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lorthazar
We all know that some campaigns have a problem with the Magically active character starting to completely own the game. Many of you have lamented the staggering power and cheese factor of some people playing mages and adept. Now I am not talking about well thought out characters with personality and something that resembles a life. I am talking abou the munchkin, powergaming, twinks out there.

He is a few ways to handle such people.

Bring back Ground to Manifestation, but make it a metamagic. At first your PC's won't have it and even when they do the usefulness of it now that focus addiction is out there is a minimal gain. For those of you who argue that this is not Canon I beg to differ untill the change in 3rd Edition it was an everyday risk of being a mage.

Orichalcum is a premium cost precious metal and very distinctive. Every pickpocket and their cousin is going to try to to nick their Foci.

On Money for Karma: if they are using to buy skills add extra class time. If they are pumping up attributes allocate extra time for that, if they are learning spell add extra time, of if the initiate with it just have them owe some huge favors to astral entities. Inconvienant favors that don't let them gain karma while performing them.

Free Spirits who know any mages should be regularly plotting on their demise. They may not do it, but they plot none the less.

I would like to hear your opinion on any other methods of maianting character balance.
Chibu
"Kill the mage first"?
Mortax
I've used a few methods in the past to deal with munchkin mages ect... aside from cows from space. smile.gif

Focus addiction makes it very hard on a mage who uses them too much.
I'm also trying to rework the priority sytem, adding an f priority, to seperate money from force points. Thus far, it seems like it could help prevent mages from taking max rescorces all the time. I understand why it was set up like it was in the beguining, but it doesn't make sense for a street shaman who has been poor all his life to have 400 k lying around. However, they could have a decent number of spells.

Anouther way is using imps, shedem, and other spirits to screw with them. It's fun to come back after your astral scouting and find your body posesed.

My group is using 2nd edition rules, we like them better, so grounding a spell through foci, spell locks, quickeneings ect is still a threat.

I also limit them on when they learn metamagic. Never made sense to me for someone to initiate once and know all metamagic.


A few final favorits:
Dragons. They step on you. you die.
Mages, sever allergy, vindicator.
Mortax
QUOTE
"Kill the mage first"?  - chibu

lol Yeah Chibu! hehe.
Backgammon
Add injury modifier to Drain Resistance. We were doing this until we learned you're not supposed to. Trust me, mages become "balanced" with that.

You could do full force of drain as TN for drain rather than half force, like the book suggests. I'm currently playing with the idea of doing this UNLESS the mage uses a geas. One of my players is complaining about how mages can summon stuff or cast spells without the traditionnal moving about or gesturing or whatever (unless they have that as a geas, obviously). I'm thinking of letting mages be able to cast "with a thought", but with twice the drain (full spell force).
Tarantula
QUOTE (Mortax)
I also limit them on when they learn metamagic. Never made sense to me for someone to initiate once and know all metamagic.

They don't learn ALL metamagic from one initiation. They learn ONE metamagic per initiation, IF thats the option they choose.
Kanada Ten
Give the other characters access to gear, clinics, and weapontry that allows them to be faster and as deadly.

Use Imps and Shedim.

Hostile environments that stretch the magcian's ability to compensate. Areas that require constant protection spells with fluxating background counts and hostile critters. Powerful magicains are highly prized for this type of work.

Seperate the team more often, pitting the magicians aginst the magical defenses and the mundanes against their matches. Time is the important factor to alter.

Send more quantity at a team than they can handle (you will be surprised). Use tactics designed to fight magic - guards using ultrasound in pitch black, maze like corridors; blast doors and knockout gas; drones are powerful against magic as well.
Chibu
QUOTE (Tarantula)
QUOTE (Mortax @ Feb 23 2005, 10:38 AM)
I also limit them on when they learn metamagic.  Never made sense to me for someone to initiate once and know all metamagic.

They don't learn ALL metamagic from one initiation. They learn ONE metamagic per initiation, IF thats the option they choose.

Actually, Mortax mentioned that he plays 2e. In 2e it doesn't say when you learn the metamagics, simply that they are available after initiation.
Edward
QUOTE (Tarantula @ Feb 23 2005, 11:44 PM)
QUOTE (Mortax @ Feb 23 2005, 10:38 AM)
I also limit them on when they learn metamagic.  Never made sense to me for someone to initiate once and know all metamagic.

