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hahnsoo
Ever see the movie "I'm Gonna Get You Sucka?" Yeah. That's what happens.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (fistandantilus 3.0)
How would you do ammo?

Unless people in the radius of the spell are fried to a crisp, I wouldn't. It'd take several hundred degrees C temperatures through a magazine and the cartridge case (or several hundred more degrees C through just the magazine for caseless ammunition) to set off the propellant -- consider what happens to a human when his skin is heated up to a few hundred degrees C.

In the freak occurrence that sudden, open flames would not kill the person in question but would cook off ammunition, it'd be one round at a time, absolutely no chain reaction. If the cartridge happens to be aimed at you, it'd be like a being shot with a very underpowered version of the same cartridge through a weapon (no barrel = very low bullet velocity).

If the bullet doesn't point your way, you might get scratched by fragments of the casing, or even get wounded by the case end (definitely no more than 3L). With caseless ammo, unless you're storing it in your pants pockets, no damage. Armor should count as normal -- most people don't store their ammo inside their body armor.

Of course, if you like cartoon-like, comical games, run it whatever way is most fun.
fistandantilus4.0
well, with elemental manip fire, it says that it cooks off ammo, and deals the weapons damage w/o armor to resist.

The elemtal was force 8, so I can only assume that it was pretty damn hot. And like I said, it was EX ammo, which says in it's description that it's volatile,
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
well, with elemental manip fire, it says that it cooks off ammo, and deals the weapons damage w/o armor to resist.

Yes, it does, but that doesn't mean it makes any god damn sense at all.

QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
The elemtal was force 8, so I can only assume that it was pretty damn hot. And like I said, it was EX ammo, which says in it's description that it's volatile,

Note: according to the rules, an elemental doesn't automatically do Engulf damage to everything in/around it, it has to use the Engulf Exclusive Complex Action for that, or use a melee attack. By canon, then, throwing the minigun and ammo at it wouldn't work

Using common sense, a pillar of flame hot enough to immediately cook of 800 rounds of minigun ammunition (belted and in a drum, I assume) would also be hot enough to ignite everything (paper, plastic, wood, paint) near it, melt plastic floor mats in a meter radius, and most importantly kill (or deal lethal damage to) any human being within less than a second of direct exposure.

Further, from a common sense perspective, the "volatility" of (EX-)Explosive small arms ammunition is horribly exaggerated in the rules -- no ammunition type that causes the weapon to explode in one out of every 216-1296 times it's fired carelessly would ever become a hot commodity. It'd still take several hundred degrees C through 2 insulating layers (the drum and the bullet jacket) to set off the incendiary and then the explosive -- and again this'd have to happen to every cartridge separately, there'd be no chain reaction.

Assuming there is a sudden increase of several hundred degrees C through those 2 layers, (EX-)Explosive ammunition would only be more dangerous if it goes off in contact with you. The detonation of the bullet might add a little bit to the fragmentation of the case that you'd get with any cased bullet type -- but then there'd be no bullet to shoot out, and thus the fragmentation of the cartridge case and the bullet jacket would be the only devices for causing damage. That's well sub-Hold-Out Pistol damage, even if it's in contact with your bare skin, and any armor at all would stop the fragments.

And just think for a moment, how stupid is it that an ammo cook-off happening several meters away from you would somehow magically bypass all your armor, while being shot from that distance wouldn't.
Critias
All of which, though, are problems with the rules and not with the GM who chooses to play by them (who doesn't know better). I mean, if the rules say X happens, X happens (even if X is stupid).
Austere Emancipator
The GM is allowed to change and/or ignore any of the rules. Unless you're playing with toturi, I doubt the players are going to scream if you ignore the Elemental Fire Ammo Cook Off Madness.

I don't expect everybody to know how small arms ammunition actually behaves in odd situations like contact with flame. I realize that movies, TV and all kinds of "myths" can really screw with your mind if you do not actively fight back the ignorance. I do not mean to insult people playing by the rules, I'm just trying to point out, as clearly as possible, that they don't make any sense.
toturi
Did someone call my name?

The bit about secondary effects in MitS is nice and vague. While a successful 2D6 sets ammunition and explosives on fire... there is nothing that says ammunition on fire MUST explode. The GM is specifically instructed to determine the effect and he can decide that the ammo/explosive is on fire but did not explode.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (toturi)
Did someone call my name?

