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Solstice
What is the area of spells?

SR3 says all valid targets within the area of the spell are effected but it says nothing about what the area of spells are?
Crusher Bob
For combat spells, the area of effect is a shpere with diameter = magic rating (6 meters for most people) this are can be expanded by one meter by withholding one die from the spellcasting test, or shrunk one meter by withholding two dice. (you can do more that one grow/shrink).

IIRC power foci up your area of effect as well (since they increase your effective magic rating).

Fortune
For Detection Spells, it's normally Force x Magic in meters. This can be increased by a factor of 10 if the extended option is included when learning the spell.
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (Crusher Bob)
IIRC power foci up your area of effect as well (since they increase your effective magic rating).

Only for the purpose of determining if a spell does Physical or Stun Drain, and the maximum Force of a spirit you can summon.
Sahandrian
QUOTE (Crusher Bob)
For combat spells, the area of effect is a shpere with diameter = magic rating (6 meters for most people) this are can be expanded by one meter by withholding one die from the spellcasting test, or shrunk one meter by withholding two dice. (you can do more that one grow/shrink).

Radius, not diameter.

The rules are in the BBB, page 181, 2nd and 3rd complete paragraphs on the right.
Solstice
what the BBB again? SR3?
Ol' Scratch
Yes.
Solstice
ok, now the mage in our group has been manipulating spell area any which way he likes so I'll put a stop to that now.

Another question: he says he bought "expendible" foci and he was using them for any spell he happened to need. However, I thought that foci had to be bought for the specific school like combat or whatever and had to be used for only that school of spell. Am I right?
Ol' Scratch
You are correct. Expendable Spell Foci are traditionally purchased based upon the spell category, but you can use it for any spell within that category. Honestly though, most people I've gamed with don't bother with all that bookkeeping and allow them to be used with any spell. Note that Expendable Foci can be used to alter the dimensions of a spell, too, by using the extra dice to pay for the change.
Solstice
QUOTE (Doctor Funkenstein)
You are correct. Expendable Spell Foci are traditionally purchased based upon the spell category, but you can use it for any spell within that category. Honestly though, most people I've gamed with don't bother with all that bookkeeping and allow them to be used with any spell. Note that Expendable Foci can be used to alter the dimensions of a spell, too, by using the extra dice to pay for the change.

Thats probably why he felt he could do that...the group he gamed with before was notoriously lax. I don't consider it "book keeping" unless by that you mean playing by the rules.
Ol' Scratch
No, by "bookkeeping" I mean it's not worth the effort when it's only 0 Karma and 1,000/Force and is a one-shot deal no matter what.
Solstice
QUOTE (Doctor Funkenstein)
No, by "bookkeeping" I mean it's not worth the effort when it's only 0 Karma and 1,000/Force and is a one-shot deal no matter what.

Do you have an entirely different set of books? I thought is was 9,000 for a force 6 expendable foci?
Ol' Scratch
Oops, it is 1,500/Force. My mistake. The point still stands.
Solstice
well the situation was such that his life effectively hinged on those 2 expendable foci which he used twice to heal himself. So had he declared which type they were when he bought them it could have drastically altered the outcome of the run. Now I'm not into characters dying but the GM specifically asked me about it and I told him the rules said. He was none to happy about the liberties taken both with the foci, the area manipulation and some other problems with the players spell pool. But if he's willing to not worry about foci then I am too.
Ol' Scratch
Unless the run paid off more cash than the cost of those two foci (18,000 if they were Force 6)I don't get the problem, and even if it did it's still 18,000 flushed down the toliet. The outcome would have likely been similar if he had used them to supercharge another spell to save his hide (Control Thoughts to stop the attack, Stunbolt to take down the attacker, Trid Phantasm to craft a clever illusion, etc.).

But, obviously, that's just me. I wouldn't get upset with the player, though, as it's very likely he didn't realize they were category dependant any more than the GM in question did.
DocMortand
Hey, I didn't realize it either, but it hasn't come up in my game. (I think the mages in my group feel that the whole expendable thing isn't worth it in the first place...they're going the whole creating their own foci route...enchanting, making oriachlum, etc.)

Of course, if they ever do...now I know. vegm.gif
Solstice
QUOTE (Doctor Funkenstein)
I wouldn't get upset with the player, though, as it's very likely he didn't realize they were category dependant any more than the GM in question did.

Agreed. The only reason the GM was asking about it because he and I do not know the rules all that well and this player has a history of fudging things when he is fairly certain we won't know better in the heat of battle. It's not that big of deal I just wanted to verify my understanding.
GrinderTheTroll
QUOTE (Doctor Funkenstein)
Unless the run paid off more cash than the cost of those two foci (18,000 if they were Force 6)I don't get the problem, and even if it did it's still 18,000 flushed down the toliet.

GReat point here about the cost of magic. My group's mage ran into this reality check in a hurry once he bought the materials for 4 force 5 Elementals (20k) and was only getting paid 25k for the run. The group agreed the chip in for the materials, but it really drove home the point that sort of magical advantage comes at a steep price.
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