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hyzmarca
An old console RPG has gotten me thinking about elemental manipulations and their consequences. In Final Fantasy 6 there were a a few spells that would cause an absurd amount of damage to both your enemies and your own party indisciminatly. (Tornado, Earthquake and Merton if I remember correctly)
Casting one of these spells without the proper elemental protections would be suicide.

Now, a magician can cast stunball, manaball, powerball, and all sorts of other area combat spells without worrying about being caught in them. The magician is in control of where the mana goes. Slaughter human wouldn't be fun if it would kill the human caster after all.

However, with elemental manipulations the caster has no control over the spell once it has been cast. The element simply move along untill it hits something. This helps get around LOS restrictions but it can cause problems if the magician is caught is too close to the target.

The average mage will be engulfed by his own fireball at six meters or less. For high grade initiates can easily kill themselves and their teammates if they don't withhold enough dice.
Lets not forget GDs and IEs, who some attribute initiate grades in the 80's or above to. They won't be able to drop their area elemental spells down to a reasonable size without 150 or more sorcery dice. Harlequin isn't going to be throwing around fireballs unless he has an asbestos suit.

So, next time your mage throws an area elemental manip, make sure you know exactly how close he is to the eipcenter.
Herald of Verjigorm
You can stunball yourself if the epicenter is too close, also you can be affected by a badly selected slaughter spell in the same circumstances. All area spells affect all valid targets in the area/LoS requirement, the mage cannot pick and choose. Also, based on the comments about the fiber-optic system in SOTA63, a fireball will not stop and detonate early, it will do whatever it can to reach the targetted point and detonate there. Even if it includes burning through the cubicle farm.
fistandantilus4.0
One advantage initiates have is shielding. Example: in melee with (or soon to be in) a number of opponents. most mages don't have a hot enough melee skill to stay up long, but they usually have an edge on will. Throw up a few points of shielding on themselves, and drop a manaball, starting at light or moderate damage. It'll be a lot easier to stage up the damage on average targets, and easier to resist it yourself w/ shielding dice.

Usually the only time I ever try for an elemental manip is when I'm trying to get a secondary effect, like cooking off ammo. Fun when you run into the scary guys packing APDS. You can disarm them and hurt them at the same time. Otherwise, the drain usually isn't worth it (IMO).
kackling kactuar
I've never really been in a situation where elemental manipulations are actually useful, although I acknowledge that such a situation is possible. The high drain and the ability to both dodge and resist their effects pretty much kills their utility for me.
fistandantilus4.0
I'm not sure if it's canon or not, but I apply modifiers to dodging the area effect manipulations . Harder to dodge a fire BALL than a lightning BOLT. Like shotgun/autofire modifiers. So that helps a bit.
kackling kactuar
Sure, the AoE variant is harder to dodge, but it'll also nail you with significantly nastier drain.
fistandantilus4.0
yep yep.... expendable spell focus .. yep yep
kackling kactuar
Expendable spell foci can also be used with combat spells. smile.gif
fistandantilus4.0
fetishes, lower target number.... yes, can also be used with mana spells. But they don't cook off ammo or fry cyberware. Get slightly higher drain, with more helpful side effects. It's really hard for your opponent to shoot back when all his ammo and grenades go off becuase you tagged him w/ a fireball, and he has to resist all that damage, without armor.
hahnsoo
I like the low, low target numbers for Elemental Manipulations. Also, they count as ranged attacks, and thus are affected by Enhanced Aim (which affect all ranged attacks). EMs with a TN of 2 can be pretty deadly. The drain is the major bummer for them... dodging an EM is about as easy as dodging an attack from a very skilled marksman. They have their uses.
kackling kactuar
You have at best a 1 in 3 chance of pulling off a secondary effect, which, in my opinion, isn't worth the extra drain. Fetishes don't help much since it isn't cost-effective to cast elemental manipulations at a force higher than 1 in most situations anyway. Considering that elemental spells at a useful damage level have about, if not more than, the same drain as a D level combat spell, you might as well just kill them directly through the application of deadly damage instead of praying for a secondary effect to do it for you.