Yup. You can't say you're not an obvious call for situations like that. wink.gif

While the Flamethrower and Fireball spells on sr3.197 or the Elemental Fire Secondary Effects on mits.52 don't spell out that ammunition catching fire automatically explodes, it seems to me that was obviously the intention. In the part where the GM is instructed to determine the appropriate secondary effects (mits.51), it even says: "For example, a Fireball might start fires, cook off ammo, ignite fuel tanks, and set fire to armor and clothing all over the blast zone." And then there're the specific rules for dealing with ammo cook-off or explosions, included both in the Flamethrower/Fireball description and Elemental Fire Secondary Effects.

True enough, that might leave a GM enough wiggle room to say that ammunition (or grenade, or explosives in general) cooking off is pretty much never an "appropriate secondary effect". But without RL knowledge of how ammunition and explosives work, the rules definitely imply that cook-off is appropriate.
Dawnshadow
I don't see a major problem with spells cooking off ammo, for instance. Dramatic license, if nothing else.

What I see the problem with is that it negates any armour.

When my character had ammo go off.. he was wearing fairly good armour, with the clips fastened outside of it in a custom rig for fast reloads. Most of his body was covered in the plates of the armour, clips were outside. Not to mention, bones, armour on the arms, helmet..

Now.. why would the clips going off on his legs ignore ALL of the armour? The helmet and arms, maybe. The bones? They're going through his entire body. The suit of military armour? That's right underneath the clips. But according to the rules... no armour.
Austere Emancipator
So you don't mind the fact that elemental fire spells cooking off ammo makes no fucking sense at all, but you do mind the ensuing explosion bypassing armor?

In the name of dramatic license, you could explain it as ammo cooking off causing a rift in the space-time-continuum, and this rift then manifesting inside the guy carrying the ammo as spontaneous combustion. It'd make no less sense than 5M fireballs that hardly cause any damage to people but ignite most ammunition in the blast zone. Or you could go with a more movie-like resolution, and have even one magazine of 9x19mm cause a huge fireball which engulfs the guy and fries him to a crisp, regardless of armor worn.
Dawnshadow
Actually, what I don't mind is ignoring that it wouldn't happen really in favour of the average joe thinking 'yeah, that could happen'. Basic movie events.. lots of ammo on fire, it starts cooking off.

That seems "reasonable" when not aware of all the reasons why it wouldn't happen -- at least to my mind. Why it all of the sudden negates all armour worn, does not.

There are lots of parts of the rules that are unrealistic -- I'm not saying they're right, just that some of them make really cinematic scenes.

Ammo cooking off? Cinematic.
A single clip causing a massive fireball? Contrived.
A rift in the space time continuum? Worthy of much drinking.
Austere Emancipator
I guess it's all in the perspective. For me, all those require a BAL of more than 0.15.
Dawnshadow
To really enjoy the fireball from one clip, BAL 0.15 would help. A lot. I'm not even sure I'd be able to enjoy the rift option.. but it might be enough to make me laugh at the silliness instead of weep. Just ammo cooking off though.. as long as it's not every time, that doesn't really bother me. It's only happened once or twice in our games.. not that often. Come to think of it.. the only time it did wasn't an elemental manipulation.. it was being lit on fire outright by a flamethrower from a cyberzombie. It would have another time, but he'd dropped his ammo and weapons before he went into the firestorm to get the magical artifact. Stupid move on his part, but hey, he managed to get it and not quite die.
wagnern
Fasa does tend to make secondary effects quite drastic. Remember in battle tech, One ton of machine gun ammo was the most dangerous thing a mech could carry -to it's self-. The largest mech in pristine condition, was reduced to smoking rubble if machine gun ammo was hit.

It is just up to the GM if he wants to follow the rules and have elemental bear hugs and fire spells to be instant kills if the target happens to have a spare clip on him.
fistandantilus4.0
jsut to add fuel to the fire (pun intended), the elemental was sent with the specific intention of destroying the minigun, as it was doing a ton of damage (obviously) to the mages fellows.

