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Grinder
QUOTE (Synner)
For instance, you don't currently know how:

As if lack of knowledge would stop people here to criticize SR4. wink.gif
Shadow
Yeah but it doesn't stop us from making guesses based on what we hear.

They have said over and over. One mechanic to rule them all.

So drain has to be willpower + logic or willpower +charisma against tn 5. Each hit is a level of drain knocked away. The level is probably still F/2.

Example:

Trace has a Sorcery (or whatever there going to call it, say Spellcasting) of 6, will 4 and logic 4.

He cast whatever spell at level 4, so 2 drain. He has 8 dice (will + logic) to resist. Everything he rolls above a 5 is a hit so he just needs 2 hits to reduce drain.


end example.

Thats how I would do it to keep things simple.
Synner
Just underlines my point... the details of the Magic system haven't been announced (either by FanPro or the Origins' demo players) and any claims to the way SR4 functions in this respect are unfounded speculation.

They might even be right, but they might not. At this point they're still personal opinion based on an incomplete picture of the overall framework. Ellery presented the information as fait accompli, even though we have been told Atts are being added and apparently higher Att scores will be less common (which indicates a shift in the overall framework) - there's nothing wrong with deductions and assumptions as long as they are not presented as anything other than personal speculation.

Regardless, my point was/is you can only really make a valid judgment to the relative value and "importance" of a spell's Force if you possess an idea as to the overall framework and the balance the mechanics set.

A Force 6 spell in SR3 has the "importance" it has because of multiple factors and not just the +20% difficulty to resist; factors such as: the typical Att and Skill values of PCs and NPCs, the fact that it is the highest force a non-wired magician can cast without getting Physical Drain, the way the Spell Resistance Test functions, the role of Spell Pool, etc... A claim such as the one Ellery made (even if it turns out to be entirely correct) based on current available information, without benefit of the context and rules balance is simply speculation.

For all that's known a Force 4 spell Stunbolt in SR4 could be enough to deal exactly the same average damage and be equally hard to resist as a Force 6 Stunbolt spell was in SR3 (ie. the Damage might be retooled to be Fx2 - just for the sake of argument) or the new mechanics balance might end up dictating that a Force 6 spell has exactly the same average effect (even though the elements that factor into the equation are different) because so many other variables (besides the TN to resist) have changed in context - and so it would be equally "important" in SR4.

(btw - Drain could well be Will + Logic or Will + Int or Will + Magic or Magic + Int or Will + Cha or Will + Spellcasting, etc...)
Cheops
yeah but not everyone on this board is a playtester so all we have to go on is unfounded speculation and personal opinion

so if we can't do that why have a board in the first place
Synner
There is a difference between stating something as your opinion or your deduction and presenting it as fact. I would not have brought this up if Ellery has posted "(...)but it looks like it won't be with the new mechanic".

As is, I'm more than a bit tired of seeing people jump to the wrong assumptions based not on facts, but on their bias and preconceptions towards the change of system and unfounded opinions on the dev_crew. As I said Ellery might even be right but that post was a follow up to someone's post and the statement was made without any such disclaimer and might be misconstrued as factual.
Grinder
QUOTE (Shadow)
Yeah but it doesn't stop us from making guesses based on what we hear.

Most people here seem to have a negative opinion of the new ruleset without knowing details or having even played it. I always wonder how most posters know that everything will get worse in SR4.

Yeah, may be ranting.
SL James
I find it hard to believe that it could be misconstrued as fact as the only people claiming to have knowledge of anything more specific about Fourth Edition than what has been released are people who already know what's in it and have admitted to as much, which last I recall neither person ever even suggested.
Synner
I submit the original post:
QUOTE
The ability to cast force 6 spells was important in SR3, but won't be with the new mechanic, so the penalty for starting mages to take cyberware will go down.

That was not presented as opinion, not to mention the argument is flawed and the logic behind it (as presented by Ellery in the following post) is faulty (or at least incomplete). To put it simply, as has been the case in several threads, people (and Ellery had actually been an exception for the most part) are adding 1+1+X and coming up with 3 and presenting that (to any reader whether he/she's up on the latest breaking details and hints) as the logical conclusion.

In this particular case all the remaining conclusions in that post, starting with the erroneous deductions about cyberware, are equally and evidently flawed for the same reasons (lack of knowledge of the details).

If someone like OSUMacbeth (apologies OSUMacbeth, just picking an obvious recent addition to these discussions) was to come upon that post, without previously thrashing through a handful of other threads - to understand whether or not Ellery is grounding those deductions in official information, demo reviews, slips by playtesters, a recorded off-the-cuff reference at the Origins seminar, or simply deducing stuff from incomplete knowledge of the greater system - he would have no reason not to think of it as fact.
Shadow
QUOTE (Grinder @ Jul 28 2005, 12:33 PM)
QUOTE (Shadow @ Jul 28 2005, 04:59 PM)
Yeah but it doesn't stop us from making guesses based on what we hear.

Most people here seem to have a negative opinion of the new ruleset without knowing details or having even played it. I always wonder how most posters know that everything will get worse in SR4.

Yeah, may be ranting.

I think my original negative opinion was caused by the poor FAQs. The information that Fanpro released was so poorly written and delivered the worst bits of information possible. Having gotten a clearer picture of the current incarnation of the rules I can state a more reasonable opinion.

SR4 has some great ideas. But as it is right now, very poor implementation (re: Rate of fire). They fixed some things, broke others and from what I can tell, don't really take into account long term games.

There are things I absolutely LOVE. The new Firearm rules are kick butt, the combat rules rock. And it looks like they brought the arcane and techno in with the rest of rules.

Instead of actively despising the game from what I had seen of it before, I have moved to anticipating and hoping they fix the things I perceive as wrong. I also hope that whoever wrote those FAQs is never aloud to speak or write to the public ever again.
Synner
QUOTE (Shadow)
SR4 has some great ideas. But as it is right now, very poor implementation (re: Rate of fire). They fixed some things, broke others and from what I can tell, don't really take into account long term games.

Well, you should be happy to know that the ROF are no longer any worse than SR3s.
Grinder
I never wanted to critize you personally - all i wanted was to express my opinion about the general tone of the SR4-forum here at DS.