Plus you're sorta screwed if your enemy is using fire and electricity resistant gear.

QUOTE (hahnsoo)
Also, they count as ranged attacks, and thus are affected by Enhanced Aim (which affect all ranged attacks). EMs with a TN of 2 can be pretty deadly.

Enhanced Aim is hardly a reliable spell, what with a TN 6 to cast and all. Not to mention the benefits it grants is negated by the +2 penalty for sustaining a spell. That is, unless you choose to lock it in a sustaining focus, but that comes with its own drawbacks.

You'll rarely be getting a TN of 2 in a combat scenario unless you have an extremely lenient GM.

QUOTE (hahnsoo)
The drain is the major bummer for them... dodging an EM is about as easy as dodging an attack from a very skilled marksman.

Soaking an EM, on the other hand... wink.gif

I can see elemental manipulations becoming useful later in the game when you start encountering high level initiates with Shielding, but once you've reached that point, you usually have other options available anyway.

Edit: Actually, looking at the modifiers, it would be closer to a 1 in 2 chance. Which makes EMs a bit better, but still not worth it, IMO.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (kackling kactuar)
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
Also, they count as ranged attacks, and thus are affected by Enhanced Aim (which affect all ranged attacks). EMs with a TN of 2 can be pretty deadly.

Enhanced Aim is hardly a reliable spell, what with a TN 6 to cast and all. Not to mention the benefits it grants is negated by the +2 penalty for sustaining a spell. That is, unless you choose to lock it in a sustaining focus, but that comes with its own drawbacks.

You'll rarely be getting a TN of 2 in a combat scenario unless you have an extremely lenient GM.

I'm not saying it's easy to do. Enhanced Aim is a gimped spell, but when it helps, it helps a ton (which is probably why it's gimped). Sustaining Foci are hardly a drawback anymore, now that Grounding is taken out of the game. Really, the thing you'll be hurting for the most is preventing other mages from simply dispelling it (although if they are doing that, then they are wasting actions that could be used to, say, chuck a fireball or call an elemental).
kackling kactuar
The drawback of using a sustaining focus to sustain Enhanced Aim is that you can't use it to sustain another spell.
fistandantilus4.0
besides, throw 2 force 6 flamethrower/fireballs at force 6, statistically, you should get the secondary effect. With a fetish (which every mage should have) you make make it easier on you, as well as with centering, or foci. It's really not that hard, and an easy way to take away your opponents ability to fight, especially on mundanes.
Toxic wave= degrade equipment
fireball= destroy ammo
lightning= effect cyber

and like you said, easier to tag an initiate with shielding than it would be with... say.. a manaball
hahnsoo
QUOTE (kackling kactuar @ Apr 16 2005, 01:57 AM)
The drawback of using a sustaining focus to sustain Enhanced Aim is that you can't use it to sustain another spell.

Just get multiple sustaining foci? nyahnyah.gif That's not much of a drawback, IMHO. If you are going to use Enhanced Aim, then you need some way to prevent the +2 sustaining penalty. This can be done through:
1) Sustaining Foci
2) Anchoring Foci
3) Elementals
4) Quickening
5) Ritual Magic

All of those options have their own disadvantages, to be sure. For the Sustaining Focus, you have to bond it and specifically use it for Enhanced Aim, but this is similar to Quickening. Anchoring Foci, of course, can be used for pretty much anything up to their rating, but the Anchoring rules in SR3 are rather gimped. Ritual Magic is a fantastic way to go, but can only sustain for limited time (not much more than 2 or 3 days). Elementals are expensive, and not cost effective, but great in a pinch.
fistandantilus4.0
QUOTE (kackling kactuar @ Apr 16 2005, 01:57 AM)
The drawback of using a sustaining focus to sustain Enhanced Aim is that you can't use it to sustain another spell.

elementals, more sustaining foci (pretty easy to stay under foci addiction range), or just sustain the spell (which focused concentration edge helps with).

