proper Metamagics, not even that stops the character.

You really should read up on your Magic Rules there D2F. smile.gif

With 37 Spells, the mage is MUCH MORE VERSATILE than your typical mage. Why, because he has 37 spells to fall back on. Your typical mage has what, 10-12 spells? Max of 18 or so? So, MORE VERSATILE. You cannot argue that.

The mages at our table are not underutilized, they just have adequate controls (most of which would likely qualify as Fluff) upon them so that they do not dominate the encounters all the time. You know, that thing you keep complaining about!!!

No Kiddy Gloves are used. We just understand the LIMITATIONS of the world and magic in general.

As Draco18s said earlier (even if tongue in cheek). Overpowered Mages are Edge Cases.

As for Spirits. A Mystic Adept CAN SUMMON SPIRITS if he has the Skill. WHICH HE DOES...

QUOTE
The difference you keep overlooking:
I don't always need matrix security <-> I always need magical security


You are right, you may not need matrix Security ALL the time. By the same token, You do not always need magical Security either. And, When you don't, expect your mage to dominate unless you use adequate mundane security procedures. Magical Security is not always available for hte low end stuff. My question is this... If you have a group with a powerful magician, why is he beiung hired to take on low end targets?

QUOTE
Because combat spells aren't all that great. A simple heavy automatic, peppershot grenade or flashbang serves the same purpose without the need for a mage. What males mages powerfull is not their combat ability, but their resources, namely spirits, astral projection and ritual magic. Those three are MAJOR power aspects. Critter powers in general tend to be vasty more powerful than spells. And the recon value of astral projection and ritual magic, especially when paired with the search critter power, are ridiculous.


You are right about strictly combat spells. You only need one or two. However there are combat SPELLS tha are not COMBAT Spells.
What makes MAges powerful is HOW they use their resources, not the fact that they have those resources. The only resource you do not have as a Mystic Adept is Projection (and perception if you do not have the Adept ability). Everything else they can do too. So, I am not sure where you are getting your information from.

Yes. Critter powers are nice too. Recon Value of Astral projection is still, in my opinion, highly overrated. Yes, it is useful. But you can accomplish many, if not all, of the things you can do with Astral Recon, physically. And often better since Mundane methods can actually get past those wards, while a Mage will either have to track down the maker of that ward to find a signature so that he can ATTEMPT to fool the ward (Assuming he has proper metamagic to do so), or he can bring it down, which kind of ruins the recon.

QUOTE
Being a mage prevents you in no way, shape or from from keeping your social contacs. Just because your mage chose to willfully ignore them doesn't constitute an argument for your case.


Perhaps, but it was another indicator of where he placed his focus (And it is not MY Mage that we were talking about, but the fairly powerful Combat Mage we were discussing here), which was in increasing his power level, so that he could, you know, fulfill his niche in the team.


QUOTE
Their cost to benefit ratio is horrible.


Not really... This particular Ally Spirit cost a bit more than the Power Focus he could have gotten, but he also gained a few other abilities along with it. Like Unlimited Spirit Services, access to unlimited Critter Powers that the Ally Has access to. Invoked abilities oif the spirit. Etc.


QUOTE
Yes, I know how voodoo works. Yes, I also know how Vodun works. I know the difference between a Loa, a Lwa and an Orisha. I know the difference between rada rites, petro rites and the nonexistence of both in Vodun and Santeria.
That all doesn't matter though, for a player can play a Voodoo houngan, without knowing alls these things and having a GM that also doesn't know all these things and still have the same Voodoo mechanis everyone else has in SR.
Try not to argue game balance on the basis of fluff.


But FLUFF is PART of the Game Balance. if you do not actively use the fluff of the world, no wonder your games have overpowered magicians. Not all of the world is mechanically relevant, but it IS all FLUFF relevant.

QUOTE
And he doesn't have an Infiltration skill? As a runner? What runner in their right mind would NOT have an Inflitration skill?


He does, it is just prettty pathetic in comparison to everyone else. Why? Because he relies upon his magic to carry him through. As a result, his thresholds for detection are often much lower than the rest of us. If his magic fails him, he sets the alarms off. Part of the problem of being a Mage. If you want to increase your potential as a mage, everything else tends to suffer.


QUOTE
As I pointed our earlier: sumoning spirits is easy. Binding them is the tough one.


And as I pointed out, if your spirits spend Edge to resist Summoning/Binding, then it creates an environment where the mage is VERY reluctant to try for those game breaking spirits that everyone complains about. If that Force 8 (Out of Chargen, remember) spirit is initially spending 16 Dice and re-rolling 6's for Summoning, and 24 Dice for Binding, well, not many are going to try and summon/bind them. Even Force 5's and 6's are not something you casually summon at that point. 13 Dice for Drain Resistance (From someone's post above, don't remember whose) is not enough to matter at that point if the Force 8 Spirit managed to net him a conservative 5-7 Hits for 10-14 points of Physical Damage. You may not think it has an impact, but it really does.

QUOTE
Wouldn't make much of a difference for you, since you couldn't do any of the fun stuff. Besides, I already said that I banned PC mages from my group. Solves the mage problem right then, right there.


My Character can do ALL of the fun stuff. You really should read up on the Magical Rules a bit more. I think that you have missed some very important aspects... smile.gif

Banning is a bit heavy handed, I think, since the game world is all about the interaction between Man, Magic and Machine. If all you want is Man vs. machine, then you should probably look at playing Cyberpunk 2020 instead. smile.gif
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Neraph @ Apr 12 2012, 08:49 AM)
And lastly, just because the mage can do it doesn't mean the mundane can't do it better.[/quote]

I wish I had thought to say that... smile.gif

Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Elfenlied @ Apr 12 2012, 09:02 AM) *
Use the Deep Cover quality for Undercover Infiltrators. It's specifically immune to magical probing.


Indeed... It is an Awesome Quality... smile.gif
Tias
Lot of good info here, I have a great deal of the same problems with my own groups mage. Keep it coming!

QUOTE (Halinn @ Apr 9 2012, 04:52 PM) *
Exactly. The fluff has it that corporations are quite active in 'hiring' mages, which seems to imply that they aren't extremely picky about what their traditions are. They might favor one tradition, but they sure won't say no to a mage of another tradition.


I know it's a while back, but I'm almost sure the core rules or street magic states that corporations prefer hiring Hermetics to other traditions, citing other traditions problems with fitting into a corporate milieu. I believe the quote is "you try telling a coyote shaman he only has an hour for lunch break".

QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 10 2012, 04:51 PM) *
@Chainsaw Samurai...

I would be willing to bet that MIT&T does not teach just Hermeticism. I would be willing to bet you can earn degrees in several Traditions there. Hermeticism, Chaos Magic, and Black Magic are probably chief among their curriculum. They probably also have Curriculum in Voodoo, Zoroastrianism and even Wicca as well.


That is indeed the case, Wicca and Shamanism is taught alongside Hermetic studies in most larger universities. Black and Chaotic courses are probably a good deal harder to find due to rarity and stigma against the traditions, and Hoodoo should probably be learned in the caribbeans, africa or the CAS to be worthwhile. Shadows of X offer a good range of known universities and their magic studies. For instance, some of the best classes in pagan magical traditions can be found at the University of Prague!
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