I understand your point and really appreciate such a point of view. smile.gif
Shadow
QUOTE (Synner)
Well, you should be happy to know that the ROF are no longer any worse than SR3s.

Well thats good smile.gif Like I said, since I have seen some stuff (from Origins) I have a whole new respect for the game. I saw some things in the begining (that were plain bad) and those have changed and I am glad for it. While I still think it will drastically change the way SR feels, it hopefully wont be for the worst.

I still would like to see ROF and ranges be better smile.gif

OSUMacbeth
*preens*

No worries, Synner. I just like to be noticed. smile.gif

OSUMacbeth
Ellery
QUOTE (Synner)
[Ellery's statement] was not presented as opinion, not to mention the argument is flawed and the logic behind it (as presented by Ellery in the following post) is faulty (or at least incomplete).


Synner, there are some really cool novels written by a guy named Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. They're about this detective named "Sherlock Holmes", who uses this peculiar thing called "deductive reasoning".

You're right that my reasoning is incompletely presented. However, it is simply an exercise in deductive reasoning to conclude, on the basis solely of material presented in FAQs and this thread, that TN6 will not be as uniquely effective as it was before. Relatedly, there is likely to be much less reason to avoid taking a point of cyberware.

Let's examine the list of unknowns and assess whether they are relevant.

QUOTE
a) What SR4 "dice pools" are involved in casting, you don't know whether the "lower" target number adjusts the number of successes (ie. maybe in SR4 a magician chucks proportionately a lot more/less dice at his target than he did in SR3, maybe one success is much more efficient in terms of basic effect, maybe a target resists with just an Att, etc).

b) How spell resistance and spell damage works in SR4 and what "dice pools" are used. Without which you can't evaluate if a Force 6 spell is equally effective, less effective or more effective than before - if a defender uses significantly less dice than he did in SR3 or significantly more affects your whole percentage curve (ie. given that above average Attributes will be more expensive, how does that make the typical resistance roll?).
Is this fact relevant to whether a force 6 spell is substantially better than a force 5 spell? The only involvements that are pertinent are those that are differential between force 6 and force 5 spells, and the total differential must add up to about as much as the force 5 spell was originally.

Does the number of dice in the pool get affected by the force of the spell? Specifically, does a higher force give you more dice? Let's suppose so, even though this could be problematic for game balance. How many more dice? In a system intended to be easier to play, linear progressions are the rule, so we expect the same number of extra dice going from 5 to 6 as from 4 to 5, and so on. There are probably other dice involved, but even if there are only "force dice", the maximum effect is 20% (6/5).

Now let's consider the target's resistance. Does the force of the spell change the number of dice the target has to resist? Possibly. How much? Well, again, a linear amount, most likely. Here, it depends on how many dice the target originally had to resist. The force may also set a threshold to not be affected--the analysis here is similar. Suppose the target has 5 dice or fewer to resist. They can't resist TN5 without using edge, nor can they resist TN6 (or, possibly, they have 1 die to resist in both cases). No difference.

If the force effects the threshold, let's suppose they have 6 dice. Then the chance of resisting TN6 is 0.14%, as compared to 1.6% for TN5. This is, admittedly, a big fractional difference (a factor of 12, even), but the number of cases where it will make any difference is very small (less than 1.5%), so this fractional advantage can be largely neglected. It turns out that the crossover is when the resisting party has 11 dice--then there's a 16% chance of resisting TN5 and only a 8% chance of resisting TN6. Again, it's a big relative difference, but it only matters in a small fraction of cases.

If the force subtracts dice from the target's pool to resist, then force 6 is twice as potent if the target has 7 dice to resist (1 left vs. 2 left), but otherwise has no effect or a much smaller effect.

One can continue with various other permutations, but the same theme will repeat: either you achieve a big difference between TN6 and TN5 through subtraction, where you have 2 vs. 1--and it's unlikely that you'll subtract this accurately; or, you'll achieve a big difference between TN6 and TN5 through probability, where you only see a big difference when TN5 is over 80% likely to get the job done on its own. Net result: TN6/TN5 is again likely to be an improvement of somewhere around 20%.

If both this and the previous effects exist, then the advantage is more like 44%.

One can go through other analyses with boxes of damage, and do it for SR3 and every conceivable SR4 system, and keep coming up with the same thing.

This isn't a surprise, however, because of the principles used in SR4. Now, I will grant that if there is a completely different mechanic used for spellcasting in SR4, then there could be a much larger effect here. However, my previous statement was assuming that the same mechanic would be used, since it's been said that the systems are going to be unified.

QUOTE
c)
Hm, there is no c). Oh well.

QUOTE
d) How Drain works and how it's been adjusted to reflect the new damage system.
Doesn't matter, unless spells with higher force have less drain. If they do, then maybe there's 20% less drain (linear progression).

QUOTE
e) How Force itself now works under the new system.
Thus, one considers all ways of applying the SR4 mechanic. (See above.)

QUOTE
f) Whether Edge can be used like Karma Poll and how it can help (or not) at save-your-bacon "reroll time" in Casting and Resistance (in SR3 using Karma Pool to reroll casting was more effective than rerolling spell resistance - assuming a mundane target - because the caster got to reroll all the Spell Pool dice too)
Doesn't matter, unless edge's use or effectiveness depends critically on the difference between TN5 and TN6, and furthermore does so in a peculiarly nonlinear way so as to greatly favor TN6.

The bottom line is that the special status of force 6 spells is simply not open to SR4 developers without resorting to non-unifying, non-streamlined rules to achieve that end (and we've been told that the rules will be more unified/streamlined).

In fact, the special status of TN6 in general has been quite heavily criticized on this forum for being weird and unnatural. As such, I'd expect the response to be, "You're darn right! That weird force 6 / TN6 stuff is gone in SR4!"

I'm typically cautious in my statements. However, in this case, I have sufficient information so that I don't need to be, except to the extent that the information that has been given about SR4 through official sources and at the Origins demo is just plain wrong--or the goals for SR4 have been diligently ignored when dealing with magic (despite the lengthy FAQ bemoaning the SR3 magic system).