They don't learn ALL metamagic from one initiation. They learn ONE metamagic per initiation, IF thats the option they choose.

He did say he was still using SR2

edit. to slow
Tarantula
Right... never really played 2e, so... nyahnyah.gif
Cynic project
I take it you play in Seatle,yes? Because if you do, then well 90% of the city has a background count. I mean just look at the rules for what makes a background count....
hahnsoo
Draw the mage unwillingly into a magical conspiracy of some sort. It's a cheap shot, but it works. It could be as simple as an initiatory group that wants something from the mage, or something as big and ridiculous as Winternight.
tisoz
I disagree so much with most of these suggestions I do not know where to begin...

But in the same vein try these:

1. Do not allow magicians to do magic while wearing armor.

2. Require magicians to wave their arms around and shout out the magical effect they are trying to perform.

3. Change essence so that it only decreases magic, not sets a limit for the amount of cyberware that can be crammed into a character.

4. Make the TN to effect mundanes equal (10 - essence.)

5. Allow invisibility and improved invisibility to only effect the item or person it was cast upon. (If the mage wants his clothes invisible he needs to cast it at least twice, once for his body and again for each item of clothing.)

6. Roll 1D6 every 15 minutes. If the force of any sustained spell is less than or equal to the result of the die roll it fails. (Rule of 6 is in affect.) Roll 1D6 for any failed spell, if the result is 1 the focus or elemental sustaining the spell is destroyed.

7. Roll another 1D6 every 15 minutes of game play. If the result is lower than the force of any conjured spirit, it goes free.

8. Magically active PCs can not have an attribute, skill, or power over 5.

9. Require shamen to draw a conjuring circle.

10. GM chooses all geasa.
Cynic project
QUOTE (tisoz)
I disagree so much with most of these suggestions I do not know where to begin...

But in the same vein try these:

1. Do not allow magicians to do magic while wearing armor.

2. Require magicians to wave their arms around and shout out the magical effect they are trying to perform.

3. Change essence so that it only decreases magic, not sets a limit for the amount of cyberware that can be crammed into a character.

4. Make the TN to effect mundanes equal (10 - essence.)

5. Allow invisibility and improved invisibility to only effect the item or person it was cast upon. (If the mage wants his clothes invisible he needs to cast it at least twice, once for his body and again for each item of clothing.)

6. Roll 1D6 every 15 minutes. If the force of any sustained spell is less than or equal to the result of the die roll it fails. (Rule of 6 is in affect.) Roll 1D6 for any failed spell, if the result is 1 the focus or elemental sustaining the spell is destroyed.

7. Roll another 1D6 every 15 minutes of game play. If the result is lower than the force of any conjured spirit, it goes free.

8. Magically active PCs can not have an attribute, skill, or power over 5.

9. Require shamen to draw a conjuring circle.

10. GM chooses all geasa.

Let's kick the mage in the balls? Um, I would never play anything magically active with those rules.
Garland
No kidding. Some of them are just a little strange:

5. C'mon, now. I would need that cast 11 times(!) to hide myself right now. Hell, socks and shoes take 4 castings already! If I added a belt, I'd have to be sustaining 12 castings! And what's the granularity here; do you need extra castings for shoelaces?

6. WTF? It's harder to maintain lower-force spells? And Force 7+ spells never fail?

7. Force 7 spirits never last more than 15 minutes?

8. !?!?

Is this all intended as hyperbole?
Fortune
Note tisoz's sarcastic tone. He did say that those suggestions were in the same vein as the ones brought up previously in the thread. I tend to agree with him in that a lot of the suggestions in this thread are unnecessarily harsh, or just plain unecessary.
lorthazar
I would like to take this moment to say at least mine were feasible and in Canon. (Except the first which still in Canon Limbo)
Endgame50
I really recommend minimum use of house rules to correct imbalance. It might be harsh to say, and I don't know any of your games so I'm not pronouncing judgement or anything like that, but be sure to check the balance of your games too. Sometimes magicians get out of hand because the influx of karma is too large, or things are too easy for them (and maybe even the group as a whole.)

