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Hello, newbie here so please forgive...

I'm creating a new character (tribal shaman - full magician). The improved invisiblilty spell has a target of 4... what exactly does this mean? The book says "other spells have a specific target number listed". I dont really understand what this means.. i apologize if there's threads already addressing this... I'm new to Shadowrun, as are the other friends I'm playing with, six of us bought the primary sourcebook, but unfortunately we don't have the RPG'n experience to fully decipher all the rules.. or we're stupid... either way, please help!

Thank you,
Hopefully nobody'll shoot huge honkin' holes in my explanation. (I'm in the process of getting back into practice here, so I'm posting this mostly to make sure that I understand the mechanics properly too. biggrin.gif )

When casting any spell, you roll your Sorcery dice (plus any Spell Pool you allocate) against the target number of the spell. The number of dice that equal or beat the difficulty is the number of successes for the spell.

For most spells, a spell is an opposed test. You'd roll a number of successes, and your opponent would attempt to resist it. For example, a Mana Bolt, your target number would be the target's Willpower (W in the spell description). The target would then make a resistance test using his willpower against the spell's force.

Since Improved Invisibility is an indirect spell, things work differently. This spell targets the object that you're attempting to turn invisible, rather than an opponent. So, you always casting against the predetermined target number of 4, but you keep track of your successes. When others have a chance to see through the spell, they make a test using their Intelligence against the Force of the spell. If they get more successes on the Int test than the caster got when casting the spell, they're able to see through the invisibility.

heinous, you should read page 38 and 39 in the main book, starting with "Making Tests". It describes rolling dice, Success Tests, and the meaning of Target Numbers. Here are the fundamentals:

With Shadowrun, there is a concept of not just succeeding in something, but how well you succeed. The game master will select a "Target Number", based on the difficulty of succeeding in a test. The target number for a test might be 5, for example. You will often roll multiple 6-sided dice with a test, but you do not add the numbers on the dice together. Instead you compare the number showing on each die, individually, with the Target Number. You count how many of the dice equal or exceed that number. This is your number of successes.

Lets say your character has the opportunity to hear a gunshot fired in the neighborhood. Hearing and seeing things are perception tests, where you roll a number of dice equal to your character's intelligence attribute. If your intelligence is 4, you'll roll 4 dice. If the Target Number (determined by the GM) is 5, then you will count up how many of your rolled dice are 5 or higher. That is the number of successes. The more successes, the better your character has heard and understood what the sound was. Your game master might decide something like the following:

0 successes - character didn't notice the gunshot
1 success - heard a loud noise in the neighborhood
2 successes - heard what sounded like a gunshot to the North
3 successes - sounded like a rifle fired one block North
4+ successes - the distinctive crack of an AK-model assault rifle fired within the close confines of a narrow alley is heard coming from 1 block North

The more dice you get to use for a test, the more likely you are of having multiple successes. The more successes you have shooting, or dodging, or resisting damage, the better for your character.

If your character plans on shooting a pistol or rifle in an alley, he may want to purchase a sound suppressor or silencer for his weapon. With the proper use of one of these, it raises the Target Number for perception rolls by others to determine what's happening.

You'll read on pp. 38-39 about the special things that happen if all the dice roll a 1, and about how Target Numbers can be above 6!

With a Target Numbef of 4, it is fairly easy for a magician to have several successes in casting Improved Invisibility. The more successes the magician has, the more successes a viewer has to get on a resistance roll in order to see through the invisibility spell.

Good luck. Welcome to Shadowrun. Welcome to these discussion boards. Give us some more questions, please.
One thing to clear up - some spells are cast on a Subject, not a Target.

Improved Invisibility, and Detections spells are examples of spells that are cast on a Subject. These types of spells still affect the Target of a spell.

Combat Spells however, are cast at a Target

For instance, you cast Improved Invisibility on yourself -> You are the Subject of the spell.

Anyone trying to look at you is a Target of the Improved Insibility Spell. They have to roll a Spell Resistance Test, using Intelligence, + any Spell Defense Dice allocated.

To resist your Improved Invisibility Spell, they roll these dice against the Force of the spell, needing and equal number or better successes than you rolled casting the spell.

Often, Resisting Invisibility (and other illusions) is mistakenly referred to as a Perception Test, when in fact, it is a Spell Resistance Test.

Unfortunately, in many books, they use the term Perception Test where they should be stating Spell Resistance Test.
Hmm. I never noticed that bit about the Perception vs Spell Resistance Test. Illusions certainly make a bit more sense to me now!
ah. many thanks. this is all extremely helpful info. I'm finding that a lot of the answers to the questions i've been having are usually no more than 2 pages away in the sourcebook. hehe. this is to be expected... as explaining an entire world and rules is no small task, even for text. I'm looking forward to this game and im sure you'll all be seeing plenty of me in the near future... lots of questions to be asked...

Sadly, SR3 does a horrible job of keeping all the relavent information grouped. Try checking to see how many pages you'll need to reference to learn all you want to know about Demolitions.
Necro Tech
Something to remember, when witnessing an invisible person the GM usually asks for two tests. The first is automatic, the spell resistance test, in this case using intelligence to resist the spell. The second test is a perception test to hear the person who is usually sneaking by (or up on) the person making the test. As invisibility only removes you from sight, sensors that use microphones or ordinary metahumans can still perceive you. If they can come to any useful conclusion is a decision for the GM.
Hi everyone, forgive a French newbie for his first intervention on the forum...
About this Invisibility spell...

I didn't think it entailed a spell resistance test. I thought that anyone trying to perceive someone covered by the spell had to make Perception test with a TN modifier equal to 2 per success on the casting test (i.e. if the magician gets 4 5 success, any perception test against the recipient is at +10)

Am I mistaken?
Ombre, you are incorrect. Third edition rules for Detection spells are as described above.

If the viewer has the same or more successes on a spell resistance test than the caster of the spell had in casting the spell, then the viewer perceives the illusion for what it is, and sees what is really there.

The English version of SR3 describes this on page 195, under Illusion Spells and Indirect Illusion Spells. All indirect illusions (like Invisibility) are resisted by Intelligence.

Earlier printings of SR3 indicated that the viewer had to achieve more successes than the caster to see through the illusion, but in the 13th printing this was corrected to only needing equal or more successes. This corrects Illusion Spells to follow the standard for spells, which is described on page 183 under Spell Effect.
You're mistaken. I think you're thinking of camouflage or somesuch spell.

oups, yes, you're right!
Thanks a lot, omae...I wonder where the heck I got this strange idea...I played Shadowrun from 1990 to 1997 on a regular once-a-week basis and then we slowed the pace and haven't played since 2001. So I haven't played that much under 3rd ed rules...
But I'm currently going through a thorough re-reading of all the sourcebooks (particularly background oriented sourcebooks).
Problem is when you have played for so long under the old rules, you tend to overlook subtle changes in the new set of rules...
Ombre, you might be interested in the notes on rules we made in our campaign. After we learned the 3rd edition stuff we did every day (changes to initiative, changes to spells, etc.) we made a list of all those rules which we found hard to remember.

Here's our list: rulenotes

For page numbers with a decimal point (like 193.3) the decimal point indicates where on the page the rule is. The left column is numbered .0 (top left) through .4 (bottom left). The right column .5 through .9.
OurTeam -- thanks for posting that link! Great resource that I've promptly bookmarked.
Thanks, OurTeam, it sure refreshed my memory
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