Anyway, a force 6 spell in SR3 is important often (especially with damaging spells where the number of net successes matters), and important when it matters most--when facing an opponent who has a significant number of dice to resist. I invite anyone to come up with any scheme using SR4-style fixed TN, dice pools with bonuses and penalties, and variable thresholds, and show a large and frequently important difference between force 5 and force 6 spells.

QUOTE
From experience I'd say force 6 spells are equally important in SR4 than they are in SR3 for slightly different reasons, so I'm not saying you're wrong.
You are saying I'm wrong, because I said force 6 spells were less important in SR4.

And I'm saying your experience is wrong--if you look and think more carefully, and try out different scenarios, you'll find that force 6 in SR3 (vs. force 5) is a much bigger advantage than in SR4, regardless of how SR4 handles the details of the magic system.
Halabis
boo hoo, force 6 doesnt matter any more! Whats the big deal? Its just a number!
Ellery
It changes the importance of maintaining your magic at a certain level, which changes the number of mages with cyberware, which changes the feel of the game. (Although the force 6 thing is essentially certain, each additional step is impacted by other factors, so it's harder to tell how much the feel will change.)

I'm not saying it's bad, but it is different.
Synner
QUOTE (Ellery @ Jul 29 2005, 01:48 AM)
Synner, there are some really cool novels written by a guy named Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. They're about this detective named "Sherlock Holmes", who uses this peculiar thing called "deductive reasoning".

The really cool stuff with Sherlock Holmes (in Conan Doyle's hands at least) is his ability to conduct "deductive reasoning" from all the available information including the obvious yet inconspicuous details which were in everyone else's face but didn't notice (Mycroft was smarter anyway).

Ellery, all your deductions are correct if you limit your reasoning to only part of what is known. For instance, your argument appears to hinge on the 20% difficulty increase between a TN5 and a TN6 which will cease to exist (and hence supposedly reduce the effect/importance of a Force 6 spell). What I'm trying to say is there are other ways of reproducing (compensating) that added 20% difficulty within the system with a TN of 5 (ie. drastically reducing the average number of dice used in Resistance Test, reducing the mean Atts, increasing thresholds, etc) but ultimately maintaining the "importance" of a Force 6 spell.

I submit that you are not taking into consideration all that has been announced and hence your "deductive reasoning" is flawed. I'm simply stating that you lack the information to make this statement, and are in fact ignoring elements (such as the change to lower average Atts due to the increased costs of above average Atts etc) which have been announced.

QUOTE
You're right that my reasoning is incompletely presented. However, it is simply an exercise in deductive reasoning to conclude, on the basis solely of material presented in FAQs and this thread, that TN6 will not be as uniquely effective as it was before. Relatedly, there is likely to be much less reason to avoid taking a point of cyberware.

Clarification: Yes your reasoning is incomplete, but besides that you said "a Force 6 spell" and not a TN6 (that is implied, but it was not in your original post). Likewise the reasoning behind cyberware is incomplete and flawed. You haven't taken into account the impact the variable Magic Att might have (FAQ info), the fact that spell Force is capped at Magic x2 (Origins seminar and posts here) and most importantly because you haven't (and couldn't) factor in the most important element in the Magic vs. cyberware equation: how Essence works (because this hasn't been announced).

If cyber-depleted Essence continues to be deducted directly from Magic like in previous editions, regardless of whether the cybered individual now has Magic 3 or Magic 6, your entire reasoning is off. There is likely to be much greater reason to avoid taking a point off cyberware. Not only is it going to reduce your Magic like it always did but its also going to reduce your spell Force cap.

QUOTE
QUOTE
a) What SR4 "dice pools" are involved in casting, (...)
b) How spell resistance and spell damage works in SR4 and what "dice pools" are used. (...)

Is this fact relevant to whether a force 6 spell is substantially better than a force 5 spell? The only involvements that are pertinent are those that are differential between force 6 and force 5 spells, and the total differential must add up to about as much as the force 5 spell was originally. Does the number of dice in the pool get affected by the force of the spell?

I'll just reply to this, because you've missed my point. Your analysis from this point on focuses on the value of Force. My point was that the inherent value of that Force with the 20% increase in difficulty inherent in a TN5 and TN6 can be achieved, not by altering the TN (or changing the way Force functions), but by skewing the rest of the equation (altering pool dice for casters, altering dice pools for targets, altering damage resistance, altering Atts, having Force grant more dice, etc). Even if you don't alter the way Force works you can alter the way all the other factors relate and interact with Force. If you modify the system the inherent value of that 20% increase can manifest elsewhere, because the whole equation changes.

Force is one element of a much larger equation used in Spellcasting even in SR3. I'm sure you'll acknowledge that were a GM to rule that Attributes above 4 in his street-level game would be rare, the relative value/importance of a Force 6 spell changes (because the average character's ability to resist it just went down).

Without information regarding how the overall system works, you cannot make a valid pronouncement to the effect that "The ability to cast force 6 spells was important in SR3, but won't be with the new mechanic". let alone build to conclusions on it being easier to pick up cyber based on that.

QUOTE
This isn't a surprise, however, because of the principles used in SR4. Now, I will grant that if there is a completely different mechanic used for spellcasting in SR4, then there could be a much larger effect here. However, my previous statement was assuming that the same mechanic would be used, since it's been said that the systems are going to be unified.

Again you are failing to take into account the modifications to other elements (which have been announced) at play besides Force and jumping to a conclusion using the SR3 framework as reference.

QUOTE
QUOTE
c)
Hm, there is no c). Oh well.

Sorry. Mislabeled.

QUOTE
QUOTE
d) How Drain works and how it's been adjusted to reflect the new damage system.
Doesn't matter, unless spells with higher force have less drain. If they do, then maybe there's 20% less drain (linear progression).

Again I disagree. Without a Spell Pool the way Drain is resisted, the point when it becomes Physical and the way all this interacts with SR4's variable Magic attribute is vitablly important. As I mentioned your original mistake was to post about a Force 6 spell (rather than the implied TN of 6) and then make assumptions based on that.

QUOTE
QUOTE
e) How Force itself now works under the new system.
Thus, one considers all ways of applying the SR4 mechanic. (See above.)

Yep. But one should consider ways of applying all the (known) SR4 mechanics.