Magic has alot of potential for player innovation--which should be a red flag since player innovation is, let's face it, geared more towards the player's advantage than creating a new and balanced idea. So be sure to check applications of magic rigorously before allowing them, and make sure the rules back them up.

Other than that, a good way to deal with magic is with other magic. Sure they can pull all sorts of tricks to counter mojo directed their way, but there's always someone bigger and badder. Even taking down a sustaining focus or two would ruin a mage's day--or at least distract him so he's not overpowering the physical side of things.

I've never honestly seen a mage PC get out of hand like some of you have described--but then, I've never been in games with 200+ karma either.
tisoz
QUOTE (tisoz)
sarcastic.gif


QUOTE (Cynic project)
Let's kick the mage in the balls? Um, I would never play anything magically active with those rules.

Me either, or with some of the other fixes listed.

QUOTE (Garland)
And what's the granularity here; do you need extra castings for shoelaces?

Have to wait and see what the GMs mood is.

QUOTE (Garland)
6. WTF? It's harder to maintain lower-force spells? And Force 7+ spells never fail?

Rule of 6 applies. The GM can make up an explanation/excuse for the lower force spells failing, such as passed through ward, attack by astral Lone Star mage, attacked by random spirit, Great Dragon decided puny humans are polluting astral space... You know, all the silly reasons that get thrown out there randomly, only now there is a game mechanic to regulate them. ohplease.gif

QUOTE (Garland)
7. Force 7 spirits never last more than 15 minutes?

Sorry, didn't explicitly say rule of 6 applied as before.

Rule of 6 applies.

Reason is the higher their force the smarter and more willful they are. wink.gif

QUOTE (Garland)
8. !?!?

This is in response to the suggestion of making the magically active have longer times to raise skills and attributes or higher costs to learn certain skills, etc..

If you are going to ream them, ream them good. wink.gif
hahnsoo
Hey, I admitted mine was a cheap shot. Whether or not it is canon is up to how ridiculous the GM uses it. smile.gif
Dawnshadow
Personally? It's against canon, but if you REALLY truly MUST house rule something to weaken mages, just make drain subject to wound modifiers.

It's cheap. It's evil. It's not canon.

It works.

serious stun is enough to make things just not work out well. A single spell knocked mine out with it, at force 4 with deadly drain. He got 2 successes, took serious... out with 2 boxes of physical damage. Now, in my defense, it DID do what it was supposed to, and got rid of a lot of the people who were about to attack.. just not all of them.. moderate wounds are enough, sometimes.

Edit: Normally the spell doesn't do any drain. Then again, normally, the spell would probably have killed him too, setting it off at his feet like that. But that would have been preferable to being eaten by ghouls.
Fortune
Or, as was suggested above, use the canon suggestion to make magic harder by using the actual Force in the Drain Code instead of halving it.

Personally I don't see the need for any of this, but YMMV.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Chibu)
"Kill the mage first"?

Our Raccoon shaman carries an unloaded Ares Predator (or alternatively, an Ares Predator loaded with blanks) precisely for this reason... after all, the mage is the one person who doesn't have a gun, right? It makes her one of many targets instead of the lone standout without weapons.
tisoz
QUOTE (lorthazar)
Bring back Ground to Manifestation, but make it a metamagic. At first your PC's won't have it and even when they do the usefulness of it now that focus addiction is out there is a minimal gain. For those of you who argue that this is not Canon I beg to differ untill the change in 3rd Edition it was an everyday risk of being a mage.

I beg to differ, because the magic rules have changed. What is the proposed metamagic? Ability to cast physical elemental manipulation spells on the astral plane? Let's see, casting a mana spell causes physical damage, so casting these causes physical overflow drain? Or what other metamagics is the munchkin going to design? How about drain free mana spells? Same general theory. How about a conjuring metamagic that let's them conjure spirits greater than 2 x Magic rating? How agout just saying this opens a can of worms that doesn't need opened?

Yes, it was valid in 2nd edition, but the magic system got a major overhaul.

QUOTE (lorthazar)
Orichalcum is a premium cost precious metal and very distinctive. Every pickpocket and their cousin is going to try to to nick their Foci.


Foci do not require orichalcum, the only place it mentions orichalcum is in the fluff text for weapon foci, but according to the enchanting rules in MitS orichalcum is not even required for their manufacture.

