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Wacky
Greetings all!

Was thinking of using a Mischief (rodent-sized animal swarm) against my players in an SR4 game tonight.

My thought was to have the toxic magician they'll be battling use the Control Pack spell to summon forth a group of mutant Norweign rats on them.

I had stated the rats out (more strength and better unarmed combat skill, final essence 3), but then had pondered what to do about them fighting together.

Remembering their was a passage on that in Running Wild, I looked it up (page 25 of the book). But it didn't say much on how to use them. All I know if that the body for said swarm is the group size +2. For a large number of rats in a Mischief (15 in all), that'd be a body of 5. But how would you determine the number killed from a shot from a gun or spell?

Do I just have individual condition tracks and follow them all or what? Any advice will be appreciated, and don't fell rushed to get it to me tonight--I can always use a swarm later on in the game...maybe a group of devil rats throwing mischiefs at the party when they invade the rats' home...

Sign--
Wacky
Iduno
The closest rule I can find right now is page 154 of Augmentation, referring to insect swarms. I would assume Running Wild is a bit different, because insect swarms are supposed to be a flying swarm (3-dimensional) as opposed to a group on foot (rats are probably not stacked on each other to any significant degree). So a body 5 swarm would be twice as many insects as a body 4 swarm, because the insect swarm is growing in all 3 directions.

The rule in Augmentation is that damage is subtracted directly from the body (9 body - 3P damage = 6 body, with a corresponding reduction in the number of insects) instead of using a normal damage tract. Insect Swarms are also immune to single-target attacks.

Back to your question: Rats are large enough that the swarm would possibly be able to be hurt by a single bullet (one rat might die), but you'd want to do something to reduce the damage a bullet can do (harder to hit, and a maximum damage equal to a single rat dying). Maybe let a 3-round burst hurt/kill 2 rats. AoE attacks like spells or grenades could reasonably hurt or kill all of them. Hopefully someone has a copy of Running Wild nearby to let us know if there are new rules for attacking swarms of animals or not. If not, try to find a ruling that makes sense based on Augmentation.

Wacky
QUOTE (Iduno @ Jul 12 2017, 05:00 PM) *
The closest rule I can find right now is page 154 of Augmentation, referring to insect swarms. I would assume Running Wild is a bit different, because insect swarms are supposed to be a flying swarm (3-dimensional) as opposed to a group on foot (rats are probably not stacked on each other to any significant degree). So a body 5 swarm would be twice as many insects as a body 4 swarm, because the insect swarm is growing in all 3 directions.

The rule in Augmentation is that damage is subtracted directly from the body (9 body - 3P damage = 6 body, with a corresponding reduction in the number of insects) instead of using a normal damage tract. Insect Swarms are also immune to single-target attacks.

Back to your question: Rats are large enough that the swarm would possibly be able to be hurt by a single bullet (one rat might die), but you'd want to do something to reduce the damage a bullet can do (harder to hit, and a maximum damage equal to a single rat dying). Maybe let a 3-round burst hurt/kill 2 rats. AoE attacks like spells or grenades could reasonably hurt or kill all of them. Hopefully someone has a copy of Running Wild nearby to let us know if there are new rules for attacking swarms of animals or not. If not, try to find a ruling that makes sense based on Augmentation.


Ah, just reread the description given in Running Wild and you're totally right. Misread that completely, DV does reduce group rating, but only with area effects and explosions. That'll work perfectly, thank you!

Sign--
Wacky
Mantis
Is this what you have in your copy of Running Wild on pg 25-26?

QUOTE
Direct attacks diminish the population of the Mischief by one-quarter (round down) of the modified DV after damage has
been soaked. Area-of-effect attacks reduce the Group Rating by half the modified DV.


Marcos and his team are camped in the Saharan basin when a Mischief of bats flies through the camp looking to feed. He opens fire with his pistol as he moves across the camp towards shelter. The pistolís modified DV is 7P, which the Mischief reduces to 4P after the damage soak. One of the bats falls to the ground, as the ex-ex rounds tear through the cloud of fur and wings. Itís going to be a long night for Marcos.

Mischiefs are treated as a single creature for skill use and attacks. Like Swarms, they do not provide Friends in Melee bonuses. Against a melee attack, the defender may defend as usual. Every net hit by a Mischief is counted as a single dose of venom or toxin (if applicable). At the gamemasterís discretion, characters wearing heavy clothing or armor may gain 1 to 3 bonus dice on their Toxin Resistance Test. For non-venom attacks, defenders use their full Impact armor rating on their Damage Resistance Test.


The bits I put in bold explain how single and AoE attacks work against a mischief.
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