QUOTE
QUOTE
f) Whether Edge can be used like Karma Poll and how it can help (or not) at save-your-bacon "reroll time" in Casting and Resistance (in SR3 using Karma Pool to reroll casting was more effective than rerolling spell resistance - assuming a mundane target - because the caster got to reroll all the Spell Pool dice too)
Doesn't matter, unless edge's use or effectiveness depends critically on the difference between TN5 and TN6, and furthermore does so in a peculiarly nonlinear way so as to greatly favor TN6.

As I've explained elsewhere the inherent difficulty in a TN6 can manifest elsewhere in a fixed TN 5 system by a system shift.

QUOTE
The bottom line is that the special status of force 6 spells is simply not open to SR4 developers without resorting to non-unifying, non-streamlined rules to achieve that end (and we've been told that the rules will be more unified/streamlined).

Only if you stick to one aspect of the equation.

QUOTE
I'm typically cautious in my statements. However, in this case, I have sufficient information so that I don't need to be, except to the extent that the information that has been given about SR4 through official sources and at the Origins demo is just plain wrong--or the goals for SR4 have been diligently ignored when dealing with magic (despite the lengthy FAQ bemoaning the SR3 magic system).

Nope, magic and tech are pretty much fully compatible with everything else. As far as I know there's no exceptions to the core rule. Where your logic fails is that it doesn't take into account the (announced) modifications to the other elements that attribute relative value to Force.

QUOTE
Anyway, a force 6 spell in SR3 is important often (especially with damaging spells where the number of net successes matters), and important when it matters most--when facing an opponent who has a significant number of dice to resist. I invite anyone to come up with any scheme using SR4-style fixed TN, dice pools with bonuses and penalties, and variable thresholds, and show a large and frequently important difference between force 5 and force 6 spells.

I'll be happy to do so in August.

QUOTE
QUOTE
From experience I'd say force 6 spells are equally important in SR4 than they are in SR3 for slightly different reasons, so I'm not saying you're wrong.
You are saying I'm wrong, because I said force 6 spells were less important in SR4. And I'm saying your experience is wrong--if you look and think more carefully, and try out different scenarios, you'll find that force 6 in SR3 (vs. force 5) is a much bigger advantage than in SR4, regardless of how SR4 handles the details of the magic system.

Keep in ming that I said for "slightly different reasons" and I will be happy to get back to this once you are aware of the full details of the magic system. Keep in mind that I have been referring to a Force 6 spell all along.
SL James
Ellery's made several statements which are admittedly based upon incomplete information. Fine. It follows with the utility of the forum in hosting various attemtps at speculation and conjecture based upon incomplete information.

But I don't understand why you are so insistent upon hapring on that fact. Either you know more, and can't or won't say, or you're picking a fight for no good reason. I don't know. I don't understand why I'm looking at a couple of rather lengthy posts which could just as easily be summed up by saying, "Ellery, you don't know what you're talking about because you lack all of the full facts", as if that would somehow magically quell conversation and speculation (It doesn't seem to have done so yet).

What's the point? I'd imagine one might have better things to do that poke holes in speculation admitted based upon incomplete information while providing absolutely no new information whatsoever.
fistandantilus4.0
Perhaps for the same reason that Ellery keeps going. They both have their point of view that they want to get across, which is rarely as easy as saying "this is what I think". And they both seem to enjoy debating. It's not that they don't have anything better to do. They just enjoy the debate. Just like it's not like you play SR because you don't have anything better to do, you just like to play it (I assume).

And maybe they'll keep going back and forth, but they don't seem to be angry with each other. Just trying to drive the point home.
chevalier_neon
QUOTE (Synner @ Jul 29 2005, 03:29 AM)
QUOTE (Ellery @ Jul 29 2005, 01:48 AM)
Synner, there are some really cool novels written by a guy named Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. They're about this detective named "Sherlock Holmes", who uses this peculiar thing called "deductive reasoning".

The really cool stuff with Sherlock Holmes (in Conan Doyle's hands at least) is his ability to conduct "deductive reasoning" from all the available information including the obvious yet inconspicuous details which were in everyone else's face but didn't notice (Mycroft was smarter anyway).


Hehehehe...
Speaking about Conan Doyle, you should know that he himself stoped using this "deductive reasoning" thinking that it could lead to misunderstanding most of the time... Indeed, the young Conan Doyle who was believing only in facts was really far away from the old one, that was a god believer, and stoped trusting science...
Hope that we will see the same here with "non liking SR4" boyz (see, I didn't use anti this time).
Be careful, deductive reasoning is a flawed method !
fistandantilus4.0
how 'bout inductive then?
Synner
QUOTE
Ellery's made several statements which are admittedly based upon incomplete information. Fine.

And all I did was point out that the reasoning was flawed regardless and was not "admittedly incomplete" in the first place. As I've mentioned before this stood out because it is one of many conclusions made on this forum which do not stand up to the evidence. I had hoped that pointing out where conclusions drawn from obviously incomplete information could be wrong (under available information).

Ellery went on to explain why the reasoning was correct and me to reply to that, in what has been a (I believe) reasonable and sensible debate (the type, fistandantilus3.0 has correctly surmised, I enjoy).

Ellery's argument is based (in my mind) on the obvious discrepancy in values between the fixed TN5 in SR4 and the TN 6 in SR3 - and that alone. There was also an initial mistake in presenting that thought by associating it with a Force 6 spell.

I contested that while there is no denying that a strict reading of the target number difficulty difference (20%) means Ellery is correct. However, there are numerous other (known) changes to the overall Magic and Core system framework of the game which make the original claim "that a Force 6 spell would be less important under the new system" patently ungrounded as well as any speculation to the effect that the 20% difficulty increase no longer exists in another aspect of the framework (note: I'm not saying it does. I'm just pointing put how misleading such conclusions can be).

QUOTE
But I don't understand why you are so insistent upon hapring on that fact. Either you know more, and can't or won't say, or you're picking a fight for no good reason. I don't know. I don't understand why I'm looking at a couple of rather lengthy posts which could just as easily be summed up by saying, "Ellery, you don't know what you're talking about because you lack all of the full facts", as if that would somehow magically quell conversation and speculation (It doesn't seem to have done so yet).

Well, the easy answer is that this time there are enough known facts about the system to point to flaws in the logic and the conclusions drawn from said logic, that I can argue my point without resorting to the cowardly "I know more than you because I'm a playtester" card.