Canon? No.

QUOTE (lorthazar)
On Money for Karma: if they are using to buy skills add extra class time. If they are pumping up attributes allocate extra time for that, if they are learning spell add extra time, of if the initiate with it just have them owe some huge favors to astral entities. Inconvienant favors that don't let them gain karma while performing them.


One of the reasons some GMs allow as an explanation for karma for cash is hiring trainers or instructors. Does this apply to all characters or just the ones most likely to need karma?

QUOTE (lorthazar)
Free Spirits who know any mages should be regularly plotting on their demise. They may not do it, but they plot none the less.


Then any mage should demand that every spirit that goes free get rolled to see if it becomes a free spirit. (Note: this is canon that is always ignored in my experience. I have never encountered such a free spirit in 15 years of playing this game.) Of course, then the mage gets to try to bind said sppirit after a quick astral quest for its true name.

On the other hand, I agree free spirits are under used and, for the most part, vastly underpowered in canon examples. To be fair, the magician should see the effects of the spirits plotting on a 3rd party mage or made aware that free spirits are going to be a large and active part of any magicians life. If free spirits hunt mages, it would be common knowledge after the first few instances and mages would no doubt be actively hunting and binding any such rogue spirits. So the munchkin is only going to exploit this to his benefit.

QUOTE (lorthazar)
I would like to hear your opinion on any other methods of maianting character balance.


You didn't sound like you liked my suggestions. wink.gif
hahnsoo
We still use a limited form of Grounding in our games (through dual beings and through foci) as well. But it really hasn't come up yet, because the same precautions that people use to avoid being waylaid astrally are the ones that you use to avoid Grounding. All it does is limit the number of continually active foci running around in the game, which suits our playing style a bit better. Although, no incident of Grounding has happened yet in any of our games, so I suppose it's superfluous.
Herald of Verjigorm
QUOTE (tisoz @ Feb 23 2005, 06:25 PM)
If free spirits hunt mages, it would be common knowledge after the first few instances and mages would no doubt be actively hunting and binding any such rogue spirits.

Well, the one official free spirit I know of who seeks out mages to kill is a lot more subtle and patient than you seem to think ageless beings can be. The fact that it's easily force 8 with lots of spirit energy helps, but subtlety and caution in its actions account for a lot.
Apathy
The GM determining background count in a given area is entirely canon, and impacts all magic target numbers except drain resistance and dispelling (I think). It wouldn't be fair to change how you were determining background count with no warning in the middle of the campaign, but if the players were warned ahead of time I think it would be reasonable.
Possible background modifiers:
  • Any area inside the city (moderate polution) = +1 background count
  • Any area with heavy pollution (barrens, toxic dump, etc.) = +1 or 2
  • Any area with dense population (crowded mall, etc.) = +1
  • Any area with intense emotion or violence occuring recently = +1 or 2 (depending on intensity and number of people involved)
Furthermore, if the bad guys are on their home turf, it's often reasonable to treat the background count as aspected, making them even tougher while screwing with the PCs.

Also, most GMs forget to enforce visibility modifiers for spell-casting (fog, rain, darkness, smoke, etc). If memory serves me right, I think those are cannon.
Kanada Ten
I don't think a single one of my suggestions are bad or sever. They are suggestions for keeping the game challenging to magicians while not even leaving canon.

QUOTE
Then any mage should demand that every spirit that goes free get rolled to see if it becomes a free spirit.

Which is an optional rule anyway, so all should feel free to ignore it - even more so because it's dumb.

QUOTE
One of the reasons some GMs allow as an explanation for karma for cash is hiring trainers or instructors. Does this apply to all characters or just the ones most likely to need karma?

That's funny since the rules suggest that BOTH karma and training are required to raise skills and such.
John Campbell
QUOTE (tisoz)
QUOTE (lorthazar)
Orichalcum is a premium cost precious metal and very distinctive. Every pickpocket and their cousin is going to try to to nick their Foci.


Foci do not require orichalcum, the only place it mentions orichalcum is in the fluff text for weapon foci, but according to the enchanting rules in MitS orichalcum is not even required for their manufacture.

Canon? No.

Orichalcum isn't required, except possibly for weapon foci (and even then, it doesn't require the entire thing to be made out of the stuff, as some people seem to believe), but there are solid reasons for whoever made the focus to put it in anyway, especially for powerful foci.

