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I was think of snipers and their uses in SR the other day ( I got bored nyahnyah.gif ) and I had a really evil idea devil.gif

If you just gave a combat mage a telescope, isn't that all he'd need to effectively "snipe" people from a long ways off? As long as the telescope doesn't digitally manipulate the image, i.e. it's just a normal telescope, I think it would work. Hell, get a mage with vision magnification and bypass the need for a telescope completely, or exend the range even further.

Is this viable? If so, why isn't it seen more often?
We had a discussion about this sometime back. Something about sniping at someone from the other side of the earth using a REALLY high powered telescope and satellite mounted mirrors. I'll see if I can find it.
A: Create an argracultural colony on the moon.
B: When a reasonably habitable mana pocket is created fly up some mages.
C: Create a Wreck City spell and get a few optical telescopes.
D: Hold the world hostage.
QUOTE (Shev)
Is this viable? If so, why isn't it seen more often?

I'll take hideously unbalancing for five hundred nuyen please Alex. smile.gif
Ol' Scratch
It's what they get for removing a Range mechanic for spells. As it stands, Optical Magnification offers absolutely nothing; if you can see just a tiny speck in the distance, you can target it just as easily as you could something standing in front of you.
It does offer something, namely the identification of said tiny speck. Unless you don't mind Manabolting the christmas tree when you think you're nailing the target smile.gif

Ol' Scratch
That assumes the Christmas tree isn't the target. Maybe the mage is pretty perturbed about having to vacuum his carpet after the holiday season...
Damn pine needles!

*shakes angry fist*
Speaking of which, what is the Willpower of a tree?
Ol' Scratch
There isn't one. It has an OR of 2 or 3, though.
Sniping isn't too unbalancing for a mage, since spells are resisted and defended against (with Spell Defense) normally (as opposed to a mundane sniper, who can surprise you so that you can't use Combat Pool to dodge or soak his attack). I imagine that visual aids for mages are fairly common. Merely keep in mind that in most urban and wilderness areas, it is fairly easy for a target to find visual cover after the first attack. And mages don't need to stay at a long distance for that first attack, since they can be inconspicuous (no obvious weapons, etc.) until they make that first attack.

Actually, the rules already have fiber-optic security networks, which are even cheesier than using a magnifying scope. It lets security mages rain down spells on intruders virtually unopposed.
God yes, those things are evil. The first time I used one against my party it was a wipe, they barely got out alive. Certainly they didn't get their objective.

Score one for cunning players though. The mage whipped up a very basic Detect Fiber Optic Cable spell (I ummed and ahhed over it for a while, but in the end allowed it because I wanted to see where he was going with this) and then the troll merc completely floored me by using his Gunrunner contact to get a laser weapon (we'd already established that the Gunrunner could only supply weapons, but that the availability for them would be lower).

I'm sure you can see where this is going. The next time they ran up against a fiber-optic security grid, the mage located the endpoint, they jammed the laser up against it and pulled the trigger. Boom, mage's retinas get fried out.

Had they kept that up, I would probably have had the local security forces spot the pattern and come up with something to stop that from happening, but it was pretty inventive.
Why didn't he just spell shield until the sec mage cast a spell at them, after which he just simply Nova-ed?
Ol' Scratch
Wouldn't the cable have melted or something long before the laser had a chance of getting anywhere near the mage (but still protecting the group since the cable was effectively ruined)? They transfer light pretty well, but I've never heard of them doing a thing for lasers... especially high-power death-dealing lasers.
While eventually melting the cabel, I would think that laser would ruin the mage's eyes before the fiberoptics are destroyed. But no death-lazor through the fiber-optics, that's impossible.
No, it didn't deal damage per se; I extrapolated a bit and free-formed the results in an interestingly dramatic way.

Oh, the spell shield thing - IIRC they blew their Reaction rolls when the first spell went off, and I don't let mages shield other people when surprised (not canon, I know, but there you go). I think (it's been a long time) that the mage blew his defence a bit as well, but I don't really recall; certainly the party was pretty fragged.
Is it just me or does it seem like quite a stretch to be able to see something normally through a chunk of fiber optic cable? Light has to be within its receptive cone to get transmitted down the length, and it seems like the light that we see with is diffuse enough that fiber optics would suck for that. I'm not an expert (or even that well informed), but it seems to me that you would need to electronically capture the image and then transmit the info as digital light pulses, which would be just as much manipulation as sending electrical impulses down a wire.
Crusher Bob
You might be able to gather the light with a parabolic mirror, though this would probably produce a rather distorted image.

Even by canon the mage would have needed to say he was shielding the party before the fight started. I have never seen a mage shield the party before a fight started although it would be a wise strategy.