QUOTE
What's the point? I'd imagine one might have better things to do that poke holes in speculation, admitted based upon incomplete information while providing absolutely no new information whatsoever.

Not really. I think its a perfectly valid expenditure of my time and will take time from other things to poke holes and clarify erroneous speculation which can lead to further misunderstandings and biased assumptions about SR4. Particularly after the

Ellery in particular has presented particularly constructive and well-thought out criticism and analysis, so its mostly an unfortunate coincidence this debate happens to focus on this particular post.

Again, there lies the problem, this information was not posted as speculation or personal opinion it was posted as a logical conclusion (as many other erroneous conclusions have been in recent months). It isn't a logical conclusion if it fails to take into account (known) changes to the overall reference framework that element of the game works under. I reiterate, this would not have arisen had Ellery had posted "it looks like this won't be the case in the new system." or even if the argument had been presented clearly as "TN5 vs TN6 in a force 6 spell".
mmu1
QUOTE (SL James)
But I don't understand why you are so insistent upon hapring on that fact. Either you know more, and can't or won't say, or you're picking a fight for no good reason. I don't know. I don't understand why I'm looking at a couple of rather lengthy posts which could just as easily be summed up by saying, "Ellery, you don't know what you're talking about because you lack all of the full facts", as if that would somehow magically quell conversation and speculation (It doesn't seem to have done so yet).

What's the point? I'd imagine one might have better things to do that poke holes in speculation admitted based upon incomplete information while providing absolutely no new information whatsoever.

It helps distract from the fact they're using Hit Points in SR4. biggrin.gif
Starglyte
Not again! frown.gif

Can we talk about something useful like when SOA will be released or what they are doing about SOLA. nyahnyah.gif
Eldritch
Or even just a schedule - GC only a few weeks away. There are books, a SR$ preview, and SR4 to get to print.

Just how are things going? Is there a projected release date for upcoming projects?
Synner
SoA should already be working its way through the distribution system at this point. System Failure was in final editing last I heard, and from recent news SR4 should be ready by GenCon.

Disclaimer: this is definitely unconfirmed information.
Ellery
I already explained, in my post dated Jul 27 2005, 10:20 PM, that force 6 spells are special when they are resisted because you need to roll against TN6. And I also explained that SR3's "20% increase in target number" corresponds to a 100% increase in difficulty to resist, because of the TN6 thing.

And I've already explained why it's next to impossible to get a twofold difference in one point of force using SR4 mechanics with 6 vs. 5.

I'm happy to wait for the release date and explain in detail using the real rules instead of any halfway sensible application of SR4 mechanics. But I do want to be clear that I'm not talking about a 20% impact of force 6 over force 5 in SR3--it's more like a factor of two.

Factors of 20% aren't too hard to achieve in SR4. Factors of two are, given such a small difference. All the other things about magic and essence interactions, low attributes, and so on can only easily generate a 20% difference or so.

I don't think that variable length condition monitors will make SR4's system feel like it has hit points on its own. The accrual of penalties is rather weird, though. Losing damage levels has a bigger impact, I think: if the 1-3-6-10-15-21 progression was continued, then there wouldn't be much difference in penalty between someone with a 9-box vs. 15-box condition monitor, nor would either be that immune to dying to a single accurate shot. The 15-box guy could keep slogging on for longer with a bunch of minor wounds, but would still be vulnerable to a sniper (or even a ganger with a light pistol, some skill, and using maximum combat pool and karma pool...er, well, maybe not, now that there's no combat pool).

However, without damage levels, one picks up much more of a feeling of hit points--there's presumably a gradual accrual of damage, and the people with longer condition monitors can accrue a fair bit more. Furthermore, there will be little danger of immediately lethal damage (one-shot kills) unless almost all damage is immediately lethal to everyone, in which case having a condition monitor at all is kind of silly.

Now, Synner is probably going to say that I'm wrong, and that I can't know this, and I don't have all the information. But again, the difference between a linear progression and a quadratic one is pretty dramatic (just like the exponential vs. linear progression including a large TN5/6 jump is dramatic).
Synner
Nope, this time I'm pretty sure your analysis is pretty much on target given known facts. Sometimes 1+1+x is 3 - although again this is speculation and not certainty.

I also agree that the end of damage levels might feed the feeling of a hit points system (though I believe, in practice, players will quickly get over that impression given other changes introduced in the system) and with your deduction that the danger of one-shot kills is apparently lessened for these high Body types - all I can say on that regard is that it is something that was detected in playtesting.

I'd like to reiterate that you might even be right with the basis of your prior conclusion, but given its speculative nature and the current known information, it shouldn't have been used to build further conclusions which are contingent on a larger framework.
Ellery
If we didn't speculate upon things and build upon incomplete information, there wouldn't be much point to a SR4 forum--all information we are presented with is taken out of the full context. Plus, as explained, I wasn't grasping at straws--there are good mathematical reasons why one can't make SR4 do what SR3 did (which arguably was an unintentional artifact peculiar to the SR3 mechanics). So it seemed to me to be a fine base upon which to build.
fistandantilus4.0
we need a new smiley - fencing smiley!
Taki
QUOTE (Ellery)
I'm happy to wait for the release date and explain in detail using the real rules instead of any halfway sensible application of SR4 mechanics.  But I do want to be clear that I'm not talking about a 20% impact of force 6 over force 5 in SR3--it's more like a factor of two. 

I think you are 100% right for the factor of two - which to my mind one of the really bad flaw in SR3.
So I hope indeed there is a lot of thing you can do in SR3 and can't in SR4 (like doubling the difficulty to resist by adding 1 to the force of a spell)

By the way I really think being happy to wait for SR4 in purpose to demolished it would be a bad behavior.

QUOTE (Ellery)
 
I don't think that variable length condition monitors will make SR4's system feel like it has hit points on its own.