Edit: Ergh, foiled again Hahnsoo!
kackling kactuar
QUOTE
besides, throw 2 force 6 flamethrower/fireballs at force 6, statistically, you should get the secondary effect. With a fetish (which every mage should have) you make make it easier on you, as well as with centering, or foci. It's really not that hard, and an easy way to take away your opponents ability to fight, especially on mundanes.

Even with a fetish, you'll have to suck 7D drain for a force 6 fireball at Deadly damage. That can seriously mess you up.

Regardless of what you use to sustain the spell, you're giving up the option of using that thing to sustain another spell. So it's pretty much a moot point.

You'll have to take note that I'm not saying that elemental manipulations are useless. Far from it. It's just that I prefer combat spells, since they're a lot less dangerous to yourself and equally useful under most circumstances.
fistandantilus4.0
throw it at light. target #2, or even 3 or 4, is pretty easy to stage up. The elem effect isn't effected by the dmg lv, just the force
hahnsoo
QUOTE (kackling kactuar)
Regardless of what you use to sustain the spell, you're giving up the option of using that thing to sustain another spell. So it's pretty much a moot point.

If it's a predetermined choice to use such methods to sustain any particular spell, what exactly are you giving up? I guess I could have used my 400-600• in ritual materials to cast Combat Sense instead (for a more tangible benefit that doesn't affect Elemental Manipulation), but if I have the Enhanced Aim spell, and I'm using it specifically for the purpose of reducing ranged target numbers, then I don't think there's any sacrifice to choose to use something in the way you wanted to use it in the first place. The only waste would be if you picked a spell or spell-sustaining method that you never intended to use at all. I think it is a moot point, but not for the reason you stated.

From a resource standpoint, sure, you'll be spending money/Karma that you could never get back. But in at least one case, this cost is fairly negligable (ritual sorcery for detection magic costs 100• per point of force, and you can gather most of that less than 10 days).
hahnsoo
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0 @ Apr 16 2005, 02:28 AM)
throw it at light. target #2, or even 3 or 4, is pretty easy to stage up. The elem effect isn't effected by the dmg lv, just the force

Really?
MitS p51:
QUOTE
If, after applying the primary damage of the spell, anyone is left standing and in some way vulnerable to the secondary effects, roll 2D6 to determine the effect for any non-living targets. If the spell had a Deadly Damage Level, the result must be greater than or equal to the targetís Object Resistance Rating (p. 182, SR3). If the spellís Damage Level was Serious, add +2 to the Object Resistance. If the spell causes Moderate damage, add +4 to the Object Resistance. An elemental spell with a Damage Level of Light does not cause secondary effects.


EDIT: From SR3, p196
QUOTE
If, after applying the primary damage of the spell, anyone is left standing and in some way vulnerable to the secondary effects, roll 2D6 to determine the effect for any non-living targets. The result must be greater than or equal to the targetís Object Resistance Rating (p. 182). Add +2 to the Object Resistance if the spell has a base damage of Serious, and +4 if its base damage is Moderate. An elemental spell with a Damage Level of Light does not cause secondary effects. When dealing with secondary effects, the gamemaster will have to be selective and make some judgment calls.


It appears that it is based on the base damage level.
fistandantilus4.0
I stand corrected.

There you go with that book again! wink.gif

Edit:So to clarify, since MiTS supercedes SR3 core, it wouldn't be the BASE damage inflicted, but the net/staged up damage level that would apply for the elemental effect. So you could still stage it up from light, correct?
hahnsoo
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
Edit:So to clarify, since MiTS supercedes SR3 core, it wouldn't be the BASE damage inflicted, but the net/staged up damage level that would apply for the elemental effect. So you could still stage it up from light, correct?

I don't know. I believe that the SR designers intended it so that only the Base Damage level determined secondary effects, even after MitS, but I can see it going either way. This is one of those nebulous areas that probably should be among the "house rule" crowd.
fistandantilus4.0
This sounds like a job for SHADOWFAQ MAN!
Edward
You may only have a Ĺ or 1/3 chance of getting the secondary effect but when you cast at a target with 5 grenades on his belt the chance of detonating at least one with a fire based spell is pretty good.

