Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Spell question
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Sheffield
Hey everybody,

Newb here with a newb question.

My group has had an ongoing argument about the use of a couple spells and we finally decided it was time to kick it up to a higher court.

The question is about the resistance of spells like Camouflage and Stealth. In the MiTS spell table, these spells are marked to indicate that they either require a willing target or the target may resist the spell. If a character casts Camouflage on him- or herself, they're a willing target and so do not resist.

Here's the question: Do characters looking at the Camouflaged character make a resistance test to see through the camouflage, or do they automatically take the +4 modifier because the spell has already been successful (because the voluntary target did not resist)?

This question becomes more important with Stealth, where there's no modifier given for hearing the Stealth character, but they're just said to be absolutely silent.

The reason I ask this is because if these spells automatically succeed on a willing target, they seem overpowered, as there's no real reason to go over force 1 or 2. But on the other hand, if every character gets to make a resistance test to ignore a Stealth or Camo modifier, the spells become virtually useless even at force 6 or 8, as it ain't that hard to hit a "6" with 4 intelligence dice (and if you hit a "6" odds are huge you hit the "8").

How do you all play this one?
BitBasher
The person you cast the spell on is the subject. The people who look at the spell are the targets. The targets definitely get a straight shot to resist the spell.
cykotek
The spells are resisted, yes. But the spellcasting successes matter. If you throw down a camo 1, but manage 18 successes on the spell casting, then you need 18 successes to see through the illusion. Not such a trivial problem anymore.
Edward
Many opinions on this have been issued.

The official line is that anybody that views a target affected by stealth, invisibility or camouflage must make a resistance test. This will not make the spell useless at reasonable force because although getting 1 or 2 successes against target 6 or even 8 may be easily achieved the caster can without to much trouble secure 4-5 successes. The spell is not resisted unless the person resisting has more successes that the caster of the spell.

There are some nasty implications of this if you start to consider casting invisibility and considering shadows and spying if you want me to explain I will.

It is a common house rule (that we use) that these spells are not resisted. The only affect of force on these spells thus become there resistance to dispelling and wards.

Edward
Sheffield
In that case, I've got a follow-up question:

For Stealth and Camo (or other illusions), force really only matters as the initial TN for characters trying to see or hear through the illusion, right? The TN to put either of these spells on someone is 4, unresisted if they're voluntary.

So a dude with Sorcery 4 throws force 2 Stealth on himself, uses 4 spell pool dice for 8 total, hits a predicable 4 successes and doesn't resist. So even though the TN to hear this guy is still 2, perceiving character need 4 successes to hear them? (Or, for Camo, they either suffer the +4 mod or don't?) Which makes it tough on IN 3 chars.

EDIT: Edward, thanks, you preemptively answered some of this, particularly the all-or-nothing question. With your explanation, a force 2 Stealth remains quite good if the caster has high sorcery. But the fact that everyone tests means a lot of dice get thrown and there's a fair chance someone will see through. This means more tests, but makes sense.
GrinderTheTroll
QUOTE (Sheffield)
In that case, I've got a follow-up question:

For Stealth and Camo (or other illusions), force really only matters as the initial TN for characters trying to see or hear through the illusion, right? The TN to put either of these spells on someone is 4, unresisted if they're voluntary.

Think of it this way: This spell either completely works or it doesn't. Each time it's effect comes into play, that is, each time you "make audible noise" that would require someone to make a Perception Test, the spell grants you an extra chance they won't hear you, by forcing the "listener" to first make a Spell Resistance to see if they "break" the Illusion.

The TN=Force of the spell you cast, and they'll need to get more successes than you did on the initial test.

QUOTE
So a dude with Sorcery 4 throws force 2 Stealth on himself, uses 4 spell pool dice for 8 total, hits a predicable 4 successes and doesn't resist. So the TN to hear this character becomes a 6?

TN=Force of the spell for purposes for observers breaking the Illusion.

QUOTE
And this is an all-or-nothing situation, where one success allows the perceiving character to hear the stealthed character normally and zero means they hear nothing? (Or, for Camo, they either suffer the +4 mod or don't?)