There is 2 different hit point system that come to my mind, the first one is in game-with-level, so the number off hit point increase dramatically after a few levels, the second is only linked to body-like attribute, with a fix number, but no penalties for being injured until you fall unconscious.
So I guess SR4 will be more comparable to SR3 than to any other system.
fistandantilus4.0
Earthdawn being an exception to that. But ED always was a great system to play. A little ungainly at first, but definitely good stuff.
Ellery
Taki, all I said was that I would be happy to demonstrate the validity of my argument when SR4 is out--or when someone comes up with any other set of hypothetical magic rules that are consistent with SR4 mechanics. I never said that the large benefit of having force 6 spells (over force 5 ones) was an advantage--it's just a difference.

Correctly assessing the differences between SR3 and SR4, and the consequences that those differences have, can hardly be considered as bad behavior except in a groupthink scenario where the two Are The Same, or one is presumed to be far superior to the other and evidence that might indicate the contrary is most unwelcome.

There are both good features of the SR3 system that cannot be easily reproduced, and bad features of SR3 that cannot be easily reproduced. There are probably some neutral features as well. The SR4 mechanic is quite different from the SR3 mechanic, and binomials and linear trends do not fit quadratic trends and exponential distributions well except in an unhelpfully limited range.
Synner
QUOTE (Ellery @ Jul 30 2005, 07:30 PM)
Correctly assessing the differences between SR3 and SR4, and the consequences that those differences have, can hardly be considered as bad behavior except in a groupthink scenario where the two Are The Same, or one is presumed to be far superior to the other and evidence that might indicate the contrary is most unwelcome.

Ellery, please note that my post wasn't meant to dissuade any such assessment, what I am trying to warn against is the risk of constucting a derived argument from a incomplete analysis of known information (in this case in particular when it is known that the variable Magic Rating will now cap spell Force). IMHO trying to assess "the penalty for starting mages to take cyberware" in the first place is an exercise in futility without information on how the Essence/variable Magic equation works in SR4.

That being said there's nothing wrong with speculation of any kind is always useful, and as many have said that too is what this forum is here for, but speculation should be identified as such for the benefit of anyone who haven't been following every piece of information to come out - especially at this stage when more official information has been made known but no one's sure exactly what everyone else knows.
Ellery
I was responding to Taki's comments--I didn't view your posts as saying that my behavior was bad (in a malicious sense as Taki seemed to me to be implying), just potentially misleading or unhelpful.

Anyway, I'm not terribly eager to go through the "I can estimate this pretty well!" vs. "No you can't!" discussion again. I think we've both made our respective positions clear.
fistandantilus4.0
5 karma for the both of ya'

It's nice to see a discussion and critical analysis that doesn't degenerate to name calling
Taki
Ellery, I didn't say you are malicious, I said : "being happy to wait for SR4 in purpose to demolished it would be a bad behavior. "
You know better than me if it is precisely what you are doing.

You are saying there is difference between sr3 / sr4, it is true indeed. Thanksfully things will be VERY different, in the same time most of us hope it will keep the shadowrun feeling.
Ellery
QUOTE (Taki)
Ellery, I didn't say you are malicious, I said : "being happy to wait for SR4 in purpose to demolished it would be a bad behavior. "
If that's not bad in a malicious sense, what, pray tell, is the nature of the badness?

QUOTE (Taki)
You know better than me if it is precisely what you are doing.
You are implying that this is what I am doing by juxtaposing comments to me with comments like that.

Let's see if I can help you. See my post dated Jul 30 2005, 02:30 PM where I say, "I never said that the large benefit of having force 6 spells (over force 5 ones) was an advantage--it's just a difference." If one isn't worse than the other, how would I be demolishing one or the other, hm?
Taki
hum ... me no understand all games with word. By the way

I meaned no disrespect man ...
I wasnt implying it is, I just said it could be which is a lot different in probability wink.gif
The White Dwarf
While that example is correct, and is indeed a case-in-point of one of the SR3 system flaws (rather big one imo, but limitation of relying on linear scale combined with dice containing a finite number of sides), theres more to the story.

Because spells contained a tn to be rolled against, before the resistance test, they are in a sense opposed rolls (not opposed tests per sr lingo, just that 2 parties roll against tns and the net does something).

Having, for example, a Willpower 5 vs Willpower 6 did the exact same thing, for the same reason, only magnified. When you resist a spell using willpower, vs a force 5 of force 6 spell, there is no pool and so the most dice you can get is like 6 or 8, maybe 10 or 12 for some crazy extreme case. That difference only changes 1-2 successes on average into passes or fails.

Consider the effect of that Willpower 5 or Willpower 6 on the caster tho, his tn for his entier casting pool changes. That can quite easily get up near 20 dice without anything obscene, potentially more if someone activly tries to get a lot of dice. Now youre taking 3-4-5 changes in success values.

What Im trying to point out is that because the TN values in SR3 were variable, the EXACT SAME THING, in this case the 5 to 6 thingy and its 20% increase vs 50% success chance, in the EXACT SAME MECHANIC, in this case a spellcasting test, affects the involved people DIFFERENTLY. Its not like its some system glitch that everyone deals with, it created inherant imbalances. That is, IMO, the problem; not the glitch per se. Every game system as quirks, but they dont all have glitchs.

SR4 seems to address some of these from what posts indicate. *Seems* to. Because the posts also point to the exact same situation occuring in a new way in the new system.

I dont know if Ill like or hate the new system on its own. But if this same 'feature' is held over it wont be an improvement over the old one, mechanically thats the sort of thing that just has to go to bring it to any sort of improved level.
Taki
I am with you.

Dwarf powa !

Taki
Black dwarf samurai adept
Serbitar
Some 2 cents:

Of course Ellery is right.

In SR3 by going from Force 5 to force 6 you double your effectivnes. In SR4 you don't because they changed the system from exponential to linear.
So the step from force 5 to 6 in SR3 will always be of much greater impact than in SR4.

There is nothing to discuss about it. Its plain maths. To say that in SR4 the step from Force 5 to force 6 is euqally important as in SR4 would mean denying the step from exponential to linear system.