Especially when you start throwing around force 3 base deadly fireballs retaining a few dice from sorcery to soak the 2D+2 drain (I think).

Let us run n example. A starting spell caster with sorcery 6 spell pool 6 and will 6 (the best you can get) casts fireball at a group of enemies, selecting a base deadly damage and force 3 (or 4 with a fetish). He uses 4 sorcery dice to cast giving a high chance of a success at target 4, he allocates his 6 will 2 sorcery and 4 spell pool to drain resistance

The fireball almost certainly deals some damage to the targets. Each target is carrying one gun with a clip of bullets, a spare clip and 1 or 2 grenades they are probably all dead when there ammunition detonates.

Drain of 2(D+2) now must be resisted. With dice target 2 10 successes are probable drain is soaked to nothing.

Not a bad trick as far s I can tell.

Edward
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Edward)
Drain of 2(D+2) now must be resisted. With dice target 2 10 successes are probable drain is soaked to nothing.

The drain would be a total of 5D damage (3 divided by 2, round down, equals 1, with a +4 due to being two levels above D damage). Not bad, but still not trivial.

The average target for secondary effects for a base S damage Fireball and Explosive Ammunition or Grenades would be a total of 7 on a 2d6 roll (6 base OR, -1 for being prone to exploding, and +2 for being a base S spell), better than 50% odds. This may vary depending on what your GM considers to be an appropriate OR for grenades/ammunition, but they are less complicated than production-line guns (OR of 7 in SOTA:2064), so I think 6 is a reasonable estimate. The drain for said Fireball (at Force 3) would be 3D, not bad at all.
fistandantilus4.0
Anywho , sent off a 'SR question' to the ShadowFAQ hotline for an "official" answer. Also included : do you check seperatley for each item (Edward's example of checking for each grenade), would you do it by the highest (easier to light clother on fire), or in groups (1 check for all grenades, 1 for all ammo, etc)?
hahnsoo
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0 @ Apr 16 2005, 03:35 AM)
Anywho , sent off a 'SR question' to the ShadowFAQ hotline for an "official" answer. Also included : do you check seperatley for each item (Edward's example of checking for each grenade), would you do it by the highest (easier to light clother on fire), or in groups (1 check for all grenades, 1 for all ammo, etc)?

I believe it's each and every single thing that is vulnerable to such secondary effects. In practice, I and other GMs in my group have simply done ammunition (as one lump, unless the dude was carrying a belt of assault cannon ammo or something ridiculous), grenades (edit: One roll for each grenade), then armor/clothing, in that order, with other effects at the GM's discretion.
Edward
Logic would say that there is a higher chance of at least one grenade going of if you fireball 20 grenades than if you fireball 2, however reading some sections of the rules you can argue that logic has no place in SR.

When you have LOTS of explosives and considering the chance of sympathetic explosions we have a tendency to just say they all blow, the first time we bothered to roll for all 12 grenades we decided it took to long and they all did detonate.

Edward
kackling kactuar
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
If it's a predetermined choice to use such methods to sustain any particular spell, what exactly are you giving up? I guess I could have used my 400-600• in ritual materials to cast Combat Sense instead (for a more tangible benefit that doesn't affect Elemental Manipulation), but if I have the Enhanced Aim spell, and I'm using it specifically for the purpose of reducing ranged target numbers, then I don't think there's any sacrifice to choose to use something in the way you wanted to use it in the first place. The only waste would be if you picked a spell or spell-sustaining method that you never intended to use at all. I think it is a moot point, but not for the reason you stated.

I'm afraid I don't really understand what you're trying to say here. The karma you spent on learning Enhanced Aim could always have been spent learning something else instead, and the sustaining focus or whatever used to sustain it could've been used to sustain that spell. Unless you're wiz enough to learn and be able to sustain every spell in the book, you'll always be making a sacrifice, for a spell that really isn't that good to begin with.
kackling kactuar
Woot, round 2!