Of course, powerful foci are also sufficiently valuable, orichalcum or no, that anyone who recognizes them for what they are might get it in their head to walk off with them.

Wandering around with lots of powerful foci is also likely to draw attention from the powers that be... even if you've got permits for them, they'll keep a closer eye on you than they might otherwise.
Raife
I always just ramped up the magical opposition so the Mage spent all his time holding off the other mage.

Of course in my game all the characters are 150+ karma and so far the mages aren't a problem... but maybe I just have non-standard players.
FlakJacket
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
Our Raccoon shaman carries an unloaded Ares Predator (or alternatively, an Ares Predator loaded with blanks) precisely for this reason... after all, the mage is the one person who doesn't have a gun, right?

Whafuck? That has to be one of the dumbest things I have heard in a very long while. Seriously. You never, never never point an unloaded firearm at someone - they're not going to know it's unloaded so they'll react as if it was. If you've got a gun, put some bullets in the thing. Hell, if the PC's a pacifist then use stun rounds or carry a Narcojet pistol. Even if they don't have a pistols or other firearms skill, the walking suicides, then they've still got at least a small chance of shooting something if they're in a last ditch situation and have to default to quickness.
kevyn668
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
QUOTE (Chibu @ Feb 23 2005, 10:38 AM)
"Kill the mage first"?

Our Raccoon shaman carries an unloaded Ares Predator (or alternatively, an Ares Predator loaded with blanks) precisely for this reason... after all, the mage is the one person who doesn't have a gun, right?

Well, in that case the "mage" is the one that suddenly starts to look like a raccoon. wink.gif
Pthgar
QUOTE (Backgammon)
You could do full force of drain as TN for drain rather than half force, like the book suggests...

We do that in our game. It worked great. Most of the mage charecters started carrying a shot gun or at least a pistol.
AIM-54
I don't understand mages that don't have some skills in some sort of weapon. Sure magic is potent and can replicate most of the effects of weapons and such, but not having some sort of back-up seems patently dangerous from a character's perspective.

But I like to shoot things and blast things and have an SR paranoid streak...so maybe I'm special.
kevyn668
All of the mages I've made have at least Pistols 4 and usually some melee skill.
Pthgar
Sorry, had to dinner real quick.
As I was saying, raising the drain to full force was just the trick. Our mages (we have two or three depending on who's using what char.) really are cautious about which spells they pull out. Illusion spells have become the fad. Before a combat spell is cast one can here "You guys will carry me out if I knock myself out for you, right?"
We have such a mage heavy group (about half our team) it required some action. I couldn't "kill the mage first." Luckily they tend to be karma hoarders and slow to warm up to initiation.
Kanada Ten
Heh, I had a former paramedic mage (Pulse), back from first edition and into second (made it all the way to Grade 0 Initiate with a Fasting Geas), with a Firearms skill of 1. Jammed that old Roomsweeper (back when it was more concealable than a pencil) every other shot Hell, I had better luck using it as a club. Best part was I only had one offensive spell (Manaball, which we treated as a Stun spell). Memories...
Pthgar
QUOTE (AIM-54)
I don't understand mages that don't have some skills in some sort of weapon. Sure magic is potent and can replicate most of the effects of weapons and such, but not having some sort of back-up seems patently dangerous from a character's perspective.

But I like to shoot things and blast things and have an SR paranoid streak...so maybe I'm special.

I believe everyone, in SR and in RL should have some pistols or firearms skill.

Also, shooting guns is fun nyahnyah.gif
hahnsoo
QUOTE (FlakJacket @ Feb 23 2005, 10:19 PM)
Whafuck? That has to be one of the dumbest things I have heard in a very long while. Seriously. You never, never never point an unloaded firearm at someone - they're not going to know it's unloaded so they'll react as if it was. If you've got a gun, put some bullets in the thing. Hell, if the PC's a pacifist then use stun rounds or carry a Narcojet pistol. Even if they don't have a pistols or other firearms skill, the walking suicides, then they've still got at least a small chance of shooting something if they're in a last ditch situation and have to default to quickness.