Still need to beat the successes generated by the initial casting of the spell. If you resist the spell (beat the casters successes), then it does nothing, else impose the Perception Test penalties accordingly.

Here's an example:

Mage A with Sorcery=6, Pool=6, casts Camoflage 5. His TN=4 (per the spell) and he adds all his pool so he rolls 12-dice. He get's 7 successes.

Each time anyone looks at him, that person would get a chance to resist the spell. If somehow they manage to beat his 7-successes @ TN=5 (very doubtful unless they've got an towering Attribute Score), then the +4 penalty would apply.

For combat that means +4 to TN, for Perception Tests (Hiding, Sneaking, etc) you'd get the +4 TN, etc.

One tactic for maximizing these types of spells is to get a lower-level spell (F=2) and just throw a ton of Pool at it. With Sorcery=6, Pool=6, you could generate more successes than someone could make (that is, someone with a Willpower=6 or Intelligence=6 could, at best, only generate 6 successes). Sure a mage could theoretically add pool to resist, but Astral Perception/Projection reveals the true nature of all Illusion spells.

Addendum -- As a side note, SR3's mechanic is is different than SR2's. SR2 had you roll the Force+Pool and Pool limitation where subject to the Force of the spell. So where Force=2, would allow a max 2-pool dice, or a total of up-to 4-dice. Interestingly enough, the Sorcery skill had little or nothing to do with magic SR2.
Edward
Remember force 1 is still TN 2 to resist.

Its cheep but that is the way it is.

Edward
Rev
QUOTE (GrinderTheTroll)
Interestingly enough, the Sorcery skill had little or nothing to do with magic SR2.

The skill was the pool wasn't it?
GrinderTheTroll
Yeah, but beyond being part of the Spell Pool, it did little else to influnce actual casting spells.

SR3 treats spellcasting much like shooting a gun:

Sorcery skill = Weapon skill,
Spell Rating = Weapon Power Rating,
Pool dice <= Skill dice (for both cases).

As you can see in SR2, it was a little off.
Sheffield
Thanks for all the assistance. The stalemate of the argument had been that we played with a houserule similar to what Edward mentioned above (with no resistance tests on these sorts of illusions). But the by-the-book resistance test as described makes a lot more sense. I had thought that it would totally gimp low-level illusions, but because of the attribute test, I see how the sheer number of successes can overwhelm average-intelligence observers.
BitBasher
And also, low level illusions SHOULD be gimped... They're LOW LEVEL! wink.gif
GrinderTheTroll
QUOTE (BitBasher @ Apr 22 2005, 10:51 AM)
And also, low level illusions SHOULD be gimped... They're LOW LEVEL! wink.gif

I agree 100%.

My groups debated over house-ruling this but we've been trying to keep to canon as much as possible. SR2 sorta has it right, but low-level get double penalized with low TN and low number of dice for the test.

The house ruling we considered was to use the SR3 mechanic, but limit the number of successes possible to the level of the spell.
Seidaku
QUOTE (Sheffield)
For Stealth and Camo (or other illusions), force really only matters as the initial TN for characters trying to see or hear through the illusion, right? The TN to put either of these spells on someone is 4, unresisted if they're voluntary.

So a dude with Sorcery 4 throws force 2 Stealth on himself, uses 4 spell pool dice for 8 total, hits a predicable 4 successes and doesn't resist. So even though the TN to hear this guy is still 2, perceiving character need 4 successes to hear them? (Or, for Camo, they either suffer the +4 mod or don't?) Which makes it tough on IN 3 chars.

EDIT: Edward, thanks, you preemptively answered some of this, particularly the all-or-nothing question. With your explanation, a force 2 Stealth remains quite good if the caster has high sorcery. But the fact that everyone tests means a lot of dice get thrown and there's a fair chance someone will see through. This means more tests, but makes sense.

I think you still aren't quite understanding the rules.

The spell is cast on a subject. The subject does not get to resist the spell. The subject can be a person or an area. According to the rules regarding Indirect Illusions,

QUOTE
From the BBB, page 195:
Indirect illusion spells manipulate energey to create an illusionary image or sound or other sense-based effect, fooling the senses. They must be cast "around" a person, or over an area (Magic rating in meters) that is within the caster's line of sight.