QUOTE (hahnsoo)
The average target for secondary effects for a base S damage Fireball and Explosive Ammunition or Grenades would be a total of 7 on a 2d6 roll (6 base OR, -1 for being prone to exploding, and +2 for being a base S spell), better than 50% odds. This may vary depending on what your GM considers to be an appropriate OR for grenades/ammunition, but they are less complicated than production-line guns (OR of 7 in SOTA:2064), so I think 6 is a reasonable estimate. The drain for said Fireball (at Force 3) would be 3D, not bad at all.

We've always went with OR 8, since nothing worth blowing up really falls under the low-tech manufactured category.

QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)

Edit:So to clarify, since MiTS supercedes SR3 core, it wouldn't be the BASE damage inflicted, but the net/staged up damage level that would apply for the elemental effect. So you could still stage it up from light, correct?

EMs can still inflict secondary effects even if you stage it down to nothing, so it's definitely the base damage that's taken into account, not the effective damage.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (kackling kactuar @ Apr 16 2005, 09:41 AM)
I'm afraid I don't really understand what you're trying to say here. The karma you spent on learning Enhanced Aim could always have been spent learning something else instead, and the sustaining focus or whatever used to sustain it could've been used to sustain that spell. Unless you're wiz enough to learn and be able to sustain every spell in the book, you'll always be making a sacrifice, for a spell that really isn't that good to begin with.

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").
hahnsoo
QUOTE (kackling kactuar @ Apr 16 2005, 09:55 AM)
We've always went with OR 8, since nothing worth blowing up really falls under the low-tech manufactured category.

This is definitely debatable. That would put grenades and ammunition on par with High Tech Electronic equipment. The range between Low Tech Objects/Materials (5) and High Tech Objects/Materials (8) is so wide that it could be anything within that range. I'm prone to think that propellant/explosives is no more complicated than simple plastics (5), but I don't think it's as complicated as a average pocket secretary or other electronics (8). 6 sounds reasonable, simply because a production-line gun is a 7 (SOTA:2064), most of which have digital displays and electronics built into the design.

Regardless, if you make it an 8, that makes the roll 9 or above on 2d6, for every explosive item on a person. Unless the GM is a really (un)lucky roller, it is very likely that something is going to cook off, especially if there is more than one person in the radius.
kackling kactuar
Okay, so you believe that Enhanced Aim is a useful spell. I disagree. Regardless, my original point still stands.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (kackling kactuar)
Okay, so you believe that Enhanced Aim is a useful spell. I disagree. Regardless, my original point still stands.

It helps that I'm currently playing a Gunslinger Magician's Way adept who has cheesed out the spell. smile.gif When you've seen how cheesy it can get, it's easier to believe that it's a useful spell.
kackling kactuar
QUOTE
That would put grenades and ammunition on par with High Tech Electronic equipment.

Alloys are specifically listed in the Object Resistance table to be an 8.

QUOTE
Regardless, if you make it an 8, that makes the roll 9 or above on 2d6, for every explosive item on a person. Unless the GM is a really (un)lucky roller, it is very likely that something is going to cook off, especially if there is more than one person in the radius.

Unless that person is halfway intelligent and carries his ammunition in fire/electricity resistant containers, or under armor specifically designed to negate such attacks.

There's also the easily overlooked, but nonetheless important consideration that exploding ammo and grenades don't differentiate between the target and the spellcaster.
QUOTE
It helps that I'm currently playing a Gunslinger Magician's Way adept who has cheesed out the spell.† When you've seen how cheesy it can get, it's easier to believe that it's a useful spell.

As you've already said, a smartlink is far superior to Enhanced Aim when dealing with firearms, so I don't think the cheesiness is much of a problem in that respect. smile.gif
hahnsoo
QUOTE
QUOTE
That would put grenades and ammunition on par with High Tech Electronic equipment.

Alloys are specifically listed in the Object Resistance table to be an 8.
Explosives are not alloys. Alloys are specifically combinations of metals, and I think they mean Alloys to be complex high-tech alloys like plasteel (otherwise, the production-line gun and modern katana would not have an OR of 7, and the hand-crafted knife made of steel would not have an OR of 5). Again, it's debatable.