Well, the point of having a conspicuous gun is to not have the mage singled out. This is NOT in a combat situation, I will say... this is when going to meets and everyone has a gun. This is also the same reason our Raccoon shaman doesn't wear conspicuous accoutrements of her profession... not to have the mage singled out as "the mage". She is even wary of casting spells or perceiving in public.

And you don't know how useful an unloaded/blank loaded gun can be at times. Our mage has duped a few people into thinking its real. "Will you hold this for me?" "Sure *grabs the gun, points it at her* *click*" "Wrong move, flyboy *zap*"
Fortune
The person so duped would have to be really stupid, considering all (or most) guns in the Sixth World include a digital readout of the current ammo count.

I'm not even going to touch on the part where your characters wear obvious weapons to meets.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
The person so duped would have to be really stupid, considering all (or most) guns in the Sixth World include a digital readout of the current ammo count.

That wasn't very obvious before 3rd edition and he does mention "unloaded/blank loaded" which is probably as appropriate. I like the idea.

QUOTE
I'm not even going to touch on the part where your characters wear obvious weapons to meets.

Again, where do you see obvious? Obviously secure meets include a pat down or mad scanners or whatever. Makes sense to appear as the rest of your team.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Fortune)
The person so duped would have to be really stupid, considering all (or most) guns in the Sixth World include a digital readout of the current ammo count.

I'm not even going to touch on the part where your characters wear obvious weapons to meets.

Hey, jump down my throat if you'd like... it worked in that particular situation quite well. The girl is Good Looking and Knows It with a Charisma of 7, and enjoys the manipulation part of her totem and has more social skill points than magic skill points. It was in-character and required a roll to pull off.

All weapons are obvious to the spying surveillance teams watching the runners when they least expect it. Yes, they are THAT paranoid.
tisoz
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
I don't think a single one of my suggestions are bad or sever.  They are suggestions for keeping the game challenging to magicians while not even leaving canon.

Did I yank your chain? Or, did I quote you and say your ideas sucked or went way against the means the rules provide for powering down magical influence? No, I did not. They were good suggestions from the rules.

QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
QUOTE (tisoz)
Then any mage should demand that every spirit that goes free get rolled to see if it becomes a free spirit.

Which is an optional rule anyway, so all should feel free to ignore it - even more so because it's dumb.

It is not an optional rule, until you invoke that all rules are optional. It is a way to randomly determine if a spirit goes free. The other way is for the GM to decide, supposedly based on how high the spirit's force is, what type of spirit it is, and how long it has been around. I have yet to see a GM have one of these spirits become free. If it becomes free it is usually because it is toxic or on a killing rampage, neither of which follows any criteria outlined in the rules.

QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
QUOTE (tisoz)
One of the reasons some GMs allow as an explanation for karma for cash is hiring trainers or instructors. Does this apply to all characters or just the ones most likely to need karma?

That's funny since the rules suggest that BOTH karma and training are required to raise skills and such.

You mean the optional training time rules?

Maybe you are missing the point. The explanation is that by paying cash, it is easier (less karma and time) to raise a skill or attribute. I was asking if making training times longer applied to mages only or all characters.
RunnerPaul
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
QUOTE
considering all (or most) guns in the Sixth World include a digital readout of the current ammo count.

That wasn't very obvious before 3rd edition

Firearms are primarily slug throwers. The principles have not changed much over the years. Many weapons offer two versions, for standard loads or caseless ammunition, though the latter is far more common in 2050. In either case, a digital ammunition counter is standard. The readout usually appears on the rear sight, where the user can see where he is firing.

Shadowrun (first edition) core rulebook 1989 AKA the Big BLUE Book
p.119, Firearms Section of the Equipment Chapter, bolding added for emphasis.
(two pages later, there's a page of weapons illustrations, and 3 of the 9 firearms depicted have obvious ammo counters.)

This concludes today's History Minute. We now return you to your regularly scheduled "Geek the Mage First" thread, already in progress.

[Edit: Color Tags removed by request.]
Sandoval Smith
QUOTE (Mortax)
I understand why it was set up like it was in the beguining, but it doesn't make sense for a street shaman who has been poor all his life to have 400 k lying around. However, they could have a decent number of spells.