So, the subject of the spell does not resist- you are casting the spell "around" them. The observers are the ones who get to resist.

QUOTE
From the BBB, page 195:
The observer must generate more successes in a Resistance Test than the spellcaster to determine that the illusion is not real. If the spell is not completely resisted, the character is fully affected by the illusion.

(emphasis added)

Thus, if you were to view the subject of an invisibility spell, you would have to resist (using Intelligence) and score more successes than the caster had when they cast the spell. Every observer must resist individually- thus, if 6 people were to view the subject of the spell, 3 of them might fully resist and be unaffected, while the other three could fail their resistance test and be unable to see the subject.

There is no way for the subject to resist an indirect illusion to make it just "fail." The best they can do is make their own resistance check as an observer so that they can see through the illusion.
Sheffield
By low-level, I don't mean using a force 1 or 2. I mean like a force 4 instead of a force 8. The way I'd previously misunderstood the rules on illusions, I had thought a single success saw through the camo or heard the stealth, which makes anything under 6 totally useless. A 4 is supposed to be a respectable level (what's the equivalent in skills? Proficient? Expert?), and (as you've clarified the rules above) a 4 will fool some of the people some of the time, as it should.
Sheffield
@Seidaku:

In MiTS, all of the indirect illusion spells are marked with an ® under target in the spell table. At the top of the table, the ® is defined to mean that a voluntary subject does not make a resistance test, but an involuntary subject can make a resistance test. So, if you wanted to cast Stealth on a security guard so he couldn't shout for help, the security guard could resist. If you wanted to cast Invisibilty on an unwilling abductee to smuggle them out of a building, they could resist. So indirect illusions can be resisted and can fail outright, on unwilling subjects.

My question was whether this resistance test was the only resistance test, or whether viewers also got to make a test to try and observe the subject. This is to say whether a success casting Camo automatically imposed a +4 on observers, or whether the observers got a resistance chance. (Stealth was my primary area of concern, because the wording in the grimoire seemed to suggest that if the spell was not resisted by the subject, the subject made no sounds for others to hear, hence nothing for observers to hear even if they made a successful perception test.)

This was answered clearly above, with the observer comparing against the successes of the casting mage in order to see through the illusion.
Seidaku
QUOTE (Sheffield)
@Seidaku:

In MiTS, all of the indirect illusion spells are marked with an under target in the spell table. At the top of the table, the is defined to mean that a voluntary subject does not make a resistance test, but an involuntary subject can make a resistance test. So, if you wanted to cast Stealth on a security guard so he couldn't shout for help, the security guard could resist. If you wanted to cast Invisibilty on an unwilling abductee to smuggle them out of a building, they could resist. So indirect illusions can be resisted and can fail outright, on unwilling subjects.

My question was whether this resistance test was the only resistance test, or whether viewers also got to make a test to try and observe the subject. This is to say whether a success casting Camo automatically imposed a +4 on observers, or whether the observers got a resistance chance. (Stealth was my primary area of concern, because the wording in the grimoire seemed to suggest that if the spell was not resisted by the subject, the subject made no sounds for others to hear, hence nothing for observers to hear even if they made a successful perception test.)

This was answered clearly above, with the observer comparing against the successes of the casting mage in order to see through the illusion.

Incorrect. The MitS table's notation refers to the target of the spell making a resistance test. The targets of an indirect illusion consist of all those who observe it. You cast an indirect illusion "around" a subject as I mentioned above. The subject does not make a resistance test unless they are also an observer. In that case, they are entitled to their own resistance test, but the success of that has no bearing on any of the other targets' resistance tests. Please refer to the page numbers and quotes I listed for the rules to handle such spells.
Edward
The use of the term target and subject in spell casting is unfortunate.

As has already been stated for spells like invisibility the subject is the person becoming invisible. The target is anybody that looks at the subject.

This should probably be worded (or at least explained) better in SR4.

Edward
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012