QUOTE
Unless that person is halfway intelligent and carries his ammunition in fire/electricity resistant containers, or under armor specifically designed to negate such attacks.

There's also the minor, but important consideration that exploding ammo and grenades don't differentiate between the target and the spellcaster.
And if you can show me the reference to fire/electricity resistant containers, I'll gladly buy a few. smile.gif Just kidding. Seriously, I don't think that's a practical idea at all. For storage, sure, but for combat, it would take a Complex action to get the grenade/ammo out of the sealed container, and a Simple Action to ready it. That's one action too many... the grenades would be worn on a belt or some other easily accessible storage location, not a special fire/electricity-sealed container. I do think that you should add heat/electricity resistance from the armor to the OR roll. This also doesn't take into consideration the ammunition already in the gun (which cannot be made fireproof).

QUOTE
As you've already said, a smartlink is far superior to Enhanced Aim when dealing with firearms, so I don't think the cheesiness is much of a problem in that respect. smile.gif
Yeah, he can't use a smartlink because he fires them akimbo and we don't use those house rules for adding any visual bonuses (like Smartlink, Opt Mag, and Laser sights) to dual-wielding pistols. It's one of the few ways to lower target numbers in that situation (Aptitude and Attunement are the others). As a side benefit, the Enhance Aim is helpful for his throwing skill and his Elemental Manipulations as well.
kackling kactuar
QUOTE
Explosives are not alloys.  Alloys are specifically combinations of metals, and I think they mean Alloys to be complex high-tech alloys like plasteel (otherwise, the production-line gun and modern katana would not have an OR of 7, and the hand-crafted knife made of steel would not have an OR of 5).  Again, it's debatable.

Alloys are alloys. Steel is an alloy. I don't know where you're getting those numbers from (probably from a book I don't have), but if they're true, then they directly contradict what's stated in the core book.

QUOTE
And if you can show me the reference to fire/electricity resistant containers, I'll gladly buy a few.  smile.gif Just kidding.  Seriously, I don't think that's a practical idea at all.  For storage, sure, but for combat, it would take a Complex action to get the grenade/ammo out of the sealed container, and a Simple Action to ready it.  That's one action too many... the grenades would be worn on a belt or some other easily accessible storage location, not a special fire/electricity-sealed container.

An extra complex action to guarantee that you don't get killed off by your own equipment is definitely not one too many.

Even if you wear it on a belt, you can still wear an armored jacket or something over it.
QUOTE
I do think that you should add heat/electricity resistance from the armor to the OR roll.  This also doesn't take into consideration the ammunition already in the gun (which cannot be made fireproof).

In which case you'll only get a single check for secondary effects, not the many that you've described before. The ammo inside a gun also doesn't qualify as "worn material," so, by the book, it doesn't do any damage to you even if it blows up.

QUOTE
Yeah, he can't use a smartlink because he fires them akimbo and we don't use those house rules for adding any visual bonuses (like Smartlink, Opt Mag, and Laser sights) to dual-wielding pistols.

Ew, pistols!
hahnsoo
QUOTE
Alloys are alloys. Steel is an alloy. I don't know where you're getting those numbers from (probably from a book I don't have), but if they're true, then they directly contradict what's stated in the core book.
SOTA:2064, in case you are interested.

QUOTE
In which case you'll only get a single check for secondary effects, not the many that you've described before. The ammo inside a gun also doesn't qualify as "worn material," so, by the book, it doesn't do any damage to you even if it blows up.
Actually, by the book, exploding ammo in your handgun DOES do damage to you, as indicated under the rules for Explosive ammo (which are pretty much identical to the exploding ammo rules for EMs).
kackling kactuar
QUOTE
SOTA:2064, in case you are interested.

As I said. smile.gif

QUOTE
Actually, by the book, exploding ammo in your handgun DOES do damage to you, as indicated under the rules for Explosive ammo (which are pretty much identical to the exploding ammo rules for EMs).

