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A few magic related questions I was hoping people could help me clarify. If people could post page references for me with their answers, I would appreciate that as well (so I can refer to them in the future). Apologies, I know they are basic questions, yet personally I find the rules unclear on them.

1. For a shaman's totem modifer dice, (use Bear, for example) does a Bear shaman get +2 dice to the casting (Sorcery test) AND drain resistance test for health spells (+2/+2) or divide up the two dice between the two tests? (+2/+0, +1/+1, +0/+2)?

2. Say a mage has sorcery 6 with 2 actions in a combat turn, and sets aside 2 dice for spell defense. Assuming he casts a spell in both of these actions, does he now have only 4 dice (in his sorcery pool) available for the spells? And is it 4 dice for EACH of the spells, or 4 dice TOTAL between the two?

3. Spells can no longer be 'grounded' through foci, correct? If magician A has a focus B active (but he is neither perceiving nor projecting), and magician C slams a spell into focus B from the astral, the worst that happens is that focus B gets destroyed, magician A and all around him are untouched. This because he is in the mundane world, and since focus B and magician C are in the astral, B and C can affect each other but not A. Did I get that right? Stuff on the astral plane can only affect other astrally present stuff, and can no longer affect stuff on the mundane world even indirectly? (e.g. dropping a spell into a focus from the astral and thus destroying the focus and everything around it in the mundane world doesn't work anymore).

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it! smile.gif
Herald of Verjigorm
1) It's +2 total for each spellcasting. Casting and drain do not each get the bonus. I can't remember if there is some debatebale text about using totem dice on the drain portion, but if there is, it's easy enough to evade the problem by directing some of your normal sorcery and/or spell pool to the drain.

2) Sorcery acts like any other skill except for dice devoted to spell defense and the specialty rules for simultaneous casting. So if you put 2 of your six dice to spell defense, and have two complex actions to cast with, you get 4 dice for each spell before spell pool.

3) Yup.
Misfit Toy
1) You split them up just like Sorcery dice. You can put +2 in one or the other or +1 in both.

2) He only has two dice set aside for Spell Defense and otherwise has what's left of his remaining dice to cast spells, dispell, or do anything else you like with Sorcery. Once you set aside dice for Spell Defense, they're subtracted from your total dice available and remain that way until spent or reassigned. It doesn't matter how many turns you have.

3) COrrect.
1. Our team plays that the additional dice from Totem bonuses can be allocated by the Shaman to either the magical test or the drain test. We've played this way since 1st edition, but don't know whether it is clearly stated anywhere in 3rd. Note that Conjuring Dice can (SR3.188 top left) be allocated between the Conjuring test and its drain test, but Sorcery dice can not (SR3.183 top right) be allocated to the spellcasting drain test.

2. He has 4 Sorcery to use for casting spells, unless he reallocates (a Free Action) his 2 unused Spell Defense back to use for Spellcasting. If they've already been used for Spell Defense, he can't reallocate the back for casting. These rules are complicated and require a lot of study to get right, particularly since you can Allocate Sorcery Dice to other things as well. There is a long discussion of this on the old board.

For those wanting something simpler, our team played 3rd edition for over a year without worrying about allocating sorcery dice, and simply used Spell Pool for Spell Defense or Shielding. We allowed, within one combat turn, a magician to use his entire Sorcery skill on one action for Spellcasting, and his entire Sorcery skill (including dice withheld from Spellcasting to adjust area of effect) for Astral Combat on another action. These house rules worked great and were simple to use. We never felt they unbalanced anything. These are basically 2nd edition rules.

3. You are correct.
1. Technically, the dice get added to his spell pool for the entire casting. So, just think of his spell pool increasing by 2 dice, and run from there.

2. OurTeam and Herald have it right. Luckily, reallocating is a Free Action. What works better is to allocate one Spell Pool and one Sorcery dice.

3. Got it. I don't think you can even damage the physical form of the focus from an astral attack, although I'm not sure.
QUOTE (Cain @ Jul 5 2004, 05:48 PM)
1.  Technically, the dice get added to his spell pool for the entire casting.  So, just think of his spell pool increasing by 2 dice, and run from there.

Have a quote for this?

I wonder because then it makes totem modifiers less powerful. Both positive and negative modifiers.

In the above example say the shaman has a +2 bonus for one spell and a -1 bonus for another spell and a spell pool of 6. They use 4 Sorcery dice and are limited to 4 Spell Pool dice to cast the -1 bonus spell. It doesn't hurt them at all. Next Phase they use 4 Sorcery dice and 4 Spell Pool Dice (the two remaining + the 2 that get added for this spell.)

I employed the totem bonus this way. 4 Sorcery dice -1 die, from totem modifier, +3 Spell Pool dice = 6 dice. (vs 8. ) 4 Sorcery dice +2 totem modifier + 4 Spell Pool dice = 10 dice. (vs 8. )
Misfit Toy
Tisoz has it correct. SR3 p. 163. By default, the modifiers apply to all tests you make within their limitation/bonus.
Misfit, I don't see any words on SR3.163 that says that totem dice (for example, +2 dice for Combat Spells) add to both the Spellcasting Test and the Drain Resistance Test. Can you quote the words you're referencing that say this?
He's just correcting Cain's explanation which mistakenly gives the impression that you only get to use the bonus dice once per combat turn. By "tests" he means something like "acts", such that a casting/conjuring test and drain resistance test both form one complete act.
Necrotic Monkey
SR3 p. 163, Totem Modifiers: "These (totem dice) bonuses add or subtract from the final number of dice rolled for particular tests, but do not otherwise modify the shaman's skill ratings."

There's nothing there that say they only apply to one particular test or another, that they act like a pool of dice, or any other limitation. They apply to all tests you make. If you have a +2 dice bonus on all illusion spells, every time you cast an illusion spell you gain +2 dice on the spellcasting test. You also gain the bonus when using Spell Defense to resist an illusion spell or attempt to dispel an illusion spell (since they're all uses of Sorcery). The rules on that same page only talk about using Sorcery or Conjuring, however, so Drain Resistance Tests don't gain the benefit of the dice unless specified elsewhere (some totems give a bonus for Drain Resistance Tests). The rules for Drain Resistance Tests (SR3 p. 183) never mention the use of totem modifiers either.
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