This annoys me to no end. Just because you took 400,000 in resources does not mean that the character ever had 400,000 at any point in time. Hell, they might've lived feral in the woods their entire life and have never had a single nuyen, ever. What they do have is an incredible talent for magic, that in the mechanics of character creation = 400,000 nuyen worth of magic points.

Well, Hansoo has adequatley explained himself, but that statement that, "well, the mage is the one without a gun" is still quite silly. I suppose that handing them the pistol filled with blanks and saying, 'here, hold this,' would work once in a while, but then my character would still have another pistol stashed somewhere that had real bullets in it. Even if they have no pistol skill, they still carry one, just in case. It's not unreasonable for a mage to never carry a gun because that's part of the personality of the character, but I have a hard time picturing it being any sort of sterotype, given how easy it is to pick one up and use it.
Endgame50
The mage holding the gun thing will work until he casts a high force spell--then people get perception checks to notice with relatively low TNs--especially if they've one of them shamanic masks. It's something, but I'd still use a loaded gun.

My favorite mage bit the bullet (har har) and had a smartlink II installed--with pistols 6. His job in combat was spell defense (and later shielding) until the magical opposition was taken out. While he was waiting, he'd be firing an Ares Predator III with EX rounds at any magical types he saw. (also got cybereyes for vision enhancements)

It's not that it was a hard rule or anything. He'd piledrive a dumb looking sam or spirit (of any intelligence) with a manabolt or cast other support spells--but the point is I agree, the longer you can pretend to be something else, the longer you avoid the geek the mage thing. Of course, I also believe in being good at your cover identity too.
Dissonance
Had a polecat shaman a while back. Despite the fact that he was more than competent at combat spells(y helo thar +2 to combat spells at night!), he also had Pistols 4 and (I believe) Whips 5 or possibly 6.

Eat three-section-staff DOOM.

Of course, then he got shot by a punk ganger in a fluke roll.
Endgame50
I'm not bashing your character at all....

but I think if I had the totem spirit Polecat tell me it would guide me in the ways of magic... I might tell it to keep it. Have to draw the line somewhere, and telling people you follow Polecat might be a good place to draw it. Just from a personal POV. *grin*
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Sandoval Smith)
Well, Hansoo has adequatley explained himself, but that statement that, "well, the mage is the one without a gun" is still quite silly. I suppose that handing them the pistol filled with blanks and saying, 'here, hold this,' would work once in a while, but then my character would still have another pistol stashed somewhere that had real bullets in it. Even if they have no pistol skill, they still carry one, just in case. It's not unreasonable for a mage to never carry a gun because that's part of the personality of the character, but I have a hard time picturing it being any sort of sterotype, given how easy it is to pick one up and use it.

I agree, it is silly, but I have enough faith that NPCs will make the same silly assumptions as some PCs... if all the NPCs were as "smart" as we can make them, then the PCs would be dead six ways to Sunday. The "mage not having a gun" thing came up during gameplay, where said Raccoon Shaman utterly failed a defaulted Pistols test, and then the merc character came up to her afterwards and asked about it and rattled off good reasons to carry a gun. While she was wary of guns in general (enough that she didn't know what to do with one when it was put into her hand), she spent some Karma and training time with our merc to get a Pistols skill of 2, and carrying around a pistol (even unloaded or loaded with blanks) made sense to her. It was a nice roleplaying moment that led to other roleplaying moments later on when she started finding out ways to use it to her advantage.

One time, we had our Decker/Face wear all sorts of silly tribal fetishes and magical accoutrements. He bluffed a group of gangers that he was some sort of powerful initiated mage and they tried to geek him first. smile.gif
Charon
QUOTE (hahnsoo @ Feb 23 2005, 06:25 PM)
Our Raccoon shaman carries an unloaded Ares Predator (or alternatively, an Ares Predator loaded with blanks) precisely for this reason... after all, the mage is the one person who doesn't have a gun, right? It makes her one of many targets instead of the lone standout without weapons.

What possible advantage can there be to carrying an empty gun over carrying a loaded gun?

What can an empty gun do that a loaded one can't, I wonder? It serves the same function as an intimidation tool and a paper weight with the added bonus of serving as, you know, a weapon.

---

That being said, trying not to stand out as the mage of the group is sensible.

But if you really want to avoid being a target, try disguising yourself as the decker of the group. wink.gif
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