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.
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...
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.