But after all you DONT WANT the step from 5 to 6 be much more effective then from 4 to 5. Thats why they changed it in SR4 and thats why SR4 is superior to SR3.
Synner
I repeat mathematically Ellery's conclusion is correct - assuming the system works as you seem to believe - however the true "effectiveness" of a Force 5-6 spells in the context of the game can only be evaluated in relation of its impact on a Resistance Test of which an Att roll is integral (in the new system) - my point is that you can not at this point make a valid judgement about this element of the system without taking into account elements which are unknown (and are erroneously being assumed to be identical to SR3 - the amplitude and range of attributes in SR4 to name just one).
Ellery
And my point is that I don't need to know the details because one cannot make the differential effectiveness between force 5 and force 6 great enough with the SR4 mechanics to match the difference in effectiveness that you found in SR3. (Unless, of course, one resorts to silly ad hoc rules such as, "If the spell is force 6 or above, all effects are doubled" or "if you have any cyberware at all, you can only cast spells at half the force that you normally could".)
Serbitar
QUOTE (Ellery @ Jul 27 2005, 10:20 PM)
QUOTE (Synner)
I have no idea where you're getting the "ability to cast force 6 spells was important in SR3, but won't be with the new mechanic" but its just plain wrong.
*blink* I can only assume that you neither play mages nor have mages cast on you (if you play SR3 at all).

The reason why casting force 6 spells was important was because the TN to resist a force 6 spell is 6. TN6 is twice has hard to achieve as TN5. (Remember that variable TN thing?) Force 6 spells are twice as hard to resist.

Thus, unless your magician cast no spells that could be resisted, casting the spells at force 6 made a very large difference--one point of force doubled the effectiveness.

The difference between 6 and 5 in SR4, given that almost everything else is linear, is likely to be around 20% (6/5 = 1.2) instead of a factor of two.


The reasoning behind this post is still valid. After all, the discussion was about this post . . .
It was never about overall effectivnes (which could be same for force 6 spells in SR4 and SR3) it was about effectivnes of force 6 spells in relation to all the other spells (aka force 6 doubles success chance in relation to 5 and 7 doesnt do anything compared to 6). Resistbale force 6 spells were special in SR3, in SR4 they are not (at least I hope so, and I see no reason why my hope should be wrong. Force 6 spells should be a little bit better than force 5 and force 7 a little bit better than 6. If not, they messed up the aprprox. linear system, which would be quite a stupid thing to do).

So the sentence

QUOTE

ability to cast force 6 spells was important in SR3, but won't be with the new mechanic


is perfectly right.

Mathematically spoken: SR4 may be calibrated to make force 6 spells exactly as effective as in SR3 (though they could be calibrated to match force 5 spells in both system or any other number or none at all) but because the slope of the effectivnes curve ( 1 - probability(resisting the spell) vs. force) is differnt (approx. linear to exponential with a saddle point at multiples of 7) the surrounding force numbers will differ greatly. The second derivative of the effectivnes curve in SR3 has huge peaks at multiples of 6. In SR4 the second derivative should be aproximatley zero for any force.
Ellery
It's nice to know that someone understands what I was saying!
SL James
Some of us were just too lazy to get involved when the posts got longer than my ... er... their screen.
Synner
QUOTE (Ellery @ Aug 5 2005, 10:26 AM)
It's nice to know that someone understands what I was saying!

I'm going to make this perfectly clear one last time. Your point had been understood for quite a while. I have been trying to explain why, even though mathematically sound:

a) your original deduction is limited and it is feasible (if unlikely) that SR4 could be calibrated that the Force 6 spell retains the same effective "importance" (even if its for very different reasons) - hence your post is speculation and should have been identified as such;
b) it is a mistake to use any such deduction to jump to a secondary conclusion (and for the record Serbitar, the argument was presented as a single sentence and hence I addressed it as such so the conclusion "the penalty for starting mages to take cyberware will go down" was integral). When information has been made available to surmise that the most important element in any decision about a starting mage taking cyberware is different - the ie. cyberware-Essence-(variable) Magic framework - is changing, any such claim is either perfectly grounded or potentially misleading.(To clarify this last point, for the record, it is entirely possible that Ellery might have picked up on the answer to the Essence-Magic question, which was given at the Origins seminar, and incorporated that in the analysis. However judging by what we've seen of post-Origins threads many people obviously did not and as such speculation could be taken as perfectly factual or erroneous speculation).
c) that it is misleading for the benefit of those joining at this late point and those who happen to not be aware of all the available information to present any such conclusions without presenting them as mere opinions and uninformed deductions.

Why do I bother debating this at all? Well, because too many people have jumped to various erroneous conclusions based on incomplete knowledge of the new system. Even some playtesters have made the mistake of jumping to conclusions on some stuff that is currently patently untrue in the final implementation. What has changed at this point is that things have been made public that allow relevant discussion without idle speculation - the problem is people are still catching up.
Ellery
a) The chance of it being wrong is so small as to not be worth setting off with qualifiers given that all statements about SR4--including statements directly from the FAQ--are speculative.
b) Building upon prior reasoning is the whole point of deduction. It's most of the point of thinking. There does not exist a sensible relationship between magic and essence, given the very limited possible choices consistent with SR4 rules, that could make taking a small amount of cyberware horribly bad for mages while not converting most existing mages with a little cyber into burnouts. That part is speculative--maybe piles of existing mages will be converted into burnouts--but I did not state strongly how big of an effect the difference in forces would make, nor did I rule out that there could be other factors that would have an opposite effect.
c) Last I checked, I didn't have a "FanPro Developer" tag on my name. I'd hope that people could distinguish what I say from what a developer says, and judge its likelihood of being a result of direct knowledge of the rules accordingly.

Also, this "you can't speculate!" stuff is getting old. If you understood what I was saying, you'd address the mathematical points I've made. But you continue to say I can't speculate, and continue to fail to address why I'm not mathematically justified in my conclusions. My sense is that you don't understand that you don't understand what I'm saying--not in the kind of quantitative detail necessary to draw conclusions. If you're so confident that I could be wrong in my speculations, why don't you come up with a scheme that is not in SR4, is not crazy-stupid, and which would falsify my claim, were it true. If you understand in a meaningful sense what I'm talking about, and I'm wrong, it shouldn't be terribly hard, it won't violate the NDA, and we won't have to wait for SR4 to come out.
Synner
QUOTE
a) The chance of it being wrong is so small as to not be worth setting off with qualifiers given that all statements about SR4--including statements directly from the FAQ--are speculative.

Actually, statements from the FAQ are all factual at face value and not speculation -how you chose to interpret them is another issue.