Not everyone uses Explosive ammo, and even if they did, exploding ammunition rules for EMs only take into consideration worn equipment. You can use a house rule to link the two together, which is what I would do, but it'll still be a bit less deadly than if the ammo you're wearing explodes on you, and notably less deadly than a 6D manabolt.
ShadowGhost
QUOTE (kackling kactuar @ Apr 16 2005, 11:25 PM)
QUOTE
SOTA:2064, in case you are interested.

As I said. smile.gif

QUOTE
Actually, by the book, exploding ammo in your handgun DOES do damage to you, as indicated under the rules for Explosive ammo (which are pretty much identical to the exploding ammo rules for EMs).

Not everyone uses Explosive ammo, and even if they did, exploding ammunition rules for EMs only take into consideration worn equipment. You can use a house rule to link the two together, which is what I would do, but it'll still be a bit less deadly than if the ammo you're wearing explodes on you, and notably less deadly than a 6D manabolt.

It doesn't have to be explosive ammo - any ammo, when cooked off, is considered a point blank weapon hit. Armor does not reduce this damage. (CC, page 98).

So that spare clip of regular Predator ammo you're carrying does 9M damage to you when it cooks off, armor does nothing to reduce this damage, (you can add Combat pool to your body for the purpose of resisting the damage). But chances are you already used some or all of it to resist the damage from the spell.

Some Elemental Spells also have Tertiary effects, not just secondary.

Toxic Wave adds +4 to all TN for anyone in the Area Effect for the rest of the Combat Turn, and the affected area is considered Trecherous Ground for the rest of the Combat Turn. (aka Difficult Ground), increasing TNs for Ranged Combat for characters walking (adds +1) and characters running (+2).

Lightning/Ball Lightning - Any Character with Cyber who takes a wound from these, at *least* one piece of Cyber is automatically damaged... and more than one piece can be affected. MM - 127.

Smoke Cloud adds +4 to all TNs in affected area for the rest for the Combat Turn (MITS)

Thunderclap - Causes Stun Damage, Characters must resist Knockdown, and are deafened for one combat turn for every two successes rolled on the spell. (MITS)

And if you use the spell design rules for Ice, Metal, Sand, Water, you get other lovely secondary effects.... such as vehicals must make an immedate Crash Test if they are caught in an Ice Area Effect. (MITS)

So a simple Force 4 sustaining focus for Enhance Aim, (Extended Sense) means your TNs are 2, Having some Expendable Spell Foci, and Totem advantages for Manipulation spells make for a nasty combination.

I've played a Sky Father Shaman(+2 to all Detection and Manipulation Spells), with several area effect spells, and a force 1 power focus. I didn't use elementals spells often, but if the situation called for it, like covering a retreat in firefight, they were awesome.

You may not care for the Enhance Aim spell, and prefer Stun/Mana/Powerbolt spells, but some of us know how to use EA and elemental Manipulations to great effect. They're useless for sneak or infiltration and stealth, but work wonders when you don't care how much noise you make.
kackling kactuar
QUOTE
It doesn't have to be explosive ammo - any ammo, when cooked off, is considered a point blank weapon hit. Armor does not reduce this damage. (CC, page 98).

Wrong. Read the passage again. Any ammo that you're wearing is considered a point blank weapon hit. I believe I've already mentioned that twice. wink.gif

QUOTE
Some Elemental Spells also have Tertiary effects, not just secondary. <snip>

Most of these effects can be, with a little creativity, replicated by an assortment of other spells in the book. And as a bonus, these alternative spells are not nearly as easy to absorb by spell defense since you can cast them at a higher force without worrying about getting your ass kicked by the drain.

Yay for you if you enjoy using elemental manipulations in your game - don't let me rain on your parade. Like I said, they're definitely not worthless. It's just that I, and my group as a whole, didn't find the utility that they provide preferable to what can be done with spells that are much more drain-efficient to cast. smile.gif
ElFenrir
I have found elemental manipulations have saved our tails many times.

One run had us out in a field near an installation we had to protect. We had a stock SR2 rigger as one of the NPCs...the one with the AVMs on the car and not being afraid to use it. Luckily we were far enough away, and the fireball the mage tossed, while it didn't hurt the car very much...sort of cooked off the AVMs. Byebye car, byebye major thread.