As for resisting ammo w/o armor, yeah , I don't know the specifics on what temperatures ammo should cook off, or wether or not it should. It's a rule , so I used it. I did roll for the secondary effect, got it. I did stage down the damage to 7M instead of 7S from base minigun damage. That's how I reasoned it at the time.
How would you have handled it? Just so you know, I'm not trying to get some flame war going (soo many damn puns biggrin.gif ), just honestly looking for another perspective.
Seidaku
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
I think you are underestimating the considerable impact the reduction of target numbers has on Shadowrun.  Enhance Aim isn't a universally "bad spell", it's a spell you have to put a lot of resources into (Sorcery Dice, Elemental/Totem Assistance, etc.) to squeeze the cheese out of (compare to Manabolting a Willpower 6 person), but even two successes means a -1 to target numbers for all ranged attacks.  It's an ideal candidate for Ritual Magic because ritual materials are dirt cheap for detection spells and it's one of those spells that you would want to prepare beforehand anyway (when you can soak the drain and focus all of your dice on casting the spell).

For guns, this isn't a big deal because it doesn't stack with most of the usual gun combat bonuses and the range is limited (you can always get extended range, I guess).  For elemental manipulations, it's a huge difference, because there's simply no other way to lower target numbers for those spells.  Another good candidate for Enhance Aim is throwing weapons (which, unless you've implemented SmartBall technology for your game, cannot be modified in any other way other than "Take Aim").

Um.. no, it's pretty much a universally bad spell.

Let's look at an example, shall we?

Assuming that the mage wishing to cast enhanced aim does as you suggest and sinks all of his available dice into casting the spell, for an average mage with no foci or totem modifiers that's what, 12 dice? On average, he'll have two successes. Now, assuming he's a non-initiate with no magic loss, his enhanced aim will work on targets within force * 6 meters. Let's assume he's casting at force 6 (though he'd only need force 2 to take advantage of his two average successes). So, he can target anything within 36 meters. Not super useful for long range weapons, but we'll let that be for the time being. Now, the fun part: Any target in range gets to resist the spell! Plus, it's NET successes that determine the target number reduction! So, if one of our mage's targets happens to get a single success when resisting, that drops our mage's average net successes down to 1. Which is not enough to warrant ANY target number reduction. Plus, in order to avoid having INCREASED target numbers for sustaining the spell, he'd need to have a sustaining foci (or one of the other things mentioned in this thread). A force six sustaining foci is extremely expensive and karma intensive, and counts towards your limit for foci addiction. If we drop the force to avoid paying for the foci, this means that the targets will likely have even MORE successes, plus you'll have a much reduced range.

Of course, initiating can help things, and you can cast the spell before combat to get more than just the average number of successes. However, rolling against sixes is never gonna give you a lot of successes with realistic numbers of dice. So, once again, you're looking at maybe -1 to -2 to TNs BEFORE the target gets to resist. Factoring in the whole "resistance" thing, you're not going to be seeing too much use out of this spell.
hahnsoo
I love it when people don't read my post before responding.
QUOTE
it's a spell you have to put a lot of resources into (Sorcery Dice, Elemental/Totem Assistance, etc.) to squeeze the cheese out of
Seidaku
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
I love it when people don't read my post before responding.
QUOTE
it's a spell you have to put a lot of resources into (Sorcery Dice, Elemental/Totem Assistance, etc.) to squeeze the cheese out of

No, I read your posts- I was just illustrating how, even with such resources, the spell sucks.
Critias
I think saying it sucks is a little strong. I think relying on it not sucking is a little foolish.

TN 6 is a fickle beast -- if you invest enough energy, money, karma pool, etc, into it you can end up with a handy spell (normally used by a physmage, or cast by a mage onto an adept), but I'd never, ever, count on that being the case any given time it was cast.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Seidaku)
QUOTE (hahnsoo @ Apr 22 2005, 06:45 PM)
I love it when people don't read my post before responding.
QUOTE
it's a spell you have to put a lot of resources into (Sorcery Dice, Elemental/Totem Assistance, etc.) to squeeze the cheese out of

No, I read your posts- I was just illustrating how, even with such resources, the spell sucks.

You used a fairly restrictive and biased example to "prove" that it "sucks". PCs get Karma (which alone nearly doubles the amount of dice rolled for the spell). PCs can sustain spells using ritual sorcery (which is 600 for a Force 6, a lot less than the typical binder on a run). PCs can bond specific spell foci, use totem/elemental dice, and all sorts of other ways to boost the number of dice they can roll. An "average" PC mage will be able to toss 12 dice at the spell. A specialist will be able to toss 20 to 30 dice at the spell, at least, and then Karmically reroll once or twice to boost their success ratios.

Compared to a smartgun link specifically for the situation of using firearms, it's not as efficient. But it's the only way to reduce TNs for Elemental Manipulations, and one of only two ways to reduce TNs for throwing weapons (still waiting for canon stats on Smartball technology).
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