You made a statement in response to someone else's post:
"The ability to cast force 6 spells was important in SR3, but won't be with the new mechanic, so the penalty for starting mages to take cyberware will go down. If you combine that with presumably cheaper costs to get partial magical ability, I'd expect to see many more mages with a bit of cyber, or street sams with a bit of magic."

At that point you did not specify that such a conclusion was based on the maths or pure speculation, you did not specify either way. You made a claim.

I disagreed with the conclusions presented and simply said that this was speculation and should have been identified as such. I also went on to say that you cannot deduct from available information that Force 6 won't have equal "importance" under the new system (I made no reference to the Force 5-6 because it was not called for) and hence your original statement was "unfounded" (note: not "wrong" just ungrounded).

When you went on to explain that your reasoning was based (apparently exclusively) on the inherent of any Rating value of 6 in SR3 as compared to 5, I suggested that even so it was possible that the Magic system was so different that element could be reproduced elsewhere in the system and that either way concluding this factor would affect cyber and magicians in any significant way was an erroneous deduction - one you are obviously free to make.

I also suggested that you weren't taking into account a number of obvious factors which might affect such a conclusion: that Magic is now a variable attribute but "we" don't know how that influences "dice pools" if it does at all; that Force is capped by Magic; that "we" do not know if Force factors into dice pools; that its unknown whether all spells are now resisted, we do not know if all spells have effect thresholds based on Force, we do not know if all spells have effect thresholds based on hits, if Force limits hits.

It is like assuming that a Magic 6 magician in SR3 will convert to a Magic 6 magician in SR4 when you have no information to go on.

QUOTE
b) Building upon prior reasoning is the whole point of deduction. It's most of the point of thinking. There does not exist a sensible relationship between magic and essence, given the very limited possible choices consistent with SR4 rules, that could make taking a small amount of cyberware horribly bad for mages while not converting most existing mages with a little cyber into burnouts. That part is speculative--maybe piles of existing mages will be converted into burnouts--but I did not state strongly how big of an effect the difference in forces would make, nor did I rule out that there could be other factors that would have an opposite effect.

Nope you just stated, "The ability to cast force 6 spells was important in SR3, but won't be with the new mechanic, so the penalty for starting mages to take cyberware will go down. If you combine that with presumably cheaper costs to get partial magical ability, I'd expect to see many more mages with a bit of cyber, or street sams with a bit of magic."

For the record. At the Origins seminar Rob replied to one question about Essence loss saying that Essence loss from cyber will work as always. it will deduct from Karma.

QUOTE
c) Last I checked, I didn't have a "FanPro Developer" tag on my name. I'd hope that people could distinguish what I say from what a developer says, and judge its likelihood of being a result of direct knowledge of the rules accordingly.

Last I checked neither did mine. Neither did wireknight's or mfb's when they posted. Neither did Caine Hazen. Or any of the people who were at Origins for the demos or seminar. Even someone like Shadow seems to be privy to some insider information at this point. It hasn't stopped any of us presenting information to the general audience of these forums. At this point in time there are numerous ways in which even a non-playtester or non-developer could have by now validly come up with a lot of information - there's nothing to help anyone distinguish between officially released info and speculation unless we specifically identify what our sources are and whether we are simply speculating and making educated guesses (or not).

QUOTE
Also, this "you can't speculate!" stuff is getting old. If you understood what I was saying, you'd address the mathematical points I've made. But you continue to say I can't speculate, and continue to fail to address why I'm not mathematically justified in my conclusions.

You're wrong on all counts. I've said on several ocassions on this thread that there's nothing wrong with speculation, but that -now more than ever- its important to identify speculation and personal interpretation as such.

I've actually even said that:
QUOTE
I'd like to reiterate that you might even be right with the basis of your prior conclusion, but given its speculative nature and the current known information, it shouldn't have been used to build further conclusions which are contingent on a larger framework.

and
QUOTE
There is a difference between stating something as your opinion or your deduction and presenting it as fact. I would not have brought this up if Ellery has posted "(...)but it looks like it won't be with the new mechanic".


Of course if I did say "you can't speculate!" I'm sure you'll be able to point it out, right?

All I am saying is that when indulging in speculation it behooves us to note that what we're saying is a personal opinion or deduction to avoid confusing an already clouded matter. It's also helpful in taking speculation down a constructive path but since this DSF, I never have too many hopes about it going that way.

QUOTE
My sense is that you don't understand that you don't understand what I'm saying--not in the kind of quantitative detail necessary to draw conclusions. If you're so confident that I could be wrong in my speculations, why don't you come up with a scheme that is not in SR4, is not crazy-stupid, and which would falsify my claim, were it true. If you understand in a meaningful sense what I'm talking about, and I'm wrong, it shouldn't be terribly hard, it won't violate the NDA, and we won't have to wait for SR4 to come out.

Okay, let's get this straight. Your maths are impeccable and as far as I can see your one mistake is extending your argument beyond the value of 6 element in a Force 6 spell under SR3. In all my posts I've reserved commenting on whether your calculations are correct or not, because that wasn't the point.

Your mistake, from my perspective, was/is not in the maths (although there are ways in which the new system does indeed change the way Atts, Edge, Magic, Force and Resistance rolls relate that impact directly on this mechanic including stuff like possible exploding dice, etc). It is in failing to take into account the relative framework when making further extrapolations. It's like assuming a Magic 6 magician in SR3 will convert to a Magic 6 magician in SR4 with all the relevant abilities the same - at this point in time there is nothing to say this will be the case. Possibly Magic 6 will convert to the Magic 3 mage in SR4? IMHO this sort of unknown makes any argument which goes on to suggest "the penalty for starting mages to take cyberware will go down" inherently flawed. IMHO any such speculation which doesn't take into account the direct interaction between Magic and Essence loss due to cyber is flawed regardless of whether the maths are correct because the relative "importance" of the "penalty" is secondary to that consideration and partially contingent on the other "penalties" affecting such a choice (ie. if this particular penalty is eliminated maybe another is increased) and hence should be considered in the light of all the other known facts about that equation (ie. Magic is a variable stat and bought up, high Atts are more costly, Magic skills are broken down, Essence loss deducts from Magic, Force 6 is the maximum Force an average non-cybered magican can cast in SR4, etc).
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