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QUOTE (Tiralee @ Jun 25 2020, 02:55 PM) *
ie: The spell, "Blast"
Or for real terror, "Elemental Blast". Those TN's are that high for a reason children.


QUOTE (Magic in the Shadows p. 52 in Elemental Effects)
Primary Damage: Blast effects increase their Damage Level against manifested earth elementals and gnomes by one level, striking with the impact of rushing air. Characters struck with a Blast effect are subject to the Knockdown rules associated with melee combat (p. 123, SR3), with the Force of the spell substituting for the Strength of the attacker.
Secondary Effects: Broken glass, shattered plaster and so on. Unreinforced walls and structures can be badly damaged by the Blast effect.

I don't know if that's what you're refering to. The effect is applied to the spells thunderbolt and thunderclap, which only do stun damage but can deafen the target for a few rounds… And, that's pretty much it. No chunky salsa in the BBB and MitS…

So, where is it?
QUOTE (freudqo)
I'm sorry for my tone, and for the exasperation, because I understand where you're coming from. But unfortunately, I am right on this…

I would beg to differ and I'll try to explain why

QUOTE (freudqo)
Spell targetting:

"Elemental Manipulation Spells: Elemental manipulation spells work a little differently from other spells. An elemental spell creates a damaging medium in the physical world (fire, acid, lightning) which the caster directs at the target of the spell just like any other ranged attack. Because an elemental spell creates actual matter or energy, it is impeded by physical obstructions like glass and other barriers. The matter or energy of the spell hits the obstruction, and one of them has to give (see Firing through Barriers, p. 124). Because the physical component of the spell is directed and controlled by magic, it can still be blocked by anything that affects spells, including Spell Defense and astral barriers.
Because an elemental spell creates a physical medium, it affects targets in the area of effect in the same way as a physical explosion or grenade. Make the Sorcery Test and compare the result to the target numbers of all the targets in the area. Targets with complete visual cover can still be affected. Targets hidden behind a wall within the radius of a Fireball spell will still get cooked, even if the caster cannot see them."

So this paragraph establishes several things:
  • In contrast to standard spell targeting and damage resolution these spells do utilize the ranged combat rules ... with the usual caveat of "unless noted otherwise". One such deviation from the ranged combat rules already stated here: Spell Defense and astral barriers do affect these spells
  • The resolution via ranged combat rules includes the (infamously bad) physical barrier rules
  • The AoE element of these spells is explicitly like the effects of explosions or grenades. This actually has ramifications for potentially applying the "Blast in Confined Space" rules for grenades / explosions as well as the optional Grenade / Explosion Damage rule ... but that's an entirely different discussion.
  • The TNs for all targets have to be met.
  • Regardless of what RAW might tell you otherwise the RAI here very explicitly is that unlike with the LOS-based spell casting of Combat spells the Elemental Manipulations are explicitly supposed to be able to affect targets that cannot be seen by the spellcaster

QUOTE (freudqo)
Emphasis mine on the bolded paragraph… It concerns the AOE… Sorry, but you have to beat the TN for each target.

Indeed, so the core question is whether or not all possible TN modifiers - particularly the "Blind Fire" one - actually apply ... and this is where we're very likely going to be forced to agree to disagree

QUOTE (freudqo)
And in case of doubt about the modifiers for the TN, next paragraph about sorcery test:

Yes, this next paragraph is going to be the make or break element to the argument.

QUOTE (freudqo)
"Elemental Manipulation Spells: Elemental spells are treated like normal ranged attacks (see p. 109) using Sorcery as the Ranged Combat Skill.

This indeed establishes that the attacks with Elemental Manipulation spells are treated like normal ranged attacks - with direct reference to those rules - but with the first explicit difference: using Sorcery instead of a ranged combat skill.

QUOTE (freudqo)
Spell Pool dice may be added as normal.

Another clear deviation from ranged combat that includes the normal pool for spellcasting as a replacement for combat pool.

QUOTE (freudqo)
They have a base Target Number of 4, regardless of range, as long as the caster can see the target.

Another deviation from ranged combat since standard ranged combat applies range modifiers based on weapon type.
The "as long as the caster can see the target" part could be seen as creating a bit of contradiction, because it clearly mentions a LOS condition - which by the previous paragraph shouldn't be a total hindrance - and only refers to a singular target not multiple ones. But it's easy enough to interpret this within RAW as referring to all potential targets within the area of effect.

QUOTE (freudqo)
Cover, visibility, injury and sustaining modifiers apply.

And here's the first catch:
This explicitly lists which ranged combat and magical modifiers actually do apply to the ranged combat test and the crux of the matter is:
"Blind Fire" per RAW just within the context of the Core rules is actually neither an explicit cover (the word "cover" is simply not used there) nor a visibility modifier. It also certainly is not an injury or sustaining modfier. As a matter of fact the only explicit cover modifier within the Core rules is "Partial Cover" modifier and Cannon Companion explicitly confirms this by stating on page 97:

Cover modifiers
The rules for ranged combat in SR3 offer only a singular and rudimentary modifier for obstructed targets called Partial Cover [..]

Unfortunately things do get messy from there on since Cannon Companion clearly introduces more explicit cover modifiers and for whatever reason suddenly labels a 100% cover as "+ 8 (Blind Fire)" despite just having outright said that the equally named "Blind Fire" modifier in the Core rules is not a cover modifier ... thus creating the bizzare and in game terms extremely ill-suited situation of applying two modifiers labeled as "Blind Fire" at the same time for a total of +16 which will render most attacks moot. So just as with other things the writers certainly f*ed this up right there.

Now the second catch with cover modifiers is this: Unless the rules would provide a clearly different definition "cover" has a directional component to its semantics and that directional component under normal circumstances refers to the direction from which the damage is ultimately coming and not so much from where the attack that will cause said damage was initiated. That's actually why the "Blind Fire" modifier within the context of the Core rules makes little sense for grenades in various situations albeit explicitly mentioning them being subjected to said modifier for indirect attacks against targets that the grenade using character cannot directly see.

=> I would say that it's very much within RAW for any GM to not apply the Core Rule "Blind Fire" modifier to the spellcasting test for an Elemental Manipulation spell, because that modifier is not on the list of valid TN modifiers for Elemental Manipualtions. A GM is also within RAW when applying cover modifiers for targets only with regards to direction from which the spell is expanding around the epicenter that the spell caster chose to (physically) throw his spell at.
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