As to the laser it would melt and burn the fiber optics yes but I would expect a short burst equivalent to a modern level 2 or 3 laser to hit his eye first. This would have about the effect described. Of cause he can still target with his off eye. If he is game

Ol' Scratch
You're joking, right? Standard operating procedure for every mage I've played with has them placing spell defense (or shielding if they know it) on everyone they could by default. If they saw a fight coming, they would usually reassign their dice just before combat broke out... but by default every last die was on defense.
QUOTE (Doctor Funkenstein)
It's what they get for removing a Range mechanic for spells. As it stands, Optical Magnification offers absolutely nothing; if you can see just a tiny speck in the distance, you can target it just as easily as you could something standing in front of you.

Wait...I thought there was a meters traveled modifier?
I know there is for Fiber-Optic cabling used to cast spells.
Nope. In a copy of the SR2 Grimoire there was, IIRC, a set of rules for increasing magical TNs over long distances due to atmospheric LOS disruptions like smog, etc., but no inherent range modifier.

Ah, ok...that's what it was.
Well, this actually reminds me...everyone remember the old "magic bullet" threads? grinbig.gif
One of the major NPCs in a game I'm running is a mage-sniper. Aspected Chaos Mage (Sorcerer), with a decent silenced bolt-action rifle, optical Mag3 lowlight/thermal scope and Force-5 versions of Enhance Aim, Manabolt, Powerbolt and Stunbolt, Shattershield and Laser, plus the focussed concentration edge and a very small amount of cyberware (boosted reflexes 1 and alpha'd reaction enhancer 2 to get his Initiative up a bit). He can KO or kill a target in LOS, whether or not they've got a magical shield, has a tendency not to miss and if all else fails he can pop a cap into them (or use nasty chem-filled capsule rounds if one is feeling exceptionally cruel). It's a nice mix of the Awakened power and mundane skill being used to the same ends.

I have contemplated playing a drone rigger/mage sitting in an armored van with fiber optics circling the vehicle. He'd also have crawler drones to drag armored optical fiber cables about when setting up for a fight.

But the my GM slapped me and said no.


Crusher Bob
Wht not a borg/mage with extra cybereyes on stalks, os that he can look around corners and over walls and still blast you?
Hm. I have seen someone do that, a cybermage with an extra eye on his palm and telescopic cyberarm.

Worked pretty well, too. But he kept losing hands and having to get them replaced - kept sticking it in odd places and getting it smashed, cut off, or otherwise fubared.

In primary school we built a periscope type toy using a milk carton and 2 mirrors.

Why spend essence and take social mods for an eye in your cyber arm when a Childs toy (redesigned and built in solid plastic) will serve as well. You can even include a 1 way filter screen similar to those used in car windows to allow LOS out but not in to protect you from return spell fire and if somebody shoots it who cares, it was only worth about 25 nuyen at any science toy shop.

Never underestimate the Shadowrunning potential of a 25 nuyen.gif childrens' toy.
Isn't the point that bullets go through stuff and LOS spells don't? And isn't a mage who uses area-effect elemental manipulation spells to get around the LOS thing the same as a guy with a rocket launcher who says "I got him and I was like 400 metres away so do I get a sniper badge?"

Also, a mage who zaps someone at 400 metres and says "by the almighty Zovgoth, I vanquished him!!!" is nowhere near as cool as a guy in a ghillie suit with a custom rifle putting a silenced headshot into a sentry and saying "tango down".
Ah, mirrors, so many uses for the enterprising mage. Window shopping and the some punk tries to hold you up? Look at his reflection and blow him away with your Manabolt. Road rage? Tired of being tailed while you are driving? Manabolt the pesky tailgater without turning your head.
Never trust a woman with a makeupkit mirror again...even if she is powdering her nose.
Ol' Scratch
I'm a big fan of dental mirrors for my magicians.
QUOTE (toturi)
Manabolt the pesky tailgater without turning your head.

That would work if there were cars that didn't have polarized windows. smile.gif
Ol' Scratch
That's why you just use an Elemental Manipulation and a Called Shot to the window first. biggrin.gif
I imagine that the "I cast Phyical Barrier for tailgaters" is bumper sticker is pretty popular.
Herald of Verjigorm
Physical barrier would have to be really high force to slow down most traffic. Although, if the GM lets you use it as a ramp under one wheel, that can deter tailgating.

Other splendid driving options: city spirits (all those fun powers), phantasms, shape liquid with a large bottle of your favorite stain inducer, and more that don't come to mind as quickly.
Ice Sheet. It's all about the Ice Sheet.
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