We've melted stuff to sludge with Toxic Wave...Panther cannon on the Azzie guard or no, toxic wave=no more armor, bye bye cannon.

And one overlooked one is Nova...light and heat based...works very nicely against people with no flare comp. VERY nicely. Not to mention all the ammo in the area, and it's physical, so it tends to disrupt camera imaging as well...

Edward
Can somebody refresh my memory on the damage you tae when ammunition cooks of.

Consider the character with a clip for an SMG in his back pocket (we will only consider this clip)

An SMG clip has variable capacity but we will say it has 30 rounds in it as this is something that can be known. The weapon damage code however varies between 7M for the powerful ones and 6L for the HV model.

What would be the damage code if for some reason I only had one round in the pocket?

Edward
ShadowGhost
I'd base it on the weapon you use.

If you don't use an SMG, I'd pick a number from the book. Either way, you're probably going to have bandages on your ass for a week. biggrin.gif

As for the difference between one round, and one 30-round clip, they don't specify.

I'd houserule by staging the damage by one level, and the power by one for every 10 rounds.

So for a 30-round clip, basing it on a weapon that does 6L, you'd end up with a 9D to roll off.
kackling kactuar
What I'd like to see are characters running around with one round clips because they're too cheap ass to purchase nonconductive, flame-retardant armor.
ShadowGhost
QUOTE (kackling kactuar)
What I'd like to see are characters running around with one round clips because they're too cheap ass to purchase nonconductive, flame-retardant armor.

Hey, if they can't afford to fill the rest of the clip, what makes you think they can afford to purchase nonconductive, flame-retardant armor? eek.gif
kackling kactuar
It's not that they can't afford to fill the clip. It's that they're too scared to do it for fear of sucking an EM and subsequently getting shot to pieces with their own ammo. biggrin.gif
ShadowGhost
Good one! LOL rotfl.gif
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (kackling kactuar)
What I'd like to see are characters running around with one round clips because they're too cheap ass to purchase nonconductive, flame-retardant armor.

What I'd like to see are less spells which have been specifically designed to heat up propellants. Either that, or propellants for small arms which come even close to being as stable as the ones we have IRL.
fistandantilus4.0
I know it's a little late, but this is the response I got from ShadowFAQ in case anyone was still wondering.


"Both quotes mean the Damage Level selected by the spellcaster, not the final
damage done to a target. Even if the target takes no damage, the secondary
affects can still occur if the Damage Level selected for the Spell is
Moderate or above and the appropriate dice roll is made. See SR3 page 183,
left column, 2nd paragraph from the bottom. A character can kill everyone in
a room, without setting it on fire, by casting a light-damage fireball with
lots of successes. Similarly a Fireball where the caster chooses Deadly
Damage might destroy much of the room, even if all the characters in the
room resist the spell completely.

Yes, it is easy to interpret that the quotes mean different things -- but
they do not.

Regarding rolling separately for each item, the GM is invited to simplify it
as much as he wishes. For example, with 40 grenades, I might roll for them
in groups of 5. That way I only need 8 rolls to handle 40 grenades. In
practice most GMs won't be willing to roll for each individual item in the
room. If there is a life-or-death risk to a characer depending upon the
roll, I will always roll separately for each important item.
"

On a side note, I had a PC that got engufled by a fire elemental while weariing a minigun w/EX ammo (well, to be fair, he saw it coming at him, hit the quick-drop swith on his gyromount, and threw the thing at the elemental. Had about 800 rounds of EX ammo. How would you do ammo?

I couldn't think of anything better, so I figured base damage was 7S for a minigun, I dropped it to moderate because he had a few meters of throwing/ running, and then broke the rounds down by dividing it down by ten. So he resisted 7M, no armor, about 80 times. I divided the rolls between each player, watched all their rolls. All his combat pool, 22 points of karma, and most of the team karma (and about 20 minutes later), he only had 5 boxes of damage! Body is 11 BTW. Thoughts?
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